This was my NukeBigBang entry. This was hard to write and took a lot out of me. I hope you guys like it as much as I did writing it. I will post the whole thing as I get time.
There will angst, but that doesn't turn you guys off.
Hope you enjoy it!
Beep, beep, beep, beep, beep
Beep, beep, beep, beep, beep
Noah rolled onto his left side and brought his hand down on the snooze button on his alarm clock. Their bedroom grew silent again. He rolled back to his right and wrapped his arm around his husband's waist. He brought Luke as close as he could. He burrowed under the comforter and relished in the feeling of Luke's skin against his. Noah rested his chin on Luke's shoulder. He loved how Luke's skin smelled in the morning. Warmed from sleeping and by now any cologne or bodywash he used yesterday had worn off and he could smell just him. It was musky and sweet at the same time. Noah figured it came from living on a farm as a kid. Nature was just part of who he was. Noah lightly kissed Luke's shoulder and watched as goosebumps ran down his husband's arm. He smiled into Luke's skin and continued along his shoulder. He came to Luke's neck and lightly nibbled at the skin just under his hairline. Luke tried to pull away; Noah was hitting all of his ticklish spots.
Noah's hand, which had been rubbing circles on Luke's abs, decided to venture south. Noah's fingers brushed at the soft hairs under Luke's navel and then slid under the waistband of Luke's sweat pants. Luke wasn't sure which sensation to concentrate on first, Noah's mouth on his shoulders or Noah's hand as it wrapped around his cock. Luke was still floating back to consciousness when his and Noah's alarms went off. Realizing that neither man could afford to be late today, they shared a frustrated groan, a quick kiss and pulled themselves out of bed.
Noah was in the shower while Luke brushed his teeth. Noah peeked out from behind the curtain and saw Luke with his eyes closed. Noah knew that look. Luke had a big presentation at Grimaldi and he was going over his notes in his head. Noah watched him rinse out his mouth and turn to enter their bedroom. He quickly reached out, grabbed the back of Luke's sweats and pulled him back to the shower. Luke fought, but not very hard. Noah pulled him into the shower, pants and all. Luke wrapped his arms around Noah's shoulders and pulled their bodies together. Noah's hands finished stripping Luke and gripped the shorter man's hips. Their hardening members ground together and both men groaned in pleasure. Noah pushed harder against the blonde and Luke's head rolled back while Noah devoured the buffet of skin in front of him. Luke loved it when Noah sucked on the skin just below his collarbones. The rational spot in his brain was telling him that they didn't have time for this. But the part that was tuned on by Noah was screaming at him to shut up and enjoy the ride.
Noah pushed on Luke's shoulder and turned the man around. His chest was flush against the shower wall and Noah was right behind him; rubbing his hard cock against Luke's ass. He didn't say anything; he didn't need to. They never had to speak at times like this. They seemed to know what the other was thinking already. Luke was surrounded by stimuli; so much that he was going to overload. He could feel the hot water from the shower beating down on him. He could feel Noah's hot, wet skin against his own. Noah's fingers were sliding in and out of him; prepping him. Noah's mouth never left his skin as his hands took their time with him. Noah pushed into Luke and both men groaned in the heat.
The only sounds that filled the bathroom were the two men as they pushed each other over the edge.
"You're gonna be late!" Noah yelled to Luke as he poured himself another cup of coffee.
"No, I'm not. I'm going to be right on time," Luke answered in a sing-song voice as he breezed into the kitchen. He quickly scooped Noah's cup out of his hand and sipped from it. Noah leaned against the center island and watched his husband as he moved about the kitchen. He was sipping coffee while he made a quick breakfast for himself. His blonde hair was a little longer than Noah liked, but it swept just off his face in a manner that Noah did like. The only time he did love it when Luke's hair was longer was when he got to sweep it away before he kissed him; like opening a curtain to a beautiful view. Luke was wearing his black jacket and blue plaid tie on top of a crisp white shirt; his favorite look.
"What?" Luke inquired.
"What?" Noah asked back.
"You're staring at me,"
"Nothing, just…I love you," Noah blurted out without much thought. His cheeks flushed slightly; after seven years together, Luke could still make him blush.
