“Kris, it’s Ryan, can you please tell Adam that I had nothing to do with it. I’m sorry, I really am, but there’s nothing I can do. I tried to get them to change their minds but apparently it's bigger than the show. I’d tell him myself but he’s not picking up so…please just tell him.”
As he left the studio at the end of the day and turned on his phone Kris had been surprised to see he had as many missed calls and messages as he did. His management and family all knew where he was and would have called the studio if they really needed to get hold of him. It had come as even more of a surprise that the first message was from Ryan. Sure he knew Ryan had his phone number but the man never used it, they weren’t what you would call friends, just acquaintances. Outside of the Idol world they really didn’t have much to do with each other. What also surprised Kris was that he had no idea what Ryan was talking about, or, for that matter, why he thought Kris had a job as Adam's assistant. Deciding that he was simply too busy and tired to try and make sense of it Kris deleted the message.
Making his way through the car-park Kris continued listening to his messages. There was one from Katy about a new table she had found for their house. There was one from his brother going on about how he just wanted to say that he had left a message because he knew he wouldn’t get through due to Kris being in the studio and how cool was that. There was one from Charles promising to not let Daniel drunk dial Kris again, especially not at 5:00 in the afternoon. He deleted them all.
Kris was stood leaning against his car listening to his messages when another unexpected voice came through the phone’s speaker.
“Ummm….Kris….this is Neil, Adam’s brother. Look, I don’t know what went on with you and Adam, if anything did, but, and I’ll deny it if you tell him, but I'm worried about him and think he needs you right now. He’s being a drama queen and not answering the phone to anyone and Mom’s worried sick and I can’t get to LA at the moment so could you please go and check up on him. Thanks. Oh, and let the moron know that I support his melodramatic ass no matter what new drama he get's himself into but that he needs to call Mom.”
If Kris had been confused as to why Ryan was leaving him a message he was completely stumped about why Neil would. Why wouldn't Adam be taking his calls? Okay, so maybe Adam would be avoiding Neil and his smart ass comments, but there was no way in hell he'd be avoiding his mother. Kris saved the message; he would play it to Adam when he next saw him.
The next voice didn’t announce who it was but Kris would recognise it anywhere. He was so used to hearing it leave him small, nonsensical messages. What he was not used to was the tone in which it was speaking.
“Adam won’t pick up and I have to tell him that I didn’t know. I was told by my management and I was so happy and then they told me who I was replacing and I’ll cancel if he wants. I will. I’ll call them up right now and refuse to do it. I’ve tried calling him three times but I can’t get through and I think he’s ignoring me. I don’t know what to do.”
Kris’s relaxing day off in the studio had, with the last message, just taken a turn for the not quite so relaxing. The worry of the three messages, all to do with Adam, was beginning to rub off on him. Why did so much of the worry and stress in his life revolve around Adam? When exactly had Adam become such an influential aspect of his life?
Kris knew that Adam not picking up Ryan's phone call wasn't the world's biggest surprise, Adam was a busy person. Just has he knew that Adam ignoring Neil could again be accounted for. But Adam ignoring Allison, that just wouldn't happen. Again Kris saved the message.
Kris opened the door to his car and got in. Instead of turning on the engine Kris dialled the familiar number and called Allison back. He had no idea what she was talking about but he was beginning to think that there was something he had missed.
The phone barely rang once before Allison picked up.
“What did he say?”
“Allie are you alright?”
“What did he say when you told him?”
Allison sounded frantic on the other end of the phone, she sounded near tears. He knew that she looked up to Adam, knew that she cared about him, and whatever had happened was obviously tearing at her.
“I haven't spoken to him yet.”
"Why? I asked you to tell him!"
"Allie, I've been in the studio all day, I have just checked my messages. I have no idea what you're talking about."
“God…didn’t you listen to my message?”
“I listened to it I just didn’t understand it. That’s why I’m calling you. What’s going on?”
Kris was trying to project a calming vibe but it was becoming increasingly difficult. What the hell had Adam gotten himself involved in now?
