Authors: Keira Andrews
WHERE THE LOVELIGHT GLEAMS
Where the Lovelight Gleams
Copyright © December 2013 by Keira Andrews
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Editor: Crystal Esau
Cover Artist: April Martinez
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To Rachel and Lisa for celebrating Christmas in July with Ryan and Cary.
Chest heaving, Ryan slammed the door behind him and leaned against it. “I should’ve just kept my big mouth shut,” he muttered. “He’s never going to like me the way I like him. God, I’m such an idiot!”
Pounding footsteps preceded a forceful knock. Ryan waited, breath lodged in his throat.
Cary’s voice rang out. “I know you’re in there. Open the door! Please.”
Ryan ran a hand through his hair, then took a deep breath and blew it out. Trying to appear utterly calm, he twisted the doorknob and stepped aside as Cary rushed in.
“Didn’t you hear me calling?” Cary was slightly breathless, his brow furrowed.
“No.” Ryan tried to smile. “Sorry. Do you need something?”
“Do I…” Cary shook his head incredulously. “What I
is for you to talk to me. I heard what you said to Dara.”
Blood rushed to Ryan’s cheeks, and he laughed, although it came out as more of a squeak. “Oh that? I was just kidding around.”
“Kidding around.” Cary didn’t sound convinced. “So you’re
in love with me?”
“I…” Ryan swallowed, his throat suddenly dry. “It was a joke.”
“A joke.” Cary stepped forward, backing him up against the closed door.
Ryan jerked his head in a nod.
Cary was now less than a foot away. He was a few inches taller, and his broad shoulders tapered down to a narrow waist, his body muscular yet lean. Short light blond hair swept up from his forehead, and his green eyes were intense as he watched Ryan. This close, Ryan could see the flecks of gold in Cary’s eyes, and his heart skipped a beat.
God, he’s so beautiful.
“That’s too bad, because I’ve been in love with you for months.”
Ryan’s eyes widened. “But that’s…impossible.”
“Shut up and kiss me.”
With that, Cary closed the gap between them, taking Ryan’s face in his hands as he pressed their lips together. Their mouths opened as they kissed passionately. Ryan’s pulse raced, excitement skipping up his spine as he yanked Cary against him, their bodies—
Cary broke the kiss and stepped back. He looked to the director. “Go again?”
The director nodded. “Good kiss. But give me a little more on the ‘I heard what you said to Dara’ line.” She focused on Ryan. “You’re playing it just right. Great trembling in your hands. Just need to get some more sweat on your brow. You’re supposed to have just run from the air lock, and it’s a big ship.”
As the assistant director called for makeup to bring their spray bottle, the crew prepared for another take. Cary grinned at Ryan, and dimples appeared in his cheeks. “Sorry, think I slipped a little tongue in there.”
Yes, you did, and God I want more
. Ignoring the desire thrumming through his veins, Ryan waved it off. “That was a good take.” It was their fourth, and he’d hoped it would get easier as the day went on. Instead his yearning for Cary increased each time their lips met. Despite the twenty-five bored crew members watching, when Cary kissed him, everything else faded away.
After fantasizing about being with Cary for the past year, Ryan had told himself that the reality—even if it was fictional and not
—would be a huge disappointment. On-screen kissing was supposed to be awkward and uncomfortable and epically unsexy. And in Ryan’s experience it always had been.
He wasn’t supposed to breathe in the citrus of Cary’s aftershave and feel desire coiling in his belly. He wasn’t supposed to notice how thick Cary’s eyelashes were, and how the gold in his eyes matched his hair. His knees weren’t supposed to go weak because Cary’s kisses were warm and wet and tasted like honey and promised so much more.
“Let’s just hope the network censors don’t look too closely. I swear, straight couples can practically get naked on screen, but gay characters…” Cary shook his head. “Drives me nuts. Hey, did you hear anything more from that hate group who sent the nasty letters?”
“Nah. I think Tammy took care of making sure my mail is examined more closely. It’s no big deal.”
Cary huffed. “No big deal? You shouldn’t ever have to hear that kind of garbage. You’ll tell me if it happens again, right?”
“What are you going to do? Beat them up?” Ryan secretly loved Cary’s protectiveness. He smiled and nudged Cary with his elbow. “Besides, now that they’re finally putting Steven and Kishi together, you’ll probably start getting your own hate mail.”
Cary still frowned. “Yeah, but it’s not the same. Everyone knows I’m not gay in real life.” He scoffed. “No way a tough guy like my dad would ever have a gay son. No one would believe it even if it was true.”
