The Glamorous Life

by Nicole & Rob

Standard Disclaimer: This story is a complete work of fiction. The authors do not know any of the celebrities mentioned in this story, their sexual preferences, or any other such things that are quite frankly no one's business but their own. This story may contain descriptions of sex between consenting adults of both genders, so if you are under the age of eighteen, depictions of such acts are illegal in your area or are contrary to your beliefs, this is as far as you go. Don't say you weren't warned. Now, with that said, on with the show!

Chapter One: The Beginning

"I loved you," Dylan said, sneering at Rebecca. "I loved you with all my heart, and what did you do? You lied to me! You lied to me and I know you lied to Francesca."

"Dylan, I…" Rebecca began, but Dylan cut her off.

"I don't want to hear it!" Dylan shouted. "You obviously seem to want to be with George, considering you were in his bed all night."



"His name is Greg," Rebecca said angrily, "which you'd know if you actually stopped to listen for five seconds instead of running off at the mouth every chance you get."

"You know what? I don't give a damn what his name is, and I don't give a damn about you. Now, take your ring, and your watch," Dylan said icily as he began to remove the items from his arm and finger, "and get out of my house." He slammed the items down on the counter between them and stared hard at Rebecca.

"Fine!" Rebecca screamed as she snatched up the items. "Have a nice life—loser!" she grumbled as she stormed out the door.

Dylan watched her go, and as the door slammed behind her, he felt his insides sink a little as the house fell eerily quiet. He walked over to the couch and sat down, pondering the fight that had just occurred. He was arbitrarily lost in thought when a voice caused him to jump.

"I see that went well," came a voice from behind him.

Dylan spun around to see the concerned look on his sister Francesca's face. "I take it you heard."

Francesca laughed. "Honey, the whole city heard," she said as she sat down next to Dylan.

"I can't believe she used me like this. I thought we were something special. I thought we were going to be together forever. Then she goes and does something like this, and nothing makes sense any more," Dylan said glumly.

"I don't know what the girl was thinking, passing on a hunk of man like you," Francesca said coyly. "If we weren't legally related, I'd jump you here and now."

"Francesca!" Dylan yelled, but a smile had slowly started to creep onto his face. "Even if it's by adoption, I am still your brother."

"A fact that never ceases to annoy me," Francesca said. "You have to admit, though, that you got it goin' on, bro."

Dylan admired his sleek, well-defined body and shot Francesca his patented perfect smile. "If you're trying to make me blush, you're succeeding."

"Good. Now, get your mind off that little piece of trailer trash and get on with your life! You're not going to do yourself any good moping around here. Besides, you're a Baxter. This kind of stuff rolls off us like water off a duck's backside," Francesca said with a grin. Embracing her brother, she said, "Give it a day or two to digest. You'll feel better—I promise." She then stood up, flashed him another smile, and sashayed out of the room.

Dylan watched her go, shaking his head. He lay back on the couch and stared at the ceiling, blowing some strands of his medium-brown hair out of his face. Suddenly—

"Cut! Excellent job everyone!" came the voice of Alex Carrington, the show's director. "Taylor, wonderful performance, as usual," he said to Taylor Jeffries, who played Dylan Baxter on the hit soap opera, Temptations. "Listen, I have to run, so tell Miss Cassie that she was great and that I will catch up with her later."

"Will do," Taylor said as he watched the director run out of the studio.

"Where's he off to?" Cassidy Saunders, who played Dylan's sister Francesca Baxter, asked as she walked up to Taylor.

"Beats me," Taylor replied, "but I'm supposed to tell you that you were fabulous, Cass."

"Taylor, were those his exact words?" Cassie asked.

"Not exactly, but it's what he meant to say, I'm sure," Taylor said with a grin. "I…" He was about to make a smart aleck remark when the ringing of Cassie's phone interrupted him.

"Hold that thought," Cassie said as she grabbed her phone out of her purse. Looking at the phone number on the display, she groaned loudly and threw her phone back into her purse.

"Would I be correct in assuming that's the walking dead man?" Taylor asked, his face darkening.

"Yeah, it's the bastard," Cassie replied. "I'm guessing you're still pissed off at him for outing you at the Emmy's last month?"

