“And that’s why I think ‘Scott’s Folly’ has always been one of my favorite episodes,” Maggie McAllister said as she smiled out at the two thousand fans that filled the ballroom of the Royal Grand Hotel.
The cheers that greeted the fifty-two-year-old actress were such that an unknowing observer might think the short haired redhead had won an Oscar rather than her claim to fame having been that she’d appeared on a twenty year old science fiction show. It went on for another half minute or so as she flashed her best smile and wallowed in their admiration.
“And to think I originally told my agent that I wanted no part of some geek sci fi show,” Maggie thought as the applause finally died.
Twenty years before, as a thirty-two-year-old never really was actress, Maggie had been called late one Friday morning by Ryan Clarke, her agent, and offered the chance to take over the role on an upcoming science fiction show about time travel called “Chronos II”. It seemed that the actress that had been originally cast had been injured in a car accident the day before. She hadn’t been seriously hurt, but some facial contusions were enough to delay production on the pilot, which was scheduled to start the following Monday.
Her initial reaction had been to say no, but then Ryan had convinced her to at least read the script which he had already sent over by messenger. One of the producers evidently had remembered her from some of her earlier work and thought she would fit the role perfectly. That most of her previous work had been a string of quite forgettable films where her breasts had a greater role than the rest of her said a lot about her career so far. And while her boobs were still holding up pretty well, she was getting a little old to still play those roles.
After reading the script, which had arrived just ten minutes later, she had still been unimpressed. The story revolved around the crew of the Chronos II, hence the title of the show, which had been lost in time. She would play June Kirkland, the assistant to Professor Mortimer Weatherby, the scientist who had invented the time ship. Rounding out the cast would be a strong male lead character named Rock Cooper, a not too bright but devilishly handsome sports hero on whom June would have a crush on, and his teenage nephew, Jim Cooper, who would have a similar crush on June.
“This is hardly the big break you’ve been promising me for the last two years, Ryan,” she had said over the phone shortly after putting down the script.
“It’s work.” Ryan had replied, reminding her that was something that had hardly been breaking down the door lately. “Just think of it as a paycheck,” he’d added. “It’ll probably never get past the pilot and no one will ever remember it a year from now.”
“I just have to show up ready to go on Monday morning?” Maggie asked as she glanced on the small pile of bills on her coffee table. “No late night auditions or anything like that?”
In her early days in Hollywood, there had been quite a few of those where she had been called upon to demonstrate her acting ability to various producers and directors. Said demonstration and her chances of getting the role usually consisting of how realistically she was able to fake an orgasm. She hadn’t minded it so much back then, it was part of the game, one that a lot of girls, and in some cases, guys had to play. The problem was that none of those roles had ever caught fire and it seemed that the practice was beginning to reappear.
“Nothing like that,” Ryan had promised, “I swear. They would, however, like you to come down to the studio tomorrow to make sure the wardrobe fits and all. You and Cynthia Cannon, she’s the girl they originally hired, have pretty much the same build, but they want to see if the costumes need any minor alterations.”
“In other words, I’m getting the gig because she and I both have great boobs,” Maggie pointed out.
“You said it, not me,” Ryan replied. “Now do I tell them yes or start looking for another girl. They wanted an answer ten minutes ago and already another one of the producers is saying that they want to go younger for the role.”
“Oh hell, I’ll do it,” Maggie said in resignation, glancing again at the stack of bills.
It hadn’t been only the money she owed that sealed the decision. Ryan’s last comment had carried a lot more weight than she wanted to admit. Up to then, she’d been able to play younger roles without a problem but there were a lot of new girls actually those ages out there, many of them willing to do an awful lot to get their chance.
“Chronos II” turned out to be exactly the kind of silliness that Maggie had thought it would be. But much to her, and many other people’s surprise, it was also a minor hit. So much so that it ran for four years. Over ninety-eight episodes, she had been crammed into the sexiest outfit they could find for the time period they visited. From a Victorian gown that was so tight she could hardly breathe in it, to a bikini like outfit made of twisted vines. It got so she came to the conclusion that the writers started with how revealing an outfit they could get past the network censors and then wrote a story around it.
When the show finally folded, Maggie thought it would be the last she’d ever heard of “Chronos II”. Then, to her even greater surprise, the show became an even bigger hit in what seemed like endless reruns. Over the last two decades, it had never really been totally off the air. Along with the growing fan base of new generations of Chrononauts, as they came to be called, came the personal appearances at various science fiction conventions around the country.
