A huge thank you to BradBigBrain, Jett_73 and everyone else who helped make this readable. I hope to make this the first in a 5 part series, so please stay tuned and let me know what you think! As always, please rate and comment! Constructive critiques are always appreciated!
"Shann, I can't believe you're not going!" Liam sat on the edge of the couch, grinning at her. His elbow was balanced on his knee, and he ran his fingers distractedly through his dark hair. It was getting shaggy, and made him look even younger than usual. He was terribly flattered that she'd changed her plans for him, but he still couldn't help feeling a little guilty.
"You can't be serious!" she laughed, "A bachelorette party for Jolene's niece who I barely even know? You're insane! There's hardly going to be anyone there that I even know! Besides, how often does a girl's best friend get this sort of news? Liam! You're going to be famous!" She giggled again and hurled a couch pillow at him for emphasis, making him duck and nearly drop his beer.
He set the bottle safely down on the coffee table and turned on her, eyebrows raised, smile widening. "I'm insane? Look who's talking, little girl!" He leapt across the couch and pinned her down, wrestling and tickling her. She squealed and wiggled and begged. "No! No no no, Liam stop!!!" She screamed and laughed, trying to block his hands, but they'd been playing this game for too many years, and she knew it was useless. All she could do was try to squirm away and plead for mercy as she laughed hysterically.
"Oh my gosh, Liam! Stop! I give I give I give...." She panted as his fingers finally stopped their torture, but he still had her trapped beneath him, her wrists in his big hands. He smirked and teased her, "And now that I have you, what do you think I should do with you?" He leaned close and brushed his nose across the corner of her jaw. His warm breath made her shiver. It wasn't often that Liam got the upper hand. He was a quiet man by nature, generally shy and unassuming. Around Shannon he was more relaxed, more at ease, and sometimes he was even able to give as good as he got from her. On occasion there was a glimmer of an assertive man beneath the surface, and she loved it when she could tease that out of him.
Liam jumped slightly and looked up as the doorbell sounded.
"Ha! Saved by the bell!" Shannon shoved him back triumphantly and scrambled out from under him. She scampered to the door, smoothing her hair and t-shirt as she peeked through the side-light.
"Oh my fuck," she laughed as she opened the door. She didn't even give the man time to get fully through the door let alone to set down his bag or coat before she jumped on him. "Adam!"
Liam watched Shannon's assault of her new guest with amusement. He'd often teased her about the violence of her affection. Shannon was not the sort of girl to hold back. She liked everyone, but those who counted her as a friend had become used to the sort of unabashed physicality she regularly inflicted. It was a good thing she was a little brown mouse of a girl, or Liam was sure she'd probably have broken Adam in half as she clung to him, wrapped around his shoulders and hips in a tight bear hug.
The tall blonde man groaned under the weight of his attacker, "Christ, Shann, let me put my shit down at least so I can properly say hello!"
She gave one more squeeze, lowered her feet to the floor and gave him a good hard push. "Damnit Adam! You could have warned me! I told you if you were ever coming to town, you should call me ahead of time! I haven't gotten anything ready for you!" She tried very hard to scowl at him, but neither of the men looked like they believed it at all.
As Shannon looked back and forth between the two men, she suddenly remembered herself. "Shit! Umm, Adam, this is Liam. Liam, you remember me telling you about Adam?" The two men nodded in acknowledgement. "Adam, I thought you were in the middle of a shoot or something?"
"Actually it got cancelled, so I have a weekend off and time to kill so I thought I would fly in and surprise an old friend. I ran into Jolene and some of those busy bodies she still pals around with earlier at the gas station. They said you'd cancelled your plans with them and that I could probably find you at home. They do still like to gossip, don't they? Though..." Adam's eyes flickered back and forth between Liam and Shannon, "I'm sure you know that."
Liam glanced at Shannon and blushed. They'd been essentially inseparable since shortly after he moved to the area for work several years ago. In a small town like this there was always talk. It wasn't exactly mean-spirited; folks just never quite understood the relationship between the two of them. Where they a couple? Were they just friends? Sometimes it seemed like they'd grown up together, long-lost siblings, but at the same time there was something a little too incestuous about it to keep that theory for long. Even though Shannon never seemed to care what people thought, what they said. Liam was not as thick skinned.
