Please follow & like us :)



Erica is the first part of an incredible story, that takes us from the depths of the sea to the stars above. A world people never knew existed. The Planet Sephius is located in the Mintaka star region where the Sabaean people came from.  Let Erica tell her story.


Erica                         Chapter 1


The music business can be maddening, can be, it always is, at least to me. I began my career, amusing to call what I do a career. It is more like an errand boy, keeping tabs on some very different people, musicians, vocalists, and assorted performers. My role is to see that each of those under my wings get to rehearsal or recording on time and sober enough to perform, not an easy task.

I considered myself fortunate to snag this gig upon graduation from USC Thornton School of Music three years ago. The pay stinks, I only earn $32,000, but the opportunity is unlimited, at least that is what I get told every week after I complain that sixty-five or more hours a week is a bit much for the money. My mentor, they don’t use the word boss at Keystone Records, is Lawrence Steiger, the talent director. I call him Larry to piss him off, he insists I use Lawrence, so I say, sure Larry.

My success at Keystone was predicated at least in part by making friends with the managers of every cheap motel, every low-down dive bar inhabited by the drug trade, and a few high-class pimps, that is an oxymoron, but it worked. Generally, if a particular talent had a known problem, I made their call 2 hours earlier than necessary; if they failed to show, it gave me 2 hours to track them.

About a year ago, Keystone signed a hot new group called The Stingers, led by a kid, funny I call him a kid named Joey B, is 25, and I am 23, but he acts like a kid. Joey was two hours late for a general meeting to review their new album set for release in two months.

Larry called me screaming, “Brad, where the hell is Joey? You were told to have him here by 9:00 am, damn near noon now,” he said.

It is only 11:00 am Larry, “I will find him, give me an hour, I might need to clean him up a bit,” I said.

“Brad, if you want to work next week, he better be here before noon, got it?” Larry said.

“Sure, Larry, see you,” I said.

Larry is always ranting, but I understand this is a big deal; he has all the brass sitting in a meeting to OK spending over a million on this album. Took only four calls to find Joey at a cheap motel on Sunset near downtown LA. Knowing your client always helps. I take the time to get to know every one assigned to me. Not only understand, but learn their habits, their likes in sex, drugs, booze, whatever they desired, I knew where to look. I pulled into the motel at exactly 11:22 am, the manager; my buddy Khan gave me the key, I gave him $20, both of us happy. Room 27, I unlocked and found Joey sound asleep with a young boy asleep beside him.

“Joey, Joey!” I said. “Man get up, got work to do. No time to waste, jump in the shower”. I pulled him out of bed and turned the shower to cold only.

“Come on, Joey, jump in.”

“Dammit, Brad!” he exclaimed. “The fucking water is freezing.”

“Good,” I said. “Help wake you up, Joey. Wash your hair, it stinks.”

“You’re not my dad,” he said. “Why should I do what you say?”

“Lucky I am not, your dad might kick your little ass.” Ten minutes later, I had Joey in the car and headed for Keystone. “Brad,” he asked. “How do I look?”

“You’ll pass,” I said. “But, we need to clean your breath.” We pulled into a 7-Eleven, I ran in and bought mouthwash. “Come on, Joey,” I said. “Get out, rinse your mouth. Do it one more time, then pour some on your fingers and rub it on your face.”

“Brad,” said Joey. “Let me ask you, have you ever told anyone about what I do?”

“What you do is your business,” I replied. “Not mine, I care about you.”

“What do you mean you care about me?” Joey asked.

“You! Joey, you have a lot of talent,” I said. “Hate to see you waste it. Not many have what you do.”

“Why do you care?” asked Joey.

“Who knows,” I said. “That’s just me. I am not here to judge anyone; none of us are better than another, just different.”

“What do you get out of it?” Joey asked.

“I get nothing, I work for a salary,” I said. “Same every week, no matter what you do, so what I get is satisfaction, like the Stones say.”

“You’re a funny dude, Brad,” said Joey. “I like it.”

“Hey, Joey,” I said. “Tell Larry you had the time written down as noon, not 9:00 am. That will take him off the hook. Knock ’em out, Joey, this can be big for you. They’re waiting in the boardroom.”

“Thanks, Brad,” he said. “Later, man.”

“Joey B” said Larry. “Glad you could make it, we were getting worried.”

“Yeah, Lawrence,” said Joey. “Sorry, I had the meeting in my notebook for noon. Brad, let me know. I hope all is well.”

“Great,” he said. “You know all the men here?”

“All except that guy,” said Joey. “Who is he?”

“Jeff Bright,” replied Larry. “He is from New York. Wanted to meet the big man, Joey B.”

“Super, can I get some coffee?” said Joey. “Black, maybe a shot of brandy for an eye-opener.”

“Kath,” Larry said. “Please bring in some coffee for Joey, anyone else? We have the album narrowed down to sixteen songs, but the album can only use twelve. We need to go over these to determine which to drop.”

“Drop,” said Joey. “Why?”

“Time, Joey,” said Larry. “Playtime.”

“Lawrence, who is going to produce this album?” Joey asked.

“You know George Allen,” he said.” You’ve worked with him before.”

“Lawrence,” said Joey. “You know I wrote all those songs. I want them included.”

“Won’t work,” he said. “Sorry, Joey, that part is all set.”

“Lawrence, on this album, I want Brad to produce it for me.”

“Brad?” said Larry. “Brad is not a producer. He is a talent management assistant.”

“Well, he is brilliant,” said Joey. “I trust him, let him do it.”

“Joey, I’m sorry, but George has this all set up.”

“How can he have it set up when they are my songs?” Joey asked.

“Joey, they are your songs,” said Larry. “But you are under contract to Keystone, to manage the productions.”

“You might want to reread the contract,” said Joey. “It gives me production control over my work.”

“Call Brad in here!” Larry yelled. “Kath, locate Brad Hay, have him come in. Joey, did you and Brad discuss this?”

“Not at all,” Joey said. “It just came to me.”

“You never have, and he has never indicated to you that he wants to produce?”

“No, Lawrence, Brad never talks,” said Joey. “He listens. He is one of the only people in my life who seems to care about what I want, not what they want. Do you care about what I want, Lawrence?”

“Joey, of course, all of the team here at Keystone care about you and your future,” Larry replied.

“Then I want Brad as my producer, you still care?” Joey asked.

“Let’s talk when Brad shows up,” Larry is now pissed.

“Kath, did you find Brad?” Larry asked.

“Yes sir, Brad is in Las Vegas,” Kath said.

“Vegas, what the hell is he doing in Vegas?” Larry asked.

“Grace Collins is at the MGM. She is having a problem, management asked for help in getting her to leave, they do not want law enforcement involved, Brad is the only one she will talk to,” Kath replied.

“When did he leave?” Larry asked.

“Soon as he brought Joey, the call came in. Tucker is flying him,” Kath said.

“Kath, do you have his mobile?” he asked.

“Yes, sir,” she said.

“Call and turn him around. I need him here now,” he said.

“Hello Brad, this is Kath; Lawrence asked me to have you turn around, and return to the office pronto,” Kath said.

“What is going on, Kath?” Brad asked.

“Not sure, but it involves Joey B,” she said.