“Chronos II” would never be popular enough to have a convention of its own, but there were enough generic gatherings in which it played a role for her to make at least a half dozen appearances a year. All with travel expenses paid and a not unwelcome stipend for just answering some silly questions and then spending an hour or so signing autographs for which she would also get a cut of the profits.
Her acting career had also flourished after Chronos had gone out of production. She was never going to be offered a staring role, but she had spent the years since in a steady number of supporting roles in various movies and television shows. That some of these turned out to be caricatures of her June Kirkland character hadn’t bothered her in the least.
The sound of applause brought Maggie back from her musings as Roy Carlsen, who had played Professor Weatherby in the series, finished up a question of his own. Back when the show had first premiered, Roy had only been a few years older than the rest of the cast and used makeup to fit into his role. Now, two decades later, he had aged into it naturally.
As another fan took her turn at the microphone, Maggie was relieved to see that there was no one else in the waiting area. The organizers of the event were quite skilled at keeping things on schedule and knew just how many questions could be fit in during the question and answer panel. Not only was it bad form to have fans wait on line to ask a question, only to be told that time was up, but such disappointments might more importantly have a negative impact on their spending money on autographs and other souvenirs.
Only two of the cast of “Chronos II” had been available for the star panel this time around. Stephen Duke, who had played Rock Cooper, was home with the flu and that had disappointed Maggie terribly. She had become good friends with Stephen over the years and had been looking forward to seeing him again. The remaining no show wasn’t missed at all by either Maggie or Roy. Tommy Butler, who had played Jim Cooper, had grown up into the kind of obnoxious former child star that the supermarket tabloids loved.
Getting the role of Jim Cooper, after a string of television commercials and small guest staring roles, Thomas, and his mother turned agent, had been convinced that he was well on the way to a Tom Cruise like career. Instead, the show had turned out to be the highlight of his acting days as he had the looks, but not the talent to go further. Once he reached adulthood, he lost most of the charm of his teen years as well as the ability to keep off the extra pounds.
In the latter area, Maggie could well sympathize as she had added a few pound herself. Only in her case, the added weight had fallen in all the right places, giving her a more mature, sexy look. The girls, as she had long ago started referring to her breasts, had held up pretty good too. The effects of time and gravity held at bay by a specially constructed brasserie.
The last question of the morning was again directed at Maggie and she gave the young woman at the mike her full attention as she began speaking. It was a typical die hard fan question, but one that brought back other, best forgotten memories to the actress.
“I know that all though the series, June Kirkland always had a thing for Rock Cooper, even though he never seemed to notice,” the teenage girl, who Maggie knew hadn’t even been born when the show was originally filmed, said, “but a lot of fans have always thought that maybe she should’ve given Jim Cooper a chance. After all, by the time the series ended he was already seventeen. Do you think the show would’ve been better if the writers had gone in that direction?”
A chorus of laughter filled the room as Maggie glanced back at Roy, to also see a look of bemusement on his face. She was going to get no help with the answer from his direction.
“Well, I know that’s a direction of lot of the fan fiction you find on the Internet these days would like to have seen taken,” Maggie answered. An answer that brought a renewed assortment of cheers and whistles from the crowd. “But I’m afraid that I have to say that maybe the writers of the show knew what was best for the characters.”
The answer was a stock reply as she well knew, but that wasn’t an area that she wanted to go anywhere near. Still, the look of disappointment on the girl’s face made Maggie wonder if perhaps she had written at least one of those stories herself.
“Still,” Maggie added after a long pause, “I think you’d have to agree, Jim Cooper was pretty cute, wasn’t he?”
That brought a smile to the questioner’s face and another chorus of cheers from the audience. Almost as if on cue, the master of ceremonies stepped to the center of the stage and thanked everyone for coming, reminding them that both Maggie and Roy would both be available for autographs after they took a short break to freshen up. Plenty of time for everyone to buy official souvenir photographs for them to sign.
As the crowd began to stir in their seats, Roy leaned over to Maggie and said in a low voice that she had sidestepped that admirably.
“Oh fuck you,” she replied in a similarly low tone, the smile on her face saying she really didn’t mean it. “I still say it was all your fault.”
A look of innocence appeared on Roy’s face, along with an appropriate hand gesture returning the sentiment. Maggie just laughed and rose from her chair to follow one of the stage hands off the platform.
