As foster kids, Adam and Connor had been best friends, but after their foster mom caught them kissing, Connor was kicked out. Adam had no idea what had happened to him until years later when that secret comes to light. With the knowledge that Connor had missed him too, Adam is determined to find him again, and to see if there is any hope for a future where they’re together.
"Please, Adam. You've got to come with me," Brandon begged, his voice turning shrill through the speaker in Adam's cheap cell phone.
He sighed and went to the freezer. "No, Brandon. And again, in case you didn't hear me, no. I just got off work. I want to lay down, watch some TV, probably try to read a little, and eat ice cream for dinner. No part of that includes me going with you to a strip club. Especially not one as skanky as the Rooster. The guys there are just…ugh." He cringed, nearly dropping his phone as he opened his freezer door and grabbed out the last of the mint chocolate chip ice cream.
There wasn't more than a cup or two left in the container, but he wasn't all that hungry. He went to his fridge, to the magnetic butterfly notepad his neighbor had given him when he'd moved into the building nearly a year before, and scribbled down a quick grocery list. Well, sort of. What he'd written was actually just get groceries, but it would remind him well enough of what he needed to do that weekend.
Brandon was still barking in his ear as he grabbed a spoon out of the drawer and flopped onto the couch, his long hair spilling over the fluffy cushions. He loved his couch—had fallen in love with it last week, in fact. It had been on clearance and just barely within his budget at eighty percent off as a floor model, and a damaged one at that. But the tear was only along the back, and it faced the wall. Not that he really had all that many people over to impress anyway.
"Adam!" Brandon yelled, nearly startling him into dropping his ice cream.
He frowned, trying to figure out how he was going to arrange the remote, his phone, and dinner with only two hands. Not very easily.
Giving up, he forgot about the TV for a moment. Brandon would yell at him anyway for watching his crappy shows with him on the phone. "You're still there? I'd thought you'd have hung up by now," he said, taking a bite of ice cream and moaning as the rich cream coated his tongue.
"Oh, Adam, don't do that baby…" Brandon groaned.
He twirled the spoon in his fingers. "What's wrong with you?"
"You make the sexiest noises when you're—"
Adam choked. "Ew! Brandon, just…ew! No. And you cut that shit out right now. I am your cousin, you cretin!" He paused. "Well, sort of. Technically. Oh hell, I don't know. Just don't say crap like that. If you value your balls you will not mention me and sexy in the same sentence ever again. Ever, ever again. Just no."
Brandon laughed. "First of all, you were never adopted by my aunt and uncle."
Adam shrugged. It was a little detail. "Like I said, a technicality."
"And secondly," Brandon continued, "you and I met well after you'd grown up and left the house. Hell, I didn't even know you were one of their foster kids until I came over and saw that picture of the three of you up on your windowsill."
"Yeah," he sniffled. "I know… Hey, has your mom said anything about the house—what realtor they're going through now that Jenna and Tim are gone?"
"Aw, babe, are you crying?"
Adam shook his head. He wasn't. Not really, anyway. They'd only been his foster parents for a few years. Nothing major. And he hadn't seen them in like six years. Still, hearing about their car accident had hurt. "Naw, Brandon, I'm good. Just…you know, allergies and crap. There's so much dust in this apartment. Well, in this whole building actually. You should see the pipes. They're practically ancient. And they creak every time someone walks across the floor. And—"
"I've been in your apartment. Remember? I was there two weeks ago. I brought you that nasty vegetarian pizza you liked such much," Brandon reminded him.
He blushed and bit his bottom lip. "Right. It's been kind of a crazy week. Work and stuff. So, you're really going to that skank fest? Honestly?"
"Yeah, and it would be great if you could get off your lazy ass and join me. And change out of those ugly gray sweatpants. You're an adult. Those things look like you got them from the reject pile somewhere. Don't you have some cute underwear? Like the kind you get from porn stores?"
Adam fingered his worn out sweats. "Hey, don't dis the sweats. I love them. I've had them for years. I got these my first year of college when I was nineteen. Hang on." He sat up, the tub of ice cream forgotten beside him. "How the hell did you know I'm wearing my college sweatpants?"
"Because I'm standing outside and you forgot to close your curtains, wacko," Brandon replied, sounding like he was laughing at him.
Adam got up, walked around his low black coffee table, a thrift store find complete with the marker scribblings of some unknown child, and went to his window. Sure enough, his cousin was leaning against the hood of his car. "What are you doing out there?" Adam asked, watching him.
He waved at him. "Talking to you, what does it look like I'm doing?"
"Being a creepy stalker." Adam waved back, then closed his curtains. "I'm sleepy. I think I'm going to turn in early tonight. Bye, Brandon." He was joking and could barely keep the laughter out of his voice, but Brandon’s reaction was worth it a moment later.