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Secrets and Lies

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“Are you two secretly dating or what?”

Bulk’s question made Adam look up from the table he was sharing with Tommy at the Juice Bar, startled to realize the question was aimed at them.

“Yeah, you guys are like Persian twins or something lately,” Skull added, snagging a grape off of Adam’s plate.

“Persian…?” Bulk looked at his friend, face screwed up in confusion. Adam was amused to note that he could actually see the realization spread across Bulk’s round face seconds before he whacked Skull’s shoulder with a loud smacking sound that made Adam wince. “That’s Siamese, you idiot.”

“Don’t be silly,” Adam said automatically. Bulk and Skull were already paying more attention to their slap fight than to Adam and Tommy, but Adam wanted to stop any potential rumor before it could get started. It wouldn’t be right if his hopeless crush prevented others from approaching Tommy, prevented Tommy from finding someone new with whom to be happy.

Adam pushed down pushed down the ache in his chest at the thought of Tommy with someone else and forced himself to continue. “Tommy and I…”

Adam looked away from Bulk and Skull and toward Tommy, seeking to share a smile (however forced on his part) and tripped over his next lie.

Tommy’s whole body was tense; his normally genial face looked strained, his bright smile wistful. But it was his eyes that stopped Adam in his tracks. They were fixed on Adam, soft with longing, with fear, with hope and full of love. Adam swallowed hard, wonder warming him as he blindly reached out to cover Tommy’s hand with his own. Tommy beamed and squeezed his hand as Adam spoke again.

“Don’t be silly. Tommy and I aren’t keeping anything a secret.”