"Aw, baby. I love you too," he crossed the kitchen and wrapped his arms around Noah neck. Noah's arms went around Luke waist and they met at kiss. He pulled back and saw the time on the microwave behind Noah, "Now, I'm going to be late," he checked his watch to verify he was right.
"Are we still on for lunch?" Noah asked while he watched Luke shove files into his messenger bag.
"Yup!" He yelled over his shoulder as he went out the back door.
"Don't cancel again!" He yelled to Luke and then shook as he head as he watched him get into his car and pull out of their driveway. Noah laughed to himself; he was thinking about Luke when he got his things together and left as well.
Luke walked out onto the fifteenth floor of the building were the Grimaldi Shipping offices were housed. The office was already a bustle of activity. Luke had been given the reins of the company from his biological father about four years before. Luke never saw himself as a business man, but he quickly learned the ropes and hasn't looked back. He was so glad that he was able to take over for his father. As much as he despised the Grimaldi name, he didn't want the company run by anyone else.
"Good morning," Luke said as he rounded the reception desk and saw Alex; his assistant. Alex had been with Grimaldi for years and Luke trusted him implicitly. When Luke finally accepted his role in the company it was Alex that showed him the ropes. Luke quickly learned about international shipping laws and market strategies. He not only kept the company profitable, but he also made it one of the most giving companies in the country. Luke's foundation, which he set up with his Grimaldi inheritance, was linked to company and he was able to make so many philanthropic contributions with it.
"Morning Chief," Alex always called him "chief", but it was an improvement over him calling Luke "coach" last year. "Coffee?" Alex offered and Luke quickly grabbed the cup from his assistant. Alex fell in step behind Luke as they walked to his office.
"Thanks. I didn't get any this morning. How are we looking today?" Luke asked as they got to his office and he put his things down.
"Well, the meeting with Diversified is on for 10 am,"
"Good, I promised Noah I'd meet him for lunch,"
"Really. You cancel every time," Alex said with a smirk.
"I know, but I may surprise him once. What else you got for me?" Luke asked as he sipped from his coffee and started to sift through his mail.
"Your mom called this morning about foundation business; she said she will forward all the information to your inbox. And Mrs. Walsh called; she is expecting a call back this afternoon,"
"Alex, you can call her something other than Mrs. Walsh," Luke said with a light chuckle.
"No way, she scares me too much," Alex said as a shiver went through his body.
About a half hour later Luke and Alex were in the Grimaldi Shipping board room, waiting for the Diversified meeting to start. Alex was setting out brochures and Luke was sitting at the head of the table. He was supposed to be looking over his presentation notes, but when Alex looked up he saw Luke just staring off into space. He was a little worried about his boss; he seemed a bit distracted today. Alex stepped up to Luke and rubbed his back.
"Hey. Are you ok?" He looked at Luke and it was like he had just woken from sleep.
"Ah? Yeah, fine," Luke responded and tightly rubbed the back of his neck. Alex couldn't help but watch him for a few more minutes.
"Are you sure that you're ok?"
"Yeah, I'm fine," he seemed all right, but Alex couldn't think about it now. The board from Diversified just walked in. A short bald man in a bad grey suit walked up to Luke, who rose to meet him.
"Mr. Mayer, good morning,"
"Good morning, Mr. Johnson. How was your drive this morning?" Luke asked as the two men shook hands.
"Not too bad. Are you ready for us?"
"Of course," Luke responded as he looked about the room. The room was filling up quickly and Luke had to put his game face on. "If I can have everyone's attention, we are about to get underway, there are refreshments near the doors there. Once everyone finds a chair we can get started," Luke said. He walked to the front of the room and stood next to the large screen that his presentation was going to be shown on. He felt like he was in high school again, doing a presentation of some class that he hated and was nervous as hell. Luke may seem confident, but deep inside he was worried. He was 26 years old and he was the head of a multi-billion dollar shipping conglomerate. He was lucky to have a great staff that had become invaluable to him. He held the remote for his projector and he felt off. He chalked it up to nerves, but that didn't explain the ringing in ears. After everyone had their coffee or water and took their seats, Luke started.