Shannon stood next to Liam's seated form, and leaned against his shoulder. He was again hunched over, leaned forward onto his knees. She shook her head, rubbing one hand between his shoulder blades. It wasn't hard for her to read where his thoughts went when he got quiet. She sighed.
Adam watched this wordless interaction and felt a little sheepish. He cleared his throat and tried to change the subject. "But hey, thanks for not booting me back out the door. I mean... I can head out again? If you two were busy I can come back later."
"Adam, you know my door is always open for my friends!" Shannon turned to Liam with a questioning expression and continued, "Actually, we were just about to kick off a celebration -- a wild night of terrible old sci-fi horror DVDs and beer, maybe a few snacks." She laughed when Adam's face lit up at the mention of the movies. "Yeah, that's how we roll, you know you're jealous. But it's totally Liam's night, so it's up to him."
There was a hint of mischief behind Liam's smile. "Certainly he's welcome to stay. It's nice to finally be able to meet the mysterious First Boyfriend. It might be nice to pick his brain about what you were like before I 'ruined' you." He smirked when he saw her open her mouth to scold him, pointedly ignored her, and turned back to Adam, "If you really want to stay, man, you might want to check out the movies first. We're not kidding when we say they're terrible." He pointed to the stack of DVDs next to the 55" TV.
Shannon swatted the back of Liam's head still muttering about the idea of anyone having 'ruined' her, and retreated into the kitchen to grab Adam a beer. Adam looked a little worried until he realized that Liam wasn't at all bothered by her grumbling. This was obviously par for the course with these two.
Adam shuffled through the stack of DVDs, whistling in appreciation. "You guys do know your shitty sci-fi. The Brain that Wouldn't Die, Village of the Giants, I love it. Oh, are you kidding? Where did you even find a copy of Attack of the Eye Creatures? That's crazy! My first try at a short was sort of an homage to this! But I guess when no one knows the source material a tribute falls kind of flat. Not that anything I've done since then has been any more successful." Adam rolled his eyes at his own joke, and continued flipping through the stack. "Alien Tiger Men? Oh wow..."
"We got the second one too, that's even worse!"
"Hey hey hey! They're not even close to the kind of bad. Alien Tiger Men 2 was just bad bad, the first one was awesome bad. That's like saying Grease and Grease 2 are the same kind of terrible!"
Shannon stuck her head in from the kitchen. "You're never going to convince anyone you're not gay talking like that." She wiggled her eyebrows at him and ducked away with a squeal as he laughed and threw a bottle cap at the already closing door.
"Well, I'm not not gay. My dick just doesn't discriminate. Besides, you're just jealous that I get more cock than you do..." He winked at Liam, who grinned shyly and looked away, hiding as well as possible behind his overgrown hair. "Actually I hate to say it, but I think she's sort of ruined me. I knew Shannon was a lot more down to earth than most of the girls around here, but when I moved out to California after school... wow. The women are impossible there."
"Wait, so by being a nice girl I've made you picky about women, which means I've done a favor for the dick-loving men of low-end Hollywood?" Shannon breezed back in with a couple bottles, handing them to the guys as she leaned over the back of the couch between them. She was so short her toes dangled off of the floor as she grinned.
Adam took the beer, kissed her on the cheek and laughed, ignoring the barbs. Somehow they never stung when they came from Shannon, he knew her too well. She was the most abrasive with the people she loved the most, and he counted himself high among their ranks. He smirked in return. "Hey, I still gift the occasional woman! I just don't hang around long enough afterwards for them to start expecting things. Maybe if you're nice I'll gift you again before I leave."
She rolled her eyes and groaned. "Can we get started? I get to pick the first movie, because it's my house." She slid back down onto her feet and walked around the couch. "Liam, did you even tell Adam why we're celebrating? He'll be totally jealous!" Before Adam could even open his mouth, she continued excitedly, "He's been working on this screenplay and it finally got picked up by a studio. A big studio! Isn't that great?"
Shannon knelt down in front of the TV and cracked open a DVD case. While she was fiddling with the electronics, Liam blushed and shrugged. "It doesn't mean it will get made, Shann, it just means it could get made."
