Thursday, May 1, 2014

Fifty-six


This is ten times worse than last week’s outing.

I’m going to need more than this single roll of Tums if these buffalo don’t stop stampeding in my belly. Dane knows I’m here this time, knows, in fact, exactly where I’m sitting. How does my presence not make him more anxious when I’m such a goddamn wreck? All I need is Dane looking out into the audience and watching me have a stroke.

Having arrived thirty minutes before curtain, I’ve already been to the bathroom twice to splash cold water on my face, the second time splattering my dark blue button-down and my crotch from a defective faucet, then spending the next ten minutes contorting my body in front of the hand dryer trying to undo the damage.

I can only pray Dane is faring better backstage. Ugh, thinking about how nervous he must be is not helping anything, although he did seem fairly calm, cool, and collected when he left for rehearsal this morning—after my teasing about his snoring led to an especially playful sixty-nine session. Yes, that’s a more pleasant mental image, one to replace the tragedies I’ve already envisioned: Dane forgetting his lines, his voice breaking on a clunker, or worst of all, Dane tripping on stage, pulling the entire cast onto their asses. Disaster indeed!

The lights flicker; I check my watch yet again. Only five more minutes to endure before curtain, thank God. I really don’t know how much more of this I can stand. Presentation bouquet in hand and heart in throat, I pass through the theater doors, taking a crisp new Playbill from the usher, who directs me to my seat—smack dab in the middle of the front row. How did I not check my ticket ahead of time?

I give my sweaty palms a thorough wipe along my trousers before opening the program. Unsure whether they’ve made the change in such a short window, I’m gobsmacked by the new image of slightly scruffy Dane beaming at me from the first page of cast credits. There he is, second from the top, right-hand column:



Oh my God.

Of the three lines that describe his life, Dane has granted me an entire sentence. And even though it’s printed, not spoken, he’s used my name, stepped over another hard line, offered what he knew would be most precious.

Dane wishes to thank his mentor, Marcus . . .

The words blur as my eyes fill with tears, and a big, fat droplet lands with a splat near the bottom of the page.

“Shit!”

And I just said that out loud, right as the theater lights were dimming.  Apparently, I have completely lost my ability to behave in public with any semblance of manners. Fuck decorum! Dane is about to take the stage!

My heart races as the actors dance in, small vignettes with variations on the “Hot Stuff” theme. I realize I’ve been subconsciously watching for the role I knew from last time, so when Dane takes center stage as Chad, it feels as if I’ve gone from one hundred miles an hour to a dead stop. I can practically hear the brakes screech in my head.

There he is.

No matter how hard I stare at him, I can’t seem to process what’s in front of me. It’s Dane—my Dane—and yet, it’s Chad, through and through. While he danced the previous part without effort or flaw, this is different. He inhabits this character—he has become Chad. I watch in sheer awe as he makes me believe the transformation.

Dane does not appear nervous in the least. His steps are sure; his voice is pure. His body language tells the rest of the story: shoulders relaxed, posture perfect, chin held high, not a shake or quake to be found.

He’s got this. He’s totally got this.

The cold, prickly fingers that have gripped me since this afternoon retract their awful claws, receding like extraterrestrials called back to the mother ship, taking with them all anxiety and doubt. And that’s right about when it hits me, a holy shit moment to beat the band.

This guy in front of me is the master of both our destinies for the next two hours, and my fate is tied to him as surely as if we were handcuffed together on that stage. There is not one damn thing I can do to help him, save what he’s asked me to do—set my ass in this seat and watch. So while I do that to the best of my ability, the rest is in his hands, absent divine intervention.

My fate in the hands of my submissive? There’s a thought that should shake a lifelong dominant to his very core. Why is it, then, that I manage to feel completely relaxed and serene?

Faith. Trust. Respect.

Is this so different from the submissive bound to my cross while I wield the whip? Or the blindfolded boy tucked into my chest while I read to him at night? An enormous wave of I get it washes over me as the first musical number comes to an end. What I’ve understood only on an intellectual level for all these years has just made a home inside my psyche.

The dancers hold their positions—but for expanding and contracting rib cages—while the audience greets them with warm, appreciative applause and laughter. Dane’s in character; this lacks the intimacy of the curtain call, the chance to peek at the person behind the role. And yet, I watch him with laser-sharp alertness, making myself available to him on any level he might need.

