My Belovèd is mine, and I am his.
Song of Songs 2:16
Art Smith pulled his car into the driveway
at Cam and Kevin's house in Malibu. He was supposed to have
supper with the two of them and Carl Emrick that evening, and Art had
been looking forward to it all day. He hadn't crossed paths with
any of the three guys at UCLA for a couple of days, but he hadn't
much about it. Sometimes their schedules just didn't mesh.
He had deliberately come over to the house early so he could have
a little extra time with the guys.
All the cars are here, so they're
home, Art thought to himself.
He walked through the open garage to the door into the back hall and
the doorbell. He heard footsteps, and Kevin, carrying Casey,
opened the door. Kevin looked at Art with surprise.
"Oh, heck, Art," he said, "I forgot to call you. Cam flew to San
Francisco to see our mom in the hospital night before last, and isn't
back yet. She had an emergency appendectomy yesterday
morning. I'm sorry I didn't call. Cam caught a late
morning plane to come home today, and we're going to the airport to
get him as soon as I can round up Carl."
"I'm sorry about your mom," Art said. "Well, we can get together
for supper some other time. No biggie."
"Listen, why don't you go to the airport with us, and we'll eat here
when we get back. Maria made us plenty of food."
"That sounds good," Art said.
For a long time Kevin hadn't liked Art because
once been friends with the three guys who had sexually assaulted Cam
down the beach. But he had finally accepted him because Cam had
confronted him about his bad attitude toward a nice guy, and turned him
Art. By now Kevin was even helping Art out with exercises in
when they all got together.
The pain that Casey had been experiencing from
his emerging baby teeth was abating somewhat, because he wasn't crying or whining. He looked at their visitor,
reached out a
hand to squeeze the young man's nose, and said, "Art."
"Hey, little dude," Art responded to the little boy with a big
smile. "You're cuter
every time I see you."
"He knows you," Kevin said, chuckling. "Come on in," he said,
stepping away from the door and shouting loudly for Carl while
Casey's ears from his loud voice.
As Art shut the door and followed Kevin into the kitchen, he heard
Carl's big feet
bounding down the stairs from his room.
"Hey, Art," Carl said. "'Sup, dude?"
"Cam invited me over for supper a few days ago, but I didn't know he
went to San Francisco."
"We're just going to the airport to pick him up," Carl said.
"None of us has eaten, so come along with us, and we'll chow down when
we get home."
"Thanks. Kevin already asked me. So let's hit it."
Kevin grabbed a diaper bag--"just in case"--and they headed for the
Highlander. After Kevin strapped Casey into his car seat, Carl
fired up the hybrid, and off they went. The traffic was heavy on
the way to the airport, but Carl just took his time as the three guys
talked about school. Carl and Kevin were enthusiastic about their
classes. All the way to the airport, though, in the
midst of the conversation, Kevin was thinking about how glad he would
be to see Cam. They had only been apart for two nights, but that
two nights too many for Kevin. He loved and missed his boyfriend.
They were fortunate enough to find a parking place in short-term
parking at LAX, and Kevin scooped up the baby, who unaccountably
get down and walk for himself right then.
"You can walk when we get inside," Kevin told Casey, and for the moment
the little boy stopped squirming.
They were a little late, and arrived inside just in time to see Cam
coming down an escalator wearing a polo shirt, a pair of Levi's with
and Croc sandals. Kevin's eyes were glued to Cam's handsome face
and lean, muscular body as he glided down from the second floor.
looks good, Kevin thought to himself, his dick stirring in his
boxers. Cam was a pleasing sight to anyone who admired a lean,
developed male physique.
They all met at the bottom of the moving stairs, and Kevin put his arms
around his partner, squeezing Casey lightly between them, and kissed
Cam on the lips. Cam dropped his overnight bag to the floor and
looked deeply into Kevin's brown eyes. He was finally home, and
was wherever Kevin was.
"Missed ya, bud," Kevin told him.
"Missed ya back," Cam said. He grinned at Kevin, kissed the baby,
embraced Art and then Carl,
kissing Carl on the cheek.
"Man, am I glad to be back!" Cam said, picking up his bag and sticking
his free hand in one of the back pockets of Kevin's Levi shorts as they
walked toward the exit. His partner's muscular butt, flexing with
every step, felt
ripe and ready for a squeeze.
"How's Mom?" Kevin asked, putting the baby down so he could walk a
keeping a grip on
the little guy's
"She's doing great. She couldn't go anywhere, obviously, so we
had some good, long talks at the hospital between a few naps.
She'll be released and go home tomorrow morning. I'm glad I flew
glad to see me, I think."
"I'll bet she was. Wish I could have gone with you," Kevin said.
"Me, too," Cam agreed. "She said to pass on some kisses to you
"What about me?" Art said, kidding.
"If she knew ya, she'd kiss ya," Cam laughed.
"She's not in any pain?" Carl asked.
"No, they've been keeping her comfortable," Cam said.
"This whole thing was really sudden," Kevin said.
"For sure," Cam said.
"How's William?" Kevin inquired.
"Hot and horny, just like usual," Cam said, giving Kevin's ass
another squeeze through his pocket.
"Horny," Casey repeated after Cam. "Hot horny," he added. looking
up at his second dad.
Art laughed as the other three guys grinned.
Cam continued. "William has gotten taller
since we saw
him last, and maybe put on a few pounds. All muscle,
been busy in the
gym, that's for sure. I think he's tired of football, at least
year, but he's sticking it out. Tough kid."
"Are William and Alicia still an item?" Carl asked.
"Oh, yeah. 'I love her to death' were his exact words." Cam
looked down at Casey. "But enough about William. How is
"Better," Kevin said. "Maria told me he didn't need as much
ointment on the gums today."
"Good deal," Cam said.
The guys found the car, and Kevin once again buckled Casey into his car
Art sat in front with Carl. Cam and Kevin sat in the second row
sitting close. Kevin put an arm around Cam, occasionally
nuzzling Cam's face with his nose and feeling a few
"You didn't shave today," Kevin commented.
"You're right. What did I miss while I was gone?" Cam asked.
