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I've Always Loved You - 28. Making the Movie, Day One

I'm still writing this story, just not as frantically. It will continue as no story ends. More coming. This is more fanfiction as I use names and if I want to make money, I'll have to edit them out and change them. You may need to go back a chapter or two. The movie is being made. I write in the first person except when I talk about the characters they play. I hope it isn't confusing.

Who was anyone at Disneyland or Disneyworld? Or any of the other Disney parks? No one really paid that much attention to the four of us who wandered around the park. Chet wanted to do everything! There were so many movies that made Disney from Snow White to Star Wars! The characters were all there. Coasters were everywhere! We hit a few several times. We each had ball caps and dark glasses, so no one knew who we were. Parking was the first challenge, but the Disney people knew how to deal with that. Hate me if you want to, but I presented a manager with my standing invitation. We did not stand in line anywhere. It isn’t fair, I know.

Mike found what drew his attention. Starbucks! He zeroed in on that first thing!

“You had coffee this morning!” Chet objected. Not that he was bothered by anything other than having to slow down just a trifle.

Mike’s head wavered slightly, “Well, I want another one! We don’t all have your endless energy!”

I picked up a cap with the traditional bill, but also the Mickey ears. I took the cap he had on and stuffed it in the bag we brought to carry...things. I put the new cap on him. “Here.” I grinned. “For the delay.”

“We’re going to be here a few weeks,” Mark reminded Chet. “I think we can talk them into another visit or two.”

Mike looked at a sign and pointed, “See what it says here?”

Chet looked and smirked, “They happiest place on Earth.” He nodded.

“I’ll be even more happy after I get my coffee!” Mike justified.

“Can I have my cold latte?” I asked.

“I want a caramel macchiato!” Mark said happily.

Chet blew a breath of impatience away, “Sure. Do you want to sit while you drink it?”

“We have all day!” Mike stated.

 

It was after a rollercoaster Mike said quietly to me, “I know you build up for a performance. How are you now? You go to the studio tomorrow.”

“This is unfamiliar territory for me,” I admitted. “Right now, I’m fine.”

“I’m here for you,” Mike assured me. “Anytime. You have Ray on speed dial...you have a lot of support.” He looked up at Chet. “Let’s do another coaster and then break for lunch.”

“Where are we eating?” Chet asked.

Mike’s eyes widened, “Are you kidding me? We’re surrounded by places to eat!”

Mark leaned toward Chet, “He’s being practical. He doesn’t want you to barf on the coaster.”

I grinned, “Mickey invited us. We want him to invite us back. We shouldn’t throw up in his nice rollercoaster.”

“You’re doing the Gay Days again?” Mike asked. “I know they plan for this movie to be out by June.”

I nodded, “Absolutely!” I agreed. I looked at Chet, “Unless someone gets tired of all this.”

“We’re going again!?” Chet said excitedly. “I’ll never get tired of this!” He looked at Mark, “You come with us, too, Uncle Mark!”

“It’s on my calendar!” Mark stated. “I’ll be there!”

 

We did go to the Smokejumpers Grill. Burgers and fries! Who would object to that? Mark and Mike got triples! Meaning three burgers on the bun! I got a double. Chet got a single, but we knew there would be more later. The fries were golden, crispy, and delicious. Chet got a bit impatient when we told him to wait for his lunch to settle before hitting another ride. That went away when we took him where they showed how movies were made! The sound in this case. He put on a helmet which didn’t let you see. Then Mickey walks in the office where you were getting a haircut! Yes! You would swear those scissors were just beside your ear! The Mickey comes in as you relax with the warm towel over your face. He was right there, beside you. You heard him go from one side to the other, hearing him walk! Three-dimensional sound! Right there! It was amazing!

The sun was setting when we finally decided to leave, promising Chet we would come back before we headed back to Fort Worth. He was sound asleep before we hit the highway.

I hoped we could include Mark on a few more trips. He and another person he may be interested in.

 

Alarm clocks. I detested those things. Yes, very important for those who had lives to keep up with. I was hating the one by Mike’s and my bed when it went off that “cheerful” Monday morning. Mike was getting up as well.

“You have an appointment?” I asked groggily.

“I do have things to get done,” Mike muttered. “Chet’s still in school. I’m still in school. I have the others from the ILGTA to get this Global Gay Pride thing going.” He sighed and then smiled brightly, “I’m going to ask them about my broadcasting my side of the story where I was raised...” he shrugged, “busy, busy.’ He looked very seriously at me. “You have made a little boy and his father very happy. Thank you.”

I nodded and smiled, “I told you. I have a purpose. Making him happy, I make you happy. I win.”