Somewhere during that applause, which couldn’t have lasted ten seconds, Dane finds me in the front row and hits me with a radiant smile. It’s not until the next number begins that I realize I’m holding the program against my heart, and tears are pouring down my cheeks.
The predicted earthquake that rattles the stage just before intermission leaves the cast tattered and grimy for act two. Dane’s co-star, a pretty girl with long, blonde waves, spends the remainder of the show with her blouse unbuttoned down to her navel—a detail I failed to notice the first two times through. Is it as comical for the rest of the audience when Dane’s eyes peruse her wares, or is it only that I know what she’s showing holds no interest for him whatsoever?

I try to distance myself and watch the two “former lovers” reunite in the midst of the tragedy, try to watch objectively as they embrace and fight and embrace again, try not to sit in my seat with my jaw dropped open in sheer awe at what Dane is doing on stage. I fail at every turn.

I am ludicrously on edge when Dane’s character, Chad, and his girl, Marianne, are trapped and in peril, and I’m a teary idiot when they’re rescued. By the time the curtain call finally comes around, I’m wrung out and wasted, the complete opposite of Dane. He’s positively exhilarated on stage, his joyful smile gleaming to the far reaches of the theater before alighting on the front row—and me.

He told me before he left this morning that I should come backstage after the show, but now that the time has come, I’m nervous as hell. I toss my mangled playbill into my seat; I’ll have to bite the bullet and just ask him to get me a new one. Folding my coat over my arm, I pick up the bouquet and will my feet to move. I’m nowhere near as eloquent with my footwork as he would be, and frankly, I feel lucky to have arrived backstage without falling on my face.

The scene playing out in front of me is exquisite: surrounded by his fellow actors, Dane falls from one pair of arms to the next as each of his peers pats him on the back and tells him what an amazing job he’s done. I stand back from the circle, basking in his moment in the sun, gleeful for Dane.

He makes his way around the huddle, taking in their praise and affection. Each pair of arms that holds him is a new brick, rebuilding the man I seek to resurrect. He must sense my presence behind the actress playing the nun; as she pulls him in, he opens his eyes and finds me waiting there.

His eyes—those darkly lined eyes!—pop wide open with the discovery, and Dane breaks through the ring of bodies to seek me out. He falls into my open arms, and I turn into Niagara Falls. I’m so proud of him, it hurts.

“Thanks for being here for me tonight,” he says into my ear.

Unable to speak, I place my hand at the back of his head and hold him tight against me. It occurs to me at some point that people are watching us—everyone is watching us, in fact—and I’m probably embarrassing Dane beyond repair. I make an attempt to pull myself together, which comes out somewhere between a snort and a cough, and try to mop up the tears with the hand not holding the flowers.

“Sorry,” I mumble, extending the bouquet to Dane. “These are for you.”

At the sight of my tears, Dane’s start to flow as well, and the two of us stand there for several seconds just crying at each other. Fortunately, one of Dane’s friends comes over and wraps his arm around the boy while offering me his hand to shake. “You have to be Marcus,” he says. “I’m Matt.”

“Ahh, Matt, yes. Dane’s told me about you.”

“Likewise,” says Matt with a warm smile. “We’re really proud of Dane. Was he not amazing tonight?”

“He was . . .” I stand there without words and hope a shake of my head will suffice.

Matt laughs. “Exactly. Listen, why don’t you two get out of here and celebrate, huh? Dane, you’re officially released from rehearsals until you step on someone’s toes or miss a cue. See you for make-up tomorrow night.”

Dane turns to Matt and gives the man a hug. “Thank you for giving me this chance.”

My faucet turns itself back on, and I bat uselessly at the fresh tears pouring from my eyes. I can’t hear everything Matt murmurs back to him, but there is much back clapping and chuckling, and finally the two separate.

“Would you like to meet Marianne?” Dane asks.

“That depends. Has she buttoned up her shirt?”

Dane’s laughter echoes all around us. “I doubt it. By now, she’s probably completely undressed.”

I pull a face that makes Dane laugh even harder. “By the way, thank you for the chocolate strawberries you sent to my dressing room.”

“Did you enjoy those?”

Dane shakes his head and smiles. “I appreciated the sentiment, but I couldn’t eat a bite—nerves.”

“You were nervous?”

“Um, yeah!”

“Honestly, Dane, I had no idea. You looked so natural and comfortable up there on stage. I mean I was freaking out, but you . . . you looked perfect!”