Kris had, along with most of the other Idols, decided that it would be better for all concerned if he didn't step into the fray surrounding Adam's AMA performance. Of course he had spoken to Adam privately about it, assured him that it wasn’t as bad as people were saying, but in public everyone was just trying to let the whole thing blow over as quickly as possible. The more they stuck up for Adam, and most of them would even if they didn't like the performance, the more people would begin to see it as an 'us and them' thing; Kris was always afraid that the Idol Alumni had a tendency to look a little cliquey at the best of times. Kris was also desperately trying to keep any interviewers focused on himself and his music, rather than that of his friend. It wasn't like he'd had the easiest week either. Lowest selling Idol winner of all time. That wasn't something you could just brush under the carpet no matter what he kept telling everyone.
But something had really shaken Allison, one of the only people other than Anoop and Blake to openly stick up for the performance, and that was causing Kris's worry to rise. It was becoming clear that this was probably what Ryan and Neil had been talking about as well.
“They cancelled Adam.”
Well that was old news. Kris had spoken to Adam on the phone after he’d first heard and Adam had seemed to understand, if not agree with, why GMA cancelled his performance. ABC’s fear couldn’t be what Allison was talking about.
Well maybe this was some delayed reaction to appearing on the show just after it had cancelled her friend. Kris wasn’t sure he’d have found it easy to talk to those people either. But if it was a delayed reaction then what on earth was Seacrest talking about?
“Allie, that was last week.
"No Kris they cancelled him again."
Kris sat back in his seat. That was not the answer he had been expecting. Kris didn't even know what other ABC performances Adam had planned.
“From everything! From the New Years Eve bash. Fuck from Kimmel.”
But that was all pre-recorded and Kimmel was late night. Why were they cancelling those? It didn't make any sense!! Although Ryan's phone call sure as hell did.
“And then Kimmel booked me instead. I didn’t have a say in it, all I got told was that Kimmel had a free spot and I was going to take it which I was so happy about until I heard that it was Adam’s spot. And now he won’t talk to me. He won’t answer his phone.”
Oh this was not good. This was definitely not good. Shit! He needed to call Adam. But if Adam wasn't answering phone calls!!! Right, if the donkey won't go to the water than the water would sure as hell go to the donkey. And the donkey would be forced to drink what was good for it.
But first Kris needed to reassure Allison. That he could do, that he had practice at.
“Oh sweetheart it's not you he's avoiding, he's not answering his phone to anyone. He doesn't blame you at all.”
"How do you know?"
"Because I know Adam and I know you."
"What am I going to do?"
"Darlin', you're going to enjoy the opportunity you've been given, you're going to rock it out of the park!"
Kris turned on the engine of his car. He knew where he was going.
"I have a certain someone to go see."
"What are you going to say to him?"
"I'm not sure yet but I'll work it out as I go."
Kris pulled up outside Adam’s house. He still found it hard to get used to the idea that they both lived somewhere as nice as they did. Kris remembered the one time he had visited Adam’s tiny flat, remembered thinking how happy he was that in Arkansas he and Katy had at least had a house, even if it wasn’t the biggest or the best. Kris's memory of Adam’s flat made Adam’s desire for a house all the more understandable. Yes, Kris understood exactly why Adam had been so quick to buy a new place to live after the show. But in moving that quickly Adam hadn’t had time to think too long about where he was moving and so now Kris could walk straight up to Adam’s front door from the street. There were no gates, no fences, a rather small driveway; no protection.
He knew that Adam hadn’t expected to become quite as publicity friendly as he had and therefore hadn’t thought about the need for extra privacy and protection when he’d bought the place. But Kris still didn’t like the idea that anyone could walk up and ring the doorbell. It was just lucky that somehow people hadn’t yet to become aware of where he was living.
In an attempt to help his friend keep his privacy just that little bit longer Kris made sure that he was wearing a hat and sunglasses before stepping out of the car. The less people who recognised him the less chance someone would figure out who he was visiting.
