It took me a second to clear my head and remember why I was in my apartment, lying on the futon.
Doctor Woodward saw me at the hospital immediately and discharged me within in a couple of hours. Ty’s car brought me home after a stop at the pharmacy for some anti-inflammatories and prescription-strength ibuprofen.
What I’d thought about nearly the entire time since I’d left the studio was Ty carrying me out. It was amazing and so romantic. I knew he was helping me with the injury. However, that didn’t stop my imagination from turning it into a sweeping gesture—like the end of An Officer and a Gentleman. Picturing him in a dress white uniform was a great distraction from my injury.
The buzzer went off again, forcing me to move. I swung my legs off the futon, grabbed one crutch, and crossed the room to see who was visiting. Luckily, there wasn’t much space to cover in my studio apartment.
“Hello?” I said into the intercom.
“Hey Jeremy. It’s Ty. I brought dinner.”
“Um…. Thanks,” I said as panic set in. Ty was about to be in my teeny-tiny apartment. “Come on up.”
My gaze darted around. At least I kept the place tidy, but he was about to walk into probably the smallest room he’d ever seen.
I was only in boxers and a T-shirt too. I couldn’t have him in here with me dressed like that, hurt or not. I hastily grabbed sweats and pulled them on. As he knocked, I fumbled to get the sweats past the air cast that wrapped around my foot.
“Coming,” I called out.
I looked around one last time. Nothing would make this situation less embarrassing. He probably stayed in a fancy apartment for the run of the show, and now he was at my tiny box in Brooklyn. I couldn’t stall anymore; I hobbled to the door and opened it.
“Hey,” he said. “Sorry, I wasn’t thinking about you having to walk, but I thought you’d need some food.”
Oh my God, he was so sweet. And he looked so good. He wasn’t in rehearsal clothes; instead, he was in jeans, a fitted T-shirt that hung on to his pecs just right, and a leather jacket.
“You didn’t have to do that.” I opened the door wider so he could come in. “But your timing is great. I fell asleep when I got home, so I haven’t eaten.”
He entered and the apartment instantly seemed warmer, which was silly. He couldn’t raise the temperature of a room.
“I’ve got some Chinese food from my favorite takeout place on the lower east side, plus some chicken soup. It’s always the soup I get when I’m sick. And, well, you’re not sick, but I figured it’d still be comforting.”
He went to the kitchen, which was jammed into one corner, and started setting out the containers. “What would you like first?”
My stomach rumbled as the delicious smells filled the small room.
“You okay?” He asked, now looking at me, container of food in hand.
Ugh. I was staring while holding the door open.
“Sorry.” I snapped back to reality and closed the door. “I’m not used to being taken care of like this. You know, usually in the city you just force yourself to do what you need to.”
“That’s not how I was raised.” He finished laying out the food. “You help out, especially your friends.”
Could he be a more perfect man? Joining him in the kitchen, I surveyed the food. It looked like he’d cleaned out the restaurant.
“You should sit,” he said. “Let me get you a plate.” I hesitated, but he wouldn’t let me get a word in. “Go.” I couldn’t argue with the stunning smile or the tone he gave me.
At the futon, I set my crutch aside and flipped it back into a couch configuration so we could sit comfortably. I nudged the small coffee table closer, so we could use it for food and I could get my foot up if I needed to.
“So, what’s the prognosis?” Ty asked as he opened cabinets, getting plates. The small space left little room to guess where things were.
“I need to stay off it the rest of the day, which I’ve been doing. No dancing at least until I see the doctor Friday. He thinks I’ll be good to go after that.”
“I’m glad to hear it.”
“So was Darci,” I said, sitting down, but watching him pile food on plates. “I called her while I was on the way back here. I’m coming into rehearsal even while I’m not dancing so I can keep up with changes and do the music work.”
“I hope you don’t mind if I join you for dinner.” He brought two plates over.
“Not at all. I’d be disappointed if you didn’t. After all, you schlepped all the way to Brooklyn with food, you should definitely eat.”
