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HOLDING TIGHT

an Action! Series Book

By


G.A.HAUSER


Smashwords Edition

Copyright © G.A. Hauser, 2018

HOLDING TIGHT

Book 32 of the Action! Series

Copyright © G.A. Hauser, 2018

Model: Mark Goldberg

Photographer: Boris Kogerer

ISBN Trade paperback: 978-1719-5309-1-0

© The G.A. Hauser Collection LLC


This is a work of fiction and any resemblance to persons, living or dead, or business establishments, events or locales is coincidental.


All Rights Are Reserved. No part of this may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews.


WARNING

This book contains material that maybe offensive to some: graphic language, homosexual relations, adult situations. Please store your books carefully where they cannot be accessed by underage readers.


First The G.A. Hauser Collection LLC publication:

July 2018

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Chapter 1


Becca McKenna held an early pregnancy test in her hand. Waiting for the results to appear, Becca held her breath while standing in her bathroom in her studio apartment in West Hollywood.

Yes, she was anxious. No, she wasn’t late…yet…but, come on!

“Shoot.” She was not pregnant…yet.

~

Mark Antonious Richfield worked at his desk in his high-rise office in Sacramento, California. Slowly, he was getting his father’s company back to its prime, updating inventory, buying fabulous new fabrics from around the globe, and inviting college students to submit designs and fresh ideas.

Taking a break from the computer, Mark rubbed his face and dragged his hair back from his eyes. It was getting long, longer than he liked. He looked more like his son, Alexander, than himself when the length grew past his shoulders.

He just needed a minute of down time to get to his stylist, Javier. Life had been so hectic, Mark felt as if he didn’t have time for much…but…

It was going to get worse before it got better.

He and his ex-husband, Steven Jay Miller, had just acquired the estate in Paradise. Mark had grown up in that mansion in the hills, and couldn’t believe he had it back.

In June, when they had a weekend free, they could move their clothing to the stately home.

The sellers were friends of one of Mark’s lovers, the talent agent, Adam Lewis. Jason Phillips and Ewan Gallagher purchased the estate from Mark’s mother a few years ago. The two men were from England and desired to return to the United Kingdom. They had completely remodeled the thirteen room palace, updating the interior as well adding solar panels to the home.

As Mark took a break from working on the computer, he touched his new gold/platinum/sapphire and diamond wedding ring. Although he and his young partner had eloped in Las Vegas, Stan Charles’ mother, Ali Bergman, insisted on a large New York wedding with her family.

So, Memorial Day weekend, they were scheduled to fly out, then, Steve and he were going to hit Paris and London, visiting the two offices of their International branches.

Richfield-Miller International.

As Mark thought about the effort it was going to take to get through the ceremony and festivities of their wedding celebration, complete with a photographer from a style magazine, Mark was already exhausted.

He looked up from his computer when Steve entered the large office, a stack of fabric samples in his arms.

He set them down and brushed off his hands, then walked over to Mark.

On Steve’s desk was a tiny toy black and white police car. It had been with Steve in Parsons and Company, the advertising firm where the two had met; and, was once more on the former cop’s workspace.

“Hullo.” Mark smiled at him; his Steven, in a designer suit, macho good looks, blue eyes to die for, and a heart of gold.

Steve dug his fingers into Mark’s hair and drew him to his lips. “Hungry, gorgeous?”

Since Mark’s new husband was still in Los Angeles, and he usually brought him and Steve lunch, Mark checked the time. “Not really. It’s only eleven-thirty, love.”

“I am. I’m going to hit the deli. I’ll get you something. You can stick it in the bar fridge.” Steve kissed him again. “Fruit and yogurt?”

Rubbing his belly, Mark wasn’t hungry at the moment. “No. Ta.”

~

Steve admired his ‘Top Model’ business partner, falling in love with him over and over. He touched the gold band on his finger, one bought for him by his new husband, Tadzio Andresen. The lovely blond Swedish runway model and he had recently married in a civil ceremony in the courthouse in LA.

So? Now Tadzio couldn’t be deported, right?

Tadzio may be his legal husband, but Steve was only madly in love with one man.

Mark.

“I’ll get you something light.” Steve ran his hand over Mark’s silk necktie. “And a latte?”

“Yes. Iced?”

“You got it.” Steve winked at him and left the office.

