In the year and a half that they had shared an apartment, Noah had become very accustomed to coming home to unexpected news and announcements from his always unpredictable boyfriend. But what he was told that Friday evening pretty much topped it all.
As he entered the apartment at the end of a long week of Java shifts and hours spent in the editing room putting together his Senior Project, Noah was looking forward to a night of doing whatever he and Luke wanted. They could go out to dinner or to a movie or maybe just stay in and do…other things. That was definitely Noah’s preference.
Because of the busyness of their week, he and Luke hadn’t had sex since Monday night. Four days earlier. Almost ninety-six hours earlier. That had to be the record for the longest length of time without sex during which they were both in town or one or both of them hadn’t been abducted.
“Hey you,” Noah grinned, as Luke walked out from the bedroom to greet him.
“Hi, Bubby,” Luke said, planting a soft kiss on his boyfriend’s waiting lips. “So, we have to go and break into the Hughes house tonight.”
While Luke let that register, he turned and walked a few feet to the refrigerator and retrieved a can of soda. He quirkily tapped the top of it with his finger a couple of times before popping it open and holding it out in offering to Noah.
“Wait…what?” Noah finally asked as he reached for the can. Without waiting for an answer, he took a long swig of soda and pretended it was Beer. Sometimes he really wished they kept Alcohol in the apartment.
“We have to break into Casey’s house,” Luke answered, shaking his head in frustration. “Remember how I burned him that DVD of Watchmen the other night?”
“Yes,” Noah nodded slowly, wondering where this was headed.
“Well, I gave it to him yesterday. Only it turns out I didn’t. I put the DVD for the going away party in the Watchmen case by mistake.”
Noah’s eyes widened. He and Luke had been assisting Casey and Alison’s families with planning a surprise going away party for them, since they would be moving to Carbondale the following week. Luke had offered to host the party at the Farm, and Noah had filmed messages from Casey and Ali’s various family members and friends and edited them together with music and pictures, to be played at the party on Sunday. There wouldn’t be a dry eye at the Farm.
“So, what do you mean we have to break into the house?” Noah asked cautiously.
“The entire Hughes family is in Chicago overnight to celebrate Bob’s birthday,” Luke responded. “They won’t be back until late tomorrow. There’s no one in town right now who can let us in with a key.”
“And how do you know they haven’t taken the DVD with them to Chicago?” Noah asked.
“Because they think they’re coming over to watch it with us at the Farm on Sunday. That’s the cover story for getting them over there for the party.”
“Well,” Noah said hopefully, “if they’re not planning to watch it until Sunday, then there’s no point in worrying about them seeing it ahead of time, right?”
Luke scrunched up his face. “Um, not quite, Noah,” he said haltingly. “Casey mentioned that he plans to watch all the special features while Ali’s at work tomorrow. And they’re leaving the rest of the family and driving back early tomorrow morning so she can make it to her 9 o’clock shift. So we need to make the switch before he has a chance to pop the DVD in and ruin the surprise.”
Noah took another sip out of his can and rubbed his temple. This night was not turning out quite the way he expected. “Luke,” he said slowly, “we can’t break into a house. I’ll be just as disappointed as you if the surprise gets spoiled, but that’s a really drastic move.”
“But’s it’s not like it’s some stranger’s house, Noah!” Luke argued. “Tom and Margo would gladly grant permission for us to go in if they could. But I can’t get a hold of them and we don’t have time to waste!”
“I have a really bad feeling about this,” he told Luke, locking eyes with him and shaking his head. One look into those disappointed hazel eyes, though, and Noah could already feel his resistance crumbling.
“I understand, Noah,” Luke said, stepping close to him. VERY close to him. “I know this sounds crazy, and you’re nervous we’ll get caught, and it’ll look really bad. I know this isn’t what you were planning on for tonight, but-” he leaned over to kiss Noah’s earlobe and whisper hotly into it, “-if you come along and get this done with me, I’ll let you do ANYTHING you want to me when we get back.”
Noah shuddered and closed his eyes and took a deep breath. “You act like that’s not going to be just as big of a treat for you as it is for me,” he said with an aroused chuckle.
“Oh, it’s going to be a treat for me, alright,” Luke assured him, playing with the hair around Noah’s ear and pressing a kiss to his forehead. “I get to have my cake and get eaten, too,” he added suggestively.
“Oh, you’re going to get eaten alright,” Noah responded, arching his eyebrows sexily. “And that’s going to be just the appetizer of a five course meal for me.”
“Hmm, I can’t wait,” Luke purred, leaning in for a deep, lingering kiss.
When they finally broke apart, Luke clapped his hands and then fished his phone from his pants pocket. “Ok, then,” he said, launching into a quick review of the night’s activities, “I’m going to go order a pizza for delivery, and then after we eat, we’ll go on our break-in, and then we’ll come home and you can do unspeakably dirty things to me all night long.” He turned and disappeared into the bedroom to place the order.
Oh, yeah. The break-in. Noah had pretty much forgotten about that with all the talk of making a lavish meal out of Luke’s body, which had probably been Luke’s plan all along. He didn’t actually remember verbally agreeing to assist with the break in, but who was he kidding? He was totally going to be participating in a crime that night in exchange for sexual favors.
