Tommy walked toward the corner of the club where Ashley and Isaac were sitting and plopped down next to them on the plush couch, pouting into his beer. “How do I get Adam to sleep with me?”
Isaac scrunched his face up, and Ashley laughed, but he was serious. He’d been touring with them for five months already—still considered the newbie with a huge, gay boner for the boss—and Adam had yet to notice that he was so fucking willing to get busy with him, it was almost embarrassing.
“I haven’t signed up for that class yet, so I don’t know the fees, but feel free to spill juicy details when it happens,” Ashley joked, shouldering him into Isaac, beer sloshing over his hand.
He licked the dribble off the top of his hand and whined at her before glaring. “It’s not funny. Either he’s really fucking dense, uninterested, or too busy with the end of the tour and his drawings to notice that I’m literally panting after him like a love-sick puppy. It’s sickening if you really think about it.”
He pursed his lips.
Isaac chuckled and threw his bottle cap at him. Tommy dodged it, smirking, and flipped him off. “You’re thinking about it right now, aren’t you?”
“Fuck yes, all damn day. He’s too busy staring at sketch pads and music sheets to notice, though.”
“Why don’t you just ask him about it? Get him to go on a date with you and make him see that you actually want him. Open up his eyes. He’s really busy with trying to get his image out to the public in the art industry since people found out that he not only sings, but creates some awesome ass art.”
He had thought about that, asking Adam on a date, but every option he came up with ended with Adam either laughing in his face over the idea, or saying he was too busy to give him the time of day. When he really thought about it, it was of ways that Adam could fuck him in a hotel room without having to pay an extremely, embarrassing amount of money for property damage, because they would tear that shit apart. So needless to say, thinking about it, didn’t help.
“Mmm,” Tommy said around his beer, pulling it from his lips. “Not gonna happen. I really don’t think he’d go on a date with me. I’ve thought this through—a little bit.”
Ashley snorted next to him but didn’t comment, and Isaac was looking at him like Tommy needed to elaborate, which he wasn’t going to.
“Well, this was an awesome conversation, guys. Let’s never do it again, and go drown ourselves in alcohol, yes?” Tommy stood up, chugging the rest of his beer before walking back to the bar to order a round for the group.
When he was laying in his bed an hour later, the only thing running through his head was Adam. Adam, Adam, Adam.
It didn’t stop until he opened his eyes the next morning to pack for the bus ride to the next state. The only good thing about the bus was the fact that he shared it with Adam, Isaac and Brian. The bad thing about the bus was the fact that he had to share it with Adam, Isaac and Brian. He sighed. Beggars could not be choosers. Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth. Whatever.
When he got on the bus, Adam was sitting on the makeshift couch with his sketchpad and coal pencil on his lap and his iPod already in use, so Tommy wouldn’t be able to talk to him for a good few hours. When Adam got like this, it was hard to get him out of it until he himself assumed he was finished with his work, or wanted a break. Or he got distracted.
Tommy could do that.
So Tommy put his things by his bunk and then threw himself bodily next to Adam, jostling him, but Adam must have seen him coming because he stopped shading right before he made it to the couch and lifted his arms, assuming—maybe—that he was aiming for Adam’s lap. When he sprawled out with his head on Adam’s knee, remote to the TV in his hand while reruns of Breaking Bad sounded out as background noise, Adam repositioned himself. He put his sketchpad on the arm of the couch, pulled an ear bud from his ear, and stuffed it into Tommy’s ear.
He knew Adam didn’t care much for background noise that wasn’t his iPod, but he put up with it because it was Tommy. Adam always said it was because it took him out of the zone, but it never seemed to bother him that Tommy wanted practically in his lap when he was drawing.
He couldn’t help the fact that he thought Adam was an amazing artist—singing and drawing alike—and wanted to watch the process while he was creating it. Adam never seemed to mind him doing that, but Adam hated it when others saw his unfinished masterpieces before he wanted them to.
When Adam went back to drawing, Tommy focused on the show, running his hand up muscled thigh, over an even stronger knee, and down a thick calf; over and over again, until he eventually drifted off to sleep.
He stirred to the sensation of feather-light touches running over his scalp and rough denim rubbing over sensitive skin. Fuck morning wood. Or evening wood. The touches continued and a voice filtered through his sleep-fogged brain, telling him that they arrived at a diner for dinner.
“Tommy Joe, my legs are going to fall off and I won’t ever be able to dance again,” Adam said, amusement coated heavily in his voice.
Two could play at that game, though.
“Well we can’t have that now, can we?” Tommy shifted and sat up, giving Adam enough room to stand before he got right behind him, hands going straight to Adam’s ass and handling him, making no mistake as to what he was implying. “I’m really fond of watching you shake this on stage,” he said, before he headed back to the bunks to grab a hoodie. He then walked off the bus with his heart beating almost completely out of his chest.
He found Ashley and Isaac bickering over their menu and joined them. They stopped once they saw the deer-caught-in-the-headlights look he shot at them. He buried his face in his arms and tried to hide, but then Ashley put her arms around him—he didn’t even know when she got out of her seat—and shh’ed him, seeming to know exactly what was going on.
“There, there. It can’t be that bad.”
“I told Adam that I like his ass and that he needs to shake it more on stage,” Tommy blurted out before anyone else from the buses could join them.
To their credit, neither of them started laughing at him, although he could see that from their faces, that it was a near thing. “I fell asleep on his lap and he made a comment that he could never dance again, and I grabbed his ass.” His eyes widened as realization hit him head on. “Dude, that’s sexual harassment. I’m going to jail, oh my god.”
This time Isaac was the one that didn’t hold back, and his laughter roared throughout the whole diner, thankfully not drawing any attention to them. It still made Tommy look sheepishly down at the table and glare up at Isaac through his eyelashes, because the fucker had no right to see his life falling apart as a big hurrah.
“You both are fucking idiots,” Isaac commented before going back to his menu, snorting laughter every few moments.
