The Ghost of Carlos Gardel

by Alexandra Y. Caluen

If Andy Martin hadn’t done that tanguero photo shoot, Tanith Salazar might never have had the idea of writing a tango project for Victor Garcia. If her partner Sid Palacio hadn’t said ‘Carlos Gardel’ she might not have found her hook. It took a couple of years to pull together, but Andy and Tanith pulled it off. The movie was getting made. Meanwhile, Andy and Victor were dealing with year three of stress because of the TV series they worked on together. The fight they had to do for the movie didn’t help.

Excerpt:

Rory and Dana were watching when Victor and Andy’s love scene aired. The DVR was recording, but they couldn’t wait to see it. It came at the end of a segment, with Victor the cop coming home to Andy the bartender. There was kissing, then disrobing. “Jesus, the camera really does add twenty pounds,” said Rory. “No wonder you work out like a maniac.”

“And I don’t even have to take my clothes off. That’s a nice shot of their tattoos.”  Andy and Victor had matching wristband tattoos that had been masked, up to now, on the series. “Andy should look like this in real life. How was he last week?”

Rory had gone to dance at the home studio with Andy a couple times the week before. “He’s making me learn the Jellicle Ball. He’s loving it, says it’s just like old times. I’m gasping but in pursuit.  Took him a slab of my bacon-apple bread pudding and he ate the whole thing.  He’s looking better already. I think Victor was worried.”

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“He was definitely worried. I mean, I know Andy was probably only about ten pounds underweight, but when you don’t have much to spare that looks like a lot.” The scene faded out at the commercial break. “Nice homage taking it into the shower. Remember what a BFD it was when Dennis Franz got naked?”

“Yeah, and that was Dennis Franz, bless his heart.  Our boys are in a different class. They’re both sexier than Jimmy Smits and David Caruso put together.”  Rory refilled their wineglasses, glancing up when the episode resumed. “Oh my stars, they’re still at it! I thought that shower thing was the tasteful fade-out!” Dana laughed.  The love scene had moved from the shower to the bedroom. Now Andy and Victor were tangled under artfully-draped sheets, hands on each other’s faces or bodies, kissing with every appearance of real passion. “Jesus!  This is hot as snot!”  Dana bent over, giggling.  “Straighten up, missy, you have to see this!  Holy shit!”  When the scene did fade out, it was not with a close-up kiss as they’d halfway expected. Instead Andy was on top of a bare-to-the-hipbones Victor, his mouth on Victor’s solar plexus, telegraphing a move south.

“Holy shit is right,” Dana said, fanning herself. “I can’t believe they aired that. I don’t even want to think about the fallout.”

“It’s about fucking time, you see the same thing with man-woman couples constantly,” Rory said. “I’m almost afraid to look at the internet. In fact, I’m fully afraid to look at the internet.” She picked up her phone and texted Andy: HOLY SHIT WE JUST WATCHED !!!!! “I am never, ever deleting that from the DVR.”  Dana giggled again.

A text pinged in from Andy: Fully choreographed I assure you. It took all fucking day, which would have been great if it were actual fucking. We were so taped in it was like getting waxed

Oh ow do not want. Actual hair loss?

NOYB

Bahaha well HOT AS FUCK anyway have to go now

LOL TTYL. Andy disconnected and looked over at Victor. “Rory liked it.”

“A lot of people are going to like it. A lot of people are going to hate it. Swear you won’t read the comments.” Victor knew better than to ask Andy not to read the actual coverage. Comments, however, were never a good idea.

“I swear I will not read the comments.”  They didn’t have a permanent TV in their new master bedroom, but they’d watched the episode in bed, on Andy’s tablet.  He set it aside.  “It was pretty hot though.”

“Yes it was. It always is.” Victor caught Andy’s hand and pulled him close. “Kiss me.” A few minutes later he said, “Whoops, there she goes.” Their dog Molly had jumped down. “I swear sometimes I think she’s laughing.”

“She totally is. Give me that mouth.”

On the other side of the Hills in the San Fernando Valley, Victor’s friend Tanith picked up her phone to send a text. He didn’t see it until the next day: Mr. Garcia, please advise Mr. Martin of consensus opinion that you two are either incredibly brave or totally insane

When Victor saw it he wrote back: Both? It was a shot for shot reconstruction of a scene a straight character did a few years back

I want you to live long enough for us to work together again plz

LOL it’ll happen. Victor was sure of it.

COLLAPSE

This is NOT a ghost story.

About the Author

A long time ago and three thousand miles away, I wrote my first novel - a historical romance - during graduate school. Twenty years later I finally dusted it off and published it. Since then I have written and published eleven more novels and twenty-nine novellas. My day job is in a law office, I've been married for eighteen years, and I'm inspired by authors like KJ Charles, Laurie R. King, Dick Francis, and Jennifer Crusie.


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