Adam rings the doorbell a second time, and then a third, grinning just in time to get caught when Kris finally opens the door. "Good morning," he says, trying not to laugh at Kris's scowl and half-closed eyes. He's wearing a pair of frayed blue boxers that Adam remembers from the mansion, and his hair is sticking up on one side and flat on the other, patently adorable.
"Let me guess," Kris says, his voice crackling with sleep, "you've come to abduct my wife."
Adam slides his sunglasses up onto his head and widens his eyes at Kris. "You should put a shirt on before you answer the door, Pocket Idol. I could've been the paparazzi."
"They don't ring the doorbell before ten," Kris says dryly, and lets him into the house.
Kris and Katy's rented house is cooler inside, air-conditioned against the L.A. heat, and the entryway and living room are cluttered with half-empty boxes and half-packed suitcases. They don't really live here, yet—won't until Kris is back from the tour and Katy moves to L.A. for good, until they have time to breathe and settle, and find something permanent.
"Katy," Kris calls up the stairs, "your date's here!"
Adam snickers and Kris smiles at him, almost awake. "Give the man some coffee," Katy yells back, her voice ringing off the bare walls. "What happened to your Southern hospitality?"
"Los Angeles happened," Adam mutters. Kris smacks him lightly on the arm on his way into the kitchen and Adam follows, leans against the counter and watches Kris pour coffee into a new filter and push the buttons on the coffee pot. He hums to himself as he does it, two bars of something Adam doesn't recognize.
"So what are you wearing on tour?" he asks, only a little wickedly, "because I think the fans would go wild for that outfit." Kris turns to look at him, eyebrows raised, and Adam gives him a long, slow once-over, lingering on his bare chest and knobby knees. Kris rolls his eyes, but his cheeks go pink.
"I don't think this is bedazzled enough for American Idol," he says after a moment.
Adam laughs, surprised. "Don't let anyone pressure you into anything you don't want."
The coffee splutters to a halt, and Kris grins and turns away again, getting three mugs down from the cupboard above the coffee pot. "Does that mean I don't have to get a pedicure?"
Adam pushes himself off the counter and goes to get the milk out of the fridge. "Nothing you don't want, baby," he says, patting Kris on the shoulder, "pedicures are not for the weak."
"It's true," Katy says from the kitchen doorway, "it takes a real man to withstand the horror of the pedicure." She's smiling, gorgeous and adorable in a tank top and jeans, and Adam hadn't wanted to like her at first, when she was the perfect, straight wife of the perfect, straight friend he couldn't stop crushing on. She's just like Kris, though: too sweet and smart and funny not to love.
"Well," Kris says placidly, handing Katy her coffee—milk, no sugar—"that's why you're going with Adam."
Carla finishes the second coat of polish on Adam's toes and stands up, patting him on the knee. "Don't you wiggle those toes and fuck up all my hard work, Lambert," she says sharply.
He immediately stops flexing his toes, guilty, and grins at her. "Yes ma'am."
Katy laughs, and Carla turns to her, smiling widely. She'd taken to Katy immediately. "I'll be back in ten to do your hands, doll, gotta check on my other customers. You need anything?"
"No, thank you," Katy says, utterly polite. Carla winks at Adam and goes out, leaving them alone in the back room. Carla's place is always busy, but she always has time for old friends—even when those friends get suddenly and unexpectedly famous. Adam hadn't even had to ask before she'd shoved them into the back and started giving foot massages.
"I'd never have found this place on my own," Katy says. She looks relaxed, happy, her feet up on the footrest while her toes dry and a copy of Vogue open and untouched on her lap.
"Well, that's why," Adam agrees. "You should know all the best places in L.A., when you move here for real. It's a hell of a city if you don't have someone to show you the ropes." He doesn't want Katy to feel alone in L.A., and Kris won't know how to help with the little things.
Katy nods, "I know, I just wanted to say thank you."
"Any time, babe," Adam says, meaning it. Katy nods again and looks away, but she doesn't seem as relaxed, now, her hands tensing on the arms of the chair. Adam is about to ask her what's wrong when she looks up, clearly steeling herself for something. He tries to look non-threatening.
"Can I ask you something kind of personal?"
Adam sucks in a breath, surprised. He's grown to dread that question over the last few months, but if she's actually going to ask—"Of course."
"Okay," Katy says, "So, Kris implied—" she stops, blushing, and Adam was expecting anger and maybe accusation, but not embarrassment. "Um," she continues, not meeting his eyes, "that you might—um." She takes a deep breath and rushes through the rest, turning redder with every word, "that you might know something about sex toys?"
Adam blinks at her for a minute, and then throws back his head and laughs. Katy is scowling at him when he finally stops laughing, and he puts up his hands, "No, sorry, I didn't mean it like that, I was just relieved. I thought you were going to ask about—" he closes his mouth abruptly.
Katy shakes her head, "I wasn't."
"Okay." Adam shrugs, "well, yes, it would not be an overstatement to say that I know something about sex toys." Katy is still red, and he frowns, because she hadn't struck him as quite that vanilla. "Have you seriously never used a vibrator?"
"No, I have," she says, and then buries her face in her hands, "Oh my god, this is so embarrassing."
Adam hasn't played gay best friend to a vanilla straight girl in a while, but it's not exactly a skill you lose. Katy being Kris's wife, though, that part is a little weird. Maybe they can keep Kris out of this, keep it anonymous; maybe it isn't about Kris at all. At least she's used a vibrator, for fuck's sake. "Katy, honey, there is nothing you can say right now that's going to embarrass or shock me, okay?"
"It wasn't your embarrassment I was worried about," Katy mutters into her hands.
The girl has a point. "What did you want to ask me about?" he coaxes, trying not to smile. "Just toys in general?" She shakes her head. "Something in particular, then?"
"Yes," she says finally, muffled, and then she lifts her head, her face still scarlet. "I didn't mean for me, exactly, but I was wondering about—for—"
"Oh," Adam breathes, enlightened, "really." Maybe keeping Kris out of this isn't an option after all.
Katy sits up straight, shoulders back against the chair, and takes a deep breath. "It's not like I don't have girlfriends at home, it's just that you seemed like the person to ask about—"
Adam laughs, low and just a little dangerous. "Yeah, I'd say that I'm the person to ask about that."
"Okay," Katy says, "So—"
"You two ready for manicures?" Carla interrupts. Katy's cheeks wash red again, and she drops her face back into her hands, giggling, completely charming even in the midst of terminal embarrassment. Carla grins wickedly at Adam, like she's been standing in the doorway for a lot longer than five seconds. Adam shakes his head firmly. He'd do a lot to protect Katy's privacy, even more to protect Kris's, and eventually Carla nods, and touches a finger to her lips, and goes over to pry Katy's hands away from her face.
"Tea?" Adam asks, filling the kettle as Katy nods. The kitchenette is pretty basic: a two-burner stove top and a mini-fridge and a toaster, a kettle and a coffee pot. He doesn't use it much, but it makes the hotel suite feel a little more like someplace he's living, as do—perversely—the suitcases and boxes. He took a lot of his stuff out of storage to re-pack for the tour.
"I'll be back in a minute," he says, "make yourself at home." Katy smiles at him, her eyes a little apprehensive but her smile genuine, and Adam leaves the kettle on the stove and goes into the bedroom to get his toybox. He only got it back from Brad last week and he's not looking forward to leaving it behind again, but there's a limit to what even Adam can get away with bringing on tour.
In the kitchen the kettle whistles and goes quiet, and Katy yells, "Where's your tea?"
"Cupboard above the toaster," Adam calls back, bringing the box into the main room. "Just a sec—"
"Stay put," Katy says, "I'll bring it. Peppermint okay?"
"Perfect." Adam sits down on the couch and puts the box on the coffee table. Katy comes over a minute later, a mug in each freshly-manicured hand. "Thanks."
"Sure." She puts both mugs down on the coffee table and sits next to him. "Thanks for talking to me about this."
"Yeah," Adam says seriously, "but let's get some things out of the way immediately."
Katy frowns, "Like what?"
"The more information you give me—the more you tell me about what you both want, and what works and doesn't work—the more I can help, but that doesn't mean you should tell me everything." He takes a deep breath, "There are things you probably shouldn't tell me, and I don't want either of you to feel uncomfortable with how much I know about something that's—pretty private."
Katy picks up her tea and blows on it delicately, staring down at the mug in her hands. "We trust you," she says at last, "I wouldn't have asked, if we didn't."
"Yeah," Adam says heavily—too heavily, because Katy looks up, frowning again. He shakes it off with a smile and says, "Yeah, 'What Would Adam Do?' is always a good place to start."
Katy snickers, and Adam flips open the lid of the box. "Okay, so, vibrators are great—as you know," he grins at her and she blushes, "but for what you're talking about, you probably just want a dildo." He rifles through the box and pulls out a few examples, laying them out on the table. "Have you guys used dildos, at all?"
She shakes her head, "I have a vibrator we've used, but not anything else." She's scarlet again, but she's sitting straight-spined on the couch, and her voice is steady.
"Well, there's definitely something to be said for other materials," Adam says, tapping his favorite glass dildo, "but I am personally a big fan of silicone. You can't really go wrong with silicone, and it's easy to clean. You can put it in the dishwasher!"
"Definitely a selling point," Katy says faintly.
"Tell me if I'm going too fast," Adam starts, but Katy just shakes her head. "Okay," he continues, "so I was sort of assuming that you wanted a strap-on, but I could be wrong?"
"No, that's right." She sets her tea down on the table and reaches out, fingers stopping just short of the blue dildo on the end of the row, "Can I?"
