Summary: AU set approximately three years after Adam Lambert won Season 8 of American Idol. He has a successful career but after a string of failed relationships, has more or less given up on romance and is focusing on his career to the point of being a workaholic. He still has trouble with inappropriate appearances of the glambulge during performance and still loves glitter. Kris Allen is a singer/guitarist from Arkansas who moved to LA nearly two years ago to try and break into the business and get away from a small town and family life that became uncomfortable after he came out of the closet. He's just about ready to give up hope of making it into the business. He's still wearing plaid.
Rating: This chapter is R.
Chapter 1: Meet cute in coffee shop Chapter 2: Car trouble Chapter 3: Geocaching? Chapter 4: Dinner and a picture
Chapter 5: Bring your boyfriend to work day Chapter 6: Date at the museum
Chapter 7: Opening the door Chapter 8: Showing the cracks Chapter 9: Cracked eggs, cracked plaster, cracked plans Chapter 10: Hunger games Chapter 11: Inspired, tested, and almost-dazzled Chapter 12: Define slutty for me
Chapter 13: Decisions, decisions Chapter 14: Of moms and meat Chapter 15: Holding on Chapter 16: Coming clean
Chapter 17: Dusty disguises and dodging the issue Chapter 18: Punked and paint
Chapter 19: This glitter is not meant for internal use Chapter 20: Home improvement
Chapter 21.1: Sharp edges and sweet tongues Chapter 21.2: Sharp edges and sweet tongues SECOND HALF
Chapter 22.1: Holding close and laying out Chapter 22.2: Holding close and laying out SECOND HALF
Chapter 23.1: Messes and make up Chapter 23.2: Messes and make up SECOND HALF
Chapter 24: Taken Chapter 25: Stuffing Chapter 25.2: Stuffing CONTINUED
Chapter 26.1: Feeling full Chapter 26.2: Second entry Chapter 27: Winning Chapter 28: Thirty-eight cents
Chapter 29: When you walked in the joint Chapter 30.1: I could tell you were a man of distinction Chapter 30.2: A real big spender Chapter 30.3: Good looking, so refined Chapter 31: Spend a little time with me
Chapter 32.1: Spend a lotta time with me Chapter 32.2: Chapter 32.3 Chapter 32.4 Chapter 32.5
Chapter 33: Well, I can do the mashed potato. Well, I can do the twist Chapter 34: Leashes, collars and cuffs! Oh my! Chapter 35: On the carpet, off the script, on the table Chapter 36.1: Consequences, unintended and otherwise
Chapter 36.2: Consequences cont'd Chapter 37: Turkey baster bukkake Chapter 38: Ball juggling Chapter 39: The minor fall, the major lift Chapter 40.1: Walking the Shar-Peis of life Chapter 40.2: Walking the Shar-Peis of life part 2 Chapter 41: Is this the real life? Chapter 42: Baggage handling Chapter 43: Tying ends up Chapter 44: Whack a Mole Chapter 45.1: The Sweetest Chance Is... Chapter 45.2: The Second Chance. Chapter 46: Diving In. and is here: Chapter 47.1: Pyro Chapter 47.2: Pyro Chapter 47.3: Pyro Chapter 48.1: If mama ain't happy Chapter 48.2 Chapter 48.3 Chapter 49: "Going home is the deepest wish of most refugees." Chapter 50.1: "You can't go home again." Chapter 50.2: "You can't go home again." -- Tom Wolfe Chapter 51.1: Roads less taken Chapter 51.2
Sorry for the delay -- I had to go out of town for work unexpectedly.
Chapter 51.3: Roads less taken
"Adammmm..." Kris began, following Adam into their bedroom. "I feel like mebbe we need to talk."
"Okay." Adam took a deep breath and turned around, prepared. No matter what Neil said, shit happened in life. Shit you'd never expect. Like-- oh, look at Kris' earnest brown eyes. He looked anxious. Or maybe he was just mirroring Adam's eyes. Oh, who knew? "Talk."
"First of all, why do you have that look on your face?"
"I'm gonna..." Kris gritted his teeth and angrily slammed the bedroom door behind him. He saw the flash of anxiety, then annoyance that flashed across Adam's face. Ha! Adam was angry? Ha! Actually good. Feeling hopeful because make-up sex was always great, he locked the door as well. "That look that's nothing. A big nothing. That tells me nothing. Why are you hiding?"
