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Fic: Elizabeth - Chapter 2 (3/3)
Chapter 2 - Part 3

During breakfast, Lee asks what they want to do that day and the next. They discuss it together, and after a while, a schedule is made. For Saturday it´s vacation pictures in front of the green background, and later on their engagement dinner. Sunday will be the pool and grill party.

After Lee sets everything up, he gives everyone orders. Because it´s a holiday scenario, everyone is asked to wear shorts and t-shirts. Tommy feels like a kid when they´re shooting. Lee tells everyone what they should imagine in every picture.

One shot is boys and moms on the beach, and while Adam is a bit shy with Dia, Tommy hangs on to Leila really tight. Dia just kisses Adam on the cheek, telling him to relax. Adam smiles and relaxes and finally starts to enjoy the shoot.

He even takes Tommy in his arms suddenly, with no warning. Tommy yelps and throws his hands around Adam´s neck. Lee continues shooting because nothing is better than spontaneous, natural reactions. And Tommy´s pleads for Adam not to drop him, Adam´s laughter and both mom´s wide smiles are the best things he could have wished for.

Tommy laughs hard when they are pretending Adam and Neil are buried in the sand, and Tommy is covering them up more and more. Adam is smiling, because it's really ridiculous and he´s secretly happy Neil is suffering in silence while he´s kissing Tommy. As Lee put it, 'authentically' because they love each other but don´t get carried away because they were in public on the beach. The final picture is overly sweet as Tommy is kissing Adam and a few inches away Neil is making all kinds of faces, suffering a lot.

Once they are done with the funny set, they take some more intimate shots like Adam holding his sandals in his hand as they are walking hand in hand on the beach, or Adam sitting on the beach, Tommy between his bent legs. Adam´s chin resting on Tommy´s shoulder, embracing him. Together they´re watching the ocean. After finishing that set Lee takes some solo pictures of the moms and Neil and Sutan.

When the doorbell rings, Tommy discovers it´s Marco by the gate so he lets him in and invites him inside. Marco tells him that he knows from Mike what his job is there, and not to worry. The pictures will be flawless and he is discreet, so the only thing that remains is to introduce him to the others. They all welcome him warmly and he connects with Lee right away. They start talking about what Lee wants to be in the pictures and they discuss how to do it.

Suddenly Adam and Tommy find themselves at a loss of what to do next, so Tommy goes to ask Lee, while Sutan talks to Adam. “Why am I here? I know very well that you and Tommy can do your own makeup; you don´t need me.” Adam has to smile because Sutan is observant.

He smiles at him, answering, “Because you are family. Not by blood but you are.”

Sutan hugs him tightly and he has to laugh when he hears “Hands off!” from Tommy. He laughs when letting Adam go. Tommy informs Adam that they are no longer needed until dinner, and Lee has recommended a remote place. It's a huge house with a small artificial pond and gardens, hidden just outside of LA on his good friend´s property. He will be expecting them. They will have privacy to take some more personal pictures.

After they say goodbye everyone starts to work on separate tasks. Lee works with Marco on the first batch of pictures; the moms head for the kitchen to prepare a celebration dinner, and Sutan and Scarlett take the dining room for themselves. It has to look perfect. And while Neil and Eber don't have much to do, they become babysitters for the day.

The ride to Lee´s friend´s home is smooth and easy with the GPS.  When they get there, an older gentleman invites them in, and introduces himself as Dominic. He smiles at them. “Now I understand why you need privacy. Men like you don´t have much of it when you want to spend some time together. Am I right?”

Adam smiles back at him, and answers honestly, “You are right. I appreciate that you will let us spend one afternoon in your sanctuary.” Dominic shows them how to get to the gardens and leaves. They fall in love with the gardens and the little pond instantly. It´s so peaceful there, and really beautiful. Grass and trees in harmony with flowers of many colors. As they are walking they take lots of pictures.

Tommy loves the one where Adam is smelling a beautiful sunflower and Adam´s heart melts when Tommy is spinning round and round slowly, his hands outstretched, taking in the sun and the breeze. His eyes are closed and there's a beautiful, gentle smile on his lips.

He takes many pictures in that short time, his imagination leading him into his “what if” space again. When he snaps out of his perfect world, Tommy is watching him. He knows Tommy wants to know where he was but he just shakes his head, closing the distance between them

“We should head back. We have to change and get ready.” Tommy nods but takes the camera from Adam

“I want to take one last picture.” Tommy then takes Adam´s hand in his and entwines their fingers. His nails with chipped nail polish contrast Adam´s perfectly manicured ones, and somehow their hands fit perfectly together. Adam can hardly breathe and when Tommy snaps the picture he´s not ready to let Tommy go, so they walk back hand in hand.

When they find Dominic they say their goodbyes and promise him that anytime he wants a ticket to a concert, he can ask Lee because the whole time spend by his pond was magical. Dominic thanks them with a slight blush because he might not be the biggest fan, but his grandchildren are and he will be asking for sure. With that he sends them on their way, and they are both smiling all the way home. Adam is singing along with the radio and Tommy is drumming to the beat on his knees, and Adam can´t wait for dinner that night, for the surprise he has for Tommy.

