To understand what is happening,
make sure and go to the prologue here:
Moreno Mini-Series: Ignite Your Alpha
make sure and go to the prologue here:
Moreno Mini-Series: Ignite Your Alpha
The day of the reunion show has arrived. Elizabeth and I both feel good about this show. The girls clarified it was all their ideas so the guys weren't mad at us. Looks like smooth sailing. NOT!
As soon as we walk in we are confronted by Manny and Max. “We gotta bone to pick with you two funny ladies.”
I stand just a little bit behind Elizabeth who doesn’t seem at all daunted by Manny’s somewhat annoyed tone.
“Sure, Manny.” She smiles. “Pick away!”
“What’s the big idear messin' with Romero like you two did?” He points at Elizabeth. “You of all people should know that boys a ticking time bomb. He could’ve ended up in jail. Or worse someone could’ve really gotten hurt!”
“Yeah, someone.” Max gives Kyle the hairy eyeball as he walks by then cracks his knuckles, wincing as if maybe he cracked one a little too hard. Kyle seems confused but chuckles and keeps walking.
“First of all in case you weren’t informed they’re all actors, Max. So you can relax.” She turns back to Manny. “Second Romero is no boy, anymore, Manny. He’s a mature adult and he handled himself just fine.”
A small laugh escapes me but thankfully, no one seems to notice.
She assures them that our actors had all signed waivers so there was never any danger of him going to jail, and we had more than enough security to handle things. Then she excuses us but invites them help themselves to the open buffet we’ve provided.
“Oh look we can stuff our own chimichangas,” Aida says as they walk away.
“I’ll stuff your chimi changa,” Manny says suggestively before wheezing into a fit of laughter.
Elizabeth turns to me and we both laugh shaking our heads. Some things never change.
We see many of our friends from the first taping. Our actors have all arrived looking a little too cocky, except for poor Raymond who still looks a bit unsure of himself. Wait until he sees all the Moreno brothers together! Jagger left his binoculars at home, thank goodness! We won't have to surgically remove anything today!
We have a huge screen up front and chairs on both sides for the cast so they can watch the clips and see the audience. They have arrived and are chatting a bit before taking their seats.
As everyone settles in up front and the audience sits down I turn my mic on and grab the remote. Our explosive photo appears on the screen and our announcer’s voice comes through.
"On behalf of Elizabeth Reyes and Just Judy's Jumbles we would like to welcome you to this Moreno Reunion Special. Here's.... Judy!"
*Audience breaks out in applause*
“Thank-you and welcome to our special today. It was nice not being the bad guy this time. *Laughter* But there were still moments that were more tense then getting looks that could kill on our first show. When some of our actors, *glares at Jagger* couldn't seem to stay with the script we thought the worst. But these guys really can be calmed by a touch and a few words from their lovely wives. Enough chatter from me. Oh before I forget, please write down any questions you may want us to ask the cast. We will collect them during the last break. As we begin keep in mind our cast has not viewed all the clips. For Instance, these big brothers may have a bit of a surprise when they see how devious their baby sister is."
“And sexy!” Someone, oh no. Jagger follows up his remark with a whistle and this time I’m the one giving him the deadly stare. This was not the way this show was supposed to go. I turn to the area the brothers are sitting and though they’re not exactly smiling about Jagger’s remarks I know they haven’t seen the clip yet so they have no idea what he's talking about. I exchange glances with Elizabeth. Is she worried too? I turn back to the screen and laugh nervously. “Okay,” I croak then clear my voice. “Here we go.” At closer examination Elizabeth's worried expression seems more like an evil grin. I think she's hoping for some excitement. Sure, she's sitting safely out of the way.
“Okay, let's start this first clip of Eric and Sofie's day out at the beach. Our actor is Jagger, who is posing as a lifeguard. Although you'll quickly see he seems to be the one drowning.” **Starts clip**
All is going along smoothly until Sofie removes her sarong. The brothers sit up straight understandably uncomfortable as wolf whistles break out into the crowd. Sofie is just shaking her head and smiling.
I notice Romero glancing back at the area where all our actors are sitting their eyes fixed on the screen that is paused with Sofie in full view with her itsy bitsy teeny weeny hot pink bikini.
He leans over to Eric and taps him, “Some Fbleeping acting uh?”
Eric turns to the actors his lips pressed together tightly. “Yeah, now you know why the idiot actor got so damn distracted he couldn't get his lines straight.”
Sal leans in. “Relax, it’s probably part of the show, that they’re being so blatant.” Then Sal turns to Sofie his brows pinched. “But that bikini, Sof. Really?
“Yeah, no shbleep!” Romero adds. “A band-aid might’ve covered more.”