Ashley kept her cool and continued to rub his back, but he was gaping at Isaac; his buddy, his pal, his fucking stupid ass best friend, the one who he’d never wanted to punch so damn much in his life more than he wanted to in that moment. “How am I an idiot? I just sexually harassed my boss.”
“I’m positive he didn’t see it that way, TJ.”
“And how are you so sure?”
Isaac looked over Tommy’s shoulder, a huge smile on his face. “Because he would have punched you in the face, also he looks like he’s going to ignore the past eight thousand years of his life, because he doesn’t want to confess his love for you if the constipated I-have-love-for-Tommy Joe face is anything to go by.”
Tommy glared at Isaac. “Really? I-have-love-for-Tommy Joe? You’re a fucking moron.”
Isaac beamed at him. “I love you, too, beb.”
Tommy rolled his eyes but despite his anger and Isaac’s teasing, he cracked a smile, because Isaac might be a dumbass sometimes, but he was trying to cheer him up, and it was really helping. Reaching over the table, he fist bumped Isaac when he stuck his hand out.
When Adam and Brian joined them, things got a little awkward, but it was nothing Tommy couldn’t handle. Adam put on a fake smile and dinner was strained, but it was all good.
Toward the end, Ashley asked Adam how his art was coming along, and that finally coaxed a real smile from the man. Tommy sighed in relief.
“In a few months, after the tour, I have an art show back home. I have tickets for you guys. It’s a plus-one package, and kids are free, so Isaac, that means that you need to bring Isabella.”
Isaac smiled and nodded his agreement.
“What if we don’t have a ‘plus one’? Can I bring my mom or someone instead?” Tommy asked, because it would be somewhat embarrassing to have had two tickets and not have been able to use one of them.
Adam smiled. “I’m sure you’ll find yourself a lucky girl to go with you before then.”
Everyone, including Tommy, choked on their drinks when Adam said that. Now that answered a shit ton of Tommy’s questions. So Adam didn’t know that a) Tommy was gay, and b) fucking hell, he wanted Adam like air. Jesus, this guy was denser than he gave Adam credit for.
Also, that really kind of hurt, because everyone in the band knew this shit about him, and he even admitted to it when asked in the beginning, because he felt like if this was going to work, he didn’t need to hide from the band. Plus, the boss was gay, so he didn’t think anyone would have a problem with knowing that he was, too. They have all talked about it together. Had Adam not been listening?
“Okay, so I think this about ends the night for me,” Tommy said. “No desert, I’m stuffed. If anyone needs me, I’ll be in my bunk. Thanks for dinner, guys. I had a really great time and have a good night.” He got up and put down his share for the bill before making his way out the door, but not before hearing Adam ask, “Why’s he leaving like that?”
When he got to the bus, he went to his bunk and crashed onto it, ignoring the voice that reminded him of his mom, telling him to get undressed before he wrinkled his clothes. Fuck it. His heart hurt a little bit—no, a lot—and nothing in that moment was going to help. Not even undressing properly for bed in a shithole bus full of grown ass men. One of those grown ass men being someone that Tommy hoped he wasn’t falling in love with.
The bus shook a half hour or so later, letting him know that everyone had come back. He kept his eyes shut and continued listening to his iPod when he felt someone join him in his bunk. Arms wrapped around him and pulled him back against a chest. There was a whispered breath against his neck, but he couldn’t understand what was being said, even with the music in his ears being so low.
He pulled the buds out, turned around in the small space and saw Adam there with a concerned expression on his face.
“I fucked up. I don’t know how, but I know I did. No one will tell me what I did. Please, I’m sorry,” he whispered, pulling Tommy closer, kneeing between Tommy’s legs and creating as little space between them as possible.
“It’s nothing,” Tommy mumbled, hands reaching out to run through Adam’s hair in a soothing way, but Adam’s whole body tensed, and he knew it was the wrong thing to say to him in that moment.
“No, it was not ‘nothing.’ Otherwise, you wouldn’t be in here, the band wouldn’t be walking on eggshells, and my head wouldn’t be spinning over what I could have possibly said to have everyone running with their tails between their legs. Please, just tell me.”
Hands found their way under his shirt, rubbing up and down his back. It was nothing sexual, and it felt calming, but it did nothing to settle the racing thoughts going through his head.
“Do you ever listen to anything that I tell you?”
“Everything,” Adam said, and he sounded like he believed it, but Tommy knew better. Otherwise, none of this would be happening.
“Okay, let’s do a little pop quiz then, hmm?” He lifted an eyebrow, and Adam nodded his head like it was the greatest idea ever.
Tommy took a deep breath before trying to think of something even a fan would know, something that he’s talked about a lot. “When’s my birthday?”
Adam rolled his eyes. “Seriously?”
“We’re starting off easy. Just answer it.”
Tommy nodded. “Okay. Do I have any siblings?”
Adam sighed. “This is stupid.” Tommy raised an eyebrow. “Oh my fucking god, Tommy. Yes, you have a sister, her name is Lisa. You have a mom, and a dad who passed away two months after joining us on tour. You’re twenty-nine, your favorite food is Mexican. You don’t sleep, you play too much guitar when you should be sleeping. And you watch too many movies. I don’t know what you want me to tell you, okay?”
Tommy just looked at him. “When was my last relationship and who was it with?”
Adam was quiet, and Tommy wanted to fist-pump the air and “ha, fucker, now what?” him, but he just waited for an answer, and when he still didn’t get one, he said, “Well?”
Adam looked at him and then sighed like it was costing him his life to answer. “I don’t know, when?”
Tommy took a deep breath. “Two years ago. His name was Brent and he was a dick. Cheated on me with my supposed friend. It kind of sucked, but when I look back, I don’t miss either of them, so yeah, I don’t regret it.”
Adam didn’t say anything after that, and Tommy let him think things through for all of thirty seconds before he blurted out, “So that’s why I left when you mentioned bringing a girl to your art show. I wouldn’t do that.”