Adam nods and she picks it up, testing the weight of it, wrapping one hand around the base and running her fingers along its length to feel the smoothness of the silicone. It's not a small dildo, and Katy's hands are more sure and confident than Adam expected. He sips his own tea and watches; her blush is fading.
"For a strap-on," she says, still holding the dildo, "I need the—strap-on part?"
"Harness," Adam supplies. "I don't actually know a lot about harnesses, but you probably can't go wrong with leather."
Katy laughs, "You would say that."
Adam grins and reaches for his laptop. "What Would Adam Do!" He opens up the Good Vibrations website, and turns his laptop so Katy can see the screen. "There are a lot of sex shops in West Hollywood, but none of them are really as great as Good Vibes, and plus you can order online. See what the reviewers say about harnesses. And dildos, for that matter."
Katy strokes the blue dildo again, lingering, and sets it down on the table. "I like that one."
"I got it from Good Vibes," Adam acknowledges, handing over the laptop, "but it might be—bigger than you want, to start."
She frowns. "What about the—how?"
Adam blinks, and then takes another deep breath and tries not to think too hard about Kris and Katy and the blue dildo on the table. He may have liked this a little better when Katy was a little shyer, but it's not like he wants her to do it wrong. "You're going to need a lot of lube," he says slowly, "and you're going to have to go slow, getting him ready with your fingers. You might want a smaller dildo than that one, because he hasn't—before—"
Katy looks away, her cheekbones tinting pink. "I usually need a lot of preparation."
"Good," Adam says, a little breathlessly, "that's—good. So, you know."
"I think Kris might like the bigger one, though," Katy says, sounding slightly breathless herself—and that's the first time they've said Kris's name in this entire conversation. "If I was careful?"
Adam can imagine it in high-definition detail: Kris spread out on a bed with Katy's long, graceful fingers working him open. "You could get more than one," he suggests, entirely lacking any self-preservation instinct whatsoever, "try different things, see what he likes best."
Katy smiles, "Is that What Adam Would Do?"
"Um," Adam says helplessly, blinking away the images, "I—in general, yes."
"Okay," Katy says, and puts the laptop on the table so that she can lean over and hug him. "Thank you, Adam, seriously, I wouldn't—we wouldn't have talked to anyone else about this. You're kind of the best friend ever."
Adam kisses the top of her head, inhaling the scent of her shampoo, and says, "No problem."
Katy's still shopping half an hour later when her phone rings. Adam comes out of the bathroom to see her typing one-handed, phone to her ear. She waves the hand holding the phone, "Kris wants to know if we've had enough bonding time," she says to Adam, "and if we want to go back to the house and order takeout, I think."
Adam looks at Katy's bare feet, propped up on the coffee table among a scatter of sex toys. This shouldn't be a problem. It isn't a problem. He loves Kris, and he loves Katy, and their marriage is kind of amazing, and the expansion of their sex life should—does—only bring him joy. He's just not sure he's ready to spend a lot of time with them when he's holding all this new and fragile information. "I don't know," he says, "I should really start packing."
Katy rolls her eyes, "You're not leaving for like three days," she says, and then, into the phone, "Adam's trying to get out of dinner, do you want to talk to him?"
"Katy—" Adam starts, but Katy just shakes her head and holds out the phone until Adam takes it. "Hey, Kris."
"Adam," Kris says warmly, "are you seriously turning down the opportunity to have sushi delivered to your door?" Adam laughs involuntarily, and Katy grins at him, and okay, so maybe it would take more than a little TMI to stop Adam from spending all the time in the world with these people.
His friends invite him out the night before he leaves for Portland, but Adam begs off; he needs some quality alone time before he goes on tour, before he's sharing a series of confined spaces with the same thirty people for three months. He finishes most of his packing—the rest of his boxes go to storage in the morning—and orders room service, and then he takes a bubble bath, and smokes a bowl, and goes to bed with his toybox.
He's just high enough that every touch is magnified, the sheets against his skin sending shivers up his spine and his nipples peaking under his fingertips. He stretches out on the bed, languid and dreamy like he hasn't had the chance to be in the last few weeks of endless rehearsals and interviews and recording sessions. Most of Adam's friends are still a little too enamored with his new fame, awkward and envious of his hotel living and his brushes with the paparazzi, but Kris at least has been good for him, anchoring him with a down-to-earth reality that all the Rolling Stone cover shoots and solo albums can't shake. Kris and Katy get the weirdness of it all in a way that even Adam's family doesn't quite, and it hasn't changed them; Adam should be so lucky.
He rolls onto his side, stroking his cock lightly with one hand while he rummages in the box with the other. The glass dildo he showed Katy is in his luggage already—he may be packing light, but he still has needs—but he takes out the other one, thinking that the cool, hard slide of glass might be exactly what he needs with the high still buzzing under his skin and lots of time to linger. He pours lube liberally over both hands and shifts onto his back, tightening the slippery hand on his cock and bringing the other hand down to slide one wet finger into his ass.
He fucks himself open with one finger and then two, comfortably familiar with his own body and the lazy synchronicity of his hand on his cock and his fingers in his ass. Katy had seemed confident about this part when they'd talked it through, but Adam hopes she remembers to use enough lube when she does this for Kris. Kris must be so tight, and if it was Adam, he'd take hours just for preparation, suck Kris off before he opened him up with his tongue, use an entire bottle of lube and fuck him with his fingers until Kris begged for more, and then until begging was too much, until Kris was silent, wide-open and desperate, and finally, finally ready. Adam gasps, the sound loud in the empty room, and adds another finger. His cock is hard and leaking in his hand; he runs his thumb over the head, and then he takes his fingers out of his ass and replaces them with the glass dildo.
It doesn't feel anything like latex over skin, but it does feel good, thin and hard and cool, and he angles it up and back until its twisted head brushes his prostate and he moans. His cock jerks in response and he speeds up his hand—just a little, he doesn't want to rush this—and matches the strokes on his cock with the dildo. It's not good enough, though. The buzz under his skin has ceased to be relaxing and is making him restless, hungry and dissatisfied, and he wants to let go of everything, wants to fuck himself through the mattress in a way he rarely does when there's someone else.
He slides the dildo out of his ass and wipes his slippery hands on the sheets. The blue dildo is where Katy left it, near the top of the box, and Adam takes it out and sits up against the pillows. He hasn't used this one in a while; it isn't his favorite and it isn't his biggest. It is big, though, certainly bigger than the last guy who fucked him, maybe closer to Adam's own size than anything else, and the silicone is silky and hot under his fingers. He wonders, as he pours more lube over his hands and slicks up the dildo, if Katy did buy this one. She'd said Kris would like it, and Adam can see the appeal.
He shoves a pillow under his hips and gets a hand back on his cock while he eases the dildo into his ass, lots of lube and lots of friction. He tries to take it slow, fucking himself in counterpoint to the hand jerking his cock, but slow isn't what his body wants, anymore, and before long he's fucking up into his hand and down onto the dildo, fast and hard and loud and too blissed-out to care about much of anything but feeling as good as possible. This was the sort of thing he missed when he was rooming with Kris at the mansion, and it's what he'll miss on the road: not sex itself, but the kind of sex where there's time to experiment and time to get it right, where everything is about the maximum possible amount of pleasure. It would be a waste, not to take advantage of this time.
His orgasm is building, hot and close under his skin, and he fists his cock, fucks himself harder, and thinks, with an unexpected rush of half-formed images as he comes hotly over his hand and his belly and the sheets, that Kris and Katy are probably taking as much advantage of this time as he is.
In the morning, the blue dildo goes in his suitcase.
Allison jumps him as soon as he walks into the first class departure lounge at LAX, and Adam drops his bag and swings her up into a tight hug. "I missed you, fucker," she says into his shoulder, "this tour is going to fucking rock."
"Language, Allison," Allison's mother says. She's smiling at them, though, affectionately indulgent, and Adam grins back at her as he puts Allison down. He likes Allison's mother, even if she does sometimes get a little Mama Rose.
"I'm a bad influence, Mrs. Iraheta," he says contritely. Mrs. Iraheta laughs and goes back to her magazine.
Allison rolls her eyes at her mother and leans into Adam's side, "Speaking of bad influences, I had a really enormous latte and my iPod ran out of batteries and all my good books are in my checked luggage, and I need you to entertain me because Kris is basically asleep and being totally boring."
Kris is curled up in one of the ugly taupe airport armchairs, against the wall near the coffee bar where Adam might have missed him if he wasn't used to Kris being the first thing his eyes find in any room. He's trying to blend into the background, his feet tucked underneath him and his eyes half-closed, and even with the handler sitting next to him it's almost working. Not quite, though. "That wasn't very good planning," Adam says absently to Allison, his attention caught. Kris catches him looking and smiles sleepily, waggling three fingers in half a wave.
Adam leaves his bag on the floor and goes over, Allison in tow. "Don't I even get a hug?"
"Mmm," Kris murmurs, but he gets to his feet and hugs Adam anyway, warm and sweet, and Adam is thrilled all over again that Kris is such a good hugger, that there's nothing remotely self-conscious about the way he wraps his arms around Adam and hangs on.
"Allison says you're boring," Adam tells him, letting go but not moving away.
"Hey," Kris glares at Allison over Adam's shoulder, "I didn't sleep last night!"
"Aren't you usually kind of punchy when you don't sleep?" Adam remembers four-in-the-morning Kris, making up ridiculous lyrics in their room at the mansion, both of them strung out on anticipation and hysteria. He wants this tour to be all the good parts of that and none of the bad, all the excitement without the dread of thinking, this week, I'm not gonna make it.