"No, I'm pissed off at him because yesterday his hair looked better than mine yesterday."

"Well, it does look like a squirrel is nesting up there. Oh, was that sarcasm?" Cassie said sarcastically. "I have such trouble recognizing it. You know, dear, sarcasm isn't a very becoming trait on you."

"Nor are those shoes on you," Taylor retorted.

"Well, now we're getting personal, aren't we?" Cassie shot back. Then, in a lower voice, she said, "Are you regretting coming out of the closet now?"

"It's not like I had much of a choice," he said. "If I lied now, it would come back and haunt me later if and when I ever decided to tell the truth. I might as well get it over with now and see what happens. Besides, I can at least look back someday and know I was, for a moment, on top."

"It doesn't seem like it's gone over so badly," Cassie mused as her phone began to ring again. "I swear, if that bastard doesn't stop calling me…" She picked up her phone and, as she looked at it again, her expression changed. "Whoops! It's Nina. Hang on."

As Cassie began to talk with Nina, her daughter Abby's nanny, Taylor's mind flashed back to the night where his life was turned upside down and the events that had led to it.

There was excitement in the air. It was once again time for the Daytime Emmy Awards, and Taylor, Cassie, Ashley Tomlinson—the actress who played Rebecca Garrett-Baxter, and the show's producers were all up for awards that night. Taylor was dressed to the nines in a chic Armani suit. He had his hair styled earlier that day—and once he left the salon he fixed it so it looked more like him. He hated being dressed up like a doll. He would have been just as happy showing up to the Emmys in jeans as he would in a suit, but the propriety required for such a function would never allow that. So, he just let himself go with the flow, and the next thing he knew, it was half past four. He checked his suit again to make sure his cats or dog didn't leave any fur on it before turning to leave the house. The studio had sent a limousine to pick him up. Taylor wasn't very big into flashy and ostentatious things, but, once again, he knew it was part of the game.

The limousine stopped at Ashley's condominium to pick her up, and then they went on their way to Cassie's elegant home in Beverly Hills. Cassie always said that she had never really wanted to live there, but considering the fact that her now ex-husband had already purchased a home there before they were married, it made logical sense to just move in instead of trying to find a new place. When they split a couple of months ago, she had been quite surprised when she discovered he was giving her the house. Supposedly, it was because she had won custody of their daughter, Abby, and he didn't want the child to have to endure the stress of moving. Through the entire process he seemed so kind and benevolent. If Taylor hadn't known him better than that, his demeanor would have suckered him in too.

The announcement had made front page of the entertainment news. The storybook marriage between Cassidy Saunders and Orlando Bloom had officially come to an end. While there were some rumors and occasional leaks of the truth here and there about what had really happened in their last year of marriage, Taylor had sat on the sidelines, a reluctant occupant of a front row seat, and watched the whole house of cards crumble. Orlando had never been very happy about living a sedated life with his new wife. He was a wild man with a need that bordered on obsession to get out and party; it was something that he found uplifting and his wife found annoying. Many were the times Orlando had stumbled into their house so drunk he didn't even recognize Cassie. According to her, she preferred it that way. It was oftentimes easier to get him into bed when he was incoherent so he could sleep it off. Then there were the other times.

They fought a lot, if not all the time. There were moments when things were calm and they really seemed to be in love with each other. This was usually when other people were around. Actors act, and they were great at putting on a show. After about a week, Taylor was no longer considered company but one of the family, so the two never let his presence prevent them from getting into a knock-down, drag-out, free-for-all grudge match with each other.

"Don't let my beauty fool you," Cassie would always say to Taylor. She may have been small and beautiful, but she was born with a wild spirit, and she'd never had a problem holding her own in a fight against anyone.

It was at least heartening to know that they were incredibly cautious about fighting in front of Abby; in fact, they managed to avoid it most of the time. In part, this was due to the fact that they sent her off with Nina more and more. There were weeks where Taylor had wondered if Orlando had seen his daughter at all.

Everything came to a screeching halt when Orlando had come home one night from another party. He was definitely plastered; one could smell the alcohol on him from across the room. Taylor and Cassie had been studying their shooting script for the next day when he staggered in.