~

‘Overwhelmed’ wasn’t enough to describe how Stan was feeling. He’d gone from driving a limousine for a living, to becoming ‘Mrs Mark Antonious Richfield,’ to starring in a huge feature film with Mark’s superstar son Alexander.

And…Tadzio had found dozens of auditions for him to attend for acting roles in everything from television to independent films, to commercial voiceovers.

While Adam Lewis was in Fort Lauderdale, Florida with his husband Jack Larsen, Tadzio had used Adam’s computer at his talent agency.

There, the young twink had located lists of auditions Adam had not sent him on, had not sent Tadzio on.

Last night, Stan had taken the time to research every role he was offered, and then he lined up appointments to audition for them.

Why Adam had not sent them to him, or to Tadzio, was a mystery. It wasn’t a secret Adam disliked him. After all, Stan had taken Mark away from his husband, Steve Miller.

But, that wasn’t any reason for the agent to breach his legal contract.

Since Stan had to go to the studio in Burbank, he had not joined Mark in Sacramento. Mark had gone with Steve.

Steve was on the prowl for Mark’s ass.

Stan could stress himself out over it, or trust Mark.

He chose to trust his new hubby.


Stan added the auditions to his personal calendar and then sat back from the computer in the house he shared at the moment with Mark, Steve, and Tadzio, in Bel Air, California.

He stood from the desk in the home office, jogged to the upper floor, and readied himself to go to the studio for a rehearsal after he auditioned for the commercial voiceover.

The ads were for a large vehicle manufacturing company, for their pickup truck line.

This current project, a new feature film he was cast to play the lead in, also starred Alexander Richfield. It was a fabulous cast, an award winning director, and had all the makings of a huge hit.

Lover Boy; he played a security guard for a jewelry store that winds up falling for the guy who robbed it.

Since neither he nor Alex was backing out of the production, they had to pretend they were lovers.

No, it wasn’t porn, but it was gay romance.

Stan tucked his wallet and keys into his tight jean’s pocket, and spotted the two tuxedos they had recently rented for their wedding.

White.

White tuxedos. They had tried them on as a joke. Tadzio was the driving force for them to actually wear them. Since Mark and he had already married in Las Vegas, Stan wasn’t sure it mattered.

Yes, the wedding was going to be covered by a style magazine, but hell, what was wrong with a white tuxedo?

He smiled to himself, read his phone for missed text messages, and jogged down the carpeted stairs.

Slipping on shoes, Stan armed the security system, left the house through a door connecting the kitchen to the garage, and climbed into his green Aventador Lamborghini, a birthday gift from his top model husband.

Stan backed out of the garage, lowered the door, and took off, headed to Burbank; first to audition for the truck commercial, then to film the movie.

~

Tadzio Andresen sat in a waiting room at a movie studio. Since Adam had gone to Florida to help with Jack’s father’s failing health, and he had worked on his computer, Tadzio had located auditions for himself and Stan that Adam had not offered.

No, they weren’t perfect, but Tadzio craved being an actor, not working in Adam’s office matching stars with roles. He was the star needing a role.

He had his paperwork with his lines, his ‘sides’ and had them memorized. Tadzio paced nervously, since auditioning was stressful.

The description for his character was for a supporting role in a comedy film. Did he like the script? Not really. Did he fit the character? Not really.

Was that why Adam hadn’t given it to him?

Probably.

But, if he didn’t try, he wouldn’t get anything.

With memorized lines running through his head, Tadzio, his blond hair brushing his shoulders, wore white, skin-tight pants, and a see-through white muslin top and red shoes. He wanted this audition over with. The waiting was the worst part.

“Tadzio?” was called from a woman holding a clipboard.

Tadzio cleared his throat, straightened his back, and walked towards her.

“Go right in.”

“Thank you.” Tadzio entered the room. A group of three was behind an oblong desk, a camera was set up to film his audition, and a piece of tape marked a spot on the floor.

The woman who had invited him in made the introductions.

Tadzio shook hands after wiping his clammy palms on his pants.

“State your name, and the part you’re reading for.”

Tadzio stood on the tape, brushed his hair out of his eyes, and said, “I am Tadzio Andresen, and I shall read for the part of Lester.”

“When you’re ready.” The woman nodded.

