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Title: A $500 Bottle of Bordeaux
Fandom: American Idol S8
Pairing: Kris Allen/Adam Lambert
Genre: Romance
Word Count: 8,500
Rating: PG-13
Warnings: n/a
Disclaimer: No infringements on the rights of real people intended. Not profiting in any way.
Notes: Written for the [livejournal.com profile] kradamreversebb Big Bang for [livejournal.com profile] katekat1010's stunning art prompt. Beta by [livejournal.com profile] cinaea. See katekat1010's Art Master Post for even more art for this fic!

Summary: Romance, revenge, and the dinner party from hell. A Broadway AU.
A $500 Bottle of Bordeaux
 


A $500 Bottle of Bordeaux


"Leave your shoes in the foyer, if you don't mind," David said, heading into the next room.

Kris toed off his shoes and double-checked his socks for holes before following his host. Given the price of square footage in Manhattan, Kris's mind boggled at the spacious living room. The floors were a dark wood, the walls a soft white offset by black and steel display cabinets and a marble fireplace that took up half of one wall. And yeah, Kris didn't miss the black and nickel-plated Tony award showcased in the center of the mantle.

"I'm so glad you could make it."

"Thanks for inviting me," Kris said, thanking god he'd thought to wear slacks instead of jeans tonight. David was dressed comfortably, which for him meant silk blends; Kris's favorite pair of well-worn jeans would have been an embarrassment.

"Chardonnay?" David asked, holding up one of the three glasses from the dining table.

"Sure." He took the glass David poured him and wandered over to the windows overlooking Greenwich Village, the lights from the other high rises more brilliant than stars in a night sky. "I heard the album's doing well. Congratulations."

"It's doing phenomenally," David beamed, standing next to him to admire his own view. "My agent says he's heard possible Grammy buzz."

Kris gulped his first sip and said, "It's a little early for that kind of talk—"

"Obviously, but Harold's the best in the business, so I'm inclined to trust his judgment. He recommended you, after all."

Kris couldn't deny Harold's good taste on that count. "So we're celebrating tonight?"

David flicked a brown curl out of his eyes and shrugged, "Oh, no, this is nothing particular. I'm just having a friend over and, well, I thought it would give me a chance to make it up to you."

Kris looked down at his socks and then back up at the city, pretending he couldn't see David's reflection watching him in the glass. "This…would be the way to do it," he allowed.

"That's what I thought," David said, his smile just a touch smug before he headed for one of the white couches. "He's gotten some good reviews lately…but I assume you already knew that?"

"I read the papers, yeah."

David sat with his back to the windows—and Kris—neatly forcing Kris to join him in the sitting area in order to continue the conversation. "That's no easy feat, considering he's Silvetti's understudy," David carried on blithely. "Any kind of attention when you're backup for that diva is worth saving in your scrapbook."

"I know," Kris said, sinking onto the opposite couch. David knew he didn't need a lecture on the hierarchies of Broadway, but if that was the conversation his host wanted to have, Kris would oblige him. "You still steal the show, though."

"Mmm," David smirked into his glass, taking a delicate sip. "It's not that I'm trying to; I'm just being myself. I suppose I'm just what they want to see."

"And hear."

"And hear," David agreed and cleared his throat in a manner that made Kris fear he'd just prompted a private concert. Thankfully, David didn't make a move to change the Schubert piano sonata playing in the background. "Did you hear the rumors about Phantom?"

"No, what—"

"Oh, it's nothing. Just that Bill's been a little…inconsistent, and they're considering a new lead."

"I hadn't heard. What kind of inconsistent?"

"That's the polite way of saying 'drunk,' Kris. And apparently I'm up as his potential replacement."

"Get out!"

"Of course, I'm much too young for the part," David laughed. "I'm only 27 for god's sake, why would I want to play the part of Christine's father-figure?"

Kris would've dearly loved to resent the man's ego, but David McElroy was one of Broadway's most prominent young stars, and his clear tenor would be perfect for the part. It was only a matter of time before he got offered that role, no matter his age. "Have they actually offered—"

"No no, it's still just a rumor. But my name has been rather prominently mentioned on the gossip blogs lately."

