Title: Joy & Pain
in Don’t Read in the Closet Volume Four anthology
Author: Celia Kyle
Genre: Contemporary / Gay Romance
It’s my home.
Doesn’t matter if soft, muted-pink leather encases my feet as I perform the ballet of my career, or if I’m wearing combat boots, a little twink stripping as I twirl around a brass hued pole. What once brought me joy, a thrill, now tugs me down. But it’s all I can do. And so…I do.
Until Zeke. Zeke with his deep frowns and disapproval. With his ready smiles and sweet touches.
He’s just… Zeke. And I’m just a broken ballet dancer. Well, until Zeke.
This story was written as a part of the M/M Romance Group’s Don’t Read in the Closet event. Group members were asked to write a story prompt inspired by a photo of their choice. Authors of the group selected a photo and prompt that spoke to them and wrote a short story.
Due to an injury Tevin had to give up his career as a ballet-dancer, and now he works as a stripper: he is a real pro around the pole: he perfected teasing and giving a show, but he hates it.
God, the dance. I love it and hate it at the same time. It’s good to be moving, interpreting the music, trying to find beauty in each note.
It’s hard to do when dollar bills are littering the shined stage.
One night he meets Zeke, a friend of his boss and friend Luca. Zeke seems to know everything about Tevin by the stories he had heard by Luca, and he is already half in love with Tevin: he wants to treasure and protect him.
At this point I was worried a little because of the possibility of a rushed relationship, the big age-gap, their physical differences, but it worked out really smooth. Zeke is perceptive and not at all pushy, and Tevin, despite his immediate attraction to the gentle giant, is pretty strong-minded and a lot tougher than I supposed.
Plus point for the HFN ending.
So overall I’m pretty satisfied with this story. Too bad it’s short.