A Simple Plan
“So what if I want to kiss, From your toes up to your lips,
It don't mean that you have me yet,
Just 'cause I think of you in bed,
I'm the one who's in control here,
Let me make it clear - Don't let it go to your head.”
- Don't Let It Go To Your Head, JORDIN SPARKS
By the time morning came, Noble had long since made the decision to turn down Mason's invitation to go and talk to Jonah in person. He couldn't face the man, not after making that call last night. And Jonah's message.
Noble grabbed a cup and filled it with coffee and sipped at it black. He leaned against the counter and stared blankly at the tiled floor. The cup warmed his palm and he raised it to his lips absently, swallowing another drink of the hot, bitter fluid.
Back in the bedroom, the cell phone rested quietly on the night stand, still containing the voice mail message that should have been erased last night – before he listened to it. But then certainly afterwards. Yet there it remained, tucked away among a myriad of old messages from Rebecca, Mason, even one or two from his parents. Cuddled in there as if it belonged.
Noble licked his lips as the cup hovered close to his mouth. Jonah's recorded voice played crisp and clear through his head, and had been since he'd listened to the man's message last night. He couldn't get his voice to quiet.
Maybe if you hadn't listened to the message multiple times over.
He licked his lips again then sipped some more coffee, gaze blank, brow tight. Maybe he could have fooled himself into believing the first time was by accident. But how many times could one accidentally type in their PIN and search out a specific message? And why had he been compelled to listen to it over and over? There was nothing special or meaningful in what the man said, just a quick – Hey, it's Jonah. Give me a call back if you want to talk. When he first listened, he'd caught himself trying to read something into Jonah's words. But in truth, it was a message he would've left anyone.
It hadn't been the message itself that had tempted Noble into replaying it over and again – but the sound of Jonah's voice. Having it caught in a recording allowed him to listen to the man without fear of others noticing his intent interest in just hearing his voice.
Breath rattled in his throat and escaped in a heavy, exhaustive sigh as he set the coffee cup on the counter with a solid clunk. His hands gripped the back of his neck, fingers lacing and squeezing.
Knock it off. You're not interested. It's just that...
What? What lie could he cook up this morning to sooth his nerves? Satisfy his guilty conscience?
“You're okay.” he chimed for the millionth time. “You're not going anywhere near the man. All this will pass. It will.” His fingers gouged the back of his neck as his eyes clamped tight. But even now, every time he closed his eyes, the fantasy from yesterday instantly started up like a film reel, replaying every second in excruciating detail.
You're not okay. Not even kind of.
He raised his head and rubbed his eyes, then released a slow, controlled breath. He wasn't going to see Jonah today. That was step one. Tomorrow would take care of itself. He would stay alert, avoid the man at any cost. And when he couldn't evade him, just make sure they were never alone together. It was a simple plan, like an exercise routine – as long as he followed it day by day, he would gain the results he was seeking.
And what results are those, smart guy? A sudden undeniable attraction to women?
“Shut up.” he groaned and rubbed the back of his neck fiercely, annoyed by that incessant, nagging voice of reason. A true pain in the ass when one was struggling to formulate an illusion to hide behind.
He sighed and pushed off the counter, grabbed his cup and went to the sink. He rinsed it out and placed it in the dish rack. “God.” he groaned low. “I'm trying here. Just a little help would be greatly appreciated. Some sign you even hear me-”
The kitchen phone rang loud. Noble jumped and turned quickly, his pulse staggering. His first instinct was to fear it was Jonah, but that worry quickly calmed; Jonah had his cell number, not his home number. But when he realized it must be Mason, the anxiety came back.
He moved towards the phone. Just respectfully decline. Under no circumstances do you agree to go with him. The cordless phone shook a little when he lifted it from the base and pressed it to his ear.
“Noble.” Mason's pleasantly deep voice resonated from the other end. “Something came up and I won't be able to make it out to Jonah's today.”