“He’s had a rough year,” Mike said sadly. “You’ve helped so much.” He chuckled, “You’re doing Gay Days again?”

“As many years as they want me,” I nodded. “We’ll see if Chet gets tired of Mickey Mouse.”

Mike’s eyes grew, “Not possible! No one can get tired of Mickey Mouse!”

“And Donald, Goofy, Buzz...” I grinned tapping his chest. “We made Disney what it is!”

“We?” Mike asked. “As in gays?”

“Hell, yeah!” I answered quickly. “All of us, the creative minds out there. You know we did!” I grinned, “We need to get going. We can share the shower.” I stopped him, “If we shower.”

“Yes,” Mike grinned. “Shower.”

 

We did enter the dining area where Tankiso and Cindy were setting up for breakfast.

“Good morning!” Cindy greeted happily. “Coffee is ready, she took out a mug and poured a mug and handed it to Mike. “We have the usual cream and sugar.” She was peppy! “I wasn’t sure what Chet will like,” she looked at Mike as she shook a big spoon in his direction, “One more time...he has no food allergies, such as peanut allergies.”

Mike chuckled, “No. His main intake has been peanut butter. He loves it.”

I nodded, “I love it still!”

Cindy chuckled, “Good, I have a peanut butter and banana oatmeal.” She pointed at a pot behind her. “I have a Chocolate Hazelnut Smoothie. I can make Tacos with Bacon and Spinach...”

“Marry me,” Mark said as he came in.

A rapid sound of feet behind him as Chet came rushing in. “Morning!” He said loudly and climbed on a tall stool to eat breakfast.

Mike chuckled, “It’s the time of day, yes it is.”

Inga came in, “We’ll be leaving for the studio in an hour or so.”

I nodded, “I’m never late.” I grinned at Cindy. “I do prefer a high protein breakfast. I don’t know how long I’ll be at the studio.”

Mark looked at everyone in the dinette, “With Avi and Eli coming on Sunday, this house will be crowded!”

Chet was looking as well, “All these people to make a movie!?” He asked surprised. “Wow!”

Mike chuckled, “And almost everyone at Mr. Cox’s party plus a whole lot more.”

“Wait!” Chet realized something, “Uncle Eli and Uncle Avi eat kosher meals!” He looked at Cindy, “You can cook kosher meals?”

Cindy put a steaming bowl in front of Chet, “Both Andy and I can make anything for anybody.” She held her hand up, “I promise. No one will go hungry.”

Chet’s head tilted slightly, “I don’t know.” He grinned. “Uncle Avi is a big man. You may face a challenge to fill him up.”

Cindy nodded, “I accept the challenge. What time will they be here on Sunday? I make a mean Za’atar fried chicken with spicy Thyme Honey!”

Tankiso simply snorted lightly, “Do they share Mr. Calhoun’s love of coffee?”

I smiled and touched Mike gently, “No one has Mike’s habit like he has.” I shrugged, “To be honest, I don’t know. I still say we should find a twelve-step program for coffee addiction.”

Mike shook his head, “I won’t go if there is.”

Tankiso nodded as he thought, “It never hurts to plan ahead.”

Chet sunk his spoon in the bowl and ate the first spoonful. His eyes grew in size. “Wow! This is really good!”

Cindy grinned, “And that’s why I made it! You’ll all have the energy to get through the day!”

 

Mark and I were going to the studio. Mike and Chet were to begin their weekday away from their schools.

“Amy called this morning,” Mark said as we rode to the studio. “It seems the Atkins are mounting another attempt to get Chet.” I know my eyes told him what I didn’t say. “Apparently they have been following what’s happening in your world very closely. The idea of this movie you’re doing isn’t sitting well with them.”

“That isn’t surprising,” I said simply. “Can they do it?”

Mark shook his head, “I just need you to be aware. There will be attacks on your reputation and against you and Mike. You don’t need to be surprised.”

I looked at Mark more firmly, “Isn’t there something you can do legally to stop these attempts?” My hand went up helplessly, “An injunction or something?”

Mark’s left eyebrow rose a little, “Listen to you trying to be all judicial!” He shook his head, “No, this is a slippery slope. Dealing with religion and parenting is a complex situation. Freedom of religion is a protected right in the United States.” He sighed, “They could belong to the Church of Puff the Magic Dragon. If it is an established religion...” his head wavered, “or even not so established religion, it is protected.” He got a look in his eye that told me I might not like what he was going to say next. “Amy suggested a countersuit.”

“Meaning we sue them,” I said to be sure.