"Not a bleeping thing," Kevin said. "Casey was good, just like
"I'm not surprised," Cam said, reaching out to caress the little boy's
"But I had to get physical with Carl to get him to exercise in the gym."
"That's a big lie," Carl said.
"That's the only kind worth telling," Kevin said, and then put his
mouth to Cam's ear. "Since you weren't around to seduce me and
make me have a lot of hot
sex, I had time to finish
moving us into
the master bedroom," Kevin whispered. He kissed
the side of Cam's head in
semi-darkness of the SUV. "I think we're gonna like it in that
Cam grinned at him. "Like 'it' in there? Whatever can you
"Take a guess," Kevin chuckled.
"Y'know, I was
that we should let Casey have our old room all to himself, and put a
door through the
wall so we don't have to go out into the hallway to get to him when he
needs us," Cam said. "We can get another nanny cam and speakers
to keep track
what's going on with him from our new room."
"Good thought! You constantly astound me with your creativity,"
"Why don't you call a carpenter when you get a chance and make an
appointment for an
estimate to put in a door? As far as a nanny cam is concerned, we
should also get one for Carl's room so we can see what goes on in there
when Andy visits."
"You p-e-r-v-e!" Cal said, spelling it out so Casey wouldn't pick up on
"I'll call someone about the door." Cam leaned closer to
subject, you do
remember that you and Carl and I are going to Magnum Studios for lunch
"Lookin' forward to it."
"I can't wait to see the movie," Carl chimed in. "Thanks for
getting me an invite, dude."
"You're welcome," Cam told Carl. "We'll be in polite company
so I'd better check your table manners at supper tonight."
"You have awfully low expectations of me, but check away," Carl said,
laughing and then snorted, "Oink, oink."
"Oink," Casey said.
"You got that right, Casey, me boy," Cam said.
"Oink!" Casey said again, louder, and laughing.
"Art, you can see why we have to be careful what we say around
Casey these days," Kevin said.
"So I hear," Art said, chuckling. "Oink."
They all laughed, and when the conversation flagged, Cam reached over
the gathering darkness inside the car to cup Kevin's crotch.
There was an immediate reaction. Kevin's cock began swelling, and
tried to keep from groaning out loud as he put his hand over Cam's hand
as the boy rubbed his package. Cam leaned over closer to
Kevin and kissed his ear, and then inserted his tongue into it and
it around. A minute or two passed as Cam continued his seduction,
and Kevin could feel he was leaking pre-cum into his
boxers. Lots of juice.
"Hey," Carl said, looking into his rearview mirror and watching in the
dim light what Cam was doing to Kevin with his tongue-in-ear
awfully quiet back there. Is there anything going on that I need
to know about?"
"What?!! Just keep
your eye on the road and never mind what your betters are up to in the
back seat," Kevin said.
"Oh, all right!" Carl laughed. "Safety first."
Art Smith turned his head to look into the back seat, but by then Cam
had pulled his
tongue out and away from Kevin's ear. Cam still had his hand in
Kevin's crotch in the darkness, giving his partner some gentle frottage
that kept him hard but didn't make him ejaculate. Kevin's hand was along for the ride.
They arrived back in Malibu without incident and parked the SUV.
Kevin unbuckled Casey from the car seat and carried the little guy into
the house, holding him strategically in front of him so Carl and Art
couldn't see his prominent woody. Cam looked pleased with
himself for getting Kevin all fired up as he followed his partner into
the house, watching his ass all the way.
They all went right to the kitchen, and Carl and Art heated up the
multiple chicken breasts and corn on the cob which had been prepared by
and fixed plates for everybody with good helpings of chicken and the
corn, now cut off the cob. They put their plates in the oven and
added salad when the food was hot.
Carl offered thanks for the food when it was ready, along with thanks
for Cam's safe return from San Francisco, and they sat down to
eat. Maria had cooked
the chicken breasts in a tangy sauce, and they were delicious.
Carl finished first, and fed Casey some baby food. Kevin put some
ointment on the baby's gums when Casey had eaten, and the little guy
in a good mood.
Kevin released Casey from his highchair, and the boy walked around the
kitchen with Carl right behind him so he wouldn't take a tumble on the
uncarpeted tile floor. Kevin took that opportunity to run
and change his boxers, which were soaked with pre-cum thanks to Cam's
shenanigans in the car.
Afterward, the four guys went into the study with the baby and sat and
talked while Casey rolled a rubber ball around the room. Art went
out to his car to get his book bag, and they all studied some school
assignments for a little while, followed by a short workout
the gym supervised by Kevin. He complimented Art on how much he
already improved his physique.
As the evening came to a close, Kevin suggested to Art that he stay
over and run on the beach with them in the morning.
"I don't have my running clothes with me," Art said.
"Cam's running clothes will fit you," Kevin said, "and thanks to Maria,
there's soap and a fresh toothbrush and towels in every bathroom.
pick a room."
Art agreed, and the guys headed for bed about 10 p.m., expecting a busy
* * *
After rubbing some more ointment on Casey's gums and bathing him, Kevin
put him down
for the night. Cam and Kevin went into their new bedroom to spend
first night there.
Cam looked around the spacious room with the gigantic bed, seeing it
with fresh eyes.
"This may take some getting used to," he said. "This bed is
almost big enough to sleep all the guys when they come down here for
"I know it," Kevin agreed. "If we put everyone in this room, even
with a few
on the floor on sleeping pads, we won't have
to turn the living room into a dorm."
They stripped off their clothes, and then headed into the huge
bathroom. Kevin had moved all their toiletries from their old
bathroom to the
the double sinks in the new bathroom. They brushed their teeth,
then washed each
the multi-head shower, with Cam again paying special attention to
cock. By the time they finished toweling each other dry, they
were both hard.
Cam went to the door of the their new room and opened it, leaving it
open so that they could hear Casey if he fussed during the night.
flipped the hidden switch in the closet which turned on the camouflaged
mirror over the bed before joining Kevin under the covers on
of their big new
Cam broke the silence as they faced each other and looked into one
"I need to tell you something," he said.
"Promise me you won't get mad."
"I won't get mad," Kevin said.
