"When did you get so professional?" Russell asked with a smile as he leaned over the back of the chair halfway through their interview.
William shrugged as he held out the microphone. "You owe me an interview."
"So I do, so I do," Russell nodded. "But do we have to be so serious? I've answered some questions. Let's do something more fun. Less serious."
"Not so serious...I can do that," William said setting the microphone down, but leaving it on. "How's this for a good not serious question? Have you ever exposed yourself on stage?"
Russell laughed as he looked at the young man before him. "Have I ever exposed myself on stage? Well, how about this...I'll answer a question for you if you answer a question for me. Deal?" Russell asked.
"Deal," William agreed.
"Alright, once in this little shit hole nightclub I was drunk off my ass and the crowd was rough. So, I pulled my jeans down and played with them around my ankles." Russell explained.
An amused smile spread across William's face. He laughed at the slightly red tint of Russell's face.
"So William," Russell said interrupting his amusement. "Here's my question to you. When was your first kiss?"
William calmed down and thought about it. "Right after I met you at that first concert. It was Sapphire. She kissed me on the corner of my mouth." William said touching his lips.
"Just the corner? What about loosing your virginity? Who was that?" Russell asked with interest.
"Ah, ah, a question for a question. And it's my turn now."
"Fine, ask your question, but don't think you're getting out of answering mine." Russell replied.
"Okay, what did you want to be in high school? What did you want to grow up to do?" William asked.
"That's kinda deep. Could be fun. In school, I always wanted to grow up to be....an ice cream man." Russell answered.
"An ice cream man?" William repeated.
"Yeah, ride around in a truck with all that ice cream. That would be the life. Ok now, so answer my question, who took your virginity?"
"I was deflowered by a troupe of crazy 'Band-Aids,'" William answered with a blush.
"Ah, I know who it was!" Russell said suddenly.
"Yeah, Sapphire said that in any other city in the world, other than Greeneville, I'd still be a virgin," William explained.
"Agreed, Greeneville was pretty boring," Russell reminded.
"How would you know? You spent the whole time shacked up with Penny!" William replied a bit resentfully.
"Is that your question? Well, I spent the whole time with Penny 'cause it was so boring. I was afraid I'd do something I might regret."
"Like what?" William asked, interested.
"My turn first. Do you really love Penny?"
William looked at Russell in surprise. "I...well. Yeah, she's beautiful and mysterious and she...well...yeah. I love her, but I guess it's a strange kind of love. Give and take, I'm the give and she's the take." William frowned as he looked down at the floor.
"Hey, its alright. She did the same thing to you that I did to her. She gave and I took. Like you said, I used her." Russell said reaching out and patting William's leg comfortingly.
William looked up at Russell. "What did you mean when you said you might do something you'd regret in Greeneville?"
Russell blinked as everything turned on him. "I...well..." he hesitated, suddenly very nervous.
"Come on, I answered your question. What did you almost do?"
"I almost went to someone who was off limits. I almost..." Russell stopped.
"Who Russell? What did you do?" William prompted leaning forward.
"The interview," Russell said, looking over William's shoulder.
"The interview is over. I just...answer my question please?"
"You William. I almost went to you," Russell whispered as he focused on William.
"Me? Wha-Why?" William asked confused.
"Because...well look at you William. You look like an angel. That face is so innocent. And your smile. God those dimples! And just...from the moment we met there was something about you. But I couldn't touch you," Russell explained.
"Because of Penny."
"No! Because I was afraid. I mean, look at me. I sleep with all these groupies. I've done so much shit in my life and then there you are so...so pure. So real. I couldn't touch you. I didn't want to make you dirty. I didn't want you to become like them. You're more important, more real then they ever were, those stars, those girls, those people. You're always honest and truthful. You never pretend. You're always William, and that's what I love about you. You are William. You are...you are..." Russell faltered.
"About to kiss you," William murmured, finishing the sentence.
He leaned forward on the bed. Russell's eyes widened as William's face got closer to his own. He held his breath as William's soft lips touched his. It was everything he'd imagined and more. Despite his initiation of the kiss, William was still shy and hesitant. Russell put his hands up and gently captured William's face. He pressed their mouths together and he used his tongue to gently part William's lips. William opened to him like a flower opens to the sun. Russell allowed his tongue to roam through William's sweet mouth. Just the taste of him was a drug. He was instantly addicted. Slowly and reluctantly, he pulled back, releasing William.
William sat back on the bed heavily. He stared up at Russell with wide eyes. Russell got off his chair and moved in front of William. William looked up as Russell pushed him back on the bed and settled over him. Russell brushed the hair out of William's eyes with his finger. His fingers ran down William's cheeks caressing the soft skin. His skin was so soft. He was so young and he just didn't realize how bad for him Russell was. Or maybe he did and just didn't care.
"Russell," William murmured softly as he leaned into the gentle touch.
"William...I can't," Russell sighed.
"Why not? You did it with Penny. I'm not much younger," William replied, looking up at Russell with those big trusting eyes.
"It's not that. I just...I don't want to use you like I did to Penny or she did to you. I don't want you to get hurt."
"You wouldn't hurt me." William said firmly.
"I already have. How do you know it won't happen again?" Russell asked despairingly.
"Because you're going to be careful. You're going to constantly be asking yourself if you did the right thing. I know you Russell. You won't hurt me." William replied taking Russell's hands into his.
Russell looked down at their interlaced fingers. "How can you be so sure?"
"Because I can. Does there need to be a reason? Can't I just believe in you?" William asked.
"I...you believe in me?"
"And you trust me?"
Russell looked thoughtful. "Can I kiss you again?"
"William! Rolling Stone Magazine is on the phone!"
"Coming!" William called out.
He got off the bed and quickly pulled his shirt back on. He zipped his pants and straightened his hair before rushing out of the room to answer the phone. Russell smiled as he sat up on the rumpled bed. He re-buttoned his shirt and straightened out his hair and beard. Standing up, he adjusted his jeans. He was looking through the pictures spread across William's desk when the door opened. He looked up expecting to see William, but instead was faced with William's mother.
"Hello Ms. Miller," Russell greeted.
"Hello Russell," William's mother responded as her fierce gaze pinned him. "I know what you were doing," she stated.
"Excuse me?" Russell blinked.
"Don't play dumb with me Mister. I know that you were kissing. I can smell it."
"You can?" Russell asked confused.
"Mother," Anita scolded from the doorway. "Sorry, she does this all the time," Anita explained as she tried to lead her mother from the room.
"Anita!" Elaine protested.
"Leave them alone mother." Anita instructed.
Russell watched them leave, bewildered.
Anita turned in the doorway and winked at him. "Take care of my little brother," she ordered before closing the door.
Russell sat back on the bed staring at the door. William came back a few minutes later smiling bright enough to outshine the sun.
"Yes! Rolling Stone wants me to be an intern reporter. I'll get college credits and will be able to have a full time position with them when I graduate." William explained as he shut the door behind him and walked over to the bed.
"I thought your mom wanted you to be a lawyer."
"Well, I don't want to be a lawyer. I don't like all those rules and laws. But I love Rock n Roll! The music, the bands, the people."
"The lead guitarist of Stillwater?"
"Yeah, I love him too," William replied with a smile.
"That's all I need to hear," Russell replied as he pulled William to him and kissed him gently.