"Damn!" Cassie muttered under her breath. "He's done it again."

"Maybe he'll just go to bed," Taylor said tentatively as he watched Orlando slowly maneuver throughout the house.

"Or not," Cassie said as she watched her husband make his way toward the two of them.

"What the hell are you two doing?" Orlando demanded.

"Baby, be quiet," Cassie said softly. "You'll wake Abby."

"I want to know what the two of you are up to!" Orlando continued, the volume in his voice never wavering.

"We're just looking over out scripts for tomorrow," she said as she held hers up. "Just like we do every night."

Orlando walked up to her, bent his head down until it was inches from hers, and whispered, "Liar."

Cassie took a few steps back and stared at the man whom she called her husband. "Excuse me? What did you just call me?"

"I called you a liar. I know you and Mr. Perfect over here have something going on. I can tell. I can see it in your eyes."

"I'm surprised you can see anything, considering how you can barely walk two feet without tripping over yourself," Cassie said venomously. "You have no clue what you're talking about, and I'm not listening anymore. Come on Taylor."

"Oh, right!" Orlando said. "Run away with your buddy Taylor. What are you going to do? Go upstairs to our room so you can screw like rabbits?"

Cassie ignored him and continued walking, but she stopped when she realized that Taylor was no longer by her side. She turned to discover that Taylor had Orlando flattened against the wall, telling him off. "I don't know where you got this notion that Cassie and I have done anything inappropriate with each other, but I am going to tell you here and now that I have done nothing with Cassie, am not doing anything with Cassie, and will never do anything with Cassie. She is a married woman, and I am an honorable person as well as a gentleman—something you obviously are not. Hopefully one of these days she'll stop wasting her time on trash like you and find herself someone worthy of the title 'man,' considering you're not one."

"What? Is my woman not good enough for you?" Orlando sneered.

"Hey!" Cassie exclaimed. "Just because I married you does not make me your woman. I am my own person, thank you very much! Taylor, don't answer him. You don't owe him anything."

Taylor debated about saying something else to Orlando, but it was already getting late, he was tired, and he'd had more than enough of this argument for one day. He glanced over Orlando one more time, turned his nose up in disgust, and headed for the door. "I'll catch up with you tomorrow, Cass," Taylor said as he placed his hand on the door handle.

"Wait a minute! I remember now," Orlando shouted. "I can't believe I forgot."

"Forgot what?" Cassie said, eyeing her husband suspiciously.

"The reason why you and Mr. Perfect over there won't ever get together. I forgot he's a damn fairy."

Taylor's hand tensed on the door handle. His teeth started to clench and his free hand started to turn into a fist. "What did you say?" Taylor asked slowly as he turned to face Orlando once more.

Orlando noticed that he had gotten under Taylor's skin, and the response made him smirk. "That's right. Mr. Perfect's not so perfect is he? Yeah, he's a big star, looks pretty, and has all the little girlies after him. Oh, what would they ever do if they found out that not only are they never going to have him, but that they're going to have to keep their boyfriends away from him too!"

Taylor was horrified. The only soul he had ever breathed the truth to was Cassie, and… Taylor closed his eyes and let out a breath. "Cassie," he said softly. Looking over at her, he said coldly, "I can't believe you."

"Taylor, I didn't tell him anything, I swear!" Cassie exclaimed.

"Taylor, I didn't tell him anything, I swear!" Orlando mocked. Now, if Orlando hadn't been so drunk, he could have used this scene to his advantage if he wanted to truly drive a wedge into their friendship. However, the alcohol had clearly impaired his ability to think, so instead he told the truth. "I overheard you two talking on the phone a couple days ago. I had gone to call a buddy of mine to let him know about this mad party over in Malibu, and when I picked up the line, I heard the two of you talking. That's when I heard you," Orlando said, pointing at Taylor, "talking to her about your little secret. So, who's the man now?"

Before Taylor could react, Cassie yelled, "I am, and if you don't get the hell out of this house, I'm going to plant my foot so far up your ass, you'll be tying my shoelaces with your teeth!"

"You can't kick me out of my own house!" Orlando thundered.

