Luke walked into Java and was surprised to see Jeff standing behind the counter instead of Noah.
“Hey Luke, what can I get you?” Jeff asked friendly.
“Uh.. my boyfriend. I thought Noah was working today? It is Tuesday right? Or am I just going absolutely crazy?” Luke said confused and looked at his phone as if that would answer his question.
“No you’re not going crazy, don’t worry. Noah asked me to switch swifts. He said he needed time off today.” Jeff explained. “Didn’t he tell you?”
“No.. he uh must’ve forgotten or something, thanks, bye Jeff.” Luke said as he turned around and walked out of the cafe and dialled Noah's number.
“Hey babe” Noah said answering his phone.
“Noah where are you? I just came from Java but Jeff said you switched shifts with him.” Luke said worried. “Are you ok?”
”Yes I’m fine, I was just having coffee with my dad at Al’s.” Noah said reassuringly.
“Ugh.. So how is Dusty these days? When are you going to change your name to Donovan?” Luke said sarcastically.
Noah sighed and got up from his seat and walked outside after gesturing to Dusty what he was going to do.
“Luke I know you still don’t like him very much but he is my dad. Can’t you at least try to get along with him? For me.” Noah pleaded.
“I’m trying Noah, trust me I am. But it’s hard to get along with the man that almost tore my family apart. And you’ve been spending all your free time with him lately.. I miss you..” Luke said and bit his lip, cursing himself for sounding so needy.
“I know.. but I’m just getting to know him. It’s only been a few months since I found out he’s my dad and you have to admit, Dusty is a step up from Winston Mayer.” Noah said jokingly.
“Noah..” Luke sighed.
“I know, I know. Listen we we’re just about to head home. My dad wants to see our apartment. So will I see you at home?” Noah asked sweetly.
“You invited him to stay for dinner, didn’t you?” Luke asked, not sure if he wanted to hear the answer to that question.
“I did. But don’t worry he has a business appointment so he won’t stay.” Noah said a little annoyed.
“I’m sorry babe. I know he’s your dad and I really am I trying.” Luke said slightly shocked by the tone in his boyfriend’s voice. “I’ll see you at home in a bit. Love you.”
“I Love you too. And Luke, the only time I will change my name is the day I marry you.” Noah said affectionately and hung up.
“Nice place you got here son.” Dusty said as he looked around the apartment.
“Yeah it’s ok, it’s home.” Noah said smiling. “Are you sure you don’t want to stay for dinner? I’m no chef but it’s usually eatable. Luke never complains.”
“I’m sure you’re a great cook son” Dusty said.
“Ah that I completely agree with” Luke said as he walked into the apartment, threw his keys and bag on the table and went to kiss Noah hello. “Hi Dusty.” He said casually and gave Noah an I’m trying look. “Are you staying for dinner? Noah makes a great lasagne.”
“I’m sure he does, but I have an appointment with your grandmother tonight and I’m pretty sure she won’t appreciate it if I cancel again or just don’t show up. I don’t know what she’ll do but I have a feeling it won’t be pretty.” Dusty said jokingly.
“I’m sure even “the great Lucinda Walsh” would understand it if you had to reschedule your appointment because you want to have dinner with your son.” Luke said failing miserably to keep the b!tchy tone out of his voice.
“Oh I know she understands. Your grandmother is a very reasonable woman when she wants to be. But I already rescheduled that appointment twice so I could spend some time with Noah, so I really have to go tonight.” Dusty said ignoring the tone in Luke’s voice. “You don’t mind do you son? I can call Lucinda if you want.”
"No, no really it’s fine. You can have dinner with us some other time. Luke and I just need some time alone I think.” Noah said giving Luke a happy now look.
“Well I better go. I have to prepare for that meeting with Lucinda.” Dusty said and gave Noah a hug and squeezed Luke’s shoulder.
“I’ll walk you to your car dad.” Noah said as he grabbed his jacket and walked out the door with Dusty.
“I’m sorry about Luke’s behaviour. He’s trying, I know he is. It’s just hard for him to forget what happened with his family last year..” Noah said apologetic looking his father in the eye.
“You don’t have to apologise for anything Noah. I caused those problems myself and when Luke is ready to move on and put the past behind him, he will. Just don’t you two fight over me. Not after all I did to get you two together.” Dusty joked. “Now go back inside to your boyfriend. I think I can walk to the Lakeview by myself.”
Noah laughed and turned around and went back inside.
Luke was laying on the sofa feeling like the biggest idiot in the world when Noah came back in.
“Noah, I’m sorry” he said as he sat up and reached out his hand to Noah who took it and let him pull him down on the sofa. They wrapped their arms around each other and sat in silence for a while.
“I don’t want to fight about this with you. I don’t want your father coming between us again.” Luke said softly.
“I know and he won’t. I just want to get to know him better. But I understand that you aren’t exactly his biggest fan.” Noah said and kissed the top of his boyfriend’s head. “You know I can still make that lasagne tonight.”
“No we’ll save that for the day your dad stays for dinner” Luke said smiling sweetly and softly kissed Noah on the lips.
They switched on the TV and Noah put one of his favourite films on.
“We should get something to eat. I’m getting hungry.” Noah said after a while.
“I’ll cook.” Luke said grabbing the phone and looking through a drawer to find the number for the Chinese restaurant to order their dinner.
