Love Has Said Hello Again - Chapter 17This is a featured page

Title: Love Has Said Hello Again
Chapter: Fourteen of ??
Rating: R

Summary:
Two years had passed since they last spoke; since that awful moment when Luke asked him whether they could remain friends. Noah had adamantly refused.

"I can't." He told Luke, because it was the truth

He left Oakdale that very same day and never looked back.

Characters: Luke/Noah
Genre: Romance/Endgame
Warnings:
Disclaimer: This site is no way associated with "As the World Turns", CBS, P&G, or Van Hansis and Jake Silbermann. This is not for profit. No copyright infringement is intended. Authors submit and write their own work.


Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Chapter 7
Chapter 8
Chapter 9
Chapter 10
Chapter 11
Chapter 12
Chapter 13
Chapter 14
Chapter 15
Chapter 16


********************

He kept Luke locked possessively between his knees as they finished off the last of the banana bread; chasing it down with cooled-off coffee. It felt so incredibly good; the two of them sitting silently together by Snyder pond as if no time had passed at all. It was simply familiar and comfortable within each other's presence, stealing kisses, like they always used to. It felt amazing to have Luke wrapped up in his arms, feel Luke's heat as the blonde leaned back into him. Smell him. Touch his skin.

It felt right.

He could almost relax and pretend. Almost…

If it were up to Noah they would stay that way forever; block out the real world and build a safer one of their own; wall themselves in. But even as he was thinking this, Luke was already wriggling to move.

Noah felt that dull ache; that familiar node of doubt and fear grown on this heart like a cancer. He'd been living with it for so long.

Luke was a free being; a bird; born to soar through life at the behest of the wind. Luke could not be caged.

Noah knew they'd have to leave eventually but...

He flung one arm just under Luke's neck; hand gripping Luke's opposite shoulder to hold him in place. He pressed his lips to the warm skin between shirt and neck and inhaled deeply; that oaky, vanilla-coffee, hay-laced scent of Luke.

"Not yet." He whispered, "Please… not yet."

Luke's body, still tense with grief, shuddered under Noah's fingers; gave way, relaxed and grew heavy against him. Luke even smiled a little at Noah's words, igniting a spark in a previously hopeless dark. Noah swallowed, enjoyed it; soaked it in; remembered what they'd just agreed; what they'd once been and hoped to have again.

Together.

This time it had to work.

...

He woke when he felt that distinctive change in the air; a slight chill as the sun began to disappear behind the border of spiky treetops and the nightly breeze picked up.

Luke lay asleep on his side beside Noah, eyes rolling fitfully behind lids framed with long blonde lashes; wisps of hair tracing the curve of his neck. Even in slumber he had Noah's shirt bunched tightly in his fists; keeping Noah to him.

The last time Noah watched Luke sleep like this, Luke was curled in a ball on the sofa in L.A. and Noah was preparing to let him go forever. That thought sent an instant bolt of pain through his heart.

"I could never let you go." He whispered, kissing Luke's temple; slightly sunburned from hours of sitting by the pond. "I'll never get tired of watching you sleep. God, Luke…"

It was hard to imagine this slumbering angel was the same angry and frustrated tornado that blasted his way back into Noah's life only a few days before.

"No," Noah corrected himself, "You didn't come back into my life. You never left it, baby. You were always here Luke." He held a fist to his heart, "Do you hear me?"

As if he did, Luke shifted and moaned sweetly.

Noah buried his face into Luke's neck and rolled over him.

The movement woke Luke.

"Are you awake?" he asked, voice gravely with sleep and shed tears.

Noah waited a moment before responding, "Yeah."

He soaked in the feel of Luke's hands palming his shoulders; incredible warmth soaking through his doubled-upped shirts.

"Did we both sleep?" Luke asked him, "I think I'm sunburned."

"Yes and yes." Noah responded, pressing up on this elbows to view Luke better.

Luke smiled as soon as Noah's face came into his field of vision, "Hi."

"How're you feeling?" Noah asked, twisting a lock of blonde hair around his index finger.

