(We open in front of a beautiful old stone mansion in northern Manhattan. Valets are taking the keys to cars in front of it. Louie's battered Mercury pulls up in front of the building.)

Louie: (He wears a rented tux that's a little too big) Ok, ladies, everybody out!

Marsha: (She's first) I never want to be squashed like that again. I feel like a sardine. (She pats her hair) Does my hair look ok after that?

Jane: Your hair looks fine.

Rachel: (She comes out next; her red purse matches her dress) I swear someone stepped on my foot.

Jane: That might've been me.

Sally: (She's last in her soft blue-green gown with padded shoulders) It could have been worse. At least we didn't try to squeeze in Lucy with the guys.

Louie: I rode in that junk pile once. I'm never getting in her again.

Jane: It's bad enough they all squeeze into her.

(Cut to inside. A butler leads the ladies down a hall to a ballroom on the end. It's not a huge, elaborate ballroom, but there is enough room for a buffet table and a small orchestra playing jazz songs.)

Marsha: Oooh, I like this.

Jane: This is swell!

Sally: Yeah. Who needs to be big when you can be elegant?

Jane: Ladies, we're going to have some fun.

Louie: Look over there! (Points to three well-dressed men) Those are three of the top restaurant critics in New York City. I have to try to talk to them. It would be great publicity...excuse me...

(Louie hurries over to the men. Sally shakes her head.)

Sally: I hope Uncle doesn't embarrass himself. I don't think those men usually review soda shops.

Marsha: Their loss. Louie's one of the best cooks in the city!

Jane: Darn right. It's a downright shame if they don't review his shop.

Marsha: (She looks around, frowning) I don't see anyone famous.

Sally: I do. I see at least six famous romance novelists.

Jane: Marsha, you're not looking for the right kind of celebrities.

Sally: Yeah. This lady is a writer, not a director. (Grins) But she might recommend you to star in a movie based after one of her books.

Marsha: Now that, I'd like! One of those books with the hunky half-dressed guys on the cover...

Jane: We're losing her, ladies.

Sally: Yeah. (Marsha hurries over to a bunch of men...who gather around her and her "assets") She always did love a crowd.

Rachel: (Gulps) Yeah.

Sally: (Frowns at Rachel) You're still nervous. The guys aren't even here yet!

Rachel: I am?

Jane: You are.

Rachel: I'm just worried that...that... (blushes) I may want to do things to him and not stop.

Jane: *Smiles* You'll be just fine. He's probably thinking the same thing!

Sally: What I think every time Slip n' I are together is too hot to print in any of these people's books.

Jane: *Chuckles* And she hasn't followed through. Rach, you're worrying over nothing. :

Rachel: (She twists the handle of her purse) I hope so. I've dated before, but I've never had a guy who makes me feel like a warm brownie when I kiss him.

Sally: That's normal. When I kiss Slip, I have to prop myself up on something.

Rachel: (Turns to Jane) How about you? Have you and Butch...well, have you done anything worthy of a romance novel?

Jane: Depends on what you like to read, I suppose. We've necked, and I've turned into a great big puddle, but that's it.

Sally: (Sighs; Marsha is now piling her plate with food) How does she do it? I eat that much, and I blow up like a balloon. She eats a plate filled with rich food, and she just goes back for more and doesn't gain an inch.

Jane: And we all hate her for it.

Sally: I wonder when the guys are gonna show up? I want to be introduced to some of the most famous romance novelists in the country.

Rachel: (Blushes) I hope his friend Vivianne doesn't mind that I'm here.

Sally: I'm sure she'll like you. Remember, she wasn't really in love with Chuck. She wants to help him, not chase him.

Jane: That's right. Besides, the invitation said the guys could bring dates.

Sally: And the guys all said she was really nice. I can't wait to meet her. I've read some of her books.

Rachel: I wonder if we'll have an opportunity to dance really close to them?

Jane: I sure hope so...

(Cut back outside. We hear backfiring and see a surprised look on the face of the valet as the boys drive up in Lucy. Butch and Whitey are on the fenders.)

