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Unraveling the Beth/Danielle/Tristan web, Part II:

 


Episode #3.33: Beth Gets a Phone Call from Tristan

The next morning, Beth awoke still dressed from last night; she was described as wearing a skin-tight white dress. She received a phone call from a man (Tristan, of course) who expressed relief at hearing her. She had a brief recollection of hearing his voice before in a sexual context. Note that the same body that Tristan found sensuous and lush, Beth considered repulsive:


Clark Durand's House
42 Adams Street

Beth watches Clark's car pull out of the driveway. She waits for a moment, deep in thought, before turning around. As she does so her makeshift shawl slips off her shoulders, and once again she's confronted by the strange cream-colored dress practically painted on her body.

A flush warms her skin at the realization that she actually left the house wearing such an outfit. The low neckline emphasizes her breasts, just as the tight waist draws attention to her hips -- body parts she considers revoltingly large, and usually keeps hidden via loose, flowing garments specifically designed to cover her repulsiveness.

Beth bends down, compelled to hide the view from herself even when alone. As she's again safely swathed in the blanket, she has a flash of hopeful inspiration: could it be possible that no one else saw her making a spectacle of herself? After all, her one recollection from last night is of riding in the back of a cab, wearing a wool raincoat. She can't imagine having taken the coat off -- and maybe she didn't. Surely she wouldn't have done such a stupid thing. As haphazard as her memory is, Beth knows she wouldn't forget such an embarrassing display.

Somewhat consoled by the thought, she starts towards the kitchen to make Clark the coffee he'd wanted. On her way, a chirping ringing noise startles her.

She swivels, frowning. It's not the regular telephone, and it doesn't sound like Clark's pager. Glancing around the room, she tries to locate the foreign noise unsuccessfully. Finally her attention focuses on the coat rack, and a small purse hanging by a thin gold-linked chain taking the place of a strap.

The bag looks familiar once she moves closer -- it's a sample from the department store, one that Danielle Nichols admired once and had shown to Beth. Beth recalls bringing it home dutifully at the older woman's recommendation, but its flashy design doesn't suit her. She's never worn it.

But there's no denying that the ringing is coming from inside the purse, and she pushes a tentative hand inside. Sure enough her fingers curl around a cool metal rectangular case. It vibrates a little when it rings a third time, making her give a little gasp in surprise.

She pulls out a cell phone she's never seen before. No, that's not true -- it came with the bag, she remembers suddenly. A matching bag and phone -- typical sleek design, fit for society types and celebrities. Beth's only seen it once, when she originally brought the bag home, and she can't remember activating the phone's service.

Never the less, the phone rings again. Heart pounding, she pushes the glowing amber talk button. "H-hello? Can I help you?"

"It's me. And I'm very glad you answered at last." It's a man, his voice utterly unfamiliar but his tone startlingly intimate. He goes on as if he's recognized her. "I hope you don't mind my calling. I couldn't wait to speak to you again, especially after last night..."

Beth's mouth goes dry at his words. Last night. She looks down, the tight dress suddenly strangling her like a boa constrictor, keeping her from taking a deep breath.

Strange thoughts echo in her mind -- memories of hearing this voice before, things he whispered in her ear in the darkness, his shadowy face inches from hers --

"I -- I'm sorry," she croaks, barely audible even to herself. "You've made a mistake. You have the wrong number."

As the stranger starts to contradict her, Beth snaps the phone shut and stares at it, her hand trembling. Calm down, it was just a mistake, she insists. He'll realize it now. It's all right.

Even as she assures herself, the phone jumps in her palm, its vibration so startling that Beth feels as if an electric current is racing through her body. The simultaneous ringing makes a vein throb in her temple.

It's not for me, she thinks, shoving the phone into the purse and backing away. I don't know this man. He'll figure it out soon.

The phone's insistent ring haunts her, even as she runs upstairs and slams her bedroom door shut. But the closed door can't block the disjointed memory of this man's seductive, feverish voice.


Episode #3.36 - Amanda ponders her growing feelings for Tristan

A few episodes later, after buying her dress for the opera gala, Amanda reflected on this same phone call, and revealed her desire for a serious relationship. Molly responded by chiding her for getting too emotionally involved in a doomed romance -- and also refered to the night at the Lighthouse when she'd left Tristan alone:


Beth Durand sits in the back of the taxi, the packages sitting on the seat beside her. But it's Amanda who smiles at the thought of her purchases, reveling in the feel of the new black cashmere scarf wrapped around her throat.

"It was a good day," she says silently to the others, feeling calm and satisfied. "Productive. See what happens when I get a few hours to handle things? No blow-ups, no melodrama."

