Shut Up and Listen
By Mike Douglas
Special thanks to nezabudka1 for help with editing.
Disclaimer: Luke, Noah, and all related characters, plots, and locations are property of As the World Turns, Telenext Media, and CBS Television. No profit is made from this fan creation. No copyright infringement is intended!
"Luke, can we talk?" fidgeted Noah.
"Sure, Noah," Luke smiled at the blue-eyed man asking the question.
Noah took Luke to the front porch of the farm. He led him towards the couch and sat down next to him. Luke could tell Noah was nervous about something.
"You know I love you, right?"
Luke got a sinking feeling in his stomach. "You're not leaving me are you?"
"No!" Noah gave Luke an 'are you crazy' look.
"You are not going to join the army, are you?"
Noah had to chuckle at Luke's question. "No!"
"You are not going to marry a woman, are you?" Luke creased his eyebrows.
Before they could continue, Emma interrupted them when she walked onto the porch with both arms full of groceries. Luke stood up quickly and grabbed the bags out of Emma's hands.
"Oh, thank you Luke. I was losing my grip," Emma was grateful that someone grabbed the bags before she dropped them.
Luke walked into the kitchen with them. "Are there anymore out in the car?"
"Of course. When do I ever just bring two bags into this house," Emma laughed.
Knowing his talk was going to have to wait, Noah got up and walked out to get the groceries from Emma's car.
It was not long ago when Noah thought he would not have Luke in his life at all after he left for California but luckily, Luke's family was driving him crazy and he showed up, out of the blue, on Noah's doorstep four months later. As soon as Noah opened the door, Luke shoved him against a wall and started yelling that it was his fault. When Noah got his arms around him, Luke broke down into a long cry, finally letting all his pain and heartache out. Luke only meant to hide out with Noah for a couple of weeks so his family would stop bugging him but weeks turned to months. That was five years ago. During the time that followed in California, their love slowly began to blossom again. Now, they were back in Oakdale for a Snyder family reunion.
Noah, stood in line at Java, waiting to be served when he felt a hand on his shoulder. He turned to find someone he had been waiting to see since he had gotten back. "Lucinda, how are you?" He pulled her into a hug.
"Great, darling, how are you?"
"Fine. Luke has me out shopping for a few things for the reunion that Emma missed."
"How are things going between you and my grandson?"
"Okay, I guess," Noah seemed distracted.
"That doesn't sound too convincing."
"Everything was great until last night but Luke has been quiet and distant since we left LAX," Noah thought back.
"That doesn't sound like Luke at all," Lucinda was concerned about her grandson.
"I know. He says nothing is wrong but I know that's not true," Noah was completely puzzled.
"Other than that, how are things."
"Great," a large smile eclipsed his face.
"That's good. How's the sex?"
"W-wh-at?" Noah stuttered. "Lucinda!"
"Oh darling," Lucinda laughed. "Every man wants a woman who is loving, kind and devoted, which Luke is," a large smirk overtook Lucinda's face. ". . . and who's a whore in bed."
"Lucinda!" Noah looked around to see who might have heard her. Of course, everyone around them did, causing Noah's face to turn beet red. Even the barista stopped and looked at Noah.
"You are a man, Noah. Being gay doesn't make you less of one," another large smirk overtook her face again. "And that whore in your bed is my grandson."
Noah felt like he was going to pass out by Lucinda's blunt words. "Do you mind, Lucinda?"
Lucinda could only laugh at Noah's embarrassment. "Fine, I'll be a good girl."
After they were served, they sat down at one of the tables and talked for a while. When they finished drinking their coffee, they left Java and Noah went to purchase the items Emma needed.
"Luke ditched me again. I can't believe I got conned into helping out in the barn," Noah laughed as he brushed Magic. Noah finished all the chores that Holden asked him to do.
"Are you talking to yourself again, Noah?" Holden walked back into the barn from the field.
Noah smiled. "I was just telling Magic how Luke conned me into helping out. I'm getting suspicious that he's trying to avoid me today."
"Why would he do that?"
"I'm not sure but it's like he knows . . . ," Noah was confused, "but I don't see how."
"Knows what?" Holden was now confused.
"Um . . . ," Noah glanced over his shoulder to make sure nobody was around. "I did want to talk with you first."
"Noah, you are not making any sense."
"I wanted to ask your permission . . . ," Noah could see Holden was still confused. "To marry Luke."
Holden stood in shock for a moment before he walked forward and wrapped his arms around Noah. "Of course you have my permission. Congratulations."
