Part 2 - http://community.livejournal.com/luke_no
Part 3 - http://community.livejournal.com/luke_no
Even though Holden knew that he was hurting the young man in front of him, he continued on.
“Does Luke really deserve to be in that hospital room? Another hospital room? Does he really deserve to worry over Ameera, over your father?”
He stood and looked Noah in the eye. “Lately Luke is always worrying about you. If you’re safe, what you’re doing, who you’re with. He wants to be with you, but I’m worried that you don’t really want to be with him.”
“What are you talking about? Of course I want to be with Luke. I am with Luke. I’ll always be with Luke!”
But Noah knew the truth as well as Holden. At that moment he wasn’t truly and completely with Luke. How could be when he was legally married to someone else, man or woman? His skin prickled as he quickly flashed back to Luke’s comment about going back into the closet. How could he say he was committed to Luke when they’d spent less than two hours alone together in weeks?
Holden sat in one of the stiff chairs that hospitals always furnished waiting rooms with. He felt like he was reliving the days when Luke had been shot. Reliving the days waiting for tests and results and some sign that Luke was getting better. It was still as draining the second time around. Maybe even more so because he still didn’t know what lay ahead for his son.
“Noah, I know that you love Luke. I’ve never questioned that. The question is… do you love him enough to give him what he needs most right now?”
“Of course! I love him. He loves me. We should be together.”
“Noah,” Holden shook his head and clasped his hands between his knees as he sat forward, “you’re just saying that because you think it’s what you should. Right now, Luke needs to know that he has someone who will always be there for him, in good times or in bad. Someone who loves him simply for who he is, not what he does or what he could be.”
“I do! That’s why I fell in love with him even though I was fighting my feelings. You have to understand, Luke is… he’s everything to me!”
Holden pushed a hand through his hair. He was frustrated with the whiny tone that had crept into Noah’s voice and the way Noah kept trying to avoid the bigger issues.
“Son, I know that what you and Luke have is so special. So rare. But you have to admit that what you’re going through is beyond anything that a teen romance would usually be expected to survive.”
“You’re right.” Noah was still breathing heavily, but he tried to calm himself down so that he could explain to Holden.
“Luke and I have been through so much already. It’s hard to think that we’ve only been together for months, instead of years. But that means that we’re so much closer than we would have been otherwise. Going through all that… mess just made us appreciate each other even more.”
Holden looked at him skeptically. He stretched out his legs and crossed his arms, tension emanating from his lean frame.
“It’s brought you closer. Huh. Is that why you were somewhere downtown today when my son collapsed from his injuries?”
Noah looked stricken and he couldn’t find any words to say. His mouth opened and closed while he tried, but Holden plowed on.
“Is that why he was rushed to the hospital, unconscious, with only his grandmother there? Is that why he keeps asking if you’re okay when he’s the one with a concussion?!”
Luke’s father was standing by this time, breathing deeply while he tried to keep his temper under control. He glared at Noah for a moment before throwing his hands in the air and walking away from him.
Noah couldn’t speak. He fell backwards and luckily there was a chair there to catch him. Luke had a concussion? He’d seemed fine earlier!
“I didn’t know that he was hurt! I was angry and I just needed a few minutes alone to think and process. I didn’t know that he was hurt!”
‘Or I never would have left him,’ Noah thought.
“But you didn’t stick around to find out either, Noah. You didn’t bother to ask if something had happened to him.”
Holden walked to the doorway, turning to face this young man that his son was in love with.
Luke slowly pulled himself up into a sitting position. His head had been the source of his injury but he didn’t like how weak the rest of him felt. His arms were trembling from the simple action of supporting his own body weight. He automatically moved his legs, starting with his toes. He never wanted to go back to that place again where his own body betrayed him.
He still had glimpses of fear in the moments right after waking when his body was still relaxed and slow to respond. When he stretched and his limbs were heavy and uncoordinated. Luke always felt that dark secret fear spring to life in those moments. The fear that just maybe it had happened again or that he had relapsed somehow. He knew that it was unreasonable and illogical, but those cold shivers and prickles of fear lived on no matter what he told himself.
He looked over at the door to his room, hoping that he’d soon see Noah’s face. Where was he? Was he still mad? Lily had left a little while ago to find Holden and talk to administration about when he could be released. She told him that Lucinda had already flown back to Oakdale to tell everyone what had happened but she left strict instructions for the three to use her private jet.
What about Noah? How was he going to get home? Was he even coming home? That silent fear crept up on him again, but this time it had nothing to do with his injuries. What if Noah was mad enough to leave him? What if he just stayed in
The logical part of Luke’s brain tried to control his emotions. The internal arguments were nothing new to Luke, Many times in his past he’d felt things that scared him, or seemed to be “wrong” for the situation.