Can an onstage love story lead to a real-life romance?
Jeremy Steele is a veteran Broadway performer. For his latest role, he’s dancing alongside a man he’s fantasized about for years, TV star Ty Beaumont. Jeremy knows better than to get involved with a castmate, but when Ty has trouble learning the complicated choreography, Jeremy offers to lend a hand. When a rehearsal kiss turns into something more, Jeremy can’t help but wonder what a celebrity like Ty could ever see in a Broadway chorus boy like him. Will a relationship with his crush make it past previews, or can it become a long-running hit?
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As I approached the studio, I was surprised to find a light coming from underneath the door. The other three doors along the corridor were dark. Was someone still working? I went inside and found Ty going through moves while his phone was propped up on a table in front of him. He was the last person I expected to still be here. The door hinges squeaked and his head jerked in my direction.
“Sorry.” I moved deliberately toward where my stuff had been earlier. “Didn’t expect to find anyone here. I think I left my phone, and I just need to get it.”
“No problem,” he said and turned off the video playback. “This yours?”
He held up my phone.
“Yeah.” I pivoted to get it from him. “Thanks.”
“It vibrated a couple times on the floor over there. Seemed better to put it in some place safer.” He handed it over. “The stuff Ricky’s got you guys doing in the back is so cool. I kept watching you, Nate, and Marco in the mirror.”
“Thanks,” I said, feeling heat rise in my cheeks. I was okay with compliments, but getting one from Ty was way different. “I wish I could say I’d been watching you, but there was a lot to take in today.”
“You didn’t miss anything.” He ran his hand through his hair, as if to try to fluff it up. He sighed. “I’m having a tough time. That’s why I wanted the video. I’m trying to improve before morning.”
This was an unexpected revelation. Stars don’t usually admit to having trouble to someone in the ensemble, at least not in my experience. I’d even done shows where things were changed if the lead was having trouble.
“Which parts are you having problems with?”
“Pretty much the last seven minutes,” he said, adding a tired chuckle. I made a pained face that made him laugh a little more. “Exactly,” he continued. “I’ve done musicals, but none where the dancing was like this. I get what Ricky’s doing. And, man, just watching him do it, it’s obvious how good it is for the show.”
“Can I see?” I hadn’t clearly seen what Ty’s choreography was, so I was curious.
He handed me his phone and stood next to me as I watched. His shoulder was practically touching mine. His scent—faint cologne and a not-unpleasant smell of sweat—made it difficult to concentrate. Ty was right; the choreography was awesome and all together the group looked terrific.
“Look at you guys.” He leaned in close to watch the screen. “When Ricky’s in it, it’s like it’s a finished piece.”
“It’s the first day we’ve worked on this.” I handed the phone back. “There’s time to get it. I’m sure it’ll be okay.” What was I doing? Should I be telling him it’s okay? Who knows what Madi and Ricky told him earlier.
“That’s what Ricky said. He and Madi are being great about my slowness. He even offered to change it, but you saw. He shouldn’t have to change it.”
Ty’s vulnerability made me crush on him even harder. I had to rein it in. I needed to be professional Jeremy, not fanboy Jeremy.
“Can I help?”
The eyebrow over his green, sparkling right eye raised. “You’d do that?”
“As much as I can, sure.” I dropped my pack on the table after I made sure to stow my phone in the right place. “Where do you think you’re getting in trouble?”
“I don’t think I ever learned how to move like that. Not to mention the sheer speed in some places.”
Somehow I had to turn off my crush and focus on the work we needed to do. Otherwise I might explode. He was the hottest guy on the planet as far as I was concerned. It was one thing to be crazy for him from across the studio. It was another to be that way in his personal space.
The smirk spreading across his face was cute. “You’re not doing this to try and get my part are you?”
💫 Review by Truus
What a delightful read…the emotional life of Jeremy….and that was really a reflective one.
The world through his eyes was tender, gentle and honest. What a sweet man he is.
Ty was his crush. The leading dancer of the part they were rehearsing.
When they were at some point alone Ty admit he had trouble with a choreography part and Jeremy offered to help him. They were working hard toward the opening night. All the rehearsal leads into mutual attraction. Ty is refined and soft and into Jeremy a lot.
They were unstrained and easy going and so much appreciated.
The comfortable way of acting did good on this story.
Very lovable smooth written read. It had a honestly and sincerity in it I loved very much.
I’m really looking forward to read more from this author.
Meet Jeff Adams
Jeff’s written stories since he was in middle school and became a gay romance writer in 2009 when his first short stories were published. Since then he’s written several more shorts and novels, including some in the young adult genre, and he plans to keep writing as long as wonderful readers keeping picking up his books.
Jeff lives in rural Northern California with his husband of twenty years, Will. Some of his favorite things include the musicals Rent and [title of show], the Detroit Red Wings and Pittsburgh Penguins hockey teams, and the reality TV competition So You Think You Can Dance. If forced to pick his favorite book it would be a tie between Michael Chabon’s The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay and David Levithan’s Every Day.
Jeff is also the co-host of Jeff & Will’s Big Gay Fiction Podcast.