Dane leans in. “Master, all this talk about food, I’m kind of starving. Can we get out of here?”

“Whatever you want, Dane. Write your own ticket. You’re the boss tonight.”

Dane’s eyebrows pop up. “All night?”
­
Marcus, what have you done?

I give him my best scowl—under the circumstances. It’s rather impossible to be less than giddy. “Within reason.”

“Well then,” he starts, “I’m taking you to Two Boots. My treat!”


I hope the face I chose for the head shot doesn't limit your imagination. I searched forever for my dream Dane, and of course, he doesn't exactly exist in nature, but this lovely man was a yummy image. You feel free to keep your images too, or better yet, share them with me! 

You might remember I went to see the show off Broadway with Jayme a few weeks ago.  After the opening number (which was played by one musician, not an orchestra), she and I looked at each other and I asked, "Oh my god, what the hell am I gonna do with my story?" Jayme kindly reminded me this is fiction and better yet, none of my readers would ever see the show! HOWEVER, in the interest of validity, I completely rewrote this chapter to more closely represent the actual show.  The real Disaster! closed on April 11th, but  I like to think it lives on here (slightly altered but largely representative of "reality"). Thank you for suspending your disbelief long enough to enjoy my version. MWAH!
XXX

30 comments:

  1. GAH, soo good. Soo warm and fuzzy. There's some pretty impressive butterflies flying around in my stomach, leftover from Marcus's tension before the show started.

    LOVE Dane's dedication in the playbill. Short and sweet, and meaningful and perfect. lol. and he used Marcus's name!!!

    Marcus's epiphany mid-show certainly felt life-changing for him. There was a giant light bulb over his head turning on as he realized that his fate was in Dane's hands. "Faith. Trust. Respect." I love what Dane said about finally 'getting' something that he has understood only intellectually until now.

    I got a little weepy-eyed myself as Marcus greeted Dane backstage, watching his boy be greeted and congratulated by all his co-stars. I LOVED this line, "Each pair of arms that holds him is a new brick, rebuilding the man I seek to resurrect."

    I am so excited to see how Dane wants to spend the evening with his (within reason) carte blanche! :D can't wait!!

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    1. I think I kind of figured it out too while Marcus was sitting there! I always got the respect and even the trust (especially where safe words come in) but the FAITH piece was a bit of an "aha!" Marcus just loves that boy to pieces and every great thing that happens to him makes Marcus happy down to his toes! JUST YOU WAIT, Digi!! Tomorrow's.... :) xo

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  2. Oh my god, the BAFTA award for best chapter without sex goes to....... this one, hooray....

    And the most anticipated chapter award goes to......... the next one.......
    the one where Marcus gives up control to his submissive (within limits) yes, yes we know Marcus, but those limits need pushing.

    Loved this chapter, I lived through every emotion along with Marcus and held my breath when Dane's picture came up (he will do nicely, thanks Born) and felt choked up at Dane's dedication and all those tears from our Master, that was a surprise but he has never been in love like this before and then all the backstage stuff, chocolate covered strawberries (have them later boys) and more tears (what would that nasty Aro say about that?)

    Can't wait to see what else you have planned

    Thank you

    Jarvis
    xx

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    1. J- I really hope you enjoy the next one as much as I did writing it! Oh, you are such a mischievous girl saying the MASTER's limits need pushing! LOL and winkety wink!

      As I've said in other review comments, these boys surprise me in every single chapter. They're so SHIFTY with their moods! One sec, fine, next BOOM! TEARS! I never know what to expect, and sometimes I reread a chapter I just wrote and scratch my head wondering how the hell I got HERE. There was no question this one would be emotional for Marcus. I just never imagined what would come out of his mouth there at the end. And we march on...

      Have I told you lately how much I love your comments? Thank you!
      xxx

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  3. What more can I say about this story that I haven't already said. To witness Marcus' nervous energy and his heart on his sleeve is both daunting and humbling. To be able to write such emotions, you have to have felt like this yourself and for that I am envious. You draw me in with your words and this magnificent love story. I'm in awe. Totally.

