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Lightning in a Bottle

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Book: Lightning in a Bottle


Ali Bergman felt pretty good after the non-stop flight from New York to Sacramento. Seated in the back of a stretch limousine, one her son Stan Charles Richfield had arranged to pick them up in, Ali and her attorney general husband, Michael Bergman, held hands.
As they drove to Paradise, California to spend Father’s Day weekend with their son and new grandson Isaac ‘Zak’ Milton, Ali felt a knot of worry in her stomach.
Her twenty-seven year old son had married a divorced forty-seven year old supermodel; Mark Antonious Richfield. Not only was their marriage rushed, in her opinion, they had rushed to have a child as well, using one of Stan’s good friends as their surrogate.
As Ali worried for her son, she recalled the phone calls from him, telling his father, Michael, Mark had cheated.
Cheated with a woman he had once left at the altar. Then after having sex with her, the top model is wondering if this married woman, Sharon Tice-Hill, was indeed carrying his baby. Sadly, this gossip was all over the celebrity news.
The fact that her son had gotten involved with the seamy side of the Hollywood elite, had become the topic of slanderous gossip and bad television reporting, worried her.
Ali was herself an attorney, and had wanted her son to be successful as well. But, she didn’t think that included marrying into money instead of earning it.
Ali snapped out of her dismal thoughts to Michael’s worried expression.
“Don’t make a big deal about it. Okay?” Michael squeezed her hand. “We’re here to see Zak and support Stan, not involve ourselves in their personal lives.”
“Ha.” Ali wasn’t so sure she was going to be able to bite her tongue when it came to Mark’s infidelity. The man was gay! Hello? So now her son had to be worried he’d have sex with women to get babies? That’s insane.
“Ali?” Michael narrowed his eyes at her. “Don’t.”
She didn’t make any promises to him because she was a woman of her word.
Stan held Mark against him as they reclined on a padded chaise lounge. Tonight, Friday night, he and Mark were sleeping over Mark’s friends’ house in Malibu. It was the first time Stan had been to Jack Larsen and Adam Lewis’ home. He loved it.
No matter which room you were in, you could hear the ocean waves. It was unbelievable.
While he and Mark gazed at the crashing tide as the long summer day slowly gave way to night, Stan checked the time on his Patek Philippe watch, a wedding gift from his model husband. He knew his parents must have landed in Sacramento by now.
Since he and Mark had originally come to LA to see Mark’s son Alexander’s movie premiere, he felt a little guilty to be here while his parents arrived at the estate in Paradise.
Blake Hughes and Tadzio Andresen were watching their son, Zak, while they were away.
Blake was a paramedic/firefighter, who was out on a back injury, playing nanny to Zak as he recovered. Tadzio was Mark’s ex-husband’s wife. The Swedish runway model had recently undergone top surgery in her journey to becoming a woman.
Both of them were capable of handling Isaac, who was five months old.
Stan still felt guilty for not being there. Since it was only eight pm, Stan kissed Mark to get his attention and whispered, “Maybe I should see if I can take a commuter flight home. We’re not going to the premiere now and mom and dad should be arriving soon.”
Mark stirred slowly, as if he had been dozing. “Yes. Perhaps.” He sat up and placed his bare feet on the sandy patio.
Stan ran his hand down Mark’s arm, admiring him as he took a moment before standing up.
Mark Antonious Richfield…supermodel…was stunning. A thick mane of brown hair brushing his shoulders, emerald green eyes lined with dark lashes, and a body to die for.
Mark stood unsteadily and rolled the glass slider back to enter the home through the kitchen. Stan sat up and took his phone out of his pocket, sending his father a text, ‘are you at the house yet?’
‘Close. around ten out.’
“Fuck.” Stan searched his phone for flight information to see if he could hop a commuter plane to Sac. Mark’s pilots were on call, but they had already scheduled them to take a load of friends and family to the estate tomorrow morning.
Since this was Father’s Day weekend, Mark had invited nearly thirty people over.
Stan gazed at the ocean waves and wished Mark had never had that affair with Sharon Tice. The mess it had made of the top model; this new obsession to watch over that woman…the woman who appeared to hate his guts, was making the handsome man insane.
More insane.
Mark was already crazy.
Stan glanced into the house through the slider and inhaled deeply for strength.