Thank you, God. Noble offered silently, a measure of relief seeping through him. Ask and ye shall receive.
“Okay.” Noble said. “That's fine.”
“I was supposed to take a package out to him.” Mason added. “I was wondering...would you mind delivering it for me?”
The relief evaporated, replaced once more by the anxiety. Noble's guts twisted painfully. He racked his brain for an excuse as to why he couldn't go out to the man's place, but suddenly his mind was a blank slate.
“If you're busy, I'll understand.” Mason said, offering him a way out. “I just thought, since you'd mentioned last night about wanting to talk to him, you might be heading out that way anyway. Or did you call and talk to him already?”
Noble bit his lip then shook his head. “No, I haven't talked to him yet.” he murmured. He wasn't lying. Just tell him you're busy. Apologize for not being able to make the delivery and be done with it. But Mason was one of those guys that it was so hard to say no to.
Can't say no to the son either.
Noble groaned inwardly, his lips tightening with frustration. He sighed. “Yeah, sure. It's no problem. I can run it out there for you.”
Well you sure put up a hell of a fight.
The phone squeezed in his grip as he silently willed the voice to shut up. Mainly because he knew it was speaking true in it's sarcasm.
“Great!” Mason chimed. “Rebecca said she'll bring the package over to you before she and her mom head in to the city.”
A new uneasiness pinched Noble's intestines; suddenly the thought of seeing Rebecca face to face made him nauseous with guilt. “The city?” he questioned quietly, hoping his voice didn't reflect how sick he felt inside.
Mason chuckled. “They're going to pick up the wedding dress.”
The wedding dress. Noble closed his eyes and pinched the bridge of his nose. Everything felt so messed up right now. The sudden urge to postpone the wedding was overwhelming. But after insisting to Rebecca that they were Okay...what excuse could he give – apart from the truth? And he doubted anyone was quite ready for the truth.
“That's nice.” he managed, sounding dull even to himself. “I know she's been excited about finally getting it.”
“That's putting it mildly.” Mason chuckled.
“Yeah.” Noble emitted a short, uneven laugh. What the hell was he supposed to do? Was it fair to Rebecca to allow her to go into this marriage clueless to his struggles? The answer was obvious, but still he avoided looking it in the face. To expose himself might well end their relationship, and he was terrified of being left alone, especially now. Scared of what he might do, where he might end up. He needed an anchor. And at this moment, that anchor was Rebecca and their impending marriage.
When Mason finally bid him goodbye and hung up, Noble still gripped the cordless phone in his hand, squeezing just a little too hard. You just agreed to go see Jonah...alone.
Noble replaced the phone in its base. Just a little help, that's all I asked for. And 'this' is what I get?
He lifted his eyes to the ceiling, his face tight. “You are not funny.”
The cell phone sat quietly on the counter before Jonah as he slowly lifted a spoonful of raisin bran to his mouth. He chewed absently, barely tasting the cereal, staring blankly at the phone. Had Noble really called him last night? Or had it all been a dream? Yet he had checked and re-checked his incoming calls, assuring himself it hadn't been his imagination. Noble had made the call.
He had to have gotten my number from dad. Even if Rebecca had it, which he doubted, he didn't see Noble asking her for it. What excuse had Noble given his dad, to get his number? He wouldn't have told him anything that would send up any red flags, Jonah was certain of that. So his reason must have at least sounded legitimate.
He scooped up the last couple spoonfuls of cereal then stepped off the stool, grabbing his bowl. He lifted the bowl to his mouth and drank down the remainder milk as he walked to the sink and set the dish in basin.
It nagged at his mind just exactly why Noble had called. And so late – did that mean he'd been battling throughout the evening whether or not to call? A fleeting smile teased Jonah's lips. The thought of Noble flustered and nervous, pacing with phone in hand, starting to punch out the number then chickening out, cursing himself for being a coward, then finally, eventually, dragging up just enough shred of nerve to complete the call – only to be too nervous to speak – Jonah found it all quite endearing, cute, and...much too much of a turn on.
