Children of Starlight, part 3 episode 11 of “The Starlight Trilogy” by Thea Washington
The character “the Rock Star” is based on Adam Lambert.
The videos in Part 3 feature Adam Lambert, Queen, Depeche Mode and Savage Garden.
Chapter 21 – ARRIVAL #1
When the call came that the First Surrogate was on her way to the hospital, Lover called the television station and told them he didn’t care that Angel was on air with the Talk Show Host, he wanted to be put through to Angel immediately. His Personal Manager signaled the Director to signal the Talk Show Host to take a commercial break. As soon as they were off the air, the Manager ran onto the set and shoved the phone at the bewildered Rock Star. By the time the break was over and the show resumed, Angel was nowhere to be seen. But video of him taking the call and enthusiastically apologizing to everyone as he rushed offstage was on YouTube being played around the world within minutes.
The ever-present paparazzi and media beat him to the hospital but, after taking every photo and asking every question possible of the soon-to-be-father, they reluctantly cleared the way for him. It was an unusual gesture on their part but some of them were parents and understood exactly what was happening, both inside the hospital and the Rock Star.
There were the stray ones hiding under gurneys, trying to bribe the nurses or pretending to be window washers or hospital staff, but they were discovered and not-so-gently led away by security. Lover met him at the elevator on the Maternity floor and quickly took him to a Delivery room where the First Surrogate was in labor.
Angel’d been gowned and gloved and by her side with her husband for a few hours when the baby crowned. Lover was watching intently through the window, Starlight beside him, visible only to her boys. When Angel looked up and saw her radiant smile, he knew all would be well. The set of lullabyes she’d taught him that he’d recorded after he’d found out the baby’s gender had been played for the baby every night until he was born. And they were being played now.
It was the most amazing experience he’d ever had. The Guitarist had told him of a quote he’d heard somewhere that having a baby was like pushing a piano through a transom. He didn’t remember who’d authored the quote but the visual was enough to freak both men seriously out.
First Surrogate knew what she was doing, though, having had three children of her own. She was clearly working with the baby to ensure a healthy delivery with a minimum of stress. Of course they don’t call it labor for nothing and indeed, a slight adjustment of direction was required. Angel watched as the doctor gently turned his son so that he would come into the world perfectly. Angel would have thought him perfect no matter which way he showed up.
When the shoulders slipped through, the rest of the baby quickly following, Angel thought he’d faint. How could someone so small, so new, so weird-looking inspire such love? If it hadn’t been for his Mom, Starlight and Lover, he would have doubted such love could exist in the world, exist in him. But now he knew it to be true. All that he had learned of love became real in a way he’d never imagined.
Everyone agreed that he would be the one to cut the umbilical cord. Lover could see his hands shaking as he took the instrument and, with a little guidance, accomplished the deed. Then the baby was whisked away for all of the “newborn” procedures: the cleaning, the swabbing, the tests, the score, swaddling, the cap and the announcement of a perfect baby boy. Then, for the first time, Angel held his son.
Those first months of parenthood were, well, let’s just say it was harder work than either Angel or Lover had thought it would be. It was true, Lover had been old enough to remember how he’d helped Mommy with his younger brother and sister when they were newborns. That was nothing, though, compared to having primary responsibility.
It seemed like arrangements had to be made for everything. Part of their blessing was that Lover could be flexible with his firm; again Exec traveled west (this time with his writer Partner) to take over temporarily while the new family settled into the new routines. They were also blessed that they could afford the live-in nurse who specialized in working with families with firstborns.
Everybody wanted to come see the baby but they understood that Angel, Lover and Son needed time to figure out what was what. Son was the first one to do that. He ruled and he knew it. Angel wondered where he’d gotten that attitude. Lover just laughed, groaned and rolled his eyes a lot.
First Surrogate was sort of an angel herself, keeping Son supplied with fresh milk. She was sensitive to Angel and Lover’s uncertainty about the amount of contact she would have with the baby. They’d discussed it extensively before the birth and hadn’t decided until the baby was born.
