Episode #11: “Trophy in a Case”
Scene 1: Dr. Irina Sulemina's Deck, Malibu, California - Exterior - Early Afternoon
During Grant’s weekend visit with Dr. Irina Sulemina in Malibu, she is called to the hospital emergency room. As a fellow doctor, Grant Lawrence understands that sometimes “duty calls”, in the most inopportune moments. Left alone at Irina’s luxurious Malibu beach home, he reclines in a patio chair to bask in the sun, eyes closed, trying to clear his thoughts. Grant struggles to forget the yachting trip, during which Irina’s word became permanently etched in his mind; "Oh, nothing really happened, really. Don't worry, I'm fine", she muttered, as she wiped smudged lipstick from her lips. How naïve Irina must consider Grant, to believe that he would buy her unlikely story. Grant knew better than anyone else, that something must have happened between Irina and Devlin Max, as they left the group, to fetch champagne from the yacht’s galley below.
As the blazing California sun glistens on Grant’s buff body, he is bombarded with doubts about Irina’s feelings for him. With nothing to distract him, Grant continues to repeatedly replay the events of the yacht excursion. Grants likens the weekend events to a high stakes game of chess, with an accomplished opponent. Devlin makes his move and Grants responds. But how will Grant ultimately out-maneuver Devlin, to win Irina’s affections?
"Hi, Grant.", Irina's close friend, Jessica Sanchez chirps, as she slithers into the patio chair, next to Grant’s. Startled by her greeting, Grant opens his eyes, glances her way and does a double take, in appreciation of the fit and slender Jessica in her red, one-piece swimsuit. But not even the seductive Jessica Sanchez could ever compare to Grant’s ideal of the perfect woman, Irina. Pretending to admire the ocean view, Jessica coyly surveys the deck and notices that Irina is not in the vicinity. Grant informs her of Irina's hospital duties, to which Jessica retorts slyly, "Well, I'm glad I have you to myself..." Grant, slowly turns his head towards Jessica, not sure what to make of her comment. Was Jessica making an advance? Grant feels flattered by this possibility, as she is indeed very attractive, extremely charming and most men find her irresistible. However, Grant isn't prepared for this kind of confusion. The strained relationship between Grant, Irina and Devlin, combined with the needs of Joe Foster, are confusing enough.
Jessica glares at Grant and demands attention, as she barks, "I need to talk to you about Irina and Devlin. I think Irina is about to marry Devlin." Grant musters all his reserve, to avoid the appearance of a jealous reaction to Jessica’s declaration.
While it is a relief to Grant that Jessica is not coming on to him, it is quite the contrary to hear that Irina, the woman he once loved, has most likely decided to couple with the slick-as-oil movie producer, Devlin Max. He can feel his heart sink deep into his chest, with mixed feelings of sadness and guilt. For the goal of Grant's visit with Irina in Malibu, was to convince her to commute to Nashville to perform the Pertrofvski procedure, (a complex spinal cord surgery), on the paralyzed Coach Joe Foster. Grant feels ashamed of himself, clouding his objective with personal issues. He struggles to remain focused on his patient, Joe Foster, whose ability to walk hangs in the balance of Irina’s decision, whether or not to travel to Nashville. Intellectually, Grant knows that Irina is her own woman, with the freedom to choose with whom she will make a future. But emotionally, Grant hopes that Devlin’s arrogance will drive Irina to choose him and they will live happily ever after, in Nashville, Tennessee.
Jessica and Grant continue to sunbathe, taking in the thunderous sound and fresh smell of the surf. Despite all of Grant’s feelings of jealousy, Grant tries to position himself to Jessica, as a true confidant and colleague of Irina, rather than a lovesick ex-boyfriend. In response to Jessica’s worry that Irina is about to marry Devlin, Grant responds, "So, what's so wrong with Devlin?", as if he doesn't know.
"Are you kidding me? The guy's a control freak! He doesn't have relationships, he has possessions!", Jessica quickly snaps back.” Jessica’s anger mounts and with that her volume escalates, as she continues to say, "She'll just be another trophy in his trophy case!" Now, Jessica's true intentions appear to surface. As Irina's good friend, she doesn't want her to be pressured into a relationship with the controlling and powerful, Devlin Max. Desperate to save Irina from a lifetime of agony, Jessica wants to incite Grant to become a catalyst for Irina's breakup with Devlin. Jessica makes a final attempt to drive home the point, as she bellows, "Irina is too nice of a person to marry someone like Devlin. If you love her, than you need to do something." Jessica’s words wash away Grant’s feelings of guilt and shame. With that, he feels a cool sensation of relief, that at least Irina’s best friend appears to be in his corner.
"If you love her, than you need to do something." Jessica's words repeat in Grant's head. Does Dr. Grant Lawrence really still love Irina? Or is it merely that he wants her, as she now seems unattainable? Perhaps it is true love that compels Grant "to do something". And, perhaps, Jessica's verbal nudge was all he needed to roll into action.
Scene 2: Beachside, Malibu, California - Afternoon
By all appearances, Devlin Max is a man who has it all; fame, fortune, adoring women by his side and devastatingly handsome looks. And clearly appearance is of utmost importance to Devlin. He take’s seriously his need to maintain a fit and trim physique. Devlin’s demanding schedule as a movie executive, must work around his strict health regimen; consisting of a well-balanced diet of five small meals a day and three hours of exercise with his personal trainer, seven days a week. And when his travel schedule will allow him to be in Malibu, the final segment of Devlin’s exercise routine is a brisk jog along the beautiful beaches of Malibu, followed by a cool-off walk back to his mansion. It is during this routine jog on the beach, that Grant spots Devlin coming toward him.
After Grant’s discussion with Jessica, about Devlin’s intention to propose marriage to Irina, he decides a walk on the beach with help him formulate a plan to stop such a union. Grant uses his time wisely, awaiting Irina’s return from her emergency room duties. Grant Lawrence couldn't ask for a better coincidental encounter, than to run into Devlin Max on the beach. Grant spies Devlin's smug expression from afar, as he runs in Grant’s direction. As the vain movie executive runs along the beach, he eyes each bikini-clad beauty, in his route. Grant detests Devlin’s pretence of adoring Irina, when in fact his actions speak louder than words, on a constant prowl for other conquests.
Grant meets Devlin head-on, as he yells, "Hey! I want to talk to you!", Devlin slows his jogging to a halt, as he approaches the confrontational doctor. He isn’t surprised by the doctor’s stand-off attitude. In an equally aggressive manner, Devlin barks, “Alright, you wanna talk? Talk." He is not intimidated in the least bit, by Grant's hostile tone of voice, nor by his following question. "What happened yesterday on the boat between you and Irina?" Grant demands.
What actually transpired on the yacht between Devlin and Irina? (Oh, yeah, they were lip locked in the belly of the boat!) Will Devlin be his usual deceitful self and devise a complex web of lies to throw Grant off? Will Grant “save face” and politely accept Devlin’s lie, or will the good doctor get punch-happy on Devlin's perfectly chiseled face? Will Irina be blown over by Grant's chivalrous actions, or will this blow his chances of a love connection with the Russian beauty? And, more importantly, how will all of this turmoil affect Grant's persuasion of Irina to travel to Nashville to perform the Petrofvski procedure on Coach Joe Foster?
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