Boys of the Fast Lane
Boys of the Fast Lane
Gil Graham's last words rang in Mike Benson's mind. Okay, not exactly his final words before leaving, but the last on the subject they'd been talking about ...
All I could think of as we lifted off was "Aberdare Gardens, here I come. I'm coming home!" And I was .
Mike strolled across the expansive Hotel Amarano suite and stood at the floor-to-ceiling triple-glazed window to watch the traffic swishing past on the Ventura Freeway below and off to the side. Opposite, a small mall with its parking lot made an untidy backdrop to the hotel's elegance. For half a minute he studied the tattered billboard above the mall's Starbucks, which advertised the 2012 L.A. Irish Film Festival in Santa Monica. It seemed bizarrely out of place all the way up in Burbank. He glanced down at the much quieter North Pass Road four floors below. A taxi rolled off the street onto the hotel's wide forecourt and stopped beside the main entrance. After a moment's pause Mike saw a guy jump from the back with an easy grace and disappear from sight underneath with a backward wave at the invisible driver.
As he stepped back, he caught his faint reflection in the glass, three slightly out-of-synch Mike Bensons staring back. The expression in the eyes shaded to dazed, and no wonder. He had just spent a night of almost non-stop sex with a man more than twice his nineteen years. And it wasn't so much that it was his first gay experience, nor that he enjoyed it-which he really did-but that fucking with one of Hollywood's top producers could only be good news for a lowly Burbank TV trainee floor assistant wanting to get ahead in the cutthroat movie business.
It was a happy accident that Mr. Graham-he still couldn't quite think of the renowned director-producer as plain and simple Gil-wanted his company after they'd wrapped on a major TV series for RKW. Mr. Gra- Gil, invited him for a late supper and they'd gotten on well. As the meal progressed he became aware that Gil had an interest in more than his paltry experiences of life. He, lowly Mike Benson, got hit on, and he hadn't minded.
He turned and headed for the bedroom and the full-length mirror to check that he looked okay. Jeans and shirt a bit rumpled (they had come off rather quickly and with no due care for where they fell). At least his damp hair glistened in dark highlights from the shower. A bit pallid around the cheeks. He pinched each quickly, and then did it again to see if he was real. Yes, it hurt. Was it really true? He had hoped for a helping hand up the tough ladder and then this happened. Amazing, but true.
Gil Graham wouldn't be back for at least a couple of hours. "I have a few loose ends to clear up in the production office," he'd said. Mike was touched at the man's sudden shyness as he hesitated, hand outstretched for the door. "Why not stay here? We can make a late lunch, maybe take a drive out after ...?"
Mike struggled to avoid looking too eager at this offer to extend the relationship. And he realized with some surprise that it wasn't the thought of any possible advancement this might bring that gonged in the hollow of his stomach. It was the man himself. He wore his mid-fifties well: he was fit, lean, and handsome, almost boyish under a thick thatch of naturally straw-colored hair and it hadn't been any hardship in bed with him. No, it was Gil's own story that warmed Mike the most. His tale of how he, as a gofer, wet behind the ears, had gotten ahead in the movie business, from a lowly start in Rome way back in 1980. Of his all-consuming love affair with the English boy Mike Smith, who Gil said he, Mike Benson, resembled in some degree. Of the disaster that ripped them apart when the legendary bad-boy producer James Rosen took revenge for slights given him in Rome. From his reading, Mike knew of Rosen, but nothing in the literature spoke of his being gay, h