Acting Out (Calm and Chaos)

gay, contemporary, non-traditional romance, Novel (R-18) Excerpt PG.

More of a theme than a series — this is book one in a companion set but can be read as a standalone.

Can a kiss really change everything?

When one man is the epitome of calm and the other of chaos, how will they ever admit to loving each other?

Friends and actors, Nick and Alex have just made a very successful movie together. The question is what project they should take on next, and whether it should be another joint venture or they go their separate ways creatively. Then the perfect manuscript arrives, one that offers financial security and future opportunities. It may even allow them to one day run their own production company.

For Nick especially, the film is his dream: fantasy with amazing effects, a wonderful script, and a character every actor aspires to play with the director everyone’s begging to work with. There’s one snag: the leading roles feature a gay romance; Nick and Alex will have to get to rather personal on set.

There’s no way Nick can do this movie. He has to refuse, but much to his surprise, Alex isn’t willing to take no for an answer. His friend wants this role, and as the studio wants both of them or neither, he sets out to talk Nick into it. Nick finally agrees, despite a nosy reporter and his brother turning against him. After all, it’s just pretence. It’s not as if he’s gay and wants to make out with his friend…not until Alex kisses him. Then it really gets interesting.

Read an Excerpt…

Alex had taken the empty cups into the kitchen. If the intention were to give Nick time to digest this new and startling information then he’d chosen right. Nick didn’t know whether to laugh in delight over the thought of King wanting them for his first major production, or fall to his knees on the floor, wail and beat his fists upon it. The too-good-to-miss opportunity was looking better by the second. He just wished it wasn’t. “Is Alana certain? About the other actors?”

“As certain as she can be.” Alex could have been replying to any of the dozen questions circulating in Nick’s mind. Was Alana certain the studio wanted the two of them so much they could negotiate? Was she certain King was moving into producing? Did he have the finances? Rumours of that ilk over his last film had turned out to be so much hot air. Alex seemed convinced. “You’ve got to keep quiet about this.”

“Of course,” Nick replied, absently. The names Alex had mentioned were…impossible. No, surely they wouldn’t consider the roles? One of them often played hard men, butch, Mafia types. Nick couldn’t picture him taking Alex’s role. He tried to imagine another actor in the role he wanted, and he couldn’t envision that either. The hero was troubled, imperfect. The physical and emotional pain that he had to overcome was almost too much for any man to bear. He also fought selfish motivations. In short, the hero was very human and everything that most decent people saw as potentially great in the human race. In the end, his very human heart carried him through. Even then, if he hadn’t been for his best friend…

Nick swallowed. There was no usual love interest, just these two men and their friendship. Two men who had grown up together, seen each other through times of hardship, war and bereavement. They were more than brothers to each other, and more than brothers in arms. These men understood one another. They…loved each other. If that was all that the acting needed to portray, he felt certain he could have handled the scenes. Unfortunately, their love turned physical—extremely physical. Casting the wrong actors in the roles would make a mockery of the underlying meaning of the film.

He and Alex… Nick’s gaze shifted sideways as he let the idea of him and Alex – and sex –  seep into his mind. Apprehension knotted his stomach even asexultation lit up his thoughts. Dare he even consider…?

As if he knew what Nick was thinking, Alex asked, “If you were casting the roles, who would you choose?”

“Maybe…” Nick paused, dismissing the name that sprang to mind. “Damn!” Nick shook his head while staring at the floor, aware of a little too much wild movement in his denial.

“Now do you see? We’re perfect, and you know it.”

Nick lifted his head while trying to avoid Alex’s stare. He’d always known that parts might come his way that he wouldn’t feel entirely comfortable with; never had he considered turning them down for less than practical reasons. Was he doing himself a disservice? He might be. He was definitely letting Alex down, and he hated that. Setting his nerves aside, part of him underwent a strange feeling of excitement and…daring he’d not experienced since he was a teenager going places and getting in trouble with Alex  . Here, Alex was putting temptation in his path again. Not only that but bringing old emotions into play.  Years slipped awayand Nick, again a teenager, looked to Alex for security—if they didn’t find the right project soon their careers could slide down the proverbial drain, or more aptly flushed down the provincial toilet. At least he’d not suffer alone…not unless Alex moved on without him.

He hadn’t considered the possibility, couldn’t stomach the notion of Alex’s career flourishing while his own died, Alex moving on, leaving him behind until possibly even their friendship dwindled, maybe never seeing Alex again, at least not spending so much time with him. Nick turned, paced.

“You want this as much as I do.”

“Okay, fine! You’re right. I do. I just…can’t.” He couldn’t. What if he did this and it…changed things between him and Alex? If he had to be honest about one thing that was his greatest fear, although he wasn’t entirely sure what kind of change he imagined.

© Sharon Maria Bidwell, all rights reserved.

Purchase from Musa Publishing.

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