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In Love With The Proper Stranger - Chapter 4
Luke was up to something.
Reid wasn't sure what. But he knew the guy well enough to know for certain. Luke was a crappy liar, who wore his feelings all over his face.
That feeling coupled with the sex having definitely fallen flat lately had Reid convinced something was up.
Whatever it was, he sure as hell didn't like it!
Reid grew even more suspicious when he came home to a cupboard-bare kitchen.
Luke always saw to it that Reid was well fed. Translated that meant a fine dinner lovingly prepared and on the table when Reid walked in the door.
Or when he was away or working late, Luke would make arrangements with one of the neighborhood's gourmet take-out places to deliver to the brownstone; especially for Reid.
But Luke hadn't called Reid today and there were no tempting aromas to greet him.
Just another piece of evidence to convince Reid that all was not well.
Over the past few weeks, he had begun to wonder whether Luke suspected something. But then he would always dismiss it.
After all, he reasoned someone like Luke would have confronted him if he found out about the other men. Wouldn't he?
It wasn't that Reid didn't have any feelings for his husband. The blonde was a nice enough guy with a sunny smile and was definitely great in bed. Who wouldn't like him?
Reid would almost go so far as to say he could love Luke, if it wasn't for the guy's incessant need to smother every so-called special occasion in heavy doses of sentimentality.
God, but it was annoying! Couldn't they just say happy birthday and move on?
And Valentine's Day…? Please! Who the hell had the time for the candy, flowers and the rest of that sh*t?
Reid was grateful every single day for the invention of the cell phone calendar application! If it wasn't for his phone's ability to provide reminders, he'd have forgotten all those stupid details.
Luke would have surely grown tired of him a long time ago.
Reid prided himself on playing the loving husband to Oscar-winning perfection. He always had the expected romantic gesture prepared in advance, although he found the whole process tiresome beyond belief.
Still, it was a small price to pay to live in the lap of luxury and enjoy the occasional proverbial romp in the hay with the luscious blonde.
And as for the guy's family? Reid wouldn't even go there for fear of saccharine overload.
"Luke?" he called out. His stomach was heading into overdrive rumbling.
Oh well. He would just snack on something until dinner was served. He waltzed up to the stainless steel side by side; opened the doors only to have the empty white illuminated shelves coldly gleamed back at him. He nearly fainted.
That's when Reid finally started catching on. He'd been so focused on feeding his face he'd completely missed the plain, simple fact that the house was empty, absolutely bare, with not a stick of furniture… anywhere.
He walked into the kitchen's center, which just that morning had been home to the breakfast table and chairs, almost expecting it to magically reappear.
Okay… what kind of game was this?
Reid checked the kitchen cabinets. "What the f*ck?" He furiously opened and then slammed the door of every fringing empty cupboard.
His heart started to hammer. But he wasn't the type of person to lose his cool.
Get angry, yes. But he never shouted or screamed.
Rather, it was his nature to simply demand and expect to be obeyed. People never argued with him. He was just so brash they did as he told them.
And that was the way he liked it.
"Luke!" he barked out in the same demanding tone he used with his clinic staff.
But there was no response.
He turned on his heel and marched into the empty living room where deep depressions in the beige wall to wall indicated the previous positioning of the sofa and chairs, the sideboard and coffee table.
He considered firing the cleaning company for doing such a crummy job of the carpets, when he remembered he had a more serious problem on his hands.
Upstairs was no better.
Someone had cleaned out every single lamp, picture, rug, bed, table, dresser, and set of drapes from every bedroom.
Everything from expensive toiletries to the toilet paper was gone from the two bathrooms.
Every stitch of clothing – including Reid's several designer suits - along with every pair of shoes was gone from every closet.
While checking out the master bathroom, Reid happened to glance out the window.
There on the patio was Luke stretched out on a sun bed. He was wearing shades, even though it was grey and getting dark, not to mention freezing cold.
Ignoring his stomach groaning in loud complaint at missing its usual feeding, Reid took the steps leading back downstairs two at a time before skidding around the corner; and throwing open the glass sliding doors leading to the patio.
"LUKE!" he announced loudly. He didn't yell. He was Dr. Reid Oliver. He never yelled.
No response. Luke just lay there soaking up an imaginary sun like some lizard would do out in the dessert; without a care in the world.
Reid was seething. But he wasn't going to display any kind of emotion. That wasn't what he did.
Taking a deep breath, he sauntered over to Luke trying to appear like coming home to an empty house didn't bother him at all.
"Luke?" he asked with fake cordiality.
"Oh," the blonde smiled. "Hi Reid. How are you this fine evening?"
"Don't play smart with me, Luke! What the hell is going on?"
"What do you mean?"
"Are you blind? The house Luke! The fridge is freaking empty! And where's all the f*cking furniture?"
"Oh that?" He remained perfectly calm as if not a damn thing was wrong. "I decided to clean house… got rid of everything."
"I sold the furniture… all of it!"
"What in f*ck's name would compel you to do that?"
"Because… I'm leaving you." He stood up, pulling out a thick manila envelope from behind the cushion. "You'll find everything in here." He shoved the envelope at Reid. "I'd be grateful if you would sign the papers as soon as possible."
Reid struggled to remain calm. Show no emotion. Stay in control. Don't give him the satisfaction.
"What are you talking about?"
"Your stuff is over there…" Luke nodded to a pile nearby of carelessly tossed clothing on the wet grass.
"You can't just do this Luke!"
"Spring something like this!"
"I can do whatever the hell I like, darling; and don't even bother trying to contest the divorce. I have more than enough evidence to prove your infidelity!"
Reid's mouth hung open.
"Yeah, that's right, Reid. I know about ALL of them," Luke held up his fingers to count off Reid's lovers. "Let's see… there's Greg, Rodney, Adam… Reg…
shall I go on?"
"Save it!" Luke spat. "There's nothing you can say. You repulse me! You're a sly, lying bastard and I can't wait to be rid of you."
"You're nothing without me," Reid said, knowing how to push Luke's buttons. He struggled to keep from grinning when he saw the flash of pain cross his husband's eyes, visible even through the shades.
"You were just a sad, lonely little kid when I met you! I made you into the man you are today. I did that… me!"
Luke's eyes started to well up.
"I can't believe I ever loved you!" He shook his head. "But I'll tell you this. You're not getting one cent from me! Not. one. red. cent!"
He brushed past Reid, taking the cobbled path between their house and the nearby side street.
Left there in the garden, Reid felt a panicky feeling building within him. Resolving to remain in control, he stomped over to the patio doors determined to get
some food. He couldn't deal or think about any of this until he ate something.
He was surprised to find the sliding door closed. He could have sworn he had left it open on the way out to the back yard.
The thought was just passing through his mind when he caught sight of a Gotham City Locksmiths' van pulling away from the curb on the side street.
"No!" he yelped and pulled at the handle. It was locked. "NO!"
He ran around to the front door and tried his key in the lock. It didn't fit.
"Oh…" a voice from behind said. Reid turned to find a smirking Luke. I also sold the house."
"Why you little son of a B*tch!"
He started down the steps toward Luke, who was climbing into his BMW.
The loud sound of a tow truck's engine stopped Reid dead in his tracks.
He looked over in its direction with abject horror, and watched his beloved Lexis being hauled away.
"I'm also selling your car." Luke yelled out the window of his Bimmer. "It's still in my name after all." He started up the engine. "…and you might as well cut up all those shared credit cards, too. I cancelled every last one of them."
A totally blindsided Reid could only watch as Luke's car disappeared around the corner.
I hope you like this one :-)
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, Sep 5 2011, 2:32 PM EDT
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