"Well," Kris raised his glass to his host. "It's a well-deserved honor, whether you accept the part or not."

"That's what Harold said," David agreed, leaning over the coffee table to clink his glass against Kris's. "What do you think of the wine? It's one of my personal favorites."

Kris opened his mouth to reply, but a yawn caught him by surprise.

"Tired already?" David said, sounding hurt.

"It's midnight," Kris pointed out like a sane, reasonable person.

"I just got off stage from a three-hour production. I'm the one who should be tired—"

The doorbell rang, and Kris rolled his eyes in relief when David stood up and glided to the foyer.

"—but I'm not tired at all," David called over his shoulder, "because I have fabulous dinner companions!"

Kris heard the front door open and stood up. The butterflies in his stomach started beating their wings frantically, and he took a fortifying gulp of wine, inadvertently finishing off the glass before turning to greet David's friend.

"Darling, I'm so glad you came!" David's voice exclaimed.

"You look absolutely delicious," a familiar voice answered, and then David was coming into the living room with Adam Lambert behind him, looking drop-dead amazing.

Best intentions flew out the window, and Kris couldn't help staring at his tall body in skin-tight jeans and a corset-vest over a dress shirt. His smoky eyes were fixed on their host, as though oblivious to everything else in the room, and he actually licked his lips as he followed David.

"Adam, I'd like you to meet a friend of mine, Kris Allen," David said, gesturing to Kris.

Adam's hungry gaze strayed reluctantly from David, and then he blinked and his face went blank. "Oh. Hi."

Kris hurried forward, hand extended. "Mr. Lambert, I'm so thrilled to meet you—"

"None of that formality, Kris," David interrupted, nudging Adam to shake his hand. "We're all friends tonight."

"Um. Adam," Kris started again, feeling a blush creeping across his cheeks. "It's an honor."

"You, too, I'm sure," Adam said, shaking his hand absently before turning toward their host. "I thought it was gonna be just us—"

"Kris played on my album," David cut him off, smiling at Kris as though Kris were his own personal discovery. "He was an absolute dream to work with. And he's a big fan of yours."

"Really?" Adam said, still looking confused, but smiling politely now. "That's great."

"Oh, I should go see about dinner. Why don't you two have a seat and get better acquainted while I get everything ready. Kris, would you pour Adam a glass? It's a Chateau Boswell," he added.

David hurried out of the room, leaving Kris and Adam standing awkwardly in the large living room. They looked at each other for a long moment until Kris finally remembered his manners and blurted, "I'll just…." He slid on socked-feet to the table and grabbed the last glass. "Chardonnay?"

Adam shrugged. "Sure."

Kris poured himself another glass while he was at it and carried them both carefully over to the couch Adam had chosen. Adam took the glass from him, and then Kris wasn't sure what to do with himself, so he just stood between the two couches, fidgeting.

"You're killing my neck up there," Adam smiled. "Sit down."

"Okay," Kris agreed, sinking slowly onto the same couch.

"So which tracks did you do?"

Adam's eyes were beyond blue, the color popping against the black eyeliner, his hair so perfectly disheveled, his lips...god, his lips were right there. This was even better than a front row seat. If Adam started singing, Kris was going to melt into the floor.

"Kris?"

"What? Oh! Um, just two." Adam took a sip and waited. "Then There Was You and Sunshine in Summer."

He saw Adam's eyes widen slightly, and Adam turned his body a little more toward him. "What did you do on Sunshine in Summer?" he asked intently.

"Piano."

Adam took a deep breath and leaned back. "Wow."

Kris bit his lip.

"Wow. I love that song. And not just because of David," he gestured over his shoulder toward the kitchen. "That piano arrangement is gorgeous."

Kris's heart skipped a beat when Adam said 'gorgeous.' "You think so?"

"Yeah. Was that yours?"

"Yeah. He'd been rehearsing the standard, but I thought it needed more…."