“It could tie them up in litigation for years,” Mark explained. He grinned, “I am contracts. That’s my thing. Amy is more domestic law. They keep finding new things to bring to the court’s attention. A lawsuit would start them on a lengthy battle.”

I nodded, “We just take up any free time.”

“Right,” Mark nodded.

“Mike didn’t want to get Chet to hate them,” I groaned.

“They’ve done that to themselves,” Mark pointed out.

“You know,” I began. “Mike is going forward telling everyone what happened in his past.”

Mark nodded, “I think that’s best.”

“You might consider doing that yourself,” I suggested carefully.

Mark’s eyes widened, “Telling everyone about my uncle and father!?”

“To start putting it behind you,” I said hurriedly. I sighed and pressed on, “Saturday night proved that every family has something to overcome! Mike Cox is a wealthy man, but his children have things they need to overcome. You saw that with Caleb.”

Mark sat back a bit, “And what have you overcome? Since the day we met, you had an ideal life!”

“Ideal!?” I repeated incredulously. Watching Mark’s face, he knew what he said was wrong. “It was hardly ideal. My father was very smart. So was my mother. If it weren’t for my mother’s worry about all the things that could go wrong, I would have been forced to the streets barely old enough to be on my own!”

“Sorry,” Mark said quickly, trying to wave me down, “I didn’t think.”

“No,” I said a little indignantly. “Something brought them to that horrible church I would struggle with. I was almost to the point of suicide! I ran. From the church and even from God!” I looked away as I went on, “I have struggled to understand what they were looking for that was missing in their lives.” I shrugged, “I have no idea.” I nodded and looked at Mark, “I often think my obsession with music was a way of freeing myself from whatever they were forcing on me.”

Mark took my hand, “I’m sorry.” He smiled at me. “You are a gifted musician and performer. I said what I did as a diversion.” He sighed, “I’ll think about it.”

 

As my style was, I was not late. Where the studio was to the house we stayed in had been chosen for ease going to and from.

It was still pretty early in the morning. As with everyone on the planet we gathered around where we were shooting the movie and they ate donuts, drank coffee and just milled around. Spotting Tom I walked over to him. He got a steaming tall cup of coffee of liquid from the barista. Tom smelled the steam.

“Oh, man,” Tom swore quietly, “This smells wonderful.”

I had to admit it, it did smell great!

The young woman serving the coffee nodded, “Mr. Cox insists on providing those working on the movie get the best.” She smiled and her voice dropped half an octave. “To get the best performance, you have to provide them the best.” She couldn’t have been older than twenty-five years old. Blonde. I was cursed with them all around me. She was very pretty, but here in the land of illusion pretty was a dime a dozen. Here you made it if you could sing, dance, act, and were loved by the camera. “What can I get you?” She asked me smiling her charming smile.

“An iced vanilla latte?” I asked. It looked as if she had everything needed to make anything.

“You got it,” she nodded and turned to begin making it. “I can add the shots of espresso.” She waved at her supplies, “I have every prized bean from the Ivory Coast, Guatemala, to Hawai’i. Any preference?”

“As long as it isn’t Sanka,” I muttered. I held my hand up, “Nothing wrong with Sanka as a non-caffeinated coffee! However, my mother drank that for years and I associated all coffee with that. When I got real coffee the first time made by a professional, I was hooked. Two shots of espresso, please?” I looked at Tom. “Swear to me.” I shook my finger at Tom, “Do NOT tell Mike about this. He’ll insist on coming with me and won’t leave.”

Tom crossed his heart, “No, not a word from me.” He swore.

 

Introductions had been done the previous Saturday night at Mike Cox’s party. The director passed out a schedule as to when and who were to be where at which time. I knew they often shot scenes out of order, and it was everyone’s job to do it well. Musicals were big in the fifties and sixties. It was all those names at the end of a movie whose job was to put the scenes together to make the movie understood. Yes, there was going to be music in this movie and yes, I had some dancing I would do. However, no character would just stop and break into song during any scene. No sudden dances would just come about where all there danced a complex dance they all knew. I played a man that was a major influence for a nightclub and the owner knew that. Tom’s character was the son of a primary law partner in a multimillion-dollar law firm who was about to become a partner! All the pressures he got growing up from his father and he realized something was missing. Everyone that knew Corey saw a handsome, viral man about to take his place in the world. During a night out wandering through town, he stumbles on the nightclub and sees Daniel, my character, and falls in love. It was a tried plot, but the message was clear. Love. Did it matter that the two main characters were male? The pressure from life, family, society, and culture included, but they loved each other! It might be the twenty-first century or hundreds of years before; the same issues were always surfacing. It was a love story and also a story of triumph!