As he made his way to the door Kris spotted a curtain in an upstairs window move slightly.
“Subtle Adam, real subtle.” Kris mumbled to himself. “And not at all paranoid.”
On his walk to the front door Kris prepared himself for whatever he would find when Adam opened the door. Of course, Kris’s plan relied on Adam actually opening the door, which, thinking about it, appeared to be an oversight on Kris’s behalf.
After ringing the doorbell four times Kris knew that he’d have to try some other way. Rather than simply yelling through the door and still trying to keep some sense of secrecy, some decorum, Kris took his phone from his pocket and dialled Adam’s house phone. If Adam wasn’t going to pick up either of his phones he would at least hear the message as it recorded on his landline answering machine.
Sure enough the phone went straight through to voicemail.
“Adam, it’s Kris. Open the door.”
Kris hung up and waited a few minutes. Still nothing.
He called again.
“Seriously dude, I know you’re there. I saw you at the window. Please open the door.”
Again Kris waited but still he got no response. Right, time to play dirty.
“Adam damn it, open the fucking door. I swear I will bring so much attention to this house that your crazy ass fans and the paparazzi will be camping out on your lawn by tonight. I’m not messing around here. Open the god damned door!!”
So maybe he was being a little harsh but apparently Adam was not going to make this easy.
It only took a few seconds for Kris to hear the door unlock on the inside. Adam had obviously been standing by it the whole time. At least that meant he wasn’t ignoring Kris completely. When Kris saw the door open a slither he took his chance and pushed through it and into the house. Closing it behind him he moved through the unlit hallway and followed Adam into the kitchen. The darkness of the hall showed Kris that Adam was wearing sweatpants, a t-shirt and barefoot but without Adam turning around Kris couldn’t see what state his friend was in.
Once in the kitchen Adam moved over to a half empty bottle of bourbon and poured himself a glass; he didn’t offer one to Kris. Kris watched Adam’s back as he downed the drink before finally turning around. Kris was shocked at how Adam looked. His face, completely clear of makeup, was drawn and tired. His skin was blotchy in the way it gets after a long batch of crying. But what really caught Kris was the look of despair, of self-recrimination, in Adam’s eyes. Kris had always thought that Adam’s eyes were the reason he wasn’t as good an actor as he was singer. Adam could alter everything about himself but his eyes always told the truth. And it was his eyes that showed Kris just how much Adam was hurting.
“Oh darlin’! Come here.”
Kris opened his arms and Adam fell into his embrace. He could feel Adam’s shoulders shaking, could hear his hitched breaths, but could do nothing more than support his friend and give him the safety he needed to breakdown.
Kris stood at the counter in Adam’s kitchen spreading peanut butter on a piece of bread. He was attempting to make something out of the food Adam had in his house but some hard but not yet mouldy bread, a jar of peanut butter, a tin of sweet-corn and an out of date packet of poptarts did not provide the best ingredients he could have hoped for. He had decided that Adam would just have to make do with a sweet-corn and peanut butter toasty and hope that it tasted better than it sounded. Adam needed to eat something to soak up the alcohol he had consumed and although there were plenty of takeaways that delivered Kris thought that the action of him making food was therapeutic for both of them.
“You really need to get some real food in this house.”
“I’m never here.”
Adam was sat on the counter next to him, his legs hanging over the side, with a cup of coffee in one hand and an empty glass of water next to him. He had cried himself out but occasional sniffles could still be heard. Kris was sure the alcohol was at least partially to blame but that knowledge didn’t make the sight any less pitiful and heartbreaking.
Kris was trying to understand, to accept, this version of his friend. He knew that Adam wasn’t the person he pretended to be for the media. He knew that the fierce, fiery man Adam showed to the world was an exaggerated version of who he was; an ideal. He’d seen the cracks in the persona while they were still sharing a room at the mansion. He’d seen them again during the tour when the media and fan pressure, combined with a never-ending sore throat, caused Adam to doubt ever taking part in the competition. But Kris had never seen Adam break quite this completely before.