Noah smiled as his future father-in-law hugged him. He knew Luke would say yes. Every time they would talk to a married gay couple, Luke would make a wouldn't that be nice comment. Noah wanted to be sure he, well, they were ready for such a commitment and he felt now, they were. "Thanks Dad."
Holden tightened the hug. "No, thank you, son."
After Noah's talk with Holden, he went into the house and took a shower. As soon as he exited the bathroom, he bumped into Ethan.
"Noah!" Ethan yelled as crawled up the front of Noah and into a hug.
Noah did not move, even though he knew his shins were going to be black and blue from Ethan's shoes. "Hey little buddy."
"Have you seen my train set?" Ethan couldn't hide his excitement.
"No, I haven't." Noah, like most boys, loved trains when he was younger. He never had one because the Colonel always reminded Noah that real men don't play with trains and toys at all.
Ethan wiggled down, grabbed Noah's hand, dragged him down the hall, down the stairs to the kitchen, and outside to a shed that was attached to the barn. Noah's eyes went wide as soon as he entered the shed. There were tracks on tables, on the walls and suspended from the ceiling, as well as multiple villages, where he could load and unload different types of cargo and a train station where he could load people on a train.
Noah was surprised at the elaborate setup. "Wow, look at all this."
"It's awesome. Daddy helped me set it all up," Ethan was talking a mile a minute as he turned on the master power switch. The lights on the tracks and all the towns lit up. Ethan put on his engineer's hat. He picked up a second hat. "You have to wear a hat, Noah."
"Okay, sir," saluted Noah.
Ethan giggled as he turned the power switch. Ethan and Noah spent the next hour playing. Their only interruption was from Emma bringing them fresh baked cookies and milk. An hour later, Noah left Ethan playing in the train shed. As soon as he stepped out of the shed door, he could see Luke talking to Jack and Carly on the porch. Noah knew Luke was still avoiding him when Luke got up and ran into the house.
Every time Noah tried to talk to Luke, they would be interrupted by having to run errands or more Snyders arriving at the house. Noah met Luke's Uncle Seth and his wife Angel, Caleb and his wife Julie, Ellie and her husband George and all of their kids. Luke was surprised when his grandfather Josh showed up with his great-grandfather Cal. Luke's grandmother Iva and her husband Jason had visited them out in California about a year ago, so he already knew them and of course, Meg was there with Eliza.
By early evening, the house was filling up with Snyders, who were invited to a pre-reunion barbeque. Noah was introduced to even more Snyders that he had never met. There were so many Snyders in the house, you couldn't throw a stick without hitting one. It was strange how the house seemed to expand to accommodate the large number of people in it. Everyone was standing around in the kitchen talking, as the meal was being prepared.
After all the introductions were out of the way, Noah made one last ditch effort to talk to Luke. "Luke, I need to talk to you."
"Sure, Noah," Luke had a trapped look on his face but he turned around and started talking to his Uncle Seth about his latest book.
Noah tried to pull him aside a couple of more times but Luke would always change the subject or would rush off. Noah just could not take it anymore. He walked over and grabbed Luke's shoulder. "Jesus Christ, Luke. Would you shut up and listen for a minute!"
Everyone stopped and looked at the both of them. Luke was stunned by Noah's outburst, as was everyone else. Noah was not one who yelled very often.
Emma stopped rinsing the vegetables at the sink and walked over to Noah. "You will not talk that way in this house, Noah Mayer."
"I'm sorry, Emma but I've been trying to talk to your grandson all day," Noah's frustration was evident to everyone in the room.
"Well, then talk to him," Emma stated the impossible.
"Every time I try, he runs off or we get interrupted by your crazy family," Noah just could not keep the frustration under control.
Emma smiled. "I won't argue the crazy part." Everyone laughed at her response. "But you can't fool me. I know you love this family, Noah."
"You can't prove that," Noah put a defiant expression on his face.
Laughter roared through the room at Noah's reply, but Emma gave him a quick kiss on the cheek and offered a solution. "Now, why don't you take Luke in the parlor and talk before dinner. Nobody will bother you." Emma gave the room a warning glance.
Noah walked over to Luke and grabbed his hand and started to pull Luke into the parlor when the front door opened.
"Hi everyone," Lucinda called out as she entered the kitchen with John.
Luke pulled away from Noah, walked quickly to his grandmother, and gave her a hug and a kiss on the cheek.
Noah could not believe it. "Not again."
Luke knew Noah had enough teasing. He turned and gave Noah a knowing look. "Just ask me."
"What?" Noah looked strangely at Luke for a second and finally understood. "Wait, you know?"
"Yes," Luke tried to act all innocent but he could see that Noah was not buying it.