The director was Angie Lee. Yep, a female. About five feet and a half an inch and not one of the pretty ones. While not ugly, she paid little attention to her appearance except to be clean. She had some successes with several films, two with main characters who were gay. In giving a quick talk to everyone she ended saying, “...we want this to be a good film! This will not be a gay film! However, if we can get a few more people to see a love story as important as anyone, that will be an accomplishment. I want everyone that sees it to be supporting our two main characters in the end.”

The studio was broken in sections and there was an entire club set up in here, with a stage and tables. It looked like a bar! Different backdrops would be erected behind glass windows that would show a downtown sidewalk and the impression of a great outside world.

And so, it began. We read through the scene where Corey returns to The Club during his lunch hour and meets Daniel personally. This was when the magic of Hollywood really took place.

“You did fine reading lines,” Angie said. “I didn’t feel it flow naturally.” She explained to us, “Feel free to adlib what feels right. You have the direction the scene should go. Use your own judgement to get the audience where we want them. Follow your own compass.”

The Club was setting up for another night that was coming up. Staff were setting the tables, sweeping, and arranging and restocking the bar. Daniel was at a large, black grand piano as he worked on a song he was working on as he made changes, erasing something and writing something new on the sheet of music before him. Daniel was wearing a simple pair of jeans and in a t-shirt.

One of the men setting up the seating in front of the stage looks up as Corey comes in. Corey was in a very expensive double-breasted suit unbuttoned and loose. “We’re not open. Come back after six tonight.”

Corey smiles and pointed at the stage, “I didn’t come for a drink. I came to see him.”

“Someone to see you, Dan,” the staff member announced loudly.

Daniel looks up from what he was doing to see Corey standing at the door. Daylight streaming through the open door of The Bar. “Can I help you?”

Corey walked across the large floor to the stage, “I was here two nights ago.”

Daniel nodded, “Okay.”

“I was amazed,” Corey smiled.

“About what?” Daniel asked.

“This is not the sort of gay bar I expected,” Corey admitted.

Daniel smiled more turning more to face Corey, “And what did you expect?”

Corey’s head bobbed slightly, “That show you gave was phenomenal.” He waved at the surrounding bar. “There were no men off having sex. They stood, danced around, and they listened. They were having a good time but controlled themselves.”

Daniel nodded again, “Ah,” he said knowingly, “You were expecting Babylon perhaps?”

“Where?” Corey asked to clarify.

“You’re not from L.A.” Daniel said. “Where are you from?”

“San Francisco,” Corey answered.

Daniel’s eyes widened, “And you’ve never been to a gay bar!?”

Corey chuckled, but nodded slightly, “I have to say no. Babylon?”

“From the show Queer as Folk,” Daniel answered.

“Oh, yes,” Corey chuckled. “Nor is it like the Birdcage.”

“Long before the internet there were singles’ bars. A place where others seeking the same thing gathered in hopes of finding someone for fifteen minutes, a few hours or possibly longer. All gay bars are not the same,” Daniel stated. “However, like the Birdcage, I try to put on a good show four nights a week for a group of guys that are mostly gay.”

“Four nights?” Corey asked. “You’re open five nights a week.”

“Yes,” Daniel nodded with a smile. “Tonight is dyke night. Our female gay patrons demand their own night. They have their own show and talent.”

“Tuesdays,” Corey said carefully.

Daniel shrugged, “They have a pretty loyal group.”

“You are this club’s owner,” Corey qualified.

“I am one of the owners,” Daniel said. “As long as I bring in customers, that is.”

“From what I saw, you had this place packed,” Corey declared.

“For two hours a night,” Daniel added. “I do two shows, an hour each beginning at ten in the evening. Another about one in the morning.” He pointed at Corey, “So, you’re...”

Corey’s eyes widened, “What!? No! I just...”

“Wanted what?” Daniel asked, again with the knowing smile. “Why are you in L.A?”

“We are opening a branch office in San Diego. We have one in L.A.” Corey admitted.

“A branch office doing what?” Daniel asked.

“We have major offices in San Francisco, Manhattan and Dallas,” Corey said reluctantly. “We have smaller ones in Atlanta and here in L.A.” His eyes went up and hesitantly admitted, “We’re a law firm. Fielding and Fielding.”

Daniel let out a slow whistle, “That’s a pretty powerful law firm. You need a branch in San Diego.”

Corey nodded, “We are. My father is the second Fielding. I am to put my name as the third. My grandfather was the first.”

Daniel nodded again, “To make it Fielding, Fielding and Fielding.” He looked at Corey again knowing something he wasn’t being told. “There are gay lawyers, gay doctors, gay university professors as well as gay cops, teachers...what brought you here two nights ago?”

