The scene is set at Rodi's bar, and Blair asks Todd to dance.
"Me?" he says a bit taken aback.
The pair had not been very intimate since the miscarriage, he seems surprised, embarassed and shy.
She plays it coy, seductive and always in charge. She insists, and he put his arms around her waist, barely touching her, almost shaking. Even though he tries to keep his emotions within, the music on the jukebox speaks of how much, and how deeply he loves and desires her.
Blair talks about going back to their penthouse to "see the fireworks." It's the fourth of July.
As they were leaving, a big tough looking hispanic guy asks in an accusing voice if Todd is indeed "Todd Manning." Stepping back, Todd prepares himself for a possible fight.
"Who wants to know?" Todd responds, caution in his voice. But instead of trouble, Todd discovers the man is a reader of Todd's newspaper, the "Sun". He knows Todd is the publisher, and the stranger speaks of admiration and respect.
Both Blair and Todd breathe a sigh of relief that there will be no trouble for a change. Both are in awe that someone, representing many, thinks highly of Todd, the former leper of Llanview.
The Mannings return to the Penthouse, high from their new found status, particularly Blair. She is terribly proud of her husband, and his rise to respectiblity. Todd is a little more apprehensive, but Blair feels as if she is walking on air. She has risen to the top with her man. She has everything, and she couldn't be happier. She gives Todd a kiss, echoed by the first shooting of the day's celebratory fireworks. To Todd the kiss is an even greater explosive.
"I'm going to slip into something more comfortable," Blair informs him. "Don't go anywhere."
"Where else am I going to go?" mutters Todd, abandoned on their bed.
Todd, stretches out, and conducts newpaper business on the phone, while waiting. Suddenly we see him through Blair's arm, poised seductively on her hip, her back facing us. She wears only a thin purple silk nighty, very short and very revealing. Todd notices her too.
"Uh, gotta go," he says mid-sentence, and hangs up on his bureau manager. "Kinda skimpy, isn't it?" he comments nonchalently, trying to maintain his cool, and yet clearly admiring her provocative position.
"I thought you'd like it," she teases him.
"I do," he counters, still trying to act a bit aloof, clearly to the point of salivation.
The music plays, mirroring Todd's inner history, his former cynicism, his past inabilities to fall in love, the wonder of his new found feelings for Blair.
Blair goes on, working her way around the room, complaining about the heat. She starts rubbing her hands with Melador moisturizer, and starts to complain about her company's competition, when Todd pulls her towards the bed.
"I thought we came here to forget about business?"
"I thought we came here for the fireworks?" she purrs suggestively.
He takes the cream away from her, and puts some on his hands, warming it between them. He begins to rub her arms and shoulders with ointment, slowly, and with the intensity of his adoration. His fingers gently press into her flesh with purpose, his hands sliding across her skin in a gesture of desire and devotion.
He leans over to kiss her back, as he can no longer contain himself, and ends up instead with a mouthful of Melador moisturizer on his lips.
"Hmmmm," he jokes, "doesn't taste half bad!" He then pulls his willing wife on the bed and postitions himself on top of her.
We next see an overview of the passionate pair in kisses, and a feverish embrace. His arousal is unbearable, and he is almost out of control. She starts to talk, and he begs her, "don't say anything!" But she does. She asks him to stop. He loves her too much to ignore her plea, and despite his frustrations, he pauses.
"Your call," he sputters out in anguish.
"No! I don't mean stop this!" She knows she hurt him, and she certainly didn't mean to. She wants him as badly as he wants her! "Just long enough for me to take care of things."
"Birth control things?"
She explains to him she is not ready to try for another baby. Losing the first was too painful.
She leaves to prepare herself. He lies on the bed, lost in thought. He wants her completely. He wants to be as intimate as a man and wife can be. He wants her to have his baby. He is afraid that she will only want so much from him, and no more than that. But he can only take what she is willing to give him. A touch of sadness fills his face.
As we next enter the Manning bedroom we see the couple, in a long shot, in the midst of a celebration of spirited sexuallity. The music is rough and rauchy. We zoom in on the give and take of their clenched fists locked tightly together, no doubt reflecting the movement of their bodies beneath the vibrant colored sheets. Their hands give one final squeeze.
"Finally!" Blair gasps. They are breathless, with silly contented grins on their faces. Todd looks up, and notices the fireworks outside. "I forgot about them." Obviously, the fireworks inside the penthouse were far more spectacular than those in the skies of Llanview. Todd and Blair tease as lovers do, and then pull each other back into a kiss. Fade.
"THE FOURTH OF JULY" appears on the Manning Building site courtesy of its author, Eve.
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