Life is Not a Musical

an excerpt



Prologue



"You're disgusting! How dare you say you love me... how dare you touch me when you... when you go out and do those things!" Marie waved her hands in the air, turning around to walk away from him, and Dominic grabbed her wrist.

"Marie. Wait! Can't we talk about this?" he pleaded, his heart pounding in his chest.

Marie wrenched her arm free from his grip. "Don't touch me, Dominic," she spat his name. "You are filthy, and I'm going to take my daughter and get as far away from you as I can possibly get. I hope you rot in hell." Marie spun on her heel and headed toward the staircase. Dominic hurried after her, begging her not to go the entire time.

"You can't take my child, Marie. You just can't. Vienna means everything to me!" He reached out towards her, stopping when she turned and glared at him, her brown eyes blazing with fury.

"You are a fucking liar, Dom!" she screeched at him. "If Vienna or I meant anything to you, you would take yourself down to the church, go into the rectory and confess your sins to the Father. You would say a fucking shit ton of Hail Marys and Our Fathers, light enough candles to cover the continent of fucking India, and then you would stop this horrible behavior." Her eyes filled with tears, and it broke Dominic's heart. It really did, but how could he explain it to her when he didn't even understand it himself? He had been denying himself his truth for thirty years, only allowing himself the briefest moments of happiness. Stolen fragments of time when he could sneak away to some dark alley, or obscure club to meet up with some unknown man he would never see again to mete out an hour or two of fumbling, gasping, sweaty hand jobs, blowjobs, or fucking that left him feeling emptier and lonelier than he had when he'd left his large three story estate in Northern Connecticut. He always made sure no names were exchanged, that he wore contacts and a wig, and stayed in the shadow as much as possible to keep his anonymity. But, each time he would hear his father's voice. A deep, rumbling, mass of disapproval towards his only son the one and only time he'd caught Dominic kissing another boy.

Each time, Dominic would once again feel the sting of the belt being flayed across his shoulders. Hear the words of "Hail Mary" and "Our Father" being tossed at him, while he was being held down in the form of the crucifixion by his father and his uncles as they called him "maricon" and "joto." Though none of that compared to them tying him to the tree in the backyard, whipping his naked young body as they called him "puto." It was a miracle Dominic had survived with his mind intact. After each dirty, naughty, filthy liaison with a man, however, Dominic would pull over to the side of the road and become violently ill. He didn't know why his body betrayed him each and every time. Why it needed it. Why it craved it. Why it wasn't satisfied with just being with his wife, Marie. He loved her. Or at least, he was attracted to her. He didn't have to fake that. But something was missing. Dominic could feel it.

Marie and Vienna, his wife and his daughter, were his life. His reasons for living. He could not, would not lose them. If he could have stopped years ago, he would have, but he was like an addict and being gay was a drug, an addiction, he couldn't run away from.

He was disgusted with himself, just like Marie was.

"Marie," he said her name in a plaintive voice.

"No!" She shook her head and sliced her hand through the air. "Either you go to the church, and give up this lifestyle of yours, or I'm taking Vienna and we are leaving... tonight!"

Dominic gasped. "You cannot take my child, Marie. Do you hear me? I won't let you!"

Marie stepped close to him, and while Dominic towered over her, he was six feet five inches to her own five feet nine and he was easily two hundred and thirty pounds of pure muscle while she was one hundred and fifteen pounds of silicone tits and ass, most of which Dominic had paid for, he found himself stepping back in fear. Marie had a fiery Latina temper, her mother being Dominican and her father being Venezuelan. More than once Dominic had had to duck dishes, books, even shoes because he had angered her for some reason. This time? Well, he didn't know what to expect for this infraction.

"What are you going to do Dominic?" she sneered at him. When he didn't answer immediately, she apprised him up and down and sniffed indelicately at him. "Yeah, that's just what I thought. You are a spineless man, Dominic. And if it weren't for the fact that you are hot as hell, have a big ass cock, and are rich as fuck, I would have left you a long time ago. But you are all talk, and you are weak. I've got bigger balls than you, and I'm a woman. No wonder you're a fag. I'm leaving."