“Simon,” Corey began, “a junior partner with the office in L.A. loves you.” He chuckled. “He wanted to show me a good time.” Corey shrugged, “I think he was fishing to see if I was gay or not.”

“And finding we weren’t off in corners giving blowjobs or just having sex surprised you,” Daniel nodded. “Many gays want the same as others. I for one am looking for the white picket fence, the house with a child or two in the yard.” He laughed lightly, “We are in every race, culture, and position in life. We can run and become mayors and governors. I’ll tell you what I observe. You have no wedding ring. That suit you’re in probably doesn’t have any labels as it was made for you exclusively and costs thousands of dollars. You’re old money. Where did you go to law school? Harvard? Yale?”

Corey blushed, “Yale. For my prelaw and graduate school. I graduated at the top of my class.”

“Of course, you did,” Daniel nodded. “You’re interest in this life is because you think you might be gay.”

Corey was now very uncomfortable, “I can’t be.” He said softly worried.

“Because your family wouldn’t approve,” Daniel nodded. “Most fathers won’t.”

“Does your father?” Corey asked.

“Absolutely not,” Daniel shook his head. “My father is a minister. My life is a sin.” He said simply.

“But you don’t think so,” Corey said.

“No,” Daniel answered. “We are just as honest and hard working as any man.” He grudged a nod, “And we are as dishonest and immoral as any man. The Bible says things about our particular sin in a few places. You belong to what church?”

“Roman Catholic,” Corey answered.

“Is it possible to be Catholic and gay?” Daniel asked. “I am a Christian and I am gay.” He got up from the piano stool. “As I’m not performing tonight, I’ll even join you in a drink. What would you like?”

“Bourbon?” Corey asked.

Daniel grinned, “The denomination I was raised in would tell me that is a sin.” He pointed out. “That message has been garbled. Abstinence is the best way for someone not to be an alcoholic. The Bible even tells the first miracle Jesus did was turning water into premium wine! I say it’s not a sin. Being drunk is the sin.” He led Corey to the bar area and went behind the bar. “The laws that tell us about the sin is by the Jewish people for man. Levitical laws cover everything including what a woman is supposed to have done once a month following her memes. We shouldn’t each shrimp, but I love them.” He poured a short glass for Corey. “God wrote the commandments we should follow. Not one time did he mention gay sex. Fornication and adultery, yes,” he shrugged, “Then again men often had several wives. Should we allow that?” He picked up his glass as he held it up. “Here’s to a better understanding.” He and Corey touched their glasses. Daniel grinned at Corey’s grimace of the first swallow. “It’s good bourbon.”

Corey grinned back, “Yes it is.” He managed.

“I’ve known gay Christians, Jews, Muslims, Atheists and even followers of Shiva,” Daniel said. “Are you staying here? Or are you going back to San Francisco?”

Corey looked away, “I will go back tomorrow.” He grinned. “Do you date?”

Daniel smiled more grandly, “Are you asking me out?”

Corey grinned, “Isn’t that what we’re supposed to do?”

“Yes, it is,” Daniel admitted. “When are you coming back?”

“This weekend?” Corey asked.

Daniel nodded, “With our crowd, I think all the cards need to be on the table.” He chuckled as Corey’s left eyebrow rose. “I have had encounters...as in sex. I don’t just hop in the sack with anyone. I won’t just give it to anyone.” He looked at Corey, narrowing his eye, “Have you?”

Corey’s head bent forward a bit, “Nothing too intense. A couple of jerk off sessions.” He hurriedly added, “I’ve had sex, with women...”

Daniel smiled, “Never with a guy.”

“No,” Corey admitted.

“You don’t know what you’re missing,” Daniel chuckled. “Perhaps, if things work with us, you may find out.”

“And that’s a wrap!” Angie announced loudly. She was almost breaking a spell! She got up and walked to me and Tom, “That was a damned fine job! I almost forgot we were filming a scene!”

Tom’s eyes widened, “Were we?” He grinned and shook his finger at me, “I don’t want to hear about how you can’t do this. You are a natural!”

“We got the angles?” Angie asked the camera crew.

“All three!” The coordinator replied from his monitoring the screens he had watched from.

“If this keeps up,” Angie said then knocked on the wooden table, “Knock wood, we may finish on time!” She looked at everyone, “We’ll take this back to when Corey enters The club for that first time. Take the hour and a half for lunch!”

Mark ran over and hugged me tightly, “That was awesome! I don’t think you missed a single line!” He then grabbed Tom in a hug. “You didn’t either!”