Then it became clear to everyone that the couple wanted to bond with their Son with as few others around as possible. First Surrogate understood that and had, in fact, talked with the Therapist about it a few times. She’d counseled that it could work either way and it was up to the three parents to decide among themselves. First Surrogate was happy enough that she had fulfilled her promise to deliver a healthy baby and was more than willing to return to concentrating on her own family.
Starlight appeared in the nursery when everyone else was asleep. Sometimes she held long conversations with Son’s soul, reminding him of where he was from and advising him about where he was now. Son did have questions, like why his parents couldn’t stop smiling at him or each other. He had been love, like all the Pre-Manifestations, but experiencing it was new. He liked it. Starlight told him that “being” is a blessing especially bestowed by the Forever Present, a blessing all babies receive.
Indio’s Supreme Blessing at Angel and Lover’s wedding consecrated that Son was to be a part of a very special time in the life of Earth. She promised him that, one day, he would be the one to recognize the Secret embedded in Earth’s name.
And as those first few months passed, Starlight sang her new, celestial lullabyes to Son. Embued with Indio’s teachings, she was able to accelerate his ability to sleep for longer periods of time. She knew there was balance in the Universe and that many sleepless nights would be visited upon her boys when he became a teenager but, as those first months passed, the extra hour or two were a blessing in themselves.
Every day was a new world for Angel and Lover. One day Lover came home from yet another shopping expedition for the baby to find Angel in the window seat with Son, waving at him. He barely got in the house when they were on him—or was it vice versa? Hard to tell.
“Do you know what he did today?”
“No, tell me, tell me. Hi, you sweet baby boy.”
“He looked at me.”
“He did? Really? I mean, focused and everything really looked at you?”
“Yes! I mean really! I could tell. He knows I’m his Dad.”
“Wow. I’m not surprised. You two are like twins.” He turned his attention to the baby. “Yes, you are, you’re just like your Dad. And he’s just like you,” Lover cooed.
“I know. Wait a minute. What’s that supposed to mean?”
Lover laughed. “I don’t think I’ll tell you.”
“Why not? That’s supposed to be funny, isn’t it?” He now turned his attention to their Son. “You hear that?” he cooed. “Papa thinks he’s funny but he’s not. You remember that, OK? Say it. Papa is not funny.”
As if focused seeing wasn’t enough of a miracle, at seven months Son truly astonished them. Angel was teaching him the latest club dances, holding him up in a standing position and gently turning him from one direction to another in time with the music of Angel’s first CD (he’d decided to teach Son his music in chronological order after his lullabyes seemed to get “old”). Lover was shooting the dance lesson with the solarcam.
At one point Son leaned over his feet onto his hands and then began to shake his diapered bottom in time to the music. If Lover hadn’t gotten it on video no one would have believed it. What happened next was even more amazing. For the first time, Angel’s son stood up on his own, laughing and dancing to his Dad’s music. He got maybe four bounces in before he was on his butt, still laughing and waving his arms in perfect rhythm to the song.
The tabloids took notice. So did the Nanny and the Security staff.
As did two men from Idaho and a woman in Maryland.
Chapter 22 – STORM A’COMING
Twin was minding her business when she noticed that car with the Idaho plates pass by again. Over the past few months she’d noticed he hadn’t been around. Now he was back. The routine was always the same when she saw him; the driver never stopped, he just drove by like he was making sure she was still where she was supposed to be. For a while she’d wondered if he was working for the Pimp Dealer and checking up on her. He’d said he didn’t know what the hell she was talking about and that maybe the crack really was killing her brain cells. That may have been true, but she knew that car when she saw it.
Then, for the first time, later that night he pulled over and motioned to her.
“Hey, Sweetness,” he said. “I’ve been noticing you for a while.”
“Yeah, I been noticing you noticing. What made you decide to, uh, finally make my acquaintance tonight, good-looking?”
“Well, I’ve got some business I wanna talk to you about.”
“Ohh, I know what you want. Business, huh?”
“Um hm. You interested in stacking some bread? ‘Cause I know how to do it.”
“I bet you do,” said Twin, looking at the man driving the late model sedan. “What you got in mind?”
“Well, you could say I’m a family man. Kinda like the guy you work for.”
