Authors: K. C. Falls
Tags: #Romance, #Contemporary, #Adult
Knowing his Secret
Year of the Billionaire
Copyright © 2012 by K.C. Falls
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. This book contains material protected under International and Federal Copyright Laws and Treaties. Any unauthorized reprint or use of this material is prohibited. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system without express written permission from the author / publisher.
This is a work of fiction. All characters, names, places and events are the product of the author's imagination or used fictitiously.
The material in this book is intended for adults only.
If I had known at the beginning, I might not have gotten lost in him. I might have known better than to hang all my promise and all my dreams on a man who was made like Tristan. I could have resisted the black-hole pull of him if someone had whispered in my ear and told me.
I would have ignored the appeal of his impressive intellect and laughed a little less at
his thorny sarcastic wit. I might not have let his satiny voice tickle my ears or tried to put a name to the scent of male that followed him around. Most of all I would have filed his dazzling smile and the exquisite face it occupied somewhere in the 'look but don't touch' drawer.
The first time I sat astride his leonine frame and felt him hard under me, I would have followed my instinct
s and gotten off of him. I wouldn't have let his frustration be enough to pull me back to his mouth. I wouldn't have let my fear of being dismissed altogether lead me to give in to his lust.
I let him claim my desire before I had the chance to consider what that meant to me, to my life. By the time I knew his secrets it was too late. He had bred my passion and ignited needs I never imagined.
He must have known I'd have the urge to run. That's why he wove my life into his so seamlessly. By the time I realized what the challenges were, it was too late. He had engineered the kind of life I had foolishly hoped for and made himself a hero in the bargain.
Jenn and I had been working the Berkshires every summer since our senior year in high school. There were always plenty of jobs--waitress, camp counselor, store clerk, park attendant, lifeguard--you name it, we'd done it. We were both from solidly middle class families and had grown up together in Brooklyn, New York. When it came time to go to college, it was natural for us to choose the same one. We couldn't imagine being separated. We put our heads together and decided to apply to Bennington. By choosing a small liberal arts college in Vermont, we got as far away from a big city atmosphere as we could get.
It was our last summer together. We had graduated
with a couple of worthless degrees --me with a degree in Literature and Jenn with one in Drama. She had decided to go for her Masters in Fine Arts and I would pound the pavement in September in New York hoping to land a job in the publishing industry. We had both gotten summer jobs near Stockbridge. Mine was at Tanglewood where I worked a computer during the day taking reservations and emailing confirmations of tickets. Jenn worked at night as the stage manager of the Mahkeenac Little Theater. Neither job paid very well. Halfway through the summer we talked our bosses into letting us trade. Jenn was tired of having her nights occupied and I was bored to the point of madness.
The Mahkeenac Little Theater was technically an amateur affair but the patrons and actors involved were so wealthy that the theater lacked for nothing. Not too many small town theaters pay their stage hands and managers, that's for sure. I took over for Jenn on the night of the first rehearsal
for a quite famous play about some former high school football players and their old coach. It had won a Pulitzer Prize in the seventies and was considered 'racy' at the time because of the rough language. That's about all I knew about it.
I arrived early for the read through. Tom McMurphy was the director.
He was a man in his late forties, quite attractive in an older guy sort of way. He gave me a script and I thumbed through it as I waited for the cast to arrive. The first two actors came in together followed immediately by a third. Two of them were slightly overweight and the third was slight and short. All three men wore khaki pants and a polo shirt. If the shirts had been the same color, I would have thought they were in a club. They seemed to know each other well. A few minutes later, a nice looking man in tennis garb arrived.
The final member of the cast, the actor who would be playing the coach, arrived last. He was fi
ve minutes late. He wore a gorgeous suit but quickly took his jacket off and draped it over the back of a chair. His tie followed. I hoped that the make-up artist was good because it was going to take a lot of talent to make this guy look like a dying, angry old man.
He was well over six feet tall and had the kind of lean body I associate with
people who don't really work at having a 'bod' but just happen to have been born that way.
was the first word that came to mind. His feline look was accentuated by thick and wavy golden brown hair that just brushed the top of his collar. His clothes whispered understated elegance. I'd spent enough time in the Berkshires to recognize a tailor made suit. The summer-weight wool draped almost like gray silk and broke in precisely the right way where his pants met his wing-tips. He had a pair of burgundy suspenders on. Somehow silk suspenders on a young man like him struck me as terribly hot. The tie he flung over the chair was one of those very expensive French ties with a tiny little geometric pattern. His gold and lapis cufflinks sparkled under the stage lights.
was the kind of handsome that would appeal to nearly any woman. I could imagine my mother--or even my grandmother--remarking on his clean-cut good looks. His facial structure was like the type of movie star Mom's generation adored. Strong jawed, a small cleft in his chin, and groomed impeccably. I couldn't see his hands, but it wouldn't have surprised me if they were perfectly and professionally manicured.
He pulled out the chair at the table's end and arranged it, along with another so that he was facing the audience. When he lowered himself into the humble folding chair, his grace made it seem like a throne. He draped his long legs over the seat of the other chair and once arranged, gave Tom a look that said "I'm ready now, you can begin."
There was an undeniable confidence in his manner, some might even deem him haughty.
