This week, Ty takes Jeremy to dinner as a thank you and they learn more about each other. Once their back in the studio though, their attraction kicks into high gear during Ty's romantic duet.
“Thank you.” Darci came up to me after rehearsal as I was packing up for the day. “Ty told us you worked with him. His performance was so much better today.”
“You’re welcome. I happened to come back after dinner, and it was no big deal to lend a hand.”
“It’s appreciated. Ricky commented that it made a difference in the work they did today.” She smiled before she moved on to talk with others. Meanwhile, Ty was talking to Leah at the windows that looked out on Eighth Avenue, and he motioned for me to join them.
I wasn’t expecting him to give me credit, but it was great that he did. It was cool, too, that Ricky noticed that what I’d done helped.
“Hey. What’s up?” I asked, approaching them.
“Leah, do you know Jeremy?” Ty gestured to me.
“Not officially, no,” she said. “Thanks for the work you did with him. He’s been singing your praises all day.”
I fought to keep the blush under control. It was one thing for Darci to thank me privately, but it was different to get it from Leah in front of Ty.
“Can I take you to dinner?” Ty asked. “It’s the least I can do to repay you for the help.”
Dinner with Ty Beaumont! That couldn’t be any more difficult than having my hands all over him last night, could it? I’d jacked off furiously when I got home after all the touching we’d done. Now I was going to sit across a table from him.
“Sure,” I said without hesitation.
“I’ll let you guys get to it. See you in the morning.” Leah left us and we headed out.
“What are you in the mood for?” Ty asked.
“I usually go for super healthy after rehearsal, chicken and veggie sort of thing. There’s a good place just a couple blocks from here.”
“You’re turning me into a dancer, so I should eat what the dancer eats.”
Nervousness crackled through my body as I ate my grilled chicken and broccoli across from Ty. This wasn’t a date. I’d never take a date, especially a first date, somewhere with the harsh florescent lighting this hole-in-the-wall place had.
Professionally I had no reason to be nervous with him. We’d proven that last night. He was completely charming and genuine, just like he’d been over the past week with everyone in the cast. I still wasn’t used to how handsome he was, though.
Stuffed into a booth built for two, he was so close. I bumped his legs under the table. I liked that contact more than I should have. I had to keep reminding myself that we’re actors in the same show. This was professional.
“So, for the all-important question. How’d you think I did today?” Ty asked as we were eating.
“It looked better than where we left it when we ended yesterday, which is what I was hoping for.”
“I really don’t know how to thank you enough. Buying you dinner seems cheap for all the time you put in with me.”
I shrugged and smiled shyly. Was I flirting? Shit. I wiped the expression off my face. “Just keep the show running for a good, long time.”
He laughed and the warmth of the tone washed over me, making my heart flutter. Was he flirting a little too?
“You came out of Wicked for this. Why would you leave such a steady gig?” Ty took a long drink from his glass of water.
He knew that? Maybe Darci had told him when they were talking about the work we’d done.
“The chance to be in an original company. On Broadway, I’ve always been a replacement. When my agent told me I got this part, I had no hesitation. Yeah, if this show doesn’t have a run, it’ll have been a mistake. It’s still worth the shot, though. Plus, I love the material.”
“Gutsy. I’ll do my best to make sure that happens.”
“What made you take this on instead of another series, or a movie or something?”
“The live audience was a major factor. I love that. Plus, it’ll be nice to have a regular schedule too. We’d shoot for hours and hours on CyberClear, and the call times would be all over the place. It was hard to plan more than a day or two in advance. Once the show’s open, it’ll be regular.”
“Regular at least for show people.”
“Right. Maybe predictable is a better word. So I was wondering…” He paused, leaving me on the edge of my seat wondering what was coming next. “Would you help me again tonight? Just so I can run it a few times and know it’s okay.”
“Absolutely.” I wasn’t sure I should intervene at this point since he’d had so much intensive rehearsal today, but I couldn’t stop myself either.
His smile was thanks enough for saying yes, and I shoved aside my doubt. “Perfect,” he said. “Working with Ricky and Leah helped a lot, but I want to have it solid for tomorrow. Wanna get going so we get out earlier tonight?”
As we walked back to the studio along the still-bustling midtown sidewalk, we chattered about roles we both dreamed to play. Sweeney Todd or Robert in Bridges of Madison County topped my list.
“Not much dancing in those,” he said, sounding surprised.
“As much as I love to dance, there are non-dance roles that I’d jump at. Bridges has such amazing, romantic songs. I’d love to sing that. What about you?”
“Lola in Kinky Boots is a role I wish I could play.” It was my turn for a surprise. “That’ll never happen, but it’d be amazing to play that part. Can you imagine me in those boots? It’d be a disaster.”
