Off on the Wrong Foot (eBook)

181 pages | eBook | 6x9"
Date of publication: 11/26/2015
  • ISBN: 978-1-943528-36-3
  • Model: 33243 words

Fireborn Publishing Main Page


Heat Rating: 2 Flames


Costumer Daniel thinks Playwright Simon is a snob. Simon sees Daniel as a clone of his abusive ex-lover, Carl. Slowly they begin to accept each other. Can they become more or will Carl's return drive them apart--or worse?


Simon Jarrett is a well-known mystery writer. A play he wrote, based on one of his books, has been accepted by a local theater. Daniel Lowe is the theater's costumer. The first time they meet--in the elevator of their apartment building--neither knows who the other is. Daniel thinks Simon is a snob, while Simon can only see Daniel as a clone of his abusive ex-lover, Carl--although a straight one, he thinks.

They meet again at the theater and both are appalled, to put it mildly, to find out they'll be working together. Slowly, they begin to accept each other, but it isn't until Allie, Simon's friend, reveals to Daniel why Simon is so stand-offish that Daniel finally tells Simon he, too, is gay.

Will the two men be able to become more than friends, or will Carl's coming back into Simon's life drive them apart--or worse?

"I really enjoyed this book, I love the characters. I loved when these two first meet...too funny. But what I loved most is their easy friendship after the misunderstanding of their first meeting, loved their closeness and their need to see each other. Edward always writes stories that grab you from the beginning and keep you turning the pages until the end. Great story from start to finish. 4.5 to 5 stars."

Nanee for Up All Night, Read All Day





"He wouldn't be right for you," Allie stated.

Simon glanced at her, shrugging. "When it comes down to it, no one is--at least in your opinion."

"Friends know these things."

"Uh-huh. So tell me, oh great and wise one, who would be?"

"Someone who's available? And who doesn't resemble your bastard ex, Carl."

"Maybe I like pining after the unobtainable."

"Simon"--she shook her head, taking another sip of her drink--"with that attitude, you're never going to find the right man. For sure, he's not it."

The he they were discussing was a new tenant in their apartment building. According to the label on his mailbox, his last name was Lowe. Tall, blonde, and muscular, Lowe was Simon's exact opposite--at least physically--since Simon was slender, dark-haired, and barely five-ten. To top that off, Simon would bet his bottom dollar the guy was straight. That didn't stop him from dreaming, especially since Lowe was seated on the other side of the coffee shop, directly in Simon's line of vision.

"Earth to Simon."

Simon chuckled. "I'm here. Are you ready to leave?"

"If you can tear yourself away from staring at him." She finished the last of her coffee, grabbed her backpack, and got up.

"I wasn't, you know."

Allie just snorted as they left.

* * * *

Daniel watched the couple leave. He'd seen them, on and off, at the apartment building he'd moved to a couple of weeks ago and couldn't decide if they were going together or just friends.

Not that it mattered. He had more important things to worry about. He returned his attention to the script he was reading. It was a new play, which would be receiving its world premiere at The Abney Theater, where Daniel worked as the costume designer.

The author was a fairly well-known local writer of mysteries set in the forties. The man had decided to try his hand at turning one of his books into a play. The result, in Daniel's opinion, was not bad. Not Miller or Williams by a long shot, but it would bring in the audiences and probably garner decent reviews.

Mainly because it was written by Mr Jarrett.

As he took notes on the characters, he envisioned how he would dress them. The hero was a private detective, the heroine, a woman of easy virtue who needed the detective's help to prove she hadn't murdered her husband.

Pure film noir. I see lots of visits to shops carrying vintage clothes in my future.

Not that he minded. He'd become a costumer for a reason. He loved the theater and he loved creating costumes--not what had been expected of him when he was in high school. At six-two, and built like a linebacker, everyone had figured he'd play football--especially his father.

Dear old Dad had visions of me making it into the NFL.

His father had been somewhat dismayed when Daniel had joined the high school theater as an extracurricular activity, rather than trying out for the football team. Thankfully, his father had finally accepted the fact that Daniel had no interest in sports then supported him when he'd announced he was going to major in costume design in college. "Whatever makes you happy," had been his father's final words on the subject. "Just do it to the best of your abilities."

Daniel had--graduating with a BFA in costume design, then working at several small theaters until he'd ended up at The Abney two years ago. When he had been introduced to the staff at the theater, the initial reaction had been variations on "You're kidding me. You look like you should be playing for…" whatever football team happened to be the speaker's favorite. He was used to that by now and laughed it off--before going on to prove to them he was a damned good costumer.

Now, he read over his notes, checked the time and decided to go home to work on a few preliminary ideas to present to Tom, the show's director and one of the theater's owners. He could do it at his office, but the theater was dark on Mondays, so he'd probably be the only one there. Not that he minded the solitude, but he could get it done just as easily in his apartment--and fix himself some dinner rather than eating out.

* * * *

Simon clicked a link, needing to check an online site to be certain he had the right information for the book he was working on. He did and quickly finished the chapter.

After closing everything down, he stretched, looked at the time, and sighed. It was well past midnight. Still, he felt a sense of satisfaction. The middle of the story had been giving him trouble until this evening, then things began to click.

Going to the kitchen, he poured what was left in the coffee pot into his cup. As he did, he had an idea.

Maybe, instead of publishing this one, I should take time when it's finished to turn it into another play. Though I suppose I'd better wait before committing to that until I see how The Lady Lies does.

Simon was antsy for rehearsals to begin. He wanted to hear his words spoken aloud by the actors--and to see how the stage sets compared to the descriptions he'd given in the book. He wasn't terribly worried about the costumes, as long as the designer stuck to clothes from the forties.

I can point him in the direction of several retro shops in the area, if he needs help.

He snorted. "Yeah, like he'd appreciate that. He probably knows every one of them--and some I've never found."

After shutting off the kitchen lights, he started toward the bedroom, coffee cup in hand. He knew he should get some sleep, but realized he was still too wound up. Putting the cup down on the end table by the sofa, he got his jacket from the hall closet and left, intending to walk for long enough to unwind.

The night was chilly but not uncomfortable, the moon was out and, despite the hour, a few people were on the sidewalks. Ones, he figured, on their way home from the local bar two blocks over.

I could call Allie to join me, but she'd ream me a new one. She has a sales presentation first thing in the morning.

He glanced up at her windows and saw all of them were dark, as were most of the others on the front side of the building. Only one on the fifth floor showed a light.

A beacon in the darkness.

He chuckled and started his walk.

Half an hour later he was home again, finally relaxed enough to go to bed and actually sleep--hopefully without dreams of Carl. That was the last thing he needed--nightmares of their time together.


About Edward Kendrick:
Fireborn Publishing Main Page

Born and bred Cleveland, I earned a degree in technical theater, later switched to costuming, and headed to NYC. Finally seeing the futility of trying to become rich and famous in the Big Apple, I joined VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America), ending up in Chicago for three years. Then it was on to Denver where I put down roots and worked as a costume designer until just recently.

I began writing a few years ago after joining an on-line fanfic group. Two friends and I then started a group for writers where they may post any story they wish no matter the genre or content. Since then, for the last three years, I've been writing for publication. Most, but not all, of my work is m/m, either mildly erotic or purely 'romantic', and more often than not it involves a mystery or covert operations.





For more information, please visit the author's webpage.

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This book was added to our catalog on Saturday 26 September, 2015.

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