The five men
were in their places on the stage around a rectangular table. The 'coach' sat at one end of the table and the 'players' sat three on one side and one at the other end. Tom and I sat in the fourth row center with the empty side of the table facing us. I knew what to expect from a read through. Jenn had briefed me. I had learned that the actors would be using this reading to get a feeling for the pace and dialog of the play. They would have already read the play to themselves but this would show them how their characters would develop against one another.
Tom and I had our pencils and clipboards ready for notes.
My role as stage manager would be limited at first, but I was expected to pay close attention. Later, when the director 'blocked' the play, I would be responsible for recording every move the actors made. I would also be making a prop list. The props would be my responsibility to organize and maintain.
Tom introduced me to the men. I would soon come to know them all very well. I had
seven weeks to spend with them before the play opened for its two weekend run. It seemed a lot of work for no pay and not a lot of actual performing, but that's what Little Theater is all about. I wasn't surprised to learn that all the men, every one of them, were with private investment firms in New York. What I didn't grasp was the amount of actual net worth that was sitting up on that stage in front of me.
Tom went back to the lighting booth and dimmed the house lights. He propped his feet on the seat in front of us and told the guys to start reading.
Within minutes I began to appreciate the brilliant way Tom had cast the play. He combined the men with their roles perfectly.
The smallish man had been assigned the role of a nervous, mediocre high school principal. The drunk was played by the nice looking guy who very much looked like he had been type-cast and the two overweight dudes were competing lawyers
in the small town where the play was set. It wasn't until the 'coach' opened his mouth that I knew why he'd been chosen for his role.
When he was introduced to me,
Tristan had spoken in a deep appealing voice that was smooth and sexy--the kind of voice that almost should have had a foreign accent. When he took on the role of the coach, it was like another man was speaking. He applied a gravely texture and a heavy southern drawl that altered his tone completely. That alone was an impressive talent.
By the end of the reading I had almost forgotten that these actors were
all men in their late twenties and early thirties and not in fact four middle aged ball players and their old coach. I never really took the time to go and see productions by the Mahkeenac Little Theater and now I had reason to regret that. These guys were good.
At the end of the read through, Tom kicked the house lights on again and we joined the men on stage so that Tom could
do his directing and I could take notes. I was astounded at Tom's attention to detail. I sat at Tristan's right hand with my back to the theater. I was just near enough to him to catch the clean scent of his faded aftershave. I had the urge to pull him closer so I could smell him properly.
I noticed that I was right about the hands. He held his script with one perfect set of fingers and grasped a Mont Blanc pen with the other, ready to make notes. The hands looked very much like they could make magic on a girl's body if the situation arose. My pulse
kicked up at the image and I had to pull myself back. A literature major has a fertile imagination, almost by definition. Mine was threatening to run away with me. I turned back to listen to what Tom was saying to the players.
"Richard, I need you to ratchet the ego up a little in the first act. It'll make it that much more of an impact when you find out Daniel is fucking your wife.
Cole, you're the seediest of all in this seedy bunch. Try to be a little slimier.
some more." He looked at his notes. "Tristan, I love the voice, but I think you need to take the Southern accent down a notch. I know where you're coming from with that, but the coach has a lot of things going on--we don't want to make him a caricature."
"Sure thing, Tom," Tristan answered in his normal silky bass. "I can rein that in a bit."
He looked from Tom to me and caught me staring at him. I started furiously marking my script with…nonsense, really but I needed a distraction.
"Okay, guys. Off book by Friday night's walk through. I'll start blocking tomorrow night."
The smallish man, Brian, groaned at the schedule. "That's an awful lot of lines to master in five days, Tom."
"Oh quit belly aching! You've got nothing to do all week but count your money." They all laughed. "By the way guys…I'm going to need as much advance notice as possible if anyone needs to miss a rehearsal. I know I can't hope for 100% attendance, but an ensemble play like this really requires everyone at every rehearsal."
"Tom," said Tristan, "I warned you when I accepted the role that I'd miss some rehearsals. I nearly didn't make it today."
"Yeah, Tom. The 'star' warned you," said Daniel.
"Gotta work around the 'King', now don't we?"
Tristan held up his right fist next to his face and slowly uncurled his middle finger, flipping them off. "Gentlemen, I hope it won't be too hard to carry on without me. Those of us with
firms tend to actually work at it."
There were hoots and some good natured "fuck you", "in your dreams", "kiss my ass" comments.
"Raina's here to fill in when Tristan or anyone else can't make it. I can't wait to see her stand in for Daniel…or Tristan." Tom said and gave me a wink. "You'd make a great angry old man."
Laughing at that, we all rose noisily rose from the table, all clattering chairs and chattering men. I watched Tristan sling his jacket and tie over his arm and take the steps down from the stage
on his long legs by two's. I wondered where he was hurrying to as he flung a "G'night" back over his shoulder and loped up the aisle to the front exit. I had him undressed down to his underwear before he hit the door. I decided he was a silk boxer kind of guy just as his ass vanished from my sight.
Jenn was all but asleep on the couch by the time I got home. I had stopped at the grocery store for a bottle of wine on the way home because I thought I might need a glass or two to help me get to sleep. I recalled from my waitressing stints that it's hard to just get off work and go to sleep. A person needs some time to wind down. But it was more than that this time.