The Contract

Transcript courtesy of Candace

Setting: Todd's penthouse
Scene: Téa and Todd discuss the guidelines in the marriage contract

TODD: Anything else I need to do before I get married again?

TÉA: Yes. You need to find a wife.

TODD: Hey, don't you play games with me, alright? We discussed this. You were gonna help me set up a model household so that I could get custody of Starr again. Am I right?

TÉA: That depends.

TODD: You're not holding me up for more money, are you? I already guaranteed you five million dollars.

TÉA: That's not the guarantee I'm after.

TODD: If it isn't money, then what's the problem?

TÉA: Do you think it's smart to imply that you can buy me?

TODD: Are you implying that I can't? Oh, come on, I thought we had some refreshing honesty here, was I wrong?

TÉA: Look, this is about more than money.

TODD: Yeah, you're right, this is about my little girl's life.

TÉA: And mine. I'm pretty confident that Starr's safe with you, I'm not so sure that I am.

TODD: Oh, well I love it when you cut to the chase.

TÉA: I'll propose some terms to this agreement. If you don't like them, we'll call the whole thing off. I'll still try to get you custody of Starr. Frankly, I think you have a good chance.

TODD: I stand a better chance with a loving wife by my side, who also happens to be a legal pillar of the community, and a loving step-mother to boot.

TÉA: Yes, that would certainly help to offset some of the unsavory details of your past.

TODD: Lawyer. You don't mince words, do you? So what is it that you want, huh? Some time off now and then? How about every other Sunday or something?

TÉA: Don't treat me as a servent, even as a joke.

TODD: Oh, ok, fine, no jokes.

TÉA: You'll respect me, at home and in public.

TODD: Yes ma'am.

TÉA: And you'll respect my friends.

TODD: No, I draw the line at hypocrisy. You have lousy friends.

TÉA: Well then you won't deliberately alienate them.

TODD: I can't stop breathing. Look, why don't we just agree to separate lives now and then.

TÉA: Look, I come and go as I please, no questions asked.

TODD: Fine. Anything else?

TÉA: Well, if this is going to be my new home, I'm going to want to have my friends over every once in a while.

TODD: Wild parties.

TÉA: I'm not a party girl. And I don't have a lot of friends, but the ones I do have I value. And they don't like you any more than you like them.

TODD: Well I have that effect on people.

TÉA: So, if you can't promise not to deliberately alienate them, I'd expect you to absent yourself when they were here.

TODD: Absent. With notice.

TÉA: Of course.

TODD: And not often.

TÉA: An evening every other week.

TODD: Fine. Any other rules and regulations?

TÉA: I need a guarantee for my physical safety. You can understand, I'm sure.

<Todd leans closer to her>

TODD: No, I can't understand. You wanna spell it out for me?

TÉA: I realize the newspaper accounts I read on microfiche in the library didn't represent the whole story but they were, uh, disturbing.

TODD: You've done your homework.

TÉA: I'm very thorough, that's what makes me such a good lawyer.

TODD: And this is your life that we're talking about.

TÉA: Exactly.

TODD: Mine too.

TÉA: Yes. We both have a lot at stake. So, we should probably negotiate some incentives.

TODD: To ensure my good behavior. You know, you either trust me or you don't. Personally, I don't trust anybody. What's a contract, anyway, right? It's just a piece of paper.

TÉA: I trust my instincts. I think I'd know if I was in trouble and I'd get out. But, you'd probably throw me out first, to save yourself if nothing else.

TODD: You're a smart woman.

TÉA: But, uh, as you suggested, let's spell out the consequences. If you attempt to abuse me in any way, the deal is off at that point but I still get the five million plus an additional million as penalty.

TODD: So what's to stop you from crying fowl and taking off with my money one or two months into the deal?

TÉA: My honor.

TODD: How nobel.

TÉA: If you are to expose this little arrangement, my career would be at jeopardy, but that would not stop me from getting out if I had to.

TODD: What exactly do you mean when you say abuse?

TÉA: Any attempt to use shame or intimidation to try to control me. Emotional abuse, using words to hurt me deliberately, yelling, cursing. Physical abuse, from jabbing an angry finger in my face, hitting, slapping, shaking, anything that hurts, including rape.

TODD: Don't worry, you're not my type.

TÉA: Rape isn't about sexual attraction, it's about violence. And if you can't understand that, then we have nothing more to discuss.

TODD: Then don't worry.

TÉA: Well, that's settled. Shall we draw up a contract?

TODD: No, uh, I need a guarantee. And this one is a deal-breaker.

TODD: This is about Starr. She didn't ask to be born with the parents that she's got, but she sure as hell needs a better female role model than Auntie Dorian, and that's where you fit in.

TÉA: A role model?

TODD: Well, you're not perfect.

TÉA: Gee.

TODD: But I wouldn't mind if Starr grew up to be like you. You know, you're smart, you're gutsy, you're independent, you're a survivor... got a sense of humor.

TÉA: That could describe Blair.

TODD: Yeah. But I need somebody that's gonna take Blair's place.

TÉA: Impossible. Look, no matter how I feel about your daughter, and I do like her, she's a wonderful little girl. I'm not her mother.

TODD: No, but all you gotta do is, you know, tuck her in at night and hold her if she gets scared. Tell her girl stuff, she needs to know girl stuff. I mean, if you do that you'll be fine.

TÉA: Easy for you to say. I don't have much experience with, um, mother daughter stuff. My mother walked out when I was seven.

TODD: Well so what? You know what it's like to grow up motherless.

TÉA: I think that you need to be absolutely sure that I am the right person for this. I mean, you're not just looking for a surrogate mother to make it look good in a custody case, you're looking for a surrogate mother for real. I have no parenting skills to offer.

TODD: Look, I didn't know what to do. Starr will tell you what to do, and I've seen her with you. I just need to know that you're gonna do your best.

TÉA: You have more confidence in me than I do. But, I promise to try. To learn to be the best mother I can be to Starr.

TODD: That's all I needed to hear. So fine, do we have a deal?

TÉA: This has all the romance of a stock merger.

TODD: Oh, sorry, look, you want music? <grabs the remote control and turns on some music> How's that? Mood lighting? <uses remote control to turn down lights> Oh look, you can forget about me getting down on one knee. Tee-a Delgado, will you marry me?

TÉA: It's, uh, it's Téa. Yes.

TODD: <turns off music & turns up lights> So, how soon can we start?

TÉA: Well, if we get the license today and, uh, get our blood tested, we should be able to get married in City Hall tomorrow. So, let's go.

TODD: Um, there's one other thing, ya know, just, uh... if we're gonna do this, we gotta make it look good. So just in case, I got a ring. Here.

<Todd hands her a ring box>

TÉA: Uh, I wasn't expecting a ring.

TODD: You want it or not?

<Téa opens the box to find a huge, stunning ring>

TÉA: Oh my god. Does this come out of my five million?

TODD: <laughs> No. It's payback, you know, for not putting me through that whole thing where you gotta buy a wedding dress and I gotta sit around and wait while you get your hair done. So does it fit?

<Téa puts on the ring>

TÉA: Perfect.

TODD: Looks good.

<they shake hands>