I didn't really edit this chapter well, but I'll be going over it tomorrow. Enjoy:)
Chapter 20The clock was nearing midnight by the time Jude was laying in bed. After listening to some of Spied's new material for SME, Micah had arrived and it was time for her to put on her "producer hat." Though it had only been a couple of days, she enjoyed getting back to working with Micah, enjoying the unique style he put into his music. The three of them worked for hours, finally calling it a night around ten. Not surprisingly, Jude had been near starving at that point, and Tommy decided they should grab some food before heading home. Grabbing sandwiches from the all-night deli around the corner from G Major, they talked for another hour about the studio and what work they would have the following day.Jude had thought about bringing up the "boyfriend" question, but it quickly slipped her mind as they walked back to her car which was still parked at the studio. As she dropped him off in front of his building, Tommy asked, "I'll pick you up tomorrow?"She had found it completely endearing the way he was almost shy to ask. Shouldn't he know by now that she would spend every free minute she could with him?That was the very reason she was still awake. Only two nights that he had been by her side and she was ruined. It didn't feel right that he wasn't next to her now, but Jude wasn't sure what she should do about it. She had dropped him off almost forty-five minutes prior, giving her reason to think that he would likely be asleep. She didn't want to call and wake him, but after only thirty minutes of laying here, she knew it would be hell trying to sleep at this point.Closing her eyes, she tried to imagine that she was wrapped in his arms, cuddled close against him. Trying to trick herself into thinking he was there was her only hope at a good night's sleep.Ten minutes passed and she was no closer to rest than before. Just as she was about to get up and grab a cup of tea, her phone rang. Curious as to who would be calling past midnight, she glanced at the screen. But seeing Tommy's name, she didn't know whether to be thankful that he was calling or worried that something was wrong. Tapping the screen to connect them, she asked, "Babe?"
"You weren't asleep, were you?"His voice was a little scratchy from the late hour. At least, Jude hoped it was from the late hour. "No. I was actually just about to get up since I wasn't having any luck. Are you okay?""I'm fine. I couldn't sleep either."There was silence on Tommy's end of the phone, but Jude sensed that he had more to say."I missed you," he told her, voice lower that normal. "We only slept together for two nights and I already miss it. Does that make me crazy?""No!' She nearly yelled it over the phone in her exuberance. "I missed you too...that's why I couldn't sleep. You've ruined me, Quincy." She could hear a laugh escape his mouth and smiled at the picture it brought to mind."Well, girl, I take full responsibility. Can I come over?""Please do...and hurry. I'm tired and I miss you.""Me too, Babe. Me too. I'll see you soon."Smiling, Jude laid back down for a few minutes before deciding to go downstairs so that he wouldn't have to wait long for her to open the door. Hearing a knock on the door, she looked at the clock to see that even ten minutes hadn't passed since she hung up the phone. Opening the door, she was surprised to see Tommy standing in flannel pajamas and a t-shirt, his guitar and a duffel bag sitting next to him and a backpack on his back.She let out a yelp as he grabbed her up, lifting her off the ground and spinning her before setting her down and nestling his head in her hair. He squeezed her before releasing her, moving to grab his things in order to bring them inside and close the door."That took less time than I figured it would."Shrugging his shoulders, Tommy looked at the ground before telling her, "I was pulling out of my apartment complex when I called. I figured that if you weren't asleep and wanted me over, it would take less time. If you were asleep and didn't answer, I would have just turned around." Looking up, he asked, "Is that okay?"Wrapping her arms around him, Jude reveled in his unique scent and was warmed from the inside out. "I'm glad you were here so fast." Kissing his lips softly and languorously, she tried to convey how glad she was that he was with her. "Let's get some sleep."The pair made their way up the steps to her room, Tommy trailing after her while holding her hand. Within thirty seconds, they were settled under the covers, curled together and finally relaxed."I love you, Babe."Smiling, Jude could only tell him, "I love you, too," before falling asleep.
