Luke lay in Reid’s bed tangled in Reid’s sheets, inhaling the familiar scent of the older man. He was trying to sleep, but the frustration that the other man seemed to understand him better than he understood himself, kept him awake. Letting out a sigh, he turned restlessly in his bed.
Somehow he was glad that Reid had refused to let anything happen between them tonight, because if things stayed like there were, he should be able to leave to pick up his career painlessly when the time came. But if he became his lover, his first and only lover, it might not be as easy. Maybe even impossible. Plus no matter what had happened in the past, he didn’t want to hurt Reid, like Reid had hurt him all those years ago. That’s why he wanted to make sure they’d keep a reasonable distance between them.
His eyes finally grew heavy and slipped close. He let himself be lulled to sleep by the sound of an owl in the woods.
Luke awoke early in the morning to the patter of rain on the roof. Memories of the previous day came back to him as he slowly blinked his eyes open. He sat up, resting his back against the headboard for a moment while rubbing his tired eyes.
Ten minutes later, after grabbing a quick shower, he quietly made his way downstairs. He couldn’t help but smile when he found Reid on the couch in the living room, lying flat on his stomach with his face buried into a couch cushion.
Suddenly Buster came trotting from the kitchen, letting out two sharp barks when saw him.
Luke chuckled when Reid awoke with a start, swearing at the dog. Luke reached down to ruffle Buster’s head, who happily wagged its tail. When he looked back up, Reid was sitting up on the couch, a thin blanket around his waist. He swallowed. Reid’s naked chest looked rock-firm, like he had been working out pretty regularly and Luke had a hard time tearing his eyes away from it.
“I used your shower. I hope that’s okay.” Luke mumbled nervously, not knowing what else to say.
“Yeah, of course.” Reid got up from the couch and slipped into his jeans, too tired to notice the effect it had on the younger man. “Did you sleep all right?”
Luke nodded as Reid started toward him, pulling up the zipper. “Um I’m really sorry about all this.” He stuffed his hands into his pockets to keep himself from running his hands over Reid’s naked upper body. “You should have told me to go home.”
“You know I’d never do that. You needed a friend.” You needed me
, Reid thought but didn’t say it. He lifted his hand to cup Luke’s cheek but hastily dropped it after a moment. Buster barked again and Reid walked to the door and opened it to let him outside.
“I guess I should go.”
Reid lifted his arm to block his way. “Are you sure you did sleep well? Because you sure as hell don’t look like it.”
“I’d say that makes two of us.” Luke crossed his arms above his chest.
Reid snorted. “I want you to do something for me. Go home, pull the covers over your head and sleep until you really feel rested. If those shadows under your eyes aren’t gone the next time I see you, I might have to tell my dad about it and you know what that means.”
Luke rolled his eyes. “Whatever. I have to go.”
The older man leaned closer until their chests met. “I want to see you tonight.”
“I don’t know.”
“Then think about it.” Reid leaned forward, pressing a brief kiss to Luke’s lips, using all his control to pull back after a moment. “Call me when you make up your mind.”
Without another word Luke stormed passed Reid and ran out into the morning air that still smelled like rain.***
Luke ran until he was out of breath and his legs were shaking. He slowed down then walked leisurely along until he reached a tree by the roadside, leaning against it to support himself. Going back to bed sounded like a wonderful idea, the blond thought; still breathless. Maybe he could even avoid his mother a little longer if he crawled back into bed, finally relaxing for a little while. He sighed, knowing that it wasn’t going to happen because even if he could push the thoughts about his mom away, it wouldn’t stop him from thinking about the feelings he might still have for Reid. The feelings that he just didn’t want to deal with or think about.
Just when he was about to pull out his cell phone to call a cab, a vehicle came to a stop a few feet away from him. His smile came naturally when he noticed that it was his former English teacher Mrs. Dawson and when she asked him if he needed a ride, Luke couldn’t say no to the offer even though he really wasn’t in the mood for any small talk.
The elderly lady talked a mile a minute during their ride back into town, while the blond mostly listened to her stories about her grandson. She mentioned how Luke had always been one of her best students and that Harry, her grandson, could benefit from it if he was willing to give him some private tutoring. And even though Luke pointed out that while he’d love to help, but had never done such a thing Mrs. Dawson didn’t let it go until he eventually agreed to do it.