Scooping the sweet-corn onto the bread Kris placed the concoction into a pan and onto the stove. He turned the stove on and then started rummaging through draws looking for some sort of spatula. His attention was caught as Adam spread his legs and pulled open the draw that they had been covering. Adam nodded at the contents and took another sip of his coffee. Kris moved over, took the spatula out of the draw and closed it. He patted Adam’s knee as he moved back to the hob.
Focusing his attention on the food in front of him Kris decided that now was probably a good time to start the conversation that obviously needed to happen. Adam was not completely sober yet so he wouldn’t have all his defences back up but at the same time he wasn’t so drunk that Kris felt like he was taking advantage. He needed to work out what was really bothering Adam; he didn’t think for one second that a few cancelled shows would have caused this reaction. This reaction wasn’t the Adam he knew; Adam usually came out fighting. This was retreating which wouldn’t help anyone…at least not anyone Kris gave a damn about. Adam needed this out of his system, not internalised.
Kris decided not to look at Adam as he asked his question. Maybe he was going for subtle. Maybe he was going for casual. Or maybe he just couldn’t face seeing the look of despair on Adam’s face again. Whatever the reason, and Kris really wasn’t sure what it was, he knew that looking at Adam would make everything harder than he felt he could handle.
“You feeling any better?”
“I’m beginning to sober up.”
“That’s not what I meant.”
Kris poked at the toasty as he waited for Adam’s answer.
Well that was one of the most obvious lies he’d ever heard.
“Because fine people hermit themselves, ignore their phones, and burst into tears.”
He was being a little harsher than he meant to be but, damn it, Adam wasn’t making this easy. He’d have to remember to be a bit gentler next time.
“It’s been a tough week.”
Or maybe not. Adam may have snapped at him but at least he’d gotten an honest answer. Maybe tough love was exactly what Adam needed right now. And wasn’t that a thought that brought Kris up short. Maybe this was the way to get through to what was bothering him. Kris decided to test his theory.
“I’m sorry about that.”
“It’s not been that bad. I’m just overreacting.”
Okay, so they were right back to the lying. Huh?!? Kris decided to try again.
“No you weren’t overreacting; it has definitely been a long week. But you’re not the only one you know.”
“And what’s that supposed to mean?”
“It means that you caused one hell of a hornets nest for the rest of us as well.”
“Well I’m sorry Mr Allen if I messed up your week with my obnoxious and offensive display of sexuality. I’ll try and remember to de-gay myself before going on stage next time.”
That was definitely more honest, if completely unfair. Why was Adam trying to push his buttons? What the hell was he playing at? Kris had offered comfort and, after that initial batch of tears, it had been pushed back at him. Adam was as tough as a fluffy bunny when it came to comforting other people; he was gentle and soft and kind. And to Kris’s knowledge he liked being treated in the same fashion. Why the hell would he be responding to a slightly harsher tone now?
“That’s not what I meant and you know it. Damn it Adam why are you fightin’ for an argument?”
“Yeah ‘cause I’m looking for arguments. It’s not like they’ve been following me all week regardless of what I wanted.”
Kris put the spatula down and turned the stove off. This was obviously going to have to be done face to face. He turned round and moved closer to Adam but still kept his distance a little. He didn’t want to crowd Adam, didn’t want to make him feel trapped in a conversation that Kris was pretty sure he’d have to direct to a slightly more argumentative place.
“Well you haven’t exactly been avoiding them.”
“They said that I had deliberately been offensive. That I was shoving ‘the gay’ in their faces.”
Kris had to struggle to keep the smile off his face as Adam made hand quotation marks around the words ‘the gay’.
“You shoved a man’s face in your crotch.”
“And maybe I took that a little too far but I will not be the country’s pet gay. I am not Clay Aiken!! I am not Nate Marshall!! I am not Carson fucking Kressley!!!”
“A little more decorum might have been wise is all.”
“It might have been wise yes but the fall out…talk about an overreaction.”
“Whether you meant to or not you offended people Adam. You had to know that ABC was going to pull you up for that?”
