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Fool in the Rain

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Book: Fool in the Rain


Chapter 1

Carl Bronson was so furious he was shaking. Emerging from a black stretch limousine, an Oscar award clutched in his hand, Carl dug into his tuxedo pants’ pocket for his house key. White light flashed overhead. Carl glanced up at the Los Angeles night sky and noticed thick clouds overhead, obscuring the moon.
Seconds later a clap of thunder rumbled and large drops of rain fell in splats on the dry spotlight-lit pathway.
Carl poked the lock several times before he managed to stick the key into the deadbolt. His rage was rising with the coming electrical storm.
“Carl? It’s raining. Let’s go.”
Carl snarled and looked over his shoulder at his husband, fellow actor, Keith O’Leary. He finally managed to open the lock and threw back the door. He tapped a code into their alarm system and turned lights on as he progressed to his bedroom.
He heard the door close and Keith moving around the Beverly Hills home.
Carl stood in their bedroom and closed his eyes to calm down. Tonight was an amazing evening. A film he had starred in, B is for Bravo, had won ten Academy Awards. Ten! Including Best Picture with an all-star cast.
He had won Best Actor! He did! Over Jeremy Runner!!!
Carl set the award on a shelf with other awards he and Keith had won. This was Carl’s second Academy Award for Best Actor. He had won another Oscar years ago when he stared with Alexander Mark Richfield in a gay film about a closeted man who fell in love with a male prostitute.
Keith had won an Emmy for their cable TV drama Forever Young, but that was nearly ten years ago as well. Yes, his trophies outnumbered Keith’s, but, were they competing? He never felt that way…
Until now.
After tugging off his bowtie and opening the stiff tuxedo shirt collar, Keith stood at their wet-bar and poured himself a glass of bourbon. He didn’t want to be jealous. He didn’t! He was happy for Carl!
Keith shot the booze down in one gulp with a wince.
The sting brought tears to his eyes. Thunder rumbled overhead and shook their Beverly Hills home.
As Carl and his mega-costars stood on the stage and celebrated the multitude of awards their film had won, Keith wished it had been him; wished he had been on the stage with Carl and the others to celebrate.
With their nighttime cable drama, Paranormal PD, ready for the chopping block and cancelation, Keith was worried about his acting career. He was thirty-eight years old and dreaded being too old for youth parts and too young for mature parts. He wasn’t Carl. He wasn’t over six feet tall, nor muscular with thick dark hair and green eyes. He was small-framed, blond with blue eyes. But, did that mean he couldn’t audition for a role for a macho man?
He didn’t know who to be angry with; his agent, Adam Lewis, the movie studios, or himself.
Keith set his empty glass in the kitchen sink and made his way to his and Carl’s bedroom. Carl’s tuxedo was hanging on a hanger near their closet, and the water was running in the bathroom sink.
Keith noticed the new trophy and approached it. He read Carl’s name, the date, and the movie title.
The fact that Carl Bronson had won the nomination and award over seasoned vets like Diesel VanDen, Jeremy Runner, and Randy Dawson, amazed him.
He and Carl both began their climb to fame together in that nighttime cable TV show, Forever Young. That show had run for nine seasons, or nearly. When it ended, Carl made the transition right into film, starring in one after the other.
Keith’s career was doing poorly. The one film he had made, Lost, was shown at a film festival, and then tanked on its release. Then, he had done a theater play when he was out of work. Sure, it was nice. Yes, he got some accolades but in the end…no award.
In just his briefs, Carl stepped out of the bathroom. He didn’t look at Keith when he said, “You’re not sleeping in here tonight.” Carl set the throw pillows on a bench near the window, and turned down the spread.
Keith watched him, feeling helpless.
Carl relaxed on the king-sized bed, turned on the TV first, then held his phone and disengaged himself from Keith.
As Carl read through his missed messages, he laughed and smiled, as if many friends were congratulating him.
Keith grabbed his pajamas from a drawer and left the room. He tossed the night clothing on the spare bed and stared at it, losing his mind.