English lessons, Luke thought later as he walked into his mother’s house. How had it happened?
The house was empty and quiet, but he had already given up the idea of going back to bed since he was supposed to give his first lesson tomorrow already. So he’d better prepare for it. At least it would keep his mind occupied.
Luke remembered how Lily mentioned that some of his old things were still in the attic and wondered if some of his old school books might be up there as well.
After a change of clothes, he climbed the attic access ladder, and was greeted by the sight of a couple of dozen boxes. A scrapbook that lay in one of the boxes immediately grabbed his attention and he picked it up to have a closer look. When he opened the first page, he remembered that it was the same scrapbook his mother started before he left. There wasn’t much dust on it and Luke inferred that it hadn’t been at the attic for a long time yet.
The first few pictures showed him at his high school graduation and he had to smile. When he turned the page he was surprised to find an article from New York Times, written almost two years after he had left Oakdale. He paged through hundreds of pictures, snippets of news and magazine articles. It seemed like everything that had ever printed about him was here, a lot he had never seen himself.
The mother he had believed had forgotten him, but in fact had sent him letters, had followed every step of his career. It still didn’t explain why Lily had let him go. What was he supposed to think? He had to know now, suddenly not wanting to wait any longer.
Though it was only a ten minutes walk, Luke drove to the Lakeview to get there as fast as possible. Plus he figured he’d walked enough the past couple days. Not like I remembered it, he thought, as he walked through the entrance hall of the hotel. He found his mother at the reception desk, where she was talking to a customer and half listened to the exchange until she was free to talk to him.
“Luke. What a nice surprise.” Lily smiled when her son approached the desk.
“Hey.” Luke greeted. “This place looks nothing like I remembered it.”
“Yeah, the entire hotel was remodeled a few years back. We’re trying to move with the times.” Lily explained. “Would you like me to show you around?”
“Yes, I’d like that.”
The hotel was built in the early 1960’s and had not had an update in quite some time. The entire lobby and nearly every room on the first floor had been wall to wall carpet when Luke was little; he remembered playing with his matchbox cars on that carpet when he was in kindergarten, but now the floors was a soft marble. The wood paneling was gone and the walls were painted a light cream. The windows on the whole front floor had been replaced and natural light filled every room. They had added on and put a new pool in with atrium windows all around and above the water. Luke could see pride on his mom’s face as she showed him around.
As they made their way back into the foyer, they found Dr. Oliver leaning against the tall counter of the reception desk.
Luke saw out of the corner of his eye that his mother hesitated for a moment, before she went to greet him with a brief kiss on the lips.
“Hello Luke. It’s nice to see you again.” Frank Oliver said, sliding an arm around Lily’s shoulders. “Getting a look at your mother at work?”
“Yes.” Luke forced a smile. He definitely still needed some time to get used to see them like this. “I really like what they did with the hotel. It looks really nice.”
“Of course, your mother is working here after all. And it’s just the right place for our---”
“Don’t tell me you haven’t told him yet.” He sighed when she didn’t respond, but only shrugged apologetic. “Lily, you’ve had all morning to tell him.”
“Tell me what?” Luke asked, raising an eyebrow.
“I’ve asked your mother to become my wife and she said yes.” Frank pressed a kiss to Lily’s temple. “We’re getting married.”
“Oh.” Luke’s jaw dropped. “Oh wow.”
“Is that all?” He demanded with a smirk. “Why don’t you say congratulations and give me a hug?”
“Congratulations,” the blond said mechanically and walked over to give him a brief hug. “I really hope you’ll be happy, both of you,” Luke said, surprised that he actually meant it. “So when is the big day?”
“We haven’t set a date yet.” Lily replied who finally seemed to find her voice again. “Kayla is fixing a dinner for all of us tonight, to celebrate.”
“Okay. Well, I’ll be there.” Luke promised. This wasn’t the right time for questions. “Well I guess I’ll get going. I have some things to take care of.”
“But I thought we’d have lunch together.” Lily said, trying to stop his exit.
