“There's a moment, we all come to
In our own time and our own space
Where all that we've done
We can undo
If our heart's, in the right place.”
- When You Come Back To Me Again, GARTH BROOKS
“I’m fine.” Noble smiled though a low groan squeezed his voice when he stood up. “I’m not going to lay back here in bed and have them come in every so often and view me as if they’re at my wake.”
Jonah chuckled. “Okay, okay. But it you start hurting…”
“I know.” Noble rolled his eyes. “I’ll tell you immediately.”
“All right, then. As long as you know the rules.”
A soft tsk rolled off Noble’s tongue. “I’m beginning to think your dad was right about you.” He murmured low.
“What?” Jonah grinned. “That I’m magically delicious?”
Noble groaned and curled his arm around his ribs as a strained laugh dragged up his throat. “No – that you’re a pest.” He laughed again and winced. “Now stop making me laugh.”
“Ah I’m sorry.” Jonah kissed his cheek, his arm around his shoulder. He nuzzled his ear. “But I am magically delicious.” He whispered.
“Oh my god.” Noble chuckled then moaned. “I’m so going to make you pay when I get better.”
Jonah grinned darkly. “You gonna spank my bottom? I so deserve it.”
“Fuck.” Noble elbowed him, though there wasn’t much force behind it. “If you enjoy it, it isn’t punishment.”
“I could pretend not to enjoy it.”
Rolling his eyes, Noble smiled and mumbled, “No wonder you’re still single.”
Jonah opened the bedroom door and held it, his gaze caressing Noble’s face. “Am I?” he wondered. “Hmm. You could’a fooled me.”
“Shut up.” Noble growled, smiling, and limped through the doorway, delivering a weak slug to Jonah’s gut as he passed.
Doubling over with exaggeration, Jonah moaned, “So the abuse is starting already? Didn’t know I was getting such a meanie for a boyfriend.”
Noble looked at him and arched an eyebrow. “So you just assume I’m your boyfriend?”
“Uh huh.” Jonah nodded and wriggled his eyebrows. “I do.”
“And what makes you so positive?” Noble’s lips tightened with a smile, then grinned when Jonah pulled him around gently and wrapped him in his arms, kissing him deep and long.
When he came up for air, he panted softly, “Because you let me do that, for one.”
“And for another?” Noble inquired, suddenly breathless.
Jonah touched his forehead to Noble’s brow. “Because you let me do lots of other things as well.”
“And that’s it?” Noble murmured. “That’s all you got?”
Licking his lips slowly, Jonah kissed him softly, “And because you told me you loved me and you would never take it back.”
Noble leaned against him and smiled, “Okay, so that one’s a bit of a stickler.”
“Mm-hmm.” Jonah kissed him again, drawing it out until Noble was clinging to his shirt, moaning deeply, feeling it all the way down south.
Neither heard the front door until it closed, making them both jump and gasp as their intimate kiss broke suddenly. Mason, Colleen and Rebecca stood on this side of the closed door, looking at them. Noble hadn’t really spoken directly to Rebecca since the night he’d come home from his date with Jonah to find her in his apartment with his parents. At the hospital, he’d been in too much pain to have any coherent conversation with her. And now he was suddenly feeling on edge and nervous, as if he’d just been caught with his hand in the cookie jar.
His eyes darted anxiously, not meeting anyone’s direct stare. He sensed the same uneasiness in Rebecca as well, as if she didn’t really know how to respond to him being openly gay – and kissing a man right in front of her. There were no feelings of judgment from her, but just…awkwardness. But he supposed that was understandable. It would take time for both of them to be comfortable with this new situation.
Apparently Jonah had no qualms himself as he greeted them with open cheerfulness. “Welcome to my humble home.”
“We have food to unload from the car.” Mason said.
“All right.” Jonah nodded. “Just let me get Noble settled and I’ll help you.”
“You didn’t have to get out of bed on our account.” Mason told Noble. “No one expected you to be up and about.”
Noble smiled and shrugged. “I’m kind of sick of the bed. I’m starting to feel like an invalid.”
Once he was situated comfortably on the sofa, Jonah went to help unpack the car. Colleen and Rebecca remained in the kitchen, setting out the food and making final touches. When Jonah and Mason offered to help, they ushered them from the room.
“I guess our role here today,” Jonah sat down next to Noble and stretched his arm across the back of the sofa, leaning close. “Is to entertain you.” He kissed his cheek.