"Well, good morning everyone. My name is Luke Mayer and I first want to thanks Mr. Adam Johnson for taking time for this meeting. Let's get started shall we," Luke said and nodded to Alex, who lowered the lights slightly. Luke clicked the remote and the Grimaldi logo disappeared and was replaced with a pie chart. "Two years ago Grimaldi Shipping moved into railway transport. In those two years we have become the number three shipping company in North America, behind Fed-Ex and UPS respectively, with the best on time record in the industry. Now," Luke stopped mid-sentence. His vision got cloudy, his fingers grew cold and he felt dizzy. Alex saw his boss falter and stepped up to him. He put a hand on Luke's arm and squeezed to get his attention. His eyes locked with Luke's and for one moment Luke looked lost, like he didn't know where he was. But in another flash Alex could see recognition come into Luke's eyes.
"Are you ok?" Alex whispered.
"Of course," he said and gave Alex a weak smile. Luke looked at the 20 people assembled and straightened his spine. He turned back to the group and put a smile back on. "Excuse me, I guess I gave up coffee on the wrong day," Luke joked and the collective party shared a laugh. He took a sip from the glass of water that sat in front of him and let out a long breath. Luke patted Alex on the shoulder and went back to the presentation. Alex stepped back, but decided to stay close. Luke had been acting off all morning.
"Now, if you will turn to page apple in your packets we can get started," Luke said and saw everyone look at each other with confused looks. Luke noticed this right off and tried to remember what he said. "I meant to say page four. Did I not say that?"
"Luke, are you all right?" Mr. Johnson asked for the end of the table. "Should we reschedule?"
"No sir. I'm fine," Luke answered. Alex was next to Luke again. He was facing his boss with his back to room.
"Luke?" Alex asked, not trying to disguise his worry now.
"Where was I?" Luke asked. "Oh, nevermind, I member," he slurred. He looked up at the room and began speaking again. "Page four. You can see a chicken that illustrates a ball,"
The room began to swirl and pitch. Luke stumbled into the table knocking the pitcher of water across the wooden surface. Alex rushed to his side and grabbed onto Luke's arm. Luke's eyes rolled back in his head and he collapsed into Alex.
"CALL AN AMBULANCE!" Alex screamed. He pulled Luke's tie apart and opened his collar. He could see Luke was still breathing, but for how long?
Luke could hear voices, but they were far away like he was in a tunnel or underwater. Those voices slowly drained away leaving him alone and then he was out.
Noah was in a production meeting at WOAK. He had been promoted to director of "Oakdale Now" and he was loving it. Sure he wasn't directing big budget blockbusters, but he and Luke were working on a script that they may try funding on their own some day. But until then, he was happy where he was. Katie, Vienna, and Kim were there along with Jeff, his assistant director and the production designer, Sofie. They were going over the next week's shows when Kim's line rang through. Kim's assistant stepped into her office.
"Noah, it's for you,"
"Who is it?" Noah asked slightly embarrassed. He hated even the perception of special treatment, even though no one else saw it as such, he didn't want to be interrupted during a meeting.
"Someone from Luke's office,"
"He's canceling our lunch again," Noah said and the assembled women laughed. "Kim, do you mind?"
"Of course not," she answered with a smile. She had come to care about Noah and Luke over the years and was glad that they were able to come back to each other after all their struggles. Noah stood up and reached over Kim's desk for her phone. He had tucked his notes under his right arm and adjusted his grip on his coffee in his left before grabbing the receiver.
"Noah. It's Alex," his voice was ragged and quiet.
"Is he canceling on me again?" He asked lightly as he made eye contact with the others in the room.
"Uh, no. Luke's at the hospital. He collapsed during a meeting," Alex said when he was finally able to find his voice. Noah's grip on everything, but the phone, released. His papers fluttered to the floor and his coffee splashed across Kim's desk; raining hot liquid over everyone. Kim screamed and shoved back from the desk. Noah felt his heart racing.
"Where is he now?" Noah pleaded.
"We're at Memorial now,"
"I'll be right there!" He slammed the phone down and stepped back. He was frozen for a moment.
"Noah?" Katie asked when saw the color drain from his face.
"Luke's at the hospital, I have to go," he said quickly and was out the door. Everyone was shocked into silence. The stalwart Noah Mayer looked like someone had danced across his grave.