“Kath, it will take me forty-five minutes to return, call the MGM, talk to Brownie, no one else, tell him, I will be there ASAP, say get Grace some downers, say they are from Brad. She will be fine for a few hours, tell him all will be covered, got it,” Brad said.

“Yes, Brad, best hurry,” she said.

“Lawrence, Brad was on a flight; he will return in about forty-five minutes; you want to go to the dining room and get some lunch while waiting?” Kath asked.

“Good idea Kath,” he said.

Today has been one hell of a day. Now to see what is going on.

“Kath, where is Larry?” Brad asked.

“He asked you to go to his office, he will be there soon, thanks for rushing back,” she said.

“What is going on, Kath?” Brad asked.

“Not sure, he is pissed, and Joey B is causing some problem, not sure, but everyone is in a dither,” she said.

“Dithers I can handle, where is Joey?” Brad asked.

“With Lawrence, I think,” she said.

“Find him, tell him I am back please, I will be in Larry’s office, can you bring me some coffee?” Brad asked.

It has been a hell of a day so far.

“There you are, Brad, tell me what in the hell is going on?” Larry said.

“Larry, what is going on? That is what I want to know; I have to handle a mess with Grace, you make me return what for?” Brad asked.

“Why did you not tell me you wanted to produce?” Larry asked.

“Produce what, what in the hell you are talking about?” I said.

“Joey B, he said you want to produce his album,” Larry said.

“What! I am not a producer; I never spoke to Joey or anyone about that; what is this exactly? I will find out, Kath, please get Joey here,” I said.

“Sure, Brad,” she said.

“Hey man, what is the commotion?” Joey asked with a smile.

“Larry said you told him I asked you to produce your album,” I said.

“He’s a fucking liar. Larry, why do you say shit like that? I made it clear to you this is what I want, not Brad, never lie to me and use my name in a lie, or I will take our contract and stick it in your fucking ass,” Joey said.

“Calm down, Joey, we can settle this,” Lawrence stated.

“Calm down, you fucking liar, Brad, I will only finish this album if you produce it,” Joey demanded.

“Why me, Joey, you know I am not a producer here?” I asked.

“Because I trust you, I don’t trust these lying assholes, will you do it?” Joey asked.

“Not sure what you want, but anything I can do, I will, is that OK, Larry?” I asked.

“What can I say, I have five men here from New York to fund and promote this album, I am fucked.” he said.

“Not yet, but soon if you don’t get out of our way,” Joey piped in.

“How long until you can have a finished project, Brad?” Larry asked.

“Three weeks, what do you think, Joey?” I asked.

“Yeah, we can do it,” he said.

“Joey, I need to fly to Vegas now. Take the keys to my house, get some rest; there is food and drinks. I should be back in five hours. Larry, will you have your driver take Joey to the house? See you in the morning,” I said.

“Hey boss, have a safe trip,” Joey said. Looking back with a massive smile as he left.

“You better not fuck this up, Brad,” Lawrence said, seething with anger.

“Fuck up what, Larry, the Grace matter?” I asked.

“Go on. I have to handle this shit here, come in early. We have a lot to do,” he said.

What a day this has been. It was almost 6:00 pm when I arrived at the MGM. Brownie saw me and came running. Thank God you are here; that bitch is threatening to burn the fucking place down, get her out of here fast.

“Got a key?” I asked.

“Brad, Room #729, want help?” Brownie asked.

“No, Brownie, let me handle her, she trusts me. Get me two bottles of coke, bottles, no cans,” I said.

The TV is blaring. I can hear it leaving the elevator. Sounds like some old “I Love Lucy” reruns Grace is screaming, you fucking bitch, you fucking bitch, I opened the door saying, hey babe, what’s up?

“Brad, you son-of-a-bitch, where have you been? I told them to have you come seven hours ago?” Grace yelled.

“Sorry Grace, busy morning, what is the problem?” I asked.

“Problem, this fucking place took the dice away from me, I was on a hot streak, they just grabbed them. I told that damn dago, I would break his fucking legs, my men would get him. The son-of-a-bitch took my drink, and they almost dragged me into the room. They won’t let me out unless someone is here to pick me up. I called you, that was at ten this morning, I hate this fucking place,” she said.

“Grace, drink a coke, I will take you home,” I said.

“What about my money? Those guys owe me almost five grand, I want my money, or I will burn this fucking hotel down,” she said.

“Don’t worry, Grace, I will get your money and a little extra, pack up, let me handle this,” I said.

“I love you, Brad, you are the only man I trust,” she said.

“Love you too, Grace, take a quick shower, let me get your money, let’s get out of here, love,” I told her.

“Give me fifteen minutes, dear,” she said.

“Brownie, what a mess, listen Grace is pissed, she said your pit boss took her dice and her cash, she was on a roll, she claims you owe her ten grand,” I said.

“Ten grand bullshit, the bitch was screaming, going nuts, she threw a drink on the stick man, we had to carry her out,” Brownie said.

“What about her cash?” I asked.

“What about the damage she caused, Keystone paying for that?” he said.

“What damage? Did she break anything?” “Brownie, her room looks great, I saw no problem,” I said.

“No, but she said she would burn the fucking Hotel, I for one, believe her, she is one wild bitch,” he said.

“Look Brownie, our clients, and we do a lot of business with MGM, not only this hotel but other properties, we cannot have our talent pissed off, or they start shit, you know, put out stories, and you lose some heavy hitters,” I said.

“What does she want?” he asked.

“She said you stole ten grand, I say give her six grand, I will make her happy, she will clean up, forget the whole thing and lose it right back soon, you know she has a new album coming out that will be a No1, keep her happy,” I said.

“You will get her out of here and smooth the matter over?” he asked.

“My word, Brownie, I will fly her back to LA now, when I come down, hand me an envelope, all will be taken care of,” I said.

We left just before 7:00 pm. Grace was coming back to normal, the coke with the valium helped.

“You get my cash, Brad?” Grace asked.

“Sure Grace, here is six grand, a little extra for the fuss, is all good now?” I asked.

“Brad, you are a fucking king. I love you, why do you care about me, why are you always there for me?” she asked.

“Grace, you are my girl, a guy has to look after his women,” I said.

“I won’t forget this, Brad, I mean that,” she said.

I drove her home. She has a house up Laurel Canyon, now for home, been one hell of a day for a Tuesday. It was almost 10:00 pm when I drove into my drive, wondering if Joey was alright. Hell, he was fast asleep in my bed. My nerves are wound too tight to relax, so I poured a glass of good Merlot, put on the tape of Joey’s new album track, and might as well see what we have. I played it through twice, some good, some need change, but very workable, then fell sound asleep on the sofa.

Is this a dream? Sometimes when I dream, I cannot tell if it is a dream or reality. Some of the people in my dreams are so real I can touch, feel, and speak to them. Tonight, I met this fascinating young blond girl, with eyes such a deep sapphire blue they look not of this world. I ask where she was from. She smiled at me and said, up there. Where is that? The stars, do you want to go with me she asked with a mischievous smile that beckoned me. Yes, I would love to go with you anywhere as I pulled her face to my lips. We kissed, and I was overcome. She said to wait, then picked up a long cylinder object, and turned it to the sky. The light from that cylinder blazed like the beam of a rocket’s trail in the sky. We were caught up in that beam of blinding light, up, up faster and faster when I saw before us a large planet we were approaching at a breathtaking speed. Where are we? Dear one we are going to stop here on Mars for a bit, then on to Sephius. Where is Sephius, I asked? In the Mintaka region, she said, you will learn.