Tadzio stared into the camera and said his memorized line, “Iz cold in here. Why do we always go where it iz cold?”

He noticed the panel of three exchange glances as he continued.

This wouldn’t be the first time Tadzio was eliminated from the running simply because, he had a slight accent. He ignored the expressions of doubt, and powered on.

~

Adam Lewis sat on a sunny screened in porch in Fort Lauderdale. The back of the home in this gated community faced a high hedge-blind, and a canal which handled the heavy rains.

The heat and humidity was already building to an intolerable level by noon. But, he was sick of breathing the A/C.

He and Jack had arrived here a few days ago, to help Jack’s mother. Jack’s father, who was suffering the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease, had fallen, breaking his wrist, and Mrs Larsen was struggling to care for him.

Adam sipped iced coffee as he zoned out, hearing the birds singing loudly, and seeing lizards climb up the plants right outside the screens.

Jack stepped into the lanai. “It’s already hot out here.”

“I know. I just needed non-air-conditioned air.”

“I’m going shopping for food. Do you want to come, or stay with Dad?”

“Is your mom going?” Adam admired his gym-junkie hubby. A big blond hunk with blue eyes.

“If you come, she’ll stay, if you stay, she’ll go.”

“I’ll go.” Adam finished his coffee, and stood from the padded chair. He followed Jack into the house, closing the slider to keep the heat out.

Mr Larsen was zoning off in front of daytime TV, and Jack’s mom was folding sheets and towels near a basket of laundry.

“Mom? Adam’s coming with me.” Jack thumbed to him.

Adam headed to the guest bedroom they were sleeping in, grabbed his wallet and phone, and slipped on sandals.

Both he and Jack were in shorts and light cotton shirts.

Adam returned to Jack and he held a list and a wad of canvas shopping bags.

“See you later, Mrs Larsen.” Adam waved to her.

“Thank you, Adam.”

Jack led the way outside, and they took his mother’s Buick. It was so hot outside, Adam winced and knew he could not live here. So, the debate had been to get Mr and Mrs Larsen to either move to Southern California, or, hire Mrs Larsen help in caring for her sick husband.

Jack started the car and backed out of the driveway, the air conditioner blowing on them as he did.

Adam stared at Jack’s profile. Jack Larsen was a named partner of his own law firm. This hiatus wasn’t a vacation, it was a burden on them both.

Seeing Jack looking preoccupied and upset, Adam rubbed Jack’s leg affectionately.

Jack pulled up to a traffic signal and reached out his hand to Adam. “It looks like the only thing she’s going to agree to is for me to hire a nurse.”

“Okay.”

“Help me interview them?”

“You got it.” Adam squeezed Jack’s hand.

“Fuck.” Jack appeared defeated by this ordeal.

Adam watched the traffic as they drove across the intersection. “We’ll get through it.”

“I need to go back home. I’m too busy for this.”

Adam thought about the work he’d left. Though he was a busy man as well, he didn’t mind being away from the agency for now. As a matter of fact, he was enjoying not being there, a lot more than he anticipated.

~

Alexander sat in the parking lot of the studio in Burbank in his new cherry red Ferrari. He fucking loved this car.

Loud music playing from his speakers, Alex slid his sunglasses to the top of his head and read his text messages. His father was in Sacramento with Steve, Tadzio was working at Adam’s office, and his Police Chief hubby, Billy Sharpe, had wanted to take time off with Alex, but…

Alex’s new film was beginning production.

That meant, no time off for at least four weeks.

He picked up the ‘dailies’ or paperwork from the scenes he was going to rehearse today. Alex, the A/C blowing his long hair, the music blasting, committed the words on the page to memory.

With the cable TV show on hiatus again, Alex was able to focus on this film. The only other commitment he had was for the appointments with his shrink.

The psychiatrist his father had seen for decades, Dr Van Eldon. So far, the only thing the guy had done was to push valium at him, and make Alex rehash the nightmare that was Stan Charles…Richfield.

Alex checked the time on his phone and sent Billy a text before he had to shut the phone for most of the day. ‘Love you, chief.’

love you too, babydoll.’

Alex smiled and turned off the engine, folding the papers, and climbing out of his low slung sports car. Just as he did, he spotted the green Lamborghini cruising by.

Alex lowered his sunglasses to his nose and watched it. When he read the personalized plate he choked. MARKSMAN. That personalized plate had nothing to do with shooting a gun.