Noah ran straight through the open emergency room doors and right up to the admitting desk. He didn't even remember driving here. He knew he was lucky he didn't get in an accident on the way. He barreled into the desk and stunned the nurses behind it. He was gasping for breath and sweat was beading on his forehead, but his entire body was freezing. He was panicking and his body didn't know what to do.
"My husband was just brought in, Luke Mayer,"
"Noah!" Called a voice behind him. Noah looked up and saw Alex coming out of the elevator. "He's upstairs," Noah ran the short distance and both of them begun the ride up. As soon as the doors shut Alex got the third degree.
"He was just starting his presentation to Diversified when he collapsed,"
"What else?" Noah asked, trying to stay calm, but he needed to know. He needed to know what was wrong with his husband. Noah's arms were crossed tightly across his chest and he was rocking from side to side. He was a tightly bound spring, waiting for release.
"He was acting strange,"
"How?" Noah asked and looked at the controls next to him. Why was this elevator so slow?
"He looked distracted. He stopped twice during his opener. It almost looked like he was totally confused; lost even. Was he acting differently this morning?"
"No," Noah quickly answered and then began replaying the morning in his head. Trying to remember if he noticed anything different. God, please let him be ok.
The elevator doors opened and the two men saw Luke being wheeled down the hall to a set of double doors. Noah bolted toward the gurney and Alex was fast behind him.
"Wait! I'm his husband!" Noah called out as he came to the gurney and the doctor standing on the other side. Luke was unconscious with a breathing tube down his throat.
"Mr. Mayer?" The young doctor asked Noah.
"Yes," Noah answered as he took Luke's hand; his fingers were so cold.
"We have to operate on your husband. He's had a stroke,"
"A what? He's only 26!" Noah exclaimed as tears started to well up and bile rose into his throat. He ran his hand through Luke's blonde hair. Comforting himself more than his unconscious spouse.
"We have to go! Now!" The doctor began to pull the gurney down the hall. Noah kissed Luke's forehead as they moved away. Noah and Alex watched as the gurney went through the double doors and into the operating room. Noah's body slumped, as if a weight had been draped across his back.
"Here. They gave me these," Alex reached out his hand. Noah mirrored him and Alex placed Luke's watch and wedding ring into his hand. Noah ran his thumb over the cold silver band. The tears began to fall. He had tried to hold it together. He wanted to be strong for Luke, but he wasn't sure how to be strong without Luke. This was the first time since they got engaged that Noah thought that he may have to live without him. He felt like he was in a fog at the edge of a cliff. At any second he may fall.
"I ah, I have to call his parents,"
"I can do that," Alex assured Noah. He wanted to help Luke and being there for Noah was the next best thing.
"Thanks. I have their numbers, ah…," Noah said as he dug into his pockets for his phone.
"I can call the office. The waiting room is down this hall and to the right. I'll be right back," Alex lightly rubbed Noah's back and then went off to make some calls. He left Noah on his own, but he eventually found the waiting room. His legs gave out as soon as he reached the sofa. He kept staring at Luke's watch, as it sat in his left hand, while rubbing Luke's ring in his right. The face on his watch was smashed and it wasn't running; he must have hit it when he fell. 10:38. That was the time Noah's life stopped. Noah slipped Luke's ring into his left ring finger. He looked down at his left hand and saw their wedding bands together. He turned them on his finger and fought the anguish that wanted to come out. He hated hospitals. He hated how hopeless he felt whenever he was in one. Right now he not only felt hopeless, but helpless. They had been everything to each other for years.
They fought all of their battles together and now Noah had to wait. Wait and pray for good news.
Alex returned about 20 minutes later with coffee. He came around the corner and saw Noah staring at the carpet. He was fingering his wedding ring as if it was for luck.
"Here," Alex said as he handed a cup to Noah.
"Thanks, for everything," Noah said after Alex sat down next to him. The cup was warm in his freezing hands. The two men sat in silence for a few minutes before Noah spoke in a voice so quiet Alex could barely hear him. "I don't know what I'll do without him,"
"Hey. Don't talk like that. Luke is gonna pull out of this just fine. You know him, he plans everything! This would so piss him off!" Both men laughed at Alex's joke. "Remember when he twisted his knee?" Noah nodded. "Remember how he was stuck in that restraint cast two weeks longer than he was supposed to because he wouldn't sit still. He'll beat this. He's too stubborn not to," Noah took a deep breath and tried to smile, it was a relief that he wasn't alone in this. Alex just wished he truly believed what he just said.