Not only do the brothers all turn their glares on Romero, but so does Isabel.
“What?” Romero looks at all of them exasperated then gestures to the screen. “I’m just sayin’!”
We all get through the rest of the clip uncomfortably, her brothers sometimes squirming in their seats. Eric gets a standing ovation from the three brothers and pats on the back when he asks Jagger not so nicely to take his hands off his wife.
The audience gets a good laugh about that and I'm feeling a little more relaxed and let out the breath I didn't know I was holding in. Even the actors laugh. And then we all hear Jagger announce, “Best damn gig I ever had.”
The brothers seem to take it in stride. All part of the humorous show we have planned right? *holding my breath again*
“I got your gig right here.” Romero says flipping him off, but laughs.
To my surprise, I’m actually happy he did that as the brothers are laughing again.
That was just one clip. I don’t know if I’m gonna make it through the next four! This was supposed to be fun and safe for me!
“We will take a short break before the next clip.”
During the break the actors walk over to the cast. They chat and laugh making me feel much more relaxed about this whole thing. I’d feel even better if Ace hadn’t been the only one to detour off instead to the buffet table and then to take a call outside.
Thankfully the break is over and not a minute too soon. As if the conversation between the guys and our actors hadn’t been colorful enough, Manny and Max walked over and got in on the banter. The audience, along with everyone was roaring from what they heard, good thing we don't have to bleep during the breaks!
“Okay our next clip is with Alex and Valerie looking for a new SUV. Our actor's name is Raymond.” *Starts clip*
Everyone laughs at how quickly Alex started being annoyed. Alex and Valerie are holding hands and smiling as they watch.
“Ha! That’s all it took was a backseat remark?” Romero laughs.
Alex looks at him incredulously. “Are you kidding me?” Alex turns to Kyle. “You’d be watching this from your hospital bed right now if we’d have let Romero as close to you as I was to this guy.”
“Yeah, but that’s different.” Romero says with a smirk.
They all laugh as Alex’s clip comes to an end and we peacefully move on to Sal’s. Sal is already shaking his head and smiling. “I can’t believe you did this.” Grace smiles squeezing his leg.”
When we get to the sexology part the guys who were already laughing from seeing Sal’s expression when he found out Paul wasn’t gay, are now doubled over. “I was wondering how you would get this guy.” Alex says, still laughing.
Then we come to the part where Paul puts his hand on Graces ears and Sal, Angel and Romero’s eyes pop open. “Oh hell no!” Romero turns to Paul. “You touched her?” he shakes his head turning back to the screen as Sal loses it onscreen then back to Paul. “You’re a lucky man that wasn’t my skit!”
“Of course not.” Elizabeth says, her eyes wide open but she's laughing. “There was a reason why the actor in your skit was behind the bar and on the other side of the room.”
“We would never dream of letting you this close to him, let alone touch Izzy.” I palm my chest just thinking of it.
“Damn straight!” Manny says from the audience shaking his head.
“And speaking of the devil,” I say once Sal’s clip wraps up. “Guess who’s up next?”
Romero smirks. “I was cool.”
Alex along with everyone else who unlike him, didn't even know what was on the clip yet, were already laughing.
Sarah covers her eyes for a moment. “I’m afraid to watch.”
“Easy!” Romero says dropping his head back and laughing at the paused frame of his killer glare aimed at Kyle.
The whole room seems to hold their breath as they watch Romero ready to erupt just before Elizabeth runs out to interrupt. Then just like the day of taping the nervous laughs followed by claps as Romero stands and takes a bow then holds up his hands. “See I was good.”
“Sit down a$$.” Angel says laughing.
Romero turns to him as he sits. “Hey, at least I didn’t lay a hand on anyone in my clip.”
“Don’t worry,” Ace says with that coy smile of his. “It was totally worth it. I got plenty of pictures of those gorgeous eyes to make up for it all.”
Angel’s eyes pinch suddenly and he doesn’t look sure if he should continue smiling. He turns to Ace trying to figure out if he’s kidding. Sarah glances at him and he smiles big, winking at her.
“Alright lets watch the video.” Sal nods at me, making me realize I’d frozen in place.
The bad vibes creep up my spine as I sneak glances at Angel and can tell he’s not enjoying watching his clip as much as the rest of the guys did with theirs.
The laughs break out again as Angel pulls Ace by the camera.
I wish I weren’t standing so close to the cast. Maybe then I wouldn’t of heard Angel mutter, “Maybe I should’ve pulled a little fbleeping harder.”
Sal shoots him a warning look. “It’s a show remember? He’s acting. Let it go.”