The amount Alex resented Stan Charles for luring his dad away from Steve, and then eloping! Alex was grinding his teeth in rage.

The pricy sports car shut down near his red one, and the big handsome twenty-seven year old hunk, spotted Alex.

The hairs on the back of Alex’s neck prickled. He crossed his arms and waited.

Stan approached him. “Hi, Alex.”

The urge to lash out, to scream, to accuse Stan of everything from home-wrecking to gold-digging rushed up on Alex.

But, he had a job to do. He had to act. He had to maintain some modicum of peace. If he didn’t, if it appeared he was the one creating an issue, no doubt he would be removed from this Zoe Xiu-directed film.

He didn’t greet Stan, but he didn’t bite his head off either.

In the warm sunshine, and even warmer breeze, he and Stan walked to the entrance of the studio where they were going to film their first few scenes of the new movie.

They had their read-through of the entire script already, and now were set to begin filming the interior shots. The exterior? Well, some of that was going to be shot in New York City, right around the time of Mark and Stan’s wedding celebration.

If Alex thought about it, he’d turn towards Stan and punch him in the face.

And, all the while, on their walk across the hot tarmac, Alex kept asking himself, ‘What did you do to get my dad?’ It was a question he had no answer for…other than…offering his father a chance to have babies.

Babies.

Mark Antonious wanted more children.

For some reason, Alex wasn’t enough.

And, that thought enraged Alex to such an extent, it was making him ill…and need a shrink…and need fucking valium.

~

Stan felt the icy chill from Alex. He didn’t think Alex was ever going to accept him. He had to be okay with that.

They waited at the door where a guard checked off their names before allowing entry.

“Alex Richfield.” Alex pocketed his sunglasses.

The guard nodded.

Stan stood in front of the uniformed man. “Stan Richfield.”

Alex tensed up and made a noise of anger.

“Okay.” The guard acknowledged him and both he and Alex kept going.

Knowing this pairing of him with Mark’s son was indeed done for hyping the new film, Stan wasn’t going to allow it to influence him. No. He wanted Mark’s name. He was Mark’s spouse. So? Screw anyone who had an issue, and that included Mark’s son.

As the two of them made the silent trip to the correct studio, Stan wished it could be different. But, he had no control over Alex. None.

Soon, he and Mark would move to the estate in Paradise.

How he was going to make that long air commute, even with a private jet, daily, was beyond him. They still had his apartment in West Hollywood, and the home Mark and Steve had shared in Bel Air, which was great. But, that would mean he was going to live in LA, while Mark and Steve lived up north.

That thought did not sit well with Stan.

Alex opened a door and entered an area in the building with spectacular set designs creating bedrooms, bathrooms, kitchens, and living areas of aging tenement houses.

The filming of the jewelry store as well as exterior shots of Manhattan, were going to be done on location. But, the rest, shot here in the studio in Burbank.

And, another thing Stan wasn’t prepared for mentally, was the first scenes they were shooting.

The sex scenes.

Go figure.

Alex walked over to a craft table and poured himself a cup of coffee.

As he did, Stan thought the young man was the spitting image of his dad.

Alex appeared to know it, and took full advantage of it. His nighttime cable TV drama had Alex speaking with a British accent…like his dad.

Alex narrowed his gaze at Stan, those green eyes, darkly lined with full black eyelashes, his hair like a lion’s mane, flowing down his shoulders.

Stan turned away from that icy glare and picked up a protein drink, battling to keep sane and professional.

~

Dressed in a dark crisp uniform, Chief Billy Sharpe paid a visit to the police academy. Although Billy had a long career in the military, and then the police, working in many divisions including SWAT, hostage negotiating, the homicide and robbery detective units in two different departments, Los Angeles PD and Santa Monica PD, Billy had not been an instructor at the police academy. He had been invited to speak at one of the classes, both to welcome the new recruits and to give a lecture about homophobia and civil rights.

Billy parked his police black and white cruiser in the parking lot, and made his way to the offices.

Being a police chief, Billy was off the front lines, and rarely dealt with life or death situations. Did he miss the adrenalin dump? Yes. But, Alex’s mental health took a nosedive whenever Billy was called to an incident that was dangerous.

He made his way through the hallway and located the administrative office.

