When the Stars Come Out (48 page)

BOOK: When the Stars Come Out
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“You sound like you admire her.”

“Admire?” Noah thought about that. “I have come to have a

healthy respect for her, but I wouldn’t say I admire her.”

“So you don’t want to be like her?”

W H E N T H E S T A R S C O M E O U T

321

Noah laughed. “I know you don’t quite get my type-A personal-

ity, baby, but I consider myself one of the good guys, and I use my energy for good, not evil.” Noah leaned closer and gave Bart a soft kiss on the lips. “I promise to never be like her, or admire her, or
. . .

well, if possible, I’d like to not think a whole lot about her anymore.”

Bart returned the kiss and said, “Deal.”

“You awake?”

There was no answer, so he asked again. “Noah, are you awake?”

Silence, followed by a mournful, “I am now.”

Bart didn’t answer, but Noah heard him move through the dark-

ened bedroom. Then he felt something land next to him in the

bed.

“What are you doing?” asked Noah.

“Your clothes. Get dressed.”

“Why?”

“Because it’s cold outside,” whispered Bart. “And keep your

voice down.”

Noah pulled the comforter off his body and struggled in the

darkness to pull himself into a sitting position. “Why are we going outside?”

In the moonlight he saw Bart’s smile. “Maybe a walk on the beach.

Maybe a trip into town. Maybe a special surprise.”

Noah glanced at the clock on the nightstand. “It’s 2:47. That’s

AM, by the way. And it’s cold out.”

In response, a pair of his jeans fell into his lap.

“Christ,” said Noah, accepting his fate and climbing out of bed.

“I should have just gotten a pet. Even dogs don’t have to be walked in the middle of the night.”

When he was dressed, Bart took Noah by the hand and led him

through the quiet house. The stairs creaked slightly as they de-

scended, then walked through the kitchen to the back door.

“I know what you’re going to make me do,” said Noah, as they

walked onto the dewy lawn.

“I knew you’d figure it out. Now be quiet.” With that, he wrapped

one brawny arm around Noah’s shoulders and walked him to the

gazebo.

They climbed the two steps and Bart reached down to push the

322

R o b B y r n e s

‘play’ button on the boom box. The lush opening strains of “When

the Stars Come Out” began to play, and Bart took Noah in his

arms.

“You know I don’t dance,” said Noah.

“I know you
say
you don’t dance. But no one is here except for us
. . .
and the stars
. . .
so you’ll dance.”

And under the stars on a cold Long Island night, they did.

And as their bodies moved slowly together, swaying to the

rhythm, Bart moved his mouth next to Noah’s ear and softly sang:

When the evening falls, my dear,

And when my dream time calls, my dear,

You’ll be with me,

Of that, no doubt,

I’ll see your face when the stars come out.

We have the moon, we have romance,

We have to take this one last chance,

So take my hand,

And take me out,

To somewhere where we’ll see the stars come out.

We’ll fly, so high,

But our feet will never leave the ground,

I’ll swoon, ’neath the moon,

And when our dance is done,

Under the morning sun,

You’ll hold me close, and turn the sun around . . .

In an upstairs window, Quinn and Jimmy—awakened by the

sound of bodies moving through the house—stood watching the

couple dance in the gazebo.

“I guess this means that they’ve caught us,” said Quinn.

“No doubt,” Jimmy agreed. “But imitation is the sincerest form

of flattery, isn’t it?”

“It is. Look at them. They look
. . .
cute.”

“ ‘Cute’? Why, Quinn Scott! I don’t think I’ve ever heard you use

that word before.”

“Don’t get used to it.”

They stared out at the gazebo for a few more minutes, lost in a

world that they had created, but which was no longer theirs alone.

W H E N T H E S T A R S C O M E O U T

323

“You know,” said Quinn, when the dance was drawing to a close.

“I think we did a good job raising those kids.”

Jimmy leaned into his lover and kissed him.

Quinn looked back out the window. “Noah can’t dance.”

Jimmy laughed. “Yeah, he’s a bit stiff.”

“You’ll work with him, right?”

Jimmy nodded, and the two men stared out the window, watch-

ing the dancers and the dance and the stars.

Later that year . . .

Dan Rowell was nervous as he waited at the Clarendon station

for the Metro from Northern Virginia into downtown Washington,

D.C. But he knew what he had to do on that blustery day in late

November, and he was prepared to see it through.

The train came and he hesitated, only boarding seconds before

the doors closed. Turning around and going home would have

been too easy, and he had to fight doing things the easy way from

this point on. His long, personal journey had brought him to this

moment, and he couldn’t—he
wouldn’t
—let himself back out.

Today Dan Rowell was going to tell his employer, the conserva-

tive senior United States senator from the state of Ohio, that he was gay. And if that meant the termination of his employment, which is what it almost certainly meant, he would persevere and he would

survive.

After all, the famous actor Jason St. Clair had come out of the

closet, and he was still working. In fact, Dan had read a number of interviews in which Jason St. Clair said that he was happier than he had ever been in his life. And that other actor—the old guy who

had written that book; the one who had been married to Kitty

Randolph—he had done it, too. If Jason St. Clair and the old guy

could do it, so could Dan Rowell.

As his ride continued into the center of the federal government,

the memory of the old actor’s book made Dan Rowell think of an-

other book, one he hadn’t thought about in quite some time. What

had ever happened to that project? Dan couldn’t even remember

the writer’s name anymore; only that he was fairly arrogant, and

clearly couldn’t understand why a gay man in Dan’s position would

324

R o b B y r n e s

stay in the closet. The way he seemed so puzzled when Dan had

told him that he chose to be asexual, rather than risk his job . . .