“Boss, Boss, it was Joey shaking me, come on man, I have coffee made. What time did you get home, I waited, but needed sleep, “Hey Brad, love that bed, so damn soft could not get out,” he said.”Your phone started ringing at 8:00 am, I hung it up, I knew it would be that piss ant, Larry.”

“You say you made coffee?” I asked.

“Let me get you a cup, like a sweetener, little brandy?” Joey asked.

“No, some cream, thanks, I listened to your tape last night; it can be brilliant with a little editing. We can do this together, will you bring the boys here, let’s work away from the pressure until we have it knocked, then we can go to the studio, mix it up,” I said.

“I like that Boss, that is the proper way to start, collaboration, not orders,” he said.

“Joey, don’t call me boss, Brad works,” I said.

“I do that to piss Larry off. His ears get red; his top will blow, I love it,” he said.

“Joey, I have to go to the office. Where is your car?”

“Left it at that motel, give me a ride when you leave,” he said.

“Joey, can you have the boys here tomorrow? Let’s start at about 10:00 am. I will have food and drinks,” I said.

“Guys like Mexican and margaritas, yes, we will be here at 10:00, no problem,” he said.

Now to the office and deal with the shit there.

“Well, Mr. Producer, it is after 10:00 am did we wake you?” Larry asked.

“Larry, I did not get back until late from Vegas. This morning Joey and I reviewed the tapes, starting tomorrow the group will meet at my house, we will do the edit, then come to the studio to mix it up, the album will be ready in 2 weeks,” I said.

“You sure?” he asked.

“Yes, the guys are excited, I need to keep them focused, it will work, you can approve the track and recommend any changes, is that OK?” I asked.

“So, you won’t come to the office?” he asked

“Not unless needed, this is more important,” I said.

“Need anything from here?” Larry asked.

“Yes, Larry, I need about a $600 expense draw, these guys eat like horses and drink like a fish, my cash is low,” I said.

“Kath, bring in an Amex card for Brad. Whatever you need, charge it to this card, no pussy, no drugs,” he said.

“Hey man, the guys need to have some fun, keep them loose,” I said.

“Get the fuck out of here, call me with progress, good luck, Brad,” he said.

Today, I rest, relax, and listen to the tapes. Larry wants it edited down to twelve songs; Joey wants all sixteen, I agree. It is just time; we can work it. Thursday morning, I got up late for me; it was 8:25 am. There is a great Mexican Restaurant close by, Mia Ranchito; I called and ordered enough for twelve plus four pitchers of margaritas; the tab is $187.25. They agreed to deliver; we are all set. Joey was a man of his word. It was six minutes before 10:00 am when Joey walked in with the three others close. We all had a good hug, surprisingly they all looked clean; they even smelled clean, very refreshing. Guys, help yourself, the food is hot, the margaritas are smooth. Checky, I did not know where that handle came from, they called him Checky, maybe because he never picked up a check, he waited for someone to pay.

“Checky as he gulped down this third margarita, said Brad, you fucking know how to work, we will make a great album for you,” he said.

“Checky, you will not be making an album for me, for you and your mates, you are the talent, I just listen,” I said.

“Joey, I have played this tape over and over, the songs are special, we need to cut six minutes from the total playtime, just six minutes, we have sixteen songs, so we need only cut some 23 seconds out of each. Let’s go over the song by song, make notes of any chords that can change or reduce without harming the song,” I said.

We spent 3 hours on the first song, “Rivers,” and cut 26 seconds; Joey is ecstatic. Brad, fuck, we can do this, we can. The guys could not work more than six hours without losing focus, so I never asked more of them. We worked from 10:00 am to 2:30 pm every day except Sunday. We all needed a day off. By the following Thursday afternoon, we had it, the guys were excited, and in agreement, we had an album that will be a smash. Guys, tomorrow we work in the studio, bring your instruments we might need to re-record parts, same schedule, all agreed? Joey was like a kid again, smiling happy, and loose; he was in the groove.

Larry was first to rush to greet me.

“Brad, great things I hear, great things, what have you got for me?” Larry asked.

“Platinum, I bring you Platinum,” I said.

“Don’t shit me, Brad,” he said.

“I do not; just wait. I need a studio for a week, closed, none except me, the group and my mix master, agreed?” I said.

“You’re the man, but let me hear the first song when finished. Are you going to need any backup?” he asked.

“No, we are cool as is, the boys will be here at 10:00 am. I need to set it up. I do not want anyone bothering or even talking to the boys, got it? They are in a groove now, let it be,” I said.

Joey was on time; the boys were ready to go; I could see the look on their faces; it was their day.

“Brad, we want to record Rivers all over, get a new feel, might save time over trying to fix,” Joey said.

“Joey, it is your song, whatever you want will be,” I said.

“Larry, we will record Rivers over, I will need the crew,” I said.

Thirty minutes later, I gave the signal to Joey. The band cranked in, and Joey came forward. I could see his eyes glowing; he was on fire. The crew chief looked at me with a smile lighting up the room. Nobody spoke a word, just listened in awe; it was fabulous. The boys were excited; they loved it. Over the mike, Joey said how it was Boss?

“Heavenly, boys heavenly,” I said.

“Want us to redo?” Joey asked.

“Hell no, get in here, now. Larry, get your ass in here now,” I said.

“Larry came running, what is it, is it good?” Larry asked.

“Hell no, Larry, it is perfect, the best I have ever heard,” I replied.

Listen, Mike, bring it up, mix sound as you go loud and clear.

“My lord Brad, you did it,” Larry said.

“Joey, you were right, Larry said, “I am sorry.”

“No problem, see it is good to listen. Come on, boys; we have fifteen more songs to finish. I need some big bucks, and I can taste it,” Joey said,

We finished two songs that day. We decided to do two each day in another week; we would have the album complete. Larry was already scheduling pressing the albums. He said the first cut would be 500,000. I recommended 1 million, Brad that will cost us half a mill, better we see how sales go then increase. Your call, man. It took us nine more days to finish, I knew we had at least a Gold, I said Platinum on our hands, the company was a firehouse, men coming in from New York, London, Canada, and the album was the talk of the street, and it is not out yet, but soon.

The following Monday, I was called to attend a board meeting, contract time, I knew this would come. I received an immediate bonus of $100,000. Plus, the executive producer position increases to $125 K salary, a company car, with an expense account.

“What about the bonus?” I asked.

“What bonus?” Larry asked.

“If sales exceed 250,000 albums, I will take a 2% of gross, if they exceed 500,000, I will take 4% of gross over the 250 k, if they exceed 1 million, I will take 5% of gross over the 500 K,” I said.

“Brad, that is unheard of?” Larry said.

“Not now it is not, I have said it, that is cheap for what I will give you,” I replied.

William Stillman, the Board Chairman, and CEO spoke out.

“Brad, you have given much, your talents are only now showing, let’s cut the percentage by 1% each stage, and we have a deal, acceptable?” he asked.

“Yes, sir, very,” I said.

“Now, what is this about Grace Collins?” William asked.

“Grace, what about Grace? I have not seen her in three weeks,” I said.