"But how?" Noah's shock was evident on his face.
"I saw it when the TSA screened your carryon." Luke confessed.
Noah's head was spinning. "So wait. This whole time, you knew?" Luke did not do anything but grin. "You did this on purpose, didn't you?" A realization came over Noah. "You made me . . . beg." Noah could not believe how he was played.
Luke's face broke into a huge dimpled grin. "Um . . . yeah."
"So everyone interrupting us all day was your doing?" Luke had been driving him crazy all day and it was on purpose.
"Well, sort of," Luke could see Noah getting mad again. "It's not my fault someone happened to showed up every time you wanted to talk to me."
It finally dawned on Noah what Luke wanted. "You want me . . . in front of everyone?"
Luke smiled. "Yes."
Nobody seemed to know what Luke and Noah were talking about, except Holden. He couldn't help but chuckle at the situation Noah was in. The women of the family went back to cooking as they listened to the conversation.
"Am I missing something? What's going on?" Lucinda was totally lost.
Noah looked at Lucinda. "I've been trying to talk to Luke all day but we kept getting interrupted by his crazy family."
"Crazy is certainly the right word for the Snyders, darling," laughed Lucinda. Everyone in the room laughed at her comment.
". . . but Luke has been avoiding me on purpose."
"So what did you want to talk to him about?"
Noah looked back to Luke. "I wanted to ask Luke to marry me."
Everyone stopped what they were doing and turned to look at Luke and Noah. Lily dropped a colander of potatoes on the floor as she turned around with a shocked look on her face. All those years ago when Luke came out to her, she never thought she would see the day Luke would get married.
Luke walked up to Noah. He put one hand on Noah's waist and with the other hand stroked his hair. Noah could feel Luke's hands tremble slightly.
However, it was Noah's turn to tease Luke. "But I'm not sure I want to now." He had a big smile on his face. "Payback can be a real bitch." He thought to himself.
Before Luke could say anything, Lucinda spoke up. "Let me see the rings, Noah." She wanted to make sure that Noah was able to get Luke a decent ring.
Noah stepped away from Luke. He pulled a box out of his pocket and handed it to Lucinda. She opened the box and when she saw what was in it, she gasped. "Oh darling, it's beautiful!"
Noah was happy that Lucinda liked the ring. "Is it worthy for a Walsh or a Snyder heir?"
"Definitely a Walsh heir, darling. You won't find anything like this on a Snyder," Lucinda smirked.
Lily found her voice. "Mother!" she scolded.
Jack and Carly were the closest to Lucinda and moved to look at the rings. As soon as they saw it, they both gasped. Carly hit Jack's arm. "From now on Noah is going with you, when you go jewelry shopping!" Her statement caused laugher from others.
Luke, now even more curious to what the ring looked like, walked over and reached for the box but Noah's hand grabbed his wrist before he could grab the box.
"Grandmother," he reached out with his other hand. He was sure Lucinda would be on his side.
Lucinda thought for a moment and then shook her head. "No, I don't think I should." She closed the box and gave it back to Noah. "Darling, you do not give your suitor a hard time until after you get the ring," she scolded. "Didn't I teach you anything?"
Noah laughed as he put the box back in his pocket.
"Noah Mayer, if you don't show me what's in that box, right now, I'll rip your clothes off until I get that box."
A smile crept across Noah's face. "I think I might enjoy that." He teased. Noah could hear some snickers around him. "It's not so funny now, is it Snyder?"
Now it was Luke's turn to beg. "Come on, Noah."
Ignoring Luke, Noah reached down and picked up the potato near his foot. He grabbed a second and a third. He walked over and put them in the colander that was still on the floor. He stood back up with it in his hands. Not one person moved from their spot. Everyone was glued at what was happening in front of them. They knew how hard Luke and Noah had worked on their relationship and were waiting to see the reward.
Noah put the colander on the counter. Lily rushed into Noah's arms. "It's okay . . . Mom!"
Lily pulled away and looked him in the eyes. Tears started streaming down her face as she pushed her head into his chest as she cried tears of joy.
Luke looked on with a smile. He knew his family loved Noah but he could not help busting his nuts. "Aren't you a little ahead of yourself, bubby?"
Noah knew Luke was teasing him. "Are you kidding? There is no way you're saying no."
"Oh, you think so?"
"I know so!" Noah pulled away from Lily and walked over to Luke. He could feel Luke shudder as his hands moved up and down Luke's arms. Luke took the opportunity to try to get the rings out of Noah's pocket but Noah stopped him. "I know you want me, Luke. I can feel you tremble when I touch you."