"Why does anyone hide?" Adam asked, knowing he was prevaricating. But damn it, he needed a moment to take a breath and say it. Although maybe he needed to just get over himself since Kris had locked the door which usually meant sex was imminent and although some guys would have sex before they dumped you, yeah, been there, done that, Kris wouldn't. No, Kris wouldn't. Kris liked having make-up sex after a fight and clearly they were about to have one and --
"GET OUT OF YOUR HEAD AND TALK TO ME!" Kris yelled impatiently. He could actually see, he'd swear to it, the forty katrillion thoughts Adam was processing flash by in his eyes. He wondered if Adam could see bits of his head starting to explode because that's what it felt like as he shoved his hands through his hair.
Automatically smiling at the sight of Kris going totally hedgehog and realizing that he might have read something out of nothing because Kris wouldn't be screaming at him to talk if he didn't want to hear and oh shit and oh yeah, Adam shrugged. "But anyone would want to gather their thoughts..."
"I don't give a shit about anyone else. I give a shit about you. And when you spend too much time gathering your thoughts, you have this tendency to gather up crazy stuff. So. Talk to me. I can't fix what I don't know is broken, although I can guess it's something to do with telling you I need space and you taking it too far. Like Milky Way far or Andromeda Strain far or a galaxy far far away far. Or something. Why have you been so far away?"
Taking a deep breath, Adam explained in a rush. "I thought I was giving you what you wanted. Or...maybe I was protecting myself. Because I've been afraid you were going to break up with me."
Stepping back in shock and banging into the door, Kris stared at Adam. "I...must be hallucinating from lack of sleep -- which is your fault for not coming back home last night -- and stress and... What did you say?"
"I said that I thought you were going to break up with me because I can't really stop being bossy. Not entirely. I mean, I can try to dial it back." Adam nodded, then waited. When Kris just kept staring at him like he was speaking gibberish, Adam began to babble nervously, "But I can't stop it because it's more intrinsic to me than my ginger hair. I mean, I can't even cover up my bossiness the way I can with my hair and--"
"You...what?" Kris rubbed his ears. "You thought I was going to break up with you? What? Why... Why the actual fuck would you think such a ridiculousstupididioticdumbasfuckIcantev
Adam gaped at Kris, then glared at him. "Oh don't you dare get irate with me!" He pointed at Kris' face. "Because you said--"
"Hoooooo oh ho no no no! I said no such thing." Kris stared at Adam in shock. Where did he come up with this craziness? "It would be nice -- really nice -- if something would make sense for a change--"
"That's from Alice in Wonderland. We all watched it with Emmaline the other day."
"Thank you, oh master of the movie quotation!" Kris rolled his eyes, then grimaced. "It's perfect, though. Because I feel like I've fallen down a fucking rabbit hole! Because I did not say that. I never said that. I never even thought that, so how could I say it?"
"Yes, you did! You said I had to mend my ways or else. And you know what -- I need to know at this point. I need to know. Because I can't take this see-sawing back and forth like I'm constantly being tested. And honestly, I don't know if I can completely stop being bossy. I really don't, because it's like hard-wired into me and while I can tone it down, I can't really stop, so--"
"Ohmigod, slow down!" Kris shot forward and grabbed Adam's arms and squeezed them hard. "Listen up. Listen to my actual words, not your thoughts. Or your fears."
"Ouch." Although, Adam thought, Kris' words were the opposite of painful since he was starting to think that Neil and Geoffrey and of course, his mom, were right and that he'd made something out of mostly nothing. Uh-oh.
"Truth hurts, which I know 'cause you've told me enough truths!" Kris snapped. "First off, the or else was not that I was going to dump you. That thought never entered my mind. Get it? Get it?"
Staring down into Kris' aggravated but sincere face, Adam felt that tight knot in his stomach begin to unwind. Had he leapt to some stupid conclusion out of his own fear and -- okay, it wasn't all his fault. Kris was confusing and --
"Answer me," Kris demanded, seeing the slow relaxation in Adam's face. He didn't know quite what this mess was about but he'd bet that Adam's damn insecurities had been winning the day. Damn it, damn himself, why hadn't he noticed? He opened his mouth to speak, then lost his train of thought as Adam grabbed him, pulled him close and covered his mouth in a deep kiss that spoke of relief and love and possession all at once. The truth was in the kiss, he thought as their lips clung one last time before Adam raised his head with a smile. "Got it?"