I looked at my watch, “I can’t believe it’s almost one o’clock!”

Tom chuckled, “Time flies when you do what you love. You clearly love it.”

 

We went to the Café. It was where those working here ate. Stars and support staff. They offered everything from foods that were healthy to hamburgers and fries. They were good hamburgers, too! Yes, I tasted one. Mike’s burger. I would be performing in an hour, so I didn’t want to clog the pipes, if you know what I mean. The bourbon Tom and I drank just looked like bourbon. The land of illusion, remember?

Tom looked at me curiously, “So, there are foods you should not eat before you sing?”

I nodded quickly and dabbed my mouth quickly, “Absolutely. I always eat well before I go anywhere to perform. I need a good energy source for dancing.” I smiled at Tom, “Our bodies react to what we eat, and each body has it’s preferences.” I waved at the fish I was eating, “This isn’t fried, it’s baked and not spicy. That can cause the throat to be coated and make it fuzzy.” I waved at Mark’s plate, “That bite I had of his burger was not wise, but I don’t think it will adversely affect my voice.” I shrugged, “I avoid dairy products, processed and chocolate. Usually, my shows are after dark and I’m geared to maximize what I eat for the best results.”

Mark nodded, “He can lose as much as five to ten pounds when he tours.” He frowned looking at me, “I think you lost even more after you did those shows on the Allure.”

I didn’t look at him but nodded, “I lost thirteen and a half pounds.” I jabbed my fork in Mark’s direction, “And that was after two other cities before that. I won’t do that again.”

Mark nodded, “And I didn’t help.” He confessed. He brightened looking at Tom, “He’s doing something he never did!”

Tom’s eyes widened, “What?”

“Working with a live orchestra!” Mark smiled, “He usually brings his computer with him. He programs his orchestra on it to play back for a performance!”

“Wow,” Tom said amazed. “That must be time consuming.”

I nodded, “It took a few years to get the bugs worked out. Mark loves it there are so many less paychecks. My home computer knows what I prefer now. It’s not as lengthy as before.” I shrugged, “With Cindy and Andy cooking at the house, I should be fine.” I looked up at Tom, “Where have they housed you?”

Tom nodded, “In a condo near here. Heather had to fly back to Manhattan for her show’s next season...”

My eyes widened, “Do you like it there?”

Tom’s eyes looked away, but he looked at me, “I’m not the main character!”

“Are you kidding me!?” I blurted out. “Without you, there would be no movie!”

Tom actually flushed. I saw it! He was a good actor, yes, but he wasn’t acting now, “I’m not the main source. I knew that...”

I smacked Mark’s arm lightly, “Did you know about this?”

“Ow,” Mark said back touching his arm and I knew he was playing it up, “I’m sorry, I didn’t. I’m your lawyer and agent.”

“How many rooms does the house we’re in have? Six?” I demanded holding my hand up with my fingers out. “Mike and I are in one,” I lowered a finger, “ Chet is in another,” I lowered another finger, “you are in one,” two fingers remained up, “Avi and Eli will have one.” I held my remaining finger up with a finger from my other hand. “I got two more rooms here!” I smacked Mark’s arm again, “Why not put us in the same house?”

“Hey!” Mark removed his arm from my reach. “Is this beat up on your manager day?” He looked at Tom, “He and Heather might want some privacy.”

I looked at Tom, “Is she still here now?”

Tom chuckled, “No, she’s in Manhattan.” He shrugged, “It’s a nice condo.”

“That you are in alone now,” I pointed out. “We have someone that cooks and cleans.” I pointed at Tom. “Is that what you want?”

“Well,” Tom grinned, “Not really but...”

“Fine!” I stated firmly. “You’re moving into our house! Tonight, or at least tomorrow.”

“Shouldn’t we inform Tankiso, Andy, and Cindy?” Mark laughed lightly. “This was hurried to this point to get the movie started and with the quake...”

“You’re the manager,” I said. “Manage this!”

“This is the first I heard of it.” He pointed at me. “Tell Mike,” Mark reminded.

“I’ll call him in a minute,” I nodded. “He shouldn’t mind.”

“Your movie love interest is moving in with you and he won’t mind?” Tom asked to be sure.

“It should be fine,” I assured. “We are living with my ex-boyfriend.” I waved at Mark and shrugged. “Why not?”

 

I called Mike before lunch ended. He was fine with it. I on the other hand had issues with the arranging of the music. It was my issue. I knew and worked exclusively with my computer and orchestra. I knew when to come in and where to add the crescendo or make certain parts longer or shorter. Make things louder, for those not understanding music terms.

