Backstage Romance Ch. 13byikhneumon©
To new readers: Sorry, this chapter isn't going to make very much sense if you haven't yet read the rest of Backstage Romance.
To all the readers of Backstage Romance who voted, commented, and sent me e-mails letting me know how much they've enjoyed this story: Thank you so very, very much. I'm truly sorry it's taken me so long to get back to them. The last few years have been emotionally rocky, and I'm afraid I allowed other concerns to crowd out my love of writing until I almost thought it was lost for good. I can't tell you how happy I am to be able to finally bring you one more chapter of Jeff and Daniel's story. Happy Valentine's Day.
* Jeff *
The world didn't yet know who Daniel J. Lewis was, but it was about to find out. My lover had just made his directorial debut, successfully bringing Ronald Gordon's tragic love trilogy to Austin, Texas in only its second full production. The buzz about the new talent on the scene was already beginning to spread through the theatrical community.
And I hadn't been there for it.
The trip from discovery to stage for Gordon's plays hadn't been terribly long, all things considered, but a global recession does tend to noticeably reduce the number of theaters willing to take a risk on an unproduced, decades-old play by an unknown author. After months of hunting, begging, and cajoling, Scott had finally lined up a prospect on the East Coast willing to gamble on back-to-back productions of Gordon's masterpiece—the trilogy Lamps by Day, Likeness of a Sigh, and A Grave Man. Scott's charm and persistence had paid off again when the theater in my hometown, where Daniel and I first met, agreed to take on the gender-bending comedy Queen Mab only a short while later.
Scott, of course, was directing both productions, and he took Daniel on as an assistant director, over my own fervent objections. In my heart, I had wanted to play this role opposite the man I loved from my very first reading of the plays by his side in my living room all those months ago. It was Daniel's choice to instead accept the behind-the-scenes job, where he claimed he felt more comfortable. We hired an attractive, fresh-faced young actor to play my love interest instead. And let me tell you, that was the most awkward acting assignment of my life, playing love scenes to another, slightly star-struck young man right in front of my boyfriend.
The gamble had paid off. The plays were received rapturously—one reviewer commented that, had they been produced when they were first written, they could have become the Angels in America or The Normal Heart of their generation. And as same-sex marriage suddenly began to become a political hot button in states across the country, the relevance of Ron Gordon's work to current events made the theatrical community sit up and take notice. A theater in Texas, working in partnership with a nearby college, quickly got wind of the project and asked us to bring the trilogy there—right in the same time frame as the production of Queen Mab.
There was no way we could refuse, and no way our team could do double-duty. Our forces had to be divided. Scott and I, and our good friend (now also Scott's on-again-off-again girlfriend) Angela made our way back to the town where it all began so we could do Queen Mab. After much anxiety and soul-searching, Daniel agreed to take over directorial duties for the trilogy and flew to Texas, taking my onstage love interest and our old colleague Joseph with him to provide some casting continuity between the productions.
That had been two months ago. One month of rehearsing for Queen Mab by day and helping Daniel prepare for the biggest job of his life by night. Another month of coming home from performances to an empty house and bed, while he supervised rehearsals in Austin. An agonizing week when we were concluding our run at the very same time the trilogy opened to an enthusiastic reception. Two months of non-stop work, hasty texts, hurried, lousy dinners, late night phone calls, and chronic blue balls.
Those months were coming to an end tonight.
* * *
My car's tires squealed on the concrete as I pulled into a spot in the airport parking garage. Daniel's plane was going to arrive any second, and I was running late. Preparing to welcome my Danny Boy back home properly had taken longer than I anticipated, even with his brother Kevin lending a hand with the housework. Extricating myself gingerly from my car's bucket seat, I loped toward the arrival terminal, hoping my baby hadn't been left waiting for me too long.
As it turned out, I was just in time. The flight had been slightly delayed, and passengers were just beginning to file into the baggage claim area as I arrived. I staked out a spot with a reasonably clear view of the escalator and waited, anxiously shifting my weight from foot to foot and craning my neck for a glimpse of my lover.
