A/N: Uh, I got nothing. Confined spaces lead to a semblance of 20 Questions which leads to someone trying to jump out of a bathroom window…again! Crazy kids…
Hope you like it!
Hopp: Thank you! I'm trying…as always.
Anon: Yay! Me too! Me neither! :]
M: Thank you! I hope so too!
Disclaimer: Song used: High Hopes In Velvet Ropes by The Cab (listen if you haven't already). I don't own BMW. I do own any/all mistakes – I've edited all but one scene, so if I've missed something…sorry!
R&R or R&L please.
High Hopes In Velvet Ropes
"Safest Place To Hide"
The G-Major conference room had never been so packed before. At least not that Jude could remember. If she moved her leg an inch she might as well be sitting on Tommy's lap.
The thought alone caused her to shudder.
"Hey, can you keep the spazzing out in my presence to a minimum. I'm trying to work here."
Jude turned her head slightly. Tommy had a pen lodged between his lips and a newspaper sitting on his lap. "And if by working you mean doodling penises all over the rags – "
"That was one time!"
A few people looked up from their computers and looked in Tommy's direction. His face flashed a shade of pink as he realized how loud he had been. Jude smirked. When a few of the secretaries pointed at Tommy over his shoulder, Jude started to laugh.
"Fucking Kwest," he muttered.
Jude rolled her eyes and grabbed the paper off his lap, making sure she didn't touch any part of him. Like she needed him making any more ridiculous comments.
"Jude! I was working on – "
Jude smacked Tommy's out-stretched hand away and glanced over the paper. Tommy was working on…a crossword puzzle? And he was doing it in pen?
Her brows furrowed for a second until she realized he was staring at her. She tossed the paper back at him, hearing it fall to the floor. Tommy groaned as he reached down to pick it up.
As he sat back up, he stopped at Jude's ear, "And the next time you'd like to smack me, I'd prefer – "
Jude flipped him the bird, clenching her jaw.
The double doors of the conference room opened and the room instantly fell to a hush. Darius walked to the end of the table, opposite Jude and Tommy.
"We have a few things we still need to sort out, but in the mean time, you two are to lay low."
Jude nodded once. Laying low was something she could do. She'd go home, veg on the couch, maybe watch a movie. It would be relaxing. Something she desperately needed after all the G-Major chaos that had ensued.
"And in order to make sure that happens, I'm having the two of you taken to a special place of mine. You leave in 15 minutes."
Jude's eyes widened. "But – "she started. Loudly. She was not about to be shipped off to some secret location without her consent. Especially with Tommy.
Tommy reached out and squeezed Jude's knee. He knew she was new to the workings of Darius Mills, but she needed to learn when to keep her mouth shut. This was one of those times.
"Don't touch me!" Jude said, smacking Tommy on the hand.
"Are you two done?" Darius asked, clenching his jaw.
Jude sighed, her eyes downcast. She was tired of being yelled at.
"Yes," Tommy said curtly.
Jude nodded absentmindedly.
"Good. Now since we're all here, I'd like you to meet Alex Myers, our newly acquired producer."
A soft applause filtered into the room and when a low whistle sounded from behind her, Jude looked up. Holy Mother of –
The producer – who very well could have been Tommy's older twin – stood next to Darius, a smirk on his clean-shaven face. He filled out his suit in ways that most men could only dream of.
His eyes glided over the room until he reached Jude. Then he winked slowly at her. Under normal circumstances, Jude would have rolled her eyes or flipped him off. But Tommy took that opportunity to clear his throat and shuffle in his chair.
The idea that the mere presence of Alex Myers made Tommy uneasy made Jude smile, so she winked back at him.
Darius spouted out some other things that Jude didn't hear and the room began to clear out.
When Jude realized that she had spent the rest of the meeting staring at Alex and almost everyone had left, including Tommy, a rose blush formed on her face. She grabbed her bag and got out of her chair.