“It’s all right. We can do it another time.” Luke turned his head to look at the other man. “I’ll see you at Kayla’s, Dr. Oliver.”
“I think you should finally start calling me Frank.” He replied. “We’re family now.” Luke heard Frank say to his back and swallowed deeply as he made his way to the parking lot.***
Family, Luke thought later back at his mother’s house. He hadn’t really had that. A real family. Truth be told, not since his parents broke up years ago. Now that his mom was getting married to the man he admired, for as long as he could remember, he might finally get what he had secretly longed for in awhile. Being part of a family again.
Maybe this was
still his home; the place where he belonged. His friends were still his friends. Reid was still Reid but Luke was afraid, afraid of being hurt again, of making a mistake, of losing. It just wasn’t possible for him to just pick up where they left off.
He took his time showering and getting dressed for the family dinner. Wondering if this new situation would make things awkward between him and Reid, but he reminded himself that they were going to be nothing more than friends. Yes, he was still attracted to the older man but he wouldn’t risk his heart on anything more. Not again.
After checking his watch, Luke started downstairs. He stopped dead in tracks when saw Reid leaning against the banister at the base of the steps. Did he have to look so gorgeous?
Reid whistled at the sight of the blond. “You look awfully good.”
“What are you doing here?” Luke asked as he stopped a step above him, ignoring Reid’s comment.
“I’m here to take you to Kayla’s.” Reid said casually; Luke huffed and started in.
“You don’t have to---”
“Shut up.” Reid grabbed onto the back of Luke’s neck and hauled the blonde against him for a kiss.
Luke half-heartedly pushed the other man away. “Reid, you have to stop kissing me!”
“Why? I don’t want to stop.” He kissed him again, lingering over his lips this time; ghosting breaths across Luke’s face. Reid was grinning when he finally drew back. “Brother.”
Luke snorted. “You’re not acting very brotherly.”
“How do you feel about it?” Reid asked, taking the younger man’s hand. “Our parents getting married I mean.”
“I don’t know really.” Luke shrugged his shoulder. “You know I always loved your dad and I guess both of them deserve to be happy.”
“That’ll do for now.” Reid gave Luke’s hand a gentle squeeze. “Come on, we should get going.”
Fifteen minutes later, Kayla was bursting through her front door to greet them. “Isn’t it great?” She grabbed Luke and pulled him into a bear hug. “You’ll be my brother. We’re going to be siblings! I’m so excited!”
“Hey, what about me? Are you forgetting that you already have a brother?” Reid asked playfully.
Kayla laughed. “Don’t be silly big brother.” She pressed a kiss to Reid’s cheek. “Well don’t just stand out here, come on in.”
Luke was not surprised to see the party in full swing already. Frank and his mom had a lot of friends and it made sense that the celebrating started earlier than advertised. He was little uneasy at first, he wasn’t sure where he fit in. Luke knew the faces, but he didn’t know the people anymore. Kayla helped him with that. She slipped her arm through and pulled him away from Reid, reluctant to let him go. She took the blonde around the room and re-introduced him to the people that had been a big part of his childhood.
There were about 15 people milling about the living room and dining room. The party had been set up buffet style, allowing people to mingle as they ate. Kayla had gone out and knowing Reid’s appetite, it was probably a good call that she did. Name it and this table had; turkey, ham, salads of few varieties, couple different breads, potatoes, and there were about dozen different kinds of sweet treats. He watched Reid load up a plate and slip into conversation with a fellow guest.
Luke heard his mother laughing and looked in her direction. He realized that she looked truly happy; smiling at her fiancé. In all his memories, he couldn’t think of a moment that he had seen her this
As the dinner wore on, he nibbled lightly, hoping that nobody would notice his lack of appetite. But when his eyes found Reid’s, Luke knew that he had been watching him and forced himself to take another bite.
Reid clinked his fork against his glass and waited for the room to grow quiet. “I think it’s time for a toast.” He cleared his throat. “To my father, who was lucky enough to find a woman like Lily. And to his beautiful bride-to-be, who used to look the other way when I’d sneak into her backyard to make out with her son.” Over the following laughter, glasses were clinked and conversations were continued.
