As a kid, astronomy professor Marty Brooks kept in touch with a pen pal who lived on the other side of the country. Eventually that pen pal stopped responding to Marty’s letters, which always ended with “Making a Wish” for Marty’s love of stars.
Now, as adults, Marty and his brother are big fans of a series of famous sci-fi movies. At the convention, they hope to meet up with their favorite actors. Marty is especially interested in meeting one particular actor who is openly gay, but instead he bumps into the star of the movies, Sebastian Lookinland.
Before long, Marty learns the world really is small, when it is revealed Sebastian is the pen pal he used to write. Marty has an affair with the hot actor at the convention, knowing it will end when the convention does, but at then Sebastian suggests they stay connected through texts, emails, and weekend get-togethers. Is something more permanent too much to wish for?
I now wore a gold plastic wristband as I waited for Jack outside a restroom near the pre-registration. It was to prove that you were a Gold Ticket attendee, apparently. I also had a folder full of fliers, a special Space Heroes lanyard, and tickets that entitled me to special dinners and free gifts. I had to admit it was too cool even if it was absurdly costly.
I turned to study a nearby easel that held a poster for Space Heroes.
"Here for the convention?"
I turned to glance at the guy with the deep voice. He was a little taller than me, maybe an inch or two, with stylish blond hair. Even with the frameless glasses he wore, I could see his eyes were an intense blue, like sapphires. He was very good looking and I found my pulse racing immediately.
"Yeah," I replied. "How'd you know?'
"The wristband." He smiled at me with the most perfect white teeth. He really was stunning. "I've seen a lot of those around here today. The gold is the top tier, isn't it?"
"That's right. My brother and I splurged. You here for it, too?" He didn't really look like the Space Heroes convention type. In other words, not particularly geeky, but I was never really certain. Lots of people were inner geeks.
He nodded. "I definitely am. I was about to get some lunch at the restaurant over there. Would you and your brother like to join me?"
As though Jack sensed he was being discussed, he suddenly appeared beside me. He blinked kind of rapidly at the guy, though I couldn't really say why.
"Uh. Hi," Jack said.
"Hello," the cutie said. "You must be the brother."
"Yeah." Jack turned to me, his eyes wide. "Marty --"
"Ah, so that's your name. I just invited your brother to lunch. You want to?"
"Lunch with you?" Jack sounded breathless. It was weird.
"Jack, what's with you?" I asked. "This is my brother, Jack. And I'm Martin." I held out my hand to him.
He took it and shook it. "I'm Sebastian."
And then it hit me as I looked into his gorgeous eyes. I glanced quickly at the Space Heroes poster. Then back to cutie. Now Jack's behavior made sense.
Sebastian Lookinland. And he'd just asked me to lunch. Us. Us to lunch, I reminded myself.