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Here is more of the Zola scene from my novel The Opera. There were some lines cut between part 3 and this one, so the scene begins with refence to a part of the plot I don’t want to reveal.  Also there is a legitimate reason Jack is struggling not to have sex with her, but again I can’t reveal that either. 


Zola part 4

“I don’t feel prepared to answer that kind of question.”

“Do you want your personal rep to call me when your statement’s prepared?”

Jack offers no reaction.

“I’m not making fun of you Jack. I could never be a celebrity, the lack of privacy, no freedom. But you’ve done it gallantly.”

“No, not really. I thought I was able to.”

“We’ll change the subject, you were saying?”

“Um…I don’t know…”

“I’m sorry Jack.”

“No, I was thinking.”

“About what?”

Jack searches his mind for anything he could have been thinking about. Something that would both distract her and seem worthy of his apparent contemplation. He needs to adjust the environment and distract himself as well, in order to make it real. As an actor, he has mastered this technique quite well.

“I’m going to be up front with you, Zola. Something I wouldn’t typically do, but you’re such a real person. You’re cool and I just want to be honest.”


“I had an ulterior motive for making plans with you.”

“Did you?”

“It’s not the case anymore and it wasn’t fully the case. The truth is I wanted to have dinner with you as a friend. But…”

“But… The ulterior motive was…”



“Yeah, sorry.”

“Jack Mariano wanted to have sex with me?!”

Jack laughs, “I’m just a guy, Zola. You know that.”

“But you don’t want to have sex with me anymore.”

“Well I think it would be disrespectful.”

“You’ve got a lot of integrity. But…you don’t want to have sex with me anymore?”

Jack laughs again, “No, of course I do. I just don’t think it’s right. I mean that’s all it would be is sex and–”

“I’m ok with that.”

“Zola, I’d like to think I’m more mature than that.”

“But you’re a man. Maturity and manhood don’t usually come hand in hand.”

“I should be insulted by that comment.”

“I’m just putting my foot in my mouth again.”

“There are better things to put in your mouth.”

“Wow, you didn’t just say that!”

“No I didn’t.”

“I’m just nervous.”


“Well, why do you think?”

“Because… of who I am?”

Zola nods, “But never mind that, now that we’re being honest, I had an ulterior motive too.”

“Which was…”


“No.” Jack expresses as disbelief.

“I speak the truth, Music Man.”

“Well…now I’m kind of speechless.”

“How could I not want to?”

“What if I wasn’t famous?”

“You’re still hot.”

Jack nods slowly, not in agreement, but resolved.

“I’m kidding when I say superficial things like that. Those are fringe benefits, I won’t deny that. But you are one special guy. You are sweet and honest, and you’ve got the best personality. I’ve met a lot of cool people, but you top them, and that has nothing to do with fame. I hope you believe that.”

Jack is struck by a sudden, unexplainable, displaced sadness. Perhaps he wants to be a normal, everyday man. An unfamous man, with a regular job. Someone that doesn’t carry fringe benefits besides an ability to be a good husband and father. Any man off the street, preferably average looking, so he’d always know that his wife married him for the man inside and not all the external offerings. He leans toward Zola and kisses her, a small, tender kiss on the lips. He realizes that out of all the women he’s ever been involved with in any way, Zola deserves the most respect. She’s not playing games, and neither is Jack, and it’s refreshing to trust what is being said, the words from a woman’s mouth have never been so honest. “Thank you.”

She pauses, gaining her breath back from the kiss as inconspicuously as she can. However, it is not discrete enough, and Jack can no longer resist. He leans forward and kisses her more passionately, taking her around the waist and pulling her up against his body as he leans forward more onto her. He feels her breasts pressed against him as she wraps her arms around him and he instantly becomes hard.

Zola takes it, basks in it, unable to resist either, but she stops suddenly, “Jack, I’m in love with you. I know you probably hear that a lot, and I’m not just saying it. And I wouldn’t say it if I wasn’t drinking. But I won’t regret it. I know what I’m saying and I know it’s the right thing to say.”

Jack takes a deep breath. “Zola, I’m sorry I shouldn’t have done that.”

“Oh my god don’t apologize.” Her heart is beating fast and she speaks short of breath, it’s all Jack can do to pull himself away from her.

“We can’t do this, I’m sorry. I feel like if things were different, I could love you, but the way things are for me now…”

“No, I understand, I really do.”

Jack decides to end this conversation as abruptly as he can before he changes his mind yet again. He excuses himself to the bathroom, hoping his erection isn’t obvious when he stands and walks away. After masturbating as quickly and quietly as possible, which doesn’t quite compensate for his lack of Zola, he returns toward the sofa. Zola is seated with her back against the sofa, one foot on the ground, one leg bent straight out from her side, with that foot flat against her opposite thigh. Her skirt is swirled up and around revealing only both of her feet, but it pools at her crotch like decorative, creamy icing. Her head is back and she has both arms up folded across her eyes and forehead. Jack pauses in his tracks and gazes lustfully at her, thinking he should have spent more time in the bathroom. His eyes follow the shape of her breasts within the thin material of her Indian style sleeveless top. It accentuates her curves and Jack feels a twinge in his loins while he sucks in the sight of her. He can’t imagine how he can get through the rest of the evening without having sex with this girl. Morals are becoming irrelevant. She breathes and her breasts rise and fall and Jack watches them. She doesn’t know he’s there. She didn’t hear him over Billie Holiday. Jack’s eyes move along her body, determining by the way the material of her clothing drapes on her, how she would look naked; her olive skin, firm and smooth, her full breasts. He fantasizes about how her body would feel pressed beneath his own naked body. He can almost feel the moisture between her legs as she rubs against his penis before he penetrates her… But he tells himself he’s got to overcome this lust. As an actor, he has distracted his mind in order to avoid erections during scenes that involved even the minutest level of intimacy. He is an actor, a professional controller of emotions. That’s one contributing factor as to why many celebrity actors fall apart. Actors are required to be so many different people all the time, get into different psyches, suffer traumas they take on themselves to become someone else. Coming down from that isn’t always easy. It isn’t always easy to master the control of emotions in real life either at times. That’s on the job stuff. No one wants to take work home with them. Control is lost, and the actor becomes a fragment of themselves, barely held together. Once an actor portrays a character, that character never leaves the actor, it becomes a part of who the actor is, an old friend, someone to mourn the loss of. Jack can act in real life, so he channels that master actor inside him, and takes control. He looks away from Zola, who is posed like a goddess beckoning to be ravished, and he approaches slowly, glancing around for any object that might divert his lust. He catches a sight through the door to what is presumably her bedroom. “A guitar.”