…The following morning, the scent of coffee coerced Jude into consciousness. Glancing at the clock before sitting up, she realized it was almost nine, perfect timing for her to get ready for the day and still be at work on time. Noticing the hot cup of coffee sitting next to her, Jude sat up and grabbed it, savoring the taste and effect it had on her. The abrupt sound of water turning off surprised her. Though she hadn't even realized the shower had been on, Jude smiled to herself knowing that it was Tommy. She loved that he felt comfortable enough in her loft to shower and get ready. It was something simple, but it made her happy. Seeing him come into her room with only a pair of jeans on, Jude couldn't help the sigh that escaped her lips. He looked delicious. Despite her hesitancy in rushing into their relationship, it was hard to ignore how her pulse raced when he came within ten yards of her, let alone without a shirt."Hey, Sweetheart." Coming around to her side of the bed, he leaned down to kiss her forehead before moving to the other side of the room and grabbing the shirt that was on the corner of the bed. As he stretched it over his well-defined form, Jude couldn't help but stare. Eyes glued to his chest, a low "Mmm..." was her only response.Shirt on, Tommy grinned at her, seemingly knowing that her thoughts were less than innocent. "What's the plan for today, Babe?""Oh...uh..." Stuttering, Jude shook her head to clear her thoughts. "Well, we've got Micah this morning, and then I was thinking we could work on my album. Does that work for you?""Sounds great. No working with Spied and the boys today?""No..." Jude responded. "He showed me some of the music he was working on yesterday, so I have an idea for the feel they want. I'm gonna work on some lyrics over the next couple of days before we get together again.""Sounds good." Coming over to her side of the bed again, he crouched down so that they were at the same eye level. "Wanna get ready and we can grab some pastries before we meet Micah?"The idea of warm and flaky pastries caused another groan to escape. "Yes please," she told him, eyes closed still lost in her daydream of a delicious breakfast. She heard him chuckle before getting up. Reluctantly, she opened her eyes and climbed out of bed, setting her now-empty coffee cup on the nightstand. "Give me a few minutes to shower and get ready and we'll get going."Smiling back at her, Tommy nodded in agreement. "I'll be downstairs. See you soon, Babe.""M'kay." As she went about getting ready for the day, Jude recalled her conversation with Spied the day prior. She made a mental note to reminder herself to talk to Tommy about the whole "boyfriend" question. She didn't want the question and curiosity fester, but she wasn't entirely sure how to bring it up either. As she walked down the stairs only forty minutes after getting out of bed, she decided to wait and hope that the opportunity would arise.
…The day seemed to fly by between working with Micah and recording for Jude's album. Before she knew it, she and Tommy were sitting on the floor of their studio surrounded by take-out containers and crumpled pieces of paper. They had barely taken a break all day, only pausing that evening to pay the delivery boy. Well, that and a minor make-out session earlier in the day after they had finished working with Micah.Smiling, Jude recalled how she had meant to grab a quick kiss on her way to get her guitar from his office. But, he had followed her into his office, closed the door, and attacked her lips with his own. It was only when they were gasping for breath fifteen minutes later that they separated and got back to work.Now, with the clock nearing eleven, she was ready to be done for the day. Looking over at Tommy, her smile grew wider at the sight of him with his head against the wall and his eyes closed. But, as if he could sense that her attention was on him, he opened his eyes and looked at her."Are we done for the day, Babe?""Yes...I don't think I can handle any longer.""I know." After collecting some of their trash into the garbage can under the sound board he stood. Offering her a hand, he told her "Let's go home."A sigh of relief escaped as she stood. She kept her hand in his as they made their way out of the studio and through the back door. A short while later they were entering the front door of her loft, dropping their belongings by the door before heading upstairs. They were already in bed before Jude realized that Tommy was laying next to her and they hadn't even discussed him going home. Turning to face him, she asked, "Is it okay that you're here?""Where else would I be?" he asked her."You don't mind not going home?" She was thrilled, but wanted to make sure he was fine with the arrangement."Babe, why do you think I brought a huge bag full of stuff with me last night?" When she didn't answer, he continued, "I love being able to come home with you.""I love it, too" Jude couldn't think of another way to respond, and simply snuggled into his embrace. Thinking back over the day, she realized that she still hadn't asked Tommy about the status of their relationship. Comments like the one he just said made her not care, but she knew that her curiosity would get the better of her eventually. Not sure how to phrase things, she simply asked, "Babe, what do you think we are?"Though she couldn't see his face, she could sense his confusion. In her mind, she could see his forehead furrowed and raised eyebrows. Before he could ask, she clarified, "I guess...I mean, are we dating?"The laugh that escaped him jolted her slightly from her place in his arms and securely against his chest."Jude..." Pulling away from her, he looked into her eyes. He seemed to realize that she was serious in her question and quickly pulled her back into his chest. "Sweetheart, I love you." He kissed the top of her head and let his lips linger there before continuing. "You are my world..." Again, he kissed the top of her head. "I guess we're dating, but to be honest, you mean more to me than that...I mean, I guess you're my girlfriend, but that makes it seem so trivial."Nuzzling into his embrace even further, Jude kissed his throat just below his Adam's apple. "I love you," she whispered. They had talked things through at the farm house, but his explanation took her breath away. How had she ended up so lucky as to be with him?He whispered, "I love you," before kissing the top of her head one last time. He shifted their bodies so that they were a bit more spread out, but making sure they were connected as much as possible. Jude knew that no more words were necessary, and no explanation from Tommy was needed to make her feel secure in their relationship.