Sach: Wow! Your pal Viv sure knows how to live!

Butch: Get a load of this! It's not too big. It's not too small. It's just right. Kind of like Goldilocks.

Sach: This is great! I can't wait to dance and eat and get a lot of writers' autographs! I hope they're all as cute as Viv.

Slip: I just hope you guys behave yerselves. We don't wanna get thrown outta this joint.

Sach: I wouldn't do that! I like Viv, and if I was thrown outta a room filled with romance writers, my ma would never forgive me!

Butch: And don't forget, Louie and the girls are here. I don't think they'd forgive us, either.

Sach: I wish I was able to find a date. Cynthia had to work. She said the notice was too short. I didn't know you could even measure notice.

Butch: Maybe you'll meet someone nice at the ball.

Whitey: Yeah!

Sach: That would be great! I hope she likes to eat.

Valet: (Goes to Slip) Shall I take your car, gentlemen?

Slip: Yeah, just be careful with her. *gives the valet the key*

Valet: (He holds the key between the tips of his fingers away from him) Yeah, I'll do that.

Sach: (Takes Slip's arm) Shall we go in, Chiefy?

Slip: Lets go hob knob.

(The camera follows the boys inside. Marsha hurries to them the moment they enter. She has a chocolate mustache on her face and a plate piled high with chocolate eclairs, thick tortes, luscious petit fours, and several different kinds of fruit.)

Marsha: Hi, honey! You won't believe how good their eclairs are!

Sach: (His eyes widen) Chief, can we eat now? Look at all that great stuff!

*Whitey takes Marsha's arm, and they go for more food.*

Slip: Yeah, fine, Sach.

Vivianne: (It's the same elegant Vivianne we met a few months ago, only now, she wears a very nice soft olive-green evening gown) Charles! (She hurries over to him) I'm so glad you made it!

Chuck: *Smiles* Hello, Vivianne. I wouldn't have missed this for the world.

Vivianne: I'm sorry I left without giving you notice. I didn't mean to make you worry. I'm not happy with my agent for making this tour on such short notice, either.

Chuck: You didn't exactly have much choice in it.

Vivianne: (Smiles) And these are your charming friends and brother. I'm glad to see all of you again.

Slip: It's good ta be seen, even if we ain't extractly charming.

Vivianne: On the contrary. Charles had nothing but good things to say about all of you.

Butch: (Grins at Chuck) Really?

Chuck: *His cheeks flush* Well, I had to say something good...

Vivianne: Don't be so modest! I've told everyone how wonderful it is to find such a sweet young man! And one who is so interested in learning!

Slip: That's cuz he's a good kid.

Vivianne: Yes he is, Terrence. He's told me you're like his family. (Grins at Slip) And are his family, in one case.

Slip: *Grins at Chuck as he puts an arm around him* Even if he don't always admit it.

Chuck: *Turns redder* Aw...

Vivianne: (Chuckles) He told me you're quite the leader, Terrance. He really admires you. Even when your marketing ideas blow up in your face.

Slip: *shrugs* Gotta have som'en ta keep us on our toes.

Vivianne: (Turns to Butch) And you're Bartholomew. I remember seeing you play as a child. Do you still play the piano and write your own music?

Butch: I played for the USO for a while, but right now, I'm just looking for a job.

Vivianne: Perhaps you could chat with the orchestra I hired. They're not a nationally well-known group, but they're quite popular in the Tri-State area for parties.

Butch: I'd love to, but first, I want to find my girlfriend.

Vivianne: That's right. (Smiles at Chuck) Have you found someone wonderful yet?

Butch: You bet he has! He has Rachel!

Vivianne: Rachel? She must make you very happy, judging by the shade of red you just turned.

Butch: He's crazy about her.

Vivianne: How did they meet?

Chuck: These guys sorta threw us together.

Butch: She's a waitress at Louie's.

Vivianne: I think that sounds very sweet.

Chuck: She's wonderful.

Butch: Hoo boy. Here he goes again.

Slip: He gets like this a lot.

Vivianne: I might have to use this for my next novel.

