|Stage Dreams by E.E. Grey|
An aspiring Broadway writer, Jamie spends most of his time working as a bartender and bothering his roommate, Drew, to actually write down songs for the musical they've been working on for two years. When Jamie meets Roman, a Broadway dancer, his dreams come to a sudden potential realization when Roman gives his book to a well-known director. Jamie's feelings for Drew, however, may get in the way of his own happiness, especially when it comes to Roman and the prospect of Jamie's dreams finally coming true.
Jamie found himself glad that the guy didn’t go with them, swirling the wine in his glass and smiling at Jamie. It wasn’t exactly the contact he’d hoped he would make, and he didn’t stop his mind when it wandered to dark rooms and groping hands as he watched the guy finger his glass.
“What?” Jamie asked finally. He should stop thinking about tongues and fingers and heat pressing against his skin. It had been a while since he’d thought about that. The few times he’d hooked up with guys since coming here, they’d been at dim clubs, in dark, dirty alleyways that always left Jamie feeling unclean, but it wasn’t like he wanted a relationship from any of those people, any of those interactions.
“Just wondering why I’ve never seen you before.”
“Because I live in Brooklyn?”
The guy smiled, flipping his hair from his eyes. “I just meant, with such a pretty face. Feel like I would have noticed you anywhere.”
The flush grew and Jamie coughed awkwardly. “Do you use that line on every bartender?”
“It is an open bar. Gotta tip you somehow.” He winked. “I’m Roman, by the way.”
Jamie wasn’t sure if asking if Roman wanted to hook up in a closet was a good idea. The last guy who’d shown any serious interest in him had been David, and Jamie had absolutely no desire to repeat that relationship. Even as his mind flit back to the drugs, and David’s nagging voice telling him he’d never make it in New York, he hesitated to say anything else to Roman, scratching the back of his neck instead and glancing around the room.
Lots of unfamiliar people milled around, sipping wine and congratulating each other on an opening night well done. The furniture here cost more than Jamie’s whole month’s salary, he was sure. There were no tears or rips or dents in anything. It was pristine.
Sometimes he felt so out of place.
“I take it you’re part of the show?” Jamie said at length. Roman wasn’t David, after all. It didn’t have to be like David. They could just hook up. Of course, this was all in his head. He didn’t even know if Roman was interested in that kind of thing. “Let me guess, stage crew?”
“Oh,” Roman said, clutching his chest with fake hurt. “Ouch. Surely I’m not that unattractive.”
Jamie shrugged, though he couldn’t hide his smile. “I don’t know any stage crew so I can’t really make a fair comparison.” Roman was, in fact, one of the most attractive people Jamie had seen in New York, and he wasn’t completely sure why Roman was still talking to him.
“Let me assure you that stage crew are no match for me,” Roman said, leaning over the bar.
Jamie smiled slightly as he uncorked another bottle of wine and poured a glass for a woman who came up beside Roman. When she left, he set it on the bar top. “Sorry, but I’d have to see it to believe it.”
“I am insulted that you don’t believe me.”
“Well, I just met you,” Jamie pointed out. “For all I know, you could be stage crew and you’re just lying so I’ll like you more.”
Roman’s smile grew wider and something fluttered in Jamie’s stomach at the sight. “So that means you like me already?”
Jamie didn’t know what to say, fiddling with the hem of his vest. Could he take it back? Did he want to?