"Watch me," Cassie responded. "I'd love to see you try and take Taylor and me on. Hell, I'd love to see you try to take me on!"

"I'll kick your ass, woman," Orlando yelled.

"That's it!" Taylor screamed. Throwing open the door, he went over to Orlando, picked him up, threw him over his shoulder, and then proceeded to toss him out onto the front lawn. "And the next time she tells you to leave, I suggest you take her at her word and do it." Sighing, he turned to Cassie and said, "We'll talk later. I need to go now." Before Cassie could say another word, Taylor had left.

The next couple of months after that had been tumultuous. Cassie had filed for divorce a couple of days later, and since it was far from amicable, it took a long time to drag itself through the court system. The press was all over it from day one, and while Cassie seemed to be coping with it fairly well, Taylor was a bit of a mess. He was routinely dragged in to give his account on this event or that event; on what he said or what she said; on who hit whom first. Taylor just wanted it over and done with—the sooner, the better. For one, he was worried that at some point in time Orlando might let his secret out as a means of retaliation against him. To his surprise, it never came. In fact, Orlando had been nothing but a gentleman through the whole ordeal.

Once the divorce was finalized, Orlando seemed to disappear, resurfacing only when it was time for him to see Abby. He might have been a horrible husband, but he was a fairly decent father. He routinely kept himself in check while he was around Abby, and while the looks he would continually shoot at Cassie and Taylor could have killed, he never let his daughter see that he was angry. However, inside his mind, the wheels were turning. He was plotting on how best to get back at Cassie for destroying his life, and at Taylor for helping her.

On the night of the awards show, Cassidy was running a little behind as usual. Taylor, after waiting in the limousine with Ashley for over ten minutes, got out and ran up the walk. Letting himself inside, he called out to Cassie.

"Just a minute Taylor!" she yelled from upstairs. "I'm trying to find my earrings!"

"Did you look in the bathroom?" Taylor yelled back.

"Now why would I leave them in the…" Cassie started to yell, followed by a moment of silence. "Never mind! I found them!" Taylor chuckled to himself. He knew Cassie far too well.

"Hurry up!" he called. "We're going to be late!"

"I'm coming! I'm coming!" she yelled as she came down the stairs. "Don't get your boxers in a knot." As she came down the stairs, Taylor's breath caught in his throat.

She was absolutely stunning. She was wearing a dark gold, camisole-styled dress that fell in soft layers around her curvy frame and made her skin glow. She had on a pair of stylish heels to match and a pair of antique diamond earrings, courtesy of Fred Winston. She wore a simple gold chain and butterfly locket around her neck—a "good luck Mommy" gift from Abby—and her hair had been beautifully styled in soft curls that framed her face and fell in cascading waves down her exposed back.

Noticing the attention she was getting from her friend, she said with a smirk, "Makes you just want to come over here, rip it all off, and take me now, doesn't it?"

Taylor's eyes narrowed. "As if," he said flippantly.

Rolling her eyes, Cassie made her way to the bottom of the stairs and said, "Boy, you are too tense. You need to get laid or something."

"Would you mind saving discussions on my non-existent sex life for some time other than now," Taylor said in annoyance. "We have to go!"

"All right, all right," she said as she went to get her purse off the kitchen table. "I definitely need to get that boy a man," she muttered once she thought she was out of earshot.

"I heard that!" Taylor yelled from the front door.

"Damn! What does he have, sonar or something?" she wondered aloud. She picked up her purse and made her way hastily out the door and to the limousine. Taylor, who was holding the door open for her, shot her an evil look as she took her seat inside. Once inside, she exchanged pleasantries with Ashley, and once Taylor had taken his seat next to Cassie, the three rode in silence to the awards.

As it was every other year, the awards were a madhouse. There were people everywhere, flashbulbs were popping left and right, and the beautiful people of daytime were making their presence known. Taylor looked over at Cassie and took a deep breath. This was going to be the longest five minutes of his day.

Cassie wasn't in much better spirits. She'd had a fight over the phone with Orlando earlier that day, and it was still weighing on her mind. At least she took comfort in knowing that Abby was with Nina and would be safe. As the limousine pulled up to the red carpet, she took a moment to put her emotions in check, put on the fake smile, and got ready to work the carpet. Ashley exited first, followed by Taylor, who extended his hand into the limousine to help Cassie out.