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    1. You can just keep saying all those nice things over and over! LOL Awww, you are so sweet! Sure, I've sat "ringside" when people I love are "on" and felt that thrill that it's totally out of your hands but you just know they'll nail it! The rest is my imagination run wild with these two in my head all day! :)
      xoxo

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  4. Marcus actually had my stomach clinching in nerves too. A long time ago I had been where Dane was (high school drama club so much fun, but so nerve wracking, especially in competitions) but as an adult I have seen where Marcus was. Watching my children try to accomplish something, sometimes they nailed it...sometimes they didn't. I think the nerves were worse when I was watching rather than doing. You feel their joy or their pain and you cry tears of triumph or sorrow. You nailed that feeling with this chapter. Nicely done.
    Dane is beautiful, just a lovely boy and his dedication made me tear up.
    Good job m'dear xoxo

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    1. Thanks for getting it, V. It's hard on both sides of the stage!
      xo

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  5. im crying right along with Marcus! I love reading his vulnerability at the best of times, but to see him respond so outwardly to his Dane's performance was a sight to behold. gah what a lovely performance and the playbill mention was so wonderful. Dane's image was perfect! :) Can't wait to see how Dane takes the lead in their evening ahead. Oh these two boys are so in love - it's very sweet x Great chapter hun - one of my favorites!

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    1. I'm so pleased you were moved by the chapter, Lisa. Can't wait to hear if Dane's plans mesh with your thoughts.
      xo

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  6. What a beautiful chapter! You had me at Marcus's first tear. I could not stop smiling.
    You were right Marcus had me beat at nervousness and level of anticipation, I guess I thought he was going to be more at ease knowing what to expect this time. What I didn't take into consideration was Dane and his wonderful ability to go into everything at full sped and with his heart on his sleeve. He made it all new and exciting, I could clearly picture him through Marcus's eye, so confident and graceful, shining from within with the strength that only come from finding peace and purpose, a handsome Apollo fulled by his muses. It is amazing to see that everything Dane has gained through his relationship and submission to Marcus spills so generously into every aspect of his life. He so deserves his Carte Blanch, I can hardly wait to see what he comes up with.
    Marcus was amazing so raw and exposed, we always get to share his thoughts in every chapter, but for him to be so open with his emotions was simply beautiful. It is one thing to be intellectually aware of your feelings, but to actually name them and fell them without inhibitions take a lot of strength and love. A lot of people think that once you fall in love you develop other feelings and emotions as a consequence of said love, but I often found that it is the other way around. Love like a delicate flower often blossoms in the presence of strong and powerful feelings and emotions like, oh lets say something like: Faith. Trust. Respect. *wink*
    That all been said I have to end with the part of this chapter that got to me the most. As a Linguist, words are to me the most powerful weapons, and I have spent a big part of my life as a slave to their spell, meaning, rhythm, beauty, and power. So I am at awe of the depth of just one sentence: Dane wishes to thank his mentor, Marcus, for all his support. Such a brave boy and so many feelings expressed there. I hope you appreciate that I am going to control myself on that one, because I could write a whole dissertation about it.
    Thank you so much for being so generous in sharing this story and for taking the time to answer all reviews.
    Gigi

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    1. YES, Dane sure is a muse-filled Greek god! You're so right about the success of his submission to Marcus spilling over and coloring everything in his life with this beautiful confidence and joy. Sigh....just what Marcus had hoped for!

      Love what you said about Marcus being raw and unafraid to let Dane see it. He's asked so much of Dane, and he's always had his greatest successes with the boy when he's shown Dane his own vulnerability. Woo boy, a dissertation on that line? LOL. Thank you, Gigi. You're a sweetheart.
      xx

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  7. Dare I say I laughed at how nervous Marcus was for his boy? And Dane did a marvelous job at appearing calm. The mention of Marcus by name on the playbill, just wow. Wonderful chapter.

    flutterfli

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    1. Happy you enjoyed it, Flutterfli. Funny how some laughed, some cried!
      x

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  8. If I wasn't already in love with this story and your boys, this chapter cinched the deal! By far my favorite.

    Loved the visual of Dane :)

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    1. Oh goody! You must love the Master all flummoxed! Thanks for the love all around. It feels so wonderful.

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  9. Awwww...Dane thanked Marcus? Super sweet. Love the photo of Dane too. *swoon* Nope. Not going to limit my imagination at all.

    Love reading Marcus being a big old wad of ooey, gooey goo. It would be so nice to have someone care about you like. To be proud of your accomplishments. To always be supportive. Dane is a lucky boy. Marcus is a lucky man.