“And GMA cancelling I understood. But Kimmel? It’s pre-taped for fucks sake. And it’s at midnight. Was I that much of a risk?”
“Is that what you think?”
“What I think doesn’t matter Adam. I’m not the one booking you on my television show.”
“And apparently I set the gay rights movement back years with one fucking performance! The boy with glitter on his face set the gay rights movement back by being too fucking gay!”
“Well that’s horse shit and you know it.”
“But it’s what people think. They want me to be gay, and be visibly gay and never anything other than gay gay but I’m not allowed to show that that means sex. Apparently gay gay is politics not sex, sex has nothing to do with it. I’m a sexual person, I have been for years, and now they want me to be safe and unthreatening. Well fuck them!!”
Adam was still sat on the counter but his hands, now free of the coffee cup, were gesturing wildly. Kris was grateful that the coffee had been placed on the side before Adam got frustrated because although he was glad that Adam appeared to have found his fire he didn’t want to receive any burns because of it.
“Nobody’s saying that.”
“Everybody’s saying that!”
Adam’s voice dropped in volume dramatically and Kris had to strain to hear it. Kris watched as Adam stopped looking at him and focused all his attention on the floor. Kris’s decision to incite Adam into reaction had worked but now that the anger had left his system he appeared even more deflated than before. Maybe this hadn’t been such a good idea. Kris worried that instead of making things better he’d only made them worse.
“I’ve been called everything you can think of this week Kris do you know that? I thought I’d heard it all before but the hate coming out of these people. God it’s terrifying.”
“Adam, you shouldn’t listen to them.”
“People have been writing that I should crawl back under the rock I came from. That they hope I get aids and die.”
“People have always thought I was wrong, that I was revolting, just because of who I fancied. But now people who have no problem with that still think that I’m depraved because I focused on the violence of sex as opposed to the gentle romance side. And maybe they’re right.”
“God they’re so not right!! They are so so wrong.”
“And then there’s everyone who, rightly, says that I fucked up the song with the vocals. And I did and all I want to do is show that I can sing better than that. Because really, if I’m not a good singer than what the hell am I? Just another fag pushing his agenda on the public. But I can’t show them I can sing because no one will have me on their show.”
Adam’s voice was so small, so vulnerable, that Kris moved forward so that he was standing directly in front of him. He placed his hands on Adam’s knees and gave them a gentle squeeze.
“You sang beautifully on Letterman and CBS.”
“But all anyone can talk about is how CBS blurred the imaged. No one remembers the singing.”
Kris didn’t know how to answer that because Adam was right. No one had been talking about his singing for a while now. Adam swept a hand across his face.
“I think I just killed my career with one performance. I’m a punch line. I’m a fucking joke.”
“Not to me you aren’t. Not to your family, not to your friends. Not to your thousands of fans.”
Adam didn’t respond. Kris could hear him taking deep breaths and guessed he was probably trying to keep the tears at bay. Kris didn’t know what to do apart from be there for him. All he could think to do was wait for Adam to acknowledge what he’d said.
“You know the worst thing?”
“It was all me.”
“What do you mean?”
“That performance, that was me. That was a part of me, a part of who I am. So when people think it’s vile and disgusting it’s me they think is vile and disgusting.”
“And maybe they’re right.”
“Maybe I am. Maybe I should stop trying to push whatever I am on everyone else. Maybe there’s a reason I’d only ever managed to perform in the LA underground scene before. Maybe that’s where I belong….underground and away from the normal people.”
“Adam…that’s…god no that’s just wrong. Sweetheart no.”
“Kris, an entire television station is refusing to have me on their shows. They can’t risk being associated with someone like me. They don’t want me there. I repulse them.”
Oh god, this was so much worse than what Kris had expected. He had thought that Adam was throwing a snit over losing the programs. He’d thought that Adam just needed to vent his anger. He had never thought that Adam’s entire self worth had been wiped out with one event. Shit, it had been a tough week but Adam was strong, the strongest of all of them. This must have been building since the AMA’s. Christ what if it had been coming before? How had no one noticed this? Where the hell had everyone been?
