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Adam walked along beside Ronan with a frown. He was happy to be with Ronan, but not here with Ronan. He can still see that shit-eating grin Ronan gave him when Adam had agreed to let him do something for his birthday with the idea in his head that it meant cooking at home or balloons or maybe have their friends over. Adam would have even tolerated Ronan taking him for a reasonable dinner because doing things like that for Adam made Ronan happy. Adam did not expect, however, a trip to the damn mall for God knows what. Adam’s frown deepened.


It hadn’t gone unnoticed by Ronan that Adam’s tastes had changed as they had gotten older, which Ronan found very sexy, and he had taken note of the things that Adam’s eyes lingered on through the shop windows when the two of them walked through town. Sure, Ronan could have just dreamt it for him, but Ronan wanted this experience and to see Adam’s face when Ronan showed him.


Ronan nudged Adam to turn left into the store that Ronan wanted to go into, and Adam followed less enthusiastically as Ronan made a beeline to the section of the store where the item was located.


Ronan yanked the leather jacket off the rack with a “ha!” and held it up to his face to show Adam. Ronan had a big grin over the hanger, and something mischievous sparkled in his eyes.


“Absolutely not,” Adam said immediately when he looked at the price tag. Ronan glared, but Adam never found it menacing. Adam raised an eyebrow in challenge.


“Why don’t you go get us some coffee or something, asshole?” Ronan childishly offered.


“I am not leaving you unattended in this store,” Adam shot back. Ronan huffed. He could tell Adam liked it, and he had initially thought that he should have come by himself to get it, but when he had thought of that, he had oddly felt as if he had lied to Adam, and that had made him feel sick.


“Just listen for a second,” Ronan said. “Your coat is all shot to shit and winter is coming, and God forbid Boyd’s get some fucking heat in there. I researched it, and this one has been treated with some fancy shit so that it won’t get ruined when you’re there with all that… gross car shit or whatever,” Ronan knew that he had to appeal to Adam’s logic.


“It’s nice, Ronan, but it’s too expensive,” Adam said simply. Ronan stared at Adam for a second, annoyed, turned to pluck a small off the rack, and whizzed past Adam before he could react.

Ronan,” Adam called and jogged to catch up before Ronan reached the checkout counter a couple of feet away from him. Adam reached him and shot an arm out to try to grab the hanger from Ronan, but Ronan easily held it out of reach and placed it on the counter for the saleswoman to ring it up. She looked at them with an odd expression, and Adam really did not want to make a scene. He looked over at Ronan, who was pointedly not looking back at him, and so Adam turned and left the store.


Adam wouldn’t say that he was angry, really. He knew that this came from a good place and that Ronan loved to take care of him, but he never listened. Ronan knew how he felt about money, and how he would only spend it out of necessity, and his coat wasn’t in that bad of shape.


Ronan found Adam a couple of minutes later around the corner from the store, up against the wall with his hands in his pockets. Ronan tried to play it off and held the bag up. Adam pushed off the wall and ignored it.


“I’ll be at the car,” he said and started walking away. Ronan walked after him quickly, grabbed his hand before he got to the door, and shoved him into the photo booth near the exit. Adam stumbled up the step into the booth and caught himself on the seat.


Ronan,” Adam said again as he massaged his aching elbow. Ronan quickly slid in some cash and hit some buttons. Shortly after, a few photo strips printed out for the two of them. 


The first picture was of the boys looking at each other, Ronan’s eyes full of playfulness and happiness as he looked at Adam, and Adam looking at him with a trace amount of annoyance. 


The second picture was of Ronan kissing Adam’s brow above closed eyes, and the tension and annoyance were slightly less visible on Adam’s face.


The third photo was of Ronan kissing Adam’s forehead, a clear I’m sorry, don’t be upset with me


The fourth photo was of the two of them kissing, both with their eyes closed and slightly upturned mouths.


The fifth photo was one of Adam as he smiled into Ronan’s neck as he tried to maintain his irritation. 


The last photo was of Adam looking forward as he looked deflated in his new worn-looking leather jacket. The copper color brought out more of his beautiful tan complexion. Ronan grinned with heat in his eyes as the photo captured him as he bit Adam’s bottom lip.


The photo strips were bordered by birthday candles, and it’s too bad, Ronan thought passively, that the photos didn’t capture his hand as it slid between Adam’s thighs and his other hand up his back under the new leather jacket.