"Got it. Got you." Wrapping his arms tightly around Kris, Adam rested his cheek against Kris' hair and breathed in deeply, forcing his tight muscles to loosen.
"You do got me. Don't forget that again. And don't make me sing the Sonny part of Sonny and Cher's I Got You Babe song, okay?" Nuzzling into Adam's neck, Kris kissed the warm skin, noting how hard Adam's pulse was beating under the skin. Realizing how anxious Adam had truly been, Kris felt his annoyance step down with each beat. Adam had actually been worried and that worry had been real to him, just like Kris' anxiety about his parents was real to him. But right now, Adam was the one needing the stroking. Or the poking.
"So what was the 'or else' then?" Adam asked, his lips traveling down Kris' neck.
Grinning, Kris tilted his head and shivered at the feel of Adam's mouth on his skin, then slid his own hands under Adam's shirt. Biting at his shoulder, Kris explain, "It was... or else I was gonna kill you. Or have that stupid dog of your mother's over and give him your Rick Owens boots."
"You are evil!" Adam gasped, putting his hand over his thumping heart as the culmination of his anxiety and adrenaline of the last few weeks made his pulse pound.
"Or give an interview to Perez about our sex life--"
"You wouldn't!" Feeling a smile curve his lips upward at the ridiculousness of the notion that the very private Kris would even agree to be in the same room as that bottom feeder, Adam acknowledged to himself that he might have been a little hyper. Maybe. Just a wee bit.
Sliding his arms around Adam's waist and giving him a tight hug, Kris continued, "Or make you listen to Taylor Swift without the autotune." Pulling back to see Adam's face, Kris finished with what he knew was a coup de grace, "Or... invite Danny Gokey to dinner--"
"Okay, now that's going too far--"
"I was not not not gonna leave you. Honestly!" Kris slapped Adam's butt. "I swear, you're like the Partridge in a Pear Tree come to life."
Adam blinked as his relieved comprehension that Kris had not meant to imply that he was leaving him was confused by some Christmas song gibberish. He stared down into Kris' expectant face and teasing brown eyes and wandered if he'd somehow wandered out of Kansas or into a really bizarre chess match or what. "It's emotional whiplash again. I need a neck brace -- No! A heart brace!"
"Whataya mean again?"
"You were giving me emotional whiplash. I need to know the boundaries, not be pulled and pushed hither and yon."
"Hither and yon?" Kris smiled. Who talked like that? Only Adam. Oh and Geoffrey.
"You know what I mean! One minute you were pushing me away, yelling at me that I shouldn't have come to Conway, then when I offer to go home, you get mad at me. Then we're back home and telling me to back off and the next you were asking me what movie we should see. You tell me not to boss you around, then you act like you're waiting for me to give you advice about your parents and then when I do, you snap my head off. One minute you ask what I think of a song you're working on and the next minute you tell me that your musical career is so different from mine that my experiences aren't relevant. One minute--"
"I think you're exaggerating..." Kris drawled. Because Adam had to be doing his over-dramatic version of the truth. And his impassioned ramblings were awesome and he wanted more of them and some even more awesome make-up sex. He wiggled deeper into Adam's embrace and rubbed his cock against Adam's thigh, hoping they could move onto the make-up sex soon.
"Did you hit your head in Conway? Did they feed you some weird southern brownies? What's really in that cake that your mother said was made with Coke? Or that disgusting Jello salad -- did it have a homegrown drug in there that affects your neurological processing?"
"My neurological processing?!" Kris bent forward and banged his head against Adam's chest. They could be having awesome make-up sex right now and yet Adam was still arguing? Seriously. What was wrong with this picture? "You're the insane one!"
"I'm not the one talking about Christmas songs!" Adam argued, enjoying the solid weight of Kris against his own body. And the wiggling. And the stupid arguing, because that meant they were back on track and he'd apparently over-reacted to Kris, although Kris really had confused him. Had? He was still confusing him. "I'm a partridge in a pear tree? What does that mean? Am I David Cassidy? Did you buy some weird colored school bus? Are you on some hallucinogenic drug? Did Brad give you a funny mushroom?"
