My Belovèd is mine, and I am his.
Song of Songs 2:16
Cam woke up about 2 a.m. on the
morning of the Magnum Studios trip. The only noise in the room
was from cool air blowing out of the air conditioning ceiling ducts and
the soft snores of the guys sleeping here and there
around the master
bedroom. Cam was snuggled up to Kevin in the the middle of their
huge king-size bed, with Dan Emrick at his side and Mark Carson next to
Kevin on the other side of the bed. Cam put his mouth to Kevin's
"Hey, Kev," he whispered.
Kevin stirred, and then his eyes popped open to look at his partner.
Kissing Kevin's ear and keeping his mouth there, Cam whispered, "Let's
go downstairs for a few minutes."
Kevin at first looked at Cam uncomprehendingly in the dim light from
the nightlite in the bathroom, and then a big smile broke
face. He nodded, causing Cam to smile back as he moved away from
Dan Emrick and stepped over the boy to get out of bed. Kevin
carried out the same maneuver, extricating himself from beside
Mark Carson, and covering the boys up again with a sheet and light
blanket. They both walked into the bathroom, where they
their bathrobes before they exited the
None of the guys stirred as Cam closed the bedroom door quietly and
he and Kevin made their way
to the first floor.
They heard Alice's and Samantha's tails thumping on the floor in
greeting as they walked down the hall past the study, but the dogs
stayed where they had been sleeping and didn't come out to see them.
"I'm so horny to have sex with you I can't stand it," Cam whispered to
use the downstairs bathroom."
"I'm already getting hard," Kevin told his
partner sotto voce, pulling
Cam close to him and feeling up his ass as
walked farther down the first floor hallway. "I was hoping you
didn't bring me down here in the middle of the night just to chat."
They went into the
bathroom at the end of the hall, flicked on the overhead light and
closed and locked
the door. Shedding their bathrobes, they spread them out on the
rug before dropping their boxers and lying down facing each other.
The house was silent as Kevin clasped his partner's body to
himself and looked into his
eyes. "I love you so much, Cameron," Kevin told him. "I
don't tell you that often enough, and I'm sorry I don't." He
paused. "You and
Casey make my life worth living. I hope you know that."
"Yeah, I do. Back atcha." Cam kissed Kevin on the
several times, the last time inserting his
tongue into Kevin's mouth before drawing back and looking at his
partner. "Sometimes I just want it quiet, with nobody else
around the house, when we make love." He
smoothed some errant hairs of Kevin's black crewcut back from his
dig having the whole family down here, y'know, but right now I just
want to hold you and touch you when there aren't any
distractions." He put
his hand on Kevin's face and held it there for a minute, and then
Kevin nodded. "Yep." He rubbed Cam's nose with his
own. "I know." He gave Cam a long, juicy kiss, and
began to rub his partner's hairless chest, pausing occasionally to
gently, first one and then the other, and then putting his head down to
lick them and nibble on them.
"Oh-h-h," Cam breathed in and out in pleasure, his toes curling and his
free hand reaching over to
Kevin's beautiful, developed pecs to massage them.
They erected quickly, and Cam reached down and palmed
Kevin's long, thick cock, which finished firming up at his touch.
gently stroked Kevin's hardening penis for several minutes until a drop
appeared in the slit, and then he swiveled around and began to suck on
his partner's cock. His position put Cam's package right in front
of Kevin's mouth, and he
engulfed Cam's dick, taking it as far down his throat as he could as he
held Cam's big balls in his hand. Neither of them moved at first,
then they began to thrust slowly and
deliberately into each other's
fully enjoying the moment with their heads between muscular
thighs. Their precum began to flow freely into the moist caverns
of their mouths.
Cam and Kevin were nothing if not perseverant, and they continued to
themselves as they emitted growing sounds of pleasure. Each of
them thrust a middle finger up his partner's ass and found and massaged
the prostate it found up there. It was a
fifteen minutes before they began to suck each other in earnest and,
unable to hold back, finally ejaculated
almost simultaneously, each flooding his partner's mouth with cum as
They came down slowly from their sexual high, with both guys rolling
the load from his partner over his tongue and around in his
eventually worked to turn himself around after they had cleaned off
other's dick by mouth, gleaning every drop of juice as if it were
"You taste so good," Kevin whispered to Cam. They kissed deeply,
sharing their essence, and then dozed off in each
other's arms for a good half-hour before waking up again, totally
happy and feeling the love they had for each other.
"I know we've mentioned it before, but what would you think about
getting married sometime soon?" Kevin
asked out of
the blue as they continued to lie on the floor, holding each
other. "I'm gonna be 18 in January, and you'll be 18 a week
Cam kissed Kevin's chest and looked him in the face. "I've been
thinking about it for awhile, and I want to. I mean I really want to."
"I know there's nobody else for me but you for a partner in this life,"
feel it deep in my gut every time I look at you, dude.
It's not just your beautiful body and the sex, as great as they
are. It's the love I
have for the total you."
"Same here," Cam confirmed. "And my life, our lives, would never be complete
without Casey, either. I can't even put into words how much that
little boy has enriched my life and our relationship."
"I know that's true!" Kevin agreed, nodding. "He's one little guy
who has all the love
"He's not that much over a year old, but he kinda already has his shit
together, y'know. Whenever he's doing something, he focuses on it
completely. Sometimes I think he's already more mature than I am
about some things."
"Well, let's not go overboard, bro," Kevin said, smiling. He
thought for a
minute. "But you're right, he's an amazing kid. He's really
an easy baby to live
with. Easier than you sometimes."
"Now who's going overboard?"
Kevin laughed and kissed his partner again. "Let's get back to
married," he said.
"Right. Thank goodness we don't even have to travel out-of-state
get married now that the California and Federal courts have done
the right thing," Cam said. "And the Episcopal Diocese of Los
Angeles has been on board with blessing same sex unions for quite a
"I know. Not only can we get a blessing in church, we can follow
it up with a
party to end all parties here at the house, or close by, or even in San
Rafael," Kevin enthused.
"When do you want to do it?"
"Well, we won't be 18 until the new year rolls around anyway, so it
would have to be in 2015 for sure. What about sometime in
February. As long as the date doesn't fall in Lent,
discourages marriage blessings in Lent."
"You're so well informed," Cam said slyly, giving him another
thinking about a service down here, or in San Rafael?"
