He laughs at this, but his eyes remain tight. “I think you know already that Ramón hasn’t signed on for an extended run.”
“Robert mentioned it a few months ago, but I wasn’t sure whether that had changed with Calvin and Ramón’s popularity.”
“It has and it hasn’t.” Jeff looks down and picks up a pear—I’m sure as an obvious distraction from looking at my anxious expression. “Ramón’s run is up at the end of this year. He and his fiancée are based in L.A. Two days ago, Robert was asked to open the L.A. run of Possessed.”
He turns back, watches me, and I feel my heart squeeze too tight—in joy and panic. Robert is moving to L.A.?
“He hasn’t accepted yet, but is strongly leaning that way.”
As much as I try, my “That’s amazing!” comes out a little flat.
“It is,” Jeff says carefully, putting the fruit down. “They would do a special performance of the soundtrack at the Staples Center before moving into the Pantages Theatre.”
My eyes widen. The Staples Center is enormous. The Pantages is beautiful—it’s where Robert and Jeff took me to see Wicked for my twenty-first birthday. Having a show begin to travel is an unquestionable sign of success. “Is Robert losing his mind?”
Jeff smiles, and it’s the smile he saves only for his husband, the one that makes me ache with how happy they are. He looks younger, more carefree. “He is. He wanted to tell you about the offer, but I asked to speak to you first.”
“Is there any particular reason why, or—” I stop, putting the pieces together myself. My stomach drops like a brick from the sky. “Oh.”
Jeff licks his lips nervously. “Right. If Robert and Ramón go to open the show there, Calvin has agreed to go, too.”
Well, I guess I know now why Calvin called me this week. We’d better rush this annulment along; it’s already June. The clock’s a-ticking.
“Are you going to L.A.?” I ask.
“I’ll go out as much as I can . . .” He smiles a little helplessly, and I’m sure he’s as torn as I am about this. “I can’t exactly work from the West Coast. It should only be ten months or so.”
There’s an odd consolation in that, at least. “And are you . . . asking my permission?”
“I wouldn’t say that, but we did both think you should be consulted. You’re the reason it was possible in the first place.”
I hold up my hands in front of me. “I don’t have any say in this, and even if I did, I’d tell them they’re both crazy if they pass this up.” It’s amazing that I sound so calm because it feels like a fault line has just cracked my chest in two. “Tell Bobert I’ll be at the opening show, and I’ll be the loudest one cheering.”
“I can’t believe that’s what you’re wearing.” Davis looks at me, and then returns to his perusal of the minibar on his side of the car. My brother’s beard is at Full Lumberjack, though he does look pretty great in his tux.
I smooth down the delicate black lace of my skirt. “Jeff picked it out. He said I have to look better for this party than I’ve ever looked in my life.”
Our eyes meet again, and Davis gives a skeptical little shrug. “That’s asking a lot out of a dress.”
“Ha. Ha.” I move my wineglass away when he attempts to refill it. Jeff sent a car to pick us up and I’m so nervous that if I don’t slow down on the sauce, the chances of Appalland making an appearance tonight will be one hundred percent.
Sitting back in his seat, Davis cracks open a Red Bull from the minibar and pins me with a confused look. “Doesn’t that mean something, though? You didn’t spend two hours blow-drying and curling your hair because you hate him.”
“Of course I don’t hate him, but I don’t want to look terrible when he shows up with his new girlfriend. I need to even the playing field a little. Rack up the team or whatever it is.”
Davis swallows a long gulp, and then belches. “You are never allowed to use a sports analogy again.”
“What I mean,” I say, “is that I’m in a good place, and I don’t want to forget all the awesome things that are happening just because I’m so sad that my fake marriage ended.”
He looks up from the sleeve of cookies he’s currently inhaling and raises a fist in solidarity. “This is your fight song.”
“Excuse you, I’m simply being positive.” We both look up as the car slows to a stop. I look out the window and see that we’re in front of the restaurant. “Is it too late to turn around? I don’t want to do this.”
“Be positive, remember?” Davis slides across the leather seat and steps out once the door is open, reaching to take my hand. “You look beautiful. Shut up.”
I smile up at him just as a camera goes off, one of many behind a velvet rope on either side of the entrance. A blue carpet leads the way to the door and I can hear the music before we’ve even stepped inside, the familiar notes of Calvin’s guitar immortalized on the cast recording and filtering out of the ballroom.
It’s the cocktail hour Jeff has planned before the big L.A. announcement, and the restaurant is a hive of chatter and movement. A chandelier hangs like a constellation in the center of the room; waitstaff wind their way through a sea of people in black tie.