Off On the Wrong Foot
Simon Jarrett is a well-known mystery writer. A play he wrote, based on one of his books, has been accepted by a local theater. Daniel Lowe is the theater's costumer. The first time they meet--in the elevator of their apartment building--neither knows who the other is. Daniel thinks Simon is a snob, while Simon can only see Daniel as a clone of his abusive ex-lover, Carl--although a straight one, he thinks.
They meet again at the theater and both are appalled, to put it mildly, to find out they'll be working together. Slowly, they begin to accept each other, but it isn't until Allie, Simon's friend, reveals to Daniel why Simon is so stand-offish that Daniel finally tells Simon he, too, is gay.
Will the two men be able to become more than friends, or will Carl's coming back into Simon's life drive them apart--or worse?
"He wouldn't be right for you," Allie stated.
Simon glanced at her, shrugging. "When it comes down to it, no one is--at least in your opinion."
"Friends know these things."
"Uh-huh. So tell me, oh great and wise one, who would be?"
"Someone who's available? And who doesn't resemble your bastard ex, Carl."
"Maybe I like pining after the unobtainable."
"Simon"--she shook her head, taking another sip of her drink--"with that attitude, you're never going to find the right man. For sure, he's not it."
The he they were discussing was a new tenant in their apartment building. According to the label on his mailbox, his last name was Lowe. Tall, blonde, and muscular, Lowe was Simon's exact opposite--at least physically--since Simon was slender, dark-haired, and barely five-ten. To top that off, Simon would bet his bottom dollar the guy was straight. That didn't stop him from dreaming, especially since Lowe was seated on the other side of the coffee shop, directly in Simon's line of vision.
"Earth to Simon."
Simon chuckled. "I'm here. Are you ready to leave?"
"If you can tear yourself away from staring at him." She finished the last of her coffee, grabbed her backpack, and got up.
"I wasn't, you know."
Allie just snorted as they left.
* * * *
Daniel watched the couple leave. He'd seen them, on and off, at the apartment building he'd moved to a couple of weeks ago and couldn't decide if they were going together or just friends.
Not that it mattered. He had more important things to worry about. He returned his attention to the script he was reading. It was a new play, which would be receiving its world premiere at The Abney Theater, where Daniel worked as the costume designer.
The author was a fairly well-known local writer of mysteries set in the forties. The man had decided to try his hand at turning one of his books into a play. The result, in Daniel's opinion, was not bad. Not Miller or Williams by a long shot, but it would bring in the audiences and probably garner decent reviews.
Mainly because it was written by Mr Jarrett.
As he took notes on the characters, he envisioned how he would dress them. The hero was a private detective, the heroine, a woman of easy virtue who needed the detective's help to prove she hadn't murdered her husband.
Pure film noir. I see lots of visits to shops carrying vintage clothes in my future.
Not that he minded. He'd become a costumer for a reason. He loved the theater and he loved creating costumes--not what had been expected of him when he was in high school. At six-two, and built like a linebacker, everyone had figured he'd play football--especially his father.
Dear old Dad had visions of me making it into the NFL.
His father had been somewhat dismayed when Daniel had joined the high school theater as an extracurricular activity, rather than trying out for the football team. Thankfully, his father had finally accepted the fact that Daniel had no interest in sports then supported him when he'd announced he was going to major in costume design in college. "Whatever makes you happy," had been his father's final words on the subject. "Just do it to the best of your abilities."
Daniel had--graduating with a BFA in costume design, then working at several small theaters until he'd ended up at The Abney two years ago. When he had been introduced to the staff at the theater, the initial reaction had been variations on "You're kidding me. You look like you should be playing forâ€¦" whatever football team happened to be the speaker's favorite. He was used to that by now and laughed it off--before going on to prove to them he was a damned good costumer.
Now, he read over his notes, checked the time and decided to go home to work on a few preliminary ideas to present to Tom, the show's director and one of the theater's owners. He could do it at his office, but the theater was dark on Mondays, so he'd probably be the only one there. Not that he minded the solitude, but he could get it done just as easily in his apartment--and fix himself some dinner rather than eating out.