What happens when two exes have to live in an apartment built for one?
Steven and Mariah were once lovers, but working in professional theater doesn’t make a love affair easy, or even possible for many who find themselves all over the world on tours. Working on a stage show in New York City, Steven sublets Mariah’s barely-big-enough-for-one apartment. What are they to do when her world tour shuts down as well as his show?
They can’t go anywhere else, so they’ll just have to stay together.
Published in short story sized sections, “Sublet” will give you a love story in several acts and hopefully leave you calling for an encore at the end!
Read an Excerpt
Waking up was always the worst part of her day, but waking up in her own apartment? It felt amazing, even on her narrow Futon bed that she’d dragged down to New York City from Hartford, Connecticut. It was wider than a normal twin bed, which was still, normally, more room than she needed, but having Steven in bed beside her made her feel like she was cuddled up with a teddy bear.
His beard was soft for the most part, but the ends were trimmed and felt crisp against her skin. Steven’s breath warmed her cheek with soft, steady puffs. And no matter how carefully they situated themselves at night when it was time for bed, they always ended up cuddled face to face with their legs entwined.
It didn’t bother her much, but it bothered Steven. He hadn’t said so. Not in words. When he woke up and realized that nestled between them was his rather impressive morning wood, it was all he could do to back out of her lazy embrace and beat feet to the bathroom.
Her third morning back, he broke his streak. It was probably the fact that he’d worn jeans to bed the night before. As she watched him slowly shake off sleep, she watched his disturbingly long eyelashes lift and saw his eyes shift from sleepy grey to his normal blue.
His eyes pinched a little and then relaxed, easing his lips into a hesitant smile of his own. “Morning.”
“You’re not rushing into the bathroom this morning?”
He watched her for a moment, and then his smile broadened. “I don’t have to.”
“Those jeans must work wonders.” She looked down between them and then reached out a hand to flick the golden metal button that he’d left undone through the night. “Still, I don’t know why you bothered. It’s just a natural bodily function. I got used to it while we were together. It doesn’t bother me at all.”
“Yeah, but it’s kind of…awkward.” He reached up a hand to push his fingers through his hair in an old gesture that he didn’t need anymore. He had taken to cutting his hair shorter on top, almost a buzz. Just seeing him touch his hair like that made her want to chase his fingers with her own. He’d always had the softest hair.
“Awkward because… Are you seeing someone?”
His silent laughter still managed to shake the bed. “You know what it’s like. More than twelve hours a day at the theater, barely time to sleep in between that and get things done. Who has the time?”
The words were out of her mouth before she even knew she was going to speak them. Still, it was true. They’d managed to be together for almost six months between her stint at the Shakespeare Theater in Washington and his tour in Eastern Europe.
“Yeah, but then we stopped.”
Wow. His tone was odd, almost still. A little too calm for her own peace of mind. Was he really that over it? Had he put her far behind him?
Her own heart pounded in her chest, and she was glad they weren’t still cuddled together. If they had been, he’d have felt it through their connection.
Somehow, Steven had taken the few inches that remained between them and turned it into a canyon.