Luke sat in the car. He was busy thinking about how to approach his father with this mess with Noah. They drove almost about halfway to the police station and neither one of them uttered a word. He turned his head to look at his dad. He could see he was still angry, and his dad kept frowning every now and then, while gripping the steering wheel harder.
Holden was making this harder for Noah and Luke didn’t want this. He wanted his dad to listen to him. “Dad, please try to understand, Noah is in the clear.”
“Shut up Luke! You don’t know anything.” Holden sternly said.
It only annoyed Luke and he argued, “YOU don’t know anything, dad! I am the one who initiated this relationship.” He desperately tried to explain, “You have no idea how much Noah tried to resist.”
His dad mordantly laughed “Didn’t seem to me like he did for too long based on those pictures.” The scornfulness that he had on his face when he had seen those pictures, showed up on his face once again.
“We love each other.” Luke admitted, watching his father to make sure he didn’t piss him off further.
And he did get that reaction. Holden was shocked to hear it at first, and then his eyes turned red in anger as he yelled, “That’s it! You are not saying another word. And don’t you dare defend that guy in front of the police.”
Luke looked at him in disbelief. He shook his head and rudely answered back, “You bet I will. I will tell the officers what I said to you, because that is the truth.” He sulked like a child, crossing his arms over his chest, and slumped back into his seat.
“Now you have learned to retaliate with your dad?” Holden was hurt. Luke was never like that before. What changed? “Listen to me, Luke.” He began as he tried to calm himself down, “I am doing this for your own good. That bastard is not good for you. You just think you are in love with him, but you are actually not!” He tried to make his son understand. “You are so young, dammit.”
Luke narrowed his eyes at him, “Didn’t you and mom fall in love when you were young?”
“That’s a different thing, Luke.”
“How is that different?”
“Because we were both young and that bastard is much older than you.” Holden raised his voice again, not able to control his anger. Why was Luke being so stubborn?
“Stop calling him that. And he is not that old like you are making him sound.” Luke defended Noah. He didn’t like that his father was calling him names, when he didn’t even know him.
Holden didn’t say anything. He knew it was just a waste of energy to keep arguing with Luke. So, he decided he would take legal action in order to get Noah behind bars.
Holden stopped the car when they had reached the police station. “I am going to call Bonnie and let her handle this.” He said getting out of the car.
The interrogation began as soon as Luke arrived. Margo was with Noah while Luke was interrogated by a different officer. “What’s your name?” Margo asked, putting on the recorder.
Noah had somewhat moderately steadied his emotions by now and answered in a low voice. “Noah Winston Mayer.”
“Are you originally from here or ...” Margo left the question hanging when she saw Noah shake his head lightly.
“I used to live in Branson, Missouri. I moved here six month ago.” He told her.
Margo gave a nod. “Alright Noah, let’s get to this case. Where did you meet Luke Snyder for the first time?”
“At school, he was our substitute teacher for history while Mrs. Brooke was out.” Luke smiled to himself remembering that wonderful day when he first saw those blue eyes and he was taken by their magic instantly. “The first time I saw Noah was when he saved me from a guy named Rob. He was an abusive bully. He couldn’t stand the fact that I was gay.”
“So Noah Mayer saved you from that bully,” The officer furrowed his eyebrows in suspicion, “Is that the reason he used to get close to you?”
“No, not at all.” Luke bobbed his head wondering what the officer wanted to ask.
“Then what, you felt like you owed him something because he saved you?” The male officer tried to find out the reasoning behind this, “So when he initiated a relationship, you thought it would be wrong to decline his offer?”
Luke shut his eyes to prevent himself from bursting out in anger when he clarified, “Noah didn’t initiate anything. That was me.”
“Luke?” Margo was surprised.
Noah nodded slightly, “Yes, I was on a date with my co-worker Chris when Luke admitted to me that he liked me.” He skipped telling her how Luke had posed to be Chris and had kissed him. It was Luke acting out his immaturity, but he was sure Margo would take it the wrong way.
“What was Luke doing there on your date?” Margo was starting to doubt if Noah was even telling the truth.
“He had come with his friend,” he stated.
Margo tilted her head slightly wondering about it and then asked, “Okay, so when he told you that he liked you, what did you say?”
