[This is a completed three-part work that will finish posting by the second week of January 2021.]
Chapter One: The Award Goes To
"What did you say? Keys?" Dillon Drake turned a half-glassy stare at the man sitting behind him at the awards ceremony, Art Marshall, the movie producer. Something that just happened on stage had produced enough applause and cat calls to drown out what Marshall, who was sitting there, dangling a set of keys on a Chrysler key ring in front of Dillon's face, was trying to say to him. Or Dillon was blaming the failure to hear the man on the noise in the hall rather than on the buzzing in his ears caused by him being buzzed.
"Keys," Marshall repeated. "I wanted you to be happy either way, no matter how this turned out. I know you like the Crossfire sports convertible Chrysler made for a few years. I found you one."
"How is it with impacts on steel light poles?" Dillon asked.
"Excuse me?" Marshall clearly was perplexed.
"Never mind, I'm sure it's going to be a very meaningful part of my life and memory."
"Dillon, enough, I think." A hand came over from Dillon's other side and fell on Dillon's forearm. Dillon's friend—some would say keeper—Scott Black, who, in fact, was black and very good looking, as young as Dillon's mid-twenties, gave Dillon a little frown.
"All of you here?" Dillon whined, his diction slurred. "Everyone here to suck my blood some more? Or, would you rather, for this little bauble you're giving me, that I sucked your—" His face had turned back to Marshall.
"I think you may have had enough for tonight," Marshall said, turning a meaningful look at Black, who moved Dillon's drink out of his reach. The others at the table, Dillon's agent, Walt Whalen; the aging acting couple, Delores Mendez and her English husband, Malcolm Strange; and the money man, Craig Townsend, were looking everywhere but at Dillon, with practiced, cold smiles on their faces. When they saw someone they knew in the audience, they warmed the smile and gave a little wave. One chair at the table was empty, at Dillon's insistence, although it was marked with a large place card with the name of Fletcher Falwell on it, the guiding light and leading man of the movie, Fire Down the Valley. Fire was the movie Dillon had been nominated for, thus justifying having received his own table at the ceremony to fill with those closest to him.
Dillon was about to disagree on whether he'd had enough to drink and stand up and throw himself on the table to reach his glass of booze when the music stopped and the MC appeared at the microphone on stage again.
"Now it's time for the awarding of the Golden Globe for best supporting actor in a feature film." Dillon perked up a bit when the MC rolled through his name while reading off the list of nominees.
"And the winner is, for Fire Down the Valley, Dillon Drake."
The spotlight picked Dillon out at his table, he gave a sloppy grin, and Black and Marshall helped him rise. Black helped him all the way to the stairs up to the stage and then up onto the stage as well. The young movie star staggered through the last twenty feet of level stage on his own, made three grabs at the statuette before snagging it, and then swung around to take the microphone.
"Bet cha'all didn't know I could act too," he snorted into the mike. This was met with a smattering of nervous laughter.
"Well, I think this is great, just great. Thank you. Even if the studio couldn't believe it could happen. But I want to thank the studio and all of those who screwed—excuse me—supported me on the way up. As always, my agent, all hands Walt Whalen, and then that happy couple who shared me—I mean shared their secrets of acting with me, Delores Mendez and Malcolm Strange. And let's not forget the money men, Craig Townsend and Art Marshall, who bought my ass—I mean believed in me enough to make this movie and others—like Paradise Ranch" . . . he paused here for the applause, as stars from the movie, Delores Mendez and Malcolm Strange, half rose from their chairs to acknowledge the attention . . . "vehicles for me to show that I was more than just a tight ass—although, for them, that's what I mostly was."
"And let's not forget our dear departed Fletcher Falwell," he said, pointing the empty chair at his table, with the spotlight dutifully beaming there, "who truly was responsible for Fire Down the Valley and who cast me in it after a nice long tryout on the casting couch." This was met with a few gasps from the audience—not because actors routinely did it for parts but because he referred to it publicly—and the "go away" music started in the background. "This is for you, Fletcher," Dillon said, raising his statuette high. "Here's hoping that the fancy tomb built at Forest Lawn with the money we made from Fire has a double slab."