Adam threw his head back and laughed. "You're a lot more realistic about it than I was when I started man. I'd have maxed all my cards by now partying. Not that I ever did anything like that... I mean... all just speculation really." He shot a telling look at Liam. "But really, that's awesome!"
Liam grinned shyly and nodded in thanks. Despite his usual discomfort around new people, Adam seemed to be as genuine as Shannon, and Liam found himself quickly warming to this unexpected guest. He turned sideways on the couch, one leg curled beneath him, facing Adam more directly. "I mean... it's taken years, literally years to get this written, and I don't even want to tell you how many studios turned it down first."
"Oh, believe me, I know exactly what you mean." Adam rolled his eyes exaggeratedly. He leaned in and put a reassuring hand on Liam's knee, "But do you have any idea how many people never get an acceptance? Or how many just give up? Shannon is right, this is huge for you! Have you ever thought about..."
Shannon smiled to herself and rolled her own eyes as the two men immersed themselves in shop talk. Names of studios, editors, producers and script doctors were flying fast and furious between them. She was glad that her back was to them and that they couldn't see her amusement.
She hadn't seen Adam in forever, but they kept in touch, and he was one of her favorite people on the planet next to Liam. It was silly that they'd never gotten together all three of them, because she knew the boys would have a ton in common despite their night and day personalities. It was just hard to get schedules to mesh these days. She'd never seen Liam talk even this much with anyone on a first meeting before; he seemed to really be getting comfortable already. She hoped this would be the start of a really great evening, maybe even weekend. It was just too bad Adam was only in town for a couple of days before he had to fly back.
She repeatedly pushed a button on the DVD player and then growled.
"What's the matter, kitten? Forgot how to work your TV? Let me do it..." Adam got up from the couch and nudged Shannon out of the way, kneeling down and starting to tinker himself.
Shannon flopped down onto the couch and leaned against Liam, who put his arm around her.
"I hate to tell you this, honey, but I think your DVD player died." Shannon's eyes widened, but before she could start to freak out Adam put his hand up, "Don't worry! He leaned over and pulled his laptop bag off of the chair and started to pull things out of it. "One of the benefits of being a movie-making fool is that I always have a way to play DVDs, dear. Give me a minute to hook this up to the TV and we'll be good to go."
"Well, count me as extra glad you showed up uninvited then," Shannon shot at him with a cheeky grin.
Liam stroked one hand idly over Shannon's shoulder and took a drink from his beer. With his head tilted in mock wonder, he mused, more for Adam's benefit than Shannon's, "So, Shannon... how long did it take you to get over Adam when he left for Hollywood? You know, she told me she was heartbroken when you fled this little town. I bet it took her forever to talk to you afterwards, hmm? She does like to hold a grudge, doesn't she?"
She pinched him hard. It seems he was feeling a little more at ease than she thought! Her eyes narrowed, and her mouth got small, the way it did when she was feeling particularly feisty.
"Oh, Liam honey," she purred dangerously, "I was just jealous of all the men he started sleeping with, and that he didn't share... I'm sure that given... well, you know... I'm sure you can sympathize with me." She felt Liam tense and felt his hand moving to clamp over her mouth, but she was able to scurry away leaving him with just a strand or two of her hair. She ran around behind the couch before he had time to stop her.
She played with his hair and thought about continuing to tease him, but she could feel his skin growing hot and relented. So much for his brief show of cockiness she mused fondly. Even after all these years it seemed that she couldn't keep herself from taking her teasing a little too far with him. She leaned down and whispered apologetically. "You don't have any reason to be sensitive; there is certainly no one in this room who thinks anything is wrong with your particular sort of fantasy."
Adam watched as his old friend tried to soothe Liam's embarrassment. Though she hadn't said it, Shannon made it pretty obvious (to him at least) what sort of fantasies Liam had confided in her. Interesting. Adam grinned to himself.
With a click and whir, the DVD began to play, flashing from the screen of his laptop up onto the big TV. Shannon clapped excitedly, relieved that movie night was still a go. He set the open laptop beside the television, and walked around the table back to the couch. "I thought you said something about snacks, Shann! Don't I get some sort of reward for saving the night?"
Shannon wrapped her arms around his neck from behind the couch and squeezed him, teasingly asking him if he was sure that's all he wanted for his reward. He retorted warmly that if they wanted to watch any of these movies then yes, that's what he wanted and also that Alien Tiger Men was probably better than what she was offering anyways.