“Adam you are the least repulsive person I know.”
“Adam you are the second least repulsive person I know. And if you were to ask Katy you’d definitely be her number one because you’re way more beautiful than I am. Plus, you’ve never farted in her bed so you’re definitely winning there.”
“No Adam, you listen and you listen good. I love you. I have for months now. And I only love wonderful people, I’m shallow like that. You. Are. Beautiful. Inside. And. Out.”
Kris punctuated the last five words with kisses. One to Adam’s forehead. One to Adam’s nose. One to Adam’s left cheek. One to his right. The last to Adam’s mouth.
The nerves and warning in Adam’s voice were unmistakeable.
“Kris please, I just…I just can’t take this today.”
“Can’t take what Adam?”
“This thing we do…I just…if you can’t be there fully I’d rather you weren’t there at all.”
Kris knew that this was the turning point. He was being given an out. But to take it, to take it would be to give some strength to Adam’s fears that he was disgusting. Kris could go back to Katy right now and Adam wouldn’t blame him, but he would see it a validation of his fears. Kris would not allow that to happen. But Katy? But Katy indeed.
Kris pulled out his phone and hit speed dial 1. Adam was watching him, confusion and exhaustion clear on his face. Kris waited until Katy picked up.
“Hey baby…so Allison called you too huh…yes I’m at Adam’s right now…”
Kris pressed his finger to Adam’s lips to keep him from talking.
“…yeah he’s here with me…baby I…I need…”
Kris looked up at Adam, looked right in his eyes.
“…I think I really do…and he does yes…”
Kris pulled the phone away from his ear and held it up to Adam.
“She wants to talk to you.”
“She wants to talk to you.”
“Take the phone Adam.”
Adam reached out a shaky hand and took the phone from Kris. He placed it up to his ear. Kris watched as nervousness warred with surprise on Adam’s face. He could see instantly when surprise won the battle. It was quickly followed by shame.
“Katy no, God no I would never do that! …oh Katy it wouldn’t work like that…no it…Katy lis…uh huh…uh huh…honey…”
Adam looked up at Kris. Kris could see that he was hanging on by a very thin thread.
“…of course I want to that’s not…it’s not the point Katy…”
Adam looked away from Kris.
“…yes I love him but…okay…okay…I’ll pass you back to him…I love you too.”
Adam gave the phone back to Kris but refused to look at him. Kris took the phone in one hand and gently raised Adam’s head with the other. He needed Adam to see his feelings. He needed Adam to know that this was real, that all three of them had a choice in this. He needed Adam to know that he didn’t have to do anything but that he could do everything.
“Hey sweetheart…you know I do…I’ll take care of him I promise…yes he’ll take care of me as well…I love you so much you know that right?…I know I just had to check…right…I’ll see you tomorrow…I love you.”
Kris hung up the phone and placed it back in his pocket. He stood there with his hand on Adam’s chin before moving it across so that it cupped Adam’s cheek.
“I love you and this has to be your choice as well.”
Adam didn’t answer straight away and Kris was afraid he was going to tell him to get out of his house. Eventually he sighed.
“She told me that if you broke me I had to let you fix me.”
“You didn’t break me Kris. I think I was already broken.”
Kris stood there nervously. Whatever Adam’s answer, this would change their entire friendship. Kris barely noticed as Adam’s face moved closer to his but he sure as hell felt the lips pressing on his. The kiss was chaste and soft but the passion was undeniable. When Adam pulled away they were both painting a little.
“You didn’t brake me Kris. But I think, I think that maybe you could help to fix me.”
Kris couldn’t help the smile that spread across his face. He knew it was one of his full ones, one of the ones that took over his entire face. The answering smile he received was more tentative but it was a start. Taking Adam’s hand in his own Kris pulled gently so that Adam slid off the counter and next to him. Taking the lead Kris moved them in the direction of Adam’s bedroom. This was definitely new territory for him but if there was one thing Kris knew how to do it was make someone feel loved. He would spend hours showing Adam how much he meant to him, how beautiful he really was.