Adam stared him in the eyes before they drifted to his mouth, and on instinct, Tommy parted his lips and moved toward Adam, his hands coming to rest on Adam’s neck, pulling him closer.
“Because?” Like he needed a confirmation.
Tommy rolled his eyes. “Because I don’t really like girls as anything but friendly companions and shopping partners.”
Adam smiled and leaned forward. “I like shopping, too.”
Tommy hummed. “So I’ve been told.” And then they were kissing, and it was everything, and just what he wanted, yet nothing like he planned it would turn out to be.
It was so much better.
When they pulled apart, Adam whispered, “Can we try this, please? I want to see if we can work.”
All Tommy could do was nod before he was claiming Adam’s lips again, straddling his hips and grasping his face as if his life depended on it.
Everything seemed to be going fine, their relationship was working, and Tommy couldn’t help but love every minute he got to spend with Adam. It all seemed too good to be true, and he was right.
As the end of tour got closer, Adam started pulling away. They’d only been together a month or so, and Adam was finding ways to get out of hanging out with him. When he asked Adam if he wanted to watch a movie, he’d make up an excuse about being too busy, or just exhausted from drawing and rehearsals. Tommy could understand that, really.
But . . . it got to the point that whenever Adam was drawing, and he would come into the room, Adam would close the sketchpad or cover the easel up to hide his artwork from him. That hurt and pissed him off more than anything, because Adam had always let him see what he was creating—finished or not.
Adam was doing press for the last few weeks of tour—giving Tommy the space that he didn’t want but that Adam seemed to need—and promoting his showcase that was opening up at a gallery in New York City. Tommy was there when Adam got the call and they offered him the spot for his artwork. He had never seen Adam as happy as he was when he found out, except for the time he’d been nominated for a Grammy.
Tommy was finished unpacking his things—he and Adam started sharing a room when they decided to see if there could be a “them”—and had just texted Adam that he was settled and missing him when Isaac came through the door with a hand full of DVD’s and a bag of theater butter popcorn.
“Movie marathon tonight since the boss man is out and the rest of the band is clubbing.” Isaac dumped the cases and the popcorn bag on the bed next to Tommy’s hip and then followed them with his body, army crawling his way next to Tommy. “What’s the matter, beb? Missing your man?”
Tommy scoffed and rolled his eyes even though that was exactly what was wrong, and he felt fucking guilty for missing him so much, because Adam had done nothing but ignore him for the past week. “Yeah . . . sure.”
Isaac’s face cleared of all amusement when he caught the tone of Tommy’s voice. “Whoa, man, who died?”
Tommy sighed and leaned over, plugging his phone in and laying it on the nightstand before getting comfortable on the bed. He rested his hands on his abdomen, playing with a few strings that were hanging off his shirt. “No one, dude. Just—Adam’s done nothing but ignore me the past few days. When we were in Vienna, things changed and he started pulling away from me.”
“Did you guys have a fight? You guys were inseparable in Paris, Teej, and that was only a few days before Vienna.” Isaac pulled the pillow under his head and scooted closer to Tommy.
“No, we haven’t even really argued since that night on the bus,” Tommy stressed, running a hand agitatedly through his hair before huffing out a breath. “I just—maybe I’ll talk to him tonight, see what’s going on with him.”
When he really thought about it—why Adam pulled away like that—the only thing that came to his mind was that maybe he found someone else. He stared at Isaac for a moment before dropping his gaze to the duvet on the bed. “Do you—” Tommy inhaled when he felt his chest constrict with hurt at what he was about to voice, even if he’d been thinking it for a while now. “Do you think he’s seeing someone else?”
Isaac seemed to stammer for a moment, hopefully at a loss for words and not because he knew that Adam was doing just that, but then he quickly shook his head. “No, dude—Tommy, Adam wouldn’t do that to you, especially with how much he likes you and wants this to work out.”
“How do you know?” His insecurities were getting the better of him and he couldn’t stand it, but it felt like there was an itch he couldn’t scratch underneath his skin every time Adam refused to acknowledge or spend any one-on-one time with him and went off somewhere else because he was busy and didn’t want any distractions.
Isaac reached out and patted Tommy’s shoulder affectionately. “Because even when you’re not there, the man talks about you like you hung his own personal moon or something.”
Tommy chuckled, but it got stuck in his throat and he had to fight down the part of himself that wanted so badly to break right there. He didn’t feel like he was anything in Adam’s world for the past week.
Maybe they’d gone too fast and Adam was trying to make a clean break so that it didn’t fuck up the band.
He was going to have to think about this later, because Isaac looked like he was going to jump him with affectionate hugging, and he wasn’t in the mood for it, no matter how upset he was. Thinking about it constantly was starting to piss him off, because he hadn’t done anything wrong, but Adam was acting strangely over something. “Popcorn and Die Hard?”
“Fucking A,” Isaac exhaled with a longing in his voice before grabbing the DVD and bouncing off the bed toward the entertainment stand at the end of the bed.
Later that night when Isaac was gone and he was lying between the sheets by himself, he couldn’t stop his thoughts from running back over the “what if’s” clamoring through his head. Maybe he should save himself the major heartache from Adam breaking up with him and just call them off himself, tell Adam that maybe taking a break and trying again when they weren’t on tour was a great idea. And who knew, maybe it would be better for them if they separated themselves from one another for a little while.
He fell asleep with his heart breaking in his chest, but a clearer mind than he’d had for the last week.
When he woke up again, there was an arm around his waist and a leg pressing in between his thighs. His entire body relaxed into the hold that Adam had on him. He rolled over to face Adam, fisting a hand in his tee and pushing his face into Adam’s chest. The knot in his chest loosened with each passing moment that Adam held him like this, and he squeezed his eyes shut tightly, just hoping that this would be enough before he ruined everything.
