In Book 14 of the Action! Series, ex-LAPD cop, Steve Miller thinks going to his husband’s therapy appointments is a good idea. But he soon finds out Mark Antonious Richfield, may not be telling his shrink everything the doctor needs to know. Meanwhile, Mark’s son, Alexander, is offered the chance of a lifetime when a big named Hollywood director approaches him for a starring role in a block buster film, ‘Bedtime Stories’. While Alex and Adam Lewis, Alex’s agent and one of Mark’s dearest friends, tries to iron out a solid contract for Alex, Alex’s husband, Lt Billy Sharpe makes the Captain’s list for the LAPD. So big changes are on the way for the newlyweds. But when Mark mentions he is nervous about Alexander leaving for Rome for filming, alone, Steve and Billy both take it upon themselves to confront Alex’s leading man and co-star, nearly derailing Alex’s chances for his break in Hollywood. Conflict, jealousy, self-sacrifice and ego, in Book 14 of the Action! Series, the men’s emotions are put to the test, and in the end, it’s all about Staying Power- and the power of love.
“Where ya headed?” Alex asked.
“Out. Just going to hit the grocery store. Be back.” Billy clipped his lieutenant badge to his belt along with his off duty weapon. He noticed both Adam and Alex’s gaze move towards it as he did.
“Does it suck having to carry a gun everywhere?” Adam asked.
“No.” Billy pocketed his phone and made sure he had his wallet. “Be back soon.” He left, walking through the kitchen door that connected to the garage and tapped the button as he did, raising the double garage door up.
He hopped into his pickup truck and removed the paper with an address out of his pocket. Seeing it was in Malibu, Billy headed to the highway, putting on his sunglasses and drumming his finger on the steering wheel impatiently.
Since it was Saturday and not rush hour, it didn’t take more than an hour. Billy slowed down as he came closer to the address. He drove by it and then spotted a black Mercedes coming from the opposite direction, also slowly driving down the road. “What the fuck?” Billy flashed his headlights to get the driver’s attention. When he did, he caught Steve gaping at him in surprise. Billy signaled for Steve to turn his car around, then drove beyond the beachfront home and parked. In his side mirror, Billy watched Steve make a U-turn and pull his car behind him. They both got out and met between cars.
“Son-of-a-bitch,” Billy said, shaking his head.
“Jeff told me you already asked him for the address when I called.”
“He and Jack went to look at horses.” Steve leaned on his car and gazed at the beach house. “Not far from Adam and Jack’s place. Our luck they’ll drive by and catch us stalking.”
“Fuck that.” Billy leaned against the car beside Steve. “I want to go knock. I want a face to face with this guy.”
“What if it fucks up the contract for Alex?”
“I thought about that. But Adam is signing it now with Alex. So, done deal.”
“Huh.” Steve and Billy stared at the house. “I won’t be happy until I talk to him.”
“You?” Billy shook his head at the absurdity.
“It seems as if he’s straight.”
“That’s a front. He’s never seen with the same woman twice.”
“Yeah. I guess. Thirty-eight, never married, no kids.”
“Yup.” Billy folded his arms. “How do we do this?”
“Ya can’t go in on police biz, Sharpe.” Steve tilted his head at the gun and badge.
“Wasn’t planning to. But thought it was a good intimidation factor.”
“He’s probably not home.”
“Don’t know until we knock.”
“Fuck it. Let’s knock.”
Billy armed his truck with a chirp, and he and Steve walked across the street and down the block. The home was slightly set back from the road and not overly huge. But in California, it was location, location…and beachfront property in Malibu was ‘location’.
Both he and Steve stopped at a gated drive. “Two car garage, pretty typical.” Billy leaned on the rail.
“Nicely landscaped. He’s got the money to have several homes, you know that, right?”
“True. God knows what that fucker earns. You know what they’re paying Alex?”
Steve glanced at Billy. “Christ. Do I want to?”
“Five grand a day.”
“And Alex isn’t even a film star. My guess is this guy makes millions for each picture.”
“He’d better be straight.”
“What are we supposed to do if he’s not?” Billy looked around the area. “Beat him straight?”
“I’m going for it.” Billy pushed a button for a buzzer.
Steve kept a lookout from behind.
“Yes?” a voice came from the intercom on the pillar near the gate.
“I’m looking for Randy Dawson.” Billy met Steve’s eyes.
“Who are you?”
“Lt Billy Sharpe, LAPD.” Billy shrugged at Steve. “It’ll get us in,” he whispered.
Indeed a buzzer sounded and the electronic gate swung back.