"Passion. Yeah, it totally did. Oh my god, you're a genius. What was your name again? Kris Allen?"

"Yeah."

Adam shifted his drink to his left hand and held out his right. "I wanna shake your hand again. Seriously, it is so great to meet you."

Kris laughed, but took him up on the handshake because it was another chance to touch Adam Lambert. He couldn't believe how well this introduction was going. He'd pretty much expected to make a fool of himself tonight, either by drooling over the man all through dinner, or accidentally blurting "I saw you do Wicked three times."

Oh god.

Adam squeezed his hand and gave a small laugh. "For real?"

Kris blanched and pulled his hand away. "Um, I mean…."

"That was a great production. What'd you think of Tveit? He's got out-of-this-world physical presence."

"Um, I…never saw Tveit."

"Oh. Andy Karl?"

"No, um, you. I saw you." This was the end of the world. He needed to either shut up or start lying before he confessed to calling the box office every day after that first night to find out if the Fiyero understudy would be performing.

"You saw me play Fiyero three times?"

Kris looked at Adam's barely-touched glass and asked desperately, "Do you need a refill?"

"No," Adam said firmly, catching his forearm when he tried to stand up and tugging him back down. "Thanks for offering. How many times did you see that production?"

Kris opened his mouth to say "Lots," but the lie wouldn't come out.

After a moment, Adam's gaze softened and he let go of Kris's arm. "David said you were a fan. I guess he wasn't lying, huh?"

Kris shook his head.

Adam smiled, a really lovely smile, and then looked down and said, "Sorry I called you on it. I'm not usually so pushy with people I've just met."

"That's okay."

"So tell me what you do when you aren't writing brilliant arrangements for David."

"Oh, you mean the other 363 days of the year?" Kris asked, relieved to get back on safer territory.

"Yeah, the other 363."

"I do session work at some studios."

"Don't be so modest, Kris," David purred, sliding onto the couch opposite them. "You'll make him think you're a dabbler. This guy's time is booked six weeks in advance," he told Adam.

If David's intent had been to impress Adam with Kris's success, it didn't work, because now the only person Adam had eyes for was David.

"You were wonderful tonight," Adam said, his voice getting deeper, his smile a little bit wider.

Kris shifted uncomfortably and tried not to notice the way Adam was eyeing the vacant space on David's couch.

"Thank you. I wish I could say the same for you, but I guess Silvetti's cold wasn't enough to keep him off the stage."

Adam waved aside the obstacle to his career advancement and leaned forward, as though trying to close the gap to David. "I can be patient. But I overheard Jeff saying it was one of your best nights, and I have to agree."

"You're such a dear. So what do you think of Kris?" David asked, politely turning his attention back to his other guest.

Adam leaned back and looked at Kris, slightly confused again. "He's charming."

"Thanks," Kris said, his fading blush staging a comeback. "I've always wanted to meet you."

"He really is your biggest fan. He played me one of your early recordings back when we were working on my album, and I promised him if I ever was in the same cast as you, I'd introduce him."

"I thought you meant a handshake backstage, or something," Kris mumbled shyly.

"Nonsense! Kris is absolutely brilliant, and you're absolutely brilliant. And I love having the best and brightest over for dinner."

Adam's brow furrowed, clearly displeased with the timing of this introduction.

"So, Kris, you were telling Adam what you've been working on recently. Are any of our ilk benefitting from your talents this week?"

"Um, yeah," he said. "Pam Michaelson just did the tracks for her holiday album."

"Ugh, Christmas albums," David rolled his eyes and swirled the wine in his glass. "I've made Harold swear never to ask me to do one."

"They make a lot of money…" Kris pointed out.

"Of course, but it's more an issue of dignity. Why would I want to sing Frosty the Snowman when I could be singing Gershwin or Sondheim? Christmas. Even Andrew Lloyd Webber would be preferable."

"Oh, I heard a juicy rumor about you and Sir Andrew," Adam said.

"If it's about those photos in the coatroom, they're complete lies," David declared with a wink.