Noah flinched, remembering what exactly he had said to Luke. “I said some mean things to him; I know I shouldn’t have, but I just wanted him to stop having those feelings for me. It was wrong.” He elaborated.
“But then when did you change your mind?” She wanted to know.
“I fell in love with him.” Noah simply said, with a genuine smile on his face.
“You loved him?” The officer didn’t think it could be possible that a seventeen year old kid could actually fall in love with his twenty-one year old teacher.
“I love him.” He reiterated. “More than anything in this world.” Luke had seriousness written all over his face.
“What about Noah Mayer?”
“What about him?”
“Does he love you too?” The officer asked with a straight face.
“Yes, he does. We both are in love.” Luke confirmed.
“I hope you do know he is just seventeen and you are much older than him. Luke is still a minor. This could work against you legally. Do you even realize that?” Margo frowned.
“I do.” Noah nodded and rushed to explain, “And believe me, I tried to keep myself away from Luke, but I just couldn’t. It only hurt us badly. I never thought it could be so hard to lose something I never really had.”
For a second there, Margo stopped and stared at Noah with a blank look. She didn’t know why, but she wanted to believe the man sitting in front of her. It was like she could hear Luke’s name in each of his heartbeats at that moment. The way he warmed up every time he would mention Luke, Margo felt guilty for questioning his love like that. After all, she knew what love meant to a lover.
But as soon as the thought came to her, it went as well. She got back to her stern, unaffected self. Her profession did not allow her to act over emotions, and Margo exhaled getting her head back to the interrogation.
“One last thing – were you two sexually active?”
Luke knew the question was going to come out sooner or later. It still took a lot out of him but he finally shook his head to say, “No! Never!”
Noah squirmed. “Noah, don’t tell them we ever had sex.”He remembered Luke’s words and quietly blurted “No.” As soon as he denied it, he felt guilty. It killed him that he was hiding something. Fear of getting caught in his lie immediately ran through him.
Margo looked at him suspiciously. ‘Was he telling the truth?’ she wondered. She took a minute before she turned off the recorder and said, “Alright. Let’s see how much what you said matches what Luke has told the other officer.”
The brunette looked up as she rose from her chair.
Margo sighed looking at Noah. She walked to him and palmed his shoulder hesitatingly. She said, “Listen, it’s better if you get yourself a lawyer. And if you want, I can get an attorney appointed for you.”
“Thanks.” Noah gave her a sad smile.
“Noah!” Luke squealed when he saw Noah come out of the interrogation room, and dashed towards him not caring a damn about anyone else. Noah’s face lit up seeing Luke again, and he was ready to take him in his arms to feel loved. However, his look of bliss turned to a look of hurt when Holden came forth and held Luke back.
“Don’t you dare get any closer to him.” Holden warned with an angry look.
Luke yelled. “Dad, please.” He was dying to get closer to Noah just one time. He just wanted to fit himself into those strong arms that knew how to console him through this rough time. Luke needed it right now. But his father was being impossible.
“Don’t over exaggerate Holden.” Margo came out with her colleague after hearing Luke’s part of the recording as well. “It might not be what you think.” She said as she held up both the tapes for future evidence.
“What do you mean?” Holden looked quizzically at her.
“From what we found out from the interrogation, Luke made the first move in this relationship and not Noah.” Margo was explaining. Holden glared angrily at his son and that intimidated Luke and he lowered his gaze. “Noah kept trying to push Luke away, knowing the consequences, but finally gave in to his feelings, when he realized he was in love with him.”
“What the hell are you talking about?” Holden scowled.
Margo shrugged. “It must be true, because both of them had the same story to tell.” She simply said. She didn’t feel any of them was actually lying.
“But Margo, you can’t be too sure.” Holden tried to counter. “What if Noah and Luke concocted this story just in case they were ever caught?”
“Might be,” Margo gave it a thought and nodded considering it, “but that’s just a doubt. It’s not full proof. And anyway, made up stories can make a mess with two different people telling it, so you can tell...” She explained, “And it was all pretty clear with this interrogation.”
“Crap!” Holden still didn’t want to believe this.
“And they both denied having sex.” Margo added, “So this case is not that extreme as we thought it would be.”
“You can’t believe them just by their word.”