The cab driver hears none of this, of course, but her twin sister doesn't appreciate the remark. Samantha offers a few choice comments in response. But Amanda never lets Samantha get the final word, not when she's been in control long enough to get them all through a difficult time. That phone call this morning ... Beth had nearly gone off the deep-end, poor thing. Luckily Molly handed the reins over to Amanda, ignoring Samantha's pleas. You've done enough, my girl, Molly had said firmly, and let Amanda through.

"Still, the whole thing was my fault," Amanda admits to Molly now. "He wouldn't have called at all if I hadn't given him our phone number in the first place."

That's what you get for being sentimental, Molly chastises her. I tried to get us out of that damn hotel room, but you'd already sucked him in with your emotional neediness. Maybe Samantha had the right idea -- she may be a tart, but at least she knows we are not ready for any kind of real relationship.

"Maybe you're not. I am. And maybe Beth would be helped by having someone in her life."

And you think hes the right someone? With his morals?

"Who are we to judge? Anyway, I don't know, Molly. I just think it's time for her to decide for herself."

She's not ready. Not near ready.


Episode #3.36 - Tristan's Point of View

Most of this, we saw through Beth/Amanda/Samantha's eyes. What about Tristan's end of things? Well, in the following scene, he referred to the same phone call, the aborted conversation with the woman he knew as Danielle.


[...] "Who am I kidding," he mutters, reaching over to the sideboard and grabbing the remote control. He finishes the thought as he shoves his finger onto the "off" button. It's not the lack of sleep. It's Danielle.

Her mood changes last night, going from somber to bitter to relaxed to angry, and then cutting their evening at the Lighthouse short ... what caused all of this? Could it be belated remorse over betraying Cameron? God knows Tristan has felt guilty, and with any other woman he would expect a similar reaction. But Danielle's never shown a trace of guilt before. Why now?

[...]The memory of her behavior last night gnaws at him -- but far worse is the recollection of this morning. On an impulse, concerned about her having gotten home safely, Tristan had called her private number -- and she'd spitefully refused to speak to him.


Tristan wondered why she hung up on him, and grew concerned enough to make a reckless decision -- to call the Nichols house. Of course, when Danielle (who was in her bath) received the phone call, she was surprised -- naturally, since on her end she'd never met or spoken with Tristan before! In fact, she didn't even recognize his voice, and it was clear she was confused as to the reason for the call. But Cameron stepped in and interrupted the call, assuming it was for him.


Cameron and Danielle Nichols' Estate
Master Bedroom

Sliding the perfumed soap over her body, Danielle sinks back into the hot bubbly water of her bathtub, reveling in the sensual feeling. She places a cool plastic gel-mask over her eyes, which makes her unable to see her surroundings -- but she doesn't need to. In her mind, she's cradling a man's dark, damp head against her glistening breasts, the soap wielded by one of his strong and highly skilled hands. Slowly his other hand slips under the water ...

The cell phone rings, interrupting her fantasy. Reaching blindly for the speaker button, she flicks it on with one expert finger.

"Yes, hello," she murmurs, annoyed.

"Danielle? Is that you?"

"Yes, who is this? Please speak up, I'm using a speaker phone."

"It's -- it's Tristan," he says hurriedly, and she frowns beneath her mask. The urgency in his voice is obvious. "I'm sorry, I know I shouldn't be calling your home number. I thought I'd risk it -- Cameron's not home until tomorrow, right?"

"Actually that's not true," a rich baritone voice says, causing Danielle to gasp in startled outrage. She whips off the gel mask and finds her husband standing over her, a smug smile on his handsome face. He kneels down and glances in amusement at the speaker phone. "Your risk paid off. How on earth did you know that I'd be arriving a day early?"

The silence on the other end of the line is broken by a few crackles of static. "It was just a hunch," Tristan says, adding quickly: "Did you have a good trip?"

"Thank you, I did." Cameron reaches out to Danielle's naked form, running a playful finger along her upper arm. "It was very productive. But I can't tell you how delightful it is to be home to such a warm welcome."


Finally, in the last couple of episodes: when Ian received the phone call from the Lighthouse about the missing key, Danielle denied knowledge -- and she was telling the truth, though of course Ian didn't believe her. In the second-to-last episode, Danielle asked Beth about the key, and Amanda acknowledged that yes, it was hers. Ian assumed this was a ruse worked out between Danny and Beth, but of course... he was wrong.


Final Question: Who's Having the Affair -- Samantha or Amanda?

One question that cropped up after the Season Finale: who was really having the affair with Tristan -- Amanda or Samantha? The answer is, both. Samantha started the affair and the sexual roleplaying, which she considered a game. Amanda shares her twin's experiences, but has her own unique feelings; she's the one who connected emotionally with Tristan.


 

 
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