The reason for their little exchange was another reason why Maggie was so glad that they no longer bothered to invite Tommy Butler to the conventions. She wondered what all the fans now moving out the exits would think if they know that during the final year of the show, June Kirkland, or at least her alter ego of Maggie McAllister was doing the nasty with the Tommy Butler side of young Mr. Jones.
It had started out as a dare actually, or maybe even a joke, Maggie had never really been sure which. One night, after wrapping up an episode, she and Roy had been having a drink in his trailer. The subject of how Tommy had carried his character’s affections for Maggie’s over to real life had come up. It wasn’t unexpected of course, he was a normal, healthy teenager who spent a great deal of time around a woman with a great set of knockers which were constantly being flashed in his face.
“I think you should do something about it,” Maggie remembered Roy saying.
“What would you suggest?” Maggie had asked, feeling the effects of the half bottle of scotch they had put away.
“Why not give him a tumble,” Roy had replied. “He’s old enough and certainly cute enough, and from a few quick looks I’ve been able to catch in the showers, certainly equipped enough. God knows that if I’d thought he’d be the least bit interested, I’d have given him one long ago.”
Maggie had smiled. Roy’s being gay had been one of the worst kept secrets in Hollywood. Known to just about everyone it seemed except for fans of the show. It was that way for a lot of actors.
Even with more than half a buzz on, Maggie would’ve let the issue die then and there, except for the fact that she happened to run into Tommy on the way back to her own dressing room. He had been hanging around outside of it, looking she thought, for another chance to peek into the window while she was changing. She had caught him at it a few times in the past. As she had on those occasions, she was about to chase him off, then had a change of heart.
“Oh fuck,” Maggie had said as she glanced around and saw that no one else was anywhere near. “Come on in Tommy, if you really want to look, you might as well get a good one.”
She had let him do a lot more than look that evening, teaching him things he only dreamed about and by the time he stepped back out, he’d left his virginity behind. Over the last few weeks of the show they wound up doing it just about every chance they got, right up until the night his mother found out.
When Sharon Butler walked into Tommy’s dressing room, she had a key, to find the two of them naked and in the middle of the act, Maggie was sure her career was about to go up in ashes. Then to her surprise, Sharon acted almost thankful to find the two of them together.
Sharon had suspected for some time that her son was getting it on with someone and was most worried that it was some underage groupie who was going to have him splashed across the front pages of the tabloids. Or some girl who wanted to get her hooks into him and ride the gravy train that Sharon just knew was waiting for the two of them once he hit it big. So it was actually a relief for her to discover that it was only an older woman interested in his hard body and even harder cock.
Their little affair sort of died off after that, ending totally before the show was canceled. In the last few conventions they’d attended before he stopped being invited, Tommy, or Thomas as he now went by, had insinuated that he’d like to recapture their glory days. Maggie had made it as clear as she possibly could that she didn’t. A message he never seemed to get.
After the short break was over, Maggie and Roy walked into the small room in which the autograph table had been set out to find that not only was the room already packed, the line into it already stretched out into and down the hallway. The promoters couldn’t stop a fan from bringing their own non-official items, but they did their best to insinuate that only holders of photos bought at the convention would get their chance at having them signed. Since they got a piece of each photo sale, some actors would refuse to sign anything else. Both Maggie and Roy, however, were more than willing to put their names on anything a fan put in front of them. Not everyone, they felt, could afford the overpriced souvenirs.
While she had always been at a loss to explain the popularity of the show, Maggie had always been keenly aware how seriously many of the fans took it and how much she had gained over the years due to that devotion. That was why she added to her answer earlier and why now she tried to give each fan a kind word or at least a warm smile as she scribbled her name on whatever they put in front of her. Over the years she’d also come to realize that one of the reasons of lot of fans were willing to stand in line for such a long time, at least the male ones, was to get a close up look at “the girls.” Truthfully, she got as much of a thrill out of having them look as they did, so much so that she always made it a point to change into something that showed off as much of them as to be just the wrong side of respectable.
Earlier in the year, she had gone too far over the line, showing up at the San Francisco Star-Con in a see through blouse, deciding at the last moment to leave her bra behind as well. The combined effect of the overhead lighting and the flash strobes going off had produced some magnificent shots of her large nipples. It didn’t take two days for the photographs to find their way onto the Internet, provoking a small moral outrage from some quarters. Mostly, she felt, from narrow minded old ladies who felt she was helping corrupt today’s youth. As if most of them needed help. The convention promoters hadn’t seemed to mind, feeling that even more people came to the next one they invited her to, to see if she repeated the performance. In that they were disappointed, but she still put on a good show nevertheless.