The staff saluted him respectfully.

“Where’s the location for the new class of recruits?” Billy asked.

“I’ll take him.” One of the academy instructors, also in uniform, a man of color, walked with Billy outside the office and towards an auditorium. He reached out his hand to Billy. “I’m Lt Rob Jackson. Nice to meet you, Chief Sharpe.”

Billy received the firm clasp. “Nice to meet you.”

“I’m going to discuss the diversity issues, and racism. I take it you’re handling the LGBT issues.”

Billy nodded. “A gay chief. I suppose I have diversity training written all over me.” He smiled and held open a door to a main entrance.

“You do.” He smiled at Billy. “And we appreciated it.”

The two men walked into the large hall. Billy spotted a lectern and wooden chairs on a staging area, and the room was filling with new recruits.

A woman of color, also in uniform, approached, her hand extended. “Nice to meet you, Chief Sharpe.”

Billy read her nametag and recognized her rank. “Nice to meet you, Lt Mullins.”

“I’ll introduce the chief first, then, sir, you can feel free to say what you wish. No time limit.”

“Okay.” Billy looked out at the young men and women in the auditorium. Why anyone wanted this job was beyond him.

He spied a young recruit staring at him. When Billy recognized him, he actually got a smile.

Billy said to the other two, “I’ll be right back.” He walked down the four steps to the floor level.

His nephew, one he’d had an up and down relationship with recently, was in a damn LAPD uniform, and he couldn’t be more pleased.

He opened his arms.

Matthew appeared shy and gave his uncle a hug.

“You got in without my help?” Billy stepped back to admire the handsome young man with the crew-cut.

“Mom decided I needed it. But I told her military guys get extra points. Mom never listens to me.”

“She doesn’t listen to me either.” Billy patted his shoulder.

Lt Mullins called Billy back to the stage.

Billy said, “We’ll catch up soon.”

“Okay, Uncle Billy.”

He returned to the stage and stood at the lectern, knowing what it felt like to have a son. Matthew wasn’t his son, but it didn’t matter. He was very pleased he was here, just the same.

Chapter 2


Alex closed his eyes as light oil was applied to his face and hair. He was wearing jeans and a shabby shirt, the clothing of his character, Corey Ellis, the desperate dude that robbed a jewelry store.

The film was set in the heat of the summer, so both he and Stan had to look hot. Not only sexy hot, but sweaty hot.

He raised his arms to get his pits sprayed with water, making them appear damp.

Stan, already on the set of his mock-bedroom, a hovel in Brooklyn, was shirtless, also getting his hair and makeup tended to. Around them was a flurry of motion; grips, gaffers, extras, script-assistants, five High-Resolution cameras, three on tripods, two with cameramen under them…so many crew members it was like a busy intersection in the Big Apple.

Director Zoe Xiu was in charge of the circus of activity.

“Five minutes!” her assistant director yelled, “Closed set! If you’re not needed, you must leave now.”

Alex was given the nod. He walked onto the set and tried not to fuss with his hair.

This was it. The first scene with physical contact with Stan. Alex battled with his mindset. Battled to pretend…act. He had told Billy so many times, ‘It’s just acting!’ Well, this time, he had his work cut out for him.

The attendants left the set with all of the grips and extra helpers, the lighting was fine-tuned, and a clapperboard was held in front of the cinematographers’ lens.

“Closed set! This is now a closed set!”

The area was vacated by all but a few.

“Quite! Quite on the set!”

“Scene forty-two; take one.”

Zoe, her headphones on, stood behind a monitor to see what was going to be on film. She pointed to Stan, who was already on a messy bed, one covered with mail and papers.

“Sound speed!” was called.

Her focus on the video screen, Zoe nodded. “Action.”

Alex forced himself to get into the character…now.

Stan said his line, “Don’t—” He sat up on the bed and gaped at Alex in exaggeration. “Don’t turn on you?”

Alex appeared sheepish.

Stan railed in anger, “I have to write up some fucking documentation for the security company. They want me to go through mental and physical exams to sign me back off to work. Today! Do you think what you did helped my life?”

Stan held the wad of paper in his fist. “Know what these are? Bills! My fucking ex lives in a goddamn mansion on Long Island, and is now sending my daughter to therapy…on me! She gets alimony and child support, I pay for the fucking mortgage as well.”