"I think I hit punchy at about noon," Kris says ruefully, "but now I just really want to go to bed."
"What were you even doing all night?" Allison asks, sounding vaguely suspicious. "You know the hours are only going to get crazier from here."
"Writing," Kris says firmly, which would be perfectly reasonable—not to mention believable—if his cheeks didn't turn pink as he said it, if his eyes didn't cut to Adam for a quick flicker of a second. Huh, Adam thinks, but before he can say anything—and he wouldn't really, not with Allison right there—James interrupts, "Five minutes until boarding, guys."
"Thank you five," Adam says to James with the force of long habit, but James just snorts and goes to round up the rest of the handlers. Adam sighs; nobody has any sense of ceremony, these days. "Come on, Al," he says, dropping an arm around Allison's shoulders and steering her away from Kris, "you can borrow my iPod on the plane."
Their car pulls up to the hotel in Portland just as Kris's phone starts ringing. Kris fumbles it out with one hand and opens the car door with the other, "Hey, sweetheart." Adam grabs Kris's guitar and his own carry-on and follows him out of the car, leaving the rest of the luggage for the handlers and the hotel bellhops. "Yeah, we just got to the hotel," Kris says into the phone, "no, now's fine. I'm going to be asleep as soon as I get upstairs."
Adam looks around: Kris is on the phone with Katy, wobbling a little on his own feet, and Allison and her mom are getting in James's way while he sorts out their bags, but Liz and Steve are talking to a pretty brunette in a neat gray suit. She's holding a clipboard and a folder, and there's a gold hotel name tag pinned to the lapel of her jacket. "Sorry to interrupt," Adam says politely, "but I think Kris is actually going to fall over if we don't get him to bed. Are we checked in already?"
Steve nods, "Linda's giving us the run-down, but I think you two can go on upstairs." He tilts his head at Linda, making it a question.
"Oh, of course," Linda says, looking down at her clipboard. "You're in 809, Mr. Lambert, and Mr. Allen's in 811." She hands him two key cards in small paper envelopes. "We'll send your bags up after you."
"Thank you, Linda." Adam smiles at Linda and the handlers, and goes back over to Kris. "We can go up, come on."
"Wonderful." Kris follows Adam into the hotel and through the lobby to the elevators. "Hmm?" he says into the phone, "Oh, I can go to bed now. Adam has key cards, we're going up to our rooms." The elevator doors open, and Adam ushers Kris inside and presses the button for the eighth floor. "I might cut out in the elevator," Kris warns Katy, leaning against Adam as the elevator rises.
"You might not," Adam says. "Hi Katy."
Kris grins up at him. "Adam says hi." He's silent for a moment, grin fading as the elevator dings for their floor. Adam can hear Katy's voice through the tinny speaker, but he can't tell what she's saying. "Yeah? I—sure," Kris says finally, as they walk down the hall to their rooms, "Okay." Adam unlocks the door to room 809 and Kris says, "Katy wants to talk to you," and holds out the phone.
Adam trades Kris his key card for his phone, and takes the phone with him into his room. "Hey, how was your flight?"
"Just fine," Katy says warmly, "it's good to be home for a few days. How was yours?"
"Mmm." Adam dumps his bag and Kris's guitar on the floor next to the dresser and unlocks the connecting door to room 811. "I love flying first class, but Allison drank way too much coffee and forgot to pack anything to do on the plane, and Kris still hasn't slept. What did you do to him last night?"
Katy laughs, "Well, that's why I wanted to talk to you." She sounds smug, and maybe a little sultry, and Adam's eyebrows shoot up involuntarily. "I just wanted to say thank you, again."
"It went well?"
"Oh yes," Katy says, "definitely." Adam can hear the smile in her voice. "And seriously, Adam, I know I've said this a million times by now, but we really couldn't have done it without you, and it was—very good." There's something about the conventional turn of phrase—we couldn't have done it without you—that's strangely unsettling in this context, and for just a second Adam wonders what would have happened if he actually had helped them, if he'd been there, coaching Katy as she pegged Kris, watching. Katy's just being polite, though, and this isn't about Adam at all.
"Happy to help," he says, and he can't quite stop himself from adding, "Any time."
"I may actually take you up on that," Katy remarks, "although not right now. Is Kris asleep already? I should say goodnight."
"Let me check." Adam pushes open the connecting door and sticks his head into Kris's room. Kris is sprawled out on the bed, still in his jeans, but at least he took the time to take off his shoes and his sweater. "Kris," Adam says softly, sitting on the edge of the bed, "your wife wants to say goodnight."
"Oh, yeah," Kris says sleepily, "g'night."
"On the phone," Adam clarifies, and Katy laughs in his ear. Adam puts the phone in Kris's hand, and then gives in to the impulse to brush one hand lightly through his hair. "Goodnight to you both," he says, getting up.
"'Night, Adam," Kris says, almost lucid, and then to Katy, "G'night, I love you." Adam closes the connecting door quietly behind him.
The next three days are a whirlwind. The rest of the Idols trickle in on Friday morning, and then the whole pack of them are herded over to the Rose Garden for rehearsals and press and more rehearsals, putting the finishing touches on the show they're going to be running for the next three months. They get a preview of the buses and are introduced to the drivers and the roadies, and then suddenly it's the 4th of July, and one of the Portland staff throws a press-free barbecue for the whole crew.
"This is nice," Kris says, sitting down next to Adam. He has two Coronas in one hand and a plate full of pie in the other. Adam relieves him of the offered beer, and clinks its neck against the bottle in Kris's hand.
"Happy birthday, America."
Kris grins, "Happy birthday, America." He sets his plate on the picnic table, "Do you want some pie? It's probably not as good as my mom's, but that would be asking a lot."
"I'll get my own in a minute," Adam says, "I promised Mike I'd try his barbecue, anyway, so eventually I have to get up." Sarver won the battle for dominance of the grill, and Megan is still sulking by the drinks table. Adam's money was on Sarver from the beginning, though—he's from Texas.
"Anoop is also making some kind of incredibly alcoholic punch that I really don't want to know anything about." Kris takes a sip of his beer, "But he claims it's a 4th of July tradition."
"Holidays are always a good excuse for getting completely shit-faced," Adam says philosophically, and picks up Kris's fork to take a bite of pie. It's good, flaky crust and lots of fruit, juicy and not too sweet, but it isn't as good as Kris's mom's. "Do you wish you were home?"
Kris shrugs, "Sure. But this is pretty cool, you know? I never thought I'd be here, doing this, about to go on tour." He smiles at Adam, "I thought you would, but not me. And it's never not going to be amazing, that we're doing this together. Of course I miss my family, but we're family too." He takes his fork back from Adam to try the pie, and then adds, just a little too fast, "I mean the whole Idol group is like family, of course, but also—"
Adam nudges Kris's shoulder, and steals the fork back. "I know what you mean, Allen," he says, "I love you too."
"Shut up," Kris says, grinning through his blush, "and get your own pie."
Adam means to ask Kris about the pegging—not because he has any doubt that Katy was telling the truth about it going well, but because Kris is his best friend, and it's Kris's welfare that he's ultimately concerned with. In the privacy of his own head, Adam might admit that his concern is not entirely altruistic, but there have always been layers to his friendship with Kris. Katy asked for his help anyway, and for better or for worse, Adam's a part of this now. It's his job to be there for Kris, to talk him through anything he might need to talk about, to make sure that he's getting what he wants. Kris might not bring it up on his own—he probably won't—but it's not like Adam has any trouble talking about sex. Presumably, that's why they asked him for advice in the first place. So he means to ask, but in the flurry of rehearsals and dress rehearsals, the Portland show and the utter lack of privacy on the bus, he doesn't have a chance to bring it up until they're at the hotel in Seattle.
They have a couple hours of downtime between morning press and soundcheck, and Kris orders room service for both of them while Adam takes a shower. There are pancakes and eggs waiting for him when he goes back into Kris's room in his pajama pants, a towel wrapped carefully around his wet hair. Kris is already halfway through his waffles.
"I love breakfast for lunch," Kris says around a mouthful of bacon, "also there's coffee."
"Thank god." Adam sits down and reaches for his coffee—already perfect, because Kris is amazing—"I hate early press."
"Mmm." They eat in silence for a few minutes, until Kris's waffles are almost gone and Adam's poured himself a second cup of coffee.
"I've been meaning to ask," Adam says finally, keeping his voice light, "how did it go, with Katy and the strap-on?"
Kris freezes, his fork halfway to his mouth, and his eyes go wide and horrified. "I—" he says, and then he swallows, and sets his fork down carefully on the plate. His face is very red, and there's something in his expression that isn't just embarrassment, that's different, somehow, closer to fear. "I didn't think we were talking about that."
Adam frowns, "It wasn't bad, was it? Katy said it went well, but if it didn't go well for you than you have talk to her, because your sexual well-being is obviously critical—"
"No!" Kris exclaims, his voice high with panic, "It was great, it was great for me, I just don't think we should talk about it! If you want to talk to Katy—but we really shouldn't."
"Why shouldn't we—" Adam starts, and then he stops, because Kris isn't looking at Adam. His eyes are fixed somewhere just past Adam's bare shoulder, and his mouth is determinedly set, and Adam feels suddenly embarrassed, like he almost never feels embarrassed anymore, like he's overstepped some kind of boundary he didn't even know was there. "Kris," he tries, "I don't want you to think—we don't have to talk about anything, but I want you to know that you can talk to me, if—" he looks down at his hands, clenched tightly around his coffee cup. "I'm your friend."
