Indulge Yourself

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B is for Bravo

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Book: B is for Bravo


Stan Charles Richfield held paperwork he had printed from their home office computer. On it was his first call-sheet for the production of a huge war movie, B is for Bravo, one in which he was the headlining star.

The movie was going to take two months to film. He wished he’d never agreed to do it. As he thought about the logistics of staying in his old apartment in West Hollywood with one of his friends, Lou McFadden, Stan folded the paperwork up and set it on their dresser. When he did, he noticed a small charm.

Stan picked it up to inspect. It was a gold figure in the shape of a woman with a swirl on her belly. A fertility charm.

Mark had given it to Becca, their surrogate, to help her conceive. Had it helped? After the second attempt at conception, Becca had indeed given birth to a boy. Isaac Milton…or ‘Zak’ Richfield. He had no idea where Mark had gotten it. It certainly didn’t seem to be the top model’s style to purchase a good luck talisman.

Just as he was thinking about his gorgeous husband, Mark entered the bedroom behind him, holding their son.

When Zak saw Stan in the room, he made happy squeaking noises and reached for him.

Mark chuckled at their son’s reaction to Stan.

Stan grinned broadly and approached.

“I need to go to work, love.” Mark was wearing a designer black suit, shimmering silk, with a black narrow tie and a mauve shirt.

Stan took Zak into his arms and hugged him. “Did you feed him?”

“Not yet.” Mark brushed his shoulder-length brown hair back from his forehead.

Stan held out the charm. “I guess this worked.”

Mark appeared distracted and then focused on the item in his hand. When Mark realized what it was, his expression changed drastically. He took it from Stan and pocketed it.

Stan, rocking Zak gently side to side, asked, “Where did you get it from?”

“Uh…” Mark stammered, then gestured to the hallway, then picked up his phone and eyeglasses from the nightstand, and left the bedroom.

Stan became confused and said to Zak, “Daddy’s weird.”

Zak reached up for Stan’s chin and poked his mouth.

“Okay. Time to eat.” He carried his baby boy down the stairs to the kitchen.


Flustered, Mark trotted down the grand mahogany staircase of his thirteen bedroom mansion to the foyer. He peeked outside to see the weather, since they predicted a chance of rain, and then continued walking to the kitchen.

Their cook, Sierra, had made breakfast as well as warming a bottle for Zak. “Good morning, Mark.”

“Hullo, love.” Mark sat in the nook’s bench seat. “Stan is on his way down.”

“I made something different for you.” She brought Mark a tiny ramekin with a soufflé in it. “This is very low calorie. Mostly egg-whites and a little milk.”

“It looks like Yorkshire pudding.”

“Yes. It does, without all the fat.”

“Thank you.”


“Please.” Mark gazed outside the large glass pane to the outdoor pool and stable beyond it.

Sierra gave him an espresso in a demitasse cup and then greeted Stan and Zak as they entered the room.

“There he is!” Sierra gushed at the baby, who made a happy noise while in Stan’s arms.

“Good morning.” Stan smiled at her and slid opposite Mark into the bench.

Sierra gave Stan Zak’s bottle and the little guy, who was getting bigger every day, went nuts for it and chirped and wriggled.

Mark laughed at his silly son and helped Stan tie a bib around his little man before he slurped his formula. Once Stan had Zak settled, feeding him, he said, “What’s that?” indicating the soufflé.

“My breakfast.” Mark took a taste. It was light as a feather and a very small portion. Perfect. “This is lovely, Sierra.”

“Good!” She brought Stan a plate stacked high with waffles, sausages, and bacon.

“Now you’re talking.” Stan chuckled.

Mark noticed Stan look at something behind Mark.

Mark turned around and there was LAPD SWAT Lieutenant Billy Sharpe, joining them. Mark scooted closer to the window, and Billy sat down with them in the nook.

“How are you today, pet?” Mark rubbed the big man’s thigh.


Mark was concerned for Billy. The powerful police officer had been through hell. First with the battles on the thin blue line on the streets of LA, then, Mark’s son, Alexander, Billy’s husband, continued to drive Billy insane with his infidelity.

Sierra brought Billy the same food as Stan. Both big men worked out hard and ate with a hearty appetite.

“Coffee, Lieutenant?” she asked.


Mark finished the light soufflé and watched his son drink the last of the formula from his bottle. “I can take him whilst you eat.”

“Not while you’re wearing an expensive suit.” Stan let Zak rest before burping him, and ate around the little one.

Zak was able to sit up now, and Mark was convinced his eyes were green. “Stan?” Mark sipped his espresso while the other two ate their breakfast. “Warren has found us a trusted pediatrician here in Butte County. Zak needs his immunizations soon, as well as a wellness checkup.”

While he ate, leaning over the plate, Stan nodded. “I can do that before I head to LA for the film production.”

Billy, devouring his food with big bites, asked, “When does the movie start shooting?”

Mark was happy Billy was eating. When he first showed up in the middle of the night, he was despondent bordering on suicidal. When Billy went missing from the manor, Mark found him after a ride on his horse across the meadows, with his ex-husband Steven’s handgun. Billy was near a waterfall which Mark had shown to his friends previously, holding that gun in his hand.

“Saturday,” Stan frowned when he said it.

Zak tried to get at Stan’s plate, reaching for it.

“You had yours, mister.”

Mark noticed the horses being taken from the barn to the open paddock. Andrew had arrived and Larry and he began to muck stalls. As he watched the horses, Mark tried to figure out how to fire Larry. With Andrew back, he wasn’t needed.

Mark simply was terrible at letting people down or…saying no.