“That is because she will not work unless you are her producer. What do you hypnotize these folks?” William asked.

“No, sir, just treat them with respect,” I said.

“Whatever you do, it works, you take her contract, we need that girl,” he said.

Joey received an advance of $100,000, the three others given advances of $50,000 each.

Come on downstairs, Brad, got something to show you. Parked at the entrance was a brand new Mercedes C Class convertible in dark Merlot red, Cream leather interior with Merlot piping and a similar top, absolutely stunning. It is for you, Brad, take a few days off and enjoy yourself. You work too hard. Oh, there is an industry party at the Huntington tomorrow at 8:00 pm. We would like you to be there. I cannot make it; my wife wants to go to Vegas. Tickets will be at the desk in your name, have fun, Larry said.

Have fun, he said, take some time off, hell I have had no time off since I started with Keystone, fun, what do I do? Party, I better buy some clothes. I have not done that in three years. I put the top down and drove away in my chariot. Man, I love this car, I feel like a big shot in this, hell I am, Executive Producer sounds big, I was flying. Driving out to Beverly Hills to the shop, Larry purchased his clothes. He always bragged how much this shirt, this jacket cost, all Italian, Brad, someday. Someday is today.

As soon as I walked into the store named, Eric Ross, an older gentleman named Samuel, said Mr. Hay, glad you came, I have several things set aside for you. You are well known now. You need to look the part of a top man in the industry. Looks, and image is essential, and you are an important man. Three hours later, I left the store with two suits, a fantastic navy Blue blazer, two pairs of slacks, six shirts and four ties, and two pairs of shoes. Their tailor altered each piece as I selected it, the fit was made just for me, I felt like a prince. It cost me $3500, which is more money than I had ever spent in my life; it was almost as if a new life was beginning.  I soon found out.

I slept like a child, the first time I had gone to bed at 9:00 pm in my life at least since I was twelve, but it felt great. It was a little after 8:00 am when the bright sunshine blazing through my bedroom’s windows, accompanied by the excited chirping of the birds, woke me from a dream that I did not want to end. I met her again, the incredible young blond girl with the most enchanting sapphire blue eyes I have ever seen in that dream. Almost hypnotic to gaze into her eyes, spellbinding. We danced, we kissed, I longed for her, but she vanished. That is why I resisted waking. I wanted her to return. I want to see the stars.

Life is funny when we take the time to analyze it, here I sit at home on a Tuesday, usually one of the busiest days of my week, yet I am not at work and have nothing to do. I miss work, how strange, I complain because of working too much, now I miss not working, does that make sense? The day just dragged on and on. I was so bored I drove to Hollywood to purchase a new cologne. At least driving this car was a pleasant distraction and helped pass the time.

Imagine stranded on an island, no other people, just me. How long could I last? We need the companionship of others if only to talk to remain human. Perhaps that is why I love my work. It keeps me in constant contact with many different people, yet, we are not all that different when I see inside them. The difference is what makes life fun, and engaging if we were all alike. How tedious.

Industry parties are to be avoided at all costs, that is why Larry stuck this on me; even a boring guy like Larry cannot stand to talk the same shit to the same group over and over. They hold these affairs to raise money for this and that. Mostly though they are to keep your name in the paper to appear as a charitable sort, doing good for all the lessor people, anyway it would give me something to do at least have a few drinks with others, not alone. I dressed in my new blazer and silver-gray slacks with a silver tie and gray loafers; I look rather dashing for a young prince.

The Huntington is a remarkable grand hotel set on over fifty acres of the most prime Pasadena real estate, amid elegant grand Mediterranean estates. I feel very posh as I strolled into the lobby. A young girl, not more than 19 years, came to escort me. Are you here for the affair? Yes, I am here to have an affair. Are you available? My word no, at least not until the party is over, I get off at 11:00. Hope to see you; my name is Brad. The check-in table was in the aisle, and people were checking in, may I have your name, sir? What do you want with it, going to call me later? No, she blushed, it is for seating, Bradford Hay, you are at table 11, here is your name tag. Don’t need it, I know my name, but thanks.

“Brad, glad you came. Lawrence said you might,” Sheila from Capital.

“Hi Sheila, I remember you, say where can I get a good martini?” I asked.

“At the bar, it is an open bar,” she said. “Brad, there will be a silent auction starting at 9:00; you can view the items in the room next door, enjoy.”

“Glad it is not closed. See you around,” I said

I will mingle and see who is here. Judging by the crowd, enjoyment might not be easy, I thought. The bar, the place all the guys flock to while their wives check out the other wives. I saw several fellows I knew and felt more comfortable, hey Steve, Joel, and Thomas, having fun.

“Hi Brad, Surviving you mean, let me buy you a drink,” Steve said.

“Sure, Gin Martini, two olives, thanks,” I replied.

“Hey, heard you are now Executive Producer, congrats. How is the new album?” Thomas asked.

“Be out soon, in the press now,” I said.

“How many?” Thomas asked.

“Initial 500 K, I suggested one mil, but you know these money guys are tight,” I said.

“500 K, must be one hell of a hit for them to put so much out pre-release,” Steve said.

“Should be big. Hey guys, do any of you know that girl over there, the blond?” I asked. Good Lord, it is her, the girl from my dreams. Is that possible or is my imagination in high gear?

“No, never saw her, she is a knock out though, going to grab her?” Steve asked.

“If I can, excuse me,” I said.

“Hello, my name is Brad, Bradford Hay, may I ask yours, I see you like I don’t wear a name tag,” I asked.

“I hate those things kind of childish,” Erica, my name is Erica.

“Erica, are you in the industry?” I asked.

“Brad, I am still in school, I attend USC, in my senior year,” she said.

“I graduated from SC three years ago, love the school, what is your major?” I asked.

“You ask a lot of questions, do you enjoy being here?” she asked.

“Now I do, meeting you makes the evening a pleasure,” I said.

“Would you like to go someplace quiet and enjoy a good meal? she asked.

“Love to, want to go now?” I asked.

“Now! Right now,” she said.

“Do you have to tell anyone you are leaving?” I asked.

“Yes, a girlfriend, she did not want to come alone, but I see she has met someone,” she said.

“Gail, this is Brad, we are going to dinner, he will take me home,” she said.

Hello Brad, Gail was attempting to say, but Erica pulled my arm out the door.

“How I hate those stuffy affairs, I only agreed to come because Gail said they would have great food. Great food, I don’t dine after ten. That is when they want to feed you after they have your money. Oh my, Brad, this is a beautiful car, can we put the top down? I love the breeze in my hair,” she said.

“Not too cold?” I asked.

“No, it is lovely,” she said.

“So dear Erica, what would you truly like for dinner?” I asked.

“Fish, some good soup and fish. Is it far?” she asked.

“No, Erica, only about 10 minutes; why?” I asked.

“Because I am starving, I did not have lunch today, hectic day at school, Tuesdays are the worst,” she said.

“That is funny,” I said.

“Why is that funny?” she asked.

“Tuesday is usually my worst day at work, and today I did not work as they gave me some time off, and I was bored to death, the first time I missed work, that is what was funny. Here we are, dear Erica, this you will enjoy, I promise,” I told her.

The valet asked, do you want your car upfront? Yes, thanks. We entered the charming Village Inn.