Jude looked up to see Alex leaning against the table in front of her. She cleared her throat. "Yes."
"It's a pleasure to meet you," Alex said, extending his hand.
Jude smirked. So this is how it was done. "Back at ya," she said, shaking his hand. "Look, I'd love to sit and chat, but I have to get to time out, so…"
"I've heard." Alex smirked.
Jude rolled her eyes. "I bet."
"So…you and Tommy?"
Jude clenched her jaw and she noticed how Alex's smirk widened just a little. If she wasn't already in trouble she might have smacked it right off. Ass. "That's for another time."
Alex nodded his head and the smirk faded into a smile. "I know you're probably really busy with your Tommy issues and all, but I'm from LA and I don't know much about Toronto, so I was wondering if – "
The door opened slightly and Tommy's head poked out from the behind the steel. "Jude, we're waiting," Tommy said, slightly exasperated that he had to be the one to fetch her.
Jude stared at him for a split second and then turned her attention back to Alex. He held out a business card.
"I'd love to," she said, grabbing the card and walking toward the door. Tommy's eyes widened just slightly and Jude bit back a smile. She would pay Alex back for all his Tommy talk, but until then, Jude had some 'laying low' to do. She pushed passed Tommy and walked through G-Major's lobby with a shadow of a skip in her step.
The drive to the Darius' 'special place' was silent but deadly. Jude couldn't wait to get as far away from Tommy's immature ass as possible. When they got into the SUV Darius had planned for them to use, he proceeded to take up the entire backseat with his legs, leaving Jude barely any room to fit her slim body. Then he decided to play DJ.
In the 20 short minutes it took the driver to take them to their destination, she'd heard about someone's dead dog, a hoedown, two pina coladas, and a cheating spouse. And that was all from one song.
Jude clenched her jaw – she hated country music.
The driver drove into a parking garage and stopped a few seconds later at a service elevator. There stood two large men dressed in black.
Jude didn't notice the security guard that had ridden with them until her door opened and he motioned for her to get out. Jude slid to the edge of her seat and just as she was about to step down, she felt Tommy's hand on her lower back. The gesture scared her so much that she fell out of the car and onto the concrete floor.
Pain radiated from her hands to her butt and she clenched her jaw. "Asshole," she muttered. She glanced up and Tommy was biting back a laugh.
His gesture had been purely gentleman-like. The fact that she had fallen out of the car was completely accidental. But from the look on Jude's face, he could tell she was going to kill him if he touched her again.
And a part of him couldn't wait.
Darius' loft was the epitome of a modern bachelor pad. Black and white with punches of steel. If Jude cared anything about interior decorating the loft might have held some value to her, but now it only served as a prison and she desperately wanted to get rid of her cellmate.
A white leather modular sofa sat in the middle of the living room and Jude threw herself on it, tossing her bag to the floor. She curled in the fetal position, taking up most of the couch, and closed her eyes.
"You can't honestly be tired. You haven't done anything today."
Jude lifted one of her hands and flipped Tommy the bird.
The last thing she remembered was the soft sound of his laughter.
An hour passed and Jude awoke to the smell of pepperoni. Her stomach rumbled and she then remembered that the only thing she had fed it was coffee and more coffee.
Looking over the top of the couch, Jude saw three boxes of pizza sitting in the middle of the granite island in the kitchen. And no Tommy.
Jude sighed, pulling back a grey cashmere blanket. Her eyes narrowed. She didn't remember getting a blanket before falling asleep. That could only mean…
"And Sleeping Beauty has finally decided to grace us with her presence."
Jude groaned, closing her eyes. Why couldn't she just get one moment of Tommy-free peace? She looked over her shoulder to see him sitting on part of the window seat that anchored a far wall of just windows with a book in his hand.
"Bite me." Her voice was low and gravelly, still full of sleep.
Tommy couldn't respond. It wasn't that he had nothing to say. It was that the things in his head were not…appropriate. He was in no shape to tell Jude just how turned on he was by her voice.