The beautiful smile faded, the dimples diminishing as Luke recalled the reason for Noah's presence, "Thanks for coming."

"You thanked me already." Noah reminded him.

"I know. But… look… The memorial service is tomorrow and I know this isn't the best situation for you… I mean… I... I just need…"

Noah cut him off with a kiss, "It's okay. I'll be there. Don't worry. I'm not going anywhere. I'll help you through this."

Luke's grateful eyes were once again glassy and Noah wished more than anything to take away the sadness.

"Why did he have to drive so fast?" Luke asked Noah, voicing his frustration.

"He wanted to save a life." Noah replied simply and then sighed deeply through his nose. "Whatever happened, Luke, it's not your fault. Okay?"

"I can't help but wonder if I'd just left him alone… If I hadn't tried to change him…" Luke looked lost as a million thoughts passed across his eyes, "I accused him of being selfish and I think he was trying to prove something to me. Maybe he'd still be alive right now if…"

"You don't know that Luke. And you can't think like that either. It will drive you crazy."

Luke closed his eyes and pulled Noah down to him for a hug. It was clear they were both reluctant to move but eventually Luke said, "Guess we should head back before we're found by a Snyder search party."

Luke stood and pulled Noah up after him; without breaking contact, hands lacing together naturally so they could walk side by side through the forest.

Inhaling the well remembered earthy, musky smell of rich dark soil laced with mint and sweet floral scents, filled Noah with such a deep feeling of wellbeing he almost passed out from it. Noah tried to recall the last time they walked this way; as a couple.

A frown must have crinkled his face because Luke stopped walking and asked, "Okay?"

Noah bent to place Emma's empty thermos and kitchen towel on the ground so that he could reach for Luke's other hand, "Is it bad if, considering the circumstances, I told you… um… I think I'm feeling… happy?"

A broad smile lit Luke's face in sheer joy; Noah's words exactly the glue needed to mend the crack left behind by Reid's untimely death; like a soothing balm on a fresh wound. And all Noah could think as his stomach swirled in butterflies was, "I did that!"

Noah tilted his head and kissed the soft, dry lips from his past and from his dreams, sucking first then drawing both within the warmth of his own. Luke moaned and Noah tingled in reply; heat rising and bubbling to a boil. He didn't attempt to breach them, feeling sure he'd not be able to control his emotions; that stark desire only Luke could emoted within him. He simply savoured the kiss; exchanged sensation and warmth with him. But he stayed respectful to Luke's current pain, which in the end had nothing to do with this or them.

Suddenly and unexpectedly, Noah realised they had time. Lots of time. All the time in the world if they so chose. Suddenly Luke was his again and Noah was here, back in Oakdale, smelling of horses and leather and dirt and grass and Luke.

Luke.

"Luke..." The last thought cracked out-loud, Noah pressed his temple to Luke's and pulled their chests flush. Luke stepped naturally between Noah's legs, fitting there snugly like he was a part, once broken off, slotting back into place.

Noah couldn't stop himself from shaking.

Luke's hand smoothed through his hair, fingertips pressing paths across Noah's skull before hooking around the back of his neck, "I'm scared too, bubby."

Noah nodded his understanding and tried to steady his breath; left hand resting in the small of Luke's back, pressing Luke incredibly close.

"You're amazing." Luke gasped, squeezing their other hands which were still laced together at their sides. Out of nowhere Noah's stomach gargled loudly and Luke laughed, "Amazing and hungry!"

"Your grandma's cooking! Can't blame me!" Noah mumbled into the top of Luke's shoulder.

"Let's go then…" Luke withdrew and Noah retrieved the thermos and cloth from the grass at their feet.

They broke through the band of trees and followed the field that led up to the back porch.

Holden stood on the step, obviously looking out for them. He called back into the house as soon as he saw them and Lily appeared. Even from this distance Noah couldn't miss the look of hope and happiness in their eyes at the sight of their son and Noah walking hand-in-hand up the hill.


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