Noah laughed at his boyfriend’s idea of cooking.
“Where did I put that menu?!” Luke said getting frustrated and throwing his hands in the air.
At that same moment the phone rang and Luke gave it a strange look which made Noah burst out laughing.
“Oh they’re calling us now. Probably because we’re their best customers.” Luke said trying to control his own laughing fit. “Oh hello, so nice of you to call us this time. We’ll just have the usual with extra sauce.” he said as he answered the phone and Noah was laughing so hard he thought he was going to pass out because of lack of oxygen.
“Oh Luke, hi. Uh can I talk to Noah for a second?” Dusty said.
“Sure, hang on” Luke said and turned his attention back to Noah who was still in the middle of a laughing fit.
“Hey if you can stop laughing for a minute, your dad wants to talk to you.” Luke said tossing the phone to Noah.
“Hi.. dad..” Noah said trying to catch his breath.
“I’m not interrupting anything, am I?” Dusty said amused.
“No, no, it’s fine, we were just about to order dinner when the phone rang and Luke said it was the Chinese restaurant calling us”. Noah said laughing. “Never mind, it’s just one of our crazy things. Why are you calling?”
“Well, Lucinda had to cancel our appointment so I guess I’m free this evening.” Dusty explained.
“Oh well the offer still stands.” Noah said a little more serious. “I’m sure it does but I wanted to invite the two of you to have dinner with me at the Lakeview. I already booked the table for my appointment with Lucinda and I’m sure it won’t be any trouble for them to add an extra plate.” Dusty said.
"Uh sure.. let me talk to Luke for a second and I’ll call you back ok? Noah said and hung up.
“Dinner with Dusty Donovan?” Luke said raising an eyebrow after Noah had told him what Dusty had suggested.
“Yeah, why not? It’s just dinner and we do have to eat..” Noah said giving Luke his best puppy dog eyes look.
“You know if you don’t stop being so damn cute the only place we’ll be going is our bedroom.” Luke said seductively while crawling on top of Noah and starting to kiss his boyfriend’s neck.
“Luke..” Noah said trying to stop Luke but failing miserably. “Noah” Luke whispered in his ear and smirked when Noah pushed him down on the sofa and straddled him.
"Hmm, I..guess.. I.. better.. call.. Dusty.. and tell.. him.. we’re going.. to.. be.. late.” Noah said in between kisses.
“Sorry we’re late, something came up.” Noah said giving Luke a grin as they sat down.
Dusty noticed the looks the boys were giving each other but decided not to say anything. The waiter handed them their menu’s and Luke was amused to see the waiter was his brother Aaron.
“Oh so nice to have you serving me and having to be nice to me.” He said teasingly.
“You better be nice to me or just hope no-one will spit in your food if you don’t.” Aaron replied and winked at his younger brother.
The three of them ordered their food and drinks and talked about the weather, school, Luke and Noah’s apartment, how Lucinda had helped them get it, how and when the boys had decided to move in together and how happy they were now.
Dusty tried his best to keep the conversation away from himself and Lily and the rest of Luke’s family and Luke silently thanked him for it. He knew the guy sitting across the table from him meant a lot to Noah and Noah meant the world to him so he was going to be nice to him. At least for tonight he’d try.
A little while later Aaron brought them their dinner.
“Having fun with the father in law?” He whispered in Luke’s ear as he put his plate down in front of him. Luke gave him a shut up NOW look and Aaron walked away with a big smug grin on his face.
They enjoyed their food and talked some more about nothing in particular. When Noah excused himself to go to the toilet Luke and Dusty sat in an uncomfortable silence for a few minutes.
“I know you don’t like me very much Luke and I appreciate you doing this for Noah.” Dusty said breaking the silence.
“Noah means a lot to me.” Luke stated. And I will kill you if you do anything to hurt him. He added in his mind.
“Don’t worry, he’s my son I would never do anything to hurt him. I just want to get to know him and you better.” Dusty said as if he had read Luke’s mind.
“Me? Why? ” Luke asked unable to keep the sarcastic tone out of his voice.
“Noah loves you, you mean a lot to him. I just want to get to know the man that makes my son happy.” Dusty said looking Luke straight in the eye.
“You can hate me as much as you want, but you can’t change the fact that I’m Noah’s father. I will be around and I will be a part of my son’s life.”
“I don’t hate you.. much. I love Noah and I just want to see him happy. And if that means having you around.. well then so be it.” Luke said daringly.
“I’m back” Noah said happy to see his boyfriend and his father hadn’t killed each other. “Sorry it took so long.”
“That’s ok babe, we found out we have something in common after all.” Luke said sweetly.
"Really? What?" Noah asked looking from Luke to Dusty and back.
“You.” Luke said and kissed him on the lips.
“That wasn’t so bad now was it?” Noah asked as they walked out of the restaurant.
“I guess I just have to get used to him.” Luke sighed. “You got used to my dad too right?”
“Yeah well I think I had to get used to your mum and your grandmother more.” Noah joked.
“Yeah the Walsh women have that effect on people sometimes.” Luke joked back.
“I’ll get used to Dusty as your dad, just like you got used to my crazy family, Dusty is no scarier than my dad, right?”
“Well, just so you know, Holden Snyder still scares the hell out of me sometimes.” Noah said and both boys laughed and went home.