He fell back asleep to Adam’s gentle humming in his ear.
When he came to again, he was on his side with his back to Adam, so he reached back for him only to press against cold sheets and an empty bed. His breath caught in his throat and his heart started racing, but he stamped down on any anger and hurt he might have had and got out of the bed.
He walked to the lounge that connected his and Adam’s room to Brian and Isaac’s. Adam was there, quiet music playing out of the traveling speakers that he plugged his iPod into while he worked on yet another art piece.
Tommy sighed inwardly. He was happy for him, knew that Adam deserved any kind of publicity that he could get, but it still didn’t help the fact that he hadn’t woken up with Adam in the bed with him. He’d found him somewhere secluded; drawing something he probably wouldn’t ever show him.
But like everything else, Tommy was going to at least try before he gave up completely. One last shot, right? All or nothing.
He walked over to Adam, placing his hands on Adam’s shoulders and feeling them tense underneath his touch. He massaged the muscles under his grip and felt Adam relax minutely against him, a sigh escaping his lips.
Tommy leaned over and pressed a kiss to the back of his neck, hands breaking up knots of tension and stress that had been building up. “Hey,” he whispered against Adam’s ear when he kissed his way to Adam’s jaw.
“Hey.” Adam’s voice was gruff, like he’d just woken up and it warmed Tommy’s insides, pleasure coursing through him at being able to make Adam sound like that.
“What are you doing in here so late at night? Come back to bed.” He pressed open mouthed kisses down Adam’s neck, pulling his tee away from his chest and exposing his collarbone. He licked over it and followed it back up Adam’s neck, tongue tracing the artery before he made his way up to Adam’s mouth. He hadn’t had the chance to properly say hello.
Adam’s kisses were like adding fuel to an already increasingly raging fire that was set somewhere in the pit of Tommy’s stomach. He grabbed Adam’s face while he settled his way into Adam’s lap, legs wrapping around his waist. He pulled back from Adam’s kiss, running his hands through Adam’s product free hair while he stared at him.
Adam looked at peace with them like this, and it just made the ache and knot in Tommy’s chest even worse, because he couldn’t believe it.
“Come back to bed,” he repeated when Adam didn’t answer, thumb tracing along his jawline.
Adam sighed, turning his head and kissing Tommy’s palm. “I’m really not tired right now, and I have to finish this picture. You go without me; I’ll be in there later.”
Tommy sighed and turned to the easel. “What are you making? Can I see it?”
Adam’s entire body tensed and he moved forward quickly, with Tommy still in his lap, covering what little of the painting that was revealed. “It’s not finished yet.”
“That never seemed to stop you before. What’s the picture of?” Tommy pushed, getting out of Adam’s lap and wanting so badly to just rip off the cover of the easel and see what was underneath, but he didn’t want Adam mad at him.
“It’s just—I don’t want anyone seeing it until it’s finished. I want it to be a surprise,” Adam insisted, pulling Tommy back toward him when he tried to walk out of the room. “Please don’t be mad.”
Tommy’s anger, jealousy, and hurt couldn’t stay out of his voice when he said, “It’s kind of hard to not be when all you’ve done for the past week or so is hide from me. What am I supposed to be, Adam? Because pissed off and hurt are the only two feelings that come to mind at the moment.” He pushed away from Adam and made his way back to the bedroom, painting forgotten with how fucked up things were about to get.
He didn’t want to fight with Adam, hated knowing that that was where this was headed.
Adam followed him back to the bedroom, hands coming up in a helpless gesture and expression close to panic. “I don’t know what you want me to do, Tommy. All I’ve been trying to do is make time for my art and rehearsals … and us, and everything else. I’m running myself thin here. Can’t you see that?” His voice was getting louder and more exhausted than he’d heard in a long time, but he ignored it.
He turned on Adam, glaring. “I don’t know who you’re making time for, but it sure as hell isn’t me.”
Adam’s eyes widened, hurt passing through them before it shattered into anger. “And what is that supposed to mean? Do you think I’m cheating on you?”
Tommy shrugged and turned away, trying to think of what to do next. He couldn’t stay in the same room with Adam without having a break down—he needed to get away from him. “No—well, maybe?” Tommy sighed and ran a hand through his hair before he turned back to Adam. “Look. Maybe we need to just back off for a while. You seem more worried about your art and the tour—which you should be by the way—than our relationship, and maybe we rushed into this too fast. Maybe taking a break will do us some good.”
Adam was shaking his head and walking toward him even before he finished talking. “No, I don’t want to break up. I want to talk about this … like adults.”
Tommy groaned in frustration before he sagged onto the edge of the bed, head in his hands. “Now you want to talk? After all the time you put into ignoring me? How am I supposed to react to that, Adam?”
Adam sat down next to him and placed a hand on his shoulder. “Like we usually do when shit like this happens. You sit down with me, and we talk it through, figure out the problem and how to fix it.”
Tommy looked over at Adam with shining eyes before sniffing and wiping his nose, staring at his pants. This was hurting him so much and it was made worse by the anger he had about feeling like this was the only option for them right now. “I’m sorry, but I don’t think we can fix this right now. I need to think some things through, and obviously you need to do the same thing.”
Adam slumped in defeat and that killed Tommy on the inside, because Adam should never have to feel that way, and he shouldn’t be making it happen. He could see Adam nod when he looked over at him through his eyelashes. “Okay,” Adam whispered to him. “Whatever you want. We’ll take a break, give ourselves time to think, but after the tour is over, we’re going to talk about this.”
Tommy nodded before he stood, walking over to his bag to open it and pack his things. “I’m going to see if Brian will switch rooms with me.”
Adam didn’t speak after that, but Tommy could feel him staring at him as he got his things together and zipped up the bag.
He turned back to Adam, gave him a watery smile and then walked back into the lounge to get to Isaac and Brian’s door. He knocked on it, waiting for one of them to open it up, and when Brian cracked the door open, his eyes squinty, Tommy gave him a rundown of what was going on and asked him if he’d switch rooms.