"I don't know, and I really don't care. I'd prefer to do it down
here, but we do owe the
family a visit up north, y'know." Kevin said. "Maybe several
flexible, though. If
we did it down here, it'd be one more excuse to get everybody down
here. And maybe we could even sneak off for a few days
honeymoon with someone here to be with Casey."
"Now that sounds great! Let's visit some jewelry stores this week
look at some wedding rings. We'll have the visit to Magnum out of
the way as
of later today,
and we could run off for a few hours tomorrow without being missed
said. "Nothing too flashy when it comes to the jewelry, but I'll
want the world to know that I have you for a life partner after we tie
"OK. And we can announce our engagement at Thanksgiving dinner
you want to," Kevin suggested.
"I like that idea!" Cam said. "A lot." He put his nose to
Kevin's chest and inhaled his scent.
They lay there, just holding each other in the deep silence of the
dozed off and awakened several times before they eventually stood,
washed up a little, put on their boxers and their bathrobes,
soul-kissed one another lovingly yet one more time, and
When the two of them entered their bedroom and walked quietly
toward the bed,
William Carson raised his head where he had been sleeping on the floor
and gave them a sleepy grin and a thumbs-up. He must have
suspected they'd been
doing more than just talking during their absence.
William doesn't have a clue just how
apropos that thumbs-up was now that we've decided to get married!!
Maybe he's fucking psychic, Cam thought to himself as he
shrugged off his robe, climbed over Dan Emrick into bed and pulled the
to his chest and back over Dan. He and Kevin clasped one another
closely as they
drifted off to sleep again in the center of the bed, totally relaxed.
This is everything love is supposed
to be, Kevin thought
to himself with satisfaction as he basked in the heat from his
* * *
Berto Hernandez and Maria Romero's older son Juan
had run only five miles that morning of the Magnum trip, so they
already showered, dressed and eaten breakfast by the time the rest of
the gang had run their usual eight miles and returned to the
and Mary did a few perfunctory cool-down stretches on the deck when
they got back, and
headed for their showers in the house.
Cam stripped off his soggy T-shirt, stuffed it into the back of his
running shorts, and had just given the dogs fresh
bowls of water on the deck. He was
preparing to do his post-run stretches when William Carson, dripping
with perspiration, walked over to him, grabbed Cam's ass and
simultaneously rubbed his sweaty face across Cam's back.
"Gotcha," William said.
Completely taken by surprise, Cam yelped, "You dick!" and chased his
tormentor off the deck and down to the bay's edge as the boys back on
the deck, and even Father Mason and Ian Carson started to laugh.
William then ran into Santa Monica Bay up to his hips, and Cam went
after him, quietly spouting obscenities and tackling him into the water.
"What the fuck!!?" Cam yelled at William when they came up for air.
William broke away from Cam, and swam into deeper water. "That
was for pushing me into the pool yesterday," he told Cam.
"Well, at least the pool water was clean," Cam said, starting to
laugh despite himself. "Your sweat is fucking toxic, you douche."
"Are we even?"
"Hell, no, dickhead! You grabbed my ass!"
"And why not?" William said, chuckling. "The way you flaunt it in
front of God and everybody. . ."
"I do no such thing!" Cam protested. "You must like what you see,
"Not necessarily," William said. "But I've seen worse, I'll say
"Thanks, I guess," Cam laughed, deciding to let the whole thing
go. "Come on, we hafta grab a shower
and eat some breakfast before our ride to Magnum shows up."
"Yeah," William said, walking back toward the shore. He got to
where Cam was standing, and threw an arm around his neck as they
walked on to the hardpack toward the deck. "I'm sorry I messed
with ya. Sort of."
"OK," Cam said. He put his arm around the boy and gave William's
a gentle shake as they walked
All the runners had disappeared into the house by that time, and when
the deck, Cam used the hose and washed the sand off himself and
William, curtailing his temptation to stick the hose down William's
shorts or squirt him in the face.
Then he slid open the door and looked and listened to
see if there were any women in the hall. No was was there, and
off his dripping wet running shorts, jock, T-shirt, and socks out
deck, and then wrung the water out of them. William
followed his lead, and carrying their wet stuff,
the two boys ran into the house naked and hurried up the stairs to the
master bedroom. When they went in, the room was full of boys in
the buff, stripped in preparation for a
shower, scattered around the room everywhere.
"Have you guys turned nudist?" Andy Helder asked with a grin at Cam and
William as the two of them scooted into the room naked as the day they
were born, quickly
the door behind them.
"Is there any money in it?" William quipped.
"You know it!" Andy said. "Under the right circumstances."
"We'll talk later," William told Andy with a wink.
Cam went into the bathroom, snagged a laundry bag from where it was
hanging on the back of the bathroom door, and brought it into the
bedroom. "If any of you guys want your running gear washed, put
in here, and I'll throw your shit into the washing machine before we
leave." He and William shoved their own damp clothes into the
bag. "I want all you boys to smell minty fresh when we run
tomorrow," he said.
The guys jeered.
A naked, grinning Kevin came over to Cam and, putting a hand on his
neck, guided him toward the
shower. "Come on, let's get to it, Nature Boy," he said.
"Yep," Cam said, dropping a hand to his partner's well-rounded,
muscular butt as they went into the bathroom and claimed the
shower heads against the far wall, two above them on the ceiling and
two at waist
level. Andy and Carl and Jeff and Art
followed Cam and Kevin them into the shower. Steam soon began
billowing toward the exhaust fans in the ceiling as the boys soaped up
under the hot water. Cam kissed Kevin on the lips as the water
began pelting their bodies.
"I loves ya," Kevin said as he began to wash Cam's back and his ass.
"Loves ya back," Cam said. He put his lips to Kevin's ear and
said, "I'm still so fucking horny for you. We
find some privacy after we get home from Magnum. I wanna go
"Fuckin' A," Kevin told him quietly. "I like the way you think."
As usual, Cam and Kevin took their time washing each other, still
touchy-feely despite having gotten off in the middle of the
night. As usual, they
every opportunity that life gave them to touch one another
physically. They didn't try to hide that they were half
the time they emerged from the bathroom to get dressed, but the rest of
the guys pretended they didn't notice anything untoward as everyone
finished showering and pulled on their boxers, shorts, polo shirts and
sneakers for their day at Magnum Studios.
