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Leaving Home

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Book: Leaving Home


Chapter 1

Saturday morning, the weekend before Thanksgiving, Steven Jay Miller decided it was his turn to plan a fun event. He pulled his black Mercedes into a parking lot and peered over at his pilot boyfriend, Toby Smith. Toby, an extreme athlete, had taken Steve camping…groan…dirt bike racing…ouch…and rock climbing…no way.

He parked his car and exited it, feeling the brisk autumn wind coming from the mountains. Toby bumped him playfully on the walk to the entrance. They wore jeans, T-shirts, and light jackets. Steve’s was leather, Toby’s was fleece.

Noise of motors revving floated through the crisp air. Leaves blew over the tarmac, dancing and spinning in the delightful coolness.

Steve held open a glass door for Toby and he passed through the entrance. Steve led the way to a counter, and smiled as he took his wallet out of his pocket.

Sure he was in his mid-forties and Toby was only in his thirties, but there was one thing Steve, the former LAPD cop could do better than his beau…maybe?


Steve grinned at Toby as he paid for the go-kart race tickets, and couldn’t wait to be on a track, racing, against the top flying ace.


The Nation’s Top Male Model, Mark Antonious Richfield, galloped on his white Arabian horse, Piccadilly’s Phantom. The coming holiday weekend made Mark happy. He was hosting only a very small Thanksgiving dinner. Just for the few of them living at the estate this time. Everyone else had plans.

For Christmas this year Mark expected over thirty guests.

After turning the big 5-0 last week, Mark had survived and tried stopped obsessing over age…for now.

He already finished his winter modeling shoot for his trademark cologne line Dangereux. He had even toured with the group for a few days, so he was free to just enjoy life and his three small children.

Mark slowed his horse to a walk as he made it across the meadow to the base of the hills. On his chest in a carrier, was his daughter, Lily Hayden. She was turning one this Christmas. Mark patted her belly gently after the brisk gallop, and she giggled and wiggled in delight.

Behind Mark, also on horseback, was his second husband, a young man of twenty-eight, Stan Charles Richfield. His stunning six-foot-four actor hubby had their youngest son, Jacob Bentley, in his carrier. Jacob, the result of an affair with Mark and his ex-fiancée Sharon Tice-Hill, was going to be two years old this December. Behind Stan, who rode a big Percheron-mix, Bollward’s Tempest, or Bull, was Jack Larsen.

Jack, Mark’s best friend since college, was riding a sleek black thoroughbred, Shadow of the Knight. With Jack, on that fast steed, was Mark’s son, Isaac Milton. Isaac was three years old. He and his sister, Lily, were both from the same surrogate, a close friend of Stan’s, Becca McKenna.

Behind Jack was Mark’s eldest son, Alexander Mark Richfield. Alex was thirty-two, and a Hollywood star. He rode his palomino, Golden Thunder. Behind Alex, was Chloe Wolinski, his ex-husband, Steve Miller’s fourteen-year-old niece. Chloe rode Sally, a sweet quarter horse mare.

The little train of equines walked the trail, which was single file as it wound up the hilly landscape.

They were all wearing jackets and long pants, since the base of the Sierra Nevada Mountains was chilly, and the tops were snow-covered, throughout most of the winter.

Mark peered back at the line behind him and smiled, happy for an easy weekend, one before next week’s enjoyable Thanksgiving feast.