“Dax.” Alex sat with Stan on the bed and touched Stan’s chin.

“I can’t pay these!” Stan threw the bills to the floor. “And now since I can’t, she’s threatening me with her lawyer. I’m still paying off my lawyer after she skewered me in the divorce!”

“Dax…” Alex leaned closer.

“I can’t deal with one more piece of bullshit!” Stan yelled.

Alex pinned Stan to the bed and kissed him.

~

Trying to forget the audition he had done this morning for the voiceover for the truck company, Stan battled his anxiety, battled to remember his lines, since this was it- his first debut on a huge production. Battled to be in character, to recall his NYU acting classes, to focus on his stage direction…

Then…he kissed Alexander Richfield.

This scene was where their characters first become intimate in the film. Stan resisted at first, as was scripted, and then dug his fingers into Alex’s long, soft brown hair.

The kiss wasn’t supposed to be a peck on the lips. It was supposed to be full of fire and passion.

It wasn’t.

Stan was terrified of opening his mouth, of doing something to piss Alex off.

And soon after their bland kiss, Zoe said, “Cut.”

Alex backed off and caught his breath.

“I need passion.” Zoe wasn’t smiling. “Kiss each other. This isn’t PG. Let’s go. Crank up the heat. Guys, this is it. You’re all alone in a room. Got it?”

Stan was dying as he listened to her direction. In the back of his mind he knew this was all for the goddamn publicity machine. Money. Making money.

“Take it from- I can’t deal with one more piece of bullshit.” She walked behind her monitor.

Stan battled to get ready mentally for this.

Alex appeared to be in agony.

“Scene forty-two; take two.”

“Sound speed!” was called.

Zoe said, “Action.”

Alex dove on Stan, straddling his hips, pinning Stan to the bed. Stan bent his knees and they stared at each other. Alex grabbed Stan’s head with a hand on either side of it, and kissed him.

Stan dug his fingers through Alex’s hair and kissed him back, with heat, with fire, with…tongues.

~

Mark reviewed old inventory lists. Taking over his father’s company, he had requested each warehouse give him a complete inventory of what they had on hand, what was selling, and what was sitting on a shelf gathering dust.

The merchandise that had been there for over a year he heavily discounted to move it. If that didn’t work, he was going to donate it.

Steve was at his own desk, tapping keys on his computer.

Mark, his latte consumed, his yogurt and fruit, barely touched, sighed tiredly and glanced at Steve.

Steve had eaten his turkey club sandwich and healthy fruit drink. The handsome former cop had his tie loosened around his collar, his sleeves rolled up and his jacket on the back of his chair.

“Steven?”

“Hmm?” Steve kept typing.

“Can you assist me with the upgrade on the barn?”

“The barn?”

“At the estate.”

Steve stopped working and looked at him. “I thought you would just contact the same people Jason used to upgrade the house’s solar heating unit.”

“So…just tell them to give me an estimate?”

“Yes.”

Mark stood from his chair and made his way closer. He sat on the corner of Steve’s desk and rolled his toy police car around it. “What if it takes a while? I would like the horses with me.”

“You have until June to do it. What’s the company name?” Steve asked.

“Nor-Cal-Solar.”

Steve tapped the keyboard. Mark leaned closer to see Steve had their website open. Then, Steve picked up his desk phone.

“Yes. My name is Steve Miller. Your company did work on a home my partner and I just purchased.”

Mark loved seeing Steve in command.

“We’re interested in having the stable also redone with solar panels.” Steve noticed Mark smiling at him and became distracted. “Yes. That’s right. The mansion in Paradise. Jason Phillips is the former owner.”

Mark stood behind Steve and massaged Steve’s shoulders.

“Uh…” Steve glanced up at him, the phone to his ear. “We…we’ll…have horses and…”

Mark loved that fact that Steve was so distracted by him.

“Uh…and the stable’s due to be modernized.” Steve shook his head at Mark, smiling wryly. “Would you be able to work on it with the animals there?”

Mark slid both hands down the front of Steve’s chest and nuzzled his ear.

“Yes. We won’t actually occupy until June. You most certainly can take a look at it now. Absolutely. Anytime. There’s a full time employee there.” Steve moved a pad closer. “Great.” He wrote the time and date of the appointment. “Yes. Let me give you my cell-phone number.”