Butch: (Shakes Chuck's shoulder) Hey, buddy! You in there?

Chuck: *Turns to Butch, but his eyes are glazed* Hm?

Vivianne: Charles dear, you do know you're stepping on my dress, right?

Slip: *Moves Chuck aside* No, he doesn't.

Vivianne: Why don't you boys go mix and mingle? The buffet's open, and there will be dancing with live music. I'll ask Vince Gilbert to play something very slow for you and your ladies.

Slip: Thanks, Viv. And Chuckie here thanks ya too.

Butch: Ready to dance, Chuck?

Chuck: *Nods* Wanna dance...

Slip: C'mon, fellas. See ya later, Viv.

(Butch wanders over to the orchestra. Jane goes to him. Sally and Rachel join Slip and Chuck.)

Sally: Hey there, boys.

Rachel: Hi, honey.

Chuck: *Smiles, though his cheeks are still pink* Hi, Rach.

Slip: *Puts an arm around Sal* Sal, ya look gorgeous.

Sally: And you're stunning. You look better than all the mystery writers in the room put together.

Slip: I do clean up pretty good, don't I?

Sally: Hell yeah, you do.

Slip: C'mon, Sal, lets go show these people how dancin's really done.

Sally: Yeah. Miss Vivianne couldn't hire better performers than you and me.

Chuck: *As Slip and Sally leave; blushes more* Hi, Rach.

Rachel: Uh, yeah. Hi. How are you?

Vivanne: Oh, good grief. (Gently pushes Chuck to Rachel) Go dance with her. You two could do that skit all night.

Chuck: Okay. *tentatively puts a hand out to Rachel*

Vivianne: Charles, she's not going to bite you.

Rachel: No, I wouldn't. Not anywhere important, anyway.

*Chuck's eyes widen.*

Rachel: Uh...let's dance. (She gently pulls him onto the dance floor as the slow instrumental number "Moonlight Serenade" begins)

Chuck: *Quietly* I've been looking forward to this. *blushes again* You're so beautiful, Rach.

Rachel: Thank you. It took me ages to get everything just right.

Chuck: Really?

Rachel: Yeah. (Grins a little) When I could find the room in front of the mirror. Marsha alone was primping for an hour before we left. She must have tried on three dresses.

Chuck: *Sighs* I didn't have much of a choice. I was just glad this tux fit. The waist is a little tight. I didn't think I'd put on any weight...

Rachel: You look good with it tight. Actually, Marsha borrowed dresses from friends. I just bought this one today. It was either this one or the pink flowered one, but I thought the skirt was too wide...

Chuck: I can barely breathe in these pants. I think they were mislabeled. But if I'd gone a size larger, they'd have had to roll up the cuffs, and that would've looked awful.

Rachel: I don't think so. You have nice feet.

Chuck: My feet are the least of my worried, though I do usually think they're too big. Just let me know if I'm stepping on you. I'm not used to dancing like this. I'm much better with a soft shoe. I always wanted to try tap, but never had the chance. I bet I could do it...

Rachel: (Puts a hand over his mouth) Shhh. Let's just dance. (She puts her head on his shoulder)

*Chuck whimpers & tries to even out his breathing.*

(As the camera follows the dancers, we move further into the back. Slip twirls Sally around.)

Sally: We always were the best dancers in the Bowery.

Slip: Still are and always will be.

Sally: You bet. (She sighs as he dips her) This is better n' the movies.

Slip: *Lifts her back up, practically bringing them nose to nose* Or any of these writers' books.

Sally: Who needs romance novels when you live one? (She grabs Slip and kisses him)

Slip: *As they separate; huskily* Damn right.

Sally: (Fans herself as Slip pulls her back on her feet) Is it hot around here, or is it me?

Slip: Yer definitely hot, but it's hot in here, too.

Sally: And you're on fire. There isn't a man here who can hold a candle to you.

Slip: Then let me show ya after we're done here.

Sally: Do that. We're gonna be the envy of every snob here.

Slip: I got som'en for much later, too...

Sally: Save it, lover-boy. There's too many people around.

Slip: That's why I said later.