Exclusive Excerpt from His Two Leading Men
by Aidan Wayne
“So how’d you end up on Broadway?” Russell asked, after they’d ordered and were waiting on their food. “You guys always have some stories to tell.”
“Mine’s pretty boring,” Skye said honestly. “I’ve got family in the area, which let me spend a lot of time auditioning around here. Child’s Play is my Broadway debut.”
Russell shook his head. “Gotta be more to it than that. How long did you spend auditioning? How did the audition go?”
“Oh, uh,” Skye laughed. “A few years. I mean, that’s how long I’ve been attending auditions. The audition for Child’s Play, well, they asked me to act as princely as possible. And my cousin has the most snooty, pampered, ‘I’ll grace you with my presence’ cat on the planet. So I just channeled her. The cat. Not my cousin.”
Russell smiled at him. “I figured.”
Skye’s cheeks went hot. He coughed. “Right, well, it worked out. I owe them both a lot. My family in general has been really supportive. They’re how I got where I am so far.”
“Shh, please don’t jinx it! We can talk about it once the show actually opens. Maybe.” The horror stories of shows that got all the way through rehearsals only to close before opening day still circulated. It was a very real fear. Child’s Play was new, and there was a chance it wouldn’t do well. Even once it opened, if it didn’t go over well with the critics… “Anyway, I’m not counting on anything. I can’t.”
“Do you do something else then?”
“Oh yeah, of course. Don’t we all?”
“What do you do?”
“I work at a dance studio. I teach. Or tutor, really. I have privates.”
“Oh yeah? Bet they all were excited when their teacher went bigtime.”
Skye ducked his head. “Maybe a little, yeah.” He’d gotten some very nice pay increases, and several new students. Some people had suggested that he stop teaching now that he was ‘bigtime’ but he was of the opinion that it was even more of a reason to stay on in the teaching circuit. Having a name, being able to help his students improve… that all helped success for everyone involved. “It was nice to have them all behind me.”
“I like the sound of that.”
Russell shrugged. “How much appreciation you have for your people. That’s a good show of character.”
“Well, yeah. I mean, I wouldn’t be living my dream without any of them.”
“Like I said,” Russell smiled. “I like that.”
“Here you are, boys,” their waitress said, placing their plates down. Russell had ordered an old-fashioned burger with fries, so Skye had just gotten the same thing. But with extra lettuce. Easy.
“Thanks,” they both chorused.
Skye took a bite of his burger, chewed, swallowed, then asked, “What about you?”
“How’d you get into show business?”
Russell grinned. “I’m really good at picking up heavy stuff and putting it down.”
“I’m kidding. For backstage work like this, it’s usually knowing someone who knows someone. I had a friend who went into fashion design, and I was always helping out with her runway shows.” Russell rubbed the back of his neck. “At first she wanted me to model, since I’m ‘built the right way’” he made finger quotes in the air, which made Skye giggle, “but I was way more comfortable out of the spotlight. Got really good at helping the models change, touch-up, that sort of thing. Kept my ear to the ground and applied to work Phantom a while back, and I’ve been on the Broadway circuit radar ever since. For actual shows I’m usually put on quick-changes because they’re my specialty. I’m hoping to stick with Child’s Play for a while. We’ve got a really good crew.”
“I think so too, from what I’ve met of it.” Skye picked up a fry. “You’re pretty cool so far.”
Russell grinned at him. “You’re not so bad yourself.”
About His Two Leading Men
Broadway star Skye’s whole life is an act.
On the surface, he’s living the New York Dream – acclaimed by critics for his stunning debut, playing to packed audiences every night.
They don’t know the truth.
Battling crippling anxiety, every show is a struggle for Skye. Only one thing gives him the courage to step into the spotlight every performance – the steady, calming support of costumer Russell. But Skye can’t burden Russell with all his demons…
When wealthy patron Brent takes an interest in Skye, everything the actor knows is turned upside down. Charismatic and confident, Brent is everything Skye isn’t… and just what he needs. But how can he choose between gentle Russell and magnetic Brent? Russell means so much to him, but the chemistry between Skye and Brent is undeniable.
Or does he have to choose at all…?
Available at: Amazon
About Aidan Wayne
Aidan Wayne has been publishing LGBTQ+ fiction since 2016. While they usually stick with contemporary romance (both adult and YA), some soft sci-fi/fantasy has been known to sneak in as well. They primarily write character-driven stories with happy endings, because, dammit, queer people deserve happy endings too.
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