“Hey, Brad, nice to see you, and who is this beauty?” Roger asked.

“Roger, meet Erica. Please tell the Chef to make us some lovely soup and a wonderful fish dish,” I said

“You want the special dessert?” he asked.

“Cannot live without it, Roger,” I said.

“Brad, what would you like to drink?” Roger asked.

“A bottle of a fine Bordeaux, you select, something we will remember,” I said.

“Don’t you care about the price?” he asked.

“Only if we do not like it, then I will complain if we enjoy it. Why?” I said.

“Brad, tell me about your work,” Erica asked.

“Sorry, Erica, we are here for me to learn about you, I am enchanted and wish to understand why,” I said.

“Enchanted, I like that word, no one had ever said that before,” she said.

“Erica, there is something extraordinary, so mysterious, almost enchanting, it has captivated me, now either take me or set me free,” I said.

“Brad, you are a strange but interesting man; it is I who is intrigued. This wine and bread are perfect, and I was so hungry,” she said.

The soup is coming, Carl, my we have more bread?

“This soup is fabulous, what is it?” she asked.

“A lobster bisque, Chef knows I love it,” I replied.

“Do you come here often?” she asked.

“No, always busy, if I had time, I would come every night, the food is great, the crowd is congenial, the staff cordial, what more does one desire?” I said.

“I am from Finland, the city of Tampere. Upon graduation from secondary school, you call high school, and my parents wanted me to go to University in America. The only place familiar was Hollywood and Malibu, so I selected USC. My studies are music and art. Mother said;  I am here to fulfil my destiny.  Now you?” she asked.

“Erica, let’s enjoy the fish; that is only a teaser. I want the entire story,” I said.

“Brad, the fish from the North Seas, is the finest in the world, the waters are pure, the food is plentiful, the fish thrive and have for 1000’s of years, this fish is good, must be from the north,” she remarked.

“Yes, it is North Atlantic Cod, very tasty. Where do you live in the dorms or sorority house?” I asked.

“Now you wish to know where I live, why?” she asked.

“So I may come to visit, bring you a present,” I said.

“I like presents, what is it?” she asked.

“You make me laugh. I have not picked it up yet, soon,” I said.

“I have an apartment, I used to have a roommate, but there is too much drama, I prefer to live alone,” she said.

“Don’t you get lonely?” I asked.

“Don’t you, you live alone?” she asked.

“The fish was wonderful. What is this special dessert Roger spoke of?” Erica asked.

“It is coming now, Roger has to pour some Cognac and stir, now the whipped cream,” I said.

“This is delightful, ask Roger to come,” she said.

“Roger, this has been the finest meal I have enjoyed in America, I am certain Brad and I will return many times, thank you,” she told him.

“Erica, I thank you for the compliment, most never say thank you. May I say you are the most beautiful girl I have ever seen? That is sincere. Brad see you both soon, I hope.” Roger said.

“Brad, drive me home now, please put the top up, it is getting cold,” she said.

We were both happy, and the meal was delightful, the company better, now the drive to LA, to USC, about a 20-minute ride, with Erica snuggling up beside me, made the trip short, too short.

“This my building, park in the rear, I have a parking space, but I have no car. If you do not park in the assigned space, they ticket you or tow your car, let me leave a note,” she said.

“Hey, nice place for student housing, you should see what I lived in,” I said.

“Brad, I want to change, get comfortable, take off the jacket and tie, relax, I will not bite,” she told me with a smile.

“What if I want to be bitten?” I asked.

“Then you shall, and there is some wine in the cabinet, open it please,” she said.

Erica came out wearing a long black silk robe with her stark long blond hair and those eyes. Eyes such a deep sapphire blue as I have never seen, just as in my dream. It was dazzling; it made me stop and stare like a deer in the lights. Brad, dear, don’t stare like that; it makes me uncomfortable, sit by me, bring our wine. We sat sipping our wine, looking at each other, not saying a word. Suddenly attraction overcame all. I pulled her to me, kissing those luscious lips with a passion I had never felt before. She reached to unbutton my shirt while I attempted to take off my pants with one hand the other around her neck, pulling her closer to my face.

Come, dear, come with me, she stood up her robes open, exposing her body, when a dart plunged into my heart.

“Dearest, I thought you knew,” she said.

“Erica, I never could take my eyes off your captivating face, so I paid no attention to your body, my god, you are beautiful, incredible,” I said.

“Do you like it?” she asked.

“Like is such a small word, love is more realistic, I love your body, you are perfect in every way,” I said.

“Remove your pants and lay by me, let us know each other. I love your chest, and the dark hair is beautiful, your penis is hard as steel, long as a sword,” Erica said.

“You, your breasts are small but lovely, your legs are smooth as silk, your hair is like an angel’s, your penis is long, pink and lovely, Erica you are a goddess sent to take me to where?” I asked.

“Home, my dear, take you home to the stars,” she said.

We lay in each other’s arms, kissing with love and passion, the one we wish to be with, spend our time with, love, hold, and behold. We lay there, our bodies heaving, panting, we turned and took each others’ face to ours, kissing, tasting each other’s mouth, loving each other. Yes, it was love. I knew I could not live without this girl in my life. She was my life. This night I wished would never end, we both struggled to stay awake to love the other, but sleep overcame desire as we collapsed in the arms of the one we had found our missing link, someone to love. Soon night became morning, the alarm by the bed started its incessant ringing. Erica moaned then reached over to turn it off. Darling, I must go to school, finals day, sleep, my love, pick me up at the quad at 3:30 pm as she leaned over kissing my lips, creating a hunger in my body. Not now, dear, save that for later. Fifteen minutes later, Erica was out the door; my heart was pounding; seeing her walk out that door brought a chill to my body. The only thing that calmed me was knowing in a few hours, she would be mine again.


Dreams of Glory                      Chapter 2


Driving home, I popped in Joey’s track and listened once again; the more I heard this album, the more I am convinced it will go Platinum within a month of release; it is just that great. I was home before the track ended. My house is secluded, but only minutes from downtown or Hollywood. The area is called Mt. Washington. My house is on Glenalbyn Dr, only a few homes nearby, making it quiet and private. Dad gave me the money for the down payment as a graduation gift; of course, he knew I would be working so could make the payments as he had to cosign for me.

The house was a mess from having Joey and the guys here for so many days. I intend to bring Erica to my home this afternoon; it has to look nice. Damn, got to do the laundry, that is the one thing I detest, well for love, man will do anything. It took me five hours to clean the house, change the bed linens, the towels, wash dishes, and do laundry, but the place looks great. I opened all the windows to freshen the air, and now I need to clean up. After a hot shower, a shave, I put on one of my new shirts, the lite beige slacks, my tan loafers, looked in the mirror, and saw a prince, well in my mind, a prince off to claim his princess.

Strange how life is. I meet daily with people who many call important; to me they are just people. I never get nervous in any situation, and now I find myself anxious, will she still want me, will she come to my house? I never ever go early for a meeting, don’t wish to appear not in charge, now I find myself fifteen minutes early parked outside the main entrance to USC, fidgeting with the radio, anything to make the time go faster. Come on, Brad, look cool, look confident, stop craning your neck looking for her, then out from a walkway, I saw her, my dream was real.

