No Avon yesterday because I was working on my Fluff Friday fic, but here's a longish section by way of apology. ;)
Simone stared for a moment longer, while Tom wished the floor would open up and swallow him into the basement right then and there. Finally his mother sighed. "Tom, will you please just help with the groceries for a minute?"
"Oh, please, let me, Mrs. Kaulitz," said Bill quickly, stepping up to Tom's side so he could take one of the bags Simone was carrying. He'd evidently left his box of Avon supplies of the couch, leaving him with two free hands and what seemed to be a naturally obliging disposition. Tom found the idea of Bill helping his mother out strangely heartwarming, a stupid, sideways grin tugging at the corner of his mouth again.
"Careful, it's heavy," Simone warned, transferring the bag to Bill's arms.
"I'm stronger than I look, I promise," Bill replied, giving Simone a bright smile as he handled the groceries with ease.
Tom was glad to see that Simone couldn't help but return the smile, despite her customary after-work exhaustion. "Thank you- Bill, was it?"
"That's it," Bill affirmed. "No need to thank me, really, I like making myself useful."
"Careful," Tom joked, letting the door swing shut as Simone started making her way to the kitchen, with Bill following at her heels like an adorable, fashionable, eyeliner-wearing puppy. "If you make yourself too useful, she'll want to trade me in for a better model." By which he meant, of course, Bill, who was sleek as a Porsche and apparently came with some convenient features Tom didn't possess, like an urge to cart food that wasn't for immediate consumption around.
Simone aimed a wry glance at Tom over her shoulder. "I wouldn't joke about that, mister. Grab another couple bags out of the car, and I'll think about keeping you." She tossed the keys to Tom, and he caught them, grinning and dropping them into one of his oversize pockets.
As Tom slipped out the front door, he looked back and caught sight of Bill staring anxiously at him from the kitchen doorway. Tom paused a second, then remembered something one of his exes had done for him a couple times and shaped a heart with his hands, holding it up for Bill to see. When Tom's girlfriend had used the move on him from across a room, it had seemed cheesy and stupid and was one of the reasons he'd dumped her, but Bill flushed a gratifying shade of pink and beamed at him, making the entire endeavor worth Tom's while.
So, Tom mused, closing the door behind himself so he could trot out to the black Escalade parked in the driveway. It was a little soon to go introducing Bill to his mother, but they'd already determined that they were in love, so taking that step was probably okay. He felt a pang of guilt over abandoning Bill to the probing questions Simone would no doubt ask him, but Tom felt reasonably sure that Bill would do a better job answering them than Tom ever could have. Mom, I'm gay? Seriously?
Tom dug in his pocket for the keys and absently opened the rear hatch of the SUV. At least Simone didn't seem angry or upset, and Bill could probably charm the ass right off a donkey, or however that saying went. "Huh," said Tom aloud. "That didn't go too badly, I guess."
After purloining a grape from one of the bags and popping it into his mouth, Tom bundled four bags of groceries into his arms, managing to close the car up with an elbow. He wasn't trying to show off by carrying more than he could safely handle - he'd learned his lesson after attempting a crazy skateboarding trick for Lana Davies, back in fourth grade, when he'd gone to the emergency room and gotten eleven stitches in his arm - but there was no harm in carrying as much as he could, and if Bill was impressed by his display of manly strength, so be it.
The doorknob was slightly more difficult to navigate, and Tom batted at it a couple times before the door swung inward. He couldn't congratulate himself for long, because he came face to face with Bill, who must have opened the door from the inside. Bill looked surprised, but before he could speak, Tom said, "Hey, you're not leaving, right?"
"No, no," Bill reassured him hastily. "Simone says I can stay for supper if I want- she told me to call her that," he added, as though Tom would harbor any objections to the familiarity between his mother and the man he loved. "She also says I should take a bag or two from you because you're probably carrying too much."
"No, really-" Tom began, but Bill was already plucking the two heaviest bags from him, hefting them with no more difficulty than he'd demonstrated while dealing with a single burden. "You really are stronger than you look," Tom observed, staring at Bill with admiration and a kind of wonder. Apparently Tom was the one being wowed by a display of manly strength, but hey, that was all right.
"Well, it's just groceries. I'm not going to break a nail," said Bill, giving him a tentative smile that transformed into a full-blown grin when Tom smiled dopily back. "And, Tom?"
"Huh?" Tom asked, snapping out of his Bill-induced daze.
Bill leaned over the foodstuffs they were both carrying and gave Tom a quick kiss on the lips. "There's no model better than you," Bill told him seriously, then bit his lip, blushed, and turned to scurry for the kitchen as fast as his long legs could carry him.
Tom gazed after Bill and Bill's tiny, gorgeous ass, and thought, I could get used to this.