The Nation’s Top Male Model Mark Antonious Richfield waited for the limousine to stop in front of his eldest son, Alexander’s, Bel Air home. His chauffeur, Dean, exited the car and opened the door for him.
“Thank you.” Mark tucked cash into Dean’s hand in gratitude.
“You bet, Mark. Have a good evening.”
Mark, holding a folder in his hand, walked to the front door. He stopped short. A string of colored Christmas lights had been hung around one living room window. It was the first time Mark had seen his son or his son-in-law, LAPD Lt Billy Sharpe, decorate their home. The lights had been hung indoors, but showed through the glass.
Barking came from inside as Mark turned his key.
His son’s floppy white saluki-mix dog was spinning around in excitement at Mark’s arrival home.
Mark had spent the day in the movie studio with Alex, shooting a feature film, Venetian Blue, with him. After the shoot, he had an appointment at a lawyer’s office.
Mark crouched down to pet Lady as she whimpered and rolled to her back. The scent of cooked food was in the air and Mark realized his son and the lieutenant were in the kitchen.
Mark took off his leather jacket and dropped it on the sofa, then entered the kitchen, putting the envelope down on the counter.
“Hi, Dad.” Alex smiled at him as he chewed.
Billy asked, “Did you eat?”
“No.” Mark rinsed his hands and inspected the meal. They had baked frozen lasagna. Not Mark’s thing. He opened the refrigerator and took out a container of Greek yogurt.
Mark mixed it with fresh blueberries in a small bowl and joined his son and the lieutenant at the kitchen table.
Lady sat next to Billy’s chair and stared at him was he ate.
“How’d the meeting go?” Billy asked as he devoured a huge portion of lasagna.
“All right, I think.” Mark brushed his hair out of his eyes as he ate the yogurt. “It depends on how hard Ms Tice is willing to battle me.”
“Her husband is clueless?” Alex asked, brushing his long hair behind his shoulder.
Billy paid attention to Mark’s answer.
“Sharon and Jackie have both lied to the poor man. They tried to convince him Sharon and I did not have sex last February.” Mark’s hands were shaking from his nerves, so he set the spoon down and tried to relax. He stood back up and poured himself a glass of water from a filtered pitcher, and sat back down.
“Larsen lied to him?” Billy used bread to mop up his sauce, then wiped his hands on a paper napkin. “Do you mean Jack deliberately misled him?”
“Yes. That’s precisely what I mean.”
“Poor Jackie.” Alex pouted.
“Poor Jackie?” Mark echoed. “He’s supposed to be on my side, Alexander, not hers.”
Billy stood from the table and set his dish in the sink. “Mark? Are you having any lasagna?”
“No.” Mark finished the bowl of yogurt and sipped his water as he watched Billy open a ceramic cookie jaw and hold a treat in his hand for Lady.
She spun around, sat, held up her paw, and then stood on her hind legs. A virtual repertoire of moves designed to get her a snack.
He tossed it to her and she snatched it out of the air.
“Dad? We have lines to memorize.” Alex carried his dish to the sink as Billy rinsed them and placed them into the dishwasher. Alex wrapped the leftovers and waved him out. “I’ve printed the sides.”
Mark sat for a moment as his son and son-in-law hustled around, then he took a deep breath for strength and stood from the table.