Rob drove fast onto the interstate, the jerking squeal of the convertible making it a close call as Taylor flopped back into his seat, whooping and hollering as the wind roared past them. Taylor fought forward momentum as he looked behind them, the motorists gawking with Is that them? or What the fuck those idiots, stop hogging the road!, and Taylor couldn’t help but laugh as the adrenaline pumped fast in his bloodstream.
The rush was unbelievable. Not just the car and the speed, not just the fact that Rob was finally beside him driving erratically with a wide, gorgeous grin, but also the rebellion that both of them were undertaking. Rob was used to defying the status quo—a notorious bad boy of the modeling world—but Rob had actually given Taylor’s agent the middle finger, saying He’ll be back soon. His firm and warm hand had dragged Taylor from the pretentious modeling shoot, their fingers entwining as Rob didn’t give a fuck about the fangirls seeing them.
Soon likely had many meanings, but Taylor didn’t care. His heart beat rapidly at the fact that Rob had actually heard him, heard his desperation through the meaningless texts they sent each other. That when Rob had asked hey and Taylor hadn’t responded for days, and Rob had texted again with what the fuck, Taylor’s responding nothing had sent warning bells.
He glanced over at Rob leaning back, one hand on the wheel, his arm on the ledge of the car window. Rob always looked photo-ready, perfection in every moment he breathed. Likely because he never gave a damn—a hand ruffled through his hair in the mornings, worn t-shirts off the floor his daily wardrobe. Yet Rob Pattinson was still the hottest model on the planet, landing campaigns with Calvin Klein, Hugo Boss, Abercrombie & Fitch—all in his own way, of course.
He compromised for no one, his British accent politely telling others to fuck off if need be. Like Rob did the first time they met for A&F, and Taylor had no clue what to do. His apprehension had been obvious—fresh out of Michigan, wet behind the ears—and Taylor had just been overly grateful to get the job, then blown away by the prominence. It had jacked up Taylor’s nerves, and Rob had been done with his newbie crap the moment they stepped on shoot.
Except… despite his hostility in the first meeting, they kept meeting. Taylor had blown up on billboards and catalogs, his unique look garnering him a ton of work, and they kept bumping into each other.
“Hell, you again?” Rob had said, falling into the makeup chair as he stumbled on set—late of course—and hadn’t paid Taylor any mind. And that repeated for the next shoot, and the next—
Rob switched hands on the steering wheel, blindly finding Taylor’s fingers and grasping them. He gave a quick side-glance. “You okay?”
Taylor squeezed back—oh, he was more than okay. Definitely okay now.
Truth be told, Rob was the only okay part of his life, as screwed up as that was. The pressures from his strict family to make it in the biz, his agent’s pressures to keep clean and prolific, the fangirls to be polite and charming—all had worn him down eventually, resulting in “nothing”.
It had been quite a year—a whirlwind year. As Taylor was offered drugs, jobs, and women, Rob had taken him by the hand and said I’ll keep you.
Like Taylor ever had a chance to refuse.
A stalled hotel elevator had led them to talking—being stuck in a small space could make friends out of anyone. Except Rob had apparently considered Taylor a friend already, his abrasive blow-offs supposedly a sign of affection.
Taylor had finally realized that when Rob pressed him against the elevator doors, a moment where the asshole mask had slipped—gray eyes revealing a shred of doubt that made him human, made Rob vulnerable. When Taylor thumbed Rob’s jaw and kissed him gently—not from hesitation, but tenderness—apparently it was the first time the stand-off act hadn’t fooled someone. The harsh intake of breath had been Rob sighing in relief, followed by their bodies pressed flush against the doors.
And they had been making out constantly ever since, when schedules allowed. That was the downside of success—you met amazing people, but never had time to realize how amazing they were.
And Rob had his own ways. He blew off dates, skipped photo-shoots, appeared at random nightclubs with female models. Most professionals knew of their relationship, but the modeling world still rolled its eyes and went Oh, Rob.
Taylor was supposed to do that too, except he fell into work and tried not to swim out of it. He had even taken to secretly smoking—another bad habit of Rob’s—to cope with the demands. Considering his mother wasn’t around to lecture him anymore, he could privately be a lapsed altar boy.
If only she knew—knew that it was way worse than privately smoking, or even sex outside of marriage. That Taylor had caught the man beside him strumming his guitar one morning—haloed in streaming sunlight, crooning everything always looks worse in black and white—and knew that he was in love.
Rob squinted against the setting sun and asked casually, “So—what’s ‘nothing’?”
Taylor looked behind him, the convertible revealing that miles and miles separated them from New York City, from the world that trapped them in front of a camera. The world that expected Taylor to be something else—and yet Rob had seen through him, never expected him to be someone he was not.
Taylor glanced back at Rob, admiring the way his skin shone with the sunset. When it came down to it, despite all the up and downs of their relationship, Rob had still dropped everything when it mattered—rescued him when it mattered.
They were pulling into a state park when Taylor finally answered, “What we left behind.”
And Rob’s small smile was worth everything. Worth losing the job that Taylor walked out from, worth his agent’s wrath, worth a tarnished reputation. Worth trying to explain to his mother why he had suddenly run away from home.
Maybe it was time to explain things. Explain how—despite how it looked with all his new vices—Rob had made him more of an honest person.
When the car was parked, Rob leaned over and kissed his forehead. Taylor’s eyes closed as the lips lingered near his skin, both of them not caring who might have seen them.
“Then let’s leave them behind,” Rob whispered, his voice tinged on rough and honest.
It was a voice that Taylor would follow anywhere. And when Rob leapt over the convertible car door—cool and casual, as Rob always was—Taylor followed him to the shaded and secluded walking path, not even asking where they were.