“Brad darling, glad you found me, I was not sure you would come,” Erica said.

“Not sure, why say that?” I asked.

“I don’t know. Maybe you had time to think, and maybe you are not sure.”

“Erica, I have never been more sure of anything. Will you come to my house? I saw yours?” I asked.

“Sure, dear, stop at my place; let me pick up a change of clothes, you are taking me out, right?” she asked.

“Dear, can you take the next two days off school? I have the days off and would love to spend that time with you, please,” I said.

“I will wait while I get some things. No, don’t come in, we might not leave,” Erica said.

Erica had changed, freshened up, and put on a simple yet very revealing white dress with a deep blue sweater around her neck; she tossed her bag on the back seat, climbed in, then planted a wonderful kiss on my eager lips, more, my body wanted more.

“Come on, dear, let me see where you live, is it nice?” she asked.

“Nice, yes, I like it. I think you will. Turn the tape on to listen to our new album, it will take about twenty minutes to get home,” I said.

“Rivers,” the first song on the track, I watched Erica’s eyes as she listened intently. When the song finished, she stopped the track.

“Brad, who is this group? That song is incredible. I have never heard this group before, who are they?” she asked.

“Joey B and the Stingers, a new group, I produced this album, will be out in a few weeks,” I said.

“You produced this?” she asked.

“Yes, do you like it?” I asked.

“Brad dear, like is a very nondescript word, no I am in awe, it is Heart throbbing,” she said.

“Play the rest and give me your opinion,” I said.

By the time we reached the house, Erica had screamed the lyrics, pounding the dash, lost in that space, that private space, we do not usually share with others. When we stopped, I turned off the car, the music stopped, Erica looked me in the eyes, then jumped on me, consuming me, then as suddenly as it came, the storm passed, the seas calm once again.

“Come on, dear, show me around, I love the area, the trees, the privacy, it is like another city, not LA,” she said.

“That is why I like it here, come inside,” I told her.

“Brad, this is charming, and so clean, not like I would expect a single guy to live,” she said.

“Honestly, I cleaned up today for you,” I said.

“Where do I put my things, our bedroom?” she asked.

The breeze was blowing through the wide-open windows, curtains fluttering like the sheets of a sailboat in a light breeze, Erica pulled me to her, and we kissed, kissed like we had not seen each other for weeks.

“Darling, I love the house, we will be pleased here, do you have any wine?” she asked.

“Come, dear, see the kitchen, wines are in the cabinet, you chose,” I said.

“Dearest, do you have another copy of the album in the house?” she asked.

“Yes, want me to play it?” I asked.

“Of course, when I listen to that, I learn about you,” she said.

“Me, I did not sing it, Joey and the guys did,” I said.

“Yes, I understand, but it is you who created this masterpiece, now I can see who you are inside, not only the good-looking man standing before me, the real you, the one most never see. Come, dear, pour us some wine, I see a patio, let’s sit out there listen to the music and feel the fresh air, did I tell you today, I love you?” she asked.

“No, but you can say that over and over, it thrills me, although not as much as my love for you thrills me.”

“Darling, this is so romantic, it is very private, is it alright to lay nude, I love to feel the breeze over my body?” she asked. It is almost required as I tore off my shirt, removed my pants, my socks, she only had to slip off her dress. She was wearing nothing underneath. Like two magnets their opposite poles attract, we were those poles, the energy, the force of love pulled us together in a dance of love that nothing can stop. It was the sun dropping below the hills. The breeze became chilly now, and we unlocked our bodies. Come, darling, let me get us some robes.

“Brad, this fireplace looks so lovely. Is there any firewood?” she asked.

“Yes, there is a stack outback, I love to sit and work by the fire, let me lit it, pour us some wine, I spilled mine,” I said.

Erica got a blanket and a stack of pillows, placing them on the floor in front of the fireplace. Lie by me; I want to talk.

“Brad, if this is too private, say so, I will not intrude,” she said.

“Dear, I have nothing too private to speak to you about,” I said.

“Have you ever had a serious girlfriend?” she asked.

“Serious, what do you mean by that?” I asked.

“A girl you were in love with,” she said.

“Love with, no, I was in school for 15 years, I was serious about my future, never had time for a relationship, dated, went to parties, sure, but serious no,” I said.

“Have you ever made love, or had sex with a girl?” she asked.

“Yes, in high school and college,” I said.

“Have you ever had sex or made love to a boy?” she asked.

“No, why do you ask that,” I said

“Because you know I was born a boy, but am a woman, you made love to me as one who knew how to please,” she said.

“I do not think one needs the training to love another; it seems quite natural,” I said.

“Yes, it is, however, most men would be too shy or ashamed to love me in the way you do,” she said.

“Why would they?” I asked.

“Oh dearest, that I cannot answer,” she said.

“My turn, how have you ever loved another man?” I asked.

“No, flirted, played around, but loved no. I am only 20, my family is strict, and I had never met someone before you that interested me, I don’t mean sexually, I mean to interest my mind, I think that is more important, but now I am not sure, both are important,” she said.

“When did you decide to be Trans?” I asked.

“Never, I am not Trans. I am myself. When I was very young, about 3 or 4, my mother had never cut my hair; it was always long and soft like a young girl. She liked that. She would lay out clothes for me in the mornings; I could choose the color of the dress I wanted. So all my life I have been a girl, that is all I know, do you understand?” she asked.

“Yes, what about your father?” I asked.

“Father loved me and let me live as I choose, very simple. In Finland, we are very open and do not judge others. We prefer they live to be happy,” she said.

“Have you ever considered going all the way, having your breasts grow?” I asked.

“No, I am pleased with my body. Would you like me to have larger breasts?”

“Dearest Erica, I love your body as it is, I am like your father; whatever makes you happy makes me,” I said.

“Are you taking me to dinner?” she asked.

“Yes, I am not a good cook,” I told her.

“Can we dine at the same restaurant, you know Rogers place?” she asked.

“Certainly, let’s go about 8:30 gives us time to get ready and learn more,” I said.

“More about what?” she asked.

“You, darling you, you fascinate me,” I said.

“Now, I am fascinating? I love the words you use, sure it is not more loving that you desire?” she asked.

“Both,” I said. Our next four days together were idyllic, no more than that; they were mystical, almost surreal, it seemed to us as if we were placed upon this earth to accomplish something that we could only do together. “Brad, can we go to Malibu? I have heard so much and never been there?” she asked.

“You’ve never been to Malibu?” I asked.

“No, I have no car, and my friends at school never want to go that far,” she said.

“We will spend Friday and Saturday at the beach in Malibu. I know a superb Inn and restaurant, a lot of the Hollywood and music crowd go there, it is special, I will make reservations,” I said.

“I did not bring a swimsuit,” she said.

“No problem, we will buy new ones in Santa Monica on the way,” I said.

“Howard, hi Brad Hay,” I said.

“Hi Brad, or should I say Mr. Executive Producer, congrats you deserve it. What can I do?” he asked.

“My fiance and I would like to stay there Friday and Saturday on the beach, do you have one of the beachfront spots with a fireplace?” I asked.

“Fiance, well now, moving up for sure, I will make room for you, need dinner?” he asked.

“Yes, both nights and thanks,” I said.

