Prologue / 1
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5 / 6 / 7
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14 / 15
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19 / 20
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September the Following Year, A Private Clinic In Beverley Hills
THE PATIENT, HIS HEAD AND FACE COMPLETELY BANDAGED, waited with impatient anticipation as the doctor drew the blinds around the bed, before starting to remove the bandages from his face.
"There might still be a bit of redness and swelling, but you'll be completely
all right in about a week or two. Then again there may not. Everybody heals
differently in these kinds of operations. We'll know for sure when the
bandages come off." As Lance had said, he was a world famous plastic surgeon.
One of the absolute best. And a huge majority of Hollywood's population
had sought out his services at one time or the other, including his wife;
a well known actress. He had made them all beautiful, and this man, as
damaged as he was when Mark Hammond brought him to the clinic, wasn't going
to be any different. Oh, he had
"No problem doc'. Just s'long as it doesn't last any longer than a week. I've a wedding t'attend on the eighth of next month. I can't go lookin' like I went ten bouts with Mike Tyson."
"At this point I can't personally guarantee that you will or you won't. We'll just have to wait and see. Okay, here goes." The dark haired and ruggedly attractive, forty something plastic surgeon sat down on the bed next to the patient, removed the clip that held the bandages together and started to unwrap them. As the last of length of bandage came off, Dr. Gray drew his breath, feeling like God must have felt on the seventh day of creation.
"Well doc'? C'mon, don't keep me in suspense." The patient demanded impatiently, knowing by the doctor's expression that the results were good, but not quite prepared for just how good, despite what he knew of Dr. Gray's reputation.
"See for yourself." Dr. Gray picked up a hand mirror from the bedside table and gave it to the man.
"Holy shit! Doc' yer a bleedin' genius! Mark, get yer arse in here! Mark!" He shouted for Mark Hammond who was waiting for him outside in the waiting room.
Though he had never really been vain, Kenn had always been aware of his handsomeness before the accident, but now this was magnificent: There was still a bit of redness and the sutures would be taken out in a few days. But there was no mistaking the now perfect fine boned features with slightly fuller lips in a face that appeared at least ten years younger than his original one. But it was what he had wanted. A radical change of appearance. Now he had it, and it was all paid for by the man who wanted him to disappear. Even the feline amber eyes could be disguised with a visit to the nearest optical store. Aqua should do it. It was just a matter of exchanging the clear contact lenses he already wore to correct his distance vision, for prescription tinted ones. Yes, aqua, especially if he planned to go platinum blond. She must never know him when he showed up at the wedding. Kenn comforted himself with the fact that he was doing it all for her.
Dr. Gray smiled at his work and the man's obvious pleasure with it. At a hundred and fifty thousand dollars, how could he not do anything but his best for the man? "The door is closed and he can't hear you. I'll get him." He got up and went to fetch Mark.
* * * * *
THREE WEEKS LATER THE TRANSFORMATION WAS COMPLETE; A visit to a top
Beverly Hills salon where an expert colourist transformed his curly, reddish
blond locks, to platinum blond spikes à la Rod Stewart. He'd had
his share of attention as the lead singer of 'Black Daze' and then later
even as Kenn Michael Harrison, when cult followers of the band
The female attention he revelled in, and enjoyed to a point. However,
while he felt a certain level of discomfort with homosexuals, Kenn was
content to live and let live. On the other hand, should a gay man proposition
Kenn, he did so at his
"Phew! That was close! I'm getting too old for this sort of thing Kenny" Mark complained as they rushed out and got into the rented chauffeur driven limo that had waited for them outside.
"Remember mate, it's Mike, all right? I don't need yer slippin' up next week at the wedding."
"Hard to teach an old dog new tricks man, but I'll try Mike." Mark resigned. He pressed the button that rolled down the window separating them from the chauffeur. "To the Beverly Hills Hotel." He instructed and pressed the button again, closing the window. "Try mate, fer my sake."
They covered the distance to the hotel in silence, each man absorbed in his own thoughts; Mark, worried about Kenn's desire to become a rock star again. He couldn't forget what had happened before. The booze and drugs and hard, fast living had nearly killed him. But Kenn was older and wiser now. He had been sober and drug free for the last eight years, and had attended Alcoholics Anonymous faithfully twice a month before the accident, and would no doubt continue to do so now that he was out of the clinic. Maybe I'm just worrying for nothing. But he will always be like the son I had that never got to grow up.
Over twenty years ago he'd had an affair with a cockney waitress while
in England. Violet Harper had been separated from her husband at the time.
They had both known that there could be no future for them together, but
yet in the way two totally disparate people can sometimes come together,
they had. A child whom Violet had named Mike, had resulted from the affair.
The child had only lived for a year when he succumbed to a deadly case
of scarlet fever. Since then, Mark had never heard from Violet who had
eventually reconciled with her husband. But whenever he was in London,
he usually visited the cemetery where
When Kenn discussed the idea of assuming a new identity with Mark, the older man imparted this little bit of information about his past to him. Since Kenn had always been like a son to him, and now looked age that Mike would have been, the both men had decided that it would be a good idea if Kenn assumed Mike's identity. And the name wouldn't be all that unfamiliar to him either. After all, Kenn's middle name was Michael. And this past July 20th, as Kenn turned thirty, the baby Mike Harper would have been twenty on the 15th.
Meanwhile, Kenn's thoughts centered upon her.
Gawd, she'll never recognize me when I show up at the wedding
next week together with Mark. Well, at least Lance will be happy. Jesus
H. Christ, I'd have never figured him t'be as insecure about my existence
as he turned out to be. So much so that he paid fer my fuckin' surgery
just to make sure that I really went through with a radical change of appearance.
Can't say that I blame 'im. It's true, I'd be damned insecure too if the
situation was reversed. Still, I could throttle the bloody cretin from
the hospital who felt the compulsion to inform him of my resurrection from
the dead. I still don't know who the hell it was an'
The bright lights of Wilshire Boulevard flashed by him unseen, for so deep was he in thought, that Kenn didn't even realize when the limo had arrived at their destination, until Mark prodded him to awareness.
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