At last he came into view, and my heart lurched in my chest. Daniel looked up, spotted me, smiled, and waved. I hurried forward to meet him at the foot of the escalator, and when he arrived, without even thinking about it, swept him into my arms for a passionate kiss. My mind dimly registered a muffled gasp and some nervous tittering in the background, but my body was too preoccupied with the bliss of being reunited with its other half to care. I felt Daniel smile against my mouth, but he didn't seem to be any more inclined to break away than I was. Eventually, though, we had to come up for air. I took a half step back to look at him, and felt my jaw drop.
"You cut your hair!"
The chestnut fringe that had once fallen across his forehead was gone, replaced by a sleek, short cut that practically begged to be stroked. My mind flashed back to my first memory of Daniel, his shy, boyish smile peeking from behind that protective curtain, and tears welled in my eyes, even as my cock swelled in appreciation of my man's slick new look.
"It's too hot in Texas," Daniel explained, nervously avoiding my gaze. "High eighties in April? Give me a break! Besides, the actors kept complaining they couldn't see my face during rehearsals. They gave me a round of applause the first time I walked in after I had it cut."
I reached out and shushed him with one finger, then pulled him back in for another kiss. "I think it's sexy as hell," I whispered in his ear.
"Get a room," some passerby hissed, ruining the moment. Just as well: I might have started groping my love right there in public if I hadn't been reminded where we were. We separated reluctantly. "Do you know which carousel your bag's on?" I asked. Daniel nodded, took my hand, and led the way, studiously ignoring the scandalized stares that followed us.
I bent down to pick up his suitcase from the baggage carousel, froze, and straightened gingerly. "Are you okay, Jeff? Did you hurt your back?" asked Daniel, concerned.
I shook my head, setting the bag on the floor, grateful that it had wheels. "No, just a little... cramp. It'll pass. Is this everything?"
"One more... oh, there it is," answered Daniel, gathering a garment bag from the rotating conveyor belt. "All set. You sure you're all right?"
"Positive," I assured him, reinforcing it with a peck on the lips. "Let's get you home and out of those clothes. You must be ready to drop." I turned and headed toward the parking garage and my waiting car, Daniel's suitcase trailing behind me.
"I slept on the plane, so I'm not too tired," he told me. He lowered his voice. "I was, um, hoping we could, you know, celebrate my homecoming a little tonight. It's been a long time."
I had to stop to discreetly adjust myself. It had been a long time. "Baby, you read my mind."
* * *
We had barely made it through the front door when Daniel was all over me, sliding his hands up under my shirt and presenting his sweet mouth to be ravished by mine. Perfect. Part of my mind dimly registered that Kevin had followed orders and lit the electric candles scattered around the living room before he tactfully absented himself from the house. The rest of me was fully occupied in reacquainting myself with the man in my arms. God, I had missed my Daniel!
When we finally broke from our kiss, he looked around and commented drily, "Do a little decorating while I was away?"
"Just wanted to make tonight special, sweetheart," I protested.
"It already is, Jeff," he assured me, "even without mood lighting. Now, are you going to ravish me or do I have to beg for it?"
I grinned, and hand-in-hand we made our way to the bedroom. Once there, I wasted no time in stripping him out of his travel clothes, lavishing kisses on every inch of skin I uncovered while he shivered and moaned with delight—and somehow managed to get my shirt off me without my really noticing how or when. It was intoxicating, really, the way Daniel could play shy and kittenish yet get me to do exactly what he wanted.
Well, he wasn't going to have it all his way tonight. At least, not quite in the way he was expecting.
When he was fully, heart-poundingly naked, he made a move to climb onto the bed and assume his usual submissive position. I forestalled him with an arm across his chest.
"Oh, no, babe, not this time," I told him. "You're the star tonight, Mr. Director. I'm giving you the homecoming you deserve."
With that I dropped my pants to reveal the contraption of leather straps I had struggled into (with much cursing) an hour earlier, and got on my hands and knees on the bed myself to display to Daniel the full effect.
There was a moment of silence that seemed to stretch on for eternity. Then, finally, I heard Daniel's voice, somewhere between awestruck and mirthful. "Oh. My. God." I craned my neck around to look at him, smirking. He shook his head at me. It took three tries before he could produce another sentence. "Oh my God, Jeff! Really?"