…The rest of the week seemed to race past, and Jude was grateful for a day off. She desperately needed to do laundry, and Tommy needed to get more clothes, so they agreed to spend the day catching up on the necessary, if not mundane, chores. At the laundromat, Jude was in the middle of folding the second-to-last load when Tommy's assigned ringtone on her phone started loudly. "Hey, Babe," she answered quickly. "I'm just about done with the clothes.""Awesome."He sounded distracted, but Jude attempted to continue folding their clothes and didn't think much of it. When he didn't say anything for a few more minutes, she asked, "What's going on, Tom?"There was another pause before he spoke that had Jude wondering what he was thinking about. "Well, I was trying to pack some more of my stuff and was trying to decide which jacket I should bring - it's going to be a bit cooler this week. I was going to bring my leather jacket, but then I thought I should bring that blazer I have in case we go somewhere nice.""So bring them both..." She could tell that he was hesitating for some reason, but wasn't sure why the decision about which jacket to bring would cause him concern. "I was going to, but then I thought that I should bring the pants that go with the blazer because D has that meeting scheduled for next week with the investors.""Right...""Since I remembered we had the meeting, I figured I should bring a shirt to go with the suit, and that meant bringing a tie too - you know how D makes us look professional for those meetings. But, I couldn't decide which tie to bring.""Babe, I don't really know what the problem is. Do you not want to come over?""No!" His response was instantaneous, causing a small smile to highlight Jude's features. "It's just...I started pulling out everything I wanted to bring over and I realized that there wasn't much left.""So bring it all." Still unsure of his hesitation, Jude was starting to get a bit frustrated. If Tommy was having second thoughts about staying with her, she wanted him to be honest. Before her mind could go too far, his voice on the other end of her phone interrupted her thoughts."That's kind of what I was thinking. What if I brought it all...clothes, guitars, records..." He left the question open-ended for a moment. "Would it be okay if I brought everything?"Relieved, Jude exclaimed, "Of course, Babe! We'll make some room and I can rearrange my closet and stuff. Why were you so bent out of shape?""Honestly?" He seemed nervous to answer, but Jude wanted to know. "Yes. Why were you being so weird?""I guess it's because...well...I mean, Jude, I'm basically moving in with you. We've officially been together for about a week-and-a-half, and we're going to be living together."She hadn't fully realized the implications of him bringing all of his thing to her loft, but the knowledge of what it meant for their relationship didn't scare her in the least. If she was being honest with herself, she was excited. "Tommy, some people might think it's too soon, but who the hell cares? It's not like I can sleep without you anymore, so why not make it official. Besides, now I have an excuse to get you to help me clean once in a while." She was smiling, excited at the prospect of them "shacking up," as Sadie would say."So, if I gave up the lease on my apartment, you wouldn't be completely freaked out?""Maybe I should be, but no." Taking a brief moment to ensure that there was no hint of doubt in her mind, she concluded that there wasn't. "Honestly, I'm kind of stoked.""Good, me too." She could hear him take a deep breath, as if in relief that she had agreed. "How long until the laundry is done?"Checking the display on the last load in the dryer, she told him, "Maybe 20 minutes or so. How long until you're packed up?""I'm done. I just have to load the car.""Perfect. As soon as I'm done I'll be home and can help you unload.""Sounds great, Babe. I love you."Unable to resist the smile that lit her face, she told him, "I love you, too. See you soon." Hanging up the phone, she quickly dialed her sister and tried to speed through the rest of the folding. When Sadie answered, Jude immediately launched into the story of how she and Tommy were going to live together.There was a brief pause from her sister's end of the phone. "Are you sure?"Loving how Sadie was first and foremost always concerned for Jude, she smiled. "Sades, I've never felt more confident of anything in my life. Everything feels right. I'm not scared of being honest with him