Noah stepped closer to Luke so they were almost touching, only to have Luke take a step back. Noah moved forward but Luke kept moving back until he was against the wall of the kitchen. Noah stepped up to him and started kissing Luke's neck.
Luke loved what Noah was doing to his neck but snapped back to reality. "Stop it or everyone's going to see something they probably don't want to."
The kitchen was filled with groans and chuckles.
Noah laughed. Luke was putty in his hands. He now had the upper hand in this situation and he wanted to use it to his advantage. He put both of his hands tightly under Luke's armpits, trapping him against the wall. There was no escape for Luke. "I think we should buy the house in Malibu?"
Luke was surprised. "You do?"
The house Noah was talking about was a house the studio rented for his latest movie. It was the same house, with the wall of windows, used on Brothers and Sisters, when Kevin was trying to make partner. Luke went to the last few days of shooting with Noah. The house was big enough for the family and the minimal décor suited them both. A cool breeze coming off the ocean kept the patio tolerable, even in the hot afternoon heat but the best thing about the house was the fantastic view of the ocean.
"I called the realtor. We can certainly afford it and even though it's not beachfront, the view is breathtaking, and I think we both really liked it," Noah kept looking into Luke's eyes.
"I think it's a great idea. It's a beautiful house and I was very creative there. I was able to write the outline of my next book in just the few days we were there."
With that settled, Noah knew it was time to pop the question. He moved his hands away from Luke, sank down on one knee, reached out, and took ahold of Luke's hand. Everyone moved even closer to the couple, so they could get a better view.
"Luke, it's been five years since you moved out to Los Angeles to be with me and every time I look into your eyes, I can see the love you have for me and I know you can see it in mine. We've been able to put our relationship back on the right track and I think it's strong enough now to take the next step," Noah could see tears forming in Luke's eyes. "Luciano Snyder, will you marry me?"
"Yes, Noah. I will marry you."
Noah stood up and kissed Luke deeply. Everyone encircled the couple to congratulate them. Noah pulled out the rings from his pocket and opened it up. Luke stuck out his hand. "Sorry but I only bought a wedding band, so you have to wait till we get married to put it on."
Luke smile turned into a frown as he took the box from Noah. Luke's jaw almost hit the ground as soon as he opened the box. Inside that simple black box were two eight-carat emerald-cut diamond Eternity bands, surrounded by 24 diamonds in each band. "Oh my God!"
"I asked you to marry me today for a reason," Luke looked strangely at him but Noah continued. "I was thinking that since your family is all here . . . ."
Luke could not believe what he was hearing. "You want to get married now?"
Noah looked down at his watch. "Well, we can file today and get married at the reunion in two days." Noah smiled at Luke. "If you weren't being such a spaz all day, we could have filed already."
"What about our friends?"
"If you remember, we coordinated this week with a lot of our Oakdale friends, so they are here in town already," Noah started. "I know our friends in California won't be here but we could have a party after we buy the house."
Luke thought for a moment. "Do you really want to get married this quick?"
Noah stepped close to Luke and cupped his face with his hands. "I love you and all I want in life is to be your husband. I don't care where we do it or what we wear. I only care that you are standing beside me, forever."
Luke could hear someone sniffling behind Noah. "Could someone get mom a tissue please?" Luke did not have to look at who was crying. "I love you too, Noah and if you don't want to wait to get married, then let's do it now."
Noah looked deeply into Luke's eyes. He could see them tear up, just as his were. He pulled Luke into a long sensual kiss. When it broke, he spoke first. "I have all the paperwork filled out. All you have to do is sign it, have it notarized and fax them to the county clerk." Noah paused for a moment. "Reverend Jones is in Chicago at a retreat. He said that if you said yes, he would come down and officiate the wedding for us. And I also have the paperwork for the house so we can put an offer on it, if you want."
"You've thought of everything, haven't you?" Luke loved that Noah was so organized.
Before Noah could answer, Lucinda spoke up. "Why don't I call Phil, my real estate attorney, to help you with the house? He can expedite things for you and he might be able to save you a little money."
"That would be great, Grandmother," Noah smiled. He was facing away from Lucinda but he could tell she was smiling from Luke's reaction.
Luke and Noah just stood there looking at each other as everyone started rushing around. Lucinda made the calls she needed and then was in a deep conversation with Lily, Iva, and Emma about plans for the wedding.
When nobody was looking, Noah pulled Luke out of the house. "How about we take a quick walk around the pond before start all this paperwork?"
"I like how you think," Luke kissed Noah.
Arm in arm, Luke and Noah started walking towards the pond.