When they arrive home, they give the camera to Lee and thank him for the idea because it was the perfect afternoon. After that, their moms tell them to go upstairs and prepare for a family dinner, and the same goes for everybody else. They head upstairs and take showers. They help each other with their makeup -- well mostly Adam helps Tommy.

Adam's not sure why, but Tommy seems to be faraway. Adam is curious as to why, but he respects Tommy´s privacy and doesn´t pry. Tommy is grateful for that, because he doesn´t know how he would explain to Adam that he wishes this whole thing was for real. But then again, he knew it would be hard so again and again, he tells himself to be grateful for the short time he has.

He smiles at Adam. “Thank you for not asking.”

Adam nods. “Will you ever tell me where you go?”

“One day. One day I will, but now we have to finish this day.” Tommy smiles, his mood changed.

“If you want to you can go, I'll be downstairs in a second. I have to pay a visit to the little boys' room,” Adam tries to joke.

“I'll wait, just hurry.”

Adam disappears into the bathroom and takes out what was hidden safely away. He opens the little box and as he´s looking at the ring, his heart hurts because he knows that this evening is not, and never will be, real. He hides it in his pocket, flushes the toilet and heads out. Tommy is waiting for him in their bedroom and together they head downstairs.

Everyone is already in the dining room, which looks amazing. Everyone takes a seat and they all get big helpings of food. Lee moves around the table and snaps pictures. After a while, when everyone is enjoying dinner, Adam stands up and asks for their attention. Lee has a nose for the unexpected, so he moves closer and starts taking pictures again, focusing on Adam and Tommy.

“I know and you know that this dinner is not real. But still, I wanted to make it special anyway.” He sees Tommy jerk his head up to look at him, surprise written all over his face.

“Adam what have you…” but he is not allowed to finish his sentence. Adam silences him by covering his lips with his forefinger. He takes the little box and opens it. He urges Tommy to turn around a bit so he can put the simple silver ring with a small black stone embedded in it on Tommy´s ring finger. Tommy is watching Adam put the ring on his finger, and suddenly he can´t think or speak.

When he is able to think again, he traces the ring with his finger and he can hear Adam ask, “So I take it you like it then? Hmmmm?”

Tommy jumps up from his chair and hugs Adam tightly, whispering into his ear, “You shouldn´t have. I love it, but you shouldn´t have!”

Adam pushes him away a bit, looks him in the eyes before answering “I know, but you´re doing so much for me, you deserve it,” and he kisses Tommy. Short and sweet. As for how many times they have forgotten they´re not alone, the people in the dining room have lost count.

Everyone is just watching them, and Lee is taking one picture after another. Neil is rolling his eyes and all the ladies and Sutan smile knowingly. When Adam and Tommy realize that they have a captive audience, they both look shy. Their family helps them overcome the shyness and soon the conversation is flowing again around the table. Lee doesn't miss the fact that every so often either Adam or Tommy strokes the ring on Tommy´s finger, and he doesn´t forget to take pictures, of them laughing at the table, of their joined hands or when they are leaning in to whisper to each other, what no one else is supposed to hear.

As a group, they make plans for the next day and after all is settled, they excuse themselves and like the day before, they leave their families alone, heading for the bedroom.

When they leave, Lee is looking at the pictures he took. “How can they be so blind?” he asks to no one in particular.

But Scarlett answers before anyone else can. “They are not blind. They are both afraid of what they might see. They are just not ready to see it. No worries though, they will figure it out eventually.”

Neil just laughs sarcastically, but there is only begrudging fondness in his voice when he says, “My brother is not afraid; more like he has the worst gaydar ever. If you excuse me, I´m heading for bed since the little vampire will wake me up early again.” The parents of the little vampire chuckle at that.

Meanwhile in the master bedroom, Tommy is waiting for Adam to come out of the bathroom. Tommy being first in the shower is become a pattern in their new household arrangement. Adam emerges and sees Tommy looking at the ring again.

He smiles and joins Tommy in their bed. “I´m happy you like it,” he says honestly, and when Tommy doesn´t say anything he speaks again. “Tommy, what´s going on? Why are you so quiet?”

Tommy looks at Adam when he starts to explain. “I was just thinking, you know. I wanted to ask you something, but I´m not sure now, I think I´ll leave it...” Tommy rambles and Adam cuts him off

“Then ask, you know you can ask me anything.”

Tommy takes a deep breath and asks,

“Have you ever thought about asking … him … to marry you?” and he knows he has no right to ask it, and the silence is proof that he has overstepped the boundaries. “I´m sorry, I shouldn´t have asked. Please forgive me.”

But Adam only shakes his head, thinking about Tommy´s question. “Honestly, I´m not sure. Yes, we lived together and decided to adopt together, but marriage wasn't necessary. So it never crossed my mind. I thought what we had would last forever, even without marriage.”

Tommy realizes that Adam sounds sad, so he takes him by the hand, tugging gently until they are lying down. “I´m sorry I brought bad memories back. I will never do that again. Please don´t be sad.”

Adam smiles sadly at Tommy's pleas. “It´s okay, he´s in my past now. We are here and that´s what matters.”

