It's in His Eyes
Fuck! Fuck! Over and over again, Luke's mind repeated the litany as he hurried down the steps of the underground station, his breath coming in short, desperate bursts. Please...please be running late. Please don't let me miss him. His eyes lifted from his feet as he reached the bottom and turned the corner on to the station platform. He came to a halt, his eyes searching frantically, as he realised that the doors to the train had obviously already slid closed; the train was moving slowly into the dark mouth of the tunnel.
"No! Fuck! Fuck!" His shoulders slumped as he brought his hand up to rub his eyes, his face a picture of misery.
"Now, now, dear. There's no need for that kind of language, is there?" admonished an old lady as she hefted a heavy-looking bag on to her shoulder. She looked up at Luke's whispered apology, noting his trembling lips and eyes filled with unhappiness. "Oh, come on, dear. No need to worry. There'll be another one along before you know it." She smiled reassuringly and patted his arm, before moving slowly towards the stairs.
"No...I don't think there will be," whispered Luke to himself, sinking slowly down on to the nearest bench and putting his head in his hands. "Fuck."
Luke Snyder was running late...as usual. Last to leave the office, he got caught up chatting to the night watchman - a guy who managed to make even a hideous brown polyester uniform look good on his perfectly sculpted body. Matt was an irrepressible flirt, always giving Luke the come-on and obviously open to anything that Luke might offer, no matter how meaningless. Whilst Luke liked him - and there was certainly plenty to like - he wasn't interested in the kind of fleeting sexual high on offer. Matt was a player; he partied hard all weekend, hitting the clubs and bars and never visiting the same bed twice - although that couldn't be said for the back rooms and toilets.
Luke was a romantic - and not even a closet one. He was romantically out and proud and looking for love. Totally uninterested in the club scene, Luke wanted a relationship; he wanted commitment; he wanted to snuggle up to the same warm body every night; he wanted to wake up to that person every morning. Was it really too much to ask? Yeah, well apparently it was. According to most of his friends, Luke was living in a fantasy world and should just embrace the numerous cocks on offer - that's what they did, after all.
God, but that was so not what he wanted. He wanted to meet someone's eyes across a crowded room; he wanted to make a connection that made his heart beat faster; he wanted to feel like he was the centre of another person's world; he wanted to find someone to be the centre of his. What he really wanted - no, needed - was to spend fifty or sixty years sharing his life with the one person who completed him. His grandparents had had that and more. Why the fuck couldn't he?
Thinking of his grandmother as he hurried through drizzling rain caused him to stop for a moment under a shop awning and take out his mobile. Luke knew her favourite soap was on TV right now and that she'd pick up his message as soon as it finished.
"Hey, Gran. It's only me. I missed my usual train so I'm gonna be a little late. Don't worry about food - I'm taking you out to your favourite restaurant tonight. You know we'll never get in once the holidays start. See you in a bit. Love ya." He was moving back out into the rain as he slid his phone into his pocket.
Ten minutes later, Luke was trying not to fall against the person in front of him as the train lurched along the track. The later train was always busier than the one he usually took and there was never any chance of getting a seat. He closed his eyes and held on to the rail a little tighter, his slight feelings of claustrophobia getting the better of him for a few moments. He concentrated on slowing his breathing and imagining himself in his own space, a technique that always helped him maintain control.
Luke's concentration was suddenly broken as the body in front of him shifted back, knocking into him,
"Oh, God, I'm so sorry," apologised a pink-faced teenage girl, her eyes widening appreciatively as she looked back over her shoulder.
"That's okay - no harm done," Luke replied, "It's not exactly roomy in here, is it?" he continued, smiling politely and turning away to deter further conversation. This was the reason he never caught this train. He needed to regain his focus before it disappeared completely, so he closed his eyes, taking a deep breath before opening them and...
...looking straight into the most amazing pair of midnight blue eyes he'd ever seen! Oh my God! Oh my God! His breath stuttered in his throat and he could feel his heart pounding in his chest. Surely everybody on the train could hear it? He could feel a blush heating his face, his whole body if truth were told. And he couldn't breathe! He honest-to-God felt like he couldn't breathe. The dark-haired man standing at the opposite end of the carriage had trapped him in his gaze and he couldn't break free...didn't want to break free. As Luke watched, mesmerised, the guy's eyes widened almost imperceptibly, dropping to Luke's mouth as it opened to drag in some much-needed air. Those eyes lifted again and he was lost, drowning in a midnight sea, claustrophobia forgotten. Fuck! Everything was forgotten, except for the need to exist in the here and now; in this moment only; in those eyes; in that man.