“We’re in Malibu. Doesn’t the fucker know you have no jurisdiction here?” Steve said as the two of them walked up to the front door.
“He knows why I’m here.” Billy ran his hand through his hair.
The front door opened and a man wearing a robe and swimsuit stood behind it.
“Well, well,” Randy smiled, a pure white Hollywood grin. “Lt Sharpe of the LAPD.”
“This is Steve Miller.” Billy tilted his head to Steve.
“Mark Richfield’s hubby. Yes. I know who he is. Come in.” Randy opened the door. He was holding a cocktail and his robe was parted, showing off his fabulous body. “Care for a mimosa?”
Steve muttered out of the side of his mouth to Billy, “Gay.”
“I’ll pass,” Billy said. “I hope we’re not intruding.” Billy took in the sunk-in living room, fireplace, a view from the back of a deck, above the white sand, right to the ocean.
“You didn’t have to come armed, Lieutenant.” Randy smirked, showing the men into the living room.
“Regulation.” Billy looked for photos in the room, hoping to see one of Randy with a woman. The script for the film was on a coffee table, as if Randy had been reading it while he was sipping his mimosa. The sliding door was open, a breeze coming from outside.
“I was on the deck. Care to join me? Or would you rather stay indoors?”
“Let me just get to the point.” Billy crossed his arms.
“Ah yes. Alexander.” Randy sipped the drink and glanced at Steve. “What about him? What’s his point?”
“Alex is only twenty-four.” Steve walked towards the coffee table. Billy knew he was inspecting the magazines for clues of a preference.
“I know. And?” Randy set the glass down and closed the sliding door.
“Do you live here alone?” Billy asked.
“I do. Why?”
“Are you dating anyone?” Steve asked.
“Not at the moment. Look, gentlemen, I know Alex is married. And I’m straight.”
Steve made a noise in his throat of disbelief but Billy kept a poker face. “Of course you are. We know that.”
“Then why the surprise visit? Do you think Alex will be tempted?” He sat down on a soft suede chair, crossing his legs.
“No.” Billy bristled and tried not to stare at the man’s great body.
“No.” Randy looked from Steve back to Billy. “Then you think I’ll be tempted?”
Steve stepped closer. “Will you?”
Randy laughed. “You know how many people I have kissed in my film career? I don’t have affairs with them all. Believe me.”
“None of them were like Alex,” Billy said, moving closer, his badge and gun near Randy’s eye level.
“I understand your concern. But I’m not gay.”
“Alex is very attractive,” Steve said, “In an androgynous way.”
“He is. Yes.” Randy nodded. “That still doesn’t mean I want cock.” Randy gave Billy a once over. “Is this really a threat? You two coming here to warn me…if? If something occurs between Alex and I, you’ll? What? Bury me in a cement suit in the ocean?”
“No.” Billy showed his teeth.
“Expose you,” Steve said.
Randy’s countenance changed drastically. He stood and closed his robe with the belt. “I think it’s time for you to leave.”
Billy nodded to Steve and they walked to the door.
Before they left Randy said, “I don’t appreciate this. I want it on record that this was harassing.”
“Duly noted,” Steve said, smirking.
“And Alex can be replaced. He was just hired on a whim. George Ford’s daughter has a thing for him.”
Steve grabbed Randy by the shoulders of the robe and slammed him against the wall roughly. Billy reached to stop him but the comment was meant to enflame.
Steve drew closer to Randy and snarled. “You fuck up my son’s career and I will get even.”
“Steve.” Billy nudged him.
Randy didn’t say a word, looking completely intimidated.
Steve released him and Randy straightened out his robe and ran his hand over his brown hair nervously.
Steve walked out of the door and Billy paused, making eye contact with Randy. “I didn’t want it to be like this. I just wanted to meet you.”
“Sure, Lieutenant.” Randy laughed at the absurdity.
“It’s Captain, actually. I’ve been promoted.” Billy was glad he was slightly taller than Randy, and able to look down at him.
“LAPD is known for their bullies. I’m not surprised.”
“And Hollywood is known for their closet queens. You keep my secret, I’ll keep yours.”
“Goodbye.” Randy pointed to the door.
Billy left and heard it slam behind him. He met Steve at the electronic gate and they gave each other a timid glance.
“Well, we either set him straight or got Alex fired.” Steve blew out a loud breath.
“I told you. Contract signed.” Billy put his arm around Steve’s shoulder. “I need a fucking drink.”
“Ditto.” Steve shook his head and patted Billy’s back.