"William and I stayed at the apartment while I was in San
Francisco. I was surprised when he wanted to sleep in the same
bed with me. I let him, but I didn't want to get frisky with
him. Sometime during the night, though, he came bigtime.
sure whether I jacked him off without knowing it or not, but I did have
some of his cum on my hand. When he got up to go to the bathroom,
I saw there was a big wet spot on his side of the bed.
"I swear to you that I had no intention to touch him," Cam continued,
"but I may have done it in my sleep. Please believe me when I
tell you that wasn't my plan, though. After he went to the
bathroom and came back to bed, he tried to grab my
cock to get me off, but I wouldn't let him."
Kevin pulled his face back from Cam, and frowning silently, looked him
full in the face for a long minute.
"William is so fucking hot," Cam finally said to fill the silence,
"I admit I wanted
his body. But I would never intentionally be unfaithful to you,
Kevin pulled his free arm from under the covers and caressed Cam's face
with his hand.
"I know you wouldn't," he said.
Cam teared up a little in relief.
"Now I want to tell you
something, and it's something I don't do enough
of," Kevin said.
"I want to tell you how much I love you and admire you, Cameron, and it
may take a little while."
"Why do you want to do that after what I just told you about me and
"Because you didn't hide what happened in San Francisco from me, and
you more," Kevin said. "I won't give you a complete list of
reasons right now I love you so much, but for starters, I hope you
brave and honest you are.
I've watched you over the past year--what you've been through--and
you've been totally genuine in the way you've reacted to everything
happened to you, and to us. You've been tough and resilient about
dealing with being
assaulted down the beach, and then with losing Alex and John.
You've faced your demons, and beat the shit out of 'em, and you never
keep secrets from me.
sex on legs as far as
I'm concerned. So fucking cute and handsome. I got a chubby
at the airport the minute I spotted you on the escalator.
Not to mention from what you did to me in the car." He moved to
head over and kissed Cam on the nose.
"Another big turn-on for me is the way you are with Casey," Kevin
continued. "I know how you are with him, the
way you love him and care for him. Nobody can fake
that. Little kids are needy. If we didn't know
that before, we sure know it now. How could I not love you for
do for him? And he
loves you for it.
"And the love you have for every member of our family and for our
well, I've never seen anything like it. Those feelings draw
in and makes it possible for them to be the kind of people they're
meant to be. You're a love dynamo, dude. That's a rare and
beautiful gift. The way
you've rescued Art Smith and Jeff Miller from what was a pretty lonely
life for them are just two examples of what I'm talking about.
And you've been so tolerant of Mark Carson's crush on me, and never
made him--or me--feel guilty about it. He's another example of
reach out to people in such a wonderful way. And I could pick out
lot of other people you've influenced for the good. I find myself
emulating you every chance I get.
"Just speaking for myself, it's one
thing to love someone, but being able to admire them totally and
respect them for all their personal qualities makes that love complete
way. You make that possible for me, even easy for me, Cam.
You're my boy, and I
respect you and admire you and love you and lust for you with every
fiber of my
being. These feelings get stronger every day that I live with
you, and I'm
thankful to you for making my life joyful and worthwhile and fulfilled
because you are who you are.
"One last thing. I love you totally. But I hope you know
how much everybody loves you
back for the kind of person you are. You're such a
strong person, and yet you inspire and bring love out of
others. Some people assume love is a soft emotion, but
coming from you, it's the most powerful force in this world."
Cam tried to respond, and couldn't at first. He couldn't even
swallow because of the lump in his throat. He finally rasped out,
"I should go away more often! Thank you for what you
said. You're in my heart, Kev. Really, you are my heart. I love you so
much I want to be you."
He was so
moved that tears began running down his cheeks.
That made Kevin mist up, too, something rare for him. They
together in the happiness of being back
together, caring for each other without reservation. They kissed
tears from one another's face. Then they drifted off into a deep
with Cam's last thought being how much he appreciated Kevin's
annunciation of his affection and admiration for him. Cam had
felt unloved by his partner, but Kevin had rarely been that explicit
about his feelings.
When they awakened in the middle of the night, it was to make
love, not just to have sex. After feeling up each other up,
hitting all their erogenous
fingers and tongues, they sixty-nined until they were both leaking
Kevin pulled off of his partner's dick and swiveled around in bed.
"Make love to me, Cameron."
Cam nodded and began to move over his partner's frame, kissing and
sensitive parts of the body of this man he loved. Then he reached
over and found lube in the bedside table and greased
Kevin and himself up, finally slipping inside Kevin with Kevin's legs
Cam lay there quietly on top of his
handsome, muscular partner for a long time, kissing his face, savoring
their physical and emotional bond until he eventually began
moving inside of him. He thrust ever so slowly into Kevin's
smooth, welcoming insides until
translated and escalated into the best, most satisfying, most vigorous
of lovemaking they'd had in a long time. Kevin watched the
ceiling, where the mirror image of Cam's lithe body and sweet, tight
moving ever so erotically overhead as his boy's abs simultaneously
massaged Kevin's cock which was trapped between them.
Changing his tactics, Cam raised up to take hold of Kevin's hard dick
and began to jack it with his right hand while speeding the assault on
his boy's ass. At the same time Cam lowered his head, capturing
Kevin's mouth as their tongues dueled. Then he began to nibble
on Kevin's nipples.
Sweat poured from their
bodies as Cam
repeatedly pummeled Kevin's prostate until the latter, who had been
groaning through most of
the thirty minutes of their coupling, eventually shot ten times in
quick succession up between their abs and chests.
bodies was flooded with semen, immediately lessening the friction
on Kevin's dick from Cam's body and hand. At the point that
and over around Cam's
penis as Kevin had ejaculated, Cam could no longer hold off and filled
his lover with copious amounts of his own sperm before he finally
They lay there as if they'd been poleaxed, totally relaxed by their
and reveling in their passion for each other. Eventually, many
Cam licked the semen off Kevin's abs and chest before sliding out of
and out of bed to get warm, damp hand towels to finish cleaning up what
his tongue didn't get.
Then they clung to each other for a long
time, with Cam planting his nose in the hair of Kevin's head
and the skin of his body, inhaling the scent of his partner's cum and
sleep, still intertwined.
It had been just the kind of baptism of their new room and new bed that
John would have wanted for them. And appreciated.