Friday morning, we awoke to the most incredible day the world has ever seen. The sun was a brilliant glow in the sky, warming us, and the birds seem to be saying good morning, dear ones. We were so happy we danced around the living room laughing, kissing, holding the one we cherished, all in the heavens shining down upon us. We packed a few things, Brad, is it dressy? For dinner, yes. The drive out Pacific Coast Hwy this fantastic day with a gentle onshore breeze blowing the silky blond hair of my love, seeing the sun reflect its golden rays off the face of my angel completed the vision that this was the best day of my life, and it was.

“Brad, this is like a dream for me. When I was very young, my Mother took me to American films; one was about a beach party in Malibu. All the kids were so beautiful, so happy. The ocean was like a glorious pool just for them. Now I am here staring at that film, thank you,” she said.

“Brad, there is a surf shop, we can get some swimsuits, please stop. Darling, this is just like in the film, the Beach Party,” Erica excitedly said.

We left buying two suits each, anxious to jump in the gentle swells washing the sand. Here we are, darling The Holiday House, our holiday, come on, let’s get the key.

“Howard, thanks so much, this is Erica, this is her first trip to Malibu,” I said.

“The first trip to Malibu, we will make it special, where are you from, I have never seen such beauty in America,” Howard said.

“Howard, you are so kind, I come from Finland, here to complete my studies,” she said.

“Erica, today and tomorrow study only one thing, do it well,” he said.

“Howard, what is that?” Erica asked.

“Have fun, enjoy life, it goes by faster than most realize. I sent a good bottle of wine down, enjoy,” he said.

“My word dear, that Howard is so nice,” she said.

“Nice, he is a wonderful guy, and he is in love,” I told her.

“In love, with who or what?” she asked.

“With you, did you see his eyes? He could not stop gazing at you. Howard sees many of Hollywood’s biggest stars; he never was struck like now,” I said.

“How do you know?” she asked.

“My job is to know people, how they think, how they act, what they desire, I study people like you study music or art. Come, they have a tram to go down the cliff,” I said.

“A tram like a train?” she asked.

“Yes, come on, all aboard,” I said.

“Brad, this is so special, I don’t know how to thank you,” she said.

“You don’t, well I do,” I said

“Darling, this room is so extraordinary, we are right on the sand, this will make me cry,” she said.

“Cry why? Be happy, not sad,” I said.

“Dear, I am so happy that is why I will cry, almost too happy, it is scary,” she said.

“Pour a glass of this wine, put on that swimsuit, the one with the blue flowers, let’s hit the water, I can’t wait. You are a vision, my girl, a wonderful vision, kiss me, and come first gets the worms,” I said, laughing.

“I don’t want worms and no splashing,” she said.

Sure, as I threw her in, jumping to grab her, but this fish can swim fast. We swam out about 100 yards past the shore break where the water is calm. Then, we came together, laughing, kissing, loving this moment as if magical. Three hours we spent swimming, running on the sand, loving every minute given. “Dear, I am hungry. How about you, she asked as we lay together on the sand?”

“Starving, we did not eat breakfast, or if we did, I forgot. There is a taco place down the road, they make great fresh fish tacos, sound good?” I asked.

“Do we need to change?” she asked.

“Hell no, you are perfect,” I said. We picked up four fish tacos, some chips, and salsa headed back to our nest. Our little patio has a table with soft chairs to eat our food right on the sand. The rest of the bottle of wine was a perfect ending or beginning. Dearest lay by me on the bed. I never could imagine having a bedroom right on the ocean’s sands; it is like a dream come true.

The door was wide open, we both had removed our swimsuits, we lay uncovered listening to the waves crash upon the shore, the water absorbed by the sand, the water receded, and did it all over again, like the chords of a song, repeated for our pleasure. Love, desire, longing all combined in one burning moment, the merger of all emotions, the loss of self, the making of we. That Friday evening in early summer was Brad’s culmination, as a separate person, the beginning of Brad and Erica, as a new entity. We loved each other for three unforgettable hours, every finger, every toe, every part of each other’s body, we explored, loved, cherished, tasted, and enjoyed. “Erica, I am in love with you,” I said as she just laughed.

“Why are you laughing?” I asked.

“Did you just realize you are in love, just now?” she asked.

“No, I think I was in love with you the first night we met,” I said.

“I knew that, and I loved you, why do you think we are here?” she asked.

Never mind, Dear, I love to hear you say it. Get ready; Howard said we have to be there by 8:00, or they cannot hold our table.

“Good evening Erica, are you enjoying Malibu?” Howard asked as we entered.

“More than I can describe, I love every moment; your place is lovely,” she said.

“Lovely, no Erica, it is you who are lovely, you take my breath away, Brad, do not get pissed, that is a compliment,” Howard said.

“Howard, pissed hell no, it makes me proud, and I agree,” I said.

“Erica, I am sending you a special bottle of wine, don’t let Brad drink it all, enjoy dear ones,” he said.

“Howard is a jewel so gracious,” Erica said.

“Yes, dear, he is gracious, you have charmed him. They have Alaskan Halibut, the finest fish in the sea, shall we?” I asked.

“Brad, you order, you know my preference,” she said.

“Good evening, Howard sent you this wine with his love, and a special treat coming from the Chef,” our server said.

“Erica, you will love this wine, a Stags Leap Cab 69, extraordinary, here taste,” I said.

“Dear, it is wonderful, so many new things, new tastes,” she said.

“Dearest, I agree with the new tastes, the finest I have ever tasted is you,” I said.

Our soup is a creamy clam chowder served with fresh hot rolls basted with a chili sauce.

“Brad, look outside, what are those fish jumping?” she asked.

“Dolphins, as do we, like to feed this time of night,” I said.

Dinner was remarkable. I ordered another bottle of wine so we could walk on the beach, enjoy the stars now flooding our sky, blinking, winking at us as if they knew.

“Brad, my darling, what is your goal?” she asked.

“Goal, you mean tonight or for the future?” I asked.

“Long term, tonight is here, we are here, where will we be tomorrow is my question?” she asked.

“Honestly, Erica, I have not thought about that. I think that if I keep moving forward, all my dreams will come true,” I said.

“What dreams?” she asked.

“If you asked me that two weeks ago, I would have said to get through Tuesday. Now all I want to do is be with you, and make a future we can be proud of, and be happy. Erica, I am only 23, look what has happened in my life, I have a chance to be nominated for two or more Grammys, if I am and win, that is historical, it has never happened before,” I said.

“What is a Grammy?” she asked.

“It is like the Academy Awards for Music; a Grammy is like the Oscar. If and when that happens, I can make millions, many millions?” I told her.

“Is that what you want?” she asked.

“Sure, I would like to win a Grammy, the money I do not worry about, money comes to those who work hard and have the talent to earn it. I have the talent, and I work very hard,” I said.

“Now, my turn, what do you want?” I asked.

“Not sure, I am not one who desires a career. I cannot see myself in a profession. When I was younger, my mother told me I would marry a King and live as a Queen. Since we met, I feel like I am a Queen; you treat me as very special. I love that, I love being special,” she said.

“Dear, you are special, one of a kind, unique in all this world,” I said.

“Brad, the school will be over in two weeks. Do you want me to stay here with you? My parents expect me home in late June,” she asked

“Erica, I cannot live without you, I need your body near mine, I need to gaze into your eyes. I need to feel your breath on my cheeks. Money is no object. You will be paid to help me,” I said.

