When you got out of work and slipped into your car, you fell forward and rested your forehead on the steering wheel.
Your head was pounding, your feet hurt, and your back felt like someone had stepped on it at least 45 times. You rolled your forehead along the wheel, trying to soothe the thrumming that resided behind your skull.
You were used to having bad days at work. That was nothing new. But you weren’t used to being yelled at and degraded in front of everyone you worked with. Something had put your boss in a mood and he decided to take it out on you. On any other day, it would have irritated you only slightly but on this day, it thoroughly annoyed you.
“Happy birthday to me,” you mumbled to yourself as you turned your car on and began to drive home.
You weren’t one to make a big deal out of birthdays but you were hoping for something at work. After all, Tom was away. He called you that morning, profusely apologizing that filming had kept him away from you on your special day but you just waved him off. You didn’t want to admit how much you missed him. It was that ache in your chest that forced you to crave at least a balloon or two from your coworkers. There was nothing at work - no cake or cards or balloons or even well wishes. It was just glares and quick shuffling of feet and angry muttering.
As you drove home, you tried not to think about your bad day. You turned on the radio, hoping to distract yourself but every song that played was about love and kissing and coming home. Tears pooled in your eyes and you wished more than anything to be in Tom’s arms right now. He always knew how to comfort you after a long, hard day - in more ways than one. Really, you just wanted to be held, coddled a bit, and maybe given a foot massage. That would at least help the growing bunions from your heels.
You pulled up to your house and turned the car off. You shut your eyes for a moment and took in a deep breath. It was pretty late already and you didn’t feel like cooking. Perhaps you would treat yourself to some pizza for your birthday. Red wine and a whole pizza all for you - happy fucking birthday. You opened your eyes and picked up your phone, ready to call the local pizzeria when something caught your eye.
The lights were on in your house.
You narrowed your eyes - that was weird. You always turned the lights off before you left the house. Perhaps you forgot this morning. You huffed and looked away, pulling up the name of the pizzeria. But as your thumb hovered over the call button, you couldn’t ignore the nagging in the back of your head that told you that you definitely didn’t leave the lights on. You locked your phone and grabbed your bag, pushing your way out of the car.
You unlocked the front door and opened it slowly. You stepped quietly through the doorway and looked around. The house was undisturbed aside from the lights being on. You dropped your bag and coat and sighed. You were just going crazy. You walked into the kitchen, ready to sort through your takeout menus because now that you thought about it, you didn’t want pizza. Maybe German or Indian. Or maybe…
Tom was standing in the kitchen, his arms wide open and a bright smile on his face. Balloons floated around him and a large chocolate cake was plated on the table beside him.
“Happy birthday, darling,” he said in that deep, sinewy voice that you missed so much. “I’m so -”
You ran forward and jumped into his arms. You buried your face in his neck and began crying. His arm wound around your waist and held you close to him. He hushed your cries, his hand running through your hair.
“You’re here,” you cried, hugging him tighter. “Oh my gosh, you’re here.”
“Yes, I am,” he chuckled. Tom pulled back and caught your chin in his fingers. He dipped his head down and gave you a soft, lingering kiss on your lips. You could taste your tears between your lips as he kissed you. You whimpered and gripped him impossibly tighter. When he pulled back, his hand swept over your cheeks to clear your tears. “Happy birthday, angel.”
“Thank you,” you said, smiling through your tears. “How are you here?”
“I hopped on a flight last minute. I didn’t have time to make dinner so we’ll just need to order out if that’s alright with you,” Tom said with an encouraging nod of his head.
“That’s perfect,” you admitted, scrubbing your cheeks with the back of your hand. Truthfully, Tom could have fed you rat poison and dirt and you would have been happy. He was here, he was actually here. Nothing else mattered but the fact that he had come all the way home just to be with you.
“Why are you crying, sweet?” Tom asked with furrowed brows. He cupped your face in his large, warm hands and ran his thumbs over your cheekbones. “What’s wrong?”
Leave it to Tom to read you like a book. Of course he could tell that these tears weren’t from being happy to see him. Yes, they were, but they were also tears of frustration and ache that had built up from the rest of the day. You shook your head and rested your face on his chest. You took in a deep breath, inhaling the scent of airplane cabins, sandalwood, and a touch of leather. Eyeing his leather jacket hanging on the kitchen chair, you hummed knowingly.
“I had a bad day at work,” you mumbled into his sweater. There was no point in lying. He would pull the truth out from you eventually.
“What happened at work?” Tom asked, running a hand along your spine.
“Got yelled at for no reason. I don’t think anyone remembered my birthday. It’s not a big deal.”
“It’s a big deal if it made you cry,” Tom stated firmly. He sighed when you shrugged. “Come on, let’s help you relax.”
“What do you have in mind?” you asked, tilting your head up. Tom smiled and a blush covered his cheeks. You watched as his blue eyes sparkled, a look so fond and passionate in them that you could literally feel the love that he held for you. It was a tangible feeling that you could grasp, hold onto, and never let go of. Tom kissed your forehead and grinned against your skin.
“Bath time.” Before you could respond, Tom swept you up into his arms and held you bridle style. “How does Chinese for dinner sound?”
“Sounds g-great,” you stuttered. Tom just laughed as he carried you into the bathroom. He placed you onto the toilet before kneeling in front of the bathtub. He clogged the drain and turned on the warm water. As the tub filled up, Tom whipped his phone out and pressed it between his ear and his shoulder. He poured some lavender scent into the bath. His brows perked up and he began speaking into the phone, placing your dinner order that he already knew by heart. When he was finished, Tom hung up the call and turned his phone off.