Brian nodded. “Yeah man, let me grab a shirt. Come in.”
Tommy stepped inside and heaved a sigh of relief when the door closed behind him. Being away from Adam like this felt like a breath of fresh air, no matter how hard it was to suck it in past the lump that had formed in his throat. “I’m so sorry, Bri. I just didn’t know what else to do, and I can’t be around him right now.”
Brian shook his head and waved him off. “It’s what friends are for. I’ll be back in the morning to pack my shit up. I’m too tired to do anything right now.” He made his way to the door after pulling a shirt on, but before he opened it, he turned back to Tommy. “And just so you know, Isaac snores.”
Tommy let out a wet chuckle before he pulled Brian into a hug. “Thanks, man.”
Brian patted his back and pulled back. “I’ll keep an eye on Adam while you guys figure shit out.”
Tommy nodded. “That’s probably a good idea.”
“Good night, Tommy,” Brian said over his shoulder before he left the room.
Isaac was very understanding in the morning when Tommy explained what was going on. They had almost a month left on tour, because a few shows were added last minute, and everyone agreed that it would be better if Isaac and Tommy shared their own room while Adam and Brian shared theirs.
Every time Tommy was in a room with Adam, it felt like being gutted and he almost couldn’t take it. He loved Adam so much, and not being with him like this was the worst kind of torture. He didn’t know whether he was right or wrong in breaking things off.
For his own part, Adam seemed genuinely sad about what went down between them, but he never brought it up, always smiled at Tommy when they saw one another. There was no bad blood, just a lot of too hard to swallow feelings that Tommy couldn’t push aside like he thought he’d be able to.
He continued to play like nothing happened, and Adam continued to find time for just himself and drawing. Tommy never got to see what he was working on.
He didn’t know where he stood now with Adam and that was the hardest thing to think about. Had he ruined his chances? Would Adam ever take him back? He didn’t know.
The last show was that night, and Tommy had no clue what to think. He and Adam had barely talked for the past month, and usually when they did, it was civil and nothing even close to personable like it had been before. Adam would talk about his gallery, and he would talk about a music project his friend Mike wanted to start up when Tommy got back home.
He was getting ready to go on stage, had his guitar strapped to his front. His hands shook with nervous energy, the same as he could feel coming from the crowd. He was going to miss this so much, everyone and everything about it.
A gentle hand pressed against his shoulder in a soft squeeze. “Good luck out there.”
He turned to see Adam smiling softly at him and it literally melted his heart, because it was so open and honest, something that he hadn’t seen in what felt like forever. He returned the smile with a smaller one of his own and nodded his head. “Thanks, you too. You’re going to kill it.”
Right when he was going to head onstage, Adam smashed all his fears to pieces when he whispered into his ear, “We’re still going to talk about this.”
Tommy’s breath hitched when he felt Adam’s body behind his, so warm and safe, and he knew he missed this, but he didn’t realize just how much until now. It made his throat tighten even as he relaxed back against Adam’s chest before nodding his head. He couldn’t speak, words evading him.
Adam played it up for the crowd, his hands rubbing all over his body, jerking off his guitar right after his solo, stalking him all over the stage whenever Tommy strayed away from his corner. It was as much relieving as it was sexually frustrating to have Adam flesh against his back while he sang.
He didn’t know what to do with the moments they shared when their eyes met and it felt like they were the only ones in the whole arena, so he did the only thing he could do to show Adam that he missed what was between them. He rubbed his ass against Adam’s groin, straddled his thighs when Adam writhed on the floor in front of him, and pressed into Adam’s hand when he gripped the base of his guitar suggestively.
The crowd ate it up, went wild, and so did the feelings that Tommy had been holding in check because of his and Adam’s breakup.
After the show, he and Isaac went back to their room to change for the night out. Isaac was rambling about his daughter and how excited she was for the art show when something hit Tommy. He didn’t have anyone to go with.
“I didn’t ask anyone to go with me because I thought Adam was going to take me.”
Isaac gave him a sympathetic look before his eyes brightened. “Well . . . we can’t have that now, can we? You’ll just have to be stuck with Isabella and I.”
Tommy chuckled. “You think she’d mind?”
Isaac waved him off. “She’s a little princess. She’ll be thrilled that Uncle Tommy gets to go to the gallery with us.”
“Okay, we can arrange things later.”
Isaac grabbed his jacket and threw Tommy’s at him. “Great. Now let’s get our partying on. It is the last night of the tour, you know.”
Shaking his head, Tommy put his jacket on and slipped the room key and his phone into his pocket before they made it out the door.
He still felt the weight of Adam’s eyes all over his body and it made his insides heat with arousal. He had no clue what to do with it, though, what to make of it since Adam had been ignoring him for so long.
He felt the wall he built around his heart after he and Adam had broken up start to crumble, because this wasn’t what he wanted out of their relationship. He didn’t want to be that barrier that separated them, especially with how Adam had acted on stage; like he couldn’t stay away from Tommy, no matter how hard he tried.
He could only hope things would change now that the tour was finished and they were home. The only things he had to look forward to now, were The Talk he needed to have with Adam, his music with Mike, and Adam’s art show. Which one was coming first?
He had no idea.
“It’s supposed to be a warm, soft glow of light that falls from the open space. Then gravity sets in and grasps the energy and lifts it, expanding it and giving it to others,” a woman who kept constantly rubbing her hands against her thighs said next to Tommy.
He was confused. The only thing he saw was a bunch of color. Bright color with meaningless swirls that meant nothing and would probably cost more than his whole house. He moved on to the next piece of art that was titled Lost Dreams and Hope, but the painting was literally the happiest thing he’d seen so far. It was painted in prettier colors than the energy painting. Maybe that’s why it was called Lost Dreams and Hope? Because it was difficult to see past the beauty?