When the autograph session finally ended, some thirty-five minutes past its scheduled hour, both Maggie and Roy were relieved to finally put down their pens. With a practiced precision, the organizers again took over and quickly cleared the room, herding the masses to the next scheduled event. Since it didn’t include either of the two of them, it gave the actors a chance to relax for a little while. They weren’t needed until the Best Costume Competition this evening where they would be two of the judges.
“Maggie, could I ask a favor of you,” Roy asked as he handed her a cup of coffee from the small cart that had been set up in the corner.
“Oh oh,” Maggie said in a foreboding tone, “every time you use those words I wind up regretting what ever it is you ask me to do.”
“That’s not true,” Roy laughed, then added. “Okay, maybe it is. But this time it’s different.”
“And you always say that too,” Maggie replied.
“Would you at least just listen first?” Roy smiled.
“Don’t I always,” Maggie answered, returning the smile.
“It seems I have a little scheduling conflict,” Roy began, the casualness of his words causing Maggie’s caution lights to all come on.
“A scheduling conflict,” Maggie repeated.
“Well, it’s actually kind of simple,” the older man continued, “thinking I had a few hours to kill this afternoon, I sort of agreed to sit for an interview for one of those science fiction magazines.”
“And now something else has ... has come up you could say.”
With that, his gaze moved over her shoulder to something behind her. Maggie turned her head to find a very cute, twenty-something young man standing at the doorway. It was obvious from his expression that he was waiting for Roy, and not for an interview.
“You’re incorrigible,” Maggie laughed, trying to sound angry but failing miserably.
“No, just very horny,” he said in a soto voce tone as he moved close enough so that only she could hear him.
“So where do I find this person that was supposed to interview you?” Maggie asked.
“He’s waiting for me in the coffee shop off the lobby,” Roy answered, his face beaming at his little victory.
“All right, you go have your fun and I’ll go educate the masses once more about what a joy it was working on ‘Chronos II’.” she relented.
“Bless you, dear,” Roy said, kissing her on the cheek as he waved to the young man in the door that he would only be a moment more.
“You better go before I forget how much I love you and come to my senses,” Maggie retorted.
“And I love you, darling,” Roy replied, “So much that I just wish you’d learn to take more advantage of your own opportunities.”
“Not all of us have your adventurous spirit,” she replied, also asking him what the guy’s name was and how was she going to recognize him.
“His name is Jonathan Hall or Hill, or something like that, and you’ll have no problem recognizing him,” Roy said before disappearing into the hall with his companion, “he’s wearing one of those black “Chronos II” T-Shirts with the four of us standing in front of the timeship.”
“Wonderful,” Maggie sighed as she looked up at the ceiling and rolled her eyes.
Visualizing the kind of guy who worked for one of those magazines and would walk around in a shirt like that, Maggie decided to take a few minutes to go back up to her room and put the girls back under cover. Otherwise, this might turn out to be the longest interview on record, especially if he wasn’t able to stop drooling long enough to get a question in.
Fifteen minutes later, she stepped out of the lobby elevator in her third change of clothes for the day. She’d settled on a simple flower print that still enhanced her figure but not overly so. Navigating her way across the still crowded vestibule, Maggie considered the possibility that since she was so late, the reporter, and she used that term loosely, might have given up and gone home. One could only hope.
“No such luck,” the fifty-two-year-old said to herself as she stepped into the coffee shop and saw, sitting in one of the front booths, a round figure in a black T-shirt.
In his late twenties or early thirties, the dark bearded reporter looked like the stereotype that detractors conjured up when they wanted to bash science fiction fans. It was a cruel thing to say she knew, but in some cases it was true. Spread out on the table was a meal for at least two, with at least three desserts.
Putting on her best professional smile as he headed for the table, Maggie was having a hard time trying to ignore his resemblance to the “comic book guy” on that popular animated show that seemed to have been on Sunday nights forever.
“Excuse me,” Maggie said as she stopped only inches from the edge of his table, “are you by any chance waiting for Roy Carlsen and an int...”
