As promised, Chapter Fourteen.
I just want to thank a particular person who has been of great encouragement throughout this fanfic. Their reviews have never failed to touch my heart and soul. RLeternal, I hope one day you can find the ability to love again, just like Luke. I know there is a huge difference between writing/reading about moving on and actually being able to do it, and it is heartening to know that despite your tragic loss you've been able to reach your full potential instead of laying low and hurting. But the chance will arise for you to love again - if it hasn't already - and you must grab it with both hands. I know I'm only 18 and don't really know about love, but I hope you can understand what I'm so desperately trying to tell you. I wish for happiness for you.
They had pretended it never happened for about two weeks before Luke brought it up. Noah was both relieved and nervous that the inevitable had finally come about: relieved because he was worried about Luke bottling up what he was really feeling about the incident, and nervous because he didn't know what lay ahead for them – if there even was going to be a 'them'.
They sat opposite one another at the small dining table in the corner of the kitchen in silence, Luke paying careful attention to his fidgeting fingers while Noah concentrated on a small area of the table. It felt like hours passed by with them sitting like this, but neither one rushed the other to start the conversation. It would happen – with time.
"It should never have happened," Luke said finally, firmly. It was like a spear through Noah despite the fact that he agreed with this statement. Maybe it was the tone in Luke's voice – it was almost accusing.
"Luke, I never meant for it to happen. You have to believe me. Neither of us meant for it to happen."
Luke's face softened as soon as the words started to fall from Noah's lips and for the first time since that night he looked directly into the deep blue eyes of the other man. "I know, I know," he whispered. "But it did, and we can't do anything about it now. I just..." He tried to fathom out what he wanted to say, but in the end Noah helped him out.
"You don't want this to mean that we're back together?"
"No. Well, yeah. I just can't. It was a mistake and..." He stopped. He never thought he'd call a moment as precious as love making a mistake. But then again maybe it wasn't love making. It was just sex; sex with a man that he loved while he mourned the loss of another man whom he also loved...if that made any sense in his head. Gosh, things were so messed up. He was so messed up.
Noah seemed to sense the confusing battle going on in his mind because the next thing Luke knew was a hand on his own, and eyes that were filled the understanding that he required at that moment. He was soon clinging onto Noah for comfort, comfort that Noah was willingly ready to give him.
"I don't know anything anymore," he sighed. "When did life become so complicated?"
Noah chuckled at that. "Luke, we lived in Oakdale. When was life not complicated?"
That night Luke sat on the beach alone, looking out to the sea for...he didn't know. Inspiration? Answers. He wanted answers. The wind whipped around him, playing with his bangs as he closed his eyes and breathed in the salty scent that lingered around his nostrils. He needed time to think. He needed space to think.
He chuckled slightly as he remembered how less than 48 hours before 'the incident' he had psyched himself that Reid would want him to move on, and he was deciding to take things slow with Noah – whether they just stayed friends or wanted something more could be decided later. Now he had slept with Noah and was feeling guilty for Reid again.
He had tried writing it all down but hadn't found the right words. The trash can in his apartment was overflowing with scrunched up pieces of paper – discarded words that just weren't right. He got up now and walked towards the sea, staring with wonder as frothy white lips engulfed his feet. He walked further and further in until he was completely submerged. There was no sound or feeling except for a cool, refreshing sensation that spread through his body. He kept his eyes closed and allowed his body to relax. It felt so good. There was nothing to worry him here, nothing to hurt him, nothing to stop this contentment he craved.
He went back to his apartment knowing what he wanted. He wanted Noah.