“You're hopeless.” he groaned as he began to feel the effects of the imagery in his crotch.
He poured himself a cup of coffee then left the kitchen and went out on the small front porch. He lived far enough out not to be crowded by neighbors, and his driveway wound back away from the main road with plenty of trees to block the view of his house from passing motorists.
A light breeze played with his messed hair and tugged gently at his t-shirt and navy blue pajama pants, tickling across the top of his bare feet. He sipped the hot coffee and stared distantly at the trees.
“What did you want to say to me?” he murmured. Jonah understood quite well that the very fact Noble made the call at all – regardless of whether it was personal or not – was a huge step for the man. Someone in as much denial as Noble was in...it would take a lot of inner want for them to make such a bold move. Jonah had certainly not expected Noble to make it. Not this soon anyway.
Curiosity chewed at the fringes of his mind, urging him to call his dad and casually ask why Noble had wanted his number. But he didn't know the specifics of what Noble had said to his dad, and Jonah didn't want to raise any of his own red flags either. And his dad was much more perceptive with him. If he started showing too much direct interest in Noble, his dad would start to put the pieces together. At least from his half of the puzzle.
He set the coffee cup on the porch rail and slowly combed his fingers through his hair then gripped the back of his neck lightly, a low drawn out sigh seeping loose. The image of Noble pacing nervously, struggling with himself to make the call – he couldn't get it out of his head. Why did it affect him so powerfully?
You know why. If Noble truly wanted nothing to do with you, he wouldn't have been so nervous that he couldn't even speak to you. Hell, he wouldn't have made the call at all.
Jonah nodded slowly as an increasing heat spread slowly through his body. Even now he could still taste Noble's lips, the sweet sensuality of his kiss. And the way he had pawed so desperately at Jonah's shirt, aching to get at him...
“Stop thinking about it.” he growled low, tight. His crotch throbbed like mad and his brow began to bead with sweat. His hand dropped absently down between his legs and he gripped himself firmly, as if he could somehow physically force away the hunger sizzling inside him. But the substance filling up his hand remained hard as granite.
He released himself before other urges took control. “Go for a jog.” he told himself thickly. “Run it off. Clear your mind.”
Picking up his coffee cup, Jonah returned inside to change clothes.
“You don't have to do this.” Rebecca placed the small box on the counter and looked at Noble. “Let Jonah come and get it himself. He has a car. Why does he need someone to bring it to him?”
Noble rubbed the back of his neck in agitation. “Mason had been planning to go out there anyway. Why shouldn't he take the package to Jonah?”
“I'm not talking about dad.” she said. “I'm talking about you. Why are you obligated to be Jonah's errand boy?”
Why are you making such a big deal about it? He wanted to thrust at her, but bit his tongue, offering patiently, “I'm not obligated. I'm just doing a favor for Mason. He asked, I said yes. What does it matter?”
Rebecca sighed. “It doesn't. It's just...I'd rather you not get all buddy-buddy with Jonah. He isn't a good influence.”
“Not a good influence.” Noble nodded, growing annoyed. “What am I? A naïve teenager?”
Why are you getting pissed? She's right. Jonah isn't a good influence – not on you.
“I didn't mean it like that, Noble.” she said and touched his arm. “I just think you're better off staying away from him. The man...has no Christian morals. He lives a sinful life and acts as if he's doing nothing wrong. And the bible does say that evil communications corrupt good manners.”
Noble stared at her hand on his arm. “Evil?” He raised his eyes to her face.
“It's a figure of speech.” she sighed.
And was it just a figure of speech yesterday when you used it on Jonah?
Unsettling emotions coursed through him and he moved away, drawing back from her touch, though trying to appear to do so casually and not because he didn't want her touching him. “I'm just dropping it off.” he murmured, avoiding her eyes. Guilt nibbled at him in the form of a slightly unnerving heat in his groin. “I'm not even going inside. I'll just hand it to him at the door and be on my way. It isn't as if I'm going to hang out with him, shoot the breeze.”