Jude took Tommy's silence as a win and made her way to the kitchen.
After placing two slices of pizza on her paper plate, she walked to the kitchen table. The screech of metal against wood sounded as she pulled out her chair. A smirk formed on her face and when she looked at Tommy through her bangs, she could tell that it was warranted. He was staring at her with a grimace.
"Sorry," she said sardonically. He scoffed.
After a few silent minutes of Jude eating and Tommy doing whatever it was that he was doing, Tommy spoke. "Have you thought about what you're performing yet?"
Jude looked up from her plate, her eyes narrowed. "Performing for what?"
Tommy smirked, but Jude could see it wasn't out of amusement. He muttered some words to himself, none of which she could hear and then said, "If you had put your attention on things that matter instead of focusing on – "
"Fuck you." Jude crumpled a napkin and threw it in Tommy's direction. It landed a few feet in front of her. Tommy chuckled. Jude rolled her eyes. Her aim was always bad.
"There's a G-Major showcase next week. We're performing. So you better be ready. It's not really upstaging if you don't come prepared."
Jude flipped him the finger and went back her to pizza.
The semblance of a comfortable silence filled the loft in which Jude finished her pizza and started writing in her journal. She thought that maybe she could write a song, but the harder she tried the worse it sounded. She knew from experience that forcing something would never work. So she stopped trying so hard and started writing whatever came to the forefront of her head.
Out came a diary entry about how she was a little scared that Darius and Georgia wouldn't be able to squash her mistake. And about how much Tommy was…annoying her. Making her second guess herself. Exciting her? No. He wasn't. He couldn't. He was…Tommy Fucking Quincy.
"What's your song about?"
Jude froze. Why did he always start talking at the most inopportune moments? He needed a freaking bell for his mouth. She scoffed and looked up. "Like I'm really going to tell you."
"You do know I'm an award–winning producer, right?"
Jude rolled her eyes. "Yes, and before that you were in a one-hit wonder boy band, so no, I don't want any help from the peanut gallery."
Jude expected Tommy to yell or come back with an equally cutting remark, but instead – he laughed. The act startled her and before she knew it – she was laughing right alongside him.
When the laughter died, she rose out of her chair to stretch. Even the short amount of time she had been sitting to eat was beginning to bother her. Restlessness was starting to fill her limbs. She could feel it in her shoulders. In her calves. In her hands. Even in her ass, thanks to Tommy.
"My butt hurts."
Tommy looked up from his book. With his lips in a smile, a low laugh rumbled in his chest. "It was an accident. A complete accident."
Jude rolled her eyes. "Sure…"
"You want me to rub it?" he asked, an eyebrow cocked.
Jude opened her mouth, but the look in Tommy's eyes stopped her from saying what she was really thinking. "No. Darius would kill us."
Tommy groaned. "Probably."
As she lifted her arms over her head, Tommy noticed Jude's t-shirt rise. Normally a little skin wouldn't have bothered him, but the last few days had caused his thoughts to get a little jumbled. Heat travelled from his face to his feet and he knew if she didn't stop, he'd do something that would get them both in trouble.
When Jude bent over, it took all of Tommy's strength not to explode right then and there. He jumped and his book fell from his lap. Jude's head popped up and she saw Tommy staring at her.
He cleared his throat as nonchalantly as possible and leaned over to pick up his fallen book. When he sat back up, Jude was standing right in front of him.
"It's been fun, but I don't want to fight anymore," she said softly.
Seeing the sincerity in her eyes, he nodded in agreement. If he was honest with himself, he wasn't so excited about it anymore either. It was starting to take a good amount of effort on his part to keep up with her and he would've rather put that effort to use in another fashion. If they were even allowed to that is.
Jude sat down on the window seat and looked out at the street below. People walked around, going off to do whatever it was that people did on a Thursday night. "I want out."
"Good luck with that one," Tommy said. He dropped his book on the floor and looked out the large window. Night was almost in full swing and he couldn't disagree with Jude's sentiments. Being locked up was no fun.
