Spring's Not-So-Secret Secret
A Being(s) in Love Story
By R. Cooper
Copyright © 2017 R. Cooper
For Piper Vaughn
By R. Cooper
Copyright © 2017 R. Cooper
For Piper Vaughn
Spring could do this. He could absolutely do this. He was an actor, after all.
Admittedly, not a great actor, but since he’d never intended to be an actor, then it was all peachy keen that he was now. He got paid well and other fairies were ever so happy to see him onscreen, even on a soap, and he got to… he got to….
Spring could not do this.
He hunched his shoulders and felt his wings slow—the tell-tale giveaway a fairy was upset, even before it showed in their glitter. His wings always gave him away onscreen. If it weren’t for his wings and glitter, he might do all right speaking the ridiculous dialogue, since acting was pretending, not lying.
Problem was, he couldn’t pretend when he was in the same room as Roman Grenville, billionaire industrialist and de facto owner of the small town of Harper’s Cove, where Diedre’s Secret was set, or when around Nicholas Manton, the actor who played him. So Spring’s limited acting abilities were not going to get him through this situation.
He regretted ever attending a Hollywood party, splashing around in the pool, and drawing the attention of the lonely, socially awkward soap opera writer outside. He did. He was going to quit right now and leave, and fairykind would just have to find some other fairy to be their role model.
Except… he couldn’t regret it, because it had still brought him here, to this set, to this room, where the human he loved was not very far away.
The room was very tense, and still quiet, as if Spring’s foolish words had left everyone stunned. He didn’t see how—he was quite obvious on the show. Even a glimpse of him onscreen should have left no doubt to anyone watching of where his affections lay.
Only human ignorance explained their shock now. Perhaps there was some value in Spring staying on television a little longer. Perhaps it would help humans learn about the fairy.
He tried to smile as he looked over at Beth Maurice, the interviewer from Soaps Daily. He could not look at Nicholas, but that was probably just as well. “I didn’t think—”
“Are you saying that you’re in love with your costar on Diedre’s Secret, Nicholas Manton?” The glee in the interviewer’s face was unmistakable, like the thread of ambition in her shine. “Is that what you’re saying?”
“The upcoming plotlines are going to be incredible,” Alice said weakly, from Spring’s side. Alice played Bianca, Spring’s nemesis on the show, but she was a lovely, supportive human. She did seem a bit gobsmacked, though. Apparently, actors did not proclaim their love for their costars in front of reporters.
Spring supposed that made sense, in a way. Especially if your costar didn’t love you back. Could not even manage a word, in fact.
He darted a look around Alice, to where Nicholas sat, frozen.
Then the interviewer turned to him, and Nicholas unfroze enough to face her. Then he did the thing—one of the many things that had drawn Spring to him so quickly—he took a breath and lifted his chin, and like that!—he was Roman and even Beth was briefly cowed.
Roman was not nice. He was a handsome, older human, dark of hair and eye. He was strong, and fearless, and… really sort of brute, so Spring should not like him at all, but he was by far the most fascinating character on the show. Far better than a clueless werewolf.
Nicholas was extremely nice. His smile had dimples. He sat bent over an e-reader between takes, and loved theater, and could sing and dance. He was polite to the crew and the craft services people. He hated when he messed up his lines, and he did small roles in serious movies whenever he got the chance, and he called Spring by his full name, always, unless he was tired and the shooting day had been long.
All of which was very appealing, but not nearly as much as knowing that this man could play that one.
Spring really could not be blamed for blazing with happy, aroused, in-love glitter every time Roman Grenville quietly threatened him for interfering in his plans by hiding the baby that the witch predicted would be his downfall.
What he could be blamed for, apparently, was talking about it.
“Honestly, I assumed everyone knew,” he whispered, which at least took Beth’s attention off Nicholas for a moment. “He’s the shiniest human in the world to me,” he told her earnestly. “But this really isn’t a big deal. It’s not as if it was a secret.”
“Excuse me,” Nicholas said—Roman at his coldest. “Did you have a question about the show? Because as Farewell-to-Spring just said, none of this was a secret.”
“Yes, well, but,” Beth sputtered, trying to recover some of her composure in the face of one shocking revelation and the icy glare of the best villain on daytime TV. “This is new to your audience, and—”
Spring snorted. “The fairies in the audience already knew. And anyone who has ever known a fairy.”
Nicholas snapped his head around, staring hard at Spring for another second, before returning his attention to the one recording everything.
Beth cleared her throat. “You have to admit, a same-sex relationship on the air isn’t that unusual anymore, but a human-fairy relationship behind the scenes… what’s that like?”
“The same as any other relationship?” Spring frowned at her in confusion. “Private? How else would it be?”
“You should have seen the betting pools around set,” Alice remarked, and Nicholas flinched in a way that was really very fascinating. “They have their own little bookclub, these two. Though mostly it consists of Nicholas talking about books he’s read and Spring here making him laugh.”
“It sounds romantic,” their interviewer said, as if reading was somehow more romantic with a fairy involved.
Spring opened his mouth.
“It was,” Nicholas cut him off, in the bold, authoritative voice of Roman Grenville. “Naturally, it didn’t take me long to fall for him. And it was a big deal.”
That seemed pointed. Spring met Nicholas’s gaze, then dropped his to the floor, and his bare feet. He had forgotten to put on his shoes in his rush to get down here on time. Also pants, but no one had seemed surprised by that.
“Is this your way of coming out?” Beth gushed, ambition like lightning in the colors around her.
“If you say so.” Spring could not have handled bearing the brunt of that much Grenvillian disapproval. “It was not a secret.”
Beth hardly seemed to care. “Are you worried, since you weren’t openly out before, that some will think Spring seduced you?”
Spring’s wings stopped altogether.
Alice gasped. “Now just a minute….”
“I think we’re done here.” Nicholas stood up, ending the interview without any more fuss. “Alice? Spring?”
He must be angry, to use the nickname. But Spring bounced to his feet. He turned sharply, his lavender and black wings nearly hitting Beth in the face, which normally he would have apologized for. But Alice took his arm while thanking Beth politely for the interview, and Nicholas opened the door for them, so Spring didn’t waste his time.
He blindly followed them both down the hall toward the elevators. They had to go back up to the production offices now, and explain what was about to happen.
Spring wasn’t sure what that was, but he didn’t think it would be good.
If they fired him… if they fired him, he might never see Nicholas again.
Nicholas might prefer that. Spring must have made him very uncomfortable just now, spilling his feelings all over the place.
They reached the bank of elevators and stopped. Everything seemed quiet, unnaturally still, but Spring slowly realized Alice was speaking.
“Not kidding about the pools. You guys cost me twenty bucks, and I didn’t even know about the glitter thing. That’s what that means? We all just thought you loved your job, Spring. Wow. But really, I don’t think it’s a big deal. They might run it by a few test audiences, but if they like it? Somehow, it’s going to wind up on the show and you’re both set for years, I’m telling you. Oh look.” The doors opened for them, revealing an empty elevator car. “You two take this one,” she added and smiled at Spring before shoving him inside.
Nicholas gave her a murderous glare before she could try it with him, but he stepped inside anyway, on all his own.
Alice beamed at them from the safety of the hallway and then the metal doors closed.
“I’m sorry,” Spring said immediately. He could do this. “I thought you knew and were being kind.”
“Farewell-to-Spring.” Nicholas watched him carefully in their reflection in the doors. “If I’d known, I would have kissed you months ago.”
Spring’s wings fluttered against his back. “Oh,” he said softly, as pink and purple sparkles fell between them and Nicholas reached for his hand. “Then what’s stopping you now?”