She never got a chance to answer as the young man looked up and, seeing who was standing there, dropped the fork full of pie that he was about to put into his mouth.
“Oh my God, it’s you,” he said, his voice bordering on shock.
Maggie tried to keep smiling, swearing that Roy was really going to pay for this. This went way beyond friendship.
“I can’t believe it’s really you,” he repeated, “here, standing in front of me.”
“Well it is,” Maggie said, “and I’m afraid that Mr. Carlsen has been unavoidably detained and he asked if I might take his place. If that’s all right?”
Still looking like he was in shock, the man in black just sat there with his mouth half open.
“Would it be all right if I sat down?” Maggie asked, hoping that this time she got a response.
It took a few seconds for him to realize what she had asked. Then he replied by pushing his arm out and sweeping most of the plates on the table out of her way. Sitting down, Maggie hoped she could get the eye of one of the waitresses so she could clear some of the plates and at least wipe the tabletop down.
“As I was saying, Roy wasn’t able to make it and I’d like to take his place if it’s okay,” she repeated. “What was the name of the magazine that you write for again?”’ she added, recalling that Roy had left that out as well.
Before an answer could be made, another voice from behind her interrupted.
“I’m sorry, but I couldn’t help overhearing,” the tall, clean shaven young man said, “did you just mention Roy Carlsen?”
Turning in the direction of the voice, Maggie was stunned to see that the tall, well-built younger man standing behind her was also wearing an identical T-shirt as the man across the table.
“Are you Jonathan Hall?” Maggie asked, her inner voice pleading with him to say yes.
“Hill actually,” he said, “I was supposed to be meeting Mr. Carlsen or an interview. Actually I was supposed to meet him over a half-hour ago.”
“Roy is terribly sorry,” Maggie quickly said, repeating what the story of a few moments before, “but he had a last minute scheduling conflict. He was hoping that I might do the interview in his place. Would that be all right?”
“I think it would be more than all right,” Jonathan said. “In fact it would be much more than I could’ve hoped for.”
“Great,” Maggie said, this time her smile was genuine.
A slight noise from the other side of the table reminded Maggie that she’d made a mistake. No, she chided herself, two mistakes. There was absolutely no reason why she should’ve prejudged the first man so harshly solely on his appearance. She owed him apology at the least.
“I’m afraid I made a little error,” she smiled at him. “This was the gentlemen I was supposed to be meeting.”
“It’s okay,” he said. “I figured it had to be some kind of mistake.”
“Let me at least pay for your lunch,” Maggie offered.
“No, it’s okay,” he declined. “It was worth it just to meet you in person. I wish my friends hadn’t left already, they’re never going to believe me.”
Maggie thought about it for a second, then offered to sign his convention program. Asking his name, which turned out to be Alan, so she could personalize it, she was halfway through when she had a better idea.
“Is that your camera?” she asked, pointing to the small digital on the far end of the table.
When he said that it was, Maggie asked Jonathan if he would be so kind as to take a photo of her and her new friend. As he took a moment to check how the camera operated, Maggie scooted over to the other side of the table and in alongside Alan. Pressing up alongside him, she could feel the smile on his face as the flash went off.
“One more, just for luck,” she said. “Give me a three count just to be ready.”
When Jonathan got to two, Maggie suddenly turned her head and kissed Alan on his cheek. That was the image frozen on the display when the flash went off a second time.
“Show that one to your friends if no one believes you,” Maggie smiled back at him as she stood up out of the booth.
“Oh wow!” Alan said in disbelief as he stared at the second picture on his camera display.
The two of them stepped away into the empty foyer, Jonathan in the lead with Maggie close behind him. She noted that he was at least two inches taller than her own five foot nine, and while he didn’t have the muscular build that so many young men back in Los Angeles did, the reporter did have a really cute ass.
“I think I can get us a booth again,” he said, realizing that the one he’d just vacated had already been filled. “We could order lunch if you like, or just get some coffee if you’ve already eaten.”
“I know it’s still a little early,” Maggie replied, “but after dealing with all those eager fans all day, what I could really use is a good drink. This place has a bar, doesn’t it?”
“I’m not sure,” Jonathan answered, surprised at the request. “If not, I saw one just down the street on my way here.”
“That’ll be even better,” Maggie decided, “less chance of running into any more of my fans. Not that I don’t love them for everything that they’ve done for me, but sometimes too much love is ... well, I’m sure you understand.”
