A pair of hands appeared from behind him and snaked down his body slowly. Noah moaned at the touch and leaned back into the couch. Taking that as a green signal, Luke smiled to himself and lowered his head down to his boyfriend’s neck and started to kiss and nibble along an undefined line of skin. Luke began to tug over the collar of Noah’s shirt wanting more access.
“It’s not like I don’t appreciate this ... what you are doing to me ... FUCK!” Noah groaned as a sharp pleasurable pain showed up on his face at the intense suck.
Luke smiled in a cheesy manner watching from the hickey he just made up to Noah’s bliss-ridden face. “Yeah, bubby... fuck is the word.” He whispered near Noah’s ear, while his hands caressed Noah’s body over his clothes. How he wished he could get rid of them right at that moment.
Noah exhaled and opened his smiling eyes over at Luke. “Seems to me like somebody’s gotten pretty impatient, huh?” He took a hold of Luke’s hand and jerked it aside.
Luke pouted walking around the couch and sat beside him. “It’s just that ... it’s been so long Noah, and I ...” He said in a dejected way. “I miss you.”
“I am right here ... with you.” Noah kissed his held hand and continued petting it.
“You know what I mean.” Luke frowned.
“I know.” Noah nodded. “But Luke, we have mutually agreed to something here; remember?”
Luke mocked. “Yeah, yeah – no fun before eighteen; I get it; but this is totally shit.”
“Don’t get all grumpy on me now.” Noah gave a hearty laugh. “Besides, it’s a matter of only a few more days. You will be turning eighteen this Saturday, so it’s not really long to wait.”
Hearing that, something perked up in Luke and his face beamed. “I like the sound of that ... mmm ... tempting. You better make it worth it, Mr. Mayer.” His mind already began to run wild thinking about it.
“You bet.” Noah winked.
But the blonde was kind of too impatient to not do anything. “Can we at least make out right now? I mean that’s okay, right? We can have our clothes on.” His eyes pleaded in desperation to get what he wanted.
“You are crazy, being so persuasive with me just before I am off to work. Do you even have the slightest idea how hard it’s going to be not to think about you throughout the day? The symptoms are already showing up, see?” Noah pointed down to his groin, which was showing off a massive tent.
Luke felt sort of proud with that. “You don’t have to go.” He said with a suggestive smile grazing his fingers along Noah’s jaw line.
Noah shut his eyes enjoying the touch, then as if shaking all his desires off, he uttered in a forlorn voice, “As much as I would want to stay here with you and spend some valuable time with you, I really can’t afford to skip work.”
Luke sighed. “I wish you could stay. It gets boring staying here all day alone without any fun or entertainment.”
“Hey, why don’t you go out; make some new friends? Or you can call Maxi over.”
“Yeah, they are not you, though.” He shook his head. “Noah, why can’t we get a tv?”
Luke looked at Noah and knew the no-money-for-shit-like-that talk was coming again. But he had to try, just in case ... “We have already talked about it baby and I have already told you how short on money I am right now. Moreover, I don’t even have a steady job anymore. Whatever I get from tutoring Maxi is spent on things we need, and very little goes to savings.” Noah said almost in a disheartening way.
Luke shrugged. “A small tv could do.”
“Noah, please? It’s really hard to kill time without some fun activity.” Luke begged. “At least as a birthday present for me? You will do that for me, won’t you? Please?”
Noah narrowed his eyes then looked away. Thinking, he faced Luke again and opened his mouth to say something. But not a word came out. Luke kept his mouth busy on pleading his case. Finally, the blue eyes rolled into consideration and the brunette said, “Fine. I will see what I can do.”
Luke leaned for a hug, wrapping his arms around the warm body. “Thank you so much Noah. You are the best.” His voice was filled with cheer.
“Hey, hey wait,” Noah held onto Luke’s shoulder and pushed him away from his body to face him. “I am not promising anything. I said I will see what I can do.” He said in a serious tone.
But Luke was too happy to be brought down by that. “I think you love me enough to do that much for me.” He said cheekily.
Noah’s lips curled up in a smile again. “Buttering me up is not gonna work boy.” He took a peek of the time and swore, “Shit! I am running late.” He hurriedly put on his shoes and began to head for the door.
“When will you be back?” Luke called behind him.
“Usual time, why?”
“Nothing.” He mumbled and looked down at his hands.
“Come here.” Noah stretched out his arm in an invitation and Luke stood up slowly making his way to him. Quick enough, Noah cupped his cheeks and gave him a short peck. “Love you.”
“Love you too.” Luke smiled and waved as they said their goodbyes. As soon as the door shut, he exhaled in his usual sadness he felt when Noah was gone every day. He got back to the couch and his eyes lingered all around, finally staring at his phone. Considering he must not waste his time being lonely, he took hold of it and called Maxi to make some plans.
