Luke parted from Noah when he heard the shock-filled voice, and breathed a sigh of relief to see it was only Mercedes. But it still was a hard-to-handle thing.
The girl stood there cupping her mouth, totally taken back by the sight of her best friend being kissed by their oh-so-handsome history teacher. Was she dreaming? She felt the need to slap herself and check if this was reality.
“Mercedes, what are you doing here?” Luke asked, taking a step towards her. He looked back at Noah and saw he was still in the frozen state.
Noah was feeling that he made the biggest mistake; being careless while he kissed Luke without considering the consequences if they were caught. He now hoped his other student wouldn’t make a big issue out of this affair.
Mercedes had no emotions on her face. When Luke asked her what she was doing there, she dropped her hands and tried to say something. But her voice didn’t support her, and all she could do was open and close her mouth simultaneously.
Luke rolled his eyes and getting frustrated, he ordered, “Speak up!”
“I am sorry; I didn’t mean to interrupt you. But I didn’t know I would be interrupting when I came in.” Her voice shrieked as she talked nonsense and yelled, “And when I came in, oh my God! You were kissing ...” she couldn’t cope up with the shock part yet.
“Shh” Luke quickly walked to her and pulled her in. He looked around to see if someone heard, but thankfully there was no one else. “We didn’t keep it a hush-hush matter for you to announce it to everyone.”
“Sorry.” She lowered her voice reddening. “But you can’t blame me really. I am undergoing a trauma right now. You and Mr. Mayer, seriously?”
“Miss Brooke, I know you are upset by seeing what you saw but ...”
“Are you kidding me, dude?” Mercedes excitedly blurted out with a mischievous smile forming on her face. A look of shock went through Noah’s face and her eyes widened realizing what she said... “Sorry I mean ... Mr. Dude ... Mayer Dude ...” she stammered trying to correct herself and murmured to herself when she couldn’t, “Shit I am gone!”
Luke chuckled and Noah almost let out a laugh.
“I mean Mr. Mayer.” She finally got it right and the smile was back again on her face when she explained, “But I am definitely not upset by what I saw. I was just shaken that Luke really captured your heart huh?” She turned to Luke narrowing her eyes, being not able to believe, “Or did you use a love potion or something?”
“Hush you.” Luke said, a blush forming on his face.
“Love potion?” Noah smiled looking confused.
Mercedes couldn’t help the smile on her face, seeing how embarrassed Luke was. He was mouthing a forceful ‘No!’, at her. But she didn’t pay attention at his threatening looks as she told Noah, “Mr. Mayer, he would spend hours long on his internet trying to find out some way to make someone fall in love. He even tried making a love potion as suggested. Result was – the whole farm smelled like dog poop.” She laughed remembering that day.
Noah chuckled. “Really Luke?”
“Err ...” Luke was left speechless as the two laughed. He caressed his back neck feeling embarrassed in this situation. “I didn’t want you to know this really. God! This is so awkward!”
“No worries.” Noah cupped Luke’s cheek forgetting Mercedes’ presence for a second, and said, “I thought it was cute.” A sound of “aww” was heard from Mercedes, and he dropped his hand, feeling uneasy that he lost his control over thoughtfulness. It had been happening more these days. He believed it was just the love for Luke that was growing in him.
Luke grinned and faced Mercedes to say, “And I didn’t need any potions. There were already enough to get us together.”
Now it was Noah’s turn to blush, knowing what Luke was suggesting to. He looked at Mercedes and thankfully she looked puzzled.
Luke gave him a nudge but got a stern look back. So getting intimidated, he gave a side hug to Noah, trying to calm him. Noah had no reason to be angry with him anymore, so he smiled again and hugged him back.
“Whoa” Mercedes fanned herself, “This is way too hot. A teacher with a student? A-fucking-mazing!”She squealed. Noah looked at her angrily for using that ‘F’ word. It was school and she should know her limits. Mercedes felt shameful and apologized.
“Miss Brooke, I know you approve our relationship, but chances are that others won’t.” Noah explained dismissing the hug over Luke. “So, please keep it to yourself what you know about us.”
“I understand Mr. Mayer.” Mercedes gave an assuring smile as she promised, “I would never betray your trust. My lips are zipped tight.”
Gust dressed up in his work clothes. His shift was about to begin and he was destined to have a longer one today. Friday nights were crowded and he had to work a double shift today since one of his co-workers had left the job, and all of the burden was on the two others left; one of them being Gust.
He shook his head thinking of how tiring it would be. But he had to do this. After all, his boss was ready to pay him some extra money, which he really needed right now.
Suddenly his superior emerged behind him catching him off guard. “Gust, we have a new server filling up Ralph’s place.”
“Already?” Gust frowned, knowing his extra income was cut off.
“Yes, so there’s no need for you to work a double shift, but I want you to train this new guy and show him how the work goes around here.”
Gust nodded at him before he left. His boss told him the guy would be there soon. Gust felt sad and he turned around and stuffed his own clothes into his bag, stressing out thinking how he was going to manage his money needs for Candes’ hospital bills. She needed to go through her pre-natal ultrasound in few weeks as per the doctor, and he needed money so that they can pay the bills for that.
