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Gentlemen's Agreement

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Book: Gentlemen's Agreement


Chapter 1

The Nation’s Top Male Model, Mark Antonious Richfield, typed on a keyboard while at his desk. Working in Sacramento at his garment manufacturing firm; Richfield-Miller International, Mark heard a tap at his office door. It was ajar and employees were welcome anytime.
He glanced at the second desk in the large executive suite, one his ex-husband, the first Mr ‘Richfield’, Steve Miller occupied. But he was not there at the moment.
Mark removed his eyeglasses and ran his fingers through his brown, shoulder-length hair. “Yes?”
His receptionist, Clarisse, poked her head beyond the open door. “I have a registered letter for you, Mr Richfield.”
Mark nodded and held out his hand.
Clarisse trotted across the wood flooring and handed him a large envelope. Mark read the return address and noticed Clarisse had signed for it.
She put her hands behind her back and waited.
Mark glanced at her from over his reading glasses. “Anything else?”
“No, sir.” She smiled brightly.
“Thank you, love.” Mark returned the sweet smile.
Clarisse spun around and left the office, allowing the door to remain ajar.
Mark used a letter opener on the top and slid the contents out. He knew immediately what it was and left it inside the manila envelope on his desk, and removed his eyeglasses.
Steven Jay Miller slouched low on an office chair in his company’s advertising department. They had designed a catalogue and ads for a clothing line RMI was now creating. Mark’s long history of modeling for a cologne company had made his handsome face an iconic sight in glamor and fashion magazines, as well as billboards all over the world, particularly Los Angeles.
In Hollywood, Mark’s half-naked body and gorgeous face was a common sight along the bustling boulevards.
Although, here in Sacramento, there were none. Steve didn’t think it was worth the money. In LA, yes. Definitely.
Even Dangereux Cologne thought so. After two decades of Mark’s trademark cologne line, including Dangereux ‘Red’ and Dangereux ‘Obsession’, Mark’s body, long hair and emerald-green eyes were as well-known as any celebrity movie star. Mark had worked on one movie, with his son, Alex, Venetian Blue, and also appeared in several television shows. But he did not consider himself an actor.
Other men had modeled with the company over the years, but the CEOs, including TJ Brown, the head man, were interested only in Mark. Steve knew advertising. He and Mark had worked for the largest PR/Ad firm in LA; Parsons & Company.
That’s where they’d met.
Although Mark didn’t model much any longer, since his work as the co-president of RMI and being a father of young children kept him busy, Mark’s reign as top male model had not changed.
Steve scrolled the colorful pages of the new pamphlet, which was as glossy as a magazine. It had a collection of Richfield menswear including business suits and smart casual apparel; accessories, like neckties, shirts, and pocket squares, and tie-bars and cufflinks, solid gold.
Steve loved the clothing. He wore RMI suits to work, loved the look, loved the fit, and loved the colors. Loved Mark.
While other graphic designers worked in the room on print and online ads, Steve saved the copy he had edited, then stood from the chair, buttoned the jacket of his blue suit, and left the office. He headed to the printing department of the huge corporate office, one of four. They had headquarters in New York, Paris, and London.
Steve strutted down the well-lit corridor, seeing Clarisse returning to her desk from the direction of his and Mark’s office suite. He smiled at her and she waved shyly and sat back down to answer phones.