"You are insane. I mean it, like seriously, certifiably insane." Kris stared at Adam. "C'mon, this is way obvious. You were like the lords-a-leaping, the way you leap to conclusions, it's like the Partridge in a Pear Tree, only it's like those freaky-deeky trees with the arms in the Wicked Witch's Forest in the Wizard of Oz..." Kris froze as he saw Adam get that thinking-about-music-and-videos look. "Oh no, oh no, I came up with that image, I'm gonna use it in a song!"
"Not if I can get to the notepad first!" Adam taunted, his fear disappearing like dump cake on Kris' plate. He untangled his arms from around Kris and jumped forward.
As Adam lunged for the pad on Kris' nightstand, Kris grabbed for Adam's arm. "No fair, your legs are longer and you were... leaping! Like the damn song. I was right...oommph!" Kris' breath left his chest in a rush as his feet tangled with Adam's and Adam circled him with his arms and pushed them forward so that the bed broke their fall instead of the floor.
Taking advantage of the fall, Kris immediately climbed over Adam and snatched at the notepad, only to be distracted by Adam's mouth on his arm, gently biting his bicep. "Oooooh. Okaaaay. The pad can wait-- Hey!" Kris' low groan turned into a squawk of protest as he realized Adam was using his distraction to sneak the pad away from him.
Adam grinned as Kris complained. He slid back in the bed to sit up and held the pad over Kris' head. "I win."
"Ha! I win!" Kris held up two pens. "A compromise is in order. We could take turns?"
"Perish the thought." Smiling, Adam tore off a page of the notepad and handed it to Kris, along with the pen. They both scribbled away, then flung their paper and pens onto the nightstand. Kris immediately straddled Adam's hips and sighed happily when Adam slapped his hands on Kris' ass and ground Kris into his groin. Rocking back and forth, Kris hurriedly urged, "Okay, let's focus on priorities like say, you taking off your clothes, then mine, then gettin' super-duper toppy with me--"
Adam laughed as Kris wiggled on his lap. This was more like it. This was the way they should be. "You and your make up sex."
"What can I say? I like it when you get aggravated and get all dominant. In bed." Kris poked Adam's shoulder, then ran his hands down Adam's chest and tugged at the hem of his shirt, groaning when Adam started to speak. "Now he talks?"
"Wait. Let's get it all out. Okay?" Adam waited. When Kris nodded, he began again. "Lately, you've been pushy yourself. Toppy. Way more than usual. Normally, you want to top every once in a blue moon, but since we came back from Conway, you--"
"I have," Kris agreed. "I think...I was reacting to you pushing away. I wanted to pull you back to me and... well, the way to do that seemed to be to be inside you, ya know?"
Adam nodded, then decided he needed to ask. He blurted, "And it didn't have anything to do with proving to your father that you're a man by sticking it to me instead of the other way around?"
"I... no!" Kris protested in shock. He stared at Adam, his eyes so wide and unblinking for so long that his contacts started to get uncomfortable. He blinked quickly, then slumped in confusion as he saw Adam waiting for his answer. Had he done that? No. He couldn't have. Right? "I don't think so?"
"I'd like you to think about it. Because you know, the truth is, I'm a guy and if sex is available, the only thinking that's going on is my dick saying, 'Sounds good!'"
"What does your dick actually sound like?" Kris asked.
"Barry White." Adam grinned when Kris giggled. "And Barry's saying..." He deepened his voice, "Oh yeaaaaaaaaahhhhhh... But then afterwards I'm wondering if you--"
"Good god, no!" Kris exclaimed. He shook his head frantically. "No. I swear. I...wow. No. I felt you getting away from me and I wanted, needed to claim you. God, now I feel icky. Is..." He put his hand on Adam's face and looked into his eyes. "Is that how you felt afterwards?"
"Well, kinda the last time, you had this fight with your father and then you immediately fell on top of me and--"
"Because I wanted to feel something real and happy and true!" Kris explained, groaning in frustration. "I should have explained it instead of assuming you'd just get it. But Adam... you gotta talk to me about this stuff. I don't understand why you didn't. You talk about everything. To death. So why -- Oh." Kris frowned. "Was it because I was working my own shit out and I kept telling you to give me space? I swear it's like we both fell down the rabbit hole in Conway and drank a bottle of stuff that made us feel small."
"Good analogy." Adam nodded.
"But you tell me first how you felt small. Why you weren't pushing back at me when I was pushing at you."
"I didn't want to give you more stuff to worry about and..." He bit his lip. "I don't know."