It was not uncommon knowledge that the two were good friends; the tabloids had continually speculated that there was something going on between the two of them and that it had been because of Taylor that Cassie and Orlando's marriage had self-destructed. None of the gossip seemed to bother either of them; in fact, Cassidy found it remarkably amusing, and Taylor couldn't have cared less. He knew that actions such as this were just fodder for the fire, but he was content with the rest of the world thinking what they wanted. Besides, it was better for his image, according to his agent, if he were romantically linked with someone of Cassie's status.

The two were joined by their press agents, and proceeded to work the carpet, stopping for the required pictures and interviews for the major entertainment outlets, before heading inside the theatre. Finding their table, they sat down next to Ashley and Alex, both of whom were nominated for awards along with Taylor and Cassie. They chatted about a number of things while they waited for the show to begin. Eventually, the lights dimmed and the show began. While both managed to cheer for Ashley when she won the Best Supporting Actress category, Taylor and Cassie had both always found the show to be rather dull, and it was all Cassie could do to keep from falling asleep until she heard her category called.

"And now, to introduce the nominees for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series," said the evening's host, Regis Philbin, "a wonderful young man who has brought a lot of talent to the big screen: Orlando Bloom."

Orlando walked out onto the stage amidst applause from the audience, and all eyes at their table turned to Cassie as she shrieked, "What?!"

"I take it you didn't know he would be a presenter?" Alex asked quietly as Orlando began to read the list of names.

"I had no idea," Cassie said, slumping in her seat. Staring at the stage, she said, "And now, for the first time in my life, I'm praying I don't win. I do not want to face him tonight on live television."

Taylor grabbed Cassie's hand and gave it a squeeze. "Even if you do win, and I do hope you win, because you deserve it, just be your usual bright, charming self. Besides, you said it yourself. This is live television. What can he do?"

"I guess," Cassie said hesitantly. She knew Taylor had a point, but her gut instinct told her differently.

"…and Cassidy Saunders, for Temptations," Orlando said, his fake smile never wavering. Knowing the camera would be turned on her, Cassie smiled brightly and tried to appear calm, yet nervous, as many people would expect her to be. "And the Emmy goes to…Cassidy Saunders for Temptations!" The theatre exploded into applause and cheers as Cassie slowly made her way around the table, accepting congratulations from Taylor and Alex, and made her way up to the stage. She was trying to figure out how best to take the award from her now ex-husband without trying to rip his testicles off at the same time.

As she made her way to the podium, she was a little surprised to see Orlando smiling. Maybe this won't be so bad after all, she thought. As she came closer to Orlando, however, something in his eyes made her whole body tense a little. She noticed he was no longer smiling, but staring intently at her. She paused, only for a brief second, and then willed herself forward. She went to take the award from him, but soon realized he wasn't letting go.

When she was just about to say something, Orlando narrowed his eyes and said into the microphone, "Congratulations Cassie. You deserved this, among a lot of other things. I hope you and your gay boyfriend Taylor over there are happy… especially knowing how you've both destroyed my life. So, do me a favor. Keep your slutty ass away from me, and tell Taylor that I am definitely not available."

Acknowledging the shock that had just registered with Cassie with a malicious grin, he said, "Congratulations again," and then proceeded to disappear into the backstage throng.

The entire theatre burst into a wall of sound. The camera personnel, upon hearing Orlando's words, had spun the cameras around to get Taylor's reaction, but he was nowhere to be found. When Taylor heard the words 'gay boyfriend Taylor,' his eyes nearly popped out of his head. Deciding he needed to get out quickly, he made a dash for the door and, once on the street, hailed a taxi. The moment he had been dreading had finally come. He had been exposed to the world, and it was not on his terms. His entire career as a soap opera star had been built on the fact that he was good-looking, charismatic, and seemed to be a hit with the ladies. Now that everyone knew where his preferences lay, his career was in potential jeopardy. The cab driver didn't say a word to him all the way to his house, except to quote him the fare upon arrival. Taylor paid the man and ran inside. He knew it wouldn't be long before the paparazzi were outside trying to talk to him. He just couldn't face that. Not right then.