Kris's mouth softens, and he looks back at Adam, "I know," he nods, "of course you are. I didn't mean—this is just—"
"Are you sure?" Adam asks, and maybe he shouldn't, maybe he should just let it go, but this shouldn't be easy with Katy and awkward with Kris, when nothing is awkward with Adam and Kris.
"Adam," Kris says gently, "people have been having sex without you for thousands of years."
"Right," Adam says, "of course, obviously," and then Kris is laughing, his cheeks still pink and his laugh flavored sharply with hysteria, and Adam can't help joining in, until they're both crying into their coffee. "Sorry," he adds, with a last gurgle of laughter, "I just wanted to make sure that everything was okay."
"I know," Kris smiles at him sheepishly, "and thank you. I—it is, but thank you."
Adam can feel them settling back into normalcy, the awkwardness fading away. They aren't awkward; they're friends, and basically family, and their total comfort with each other is not an act for the cameras. If Adam's still a little uneasy—and he is, because he can tell that there's something Kris isn't telling him, something he's not quite putting together—that too will probably fade; all friends have secrets. "Sure," he says, smiling at Kris, "are you eating those strawberries?"
"All yours," Kris says easily, like he always does, and reaches over to steal a bite of Adam's eggs.
Seattle and Vancouver pass in a haze, and then the gorgeous blues and greens of the Oregon coast are rushing by the bus windows as they drive south on the 101. It's a long drive, made longer by the scenic route, and the sun is just setting as they come up on the Golden Gate Bridge. Adam wakes Kris up so he can see the gold-painted sky, the light glinting off the ocean and the bay and the red bridge, and grins helplessly at his wide-eyed wonder.
"Thanks for waking me up," Kris says softly.
Adam hugs him. "Welcome to San Francisco."
Adam's mom promised to meet him at the San Francisco hotel, and she's waiting for him in the lobby, sitting with Katy on a couch near the check-in desk. They both get up as the tour starts pouring through the hotel doors, and Adam hugs his mom and doesn't watch Kris and Katy kiss hello.
"How long have you been here?" he asks, smiling fondly at his mom.
"Not long," she picks up her purse and jacket, "but Katy's flight got in a little early, so I thought I'd come keep her company while we waited. How was the drive?"
"Gorgeous and winding," Adam says. "Kris liked the Golden Gate Bridge."
Kris and Katy break apart, and Katy hugs Adam, leaning up to kiss him on the cheek. "Let's talk later," she whispers in his ear, and Adam nods.
"I thought we'd go out to dinner," Adam's mom says when Katy steps back, "give Kris and Katy a little time alone." Kris and Katy exchange a glance, blushing, and then look away—for a second, it seems like they're both looking at Adam, but it's only a second, not really anything to notice.
"We do have separate rooms now, mom," Adam says dryly.
"Yes, yes," his mom says, "you're all very famous, I know. Come on, honey, we'll go to that place you like in the Mission."
The place Adam likes in the Mission is just as good as he remembered. He and his mom split a pitcher of margaritas, and gossip about their family and the Idol tour and his mom's move to L.A. Her neighbors are giving her a hard time, she says, "but I think it's just because they'll miss the brownies." She laughs, "I doubt the new tenants will be quite as Weeds as I am." His mom is great, funny and comfortable and familiar after the long drive and the first week of shows, and if the people in the restaurant do recognize Adam, they're too San Franciscan to say anything. By the time he gets back to the hotel, Adam feels completely relaxed, happy and just a little buzzed.
He's a little too wired to sleep right away, and a little too tipsy to do anything useful like answer his email. On a normal night he might bother Kris, but the connecting door to Kris's room is still locked, so Adam brushes his teeth and changes into his pajamas, and then he gets his toys out of his suitcase. He's just putting the blue dildo and the lube down on the bed when there's a knock on the connecting door.
"Hey," Katy says quietly, when he opens the door, "Kris is asleep. Can I come in?" She's half in shadow in the dark doorway, but her bright hair is loose and disheveled around her shoulders, and her legs are long and bare under one of Kris's button-downs.
"Sure." Adam steps back, letting Katy into the room. She shuts the door and goes to sit on the bed, not even glancing at the toys on the pillow. "So you wore him out again?" Adam asks.
Katy laughs, "Yeah." She sounds pleased, proud, and her voice is a little rough around the edges—sex-rough. Adam isn't into girls, but Katy is undeniably stunning, half-naked on his bed and still sounding like sex. Aesthetic appreciation, Adam thinks, and sits down on the uncomfortable hotel armchair.
"He keeps falling asleep right after," Katy says, tucking her legs up and leaning back against the pillows. "And he seems happy about it, but I wonder if maybe I'm going too hard."
"Does he—" Adam stops, schooling his expression into careful neutrality. "No, don't answer that. If he's happy about it, I wouldn't worry too much about fucking him too hard." He pauses, trying not to imagine what Kris might sound like, begging Katy to fuck him harder. "There are things you can do if you don't want him to go to sleep so fast, though."
"Like what?" She leans forward, propping her elbows on her knees.
Adam takes a deep breath, "Don't let him come so easily."
Katy looks intrigued. "I was going to ask you," she says thoughtfully, "because I've been touching him at the same time, or letting him touch himself, but sometimes then it's over so fast, and I'd—well, I do like to watch him."
Adam swallows hard. "You could," he starts, "Uh, I think—well, if it was me—"
"Yes?" Katy says eagerly, resting her chin on her hands.
"If it was me—" Adam can hear his voice getting husky, and talking about sex has never embarrassed him—at least not since he came out—but he's starting to think that this is more complicated than he realized. "I might not let him come while I was fucking him," he says, and then he can't stop himself from seeing it, Kris fucked-out but still hard, desperate to come. "And then—"
Katy smiles. "You'd drag it out, until he couldn't take it anymore, and then you'd watch while he got himself off."
"Yes," Adam breathes, and then something clicks together in his head and he sits up straight in the uncomfortable chair, "Wait, Katy—"
Katy swings her legs off the bed, standing up. "Thanks for the tips," she says blithely, and then her eyes cut to the dildo on the pillow and she grins, "and he does like the blue dildo, by the way."
"Adam," she says, "don't worry so much. You're the expert, who else would we ask?" She leans over to kiss him on the corner of the mouth, light and chaste and startling. "Goodnight."
"Goodnight," Adam echoes absently, still fitting the pieces together as Katy slips out. It makes a kind of sense, he supposes, and it isn't—they're all close, and it's nothing that he hasn't done himself. Maybe Adam is the obvious choice for Kris and Katy, and he can't blame Kris for not wanting to talk to him about it, not when they've been taking 'What Would Adam Do?' to such a literal level. He drops down on the bed, reaching for the lube and the blue dildo, and maybe it's a kind of permission; maybe, if they're talking about him while Katy fucks Kris with her brand new strap-on, maybe then it's really okay for him to imagine it in technicolor, maybe this is the kind of thing that goes both ways.
Katy invites Adam and Adam's mom along for her birthday dinner before the Sacramento show, and they all go to a tiny Italian place that the venue staff recommend, small enough that it's almost private and close enough to the venue that they don't have to rush back. Kris and Katy hold hands under the table and smile at each other through dessert, and this time Adam does watch when they kiss, until he sees his mom's raised eyebrows and looks quickly away. He has the dark beginnings of a tension headache building at the back of his neck, and it feels a little too much like jealousy for comfort.
Maybe it's the tension, but the show that night is completely charged, intense and ferocious, and Adam throws his head back and does inappropriate things to his microphone stand and rides the high for as long as he can. He's dripping sweat when he gets offstage, but he rushes through his costume change so that he can get back upstairs in time to see Kris sing 'All These Things That I've Done' for the first time in the show—and thank fucking god that they finally axed 'No Boundaries'.
Kris looks great out there; he always does, but the audience loves him tonight. He's working the crowd, flashing smiles and stomping his feet and singing his heart out, and just like always, Adam's entranced.
"Look at him," Katy says softly, coming up to stand beside him in the wings. Kris is behind the piano now, his fingers perfect on the keys and his gorgeous voice soaring through the notes. He hits the end of 'Ain't No Sunshine', bites his lip and slides seamlessly into 'Bright Lights', and Katy says, "Look at that man," rich with pride and possession and desire, and suddenly Adam can't take it anymore.
"You're not being fair," he snaps, "I'm sorry, but—you fucking know how I feel about him."
To her credit, Katy doesn't pretend not to know what he's talking about. "I know, but listen—"
"No, you listen," Adam says furiously, his voice going quiet and deadly, "because I have to go back out there in a minute and I need to say this now. I love you guys, I really love you, and he's my best fucking friend, but I still—I even told the goddamned media, Katy, everybody knows how much I would if I could. But I'm not that guy. You're married, and I told you, I told you there were things I shouldn't know."
Out on stage, Kris is grinning wildly, playing the 'Bright Lights' guitar solo half to the band and half to the audience, and Adam should look away, but— "Adam," Katy says, distressed, "I didn't—we didn't mean to—"
Adam sighs, "I know you didn't." Katy and Kris would never hurt him intentionally, but that doesn't make this any easier, "And I did say that I'd help, but this has gone too far. It's not—"
"Fair," Katy finishes.
"Yeah." He tears his eyes away from Kris to look over at Katy. She's watching him, thoughtful and embarrassed and maybe a little worried, and he puts his hands in his pockets and looks away again. His headache is back. "Nobody likes a tease, Katy Allen."