* * *
The four boys ran Wednesday morning with the dogs at 7 a.m. Art
ran only five miles rather than eight, but he was obviously gaining
stamina as he became better conditioned. Kevin stayed with him
this time when he turned around to go back to the house. After
they had all returned and showered, Maria made them omelets filled with
tomatoes, green peppers and crisp bacon bits. Art Smith left for
school right after breakfast, full of thanks for the hospitality he had
After their food had settled, despite protests from Cam and Carl, Kevin
made them spend an hour in the gym under his supervision getting buffed
up a little by doing a variety of exercises. After yet another
shower, they dressed in pastel shirts, nice suits and ties, and well
shined shoes for their
highly anticipated trip to Magnum Studios to preview Alex's and John's
"You boys sure clean up well!" Maria told the guys when she saw them
congregated in the study waiting for their ride to the studio that CEO
George Eisner had promised them.
A sparkling white limousine with a liveried chauffeur rolled into the
driveway at 10:30 on the dot, and drove them to Magnum. The boys
checked out the liquor cabinet in the passenger compartment--there was
a nice selection of premium booze--but didn't help themselves to
"That's tight," Carl said about the bar.
"You should put a bar in your Mustang," Cam
suggested to Kevin.
"Yeah, so Casey can get all liquored up, I s'pose," Kevin
scoffed. "You dufus!"
Cam laughed and pulled Kevin toward him to kiss his cheek.
When they arrived at the studio gate, the guards
recognized the car assigned to Mr. Eisner and opened the gate
without even checking who was arriving.
The chauffeur opened a rear car door for them at their destination on
lot, and directed them to the front door of a fancy, ten-story office
building. They thanked the driver and went inside, where a
perfectly coifed and very
attractive older woman behind a reception desk greeted them. She
checked her book to confirm their appointment, and then asked them to
in the reception area until someone came downstairs for them.
Within five minutes a beautiful young lady walked up and introduced
herself as Natalie Renner, Mr. Eisner's executive assistant. She
must have liked
the way Kevin looked, because Cam noticed she really checked him out.
He's already taken, Natalie, Cam
thought to himself with a smile. In all the ways you can be taken.
Ms. Renner led them into an elevator to the 10th floor, and then out of
the elevator past another reception desk for the executive
offices. She knocked on a door at the end of the corridor, and
opened the door into an immense office without waiting. George
Eisner was seated behind a massive desk, and stood up when the guys
"Gentlemen," he said with a big smile. "I'm so glad you could
join us! Today wouldn't have been
"Thank you for having us," Cam said as he shook hands with the tall,
rather beefy looking man in a $3,000 suit. "Mr. Eisner, this is
partner, Kevin Stoltz, and this is our good friend and roommate, Carl
Eisner shook hands with Kevin and Carl, and then motioned them over to
a couch and easy chairs in a conversation center to one side of the
room. Huge plate glass windows offered them a magnificent view of
the Los Angeles skyline, a little smogged in as usual.
"Thank you, Natalie," Eisner told his assistant. "You'll join us
for lunch, won't you?"
"Yes, sir," the woman said. "Thank you. I'll let you know
when the chef is
ready to serve."
"Thanks," Eisner told her, then turning his attention to his
visitors. "Have any of you ever taken a tour of Magnum Studios?"
"No, sir," Kevin said.
"Well, we can set something up for you at a time that's convenient for
you," Eisner said. "Now Cam, I know you're in school at UCLA,
studying cinematography, if my memory serves me correctly."
"Yes, sir," Cam said, surprised that the man knew that.
"Kevin and Carl, what about you?"
"I'm studying physics at UCLA," Kevin said.
"I'm a business major, also at UCLA," Carl said.
"Wonderful," Eisner said. "You each have varied interests,
"Yes, sir. Very much so," Kevin said.
"Anyone else at home?" Eisner inquired.
"Kevin and I have a little boy, Casey, who's a year and a few months
old," Cam said.
"I see," Eisner said. "I imagine he keeps you busy. Do you
have someone helping you care for him?"
"Yes," Kevin said. "We have a excellent housekeeper/cook, a lady
with children of her own who are in school during the day, and who
care of Casey when we're at UCLA or elsewhere. We'd be lost
"She's part of the family," Carl said.
"Good," Eisner said. "I'm sure that having someone you can count
on takes a load off your mind."
"It really does," Kevin said.
"Kevin and I plan to be married when we're both 18, which won't be
"Particularly now that same-sex marriage is legal in California."
"Congratulations to you both," Eisner said warmly. "It's
everyone has his or her civil rights."
"We certainly agree with that!" Kevin said.
"Carl, what about you? Do you have a 'significant other'?"
"Yes, sir, my boyfriend lives in San Rafael. He'll be moving down
here to live with me--with us--next semester."
"That's good to hear," Eisner said.
"What about you, Mr. Eisner? Are you married?" Cam asked.
"Yes, I am. I've been married to the same woman for 40
years. We have five children, and three grandchildren. Ours
isn't the usual California story because my wife and I are still very
"That is a little unusual,"
agreed. "I'm happy for you."
"Thank you," Eisner said.
Eisner's assistant, Natalie, returned to say that luncheon was ready be
served, and the three young men and their host rose and followed
Natalie into a dining room adjoining the CEO's office, a beautifully
paneled room which could seat
fifteen people. There were four people already gathered,
and they stood up as the others came in. Eisner introduced Sam
Hamilton, the producer of Alex's and John's picture, William
McGrady, the executive producer, Rafe Allen, a young man in his
20's who was Hamilton's assistant, and Dan Cantwell, the director of
photography, to Cam, Kevin and Carl. They
Apparently no one else had been invited to lunch.
There were name cards, and everyone sat down at the places designated
for them, with Eisner sitting at the head of the table with Cam on one
side, Kevin on the other, and Carl next to Kevin. Crystal
glassware was filled with ice
water which was beading on the sides of the glasses, and sterling
silver cutlery graced each place setting along with an embossed card
which listed what would be served for lunch:
Caviar on ice
Cold gazpacho soup
dressing in a bed of haricots verts
baby sugarsnap peas with chickpea risotto suffused with saffron
anglaise of pure custard
Earl Grey tea
Cam looked at Kevin with raised eyebrows. Obviously no expense
had been spared for the occasion.
