Part 2 - http://community.livejournal.com/luke_no
Part 3 - http://community.livejournal.com/luke_no
Part 4 - http://community.livejournal.com/luke_no
Holden left Noah alone, stepping out of the waiting room and closing the door behind him with a soft ‘snick.’
His first instinct was to rush and check on Luke, but he knew that Luke would want to know about Noah and Holden had to clear his head before he spoke to his son about his boyfriend.
He made his way to an outside exit and found himself in a small garden with a paved walkway and some benches. He say done on one of them and took a deep breath of fragrant air.
Holden knew he had just put events into motion that were going to hurt Luke severely, perhaps even break his heart. This was the part of parenting he hated. Doing the right thing in the long run sometimes meant being the bad guy in the present.
In those moments that Holden sat there, thinking about Luke lying in a hospital bed somewhere nearby, he knew that to avoid all the other bad things that could occur he was willing to be the enemy.
Noah didn’t notice he was alone in the room until Holden had already been gone for a few minutes. He stared out of tear filled, blurry eyes at the magazine rack and at the fake flower arrangements stuck in ordinary vases.
He took a deep breath and reached up to wipe his eyes. In doing so, his wedding ring came into view. The golden adornment twinkled merrily under the hospital’s harsh lighting and Noah’s tears conjured up a luminous aura around the symbolic jewelry.
One of his tears dripped onto the ring as Noah watched. It slid around the side until it dropped to the leg of his pants, leaving a small dark spot on his knee.
He was married.
That was fact. He couldn’t explain it away or cover it up. He couldn’t pretend that it wasn’t real or had never happened. He was married. To Ameera Ali-Aziz. And he was in love with Luke Snyder.
He fell back and let his head fall on the back of the seat rest.
In all the previous years of his life, Noah had never pictured himself in this situation. How could he have? Sure, he’d imagined himself married a few times. Living with a wife, a couple kids and a dog in a suburban house with a minivan. It wasn’t a dream that he actively strove towards but one that he assumed would happen naturally one day when he met the right person and they were old enough and mature enough to make the commitment. Not a rebellious or politically charged ideal at all.
In all of his imaginings, Noah had never dreamed of someone like Luke. Had he even been aware that someone like that could ever exist in the same world that he did?
Noah had previously figured that he was somewhat of an expert on love, being that he’d seen it played out over and over again on movie screens. The first love, the troubled and angst filled romance, the destined soulmates. He could systematically place each of his own relationships into a category. A schoolboy crush, a romantic friendship, a heavy shock of lust. But from the first moment that he’d realized there might be something… more between he and Luke, he hadn’t been able to qualify or quantify what more was.
They were friends, of course, with similar interests and ambitions. They were attracted to each other, enough to quality their feelings as lust. A simply brush against Luke sent heat through Noah. They were also partners, working together to reach their goal of a life together and a family. However it might take shape and turn out.
Theirs was also a troubled relationship. Nothing had come to them without a price. They had hurt others, each other and themselves along the way. Noah had approached their … adventures with the idea of he and Luke as a unit. Agreeing on needs, wants, methods and risks. But he couldn’t deny that their partnership had been heavily weighted on one side lately. He hadn’t been listening to Luke, hadn’t been paying attention to him. And although he couldn’t say that Luke’s most recent injury was all his fault, he could admit that it could have been avoided.
Was he dragging Luke into the situation? Was his father dragging both of them? The Colonel’s presence lingered over every moment of Noah’s existence, his influence immersed far further than it should have gone.
The clanking of a hospital bed outside the door brought Noah out of his musings.
It was time to end his father’s reign of terror. It was time he started acting instead of reacting. And as much as it would hurt Luke, Noah had to set him free. They both needed time to sort out their lives. Hell, they needed to get back to their lives.
Noah knew that he would never stop loving Luke. But he’d learned (ironically, from Luke) that real love meant giving your partner what they needed the most. And what Luke needed the most was to heal, to live his own life and to make his own choices.
Luke and Noah had always been more to each other. Had always had more to give each other, even when it seemed their relationship would never be anything more than colleagues and acquaintances.
As Noah stood and slowly made his way toward the door, he hoped that the old adage would prove true. If you set something free, it would come back to you if you were really meant to have it. He hoped, with a lover’s desperate plea, that the heart he was about to break would return to him.