They're both silent for a moment, until Kris sings, the minute you let her into your heart, and there's a flurry of activity backstage as the ASM calls places for the end of 'Hey Jude'. "I'll see you," Adam says, too lightly, headache sharp behind his eyes—and he'll make it through the end of the show, but he'd better skip the meet and greet—and goes to join Lil and Danny and Megan in line.
Katy flies back to L.A. on the morning of the Oakland show, and by the time Kris comes to find him for lunch, Adam has his game face on and a bunch of advil kicking his lingering headache to the curb.
"Hey," Kris says when Adam lets him into his hotel room. His hands are tucked into the pockets of his jeans and his shoulders are hunched up around his ears, the Kris Allen language of discomfort. "Katy told me what you said, and I—I'm so sorry, Adam."
"I think you were right, when you said we shouldn't talk about it," Adam says sharply.
Kris looks up at him, eyes wide and miserable, "I just don't want you to think that I don't care about you. I—we—care so much about you, and I never would have, if—"
"Kris," Adam interrupts, gentle this time, "it's okay, I get it, it's fine," and it isn't fine, but it will be. Adam doesn't even want to imagine a world in which he and Kris aren't fine.
"Okay," Kris breathes out, his shoulders relaxing, "okay."
"C'mere," Adam says, and folds Kris up in a tight hug. Kris hugs him back just as tightly, his face pressed against Adam's shoulder, and if they both cling a little more than usual, well, it's been a rough couple of days.
"Thanks for—" Kris murmurs meaninglessly into his shoulder, and Adam says, "Sure," into Kris's hair, hushing him. They'll be okay; nothing has to change.
"Has anybody seen my flip-flops?" Adam yells. They're halfway to Salt Lake City and something is wrong with the air conditioning on the bus. Adam's already stripped down to a tank top, but it's way too hot for the boots he's been wearing.
"They're not in the lounge," Matt yells back.
Adam drags his suitcase out into the narrow aisle between the rows of bunks. Kris puts his book down and sits up, shoving the bunk curtains the rest of the way back and swinging his bare feet over the edge of the bed. "I think you had them in San Jose."
Sarver wanders in from the front of the bus, stopping when he sees Adam and his suitcase blocking the aisle. "They're not in the kitchen, either," he says, leaning in the doorway, "but it wasn't that hot in San Jose. Maybe you lost them in your suitcase? I do that all the time."
"Probably." Adam unzips his suitcase and lifts out a stack of shirts and his bag of toiletries, and then several pairs of jeans, his make-up case, a second pair of boots, lube and condoms, cock ring, flogger, glass dildo, blue dildo, underwear—and there are his flip-flops, finally.
"Um." Sarver's voice sounds weirdly muffled. "Adam."
Adam looks up. "Mike?" Sarver is staring, horrified, at the pile of Adam's belongings on the bus floor. Adam follows his gaze, wondering absently why Mike would be offended by his sartorial choices after all this time—and of course it's not his clothes, because what this day really needs is Adam's sex toys and Michael Sarver in the same room, shit. He glances at Kris before he can help himself; Kris isn't blushing at all, but his eyes are fixed, narrowed and speculative, on the toys lying on top of Adam's jeans. Adam looks quickly away, Sarver's red face a suddenly welcome distraction.
"I respect your lifestyle choices!" Sarver is saying, high and panicked.
Adam winces. "Thanks, Mike, really."
Sarver nods frantically, "Yeah, I'm gonna—go, um—" he gestures abortively and flees back to the front of the bus. Adam starts piling things back into his suitcase, trying not to laugh.
Kris leans forward just as Adam reaches out for the glass dildo, and their hands brush, Kris's dry fingers light on Adam's wrist. "Can I?" he asks. Adam looks up sharply, and then swallows hard at the look in Kris's eyes. He lets go of the dildo.
Kris picks it up carefully, and Adam watches as his fingertips trace the curves and whorls of colored glass. He wraps his hand around the base and slides his thumb up along the tapering spine and over the dildo's smooth, hard head, and for a second Adam can't breathe.
"It's beautiful," Kris says reverently.
Adam breathes out in a sudden rush, almost a gasp. Kris's fingers on the glass dildo are going straight to his cock. "The glass ones usually are. That's one of the reasons I like—" he stops. "I mean, that's definitely a selling point."
Kris looks up, and Adam doesn't look away fast enough, and for a second they stare at each other, caught. Kris's eyes are hot, dark with something that looks a lot like desire, and Adam doesn't want to think about how much Kris must be able to read in Adam's own face—but it doesn't matter. It can't. Kris's interest in Adam's sex toys, Adam featuring prominently in Kris and Katy's bedroom fantasies, none of it means that Kris actually wants Adam, and even if it did, wanting isn't enough. They're friends.
Adam looks away first. "It also makes a very pretty paperweight," he says, just lightly enough to break the tension.
Kris laughs and holds out the dildo. "That would certainly make an impression!" It's warm from Kris's hand, and Adam lets his fingers linger as he puts it away. Kris is still giggling when Adam zips his suitcase closed and shoves it back under the bunks, and Adam relaxes, finally, the moment passed.
"Want to watch something?" he asks Kris, standing up with his flip-flops in hand. "I think it's cooler in the back lounge, and Matt was getting out the Family Guy."
Kris smiles, "Sure."
The Salt Lake City crowd is fantastic, so Adam stays out signing autographs and talking to fans until James comes to tell him that the buses are ready to leave. They're driving through the night, hoping to avoid the Las Vegas rush hour traffic on the way back to L.A., and by the time Adam gets back on the bus most of the guys have already gone to bed. He says goodnight to Scott and Danny and Scott's brother, who are drinking tea in the kitchen, and slips quietly through the darkened bunk corridor and into the lounge.
Kris is curled up on the couch with his iPod, but he looks up when Adam comes into the room. "Hey, good show," he says, tugging his ear buds out of his ears.
"Definitely," Adam agrees, sitting next to him on the couch. "Not sleepy?"
"I thought I'd sit up for a while," Kris says, "I'm still winding down from the show. You?"
"Same." Adam leans over to unlace his boots. "What are you listening to?"
Kris grins, "Your calm playlist, actually." He adjusts his headphone splitter and holds out a second pair of earbuds.
Adam laughs, toes off his boots, and takes the earbuds from Kris, leaning back and stretching his arms out along the top of the couch. "Gotta love the fans."
Kris puts his own earbuds back in and hits play on his iPod, ducking under Adam's arm just as Goldfrapp's 'Utopia' starts whispering in Adam's ears. Adam puts his arm around Kris's shoulders, hugging him closer, and closes his eyes.
When he wakes up, there's a faint glimmer of early-dawn light coming in through the bus windows. Kris is gone, but his iPod—long silent, because the playlist ended ages ago—is lying on the couch next to Adam's thigh. Adam picks it up, grinning, and goes to bed. He doesn't wake up again until Anoop starts shouting about breakfast in Las Vegas.
In L.A., Kris goes home to his rented house, and Adam checks into yet another hotel with the rest of the Idols and the crew. "Lucky Kris," Lil sighs, unloading her luggage in the hotel lobby, "What I wouldn't give to not be living in a hotel for a while."
"Rumor has it that this hotel has jacuzzi tubs," Adam offers. Lil brightens, but privately Adam agrees; there's a lot to be said for all the perks of fame—not to mention the tour, which Adam wouldn't give up for the world—but it's going to be a long few months, before he has time to settle, to buy a house of his own.
The hotel does have jacuzzi tubs, and they have the night off before an overscheduled day of Los Angeles press and then their show at the Staples Center. Adam takes Allison out to dinner, and then begs off on her plans to terrorize the hotel swimming pool and goes back to his own room for a long, hot bath. He's just getting out of the tub when his phone rings in the bedroom. He wraps a towel around his waist and goes to answer it.
"Hey Adam," Katy says, "I want you to listen to something."
Adam frowns, "This isn't about—"
"Trust me for a minute." Katy sounds a little out of breath, but her voice is level and steady, "I told you, we wouldn't do anything to hurt you. You said nobody likes a tease, so, don't hang up."
"Hush," Katy says sharply, and there's a beep on the other end of the line. "I put you on speaker. Listen."
Adam can hear a rustling sound, and something wet and slick like lube and skin, and then Kris says, "Fuck," his accent drawing the 'u' out into a long moan, and Adam sits down hard on the bed.
Katy laughs, entirely wicked and disturbingly hot, "Adam's listening."
"Adam?" Kris gasps, "Oh, Christ, Katy, you said—" There's another sound, skin slapping roughly against skin, and Kris moans, wordless and gorgeous. Adam presses the heel of his hand to his cock through the towel.
"I'm opening him up with my fingers," Katy says silkily, "two of them, but I think he wants more. Would you give him more, Adam?"
"Yes," Adam says hoarsely, his voice breaking in the middle so that it's barely a whisper. He clears his throat and sits back, and then, because hell if he's going to do this half-assed when Kris is fucking moaning in his ear—and he's probably done stupider things in his life even if he can't think of them right now—he lets the towel fall open and wraps the hand not holding the phone around his cock. "Yes," he says again, "give him three, Katy."
"Oh, fuck," Kris moans, "Adam."
"Kris," Adam says, "tell me what it feels like."
"Good," Kris says breathlessly, "so good, I want—"
Adam's cock is leaking over his fingers, "What do you want?"
Kris groans, and then there's another rustle, like sheets, and the smooth, familiar scrape of leather. "My fingers aren't as big as yours." Katy's voice is rough with sex, and the fact that Adam fucking recognizes that is maybe a little telling. "He's ready for more. I'm going to fuck him now. You should talk to him while I do." Adam listens for the sound of the dildo, the slide of skin, and then Kris lets out a low moan and Katy gasps, "Good, Kris."