Once dressed, Cam grabbed the laundry bag, now completely stuffed with
clothes, and carried it down the upstairs hall to a laundry room.
emptied the jocks, shorts, socks and T-shirts into the
machine, added soap, and started the wash cycle before heading
to the kitchen for breakfast. Maria had fixed bacon and
scrambled eggs along with waffles for the adults and the ravenous
who had gathered around kitchen counters, standing up and eating.
Father Mason returned thanks before
they dug into the food.
Life is so good, Kevin
thought to himself as he stood beside Cam at the kitchen counter
a great breakfast. Mary Carson was feeding Casey.
thinking positive thoughts about life in general as he watched his
brothers and their
eat their meal, and made up his mind right then and there that he would
along with Cam's request to get trained as an altar server at St.
Dunstan's, as Father Ryan had asked. That would make Cam happy,
it would make the priest
happy, and it was the least he could do for the good life he had,
especially now that he and Cam had decided to marry.
And if Carl Emrick knows
what's good for him, he'd better agree to get trained as an acolyte,
too, Kevin thought to himself.
Cam ate his breakfast, and then went upstairs to move the guys' running
clothes from the washer to the drier. While he had a minute, he
pulled his cell phone out of the pocket of his shorts and called Sean
Miller next door. Miller answered the landline.
"Mr. Miller, this is Cam. We're getting ready to leave for Magnum
Studios. Samantha and Alice are tied up on the deck, and they
fresh water right now. If you have time, could you check later
this morning and see that they have water in their bowls?"
"I sure will, Cam. At some point I have to bring the turducken
cooker over to
your house anyway, so I'll take care of the girls. You all
have a good time at the studio, now."
"Will do. Ask Juanita to come over to get on the bus with
us. And thanks."
* * *
The whole crew, dressed in shorts, T-shirts and sandals, had no sooner
gathered outside than Father John
Ryan's car pulled into the driveway and disgorged the priest and his
"I think everybody remembers these folks," Cam said to the crowd, "but
if you don't, this is Father Ryan, and Samuel, Joshua and
Rebecca." People milled around making themselves known again to
Father Ryan shook hands with his friend Father Mason, who was now
informally in a golf shirt and shorts, and gave him a
long hug, patting him on the back.
"Good to see you, John," Father Mason said. "You and Lisa will be
here at the house for
"Yes," Ryan said.
"We need to talk," Jim Mason said. "I'm going to see my mother
tomorrow morning, but from what my sister has been telling me about
struggle with Alzheimers, I'm going to have to move down here sooner
rather than later."
"We'll talk," Ryan
said. "The vestry and I have set aside funds
to put you on staff at St. Dunstan's whenever you get down here.
For a long time now I've needed more help than a part-time deacon can
give me, so we're ready for you start work here whenever you
are. The parish is growing."
"Thanks, John. I hate to leave St. Andrew's and San Rafael, but I
don't have any choice. Knowing I'm going to have a job and a
spiritual home and an altar here is going to ease the pain of
being here and spending more time with my mother before it's too
late So thanks for making room for me."
"Good, then," Ryan said, and looked around for his older son and
beckoned to him. "Samuel, come here." The priest reached
into his pocket and brought out some currency, handing it to the
boy. "In case you and your brother and sister need something
extra on this little
"Thanks, Dad," Samuel said.
"Be good, and have a good time," Ryan said.
"We're always good," Joshua told his dad, and the crowd snickered.
"Yeah, right," Father Ryan said. "Glad to see you all," he said
to the group. "See you Thanksgiving Day."
"Looking forward to it," Ian Carson said, shaking hands with Father
Ryan and walking the
priest to his car. "You and Lisa come early and stay late," he
"And we'll see you on Thanksgiving morning for Mass," Ian added.
"Good deal, Ian," the priest said.
Father Ryan had no sooner pulled away than a shiny, black, medium-sized
Mercedes Benz bus, able to accommodate
thirty people, swept down the entry road into that part of Malibu from
Coast Highway and made its way toward Cam and Kevin's house. The
bus pulled up at precisely 9:00
and the door opened. The boys waited until all the adults had
boarded before they got
aboard themselves with a little good-natured pushing and shoving.
Cam and Kevin sat together side by side, as did Carl and Andy, and the
rest of the guys scattered around the bus. Cam noticed that Art
Smith and Jeff Miller sat with each other. Catherine had Casey in
a sling around her neck at that point, and the little guy was babbling
away at his
grandmother. Mark Carson and Dan Emrick were sitting together and
each was listening to
tunes on their
IPods, moving their heads in time to the music.
The vehicle smelled new and was immaculately clean, Ian Carson had
he and his wife Mary had found seats in the front row. Ian was
pleased to see that
driver was the same man who had picked them up at LAX the day before.
"I guess you know we're going to Magnum Studios, Andrew," Ian said to
"Yes, sir," the man said. "We should be there in about 45
minutes. The traffic in that direction sometimes starts to
lighten up by
this time in the morning."
"Good," Ian said. "As long as we're there by 10 o'clock, we'll be
in good shape."
"No problem," the driver said.
"Will there be any difficulty parking there?" Ian asked.
"No, sir. There will be plenty of room."
Cam saw Ian talking with the driver, and came to the front of the bus
to join the conversation.
"Everything good?" Cam asked the two of them.
"Yes," the driver said. "Mr. Carson was just asking about parking
at Magnum Studios. There's plenty of room there in the
lot for the bus." The driver had remembered Ian's name, no doubt
nice tip Ian had given the man the afternoon before when the northern
California people had arrived in town.
"Super," Cam said. "We're going to take a tour of the studio, and
then have lunch about 12:00 or shortly thereafter with Mr.
Eisner, the CEO. I don't think there will be a problem if you
want to join our group for the tour and then have lunch at the
The driver smiled. "Well, that's nice of you.
Thank you very much."
"Sure," Cam said, bumping fists with Ian before strolling back to Kevin
toward the back of the bus. Ian was reflecting on Cam's
invitation to the driver for lunch as Andrew turned the bus around and
headed toward the Pacific Coast Highway.
"Cameron is a good-hearted young man," he said to his wife
quietly after sitting down. "He thinks about other people all the
that's a great trait," he told her.
"I know," Mary said. "Mark and Dan and Berto are the same
I don't know about William."
"I think William's going to be all right," Ian said. "We have
another year before he heads to college, and we'll work on that issue
some more before he leaves to be on his own."