He reached out and very gently touched the base of the butt plug protruding from my well-stretched and lubricated ass. "For me?" he whispered.
"Welcome home, baby," I told him. His face slid through the entire gamut from shocked to amused to touched to lustful as I watched. He nudged the plug, sending shivers throughout my body.
"You know, this is kind of backward from the way I'd been picturing things," he told me. But his heavy-lidded eyes and the huskiness in his voice told me he wasn't in any hurry to switch places.
I smiled. "Plenty of time for that, babe. We have all night. Right now what I need to know is, are you going to leave me here feeling like a fool, or are you gonna show me just what's going through that dirty mind of yours?"
In response, he gripped the plug and pistoned it very slowly and gently into and out of my body, causing me to groan and arch my back as it stroked my prostate. My cock began drooling precum onto the sheets beneath me. Daniel noticed and chuckled. "Someone likes that," he observed.
"Oh, he definitely... hunh... does," I gasped, "but I'll bet he'd like the real thing... oooh... a lot more."
"Would he?" purred Daniel. "Well, let's see if he likes this just as well." With that, he sort of bent backward as if he were ducking under a limbo pole and scooted up between my wide-spread legs. My balls slapped against his forehead and trailed down across his face as he got himself into position. Then, without hesitation, he wrapped his lips around the length of me and swallowed me to the root, while I babbled and moaned and generally forgot I spoke English, or any other language known to man. When I tried to pull back, Daniel seized my hips and held me in place. Message received. He might have positioned himself beneath me physically, but he was completely in control. I gave myself over to his ministrations - not that that was any hardship.
When he was sure I wasn't going to try to wriggle away again, he released me, and with one hand began gently massaging my balls, while with the other he renewed his assault on my ass with the butt plug. It was too much. "Daniel, baby, I'm too close," I warned him. I swear I could feel him grin around my cock before he released me and slid out from between my legs.
"What next?" he inquired, with an impish grin.
* Daniel *
Jeff rolled onto his back to look me in the eye.
"Baby, tonight's for you," he told me, holding my gaze with the intensity of his own. "This is my gift to you. Maybe not exactly the one you were expecting, but the one I've been dreaming of giving you for weeks. I want you to have the perfect homecoming." With that, he spread his legs and presented himself entirely to my gaze: handsome face, broad chest, trim stomach, drooling cock... stretched and inviting hole.
It had taken me a long time to believe that Jeff truly craved feeling my dick inside him almost as much I craved his. It had taken even longer to realize that I was actually beginning to look forward to my infrequent opportunities to give it to him. And though I still wasn't entirely at ease in the dominant role, with Jeff's patient and enthusiastic coaching, I was learning how to satisfy my lover the same way he had satisfied me from the very beginning.
Moving with deliberate slowness, I unbuckled the leather straps holding the butt plug in its place and discarded the harness. Then I gently extricated the plug and laid it aside, replacing it with a couple of fingers. Jeff closed his eyes and hummed his approval when I found and gently stroked his prostate—the pool of precum on his belly growing wider even as I watched.
The plug had done its work well. My probing fingers found no resistance, even when I added a third. I could have enjoyed the experience of pleasuring my man this way for hours, but he was obviously already perilously close to the edge. And, to be honest, my own dick was beginning to hurt, it was so hard.
"Ready for me, baby?" I asked him softly.
"Did you really need to ask?" he grinned. That grin was so sexy I had to kiss him right then and there—five or six times—before I finally got myself positioned between his legs, my dick dripping clear, slick fluid onto Jeff's tight-drawn nuts.
I eased forward, sliding smoothly into him until my pubes were pressed right up against his muscular ass. He let out a soft whimper of gratification—"Oh, baby, yes!"—and then was still. I paused in that position for a moment, eyes closed, marveling at the sensation of being surrounded by the man I loved, held tight and warm within him, our bodies overlapping and merging.
Home. I was home.
* * *
When I woke up, my dick was as hard as if Jeff hadn't spent half the night impaled on it, milking it of every ounce of cum he could coax out of my overtaxed balls. Jeff was already up and sitting in the window seat, naked, waiting for me. He looked charming and disheveled and very sappy, a doting smile plastered all over his handsome face. I felt a matching smile crawl across my own mouth. Two and a half years on, he could still have that effect on me.