"Is she in?" Adam asks, tightening his hand on his cock.
"Yes," Kris says, "oh god, Katy, come on, fuck me."
"Fuck him, Katy," Adam says unsteadily. Katy laughs and Kris moans, and then moans again, and underneath it all Adam can hear the rhythmic sounds of skin and lube and silicone.
"Harder," Kris begs.
Adam complies, fucking up into his fist. "I wish I could see—"
"He's gorgeous." Katy's breathing heavily, "If you were here—Kris, if Adam were here, I don't think he'd let you come. I think he'd want to watch you like this, so gorgeous and desperate. You'd like that, wouldn't you, if Adam were here? If it was Adam fucking you?"
"Yes," Kris gasps, "Adam, fuck, I can't believe this—"
"Fuck him harder," Adam orders, harsh and demanding, "and let him—I want to hear him come."
"Yes," Katy says, and then Adam can't hear anything but sex. He closes his eyes, fists his cock, and listens to Katy fucking Kris, to Kris's moans and cries, and, finally, to a long, breathless moment of silence, and comes hotly, gasping into the phone.
"Did you—" Katy asks, sounding extremely pleased.
"Yeah." Adam wipes his hand off on the towel. He's coming down abruptly, afterglow fading in the face of horror and restless fury. He fucking told her. "Jesus Christ, Katy, what the fuck—"
"Adam," Kris says. His voice is soft, fucked-out and beautiful and worried, and Adam is seriously about to cry. "I'm so sorry, I didn't know she was going to—shit, Katy."
"Both of you shut up," Katy says sharply, and there's another beep on the line as Katy takes Adam off speaker. "I told you to trust me, Adam, and maybe I don't know what I'm doing here but neither do you. All I know is that Kris wants you, and you want Kris, and after all of this, I kind of want you, too. This is crazy, I know this is crazy, but—" she pauses to take a breath. Adam is frozen, the fingers of his free hand clenched tightly in the sheets. "You can walk away, if you want, and we can never speak of this again, or you can come over. It's up to you."
Adam stares blankly at the white hotel room wall. "Can you give me some time?"
"Yes," Katy says, "but not too much." She hangs up, and Adam drops his phone helplessly onto the bed. "Fuck," he says into the empty room, "fuck."
Brad laughs for five minutes straight. "Brad," Adam says tiredly, "Brad. I have another interview in ten minutes, are you going to fucking help me or not?"
"Oh my god, princess," Brad wheezes, "are you fucking kidding me? I know from experience—and good experience it was, too—that you've never had any trouble with threesomes. Do you seriously want me to talk you out of one with the guy you're in love with?"
"Brad—" Adam protests. They've been over this before. "I'm not—"
"Fuck that, Lambert," Brad says, his voice suddenly hard. "You've been good, sure, because he's married and you thought he was straight, and you can keep on calling him your best friend if you want, and even mean it, but you and I both know better."
Adam sits down on the steps leading up to the back door of the studio. It's hot, even in the shade of the building and its pathetically decorative palm trees, and there's a scatter of cigarette butts littering the dusty ground. Adam would kill for a fucking cigarette. "Fine, but—a threesome with his wife?"
"Who the fuck else would it be with?" Brad demands, and then relents, "Sorry, but look, his wife set you both up. I fucking love this girl, Adam. Give me her number, I want to take her out for drinks and tell her all your dirty secrets."
Adam leans his head against the wall and looks up at the unrelieved blue of the Los Angeles sky. "I don't—I like her, too. I like her a lot, and far be it for me to say that sexuality isn't fluid, but I've never—I don't know what I would—" he trails off, frustrated.
Brad is silent for long moment. "Okay, listen," he says at last, "because I am about to impart wisdom here, and you know I never do that if I can help it."
Adam grins. "Okay."
"Okay," Brad echoes, and then there's another silence. When he speaks again, his voice is quiet and serious, "Are you in love with Kris?"
"I—" Adam closes his eyes. "Yeah."
"Are you attracted to Katy?"
"I think so," Adam says, "but it could just be aesthetic appreciation. She's very pretty, and she's, you know, attached to Kris."
"Given the thing where you're in love with her husband and also a jealous fuck," Brad says dryly, "I'd think that last part would make her pretty repellent, and yet here we are. Is she hot? Is she sexy? Is she in the picture when you think about fucking Kris?"
"Jesus, Brad," Adam says helplessly, "I—sometimes? She's really—she's really toppy."
"Fascinating," Brad drawls. Adam sighs and bangs his head back against the wall until Brad says, serious again, "That could actually be really good for you."
Adam opens his eyes. There's a light breeze picking up, breaking into the still, stagnant heat and rustling the leaves of the palm trees. "Maybe," he says softly, "but I—"
"You're scared," Brad interrupts, "you're in love with Kris, but you value his friendship too much to risk it with sex, and you like Katy, but you've never really fucked a girl. Of course you're scared, Adam, I wouldn't believe you if you said you weren't, no matter how fucking adventurous you usually are. But do you trust them?"
For a second, Adam isn't sure how he's going to answer, and then he thinks about Kris, how Kris never hesitated for a moment in their friendship, how Kris said Adam deserves this in front of thirty million people, and painted his nails and hugged Adam on camera and shot down anyone who doubted them, and he thinks about Katy on the phone last night, determined to try something completely crazy just because maybe they all wanted it, and maybe it could work. "Yes," he says to Brad, "I trust them."
"Then don't be a fucking idiot," Brad says.
Adam laughs, involuntary and real, "That's your wisdom? 'Don't be an idiot'?"
"It worked, didn't it?" Brad snickers. "I'll see you tonight—and as soon as there are details you better fucking call me."
"We'll see," Adam says, not about to promise anything—he knows Brad too damn well—"but. Thank you."
"Yeah, yeah," Brad says, but Adam can tell that he's smiling. "Later." He hangs up, and Adam gets to his feet, shoving the door open to go back inside. He's still scared—and scared is right, even if he doesn't want to admit it—and nervous, and worried, but he does trust them. He knows they trust him. And he's starting to think that if he doesn't try this, if he doesn't cast his lot into the audition and hope, then he might always regret letting it go.
He barely sees Kris and Katy that night, too overwhelmed by his own completely insane crowd of friends and family. On stage everything is almost normal—except that they're playing the fucking Staples Center—and after the show Kris gives him a quick hug and then disappears, leaving Adam to the mercies of pretty much everyone he knows in L.A.
He hugs and kisses everybody, some of them twice, and seeing his friends—especially like this, after their fucking amazing show—is a complete joy. After the meet and greet he lets Alisan take him out and get him drunk, and that's a welcome relief, too, because for a while he doesn't think about Kris and Katy at all. And then, after the Ontario show, when Kris is signing autographs and smiling at fans, Adam comes up behind him, and puts an arm around his shoulders, and says, very quietly, "I'm going home with you. We can leave whenever you want."
Kris freezes under his arm. Adam squeezes his shoulder once and steps away. He gets caught by a couple of fans with cameras before he gets very far, and then Kris grabs his hand. "Sorry guys," Kris says to the fans, "we actually have to go—but thanks so much for coming out tonight!"
"Nice one," Adam laughs as Kris drags him away.
"Katy told me to tell you to shut up and get in the car," Kris says, "so, shut up and get in the car."
They don't touch in the car, and they don't touch on the steps up to Kris's house, and then Kris is shutting and locking the front door behind him and turning around, and Adam is suddenly having trouble breathing again. In the dim light of the hallway, Adam can see that Kris's eyes are very wide. "This is—" Kris starts, his voice rough, "this is crazy—"
"Yeah," Adam breathes, "but—come here." He holds out a hand, and Kris takes a step forward, and then another into Adam's arms. For a second it's just an ordinary hug, and then Adam slides both hands into Kris's hair and tilts his head up and kisses him. Kris kisses back immediately, eager and sweet, his lips parting for Adam's tongue. He moans when Adam bites down on his lower lip, and he sucks lightly on Adam's tongue, and Adam suddenly can't fucking believe he waited this long, when he was right, months and months ago, when he took one look at his new roommate and thought, he's perfect.
"Oh my god," Kris says dizzily against Adam's mouth, "do you even know how long I've wanted—"
"I think I have a pretty good idea, yeah," Adam starts, but then Kris puts one hand on the back of his neck and the other on his waist and pulls him back in.
"You two look amazing," Katy says softly. Adam stops kissing Kris and turns, his hand on Kris's wrist. Katy is leaning in the kitchen doorway, backlit by the kitchen lights, and she's isn't wearing very much—just a slip, black silk elegant and dazzling against her pale skin. Adam would like the look even if he wasn't already kind of into her, and he appreciates the gesture. "I was going to ask if anybody wanted something to eat," she continues, "but actually, I think we had better just go to bed."
Adam lets go of Kris's wrist. Kris glances up at him questioningly, and something in Adam's face must give him away, because Kris grins and goes to kiss his wife. Adam watches them, notices the way Kris's hands tangle in Katy's long hair, the way Katy bites at Kris's lips, the way they kiss comfortably, unabashedly, familiar and full of promise. "Yeah," he says, his voice already a little husky, "let's go to bed."
Katy leads them upstairs, and Adam has been in this bedroom before, has admired the big wooden bed that came with the house, the built-in bookshelves and the skylight and the quilt that Katy brought from Conway. The quilt is folded back to the foot of the bed, now, and there's a bottle of lube and a familiar blue dildo on the nightstand.