“Help doing what?” she asked.

“Keeping some unusual people-focused. You are a music student, the classics, what better training to create music? We have clients who can write great lyrics but cannot make the score work. You can do that, we can be a team,” I said.

“How much would I earn?” she asked.

“To start, the same as I did $32 k, with a bonus, can be half a million,” I said.

“Your kidding?” she said.

“I never kid about business, I have big dreams, as a team they will come true,” I said.

“You believe this, don’t you?” she asked.

“I know it, my darling,” I said.

“Then we have a deal partner. Let’s celebrate,” she said.

“How?” I asked.

“You will figure that out, come to our bed,” she said.

Mornings can be too soon at times, at other times, far too slow.

“Brad, Brad, wake up, look at the water, birds are going crazy, what makes them do that, let’s go outside, hurry dear,” she said.

“Love, come back to bed, I feel like a snuggle,” I said.

“Get up lazy, it is a beautiful morning; I made our coffee, come on. Here put your swimsuit on, look I have the yellow one; how do I look?”

“Lovely my love, my eyes are still sleeping, I relent, hand me my shorts,” I said.

“Bring your coffee come on,” Erica cried out.

We walked out the door to a view not usually seen. The sea was dead calm, not a breeze in the air. The sun was climbing behind us, shining on the still waters creating an image like a painting by Renoir, a unique view that changed by the second. Those birds are chasing anchovies, must be millions, driving the birds to a frenzy. “Dear, they are so interesting, let’s join them?” she said.

“The birds?” I asked.

“No love, the fish, I want to swim with them,” she said.

“What if they bite?” I asked.

“Darling, little fish do not eat big people, come on,” she said. She ran diving into the fray. The school must have thought seals were after them as the fish swam away in a flash, with the birds screaming in swift pursuit. Dearest, this is the most fun I have ever had. Let’s walk down the beach, exploring.

This northern part of Malibu is more isolated. It is early Saturday morning, and we are alone on the magnificent beach. The only others are some surfers out waiting for a ride; however, the sea is flat. We walked holding hands; Erica is singing “Rivers.” She loves that song. We would run into the water, play, then continue our quest. Must have been over an hour we walked, ahead was a small cove, both of us could smell the aroma of bacon drifting toward us, calling my dears, come and dine. Brad, that smell is knifing through me, let’s find the source. Was not difficult at the head of the cove was a small shack with smoke pouring out the chimney, enticing us.

“Darling, I have no money. I left the wallet in our room,” I said.

“Come on, Brad, that would never stop my man,” she said.

“Good morning folks, the jovial, happy-faced man standing over a grill, cooking a rasher of bacon, come for breakfast?” he asked.

“Hi, the aroma from your grill grabbed us, forced us, dragged us inside. My name is Brad Hay, this is Erica, we are guests of Howard at the Holiday House,” I said.

“Yes, I know Howard, how can I help?” he asked.

“I have no money with me, I left it in our room,” I said.

“Brad, you don’t need money, a friend of Howard’s is mine also, order what you want, you can call me with a credit card or stop by later. What can I get for you, beautiful girl?” he asked.

“Juice any fruits, some of that bacon, and whatever else you think we may enjoy, what is your name?” Erica asked.

“Call me Corky, all the others do. Erica, my girl, is not up yet, help yourself to juice in the refer, some chopped fruits, coffee is fresh, self serve for now,” he said.

Corky made us pancakes, with the bacon idyllic. I was on my second cup of coffee when the back door opened, a woman in her early 30’s came in, morning, you folks early, we don’t usually get busy on Saturday until past 9:00 am, hi I am Shelly, get you anything?

“Hi Shelly, Erica, and Brad, we love your place, yes may I have one more pancake?” I asked.

“Brad, you can have whatever you want, coming right up,” she said.

“Corky, these pancakes are the best,” I said.

“Thanks, Brad, I have been making them for 15 years now, the same recipe,” he said.

“This your place?” I asked.

“Yes, we have a house behind, Shell and I both surf, the food lets us do that. We surf, cook, and make love, what more does anyone need?” he asked.

“Nothing, man, absolutely nothing, seems like a great life,” I said.

“That is, we have been happy. What do you guys do?” he asked.

“Music, the recording business,” I replied.

“Like it?” he asked.

“Yes, it has its benefits, it can provide a sense of accomplishment, not like your pancakes, those are special, but it is fun,” I said.

“What kind of music do you do?” he asked.

“Mostly rock, some gospel,” I said.

“Love rock Brad, any groups I would know?” he asked.

“If you love rock, you know Joey B,” I said.

“You work with Joey B?” he asked.

“Yes, I produce his work,” I said.

“No shit, I hear his new album is a smash; when will it be out?” he asked.

“Three or four weeks, we are finishing album covers,” I said.

“Brad, make a deal, breakfast is on us, send us an album, first cut, will you?” he asked.

“You got it, write me name and address, I send out a pre-release,” I said.

“You will do that?” he asked.

“Yes, I will, Corkey,” I said.

“One more request, will you sign this menu, I can nail it on the wall, prove you were here, sign to Erica, please,” he asked.

How fun, dear, we go for a walk to explore, we meet some wonderful people, have a terrific meal, and it costs nothing, we give, they give, all are happy, that is life. Our walk back was different, calm, holding hands, lost in our thoughts, totally at ease with our experience.

“Dearest Brad, lay with me, that meal filled me, now I need to rest, listen to music and watch the sea, come, my love,” she said.

The image of that couple, Corky and Shelly, together for 15 years or more, must have been our ages when they came to Malibu, now still in love, still enjoying each other, doubt if they could be apart, I yearn for that togetherness. The passion, the tenderness we loved each other, was consuming; Erica lay on my chest with tears falling on my body. I said nothing; I understood and felt the same. This much happiness cannot last. Life cannot always be so perfect, or can it? Only passing time will tell.

“Erica, dear, I would like one of those fish tacos; it is almost 4:00 pm, can we?” I asked.

“Yes, I would like to find a gift shop where I can buy some postcards to send to my family. They will love to see me in Malibu. They only know it from the movies, and I wish to get a thank you card for Howard. He has treated us so special,” Erica said. There was a small market, on the way they had the cards Erica wanted, plus I bought a bottle of decent wine. We picked up two tacos, with some avocados, back to our nest.

“Erica, in the lobby, they have some postcards of the hotel, want me to get you some?” I asked.

“Please, while I write these,” she said. We were late for dinner. Time will not slow down. It was after 9:00 pm when we entered. Howard said, I thought you guys got lost; I held your table even though some regulars complained. Corky called to say how much he loved you coming to his place, great couple, those two. Howard, your staff told me you would not be in on Sunday, so I would like to say, Au Revoir, please, this is for you. To Howard, she had written, Dearest Howard, I want to “Thank You For the Memories” Love always, Erica. After reading the card, he looked at her intently: Erica, thank you, dear one, you have no idea how much I appreciate this. Please return soon, both of you. Our meal and the rest of our night were memories we will cherish in our hearts forever.


ORDER NOW. The Great adventure will begin. Today you receive a signed personalized book


 Visit my Store for the very best, for a whole lot less.

Master Linens Company

Comments are closed.