"No," Adam shook his head. "It's about Phantom—"

"Oh yes, I was telling Kris about that earlier. Kris and Harold agree that I should be flattered."

Adam looked at Kris again, his expression now one of annoyance, and Kris found himself wishing David would stop directing the attention his way. He supposed David was only being a good host, making sure Kris felt included, but it was pretty obvious Adam was here for a date. Kris reluctantly considered the most polite excuse to leave.

"It's more than just flattery," Adam said firmly. "It's what you deserve—" The doorbell rang again, and Adam stopped mid-sentence. "Were you expecting someone else?" he asked David, incredulous.

"Why on earth would I, darling?" David smiled reassuringly. "Kris, would you be a dear and see who it is? If it's another fan, tell them we've reached our quota for the evening."

David and Adam chuckled, and Kris set his glass down and stood up, relieved to get out of the room for a moment.

Someone was tap-tapping a rhythm on the front door, and Kris doubted it was a fan or salesman stopping by in the middle of the night. "Just a second," he called to David's visitor, eyeing the impressive row of locks in front of him.

It took more than a second to unlock them all, and he tried not to listen to the sound of clinking wineglasses in the living room as he worked. He couldn't imagine what David was doing inviting all these people on his date. Although it was good to see he'd finally broken things off with…

"Ivan."

"What're you doing here?" Ivan demanded, as tall, blond, and chiseled as Kris remembered.

In the living room, David laughed, and Kris's jaw clenched. "Why don't you ask David," he suggested rudely, and turned his back on the model standing in David's doorway.

Kris marched into the living room and found exactly what he'd expected: David sitting in Kris's place next to Adam, an arm draped around Adam's shoulders, their thighs pressed together and their eyes sparkling.

"You have company," Kris snapped, and their heads shot up as though they'd completely forgotten him already. Kris grabbed his wineglass off the coffee table and drank the rest of it too quickly, his throat burning as he swallowed.

"Well fuck me!" Ivan said, staring at the two of them.

Kris knew the rest of this scene already—everyone did, except Adam. So Kris watched Adam's blue eyes, noting the way they dismissed Ivan as casually as they'd dismissed Kris, so he could focus exclusively on David.

"Ivan," David said, and brushed his curly hair back, letting his hand fall carelessly on Adam's knee. "I'm having a little dinner party. I don't recall inviting you."

"I always spend Wednesday night," Ivan said. "Did you just forget?"

Adam frowned slightly. "Who's he?"

"Oh, this is Ivan. Sometimes he's here, sometimes he isn't," David said.

"And who the hell is this jackass?" Ivan demanded.

"This is my dear friend and costar, Adam. And while you're in my home, you will not insult my guests."

Adam preened just a little, and it broke Kris's heart to know what would happen next.

"Is this another of your fucking games?" Ivan growled.

"I don't know, maybe I thought you were off on another month-long photo shoot, and I was feeling lonely," David snapped.

"For Christ's sake, that was last month, and it was only two weeks. I had shows in Milan and Singapore, and I called you every other day!"

"And then you came back for three weeks and left again," David reminded him, all polished manners gone. "You were supposed to come to the opening night reception, but suddenly you're jetting off to Tahiti with Michael fucking Kors, and I have to play the happy-bachelor again!"

And Kris saw the moment when Adam got it, when he stiffened under David's touch and started to pull away. The hurt on Adam's beautiful face made something twist painfully in Kris's chest.

David let Adam go, his costar completely forgotten. He stood up and shouted at his boyfriend, "I needed you there, and you just disappeared."

"I left you a voice message—"

"From the airport! How d'you think that made me feel?"

"You said you were fine!"

"In case you hadn't noticed, I'm considered a very good actor!" David yelled.

"Fuck this. I need a smoke." Ivan scowled and stomped across the hardwood floor in his oversized Reeboks, heading for the balcony.

"Oh, and there you go, walking out on me again!" David followed him, continuing to shout, and Kris was grateful for the thickness of the glass when they finally closed the door behind them, their voices reduced to indistinct noise.