"How does this go?" Adam asks Katy.
Katy smiles. "However Kris wants, I think." She steps forward, backing Kris up against Adam, and begins undoing the buttons on his shirt. "If there's anything you're not comfortable with, Adam, say so, and I'll do the same. I know you're not used to women, but if you're okay with it, Kris and I will help."
Adam slides both hands around to work on Kris's belt. "Kris isn't really used to men, either, so we'll take this slow." He kisses Kris's ear, flicks open the button of his jeans, and unzips his fly.
"Jesus," Kris gasps, tilting his head back onto Adam's shoulder so that Katy can kiss down his throat, "you guys are seriously going to kill me, here."
Katy finishes the buttons on Kris's shirt, and Adam slides it off his shoulders and onto the floor. "Pants, Katy," Adam says. Katy hooks her hands into Kris's waistband and sinks to her knees, taking Kris's jeans and boxers with her. Kris steps out of his sandals, and then he's standing naked in the middle of the room with Adam's hands tight on his hips. Kris's skin is hot and smooth under his hands.
Katy stands up, "Get on the bed, Kris."
Kris goes, a little shaky on his feet. Adam and Katy watch as he settles back onto the bed. He's hard, and Adam's eyes can't help tracing the lines of his chest and thighs and cock. "You are a really fucking lucky woman, Katy Allen."
Katy laughs, "And aren't you lucky that I know how to share."
"Yeah," Adam breathes, and then Katy steps up into him and tugs on the hem of his t-shirt.
"We should get you undressed, too," she says, helping him pull the t-shirt off over his head. She doesn't step away once his shirt is off, and her silk slip brushes liquidly against his bare skin, her breasts pressing against his chest. Adam puts his hands carefully on her waist, and she does feel good—better than he'd thought she would, all curves.
"Let me try something," he says, and leans down to kiss her.
She tastes like lipstick, which is actually fairly familiar, and underneath the lipstick she tastes like water and a little like Kris, clean and clear and warm. Adam hasn't kissed a girl like this in a long time, and he didn't particularly enjoy it then, but Katy kisses him eagerly, open-mouthed and hungry, wicked and a little rough. He hasn't spent enough time kissing Kris—yet, but oh, he will—to really notice the similarities, but he can tell that they learned to kiss from each other.
"Oh my god," Kris says, and Adam and Katy break apart, laughing.
Adam grins down at her, "I think that worked out okay." Katy is actually blushing again, but her hands are busy on Adam's belt. Adam looks over at the bed, where Kris is staring at them, one hand wrapped tightly around his gorgeous cock. "Don't touch yourself," he says sharply, "Not yet. We've got a long way to go tonight."
Kris sucks in a breath, eyes wide, and takes his hand off his cock. Katy looks up, grinning, and helps Adam out of his jeans and boots. Adam echoes her grin and steps out of his underwear. Katy rakes her eyes up his body and back down again, and smiles slowly, and then she reaches around to slap him hard on the ass. "Go make out with my husband," she says, "I know you want to."
Adam laughs and goes to join Kris on the bed. "Hey," Kris murmurs, and Adam catches him up into a kiss, pushing him down into the pillows. Kris shivers deliciously under his hands, and Adam licks his ear and his neck and nibbles on his collar bone while Kris gasps, and then kisses him again, harder, sliding a leg between his thighs until he can feel Kris's cock hard against his hip. Kris presses against him, all glorious naked skin, and Adam moans into his mouth as his own hips jerk forward.
Somewhere behind them, Adam can hear the rustle of silk over skin, and then Katy says, "Adam."
He rolls onto his side, his hand on Kris's chest holding him down. Katy is standing at the foot of the bed. She's naked, and Adam's eyes are drawn first to her full breasts, surprisingly appealing, and then down, to the sharp lines of the leather harness encircling her hips and thighs. She's not wearing the dildo, yet, but the harness alone is pretty fucking stunning.
"So I thought," she says conversationally, "that since you said last night that you wanted to watch, and since I want to watch, too, that I could get Kris ready—open him up with the strap-on, for a while—and then you could fuck him."
Kris gasps, and Adam slides the hand on his chest down, ghosting his fingers over Kris's cock. "What about you?"
"I usually eat her out, first," Kris says breathlessly, "before I'm—you know, too fucked-out to think."
Katy smiles. "We could do that now, if—" She looks away, cheeks washing pink, "I don't know, would you maybe want to help?"
"I—" Adam looks down at Kris, and up at Katy, both of them so utterly beautiful. "Yeah, I think I would." He takes his hands off Kris and sits up against the pillows. "If you'll show me?"
Kris grins and gets to his knees, reaching out to hook his fingers into the harness and pull Katy onto the bed. "We'll show you."
Katy is laughing as she falls onto the bed between them, and then she's leaning back against Adam's chest and spreading her legs for Kris's hands. Adam watches as Kris brushes his fingers up the insides of her thighs and over the leather bands of the harness, and then as he pushes her knees up and bends his head.
"Oh my god," Katy says, her head falling back against Adam's chest, "he is so good at this. I know it's completely different, but with his mouth—next time we should have him suck you off."
Next time, Adam thinks, kissing her again. When he pulls away, Kris is sitting up on his heels between Katy's legs, working her open with his fingers. His mouth is wet and red, and Adam shivers a little, thinking about that mouth on his cock.
"You want to come over here?" Kris asks.
Katy smiles up at him, "Go on." Adam shifts out from under her as she settles back into the pillows.
Kris picks up Adam's hand and guides his fingers to Katy's cunt. "There's her clit," Kris presses Adam's thumb up until Katy gasps, "and the rest is pretty self-explanatory." He winds his index finger around Adam's and slides them both into her. She clenches around their fingers, warm and slippery and wet, and Kris slides his finger out. "See?"
"Yeah." Adam replaces Kris's finger with another of his own and fucks Katy slowly. "Can I taste?" He's done this once before—years ago, one last-ditch hope that he wasn't actually gay, but it's never been something he remembered with pleasure. This is different, though, this is something he really wants.
"Fuck yes," Katy gasps, pushing down on his fingers, and Adam bends his head to lick between them. She tastes darker and richer than most of the guys he's sucked off, and he swirls his tongue around her clit and then down. He likes the way she tastes.
"Oh my god," Katy moans, "Adam, I cannot fucking believe you." Adam lifts his head, eyebrows raised, and Katy snaps, "No, don't stop." Adam laughs and bends his head again, fucking her harder with his fingers while he sucks on her clit, and then all of sudden she shudders around him, crying out.
"Was that—" he asks, sitting up and wiping his hand over his mouth. His face is wet.
Kris is grinning, eyes bright, "Yeah." He kisses Adam quickly, licking into his mouth. "Move over, I'll work her through the next one."
Adam shifts up on the bed until he can see them both: Kris's head between Katy's spread thighs, one of his hands under her ass and the other twisted in the leather bands of the harness; Katy's head thrown back against the pillows and her hands clenched in the sheets. Adam leans over to kiss the long line of her neck, and watches, until Katy shudders again, relaxing into the mattress as Kris sits back.
"Come up here," Katy says, and Kris slides up on her other side and kisses her, long and thorough, until Katy pulls away and turns her head to kiss Adam. "Okay," she says at last, climbing over Kris to stand next to the bed. "Adam, would you help me with the dildo?"
Adam walks around to the other side of the bed. Katy has the blue dildo in one hand, and she holds it out, smiling, "I did take your advice, but Kris didn't really like the smaller one." On the bed, Kris laughs, sheepish and hot. Adam takes the dildo and kneels, fitting the base into the ring of the harness. He hadn't quite known what to expect, but it's devastating, on Katy.
He stands up, stroking his fingers along the smooth curve of the silicone. "I think it was a good choice." He picks up the lube from the nightstand and hands it to Katy. "Your turn, I'll watch."
Kris's eyes are flicking wildly between them, and Adam slides a hand up his side as he gets back on the bed, rubbing over Kris's hip and squeezing once around his cock.
"On your stomach, Kris," Katy says, "hands and knees." When Kris rolls over, Adam rests a hand on the curve of his ass and watches as Katy kneels on the bed behind him and drips lube over her fingers.
"You can help if you want," she says to Adam, pressing a wet finger into Kris's ass. Kris moans and pushes back into their hands, and Adam nods. Katy hands him the lube; he slicks his fingers and slides one in alongside hers.
"Fuck," Kris groans, "more, come on."
"I see what you meant, last night," Adam says, because Kris is opening easily to their fingers and arching up into their hands. Katy slides in a third finger and they fuck him open together, until he's moaning wordlessly into the pillows. "You'd better fuck him now."
They slide their fingers out and Adam sits back, watching Katy slick up the dildo. She smiles at Adam, and then she puts one hand on Kris's hip and the other on the base of the dildo, and pushes forward into Kris's ass.
"Oh my god," Kris gasps into the pillows, "Katy—Adam—somebody touch me."
"Not yet," Adam says, wrapping one hand tightly around his own cock as he watches, and running the other up over Kris's back to rest between his shoulder blades, holding him down while Katy fucks him. "Soon, but not yet."
"Oh fuck," Kris moans, "please."
"Adam?" Katy asks breathlessly, "Do you want to?"
Adam tightens his hand on his cock—too tight, almost, forcing his own orgasm back—and seriously, holy fuck. "Yes," he says, not a little desperate, "Oh my god, yes."
Katy pulls out and sits back against the pillows again, one hand on Kris's ass. "How do you want him?"