"You do know. Tell me," Kris pressed. Adam was usually the nurturer, but everyone needed to be taken care of sometimes. And this was one of those times. Thank god Geoffrey had said something and Neil had apparently pushed Adam into talking to him.
"It's... Sometimes I have these moments where I can't believe how lucky I am and it seems so impossible, so unbelievable. I wanted love for so long and I started to believe it wasn't happening for me and then it did. And it's been so long now, I still can't believe sometimes that it's forever and I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop...."
"Don't ever worry about me leaving you..." Kris brushed his lips across Adam's. "I'm a sure thing."
"Well, a person can have sex and it doesn't mean more than that."
"That's not what I meant." Looking down in Adam's wide eyes, Kris saw the need for reassurance and nodded. "Okay. I'm a sure thing in that what I feel for you, what we have is -- from my heart -- forever. There is no reason for you to ever think otherwise. I'm a sure thing when it comes to this forever business. Okay?" Kris reached for his discarded piece of paper, then held it up. "Here."
"Let me see!" Adam snatched the pad away from Kris, then smiled as he read the words.
"See?" Kris pointed at the pad. "Those may not be the most original lyrics ever although Paul McCartney made the gist of them into a hit song, but they are the truest." He watched the sweet smile on Adam's face as he looked from the paper to Kris and back to the paper again, running his fingers over the writing. He knew some people thought Adam was high maintenance, but really, it was pretty simple to keep him happy. If he just paid some fucking attention.
Damn, he'd been a stupid fool, Adam decided. The universe had given him the most amazing gift the day he'd had the opportunity to spend thirty-eight cents to find the love of his life and he'd let doubts ensnare him.
Kris shook his head as he watched Adam's fingers trace the words he'd written. How stupid he'd been to waste time focusing on trying to find some sort of relationship with a man who'd rejected him, insulted him, and dishonored him instead of focusing on the relationship that had given him light and warmth and love over and over. "I mean those words. I meant them when I said them five years ago, I mean them today and I'll mean them fifty years from now. I love you, sweetie, forever."
"'I love you, Sweetie, I love you. Forever. Let me define forever for you...'" Adam read the long list, clearly meant to be sung in a sing-song, almost lullaby voice and smiled. He carefully put the pad back down, then touched the words with his fingertips once again. "I'm sorry I let my insecurities get the best of me and leapt to conclusions. Mea culpa."
"'S'okay..." Kris frowned. "I was probably confusing you because I was confused myself. But... I can't get over that you honestly thought I was going to dump you. How? Adam, what was going on?" Kris pressed, wanting Adam to talk about his insecurities. Bringing them into the open was the only way to fight them.
"I'll acknowledge that I leapt to a conclusion--"
"Why? Because of your insecurities?"
"Yeah. Sometimes..." Adam plucked at the fabric of the shirt over his stomach. "Sometimes you know they're like this...monster baby trying to get out. Like in the movie, Alien?"
Wrinkling his nose as he thought of the Alien movie, Kris wiggled. "That scene's disgusting."
"I know, right? And most of the time, I push them down or these days, don't even know they're there. Then...something happens and it's like they were just hiding, waiting... and they surprise me." Adam smoothed the shirt back down, smiling as Kris brushed his hands aside and tugged on the shirt, obviously wanting him to pull it off. He complied, then opened up to admit, "I... wrote a song about it, actually. I wrote a lot of songs the last few weeks. Trying to sort this shit out."
"I..." Kris stopped in his smooth strokes of Adam's bare skin and then forced himself to continue. "I..uh know. Geoffrey told me."
"He thought I knew -- don't blame him," Kris said quickly. He braced himself for Adam to explode, then blinked as Adam shrugged. Sometimes... Anyway, focus, Allen.
"Oh, whatever." Adam waved his hand. Geoffrey was a busybody, but he meant well. "But my monsters -- you have them too, don't you?"
"What do you mean?"
"You really want me to do this? To talk to you? Because I'll do my best not to be bossy, but I might veer into pushy."
"Truth is, I need you to talk to me. Not just about your own shit, but to help me with mine." Kris smiled. "It really does help me figure my shit out. I can do it on my own, but I do it better with you." He grinned and wiggled on Adam's lap.
"Kinda like sex." Adam grinned back and tightened his hold on Kris' ass.
"What do you think I should do? Not about sex," Kris explained, then pouted as Adam slid his hand up his back and began kneading his shoulders. "Although we could just have sex now and talk later. Or have sex now, talk later, then have more sex even later?"