Once the clip is over, I turn off the video and invite the cast up to the stage. One glance at Ace tells me there might be trouble because his eyes are focused on one person as they all walk up—Sarah.
We take a break as we get ready for the questions from the audience and I wipe my sweaty palms over my jeans. What Sal said about them acting was only for the skit. There is no more script. And we didn't ask the actor's to continue with their roles. I swallow hard as we take another break.
*Audience Applauds as we all return up front*
"At this time we have some questions for our cast. Elizabeth and I would like to thank everybody who submitted such great questions, here today and through the week, and for taking time to join us here today. We apologize if we don't get to all the questions but will do our best with the time we have. Our cast has little ones they need to get back home to.”
"This question is for any of you who would like to answer. What one thing would you say has changed in your marriage, attitude or love life since we taped these shows? Did it bring up any good or bad memories?"
Valerie raises her hand taking the question.“We were just talking about this the other day and I think we all agree when I say, it brought back memories of the angst we all went through once upon a time. It’s been a while since any of us have seen our sweeties…She reaches over and squeezes Alex’s knee and smiles. …get so riled up the way they did. That intensity is obviously still there for all of them. *laughs* But we are all very secure in our marriages so that things of that sort don’t happen too often anymore. We all had a blast, well, the guys did after the fact.”
"Thank you Valerie."
"Here is a question for just the guys. What was running through your minds when your wives started telling you it was not real or you saw Elizabeth, the camera crew and me running towards you? How long before it set in for real what happened and were you really upset with your wives?"
Romero speaks first. “For me it was confusion then absolute relief. He turns to Isabel. Izzy’ll tell you. It’s been a long time since I’ve lost my cool.”
Isabel pats his thigh nodding. “Yes he’s been very good.”
“But you guys got me good. I was this close to blowing my top.” Romero says holding his thumb and pointer finger with barely a breath between them.
The rest of the guys agree that's how they all pretty much felt. Intense relief they weren't going to have to kill someone!
"Sofie, you look great. I imagine Eric will want to see that bikini more often, at home."
There are sighs in the audience as they give each other a private look.
"Why did you choose this particular prank?"
Sofie gives us that evil little smile of hers. “Well, unlike my brothers and Romero, Eric isn’t as quick to blow his stack. But I knew the one thing that would get him going fast. She turns to Eric with those big puppy dog eyes and smiles. And this was it.”
"Were you uncomfortable when you realized that Jagger was out of character and improvising?"
Jagger smirks and the other actors laugh shaking their heads.
“Not so much bothered as it confused me. I thought maybe I’d forgotten something or a line. I figured since he was the actor he probably knew what he was doing more than I did.”
Eric glares at Jagger then eases up with a smirk. “Oh he knew what he was doing.”
Her brothers don’t seem quite as forgiving. I notice none of them are smiling. Romero sends an evil glare in Jagger's direction as well.
"Eric, did it bother you to lose control like that?"
Eric shakes his head. “Nah it surprised me a little, but it didn’t bother me. Like you said earlier—it brought back memories.”
"Was the touching the last straw or were you fed up with him before that?"
He chuckles. “I was fed up when I realized he thought he was being sneaky with those binoculars. I knew exactly what he was doing.”
He chuckles. “I was fed up when I realized he thought he was being sneaky with those binoculars. I knew exactly what he was doing.”
"You are mostly a calm sort of guy, how far do you think you would have gone if this was real? Such as dismemberment or just a black eye or bloody nose?"
Eric laughs glancing over at Romero. “I’ll just say this. I might’ve ended up in jail like my friend did over there once upon a time.”
"Did your dad remarry? If yes, to Jennifer's sister?"
Sofie glances at him but smirks.“No, that didn’t work out.” The audience laughs when Sofie pouts as if she’s real sorry about that. Eric rolls his eyes, but reaches out for Sofie’s hand smiling anyway. “But he did marry someone else and he’s real happy. Thanks for asking.” He laughs and something tells me he knows full well that question was more about Jennifer than his dad.
"Alex, what is your favorite thing about Valerie?"
“Every day there is a new favorite thing about her for me.”
“Awe!” His brothers tease and Alex laughs. Valerie leans in and kisses him.
“So I’ll tell you what my latest favorite thing about her is. Her patience with the kids, especially the boys. They’re a handful and as much as they can drive anyone crazy she handles them beautifully.”
There are sighs, awes and the placing of hands over hearts throughout the audience.
Valerie laughs. “The boys are a handful but I have to give a lot of the credit to the twins. Those two little mother hens are an enormous help. Without them I probably would go crazy.”
"And the same question for you as well, Valerie."
