Evening at The Theatre

'What an awful performance', she thought disapprovingly. It seemed lately that they were unable to procure any kind of decent entertainment. Everyone was in to 'performance art' these days; strange plays about dancing cats or talking lions.

Didn't anyone just do Shakespeare anymore?

Why, back when she was young, the elegant theatre would have to turn away patrons because of the popularity of its weekly bill. Now, it was only faithful patrons like herself who continued to come every week. And even she was growing weary of it all.

Sighing, she rose and looked idly down at the stage. It was intermission now, but the next act was due to start any minute. Then she would be back sitting on the ornate chair once more, pretending for anyone who looked that she was enjoying herself.

The truth was that she could easily stay on the small bench in the back of the private box. She'd get as much out of the evening as she would back up front where she could see the performance.

'Oh, to heck with it,' Phoebe muttered and turned back to relax on the plush leather bench. Sitting heavily, she decided to just let her mind wander until the performance was over.

Idly, she looked around at the decor of her box. She'd been here many times before but never paid much attention to its details. As she took in her surroundings, she noticed a very stylish woman's shoe in the box next door. The raised partition did not allow for much observation, but she note that whoever the woman was, she had a very shapely ankle.

Phoebe nodded approvingly. Why, if not for the stiletto heel of the shoe, she would have tapped on the partition and inquired about them for herself. But of course, no proper woman would wear such daring shoes to a theatre performance.

As she wondered about the shoe's owner, Phoebe heard what sounded like a low moan. Motionless, she strained her ears to hear.

Yes, that was a moan she heard. Oh dear, was someone ill?

A muffled male voice whispered something and the sound ceased. Phoebe hoped that no one had received bad news, because the moan she'd detected was one of agony it seemed.

Totally distracted from the performance onstage, Phoebe tuned out all but the sounds from the neighboring box. Frozen, she sat and listened, but the box was silent.

Shrugging her shoulders, she began to turn away when she noticed the stylish shoe begin to move. Since she could only see the shoes, it seemed to Phoebe as though they had a life of their own.

As she watched, the one shoe she could see was joined by its mate. And they were pointed toward her. That was curious.

Phoebe became even more curious as the distance between them widened. The only reason that would happen is if the person wearing them was standing with their legs spread.

All manner of coherent thought left the older woman as she watched a pair of expensive black leather shoes come to rest directly in the middle of the two pumps.

Her thought was confirmed when two sets of finely shaped fingers appeared over the top of the partition. They gripped the partition so fiercely that all color had left them.

"Ohhh..." came the woman's deep sigh.

Phoebe's mouth hung open. Sliding closer, she leaned her ear toward the partition.

"Yesss," the woman continued to moan in rhythm to her male companion's guttural utterances.

Her pulse racing, Phoebe listened raptly. The sounds from next door began to increase in urgency, and she was forced to wipe beads of sweat from her neck and forehead.

Just when she thought her heart would stop from all the tension, the woman gave a soft,choked cry. Looking up, she saw the fingers slide from the partition.

Phoebe swallowed the lump that was in her throat and held her hand to her chest. She was astonished, to say the least.

She became aware that the performance was ending. Grabbing her purse, she moved back to the front of the private box, determined to uncover the identity of the couple beside her.

And as the lights came up and people began to move about restlessly, she moved quickly to the door and exited.

And looked directly into the face of Adam Chandler and his fiancee' Doctor DeLane.

"Good Evening, Phoebe." Adam Chandler was his most charming. "I hope you enjoyed the performance tonight."

Tongue-in-cheek, Phoebe Wallingford replied honestly, "I haven't enjoyed anything quite so much in many years. Thank you."