She turned away again, and Dominic, feeling anger ripping through his body at her words and her intention to take his child, grabbed her arm, yelling her name. When she turned back toward him and shoved at his chest, he lost his footing and, releasing her arm, tumbled down the stairs. He heard her yell his name, but wasn't sure if she was yelling in concern for him, or for herself.

It wasn't until he woke up in the hospital days later that he found out that she'd fallen down the stairs behind him, and while he'd been lucky enough to break his left arm and right leg, he also had the presence of mind to tuck and roll, and to try and to untuck himself feet first, Marie hadn't been so lucky. She had snapped her neck on her way down the stairs, landing at the bottom. The maid had found them both. Vienna had thankfully slept through it all.

Dominic was wracked with guilt. It was his homosexuality, his love of men, the same sex...his perversion, and the fact that his wife had caught him out in town, hooking up with another guy, that had led to the fight that led to her death. As he held Vienna in his arms and explained to her why her mother wasn't going to come back and she sobbed, he vowed to be the best father she ever had. He would make up for the fact the she no longer had a mother in her life. He would give her everything she wanted. She would want for nothing. She would be the happiest little girl in the world.

And if that meant that he would be alone and never be with another man for as long as he lived, then that was what he would do. His life was all about Vienna now. That was just how things were going to be.



Chapter One



"What do you want for your sixth birthday?" Dominic asked Vienna as he turned his recording iPad toward her smiling face. She giggled and covered her face.

"I can't believe you're wearing the tutu, Daddy!" She squealed.

Dominic turned the iPad back to his face and shrugged. "What? That's what you said you wanted me to do, when I asked you. You needed to go to the dentist, and I asked you what could I do to get you to go, and you said for me to wear a pink tutu all day today, and I agreed, so here I am, wearing a tutu." He placed his hand and one hip and flipped a hand up in exaggerated frustration. "What is the problem?"

"Daddy!" Vienna exclaimed and let out a giggle as she kicked her feet against the kitchen island.

"Yes, Princess Vienna?" Dominic bowed to her. "How might I serve you today?" He turned back to the stove and flipped over her pancake.

"I know what I want for my birthday!" Vienna exclaimed, and Dominic smiled as he heard the happiness and excitement in her voice. It was all he wanted for her, and over the last two years, he'd been able to bring that to her, for which he was exceedingly grateful.

He'd recorded the big and special requests she asked of him, things like tickets to the Taylor Swift concert when he'd slept outside to obtain them, and dressing up like the wolf-boy from the vampire movie for her fifth birthday. None of that compared to singing "Let It Go" over and over again, oftentimes at the drop of a hat, wherever the mood struck young Vienna, and knowing every. Single. Lyric.

He wouldn't trade a moment of it. Not if it meant making her smile and brightening her day. And somehow, in his own way, making up for the fact that he was responsible for her mother's death.

Even if it meant wearing a pink tutu and dancing in her ballet recital later on that afternoon.

"So what do you want for your birthday next month, Princess?" Dominic asked.

"Musical Day!" Vienna yelled.

Dominic frowned and lifted out Vienna's pancake and put it on a plate before turning to hand it to her. He put a small amount of syrup on it, dropped a small dollop of butter, and cut it up into small pieces, before handing her the fork. He turned back to the stove, turned off the burner, and lifted his neglected coffee mug to take a sip of the lukewarm black brew.

"What is Musical Day?" he asked after he had swallowed.

"Musical Day is when you spend the whole day acting like we're in a Disney movie, Daddy! You have to sing songs, and dance around, and talk to animals, and talk to strangers, and sing to yourself in the mirror, and fall in love with a beautiful princess and live happily ever after in a castle like our house!" Vienna explained with smile, before clapping her hands.

Dominic choked on his coffee as he took in her words. "P-princess?"

Vienna nodded. "Yes! That's what I want for my birthday, Daddy. Can I have it, please? Pretty, pretty please, with a cherry on top?"

Dominic swallowed the lump which had formed in his throat and nodded slowly. "Sure, honey. For your birthday, I'm going to give you Musical Day."

"Yay!"