A uniformed wait staff began to serve the caviar followed by the soup,
and out of habit
Kevin, Carl and Cam bowed their heads and said a silent grace, trying
not to call attention to themselves. But Mr. Eisner, sitting at
the head of the table, noticed.
"I see that you boys offered thanks," he said. "A good reminder
for all of us. Would one of you like to say grace for us?"
"Cam would." Kevin smiled, looking across the table at his
partner, whose face turned red. But Cam didn't argue.
"Cam?" Eisner said, reaching out for Cam's hand and Kevin's hand on the
other side of the table. The other Magnum people
sheepishly reached out to link hands--obviously not their usual
at such a lunch.
"Let us pray," Cam said. "Heavenly Father, we
thank you for this opportunity to gather today to preview Alex's
and John's last picture, knowing that you have blessed their work and
the efforts of all who supported that work. We also ask a
the food being set before us and upon the hands of all those who
it. In your name we pray."
Kevin and Carl said, followed by Mr. Eisner and the other guests
as they loosed hands.
Short, sweet and to the point.
"Cam, thank you," Eisner said. "Are you three
"Yes, sir," Kevin said. "We all attend Mass at St. Dunstan's,
Hollywood. As did Alex and John before they died. All the
members of our family are Episcopalians. So are our next door
neighbors, Sean and Susan Miller."
"I know the Millers very well," Eisner mused. "So St. Dunstan's is where I've seen
you before," Eisner continued. "You three looked familiar to me
we met today. I knew I had seen John and Alex at St. Dunstan's on
well. By the way, I would have been at their Requiem, but my wife
were out of town at that time. She and I belong to that parish,
and raised our family
there. Father Ryan is a wonderful priest!"
"Now that you mention it, I've seen you at a distance at St. Dunstan's
coffee hour after the late Mass," Carl said, the light dawning.
"You know, I've think I've seen Casey there with you, too," Eisner
daughter Rachel likes to walk the little guy around the parish hall
at coffee hour while he stands on her shoes, if I'm not mistaken.
cute little bug!"
"You're right," Kevin said, looking at their host and chuckling.
"Casey's always on his best behavior at church, and he loves the Ryan
kids, especially Rachel. They always make a fuss over him."
"I could tell just by looking at him that you take good care of him,"
Eisner told the three guys. "I know that caring for a
one-year old can be demanding, but enjoy it while you can.
He'll be a teenager in the blink of an eye, and then you'll really
have some challenges."
Everybody laughed dutifully.
The conversation drifted off to other subjects after the caviar was
consumed and then the soup. The appetizer and the cool soup had
The wait staff was clearing the table in preparation for the main
course when Eisner looked over at Sam Hamilton, the producer.
"Sam," Eisner said, "why don't you tell these boys what a producer does
on a major film project like this one."
"Sure," Hamilton said. "The producer, in theory, is in charge of
assembling all the resources required to make a successful
movie--choosing a director, purchasing or developing the script,
rounding up appropriate
staff, making sure that the executive
producer's budget and fundraising are adequate to carry out the
artistic goals that the director brings to the project, and a thousand
other details. The reality of who manages the overall process
depends on the understanding between the director and the producer
who's really in charge--who has the experience and the vision to
achieve the best film possible with available resources. It
sometimes takes some negotiation, as it did in our case."
Hamilton looked at Cam and chuckled. "You probably knew your
than any of us, so you're probably aware that he was strong-willed,
and so was John Kelley. After a few early skirmishes, your dad,
John, Bill McGrady, Rafe Allen, Dan Cantwell and I reached a
allowed us to
work together very well. The détente was that Alex told us
what he and John wanted to do, and we said, 'Yes, sir.'"
Bill McGrady laughed with a twinkle in his eye. "You got that
right," he said. "But the finished product in this case proved
that that arrangement was the best decision we could have made.
going to knock your socks off, the fact that it came in over-budget
The lamb and side dishes were served, and it was all melt-in-your-mouth
good. Conversation stopped at first while everybody
concentrated on eating.
After a few bites, Cam turned to Mr. Eisner.
"Would it be out of place for me to ask what the title of the movie is?"
Eisner dabbed at his lips with his napkin. "Well, the working
title was Love and Destiny throughout
the filming. But we all
still like it as it stands, so I think it's about ninety-nine percent
stick. Wouldn't you agree, Sam?"
"Yes," Hamilton said. "That title has my vote."
"I'm down with that," McGrady agreed.
Everybody continued chatting amiably through the custard, biscuits,
"Wonderful meal!" Carl commented when the wait staff came to clear the
"Thank you, Carl," Eisner said.
"Would it be possible to ask the chef to join us for a moment?" Kevin
asked. "We'd like to thank him or her personally."
"Of course," Eisner said, nodding at Natalie. She rose from the
table and went into the kitchen, emerging a moment later with a man
dressed in white wearing a large apron and a tall chef's hat.
"Gentlemen, Rudolfo Rossi," Eisner said.
Cam began to clap, and everyone joined him.
"Rudolfo, our guests, Mr. MacKenzie, Mr. Stoltz, and Mr. Emrick, wanted
to thank you for our magnificent lunch today," Eisner said.
"Delicious!" Cam said.
Rudolfo bowed. "Grazie," he said with a smile and a wave.
Then he turned and went back into the kitchen.
"Very kind of you to do that," Eisner observed to Kevin as everyone
rose from the table.
"Why don't we take a ten minute break and reconvene in the small
theater down on the ninth floor?" Eisner suggested. "There is a
bathroom up here just off my office, and other facilities in the hall
if you need
them," he told Cam, Kevin and Carl.
The group scattered, with Cam, Kevin and Carl crowding into Mr.
Eisner's private bathroom to relieve themselves.
"First class operation, huh?" Cam observed as Carl used the urinal and
Cam and Kevin shared the toilet to take a leak.
"The lunch was perfect!" Carl observed as he moved over to the sink to
wash and dry his hands.
Kevin nodded as he and Cam finished up and moved toward the sink.
"The food was
great! But for every-day meals, I'm still very satisfied with
Maria does for us."