"On your back, Kris," Adam says huskily. Kris rolls over. "Pillow under your hips." He snags a pillow, helping Kris shove it under his hips, and kneels between Kris's thighs. His fingers are still wet, but he slicks them again and twists them in, stroking over Kris's prostate until Kris gasps and opens his eyes. His pupils are blown, eyes dark, and his cock is leaking, untouched, over his belly. "Condom, Katy," Adam says.
There's a crinkle of foil, and then Katy is leaning over to roll the condom down over Adam's cock. She gives him a sharp squeeze and he gasps, jerking up into her hand. "Go on," she says wickedly, leaning back again.
Kris is wet and open from the dildo, and from Adam's fingers. Adam shoves his shoulders under Kris's knees and pushes in easily. He's wet, but he's still tight, and he feels fucking incredible, hot and perfect around Adam's cock. "Oh my god, Kris."
"Adam," Kris moans, his head thrown back against the pillows, hair everywhere and skin flushed all the way down his chest. Adam can't look away, and he doesn't want to close his eyes. "Adam," Kris says again, "fuck me." Adam shudders, breathless and overwhelmed, and does.
It doesn't take very long, both of them too worked up for anything like patience. Kris moans "Adam," and "harder" into Katy's mouth while she kisses him, and Adam fucks him hard, desperate, one hand finally working Kris's cock until he comes, and Adam follows.
They lie there for a long, breathless minute, tangled and sweaty, and then Adam gathers enough presence of mind to slide out of Kris and go to the bathroom to get rid of the condom. Katy takes off the harness and the dildo while he's gone, and when he gets back, Kris and Katy are kissing sleepily under the sheets. "What—" he says hoarsely, and then clears his throat, "what are we—uh—"
Kris and Katy break apart and smile up at him, mussed and languid and gorgeous—and Adam loves these people, no matter what, they just better not break his fucking heart. "Come to bed," Kris says quietly. "Whatever this is—come to bed."
"Whatever this is," Katy says, leaning over Kris to flip back the sheets, "we'll figure it out."
"Okay." Adam turns out the lights and climbs into the bed. Kris curls up against him, head on Adam's shoulder and arm across his chest, and Katy pulls the quilt up over all of them and slides up behind Kris, reaching one arm over to twine her fingers with Adam's. "Goodnight," Adam says softly. Whatever this is, they'll figure it out.
Adam wakes up slowly. He's alone in the bed, tangled damply in the sheets. He's used to not knowing where he is when he wakes up these days—one hotel after another—but this is different, unreasonably familiar. He tugs on his jeans and t-shirt from the day before, splashes water on his face in the bathroom and borrows Kris's toothbrush, and goes downstairs.
Katy is sitting at the kitchen table with a mug of coffee and a newspaper, and Kris is standing at the stove, scrambling eggs. "Good morning," Katy says, looking up from the paper, "there's coffee, we were just about to wake you up."
"Um," Adam scrubs a hand through his hair. He feels kind of gloriously filthy, and very morning-after. He should go back to the hotel, change his clothes, not— "I—"
"Adam," Kris says gently, "sit down. Have some coffee. Katy's going to make some toast for these eggs, and we have an interview in an hour."
"I should really—" Adam protests, but he's already taking another step into the room. "I should go—"
"No, you shouldn't." Katy stands up, mug in hand, and leans up to kiss Adam lightly on her way to the coffee pot. "Seriously, stop looming in the doorway and go kiss my husband good morning or something, I want breakfast and you two have places to be."
Adam stares at her for a moment, while she refills her coffee cup and pours a second for Adam. Kris has turned away from the stove, his cheeks pink and his smile dazzling, sheepishly hopeful, and Adam laughs helplessly, because he's never been able to stop himself from echoing that smile. "Okay," he says, crossing the room to kiss Kris good morning. The kiss is long and sweet, and he lingers for a while before stepping back. "Don't burn the eggs."
Kris's eyes blink open slowly, and then he grins and smacks Adam with the spatula. Adam ducks out of range, laughing as he accepts his coffee from Katy and goes to get the plates out of the cupboard.
He goes home with them again that night, after the San Diego show, but the tour's due to leave for Arizona, and Texas and Oklahoma after that, and they still haven't really talked about it, haven't declared any rules or parameters or even clarified if this is anything more than a few stupidly glorious days.
Adam catches Katy in the kitchen on Sunday morning, while Kris is upstairs in the shower. The buses are leaving at one. "We have to talk about this," he says, leaning against the counter and crossing his arms over his chest.
"Yeah." Katy sits down at the kitchen table. "Yeah, I guess we do."
"Okay," Adam says carefully, "so, I don't know if this—if this offer has a time limit. I don't want it to, but you pretty much still have all the damn cards."
"I really don't." She looks up at him, one corner of her mouth twisting into half a smile, "You think Kris would actually let you go after all of this?"
Adam looks away. "He's in love with you. He's been in love with you forever."
"He has a really big heart," Katy says pointedly, her smile turning real, "and neither of us is going to screw up our marriage over something that we both want. So no, Adam, there's no time limit."
He still doesn't entirely believe it, but— "Okay." He uncrosses his arms and shoves his hands into his pockets. "What about when you're not around, when we're on tour?"
Katy shrugs, "I'm okay with that, I think. Honestly at this point it would be difficult to separate you two with a crowbar, and it would hardly be fair if—" she breaks off, shaking her head, "just keep me informed."
Adam grins, "I think we can do that."
"One thing," she starts, and then sighs and starts over, staring down at her folded hands. "Just—don't get caught. You've both been careful, and god knows you really are kind of set up on that tour for a secret affair, with those convenient connecting-door hotel rooms, but I don't think we're ready to explain this yet, not to the media."
Adam's eyes narrow. "I'm not going back in the closet, Katy," he says sharply, "not for you, not for Kris, not for anyone."
Katy looks up quickly, eyes wide and worried. "Oh, no, of course not, I didn't mean—"
Adam shakes his head, cutting her off—and of course she didn't mean it that way, but nobody's ever tried to put Katy and Kris in a closet; they're young marrieds, for fuck's sake. This is never going to be easy. The real question is whether it's worth it, complications and all. "I'm not interested in exposing my sex life to public scrutiny," Adam says gently. "This is private, and I don't want to try to explain it to the media any more than you do," he's not sure he even knows how to explain it to himself, "but if this does become something—long term, I can't hide forever. I don't know what that means now."
Katy nods slowly, "I don't know, either." She frowns, thoughtful and speculative, and Adam watches as she works it through; she doesn't quite get it yet, but she's trying, and that might be enough. "Can we figure it out as we go along?"
"Yes," Adam says, "and we will be careful."
The problem with conducting a secret affair on a tour bus is that there is no goddamn privacy. They spend a dizzying ten minutes kissing in a broom closet at the Glendale Arena, but then they're back on the bus for the long drive to Dallas. Adam tries to touch Kris just as much as he normally does, but it's charged, now; it's still comfortable, but it means something different.
Kris's phone buzzes as they're eating breakfast in a diner in Las Cruces. Kris reads the text message and cracks up, dropping his fork onto his plate and burying his head in his hands.
"What?" Adam asks. They're alone in the booth for minute, Danny gone to the bathroom and Allison examining the pie options at the counter. Kris lowers his hands and pushes the phone across the table.
Make up for it in Dallas! Katy's text message reads, You have a whole day in the hotel. Don't forget to call me! Adam raises his eyebrows questioningly, and Kris says, "I told her I was getting kind of desperate."
Adam grins, slow and wicked. "You know," he says thoughtfully, "I think I am really starting to fall in love with your wife."
"Tell me about it," Kris laughs, and then he looks away, his cheeks tinting pink. "And—what about me?"
"Kris," Adam says slowly, "how many times have I said it?"
Kris's eyes are fixed on the scratched-up table top. "That was before," he says softly, "so I didn't know if—"
Adam smiles, and slides Kris's phone back across the table. "I meant it every time."
Kris looks up, eyes bright, and they're still grinning at each other when Danny slides back into the booth next to Kris and Allison returns with an enormous slice of lemon meringue. Danny rolls his eyes at them, but he's smiling, too, and Allison elbows Adam in the ribs and says, "Stop being so fucking adorable, big brother," and really—how they feel about each other has never been a secret. All they have to do is keep the private things private—and probably avoid making out in front of the paparazzi.
Adam steels a bite of Allison's pie, and winks lasciviously at Kris. "I can't help myself," he says to Allison, "I was made this way."
Kris laughs, and when his eyes catch Adam's they're full of understanding, promise and affection, and Adam thinks that maybe they've been looking at each other the same way all along.
And later, in Dallas, he puts Katy on speakerphone as he sucks Kris off, and then as he opens him up slowly, tongue and fingers and an entire bottle of lube, until Kris begs for more, and then until begging is too much, and Kris is silent, wide-open and desperate, and ready.
In Arkansas, Kris's family and friends have VIP seats, but Katy watches from the wings again, standing next to Adam as Kris finally gets the kind of applause Adam thinks he fucking deserves. "Look at that man," he says to Katy.
Katy puts one arm around Adam's waist and leans into his side. "All ours."
"Ours," Adam repeats, savoring the word carefully, not quite a question.
"Yes," Katy says impatiently, "ours. Are you with me here, Adam?"
"I think so." He's not even sure when this became his life—singing in front of the entire country, making solo albums and house-hunting in Los Angeles, his face on the cover of Rolling Stone, and it's crazy, the whole thing is crazy, crazy and glorious and real and not-quite-perfect, and in the middle of it all are two people he completely fucking loves. All the time in the world with these people. "Yes," he says, grinning, and drops a quick kiss on Katy's cheek, and goes to join Kris on stage.