I stretched languidly and, I hoped, sensuously. "Come back to bed, Jeff," I coaxed.
His penis had stiffened gratifyingly at my little display—as I watched, it pulsed in time to his heartbeat—but he shook his head.
"We have breakfast plans, baby," he told me. "Believe me, you make a compelling case for canceling them and spending the rest of the day in bed doing depraved things to that body of yours, but I put a lot of thought into today's activities, and I'm not going to let a vixen like you tempt me into canceling them."
Did he really just call me a vixen?
* * *
The short journey to the university campus was just as hair-raising as almost every car trip with Jeff could be. He had bounded out of the car and was waiting for me while I was still prying my white-knuckled fingers off the seat. That man was awfully spry for a guy who'd spent most of his night folded into the kind of positions we had explored.
Professor Larry Ryan met us in the courtyard of the theater, beaming. He looked different somehow, younger, more free. Seeing Ron's plays finally brought to the stage had been agonizing for him, bringing long-buried memories back to the surface. The process must have been cathartic, though, because I had never seen him happier.
"Good to see you, Professor," Jeff greeted him.
"And you, too... Professor," Larry replied.
"Lecturer, please, Professor. Don't make me old before my time," returned Jeff. The two of them cracked up like a pair of schoolboys. I looked from one to the other, confused.
"Daniel, my boy, allow me to introduce to you the newest lecturer in the theater department here at the university... your lover, Jeff Williams," Larry finally announced.
I looked at Jeff in surprise. He was flushing beet red, but smiling. "With all the attention Ron's plays have received, thanks largely to you and all your hard work, the Professor's going to spend quite a bit of time travelling around the country for speaking engagements next year. The university asked me to take over teaching some of the lower-level acting courses to give him more flexibility with his schedule."
"But, doesn't that mean you won't be able to take any gigs?" I protested.
"That's a sacrifice I'm perfectly willing to make," Jeff answered. "I have a feeling you're going to be seeing a lot more jobs coming your way soon, babe, especially if Scott has anything to say about it. The way I look at it, it's my turn to keep the home fires burning for a while."
"Enough shop talk, now," Larry interrupted. "You two have an appointment up above," he jerked his head toward the rooftop terrace of the theater, "and never let it be said I was one to stand in the way of a lovers' rendezvous. Go on, the pair of you, up those stairs, and I expect to see stars in your eyes when you come back down."
Jeff laughed, took my hand, and took the staircase two steps at a time. He spun and embraced me when we reached the top, panting a bit, then escorted me to a familiar-looking table and pair of chairs. Spread out there was an elegant continental breakfast of croissants, fresh strawberries, and champagne, including a bowl of whipped cream for dipping the strawberries into that instantly gave me some creatively obscene ideas.
Once we had toasted one another, and demolished half the berries and several croissants each—we were both starving—we strolled hand in hand to the edge of the terrace and took in the view across the campus.
This was where we had spent our first official date. Sweet, clever Jeff, to stage a homecoming breakfast for me here. That first time the campus had been red with autumn. Now it was spring, and everywhere we looked was lush green, white, pink, with a bright, clear blue sky overhead. As I inhaled deeply, leaning against the rail and lifting my face to the sun, I heard a shuffling behind me and the sound of Jeff clearing his throat.
"I told you once I wished we could have come here at this time of year. I've been waiting a long time for the right moment to bring you back."
I smiled, my eyes closed, head still tilted toward the sky. "You said it was a time for new beginnings," I remembered out loud.
"It is. Or at least, I'm hoping it will be," Jeff answered. "Turn around, babe."
I obeyed, and gasped. My lover was on one knee in front of me, a velvet box in his hand.
"Daniel Lewis," he began, his bright blue eyes fixed on mine, "today is the day I want to begin a new life, and the only way I could ever hope or wish to do that is with you by my side. Will you do me the honor of becoming my husband? Will you marry me, Daniel?" He opened the box to reveal a ring, a band of three intertwined colors of gold, with a single tiny diamond cunningly woven into the pattern. It winked at me in the sunlight.