The only song I hadn’t insisted on was one by the Corrs. Marti told me the song “Breathless” had been a source of inspiration to her. I had no objection as I loved that song, too. The harmony was over the top! I also knew Marti had written the word breathless on every sheet she wrote the story. They were still trying to figure out what the title of the movie was going to be, but I knew breathless would win. If they could get the Corrs to agree for us to use the song. Personally, I was hoping for Breathless to be the last song played. When the last scene was shot and things were resolved more between the two main characters, they would show that love was leaving them both breathless. Hopefully the audience would be as well.

The scene we gathered to have done after lunch was when Corey and Simon come to the Club. They come in for the show at ten o’clock. It was a nightclub, and the lights were flashing as the music blared. The crowd was all cheering, arms raised as they danced as I sang Oblivious. Daniel was performing a show! The costume was a Bolero outfit. I thought Mike would appreciate that...only it was more...sparkly? There were the glittering rhinestones that sparkled red and gold! Men did not usually dance the bolero alone, but I had gotten a choreographer to show me some moves that worked well. It was a romantic dance with some smooth movements! Which I worked in, doing a rapid and tight spin the began my song Oblivious! I worked for years perfecting that spin. First, so I wouldn’t lose my balance and two, ending the spin facing the audience. I sang a song that said he simply didn’t notice that I loved him! Sorry, Mike, but you didn’t at first. Or I didn’t let you know...we missed each other! Okay? But we’re married now!

The camera showed Simon and Corey entering the bar, but the camera was showing that Corey was very surprised! We would later find out Simon was in love with Corey, or at least his family’s money and hoped Corey would respond favorably to him. However, Corey was attracted to Daniel!

Then the scene changed where I was a matador! I hate cruelty, so I was not in favor of bullfighting. Until you saw the bull I was fighting! He was a big man! Taller than Mike but also built! He had muscles galore, wearing a helmet with horns sticking up from his head, his muscles oiled and shining. My outfit again was red and glittered! Even the cape glittered. Waving it at the “bull” he would charge and every pass everyone on the floor shouted, “Ole!” This was California! Having belonged to Spain and Mexico, they knew this culture. They are a very passionate people. Granted, my Mike was Cuban, but really? He was Latino! I hoped he saw this as a good thing.

Again, the focus was Corey and his fascination with Daniel.

 

After we split up for the day, it was almost seven o’clock! Tom came up grinning at me.

“Damn, man!” Tom said enthusiastically. “You had to have taken dance!”

I grudged a nod, “I had to.” Shrugging I explained. “I had some good instruction over the years.” I grinned, “Baptists don’t dance.”

Mark nodded and grinned, “Or drink or gamble.”

“Right,” I smirked at Mark. “I’m just sinning left and right!”

“I know this is going to be a great movie!” Tom said happily.

I saw Mike Cox coming toward us smiling. He was happy about something other than the movie.

“Caleb is being treated at Angel’s Camp Recovery,” Mike said softly to me.

I smiled hearing that, “How did that go?” I knew Mike Cox would have had resistance.

He shook his head, “He doesn’t have a choice.” He shrugged, “He does this or he doesn’t come home.”

“He needs to be in treatment,” I nodded.

Mike Cox nodded, “My giving him money...I was hurting him.”

“Not intentionally,” I assured him. “He needs direction. He needs his father.”

“And he’s getting him,” Mike C assured me. “Thank you for the encouragement.”

I looked at him carefully, “This is a hard road he’s on. I don’t know what happened in the past, but he learned to deal with situations by getting high.” I held my hand up, “I think Caleb is a smart young man, but you know this will take commitment...from Caleb and you.”

Mike C smirked again, “Why was I paying that man so much when you are telling me the same thing?”

I shrugged with a smile, “I lived with a Psychiatrist all my life. The last ten years with my parents had many discussions about cases. Mom was a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner and Psychologist. Good psychology is the same. There is no quick fix and he needs to learn better coping skills.”

Mike C snorted and looked away embarrassed, “I know. Whatever he needs.” He sighed, “It would be easy to say it was his mother’s fault, but she wasn’t alone.”

“He will show improvement,” I cautioned. “Just don’t let go of the reigns too soon and give too much trust, too fast.” I smiled, “I just pray Chet goes through this terrible period unharmed.”

He looked at me concerned, “Chet’s a great kid.”

“He’s had a tough year,” I admitted. “Some crazy teachings his grandparents started teaching him, and...” I waved at myself, “and our lifestyle now...No one has a perfect family. How do you view Caleb?”

Mike C nodded, “He’s been damaged.”

“But not beyond repair!” I pointed out.