"Sorry about that," Cassie said as she hung up. "Abby hasn't been feeling well, so Nina was letting me know how she's doing. Poor baby has had a temp of 101° all day."

"Bummer," Taylor said. Over the years, he had come to feel like a parent to the little girl, and was genuinely concerned with her welfare. "Anything I can do?"

"No," Cassie replied, "but you're sweet to offer. By the way, have I apologized to you yet today for what my idiot ex-husband did?"

"Cassie, it's not your fault. You don't have to keep apologizing to me. You've been doing it ever since that night and honestly, it's starting to get a little old."

"It is too my fault," she retorted. "If I hadn't married him, this wouldn't have happened. You know, that offer to have him killed still stands."

Taylor laughed. "As tempting an idea as that is," he began, "I don't think it would be very productive. What's done is done."

"I still can't figure out how he got on," Cassie mused. "Last I heard he was never slated to be a presenter. Even more so, how did he become a presenter for my category? I smell a conspiracy here."

"We may never know," Taylor said, "but like I said before, 'what's done is done.' He announced it to the world, I confirmed it to Ellen DeGeneres on her show, and that's that. It wasn't easy for me to do, but I kind of like the idea of not having to hide myself."

"Very true," Cassie said, her visage brightening considerably as she regarded her best friend. "On the bright side, it makes me finding you a man so much easier!"

"Don't you go playing matchmaker on me," Taylor warned. "It'll just be a disaster."

"How do you know that?" Cassie shot back. "I'm great at fixing people up!" Then, as a side note, she said, "Just not myself."

Taylor would have said more, but a page bringing him a letter interrupted him. "Mr. Jeffries? I have a letter for you."

A look of confusion crossed his face. "A letter? How come you're bringing it to me here? It should have gone with the rest of the fan mail."

The page shrugged. "I don't know sir. It came by courier, and they were very explicit in that it had to be delivered to you personally. I told them that you were on the set and that I would see that you get it."

"Uh, thanks," Taylor said as he accepted the envelope. The page smiled and then scampered off to do another task.

"Careful Tay," Cassie said. "You don't know what's in that. It could be something dangerous."

"True, but I'll never know until I open it. At least promise me that if I die, that the page gets fired."

Cassie laughed. "Deal. Okay, might as well open it now while you've got a witness."

Taylor stared at the envelope in his hand. It was addressed to him at the studio, but there was no return address. That alone made Taylor a little nervous, but he cast it aside and ripped the envelope open. Inside, all he found was a short letter. It read:

My Dear Taylor,

I know this letter must come as a surprise to you; I'm surprising myself in the fact that I'm even writing it. First, I want to assure you that I am not some obsessed, crazed fan. I deal enough with those myself. I must admit that I had never watched your show until the incident at the Emmys made such big news. I followed the story quite a lot after that, and was impressed with the way you handled yourself on Ellen's show. As you, of course, know, it's not easy being in the spotlight and being gay. I can't imagine how hard things are or maybe will be for you in the coming days, but I can only hope that it will all be positive. After everything broke, I started watching your show and have fallen in love with…it. Now I can't seem to tear myself away.

I meant to write this letter sooner, but I kept chickening out. It was hard enough for me to admit to myself that I was a homosexual, and none of my friends seem to understand the notion too well. I've tried to tell them a number of times, but, again, I never seem to find the nerve. What's hysterical is that everyone sees me as completely girl-crazy. They couldn't be further from the truth. I finally decided to write to you, because I knew you would understand where I'm coming from.

Anyway, the reason I've sent this letter is two-fold. One, I'd like to give you my support, and two; I wanted to see if you would ever like to get together sometime for dinner or whatever. I know this must sound crazy, but, to tell you the truth, I think you're hot. I'm glad that you can't see my face, because I'm blushing just writing that. If you're interested, I've written my agent's number at the bottom of the letter. I've told her to expect your call, and I pray that you will.

I'm sending this letter by courier, but to be safe; I find it is better not to sign my name, as the public is unaware of my true sexuality and that is a part of my life I can't take a chance on revealing just yet. I plan on being in Los Angeles for the next week, so hopefully we can get together really soon.

