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Sons and Lovers

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Book: Sons and Lovers


Harold Parsons, owner of the advertising agency he and Steve had worked for, held up a fluted glass. “When Steven came to us over a decade back, I was dubious at first.”

Mark caught Steve’s silly smile. They had both had a few drinks. Well…more than a few.

“But,” the silver-haired man said, “I thought if the former LAPD cop could persuade perps to sign a confession, well, maybe he could sell advertising.”

Steve chuckled. “Perps. He’s a riot.”

Mark squeezed Steve’s knee as they sat side by side at a table.

“…And of course, then came Mark.” Harold laughed. “The newcomer, the British upstart, here to shake things up.”

Mark giggled. He was toast.

Harold aimed his comments at the two men. “I suppose I couldn’t keep you both forever.” He appeared a little weepy. “Although I wanted to.”

“Tie them up!” Danny said, “They love bondage!”

“Oy!” Mark scolded one of a set of identical twins.

Harold let the comment roll off of him. He held his glass higher. “A toast. To the two men who have made Parsons and Company the largest advertising firm in Southern California. To you. All of us here at Parsons and Co wish Mark and Steven well on your new adventure.” Harold said loudly, “To Richfield-Miller International…long may you run.”

A cheer went up from the employees who were attending this farewell party.

Mark raised his fluted glass and drank the expensive champagne down.

Steve’s was topped up with more booze from Kevin, holding out the bottle to refill it.

“I must slow down.” Mark shook his head on a refill. “I’m already pissed.”

The restaurant they were occupying offered a buffet and open bar. Loud, live music was playing. Harold may have hesitated to show how much he was going to miss them, but, in the end, he came through.

“Speech! Speech!” the group clapped and urged them on.

Mark laughed, knowing he’d most likely topple over if he stood from the chair.

“Steve-O! Steve-O!” was chanted.

Mark said to Steve, “Better you, than me.”

Steve held up his glass and wobbled getting to his feet.

Mark propped Steve’s bottom up, keeping him standing erect.

“Thanks all!” Steve’s words slurred, since they were both very drunk. “I’m shitty at goodbyes.” Steve swayed.

Mark laughed at him and tried to steady him.

“Know I luff you all…” Steve reached out to brace himself and ended up grabbing Mark’s hair.

“Oy!” Mark batted him off.

Steve didn’t seem to notice. “To the crazy horny twins…Danny and Donny…and Kevin. You dork.” Steve cracked up. “Uh…Charlie, my man…we need to go out for a brewskie.”

Mark shook his head at Steve, who was slurring and babbling.

“Uh…Amber,” Steve reached out to their receptionist. “I’ll miss you…and Angela…and…too many to count.”

Mark interlaced Steve’s fingers to get him to stop pulling on his hair.

“And Harold… Harold Parsons.” Steve nearly tipped over. Mark kept him upright. “I wish you were my dad. Thanks. I mean it.” Steve held up his champagne glass. “To Harold! You got Miller-Richfield’s biz, old man!”

“Richfield-Miller,” Mark corrected.

The crowd roared with a cheer and toasted them.

Steve downed the contents of his glass and before Mark could say, “Have a seat, copper,” Steve straddled Mark’s legs, facing him.

“Oh!” Mark blinked in surprise. “Yes?”

“Fuck me.” Steve chewed on Mark’s jaw.

“No. Naughty. Move. You’re too heavy.”

Steve cupped Mark’s jaw and kissed him.

Knowing they were too drunk to do anything at the moment, Mark turned away from the kiss and nudged him. “Up.”

Steve slid off Mark’s lap and managed to mingle with the employees.

Mark stayed put, trying to sober up. He drank from a glass of water and needed to eat. But, he simply wasn’t hungry.


Alexander Mark Richfield was sunk low on the leather sofa.

The tissue box beside him, a bottle of water on the table in front of him, Alex scrubbed at his eyes.


He snapped out of his thoughts to his shrink, Dr Van Eldon, seated in his wingback chair, holding his yellow legal pad and pen.

“Um.” Alex rubbed his hands together nervously. “I do have these weird dreams.”

He got a nod, urging him to continue.

Alex combed his fingers through his long, dark hair. “I…uh… I’m riding with dad on a horse. Someplace in the woods or something. It’s always dark and creepy outside.” Alex stared at his fingernails as he recalled the dream. “We…we keep going for a while, even though I want to turn back. I wonder if Billy is looking for me, if Dad and I are lost.”

Dr Van Eldon paid close attention.

“Then…something scares me. We’re suddenly not on a horse anymore.” Alex felt his skin grow hot. He didn’t think he’d ever tell anyone about these secret dreams.

“And…I grab Billy, because my dad morphed into him somehow. I’m terrified of something in the woods, but I don’t know what.” Alex sipped from the bottled water.

The doctor was silent.

“I hold Billy. I start kissing him.” Alex cleared his throat and set the bottle down. “Then…I realize I’m kissing my dad. And I freak and wake up.”

The doctor wrote notes. He looked up when he’d finished writing. “This is a recurring dream?”

“Not the woods and horse thing, but…I start out kissing someone else in them, like Tadzio, or Steve…but inevitably, I end up kissing Dad, and panicking. I always wake up from the dream at that point.”

The doctor said, “You’ve told me about your home life before you met Mark. That you struggled with Iris’ husband.”

Alex sneered at the thought of his ‘fake’ dad.

“Although the dreams are of a sexual nature, I believe your attraction to Mark in them, is merely your close bond with him. Mark treats you the way you wished Iris’ husband had.”

Alex replied, “I would have killed to have Mark as my dad when I was growing up.”

“Alex, I’m going to ask you something, and I want you to think about it carefully.”


“Are you jealous of Stan because he’s taken Steve’s place, or because you feel he’s taken your place?”

Alex became flustered at the question and considered it carefully, suddenly, not sure of that answer.