Gust came downstairs to find Candes alone in the kitchen, “Hey,” he said.
“Good morning.” The blonde girl smiled brightly watching him. “You’re not ready yet?”
“Ready for what?” He growled. He didn’t get much sleep the night before with all the thoughts of Joe and their future.
Candes looked puzzled. “For school?” She said, “Duh! What else for?”
“Oh,” Gust nodded, “Yeah, I’ll grab something to eat and then we can leave.”
“Nah! I better get going. I have my cheerleading practice today.” She said while stuffing her mouth with a bite of a sandwich. God! Was she hungry? The pregnancy seemed to be the reason she would make a pig out of herself, Gust thought.
However, at the mention of cheerleading practice, a worried look haunted his face and he asked, “Candy, don’t you think cheerleading is not safe for the baby? I mean ... the stunts you perform; they could hurt the baby.”
“I know, but the pregnancy is in the early stage.” She shrugged it off although her appearance was affected by it.
“Still ... you should take care of yourself.”
Candes sighed. “Look, I know what could happen, but there’s a passion in me for cheerleading that I can’t stop. It’s my thing – something I love to do. And I am being careful, not that I am not.” She was honest - he could see it in her eyes but...
“But you will have to quit once ...”
“I get that.” She exhaled out the frustration that came on the mention of quitting because of her pregnancy and she tried to calm herself down. “I think I will soon make a decision on that.”
“Better that way.” Gust kept watching her but she kept her head lowered.
“Hmm ... I better get going.” She drank the remnants of the juice in her glass and wiped her hands with the napkin.
Gust began to make himself a quick sandwich while she put her dish in the dishwasher. They remained silent for sometime till Gust harked back, “Hey, don’t forget you have an appointment with the doc today. I hope Matt has reminded you about that.”
“That he did.” She smiled at the mention of his handsome brother and Gust felt happy seeing her like that. “I will be going to the doctor’s after school.”
“What about Matt?” He wondered aloud.
“Oh, he has been having a severe headache to deal with.”
Gust was worried. “Still?” Matt was having a bad headache for a week now, and the worst thing was it didn’t seem to go away yet.
“Yeah, it is starting to worry me. He has called in sick from work today as well. I asked him to go see a good doctor for Christ’s sakes, but he says it’s not a big deal.” She frowned.
“Well ... he is one stubborn ass.” Gust smirked making her giggle. It was only true. “Do you want me to come with you?”
“But you ...” She began to say in her normal tone but realized they were at home and hushed down her tone. “But you have to meet Joe.”
“Yeah, but it’s okay, I think he will understand.” He definitely will... Gust was sure of that.
“I don’t know Gust.” Candes didn’t look sure though. A guilty look was seen on her face. “It’s the only time you guys get to see each other. I don’t want to ruin it for you.”
“You are not ...”
“Listen, I will be fine by myself. I am not a little girl that you have to keep a watch out for me all the time. I already feel guilty for what all I did to keep you guys away from each other before. I’m not doing anything like that again.”
“Okay, but you will have to promise to call me once the appointment is done with and tell me everything that the doctor has said.” Gust was serious and his voice stern.
“I promise. Shall I go now?” Candes smiled.
“Wait. I am done eating so I think I will head out with you. Let me go grab a decent shirt and get my backpack.”
Maxi entered the local library and searched for a particular blonde guy he had to meet there. When he spotted him, he took in a breath and walked towards him. “Alright gasbag ... why did you call me here?” He said taking a seat beside him.
“Why do you call me that?” Luke asked smiling, but Maxi just shrugged with no intentions of answering that question. So Luke proceeded to reply, “Well to be honest, I was getting bored alone at home, and I don’t know anyone that could keep me entertained better than you.”
“What am I, a clown?” He scowled.
“Oh come on, I won’t insult a clown by comparing him to you. That would be harsh bringing down his reputation like that.” Luke teased.
“Ha Ha. You think you are Mr. Smarty-Pants but believe me, you are not even close to that.” Maxi played along while trying hard not to smile.
“If you say so.” Luke smirked and went back to reading his book.
“Yes I definitely say so.” Maxi mimicked Luke’s expression as he said and averted his gaze to look around the almost-empty place. “So what’s the big plan ... in a library?”
The blonde beamed. He folded a dog’s ear at the corner of the page he had reached and shut it before turning to face Maxi. “I know, a library doesn’t sound much of a fun place. But I wanted to check this one out when you mentioned it last week. It might turn you off, but I have this thing for books in me.” Luke animatedly told him.
“Why do you think anything you would do would turn me on or off?” Maxi snorted looking away, but he knew better.
