The nation’s Top Male Model, Mark Antonious Richfield, held a list in his hand and nudged his reading glasses higher on the bridge of his nose. He was hosting Thanksgiving weekend and wanted to make sure the guests were well taken care of.
His manservant, Warren, stood next to him with his own list, lingering on the second floor near the grand mahogany staircase in the thirteen-bedroom manor house in Paradise, California.
“Jeff and Mickey…” Mark pointed down the hallway, trying to get the right men in the right bedrooms. “Joshua and Tanner…”
Warren ticked off the names with his pen as Mark said them.
Mark read his own scribbled notes, “I have Carl and Keith downstairs, but we have the master bedroom suite.” Mark asked Warren, “Do you think they’d be more comfortable in it?”
“We used to put Steven’s family there.”
“I don’t want Susan climbing the stairs any longer.” Mark referred to Steve’s elderly mother. Steven Jay Miller was his first husband, who he had divorced, and was remarrying this weekend while their friends and family were here.
“Right. Let’s keep Laura and Barry on the first floor so they can be near Chloe and Susan.” Warren notated on his pad.
Mark agreed, thinking Steve’s sister, her husband, Barry, and their teenage daughter Chloe, would be able to look after Susan if she needed assistance.
Mark went back to his list. “Joe and Jeremy?”
“Perhaps they would like the master suite instead of Carl and Keith?”
“Yes.” Mark thought Joe Scarbino, the community police team cop and his actor husband, Jeremy Runner, would indeed enjoy the posh suite. After his mother Leslie, had sold the property to two Brits, they remodeled the home almost entirely, including the master suite. It was so large, they turned it into a self-contained space, with its own kitchen and sitting area. Since it was the farthest bedroom from the staircase and lower floor it made sense to have a small kitchenette inside it.
All the bedrooms had bathrooms attached.
When Mark purchased the home back, he added a garage annex with parking for four more cars. Above the spaces he created four additional bedrooms. It didn’t appear this year they were going to need them.
“Oh my.” Mark pouted in exaggeration. “I don’t think we’ll even fill all the bedrooms in the main house this Thanksgiving.”
Warren gazed at him from over his pen and pad.
“What?” Mark took off his reading glasses to study his manservant’s look of concern. A friend he relied on for a decade. “Warren? Say it.”
“Billy and Alex.”
Warren held up his hand. “You said to say it.”
As Mark thought about his eldest son, thirty-five-year-old Alexander Mark Richfield, and how he had betrayed him by sleeping with his young second husband, Stan Bergman, he battled with his hurt feelings.
Alex and Stan had an affair while on the location of a Viking film they had shot together in Denmark.
Subsequently, Mark had divorced Stan and was about to remarry his first husband, a man closer to his own age.
And the reason Mark had divorced his first husband, Steven?
His two young sons ran up the grand staircase to him.
Steve didn’t want children. He did.