The moment was broken as the train ground to a halt and the doors slid open. As Luke watched helplessly, the blue-eyed man was jostled out of the doors and on to the platform. Luke shifted, hampered by the enclosed space, trying to catch sight of the guy before the train pulled away. Thank God! There he was, looking through the dirty glass, eyes still trained on Luke, a half-smile lifting those gorgeous lips. Luke smiled back. Then he was gone.
Luke didn't really remember the rest of his journey home. He was obviously aware enough to get off the train, leave the underground station and walk the short distance to the house he shared with his Gran. He was obviously aware enough to get in, get ready and escort her to her favourite Italian restaurant. However, all he could really concentrate on was how he felt inside, how those beautiful eyes had made him feel. And he never wanted that feeling to go away.
"So? Are you gonna put an old lady out of her misery and tell me what happened to you today?" Luke's Gran stopped twisting her spaghetti around her fork and looked at him enquiringly.
"Huh?" Deep in his own thoughts, for a moment Luke wasn't even sure what she'd said. "What...?" but she didn't give him chance to finish as she put her fork down and reached across the table for his hand.
"I know you, Luke. Good grief! I know you better than anyone." She smiled as she stroked the back of his hand with her thumb. "So don't try to kid me, kiddo. Something happened today and I want you to know that you can tell me anything...anything at all." She picked up her fork again, concentrating on her food and giving him the chance to decide whether to confide in her.
"Gran?" Luke's voice was hesitant and he reached for his glass of water, taking a long sip. He looked at her then, so open and trusting. "How did you know that Gramps was the one for you? I mean, how did you know?" His gran's eyes took on a sparkle that hadn't been there moments before and she smiled, more to herself than at Luke.
"I was a real tomboy growing up, you know? My mother despaired of ever turning me into a lady. The only time I ever wore a dress was in church on Sundays, and even then I'd usually managed to get it grubby before the service started." She smiled wistfully, lost in memories of years gone by. "I'd never stepped out with anyone before - the boys I knew didn't really want a girl who could arm-wrestle or beat them in a race - so I'd gone to the local barn dance with my sister. In those days, nobody was really worried about having a date and I definitely hadn't even thought about boys in that way. And that's where I saw him - your Gramps." She stopped again, closing her eyes, lost in the memories. Luke watched her, his carbonara forgotten, afraid to break the moment, yet so wanting to hear the rest.
"I was sitting on one of the benches when he stepped in front of me, reaching out his hand. When I looked up...it was like..." Her eyes narrowed thoughtfully. "It was like every star in the sky was reflected in his eyes." She laughed quietly. "I can't explain it any better than that. My heart beat so fast, and for a few moments I think I honestly forgot how to breathe. He didn't say anything; neither of us did. We spent the whole night looking into each other's eyes and he didn't let go of me once. We knew, both of us, that we were forever. How did I know? It was in his eyes." She suddenly looked at Luke, her own eyes sharp. "Soooo? What does this have to do with today?"
"I think...I think I met my Gramps today. I mean my...well...you know..." Luke's gran took pity on him, laughing softly,
"I know exactly what you mean, Luke, love. Tell me everything."
And he did.
A weekend had never dragged by so slowly, in Luke's opinion, but he just couldn't motivate himself to get out and do anything, even though his friends badgered him to go out with them. He spent his time alternating between helping his gran in the garden and laying on his bed daydreaming. Okay, let's be honest here; fantasising. Awake, his fantasies centred on actually meeting the dark-haired Adonis from the train. He came up with numerous scenarios that led to him moving closer to those beautiful eyes, closer to that smile, closer to those lips that promised so much. His daydreams concentrated on the first meeting, the first touch, the first kiss.
But at night? Well that was a totally different story. Luke's fantasies knew no boundaries. His dreams began as he slipped into sleep; the innocence soon transformed into lust-filled kisses and hot touches under starry, midnight skies - always starry skies. The morning evidence was enough to tell him what he couldn't remember, and he spent much of the weekend doing his own laundry. It didn't help that his gran watched him with knowing eyes and a sunny smile.
