Moving On - Book 27 in the Action! Series
After the traumatic upheaval of Book 26- Loving Stan; the men of the Action! Series battle to recover and gain normalcy. Mark Antonius Richfield, faced with friction from every direction for his choices, craves a drama-free life, but with a man like Mark, it never is.
Steven Jay Miller, Mark’s husband, is still reeling from the backlash and anger of Mark’s decisions. He finds living on the periphery of Mark’s life infuriating.
Is it possible for the two men to reconcile? Or have their lives been changed forever?
It’s a desire but not always a reality, when couples who have loved for a decade, fall apart.
Mark parked his TVR Tuscan sports car in his reserved spot at Parsons and Company. He was tired and glad it was the end of the week. Just as he was about to get out of the low slung car, he noticed Steve’s Mercedes pull in beside him. Mark waited, feeling an icy pit in his stomach, dreading a confrontation.
Once Steve’s car came to a halt, Mark exited his car and took his suit jacket out and put it on in the cold breeze.
Steve climbed out of his car as well, doing the same; something the two of them had done since they began working together.
Ironically, Mark and Steve had been adversaries when Mark had first been hired on. He and Steve competed for a few prized accounts.
Then, they became lovers, and partners, working as a team.
Mark put his sunglasses on and was about to make his way to the elevators alone when his husband called his name.
Mark paused and glanced back at him.
Steve walked with him to the elevator.
It was awkward. What could Mark say? He had asked Steve to move out and moved a man who was twenty years younger than he was-in.
Steve held open the elevator door for Mark. He stepped in and faced the front, hoping no one else joined them. After the doors closed, Steve exhaled and held his briefcase by his side.
“Hullo, Steven.” Mark figured they had to at least be civil.
Steve glanced at him as they rode to their floor.
Mark moved his sunglasses to the top of his head. “Not even a hullo?” When Steve met his gaze, Mark’s heart broke. “Love? I never meant to hurt you.”
“You kicked me out. How could you not hurt me?”
Before the elevator made it to their floor and opened to their receptionist, Mark slapped the ‘stop’ button. The elevator came to a halt.
Steve lowered his head.
Mark stood in front of him. “Why did you have to become violent?”
“I didn’t. Did I?” Steve appeared exhausted.
“You did.” Mark wanted to touch him but didn’t dare.
“What did I do?” Steve looked bewildered.
“You struck out. You wanted to fight.”
“Mark…” Steve shook his head.
“If you hadn’t perhaps we could have talked.”
Steve set his briefcase down by his feet. “Talked? Are you telling me if I hadn’t gotten physical—”
“Yes. That’s precisely what I am saying.” Mark crossed his arms over his suit jacket. “I detest violence.”
“Oh, God.” Steve’s eyes became watery.
“I dealt with violence from my father. You knew that. Why? Why did you have to lash out? Aren’t we adults?”
“You…” Steve shook his head. “You fell in love with a man younger than your son.”
“I fell for you whilst I was engaged to Sharon Tice. What’s your point?”
“I have no point. I just want to know if I still have a chance.”
Mark looked up at the unlit numbers over the door. “Are you sleeping in Tadzio’s bed?”
Steve’s expression hardened. “Are you sleeping with Stan?”
Lowering his sunglasses, Mark started the elevator once more and backed away from Steve. The moment it opened, Mark walked by the receptionist, and headed directly to his office.
Steve picked up his briefcase and stopped at the receptionist’s desk.
“Hi, Amber.” He took his mail and messages.
“Are you and Mark back together?” she asked.
“Huh? No.” He headed to his office and set his items on his desk. As he thought about that day, the day he had come home early from work, Steve did react violently towards Stan.
Even after what Mark had told him, he wasn’t sure it would have made any difference if he hadn’t.
After taking off his jacket, Steve rolled up his cuffs and watched as Mark walked by his glass wall, headed to the employee lounge with his coffee mug.
Steve rubbed his face and waited before he did the same.
Since Tadzio had managed to piss off not only his director, but the executive producer of the nighttime cable drama he starred in, he was cut out of the script.
His character, which was a woman who had transitioned from being a man, ‘Cheryl’ had been written out when he complained about the hurtful, callus dialogue.
He was in the doghouse for that, and for chopping off his long blond hair. Now he had to wait for his contract to expire before Adam Lewis, his agent, found him new work.
He was hoping since he had shorn off his long locks, stopped the hormone treatments, and was dressing like a man again, that he might get a part in something…anything.
But, in the meantime, since he didn’t want to be around the studio, he had volunteered to help his Hollywood agent, Adam Lewis.
At this point he didn’t care if all he did were coffee and lunch runs. He just needed to feel useful.
After Alex left for work, Tadzio climbed into his new car, one Alex had bought for him. It wasn’t glamorous or expensive. It was transportation. And that suited Tadzio just fine for now.
He parked in the lot of Adam’s office, and climbed out, wearing dress slacks and a cotton top under a leather jacket. Tadzio ran his hand over his conservatively cropped blond hair and made his way inside.
“Hi, Tadzio!” Natalie smiled when he entered.
“Hi, Natalie.” He waved at Logan as well, and took his jacket off, hearing Adam Lewis in his office, already on the phone.
“If you want to come to LA I can get you auditions, Ewan.” Adam noticed Tadzio talking to Natalie, whose desk was located right outside his office. Adam struggled to understand Ewan’s thick Northern England accent. Mark’s wasn’t nearly as heavy.
“LA? Nothing up north?” Ewan asked.
“I don’t really have any connections up north, Ewan.” Adam tapped his computer keys, the wireless earpiece in his ear as he spoke to Ewan Gallagher, a client and good friend.
“Jason isn’t keen on me being out of town for any length of time.”
Adam read through the audition listings. “I don’t know what to tell you. Either you can do work someplace other than Paradise or you can’t.”
“I can. Send me auditions. I think it’s a good idea for Jas and I to mix it up. We’ve become fat, dumb and happy, yeah?”
“That’s not a bad thing, Ewan.” Adam checked Ewan’s resume and headshot, which he had online. Ewan and Dr Jason Phillips had purchased Mark’s mother’s estate in Northern California. Adam had been there several times, and knew how amazing the place was.
“Right. Well, now that you know I’m interested, put me on the list.”
“Okay.” Adam made a note of it on his pad. “Let me do this today while I’m thinking about you. Do you need to update your headshot?”
“I don’t think so. I still look the same.”
“Okay. I’ll send you what I find.”
Adam disconnected the call with a tap of his finger and looked up to see Tadzio in his doorway. “Hi, Tadzio.”
He entered the office. “I am going to get food and coffee. Do you want lunch or should I get snacks?”
“I had breakfast. If you’re going out, why not get us lunch?” Adam took his wallet out of his pocket. “Roasted chicken on a garden salad and a chai tea.”
Tadzio took the cash and wrote down Adam’s request.
As he did, Adam felt terrible for the young man. He was screwed at the moment; being under contract and not getting work on the nighttime cable drama he’d been hired for. Now Tadzio had to wait it out, painfully, and not work in another film or television until his contract expired.
Tadzio took the cash and before he left, Adam asked, “Is everything okay at home with Steve living with you guys?”
Tadzio’s light blue gaze met his. “Why do you ask?” the Swedish bombshell appeared a little guilty.
“It’s just that with Mark and Steve split up…”
“Iz fine.” Tadzio left his office.
“Adam! Line one!” Natalie informed him.
Adam wasn’t sure he wanted to know what was going on with Tadzio…and Steve. He answered his phone, “Adam Lewis, can I help you?”