He watches from the shadowed corner, gaze following Chris as he crosses the room to stand next to Katie. Her head tilts back to look at him and she smiles, wide and happy. He flicks his stare to the man standing at her side, notes the quick succession of emotions on his face before he sets his mask of stone.
Luke grips the glass in his hand tighter when Reid smiles, his own gaze meeting Chris' for a fraction of a second. If he wasn't looking for it, he thinks he might never have noticed the softening of Reid's eyes or the way Chris swallows before looking away. It happens so fast, you could believe it wasn't there.
But it was.
Luke drinks heavily from his glass, wishes it was something else.
He hears a deep laugh, responds to it even after so long and turns, catches Noah's profile as he sips from his own drink. His chest constricts, fingers itching to touch and he feels like he could...like he should.
What he doesn't know is what it means.
He's never been stupid.
A little naïve, maybe. Selfish and self-absorbed, on occasion.
He is just waiting for Reid to say it.
What he doesn't know is how long he can wait.
The lies are killing them bit by bit.
Luke can see it every day when Reid kisses him and he tells himself it's not about someone else.
He doesn't know how he ended up there.
Giving up because he's afraid of the truth.
Pretending because it's easier than facing the mistakes they're making.
Wanting because he thinks he doesn't deserve a chance at more.
It's pathetic and he knows that.
What he doesn't know is how to stop it.
Yo's is brimming with people when he arrives. College students mixed with the regulars and those that Luke once knew so well, lost and aching. His kind. He almost smiles at the thought. He should never have stopped writing. Melodrama fits him really well.
He slides onto the stool and raises an eyebrow at Joe when he does a double take, frowns at him as he walks over.
Joe studies his face, starts to shake his head but something in Luke's face must stop him.
It takes less than a minute and then it's there. The clear liquid, glass cool under his fingertips and Luke can taste the nothingness. He can feel the weight of numbness on his limbs. It's almost enough to sate the hunger, the need, the want. He brings the glass to his lips...
He blinks when it disappears from his hand and turns, snaps out a "What the fuck!" as he meets stormy blue gaze.
He watches as Noah lifts the glass to his mouth, swallows it down, and Luke's angry glare follows the line of Noah's neck, shivers at the movement there before clashing with Noah's own shuttered gaze.
"Do us all a favor, Luke?"
Luke raises one eyebrow and waits.
"Deal with whatever this is. Stop pouting and playing the goddamn victim." Noah leans in, the sickly-sweet scent of liquor wafts over Luke's skin, makes it jump in anticipation and sparks heat at the base of his spine. He focuses on Noah mouth, the words making him freeze. "Grow the fuck up."
Noah slams the glass on the bar and walks away. Luke feels his rage boiling over, spill out of the tight box he keeps it in. He watches Noah lean down to kiss someone that isn't Luke, whispers something in his ear that makes the guy smile and nod, then kiss Noah once more, lingering before letting him go. Noah turns toward the exit without sparing one glance at Luke.
Somehow that's worse than anything else.
Luke throws some money down on the bar and moves fast, pushes the door harder than necessary. It hits the brick wall and the sound echoes in the alley, startles a couple of incoming patrons. Luke glances down the dark, narrow passageway and stops. Noah sits on the bench just outside the view of the door, speaking into his cell.
It's a roar in his head, the anger, that need and he doesn't realize what he's doing when he his hand encircles Noah's arm, cuts him off mid-conversation.
Noah doesn't say anything as Luke's hand tightens enough that he'll have finger-shaped bruises come morning. Luke drags him around a corner, to the small alcove just behind the back door of Yo's and before Noah can ask, Luke grabs his head, fingers delving through Noah's hair and kisses him, hard. He plunders with his tongue and teeth, feels Noah's hands on his arms, pushing.
This is what he needs.
The remnants of the vodka assault Luke as he strokes against Noah's tongue and he understands why Noah is fighting him. He grips harder, strands of hair clenched in his fists and strains to find Noah underneath the taste.
He wants so badly it blinds him.
Luke bites on Noah's lower lip, hears the answering moan and closes the distance, melds his body into Noah's.
His heart skips a beat when Noah shudders under him, blinks as he feels them turn and Noah slams him against the brick wall, hands running up Luke's back, nails digging in half-moon crescents of pain. He can't breathe anything but Noah and that's enough.
He makes a mewling sound in the back of his throat and Noah tears his mouth off Luke's, raises his head, stares at him for too long, eyes dark and intense. His lip quivers when he whispers against Luke's open mouth.
"I'm not supposed to be that guy."
Luke wants to tell him he isn't, this isn't, but then Noah licks into his mouth, dancing his tongue around Luke's, hot and teasing. Everything falls away except Noah's mouth, Noah's hands and that want churns in his gut, shivers down his arms and legs.
He needs more, so much more.
It's the deep, feral growl he receives in return that makes Luke dizzy, breathless. Then, the heat of Noah's body is gone and Luke's eyes fly open, protest on his lips when he feels Noah at his feet. Finds him kneeling in front of Luke, working his jeans open, shoving boxers aside and then he can't think anymore because Noah's licking the head of his cock, wet and hot. Luke moans loud, breathing in puffs as Noah takes him all the way in.
Luke floats on a wave of everything he didn't allow for so long, closes his eyes when Noah's hands roam up his thighs, dig into the skin and he thrusts into Noah, harder and faster.
Noah pets his hip when Luke babbles words and promises he can't keep, sucks a long line of kisses on Luke's skin, his hand twisting up and over and under, places his mouth on Luke's cock, grabs his hips and pushes Luke in until he breaks open, cries out Noah's name in a chant, his want exploding around them in shards. Noah swallows every drop, gentles his touch to bring Luke down.
He tries to breathe, to say something but he can't and when Noah presses his face against Luke's thigh, he can feel the warmth tricking down Noah's cheek.
He runs his fingers gently through Noah's hair and wants still.
He knows he always will.
What he doesn't know is how to keep it.