The music rose in volume, almost, but not quite, drowning out whatever Dillon Drake had to say next. "And, last but not least, to that black bull, Scott Black, who has reduced me to—I mean made me—what I am today." At a signal from Art Marshall, Black was on stage, "aiding" Dillon to return to his seat.
Dillon broke away to grab the microphone one more time. "A piece of advice for all of you out there who want to grab one of these gold babies—be prepared to kiss a lot of frogs on the way up. By the way, with this I think I've earned the right to have my own name free and clear. My name is Cory, not Dillon. Cory Drake. Remember that and look for it on the theater marquee from now on."
"If your name ever gets to a theater marquee again," Art Marshall muttered from where he was sitting and clapping as weakly as everyone else in the room was.
Chapter Two: The Casting Couch
"Stand up now. No, don't move away." Walt Whalen placed a hand on Cory's buttocks to signal he wanted the young man to remain there, standing in front of the seated movie agent. He undid Cory's belt buckle and unzipped him with the other hand, and the young man's trousers puddled on the floor around his ankles. His briefs went down to his knees. Whalen's mouth covered Cory's cock and he began to suck.
Cory had just come off his knees between Whalen's thighs as the movie agent sat in his desk chair but was turned away from the desk. Whalen had gotten his blow job first. Whalen always took his percentage off the top.
Both of Whalen's hands went to Cory's buttocks, holding him there, close in, while he deep-throated the cock. His index fingers moved to and inside Cory's asshole, pulling the sides of the channel entrance apart. A tip of his index finger found the young man's prostate and rubbed. Cory groaned, leaned over Whalen's seated body and placed his hands on the older man's shoulders to steady himself. Whalen went no further with the ass play before Cory came.
Whalen was pleased. This meant that the young man had not been used enough to have learned to hold himself in check for long. Whalen liked them fresh—both to represent them and to use them.
Upon being released, Whalen sitting back in his chair and looking up at Cory expectantly, the younger man pulled up his trousers and backed toward the chair he'd been sitting in for the interview.
"You may put your shirt back on too," Whalen said. "You're in fine shape. You'll photograph very well without much more work on the definition. Still, we'll sign you up with a physical trainer."
Cory had taken the shirt off and posed for the movie agent before Whalen had directed him to go down on his knees and blow him. Cory needed an agent; he was running out of seed money for his L.A. try. This was the first time he'd sucked off a guy—or been sucked off, for that matter—and the saltiness of the man's cum had surprised him. It also had surprised him so much that he hadn't gagged or been so disgusted with the idea of giving and receiving a blow job that he'd backed out of the office and escaped. He hadn't been disgusted at all.
He hadn't been surprised he'd have to do it. His new roommate, who had helped get him the interview, had said he'd have to suck and fuck Whalen even to be considered for representation.
"He'll want to own the first slice of you," Scott had said. "There will be other slices taken out of you before you get a decent movie role."
He'd been aware that this—and more—was what his drama coach had wanted back in Fort Wayne and he worried a bit now that maybe he could have done Whalen better if he'd had some prior experience at it, but the man seemed happy enough with what they'd done.
They sat there, facing each other, for a long series of seconds, and Cory finally spoke, without knowing really what to say. "Am I . . . did you . . .?"
"We'll have to change your name, of course. The Drake will do, but we can't have the Cory. I already have a Cory on the list—Cory Corbin. He's doing well and you're much of the same type. He'd forever overshadow you—or worse, you could come to overshadow him and then I'd have one rabid client on my hands. Dirk? No, you're too soft for that. Yes, I know, you're athletic, but in a swimmer's way, not in lumberjack way. How about Dillon? That sounds about right."