"Well, he has a good example in you and the other boys," Mary said.
"Thanks, sweetheart," Ian said, clasping his wife's hand. "That's
always nice to hear."
They settled back in their seats to watch the scenery flash by as the
along toward their destination through some light smog. There was
a hum of conversation as the boys talked to each other while others
played games on their phones.
The vehicle arrived at the studio gate a few minutes before
10 a.m. A uniformed
stopped them at the opening to the parking lot, stepping up to the
bus driver's window. Cam went
forward again and gave the guard his name through the window. The
looked at a clip board
he was carrying and then gave the driver directions to the parking
lot. When the guard nodded to a co-worker in the guard shack, a
striped gate pole rose into the air to admit them, and Andrew drove to
portion of the lot reserved for buses.
When the driver opened the door, an attractive young lady dressed in
and a white blouse with "Magnum Studios" embroidered on it stepped into
"Good morning," the young woman said. "My name is Marie Anderson,
be your tour guide this morning. Is there a Mr. MacKenzie aboard?"
The wise-ass guys in the back of the bus all pointed at Cam and hooted,
and he blushed and went forward to greet their guide.
"Good morning," Cam said as he shook
"Good morning," Marie said to Cam. "Welcome to Magnum Studios,
sir. If I could just have a word with the group, then we can get
"Of course," Cam told her, and then raised his voice. "Listen up,
please, especially you troublemakers in the back of the bus."
The guys wanted so badly to give him the finger, but they restrained
themselves and fell silent.
"We're pleased to have you here today to visit where movie magic is
made the Magnum way," Marie said. "This is a special tour this
morning, in that our boss, Mr. George Eisner, has made special
arrangements for you to view some of the studio facilities and
activities that are normally off limits to visitors, and then to eat
lunch in the commissary."
Everybody looked pleased to hear that they were to have special
Marie went on to stress as they got off the bus and were gathered
in the parking lot, that it
would be helpful if the group stayed together as they were conveyed by
people carriers and then walked to view the staff at
work and the facilities. They would actually get to see scenes
shot on some of the
with stars, extras and crew members on sets which were usually
closed. She emphasized
that once the director on a closed set had given the signal for
shooting a scene, visitors had to remain perfectly quiet.
"I probably don't need to tell you that if a director hears any noise
or disturbance of any kind," Marie said, "filming is immediate
curtailed and the set is closed to visitors right away. That would
obviously be very embarrassing to your host, Mr. Eisner, so I urge you
to comply with that request.
"Time permitting," Marie continued, "Mr. Eisner has arranged for you to
have an opportunity to say hello to the cast members and directorial
completion of any scene which has been shot."
"Yeah," Andy Helder leaned across the aisle and whispered to William
Carson. "Don't fuck this up."
"Shut the fuck up," William mouthed at him silently.
Marie said their initial stop would be at rest rooms in case of need,
and then they would proceed to the points of interest. At the end
of the tour, they would go to the commissary for lunch with Mr. Eisner.
After the opening announcements, they all disembarked the bus to board
a long tram, which made a first stop at a rest facility, as
Everybody departed to do their business. William stood at a
urinal beside Kevin in the men's room.
"I hope you have your shit together today," Kevin told him.
"Why would anybody think I'd be anything but a model visitor?" William
demanded with a grin.
"Because we know you so well," Kevin said. "Don't be a dick, or
we'll send you home in a taxi. I hope you have money for that,
'cause otherwise it's a long walk to Malibu."
"I'm always a model of decorum," William said. "So don't get your
little pea brain in an uproar."
"I'm gonna beat the shit outta you before your trip down here is over,"
Kevin threatened. "That's a promise."
"Why in the world would you want to do that?" William asked, shaking
off and zipping up. "Don't make
promises you can't keep!"
"Believe me, I don't," Kevin said with a laugh, finishing up and going
over to a
sink to wash his hands. "I'll just let Carl take you down a peg."
"Carl can't do shit," William said.
"Really? He's a wrestler, asshole, and he can take me down,"
Kevin said. "So I don't think he'd have much of a problem with
you. But if he did, Andy will take over and hurtcha bad."
"Humph!" William said scornfully, as he soaped his hands, rinsed them,
and then dried them on a paper towel before
they headed back out to the tram. He knew that Carl and
Andy were formidable in a one-on-one fight.
Once the visitors were back aboard, the people carrier began to wend
deeper into the
heart of the Magnum Studios' lot. Cam noticed that the farther
they went, office buildings somewhat smaller than the large Magnum
building at the entrance gave
way to huge metal buildings that looked like warehouses. At their
entrances, a few of the warehouses had red lights flashing over signs
with a legend which said, "FILMING IN
PROGRESS. NO ENTRY!"
They eventually stopped at one of the warehouses. There was a
light and sign there at the entrance, and the light was flashing
yellow, not red.
Marie the tour guide unhooked a microphone at the front of the tram,
and said, "This is our first stop. Director Mario Netcas
is filming the inside scenes of a musical love story set in Rome,
Italy, on this sound stage. I've been informed that the stars of
the film will be singing to a musical background provided by members of
the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra directed by Gustavo
Dudamel. Just a quick reminder: once the music and filming
begin, strict quiet will be required. Mr. Eisner had to
practically beg Director Netcas to let your party view this filming as
a special favor, and he agreed only out of respect for the friendship
he had with Alex MacKenzie and John Kelley. But any noise from
any of us, and Director Netcas will
throw us all out with no second chances. Every scene costs
thousands of dollars to film, so I do ask again for your cooperation in
maintaining complete silence."
"Should I remain outside with the baby in case he wakes up?" Catherine
MacKenzie asked Marie.
"No, ma'am," Marie said. "There is a small soundproof room on the
set where you can
the baby and take in everything that's going on," Marie said.
"Thank you so much," Catherine said.
The crowd filed off the people carrier, and Marie led them to the door
and pushed a button. A private, uniformed cop opened the door and
"Yes?" the man asked.
"This is the MacKenzie party," Marie said. "Mr. Eisner has
arranged with Director Netcas for them to view the filming of the next
The guard took a clipboard from a hook beside the door, and scanned
it. Finding an entry, he pulled a pen from his shirt pocket and
made a check mark.
"Yes, your group is scheduled." the man said. "Is the group is
aware of the rules for silence during shooting?" he asked.
"Yes," Marie said.