Luke sipped from his sparkling water and put his glass down on the table. He made his way to the back door, but was stopped by Reid.
“Where are you going?” Reid asked, worried that Luke was upset about the toast.
“Nowhere. I, ah, just need some air.”
“Okay. Well, I’d really like to take a walk with you, Luke.” Reid said with a soft voice, holding out a hand to him.***
The evening was hot and humid. They took the back ways and were quickly surrounded by fields and away from people. Reid had his arm draped around Luke’s shoulders and for a while they walked down the street in silence, surrounded by the sound of chattering crickets. Luke’s arm was lightly draped across Reid’s lower back.
“I like Thomas.” Luke said to break the discomforting silence.
“So do I.” Reid replied. “Don’t tell him I said that though.”
Luke chuckled. “It seems like Kayla is happy here, in her own place, with her own little family. I often wondered what had become of her.”
Reid stopped walking and awkwardly stuffed his hands in his pockets. “Did you ever think about me while you were traveling around the world?”
“Of course I did.” Luke admitted with a low voice, looking out over a field thick with hay.
The auburn haired man sighed. “Somehow, I kept imagining I’d come home to find a letter from you in my mailbox.”
“I guess at first I was too angry and hurt. A long time had to pass.” Luke smiled at the older man and tried to lighten the mood when he added “I took me years to forgive you for dumping me the night of the prom.”
“But I didn’t!” Reid yelled, startling the younger man. “It was a long time ago Luke, but I’m tired of taking the blame for something that isn’t really my fault.”
“What are you talking about?”
“Don’t you get it? I didn’t dump you that night, damn it.” Reid let out a breath of air, his voice softer when he continued. “I was probably more excited about that night than you were. I even planned something really special for us, knowing how important the night was for you, but I got arrested the night before I was about to pick you up.”
“What?” Luke’s jaw dropped. “What were you arrested for?”
“Statutory rape.” At the blonde’s astonished look, Reid let out a sigh and explained “I was over eighteen and you weren’t.”
Luke snorted. “That’s ridiculous Reid. We never even did anything except make out.”
“Yeah, I know that, you know that...” His voice trailed off, filled with sadness and regret. Luke quickly stepped forward to reassure Reid.
“Even if we had made love, it wouldn’t have had anything to do with rape. You were only a few years older than I was and we were boyfriends.” Luke said, running his hand through his hair. “God, I’m so sorry that you had to go through that. You and your parents must have been miserable. But who would have had you arrested? Who in the world would have---” He stopped mid-sentence as it suddenly it dawned on him. “It was my father, wasn’t it? Damian was the one who got you arrested.” Luke said in almost a growl.
“He was dead sure that I would hurt you and that I was trying to take advantage of you.” Reid explained.
“For once in my life, he could have asked me what I wanted.” Luke whispered. He closed his eyes for a moment, feeling tears building up. “I’m so sorry Reid. I don’t know what to say. I mean there is nothing that I can say to make up for what he did.”
“You don’t have to say anything Luke. It’s not your fault.” He reached out to take Luke’s hand, giving it a gentle squeeze. “You were as innocent as I was.” Luke squeezed his hand back.
“You must have been terrified.”
“A bit, yes.” Reid admitted. “I mean I was young and I had never been arrested before so yeah that was kind of terrifying, but I was only held for questioning.”
“I can’t believe my father did that to you.” Luke said. “He knew how much you meant to me. All my life I---” He broke off on a muffled gasp of pain. He instinctively reached for his stomach.
“It’s nothing. I just---” But the second wave came too sharp, making him bend forward from the pain.
“All right, that’s it we’re going back to the Kayla’s.”
“Ok, but really it’s nothing.” Luke tried to assuage Reid, but another wave of pain coursed through Luke. Reid quickly slipped his arm around Luke’s back and they walked back to Kayla’s. Luke leaned heavily on the older man and it felt good to have Reid there. Whether Luke would admit it or not, he was a little scared about his present condition. Reid breathed a huge sigh of relief when they finally made it back to his sister’s house. The walk had started out as a short stroll in the country, but they seemed to take forever to return. Nobody seemed to notice them as they entered the house through the back door and Reid helped the younger man upstairs into the guest room, making him lay down on the bed.