He was bored … well, not really bored, he just didn’t want to continue looking at an exhibit that wasn’t even Adam’s artwork. If he wanted to pay—which he didn’t—to see someone else’s work, he would have. He’d come here with Isaac and Isabella to see what Adam had been working on all those months while they had been on tour and this was his chance, but he had yet to see where Adam had his paintings hung and on display. As he looked behind a partition, he just couldn’t seem to find that particular exhibit. He also couldn’t seem to find that particular rockstar either. But that was neither here nor there. Adam would show up eventually, right? It was just a matter of when and where.
He was excited and a little anxious to finally get the chance to see Adam’s masterpieces. Isaac mentioned that Adam had picked only a few to show off and that they apparently meant more to him than anything he’d been drawing those last few months on tour. Isaac said he asked what the pieces were of, and Adam refused to answer.
He was brought out of his thoughts when Isabella showed up beside him.
“I have a feeling that the artist was depressed and made up for it with these happy moments just to make him or herself feel better about it,” Isabella commented. The little girl was ten years old and probably the smartest kid Tommy had ever met.
Isabella brushed her brown hair behind her ear with her fingers before looking at Tommy with warm brown eyes and smiling. She looked so much like her mother that Tommy wondered how Isaac dealt with it, losing Sophie in childbirth but gaining something that was still a part of her. Maybe that’s how he lived with losing someone he loved so much. Isabella was a great kid, and even Tommy was proud of her accomplishments.
Tommy took her around to the other side of the gallery and found Isaac watching a sand show in a room off to the side. They joined him, and Tommy watched as the artist turned her palm tree and birds into the faces of a man and a woman. He loved watching how people created these things on the projector.
Afterward, they walked around a staircase that Isaac went up with Isabella, and he continued along the platform toward an artist with a thing for shapes. One piece of art was nothing but triangles put together to form a portrait of a very beautiful woman.
Moments later, Isaac was swiftly walking toward him with a determined look on his face. When he reached him, he grabbed his arm. “Dude, I can’t even believe—you need to quit being upset at Adam and go see what’s hanging in the upstairs gallery. Isabella is already there.”
Tommy decided to chance it because all of a sudden, Isaac had him worried. He walked up the stairs to the next floor, which took him straight to an exhibit that seemed a little familiar to him. He could remember smaller versions of some of the pieces displayed, but a few of them he had never seen before.
Especially the one catching his eyes now.
As he stepped closer, he was struck by a shaded figure who was sitting on the floor, and in his lap were bright colors. Nothing about them suggested a guitar, except for the shape they made within the space. That was the only thing that stood out in the picture: those bright colors in the shaded figure’s lap. His head was covered in a hood and it was positioned down as if he was playing, but he wasn’t strumming, just holding the guitar in his lap.
He really liked the picture and the passion it represented. To him, it spoke of music, and to the person in the painting, music was their entire world.
He then went onto the next piece of art and couldn’t help but expel breath from his lungs. Why would Adam draw him? Out of all the inspiration in the world, why had Adam chosen him to showcase in this gallery?
The painting that he was staring at looked exactly like him. There was a small smile on this face, with a thick fringe of blond hair tucked behind his ear. He looked comfortable—at home—and he wondered when Adam had painted that picture, because he hadn’t felt that way in a while.
They hadn’t talked about what they were since that night in the hotel room, not even after the last show. Adam had been so busy after the tour ended with his side projects and getting this gallery up and running that he just figured it didn’t matter to Adam anymore.
Hands slid around his waist—scaring him out of his thoughts—and he was pulled back against a warm chest, one he’d recognize anywhere. Adam rested his chin on his shoulder and hummed in his ear. “You like them?”
Tommy huffed out a breath in astonishment and relaxed against Adam’s embrace. “Like them? Adam, come on, these pieces are incredible!”
Adam’s arms tightened around him and lips found his neck before Tommy pulled away gently, sliding their fingers into place—and hoping that Adam wouldn’t mind it—while Adam led him to a piece in the corner that Tommy hadn’t seen yet. “This is my favorite, because you helped me through creating it.”
Tommy’s eyebrows drew together and his mouth thinned into a confused line. “I—what? How did I do that? We haven’t really been around each other that much in the last few months.”
“When you—that night in your bunk, when we—when you told me about you being gay. And then when we broke it off, when we became too much for either of us to handle because we rushed “us” too fast, it encouraged me, but it inspired me as well.”
Encouraged him? How? Tommy didn’t know if he liked where this was making his mind go. Adam hadn’t asked him out after the end of the tour, and they never seemed to have the time to actually talk about that afterward, what with Adam and his art, and himself with Mike.
There was never talking being done about whatever they were to each other, so maybe he encouraged Adam to find whatever he was looking for in someone else? Which, even thinking about that sucked greatly.
“That’s—I’m—That’s great, Adam.” Tommy tried to sound encouraging, but it was coming out flat even to his own ears. When Adam stopped them in front of the piece they were headed to, Tommy looked up and all thoughts flew from his mind, because this picture! Fuck. Oh god, the drawing that he’d gotten a tiny glimpse of in the lounge that night was right here. It must have taken weeks, or even months to do. Charcoal shading and blue splashed with dots of white to show that snow was falling.
And it was him. Adam. Them. Together. He could see a hint of the red scarf that Adam had painted around his neck. It was the same one he’d been wearing when this really happened and it was surprising that Adam remembered that, but what drew his attention was the coffee cup with two pairs of hands. They were warming their fingers together on the cup in the painting just like they had in Paris.
“This was that time in Paris when we got lost at the bus station on our only night off, and your dumbass self forgot to wear gloves. I took mine off to warm your hands up over your coffee cup. Do you remember that?” Adam whispered in his ear before nuzzling his neck.
Tommy chuckled, because he did remember that. The weather had been so cold, and the bench they’d been sitting on just about froze his ass off, but Adam’s hand and that cup, were the warmest places on his body—besides his heart. It was probably the happiest he had ever been being lost.
