“Kris, can you help me out? I need to work on the blocking for ‘I’ll Know,’’” Adam says, flipping idly through the prop Bible on the table.
Kris almost runs into the phone booth just off stage left. “I’m sorry, what?”
Adam looks up, mouth twitching at the corners; obviously, he caught Kris’ near collision. “Blocking. Scene 2. Help?” he says with a bright smile, the one that makes everyone drop whatever they’re doing—no matter how important—just to fulfill his request.
Unless you’re Kris, in which case, obeying Adam Lambert’s every whim isn’t exactly a top priority.
“Sorry, Adam,” Kris says with a toothy smile, “but I have to meet Tommy at Brad’s. He’s having some sort of meltdown over the costumes.”
He gets vicious satisfaction from the shocked look on Adam’s face. Kris really shouldn’t have this much fun telling Adam no, but it feels so good. Why?
Because Adam Lambert is a dick.
Kris has thought that from the moment he strutted into their little theatre like he owned the damn place. Kris hates actors like him, the cocky, overconfident douches who help perpetuate the stereotype. To make it worse, the arrogance is justified. Adam has an amazing voice, and he knows how to make the girls in the audience swoon. Adam is good, so good Kris has to wonder why he’s stuck doing regional theatre and not lighting up a marquee on Broadway; he chalks it up to Adam being a diva. It’s the only explanation.
No one else seems to share Kris’ opinion, but that’s because Adam bats his big blue eyes at them and they turn into a puddle of goo. Kris is the only one who hasn’t fallen for that trick. In retrospect, being the only one to say no to Adam on anything may have been how this all began.
“Oh,” Adam says, obviously disappointed. “Okay then.” The face he makes then is so pathetic that even Kris can’t help feeling sorry for him.
Kris sighs. Brad has meltdowns every other week, every other day the closer the show gets. Tommy can handle it this once. “What do you need me to do?”
The hangdog look evaporates in a blink; Kris gets the feeling he’s been had. “Just stand over there and look pretty.” Adam pauses, giving Kris a long, lingering look. “Not that that’ll be difficult,” he says, aiming one of his heartthrob smiles at Kris.
He rolls his eyes as he shuffles into place, leaning back against the desk and raising a brow at Adam. “Well?” Kris says expectantly. “Get with the blocking. Also, why isn’t Pia helping you with this? She’s the one playing your love interest.”
Adam shrugs, taking a few steps closer. “She went home already and it’s pretty late. You’re the only one still here.”
Kris opens his mouth to argue, then actually looks at the time; Adam’s right. He scowls at Adam, crossing his arms and sighing loudly. “Let’s just get this over with—and be professional,” Kris says with a glare.
Adam just beams at him, wide and innocent. “How dare you suggest I’d do otherwise,” he says as he slides even closer. Kris’ glare makes him take a step back. “Relax, Kris. I just want to go over this quickly and then you can go. Promise,” Adam says, laughing. “Take it from the music cue?”
Kris raises a brow at him. “You expect me to sing? I’m not exactly a soprano.”
Adam shakes his head, still smiling. “You can talk it if you want. Your job doesn’t involve being able to hit the high notes.”
Kris scowls. He may be working here in a strictly administrative capacity, but that doesn’t mean he can’t carry a tune. “For the record, I can sing. How about we take it back a bit further, from your line?”
Adam shrugs. “Sure. It’d probably help. So, from,” he says, grabbing a script someone left on the chair—the owner of which will be getting a severe talking-to from Kris later—and flipping through until he finds the right page, “here?” Kris skims the page then nods, waiting.
Kris may not particularly like Adam, but he can give credit where credit is due. Adam is good at what he does, and watching him slip into character is fascinating. When he turns it on, Adam’s presence can fill a room, so magnetic it’s hard not to notice him.
Adam is outgoing, the quintessential social butterfly, but there’s something predatory in his gaze when he’s playing Sky. That sharp gaze sends shivers skittering down Kris’ spine—not that he’ll ever admit it.
Kris blinks. “What?”
Adam, to his credit, doesn’t break character. The corner of his mouth twitches, as if he’s biting back a smile. “I asked what this man of yours will be like, Sergeant,”
“He will not be a gambler, for one thing,” Kris says absently. He’s seen so many rehearsals that he’s memorized entire scenes, if not the whole show.
Adam—Sky—chuckles, a smirk on his lips. “I can name better than you the things he won’t be,” he says, so condescending Kris wants to smack him just for the hell of it, “but what will he be? How will you know when he gets to you?”
“Don’t worry,” Kris says firmly, meeting Adam’s gaze head-on, “I’ll know. For I’ve imagined every bit of him. From his strong moral fiber, to the wisdom in his head. To the homey aroma of his pipe,” Kris says, the lyrics spilling off his tongue in a slightly musical cadence.
“You,” Adam says, slightly mocking, “have wished yourself a Scarsdale Galahad—the breakfast-eating, Brooks-brothers type.”
“Yes,” Kris says sharply, warming up to the scene. “And I shall meet him when the time is ripe,” he sings softly, smiling helplessly and shrugging at Adam’s surprised look.
