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Nothing To Lose

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Book: Nothing To Lose


Carl Bronson sat on a stool near the set of his long-running, nighttime cable drama, Forever Young. A script in his hand, Carl read the lines for the scene he was going to rehearse. He had been hired to act as a romantic lead in another film; Nothing Like Romance. Since Forever Young was in its final season, Carl was very glad his movie career was advancing. In this next film, he was playing a straight lead. That astounded him.

Carl was ‘out’ and married to his costar, Keith O’Leary. He had better luck with his auditions for feature films than Keith did. He didn’t know why, but Keith struggled after one flop, a film called Lost which had been showcased at an independent film festival, and then sank on its theater release. Since then, Keith hadn’t been given another offer, although he had gone on many auditions.

He heard a clamor of excited voices in the hall. Carl glanced up from his notes to see Mark coming his way.

Mark was asked to star in the cable TV drama for its final season. Mark had been a guest in the very beginning of the show, so the producers thought it would be fun to end it with him as well.

Carl stood from the stool and waited as the cast and crew members from his as well as other TV shows shook hands, got autographs, and took selfies with the Nation’s Top Male Model, the Sexiest Man Alive, according to a weekly tabloid magazine.

Once Mark ran the gauntlet of fans, he made his approach.

“Hullo, Carl, love.”

Carl drew Mark into his arms and kissed his cheek. Mark’s cologne, Dangereux Red, or his pheromones, whatever it was, made him smell amazing. Carl went in for a deep sniff of Mark’s neck. “Gorgeous as ever.” Carl held Mark at arms’ length.

“How are you?” Mark moved his sunglasses to the top of his head.

“Good. A little sad about the end of Forever Young.” Carl heard someone calling to Mark.

His husband returned from the men’s room. “Hey!” Keith laughed as he approached.

“Hullo.” Mark gave Keith a big smile and they embraced warmly. “Here we are, back together again.”

“Dad! Dad!”


Alexander Mark Richfield raced down the long studio corridor towards his father.

His nighttime cable TV drama was shot in the same building as Carl and Keith’s. He lunged for his dad and hugged him, swaying side to side.

“Hullo, baby.” Mark kissed his cheek.

Since his dad had moved north to Paradise, Alex missed him. Missed him so much. “Dad? Lover Boy is premiering Saturday night. Stan’s here, right?”

“Yes. He’s in LA, but he’s off doing his own thing with Becca at the moment.” Mark ran his hand through his hair. “Where am I going?” Mark looked towards the sets.

Before Keith and Carl took Mark to a dressing room, Alex clasped Mark’s hand and drew him aside.

“One moment,” Mark said, holding up his finger to the two stars.

Carl pointed to the studio. “We’ll meet you.” He and Keith walked off.

“All right…Yes, Alex?”

“Are we going together? In the limo?” Alex admired his dad’s outfit, his shimmering black designer slacks and silky black blouse, opened at the throat, a gold chai charm visible around his neck. His father’s taste was impeccable, and he always looked ‘model-ready’.

“I don’t see why not.”


Alex spotted his director, Charlotte Deavers, approaching them.

“Hullo, lovely.” Mark gave her air kisses to both cheeks.

“Let’s go. We have to get this shot in one day.” Charlotte, her hair pinned up in a ponytail, wearing dark framed eyeglasses, holding a clipboard, a walkie-talkie on her hip, gestured for him to follow. “Later, Alex!” she said as she dragged Mark off.

Alex watched him go and missed him. So much. “Dad? Dinner?”

“Yes. Text me.” Mark held up his phone and was taken into a room with Charlotte.

Alex waited until he could no longer see him, then he sighed and headed to his own dressing room.