Author: Aidan Wayne
Publisher: NineStar Press
Release Date: August 21
Heat Level: 2 – Fade to Black Sex
Genre: Contemporary, chefs, children, contemporary, sports, gay, pansexual, trans
Between raising his daughter Camille, his work as a full-time pastry chef, and his hobby of capoeira, Baz’s life is pretty full. He may be a little lonely, but he’s too busy to think about it all that much.
When his cousin Alaina introduces him to Terry, another capoeira student, Baz is instantly drawn to him. Though quiet and withdrawn, Terry ends up being a fun, interesting person who Baz can’t help but fall for. And when Baz does things, he doesn’t do them halfway.
Terry is a successful voice actor and a talented martial artist. But the fact that he’s shy, on top of being a trans man, has kept him from really dating. He likes Baz, he does—he just doesn’t want to mess up their friendship by failing at romance. Still, Baz is nothing if not stubborn, and Terry is willing to give things a try.
Character Bio Terry
Terry Cohen is 28 years old. He’s a third degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do, having studied since he was twelve, and has been voice acting professionally for almost eleven years (thanks to a push from one of his theatre teachers when he was in community college). He’s done podcasts, voiced for amatuer animation, and has had his own theatre-of-the-mind youtube channel since he was about sixteen, and those also earn him a little bit of revenue (very important for a self-employed actor). He mostly does a lot of commercials, but his favorite thing to do is to voice animated characters; he loves figuring out what voice to use for them, and helping to bring them to life. Video games are also a lot of fun, even though he hasn’t done very many. He once was a voice for several minor characters in a fighting video game, and spent three hours in the studio booth voicing various grunts, groans, and nine different “dying” sounds. He’s most known for two different shows, one for kids and one aimed at an older audience, the latter of which Baz is a fan of. Terry’s even been asked to be a guest at conventions for his work. He enjoys those, but they drain a lot of his energy since he’s naturally a pretty quiet person when he isn’t in the booth.
Terry is a trans man and started medically transitioning when he was 20 years old. A year into being on testosterone, his vocal chords thickened to the point that he lost some of his higher range. This completely freaked him out, since his voice was such a part of his life, and he stopped T completely. He’s had top surgery and has gotten his name legally changed, but he’s off T forever because he refuses to risk his voice. Most days he doesn’t regret his decision. One of the reasons he keeps his body in shape is because he has a personal ideal that he wants to get as close as he can to achieving–which he has to do without the help of testosterone. But he doesn’t mind that he doesn’t have to deal with a lot of facial hair. Periods still suck though.
What with being on the shy, quiet side, Terry didn’t grow up with a lot of friends. This was exacerbated a little bit by the fact that he was trans and didn’t quite know where he fit in with his peers. College was a little better and he got along with most of his classmates, but since he was working at the time and going to school around that schedule, he didn’t really get to make a lot of concrete friends. He does belong to a fairly large online community, but they all keep different hours and live in different places. While he has a few people from that community he feels really close with, he can’t exactly go out to see a movie with them.
It’s hard, and Terry is very much aware that him feeling so self-conscious all the time doesn’t help his social life, but he can’t seem to make himself change. He belongs to little groups that welcome and accept him, but in social settings he tends to shy away and curl into himself. His capoeira classes are a good example of that; most of his classmates are louder, more energetic. They are happy to include him in their capoeira family, but Terry remains unsure of quite how to belong. Because of that, a lot of them back off thinking they’re giving Terry space, when in fact it makes him feel more isolated. Baz, on the other hand, being really interested in Terry, makes the extra effort to see him outside of class and try to get to know him. This is what finally pulls Terry out of his shell.
It’s never going to be perfect. Terry’s insecurities are a big part of who he is as a person, so while he does his best to live around them, they’re never going to completely go away. But having someone like Baz who is willing to be patient with him helps a lot.
Aidan Wayne © 2017
All Rights Reserved
Baz was going to throw up.
It was finally time for the Roda Capoeira showcase. Baz’s martial arts school put on a demo once a year, and he was one of two people demonstrating advanced flips. He was ready, he’d been practicing for weeks, the show started in ten minutes, he was the eighth performer out of twelve, and he was going to seriously throw up if he thought anymore about performing in front of an audience. He was fine with regular capoeira games, the fighting dance performed in a rodacircle. But for some reason this felt a lot different from playing a game with his regular group.
Maybe it was because Andre and Aunt Emma had collaborated with the local community broadcast system, so there were television cameras around.
There was a quick rapping on the dressing room door—three sharp knocks to warn them all before it was pushed open. Someone Baz had never seen before walked in, looking for all the world like they belonged there.
“Terry!” Lydia, who was closest to the door, immediately rushed at them, throwing her arms around their neck. They looked tiny next to Lydia’s five-ten frame but didn’t buckle after being practically jumped on. “Oh my god, Terry, you’re back! Guys, Terry’s here!”
Baz turned to get a better look, grateful for the distraction, as all of the eleven other performers made their way toward the door and the short dark-haired newcomer, who quickly disappeared underneath a multitude of hugs. Dee, who had been putting on their makeup, practically tripped over themselves to run forward.
“Hey everyone,” Terry said, muffled under Dee and Alaina. “Missed you.”
“I’m glad you made it. Welcome back.” Andre grinned, clapping Terry on the back.
“Well, I couldn’t miss the showcase,” Terry said, smiling down at the floor. They spoke quietly, but in a way that carried. “And I’ll be coming back to classes finally. Got my schedule changed around. Just wanted to tell you all that I’m here. Put on a good show so I can see what I missed?”
“Yeah, of course,” Lydia said.
“I’ll let you guys finish getting ready. See you all soon.”
They left with a wave and a bunch of goodbyes, with a promise to Andre they’d come backstage again after the show.
Baz caught Alaina’s arm as she made her way back to the mirrors to finish helping Dee with their makeup. (Dee used they/them pronouns, so when it doubt, that was what Baz had learned to default to.) “Who was that? I’ve never seen them before.”
Alaina looked delighted. “That was Terry. I think I’ve mentioned him to you before? He’s the guy who does Tae Kwon Do and likes all the same bands as you. You’d be great friends. I’m so glad he’s back—I’ve been dying to introduce you. And, you know, see him again.”
“Has he been coming to capoeira for a long time?”
“He’s been pretty off and on. But it sounds like he’s going to be back.”
“Five minutes till curtain, everyone,” Andre called. “Let’s get into our seats.”
The performers all rushed around finishing up last-minute touches, and Baz was distracted enough by the commotion and the rest of the showcase that his nerves died down, at least a little bit.
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Aidan Wayne has been a jeweler, paralegal, neurofeedback technician, and martial arts instructor. And that’s not even the whole list. They’ve been in constant motion since before they were born (pity Aidan’s mom!)—and being born didn’t change anything. When not moving, Aidan is usually writing, so things tend to balance out. They primarily write character-driven stories with happy endings, because, dammit, queer people deserve happy endings too.
Aidan has several plants: Viola and Baby V., the African violets; George, the ponytail palm; Antigone, the orchid; and an unidentified succulent, the-plant-that-has-not-yet-been-named-but-is-often-called-Steve. They live with their plants on the seventh floor of an apartment building. The building has an elevator, but Aidan refuses to acknowledge its existence.
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