He didn't know how they ended up in this position. They had exchanged a few remarks and before he knew it, they were facing the ceiling.
Well sadly, it was not from that. It had just been...talking?
Fuck, he needed to get laid. He had a reputation to keep up, damn it!
They lay on the window seat, facing opposite directions, their heads meeting in the middle. If Tommy closed his eyes and lay perfectly still, he could feel her like she was right next to him. He breathed deeply and all he could smell was her.
"I'll start out easy," she remarked.
"Oh thanks," he said, laughing. The vibration from his voice running through the seat.
"Favorite color of M&M's?" He snorted slightly, thinking about how ridiculous the question was causing Jude to laugh. "And please don't pull a McConaughey."
"Matthew McConaughey. The Wedding Planner?"
He shook his head. "No, The Wedding Singer."
Jude rolled her eyes. "Wrong movie."
"Oh," he said. Film was not his forte. He knew it. He accepted it. But the fact that Jude seemed to actually like chick flicks was interesting to him. He was going to have to lock away that piece of information for later.
"Matthew's character is getting married, but he ends up falling for the wedding planner and in one scene, he and Jennifer Lopez end up talking about M&M's. He says the brown ones are his favorite cause chocolate is brown so there's no artificial coloring. But that's lame cause it's a candy coating, so there has to be some artificial coloring or else it's just chocolate and therefore not an M&M."
Tommy's eyes widened. "Oh kay."
"Shut up." A blush formed on Jude's face. So she had seen the movie enough to remember some of the scenes. It wasn't a crime.
"Red. Like my hair."
Hair. Tommy smiled, remembering the way Jude's hair fanned across her face and how it tickled his –
"Your turn," Jude said, smacking him on the shoulder.
He groaned. "Fine. Favorite…movie? Mine is…"
"The Godfather," she finished, rolling her eyes. He was such a guy.
The tone of her voice did not sit well with Tommy. "What? It's a classic!"
"Yeah, because whacking people off is so great."
"Whatever. Let me guess, yours has to do with some teenage heartthrob like that Prinze guy."
"Dude, I'm not that old. He's like ancient." Tommy rolled his eyes. "He is. He's like as old as you – "
"I'm not old." Tommy sat up, facing Jude. He hovered over her, leaning on his arms.
She looked up, her eyes widened. He was way too close for comfort. "I – Uh, okay. Maybe he's older. I…don't know."
"Nice backtracking, kid," Tommy said with a smirk.
Jude rolled her eyes and pushed him away. If they weren't in trouble, maybe she would have given in, but Darius's voice remained in the back of her head and she was going to make sure she kept her hands to herself.
Jude adjusted the pillow underneath her head. "Your leg is really uncomfortable."
Tommy rolled his eyes. They had moved from the window seat to the couch when Jude started to complain every five seconds about how her body hurt from laying on the seat for so long. She was such a princess sometimes.
"Deal with it. No one told you to lay on me."
"You take up the entire couch!" she started, looking up at him. "Where else was I supposed to lie down?"
Tommy shook his head, choosing to ignore her comments. If he had told her there was another couch, she was liable to punch him. "First kiss?"
Jude bit her bottom lip. "Brian Easton. Monkey bars during first grade."
"Cute," Tommy said, pinching Jude's cheek.
"Yeah," Jude said. "Then I slapped him after cause I had been so startled that I didn't know what was going on."
Tommy laughed. That sounded like a very Jude-like thing to do. "Well, then."
Tommy jaw clenched. "Marla Keeton. Kindergarten."
"Aww…" Jude said, smacking Tommy on the thigh.
"It wasn't cool."
Jude picked up her head. "Really?"
"She got paint in my hair, the bitch."
"I'm sure she didn't mean it."
"I don't care. She didn't listen to me. I told her not to touch my hair, but she did anyway."
Jude smiled. Watching Tommy get annoyed was pretty entertaining. "I'm sorry."