Jonathan gave a look that said that he did. Looking into his boyish face, another thought suddenly occurred to Maggie.
“You are old enough to drink, aren’t you?” she asked.
“Yes,” he smiled, “I’m over twenty-one.”
As they headed out of the hotel and down the street to the bar, Maggie wondered how much over the legal age he was. If she could see the driver’s license in his wallet, which he would have to produce before the waitress would take their order, she would’ve learned that he had indeed passed his all important twenty-first birthday – all of three months before.
The outside sign identified the establishment as McGuire’s Bar and Grill, serving the community since nineteen sixty-one. They took a quiet booth in the back, as far away from the few afternoon patrons watching the ball game as they could. Jonathan ordered a beer and Maggie, to his surprise, ordered a scotch.
“So what is this interview about anyway?” she asked as she downed the drink in a single gulp. “Oh I needed that,” she went on to say, already signaling the waitress to bring her another, indicating with her fingers to make it a double.
“Well, I’m working on a couple of ideas,” Jonathan said, “I haven’t narrowed it down yet to exactly which one I want to go with. To be honest, I’m doing this on spec, trying to land a staff position at the magazine. So far I’ve only done freelance work but my Editor said if I can come up with a top story about “Chronos II”, I get the job. There’s a lot of interest in the old show, especially since that rumor started going around the Internet about it being remade into a movie.”
“Are you really a fan of the show or is this just the assignment that they gave you?” she asked.
“Actually both,” he replied as he sipped at his beer. “I’ve been watching the show since I was ten.”
“Ten huh,” Maggie repeated, trying to imagine the handsome young man at that age.
“Well it might’ve been older than that,” he said, hoping he hadn’t committed a faux pas by drawing attention to how long ago the show had been.
“It’s okay, I have no problem with how it’s been since I played that part, or how old I am now.”
The ice broken, they spent the next half hour discussion the history of the show, mixing those stories with as many anecdotes as she could remember. By the time another round was set in front of them, this time beer for both, they were calling each other Jonathan and Maggie at the other’s insistence.
In addition to the show, Maggie learned a great deal about the background of the young man sitting across from her. At least now she knew something more than the fact that he was incredibly cute. The main reason, she thought, why Roy had agreed to the interview in the first place. He had a weakness for Jonathan’s type and it was only the prospect of a sure thing in place of a maybe that caused him to blow it off.
The thought of what Roy was most likely blowing at the moment caused a wide grin to appear on her face. One that Jonathan couldn’t help but ask about.
“I was just thinking that we really should find some time for you to talk to Roy, he has a lot better stories than I do,” she lied.
“If I can I will,” Jonathan replied, “but I’d be lying if I didn’t say I’m quite happy interviewing you instead.”
Hoping she wasn’t blushing, Maggie found herself wishing she hadn’t gone up to her room and changed outfits before heading for the coffee shop. It might be silly to think someone half her age might be interested, but it was fun to think about it.
The stirring between her legs reminded her that it’d been quite some time since she’d taken care of that particular itch. Normally, one of the benefits of coming to one of these conventions was meeting up with Steve Duke again. As she was always quick to point out to anyone who asked, she and Steve had remained good friends over the years. What she never told anyone else was that they were ‘friends with benefits’. It was a benefit she was sorely missing this weekend. Trying to put that out of her head, she was glad when the course of the conversation returned to the show.
“Back in high school I once read an interview with George Wagner about how he came up with the idea for “Chronos II,” Jonathan said as he checked his notes. “Was he really as creative as they made him out to be?”
“Well,” Maggie started to say, then paused, “do you want the Hollywood answer that they give at conventions like this or would you like to know the real story?”
“I get the impression that the real story is a lot more interesting so let’s go with that,” Jonathan replied.
“Well, first of all,” Maggie smiled, feeling some of the effect of the drinks she’d downed, “let’s start by saying that even though it might be speaking ill of the dead, George Wagner never met a creative idea that he wasn’t willing to take credit for. Most of the good ideas for the show actually came from the people working for him, from Johnny Thomas, who was the actual hands on producer to J.T. Forest, who started out as Wagner’s secretary and eventually became a writer in her own right.”
“Wow, I read that once in some fan magazine but didn’t know if it was true or not.”
“It was true, trust me,” Maggie said. “The only thing worse that the way he treated the creative staff was the way he treated most of the women on the series.”
Jonathan gave a look that said he didn’t understand exactly what that meant.