“I’m feeling better already.” Luke said. “This really isn’t necessary Reid.”
“Why don’t you let me be the judge of that.” He lifted Luke’s shirt and gently examined the blond; lightly pressing against Luke’s abdomen. “Have you been taking your anti-rejection meds every day?”
“You’re making a case out of nothing.”
“Answer the question Luke!”
“Maybe I forgot to take my pills once or twice.” The blond admitted sheepishly. “So much happened since I arrived here and I---”
“Damn Luke. You need to take better care of yourself.” Reid swore. “Did you forget what happened the last time you had a kidney infection all of a sudden?”
Luke remained silent, pressing his lips together into a thin line. He couldn’t remember the last time he had seen Reid this angry. Of course he had not forgotten that he almost died of a kidney infection when he was a teenager and how everybody had been worried sick about him. He should know better and felt ashamed for not having taken better care of himself and his remaining kidney.
“Do you have your anti-rejection pills with you?” Reid asked, trying to keep his fear in check.
“No, they’re back at my mom’s house.” Luke wanted to cry out but fought his tears back.
“Come on. I’ll drive you back then.”
Luke stiffly rose from the bed, knowing that it would be pointless to protest. They made a silent escape through the back door and the blond was thankful for that. Every now and then he looked at Reid out of the corner of his eye during their silent ride back and he knew that the older man was still angry, probably even disappointed in him.
At the curb in front of his mother’s house, Reid parked and then walked around the car to open the door for him. The blond climbed out and let himself be led inside the house. They made their way upstairs to Luke’s old room and once again he didn’t protest when the older man told him to lay down on the bed, even though it’s on the tip of his tongue to say that it won’t be necessary. Truth to be told, he was exhausted and the lack of sleep in the past few days finally seemed to have caught up to him.
“Where are you keeping your pills?” Reid asked; his voice much softer this time.
“They’re on the sink in the bathroom.”
Reid moved to the bathroom, filled a glass with water, and snatched the bottle of medication from the sink. He handed the glass of water to Luke and shook out two of the pills. “Here. Swallow.”
Luke took a moment to scowl at him and swallowed his medicine, before he put his glass down on the bedside cabinet. “I’m sorry. I’ll make sure that it won’t happen again.”
“Damn right you will.” Reid grumbled. He was angry at himself for not realizing sooner that the only man he ever loved wasn’t feeling well, even though he had seen how tired the younger man looked ever since he arrived. “Take your normal dose tomorrow and you should be fine. Now take off your clothes.”
“Excuse me?” Luke asked with a bit of gleam in his eye. Reid blushed slightly when he realized what he said.
“You need to rest Luke.” Reid replied. “Don’t worry, you’ll know when I’m making a move on you. Now take them off or do you want me to do it?”
Luke rolled his eyes at the older man. He slipped out of his shoes and undressed except for his boxers and climbed into bed, pulling the blanket up to his chin. “Are you satisfied now, Doctor
With a sigh, Reid sat down on the edge of the bed. “Do you need anything?”
“No.” Luke took Reid’s hand, linking their fingers. For a moment their eyes locked in wordless communication. “I was never supposed to let you come up here when we were teenagers.”
The corner of Reid’s mouth twitched into a smile. “Yet I managed to climb through your window more than a few times without getting caught.”
Luke chuckled before turning serious. “If you had known about my dad’s plans to take me to Malta, would you have asked me to stay?” Luke had played this question in the head over and over for years. He needed to know now.
“Yes.” Reid said without hesitation. “Maybe you wouldn’t be what you are and I wouldn’t be what I am, but I know we would have been together.”
“Yeah, maybe.” The blond closed his eyes, drifting. “I’m so tired.”
Reid leaned down to press a kiss to Luke’s temple. “Go to sleep.” Luke was asleep before Reid had pulled fully away.***
The morning suited his mood; thick gray clouds, thick sheets of rain. Luke thought that it was a perfect day to stay in bed all day long to do nothing. He hadn’t left the house, let alone barely left his room, since the night of Kayla’s dinner two days ago and yet he had barely any time to be alone.
