Noah woke from a deep and peaceful sleep…surrounded by the warmth of the body which was tangled with his, head resting on Noah’s chest. His life…his love…his Luke. The next thing Noah noticed was the smell of the automatic coffee maker brewing the morning coffee - and the scent of roses from outside the bedroom window. He sighed contentedly and smiled to himself. Lucinda’s cottage. Home. Noah's sleepy mind drifted...
Noah had come back to Oakdale for Christmas in 2010…and basically never left. Lily had taken him aside on Christmas Eve and expressed her worry. “A few days ago Luke fell asleep on the couch in the parlor – and I heard him crying in his sleep and calling out your name. It tore me up inside, Noah.” Lucinda walked up and joined the conversation to lay down the law. “Darling….it’s true…just look at Luke! I’ve never seen him more miserable.” Noah had to admit that the dark circles under Luke’s eyes were heartbreaking and Luke’s quiet demeanor had shocked him. Withdrawn and quiet was one thing Luke Snyder was not!
And so their healing began….with the help of Lucinda’s jet Noah came back to Oakdale every weekend until his projects in Los Angeles were completed. He had had to make a few additional trips back to the West Coast…and Luke would always accompany him. Other than that, he could handle everything just fine from Illinois…and was directing spots for Katie on Oakdale Now. Some great contacts in Chicago had also brought him plenty of work. Professionally things continued to hum along.
Luke was doing great professionally, too. He had gotten back into writing with a vengeance – taking classes, and even writing for both WOAK and The Chicago Tribune. On top of all that…Luke had started outlining his first novel.
Personally, things had fallen back into place pretty quickly. Not a big surprise, really, since Luke and Noah’s love had never gone away. For a few days they talked of nothing else but everything that had happened…regrets and deep love expressed on both sides. Luke and Noah could now deal with the year 2010 with strength and peace in their hearts. They talked about how strange it had been – almost like a mysterious force or power had tried to keep them apart. The two men had christened this strange phenomenon “The Powers That Be”.
Lucinda had immediately offered the redecorated cottage on the Walsh estate to Luke and Noah. When they had tried to politely decline, not wanting to take advantage, Lucinda had become adamant. “The cottage is redecorated perfectly for my two favorite young men – and simply no other place will do!” Luke and Noah had thanked Lucinda with hugs and kisses.
All these thoughts were whirling around Noah’s half-awake mind when he felt Luke stir. Noah looked down and smiled “Good Morning!”
“Good morning to you…” Luke sighed as he leaned in for their good morning kiss. “Mmmmm…kind of a special day.”
“Really, how so?” Noah claimed innocence.
“Hey, now!” Luke giggled and playfully slapped Noah’s thigh...then snuggled in closer. “You know, the picnic at the farm isn’t until later. I smell the coffee brewing….and I bought some strawberries and crème so I could make us pancakes for breakfast…we would hardly have to leave this bed all morning!”
“Breakfast in bed…sounds fine.” Noah purred his approval.
Luke looked at Noah slyly. “Yes, I figured we could have the pancakes here on plates – but the strawberries and crème might taste better on other eating surfaces.” His voice lowered to a seductive growl “Really, really delicious….”
“I like the way you think, Luke”. Noah’s voice had also dropped several octaves, and he pulled Luke into a deep kiss.
Finally coming up for air, Luke and Noah could only gaze into each other’s eyes. Love, desire and tenderness flowed between the two men like electricity.
“Happy Anniversary, Bubby” Luke murmured. “I love you.”
“Happy Anniversary. I love you, too, Luke. So much!” Noah’s voice was choked with emotion and the sting of tears threatened his eyes. "I am going to spend every moment of the rest of my life showing you how much I love you."
Luke caught his breath and whispered "I was going to say the same thing, Noah...I’m yours…forever...I guess great minds think alike."
"And great hearts love alike." Noah smiled tenderly.
Luke was lost in the ocean of blue, but found his voice "It all sounds perfect to me..." before he pulled Noah into another scorching kiss. Their heartbeats blended and their bodies became one.
Breakfast would have to wait...and it would eventually be every bit as delicious as Luke promised!