“Yeah.” Ryan stopped himself before his brain went too far down the “what if” road. “By the way, your scales are coming loose a bit on your neck.”
“Crap. I keep sweating them off.”
As the makeup team sprayed fake sweat onto Ryan’s forehead and touched up the purple scales crawling up the side of Cary’s neck and across one cheek, Ryan breathed deeply. He reminded himself that none of it was real. Cary’s declaration of love and his kiss that left Ryan buzzing—it was all for the cameras. Nothing more.
So he should stop remembering the press of Cary’s body and how his firm muscles had felt beneath Ryan’s hands. Ryan was in good shape himself, but he was positively ordinary next to Cary’s golden handsomeness and toned, perfect body. Not too bulky, but just right. As Cary tipped his head to give the makeup artist better access to his neck, Ryan imagined kissing him there, sucking on the tender skin and—
One of the show’s publicists approached, her heels clacking across the spaceship set. “How are we today, gentlemen?”
Ryan smiled. “Hey, Tammy. We’re good.”
“Excellent. The reporter from
Out and Proud
will be here in an hour. He wanted to see the kiss filmed, but as you know we’re keeping the set closed. If anyone leaks this kiss before the episode, I will eat their lungs for breakfast.”
Cary smirked. “And their balls for lunch?”
“Nope. Balls are for second breakfast.” Tammy winked.
The director called out, “Places everyone.”
Fake sweat artfully moistening his dark hair where it fell across his forehead, Ryan took his position to run into Steven’s room once more. Part of him hoped the director would want dozens of takes, but he wasn’t sure how much longer he could keep himself in check. He’d worn extra-tight briefs to keep from embarrassing himself, but his one-piece bodysuit costume didn’t leave much to the imagination.
The second assistant cameraman clapped down the slate in front of the camera. “
, two-twelve, scene nine, take five.”
Silence settled over the set, and the director yelled, “Action!”
As he ran and slammed the door once more, Ryan’s heart pounded anew, and he couldn’t help but look forward to Cary’s next kiss.
* * * *
After leaving his trailer, Ryan almost walked straight into Tammy, who tapped a manicured nail on her watch. “You’re five minutes late.”
“Actually, I’m three and a half minutes late, but I had to go to the bathroom. Besides, actors are supposed to be late. And/or hungover.”
Tammy laughed and tucked a red curl behind her ear. “You haven’t reached that phase of your career yet. Talk to me when this show has garnered more than a cult following and you’ve made at least one successful slasher flick during hiatus.”
Cary was already seated in a director’s chair on the command deck of the set, which wasn’t being used for filming that day. It was little more than a
rip-off, but there were only so many layouts of a spaceship that worked well for filming. Cary still wore his dark green one-piece costume, but the top half pooled around his waist, and he wore a white T-shirt.
It was a V-neck, and Ryan tried not to look at Cary’s light chest hair poking out. He wondered for the hundredth time what it would be like to run his fingers through it and taste Cary’s nipples and—
Never. Going. To happen.
With a smile on his face, Ryan sat in the empty chair beside Cary and shook hands with the reporter seated across from them. Tammy lingered in the background by the space-thruster control station.
The chubby, middle-aged reporter smiled. “Hi, I’m Chuck Basilica from
Out and Proud
. Thanks for meeting with me today.”
“I’m Ryan Drake. It’s our pleasure,” Ryan answered. He and Cary had done a ton of press for the show at the upfronts in May, and they had a system down pat. They’d alternate answering questions, share a few amusing anecdotes, and generally be their most humble, charming selves.
Of course now that their story line was heating up, the gay press was taking interest. Chuck didn’t waste any time.
“Rumor has it the sexual tension between Steven and Kishi is going to move from subtext to text during February sweeps. You’ll be the first gay human/alien love story on American network TV. Is this true?”
Cary answered. “Well, we’re definitely exploring our characters in greater depth this season, and relationships between many of the cadets will be evolving.”
“Hmm. That sounds like a yes to me.” Chuck smiled.
Ryan smiled back. “All we can say is that fans should keep watching, because there’s some great stuff coming up for Steven and Kishi.”
“Fair enough. Now, were you both surprised at how quickly fans embraced your characters? Individually, but especially as a potential couple. There are quite a few ‘Stishi’ fansites out there.”
“I think we were both surprised, and of course it’s an honor,” Cary replied. “I mean, we were just happy our little midseason replacement show got a pickup for season two, and that viewers took to it so passionately. We may not get the highest ratings, but the fans are extremely vocal and loyal. The best in the world. We feel so blessed to be a part of