"Not yet." Digging his fingers into Kris' shoulders, Adam raised his eyebrows. "Wow, you're really tight here."
"So's my ass." Kris leered as Adam laughed, then admitted, "Okay, my shoulders are tight because I'm stressed. Which..." Kris rocked back and forth, grinning triumphantly as he felt Adam's cock harden under him. "But sex is the perfect way to de-stress and... and yet, you have that We're-Gonna-Have-a-Talk-look on your face, which might have been a really good look to wear like a while ago--"
"And you have that I'm-Avoiding--a-Difficult-Conversation look on your face. Take it from me, that just makes it all worse."
"Okay, shoot." Kris winked. "Like say, in my ass?"
"In a minute. First -- what do you think you should do?" Adam cupped Kris' face in his hands. "Don't think about it. Just answer this question as fast as you can -- What would make you happy?"
"Never talking to him again," Kris blurted out, then blanched. "There, I said it. The best we can be is... I don't even know."
"If he can even be polite. That's not a given. But that's the best I can do. I know it will disappoint my mom and..." He froze, then nodded. "I've been afraid too. Afraid of upsetting my mom, disappointing her. Afraid of making that final emotional break with my father. Afraid of..." Kris closed his eyes. One thing at a time. Baby steps. "Making that final break where I truly admit that I did have some hope. Deep down inside. Then he said that horrible evil shit to me and more importantly, you. You were just an innocent bystander. And it has to be done, right? No, not a question, a statement. I have to do it. I know it and, but... And it's like a death, you know?"
"I think the worst thing to lose is hope."
"Yeah. And I feel terrible about all of it. Not just losing hope, I opened a can of worms."
"Because going back made him think you were the kid who had to take his shit?"
"It's like... agreeing to talk to him gave him permission to start it up all over again. Like he can't learn to just let it go, let me go without trying again to make me over."
"I haven't seen that you can make someone over by treating them like shit. Unless your goal is to make them feel like shit."
"Well, he succeeded in that. Or..." Kris shook his head, absently tracing the sprinkling of freckles on Adam's chest. "Not really, though. Oh god, I'm torn. Between anger and sadness."
Adam bit his lip, then asked, "Can I ask you a question?"
"Please. Go on the way you do." Kris nudged Adam's hip with his knee. "Truth is, I... uh... mighta said to Geoffrey that I couldn't figure this out without you drilling me--"
"Drilling you?" Adam asked with a leer.
"Later, you promised," Kris reminded him, grinding down at Adam's crotch.
"Ah, geez, you're all grown up and have priorities now?" Adam teased.
"Talking about my father kinda kills the mood, ya know?"
"Yeah, I do know." Grimacing, Adam stroked his hands up and down Kris' back, feeling the tension in the still-tight muscles.
"Okay, so you want me to ask you questions, right?" Adam confirmed. When Kris nodded, Adam continued. "You were brought up believing family is everything and part of that is to always respect your elders and to put up with family no matter what?"
"Yeah, that's it."
"And yet, your family didn't put up with you no matter what, did they?" Adam asked.
"No. I crossed a line."
"And you crossing a line made it okay to dump you, even though you were family. So...?"
Kris hid his smile at Adam's obvious effort to reframe his comments as questions. "So you're saying that if the rules are that it's okay to dump me 'cause I crossed a line, it should be okay for me to dump him 'cause he crossed a line?"
"Yeah. Then again, I could ask like I did before, why do you want to play by the rules of people who rejected you? Why not make your own rules?"
"So either way... the point is to do what's best for me, even if it means following my own rules and making my own path."
"Isn't that what you've been doing? For years? And successfully too?"
"I have." Kris smiled and pressed full-length against Adam, taking a deep breath. "What do you think?"
"I said before that I think he's toxic. Seeing him in his natural environment only deepened my dislike of him and my belief that having him in your life as anything more than a polite stranger is a very bad thing. That's my opinion. Doesn't have to be yours," Adam said carefully, trying to find his way along the new path Kris wanted to set.
Kris nodded slowly.
"You know..." Adam decided to try a different route. "You know a lot of people out here. People who migrated here because their hometown or homelife didn't work for them. They took a different path than was laid out for them."
"The road less traveled?"