His mother had decided to take a few days off work, checking on him every few hours, no matter how much he tried to protest. Kayla came by once a day, bringing him chicken soup and sitting at the edge of his bed to keep him company. Even Dr. Oliver had checked on him the day before. He tried to tell himself that he didn’t care that Reid was the only one who hadn’t visited him. It was probably because he was still mad at him. Luke tried to tell himself that he didn’t miss him one bit.
At least he felt better; he had finally slept like a baby for two nights straight. Another month or two of Oakdale’s peace and quiet and he should be ready to make some important career decisions.
Luke stretched his body out before he finally forced himself to get out of bed and go downstairs. He shuffled barefoot down the hallway to the kitchen, opened the fridge and poured himself a glass of milk. It was only when he was about to put the bottle of milk back into the refrigerator that he noticed that his mom had pinned a note for him onto the fridge. It said that one of her colleagues had heard that Luke was going to do some English tutoring and had asked her if he would be willing to help their daughter as well. Below was a phone number. He groaned. His mom knew that he wouldn’t be able to say no now.
He put the bottle of milk back into the fridge, trying to decide what else he wanted for breakfast but was interrupted by the sound of a knock at the door. When Luke went to open the door, he tried to tell himself that he didn’t want it to be Reid. But it was Reid who stood outside grinning at him while rain streamed down on him.
“Well aren’t you going to ask me inside?” Reid asked, gratified by the lack of the shadows under the younger man’s eyes. He didn’t wait for Luke’s invitation to come inside and pushed passed him to enter the house. “I love the rain.”
Luke raised an eyebrow at the older man. “Right.” He turned on his heel and walked back to the kitchen, aware that Reid was following him. Not a word from him in two days, Luke thought, and now he shows up all of the sudden, not even asking him how he was feeling, like nothing ever happened. Reid was quite happy to follow Luke into the kitchen; thoroughly enjoying the view. He pulled his jacket off and hung it up before he turned back to Luke. He watched as the blonde slowly eased himself into a chair at the small kitchen table. Reid was still mad at himself for not noticing that Luke had been getting sick, but at least he had been there to help when Luke needed him.
“I wanted to talk to you about the wedding.” Reid said as he grabbed a few cookies from the cookie jar on the counter and then sat down opposite of Luke at the kitchen table.
“What about the wedding?”
“Dad thinks he’s got Lily convinced not to wait any longer to tie the knot.” Reid shrugged. “It looks like they might be getting married in two weeks already.”
“I see.” It was so soon, Luke thought but reminded himself that it wasn’t his decision. “I suppose they’ll want to move in together.”
“Yeah, I think the plan is that they move to my dad’s house. They’ve been thinking about the idea of renting this one eventually.” Reid explained. “Does that bother you?”
Luke shrugged. “I guess not. I mean they can hardly live in two houses. I often wondered why she kept the house in the first place.”
“It’s been in your family for years. I can’t see her selling this place.” Reid said while he started to munch on the oatmeal cookies in his hand.
“Yeah, I guess you’re right.” Luke confessed and accepted a cookie that Reid offered him.
“Well, what I really wanted to talk to you about was a wedding present. I’ve already talked to Kayla about it and we agreed that all three of us could pool some money and give them a honeymoon. We were thinking two weeks in Paris? Neither one of them has ever been to Europe.”
Luke couldn’t help but smile, deciding that it was a lovely idea. “As a surprise?” Reid reached across the table and started dunking his cookies into Luke’s glass. Luke followed suit and soon they were sharing the tall glass.
“Yep. I think we can pull it off. I can cover for my dad at the work. I mean everybody will probably have to work twice as much in the two weeks that he’s gone but I already talked to the entire team and they’re in. I also talked to your mom’s partner and he says it won’t be a problem. Getting the tickets and making the reservations should be the easy part. Then all we have to do is pack their bags without them noticing.” Reid laid out the plan and licked milk from his fingertips; Luke couldn’t help but notice.
Warming to the idea, Luke smiled. “I think we can manage that. We could give them the tickets at the reception. How about we hire a limo service? I think it could be nice if a limo took them right to the airport.”
“I hadn’t thought of that, but I like it.” Reid pulled his phone out to make a note.