The guard swung the door wide and used his foot to push down the door
stop to hold the door open.
"Please follow me," the guard said, and led the group to a carpeted
area with upholstered seats. "Be seated, and please remain quiet
while the scene is being set up."
Marie had a word with the guard, and he nodded and led Catherine,
holding a still
sleeping Casey, to a small, glassed-in area with seating in it.
Catherine went in, and the guard shut the door.
Cam looked around the room, which was cavernous.
The ceiling was dotted with banks of lights, mostly aimed at the stage
which was perhaps 100 feet from the seating area for visitors.
The back of the
stage was green screen. Some of the lights were illuminated at
that point, and
some were not. The orchestra was seated facing toward one end
elevated stage, with shared music stands for each two performers in
paired musicians. Microphones were hanging from the ceiling to
the musicians began playing.
Maestro Dudamel, whom Cam recognized from TV and from pictures in
newspapers and magazines, was wearing earphones and
standing at the side of the the orchestra. He was intently
watching the film's assistant directors on stage moving cast members
their marks. When the cast members were all in place, one of the
assistant directors nodded at Director Netcas, who was wearing
earphones with a mic on a short boom. Netcas said, "Lights" to
another assistant, who pointed at a glassed in control room hanging
above where the MacKenzie group was seated. A switch was
and additional lights illuminated the stage with a bang as they came
Netcas said quietly. Then he pointed silently at the orchestra
director and then at the stage.
Dudamel waved his baton at the orchestra, and a cascade of full-bodied
music washed over the cast and the visitors into the huge space as the
music conductor partially turned to watch the action on
stage. Cam glanced over at his mother, holding Casey in the
special booth, and Catherine's eyes were closed as she heard the
music and enjoyed it. At Dudamel's gesture, a lady cast member
sing in a beautiful soprano voice, soon joined by a man singing tenor
what proved to be a moving duet. Cast members comprising a small
subsequently joined the two soloists in harmonious support of the
The guys generally weren't fans of classical music, but they and the
adults were captivated by
what they were hearing and seeing. Kevin reached down in the
semi-darkness to grasp Cam's hand as the music of the orchestra and the
singers' voices rose and fell over a ten minute period. Cam
at his partner, whose eyes were also closed as he listened to the
performance streaming into their space. The orchestra brought
their accompaniment to a close as the film director Netcas quietly
said, "Cut!" and the instruction was repeated in a louder voice by an
"Scene 24B," one of the assistant directors said after a nod from
Director Netcas. "That's a wrap!"
Many of the musicians, the cast and the observers in the MacKenzie
began talking to one another. Marie Anderson, their guide, picked
microphone and addressed the visitors.
"Director Netcas and his assistants, along with cast members and
Conductor Dudamel and the orchestra members, have graciously consented
to make themselves available to meet the visitors of the MacKenzie
party," Marie said.
Catherine emerged from the glass enclosed seating area with Casey in
his sling, now awake, and joined the line of adults and the guys
waiting to meet
Mario Netcas along with the assistant directors, and then Maestro
Dudamel and the orchestra members.
When Cam reached Director Netcas in the line and introduced himself by
name, he was
unprepared for the warmth of the director's greeting.
"Are you related to the late Alex MacKenzie?" Netcas asked.
"Yes, sir. I'm his son." He turned to Catherine and
Kevin. "This is my mother, Catherine MacKenzie, and this is my
partner, Kevin Stoltz and our son, Casey. Thank you so much for
letting us watch the filming."
"I'm so glad to have you here," Netcas said. "George Eisner is a
man to say 'No' to," he added, laughing. "But I'm pleased to have
an opportunity to meet you all." He looked at Cam. "I hope
you know that your dad and his partner John Kelley did great work
before their untimely deaths. I can't begin to tell you how much
I learned about my job as a filmmaker by
watching them at work when I was an assistant director."
"You're so kind to say that," Cam said. He couldn't help tearing
up momentarily when he heard the director say what he did.
"Their loss to the community of the arts was a real blow," Netcas
added. "I hope you'll come and see me sometime, and we'll talk."
"Thank you, sir," Cam responded, and then moved on to the actor/singers
and the rest of the movie staff so that the adults and the guys behind
him could meet everybody. He was then led over to the orchestra,
where he introduced himself to Conductor Dudamel.
"MacKenzie?" Dudamel said when Cam shook his hand. "Were you
related to Alex MacKenzie?" he asked with a Spanish accent.
"Yes, sir. He was my father."
Dudamel touched his arm warmly. "I was hurt by his passing away,"
the young man said. "I had the privilege of working with him
times on movie scores. In my opinion, he was a genius. I
miss him to this day."
Once again Cam felt moisture in his eyes.
"You're very kind, Maestro," Cam said. "He's very much missed."
Cam introduced his mother and Casey and Kevin to the young conductor,
and Dudamel engaged Catherine and Kevin in conversation, and caressed
Casey's head with the assurance of someone who had a child of his own.
Cam and Dudamel shook hands again, and Cam moved down the line to greet
the members of the orchestra.
After the group had had an opportunity to say hello to everyone on the
Marie herded the visitors together, and they headed for the door.
Cam turned for an instant before leaving, and glanced back at Netcas
and Dudamel, who were talking with each other and looking at the
Cam waved good-bye to them and they waved back, and the group walked
back to the tram.
"It's good to hear Alex and John so well spoken of, isn't it?" Kevin
said to Cam.
"It really is," Cam said, putting a hand up to shield his eyes as tears
Kevin put his arm around his partner, and kissed the side of his head
as Cam dashed the tears from his eyes and eventually smiled.
The next stop on the agenda was an open-air set with cowboys and horses
on a dusty, unpaved street of a simulated town. Marie led the
group to a
spot directly behind the director and a camera on a boom riding along
rails at the side of the street. The scene being filmed was
a group of men riding into town to get themselves a beer in a
bar. Dust squirted out from under the horses' hooves as the men
in, stopping at a hitching rail and tying their horses to it before
through a doorway into a poorly lighted barroom. That scene was a
wrap, and the next scene was filmed inside the tavern with the thirsty
cowboys getting a drink of "beer," which Marie later told them was
actually iced tea.