“No I can’t.” She agreed with Holden and looked at Luke first, and then at Noah, when she said, “That’s why I am going to run some medical tests to determine if there was any sexual intercourse.”
Hearing that, Noah panicked. ‘Oh no! What if they realize we’ve been lying? Damn! I shouldn’t have lied in the first place. What am I gonna do?’
“Hey Gust! What’s the hurry?” Matt called Gust when he saw his brother come through his door and dash up to his room. He was sitting in the living room watching some tv.
Gust stopped abruptly mid-stairs, being out of breath, “Hey bro! I have an assignment due tomorrow and I have to leave for work soon.”
“Um ... you can finish that later. I have to talk to you about something. Come sit with me.” Matt shifted and made room for Gust. The blonde came down again, with a bored look and went to sit beside him.
“What is it?”
Matt turned off the tv and focused on talking to his brother. This was important. “Erm ... it’s about Candes.”
“What about her?” Gust took the plate of chips that Matt had brought for himself and ate some chips from it.
“Oh ... uhm ... I was wondering if you are going with her tomorrow to the hospital.” He asked waveringly.
Gust’s eyes looked questioningly at him first, but then widened when he remembered, “Oh shit! It totally skipped my mind. I gotta talk to Candes about it.”
“Hey hey ... chill bro, calm down! I was just going to ask, if I could take her to the hospital?” Gust’s head jerked back hearing that. He wondered why his brother was asking something like that. “You know, I feel bad that you have to go through all of this. I mean, working your ass off at the diner, and also taking Candes to her check-ups ...”
“Wait a minute!” Gust snapped, “Get to the point, Matt. What are you trying to say?”
Matt opened his mouth but he didn’t exactly know what to say, “I am ... I am just saying that why don’t you just enjoy your school life and have fun? Let me handle it all. After all, Candes is my responsibility too now.”
Gust laughed humourlessly before he said, “Okay, so basically, you want to claim my baby along with Candes, huh?”
Matt was taken aback “I didn’t mean that, Gust!” He couldn’t believe his brother was misunderstanding him.
“Of course you meant that.” Gust yelled at him, “But it is my child Matt! Mine! I don’t care what relationship you have with Candes, don’t even dare to get close to my baby. My baby belongs to me; you have no right over him or her.”
“Gust! What the hell? I was just trying to help you out.” Matt angrily said. He now felt it was better if he hadn’t brought it up.
Gust stood up fuming, “I don’t need your help.” He forcefully said, “I can do it all on my own. You stay out of this.” And giving a warning look, he stomped upstairs to his room.
Luke was by Olde Town waiting impatiently for someone. He kept looking at his watch every now and then. Finally, he saw an elderly woman approach him. “Grandma!” He called out and happily and got closer to her.
Lucinda gave him a quick hug, “Darling, is it true what I heard? I was shocked when Lily called me to tell me about the pictures.”
“No, it’s not what they are all thinking grandma.” Luke knew his grandma would understand and help him. “I mean, yes, Noah is a teacher at my school, but he is not abusing me sexually. We love each other.”
“That’s really hard to believe, Luke.” Lucinda said, fumbling with the beaded necklace around her neck.
Luke looked visibly hurt, “I thought of all people, at least you would believe me.”
“I believe you, darling. But it’s hard to believe that the man you are talking about – this Noah – whoever he is, whether he is really in love with you or not.”
“Just believe me okay? I know... I know he loves me.” Luke said with determination. “Can’t you trust me on that?”
Lucinda trusted him. She knew her grandson couldn’t make a wrong choice, and right now she could see the love for this man dripping out of Luke’s eyes in the form of tears. That melted her and she sighed. “Alright! Fine! What do you want me to do, honey?”
Luke beamed when Lucinda agreed to help him and hugged her quickly, “Thank you grandma. Thank you for believing in me and my love. I promise you won’t regret your decision.”
“I am hoping so. So tell me.” Lucinda waited.
“Well, for starters, I need you to get an expert lawyer for Noah. Someone who really knows how to get him out of this predicament painlessly.
End of Part (C)... Part (D) of Chapter 20 will be the next update of this story.
How is this story progressing according to you? What do you think of the characters? Am I doing justice to each of these?