He placed plates, along with forks, on the table. There was a chicken and veggie dish, noodles, and what looked like orange beef.
“Oh.” He didn’t sit. “Drinks. Fridge?”
“Yeah. There’s a pitcher of water in there, plus some ginger ale.”
“What do you want?”
“Ginger ale, please. So how was the rest of rehearsal?”
“Well,” he said as he got the cans, “we did three more scenes for the producers. They seemed to like it. The afternoon we focused on act two. Darci, Leah, and I worked on the act one finale duet more at the end of the day.”
“How’s it looking?”
“Good.” He put the cans on the table as he sat down. “I’m much more confident. You helped so much.” He looked down at his plate but didn’t move to pick it up. “I can’t thank you enough.”
His occasional moments of shyness were incredibly adorable.
Suddenly, he closed the small distance between us and cupped the back of my head.
“I’m sorry, but I have to do this,” he said, barely loud enough for me to hear.
He brought my head closer until our lips met. His tongue probed to get inside, and I willingly let him in. Shocked and turned on didn’t begin to describe how I felt. Ty worked magic with his mouth, sending waves of pleasure through me.
What was he doing? This wasn’t the aftereffect of a dance rehearsal. He was in my apartment and kissing me over dinner. This kiss was insanely good. Last night’s had been a ten and was the best kiss I’d ever gotten. What he was doing now redefined kissing for me.
As a moan escaped, I leaned into him, hungry to recapture how I’d felt in his arms earlier. I grabbed the back of his head in the same way he held mine and kissed him deeply. He moaned, apparently enjoying what I was doing.
Oh my God, the man knew how to kiss. He never left my mouth, and as he alternated between gentle and hot, I had no choice but to surrender to him.
Without breaking the kisses, he swung a leg over and adjusted himself so he straddled me. He was careful not to bring all his weight down, by staying on his knees. Our chests pressed tightly together. The heat coming off Ty was scorching as he moved the kisses from my mouth to nibble on my neck. He had just enough stubble that the mix of wet kisses and rough skin lowered all my defenses, making me writhe under him.
If this was a mistake, I didn’t care.
Just as quickly as he’d started kissing me, he pulled back. “Sorry,” he said, looking at me. There was a fire in his eyes I’d never seen, and it was an intense, sexy, take-me-now look.
“Don’t be. That was freakin’ awesome.” I grinned at him, and that coaxed a smile to mix with his smoldering look.
“It’s not too fast? We haven’t had a proper date yet.”
Momentary dizziness swept over me. Did I hear that right? Not just a date, but a proper date. I didn’t know what to say, so instead I ran my hand across the back of his head and on to his cheek. He pressed his head into my palm and softly sighed.
“I’m into you, Jeremy. I knew it from the first time I saw you at the table read. Then you helped me, and well….”
He carefully extracted himself from his kneeling position and sat so he faced me. I was all too aware of the tent in my sweats but didn’t want to call more attention by making adjustments.
“I shouldn’t have kissed you the other night. It was….” He hesitated again. I took his hand, wrapped it in mine, and looked intensely at him, encouraging him to continue. “I want more than a show hookup, but then I do that and make it seem like I just want sex.” He was more nervous than I’d ever heard him. “I’d like to take you out. See what happens.”
I was speechless. We sat in silence as I kept his hand locked in mine.
“I’d like that,” I finally said. Hardly hearing my own words, I spoke up. “Yes!” There was the enthusiasm his proclamation deserved.
He chuckled and I joined in. I liked that we could laugh. He delicately shifted his hand so he could hold mine, then brought it to his mouth to kiss.
“Let’s eat,” he said. “Gotta make sure you keep your strength so you heal and get back to the show.”
We dug into the food, and I let it sink in that Ty Beaumont had just asked me out. I appreciated that he wanted to go slow, but man I wished we were ripping each other’s clothes off. Seeing if there was anything long-term, though, sounded wonderful and would make the wait worthwhile.