****

Than Kelly startled when his boss, Shane Andrews, tossed an open folder on his desk. Looking at the top paper, Than quickly read the headline:

Attractive, widowed, internet sensation & single father, Dominic Montgomery promises adorable five-year old daughter, Vienna, Musical Day for sixth birthday. All of the world awaits with baited breath!

Than looked up at Shane and back down at the article.

"What am I missing?" he asked, as he pushed his long, thick, and wavy, sun-streaked blond hair behind his right ear.

"Can you tell me why you, our internet guy, the guy with his finger on the pulse of internet celebrities, didn't know about this Dominic Montgomery person?" Shane growled.

Than shrugged, though he did know why. "Because he's an overnight sensation, maybe?" That wasn't it at all. Than hadn't wanted to exploit Dominic's tragic story, and he knew that was exactly what Shane would have done. Dominic and Vienna's story was heart-wrenching, sad, and beautiful, and Than wanted to keep it that way. If his magazine got hold of it, they would turn it into something dirty. Than wanted no part of it.

"I find that highly unlikely. It's probably because you saw him and your little queer hole started clenching, aching to be filled or whatever it is you little pillow munchers are into," Shane snarled.

Than rolled his eyes. He hated Shane's homophobic insults. He knew that he could either quit and try to start over from the bottom somewhere, but, with the job market for shit right now, he'd be homeless in weeks, or he could try to take the man to court, which would turn into a he said-he said battle which would end up with Than being fired. Shane being the manager of the magazine that was a certainty or, he could suck it up and hope he remembered to actually turn on the recorder on his phone one of these times and actually catch Shane saying something inflammatory and homophobic.

"Did you come over here just to say something demeaning and hateful, or did you actually have an assignment for me, Shane?" Than asked, his voice tight and angry.

"I have an assignment for you. I want you to cover this story. Go out to Connecticut. Get close to Mr. Montgomery and his daughter. I want you to become his best friend, and I want you to be there when this Musical Day happens. I want the backstory and every juicy detail you can get. You have the next month to get everything you can on the guy and his daughter and even the ex-wife that died in that accident. I want a whole human interest type story in my inbox in six weeks. Maybe see if there are any skeletons you can shake loose from the billionaire's closet. No man works that hard and spends that much time, money, and energy on making sure his daughter has everything she wants while being involved in it when he's running a billion-dollar ad agency unless he's hiding something. You got it?" Shane sniffed. "Either it's there, or you're fired. I would hate for anyone to find out about your little affair with a certain someone. I mean I allowed you to write a fluff piece on him, and we were made to look like an incompetent magazine when every other informational distribution channel from tabloids to journalists with integrity released articles about his corruption. So, let's not let that happen again, okay, Nathaniel? Got it?"

Than clenched his jaw against the anger, the shame, regret, and betrayal that were his constant companions since being made to look like a fool with his previous relationship, and the nausea that curdled his stomach at the prospect that the sweet, hot, rich, hot, generous, hot, loving, hot father was hiding some dirty secret and using his beautiful daughter to cover it up. Turning he glared up at Shane. "Yeah, I get it, Shane."

Shane nodded and walked away. Than turned to look back at the article and shook his head as he stared at the tiny picture of Dominic and his happy, smiling daughter, Vienna. He felt dirty and despicable for what he was about to do to them, but he needed his job, and he didn't really know them, plus, he had to keep his affair with the very married, ultra conservative Senator of Tennessee under wraps. It would only hurt everyone involved. From the senator's family, to Than, to his family and friends, to all of the voters who believed in the senator... it was a real mess. And the really fucked up part of it was, Than had known the man was married, just not who he was until weeks into their affair. He felt awful about the whole thing now, but even more so because Shane had come across a few of their pictures on Than's email before the affair ended and was now using it to blackmail him. What a giant clusterfuck. And now his affair was being used against Dominic Montgomery and his daughter Vienna, who seemed completely innocent and he really didn't know at all.

Although he hoped he was going to get to know them over the next few weeks. Picking up the phone, he put a call in to the magazine's accountant. "Hey Sherry, can you rent me a house in Woodstock, Connecticut? It looks like I'll be staying there for the next six weeks."