Tommy shook his head and leaned down, closer to Jude's face. "You can admit that I'm your favorite kiss though," he whispered.
Jude's jaw clenched slightly. "Your ego is already inflating. Gross."
"That's not my ego," Tommy said, smiling.
"Hmm…" Jude started, turning her head. "I can see that now. It's not as big."
Tommy groaned, closing his eyes. "I asked for that, didn't I?"
Jude nodded, laughing. The vibration spread through the couch and Tommy found himself started to smile because of it. "First girlfriend?"
Tommy opened his eyes and looked down at Jude. "Marla Keeton."
Jude's eyebrows rose. "What happened to her being a bitch?"
"Let's just say that the paint made for some fun later," Tommy said, winking.
Jude grimaced. "Gross."
"I'm kidding," Tommy said, ruffling Jude's hair. "She redeemed herself. She's the one who got me hooked on Mangella hair gel."
Jude's eyes widened. There was a rumor amongst BoyzAttack fans that Tommy owned stock in Magella or something equally disturbing like that. Jude couldn't really remember, but she was pretty sure Sadie had mentioned something like that before. "Oh lord, should I send her a thank you note or bomb her house?"
"Easy there, tiger."
Jude flipped him the bird. "Oh please, you love that shit probably as much as you do music."
"I will neither confirm nor deny that statement," he said, looking away.
Jude smirked, looking up at the ceiling. She took a deep breath and then asked, "What are your parents like?" Silence filled the room. Jude frowned. She sat up and saw that Tommy wasn't paying attention or pretending not to.
"T," Jude whispered. He still didn't look at her. Jude smacked Tommy's thigh.
"What?" Tommy turned his head.
Jude rolled her eyes. "What are you parents like?"
Tommy bit his bottom lip. "I'd really rather not – "
Jude didn't need Tommy to finish. She probably shouldn't have asked to begin with. It's not like she wanted to take about her parents either. "Got it. Do you have any siblings?"
Tommy nodded his head. "I have a brother, Tristan, but we're not that close."
Tommy sighed. "BoyzAttack." Jude grimaced. "Yeah, he wasn't too fond of me leaving home and doing the rockstar thing. He probably hates Lil' Tommy Q more than I do."
Jude smirked. "We'd have something in common then."
Tommy rolled his eyes. He'd learned to deal with everything that came with BoyzAttack. Some of it had been easier than the rest – like the girls and the constant recognition. But there was something about it all that always left a sour taste in his mouth. It might have been the fact that he had actually worked hard and yet people still thought he was fake. Music had been the one thing he was good at and it always came from the heart. Having people who didn't believe that pissed him off. Tommy turned and looked at Jude. "Why did you write your song?"
Jude blanked. What the fuck? Had their conversation always been leading up to this? It didn't really matter. A subject change wouldn't do anything but make it worse. So she smiled like a pageant queen when all she wanted to do was punch a wall. "To get you back for your song, duh."
Tommy rolled his eyes and sighed. "The song isn't want you think it is. It never was."
"Why are you telling me this?" Jude couldn't tell if this explanation was really for her or more for Tommy's conscience.
"I feel like you need to understand. Today was bad. It was wrong. I should have never yelled at you like that or said the things I did, but I felt like you lied to me."
"Uh huh." Jude folded her arms across her chest.
"Kwest said I need to purge my confusion so we wrote a song and that was it. It was like – well, my mindset was you, but when it came down to it…it wasn't…"
Even with the non-believers, he never had the urge to explain himself or his music. They just – were. But this was Jude. She had been different from the very beginning and he had let her – let her mess with him.
It was so fucked up, but her face – the look in her eyes. He just wanted her to understand.
"If you actually listen to the song – it's not really about you. It's about me."
Her brow furrowed and he took a deep breath before beginning to softly sing. "It's not that your lipstick failed / But girl, I was just born to bail / I do it better on my own –"
She closed her eyes and shook her head. It didn't matter how soft his voice was or how much sadness his eyes held as he sang to her. It was still fucked up.