"That melodramatic, prima donna, son of a bitch," Adam spat. "I've been panting after him for weeks, and he uses me to make his real boyfriend jealous? Fucking hell." He drained his glass and set it down on the table with a thud.

"I'm sorry," Kris said softly.

"What do you have to be sorry for?"

"Nothing, I guess, but…he'll never say it, and…someone should."

Adam snorted. "Yeah, I'd like to see the day that asshole cares about anyone else's feelings."

"I thought he'd turned over a new leaf; I guess not," Kris agreed.

Adam shot him a suspicious look. "You knew what was going on, didn't you," Adam accused. "You knew this was a setup."

Kris shook his head quickly. "I didn't—not 'til Ivan showed up. It's just that…."

"What?"

"This isn't the first time David's done this." Kris's hand clenched into a fist, and he didn't bother to hide it.

Adam's eyes narrowed. "So you've been to lots of his little parties, huh?"

"Just one," Kris said grimly, the astonishment and indignation of last winter welling up again. "Back when I was working on his album. I thought it was a business lunch…but as soon as Ivan showed up, suddenly I was David's boyfriend."

Adam stared at him for a moment and then glared out the balcony door.

Kris huffed a laugh at his own naïveté and mumbled, more to himself than to Adam, "I finished recording those tracks and haven't spoken to him since."

Adam stood up and paced around the couches. "If you haven't spoken in months, then why the hell are you here now?"

Kris swallowed his pride and looked Adam square in the eyes. "He said he wanted to introduce me to you. And I mean, he said it: I'm a fan."

Adam waved that aside impatiently. "No, that's why you came. That's not why he wanted you here."

Kris almost explained David's line about finally putting the unpleasantness of last winter behind them, but if David had meant it, he wouldn't have stirred up bad blood by pulling the same move in front of Kris.

Adam snapped his fingers, drawing Kris's attention. "You're not the third wheel, you're the fourth. Oh, that manipulative bitch."

"I don't—"

"He knows I don't like to make a scene in front of fans. And who does he invite? A fan." Kris tried not to feel insulted at Adam's easy disregard. But it got even harder when Adam sneered, "God, you're even my type, too. Probably hoped we'd hit it off so I wouldn't throw a fit."

"Of course," Kris muttered, just for something to say. It was definitely time for him to get out of there; it was late, he was fully-booked tomorrow, and he was hurt and angry. And it wasn't worth staying to be near Adam, when Adam was even more hurt and angry.

Adam stopped pacing and stood his ground, pointing to Kris with all the imperious command of his latest Broadway role. "Well, I'm just as big a drama queen as he is—I just play my parts closer to the chest. And tonight, we're both getting our revenge."

Mixed metaphors aside, it was an inspiring speech. Especially when Adam grabbed Kris's wineglass out of his hand and headed for the kitchen, calling over his shoulder, "Come on. Let's see if we can track down that bottle of 2006 Chateau Lafite Bordeaux he's always boasting about."

Adam was already banging and slamming his way through the first set of cabinets when Kris made up his mind to follow him into the kitchen, unable to resist his morbid curiosity over whether Adam would really do it or not. He stayed out of Adam's way and went to start his own search in the pantry, where he came face-to-face with a tall wine rack. "What was the label?" he called, and then Adam was crowding into the dim closet behind him, blocking the light.

"Chateau Lafite-Rothschild."

Kris started pulling out the bottles at chest height, while Adam reached over his shoulder to pull some bottles from higher up.

"Pouilly-Fuissé. Merlot. Sauvignon," Adam murmured, his breath warm against Kris's ear, his body brushing along Kris's back. And if Kris closed his eyes for just a second to enjoy the feel of Adam so close, Adam certainly didn't know it. "Jackpot," Adam exclaimed a moment later, squeezed Kris's shoulder once, and then backed out of the pantry.

Kris returned his bottles to their proper places and blinked against the brightness of the kitchen when he turned around.

Adam grabbed a corkscrew and started twisting it into the top of the bottle. Kris gaped incredulously and checked over his shoulder, just in case.