Mike C nodded, “I hope so.” He brightened, “As far as Tom moving in with you and your husband. I’m having his things moved to the house you are in tomorrow. Is that good?”

“It is!” I bounced, “Now, I’m going home to my family!”

“You did great today!” Mike C stated proudly.

“And we’ll do it again tomorrow!” I said happily.

 

We returned to the house to find it quiet. I say that as it is odd. Mixing Chet in with the household was noisy and sometimes chaotic. He could be a whirling dervish! So, observing the quiet was going to happen.

Going into the family room, I found Mike alone on his laptop computer.

“Hi!” Mike grinned at me as I came in. He stood greeting me with a familiar kiss. Love most definitely, but a welcome back sort of kiss.

The feeling I got when seeing him was...wonderful. I came home! Not the house, but to Mike and Chet. We were a family and I returned to that family. I was home. I didn’t care where that was, but I loved the feeling of belonging with them.

Mike grinned, “Did you have a good day?” He nodded, “I know we talked about lunchtime. I see by your face there were no difficulties.”

“No problems,” I sighed and plopped down on the sofa. “I don’t know which is harder. Doing a concert or a movie. I did two of my songs, Oblivious and Don’t Blame Me.” I grudged a nod, “I never work with a live band or orchestra.” I pointed at him, “That was hard to get used to.” I shrugged, “And those dance moves!”

Mike grinned, “I’ll give your muscles a massage later.” He looked up, “Where is Mark and Tom?”

“Tom will be moving in tomorrow. Mark was hungry,” I answered.

Mike chuckled, “I heard that from our redheaded son three hours ago.”

I looked at Mike and, yes, I was concerned about it. So, I said, “You don’t mind if Tom lives here?” I saw Mike’s confused face, “You have to admit, we are an unusual household. My husband is sharing a house with my ex-boyfriend and tomorrow will be sharing it with a man I’m supposed to fall in love with.” I threw my hands out, “That’s damned odd!”

Mike grudged a nod, “It is, but we trust each other.”

“And I’m the center of everything?” I asked. “Why?”

“Because you are the talent,” Mike said simply. “And they want this movie so desperately, they will do whatever it takes for you to do this. They know a gold mine when they see it.” He smiled again, “Amy is filing the countersuit this week against the Atkins.”

My eyes widened, “On what grounds?”

“There are a number of reasons,” Mike said. “Custodial Interference is a big one. It will tie their hands for a few years, if nothing else. No family court in this country will let this go through.”

“If they use any of their children in hopes of putting Chet in their custody?” I asked.

“The custodial parent has priority,” Mike replied. He grinned a smile that held a bit of maliciousness, “And the sooner I get this video done, they will see how helpless they are.”

“Meaning?” I smiled.

Mike’s head wavered slightly, “I mean the sheer number of us in this world...it’s like trying to stop the tide from coming in! I’ve spent a few hours speaking with groups around the world!” Mike said getting excited. “There are thousands, and I dare say millions of us from around the world who will march in the Gay Pride Day! Almost every city in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Venezuela, Brazil, Peru, London, Paris, Amsterdam, Berlin, Moscow, Beijing, Tokyo, Delhi...all have people willing to stand out and be counted to support gay rights! African nations! Thousands of people I plan to show in a huge line dance, all dancing to the same song in the hope that everyone will simply back off!” He shrugged, “They were happy to send any footage. I’ll show you.” He stopped, “Oh, did you eat?”

I chuckled pulling him into a kiss, “No. I don’t eat much at night before bed.”

Mike nodded, “Well, Andy made you a delicious Japanese-Style Shrimp Salad. It’s got a lot of that green stuff...”

I chuckled, “Such as lettuce?”

Mike grunted, “Yes, rabbit food. The shrimp are good and fresh...”

I laughed, “I know you didn’t wait until I got home to eat.”

Mike’s face was innocent, “Of course, not. I couldn’t let Chet eat alone.”

“PopE!” I heard from behind us just as Chet landed between us. He hugged me. “Did you know we are on a different plate than the rest of the United States?”

I smiled, “Yes, I did.”

“We’re on the Pacific Plate, the rest of the United States and Canada are on the North American Plate,” He reported. “That’s why there are earthquakes here! There is this big Faultline called the San Andreas very near here!”

I looked at Mike who shrugged, “It’s easier not to be scared if you know what it is.”

I shrugged a nod, “Sounds good.” Our noisy life resumed.

 

 

Copyright © 2016 R. Eric; All Rights Reserved.
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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental.
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Thank you so much for this latest chapter, Absolutely a riot and I love every bit of it . I look forward to your next posting Sir ! 

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