A swimmer's body. Muscular yet sleek and thin in the waist. Was that what Whalen meant by saying he looked like Cory Corbin? Yes, Cory knew about the other Cory, the movie actor Cory. Not quite well known enough to be called a movie star, but getting there. Playing older teen roles now, but he'd probably hit his stride as a young man. Of course he—Dillon now—like the already-movie actor Cory, already was beyond his teens. He just looked younger. And, yes, they both had curly auburn hair with fake, surfer blond highlights and hazel eyes. And a similar smile. Cory hadn't thought about that before, but, yes, that was so. In some ways, Whalen was right—Cory had already arrived in Hollywood.
"Dillon is OK with me. So, that means . . ."
"Dillon it is from now on. Go to Legal from here—the receptionist will direct you. They'll get the name legally changed for you."
"But does this mean—?"
"Yes, yes. I'll put you on the list and see if anyone bites. You do know, don't you, that you'll have to kiss a lot of frogs from this point."
Like that hasn't already started with you, the young man now named Dillon thought. But that, of course, wasn't what he said. "Yes, I understand. Thank you, Mr. Whalen."
"You were sweet but not good, by the way. Was that your first time?"
"Yes," Dillon said, hesitating.
"So, you haven't fucked yet? A woman? A man?"
"Well, a few women."
"But not a man? This is a gay town, Dillon. You're going to have to be prepared to—"
"I understand. Thanks, Mr. Whalen. I won't disappoint."
Didn't he understand Cory's—Dillon's—willingness, Dillon wondered, a bit piqued. Hadn't he just sucked the man off and let the man suck him?
"You got a job now?"
"Sort of. I valet cars at the Black Panther Club. It's not enough."
"In this town, whatever you bring in isn't going to be enough, Dillon. You're going to have to be able to shuffle your work there around opportunities until the opportunities pay the bills."
"What are you doing tomorrow night? And, yes, this is a test, Dillon."
"Nothing, if you want me to be doing something else," Dillon answered.
"Good answer. You're a fast learner. And having a soft mouth makes up quite a bit for what you haven't learned so far. You'll need to continue being a fast learner, though."
"I'm having a gathering of men who matter at my house tomorrow evening—a pool party. I want you to be there and to give them a good time. The girl at the reception desk will give you an address and directions. Seven o'clock for you—early as there's some preparation. You'll start getting exposure. You'll have to be nice, very nice to them. Give them what they want and maybe you'll get what you want—priority placement on my list."
"I understand. Thank you, Mr. Whalen."
Whalen waved him away with a last instruction. "Wear something showy—a Speedo; nothing baggy." In the waiting area, after checking with the woman at reception, Dillon picked up the friend who'd come with him, Scott Black, another actor wannabe who he shared a small room and two twin mattresses on the floor with. Scott was waitering until his big break and had come out to L.A. a couple of months before Dillon had. He was a few weeks ahead of Dillon on the treadmill, therefore. He had just signed with Walt Whalen and had been the intermediary who got Dillon the interview.
"So, Cory, how'd it—?"
"My name's Dillon now. Dillon Drake."
"Ah, so it went well then."
"Yeah. I've got to go touch base with Legal now. You want to come with me or are you done? Thanks for the referral. I don't know how to thank you enough."
"We'll think of something," Scott said, and it wasn't the first time he gave Dillon a meaningful look.
At least he's not a frog, Dillon thought, acknowledging that the guy had earned access, if that's what he wanted. He, in fact, was a beautiful milk chocolate man, with Jamaican good looks and dreadlocks—and muscular and cut. Dillon was aware that the two could make a good porn movie with each other. He hoped it wouldn't come to that, but he didn't come out to Hollywood with the intention to fail and have to go home in defeat.
"I'll walk you to Legal." Then, when they were in the corridor, Scott leaned over and said, "You weren't in there long enough for him to fuck you. Did—?"
"A blow job, me on him and then he on me."
"Close enough. I'm told he is impressed if he does more than shake hands—and that he won't bother with any guy who won't knuckle under for it."
"He fucked me. But then I vamped him. He's having a party tomorrow night."
"Yeah, he told me to be there."
"A good sign. He's already pushing you up the list. I'll be there too."
"Great. We're on our way."