"You could have been The One – not that I believe in that kind of shit – and I still would have left. It's what I do. It was never about you."
It was never about you.
She wouldn't admit it, but it hurt more than she imagined hearing that. Was it wrong that she wanted it to be about her? That she wanted to matter – even in that fucked up way?
Yes. So wrong.
She was not that girl. She never had been. And she wasn't going to start now.
Not even for some dude with gorgeous blue eyes.
Jude sighed. This was not how she had expected this conversation to go. Not that she really had any expectations to begin with.
"Fine. Whatever," she said, opening her eyes. She could act like it didn't matter. Because it didn't.
Tommy rolled his eyes. "Don't be like that."
Jude clenched her jaw. "I'm not being like anything. I guess I just thought that – never mind." She got off of the couch and began to walk to her bag. Tommy covered the ground between them quickly and grabbed her arm before she could walk away.
"Hey Jude – " he started. Her eyes darted towards him and she glared. "Sorry."
He let go of her arm, but she didn't walk away like he thought she would.
She sighed. "I thought that I could let go of this – this fucked up situation, but I guess I can't. I'll find a way to deal with it though because I have to. I just – I know that I don't matter – "
"Don't say that, Jude. You do matter."
She couldn't look him in the eyes. She could hear the pity in voice and it made her angry enough to clench her jaw. "I know. Just not to you. You made that very clear. But that's not even what this is about. It's – that song is – " Jude shook her head. "I mean, I don't do things like fuck around with random strangers and – "
"I'm not that random. I'm Lil' Tommy Q."
"And that makes it so much worse."
Tommy's eyes widened. "Excuse you?"
"I've gone against everything I've believed. I mean, you're fucking Lil' Tommy Q and I was a huge – "
"I was Lil' Tommy Q." Why didn't anyone understand that?
"In the hearts of BoyzAttack fans everywhere, you are Lil' Tommy Q."
"Whatever." He rolled his eyes and folded his arms across his chest like a pouting five-year-old.
Jude shook her head and walked away towards the hallway, leaving Tommy to his own devices.
When Jude had walked away, Tommy had decided he wasn't going to chase her. He didn't chase girls. That made things messy. Messes were the complete opposite of the way he worked. Especially when it came to business. He figured he'd give Jude some time and space and she'd come back on her own.
But when 30 minutes had passed and she still hadn't come back from wherever she had gone, Tommy began to worry.
He flicked the light switch on and hallway became illuminated. He began his trek down the narrow corridor, opening every door he came across. After two bedrooms and a linen closet, Tommy started to lose his patience.
Silence. Then he noticed the bathroom door was slightly ajar. Dread swept over him and he shook his head.
When he pushed the door open, he realized she did. Crisp night air flew through the open window that was situated next to the toilet. Just beyond it sat the fire escape, mocking him in the fluorescent street light. The wind ran over his arms and goose bumps formed. He walked to the window, ready to shut it. When he looked out the window and into the street, Tommy sighed. There in the middle of the alley was Jude standing next to a shiny BMW. She opened the passenger door and slipped inside. He clenched his jaw, slamming the window shut. The glass rattled and Tommy could feel anger course through his veins.
Walking out of the bathroom, he pulled out his cell phone. He was not about to get into even more trouble. Not for Jude.
High Hopes In Velvet Ropes
"Thanks to you and your big mouth, I've been put on house arrest," Jude said through clenched teeth.
Tommy shrugged. "Hey, that's what happens when you don't play by the rules."
I was fine before you walked into my life
Cause you know it's over
Before it began
Keep your drink just give me the money
It's just you and your hand tonight
It's only a crime
If I get caught
Only if I – if I get caught
It's only a line if it gets bought
You're not getting much because I haven't written much. Sorry! But I hear that Jude's escapades have not gone unseen by a certain photographer. ;]