**Today’s prompt: a diner after a Broadway audition. Enjoy!**
It had been a long, fucking day. Made to feel even longer by waiting for most of it, attempting to keep myself limber, while I watched group after group of dancers head in to audition. Waiting my turn. I’d been in one of the last groups to preform for the director and choreographer. This was both a good and bad thing. Waiting was terrible, and everyone was tired. Including the powers that be, the ones who made the decisions. But by then they also knew what they didn’t want, and they often grouped the better dancers toward the end of the day. I had a pretty good reputation, having just come off a successful two year run in the ensemble of Fiddler. This new show was supposed to be groundbreaking, and getting in on the first run would go a long way to prettying up my resume.
“I’m starving, Jj!” Leigh whined, slinging her dance bag over her shoulder, and putting on a huge pout. “Teddy and Marcus are too. Let’s go eat.”
“That diner on 45th?” I suggested picking up my own bag and looking at the other three. Teddy rolled his eyes, and Marcus’s got big.
“Are you sure you want to go there?” he asked.
Leigh rolled her eyes. “He always wants to go there. He’s likes staring at the big dude behind the counter.”
“I like it,” I protested mildly, “because the food is good and it’s usually pretty quiet in there.”
“And you like staring at the dude.”
I ignored Leigh and led the way out of the theater and into the cool night air. It was going on ten, but then temp was still pretty balmy. The city kept the heat in. So even though I was tired, I didn’t have a problem walking the three blocks over and two up to get to the diner. The moment I stepped inside, I felt better. Some nourishing carbs to build back up the calories I’d lost, and some eye candy to boot, while I ate with my friends. Because Leigh was right; I did like looking at the big man behind the counter.
He gave us a nod and a wave as we traipsed inside and headed for a booth in the corner. There were only a couple of other occupied tables, and the man made sure everyone else was doing fine before making his way to our table. He graced us with a grin.
“Waters all around?”
“Yes please,” I said with a smile. He smiled back.
“Seen you a lot lately,” he mentioned casually, passing around menus. His gaze kept straying back to me.
“I like the food.” I caught his gaze, made my smile a little bit wicked. “I wanted to bring my friends.”
“Just come from an audition?” He crossed to the counter and grabbed four glasses and a pitcher of water, and then came back.
Marcus was staring wide-eyed, and Leigh was practically gaping. I grinned. “How’d you know?”
The man shrugged, but his smile was adorable. “You have that hungry look that’s a combination of both actual hunger and metaphorical. Usually when it’s rehearsal, it’s just exhausted and physical hunger.”
I laughed, and the man grinned. He left us with the menus for a bit so that we could look over the menus, and I pointedly ignored my friends. When the man came back to take our orders, he made a point of talking to everyone else before focusing on me. I tried not to read too much into his smile as I ordered a patty melt. He wrote it down, but kept his gaze on me.
“My name’s Sam.”
“Jason. Everyone calls me Jj.”
Sam’s smile widened. “Well, Jason. If you’re interested, maybe one day soon, you and I can get a meal together somewhere else.”
My heart pounded hard at the surge of adrenaline and arousal. I nodded, smiling. “Yeah. I’d like that.”
“Good.” Sam rapped his knuckles on the table. “I’ll get your order in.”
I watched him walk away, the grin growing until my face hurt. I didn’t even care that my friends were teasing me. Despite the long day full of tense waiting, the audition had gone well and now I had a date with a pretty man.
I was going to call that a win.