Gabe surveys the set, looking at all the young chorus girls and starlets as they mill around the set, hoping to be the next big thing on the movie screen. He knows several of them are looking at him, a different kind of stars in their eyes. He knows what he looks like. He’s practiced this pose, this affectation. It’s part of what makes him who he is – Gabriel Saporta, the hottest commodity on the MGM set, not to mention RKO and Paramount when the studio heads are willing to loan him out.
He notes a few of the girls, automatically ruling them out of the chorus line. There’s are a few people he’s not willing to work with, and he has enough pull to make sure he’s not caught in a movie with someone he has no intention of being photographed with, much less sharing the silver screen.
Glancing past the line of giggling girls, Gabe spies Pete – his partner in crime, his comic relief, his best friend. He nods once and Pete waves, jumping up to be seen over a camera cart. Gabe smiles and waves back. Pete weaves his way across the set, dodging high kicks and swirling fringed skirts.
“Saporta.” Pete boosts himself up onto a metal case, kicking his heels against the side. “That is the scariest group of girls I have ever seen.”
“That’s because women scare you.”
“Not all women.” Pete shrugs as Gabe lights a cigarette. “Just most of them. Her in particular.”
Gabe looks up to where Pete’s gaze is falling. Victoria stands there looking just as dangerous as the characters she usually plays. “She’s a complete softie.”
“She wants to claw my insides out with her fingernails and then fry them up for dinner.”
“I don’t think cannibalism is actually one of her things, Pete.” Gabe lifts the hand with his cigarette in greeting and Victoria nods and smiles. She has three small dogs on leashes scurrying around at her feet.
“She’s kind to little dogs.”
“That’s because they’re small and helpless.”
“Pete, my friend,” Gabe laughs. “So are you.”
There are auditions – singing and dancing. No one ends up hurt, but it looks like no one is getting hired either. The director wants a certain look, so talent isn't really his top priority. They can dub over singing and talking if necessary, but they can't find a new look. Gabe doesn't argue, even if he doesn't give a shit.
Pete sits next to him and reviews the script, mouthing his lines to himself. He starts laughing when he gets to his and Gabe's big scene, a comical music number that involves them falling all over each other in between Gabe being suave and dancing off the walls and the furniture. Gabe has to constantly remind Pete that humor is a better and rarer talent, but Pete usually doesn't listen.
"You're going to be great in that scene," Gabe says, not actually looking at Pete. If he takes his eyes off the girls whirling around them, the director is going to make them start over, and Gabe doesn't think he can handle much more of this.
"I'm very good at falling down."
"You're very good at making people laugh at you falling down. Anyone can fall down, but not everyone can fall down, get a laugh, do a back flip to get to his feet, and then waltz a chair across the room."
"I can do that." Pete smiles, his head ducked down so Gabe can't see his face. "I must be pretty awesome."
"That you are, Wentz."
"So if I'm so awesome, how come you get all the hot girls and I go home alone on Friday nights?"
"Because," Gabe informs him with a wicked smile, "I'm the star."
Pete is face down in the pillow, his skin sweaty and slick. Gabe pushes deeper inside him, gasping with every thrust. He can hear the radio from the living room, playing something with a heavy Spanish guitar. Pete clenches and unclenches his fists, the silk sheets wrinkled and limp in his hands. There’s a well-paid and discreet starlet in another room waiting, giving the appearance of spending the night with Gabe. The powers-that-be vet them and Gabe tolerates them for this, the freedom to fuck Pete every night, the freedom to be himself in his own four walls.
Pete moans, turning his head to suck in deep breaths of air. Gabe reaches down and wraps his hand around Pete’s dick. The second moan breaks off and Pete shudders, tightening around Gabe. Gabe tightens his fingers and keeps stroking.
“Please,” Pete gasps. “Please, Gabe.”
Gabe doesn’t stop, can’t stop. He keeps thrusting harder and harder until he feels his dick tighten and contract before he buries it deep in Pete and comes. Pete bites the pillow and jerks into Gabe’s hand until he’s coming all over the sheets. Gabe guides them both to the bed, feeling Pete’s body shiver as he presses against the wet mess beneath him. Gabe lies on top of him, surrounding Pete in the way he knows Pete needs to ground himself.
“I’m going to have to pay her extra,” Gabe laughs softly. “Buy her new sheets.”
“Charge it to the studio,” Pete’s voice is soft, far away. “They’d have gotten just as messed up if you were fucking her.”
“You know we’re filming the dance routine tomorrow, right?” He shifts his weight and traces a line down Pete’s upper arm. “You’re going to be sore.”
“Worth it. Plus, I’m a professional. I can dance under any circumstance.”
There’s a new movie shooting in the lot next to theirs, and Pete watches the lead. He’s on loan from another studio, since the leading actress refuses to work with anyone else. Everyone assumes it’s because they’re having sex. He nudges Gabe and nods in their direction. “I don’t know why people think they’re fucking. She looks like she’d rather set him on fire.”
“I’m beginning to think you have some serious women issues, Pete. Either that, or I should sleep with one eye open. Are you gunning for the lead, my friend?”
“I wouldn’t know what to do in the lead. Leads don’t fall down and flip over chairs and do back flips. Leads make out with girls and romance people.” Pete makes a horrified face and then lowers his voice, doing something that Gabe thinks is supposed to be romantic or suave. “Come to me, my pet. Let me love you as no other man has.”
Gabe nearly laughs, but manages to swallow it down. He wraps his arm around Pete’s shoulder and guides him toward their own lot. “I do, you know.”
Pete looks up at him, but Gabe’s careful not to break their stride or glance in Pete’s direction. He can tell when the words process by the sheer intensity of Pete’s smile. “The leading man just told me he loved me.” His voice is as low and quiet as Gabe’s had been. “That means I just got my Hollywood ending, right?”
Gabe laughs. “Roll the credits, Wentz. It’s in the can.”