After a meet and greet with the staff and actors, it was back to the
people carrier for travel to
the next set, on which a
man and a woman, lovers in the story, strolled along a walkway to which
would be added, via green screen, a scene of Manhattan and the Hudson
River. Things didn't go
as the director wanted, and the scene had to be re-shot several
times. There was no music, and Cam surmised that, if there were
be any, it would be
The director and the cast were not in a very good mood due to the
do-overs, but the staff
and actors were still cordial to Cam, Kevin and the other visitors
before Marie ushered them off the sound stage and back to the people
It was then 11:45 by then, and at Marie's suggestion, the group headed
commissary building for lunch. George Eisner was already there at
the entrance, accompanied by Natalie Renner, his beautiful executive
assistant. As had been true the first time she had met Cam, Kevin
and Carl when they had come to the studio for lunch, Natalie was not
about studying the boys and their bodies as she and Eisner were
introduced to everybody.
Cam watched Natalie as she and William were introduced, and if William
had been a bird dog, he would have been on point. Cam poked
Kevin, who laughed out loud when he observed the vibes between the
young man and the woman. When everyone went into the huge
facility to go through the food line, Natalie stuck to William like
glue, and sat down next to him when they found spots at one
of the long tables in the commissary to wait for the line to go
Right next to him.
William looked up and caught Cam's eye, and they both grinned from ear
"Natalie, are you in school and working part-time, or what?" William
asked Eisner's assistant.
The young woman told William that she was a UCLA grad in theater, but
taking some graduate courses at the film school. That started a
long dialog between the two of them which continued apace.
George Eisner stood between Cam and Kevin at one of the long
tables. Before they could start a conversation, Father Mason
stepped up and said,
"The Lord be with you."
Members of the group who had already sat down before going through the
line rose from their seats and
said, "And also with you."
"Let us pray. We thank you, Father, for the great gift of
companionship that we have enjoyed today. Bless the skills of the
artists who lift us from the mundane in daily life by making
movies and music. We also ask you to bless the food
which we are about to receive to our use, and us to your service,
through Jesus Christ our Lord."
Everyone in the group made the sign of the cross, saying, "Amen," and then re-formed a line to
take trays, pick up silverware and napkins, and then file past a
variety of entrees, side dishes and desserts.
"This food looks really good," Carl Emrick told George Eisner, who was
just ahead of him in line.
"It is good, Carl," Eisner
told him. "I hope you'll enjoy it. We want people to have a
good meal when they're visiting or working here."
Carl leaned forward and introduced the CEO to Andy Helder, who was just
behind him in line.
"Glad to meet you, Andy," Eisner said, shaking hands. "Carl
mentioned you when he was here with Cam and Kevin at the studio
for lunch not too long ago."
"Good to meet you, sir," Andy said, surprised that Eisner remembered
"Refresh my memory, Andy. Are you in school at UCLA?" Eisner
"No. I've been attending St. Francis University in San
Rafael. But I'll be transferring to UCLA starting next semester."
Eisner smiled. "I don't suppose that has anything to do with the
fact that Carl is down here, does it?"
Andy was unflappable. "It has everything to do with that,
he said unapologetically. Carl blushed.
"Well, good," Eisner said. "What are you studying?"
"I'm taking a bunch of liberal arts courses right now, but I may be a
business major like Carl when all is said and done."
"Hmmn. Well, come and see me here at the studio at some point
before you get your degree. Or we can talk at church some
Sunday. Maybe we can make a film producer out of you. We
need people who know how to evaluate scripts and sell films and raise
them. And a good producer knows how to squeeze a nickle until
is riding on the eagle's back."
Andy chuckled. "I'd really like to explore some job possibilities
with you when the time comes," he said. "Thank you."
The most popular meal at the commissary that day was roast beef and all
the trimmings, and
most of the boys went back for seconds before they helped themselves to
apple pie a la mode for
After everyone had eaten and they'd talked for awhile, George
Eisner stood up and looked at the group.
"Thank you all so much for touring Magnum Studios and having some
said. "It's been a great pleasure to have you here."
The group members applauded, and then formed a line to meet him and say
him. When Ian Carson came by, he introduced Mary and himself.
"Hello, Mrs. Carson. Ian Carson?" Eisner said, taking stock of
Ian. "Are you the Ian Carson who is
president of the California Bar Association?"
"Yes, I am," Ian admitted.
"I'd like to meet with you while you're here," Eisner said. "Will
you be in LA all week?"
"Yes, I will."
"Can I reach you at Cam and Kevin's house on Friday?"
"Yes. Why don't I give you my cell number."
Eisner turned and beckoned to Natalie Renner, who reluctantly left
William's side and walked over to him.
"Natalie, meet Ian and Mary Carson," Eisner said. "This is
Renner, my administrative assistant. Natalie, take down Mr.
Carson's cell phone number so I can reach him later this week."
"Yes, sir," Natalie said, pulling a little note pad from the pocket of
her dress. Ian gave her the number, and she wrote it down and
"Ian, I can come to you for a meeting if that would be more
convenient," Eisner said.
"I understand you and your wife belong to St. Dunstan's Church," Ian
said. "We're all going to Mass on Thanksgiving morning. If
you're going to be there, why don't we meet for a few minutes after the
service? That'll save an extra trip." Ian smelled some
business in the offing.
"Great idea!" Eisner said enthusiastically. "I'll look forward to
seeing you then." He turned to Mary Carson and took her
hand again. "Mrs. Carson, I'm delighted to have met you."
"You as well," Mary said cordially. "Thank you so much for your
generous hospitality today."
"It's been our pleasure, believe me," Eisner said.
The entire group began to walk toward the tram outside of the
"Natalie, call the office and tell them you and I are coming back on a
tram," Eisner said. "They don't need to send a car for
Ian sat with Mary, with George Eisner in a seat right across the
aisle. The two men leaned toward each other and started a
conversation which would last until the people carrier reached the
Magnum Headquarters building.
When Natalie Renner had boarded, she'd gone toward the back of the
people carrier and sat down next to William, with Cam and Kevin right
behind them. Cam and Kevin watched William and Natalie interact
with each other with amusement, knowing exactly what was on their
minds. If they could get away
with it, they'd
strip and fuck each other right here in the aisle, Kevin
thought to himself with a smile on his face.
The people carrier dropped off George Eisner and Natalie Renner at the
entrance to the headquarters building, and then went back to the
Mercedes bus in short order and the group got aboard. Andrew
fired up the bus after everyone was seated, and they made their way to
the Magnum Studios' exit. Pulling out on to the street, they
started toward Santa
Monica and Malibu.