"Get two red wine glasses, would you?" Adam asked, spurring him into action again.

"Yeah. Did you see any…."

"Yeah, over there," Adam said, jerking his chin toward the cabinets closest to the door.

Kris pulled out two oversized crystal glasses and carefully touched them together. They rang out in a pure note, and he and Adam grinned at each other.

"Set 'em up, partner," Adam said, and Kris placed them on the polished granite countertop in front of him. "This is for the date I was supposed to have," he intoned, pouring a surprisingly large portion into a glass. "And this is for the respect you deserved." He poured an equal amount into Kris's glass and pushed it toward him.

They clinked glasses, and Kris didn't bother protesting about letting it breathe, or chilling it slightly before serving. The aroma was heavy with ripe fruit, the taste rich and smoky, and Adam's eyes were dark and amused as he savored his own sip.

"You're not allowed to leave yet," Adam said, surprising him.

"I'm not?"

"No, I need backup."

"You don't have to stay—"

"Are you kidding? He ruined our evening, we should return the favor." He ran his finger around the rim of his glass and looked up at Kris through his eyelashes. "Have you ever had makeup sex, Kris? It's incredible."

Kris's pulse sped up in response to that pleased look, and it took a few seconds longer than it should have for him to realize what Adam meant. And then he took another sip and laughed into the glass. "So something smells delicious. What's for dinner?" he asked.

Adam beamed at him and looked around. "Let's see. Oo!" He stepped over to a piece of paper on the other counter and announced, "Cooking instructions."

"You mean a 'recipe'?"

"No, instructions: 'Dear Mr. McElroy,'" he read, "'Twenty minutes before serving, empty the contents of the blue bowl into a hot skillet and sauté for ten minutes, stirring frequently.'"

"Mmm, green beans and thyme," Kris reported, picking up a wooden spoon and stirring the contents of the sizzling pan. "I think there's walnut oil in here, too. You're not allergic to nuts, are you?"

"I don't have any allergies. That smells good," Adam said, leaning over his shoulder. "Awesome. Okay," he resumed reading, "'Ten minutes before serving, coat a hot skillet with oil and place the tuna steaks in.' Oh, I love tuna!"

Kris looked around. Another skillet stood hot and ready, but the tuna wasn't on the counter. "What d'you think? Should we just cook it ourselves?"

"I'm not leaving here without eating something, so by all means, let's cook. Here, I'll get the tuna." Adam handed him the instructions from David's personal chef and opened the refrigerator to find the main course.

Kris scanned the paper and then checked the fresh-baked rolls in the oven. He turned the oven on to warm them and started heating the oil for the fish.

Adam dropped a Tupperware container on the counter at his elbow. "There's only three."

Kris peeled off the lid and looked at the telling absence of a fourth steak. "I guess he thought one of us wouldn't want to stay," he muttered, and then looked up when Adam remained silent.

Adam's emotions were showing again. Kris watched him choke down the hurt and humiliation until he could answer with a self-deprecating smile, "Probably me. Always the understudy…."

Kris finally lost his temper. He threw one of the tuna steaks onto the counter, pulled a big knife out of a wooden knife block, and cut the fish in half with one swift stroke. "Then they can fucking share," he announced.

It startled a laugh out of Adam. "Wow," he said. "If you feel that strongly about it…."

Kris dropped the knife in the inset sink and wiped his hand on a towel, trying to get his thoughts to line up into words. He wanted to tell Adam he could do so much better, and that it didn't mean anything to be rejected by David. But Kris didn't really know Adam—what the hell did he know about Adam's pride, or the depth of his feelings for his costar?

So Kris just glared at the fish and said, "This wasn't your fault, or mine. This is David's insecure bullshit. It'd serve him right to go hungry tonight."

Adam's hand landed on his shoulder again, and he pressed Kris's glass into his hand. "I'll drink to that."

They both drank, and when they lowered their glasses, Kris was relieved to see Adam still smiling at him.

"If I tell you a secret, will you promise not to hold it against me?" Adam whispered.

"Depends what it is," Kris shrugged.