Waiting ever so patiently for your call,


Taylor continued to scan the letter until he had practically memorized it. Getting frustrated, Cassie finally snatched the letter out of his hand. "Hey, give that back!" Taylor exclaimed, but he didn't bother to fight with her. For one, it was pointless, and second, he would have shown it to her anyway. He wanted her input.

"Well, looks like I don't need to play matchmaker after all," Cassie said at last. "Looks like someone is hot for your bod."

Taylor blushed. "Yeah, but who?" he asked. "It appears it's someone famous, but they left no real clue to their identity. The only thing he said was that everyone thinks he is girl-crazy, but that could be almost anyone."

"So what are you waiting for?" Cassie said reproachfully. "Call!"

"I don't know," Taylor said hesitantly.

"Call, damn it!" Cassie said as she pushed her phone into his hand. "Do it now before I kick your ass!"

"Fine, I'll do it," Taylor relented. As he started to dial the number on the letter, he mumbled, "Bitch."

"And proud of it," Cassie said. "Trust me. You'll thank me later."

As the phone began to ring, Taylor became a bit nervous. He was about to back out and hang up the phone when a woman's voice answered the line. "Janet Matthews. How can I help you?"

Taylor's throat suddenly went dry. "Uh, yes ma'am. Uh, I'm sorry to bother you, but my name is Taylor Jeffries, and I received a letter from someone claiming to be a client of yours, and…"

"Mr. Jeffries, I was hoping you'd call. Yes, my client is very anxious to meet you," Janet said quickly. "You wouldn't by chance be free this evening would you?"

"Uh…" Taylor suddenly tried to think of an excuse to get out of going that day. He wasn't sure why, but he was becoming more and more nervous about meeting this guy. "I'm afraid tonight isn't going to work. I have plans with a friend of mine, and…"

Before he could say any more, Cassie snatched the phone out of his hand. "Hello, miss? This is Cassidy Saunders, Mr. Jeffries friend. This boy has no life, and he has no plans tonight. What time should he be there? Six-thirty? What restaurant? What's the address?" Cassie had pulled out a small notebook and was busily jotting things down. "Great. He'll be there, even if I have to drag his ass down there personally." She shot Taylor a smirk, and then said, "Why, thank you for the compliment and the congratulations. I was very pleased to have won that Emmy. Well, have a good day. Good-bye." Hanging up the phone, she turned to Taylor, who was glaring at her, and said, "What?"

"You didn't have any right to do that," Taylor said.

"Yes I did. It's my job to make sure you're happy, and you've been moody ever since you were forced out of the closet. Now, I think this will be good for you. Now, it's already after four o'clock, so let's get back to your house and get you ready."

"I'm not so sure about this," Taylor admitted.

Cassie was starting to get annoyed with Taylor, so she whacked him hard in the back of the head. "Well, I'm sure if you keep on with the whining, I'm going to do more than whack you. Now come on!"

It was nearly six-thirty, and Taylor hadn't left his house yet. It took every ounce of willpower she possessed for Cassie not to kill him. He was deliberately taking his sweet time in getting ready, as if that would inevitably cause the whole meeting to cancel itself. He had tried to procrastinate in the shower, but Cassie fixed that by repeatedly flushing the toilet until Taylor gave up. He shut off the water and told Cassie to get out so he could start getting dressed. Once she left, he stepped out of the shower and admired his toned, well-defined body in the mirror. I can't blame this guy for thinking I'm hot, he thought a little conceitedly, because I am. He flexed his muscles a little and smiled. Yeah, I do look good.

He put on his underwear and pants, and then walked out into the bedroom. The second Cassie saw his naked torso she let out a sharp whistle. "Mmmmmm, damn boy, you look good. It's too bad you're not into women, because I could take you right here and now, looking like that."

Taylor shook his head. "Cassie, stop being weird. What should I wear?"

"I already picked out the rest of your outfit. Go do something with your hair, quick! You're running late."