Luke chuckled. “Seriously, you are something. I meant books? And not me, baby.”
More swiftly than normal, Maxi’s head turned and his stunned look surprised Luke. “Don’t ever call me that again.” He almost gasped out those words.
“Well well-well, someone’s getting annoyed by the name-calling.” Luke was certainly amused.
The grey eyes showed utter annoyance now and he gritted his teeth repeating. “You. Are. Not. Calling. Me. That. Again. Get it?”
“Baby at least sounds cuter than gasbag, huh?”
“You are a gasbag. That’s a universal fact.” Maxi snapped, averting his gaze in anger.
“Fine baby” Luke fuelled Maxi’s anger more.
“Yes, baby? Me? You mean me?” The blonde was seemingly enjoying the fact that he was getting on Maxi’s nerves and it pissed him off.
“I wonder how Mr. Mayer puts up with you. God! You are so irritating.” He growled. However, it still surprised him that Luke was even in relationship with someone like Mr. Mayer. With the age difference and all, he wondered how that didn’t matter to either of them. Although, he wouldn’t admit even to himself, a part of him did squirm when his mom told him about what Mr. Mayer had told her.
“Unh-unh ... he doesn’t have to put up with me because he loves me. It’s a subject of male attraction baby; you won’t understand.” Luke stated. “Good thing that you are straight, you know?”
“Huh?” He looked puzzled.
“Well otherwise, you would have definitely fallen for my charms.”
“Don’t flatter yourself so much.” Maxi feigned displeasure and gazed at the other side with the fear of getting caught in his lie. “And for the record, I am bisexual, and you do nothing to move my dick even an inch.”
“You’re bi?” That took Luke by surprise.
“Uh ... yes? I think I just said that.” Maxi frowned.
“So, I don’t turn you on you say?” Luke smirked mischievously, getting an idea. He twisted in his chair and leaned to Maxi’s side, catching the poor guy off guard. Maxi turned to face him – the proximity of his face to Luke’s making him to cease breathing for a while. “You sure of that?” Luke sensuously whispered.
Maxi swallowed hard. Their noses were almost touching and he couldn’t tear his eyes off those tempting lips in front of him. “I-look-I d-don’t ... wh-what... y-you sh-sh-should ...” He began to stammer.
Out of the blue, Luke threw his head back and began to roar in laughter, so loud that the librarian had to come over and hush him. He tried harder to keep his laughter low, but he would look at Maxi’s face and the laugh would bubble up again. It only made Maxi squirm in embarrassment. “I am sorry baby, but look at your face.”
“It’s not funny.” Maxi reddened and began to get up to leave. But Luke caught hold of his hand and the warm rush made him feel worse.
“Hey, hey wait ... I’m sorry dude. I didn’t mean ... I was just kidding.” Luke’s red face began to calm down as he sincerely apologized.
Maxi shut his eyes and mumbled. “It’s fine. But I forgot I have to be somewhere. I will see you later.” He quickly freed himself from Luke’s grasp and headed out, all the while beating his inner self for weakening over Luke’s faux advances.
“Are you sure we are safe here?” Joe asked looking around the spacious structure as he lay down beside Gust in the heap of hay. The sounds of horses grunting made him look in that direction and he kept gazing at them.
“Safer than ever.” Gust said kissing Joe’s bare chest while his fingers played with his nipples. “This barn belongs to Luke’s grandma and she is done with her chores here by this time. She will be probably be out somewhere, and Luke’s parents don’t live here... so we are pretty much alone in this area right now.”
Joe shifted his stare to the other side and saw their shirts lying abandoned on the ground. He smiled slightly and tightened his grip around his boyfriend. “Good. I wish we could remain like this forever. Just you and me; happy together.” He said and kissed the blonde head below him. “And the rest of the world can go fuck themselves.”
“Joe?” Gust whispered deep in thought.
“How long are we going to hide this from others?” He raised his head up from Joe’s chest and looked into his eyes. “I hate to do this. Like we are doing something wrong and we don’t want others to know.”
“Not that we can help it.” Joe exhaled totally getting what Gust was thinking right now. “We just have to wait baby, until things get normal again.”
“Until your mom accepts me and my mom’s religion you mean? And what are the chances of that?” Gust frowned and Joe had to lower his gaze because seriously he had no answer to that question yet. “Look, we have to push things. We have to talk to her, make her understand that this is what we want – that our love is far more important than anything else in this world. Especially religion.” Gust suggested.
But Joe wasn’t sure. He shrugged. “I don’t know, Gust. It’s all messed up right now. I just ...” A sad smile showed up on his face as he began to stroke his boyfriend’s cheek. “I am afraid I would lose you.”