Kris woke to the sound of silence. No soft snoring, no loud ticking of Katy’s old clock; just silence. He snuggled further down into the duvet and started to doze off again. He sleepily wondered where Adam had gone.
Bolting up in the bed Kris tried to calm his speeding heart. Adam! Hastily looking around the room Kris could see he was by himself. His clothes, which had been discarded around the room the previous night, were neatly folded on a chair. Adam’s were gone from the room completely.
Getting out of the bed Kris moved over his clothes. Putting on his boxers and jeans Kris grabbed his shirt and made his way into the hall. Still he could hear nothing. Moving along the corridor Kris began to worry that what had happened last night maybe wasn’t the best idea in the world. What if everything changed now? He could never be with Adam, not in the way both of them wanted; he loved Katy too much to do that. And he could never make Adam his, well his mistress, because he loved Adam too much to give him such a half life. Adam deserved someone who would be his everything, someone to whom he would theirs.
Walking down the stairs Kris pulled his shirt on and did up the buttons. Hearing a noise coming from the kitchen Kris headed in that direction. Making his way to the entrance he could smell coffee and could hear Adam talking on the phone.
“…no…no I’m not going to tell you that!” Adam giggled.
Kris let out a sigh of relief at the sound. He placed his hand on the door and was about to push it open when Adam’s voice stopped him.
“Katy! Honey, I am not feeding your porn fantasies but I promise to give Kris permission to do so.”
Kris blushed at the idea of his wife asking him about the sex he just had with his best friend. Keeping his hand on the door Kris decided that he would wait and see where this conversation went before heading inside the room. He knew he was eavesdropping but Adam sounded so happy, much more like the Adam he knew than the person he had been last night, that he didn’t want to risk breaking the moment.
“…uh huh…yeah you do that.”
Kris knew, even without seeing, what both Adam and Katy looked like in this moment. He closed his eyes and pictured the mischief in his wife’s eyes, the full toothed smile on her face. She was probably sat curled up in one of their brand new comfy chairs, phone in one hand and feet pulled up under her. Adam would be leaning against his counter, cup of coffee beside him and his free arm wrapped around his stomach picking at his nail polish. He would be smiling that smile that lit up his entire face but he would be rolling his eyes at whatever Katy was saying to him. When Kris heard him laugh he knew it was the kind of laughter that left Adam slightly doubled over, hand going to his mouth.
“Katy Allen I am amazed. So much for the sweat Southern girl act you’ve got going on. That’s quite an imagination you have there!”
Kris’s eyes sprung open in shock. What the hell was Katy saying? In his surprise he jolted a little and his hand very slightly pushed the door.
“Hang on Kate, either someone’s snooping or I have a ghost.”
The door swung open and Kris found himself face to face with Adam. The grin on Adam’s face morphed into something sweater, gentler, as he took in Kris’s appearance.
“Hey Katy, haven’t you taught Kris how to dress himself yet? He’s buttoned all wrong. Hang on, I’ll pass you to him while I sort him out.”
Adam held out the phone and Kris took it wordlessly.
Kris allowed himself to be pulled into the kitchen by Adam. He listened to Katy as Adam’s hands carefully undid his shirt and re-buttoned it correctly.
Kris barely got a word in edgeways with his wife. He didn’t mind, they would talk later when it was just the two of them. So for now he let her explain how, as Adam had told her he had no food in his house, they were all going out for breakfast.
“…okay…we’ll see you there at 10:30.”
Adam made a motion indicating that he wanted the phone back so Kris wrapped up his part of the conversation.
“Baby Adam wants to say something. Love you too.”
Kris handed the phone back to Adam and moved to pour himself a cup of coffee from the still hot decanter.
“Hey HoneyKates, I just wanted to say thank you for letting me borrow your husband last night…it really meant, I, I don’t think I can, I mean it’s just…thank you. ”
Kris knew that the genuine feeling in Adam’s voice was clear through the phone. Everything Adam wanted to say to Katy, to both of them, but never could was expressed in those two words.