"Did you get a hold of Luke's parents?" Noah asked.
"Lily was in Chicago for the foundation and was going to rush back. Holden was in Louisville and would be back tomorrow. I was able to call Mrs. Walsh and Emma. They'll pick up Ethan and the girls and bring them down here," Noah nodded as Alex relayed all the info to him. He tried to listen and take it in, but he just couldn't. All he could think about was Luke was hurting and couldn't do a thing about it.
Lily came running into waiting room about two hours later. Noah stood to meet her and she was talking a mile a minute; asking a million questions. If she didn't calm down, she was going to end up staying herself.
"Where is he? What happened? Noah, where's my son?"
"Lily, I haven't heard anything yet. The doctor did say that he had a," Noah paused, he just couldn't say it.
"A stroke. Luke had a stroke," Noah was finally able to vocalize it.
"Oh my God. He's so young, how," Lily voice trailed off as the shock of what was happening set upon her. Noah reached out and caught her before she fell. He helped her to one of the loveseats and sat next to her. She was wringing her hands and rocking slightly.
"Like I said, I haven't heard anything yet. Apparently he collapsed during a meeting. He was brought here and they discovered he had a stroke. He was being rushed into surgery when I got here. That was about two hours ago and I have been waiting here since," Noah was surprised how calm his voice was, considering how terrified he was inside. It must be from the military training he had growing up. The colonel had drilled into him that sometimes he would have to perform his duties even if he was scared.
"I can't lose him Noah. I can't lose my baby," Lily managed to get out before she broke down into heavy sobs. Noah wrapped his arm around her shoulders and pulled to his side. She buried her face in his neck and let her anguish out. He had always seen her as this strong and all-mighty woman, but to see her like…he had an all new respect for his mother-in-law.
The doctor came out of the double doors and walked into the waiting room. Lily tried to stand, but after the adrenaline rush earlier in the day, her body wouldn't let her.
"Mr. Mayer?" Noah stood and faced the man who had just spent the last three hours with Luke. "I'm Dr. Reid Oliver. I operated on your husband," Noah extended his hand and the doctor took it.
"How is he?" Lily quickly asked.
"He's still critical, but I was able to get inside his head and find the clot that was causing all this. He is still unconscious and I want to keep him that way. The next few days will be the most important. As long as he doesn't die," Reid said in a matter of fact tone. Noah was a bit taken back by the doctor's blunt bedside manner, but he recovered quickly. He just wanted to see his husband.
"When can I see him?" Noah demanded to know. He was not going to be polite about this. He wanted to see his husband and right now.
"Well, we've got him doped to the gills, so he shouldn't wake up. You can see him now,"
Noah stepped into Luke's room and the silence was deafening. It was so strange to walk into a room where Luke was and have it so quiet. Wherever Luke was, you knew it. He was always the center of a group or conversation. Noah audibly gasped when he actually saw Luke. All the color was gone from his face. He looked so pale. He looked, Noah bit his tongue as the word popped into his head, but he looked dead. There was a tube down his throat to help him breathe. He also had tubes and IV's running everywhere. He wanted so desperately to hold him or better yet, take him from the hospital and take him home where its safe.
Noah sat down next to Luke's bed. He wasn't even sure where he could touch him. He was afraid that any bit of contact could hurt him. Noah settled on his hand. He carefully slid his hand into Luke's; his fingers felt cold against Noah's. He brought Luke's hand to his lips and placed soft kisses on the inside of his palm.
"Luke? Can you hear me?" Noah asked and waited for a sign. Any bit of acknowledgement. It wasn't like the movies; his monitor didn't beat faster; his eyelids didn't flutter; he just stayed asleep. "If you can hear me, please, please don't leave me," Noah begged through constant tears.
Lily came in for a little while. She told Luke that she loved him and would come back tomorrow with Holden. Now she had to go home and try to explain to the other kids what was wrong with their brother. A conversation she was not relishing. She gave Noah a hug and told him to keep the faith. Luke was much stronger than anyone could possibly realize.
Noah sat alone in Luke's room for about another hour before Dr. Oliver came in. He checked Luke's vitals and made a few notes on Luke's chart. He motioned for Noah to follow him. He had x-ray tucked under his arm. He slid it into the light box and waited for Noah.