“Lane almost killed us when I came down with the flu,” Tommy said, shivering when Adam snorted into his neck.
“No, she almost killed me, because we had to cancel three of our shows.”
Tommy huffed out a laugh over the choked up feeling in his throat. He couldn’t help but fall for Adam even more, and it sucked that Adam didn’t seem to feel the same way back, or that he didn’t tell Tommy this. Adam drew all this shit of them—him—and yet Adam never jumped, or took a chance, or gave a sign that he wanted more after they broke it off. It was frustrating.
Tommy steeled himself, and with the hold he had on Adam’s hand, and a decision made, he pulled Adam closer, hoping Adam wouldn’t pull away after this. Wrapping his hand around Adam’s neck, he pulled Adam down and kissed him.
Adam responded immediately, following Tommy when he went to pull away, grabbing him and pulling him closer. It felt like such a relief—and yet not—because it was still just a kiss and they’d done this so many times before.
Tommy pulled back and whispered vehemently, “Please mean this, Adam. Don’t fuck with me.”
Adam made a pained noise and pulled him closer. “Oh thank fuck, I thought I was going to have to beg you to go back out with me.”
After what felt like a lifetime—yet still not long enough in Tommy’s book—Isaac interrupted them to let them know that he and Isabella were leaving. “That was a great presentation, though, Adam. You really have a knack for things like this. I hope we get to see more. You should think about doing your own album cover. Could save you a shit ton of money.”
Tommy and Adam both snorted and watched Isaac and Isabella walk toward the stairs. When they were out of earshot, Tommy turned back to Adam and looked up at him. “What do we do now?”
Adam’s smirk was full of dirty, dirty things that Tommy was more than willing to help him plan out. “I’m sure we can think of something.”
Adam had a hotel room that overlooked most of New York City, so the lights at this time of night were beautiful. Tommy was a little shocked, if not awestruck, by the height they were at as well as the scenery. Adam had to promise that even with the windows, there was still a balcony so there was no way Tommy was going to fall if he wanted to look out.
He was pulled from his thoughts by Adam’s hands getting rid of the rest of his clothes and pushing his chest up against the glass of said window. The blinds were already open and pushed aside, showing Tommy downtown New York if he wanted to look. He didn’t. He was content to keep his eyes focused on the hand Adam had on his cock as his fingers opened him up.
With it having been so long since he’d done this, because they hadn’t done anything but sleep in the same bed together the first time around, Adam was being careful, fingering him gently, touching those spots that he couldn’t reach inside himself when he was the one doing this. He pushed back when Adam added a second finger and more lube, moaning when teeth nipped at his neck.
“Oh god, Adam,” Tommy panted, ghosting his breath against the glass and fogging it up as Adam’s hand left his cock and gripped his waist. He splayed his hands against the window as he pressed back even harder against Adam. “More, please.”
“Fuck, you’re so gorgeous like this, Tommy,” Adam groaned, adding a third finger and rubbing his hard cock against the inside of Tommy’s thigh. “You open up so beautifully for me, too.”
“Please,” Tommy keened, his forehead resting against the glass, a sheen of sweat covering his skin, and his muscles aching for release.
“Turn around, baby, let me get you wrapped around me.”
He shook his head. “No, I want it like this, come on.”
Adam hummed against his neck. “Can we do both?”
Tommy nodded and turned around, hand going to his dick before he could stop it to jerk himself off while he watched Adam find himself a condom. He slid his fingers between his legs and over his hole—through the slick there—bringing it up to his dick for an easier slide before Adam came back and pushed him back against the glass.
“Hold onto my shoulders, baby.” Adam grabbed his hip, and Tommy wrapped his legs around Adam’s waist. Adam positioned himself at Tommy’s lax hole before he started to push his way in. Bottoming out, Adam gave Tommy only a moment’s time to adjust before he was pulling out until only the head of his cock was inside of Tommy.
Stretched further than he had been in a long time, he tried to relax into the pressure, encouraged it, welcomed it, fucking begged for it. He felt so fucking amazing and full, but not enough, almost too much, and just right. He was flying high.
“Oh my god. Oh my fucking god. Adam. Holy fuck. Fuck. Dude. Don’t stop—just. You’re fucking—give me a minute—just… just don’t fucking stop, okay? God damn it.” He couldn’t fucking breathe. Adam was bigger than he thought he’d felt in the beginning, and it wasn’t a surprise, but it wasn’t unwelcome either.
Tommy rolled his hips into Adam’s thrusts, letting his hole adjust to the size of Adam’s invasion and then lightly bounced on Adam’s dick to get a feel for it, pleasure shooting up his spine like a rocket making him want to launch. It almost sent him over the edge when Adam’s cock rubbed against his prostate and he voiced his pleasure with a very enthusiastic moan of appreciation.
“Oh, fuck yes, go. Go the fuck now. I’m going to come soon.”
He could see Adam gritting his teeth, see the passion that Adam had for him blazing in his eyes. Adam was fucking him so hard that couldn’t help but whine for his release.
“Ready—almost ready. C-can we switch?” Tommy stuttered out through a sex-fogged mind. Adam started to protest, and Tommy knew Adam wanted to do it this way, but he’d be able to get so much deeper in Tommy the other way, and he said as much.
“Yeah, baby. Hop down, but watch your legs. They might give out on you.”
Tommy released his hold on Adam’s hips after Adam slid out of him. When he tried standing, the feeling rushed back into his legs, and he felt like he might just melt into a puddle on the floor. All he wanted was to have Adam bend him over and fuck him right there, standing or not.
When he said that, Adam laughed.
He walked them over to the side of the couch and bent Tommy over the arm before thrusting back into him, holding onto his arms as Tommy looked for purchase on the couch cushions. He whined when Adam let go, grabbing onto the arm of the couch and meeting Adam’s movement.
He bowed his back, spread his legs and pushed his ass back just as Adam was shoving his cock forward.