You really think it's going to be that simple? Bing-Bang-Boom and you're on your way? Good luck with that plan.
“Fine.” Rebecca sighed. “Just please...make it quick, okay? I don't want him filling your head with his...twisted beliefs.”
Noble released a slow, tight breath. “Anything else, mom?”
“What?” Rebecca frowned.
“Stop treating me like a kid.” he said stiffly. “I can think for myself.”
Rebecca stared at him. “What is wrong with you? Why are you being so defensive?”
Why was he being so defensive? Guilt, perhaps?
“I'm sorry.” he said quietly. “I didn't mean to snap.”
“It's all right, hon.” Rebecca murmured, uncertain. She touched his cheek gently. “You still seem...stressed. Is it about the wedding?”
Noble covered her hand with his and smiled, though it felt less than genuine. “I'm not stressed.” he said. “Go. Get your dress. Have lunch at a fancy restaurant. You and your mom have a great day.”
“Is that an order, future husband?” Rebecca smiled, fingering his shirt.
“It is.” Noble nodded then laughed, thankful it sounded much lighter than it felt. “Most definitely.”
“Well.” Rebecca smirked. “Don't think that just because I obey today...I'm going to always obey everything you say.”
“It's in the vows, honor and obey.”
Rebecca shrugged and wrinkled her nose. “Maybe I'll just edit that piece out.”
Noble chuckled, though talk of vows was beginning to incite nausea. “I see how you operate.”
“Uh huh.” she grinned and poked his chest with her index finger. “So watch out.”
Rebecca laughed lightly and leaned up, kissing his mouth. He wanted to believe that at some point the spark would come back, but he realized with a bit of unease that it was unlikely it would ever return. And even more unsettling was the understanding that he's wasn't reaching for it nearly as strong as he had just yesterday morning. But he wasn't surrendering the fight. He wasn't. He still loved Rebecca, still planned to marry her. Still believed that was the plan God had laid out for him. And he would follow through – come hell or high water.
Or Jonah Harrington?
The crisp morning air rushed in and out of his lungs, the scent of pine and cedar filling his nostrils, a cool breeze caused by his forward motion soothing against his face. Jonah followed the path through the trees, jogging at a moderate, comfortable pace. This was usually the one thing that could clear his head when nothing else could, just getting out in nature and running it off. It never failed to refresh both mind and body.
Though the air had a bite to it and he wore only a tank top and jogging shorts, a sheen of sweat nonetheless glossed his skin, sprouting beads across his brow. The moment he had left the porch and broke into a job, he had been struggling to force Noble out of his head. It wouldn't fill him with any level of guilt – as it would Noble – if he openly fantasized about the guy. But too much thought had a tendency to lead to action. And if he allowed himself to visualize Noble naked and in his bed, begging him to do everything Jonah desired to do – it might cause him to act foolishly in Noble's presence. Possibly act without thinking.
A frustrated groan simmered in Jonah's throat as he picked up his pace. Maybe he could outrun his thoughts, lose them somewhere back in the trees. And hope there were no bread crumbs for them to follow him back home.
You're an idiot, a low chuckle worked its way out. He didn't have near the resolve that Noble had. At least the man attempted to put up a fight, whereas Jonah merely played with the idea of resistance but had no will to truly push Noble from his thoughts or avoid the man. Though it was likely in his best interest to do so.
How do you do it, baby? Put up such a fight? He cringed a little at his natural use of baby. If he started calling him that in his mind, it might accidentally slip out at a most...inopportune moment. Good luck explaining that one.
He paused at the head of the trail leading out of the tree and clamped his hands on his hips, sucking in deep breaths of the cool air. His house was just a few hundred yards away. He wiped the back his hand across his brow, grabbed another lungful of air and started to head for the house when he heard a car coming up the drive through the trees.
