Today I have author DP Denman on my blog sharing an excerpt from her book, Dancer’s Heart.
Drew stood a few feet from the stage, arms folded across his chest watching the rehearsal of the act that made Glitters famous. They were the hottest drag club in town and that routine had a lot to do with it. However, his attention wasn’t on the choreography. It was on the man at the center of it. Simon Leander had the sort of beauty hours in the gym couldn’t manufacture. Dark blonde hair flowed to the shoulders of a wiry, toned body that came with dancing for a living. Sparkling blue eyes held something sweet and almost innocent and then there was his smile. He wanted to kiss that smile. He watched the other men on the stage pass Simon from hand to hand with graceful gestures as they simulated thrusting against him. Hands slid across his body that looked almost naked in the flesh-tone costume petting him, folding him, bending him as they pretended to take him in time to the music. The act was both hot and disturbing and he scowled at the display. He knew it was just an act but it bothered him anyway. Simon deserved better. He could imagine the way it should have looked, tender kisses and gentle caresses, loving that body the way Simon deserved. He jerked the fantasy to a halt and shifted his attention somewhere else. That wasn’t going to do him any good. “Hold it. Just stop!” Marshall bellowed over the music, waving his arms to get the attention of the kid running the sound. An instant later, the song died in mid note and movement on the stage ground to a halt as Marshall stalked up the steps. “What the hell are you people doing up here? Positions are wrong. Steps are late. Is everybody on their period or are you all just hung over?” “We’re hitting our marks,” one of the dancers argued as he puffed for air, a hand on his hip. “Oh really? Because from out there,” Marshall jabbed a finger to the almost empty room, “you look like a bunch of buffalos doing the goddamn nutcracker!” Marshall liked to yell and it didn’t take new dancers long to figure that out. They had all learned not to take the volume too seriously but that day he had a valid reason to scream. The last rehearsal before a performance shouldn’t look that rough. “Simon, honey, you and Val are fine. You three,” he turned a scathing glare on the others, “are going to do it again and again and again and if we have to stay here all night we will.” He waved in the air, confident the sound guy would see it. “Again,” he demanded. The music started and the dancing continued from where they’d left off with Marshall screaming and clapping out the beats all the way through it, focusing his attention on the newest dancer in the group. It was his first attempt performing in the show’s pre-eminent act and it wasn’t going well. “Stop!” Marshall waved at the sound kid again and the music cut off. “Alright, that’s it. Out.” He pointed off the stage. “What?” The dancer panted. “Out. Off the stage. Out the door. Go find another club.” “I’ll get it,” he insisted. “I just need a little more time, an hour.” “You’ve had the same amount of time as everyone else. Get off my stage and go find something that requires a bit less talent,” Marshall huffed. The kid huffed right back at him and stalked off the stage, snatching his bag from a spot near the wall and bursting out the door. “Will someone go after the drama queen and get the costume back?” Marshall said with a put upon sigh and one of the other dancers milling around the room dashed out the door after him. Drew cast a glance at the owner where she stood at the back of the room and watched Dinah drop her gaze to the floor, shaking her head. If she had any objections to the decision, she didn’t say so. It wasn’t the first time Marshall had fired someone during a rehearsal, not even the last dress rehearsal before the live performance. Glitters wasn’t an average drag club and neither Dinah nor Marshall put up with average performances. They wanted quality and in a city with an immense talent pool there was no reason to settle for less. Not even in a drag show. Every open audition saw a hundred people lined up at their door. Marshall could take his pick and the performers knew it. They either kept up or they were out on the street looking for a new job and someone else was wearing their costume at the next show. The music started again and they did the routine beginning to end making adjustments for the missing dancer, this time with a lot less screaming. One more time his gaze floated to Simon. “Drew, honey, can you fix this? It’s coming loose,” Jared invaded his thoughts and he welcomed the interruption. He wasn’t supposed to be mesmerized. He was supposed to be watching the routines to make sure the costumes worked with the lighting. Besides, he was done with relationships and making an exception for Simon would be a mistake. Rumor had it he was already taken and falling for someone else’s man was a bad idea. Falling for anyone was a bad idea. “What’s the matter?” “Nothing,” he shook his head and shoved the annoyance away. “One of the costumes needs adjusting.” It was only half a lie. Simon’s costume really did need adjusting. “What’s coming loose?” He turned his attention to Jared. “This little thing right here.” Jared brushed fingers against a piece of fringe that had come undone on one side. Drew plucked a needle and thread out of his box and sewed it back in place while the act finished.
Simon Leander is living a lie. He hides the truth from his partner in a relationship he’s determined to tolerate…jealousy, rants and all. Michael was supposed to be the love of his life and he’s not ready to let go of that dream even though the romantic has turned tyrant. When Drew appears, Simon’s determination begins to waver. Drew is everything Michael used to be but isn’t anymore. Drew also knows his secret. When the truth he works so hard to hide bursts from the shadows he must decide whether he can trust Drew and if love deserves a second chance.
About the Author
DP Denman is an M/M (gay) contemporary romance author from the soggy splendor of the Pacific Northwest. She is an eclectic reader, obsessed writer, and determined LGBT rights activist who lives with her fur babies and a pair of hyper-caffeinated muses. 25% of royalties for all books go to LGBT charities. You can follow DP on Twitter or check out her blog or website. You can purchase Dancer’s Heart on Amazon.