More Love in L.A.: Chapter 14
Before I went to work fixing Felipe DeCastro’s reputation, I called Pam and Victor Madden. I needed their cooperation first if my plan was going to work. Pam was more than happy to help and told me that she got a wicked thrill when I told her what I had in mind. She’s quite a character. And Victor…well…he was Victor, and responded just as I’d expected him to do.
I also spoke to Sandy Sechrest. She was also happy to help me with my plan.
I called my contacts at the tabloids and set up phone interviews with Sigebert. I gave him his schedule of calls to make and told him what to say (he assured me that it was the truth). He reiterated that he didn’t think his retraction would get printed, but I assured him that I had already taken care of that.
Sure enough, true to their word, all the writers made certain that their story was on the cover the very next day. There were photos of Sigebert in full gladiator garb beside red carpet shots of Felipe. The headlines read: Gladiator lied, DeCastro’s not gay, Apology from Sigebert: Felipe, I know you’re straight. I read through the articles and sure enough, Sandy had confirmed the story and spoken openly about her romance with Felipe. I sighed a breath of relief and called Eric to let him know that I was planning on inviting Felipe over for dinner that night. He asked if I was crazy and I said that maybe I was, but that hopefully that was a good thing.
I called Felipe and asked if he could come over and have dinner with me and Eric. He sounded surprised, but said yes. Maybe he was curious. Maybe he thought I was crazy as well. Who knows.
I stopped at the store on my way home from work and bought the tabloids as well as food to fix for dinner. When I got to Eric’s, he was cleaning the kitchen and immediately started helping me cook. The food was delicious. Felipe complimented me on my cooking several times. As I was serving dessert and coffee, I placed the tabloids on the table in front of him. “I just wanted to make sure you saw these.” I’m not sure who looked more surprised, Felipe or Eric.
“Did you do this?” Felipe was the first to ask.
“Yes, I did. And no, Eric didn’t know. It was my own idea and I wanted to be the one to get the blame if it failed.”
“But why would you do this? Why would you help me after I fired Eric?”
“Because it’s the right thing to do. I know how the press can ruin lives. It’s certainly done a number on my own life as well as Eric’s. It’s a powerful force. But it makes me mad when it hurts innocent people, even if those people fired my boyfriend.”
He stared at me for a long moment. “Thank you.”
“You’re welcome. And now I hope you’ll do the right thing as well.”
He turned to a still stunned Eric. “Eric, can you start back tomorrow?”
“Yeah, sure. I’ll be there. Thank you.”
“You’re welcome. I hope you’ll accept my apology and we can finish the film together.”
They shook hands and we all celebrated with a little chocolate cake.
As Felipe was leaving, he asked if I would walk him down to his car. When we got to the street he said, “So, I know that retractions like that never make the front page. How did you pull that off?”
“You’ll find out in the morning.”
He was smiling, but then got very serious. “I may regret this, but I want to tell you something. You really went out of your way to help me and I feel like I owe you an explanation.” I started to speak but he held his hand up for me to stop. “You probably know by now that I fired Eric so I could hire Sigebert. He has something on me—something that I don’t want to get out.” This time I did interrupt him, but he stopped me again. “No, let me finish before I lose my nerve. I’m not gay, but I guess I am bisexual. What Sigebert knows that no one else does, except now you, is that I was in love with his brother, Wybert. I had never been with a man, and haven’t since, but I fell in love with him. It lasted for a year, and I never told a soul. I don’t really care so much about my own reputation. A gay or bisexual movie producer in this town is really not that big of a deal. But I was protecting Wybert’s memory. As you can imagine, that kind of information would come as a shock to his fans and he’s no longer here to defend himself or make his own decision whether to come out of the closet or not. I didn’t want to take that away from him even though he’s gone. I really did love him.”
I was stunned silent and just reached up and hugged Felipe. “I’m so sorry. I didn’t know. And just so you know, neither does Sigebert. He told me himself that he was bluffing when he said he had something on you. And he’s very sorry. He said he would call you tomorrow to apologize. I hope you take his call and that you can forgive him. And what you just told me will go with me to my grave. You have my word.”
“If he didn’t know, then it was just some bizarre coincidence that he told the press I’m gay?” I nodded yes. “What are the odds?” Apparently pretty good.
Sookie called from work and said she was inviting Felipe over for dinner. I thought she’d lost her mind, but then when I saw the tabloids and she explained what she’d done, I was in awe. She’d clearly won Felipe over and I couldn’t have been prouder. By the end of her very busy day, she had manipulated the press to recover Felipe’s reputation, fixed an amazing meal, gotten me my job back and ultimately the credit for doing my work. And then she walked Felipe down to his car, most likely winning him over even more with her charm. I was loading the dishwasher when she came back in. She started to help me and I told her to sit down and relax—that the least I could do was clean the kitchen after she had single-handedly saved my career. She smiled and watched me, perched on the barstool at the end of the kitchen counter. As I was finishing, I pressed start and the dishwasher began it’s hum and she walked towards me and pulled my head down to kiss her. Her tongue found mine and we stood and held each other and kissed for a long time, just enjoying the feel of each other. Then she pushed me back until I felt the counter against my back. She broke the kiss and gave me a wicked smile as she undid my pants and slowly slid down my body until she was on her knees. She smiled up at me as she took me in her mouth. I watched with eternal fascination as my beautiful girlfriend did everything just perfectly just to please me. It’s hard to believe that when we were first together that she was so inexperienced. Even then she was amazing, but now she was a grand master. She took her time and I had to reach back and grip the counter with both hands to keep my knees from buckling. I tried to keep my eyes on her amazing lips and hands, but as I came my head involuntarily rolled back and my eyes closed and I think I said, “oh my god,” but I doubt if it sounded that clear. As she stood and wrapped her arms around my waist and rocked me gently from side to side I just wondered what I had ever done to deserve this incredible woman.