like I was before he left. He's been so open with me over the past few months - even with our misunderstandings. We need to work on our communication, but we both know that.""I get that, Jude. But being in a relationship is one thing...living together is totally different. Are you really ready for that?""I can't sleep without him, Sades.""But Jude, you guys can have sex anywhere...why do you need to live together for that?""Sadie, I didn't mean sex. I literally mean that I can't sleep without him next to me. We haven't done...that...yet.""Really?" The surprise in her voice was obvious."Yeah. We've been working through stuff and it didn't feel...right." There was a part of Jude that couldn't believe that she hadn't slept with Tommy, but what she told Sadie was true. She hadn't been ready for that quite yet. But, she loved him, and, considering it now, thought she might be ready."Wow..." Seeming genuinely shocked, Sadie was quiet for a moment. "You mean to tell me that you are dating and shaking up with Tom Quincy, infamous bad-boy boy-bander extraordinaire, and you haven't had sex?""We've only been dating a little over a week! I'm not that easy, Sadie." Jude was a little chagrined that her sister thought she would sleep with someone so quickly. On the other hand, it was Tommy, the guy she had been hung up on for years."I know, Jude. But it's Tommy...""Yeah..." Lost in thoughts of the near-perfect man that would be waiting for her at home, Jude failed to hear what Sadie was saying. "What, sis?"A chuckle came across the line. "Clearly your thoughts are elsewhere, but know that I'm excited for you.""Thanks." Having the support of her sister wasn't necessary, but it was nice. For too long, Sadie and Jude hadn't been close and fought often. But knowing that her sister was on her side felt good. "We'll talk soon, yeah?""Sounds good. Talk to ya later, sis."Hanging up her phone, Jude got back to the laundry sitting in front of her and hastily folded everything up. The obnoxious beeping signaled the end of the final load that was in the dryer. Quickly, she grabbed the folded clothes and took them to her car before returning to the laundromat and retrieving the final load. Not five minutes later she was on her way to the loft, more than ready to see Tommy. Throwing open the door upon getting up the stairs, Jude couldn't help but laugh at the state of chaos in which she found the loft. Empty boxes had accumulated near the door. Guitars, amps, and a keyboard were stacked and piled by the studio. A dozen or so large mugs were scattered on her counter by the sink, and a duffel bag of clothes made it halfway up the stairs."Babe?" she called, figuring he would be in their room."Damn!" Tommy's head appeared in the door opening at the top of the stairs and Jude could see his shoulder shrug somewhat sheepishly. "I thought you would be a bit longer...I thought I would be further along than this."Jude looked at her watch to see if she had been incredibly fast at getting home. "Its been a little over twenty minutes. Isn't that what we agreed on?""Yeah, but I figured you would call Sadie, and I thought that conversation would last longer."Her grin was instantaneous. "Well, I did call Sadie, but it only took a few minutes. And as for the loft...no worries. Come help me bring the laundry upstairs and I'll help you unload and unpack."He smiled at her in a way that made her toes curl and her insides warm. "Do you have more in the car?""Just the basket from the last load.""I'll get that and you order us some food...I'm gonna need sustenance. I hear that Ethiopian place delivers...wanna try that?""Perfect. I'll call them right now."Hours later, Tommy's things were completely unpacked and the pair were sprawled out on the couch. A movie was playing on the TV, but neither were paying attention to it. "I've been thinking..."When he didn't continue, Jude's curiosity was peaked and she prompted Tommy, "...about...""Your birthday."Again, he didn't elaborate. "What about my birthday?""What do you want to do?"After contemplating for a moment, she asked, "Is it weird that I haven't thought about it?"A burst of laughter escaped him as he pulled her closer to him. "A little, but I still love you." He leaned down and kissed her, sweet and gentle. "Do you want something big or small?"Considering both options, was quiet for a few moments. "Probably something smaller...things are going to get crazy when we start publicizing for Micah, not to mention when we start shows and stuff for my