"Like that. And you started on that road because that man threw you away. You made your own way---"
"Kinda. I had help..." Kris told him absently, thinking of some decisions he'd made that had sent him down paths that led him... He looked back up, into Adam's eyes and relaxed. The destination justified the sometimes dark and dangerous forks in the road.
"We all have help," Adam agreed. "But do you feel that the destination you reached on a road you couldn't have imagined traveling while you were back there--"
"Is far better than anything back there. There, I was kinda stuck in a round-about, a traffic circle and couldn't get out of it. And I got sent out here, on a road way less traveled by people back there, a road that led out to something different, with way more paths branching off of it, some bad, some good." Kris paused to lean forward and kiss Adam's lips, feeling the smile under his own lips and the warmth of Adam against his front and in the strength of the arms around him.
"Good for me and Geoffrey and Lane and Dani and Emmaline and so many of us," Adam said softly. "That path led you here and we're better for it too. I can't even imagine life without you."
"Same here. I can't even imagine where I'd be now other than here. Right here." Kris smiled and nodded. He looked at Adam's warm smile and warmer eyes, then out the window into the sunlight, seeing the flicker of reflected light on the water of the pool on the ceiling. "And maybe it's time to realize that the road between here and there isn't a two way street. It never was. It's a one-way trip to... a new life, a new me. And he can't be a part of it, 'cause he keeps trying to pull me back..."
"Pull you down. To his level. To a life that isn't right for you, that won't make you happy?" Adam asked, careful to ask a question instead of making a statement. This boundary was going to take some work. "So what do you think you need to do?"
"I think I need to kick him to the curb." Kris sat quietly and listened for that still small voice that told him the deepest truths. Sometimes he didn't want to listen, sometimes he ignored it, sometimes he leapt to do what it said like one of those lords in the Christmas song which -- no matter what Adam said -- had made total sense as an analogy, sometimes he made his way slowly down the path the voice led. This time... the voice was telling him to make a clean start in all things. Well, he'd start with cleaning up this mess. Maybe later, he'd work on the other... he shrugged as he watched Adam run his fingers over that piece of paper that apparently did reassure him.
"You okay?" Adam asked softly, forcing himself to patience as Kris clearly worked through something in his head.
"I'm good. Or getting to good. Are we okay?"
"Yeah. I... This thing with me being bossy. I need you to figure out the boundaries though."
"How about we work through them together," Kris suggested. He leaned forward to pick up Adam's hand from the piece of paper, then pointed at it. "I think I want you to keep that. In your pocket."
"It would get ruined after a while..." Adam noted absently as he watched Kris impatiently pull his tee-shirt over his head and threw it to the floor.
"Then like laminate it or something." Kris smiled smugly as he saw Adam's appreciative look at his chest, just before his hands came up and began stroking skin that suddenly felt hot and tight. "Or maybe I'll tattoo it on my chest so you can read it every time you see me."
"I think I'd prefer a nipple ring." Adam winked as he pinched Kris' nipples, laughing as Kris' shrieked, then giggled.
"You and that damn nipple ring." Kris rolled his eyes, then gasped when Adam bent his head and bit his nipple. Damn. "That's a little...oh yeah, like that... obvious."
"Obvious? I have to tell you that your idea of obvious is not...normal."
"What's that mean?" Kris threaded his hands through Adam's thick hair, holding him to his chest, groaning as Adam's tongue and teeth made his nipples jut eagerly.
"I was supposed to get that you were referring to me leaping to conclusions based upon the title of a Christmas song." Adam shook his head, then gave the nipple under his lips a long, slow lick. "Talk about cryptic."
"Me! Cryptic! Cryptic!" Kris reached out and jerked open Adam's zipper. "I'm a damn open book."
"It's not your book I want open." Adam pushed Kris' hands away, then shoved Kris backwards on the bed. He smiled as Kris eagerly wiggled his ass on the bed as Adam quickly pulled his jeans off. "It's your legs."
"I can do that!" Kris grinned as he bent his knees, planted his feet on the bed and lifted his butt up. Goody, make up sex was happening! "I can do anything you want."
"And you will." Adam took Kris' wrists in one hand and shoved them over his head before sliding his body up Kris' and taking his mouth in a deeply possessive kiss that had them both gasping.
"I will. Anything..." Kris hitched a breath as Adam's mouth moved swiftly down his body and he pushed Kris' legs even further apart, then began licking until Kris cried out, "Anywhere you want."
TBC ----> Chapter 52: Awards and rewards