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    1. Heehee, yeah, that man sure is beautiful. I know a lot of writers start with a photo or some image, and for some reason, I just make things up in my head and then when I want to show other people, it kind of stinks because they're not real! I wonder if that's how Stephenie Meyer felt when they were casting.

      I love what you said about the way that Marcus cares for/loves Dane. I agree, they're both so lucky to have found each other. Just kind of fit together! :) Thank you for your lovely comments, Keye. Much appreciated.
      x

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  10. Oh my goodness, little pumpkin. I almost shouted Mercy or Enough because I was too damn close to mirroring Master's tears. Hot damn this was the perfect chapter!! Wet crotch and all!! (Err, Marcus', not mine! Lol)

    Now I'm waiting for ILYs (plural!), and for Dane to call Master by his name.

    Where'd I leave my tissues?

    *runs away all giddy and shit*

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    1. Oh nice touch on the wet crotch!
      Hey, thanks for outlining the rest of my story!! LOL
      xo

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  11. I am a mess, a total mess, sobgbing like a baby ... Born, this young man whose pic you used is a 41 y/o Braz actor called Reynaldo Gianecchini who's just won his first fight against a non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Though he lived for 7 yrs with a famous and well respected *female* Braz interviewer there are some rumours about his (bi)sexuality but above all, he's one of the good guys.
    I traveled this long journey trough Dan's premiere night and together with the other patchers, I felt I was right there, feeling every beat of Marcus' heart, trying to wipe every single of his tears. What a moving, loving, enchanted chapter!
    Ah, be still my heart!

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    1. Awww Muse! OH YES, I remember that name but I did not know his story. Thanks so much for sharing here! I sure hope he continues to win every battle he might have to face (that thought fills me with sadness).

      Thanks so much for your beautiful words.
      xx

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  12. I loooove Marcus' nervousness for Dane! He made me giggle at him.
    And the dedication.....awwwwwww!
    ❤️❤️❤️

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    1. :) I used to love writing my Domward as a vulnerable guy- it was so damn rare for him. But this Marcus fellow...he is oozing vulnerability all over the pages! Glad you're enjoying it!
      xoxoxo

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  13. Epiphany after Epiphany. Poor Marcus was shell shocked. What a great chapter. The visuals were extraordinary. "spending the next ten minutes contorting my body in front of the hand dryer ",The words blur as my eyes fill with tears, and a big, fat droplet lands with a splat near the bottom of the page.",and my personal favorite "The cold, prickly fingers that have gripped me since this afternoon retract their awful claws, receding like extraterrestrials called back to the mother ship, taking with them all anxiety and doubt. And that’s right about when it hits me, a holy shit moment to beat the band."

    My favorite chapter I think. I'm trying to think of Dane after the show. Here is this man who has done nothing but support him in his profession in direct contrast to wayne. Marcus is bursting with pride. So much he can't seem to stop crying.Not what would be expected from a Dom. And Dane reclaiming so much of himself for himself and some I imagine for Marcus. Oh I'm all teary myself.

    Marcus is such a mess (wet crotch? ha) physically and emotionally. So vulnerable.

    I just want to hug someone!

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    1. I'm so pleased you picked this one as your favorite! I agree with your assessment about shell-shocked Marcus. And then Dane seeing how moved he was, he just lost it himself! Wheee! HUG ME, why don'tcha?

      MWAH!

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  14. Awww man Marcus was a hot mess - but so adorable! Dane made quite a grand gesture honoring Marcus on the playbill. These 2 are goners!

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    1. They are so gone.
      I'm sure Marcus knew what that gesture meant for Dane.
      A little wink from back stage!
      xxx

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  15. Love seeing Marc like a nervous, bumbling idiot. The insights to his vulnerability wows me with every chapter. Dane continues to amaze him beyond any expectations he had for the boy. His mind, heart and soul was blown in this chapter. And I know not because I read it, but I felt it myself.

    Love how nervous Marcus was. Dane is crumbling his walls, brick by frighteningly satisfying brick. Love it. He's becomin so unhinged and boy oh boy, Master is relinquishing a bit of control tonight. Sooooo intrigued to see how Dane handles it. The crop is in your hand to work tonight, Dane. Excite to see how far he could run with this.

    Now on with it!

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    1. Heehee I sure do have fun showing Marcus's soft underbelly. Go on, give his tummy a little rub! Aww, you are a FEELER, Packy. Kinda love that so much!
      ON WITH IT! LOL!

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