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Books from G.A. Hauser > Catching Fire

Catching Fire

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Book: Catching Fire


The Nation’s Top Male Model, Mark Antonious Richfield sat behind his desk at his wholesale garment manufacturing company. Richfield-Miller International had offices in London, Paris, New York, and here, in Sacramento, where he and his ex-husband Steve Miller worked. By midday, Mark stretched his back, removed his eyeglasses, and stood from his leather chair.
Steve had left to buy them lunch at a local deli.
Mark walked closer to the wall of windows overlooking the Sacramento skyline and river. He brushed his long brown hair back from his eyes, catching his reflection in the glass.
Tomorrow he was going to Los Angeles with his second husband, Stan Charles Richfield. Stan had a modeling shoot for the cologne line, Dangereux Obsession, as well as an appointment at a recording studio for his commercial voiceovers for a truck maker.
Since he and Stan had a six month old son, Isaac ‘Zak’ Milton Richfield, Mark was hesitant to leave him behind, but…
Mark had two excellent caregivers; Blake Hughes, one of his best friends, was a firefighter out on a medical leave for his back, and the other was Steve’s current wife, Tadzio Andresen.
Besides, it’s only one day, two at the most.
As Mark thought about his young husband and son, he returned to his desk to pick up his cell-phone, when Steve entered the office.
His former LAPD cop turned, ad-man, turned CEO looked sexy in his designer blue business suit and brown shoes.
Steve placed a white paper bag on the table in the suite section of the office and washed his hands at the sink near the wet bar.
Mark watched his Steven take off his suit jacket, then roll his sleeves up and sit down on the sofa. Steve removed two protein drinks from the bag, as well as his sandwich and a salad for Mark.
Steve glanced up at him and said, “You are eating.”
Mark left his phone and glasses on his desk and walked across the large office. He rinsed his hands, poured more coffee for himself, and sat across from Steve.
As he chewed his sandwich, Steve pointed to the container of salad. “I got you one of those high protein, low-cal grain bowls.”
Mark tried to read the ingredients but couldn’t without his glasses. He set it back on the table and drank the strong coffee. He wasn’t hungry.
“When are you and Stan going to LA?” Steve asked, twisting open the cap of his drink.
“We’re supposedly driving early tomorrow.” Mark stood to get his glasses and returned, reading the food label.
“Mark? Its five fucking ingredients. Will you just eat it?”
Mark opened the lid and picked up a plastic fork, tasting it. After he chewed and swallowed, he said, “I looked into the paperwork Warren submitted for our helipad.”
He got Steve’s attention since he’d been trying to get them one since they settled into the mansion in Paradise. The drive was a little over an hour, so the former cop wanted a helicopter commute instead. “And?”
“He’s requested a full service helipad, when really, Steven, all we need is a vertiport.” Mark set the grain bowl aside and held his mug near his nose, since he loved the scent of coffee.
“A…what? Verti-port?”
“Yes. A pad. We don’t need a full service area with fuel pumps, etcetera.”
“I thought that’s what I asked for.” Steve finished his sandwich and picked up the grain bowl, tasting it.
“No, love. You asked for a helipad.” Mark gazed at his ex. “Steven, I had a read of the information for the FAA. You do realize if we do get a helistop or vertiport, it may be used for other residents. If there is some kind of emergency, medical, fire, earthquake, our property will be Grand Central Station.”
Steve’s expression sank and he set the bowl on the table. “Oh.”
“I assume we can fit a sixty-four by sixty-four foot platform, but, we still need to see what we are zoned for.” Mark set his cup down and ran his hand over his hair. “Warren hadn’t applied for an airspace study. But, Steven, he’s a butler, not an urban planner.”
“A butler.” Steve chuckled. “He’s not our butler.” He gathered the wrappers and threw them out.
“Well, whatever you wish to call him, he isn’t an urban planner.” Mark rose up and refilled his mug with more coffee.
“Mark?” Steve threw out the grain salad. “I know why Stan is going but…why are you going to LA?”
Mark shut off the heating plate for the coffee pot, since he had finished the contents. He held his cup near his mouth and met Steve’s gaze. “You know why.”
Mark sipped the strong coffee as he returned to his desk.