The same thing I’ve always loved about him. How he puts up this big tough guy act on the outside but he’s the sweetest most loving man on the inside.” She adds with a giggle, “The twins have him so wrapped it’s hilarious.”
The audience laughs and Alex shakes his head as if any of us would believe those little girls don’t have their daddy wrapped.
"And the questions the world waits on with bated breath....
Did you or did you not buy a SUV that day, if so which one?"
Valerie smiles brightly. “Yes! I got a beautiful black Escalade and I love it.!”
Val, did you wear your high heels through all your pregnancies with swollen ankles and all? If so, I hear a monument may be built in your honor.
Valerie laughs and Alex answers for her. “She tried.” He turns to Valerie shaking his head and she sticks her tongue out at him.
"I might have if it wasn't for the swelling,especially with the twins. But I really didn't have an issue otherwise."
"Sal, are you considering taking a course in Sexology?"
*laughs all around*
Sal flashes those amazing dimples and even I melt a little inside. “No, I’m good in my line of work.”
Grace touches his ear, then winks at the audience. “Trust me, he doesn’t need to.”
There are a couple of whistles from the audience including a, “Way to go stud!” From Max. I thought those two had been quiet a little too long.
Several women seem to having hot flashes as they are fanning themselves like it's 150 degrees.
"You are still as handsome as ever. Is it hard fending off women?"
Grace raises an eyebrow and answers for him. “If he can’t he knows I will. Our guys may be quick to ignite but I think had the tables been turned,” she leans over to look at Sofie, Val, Isabel and Sarah. “We wouldn’t have held out quite as long as they did.”
Sofie laughs. “I know I wouldn’t have.” The rest of the girls nod in agreement and the guys get a chuckle out of that.
“How about a show with some cat fights? MEOW!” Jagger yells out while pawing the air with his clawed hands while Ace, Max & Manny hoot and holler and Aida cackles.
"Since the prank are you more attentive to Grace at parties?"
Sal laughs. “We haven’t been to any since but, one thing is for sure, I won’t be taking it for granted anymore that any male friends of Taylor and Joey are automatically gay.”
"Grace, have you considered opening your own restaurant or are you content running one alongside your husband?"
“It is her restaurant,” Sal answers for her. “That’s her name on the sign outside.”
Grace smiles patting his hand. “And yes I’m absolutely content.”
"Grace, with your addicting “fetish inducing” accent do you have trouble getting men to leave you alone?"
She turns to Sal who lifts an eyebrow waiting for her response. “For the most part, men are very respectful of the fact that I’m married.”
Sal's eyebrow lifts a little higher and he asks playfully. “For the most part? You wanna elaborate on that?”
Grace’s eyebrows go up and she smirks. “I still get the comments about my accent every now and again but nothing I can’t handle.”
Sal gives her a look and something tells me they’ll be discussing this later.
“Speaking of fetishes.” I smirk towards Elizabeth. “Oh wait, that's another story.”
Elizabeth winks back and I hear an exasperated sigh behind me. Then a loud whisper. "She turned Judy into a tease now too."
Curious I turn to see Charlene's teasing smile as she winks back at me. I met her before the show when she eagerly handed me her long list of questions. I give her a big grin, because yes I am beginning to enjoy this teasing a bit.
"Before we move on to Romero and Isabel I have a question I’d like to ask. I don’t see Rose here today. Is she doing okay?"
Grace and Sal exchange glances. “She’s fine. She had prior commitments to attend to.”
"Okay looks like I'm not gonna get much more there. Moving on. Romero, do you feel you turn accusatory towards Izzy when you lose your temper, right away asking her if she knew Kyle, like maybe she led him on?"
“That’s not why I asked,” Romero answers looking suddenly very serious. “I know all of her friends like she knows all of mine so it just surprised me that she knew this guy. And the fact that he called her Izzy was especially annoying. The only people that call her that are people she’s real close to.” He turns to me with a smirk. “I’m sure you knew that would get to me.”
I quickly point at Isabel.“It was all her idea. Honest.” Isabel giggles into her hand and Romero shakes his head smiling now.
"You seem to truly fear losing it and ending up in jail. Do you only get to this explosive point if Isabel is involved?"
We hear Manny and Max laugh then Aida snort. Romero turns to them with that famous smirk of his. “Alright alright." Romero's expression sours with a mock smile."It’s not that funny.”
Isabel laughs before explaining. “Lets just say we’ve had a few incidents with Daddy and Mandy at the playground.” Isabel gives him a disapproving look and shakes her head.
“The little Fbleeber pushed her then took her swing!”
The audience laughs as I put my hand on my hip and try not to smile.
“Do you mean to tell me you lost your temper with a child?”
