Hollywood actor, Keith O’Leary, stared into his own blue eyes in a lighted mirror. His makeup artist patted powder on his nose and made sure his short blond hair just right for the new character he’d been cast to play.
Keith’s new network TV show, Bucking the System, was about a New York City cop, that becomes disgruntled with the system, and leaves New York to work as a private eye in Los Angeles. He played “Buck” Dylan.
He hadn’t had a starring role in a TV series since Paranormal Cops, which was cancelled very quickly, and of course, his first foray into acting, Forever Young. That nighttime premium cable series lasted nearly eleven seasons.
While being attended, Keith remembered those days of working with his husband Carl Bronson. They had met on the set of Forever Young. Keith had been cast as the pretty blue-eyed boy next door, to Carl’s more masculine character. Their director, Charlotte Deavers, had them doing very risqué scenes in bed together, pushing them beyond their comfort zones.
Not fun, but, he got a boyfriend and a husband out of the deal.
The stylist ran a comb over Keith short beard, which had grown in surprisingly well. He also had a tattoo on his shoulder of an eagle, so hopefully the limitation of the boy next door roles, vanished.
After months of struggling, doing theater, and drinking himself into oblivion, Keith had been cast to play a serial killer in When Death Knocks. That was the break he needed.
He won an Academy Award for it.
Then, boom! He was once more getting offers.
He liked TV. Liked the stability of a series, as long as it was a good one, and renewed.
Last night Carl had helped him memorize his lines for his scenes. Carl had been also cast in a new movie. So, he was going to be very busy as well.
It was November, and as the holidays approached, Keith thought about Paradise, California, and the estate where the Nation’s Top Male Model, Mark Antonious Richfield lived. He was eager to return there. Mark usually hosted Thanksgiving and Christmas with around thirty guests.
The mansion was enormous, with thirteen bedrooms, an annex with four more guestrooms, an indoor and an outdoor pool, a spa with a sauna, jacuzzi and weight room, a library, a theater room, a study, two dining rooms, a nook with a cozy sitting area, a stable with five horses, basketball and tennis courts, and a meadow where the men that lived there, ran daily.
He absolutely loved spending weekends there, and hopefully, he and Carl would once more be invited to dine on the sumptuous meals, and play the intense sports with the guys. They had missed the last gathering, because of the new parts.
“There ya go.” The stylist smiled and touched his hair lightly.
She backed up and Keith stood from the chair and inspected his outfit. He was wearing the character’s clothing, which was worn trousers and a shabby cotton shirt.
Leaving his phone behind, Keith had a passing thought about Mark’s birthday this month, but it soon vanished from his mind.
Still the reigning Nation’s Top Male Model, Mark Antonious Richfield, sat behind his desk at his and his ex-husband, Steve Miller’s garment manufacturing firm, Richfield-Miller International. His eyeglasses on, his computer screen in front of him, Mark was on the phone with his New York buyer. The company had offices in London, Paris, New York City, and here, in Sacramento, California.
“I do think the merino wool is going to be very big this year.” Mark was trying to set the trends, not follow them. “So, let’s go ahead and purchase the lot.”
“Got it, Mark.”
Mark peered at his ex. His former LAPD cop, former adman, turned CEO. Steven Jay Miller worked on the advertising and purchase orders and left the style and buying to Mark.
“I do think the fall colors we discussed back in August were quite a hit. They went mad for them.”
“They did! Even the burnt orange.” She laughed. “I think vintage is the new trend.”
“Yes.” Mark assumed he was now ‘vintage’ about to hit the big 5-0.
“Okay. Let me send out a request for the fabric. Anything else?”
“No, love, that’s it. Have a good weekend.”
Mark disconnected the call and removed his glasses, rubbing his eyes. He stood from his desk and brought his empty mug to the wet-bar in their office. He had made a fresh pot of decaffeinated coffee.
“Mm?” Steve kept typing.
“Would you like more coffee?” Mark held up the pot.
“Uh…” Steve paused in his typing and looked at him.
Mark smiled at his former hubby. Steven with his blue eyes and handsome good looks.
“How about water?” Steve asked.
Mark tipped out the rest of the decaf coffee into the sink, and opened their mini fridge. He removed a bottle of cold water, and brought it to Steven’s desk. Mark sat on the corner of it, sipping his coffee.
Steve cracked open the top and guzzled the water, then asked, “Who’s coming up to the house this weekend?”
Since it was only the middle of November, not Thanksgiving yet, Mark thought about it. “I assume your family.”