“Oh fuck, Tommy,” Adam ground out, grabbing Tommy’s hair and pulling his head back, thrusting deeper.
Tommy whimpered when Adam continued his assault on his prostate, fingers digging into the thick fabric of the couch. He turned his head to see Adam staring at himself where they were joined, and that shouldn’t be hot, but to him it was and he moaned. “You like that?” A blush rose up on his cheeks when he said it, but he didn’t care. He wanted to know.
Adam looked up at him, pausing for a second, caught off guard. “Like what?”
“Do you like watching yourself fuck me?”
Adam’s pupils dilated and that right there was Tommy’s answer. “Yes.”
“What’s it look like? Can you tell me? I wanna know.” He really did. He had watched gay porn, had even been in Adam’s position, so he knew, but this might get him off faster, listening to Adam explain what it was like to fuck him. He released the couch with one hand and grabbed his own dick, jerking himself off.
“Watching your tiny pink hole take my big dick is the sexiest thing I’ve ever seen. You just open up for it and take it, like you’re begging for it. And it feels amazing… so tight and hot and mine.” Adam looked back down as if he couldn’t miss even a second of fucking him.
Tommy moaned and leaned forward, pressing his face into the couch when Adam’s thrusts started getting faster and harder with each passing moment. “I wish I could see it.”
“Yeah, me too.”
“Let me fuck your hand,” he said as he let go of his cock.
Adam was grabbing for him before he could finish the sentence, Adam’s mouth claiming his lips when he turned his head back to him, hand wrapped around his cock.
He came all over Adam’s hand and the arm of the couch a few moments later, crying out Adam’s name, shuddering through the best orgasm he’s had since he learned what his dick could do.
Adam wasn’t far behind him, rutting into Tommy’s hole while rocking out his own orgasm. He pulled out, resting against Tommy for a few minutes before he moved away and walked to the bathroom to throw away the condom.
Tommy was still bent over the arm of the couch, not moving. He didn’t know if he wanted to or if he could even move. “I think you broke me, dude,” he commented when he turned his head and watched as Adam came back into the room.
Adam snorted. “I didn’t break you, and I warned you about your legs and not being able to stand, so you can’t blame me for that one.”
A few moments later, Adam pulled him against his chest and picked him up. Tommy immediately protested. “Hey, no, no, I can walk. I am not a girl. Hey, fucker! Put me down.”
“No, you’re going to hurt yourself, and I’m not risking it, so you can bite my head off for carrying you to bed all night long if you’d like, I don’t care.”
Tommy glared, his arm wrapped around Adam’s neck. “I could have just as easily walked here with some assistance, though, Adam.”
Adam kissed him between the eyes and then nipped at his bottom lip before pulling back. “Don’t frown, it gives you wrinkles, plus you’re pouting.”
When they go to the bedroom, Adam put Tommy down in the bed and crawled in alongside him.
Tommy rolled his eyes. “You’re a dork.”
“But I’m your dork, right?” Adam asked, turning their playfulness into seriousness. Tommy knew he was ready for this conversation—The Talk—yet it still scared him because even with them just having sex, things could turn sour if they weren’t on the same page here. He really hoped they were both on the same page.
“As long as you want to be my dork, yep.”
It was time to get to the bottom of things. He shifted onto his side and propped his head up on his hand. “So we need to talk about this. Just because we had amazing sex and kissed away the doubt, doesn’t make things magically fixed.”
“I know,” Adam said, pulling Tommy closer. “I owe you an apology for trying to push you away. I wasn’t doing it intentionally; I just wanted that painting to be a surprise for you. I wanted to show you how much you mean to me and show you that I do listen to you. Even if you don’t think so at times.”
Tommy thought back to the picture of Adam’s hands warming his over the coffee. Adam knew that he got cold and sick easily. But their conversation then was what made him smile. They were talking about themselves on that bench in the cold that day. He remembered Adam laughing at his childhood story of the first time he encountered snow, and that he got so sick from being outside for so long.
That was when Adam had taken his gloves off and wrapped then around his on the cup. Adam said it was because he didn’t want Tommy to catch a cold and have Lane tear in a new one—even though that was exactly what happened.
“So why did you hold my hands that night?” Tommy asked, looking at Adam sincerely.
Adam smiled at him before he leaned over and kissed him. “I wanted you to know that I cared, even with something so small as you getting sick from being in the cold too long.”
Tommy chuckled. “So romantic.”
Adam snorted. “Not when you came up with the flu the next day, it wasn’t. But that night was stuck in my head for so long, because you told me things that you didn’t have to about your family and your dad.”
Tommy grimaced at the mention of his dad, because it was still a healing wound.
Adam cupped his face. “It was something I wanted to capture and keep for the rest of my life. Because it was you and me in the most romantic city in the world, and nothing —not even the damn cold or falling snow—could have stopped me from falling in love with you that night.”
Tommy’s breath caught in his throat, emotions overflowing him and he didn’t know how to let them out. He looked over at Adam and saw vulnerability in his eyes. That shouldn’t be there, he mused, before he grabbed Adam by the back of the neck and kissed him. He threw every emotion that he could express into that kiss and Adam seemed to get it, because he moaned and pulled him closer.
Adam’s smile was sweet and dopey when he shot it his way after they pulled apart. And then Adam gave him a smirk and said, “I want you to be my dork as well.”
“Sorry, I’m not a dork,” Tommy reasoned.
Adam sighed. “So what are you then?”
He laughed while his heart filled with so much love for the man next to him. “A badass, insomniac guitarist with a dork for a boss and a boyfriend. Think you can handle that?”
Adam chuckled and pulled him close for a kiss and a cuddle, eyes giving away just how tired he was. They had time to work everything out, Tommy realized, and to see how this thing between them went. But for right now, it was time for bed.
Tommy could hear the smile in Adam’s voice when he said, “I think we can work something out.”