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Orchestral Maneuvers

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“Zach.”

I held up my index finger and laughed at the joke my brother, Joe, just made on the line about our mother. He was currently visiting Mom back home in a suburb of Pittsburgh.

“Zachary.”

“I have to go. Jan’s getting impatient. Again.” I chuckled as I rolled my eyes at her. She stood with her hands on her hips, bright fuchsia dress—the color was good on her—holding a clipboard.  I had told her to try the color, though, she had been dead set against it initially. I’d convinced her to buy the dress when we’d been perusing the fashion magazines on the sofa in her office. “I’ll call you later. Say hello to Mom. Bye.”

I hit end call and turned to her with a smirk. I was seated at my desk, feet on the edge, which she impatiently pushed off to the floor.

“What? I was on a break.”

“Breaks over. And stop calling me Jan. You know I hate that.” She thrust the clipboard in my direction. “We need a violinist.”

I yawned. “I know. You told me your cousin, Stanley was going to come in and audition for it.”

She made a face. “I remembered he peed on stage during an orchestra performance.”

“Kids get nervous.”

“Stanley was an adult. He’s out. So put out feelers or whatever on one. And you didn’t tell me someone was coming in to audition for cellist. I have a meeting with the city.”

Janet was the director and conductor of the Mason Philharmonic Orchestra. I was her assistant. Or had been for about the last six months. Mason was a suburb of LA.

I glanced at the name she had on the clipboard. “Oh, yeah. Christopher Pine.”

“You set this up?”

“Yep. I figure I may as well see what he has to offer…rather what he sounds like…first. Then if he’s good enough I’ll have him come in and audition for you.” I smiled. “Why waste your time?”

She folded her arms across her chest. “And if he’s not good enough, you’ll send him away?”

“Scout’s honor.”

Janet rolled her eyes. “Were you ever a scout?”

“For about five minutes,” I replied. “That color looks good on you.”

She twirled around, preening a bit. “Yeah?”

I winked. “Definitely.”

“Well. I can’t be charmed that easily, you know.”

She could, actually, and we both knew it.

She took her clipboard back. “Says his dad’s an actor. These Hollywood types. He better be the best damn cellist I’ve ever heard if he thinks he’s going to get into my orchestra.”

“Good luck with the meeting. I’ll see you tomorrow.”

“Two o’clock, Zach. We have a ton of work to do for the upcoming show. Arrangements. Staging. The orchestra itself comes at four for rehearsal.”

“I know, I know.”

“Two. Not two oh five. Not two ten. And definitely not two thirty.”

I know.” I fluttered my fingers at her. “Bye Jan.”

She huffed but she turned and walked out of the offices. I’d lock up later.

Ten minutes later, the door opened, and I looked up from my computer I had been working on.

Standing there lugging a cello case was sin personified into a young human male. He was breathtakingly gorgeous. So actor perfect.

I picked my jaw off the floor. “You want the Mason Playhouse down the street.”

Bushy brows furrowed over stunningly blue eyes. “Huh?”

God, I was getting hard just looking at him. This would not do. I prayed he was a horrible cellist. Then I might actually get to fuck him.  But if he was good, Janet good, then I was in trouble. She had a strict rule, a moral code, that I wasn’t allowed to sleep with any of the orchestra members. Well, she wasn’t either. But all I cared about was whether I could. And hell…

“Isn’t this the offices of the Mason Philharmonic?” the kid asked. He was young. Younger than me, anyway. His cheeks were faintly pink. And he had the greatest set of lips I’d ever seen. I was already imagining them wrapped around—

“Yeah, this is the Philharmonic,” I answered, grumpily.

He rested his cello case against the wall, very carefully, and then approached me, hand outstretched.

“Chris Pine.”

I ignored his hand until he dropped it. If anything he turned even pinker. It was hot. And I sure as hell wanted him.

“Zachary Quinto,” I said coolly. “Assistant director.”

“Where’s Ms. Miller?”

I snorted at that and got to my feet, coming around the desk. “Janet Miller never attends first auditions, Pine.” I realized too late that the prominent bulge in my pants would be very noticeable to him. I saw when his gaze swept downward.

To his credit, he said nothing, just returned his gaze to my face, where it stayed. “Where do you want me?”

Bent over the desk. Against the wall. Oh, hell, in the bathroom stall, I don’t care.

“What?”

This time he smirked a little. “Where do you want me to play?”

The little shit knew I wanted him, I was sure of it. Because he was used to it. Probably everyone did.

I glanced at the clipboard. “Where else have you played? Leeds?”

“It’s in England.”

“Yes, Christopher, I know where Leeds is,” I heard myself snap.

“Um. Sorry. I’m a little nervous. I-I went to school there. University for a time. And I played in their orchestra.”

“Hmm. And in Boston?”

He nodded.

“Normally we’d have you try out at the rehearsal hall next door, the acoustics are better. But they’re doing maintenance work there today. You can set up your instrument and play for me.”

I tried not to think about seeing his instrument, and instead leaned against the desk, arms crossed over my chest as I watched him set up his cello. He bent over a few more times than necessary, I thought, as he got to work, but there was no point in complaining. He had a superior ass.

It was my turn to smirk as he placed himself on a chair behind the cello and put his bow to the instrument as he began to play a classical piece in bass clef.

Little by little the smirk slipped from my face.

This fucking kid was good.

And already I knew Janet would love him.

Which meant, if I was going to get to fuck him, it was going to have to be before his second audition in front of her.

“All right.” I held up a hand to stop him. “That’s enough.”

His blue eyes widened. “But I haven’t finished.”

“Yeah, you have.”

I saw him swallow and for a second I had the perverse pleasure of knowing he thought he’d failed. I doubted this living Adonis failed at anything.

“But Mister Quinto—”

“Call me Zach. You like coffee?”

“Uh, yeah.”

“Me too. Come with me. We’ll get some.”

“The audition—”

“Get real. You passed, kid. Pack it up and let’s get that coffee.”