Carl high-fived him in agreement, and then realized that Kevin hadn't
washed his hands yet. "Oh, shit," Carl said, "I just high-fived
the hand you held your dick with."
"Don't worry about it," Kevin laughed. "My dick is clean enough
for you to eat off of."
"In some company that would be a disgusting thought!" Carl said,
"You guys are so fucking crude!" Cam observed. "I can't take you
The three of them were laughing when they emerged from the bathroom.
Mr. Eisner was just hanging up his telephone when the boys walked up to
"They're all ready for us downstairs," he said, smiling. "Why
don't we go on down and get the best seats."
They went out into the hallway and caught an elevator to the floor
below. Mr. Eisner led them down the corridor some twenty feet to
a double door, and they went into a small theater furnished with 15
plush, reddish-tan leather seats which rocked forward and
backward and swiveled when the occupants wanted them to do so.
Eisner and the
three boys were the first on the scene, and
he waved them into the center seats in the third row, and seated
himself to one side of Cam and Kevin.
The other guests at lunch trickled
into the room. On the arm of each seat
was a card headed, Love and Destiny,
followed by a synopsis of the story. Cam glanced down at
the card and quickly scanned it:
Dorian Matthews, the younger son
of the Earl and Countess of Ripon, himself a product of Eton and
Cambridge and a captain in the Royal Marine Light Infantry, was married
shortly after his twenty first birthday to Mary, the stunning
daughter of the Duke and
Duchess of Dorchester. It was, as was often typical of marriages
nobility during the latter part of the nineteenth century, an arranged
in which love was yet to bloom, if at all.
Matthews' best friend and erstwhile
lover at Cambridge, Eric Rutledge, a lieutenant also in the Marine
Light Infantry, served as Dorian's best man at the wedding.
Only days after the marriage had been
consummated, Matthews shipped out with the Sudan Expeditionary Force in
1883 under the overall command of General Sir Gerald Graham, VC.
General Charles George Gordon, governor general of the Sudan, was head
of the army which was
under siege by the Mahdi and was already in residence in
Khartoum. Rutledge was
shipped out with the
expeditionary force as well, and both
he and Matthews were attached to the intelligence company for service
what was then part of Egypt.
Matthews and Rutledge, as spies of a
sort, had a good deal of flexibility and autonomy in carrying out their
duties. Disguised as Sudanese natives, they often elected to work
together on operations of a secret nature. They were
partners in most of
which gave them ample opportunities for personal contacts of a sexual
nature. If known, their relationship would of course have
them to be cashiered from the Royal Navy. They took care to mask
their feelings, but they were deeply in
love with one another.
The intelligence gathered by Matthews and Rutledge was valuable to
senior commanders in
formulating strategies during the war. One goal of the two men
was to see that the civilian
was spared being slaughtered on the many occasions during which battles
took place. In that regard, Matthews and Rutledge's views were
to the usual English arrogance and disdain toward native peoples which
was the norm of that day.
On one occasion, Matthews was captured and was being
subjected to torture by a unit of Dervish soldiers when Rutledge went
into their camp carrying one of the new machine guns which he had
commandeered from Army stores, and he killed Matthews' tormentors
any useful information could be extracted from him. The two men
other's back" on that and many other occasions of great danger, and
were decorated several times for their exploits by their
Army superiors. Their experiences caused the two men to
what had already been an
Meanwhile, in England, a young son
had been born to Matthews and his wife Mary, the fruit of their wedding
night. Mary was subsequently
killed early in 1885 along with Matthews'
older brother and his parents in a terrible carriage accident as they
were traveling to visit Mary's family in Dorchester. The young
Edward, was thrown clear of the wreckage, and survived, and he was
transplanted to Dorchester to be raised by his grandparents pending his
father's return from the Sudan.
Once the details of the accident were
known, Dorian Matthews, now the Earl of Ripon upon the death of his
father and brother, was immediately detached
from his company and regiment, and shipped home to England to care for
son. Rutledge remained behind, now bereft of his friend and
lover. Their parting in the Sudan was anguished.
Matthews had a difficult time getting
custody of his son from his in-laws after he arrived back in England,
but eventually prevailed. He devoted his time and energies to
his son and seeing him educated as befitted the son of a peer of the
realm. He himself served in the House of Lords as one of the more
liberal members of the peerage of that day.
The Sudan Expeditionary Force was
eventually withdrawn from the Sudan in 1885 upon the death of General
Gordon, and the survivors,
including Eric Rutledge, returned to England. Rutledge moved to a
village near the manor house in Ripon, and the two men resumed their
relationship as circumstances permitted. Rutledge was eventually
Matthews as administrator of the far-flung estates of the
Matthews and Rutledge made it one of their major objectives to rectify
the grinding poverty in which the working people of the day lived
within their jurisdiction, and Matthews used his membership in the
of Lords to achieve the same ends on a wider basis. Rutledge ran
for and was elected to the House of Commons, where he served several
times in the cabinet, selected by powerful and popular prime
ministers. He played an important role in moderating the
conservative views of the Tory party. Rutledge was eventually
knighted by the crown for his work.
Young Edward Matthews grew apace, and over the years enjoyed an
close relationship to his father and to Eric Rutledge, though unaware
that the two men were lovers. Edward was straight, although he
had had some sexual experiences with several male classmates during his
growing-up years. Shortly before the Earl's death, his father
confided to his son that he and
Rutledge had been almost lifelong lovers,
asked his son to continue laying the foundation for greater equality
citizens as opportunities presented themselves. Edward Matthews
promised to do so.
Matthews and Rutledge died within weeks of one another of natural
causes in their late seventies. Young Edward and his wife were
present at their respective bedsides as they were
multitudes of their friends and colleagues. The British royals
attended the funerals of both men, at which each received
additional military honors for their service in the Sudan. The
parish churches from
which the men were buried were surrounded outside the buildings by
hundreds of commoners, both men and women, who were there because of
Matthews' and Rutledge's records of service to the realm and the work
they had done to help create a middle class in Great Britain.
Edward Matthews, now the Earl of Ripon, took the secret of his father's
and Eric's relationship to his grave.