Taylor went back into the bathroom, blew dry his hair, ran some gel through it, and then styled it in his usual fashion. He came back into the bedroom and put on the short-sleeved shirt that Cassie held out for him. Taylor thought it was a little tight, as he preferred his clothes to be on the loose side, but he assumed Cassie had her reasons. He buttoned the shirt all the way to the top, but Cassie came and unbuttoned the top button for him. "You don't have to leave everything to his imagination, you know," she scolded.

"The way this shirt fits, I doubt anything will be left to anyone's imagination," Taylor said.

"That's a good thing. Now, put on some socks and shoes, spray on a little cologne, and be pleasant! You're not about to be drawn and quartered, for crying out loud."

"And I thought Abby had it bad," Taylor grumbled as he followed Cassie's instructions.

Once he was ready, Cassie hustled him out the door into his BMW. "Here's the address. Have a good time. If you have any problems, call me!" Then, eyeing him suspiciously, she said, "Do I need to go with you to make sure you go?"

"No, I can do it, thank you very much. Now do me a favor and go away!" he muttered.

"Hmph! Some thanks I get. Oh well. Have a good time," she called as she watched Taylor back out of the garage. "Hope it goes well." As she wandered back into Taylor's house, she mumbled, "At least someone has a date tonight."

J waited patiently at Luca's. He methodically played with the silverware on the table as he continued to stare at his watch. He had been there since six, in the event Taylor had shown up early. Instead, it was now six forty-five, and he was beginning to wonder where Taylor was. His agent Janet said that he would be there. "Maybe he got stuck in traffic or something," he said quietly to himself. "Yeah, I'm sure that's it."

He caught his reflection in the back of the spoon he was playing with and sighed. He knew that he was considered by many to be sexy, but he felt he paled in comparison to the hunk he was about to have dinner with. He hadn't known Taylor Jeffries even existed until the whole drama over his sexuality began at the Daytime Emmy awards. The news had spread quickly to every media outlet, and soon it seemed that was all the country was talking about. Taylor was so good-looking that it made J's heart flutter. To think that he was about to be face to face with the man was almost more than he could stand. That was, if he actually showed up. J glanced at his watch again. Ten to seven. He prayed that he wasn't about to be stood up. He wasn't sure if he could take that kind of rejection.

He had never had much time to date, or to even try. Any time he did try, it became national news overnight. To his credit, at least they had all been female, which protected his image. Most of them had been a sham however, a scheme that had been concocted by his management. He had been on tour so much that he felt his attempts at dating were futile. Such was the life of a 'boyband' member, or so they were called. J wasn't very fond of the term, but found it continually applied nonetheless.

He checked his watch again. Another three minutes had passed. If Taylor wasn't there by seven, J was going to make a graceful exit and forget the whole episode happened. It was at that point that he spotted the man walking into the restaurant. Taylor was dressed in a tight-fitting, short-sleeved, button-down black shirt and black pants. The fabric seemed to be molded to his body, and it made J hot just looking at him. His eyes followed the man as he made his way slowly to their table.

Taylor, who was extremely nervous, felt silly walking into the restaurant looking like a lost puppy. All he knew was that the table was reserved under 'J.' Upon entering the restaurant, he scanned it, hoping for some clue to the letter writer's identity, but there were too many people and it was too dim to make out the faces clearly. The maître d' escorted him toward the back of the restaurant, where the tables were a little more secluded. As they approached, his eyes locked on to the young man sitting by himself in a small booth in the corner.

"It's you!" Taylor exclaimed as he took his seat. "I have to say I'm a little surprised. You definitely weren't the person I was expecting."

"Who were you expecting?" the young man asked.

"I don't know," Taylor replied. "The letter was cryptic enough to not give any clues. I suppose it could have been anyone."

"Are you disappointed?"

"Not at all," Taylor said with a smile. "Not at all."

To be continued...

So who is J, and will he and Taylor hit it off, or is it a mess waiting to happen? Will Cassidy find peace with her ex-husband, or are they doomed to a life of constant fighting? What effect, if any, will Orlando's announcement have on Taylor and/or Cassidy's career? While waiting for those answers, drop Rob or Nicole a line and let us know your thoughts.

Well folks, this is my first collaboration with another author, and this is Nicole's second, so it shall be interesting to see how this all goes. Hopefully, this story will captivate you as much as our other stories have.

Rob's website
Nicole's website