Deep in thought, he turned around when he realized his shoe laces were untied. He bent down to tie them.
At that very moment, a guy walked in and stood in front of him. “Hey. I am the new server, are you Gust Rivera?” A familiar voice asked him and he looked up at the person.
His jaw dropped looking at him and he stood up quickly. “Joe? What are you doing here?” He looked at his boyfriend giving him a mischievous smile.
“Whatcha think? I am here to work.” He told Gust with a grin.
“I know, but I mean why do you need to work?” Gust didn’t understand.
“To tell you the truth, I got a job here just because you forced me to.” Joe accused playfully.
“Yes you, my dear boyfriend. You work your ass off here the whole fucking day and we don’t get much time to spend with each other. You don’t even have the time to take me out on a date anymore.” Joe pouted.
“I’m sorry about all that.” Gust felt really bad. “But I can’t help it; I need to work.”
Joe huffed, “I know, but I couldn’t sit and watch my life being wasted like that while my boyfriend works all the time. So I decided I would do something fruitful, and this way, I get to see you most of the time.”
“Which means there shouldn’t be any more complaints about not spending time with each other.” Gust chuckled. “Cool.” He took a step nearer to Joe and locked his hands around his neck. He sighed as the love surfaced on his face. “You are such a thoughtful boyfriend, you know?”
Joe smiled, and brought his hand up to caress Gust’s soft cheek. Giving a few strokes to it, he placed a light, gentle kiss on his nose.
Gust closed his eyes enjoying the feel of Joe. It just felt right.
“Yeah?” Gust opened his eyes and saw a serious look on Joe’s face.
“You didn’t tell me yet ... why do you need to work?”
Gust grimaced and a sad look appeared on his face. He knew it was going to come out sooner or later, but he still wasn’t ready to tell Joe about Candes’ pregnancy. How could he? It wasn’t that easy. “I can’t tell you.” A look of hurt passed Joe’s face and Gust’s heart broke watching it. “Not now. Please understand ... I promise I will tell you soon.”
Joe gave a nod, recovering from his hurt. “I understand,” he said looking down. In reality, he didn’t. He didn’t understand why Gust had the need to hide anything from him ... did he not believe in him? But he didn’t want to push Gust, so he let it go. He hoped it wasn’t too bad. He was afraid that it might cause serious problems with their relationship.
Candes heard the whole plan of what she had to do next, and felt it might work, unlike the previous one. But she had actually believed that there would be no need of a Plan B when they had sketched out the original plan of blackmailing Gust. However, it didn’t work and they had change their plans; made her think for once that Gust had grown too deep in this relationship with Joe, and wondered whether it would be right to kill his happiness like that?
But she shrugged it off when her mind was set straight by the thought of her baby. She was reminded she needed Gust to help her nurture this kid, and that nothing else was important.
“So you understand how this will go?” Matt asked, coming back to their seats and passed her coffee to her side.
“Thanks.” She said taking the mug and nodded, “It’s all set in my mind. I just need an opportunity for it, and then Gust and Joe will be history.”
Matt was so relieved to hear those words. He wanted to make sure no one would ever figure it out. He smirked in content, “Great. By the way, what were you thinking before?” He had noticed the sad look on her face, when he was getting their coffees ready, and couldn’t keep down his curiosity.
“Nothing really; just nonsense stuff.” Candes murmured. She didn’t want Matt to know she was actually reconsidering if they were both doing this right or not.
He nodded. “Ok.”
They sipped on their coffees in silence. Some time passed, and they were talking casually, when all of a sudden, Candes felt weird. A painful moan escaped her mouth as she experienced a slight pain in her lower abdomen.
“What?” Matt freaked out watching her as she held her belly. He was reaching over the table as he saw her cringe in pain.
“It’s been hurting me a lot since noon.” Candes told him. She could feel the pain starting to subside.
Matt was angered. “And you ignored it? Are you crazy? Cramps like these are not good during pregnancy. I will take you to the doctor right now; maybe I should take you to the hospital, or do you want me to call the doctor here... God! Why am I wasting time, I should ...” He began to stand up but Candes grasped his hand and held him back.
She giggled, amused by his ranting. “I am not going to miscarry or something. Stop freaking out like that.”
“These are minor cramps; don’t worry. My doctor says that my body is preparing itself to carry the baby, so the pains...” She explained. When she saw Matt wasn’t really able to believe it, she assured him, gripping his hand tighter, “I am fine, really.”
Matt swallowed as his eyes darted to what was affecting him more right now. He gazed at their held hands, and didn’t like the feeling that was forming inside his body.
Candes followed Matt’s gaze and became uncomfortable. She quickly removed her hand, missing the warmth of Matt’s hand suddenly.
“I ...uh ... need to go. I will see you soon.” Matt said, and hurriedly disappeared somewhere inside.
Candes stared aimlessly in the direction where he went, and felt her belly go weird again. But this time it wasn’t pain, but something else she was feeling in there.
“We are seeing a movie tomorrow, aren’t we?” Noah walked out of the school building, busy talking on the phone.