“Well let’s just say that the women who appeared on “Chronos II” usually fell into three categories,” she explained as she finished off the last of her beer. “Women he had slept with, women he was sleeping with, and women he expected to sleep with him sometime in the near future.”
No sooner had the words come out of her mouth that Maggie almost regretting saying them. Not because they weren’t true, but because of the actresses they maligned. The look that then appeared on his face told her that he was wondering which category she fell into.
To set the record straight, she told the story of how she wound up with the role of June Kirkland. Decorum prevented her from mentioning that the actress she had replaced, Cynthia Cannon, had earned the role by being in the middle category. In fact, the motor vehicle accident that had bruised her face enough to take her out of the show had occurred while Cynthia had been performing a sexual act on George while he was driving her home from rehearsal. Only the fact that she had finished a moment before they had hit a telephone pole had prevented the executive producer from suffering a catastrophic injury.
Jonathan went on to ask a half dozen other questions, to which Maggie gave answers as honest as the first. Then he shifted his focus from the series to the here and now.
“If those rumors about a movie are true, do you think they’ll ask you to have a part in it?” he asked. “Usually when they make a movie out of an old show, the previous stars at least do some kind of cameos.”
“Well there was a lot of bad blood between George and the cast after the show went off the air and into syndication,” Maggie explained, “Mostly due to the fact that he tried to really screw us on the residuals package. We won back our residuals in court and he never forgot it. Also, he resented all the attention we still got from the fans. I think he felt he never got the proper acclamation for his work.”
“But he died last year,” Jonathan pointed out, “wouldn’t that have put an end to any grudges.”
“Well, you would think so,” Maggie smiled, “but the widow Wagner seems determined to keep it going and since she now controls George’s rights to the show, she has a lot of say with the studio.”
“Why would she do that?” he asked. “I would think having you all at least do a cameo would only help the movie.”
“Well I can’t speak as to what she has against anyone else,” Maggie confessed, “but I have to admit that I might have said a few unkind words about her at one time or another.”
Back when the widow Wagner was still Doris Young, more commonly known as the latest bimbo that George was screwing behind his wife’s back, Maggie, who had been a genuine friend of Kathy Wagner, the then current Mrs. Wagner, had embarrassed Doris at a cast party. Said embarrassment consisting of a loud enough to be overheard recitation of her non-film credits. The incident had been widely reported on various gossip pages and led to her losing a prime role in an upcoming blockbuster that George had managed to get for her.
“Hell hath no fury like a bitch scorned,” Maggie laughed as she finished the story.
“There another story that I’m curious about but I wasn’t sure if I should ask about it,” Jonathan said with some hesitation.
“Tell you what,” Maggie said, “I guess I’m feeling a little expansive from the drinks so ask away.”
“How bout we go off the record then,” Jonathan suggested, “after all, this is more my own personal curiosity than anything else.”
“Okay, that sounds fair,” Maggie agreed, “fire away.”
To her surprise, the question was about her and Tommy Butler. Jonathan had been at the star panel earlier and it seemed to him that there had been a reaction on her face when she was asked about the Internet stories about their characters. Not a very noticeable one, but one that made him wonder if there might have been something there.
“I think you have the makings of a great reporter,” she said, side stepping the question.
“Well, even if I don’t get an answer, I’m glad to know I was at least right,” he said.
“Off the record, right?” Maggie asked.
“Absolutely,” Jonathan promised, taking his notebook and sliding it into his pant’s pocket as to emphasize the point.
After taking a deep breath, Maggie told him the whole story of her and Tommy Butler.
“Wow!” Jonathan said, the truth being nothing like what he had imagined.
“You must be thinking I’m horrible.” Maggie said, interpreting the expression on his face.
“Not at all,” he replied. “To be honest, I was just thinking how lucky Butler was. I’m actually envious. My first time was hardly as memorable, just two teenagers in the back seat trying to figure out what went where.”
“I don’t even think I can really remember my first time,” Maggie laughed. “It was back in the stone age.”
“You act as if you’re ancient,” Jonathan said.
“There are times I feel that way.”
“You shouldn’t,” he smiled broadly. “I think that if anything, you’re more attractive now than when you were on the show.”
Maggie have him a look that said she wasn’t about to believe that.
“I’m serious,” Jonathan insisted.
She looked at him a long moment, then realized that he was.
“Is there anything else you need for the article?” Maggie asked.