When the cameras stop rolling, the real scene begins.
Bollywood Confidential, Book 1
To their adoring public, Avi Kumar and Trishna Chaudhury are Bollywood’s sweethearts. Behind closed doors, their open marriage lets them freely indulge in all manner of forbidden passions. The arrangement suits them both, but as they begin filming on the set of their new movie, the heat of new and rekindled flames singes the pages of what they thought would be a fresh script.
When costars Michael Gill and Harsh Mathur arrive on set, the sexual temperature goes up exponentially—at least for Trish. She can’t take her eyes of Harsh, for whom she’s carried a torch for years. Avi’s instant attraction to Michael, however, bounces off Michael’s solid wall of resistance.
Meanwhile, ex-boyfriends Vikram Malhotra and Sam Khanna, cast as fictional enemies, are finding it harder and harder to control the very real demons that once cost them the love of a lifetime.
Once the music starts, though, they all have no choice but to dance . And pray the fallout doesn’t ruin all their careers…and destroy their love.
Product WarningsThis book contains gay and straight sexytimes, smoking, drinking, references to drug use, and a gratuitous musical number involving The Beatles.
Copyright © 2012 Suleikha Snyder
All rights reserved — a Samhain Publishing, Ltd. publication
Avinash Kumar was staring at him. Unabashedly. While his wife, Trishna Chaudhury, was standing right next to him. It was either the ballsiest move on the planet, or the rumors about the two of them having a rather liberal interpretation of their marriage vows were true. Michael didn’t know what to make of it, but the man’s dark eyes were stripping him bare in front of all and sundry. His skin prickled with awareness.
Michael had been luckier than most. The industry protected its own, so stardom and a few well-placed bribes had allowed him to live his life as an open secret. Though the country had only recently made major strides in decriminalizing homosexuality, it had always been a safe place to walk around hand in hand with another bloke. Such things were not “gay” as the West defined it, but simply gestures of affection and camaraderie. The release of Dostana had helped, too. A romantic comedy about friends only playing at being gay had sparked a national conversation about sexual identity. In the three years since the film had become a superhit, even villagers fresh from the rice fields could joke and wink and say boys were just engaging in “a little Dostana”.
Still, he hadn’t been cruised this blatantly in years…and certainly not by someone in the business. They’d seen each other around, of course. At the FilmStar Awards, at parties. Avi was taller than him, broader and hairier, too. Stubble framed his jaw and crept up his cheeks, whorls of dark hair peeked from the vee of his open shirt collar. People called him a “kept man” because of Trishna’s family legacy—as Sanjoy Chaudhury and Roma’s daughter, she was Bollywood royalty. Both her parents had been huge stars in the 1970s. But Avi had established himself as a screen stud well before he’d taken the marital turns with her around the sacred fire. He’d only gotten better-looking in the years since. He was a man who seemed too rough-and-tumble for a suit, but balanced the dark, brooding air with a wry smile. A confident smile. A smile that at this very moment was saying, “I want you.”
The heat coiling in the pit of Michael’s belly, and the sudden, uncomfortable tightness of his jeans, told him everything he wanted to say in response.
Michael was only giving half an ear to what Nicky Kohli was going on about, his attention fixed halfway across the dais, until some nebulous part of the conversation leaked back into his brain. “…Sam couldn’t be here because he’s finishing up dates for Lakshman Verma at Film City. Vikram will come at the end of the month, after he wraps that shoot in Miami and visits his mummy-daddy there also.”
“What?” he blurted out incredulously, forcing his focus back to Harsh and Nicky. “Someone was crazy enough to cast Vikram Malhotra and Sam Khanna in the same film?”
The men shrugged; their baffled expressions no doubt mirrored his own. As Trishna and Avinash drew closer and picked up the thread of the conversation, they, too, looked shocked.
“Has Joshi gone mad, yaar?” Harsh marveled, releasing Trish’s hand and moving to firmly shake Avi’s. “Nobody in his right mind would sign those two for the same picture.”
“Maybe he’s trying to save on set striking costs,” Avi suggested, gaze still flitting to Michael with brazen appraisal.
While it was hardly public knowledge, Vikram and Sam hadn’t worked together since a vicious breakup some three years before. Spot boys still talked about how their dressing rooms had looked like a typhoon had struck, how the walls had rattled like the stunt master had instructed them to brawl as though the studio was meant to crumble around their ears.
It had occurred to Michael more than once that maybe they hadn’t been brawling. Maybe they’d been having one last goodbye…slammed up against the wall, tearing at each other’s clothes, desperate to be close one more time. The vision was stuck in his head now…only it wasn’t Sam and Vikram he saw pressed flush against a wall. No, it was him and Trishna Chaudhury’s husband. Forget what had knocked out Joshi’s sense, he had to be out of his bloody mind.
Almost hauntingly on cue, Trish laughed at something Nicky was saying. Of course, she was an actress; it was likely she could do everything on cue. Far from riding on her parents’ coattails, she’d actually come up through the ranks like he had. A supporting part on a television serial when she was sixteen had led to her first film role, and from there the rest was cinematic history. Her beautiful face was splashed across every billboard in the country, selling everything from cold cream to toothpaste. She had makeup contracts, too, though her huge, fringe-lashed, grey eyes and petal-shaped mouth barely needed adornment. Every straight man wanted to bed her, and most gay men he knew wanted to be her. He finally got the inclination, because being Trishna meant having Avinash in your bed, and having him anywhere else you wanted him, too…