Noble smiled then glanced anxiously towards the kitchen. “Are you sure this was a good idea?” He looked at Jonah. “I mean…I know Rebecca is okay with us, in theory. But to actually see us together? Sometimes that’s a different story.”
“Rebecca will be fine.” Jonah kissed him lightly. “And besides, here before long, she’ll have an all new distraction.” He winked.
“Are you sure that was a good idea?” Noble wondered doubtfully.
Mason cleared his throat. “Am I missing something?”
“Nope.” Jonah said innocently, then told Noble, “Trust me, baby. I know what I’m doing.”
Looking at his son warily, Mason murmured, “What did you do?”
“I’ll be out of your way in a moment.” Jonah assured the ladies as he slipped quickly to the refrigerator. “Just need to grab Noble a cold drink.” He took out a bottle of Lipton iced tea, dropped some ice cubes in a glass and poured in the tea.
“Jonah.” Colleen stopped him when he picked up the glass and started to leave.
“Can I…talk to you a minute?” she asked quietly.
He nodded and smiled. “Of course.”
Rebecca came over. “I can take the tea to Noble.”
“Okay, thanks.” Jonah handed her the glass. Rebecca left and Jonah leaned against the counter. “Is everything all right?”
Colleen fidgeted. “That’s kind of what I wanted to ask you.”
“I don’t follow.”
“Are…we going to be okay?” she asked softly.
Jonah frowned, a puzzled smile on his face. “I wasn’t aware there was any question there.”
Shaking her head slowly, Colleen stared at her hands. “The way I acted…”
“It’s over.” Jonah interjected. “Maybe we all said and did some things we shouldn’t have. But we got through it.” He walked over and hugged her tight. “And we’re going to be just fine. All of us.”
She swallowed thickly, her eyes damp. “You’re a good son, Jonah.”
He smiled then kissed her cheek. “And you’re a good mom.”
“Thank you.” She whispered, then glanced towards the kitchen doorway. “I’m a little worried about Rebecca. She’s putting a brave front about all this, I just hope she doesn’t withdraw and shut her heart away.”
Clearing his throat, Jonah arched an eyebrow. “Well, we just won’t give her time to do that.”
“What do you mean-”
The doorbell rang. Jonah smiled. “You’re about to find out.” He walked out of the kitchen and went to the front door. “Right on time.” He told the anxious man waiting on the other side. “Come in.”
“I hope this wasn’t a mistake.”
Jonah smiled and closed the door behind him. “It isn’t.” he led the way to the living room archway and cleared his throat, drawing attention. “I hope no one minds an extra guest for dinner.”
Glancing up from the sofa, Rebecca’s eyes widened and Jonah was pretty sure he heard her heart skid to a stop and crash into her ribs.
Rebecca stared in stunned silence. She was hallucinating, she had to be. Gaining control, her eyes cut to Jonah. His trademark little smirk worked up the corner of his mouth as if he were so proud of himself for this ingenious move. He met her stare – or rather glare – and smiled. She was sure he thought he was doing her a favor of some kind, but she didn’t want this. And certainly not like this – where all attention was on her all of the sudden, everyone waiting expectantly to see what she would do. This isn’t fair, Jonah. What was she to do? To walk out would be rude, but how could she play the part of greeting an old friend? Keith was not an old friend. And she couldn’t pretend he was.
She stood up slowly, opened her mouth to at least say hello, but instead whispered, “Excuse me.” And slipped past them, walking quickly to the front door.
“Rebecca?” Colleen called after from the kitchen doorway but she just shook her head and hurried outside.
When the door opened a few minutes later, she was sure it was Jonah come to try and explain himself. “I didn’t ask for this, Jonah.” She said thickly, arms wrapped tightly around her waist, her back to the man. “You had no right to bring him here.”
Hard sole shoes scuffed the wooden planks of the porch as he came closer. “Well it wasn’t all Jonah’s idea.”
Rebecca’s breath caught, her body going rigid. A slight dizziness gripped her.
“He was just the instigator.” Keith chuckled softly, then cleared his throat. “But I didn’t exactly fight him on it.”
Swallowing thickly, Rebecca whispered, “Why are you here?”
The man went silent for a long moment. “Jonah told me what happened.” He murmured. “With…Noble and everything.”
“He had no right to do that.”
“I know.” Keith said softly. “And he knows it too. But sometimes big brothers break the rules to help out their little sister.”