Romero shakes his head closing his eyes. “First off, no one puts their hands on Mandy like that. I don't care how old they are. And he wasn’t a child he must’ve been at least twelve. And second,” he lifts his chin proudly. “I gave him time to get off the swing.”
“Two flippin seconds to be exact.” Isabel says still shaking her head in disapproval. “And you know what word he actually used.”
“Hey two seconds was plenty of time.” Romero says.
I tsk as we move on to the next question.
"Did you buy Amanda a pony?"
Now it’s Romero’s turn to laugh then points at his uncles. “Ha! That was them.”
We all laugh. I am enjoying this more relaxed atmosphere for our show.
“What?” Manny says lifting his hands in front of him. “She wanted a fbleeping pony so we got her a fbleeping pony. What’s the big deal?”
The audience continues to laugh along with the cast on stage.
Max turns around to face the audience. “It was her birthday.” He says this as if this explains everything.
"On to Isabel, Romero lost it pretty quickly. Do you really believe he has matured?"
“Absolutely. He’s just not someone you wanna provoke.” She caresses the side of his cheek with the back of her hand. “And I gotta admit we did, pretty badly.”
"I really felt bad for Romero after the skit. He seemed pretty shook up. Do you regret putting him through this?"
Romero laughs taking the question. “No reason to feel bad, Judy. And Izzy shouldn’t regret it either. It was all in fun and once I knew it was all fake I was good.” His fingers intertwine with Isabel’s. “I know Izzy would never do anything like that in real life.”
We hear some sniffles coming from the Uncle's directions and I see that another gal I met earlier, Katlin, hands them some tissues. We know where Romero gets his soft heart from.
"Angel, do you think you would react if that was Sydney rather than Ace?"
“Oh, no. If Syd would’ve done that I'd known it was a joke.”
"You stayed calm quite awhile, are you use to men complimenting Sarah on her beautiful eyes?"
Angel turns to Sarah and smiles. “I can’t expect people not to notice those eyes it always makes me smile when they remind her how beautiful they are. I think she forgets sometimes.” Then he turns to Ace and his tender expression loses a little something. “But you pushed it.”
“Can I tell her again?” Ace asks with an evil smirk.
To my surprise Angel chuckles but then just like that the smile goes flat. “No.”
"Moving on. Sarah, did you actually show Ace your kids pictures or just wait in another room until cued to continue?"
Angel eyes her as she answers. “Not that it would’ve been a big deal if I had, because I love showing off my kids, but no it was just part of the skit that we leave the room.” She giggles glancing at Angel. “To drive Angel crazy.”
"At any time during the taping did you feel that Ace was crossing a line from playing a part to really flirting with you?"
“No, like Sofie, I thought he knew what he was doing, and they did tell him to lay it on thick.”
Angel mutters something under his breath but I dare not ask what he is saying.
"Did the pictures all turn out well?"
“They sure did.” Ace says that evil smile on his face again. “All of them.”
Angel tilts his head peering at Ace. “You said that earlier.” He turns to me. “Is this still part of the show?”
I ignore that question to avoid Ace being beat to a pulp, as this is not part of the show. Instead I turn to Ace and do my best to imitate the Moreno glare of death. “You can tone it down now.”
I quickly move on to the parents.
"Mr. & Mrs. Moreno, any comments on what you thought of this?"
“My boys are very passionate.” Mrs. Moreno says. “They do everything with lots of passion.”
“That’s what I’m talking about!” A female in the audience stands fist pumping.
I’m not surprised to see it’s Emily, another one of the eager girls who approached me before the show.
This sets off more whistles and chants of, Judy! Judy! Judy!
After the room calms and I give Emily my pretend scolding look, Mrs. Moreno continues.
“I’m not surprised at all they reacted the way they did. They have always been very intense and protective of the ones they love. Something I’ve always been so proud of.” She kisses her fingers and blows it to them.
They all return the gesture and we're treated to three beautifully dimpled smiles. I clutch my chest and sigh.
"Thanks to our cast and actor's for helping put this together. Thanks to the Moreno's for the use of this banquet room once again. And a huge thanks to Elizabeth for introducing us to the Moreno's and their friends..."
The audience goes wild with clapping and whistling while giving Elizabeth a standing ovation.
"And I would like to thank all of you in our audience as well. We enjoy seeing you out there in the cyber world and it was great to meet all of you who came here today to help make this show special. Feel free to help yourself to the desserts and drinks that have been set out and have a safe trip home."
Check out Elizabeth's up and coming new series:
Check out Elizabeth's up and coming new series:
5th Street: The Series
Book 1: Noah
Book 2: Gio