“Get them a bridal suite,” Luke said. When Reid looked up, raising an eyebrow at him, he shrugged. “If we’re going to do it, let’s do it right.” Reid popped a bit of cookie into his mouth and made note of it.
“I like it. Limo, bridal suite, first-class tickets. Anything else you can think off?” Reid said through full mouth.
“Champagne. A bottle in the limo and another in the room when they arrive.”
“Excellent.” Reid smiled and then slipped the cell phone back into his jeans pocket. “Now that we’ve cleared that, tell me how you’re feeling.” Reid tone changed and he dead serious.
It was on the tip of Luke’s tongue to ask why he hadn’t come by in the past few days to ask him how he felt but he didn’t. He rose to take their now empty glass to the sink. “I’m fine.”
“You look better.” Reid was standing right behind Luke; when he turned back around they were almost chest to chest. “Have you been eating? Besides the cookie I managed to get you to eat.”
“I’m eating enough. And would you move?” Luke asked; slightly annoyed and mostly intrigued.
Reid shook his head and before the blond could respond, he pressed his lips to Luke’s. The blond’s hands went up to Reid’s chest to push him away, but that didn’t help. Murmuring his name, Reid deepened the kiss, wrapping his arms around the younger man. Their thighs tight against each other, his hands roamed across Luke’s back and he groaned when Luke’s fingers found his way into his locks. He pulled his lips away to come up for air, but kept their bodies close. His gaze stayed locked on Luke’s; getting lost into those hazelnut eyes. Gently now, he touched his lips to Luke’s again.
Luke’s arms tightened around Reid, getting lost into their kiss for a moment. When he pulled back he pressed a kiss to Reid’s jaw before he hid his face in the older man’s neck and just held on. He could feel Reid’s heart beating against his chest as the other man pressed a kiss to his head. “I don’t know what to do Reid,” Luke said eventually. “I haven’t been able to think straight since I came back.”
Reid’s hands moved up to Luke’s shoulders, gently pushing him back. “I want you Luke. You want me. What’s the freakin’ problem?” Both of them laughed lightly at Reid’s attempt to lighten the mood.
The blond stepped back as far as Reid’s hands on his shoulders would allow. “It’s not that easy for me. I mean I can’t pretend that I don’t want to be with you. At the same time, I want to run the other was as fast as I can.” Luke let out a shaky breath of air. “I’m sorry if I’ve been giving you mixed signals since I’ve come home. I just don’t know how much of what I feel for you is just a memory and how much is real for me now. When I was seventeen I imagined us together forever and now...”
“And now?” Reid asked carefully while he lightly played the hair at the nape of Luke’s neck.
“Now we both know things aren’t that easy. We are different people, we have different lives.” Luke replied. “I just think that it’s a good idea to start a relationship with you, especially a physical relationship, when I haven’t even figured out what I want to do with my life.”
“You know that it’s always been more than physical, Luke.”
The blond nodded, taking a moment to choose his next words. “Having an affair will only make it much more difficult for both of us when I leave again.”
Reid felt panic rise within him. He wasn’t sure if he’d survive it a second time if Luke left. “What do you want from me Luke?”
“I want you to let me sort through this.” Luke replied, moving away. “Give me some time to figure out what I really want. Don’t try to pressure me or seduce me. Believe me, it’s been tried before and it won’t work.”
Reid snorted. “I’m not one of your admirers who wants to shout with the triumph of being your lover.”
“Maybe I shouldn’t tell you, just to see you squirm, but I’ll tell you anyway. I’ll tell you the truth.” Luke crossed his arms above his chest. “There haven’t been any lovers, because I haven’t wanted there to be. All my life decisions have been made for me, but now, I
decide what I
want and right now, I just can’t be with you.”
No one. There has been no one, Reid thought, as he took a step toward the blond but managed to stop himself. He knew he wouldn’t be able to keep himself from touching Luke if he took another step. That didn’t mean that he was about to give up so easily though. “Do you want to have dinner with me tonight?”
“What?” Luke asked, taken aback.
“Do you want to go or not?” Reid snapped.
“Fine. I’ll pick you up at seven.” Turning on his heel, Reid marched to the front door, slamming it shut behind him.
----> Part 4