“How does…” she shook her head. “How does this help me?” She turned suddenly, eyes brimming. “What do you want, Keith? We were through a long time ago, why are you here now?”
“That was my fault.” He told her quietly. “Us breaking up.”
“What?” She shook her head. “No, I was the one who…”
“Perhaps.” Keith said. “But you realized your mistake and you tried to fix it. I was the one who walked away.” He licked his lips slowly and out of nowhere her mind was exploding with memories of his kisses. Even now she could still feel the warmth and softness of his lips on hers. Every single kiss he’d ever given her had made the tips of her toes tingle and her heart flutter wildly. How had she ever thought she was in love with Jonah? Even if he had been straight? And Noble…he was a great kisser but he had never had such an effect on her – though she suspected he might have that very effect on Jonah.
“What does it matter anymore?” she whispered and turned away again, her throat aching, tears rising. “That’s ancient history.”
“Well,” Keith cleared his throat. “Historians might disagree that a mere seven years qualifies as ancient history.” She just stared off the porch without replying. “And too, legally…transgressions are annulled after the seven year mark. Statute of limitations.”
“What’re you talking about, Keith?” she asked thickly.
“I’m saying,” His hands touched her shoulders and she stiffened, heart shuddering. “That you’re right about it being history. We were kids, we made mistakes as kids do. But why should we have to pay for those mistakes the rest of our lives?”
“Do you still love me, Becky?” he whispered, a sudden strain in his voice. “Did you ever really…stop?”
She trembled. That was one answer she didn’t have to contemplate. But even so, she wasn’t ready to admit it out loud – to Keith or herself. “Did you?” The words barely made it off her lips before fading out. Had he even heard her?
“No.” His lips touched her hair then his brow pressed against the back of her head. “I’ve spent the last seven years regretting my choices. Sick inside that I ever let you go. If…If I hadn’t been too proud to accept that everyone makes mistakes, and just let you come back to me then…we would be married now, have children.” He swallowed hard and kissed her hair again. “We would be happy, and still as crazy in love as ever.”
Her arms squeezed her waist as she ducked her head and began to cry softly.
Keith turned her to him and wrapped his arms around her, holding her close. “I still want all that, Becky. I never stopped wanting you to be my wife.” Emotion squeezed his voice. “When I saw you and your mom in the city, and saw that ring on your finger,” He buried his face in her hair. “Baby, I died all over again. I thought I had lost you forever.”
She shook her head and cried against his shoulder. “You don’t want me, Keith. I’m not a good person. I blamed Jonah for everything. I treated him so bad for so long, and then…caused Noble so much pain.”
“Jonah explained all that to me.” He whispered. “And never once did he say, or even imply, that you were a bad person. Sometimes,” He lifted her chin, urging her to meet his eyes. “Sometimes it’s a rough that leads you back home. But it still takes you there.”
Her chin trembled. “Where is home?”
“You’re in it.” He murmured and tightened his arms around her. “Right here, in these arms.” He leaned down and brushed his lips across her mouth. “And they’ve been missing you for a long, long time.” His kiss was sweet, intoxicating – just as she remembered it.
The Lord works in mysterious ways, his wonders to perform.
The words played through Mason’s thoughts as he watched his family – now somewhat increased in size – gather around the dinner table. He could almost see with the physical eye the wounds healing, as well as the hearts. What had been so recently a shattered home filled with broken relationships…was now a family coming back together, embracing one another rather than pushing away. Hearts learning to understand and accept the differences that made each person unique, and loving each other for those differences, rather than in spite of them.
Colleen slipped her hand into his and smiled, her eyes misting, as her daughter took her rightful place at the side of the man God had picked out for her.
Across the table from them, Jonah took great care in making certain Noble was comfortable, all the little touches and looks and smiles that passed between the two young men shouting out the depth of their love for one another.
Jonah glanced up and caught his dad’s eye, smiled and winked.
What were you so worried about? He wondered at himself. God had it all figured out from the start.
He gazed back at Jonah, amazed by the heart that lived inside his son, and returned his smile then looked at his family lovingly. “Let us give thanks.”
Hands intertwined, heads bowed, and he had no doubt that the good Lord received an abundance of gratitude and love that evening from this small family alone.
© Copyright 2017 AMS1971. All rights reserved.
Book / Erotica
Book / Gay and Lesbian
Short Story / Gay and Lesbian