Cam and Kevin were sitting on the bus immediately behind
William, who was sitting alone. Cam leaned forward.
"You and Natalie seemed to hit it off," he suggested with a straight
William turned in his seat and grinned. "You bet. Beautiful
"Yeah," Cam agreed. "She stuck pretty close to you."
"True," William admitted.
"Do you think she knew somehow that you have a big dick and like to use
it, or did you tell her outright?" Cam asked, trying not to laugh out
William did laugh out loud. "I didn't tell her that, but I
seriously doubt if she was thinking about my anatomy."
"Get real!!" Kevin interjected. "Your crotch was very much on her
"Sex is all you two think about," William declared.
"Sex has been known to occur to us," Cam admitted. "But back to
Natalie. I don't suppose you shared with her that you're still in
"Well, no. The matter never came up."
"Would I be right in thinking that something
came up, though?" Kevin asked.
"Maybe," William said. "Just like I'd guess it did for you two
during your little hiatus from the master bedroom last night."
"We don't have a clue what you're talking about," Kevin said. "We
just wanted a drink of water."
"You may have moistened your lips during the wee hours, but I doubt
if it was with water," William insisted.
"You're such a nasty, suspicious, San Francisco metro jock
boy," Cam said, trying not to laugh.
"No, I think San Francisco is more your
kind of town," William retorted.
"Cam and I will have to get up there sometime and take you on a real
tour of the city," Kevin said. "You'll never think of sex the
same way again."
"Promises, promises. We may never know, will we?" William
said. "By the way,
if I can
get a date with Natalie sometime this week, can I borrow one of your
"That would be suborning child abuse--on her part," Cam said.
"You being the
child. Besides, we
don't want cream and other juices all over our rich, Corinthian
"Never mind. I have a hunch she'd be willing to pick me up in her
"Could be. But what about Alicia?" Kevin asked.
"Well, Alicia knows I have needs."
"I'm sure she does. Let's not dwell on the obvious," Cam
said. "We'd better change the subject."
"Change the subject to what?" William asked.
"Can you keep your mouth shut until Thanksgiving?" Cam asked.
"Kevin and I are going to get married. Probably during Spring
"All right!" William looked genuinely pleased. "Congrats,
"We're gonna announce it at Thanksgiving dinner this Thursday," Kevin
said. "It'll be a big surprise as long as you keep quiet about
"I promise I will on one condition," William said.
"There are no conditions," Cam said with a scowl.
"One condition. I get to be best man for one of you. That
could give at least one of you some badly needed sex tips."
Cam and Kevin looked at each other.
"You take him," Kevin demanded.
"No, you take him. I want Berto for my best man."
"Just a minute. Let's flip a coin," Kevin said. "Let me see
if I have my two-headed Kennedy half dollar on me," pretending to reach
into his pocket for change.
"Don't be a dick," Cam suggested. "I'd rather have Casey for my
best man than William."
The quiet wrangling continued with putdowns of William until the bus
into the driveway in
The gang, except for Ian, Cam and Kevin, got off the bus, thanking the
driver as they passed by him. As they headed for
the house, and Ian pulled out
his credit card and handed it to Andrew. Cam told Ian to take his
card back and put it away.
"Ian, you can't keep paying to bring everybody down here from San
then pick up the tab for everything we all do while you're here," he
said. "Kevin and I want to pay for this trip." He handed
his own credit card to the driver, who sat there not knowing which card
"You and Kevin are still in school," Ian responded. "Half of the
people who went on the trip today belong to Mary and me," Ian
responded. "You and Kevin are doing enough by just putting a roof
over our heads when we visit."
"You've paid for enough," Kevin said. He reached over and took
Ian's card out of Andrew's hand. But instead of handing it back
to Ian, he put it in his own pocket, stepped out the door of the bus,
and walked toward the house.
Cam laughed at Ian. "See what happens when you're
stubborn." Andrew ran Cam's credit card through a
processor connected to a smart phone, and they concluded their
business. Cam thanked the man
and gave him a nice tip in cash.
"See if you can get my credit card back from your klepto partner," Ian
told Cam with a grin as they walked toward the house. "Meanwhile,
thanks for the trip. Not only was it fun and interesting, but
George Eisner and I are going to talk after Mass on Thanksgiving
morning. I'm the rainmaker at my firm, and maybe there will
be some legal business in the offing."
"Crafty!" Cam said. "No minute goes to waste for you, does it?"
* * *
The guys wasted no time in changing into swim trunks and heading for
the Miller's pool. It was a hot day for November, and soon the
water was flying as the boys tried to drown each other. Things
didn't calm down until the adults began drifting over from next
door. Catherine had changed Casey into his swimming gear, and
handed him down to Kevin in the pool. Kevin took his time getting
the baby wet, not wanting to let the cool water shock his system.
loved the water, and Kevin supported the little boy's abdomen and let
the little guy
swim. When the boy tired of that, Kevin held him in his arms and
crooned to him, repeatedly kissing his head and chest as he moved
slowly around the pool with his son.
Kevin eventually passed Casey up to Mary, who sat down with him.
Catherine pulled a baby bottle out of a bag, and handed it to Mary to
give the child some juice. He liked the taste of that, and sucked
it all up before dozing off again.
After a half hour in the water, Kevin got a soccer ball out of the
Millers' pool house, and the boys and Ian and Father Mason hit the
beach for some soccer. They were all back in an hour,
dripping with sweat, and dived into the pool one after another to cool
Cam swam over to Kevin and put his arms around his neck as they bobbed
up and down in the water.
"Hey," Cam said.
"Hey," Kevin replied, leaning forward to plant his lips gently on Cam's.
"Have you had a chance to talk to Mark Carson yet on this trip?" Cam
asked when they stopped smooching.
"Not really. Why?"
"I was watching him a little today at Magnum and at the soccer
game. He didn't look too
happy. I don't mean he looked miserable, but he doesn't have the
usual spark in his eye. Maybe you could check out what's going on
with him. You know he has special feelings for you, so he'll talk
"I can do that," Kevin said.
"That'd be good," Cam said. "Thanks."
Sean Miller emerged from his house in his swim trunks just then and
took a shallow dive into
the pool, coming up out of the water near Ian Carson.