Mark inhaled Steve’s scent and ran his palms over Steve’s pectoral muscles.

“Great. I appreciate it. If you can get it done before the horses are…oh. Hang on.” He looked up at Mark. “If they can’t do it before we move, are the horses able to go into a pasture while they work?”

“Mm hmm.” Mark ran kisses down Steve’s neck.

He cleared his throat. “Yes. They can be outside the building during the day. Great. Thanks.” He hung up and turned the chair, pulling Mark to sit on his lap. “Yes, Mr Richfield?”

“Thank you.”

Steve stared into his eyes, then cupped the back of Mark’s head and drew him to his lips.

~

Alex broke the kiss and they panted to catch their breaths.

The raw sensuality of Stan was hard to ignore. When Alex had first met him, he did think he was gorgeous.

Since they had more to do before the end of the scene, Alex kissed his way down Stan’s chest. Stan lay still, staring at the ceiling.

Alex kissed Stan’s cock through his pants, feeling where he’d grown hard down one leg.

Oh, Jesus. Kill me now.

Alex inhaled deeply and opened Stan’s zipper.

~

Stan was so excited he was humiliated.

He may have been acting, but kissing Alexander Mark Richfield? No. Oh, no. Why? Why was it like kissing Mark?

He had no idea how to calm his cock down while they were still in the moment. It wasn’t as if he could break the scene or his character.

Alex was supposed to simulate a blowjob.

Since this was a closed set, his dick was going to make an actual appearance, but Alex was obviously going to pretend he was sucking it.

The stunning superstar lowered Stan’s clothing and bobbed his head up and down, his back to the main camera.

With an effort, Stan remembered his scripted lines, and said them, “Oh, shut the fuck up…” He closed his eyes as Alex simulated enveloping his cock to the base. Alex’s cheek kept brushing his erection.

Stan was dying here. Dying as he said his lines, “No way.” Just imagining them having oral sex made Stan a nervous wreck.

~

Alex inhaled Stan’s scent and went a little crazy. Alex tugged at Stan’s pants until they were at his ankles. Yes, he’d seen Stan naked, having peeked into the shower at his dad’s house. Sure, he’d caught sight of him nude, but…holy shit!

Alex was grinding his own cock into the bedding. Yes, it was in the script, but he was about to blow.

The temptation to rub hot friction at the base of Stan’s dick was overwhelming. Alex continued to fake it, about to really go into a climax.

“Oh, fuck!” Stan yelled and went into a fake orgasm.

Alex moaned in agony as Stan gasped.

Battling to keep in character and not break the scene, Alex knelt upright, staring at Stan as Stan simulated recovering from the orgasm.

Alex opened his pants, and proceeded to simulate jerking off on him. It was his turn to fake a climax.

“Ah! Ah! Yes!”

~

Not having actually come, Stan was in hell. Then, he heard Alex’s version of a fake climax. It sounded just like Mark.

Oh, Christ. Kill me. Just kill me!

Stan and Alex huffed for air and both were dripping with sweat, not fake sweat, real sweat.

“Jesus Christ.” Stan licked his lips, wondering how much of his hard dick was going to be on camera. This wasn’t porn, but…he didn’t want his parents to see it.

Alex relaxed beside him and drew circles on his chest with his index fingertip. “I know you like me.”

“Oh, you do, do you?”

“Yup.” Alex licked Stan’s nipple. “You didn’t rat me out. You could have told the police my name. Had them trace the package to the delivery office.”

“How do you know I didn’t?” Stan wanted to cover his dick but it wasn’t in the script. He rested his hand on his own chest.

“Did you?”

“No.” Stan stared at Alex, seeing how perspired he was from the fake sex act.

Alex inched higher, closer to his lips. “Why not?”

“I don’t know, lover-boy.”

Alex smiled and pecked Stan’s lips. “Yeah. I think you do know.”

“Fine. I’m a sucker for a pretty face.”

“Even a convicted felon’s pretty face?” Alex rested his hand on Stan’s chest.

“My life is so fucked up, what’s one more fuck-up?” Stan knew these lines very well, since this was the scene he and Alex had auditioned with.

That was the end of the first sex scene.

“Cut.” Zoe walked closer to the bed. “You two…wow.”

Alex tucked his cock into his clothing as Stan got dressed beside the bed. They were handed bottles of water.