Twin was beginning to get a bad vibe here.
“Oh, yeah? What makes you say that?”
“Well, I know he had a brother once who kinda had a reputation in your old neighborhood. Not a good one, either. Seems he liked little boys.”
Twin felt sick.
The Reporter had been tracking those two families for a couple of years now. He’d found Twin and thought that was the jackpot. A twin sister on crack, acting in porn movies, working the streets. Who Lover, uber-rich and half of the most visible, most popular gay couple in the whole fucking world, had been told was dead. That woulda gotten him some cash, that kinda story.
But the night the TV Producer had started telling him the real story, the whole story, he knew he had it. Just what he needed to take them both down, one directly and the other, the one he really wanted, by association. All it had taken was a pissed-off Younger whore with big ears and a bigger mouth, too dumb to know what she had or to make more than a grand off it. Shit, this was gonna get him satisfaction AND a few million to boot.
“Sounds like some kinda pervert,” said Twin, leery now, all antenna at full sweep.
“Yeah, nobody’s denying that,” said the Reporter. “Shame what happened to him, though.”
“Oh, yeah? What happened to him?”
“Why don’t we go somewhere and talk about it. I gotta feeling you’ve got some feelings about this yourself.”
Twin knew this wasn’t good but she also knew she had no choice but to find out what this guy was up to. And who knew, maybe there’d be something in it for her.
The driver in the new Maryland rental watched the conversation and Twin getting into the car. He dialed a number in California before pulling out, about a half-block behind the sedan.
The Reporter took her to a fast-food restaurant, where he walked her back to a booth in the corner, seating her so that he could block any attempt to escape, his back to the door. At least he bought her a sandwich and some coffee. After she’d eaten he got down to business.
He never saw the man taking the seat on the other side of the board between the booths.
“Does he know where you are?”
“Does who know?”
“Your brother. The billionaire. Does he know?”
Twin didn’t want to let on that she had any idea who he was talking about. She needed to find out what he knew and how he knew it.
“What makes you think I’ve got some billionaire brother?”
“This.” The Reporter pulled out that tabloid, the one Younger had bought that night. The one with Lover on it, she obviously his sister.
Twin was cool, not giving anything away.
“Look, bitch, I know your story. And your brother’s. And if we work together, I think it could, um, be mutually beneficial.”
“What makes you think that?”
The Reporter briefly explained his history with the Rock Star, how it all started years before with an interview at a Mountain House about a dead woman named Starlight. How, when the Rock Star came back to L.A., he’d wanted to reunite with Twin’s brother, Lover. The Reporter’d had some hopes to build his career and wanted the Rock Star to help him but he’d refused. And he’d been the one who’d gotten the Rock Star to come back to L.A. in the first place, where he’d been even more successful than he’d been before he left.
And after all that, the Rock Star had played the Reporter to make Lover jealous and then dumped him. When Lover had called him on it, he’d thrown a chair at Lover that hit him. And then the Rock Star ran back to the Reporter for help keeping the story out of the papers and, when the Reporter had done exactly that, he’d dumped him again. And with all his resources and connections, the Rock Star had had him practically banished from the media industry to some two-shit town in Idaho. So now he was ready to get what he had coming from the Rock Star and he was going to use what he knew about Lover to do it.
And since he knew Twin had a little grudge of her own against Lover, he was thinking she might want in.
Twin listened, tracking the story that sounded like a bunch of b.s. to her. She was right. There were too many holes in it. But parts of it sounded interesting. She really didn’t care about his history with the Rock Star. She did like the part about getting back at Lover, though. In a way she’d lost a real life for Lover and he’d never’d even tried to come find her or get her out of this life or anything. It was like she was dead to him.
“So,” she said, “tell me what you think you know and we’ll see.”
“Oh, no,” said the Reporter. “I ain’t telling you shit.”
“Then, if what you know is something I can back up and I’m the only one who can, you got a problem.”
She had him and he knew it. So he started talking while the man in the next booth listened as best he could. He couldn’t hear everything but he heard enough.
Tomorrow in “Children” – Lover becomes a father–and someone comes to visit