Maybe that guy wasn’t altogether wrong, he thought, as the train

approached the Foggy Bottom station. But, for Dan, there was a

right time and a wrong time. And a few years earlier had been the

wrong time. Hell, he didn’t even want to use his real initials during that interview. What initials had he asked the writer to use? G. C.?

Yes, that was it. He had used the senator’s initials, which, he supposed, was subversive in its own way.

In any event, he was fairly certain that the book had never been

written. Too bad, too, because the new Dan Rowell—the man who

was about to come out to his United States senator—would have

been amused to read his words again from today’s perspective.

The doors finally opened at the Capitol South station and he

took a deep breath.

QUINN SCOTT

Filmography

b. October 18, 1934, in Pittsburgh, PA

m. Kitty Randolph (1966; divorced, 1970)

Movies

1958:

The Fresh Kill

1958:

Port Richmond

1959:

Mariner’s Harbor

1960:

The Outerbridge Crossing

1961:

Attack on Tottenville

1961:

The Glory of St. George

1963:

Father Cappadanno

1964:

It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World (cameo)

1964:

The New Brighton Story

1968:

Darling, I’m Darling

1969:

Sweet Svetlana

1970:

When the Stars Come Out

Television

1966–1969 Philly Cop

1978:

The Love Boat (guest appearance)

1980:

Kolchak: The Night Stalker (guest appearance)

1990:

Murder, She Wrote (guest appearance)

2006:

The Brothers-In-Law (guest appearance)

KATHERINE (“KITTY”) RANDOLPH

Filmography

b. June 14, 1936, in Millville, NJ

m. Bert Cooper (1957; divorced, 1958)

m. Quinn Scott (1966; divorced 1970)

m. Dean Henry (1989)

Movies

1957:

Charmed, I’m Sure

1957:

Passport to Bermuda

1958:

She’s Our Doll!

1958:

Betty and the Pirate

1959:

Penelope Van Buren & Her Secrets

1959:

Hello, Cowboy; Hello, Cowgirl

1959:

The East River Story

1960:

Fort Lee Love Song

1961:

That Gal & That Guy

1962:

The Mabel Normand Story

1964:

Sister Helen

1966:

Phone Book!

1968:

Darling, I’m Darling

1969:

Sweet Svetlana

1970:

When the Stars Come Out

1980:

Disco Trade School!

1992:

National Lampoon’s Milwaukee Vacation

1996:

Gramma

1999:

The Family Dunnigan

2000:

The Family Dunnigan II: Beyond Rehab

W H E N T H E S T A R S C O M E O U T

327

2002:

Intervention

2004:

Marriage Penalty

Television

1972–1974:

The Kitty Randolph Show

1979:

The Carol Burnett Show (guest appearance)

1980:

Fantasy Island (guest appearance)

1996:

Stephen King’s The Clown in the Scary

Lighthouse in Maine (miniseries)

2002–2006:

The Brothers-in-Law (recurring guest

appearance)

Featuring

Ron Palillo

Joseph Lee Gramm

Edward Henzel

And, as the Stooges,

Greg Crane

Craig McKenzie

Steven Seegers

Andrew Westlake

With

Camille as “Camille”

*

*

*

Edited by

John Scognamiglio

Written by

Rob Byrnes

based on his original story

Represented by

Katherine Fausset

*

*

*

W H E N T H E S T A R S C O M E O U T

329

Executive Producers

Lynette Kelly

Mark Siemens

Shaun Terry

& Michael Rao

Associate Producers

Wayne Chang

Greg Crane

Patrick Doyle

Byrne Harrison

Douglas A. Mendini

Jeffrey Ricker

Title Sequences by

James Daubs

Casting by

Paul Donelan

Costume Design by

Wayne Chang

Original Score by

Michael Holland & Karen Mack

Los Angeles Location Scouting by

Scott Schmidt

& Byrne Harrison

*

*

*

330

R o b B y r n e s

Stunts

Rabih Alameddine

Margaret Campbell

Becky Cochrane

Matthew Crawford

Diana Gabaldon

Kim Hogg

Bob Iovino

Illyse Kaplan

Timothy J. Lambert

Bob Liberio

Denise Murphy McGraw

Paul Parrott

Pam Paulding

OFR

Chris Shoolis

Brian Scribner

Candace Taylor

Robert Widmaier

Mark Zeller

*

*

*

Catering by

Posh

The Townhouse

O.W.

Freddie’s Beach Bar

JR’s

& Michael Rao

Mr. Byrnes’s Hair by

Tim Vermillion

***

W H E N T H E S T A R S C O M E O U T

331

Dedicated to

the Best Boy & Key Grip,

Brady Allen

*

*

*

A

Kensington Publishing Corporation

Production

(c) MMVI by Rob Byrnes

*

*

*

No animals were harmed during the writing of this novel.

KENSINGTON BOOKS are published by

Kensington Publishing Corp.

850 Third Avenue

New York, NY 10022

Copyright © 2006 by Rob Byrnes

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any means without the prior written consent of the Publisher, excepting brief quotes used in reviews.

Kensington and the K logo Reg. U.S. Pat. & TM Off.

Library of Congress Card Catalogue Number: 2005934156

0-7582-1324-7

ISBN: 0-7582-2089-8

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