Zoe approached her cameramen. “Okay. Let me see what the static cameras have before we get more coverage.”

As Zoe checked on the extra cameras’ point-of-view around them, Stan knew he and Alex were going to have to do this exact scene many times over. And, this was just the beginning of the sex scenes the two of them had to get through.

Stan sat up on the bed and guzzled the water, trying not to make eye contact with beautiful Alexander Richfield.

~

Tadzio headed home, feeling defeated. He’d attended three auditions, and each one ended the same. ‘Thank you. We’ll be in touch.’

One was for a macho-street-hustler. Nope. Not him.

Another was for a college student, a US college student. Nope. Accent-fail.

The third was for a flaming gay caricature of a sitcom’s silly neighbor. It was so camp, Tadzio gagged as he spoke the lines. No. He did not want that one. He’d been through lousy writing before.

So? Maybe Adam did know what he was doing.

These roles. They were not for him.

Why wasn’t anything for him?

On his way home, Tadzio stopped at a grocery store to buy food for dinner. He parked his hatchback in the lot, and sent Alex a text, ‘I had three auditions all terrible. How are you?’ He wished he was starring in a big movie like Alex, like Stan.

Tadzio held his phone on his lap in the car, and sighed. He moved the emerald-cut diamond of his ring back to the top of his finger, since it tended to roll sideways. He had painted his nails a light pink and it looked pretty with the diamonds.

Should he give up acting? He was in a deep funk after what had been a big cable TV hit, Being Screwed. He had played a gay vampire with Alex, but…that show had been canned. Since then, the few parts he’d played were dismal.

He sent Steve a text, ‘Are you dare?’

Hey.’

Tadzio missed him. ‘Can I call?

Sure.

He tapped his phone and put it to his ear.

“Hey, blondie.”

“Hey, husband.” Tadzio smiled.

“How’s your day going?”

“Not so good, Steven.” Tadzio watched moms with kids rolling carts to their minivans.

“Why?”

“I attend three new auditions and none of them are for me.”

“They already told you you don’t have the part?”

“They don’t have to tell me.”

“I’m sorry, Tadzio.”

“I am at the food store. What should I make?”

“Anything.”

“You will be home on time?”

“Yes. Mark and I should be back by seven-ish, and most likely we’ll run.”

“Yes. Okay, Steven. I will find something to cook.”

“Thanks, babe.”

“Steven?”

“Yeah?”

“Do you love me?” Tadzio felt his lower lip quiver.

“You bet I do.”

“Thank you. I love you too.”

“See ya soon.”

“Yes.” Tadzio disconnected the call and walked to the front of the store, rolling a cart up and down the aisles.

~

After the assembly, Billy spoke with the officers who were working as teachers in the academy.

“The key is to weed them out here.” Billy lingered with the two lieutenants who had given the diversity training talk.

“I agree.” Lt Jackson nodded.

“I just dealt with firing a rookie in my department.” Billy put his hands on his hips, over his gun-belt. “It was a disaster. It took me over a year to document it, get enough filed to dismiss him, and then when we did fire him, he sued.”

Lt Mullins shook her head. “I read about that suicide in the paper.”

“Suicide?” Lt Jackson asked.

Billy said, “He posted a video online about me, and then sent threatening letters to me. The LAPD served a warrant on the apartment next to this kid’s place. He assumed they were coming for him, so, he fired a shot at them, then put a bullet in his own melon.”

Both lieutenants shook their heads sadly.

“I just wished somewhere in the background check, these issues came up.” Billy glanced at the new recruits leaving through the rear of the auditorium. “He had a cache of military grade weapons, and was in no way fit for the job.”

Lt Mullins said, “I don’t know what more we can do in the hiring process. We put them through psych exams, lie detector tests, FBI and DOJ inspections…”

“And still a few get in.” Lt Jackson sighed.

Billy’s phone vibrated. He took it out of his pocket. Tadzio had asked, ‘you running wit me and Steven?

He said to the other two, “I’ll see you guys around.”

They waved goodbye to him as Billy walked to his car, texting Tadzio, ‘Yes.’

You here from Alec?’

No, but he’s supposed to be done by around seven or eight.’ Billy sat in his patrol car.

I am making dinner at our home. you can come?’

I assume so. We’ll see what Alex is doing.’


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