Kris turned around, coffee mug in hand, and looked at Adam across the room. He seemed bigger, more complete, than he had done yesterday. Kris had spent all night showing Adam just how beautiful he was, just how much he was loved, and if one night was all they would ever get Kris was glad it had been this one. It may not have been as playful as it could have been. It may not have been as experimental as he’d always imagined it would be. But it had been real. It had been love and thanks and lust and hello and, in its own way, goodbye. Adam would always be more to Kris than he could ever show; either in public or in private. But last night had allowed Kris the opportunity to be all that Adam needed him to be, and to show Adam all that he felt. Everything was all out there now and they would go from here. Kris may wish that the reason behind it was different, he would never ask for Adam to feel as he had felt last night, but he couldn’t, he wouldn’t, regret the action.
Adam looked up and smiled at Kris. It was slightly bashful, slightly teasing, and a lot genuine. Kris watched as his eyes moved to something over Kris’s shoulder.
“Shit! Honey, if we’re meeting you at 10:30 I have got to go. It takes time to look fabulous you know…I know I don’t have to get dolled up for you but I want to…no I’m not hiding, I promise, I’m coming as myself…okay well we’ll see you there. Love you sweetie.”
Adam hung up the phone and rushed over to his coffee. He picked it up and started to dash from the room. Turning away from the door Adam moved back to Kris. He took Kris’s coffee out of his hand and placed both mugs on the counter. He then pulled Kris into a tight hug. Kris felt Adam’s lips as they landed a soft kiss by his ear.
Kris felt the words more than he heard them. He squeezed Adam extra tight in recognition. Eventually Adam pulled away and picked up his mug.
“There’s still some of your clothes in the spare room from the last time you were here and the red towel and toothbrush in the bathroom are clean and new. I’ll jump in first ‘cause we all know that I take longer getting ready.”
Kris grinned at Adam, a glint in his eye.
“Actually, what you’ll do is call your mother and your brother and apologise for making them worry.”
“Yes shit indeed. Then you’re going to call Allison and give her your blessing to go on Kimmel.”
“They asked Allie?”
If Adam didn’t already know Kris wasn’t too sure he wanted to be the barer of the news but someone had to.
“She’s taking you spot.”
Kris was surprised to see the smile on Adam’s face increase at the knowledge.
“Well at least something good came out of it.”
“You’re not frustrated?”
“I’m frustrated as hell but someone was going to have to replace me and I couldn’t ask for it to be anyone more deserving. Okay, you take the shower first.”
This was right, this was the man he knew and loved. This was the man who would be happy and excited for his friend, rather than sad for himself.
Adam again started to leave the kitchen, this time picking up the phone on his way, and again he turned back to Kris.
“You know she’s going to be bigger than both of us?”
“I’m becoming increasingly aware of that yes.”
“You think she’ll let us ride her coattails?”
“Darlin’, I think she’d name her group Kradison. Although she’d probably spell it with a ‘z’.”
Kris loved hearing the sound of Adam’s laughter as he walked from the room. Taking a sip of his coffee Kris began to make his way back to the staircase. He could hear Adam moving around his living-room and Kris stopped for just a second to make sure he really was okay.
“Hey Mom…no I…yes Mom…yes Mom…no Mom…okay Mom…I know Mom…love you too.”
Adam was fine. Adam would be fine. Adam had enough people round him that cared that there was no way he could be anything other than fine. He might, oh hell he would, take more knocks along the road but they would always be there to support him. Just as he would always be there to support them. Kris knew that the probability of last night repeating itself was slim to none but it didn’t matter because they would always have it. Whenever things got tough, and they were sure as hell going to get tough again, they would have the knowledge that the other would always be there.
Kris started to move away from the door and up to the bathroom to get ready to meet his wife. Adam’s voice, happy and laughing, carried up through the house.
“Neil I…well you’re a dick too…”