DISCLAIMER - No matter how many times I close my eyes and make a wish I still don't own these beautiful boys... more's the pity. This is purely a work of fiction, not intended to imply anything about these guys or their lives.

Author's notes - Mmm, pretty, pretty pictures are inspirational!! With thanks as always to Astrea for betaing. Completed January 2003.

I've been sitting here for a while now, just looking... and thinking. I'm used to seeing photos of myself at all these publicity parties, premieres, whatever - it comes with the territory. I generally have some model or actress on my arm, just because the photographer thought we looked good together and it would make a great shot, one he could sell. And when I see the results I always look bored, not really there... I guess because I have no interest in the person I'm posing with.

These latest photos are different, though. Oh yeah, this time my interest was very much engaged, and it shows. I can't stop looking at the expression on my face, the way I'm touching him... Christ! When did I get so fucking obvious? I really thought I was better at hiding it than this, but they say the camera never lies and this time it certainly doesn't.

All that evening Tom was just so relaxed and I suppose that rubbed off on me. I guess, looking at the evidence, that I wound up relaxing too much and just forgot that there were lines I shouldn't cross. But he never said a thing to suggest he had a problem with me getting all touchy feely with him. In fact, I remember that he seemed pretty into it, hugging me back. It's a pity that I forgot where we were, the photographers, everything... I am so fucked! Look at me - I'm this close to just kissing him. And wouldn't that have caused a scene.

I'm touching him in both of the shots I have in front of me and the one where my hand is splayed across Tom's stomach isn't too bad, I guess. I haven't really strayed too far beyond just good friends territory. But I can't help noticing that, in that one, Tom seems to be holding onto me for dear life. His fingers are curled around my shoulder and the tension in them is visible. I can see how hard he was gripping, though I don't remember him being anything but relaxed.

Now I'm looking at the other photo, and that's a different story entirely. I might just as well have worn a big flashing sign on my back telling the whole damned world about my feelings. It's written on my face, in the way my hand is resting on Tom's chest... Fuck, when I put my mind to it I can remember the way I was all but stroking him through his shirt.

In my defense, he did look great - well, aside from the jacket - and he just kept on smiling at me and... Yeah, way to go, I was thinking with my dick again and look where it's got me. If there's anyone left on the planet who doesn't know that I want in Tom's pants it'll be a fucking miracle. I am so screwed.

And the least I could have done if I was going to give myself away this badly was actually kiss him. Then it might have been worth it because, let's face it, Tom's never going to let me that near him again without wondering if I have an ulterior motive.

I've been so busy beating myself up over my stupidity, that it's taken me this long to notice something. I have to go back and look at the photo a couple more times just to prove to myself I'm not imagining it. No, I'm not. Where Tom's touching my arm his hand is turned towards the camera and it's quite clear - there's no wedding ring. I must have been too caught up in being that close to him, but I know I didn't register the fact at the time either.

I know I shouldn't be this hyped over a little thing like that, but I am. It's something Tom has always been so meticulous about. As soon as filming stops and he leaves the set the ring goes back on. I never really thought about what that gesture meant before - his wife's not exactly a topic of conversation I ever wanted to bring up, after all - it's just something he's always done. All the same, I'd probably pass the ring's absence off as a moment of forgetfulness, except for the fact that we weren't filming the day of the party.

Okay, so I'm being a total shit even thinking it, but I can't help wondering if maybe there's trouble in paradise. If so, perhaps Tom left the ring off deliberately. Fuck, so did he do it to send out a signal? And, if he did, who was it for? Am I completely fucked up for thinking that I was the one who was meant to notice?

So, if it is true and the camera really doesn't ever lie? Well, there's no getting away from it, Tom does look happy in these photos, nearly as happy as I do. And he was holding onto me real tight...