I laughed heartily. “For what it’s worth, I think I’d have a lot of work to do to dance in those too.”
“If I can’t play that, I’d go for Whizzer in Falsettos. I saw that when I was a teenager and it really left a mark.”
Two gay roles. Interesting.
I’d heard nothing about Ty’s sexuality. He wasn’t an A-lister, so he didn’t end up in the tabloids. Even in the theater circles, his private life didn’t come up. When he’d been doing summer shows, they never spotted him with anyone. He’d hang out with his cast, play softball in the show league, but no one was ever on his arm.
In the studio we wasted no time getting to work by running parts he felt unsure about. I mostly watched, sometimes offering correction. After a couple of run-throughs, he stopped.
“Will you stand in for Leah for the duet? It’s the part that scares me the most,” he said as he crossed the studio to get water.
“It won’t be easy because I’ve got forty or fifty pounds on Leah.”
“I feel better trying with you. I worry about hurting her.”
“In the same way you guys trust each other as actors to be there for each other,” I said as I watched the video again to ensure I understood her moves, “you have to do the same for the dances. You do your best to know your part, and make it safe for her, and she does the same for you.”
He nodded but didn’t look like he believed me.
“Come on,” I said. We took our places, and he looked more worried than he had at any other point in our work. “You got this.”
We stood on the marks where their duet started. The video continued to provide the music track, and once it hit the instrumental, Ty’s face lit up, in character, as he grabbed my hand.
An electric shock went through me. We’d touched a lot as we worked last night, but between the elated smile and the warm, strong handhold, I felt a fire coming off him unlike anything so far. I faltered as I moved, but quickly got back in step. I didn’t want to mess him up.
We skipped the leap Leah does into his arms because there was too much risk. So we picked back up with some foxtrot-style choreography that was the last section. As the music slowed for the last beats of the duet, Ty executed a perfect dip along with a kiss.
It wasn’t just his lips on mine for a simple rehearsal kiss either; his tongue got involved. Involuntarily I parted my lips, and he took advantage, slipping inside my willing mouth. Orders from my brain to stop went ignored as his passion took over my body.
The music kept going, and he broke the kiss on cue and brought me back upright. We didn’t continue, though, instead standing face-to-face. I tingled, wanting more, and his expression said he thought about giving it to me.
I kissed Ty Beaumont. What had I done?
When I couldn’t take it anymore, I stepped away and stopped the playback.
“Well,” I said, sounding breathless. God, I was suddenly channeling Mother in Ragtime. I took a moment to compose myself, focusing on the tabletop. I couldn’t turn to face him, and if I looked up I’d see him in the mirror.
“That was pretty good,” I finally said and busied myself with the phone. “I think you’ve got this.”
I caught his movement in the mirror, coming toward me. He placed his hands on my shoulders. The touch burned through my T-shirt, into my skin, and it felt so good. I hadn’t dated in over a year, and since I wasn’t into random hookups, it had been far too long since I’d been kissed too. And I’d never had a kiss like that. I continued to swoon in its aftermath.
Again with the silence, even as his hands squeezed on my shoulders.
What was I supposed to do? Professionally I should tell him to stop. But this was a fantasy come to life.
“I’m sorry, Jeremy,” he said, not removing his hands while pressing his chest into my back. “I crossed a line.”
Slowly, I let out a breath I hadn’t realized I was holding. “Yeah,” I whispered. “We both did.”
I finally looked at our reflection. His head was next to mine. We looked guilty, but not in a rush to move on.
“We should get back to work,” I forced myself to say.
He nodded, still not moving. “I don’t regret it,” he whispered into my ear.
My heart somersaulted around my chest. He wanted to kiss me? That wasn’t just acting? Or was he acting now? Why would he be attracted to me?
Even if he was acting, I didn’t regret it either. I’d gotten a kiss from him and I’d have that forever. What would it be like to get more? Preferably while we were naked. Tonight’s jackoff would be even more intense with the kiss to replay.
Ultimately, my response to him was a simple nod and a half smile. While it was the right thing to do, my body ached for more.
Next Friday: Jeremy thinks through what's happening with Ty.
Fun fact: I enjoyed playing with the dynamics between Ty and Jeremy. They're co-workers, of course. Ty is getting some much needed help, but he's also falling for a colleague. Jeremy, on the other hand, is living his dream of finally being in an original cast while also working with someone he has a crush on. Having Ty as a humble star is also fun to write. Too often they're made out to be full of bluster and arrogance. I see Ty as a sort of Tom Hanks or George Clooney good guy. This story is the polar opposite of backstage drama--movies like Showgirls, All About Eve, or All That Jazz (all of which I love!)
I hope you're enjoying Jeremy and Ty's story so far. While it is Christmas next Friday, chapter four will be in your inbox right on schedule!
Take care, Jeff
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