I found the story's voice. While doing laundry and inputting some notes on my laptop. And here's the opening 5 pages -- woo-hoo.
THE LYONS' DEN
To put it simply, Daniel’s life began to unravel when he made that bet. Granted, he popped up with the wager out of desperation while trying to talk Tad -- excuse me, Theodore J. Bentley, the Third (one must have one’s moniker correct, you know) -- into giving their relationship a second chance. Of course, his timing was off, as usual. Tad’s focus was on how messed up his current project for a series was (thanks to an overpriced twenty-one-year-old-Cheeto-eater said to be the hottest screenwriter in Hollywood since Orson Welles) and he had to meet with the “yea or nay” guy at HBO on Monday, so he wasn’t listening to a single solitary thing that was being said until Daniel snapped, “Okay, fine, fine, fine, Tad, I’ll get them into shape in time for the damned meeting; now can you just -- ?”
“Are you outta your fuckin’ mind, Danny?” Tad shot back. “You don’t get it -- ALL the scripts are crap, all fuckin’ eight of them, including the Bible.” (“The Bible” not being that book of Christian conflict but one that outlined the direction the characters and story would take; helps to know the lingo of the natives, in this case.) “Besides, you write books, not screenplays.”
“A story’s a story.”
“Oh, please! A script isn’t a story; it’s a framework.”
“Which is probably why they aren’t working, not if you’ve got that kind of attitude about it.”
“It’s the attitude of the business, Danny. And I gotta work in it if I want to produce enough to pay my rent and car.”
“Well, it’s stupid. They’re my characters. They’ll work things out, if you let them.”
“What is it with you and this crap about your stories? All we’re talking about is a movie adaptation; you still got the books out there, selling. It’s my ass on the line, putting money into it I don’t have and -- and hiring that twerp -- .”
“I could fix it for you, Tad. I could fix ‘em all.”
“Danny, the meeting’s Monday. At noon. Period. You can’t do this in a weekend; that’s not enough time.”
Daniel’d flat out glared at Tad, irritated he was shrugging off such a fantastic offer. “What if I did do it?” he said. “Had ‘em ready in time? What if I did? Will you spend a week in -- in -- in Bermuda with me? Just a week? See if we can work things out?”
Tad just rolled his eyes in that way that always pissed Daniel off. Not because it was so condescending or dismissive, but because he looked so damned good when he did it, the little shit.
Now at this point, one might wonder why Daniel even wanted to get back together with someone as self-absorbed as Tad -- oops, Theodore J. Bentley, the Third (we must use his addendum; he’d snarl in disgust without the full and flowing exclamation of his name and -- and...oh, the hell with it -- let him snarl). It’d always been too much of a one-sided relationship, with Daniel bending over backwards to suit Tad’s every wish...and even those wishes Daniel stupidly THOUGHT Tad had.
Well, the reason is really simple -- the man was fuckin’ gorgeous. And knew it. Period. End of thought about the whole process. If you bring to mind the epitome of every gay man’s dream, no matter what his type -- that was Tad. Built like a Greek god, golden to the max, a face so classic in its line with eyes so blue and cool and elegant...sometimes it hurt to just look at him. To picture Tad walking along the beach in his signature red square-cut Speedo (never a thong, never a plain Speedo, and no way in hell would he be caught dead in board shorts; those were for fat Russians, Australians and boogie-boarder-boiz), well, to see him was to see a prowling panther proudly policing his lair with the casual assurance that he could handle anything -- be it male, female or Flipper. How he and Daniel ever wound up as a couple was the source of endless speculation by one and all who knew them, mainly because Daniel was SO his polar opposite.
Not ugly, no; he just had...well...nice, decent looks. Lean face. Crazy thick brown hair with eyebrows to match, hovering over dark sloe eyes. Smooth olive-toned skin (except for this sorta-kinda 5 o’clock shadow dancing about his jaw and a surprisingly attractive scar along his left cheekbone). Put it all together with his hawkish, almost too large nose (obviously he took after the French-Portuguese side of the family) and the fact that he was trim (not skinny or even undeveloped; running, hiking and doing the bike trails of Pennsylvania back country managed to keep his lazy little self in neatly-muscled shape), he was pleasantly attractive in your basic Joe Average kind of way.
So why the hell a I’m-all-that guy like Tad would let a not-so-much guy like Daniel play high priest to his shining light for nearly two years was beyond explanation for most people. Unless it was the sex. Which more than one wagging tongue insisted must be true because they’d heard from someone whose currently lover had slept with another guy who’d heard from a friend of his that Tad was a lousy lay (once you got beyond the oral worship part of his dick) while Daniel had tricks up his sleeve that would turn the straightest guy to the pink side (and had proven it with one recently outted actor who had to un-out himself by getting married and having twins that actually looked like him, to everyone’s surprise) according to a friend who heard it from a friend who heard it from a friend.
But now they’d been broken up for three months and Daniel was willing to do anything to get back together, so when Tad dropped by that night to whine about how screwed he was thanks to these adaptations and his backers were pissed off at him and on and on and on, Daniel’d jumped in feet-first, as usual, with his proposal.
Now it should be noted that it did definitely help that the series of scripts were based on two of Daniel’s books -- oh, oh, right -- by the way, Daniel is most definitely a published author, under the name -- Daniel C. Bettancourt. Proud penman of six mystery novels. All featuring me, Ace Shostakovich, private eye extraordinaire.
Meaning, yes -- I’m not real. But if you think it’s weird a fictional character is telling this story, you ain’t seen what happened, yet.