Tommy exhales happily because he didn´t offend Adam, but then something pops into his mind. “Soooo this was the personal matter you had to take care of the other day?” because it all makes sense now.

“Yup,” Adam says and he brings Tommy closer, holding him in his arms. As they are slowly falling asleep, Tommy starts caressing Adam´s face. He can see the sadness disappear slowly and as Adam returns his gaze, he sees a smile in Adam´s eyes, a smile that belongs to him. If he dared, he would say he saw something deeper in Adam´s eyes. Something like trust and… but he doesn´t dare think about that, doesn't dare to hope. He settles for a smile. He smiles back at Adam, and finally allows himself to close his eyes and fall asleep.

Sunday is really busy. Marco comes early to pick up all the remaining pictures from the day before and the ones Lee is taking right then. Lee is by the pool directing people, taking pictures of people near the pool, in the pool, or on the pool chairs. Since Neil is preparing lunch on the grill, he´s taking pictures there as well.

It´s a bit rushed but he knows there is not much time left because everyone has to leave that afternoon, or in the evening at the latest. Some of the pictures will be used for a fake vacation set, others for various private party albums. Adam doesn´t seem to mind changing shorts every so often. This time Tommy sides with Neil and complains too, because he hates changing all the time.

When Lee is sure he has all the pictures he needs, out of the corner of his eye he sees Adam, currently in the pool, telling Tommy something. He doesn´t even know why, but he starts shooting again. Adam and Tommy think that everyone has headed back into the house again so they aren´t really paying any attention to whether or not they have company. From Lee´s vantage point, it looks like they are arguing about something, but he can see they are both smiling.

After a while, Adam gestures to Tommy to come closer. When he does, in an unguarded moment, Adam grabs Tommy´s hands and with laughter he pulls him into the pool. Tommy emerges quickly from the water, spitting everywhere, like a real kitty, cursing Adam like crazy. Adam apologizes, still laughing, explaining that he had no other choice because Tommy wasn´t ready to admit defeat, so he had to silence him this way.

While he's asking Tommy to forgive him, he's also complimenting him on how good he looks, all wet. When Tommy laughs and suggests that there are easier ways to shut him up, Adam moves closer and asks “Like this one?” And he kisses Tommy passionately. Tommy moans quietly and opens his mouth for Adam. When Adam deepens the kiss, licking his way into Tommy´s mouth, a call from inside interrupts their kiss.

They are both breathing heavily and Tommy starts to shiver. “You got carried away,” he says with a smile, blushing slightly.

Adam answers cheekily, “I haven´t noticed any complaints,” but Tommy can see he is blushing as well. Lee takes a few last pictures and as silently as he can, he goes inside and he´s happy they didn't see him because these pictures will not be used now, but he knows he saw love and passion and when they finally realize it, he will show them how blind they were.

When they get out of the water, Adam wraps a shaking and shivering Tommy in a huge towel and they´re heading inside unaware of the company they had.

When they get inside, they are comfortably warm and they can see that everyone is almost ready to leave. Tommy´s mom leaves first with Sutan. They are hugging and Tommy thanks her for coming and helping. She tells him how proud of him she is, and that she knows he loves Adam. Tommy denies it weakly and she smiles at him, telling him to be brave and tell Adam. When he says nothing in response, she lets it go, praying for her son not to get hurt.

After she and Sutan leave, he is watching Adam with his parents and thinks about what awaits them now. Now everything could get more dangerous, and he´s happy to be by Adam´s side, that Adam is not alone. Leila comes to him to give him a goodbye hug and thank him for being by Adam´s side. He whispers that it´s okay. He´s his best friend.

Leila laughs a bit and shakes his hand but says nothing. When the Lamberts are leaving Neil can´t resist addressing his brother, advising him to get his gaydar repaired. Adam and Tommy both look confused so he states that it is futile and leaves them alone.

Last to leave are the Cherrys´ and Marco. While Lee and Marco are discussing a few last details of what remains to be done, Scarlett is saying goodbye to them both. Little Riff is traveling from one set of arms to the next, and Scarlett can´t help herself but take some pictures of Riff nestling comfortably in Adam´s arms.

When she comes to take her son from him, she whispers to Adam, “You will make great daddies,” and with that she leaves heading for the car outside.

She puts Riff into his car seat, waiting for Lee. Lee and Marco are saying their goodbyes together. Adam and Tommy are thanking them because without them, none of this would be possible. Lee wishes them good luck, because he knows they will need it, and not only with the adoption. He hugs them both tightly and takes his leave.

Marco leaves right after Lee, promising to get in touch after everything is done. He promises not to send it via mail but to bring it personally with all the original pictures. They are grateful and when the door closes, they are alone in their home again.

They head to take showers to wash away the pool water, and spend a quiet evening in. Adam has to go to bed early anyway because he has work to do at the studio and with management, and Tommy has a meeting with Mike and the band. They will continue their lives and battles the next day, but for now, they meet in the living room in front of the fire, and Tommy plays for Adam and Adam sings quietly for Tommy, and everything is peaceful.

Chapter 3 - Part 1 here


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