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Tom was Valerie Malone's high school boyfriend who came to Los Angeles to reconnect with her. Having quit the Alaskan pipeline, Tom was drifting and looking for work by the time he arrived in Los Angeles. Although he initially gave the impression of being abrasive, Tom turned out to be a caring, sensitive guy. When he first arrived, Tom was made the manager of the Peach Pit After Dark, much to the chagrin of David Silver. However, after Tom scored a guest for the club, he and David mended fences and Tom even moved into the Hollywood Hills home with him.
Tom and Valerie shared a secret about her father, Victor Malone, and the fact that he was molesting Valerie. When Tom had threatened to go to the police if Valerie didn't, Valerie confronted Victor and ended up murdering him. After Valerie made it clear she wanted no relationship with Tom, he began dating Kelly Taylor in response. Brandon Walsh became jealous and things got rough between he and Tom during a hockey game. Valerie threatened to fire Tom if he continued to see Kelly, at which point he quit the club. Valerie later hired him back, but after Valerie made a desperate plea to Kelly, Kelly broke it off with Tom out of sympathy. When Abby Malone came to town, Tom confirmed Valerie's version of events to Abby. Tom left town after a heartfelt reunion with Valerie.