Yes, living with Luke was a daily adventure.
“Are you sure we won’t get caught?” Noah asked as they approached the Hughes house after nightfall.
What a ridiculous question, he immediately thought. Of course Luke couldn’t be sure they wouldn’t get caught.
“I’m absolutely sure we’re not going to get caught, Noah,” Luke told him emphatically. “I’m going to make the switch, and I’ll be out again in thirty seconds.”
They had agreed earlier that the best course of action was to try and gain entry through Casey’s bedroom window, since he often forgot to close it completely, and since that was where the DVD would be. They walked around to the side of the house, hoping that their dark clothing would keep them from being seen by neighbors.
Fortunately, and as they had hoped, Casey’s window was open a crack, and even more fortunately, he had forgotten to lock it from the inside, so it was just a matter of reaching underneath and pushing it up. He had removed the screen for the hot Summer months, and obviously hadn’t gotten around to putting it back in, even though the weather had turned crisp a couple of weeks earlier.
“Casey sure is an idiot,” Luke declared, after he had pushed the window up high enough to be able to squeeze through. “Any nutcase could just break right in through this window.”
It was with great effort that Noah kept himself from making a comment.
“Ok, Bubby,” Luke told him, “I’m going to be so fast. You wait right here and let me know if someone’s coming.”
“Ok,” Noah said, his eyes darting around in every direction. He couldn’t see anyone, and both of the houses on either side of them were dark.
Luke squeezed through the window into the pitch black room. Once he was inside, he reached into his pocket and pulled out the small flashlight he had brought with him. He turned it on and quickly located the shelf where Casey kept his DVDs. Since he had just received it from Luke the day before, the Watchmen case was lying right on top of a disorganized pile of DVD cases.
Luke quickly swapped the actual Watchmen DVD in for the going away party DVD, and put the party disc in the case he had brought the Watchmen disc in. He then put the Watchmen DVD case back on top of the pile, just as he had found it. Noah breathed a sigh of relief when Luke turned around and started heading back toward the window.
Luke had only taken a few steps when he heard a loud noise coming from another part of the house, like someone had dropped something heavy on the ground. He flipped around from the window to look toward the bedroom door, which was slightly ajar.
“Luke, what is it?” Noah hissed from outside the window. “You did what you came here to do. Let’s get out of here!”
Luke was about to turn and respond that he thought he had heard something, when he heard the unmistakable sound of footsteps clomping through the house.
“Noah,” he whispered nervously, turning back toward the window, “there’s someone in the house!”
“What?” Noah mouthed back in fearful disbelief. “Are you sure?”
“Yes!” Luke hissed urgently. “I can hear him moving around out there! Someone’s robbing the house, Noah! We’ve got to do something! We’ve got to stop him and hold him while we call the police!”
“And then what are we going to tell the police!?” Noah asked excitedly. “That we were breaking into the house, and then felt compelled to make a Citizen’s Arrest on someone else who also happened to be breaking into the house!?”
“Well, we have to do something, Noah!” Luke insisted. “We can’t just stand by and let our friend’s house be burglarized!” Realizing he would require a free hand, he shoved the DVD case into his pocket. It was slightly too large to fit inside fully, and stuck out a bit. “Noah,” he pleaded, “I need you in here with me!”
Before Luke had even finished his plea, Noah had started squeezing his tall frame through the window. Once inside, he stepped forward and grasped Luke’s free hand, squeezing it tenderly. They were both shaking a bit. Luke shined his flashlight toward the bedroom door and slowly, side by side, he and Noah made their way out into the hallway.
Down the hallway of the otherwise dark house, they could see a light on in the kitchen and could hear someone in there rifling through drawers and cabinets. They had enough light to make their way toward the kitchen, so Luke shut off the flashlight and shoved it into his empty pocket.
As they continued to creep slowly down the hallway, they walked past a golf bag resting against the wall. It was filled with golf clubs, and without any kind of discussion, Luke grabbed one and passed it to Noah before taking one for himself. They continued walking, ever so slowly, toward the light.
They arrived at the furthest end of the hallway before the kitchen. The kitchen was around the corner to their left, just outside of their vantage point, and the light from within the room illuminated the shadow of the intruder digging around in a drawer. Luke and Noah each drew in a sharp breath as they saw the shadow shut the drawer and turn around to step out into the hallway-right where they were standing.
They each raised their golf club, ready to strike if necessary.
The figure walked into the hallway and turned in the direction they were standing in, almost walking right into them.
“Stop right there!” Luke yelled fiercely, only to be shocked speechless a half second later.
“Casey!” Noah cried out, at the sight of their close friend, who they had almost just attacked for being in his own house.
Casey had practically fallen over in fright at the unexpected confrontation. He was standing in front of them with his hand on his chest, trying to catch his breath.
Luke exchanged a look of profound mutual embarrassment with Noah, who had already lowered his club.
“Your club, Luke,” Noah whispered, and Luke realized that he still had his club raised and ready to attack. He immediately dropped it to the ground.