When the dark blue Lexus Monterey appeared, Jonah stepped back into the shadows. From the angle of the sun hitting the vehicle's windshield, he knew there was no way he would be seen. He slid his thumb absently across his lower lip and watched the car. The quiet engine shut off, but no one got out. Even with the sun glaring off the windshield, sending back a blinding flare, he knew who sat behind the wheel.
“Maybe you're not putting up such a fight.” Jonah mused. A tiny smile worked at the corner of his mouth. What an interesting turn of events. Still, he couldn't deny he was a bit stunned to see the man parked in front of his house. More than a bit stunned. Last night's call had been shocking in itself, but this?
Maybe he isn't alone. Jonah couldn't see through the windshield. Was it possible Rebecca was with him? Though why either of them would come to his place, he couldn't fathom. A pinching, sinking sensation weighed in his gut at the thought of Rebecca being here as well.
Perhaps it's best if he isn't alone. It was true. It probably was best if he wasn't. But Jonah nonetheless wanted him to be. He'd never actually had any quality alone time with Noble. Just moments to be snatched and grabbed. Which, unfortunately, was exactly what he had done – snatched and grabbed. As well as kissed, groped and fondled.
A strained groan seeped out of him and what little benefit the jog had awarded him suddenly evaporated as all the heat came rushing back, pooling in his groin once more.
The Lexus' driver door opened and Noble stepped out, wearing a pale blue, short sleeve button down shirt tucked neatly into black trousers. A light breeze played with his short, dark brown hair, barely disrupting it. Jonah's finger's sizzled with the need to be buried in that hair again. He could still feel it's softness, smell its scent.
His crotch burned and he leaned over, his hands gripping his knees, and took deep breaths to try and cool the fire. His shorts left very little to the imagination when he wasn't hard as a freaking rock.
The faint breeze still maintained a slight nip but was tinged with just a hint of the approaching warmth of early afternoon. Noble glanced around the property. It was nice, the lawn and shrubbery neatly kept. Smooth white rocks laid out the path up to the railed front porch, just big enough for a couple chairs and a small table.
A quick image of Jonah kicking back on his porch in the late afternoon, watching the sun set, strolled through Noble's head. The deep orange light of the fading sun tinting the man's skin, turning his violet eyes an all new shade of beautiful.
His heart kicked hard, just once, against his ribs, snapping him back to reality. What're you doing? He hissed silently. None of this is for you, and you damn well know it. Remember what's important, what really matters. Rebecca, your wedding, your entire future. 'Not' burning in hell.
Just make the delivery and get out of there. It was that simple. By no means enter his house.
“Quick and easy.” he murmured and reached back inside the Lexus, grabbing the small box from the passenger seat. “Hello. Here you go. Goodbye. Simple plan. Just stick to it and you'll be fine.”
Noble closed the driver door then turned and looked at the two story house. He resisted the urge to consider what the inside of Jonah's home looked like. What kind of things did he have on his shelves? What books did he own? What did his artwork look like?
Who cares?! He gave his head a slight, firm shake. He didn't need to know the personal details of Jonah's life. The less he knew about the man, the better.
It took an act of sheer will to make his feet move towards the rock path, and as he approached the porch steps, his heart began to punch against his inner chest wall, each beat the force of a fist, knocking out his breath. Just calm down. You can do this. He's just a typical, average man. He has no power over you.
A tremor rushed through Noble. That was a lie and he knew it. He'd never felt more susceptible to another human being as he did to Jonah Harrington. And he didn't like Jonah being the one calling the shots. The man had already proven what he was after, what he ultimately wanted from Noble. And it scared the hell out of Noble that when Jonah touched him – he made him want it too. Even without touching him.
But you don't. Not really. It's just his influence that messes with your head.
Yeah, that was it. Sounded viable.