"I bought a turducken this morning for us to cook for Thanksgiving, and
I brushed the cobwebs off the turducken cooker in the garage," Sean
said. "If you'll help me, we can carry it over and put it on your
deck so we can fire it up bright and early on Thanksgiving
"Sounds good except for the 'carrying' part," Ian said. "Let's
make a couple of these lazy louts here in the pool with us carry it
next door," Ian suggested.
"Of course!" Sean laughed. "What was I thinking?"
"I'm used to having my boys around to do the chores," Ian said.
"As they should," Sean said.
* * *
Kevin hugged and kissed Cam one more time, and true to his word, swam
across the pool to Mark Carson. "You got time for a walk on the
beach?" he asked the boy.
"Sure," Mark said, eating up the attention.
The two of them swam to a nearby ladder and emerged from the pool,
grabbing their towels to dry off. They put on their sandals and
headed for the beach.
"How're things going?" Kevin asked when they reached the ocean water
started up the beach.
"Pretty good," Mark said.
"Well, you haven't seemed your frisky self this trip."
Mark stared down at his feet as they walked along. "Is this
between you and me?" he asked.
"I've just been thinking about how much better William is doing in life
am," Mark admitted. "Being jealous of him makes me want to puke,
jealous of him. He's the big football hero, and everybody loves
especially the women. His grades are great, and Mom and Dad are
always praising him. I know I shouldn't, but I feel like I'm not
even in the game these days."
"How are your grades?"
"They're good. William and I are both on the dean's list.
"Nobody is paying any attention when I accomplish anything."
"Aren't you still playing soccer?" Kevin asked.
"I'm a striker."
"Cam and I played soccer. Midfielders. And we got our share
of the limelight."
"I remember. But you didn't have William for an older
brother. And it seems more and more like football is the only
sport people are really interested in."
"I know what you mean," Kevin admitted. "Football seems to be
king in the sports world. But I'm glad you're not playing
football, Mark, and you should be, too."
"Why is that?"
"Because football is fucking dangerous for anybody who plays it, that's
why. High school football is dangerous enough, college football
is more dangerous than high
school, and professional football is totally dangerous from the first
snap. I try not to even watch NFL games anymore because it's so
dangerous. And I don't want to support it by watching it on
TV. I can promise
Casey will never, ever play organized football if I have anything to
it. Not even at the Pop Warner level. I worry about
William, and I'm really hoping he doesn't get a football scholarship at
Stanford or anyplace else."
"Don't you think you're exaggerating the risks in football a little
"No, I don't. I agree that administrators and coaches are working
all the time to get safer equipment, and they've changed the rules to
some extent to try to protect players. Quarterbacks like William
probably don't face the same risks that linebackers and tight ends do,
for example, but it's still dangerous. They still get hit.
The human body, particularly the head and the spine, just aren't made
to take the kind of punishment that's handed out to them on the
"You don't think that the NFL settled with retired players for 765
million dollars and change to cover retired players' medical
problems out of the goodness of their
hearts, do you?" Kevin asked.
"I suppose not."
"I like Aussie-rules football, for example, because there is less
contact and are far fewer
injuries. American football is just way over the top. I
understand that there is some level of risk involved in all
athletics. There are risks in life in general, and it's stupid to
say otherwise. But at some point the level of risk is just too
high in American football. Some players are eliminated by
injuries during their playing years. But others never realize
what's happened to them on the field week after week until they're in
their late forties and early fifties,
when they come
down with ALS or Parkinson's or other neurological problems with no
cure, or at least no cure right now. These players took one too
to the head during their playing days, and not a lot of thought was
given to the consequences by anybody. Professional football
players take pride in playing through pain. The big bucks offered at
level in football make it difficult for young men, especially
poorer families, to turn down. Let's not forget that before
football is a business. Somehow we Americans have a love of
violence in our lives, both on the field and off the field. And
there's plenty of violence in football."
"I admit I haven't given this a lot of thought," Mark said.
"Well, to be fair, violence in football isn't the only danger jocks
face. Medical experts are finding out now that artificial turf,
or more precisely, what's
under artificial turf, may be causing different kinds of cancer.
They're still researching it, but artificial turf is laid down over
ground-up automobile tires containing lots of chemicals, and every time
you hit the turf, you pick
up some of those chemicals in your lungs and sometimes on your skin. So even soccer
may be at some risk, not just football players.
Some venues that
really care about those who who are playing sports have begun to take
up the artificial turf to replace what the turf is currently anchored
in. And I'm the first one to admit that the evidence isn't
completely in on this particular issue. Not yet.
"I love sports," Kevin continued. "You know I do. But I
just want you to assess some of the risks involved in being a jock, and
being good at it. I love ya, Mark. I want ya to count
your blessings and your gifts a little bit more when it comes to
how you look at William's successes. In the final analysis,
success isn't always quite what it seems. I appreciate your
skills at soccer, and I'm not alone."
Mark sighed. "I hear ya."
"I don't want somebody else's success at sports or at anything else in
life to bring you down, bud. I want you to be more realistic
about your own strong points. You're really good looking, you
have a great body that not done growing yet, you're
smart and a good student, you're kind, you're loyal to friends, you're
good son to your parents, and you're an exceptional jock. But I'm
glad you're not the football
that William is, for the reasons I just stated. I have all kinds
of respect for your skill and accomplishments,
and that's never going to change."
"Thank you," Mark said. "I mean that."
"I know you do. Uh, I hope you can keep my views about football
under wraps for now. It'll just lead to a lot of problems and
"Okay," Mark agreed.
Kevin stopped walking and faced Mark, who
stopped and looked at him.
"Now, to Important Topic Number 2," Kevin said. "The last time we
talked, you were wondering whether you're straight
or gay. Have you drawn any conclusions about that?"
"No. I've been dating some girls, and enjoying it." Mark
paused and looked down at his feet. "But I still like to look at
guys' bodies, too."
Kevin smiled and pulled Mark into a hug and kissed him on the
cheek. "That doesn't mean much. Most straight guys,
certainly including your macho brother William, don't look away when
there's a good looking, naked and really hung boy in the shower.
mean somebody's gay. More goes into the equation than
that. Don't let anybody tell you different. But whatever
your orientation turns out to be, you're going to be much loved by
everybody who really knows you."
"I need to talk to you more often, Kevin," Mark said with a smile.
"Let me tell you again: I love ya, dude. Don't you ever
"I love you, too," Mark said.
The two guys turned around and headed back toward the house, both of
them pleased with their conversation.
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