"I can't actually cook. I'm really hoping you know what to do here."

Kris laughed and swapped out his glass of ridiculously expensive wine for a pair of tongs. He carefully placed each piece of fish into the hot pan and stood back while the oil sputtered and spat. "The instructions say about two minutes on each side. If you'll keep an eye on the clock and stir the green beans, we'll get through this."

"Mi amigo," Adam pledged, one hand over his heart, "I'll watch it like a hawk."

Kris laughed again and handed Adam the wooden spoon for the vegetables, his hip brushing against Adam's as they stood side by side in front of the stove. "If I'd known I was coming here to cook, I wouldn't've gotten dressed up," Kris said.

"Tell me about it."

Kris leaned back and eyed the black ribbons in Adam's corset. "How can you breathe in that?"

"Years of practice and breathing exercises," Adam shrugged. And then he quirked a knowing eyebrow at Kris and said, "And I totally know you're checking out my ass right now."

Kris bit his lip and gave his own shrug. "Alright, you caught me. But it's right there…and I didn't even have to pay for a front row ticket this time!"

Adam laughed, sounding surprised, and kept laughing, a bright, delighted sound. "I can't believe you just said that," he squeaked before cracking up again. "Seriously. I love it."

"Just make sure you're still watching that clock," Kris reminded him as he twirled his spatula, a smile making his cheeks ache.

When the steaks were finished, Kris transferred them to a large plate and turned off both burners under the skillets. "You know what we need now?" Kris asked Adam.

"Hmm. Caviar?"

"Not what I was thinking, but what the hell, let's see what he's got."

Adam started searching the cabinets again, and Kris went through the fridge shelf by shelf, picking out a small jar. "Hey, do you like olives?" he asked over his shoulder.

"I love olives."

Kris opened the jar and pulled out a black kalamata. With a deep breath for courage, he turned around and held it up. "Here."

Adam abandoned his search for caviar and crossed to stand in front of Kris. He took hold of Kris's wrist and bit the olive out of his hand, his tongue flickering against Kris's fingertips. "Delicious," he said, looking right in Kris's eyes, and Kris's heart stuttered for a moment.

Someone laughed in the dining room, followed by the thud of the sliding glass door, and Adam suddenly grinned and tugged on his wrist. "Come on, let's check on our hosts," Adam said, the devious twist to his lips reminding Kris of the game they were there to play.

He grabbed his glass and let Adam pull him into the dining room.

Adam cleared his throat loudly.

David and Ivan were stumbling their way to the couches, Ivan's shirt already undone, and David sucking on his neck. At Adam's interruption, they froze and stared at the two of them like guilty teenagers caught by their parents.

"What're you—" David gasped, hastily letting go of his boyfriend. He managed to find a polite smile and said, "Oh, babe, I'm sorry, I forgot about my guests. Um—"

"That's okay," Adam smiled insincerely. "We've been getting to know each other, haven't we Kris?"

"Yeah," Kris played along with enthusiasm. "Adam's the nicest guy."

"And your wine collection is top notch!"

David's eyes narrowed; he looked at the red wine in Kris's glass, and his already-forced smile started to look downright pained. Honestly, Kris had expected better acting from him. "I'm glad you've made yourselves at home," he said. "I'm sorry about dinner, it's probably burned by now—"

"Nope. Turns out, Kris is quite a cook."

“Thank you, Adam,” Kris said. "The steaks are resting now. We'll be ready to plate in another minute or so."

"Your timing's perfect," Adam assured their host.

"You're staying for dinner?" Ivan asked, his voice disbelieving as he buttoned up his shirt.

Adam smiled wickedly at David and Ivan, "Of course! I'm positively starving. How 'bout you, Kris?"

"I should at least taste what I've cooked, right?" Kris asked innocently.

"Or we could just reschedule," David suggested desperately.

"Let me go check on those rolls," Kris said and smirked his way back into the kitchen.

"I'll get the plates," Adam offered, coming with him.

As soon as the door shut behind them, they collapsed against the counter in silent laughter.


Part 2
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