Casey was still panting. “You-guys-scared-the-FUCK out- of- me!” he exclaimed. “What the hell are you doing in my house?!”
Luke shot Noah the quickest of glances and with their ever helpful wordless eye communication he told Noah, “Let me handle this.”
“We thought you weren’t coming home until the morning,” he said to Casey, which, he realized, wasn’t really an acceptable answer to the question.
“Ali got sick in Chicago and wanted me to take her home early. She was puking into a bucket the whole ride back. I just dropped her off at her place. But that still doesn’t explain what you guys are doing here!”
“Well…” Luke started. He looked at Noah again, who gave him a supportive nod. “It’s just…um…”
“God, everybody’s acting weird as hell this week,” Casey muttered. “My Mom’s been hiding something from me, too, making secret phone calls and shit. Somebody needs to tell me what’s going on! Right now, you guys!”
“Well…” Luke said again, taking a deep breath. He was usually better at thinking on his feet, but his mind was a complete blank right then. “…you see, Case…”
“What’s that?” Casey asked, pointing down at Luke’s pants. Luke looked down to see the DVD case sticking out of his pocket. Before he could even think about how to answer, Casey had reached down and yanked the case out of his pocket.
“Case, give that back!” Luke exclaimed, stepping forward and trying to grab it back from him.
“No!” Casey snapped. “Not until you guys can give me a decent explanation for why you’re in my house when nobody’s supposed to be home!”
“Well…” Luke began, for the third time. Why the hell couldn’t he come up with anything?
“Is this the thing you’re trying to cover up?” Casey asked, waving the case high over his head. “Is there something on this DVD you don’t want me to see?”
“Well…it’s just that…” Luke stammered. Noah was standing behind him, and he really wished he could see those encouraging blue eyes right then. He struggled to clear his mind so he could think of a way out of this situation.
“It’s just that…um…uh…”
“If you’re not going to tell me, how about if I just pop it in and see what it is, then?” Casey threatened, taking a step forward, in the direction of his room.
“Casey, wait!” Luke begged, putting his hands out to stop him. “Ok, fine, I’ll tell you. When I gave you what I thought was the Watchmen DVD yesterday, I accidentally mixed it up with another DVD, and I came in through your bedroom window to switch them back.”
“And you couldn’t have just waited until tomorrow when I was home?” Casey asked incredulously. “You decided to break in through my bedroom window?! Do you have any idea how insane that sounds?!”
“Well…” Luke repeated the mantra yet again, “it’s a DVD that…we really…didn’t want you to see.”
Casey raised an eyebrow. “Oh, really?” he said. “And what would be on it?”
Luke took a deep breath, resigning himself to the fact that he was going to have to tell Casey the truth. At least Ali would still get to be surprised by the party and the DVD.
“You see, Case, it’s a DVD of…”
“It’s a sex tape Luke and I made,” Noah interrupted, stepping forward and putting his hand on Luke’s shoulder.
Luke looked over at Noah’s hand, which was squeezing his shoulder gently. “That’s right, Case,” he said, immediately following Noah's lead. He turned back to Casey and grinned sheepishly. “Noah and I filmed ourselves a few weeks ago, and stupid me got the DVDs mixed up. So you can understand, of course, why we would be so desperate to make sure you didn’t end up watching it. It would be a pretty mortifying situation for all of us.”
Casey’s mouth was hanging open, and he had an absolutely horrified expression on his face. “Yeah...” he said, finally finding his voice. “Yeah, wow…uh, here you go, then.” He handed the DVD back to Luke, and shook his head. “Wow, no offense, but I’m so glad you guys broke in here before I watched that. Thank you.”
“Oh, don’t mention it,” Luke replied, smiling and waving his hand.
“So, assuming Ali’s better by Sunday, we’ll see you guys at the Farm for Watchmen,” Noah chimed in, stepping up next to Luke and taking his hand. They quickly walked to the front door to make their exit.
“Sure,” Casey responded absently, still looking a little traumatized.
“And a word of advice, Casey,” Luke added, turning around in the doorway. “You should try to remember to close and lock your window. You never know what kind of loony could come crawling through.”
And with that, he shut the front door behind him.
“Well, your quick thinking saved the day, Baby,” Luke said, once they were a block away from the house. “You never fail to amaze me.”
“Thanks,” Noah replied, stopping to give him a quick kiss. “I’m not sure if Casey will ever be able to look at us the same way again, though,” he laughed.
“We can tell him the truth after he sees the DVD at the party,” Luke said. “Although I bet you’re right. We probably planted images in his mind that will never, ever go away.” He paused. “I was thinking, though, Noah-” he resumed, shooting his boyfriend a devilish grin.
“Yes?” Noah asked in anticipation, having a feeling he had been thinking along the same lines.
“I was thinking that making our own video is the perfect way to spend the rest of the night. I promised you a hearty meal to dine on, and although that pizza was good earlier, I’m sure you’re still…” he stopped walking and pressed his mouth against Noah’s ear, “…very, very hungry.”
Noah gulped. The night certainly hadn’t gone the way he had expected it to, but it was now heading in exactly the direction he had wanted it to.
Living with Luke was a daily adventure. And Noah wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.