“You wouldn’t. I promise.” Gust reassured him with a sweet smile to him. A beeping sound interrupted what Gust was about to say further. “That’s me.” Gust announced and dug his hand into his jeans pocket to get the phone. “Hello? ... yes? ... Oh hello. Is everything alright? ... This weekend? I don’t know but isn’t that too far? ... Yeah, Matt is not feeling himself this week. I will ask Candes and Joe too.” His uncertain brown eyes shot up to meet the perplexed green ones that were looking back at him. “You know what? I think I will come over. You can expect me along with the gang for sure... Okay, thanks for calling.” Gust ended the call having a huge smile on his face.
“Who was that?” Joe smiled watching him happy, still mulling over the reason for it.
“I think we have some solid plan this weekend to spend time together.” Joe still looked lost and Gust grinned more as he told, “That was Mr. Mayer ... Luke’s boyfriend?”
“Yeah, what did he have to say?”
“Well, it’s Luke’s birthday this Saturday so he wants us to come over to join in the celebration.”
A grin broke out on Joe’s face as well. “Sweet! Bet we are going to break loose this weekend then.”
“That’s for sure because Casey, Tracey and Mercedes are coming as well he said.” Gust looked excited by the plan.
Joe nodded, and then as if he had been jerked back to reality, he swore with a sudden grimace “Shit! How can we forget? Do you even think either of our parents would let us go with each other in these circumstances?”
Gust’s smiled faltered. “Actually that was the first thought that crossed my mind when Mr. Mayer invited us over. But then I thought this isn’t about us ... it’s about our friend Luke and his happiness. You know I miss him too much, don’t you? I can bet he misses us as much. Imagine how happy he would be when he gets to see us on his special day. I don’t know about you, but I definitely want to do this for Luke.”
Joe gave it a thought and nodded.
“You are right. Fuck all the other things! We are going to go anyhow, especially when it gives us the opportunity to be with each other for some more time. So, precious, you can count me in.”
Candes was talking over the phone, filling up Gust with the details of her doctor’s appointment, which was in actuality about nothing much. But that boy worried too much... “It is all good Gust; don’t worry. The doc just took a sonogram. You’ve got to see these pictures. They’re heavenly.” She still couldn’t believe how fast her baby was growing inside her. It was out of this world; it felt so good. “Okay, I will see you at home then. Later.” She ended the call, while juggling her backpack, reports and her phone all at once.
“Look who’s here ... Miss Beauty Queen!” Candes looked up at the girl standing in front of her and smiled. The girl was smiling at her too, but Candes knew her and her fake smiles much better.
“Oh hey Ashley, what are you doing here?” She played good. Ashley was the one girl in the cheerleading team that hated her guts, literally. It was clear from her actions that this Ashley girl envied her for everything she had achieved to date – her beauty, school popularity, cheerleader’s position, et cetera. Candes would only laugh it off and pity her.
“My sister went into labour this morning, so we had to bring her here. They are operating on her now.” Ashley replied with disinterest.
Candes gave her a brief nod. “I was wondering why you didn’t make it to the cheerleading practice today.”
“Yeah, but what are YOU doing here?” Ashley asked, raising an eyebrow at her.
“Uh ... Me? Uhm ... yeah, I was ... I was here to collect the reports.” She stammered with the fear of getting caught in her lie engulfing her. She saw Ashley’s gaze lingering on the reports in her hand and her heart skipped a beat seeing what she was reading.
“Reports? Of a sonogram?”Ashley narrowed her eyes in doubt. “Are you pregnant or something?”
Candes didn’t know how to answer that except by laughing it off. “My goodness, that’s hilarious, Ashley ... how can I be pregnant? I am just seventeen.” She continued to laugh nervously as she lied, “These are not my reports. These are ... um ... of my ... uh ... neighbour’s.”
“Neighbour’s?” Ashley didn’t seem convinced much.
“Oh yes my neighbour. Actually that lady lives alone and her husband is away most of the time... military guy and all, you see? So she usually asks me such favours and since I was coming this side anyway for school, I thought I could collect them for her.” Candes quickly made up the story.
“Ah! That’s so sweet of you to help her. Never thought you were a helpful kind before.” Candes didn’t like the way she was talking and looked down. “If you don’t mind, can I see these ...” Ashley made a move to get a hold of those pictures, but Candes quickly took a step back, taking them out of her reach.
“NO!” She almost yelled, but realized how freaked out she sounded by that. So calming her nerves, she forced a smile as she said, “I mean, I am sorry they are sort of private and I am afraid I have to rush. I am already late and mom would go berserk if I get home later. I will see you in school, yeah?” She was getting more anxious minute by minute.
“Sure.” Ashley gave a crooked smile and nodded. As soon as she could, Candes said a quick bye to the pesky girl and made her way out with hurried steps.