Noble released a hard sigh that crept out in the guise of a groan. He climbed the steps and stood before the door. God, what am I doing here? The doorbell button glared back at him. Just ring the damn thing, make the delivery, get the hell away from here. That was the plan, wasn't it? Bing-Bang-Boom?
If you set foot in that house, Jonah might just give you a little bing-bang-boom.
“Shut up.” he groaned tight, his body suddenly burning beneath the imagery of that thought. He had to get out of here, now. His thumb stabbed the doorbell. Inside the house, the chime echoed. It was a gentle sound, but rang through Noble's head like the tolling of Hell's bells.
His lips tightened as a strained breath seeped out slow. His pulse steadily climbed, smashing his heart against his ribs. Come on, answer the damn door. Lets get this done with.
Jonah's car was in the drive. The man was home. Maybe he's in the shower.
Noble swallowed the whimper and resisted the mental image before it could consume him. Maybe he could just leave the package on the porch. It would be fine, he would leave it right by the door where he couldn't miss it. Yes, that seemed to be the best, and safest, course of action.
A flutter of relief wisp through him and he stepped forward to set the package on the porch by the door when two hands suddenly covered his eyes and warm lips touched his ear.
Noble yelped and jerked back, smacking into Jonah's chest. The man grabbed his arms on reflex and laughed.
“Easy there.” he chuckled and stepped around Noble, grinning. “Didn't mean to scare you.”
Breath rushed in and out of Noble's lungs, his chest rising and falling a little too fast. Jonah's hand lingered on his arm for a moment, searing his skin, then slowly slid off.
“Is that for me?” Jonah cocked an ebony eyebrow, the corner of his mouth jerking to the side.
Noble realized he was hugging the box a little too tight then quickly loosened his arms. “Uh...” Noble swallowed, his breath shaky, uneven. “Yeah...Mason...asked me to...to bring it out.” Noble cringed at the unsteadiness in his voice – especially when Jonah just gazed at him with those intense eyes and laughed softly.
When he started to hand the package to Jonah, the man turned away casually and opened the door, entering the house. He looked at Noble and smiled, “Come in.”
Noble's scalp sizzled, a burning tingle quivering down to his very toes. “Uh, thanks but...I just came by to deliver...” He made a show of offering Jonah the box again.
“Okay.” Jonah nodded and stepped away from the door without taking the package. He motioned to the left. “Just put it on the counter in the kitchen.”
Noble didn't move. Jonah rubbed the back of his neck and Noble's eyes began to move against his will, taking in the man's strong, sweat glistened body. His tank top clung to his chest, defining his muscles, and his shorts-
Shit. Noble ripped his eyes away from Jonah's southern region only to have his stare caught by the man's violet gaze. The level of heat in Noble's face was surely blistering his skin. Jonah's lips twitched and his eyes did a sweep of Noble's body.
“You don't mind if I take a quick shower, do you?” Jonah's gaze burned right through Noble and he knew this was the point where he was supposed to run like hell. “I'll just be a few minutes.”
“I, uh...” A band squeezed Noble's throat. “I can't stay-”
“Sure you can, what's the rush?” Jonah left the door without waiting for an answer and walked towards the stairs, tossing back – “Make yourself at home. There's a fresh pot of coffee, or cold drinks in the frig. Whatever your preference. I'll be right back.”
Noble stood in the open doorway, undelivered package in hand, and watched Jonah jog up the stairs two at a time, the man's perfectly shaped ass so well defined in his tight shorts, flexing with each and every movement.
Get the fuck out of here NOW!
Yeah, that's what he would do, he thought numbly and stepped across the threshold, hands gripping the box so tight he threatened to crush it.
I'll just put the package on the counter like he asked...then I'll leave before he gets back-
Overhead, the shower turned on and the strength abandoned Noble's legs as his head exploded with unbidden images that locked him down and annihilated his will to escape.
© Copyright 2017 AMS1971. All rights reserved.
Book / Erotica
Book / Gay and Lesbian
Short Story / Gay and Lesbian