The final scene was of the young Earl and his wife standing where his
father and Eric
Rutledge were buried next to one another, remembering their good works
and weeping at the loss of the two men Edward and his spouse had loved
and admired so
The other luncheon guests at lunch had trickled
into the room, and when everyone was present and seated, Eisner pushed
a button on the arm of his seat and said, "Tony, we're ready."
"Yes, sir," a voice answered from a speaker in
The lights dimmed, and a curtain opened to expose a glistening white
screen in the front. A beam of light hit the screen along with
a flood of music, and the
Magnum Studio logo appeared followed by the production company's
credit. Then the title of the movie appeared in red:
Love and Destiny
The first scene was of a man and a woman standing in
front of the
high altar of a large English cathedral, being married by a tall bishop
an alb and stole in accordance with the Anglican rite of that
day. The bride was clothed in a magnificent white gown and train,
and Matthews and Rutledge were dressed in their Royal Marine uniforms,
complete with sabers. As the
service proceeded, the camera panned around the church to reveal a
congregation dressed in 19th century garb.
The wedding night was filmed well, with just enough revealed to
know that the bride's virginity was taken.
The noise and confusion on the wharf when Matthews, Rutledge and the
Expeditionary Force boarded the warships and debarked for the Sudan was
beautifully handled, with all the pomp and ceremony of the occasion,
along with the
apprehension of the families left behind, adroitly portrayed.
>From beginning to end, the costumes and locations in the film were
accurate to a fault, and the story moved forward at a pace which kept
viewers' attention glued to the screen.
The synopsis, although an accurate account of the story which unfolded,
didn't begin to convey the admiration that the actors inspired in
viewers for the characters they played. The
character development of the leading actors was meticulous and
perfect, especially capturing well the efforts of Matthews and Rutledge
on behalf of the commoners of
The emotions of the cast members seemed genuine in every instance, and
Cam, Kevin and Carl were very moved by the film. They weren't
alone in that regard.
Cam couldn't help but reflect how much his mother and Ian and Mary
Carson would like the social context of the film when they finally got
to see it.
No one in the little theater stirred or spoke a word when the credits
rolled at the end, or for several minutes after the lights came
up. During that time Cam realized how much he identified with
the characters Matthews and Rutledge. He admired them not only
their physical courage in the Sudan, but for their steadfastness, as
people of privilege in nineteenth century Great Britain, in working
tirelessly on behalf of the downtrodden of their day. He didn't
know it at the time, but Kevin and Carl were thinking much the same
"Where were the scenes in the Sudan filmed?" Cam finally inquired after
he finally refocused on the present.
"John took a unit to Morocco," Eisner said. "Some of the terrain
there is very similar to the Sudan."
"I didn't know anything was filmed outside of England," Cam said,
looking at Kevin.
"Me, either," Kevin said. "I had assumed everything was filmed
somewhere near London."
"Where the Sudan segment of the movie was to be filmed was one of
my early battles," Sam Hamilton said. "But in retrospect I have
to tell you Alex was right. Reality was served. Filming
there put our costs through
the roof, though."
"I can attest to that," Bill McGrady said. "But it was worth it."
The group continued to talk about the film for over thirty minutes
George Eisner looked at his watch.
"Gentlemen, I hate to leave you, but I have another meeting in about
"I have to take my leave as well," Bill McGrady said.
Everyone stood up and began to say their good-byes. Before they
all parted company, Cam sought out
Dan Cantwell, the director of photography.
"Mr. Cantwell, I want to tell you how impressed I am with the
photography in Love and
Destiny. I'd really like to talk with
you at some point if you'd have time. I'm taking a cinematography
class at UCLA right now. It's a good class, but I know you could
help me expand my horizons."
Cantwell, a man of about thirty years of age, smiled and pulled a
name card out of
his breast pocket and handed it to Cam.
"I'd like that," he said. "Give me a call, and we'll get
together whenever is good for you."
"Thank you," Cam said.
"Why don't you boys come up to my office before you leave," Eisner said
to Cam, Kevin and Carl. "We'll set up a tour of the studio for
you at your convenience."
"That would be great," Kevin said.
They went upstairs. Knowing that the whole family would be down
for Thanksgiving week from San Rafael, Cam asked if he could expand the
tour numbers to include all the out-of-towners along with Jeff Miller
and Art Smith. Eisner said that was no problem, asking only
that he be given the opportunity to meet everybody when they
showed up on the lot. The boys thought that was really generous
of the man.
Cam, Kevin and Carl expressed their thanks profusely for the lunch and
the movie preview, and said good-bye to George Eisner and Natalie
Renner, who once again gave Kevin the eye when they parted
company. Cam chuckled inwardly about that. I wish I had the time and opportunity to
fill Natalie in on
just how gay Kevin is, he thought to himself.
The guys made their way downstairs and out to the waiting limo.
"I think you made a conquest," Cam told Kevin once they were
all seated in the back of the car behind the glass barrier between them
"What are you talking about?" Kevin asked.
"Ms. Renner was giving you the eye, dude," Cam said.
"He's right," Carl told Kevin.
"I didn't notice anything," Kevin said. He smiled. "Were
Cam laughed. "Yes, I was. I was pissed every time she
looked at you and undressed you with her eyes," he said.
"But then I remembered what we did in bed last night, and I knew that
was right in our little world."
"Did you do something special in bed last night?" Carl asked
innocently, needling them a little.
"Nothing you and Andy haven't done, I can assure you," Kevin said.
"I'm relieved to hear that," Carl said. "We're not trying to
break new ground."
"Don't mess with perfection," Kevin said, and punched Carl on the
The boys spent the rest of the drive talking about Love and Destiny. Cam thought
to himself how right Bill McGrady, the executive producer, had
been. The film had indeed
"knocked his socks off."
* * *
After the limo dropped them off in Malibu, the guys changed clothes and
Cam went down to the study and started making calls on the landline to
confirm who was
coming for Thanksgiving dinner. First he called next door to the
Millers. Susan Miller answered the phone.
"Mrs. Miller, it's Cam."
"Cam! How are you?"
"Good. Listen, I just wanted to make sure you and Mr. Miller and
Juanita are coming over for Thanksgiving dinner. You probably
already know that Jeff will be here."
"He told me. We're all looking forward to being there, Cam."