The following Monday evening, Luke actually arrived at the station with plenty of time to spare and purposely didn't get on his usual train. Work-wise, his day had been a total disaster and his lack of concentration had been noticed by more than one of his work-colleagues. His stomach was tied in knots and he actually felt physically sick with nerves. What if he felt differently tonight? What if he looked into those beautiful blue eyes and felt nothing? He was suddenly doubting his feelings, and it threw everything he believed about love into a raging turmoil inside him. Maybe his friends were right, if this is what love felt like. Maybe he really did just need to get laid.
When the train arrived, Luke was almost too nervous to get on. As usual, the crush of people meant he had to stand, but instead of closing his eyes, he searched the compartment carefully. He knew exactly what he was looking for and when he found it, he felt his whole world subtly shift into place.
The moment their eyes connected, Luke's inner turmoil ceased and a calm sense of rightness took its place. Yes! This was how it should be; this was how he was born to feel. Everything else paled into insignificance as he gazed at the man who completed him. He knew that every emotion he was feeling shone from his eyes, and yet he couldn't stop it, couldn't stop himself from broadcasting his soul across the carriageway. And his soul sang when he realised that his soulmate never looked away until he absolutely had to, until he was swept out at the next stop and the train had pulled away.
Over the next couple of days, Luke rode an emotional roller-coaster, alternating between orgasmic highs and crushing lows. His days were spent in limbo, living for the moment when he would be able to leave work behind and get to the station. Every waking moment was filled with thoughts of the dark-haired man and his eyes. Every day, Luke promised himself that today would be the day, the day when he actually spoke to the man that he'd become totally obsessed with, the day when he made some kind of contact. But when it came to it, there were always too many people standing in the way and too little time to move through the crowds.
Suddenly, however, it was Thursday. Tomorrow was Luke's last day at work before the Christmas holidays. Usually loving Christmas with his gran, he found that all he could think about was two weeks without seeing the man who haunted his every waking thought. How the hell was he supposed to have a happy holiday, for fuck's sake? He just had to do something today. There was no way he could survive the holidays otherwise. He was sure to be forgotten in two weeks and if he had to get on that train every day and be ignored, he didn't think his heart could bear it. Today was definitely going to be the day.
Luke ignored Matt's calls as he left the office, late again - as usual. Typically, it seemed that now that he was taking a later train, he was even later leaving the office every day. What the fuck? He literally ran through the streets, ignoring the looks of the people he passed. His only thought was to catch that train. As he reached the platform, pushing through the people who were leaving the train, the doors slid closed.
"No!" His cry of despair echoed off the walls and he knew people had turned to stare at him. He, however, only had eyes for the man who stood on the other side of the glass door, his eyes locked on Luke's. He raised his left hand and placed it on the inside of the glass. His eyes begged Luke to do the same - and he did, the palm of his right hand making the connection. As the train slowly moved away, Luke walked with it, ignoring the people in his way and looking into the eyes of his love until he reached the end of the platform.
That night, Luke dreamed of hands touching him, holding him forever. And he woke with a smile on his face and hope in his heart. Today was definitely the day.
"Fuck!" It was over. If Luke even survived the ‘happy' holidays, he knew that his chance had gone. He didn't know what to do. What the fuck was he supposed to do now? His face in his hands, his breathing ragged as he tried to maintain control, it took a few moments for Luke to register the voice that interrupted his misery.
"Is this seat taken?" a deep voice questioned, and a hand in front of Luke's face gestured to the empty bench beside him. Luke shook his head, not trusting himself to speak or even look up. It took a few moments for him to realise that the person it belonged to hadn't moved and that the hand was still held out. Slowly, Luke looked up, unaware of the picture of vulnerability he made, straight into midnight eyes that captured every star in their depths. He gasped, his own eyes widening and filled to overflowing, as he rose slowly, taking the proffered hand.
"Hi. I'm Noah. I've been waiting for you for such a long time."
"But how did you know, Grampy Luke? How did you know that Grandad Noah was the one for you?"
Luke's eyes sparkled as he looked into his teenaged grandson's earnest face, and then at his husband's smile.
"I knew it as soon as I looked at him...it was like every star in the sky was reflected in his eyes. And I just knew." He reached out for his husband's hand, their fingers linking as he brought it to his lips and kissed the wedding ring that had been there for so many years.
"We knew," smiled Noah.