On Wednesday, just as you were about to slide out of the car Tom had sent for you and head up to his office, the door to the car opened. Max wasn't standing there as usual, though. This time, it was Tom himself, dressed perfectly in a dark grey suit and standing tall. "We're not staying at the office today," he told you and motioned for you to scoot over.
You handed him his coffee after he shut the door behind him. He took a long sip and closed his eyes as he savored the taste. You noticed that he looked a lot more tired than usual, like maybe he really needed that coffee to wake up. He must have missed a day of shaving because his nearly clean shaved face was starting to grow stubble. Most men couldn't pull that look off, but it made him look more sophisticated.
"So where exactly are we going?" You asked, readjusting your seat belt.
He took out his phone and responded to a few messages before he slid it back into his pocket and looked over to you. His gaze was more relaxed than usual, and you attributed that to him being tired, though you didn't dare ask. "Studio," he said lowly. "I have some mixing to do."
"I'm working with a few music producers at the moment, and I have some experience in that area as to help doing some mixing myself." He explained.
You grinned. "Exciting." You took out your laptop and opened it up to your document, typing some information that you needed to save for later.
"But let's get a few things straight," Tom said, his tone suddenly very serious. "You can write about the process, you can write about me, but under no circumstances are you to tell anyone who I am working with or what I am working on. Are we clear?"
"Crystal," you replied.
The car stopped and Tom got out. You could hear his footsteps circle around the car and then your door opened. He offered you a hand as you stepped your feet out. This was one of the first times he had ever touched you. His hand was warm from carrying his coffee, his fingertips rough and calloused, but not unpleasant. You thanked him and he replied with one slow nod before shutting the door behind yoy and leading the way to the building. Again, he held the door open for you.
Inside, Tom was greeted by everyone. The secretary at the front knew him immediately and called back to a room, letting whoever it was know he was ready. She then waved you back and he took off in long strides. He finally stopped at a room labeled 'C' and adjusted his clothes and watch once again before turning the knob.
"Tom! Nice of you to make it down here," a shorter man said as he got up out of one of the chairs and greeted him with a handshake. This man was balding slightly and wore thick rimmed glasses on the tip of his nose. "I appreciate the help with this. Gaga is making a drastic change and she trusts you implicitly. Umm- who is that?" he asked, pointing to you.
Tom shook his head. "Don't worry about her, Bud. She's just that colleague I was telling you about. You won't even know she's here." You took a seat on the couch and took your laptop out as if they weren't just talking about you like you weren't there —because that's exactly how Tom wanted to act, like you weren't here at all. "Now, let's get to work," Tom nodded and pulled another chair over to the extensive switchboard and computer setup.
You had never heard raw recordings of music before, so this was a new experience. Although it got a bit repetitive. He would play one clip of music over and over again, adjusting knobs and switches each time. His fingers danced across the switchboard effortlessly. As he listened each time, he dragged his fingers over his bottom lip slowly with furrowed brows. Every once in awhile, the man beside him would offer up some opinions, which he would take to heart and try before he would shoot them down. You could tell this wasn't about his ego or stature to him; it was about the music and what sounded the best.