He grins back, small and fleeting, as he slouches against the desk, sitting just on the edge. “You’ve got it all figured out,” Adam says, a slight smile on his lips.
“I have,” Kris replies, haughty, stepping away from the desk and putting more distance between them.
“Including what he smokes!” Adam says, eyes wide in mock surprise. “All figured out, huh?” he asks teasingly, giving Kris one of those heartthrob smiles that make everyone else weak in the knees.
“All figured out,” Kris retorts, ignoring the way his pulse quickens and vainly fighting the blush he can feel building. “I’ll know, when my love comes along. I won’t take a chance. For, oh, he’ll be just what I need—not some fly-by-night Broadway romance,” he says pointedly.
Adam sings his line to the melody of nothing in particular, so ridiculous Kris can’t help snickering, dropping Sarah’s indignant act for a moment. Kris sings the next verse—to the correct melody—at a louder volume, relaxing a little. Kris is outright belting by the verse’s end, trying to remember Pia’s blocking. He’s downstage left, Adam behind him, but Kris can catch him in his periphery, staring adoringly at Kris. Kris reminds himself that Adam is an actor and this is the moment Sky is supposed to fall for Sarah; these are the characters talking, not them.
Adam puts a hand on Kris’ shoulder, turning him to face him. “Mine will come as a surprise to me,” he sings, soft and playful. “Mine, I leave to chance and chemistry,” Adam sings, moving so close that Kris can feel the heat of his body. Being the focus of Adam’s attention is an experience; Kris couldn’t look away if he wanted to.
“Chemistry?” he breathes, remembering the line after a few charged moments of silence.
“Yeah, chemistry,” Adam says absently, his hand coming up to caress Kris’ cheek. His eyes fall shut as he instinctively leans into the touch before jerking away. Adam huffs a laugh and walks away, starting on his verse.
Kris crosses his arms and tries to blend in with the set. Thankfully, this is in character so Adam can’t call him out on it. Kris shakes his head and tries to gather his thoughts. Adam is an actor. Sky is seducing Sarah. He’s supposed to be charming and tempting and enthralling. Adam is acting right now.
Kris tries not to pay attention to him, but it really is impossible to ignore Adam’s voice. He actually looks like he means it when he sings about finding the girl of his dreams and knowing her on sight. Kris doesn’t notice how much closer he’s gotten until he’s only a foot or two away from Adam. He turns to face away from Adam, knowing that the blocking for this next part involves Adam slowly moving into Kris’ space.
It’s just acting, it’s just acting, it’s just acting. No matter how many times Kris tells himself that, it doesn’t make the blush on his face die, or his heartbeat slow.
Adam is at his back now, only a few lines away from the—
Adam turns him around forcefully and pulls him up for a kiss, his arms tight around Kris’ waist. He flails for a moment before settling into it, his mouth opening under Adam’s. It goes on for too long, is too passionate to be written off as a rehearsal. Kris tries to break the kiss but Adam just moves his hands down to Kris’ ass and squeezes; Kris stops trying.
Countless minutes later, they part with a loud, slick, sound that makes Kris blush even harder. They’re both flushed and breathless, hesitant to break the thick silence. Adam’s eyes are wide and shocked, his hands going slack on Kris’ hips.
“I,” he says slowly, “am so sorry, Kris. That was unprofessional of me.”
The sweet, heady feeling vanishes. Kris awkwardly steps out of Adam’s arms, stumbling back. “No, it’s fine. You got caught up in the moment. No harm done,” he says to his feet, wishing he could leap through the trap door without it being all sorts of pathetic.
Adam makes a choked sound; Kris looks up in concern. “You think that’s what that was?” he says, incredulous.
“Yes?” Kris says slowly.
Adam laughs, shaking his head. “You are either really good at acting oblivious or you actually are. You seriously don’t know?”
“No,” Kris says, quickly moving from confused into angry. “So please quit laughing at me and just say it.”
Adam laughs some more, looking at Kris with this dopey smile on his face. “You really don’t know,” he says, still shaking his head. “I have the most ridiculous crush on you; that’s why I kissed you.”
Kris blinks. “What?”
Adam raises a brow. “Seriously? I’ve asked you out at least a dozen times. According to everyone on the cast—and crew—I’m constantly staring at you like a lovesick teenager. I always manage to make an ass of myself in front of you because of it. And, I repeat, I’ve asked you out at least a dozen times.”
“I thought you were kidding!” he says, hands flailing a little. “You flirt with everyone. How was I supposed to know you meant it this time?”
Adam puts his head in his hands. “Man. We are stupid.” When he looks back up, there’s a wide, hopeful smile on his lips. “So, now that you know I’m serious, and that I’m a pretty good kisser,” he says, taking a few steps towards Kris, tipping his chin up when he’s too close to look at straight on, “would you like to go to dinner with me sometime? I promise not to put out on the first date.”
Kris laughs helplessly at that, charmed despite himself. “Fine. Yes. I’ll go to dinner with you.” Adam beams at him. Kris leans up to reach his ear, pressing close to Adam to help balance himself. “And you don’t have to keep that promise if you don’t want to.”