album." Thinking of things to come, Jude sighed, knowing that in a short time, they would be very busy. "Is that okay?""Babe, it's your birthday, we can do whatever you want."Smiling, she looked up at him. "Then, yeah. Let's do something smaller. Maybe Spied and the guys, Sadie and Kwest, Chuck and the band, Celeste...that sounds good.""That does sound good." He kissed her again and asked, "What do you want to do? Dinner, go out, dancing...any thoughts?""Dinner could be good...maybe get drinks or something...I'm not sure yet.""We don't have to figure it out right away, but think about, okay?""Will do." Standing, she offered and hand to Tom and helped him to his feet. "Now, what do you say we go to bed?"Rather than give her a verbal response, he leaned down and kissed her. With his arms wrapped around her and lips attached to hers, Tommy led her to the bottom of the stairs, only releasing her so they could get to her room without too much difficulty. After getting ready to sleep, a quiet "I love you" passed between the pair before they drifted off.
…Tommy revved the engine on his Viper as he raced out of the Studio parking lot. After moving his things into Jude's place the day before and spending the entire morning with her in the studio, he was amazed that he was able to escape without her knowledge. She was currently occupied with Spied, going over some lyrics for the music he had put together with the boys. Driving through the city took over a half an hour, much longer than he anticipated due to a closed road that caused major traffic. Because of the delays, his time was limited, and Tommy knew that he would have to hurry. Finally pulling up to the warehouse near the Alderwood development, Tom pulled his car into the building so as not to draw attention. While he didn't think any paparazzi had followed, it was a realistic concern and he wanted to make sure no pictures of his transaction were leaked to the press.Walking through the warehouse to the back office, he greeted his longtime friend with a simple nod. "Do you have what we talked about?"Laughing, the man shook his head. "Always the same with you, right Tom? No wasting time, just want to get down to business?""Sorry, man." He shook the other man's hand before sitting down in the chair across the desk. "The drive over took longer than expected, and I have to get back to the studio before anyone notices I'm gone.""I see." Pulling out a case from the locked bottom drawer of his desk, the other man opened it in front of Tom before asking, "What do you think?"One at a time, Tom picked up each of the three objects in front of him, turning them over in his hands and examining each side before looking up at his friend. "Really?" At the lack of a reaction from his friend, Tommy continued. "I told you that money is no object and that I wanted the best of the best...something to get the job done." Gesturing to the items on the desk, he asked, "This is what you bring me?""Now, Tom, there's no need to get heated up. I found these and thought they were nice, but don't worry. I know you and I have just the thing.""You better not be fucking with me," Tommy told the man. "I came to you because I knew you could be discreet and that you had the best selection.""And that's still true." Turning, the man moved a picture on the wall behind his desk to reveal a safe. After he entered the code and scanned his fingerprint, the door to the safe opened. Pulling out a smaller box, he turned to face Tom. "Now, I think this is perfect...incredibly rare. I found it just after I received your call a last week and it was delivered from out of the country just yesterday. It even has official papers and everything." Taking the box from him, Tommy opened it to reveal exactly what he wanted. "You're right, it is perfect." Taking a moment to contemplate exactly what it meant to be holding the item in his hand - the major implications it would have. But, realizing he didn't have much time, he put down the box and pulled out his wallet. "How much do I owe you?"Filling out the check for the agreed upon price, Tommy sat back completely satisfied. Standing, he shook the other man's hand and took the box with him. "Thanks...I really appreciate this." Without waiting for a response, he walked out the door and back to his car. Rushing through the streets of Toronto, he arrived at the studio just under twenty minutes later. With the box stashed in his glove compartment, Tom quickly got out and headed back into the studio, Jude none the wiser.