"Good deal! By the way, Juanita will be here as a guest,
not to work. I think you knew that."
"I did. I know she's looking forward to it. Will Maria be
"Yes. We invited her and her husband and kids."
"That's awfully nice of you, Cam. Can we bring anything?"
"No, m'am. Just yourselves."
"Sean and I will be there with bells on. Thank you. I know
everybody will have a good time. I want to see that Casey.
We never get to see enough of him."
"He's been getting his baby teeth, and has been a little cranky
But he'll be in good shape by Thanksgiving."
"Good. We'll see you then, Cam. Thanks for calling."
They hung up. Next, Cam checked the phone's directory, and called
Ian Carson at his law office in L.A. Ian's secretary, Beverly,
"To what do I owe the honor of this call?" Ian's baritone voice asked
with a chuckle.
"In the unlikely event I ever commit murder, will you represent me for
free, or will I have to pay?" Cam said.
"You'll have to pay double, and give me free room and board at your
house during the trial," Ian said.
"I'm shocked to hear that after all we've meant to each other!"
"My services would have been free if you hadn't made me fly the whole
down there for Thanksgiving," Ian said. "Again."
"Can't you write it off as a business trip?"
"That wouldn't be honest, now, would it?"
"You're an honest lawyer? What's this world coming to?"
"When an ethical question comes up, I just ask myself, 'What would Cam
"Well then, the bar association and the Justice Department will be
you before you know it."
"Thanks for the heads-up. Now, what's on you mind, bud?"
"First, how's Mom doing?"
"She's doing well. I talked to her at noon. She'll be home
when when I get there tonight."
"Excellent! Now, have all the arrangements
been made for the trip down here for Thanksgiving?"
"Absolutely. Beverly made them, so everything is bound to be
"That's a relief! Is Andy Helder coming with you? Carl will
want to know."
"And Father Mason?
"All right! I can't wait to see everybody! What time will
you be getting into L.A.?"
Ian glanced down at his calendar. "We're leaving San Francisco at
10 a.m. on Monday of Thanksgiving week, and will get in about noon."
"You are a god among men!"
"So my staff tells me."
"And rightly so. Two last things. One, give Mary and Mommy
and Yolanda and the guys my love."
"Consider it done."
"Two, Kevin and Carl and I were at Magnum Studios today for lunch, and
saw a preview of Dad and John's last picture. It's
outstanding! You and Mary are going to love it when it's
"I'm glad, Cam. It sounds as if George Eisner treated you
"I'm pleased for you, bud."
"Well, he and his wife are members of St. Dunstan's. That
explains a lot."
"Good. Maybe we'll see them at church, then."
"Yep. Father Ryan got all kinds of kudos from Mr. Eisner when we
talking today. He loves him and his family."
"I know it. Well, Ian, I'll let ya go. Love ya, and I can't
wait to see you."
"Love you back, Cam. Give Kevin and Carl my love. See you
Cam hung up and then called Art Smith, who answered his cell on the
"Dude!" Art said. "How was the movie?"
"It was great! I'll tell ya all about it when we see each other."
"Listen, I don't know what your plans for Thanksgiving are, but if it
won't cause any hard feelings with your family, you're invited to join
us. We're going to Mass at 10 a.m. Go to church with us,
and then the afternoon is
ours. Dinner will probably be at 4 o'clock, but that's subject to
change. Bring swimming trunks,
'cause we're going to swim next door at the Millers' pool. And
plan to stay over. With all the guys here from San Francisco,
it's gonna be raucous!"
"Wow! Thanks for the invite. Let me talk to my mom and dad,
but things haven't been too good between us lately. So I'll let
you know tomorrow, but I really want to be there."
"Good, Art. Come for supper tonight. Maria will have
something good for us."
"I feel like I might wear out my welcome if I come over too often, Cam."
"Getcher ass over here after school, and don't plan to go home tonight."
Art laughed. "Well, when you put it that way..."
They hung up, and Art headed for his next class at UCLA with a big
smile plastered on his face.
Cam next dialed Father Ryan from the
phone directory. The church secretary put him right through.
"Cam, how are you?" the priest asked.
"Good, Father. I'm just calling to confirm that you and Mrs. Ryan
and the kids are coming here for Thanksgiving."
"We are, Cam, and we're all looking forward to it so much."
"Father Mason will be here."
"He told me that the other day," Father Ryan said. "Your family
is all coming down here?"
"It sounds as if it's going to be a great celebration. What
time were you planning dinner?"
"Well, your kids are young, so let's plan around them. What time
do you want to eat?"
"That's very considerate of you. Mass on Thanksgiving is at 10
a.m., so anytime
after noon would be fine. You guys set the time."
"Would 4 p.m. be too late? That will give the young crew plenty
of time to swim and get
rowdy over at the Millers' pool before we eat."
"Sounds good, Cam. Thanks again for the invitation. Lisa
and the kids are thrilled. See you then."
"Father, before I let you go, have you had any carpentry work done at
the church? I'm looking for a recommendation for a carpenter to
do some work here at the house."
"As a matter of fact, we have had some work done here, and by a member
of our congregation. He did a good job at a decent price, and I
have no hesitation
in recommending him. John Rogé is his name, and I can give
his number if you want to hold on for a minute."
"Sure," Cam said.
The priest put him on hold, and was back with him in two minutes.
"You have a pencil?"
The priest gave him the telephone number, and said that Cam should
mention who gave him the referral when he called.
"Thanks, Father. Will do. We'll see you this Sunday, and
then at the Thanksgiving Mass. Take care."
Kevin strolled into the study just Cam hung up. "Whadda ya
he asked with faux sternness. "And don't lie to me."
"I wouldn't dream of lying to you. I've been calling my
boyfriends all around the world. They all said to tell you
'hi.' And I talked to Father Ryan, and he gave me the
number of a carpenter to call about putting in a doorway upstairs."
"You never cease to amaze me," Kevin said. "Most of
the time in a
Cam stood up from the desk, grabbed Kevin, and
gave him a big, juicy smooch on the
"Ugh!" Kevin said, smiling and wiping his face.
"Sometimes love is damp," Cam said.
© 2013 Don Hanratty
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