“I’m thrilled you asked,” I said, after I’d polished off the food on my plate. “I would’ve never guessed two weeks ago this could’ve happened.”
“It wasn’t until we started working together that I knew I had to ask and do this right.”
“Is this part of the same upbringing that has you taking care of friends?”
“Kinda, yeah. Plus, I’ve wrecked relationships jumping to the sex too quick.”
“Oh yeah. I’ve had those.”
“Do you want more?” He gestured at my plate.
“Can we move on to the soup?”
“Of course.” I started to stand, but he stopped me. “I got it.”
“Should I ask how many relationships you’ve had?”
He didn’t hesitate to answer. “Three that I thought were serious, not counting the dating I did in high school or college.” He poured soup into bowls. “Just to be completely open, two were with girls and one with a guy. Since I broke up with Thom last year, I’ve hardly dated. My heart just hasn’t been into it.”
I had a few questions about his sexuality, but I swallowed them. It really didn’t matter if he was bi, gay, or whatever because right now he wanted to date me.
He put the bowl into my hands, and I inhaled the scent. It smelled good. With the first taste, I moaned because it was incredible.
“Told you it was the best soup ever,” he said, returning to his spot. He sat closer this time so our legs touched. “What about you? Anything I should know.”
“I’ve dated a bit since I came out in college. Denny lasted for three years, but we broke it off about a year ago because he was tired of being alone most nights.”
“Not a show biz guy?”
“No. It’d worked for a while because I was in and out of shows so there were spans that I was around. But when I settled into Wicked, he was out after three months.”
“Well, at least I know how that goes.”
“Yeah, and we’ll be doing it together for the foreseeable future too.”
“No hesitation about dating someone in the show?” he asked between spoonfuls of soup.
“A little.” I put the bowl down and shifted so I could look directly at him. He shifted too, so we each sat with one leg partially on the couch. “But we don’t share scenes, so if something goes wrong, it shouldn’t affect the show.”
“And we’re professional, so we wouldn’t let it. Plus, I’d like to think that if we fail in a relationship that we’d stay friends. I wouldn’t want to lose you totally.”
It was my turn to look away as I went shy.
“You know just what to say.” I slowly returned my gaze to him.
“Go out with me this weekend?” he asked. “Dinner? Something fun?”
“Your choice. I’d love to see what kind of first date you’d arrange.”
“This doesn’t count?”
“Nope.” I gave him a smirk. “You were already here before you asked.”
“Hmmm. Okay.” He considered for a moment. “Dinner at Duke’s, followed by bowling, and then we find the waffle cart for dessert. If your foot can’t bowl, we’ll figure out something else.”
That was perfect. He constructed something where we could talk all night rather than trapping us somewhere quiet, like a movie or show. I hadn’t bowled in years but enjoyed it. And I was sure with him it would be great.
“I like it,” I said. “And maybe we hang out after rehearsals this week too, sort of pre-dates.”
“I’m in for that.”
“Wanna go low-key tonight and finish eating and then maybe some Netflix?”
“I was hoping you’d ask.” He leaned in and planted a soft kiss on my lips. As he pulled back, we smiled.
Next Friday: We're back in the studio, and Jeremy and Ty's relationship gets outed.
Fun fact: Another movie shout out this week with An Officer and a Gentleman. How could you not be swept away by Richard Gere carrying Debra Winger away as "Up Where We Belong" plays? Interestingly, I learned about a month ago that An Officer and a Gentleman is now a musical. It's scheduled to come to Sacramento this fall and I am intrigued because it’s an 80s jukebox musical featuring songs like “Girls Just Want to Have Fun,” “Toy Soldiers” and “Don’t Cry Out Loud.” Meanwhile, I enjoyed writing this scene because I love it when people take care of each other. Sure, Jeremy could've ordered take-out (a very New Yorker thing to do), but to have Ty go way out of his way to bring it to him was so very sweet!
That'll do it for this week. I wish you a good weekend and look forward to seeing you back here for the next chapter.
Take care, Jeff
330 Vernon St #29 Roseville CA 95678 United States