“You’re going to check on her pregnancy.” Steve stood near his own desk.
“Why do you ask when you already know?” Mark placed his cup on a warmer on his desk and sat behind it, putting his glasses back on.
“And Stan’s okay with that?”
“What’s this got to do with you?” Mark didn’t mean to sound cruel, but…Steven wasn’t his husband any longer.
“Other than the fact that you and Sharon had an affair at my dad’s funeral mass?”
“Yes.” Mark was serious. He didn’t want Steve involved.
Taking a seat at his desk, Steve appeared to read Mark and stopped his inquisition. He tapped at his computer keyboard and resumed working.
Mark’s mobile phone chimed. He put his glasses on and picked it up to see who was calling.
While his husband Lt Billy Sharpe was teaching at the LAPD police academy, Alexander Mark Richfield memorized lines. He had several auditions to perform this week for movie roles.
After spending the weekend with his dad in Paradise along with their extended family and friends, Alex was still on summer hiatus for his nighttime television cable show. He usually worked on a movie during that time.
Alex was sick of doing gay romances with full frontal nudity. He was going to be thirty years old. It felt odd to flash his dick now.
Standing in his home office/study, Alex printed off the sides for the first audition he had tomorrow. He brushed his long brown hair behind his shoulder and gathered the pages as they printed. A light touch against his leg drew his attention.
His lieutenant husband had gone fishing two weeks ago, and this puppy, this floppy, adorable, white Saluki-mix dog, adopted him.
Lady sniffed around the carpet and then looked up at him.
Her silly face made Alex smile. Alex returned his focus to his lines and read the scenes the director wanted him to audition with.
Alex sighed and carried the pages out of the study to memorize. He gazed outside of their Bel Air, California home to the view of the Getty Museum beyond their pool. As his thoughts turned to work once more, Alex picked up his phone and sent an actor friend a text, ‘you free?’
‘No. I’m very expensive.’
Smiling at Jeremy Runner’s sense of humor, Alex kept texting. ‘I want to ask you about an audition.’
‘yours or mine?’
Alex’s phone rang. He sat down at the kitchen table and Lady followed him, lapping at the water in her bowl and then sitting near the slider and staring outside.
“Hey,” Alex said as he answered.
“Hey, pixie. What audition are you referring to?”
“Adam found me four new films. Two are shitty gay romances. Want to costar in them with me?” Alex had already done two films with Jeremy, and fucking loved working with him. Although the handsome movie star was deeply in the closet, he did do gay film roles.
“Which films?”
“Venetian Blue and The Hard Way.” Alex read the titles from the pages or ‘sides’ he’d printed.
“Hang on.”
Alex stared at Lady, who was staring outside at the pool. “Do you want to go out?” he asked her.
She glanced back at him and her tail wagged slowly.
Alex stood and slid back the glass door. She stepped outside to the patio and sat back down, still staring out at the horizon.
“Ya there?” Jeremy asked over the phone.
“Yep.” Alex joined Lady outside since it wasn’t too hot out yet. He shut the slider behind him.
“I’m already reading for The Hard Way.”
Alex’s pulse rate soared. “Yeah?” He was thrilled.
“Let me guess. You’re reading the role of William Winsor.”
“And you’re Dick Hunt!” Alex laughed loudly and Lady’s long, floppy ears rose up as she stared at him.
“Laugh now, pixie, but you’re the one playing the whiney bitch while I’m the loser with a death wish.”
“We sound perfect for each other.” Alex hoped they were cast together.
“When’s your audition?”
“Tomorrow.” Alex tapped his phone to read the time. “At one.”
“Same here. I guess they had something in mind when they offered me the part. It appears the two of us together is a winning ticket.”
“Okay.” Alex felt so much better about this role now. “Adam also got me two auditions for non-gay, non-sexual comedy parts. But, they’re not headliners.”
“Then don’t do them.”
Alex sat on the foot of a padded lounge chair. Lady approached him and stood next to him. “Don’t do them? I have to do them. Jeremy, I’m stuck in a gay-full-frontal-rut.”
“Whatever, pixie. I have to run.”
“So, after the audition tomorrow, lunch?”
“I can swing coffee…how’s that?”
“Cool. See ya at the studio.” Alex smiled.
“You will.”
He disconnected the call and looked at Lady. “I get to work with Jeremy again!”
Lady wagged her fluffy tail and then stared into space.~