Shannon swatted him and acted righteously offended, but gave herself away as she giggled her way into the kitchen. She didn't want Liam to catch the glint in her eyes, she was sure it would give her away.
How had she never before considered the possibilities of getting the two of them...together? She bit her lip, and went over everything in her head. Adam was the perfect experiment for Liam, he was kind, and gentle, and had a knack for putting people at ease. Add to that the fact that he was very open-minded sexually. Of course, there was also the added benefit that neither of them would likely object to her getting in on the fun. She grinned to herself and began dumping chips into bowls.
Back in the living room, Adam turned sideways resting his head on his hand, leaning against the back of the couch, "Sooo.... you and Shann?"
Liam grimaced. It was a common question he supposed, just not one asked to his face very often. That was a good thing because he had no real cut and dried answer. Instead he shrugged. "We just... are. I suppose? I mean, you talk to Shannon pretty regularly, I'm sure it's come up. We're not a couple, we're not... exclusive. We just enjoy one another, we get each other. But I mean, we both date other people." Liam watched the other man's expression, trying to gauge if Adam was really understanding him. Liam admitted, "Though it's probably good that neither of us dates the jealous type. We've never really had problems, I was actually engaged briefly at one point, and Kate loved Shannon. Probably almost as much as I do."
He grinned when Adam's eyebrows shot up, "Well, not quite THAT much. But we hung out a lot, the three of us, until Kate left. It wasn't because of Shannon or anything, Kate just... she was more adventurous than me, she had things to do, and we wanted different things..." His voice trailed off wistfully, he watched the movie trailers and ads flip by on the muted TV for a moment, lost in thought.
He jumped when Shannon returned, balancing three bowls of chips in her arms. "... Got awful quiet in here, you guys playing nice?" She glanced at Adam, slightly concerned.
"We're good," Liam assured her, as he took a couple bowls from her and set them on the table, snatching a few chips and popping them into his mouth before grabbing the remote and turning up the volume. "It's starting, though, so settle in and shush now."
Shannon flipped the lights off, leaving just the glow of the television and the light shining through the open kitchen door. She made herself comfortable on the couch, resting her head in Liam's lap and plopping her feet unceremoniously (but carefully!) in Adam's.
"I think you got the good end," hissed Adam playfully.
"Nuh uh," Liam shot back with a soft grin, "Your end doesn't talk!"
Shannon let it slide and turned her head to watch the movie. She really couldn't have been happier. Adam and Liam had hit it off better than she could have hoped. Not only were they both incredibly sweet, but couldn't think of any two sexier men to be spending an evening alone with, curled up in the dark. She couldn't keep herself from teasing each of them during the movie. She shifted and pressed her feet into Adam's lap, until he grabbed them with a warm but warning smile and started to rub them. Thus thwarted she slide one hand up behind Liam and slid it under his shirt, pulling her nails over his bare skin until he wiggled and grinned down at her, but grabbed her arm and pulled it away, resting her hand and his on her stomach, and returning his attention to the movie.
She pouted inwardly, but couldn't help being amused. She supposed it served her right for trying to get frisky with movie geeks with a film running.
She'd no sooner returned her attention to the epic galactic battle on screen than she felt a strong hand sliding up the back of her calf, rubbing and massaging. She bit her lip and glanced down. Adam's dark brown eyes were still fastened on the flickering television, but the corner of his mouth was turned up in a less-than-innocent smirk. A moment later she became aware of a hand just under her breast, Liam's thumb moving across the swell of it as his fingers stroked over her ribs through her shirt.
It was impossible for her to watch the rest of the movie, being so intensely aware of four strong hands on her. Over the next ten minutes those hands had her feeling quite warm and uncomfortable, and it was all she could do not to whimper as the fingers in her hair tugged a little harder perhaps, than intended.
As soon as the credits began to flash over the screen Adam turned on her, "You teasing little rat," he laughed, has his fingers began to attack her most ticklish and sensitive places. She tried to block his hands, but Liam caught on quickly and grabbed both of her wrists, enjoying the payback. Shannon had about driven him crazy with her squirming and wandering fingers, and it was bad enough that he kept stealing glances at Adam's strong hands on massaging her legs and feet.