"This is his CT scan," Oliver said and Noah looked at the x-ray. This was Luke's head. It's one thing to see it on TV or the news, but it was something completely different when it was someone you knew or cared about. This was Luke. It was a snapshot of everything that made Luke Luke. He almost wanted to reach out and touch, but he thought better of it and kept his hands in his pockets. "Here is where the clot lodged itself," Oliver pointed to a small spot at the side of Luke's brain. It sounded so harsh, a little salt in the wound. "I was able to remove it and regular blood flow was restored. He is on blood thinners now to be sure that there aren't others, but no he runs the risk of bleeding out,"
It was as if Luke being here had knocked Noah to the ground and now Dr. Oliver was kicking him while he laid in the fetal postition.
"We have to keep a very close eye on him for the next few days," Noah nodded and the doctor turned to walk away. Noah was finally able to speak.
"Doctor? When will he wake up?"
"As I said before, we are keeping him sedated for now, but…,"
"There is a possibility he may not wake up. With a condition like this," the doctor's tone was very matter of fact, clinical, but he paused when he saw the look on Noah's face. He never was good with the family part of his job. "But I won't worry yet, it's still early and ah," he glanced down as the chart in his hand; he forgot his name.
"Luke," Noah helped him.
"Luke, is strong and otherwise healthy," his words trailed off as he saw the ashen look to Noah's face. "Get some rest. We can't take care of both of you,"
Dr. Oliver's footsteps trailed down the hallway as the door closed. Noah couldn't move or speak. In his head he was screaming but on the outside, he couldn't function. He turned towards Luke and sat down next to him. Noah lightly picked up Luke's hand and brushed his fingertips across the back of his hand. He fell asleep praying that he would just be all right.
The next two weeks were the same; Luke didn't move or open his eyes. His vitals remained strong and steady. He was slowly clearing the woods to the other side. Now if he would wake up so Noah could see those beautiful brown eyes. Noah rarely left Luke's side. The only times he left Luke's room was to shower and change clothes and that only happened when Luke was having tests done. Every few days Luke would be wheeled away and then was wheeled back a couple hours later, but they still couldn't give Noah any answers.
They were waiting for Luke to wake up. Then they would know what they were dealing with.
On day 17 of "Luke Watch"; Dr. Oliver's clever name, Luke's condition changed.
Noah was going through another one of Dr. Oliver's "brilliant" run downs on the latest rounds of tests, Noah was positive the guy just licked to hear himself talk. He looked at his husband over the doctor's should and saw his eyes were open.
"He's awake," Noah said plainly; shock taking over his whole body. Dr. Oliver looked over his shoulder and saw Luke looking at them. He spun around quickly and went to Luke's side. Noah watched as Dr. Oliver leaned down and started to talk to Luke. He stood back behind the doctor and waited to hear Luke's voice.
"Good morning. How are you feeling?"
"Where am I?" Luke managed to scratch out. His throat left like it was on fire and his tongue was two sizes too small for his mouth.
"You're in Oakdale Memorial. Can you tell me your name?"
"Why? Don't you know it?" Luke answered with his own question and Dr. Oliver couldn't help but laugh.
"Checking to see if you do,"
"Good. I'm going to bring in some people to see you," the doctor said and slipped into the hallway to get Lily and Holden. Noah came around the edge of the bed, pulled his chair closer, and took Luke's hand.
"Oh, baby, I am so glad you're awake. I was going crazy. I was so afraid I was going to lose you,"
Luke recoiled and forcibly pulled his hands away. Noah looked confused as Lily and Holden came into the room. Luke was visibly upset and was moving to the far side of the bed.
"Don't touch me," Lily heard come out of Luke. She stepped next to the bed, across from Noah, and brushed Luke's hair away from his face.
"Baby what's the matter?" Lily asked as she looked from Luke to Noah.
"Mom, who is this?" Luke asked his mother as Noah looked at his family with complete and utter horror on his face.
Well, whatta think? I have completed this and I will try to post the chapters as soon as I can.
There will be angst in the rest of the story.
Next time on A Life Adrift - Luke is diagnosed and Noah tries to come to terms with Luke's condition.