“No need for that tonight,” Tom said with a wink as he tossed his phone behind him. “Now, clothes off.”
“Usually when you say that, other things ensue,” you chuckled, taking your shirt off.
Tom looked at you with admiration and a hint of lust but he shook his head. “Later. I just...I just want to hold you right now.” He paused and bit his lip. “Darling, could you go into the other room and grab your bathrobe? I seem to have forgotten it.”
“Sure.” You got up and left the room, still in a daze of wonder and happiness at Tom being home. Smiling for the first time that day, you grabbed your bathrobe from the closet and wandered back into the bathroom. You gasped and dropped your robe onto the ground.
Somehow, your deviant boyfriend had lined up little tealight candles along the edge of the bath and lit them all in the span of just two minutes. The lights were turned off, leaving the only source of illumination coming from the dozens of candles. Little pink flowers dotted the water, floating around Tom’s already nude, submerged body. You laughed in disbelief. “How did you do this?”
“Been planning it, darling. You were getting a bath no matter what. I know you enjoy them.” He reached out to you with one wet hand. “Join me.”
You blushed and stripped the rest of your clothing before sinking into the bath. You let out a sigh of relief as the warm water sloshed around you. Your back rested against Tom’s chest and his arms wound around you.
“This is perfect,” you whispered. Tears were welling in your eyes as you buried your head in Tom’s pectorals. “Thank you for coming home. I still can’t believe you’re here. I...I love you so much.”
“I love you too, sweet,” Tom said softly. “I wouldn’t miss your birthday for anything in the world.”
For a while, you two simply rested in the bath together. The room was silent as his hand stroked along your waist and the other cupped your stomach. This was precisely what you wanted - relaxation and Tom. After about thirty minutes, you heard a car pull up to the house. Tom sighed and patted your arm.
“That’s dinner. You can stay in a bit longer,” he whispered before pressing a long kiss to your temple. Before he could get out, you grabbed his shoulder and pressed your lips to his again. Tom groaned against you, his hands holding you tighter. This time, no tears came in the way of your kissing. All you could taste was him and his pure goodness. Tom pulled back reluctantly and grinned. “Do you want dinner or not?”
“Cheeky,” Tom said, pinching your thigh. He slid you off of him and got up. He wrapped a towel around himself and dried quickly. The doorbell rang as Tom slipped on some sweatpants and a t-shirt that he had hidden in the bathroom. He gave you one last kiss on the forehead before collecting his discarded clothing and exiting the bathroom.
You slipped down in the water a bit further so it pooled around your neck. As the warm water massaged your muscles, you felt free and painless. It didn’t matter that your boss had heckled you or that your coworkers forgot your birthday - Tom was here, he was making everything better, and he certainly would never forget your birthday. He made you feel cared for, protected, and safe. In his arms, you were home.
When you heard Tom close the front door, you decided it was best to get out of the bath. You dried your skin before throwing on your bathrobe. You blew the candles out and drained the tub. Leaving the bathroom, you entered the bedroom and blushed. Tom had left out a pair of leggings for you and his blue sweater. You put the clothes on and hugged yourself. You sniffed the sweater and felt your insides melt a bit. Leaving the bedroom, you walked towards the kitchen but paused before you reached it. You were standing in the living room giggling.
He looked up from his kneeling on the floor. He had taken out the food and spread it around on your coffee table. He dimmed the lights and had turned the television on. He was currently fluffing the pillows on the couch, ensuring they would be soft and comfortable for you.
“How does dinner and a show sound?” he asked, winking.
You nodded and laughed, covering your mouth with the long arms of his sweater. “Sounds brilliant. What are we watching?”
“Well…” Tom pressed a button on the television remote and you gasped as a stage recording of Phantom of the Opera appeared on the screen. He looked back at you and laughed as you ran towards him and jumped in his arms for the second time that night.
“It’s perfect,” you squealed. Tom ran his hands down your back as you pressed kisses along his face. When you pulled back to kiss his lips, he held you to him. He fell backwards, landing on his ass as you continued to kiss him. His hands moved over your hips and found their way under your - technically, his - sweater. He was breathless when you finally pulled away and you drowned in the way his pupils were dilated. His lips were parted as he caught his breath and you could see the stiff line of his jaw locking.
“Later,” he whispered in a low growl. He ran his fingers over your spine softly, teasing you with the gentle caress of his touch. “Let’s eat.”
Tom pulled you up and settled you on the couch. He nestled you against his side as you grabbed your food. Tom laid your favorite fuzzy blanket over both of your laps as he pressed play and started the show.
The rest of the night, Tom held you against him. There was not a moment where his hands were not touching you. At some point during the show, he began massaging your shoulders, your hips, your back. His fingers pushed all of the stress and worry out of your body, leaving only positivity and love in its wake.
After your massage, Tom simply held you. His chest moved beneath your cheek slowly, easily, and you listened to the sweet pitter-patter of his ever-loving heart. You fisted your hands in his shirt and let your eyes slip shut. You wanted to stay awake but you were in such a state of bliss from the warm bath, his arms, and your ultimate comfort food. You fought the tiredness from your eyes but your eyelids were getting heavy, and it was simply too tempting to let them flutter closed.
“Happy birthday, my love,” he whispered as he felt you drifting asleep on top of him. “I love you more than anything.”
You hummed, sleep glazing your mind, and even though you couldn’t form any coherent words, Tom knew what you meant.
Best birthday ever.