Painting with Wine by Rick Bettencourt by Rick Bettencourt - Read Online



When Jon finds out his former husband has escaped from prison, the quiet life he's since created in Beverly Farms, Massachusetts—with his new boyfriend and daughter—shatters.

Painting with Wine is a gay-thriller set in the cold, dark winter of New England. Let the intensity of this story warm you. It's a love story gone wrong--and a discovery gone right.

Published: Rick Bettencourt on
ISBN: 9781498938907
List price: $3.99
Availability for Painting with Wine
With a 30 day free trial you can read online for free
  1. This book can be read on up to 6 mobile devices.


Book Preview

Painting with Wine - Rick Bettencourt

You've reached the end of this preview. Sign up to read more!
Page 1 of 1


Chapter One

JON loved Richard. Then Richard would rage and while the love was still there, the pain was too much. Again, Richard would behave. Jon forgave, and then shortly after Richard would act up again.

And the cycle repeated. Richard’s mood swings would bring on another bout of arguments, gambling, drinking, and hitting.

Richard’s Roast Beef, a popular chain of restaurants that ran up and down the coast of Boston’s North Shore, had afforded them many luxuries: an ocean-side home in Beverly Farms, a summer cottage on the Cape, and a choice between driving a Jaguar, BMW, or a Porsche.

Richard and Jon built a life from being just two kids living in a one-bedroom apartment struggling to pay the rent to having built an empire.

Richard continued to grow the business while Jon turned to the arts and fundraising and then ultimately to raising their daughter.

When they adopted Susan, things had been going well. Richard was in a good phase, which had lasted for years.

He’s finally changed, Jon told Fiona, his sister. She had never been fond of Richard but stood by her brother’s decision to stay with him. Massachusetts passed a law legalizing gay marriage and among a small circle of friends and family, Jon and Richard exchanged vows at their seaside home on a dock overlooking the water. Then they set off on their yacht, which had been decorated at the stern with a Proud to be Just Married sign adorned with tuna cans.

Shortly after, things broke down again. Perhaps the addition of Susan into their life, the marriage, the declining economy, more of Richard’s gambling debts, or a combination of them all caused Richard to snap that night more than five years ago.

Except for court appearances, Jon had never seen him again― their seventeen years together relegated to a photo album under Jon’s bed. The media frenzy― dubbed Beef Man Gone Mad and Where on the North Shore is the Beef― finally died down when Richard was found guilty of money laundering, domestic abuse, and tax evasion, and was sentenced to the Essex County Correctional Facility.


Chapter Two

ON a crisp, cold winter’s day Jon dropped Susan off at Fiona’s house, a large Neo-Classical across the bridge in Salem. Susan’s twice-a-week play time with her nieces and nephews was a welcome respite for Jon and it afforded him the time he needed to focus on his school work, an MFA at Endicott College.

Jon drove his Beetle back to his cottage apartment in Beverly Farms. Kate Bush blared on the stereo.

With Richard prosecuted, Jon had made a fresh start of things. While his former life of luxury had collapsed in a mountain of debts and legal fees, a new one sprouted up rich in art, education, and love. His relationship with Mark Forsyth― his former chiropractor, now boyfriend― stood in contrast to that which he had with Richard. Doctor Mark is my savior. Mark my word! Jon would joke.

Jon and Susan now lived in a comfortable bungalow located on the hillside estate of Mr. and Mrs. Ernest Cabot. Ernie, a retired banker from Boston, and his wife were proud benefactors of the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, where Jon had made their acquaintance at a function. Oh Ernie, look at his daughter, Mrs. Cabot said, holding Susan’s picture out for her husband to see. She’s just a charm! And over a bottle of vintage Cabernet, they all took a liking to one another.

In exchange for watching the Cabots’ house while they wintered in Palm Beach, Jon and Susan lived in the guest cottage for next to nothing. It’s like having my own little single-family home, Jon told Mark.


It was quiet with the Cabots away. Jon looked forward to a day’s solitude as he pressed the button to open the iron gates. No need to stop at the mailbox before ascending the long driveway. Mail was either forwarded to Florida or delivered to Jon’s post office box. With the publicity from the trial, he didn’t want anyone other than close friends and family knowing where he lived. Jon drove past his yellow cottage adorned with white shutters abutting six-over-six windows and a Spanish-tiled roof and front porch that sandwiched a set of pillared columns, mimicking the larger mansion behind it.

As was wont for March in New England, a fine layer of snow crusted the statues and the pathway behind his house that led up to the Cabots’ mansion. The pool, overlooking the ocean, held pockets of ice on its taut cover. The sea and the bronze figures that embellished the pool area were all part of a splendid view from the cottage.

Jon pressed the remote on his visor to open the Cabots’ garage bay.


In the winter, he liked to park his car in the garage next to Mr. Cabot’s 1939 Cadillac to keep it clear of snow. He clicked the button again and watched the red light shine as he aimed the clicker at the door. Son of a... is the electricity out? It’s a sunny day. I don’t see why it would be.

He got out of the