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SETTING: SHAE and DREW are slumped in The White Room lounge in DREW’s house in Sydney.

SHAE: I need some of what they gave to Finn. I’m never going to sleep. I feel like I’m in some sort of bad horror movie.

DREW: We need to contact the police with that note. First thing in the morning.

SHAE: And we need to tell Finn. His life could be in danger. He’s going to freak out. Basically Uncle Brody was murdered.

DREW: You okay?

SHAE drops her head in her hands: I know I’m not, but none of this is sinking in. Oh god. Mom never got to say goodbye to her brother.

DREW: You never said why she didn’t come with us.

SHAE: Something about barely making it out of bed, never mind out of the country.

DREW: Was someone coming to check in on her?

SHAE: Yep. I know it’s the meds talking, but Drew—she was also drunk. I couldn’t deal with her.

JAMISON: Mr Love is all set up in the room next to yours Master Drew. Sorry, I mean Mr Vega. It’s terribly excellent to see you.

Meet Jamison

DREW: And you Jamison. Thanks for helping us with Finn.

JAMISON: Can I fetch you both a drink? Some food?

DREW: Some sandwiches, and soda maybe. Sorry to get you up so late.

JAMISON: I believe it’s actually early—being 5am. I shan’t be a moment.

SHAE: He still can’t get used to calling you Mr Vega?

DREW: Wish he’d call me Drew, but he says it makes him uncomfortable. Had that battle with him since I was 10, back when it was Master Drew.

SHAE: But he’s an ol’ sweetheart.

DREW: He’s a stubborn, diehard Brit who’s never wrong—but yes. A good man.

SHAE: He takes his role as the Vega family butler very seriously.

DREW: You know when he first came here he wore tails? Like in an old British movie. Said he was born with a silver tray in his hands.

SHAE: I remember you saying. And your dad talked him down to a suit and tie at least.

DREW: I think he sleeps in it. I’ve never seen him in anything else. Not in over ten years.

JAMISON: I brought you a pot of tea too. Nothing a good cup of tea can’t help make better. I’ll leave the tray on the table.

SHAE: Thanks Jamison. Did Finn eat anything?

JAMISON: I’m afraid not, Miss Love. Tomorrow is another day. There was an odd delivery for you today, Mr Vega. I left it in the dining room.

SHAE grabs DREW’s arm: ",,,"

DREW: Why odd? Who delivered it?

JAMISON: A young man. Left it with the gate guard. And it’s odd because it’s for your birthday which isn’t for some months. Shall I fetch—

DREW: I’ll go. Actually, come with me Jamison. I think I need your advice.

{They enter a dining room with a table that seats 12.}

SHAE: Balloons?

DREW: With Happy Birthday on them. And a card.

SHAE: What’s it say?

CARD: HAPPY 15th BIRTHDAY, SON. Sorry it’s late. Love Mum.

JAMISON: That’s appalling.

DREW: That’s why I need your advice. Take a look at this text, too…

JAMISON: …You must get this straight to the police. Your father often had to deal with hoaxes AND threats—it’s a side-effect of being a Vega

DREW: So you don’t think it’s true. I mean, it’s someone after money or angry at the Vega Corporation or something?

JAMISON: Indeed. We both know it can’t possibly be true. We’ve visited your mother’s grave together.

SHAE: Is it linked to the note we got about Uncle Brody? Could this person have done that to him? To us?

JAMISON: The authorities need to be aware of everything you have. It could be linked.

DREW: Seems likely. Which means—I’ve always hated the bodyguards, but we need to up security.

JAMISON: I’ll deal with that now. And I’ll contact the police now, too.

SHAE: You okay, Drew?

DREW: No. I’m not. Come hug me. This is why I ran away from home. This is what I hate. I know I was born to this, but I didn’t choose to be.

SHAE: But if you hadn’t run away, we’d never have met.

DREW: All I want to do is be an artist. Now I have to run a corporation I know nothing about—I flunked my first term of my finance degree.

SHAE: Like you said, you have others to help you out. You’ll learn.

DREW: But how do I keep us safe? What if this psycho killed Brody? Finn’s next? And then who? And for no other reason than I’m a Vega.

SHAE: But Finn’s not. Uncle Brody’s not. Why hurt them?

DREW: Because through them they hurt me. I don’t know.

SHAE: Why do we attract so much heart ache? Our dads die within months of each other, Brett almost made sure we never saw each other again—

DREW: And just when we think we can get on with our lives…There’s only one way I can keep you safe, Shae.

SHAE wraps her arms around her middle: I’m not going to like this am I?

DREW: If this psycho thinks you mean nothing to me…You have to go to LA and I need to stay here.

SHAE: For how long?

DREW: And that’s not all. We have to split up. Very publicly and very noisily.

Payback is published every Thursday and Sunday evening New York City time (that’s Monday and Friday mornings for the Aussies)

Is Drew right to break up with Shae in order to protect her?

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