The clocks had been turned back an hour, the evenings grew dark by six pm, and the rains had returned to California.
Mark Antonious Richfield gazed outside at the wet street. He, his eleven-month-old son, Isaac Milton Richfield, or ‘Zak’ and his husband Stan Charles Richfield were staying with his eldest son, Alexander and his husband, Lt Billy Sharpe, in their home in Bel Air, California.
Monday morning, he and his son Alex were going to begin production on a feature film they were costarring in, Venetian Blue, a love story about a young man who falls for both, a father and a son.
Mark had never appeared in a feature film. Cable TV? Print and commercial ads for modeling, yes. But, acting in a film, no.
Alexander was the ‘it’ boy in Hollywood. Mark’s thirty- year-old son was cast in film after film, as well as starring in a nighttime cable TV drama, one that had just been renewed for another season.
Alex had just completed a gay romance film with Jeremy Runner. The two men had costarred in three films to date, and Alex enjoyed his work with Mr Runner.
Mark peered down at his feet. Alex’s white Saluki-mix puppy, Lady, was standing next to him while he and Stan waited for Alex and Billy to come home from work. Mark picked Lady up in his arms so they could wait for Alex and Billy together.
Stan had fed Isaac and put him down for a nap. Using the guestroom in Billy’s house as both a nursery and his and Mark’s bedroom was slightly inconvenient. He and Mark lived in a sprawling estate in Paradise, California. That thirteen bedroom mansion had all they needed to care for the baby, including a chef and nursery. Not to mention, Tadzio Andresen, Steve’s wife, and Blake Hughes, a firefighter friend, who had been helping him out with Zak.
Tadzio was in Paradise with Steve Miller, her husband, helping Steve out at Mark and Steve’s garment manufacturer, Richfield-Miller International.
Blake had left work from a back injury, and he and his new husband, Hunter Rasmussen, sold their home in Los Angeles and relocated to the mansion, permanently.
Blake was their full time nanny, and Hunter had been hired to work for Cal-Fire in Butte County as a captain.
While Stan gazed at his son napping in a portable crib, he regretted coming here with the baby. If he had stayed up north, he’d have Tadzio and Blake helping him with Zak. And Sierra, their chef would cook Zak his meals and warm his formula bottles. As he thought about the reason why he had come with Mark, he grew annoyed. He and Zak had come to be with Mark while he filmed his movie in Los Angeles.
It made sense, right? Zak wouldn’t be away from his daddy, and he would be sleeping with his husband instead of seven hours away.
That- plus keeping tabs on the top model. Mark’s ex-fiancée, Sharon Tice-Hill was expecting a baby. A baby that may be Mark’s.
Wasn’t that the real reason he and Zak had to be put through this bullshit?
Stan heard Lady ‘yip!’ and then the sound of the double garage doors opening.
A very loud car engine purred and stilled. Since Alex drove a Ferrari and Billy a Corvette Stan didn’t know who had come home.
He left the guest bedroom, closing the door partway so Zak didn’t wake from his nap until dinnertime.
Lady danced around the kitchen until the connecting door opened and the lieutenant stepped in.
Billy placed a duffle bag down near the mudroom and crouched to unlace his running shoes. Lady hopped up, trying to lick his face.
Mark paused at the arched threshold, smiling at the hard-working police lieutenant. Billy had been in the police force for nearly thirty years, and was now teaching defensive tactics at the academy.
Billy rolled Lady to her back playfully and gave her a belly rub, then he stood tall and asked, “When did you two get here?”
“We arrived about an hour ago.” Mark brushed his long, shoulder-length brown hair back from his eyes. The stunning model wore black slacks and a black silky long-sleeved designer shirt.
They had driven to Los Angeles from Paradise in Steve’s Mercedes. Steve’s car was a sedan and could fit the car seat.
The plan was for Alex and his dad to commute together in Alex’s Ferrari, and for him to have the Mercedes to use while here.
Zak slept for a part of the drive down, but they let him nap a little longer until Alex and Billy arrived home.
Billy washed his hands at the sink and opened the refrigerator. “I don’t know what we should do for dinner.”
Mark returned to the living room and stood near the front window, gazing outside.
No. This isn’t going to work. Stan wanted to stay in Paradise with Zak. He did not want to spend nearly two months here. But, since they had just arrived today, Stan was going to give this arrangement until Monday, when he was left alone with Zak, then, he was going to tell Mark he didn’t want to stay here, and was going to take Isaac home.