>Works in Progress: Summer Stock

>”So tell me all your secrets.”

Ethan’s gaze snapped back up to meet Jason’s, sure he was caught checking out his new roommate, but Jason’s face was relaxed and his eyes closed, lashes casting dark shadows on the ridges of his cheekbones. “You’re supposed to keep me out of trouble this summer, right?” Jason continued, a note of humor in his voice. “Or do I have to go through some elaborate hazing ritual first?”

Ethan laughed a little at that and relaxed, too, settling onto his side on his bed, propping his head up with one hand. “I think rooming with me is enough punishment for anyone,” he said, drawing a chuckle from Jason. “What do you want to know?”

Jason shrugged, crossing his arms over his chest, eyes still shut. “Anything that’ll help,” he said. “People to avoid? Food not to eat? Where the poison ivy hides?”

Ethan rolled onto his stomach, folding his hands under his head and resting his cheek against the backs of his fingers. “People to avoid, not many,” he said. “Mostly Don doesn’t put up with any nonsense. Some rookie usually gets full of their own worth within the first few weeks and gets put into place pretty quickly. It’s kind of like boot camp, really. Not that bad, but they do kind of tear you down so they can build you back up.”

Jason nodded, eyes finally opening, focusing on Ethan’s face. “Got it,” he said. “No ego trips.” He shrugged again, grinning. “Not likely to be an issue anyway. I’m fully aware I’m pretty much a rank beginner here. I never even took a drama class until my junior year in high school.”

Curious now, Ethan lifted his head and an eyebrow. “How’d that work anyway?” he said. “It’s kind of hard for me to imagine. I’ve been acting since I was a kid in some form or another. How’d you get into it so late?”

Jason dropped his head forward and gave a lopsided smile. “My best friend wanted to do it,” he said. “We both had an elective spot open, and she’d done some community theater stuff and liked it, so she talked me into it. And the rest–“

“Oh no no no,” Ethan interrupted, waggling a finger. “No cliches! We’ll get enough of that when we start reading scripts, trust me.”

Jason grinned then. “Okay, okay, so let’s just say I got my foot caught in the door.”

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