Luke rolled on his bed, ending up lying on his back, and looked at the ceiling with a pout. “Yea, but that’s such a long time from now, and I am missing you already.”
Noah chuckled. “God! Luke, we saw each other just an hour ago.”
“But we got to see each other for such a short time.” Luke helplessly said.
“We have a whole day for us tomorrow.” Noah smiled, reaching his car and unlocked it.
“Yeah but ...” Luke felt sad but suddenly perked up when an idea hit him, “Hey can we spend some time at your place?”
“My place?” Noah’s head jerked back. He wondered what was on Luke’s mind.
“Yeah, and I will get to see where you live too. Whatcha say?” Luke asked excitedly.
Noah shook his head, “You know the answer.”
“Um ... yes?” Luke hoped it was.
“No! A big NO!” Noah forcefully said, “Isn’t it enough that we are risking going out to the movies and to dinner, now want to come to my place? And Oakdale is a small town; everyone knows each other, and people will start noticing if you start visiting my place.”
Luke remained silent on the other end, and Noah felt the need to hear him talk. He knew he had broken that kid’s heart but he had to keep a safe distance. Twice he had slipped out of his control, and today Mercedes caught both of them. It was her today, tomorrow there would be someone else.
“You must think I am so childish, right?” Luke grimaced. “But I can’t help it. I like you so much that I can’t hold myself back. I have never ever felt this way.”
Noah softened up. “I like you too, Luke. But it’s just a matter of couple of months. And when Mrs. Brooks resumes her job as your history teacher, nothing will stand in the way of our relationship.”
“Really?” Luke’s hope arose again.
“Yeah. Think you can wait till then?” Noah asked. A smile appeared on his face knowing for sure that Luke was cheered up again.
“Of course.” Luke laughed. “I am going to make cross marks on my calendar starting tomorrow.”
Noah laughed as well. “You are such a dork. Cute!” He said lovingly. “Ok Luke, I have to drive home now, so I will speak to you tomorrow, alright?”
He made a kissing sound over the phone and hung up. As an after-effect, the smile remained on his face when he put the car in drive.
As he passed the main gate, he saw Chris standing at a distance, so he stopped his car when he got closer to him. He rolled down the window and smiled at him, “Hey Chris. You still here?”
“Yeah, my car crashed, so I was waiting for you to come. Can you drive me to my place?”
“Sure. Get in.”
Chris quickly got into the car and put on his seatbelt. “Thanks for the help. I don’t know what I would have done without you.”
Noah drove off. He felt eyes on him and became uneasy. “So, how was your day?” He tried to engage up a small talk.
“Hectic.” Chris rested his head back staring at Noah’s side. “You look hot today.” He could see the discomfort rising in him.
“Erm ... thanks.” Noah glanced at him once and looked back at the road. He didn’t like the look he saw on his face. Chris seemed so different today. What was going on in his mind?
Noah sped up the car, wanting to reach Chris’ place as soon as possible. The drive was filled with silence, but a great amount of tension too. Finally when Noah parked outside Chris’ apartment, he unknowingly exhaled.
Chris felt offended hearing it. However, he didn’t say anything. Instead, he asked, “What are you doing tomorrow?”
Noah looked at him and studied his expression closely. He couldn’t pick on what exactly it depicted. “Why do you ask?”
He shrugged, “I thought since our last date didn’t really end well, we could do it over.”
Noah didn’t know how to answer that. “Uhm Chris, I am actually busy tomorrow.” He said, playing it safe.
“Oh!” Chris nodded raising his eyebrows. “Well then, I will see you on Monday.” He opened the door and stepped out of the car. After he closed the door, he leaned over the window to speak, “Oh, by the way, say hi to Luke for me when you meet him tomorrow, ok? Later.” He said with a straight face, a bit of anger showing up on it when he turned around and went inside his apartment.
Noah couldn’t breathe anymore. How did Chris know about this? He felt like everything was about to end.
Gust came out of Al’s Diner after he finished his shift. He was really happy today. Although he felt bad that Joe had to work with him just to spend some more time together, he thought it was worth it. The occasional meeting of their eyes, the sneaky kisses, the playful bumps and several other naughty moves, were dreamily amazing for him. He never ever thought he could share such a loving relationship with anyone. He was in bliss having Joe in his life.
He walked of the diner and came face to face with Candes who waited there outside for him. He was surprised to see her and immediately lost his smile. “Candy, what are you doing here so late at night? And damn it why are you without a coat?” He removed his own coat and covered her with it. “It’s chilly out here. Why don’t you understand? It’s not good for the baby.”
Candes shrugged off Gust’s hand from her shoulders and angrily said, “Why do you care? You are not ready to compromise for me or for my baby, so why act like you care so much about us?”
“What’s gotten into you? Why are you talking to me like that?” Gust looked at her in disbelief.
Candes saw motion at the door from the corner of her eyes, and knew she had to act it up. “I am going to get rid of this baby. So you don’t have to work anymore or feel obligated over us.”
Gust was infuriated hearing that. He yelled. “Have you gone crazy or something? You can’t do that, you hear me? It’s our baby, goddammit, it’s MY baby and I won’t let you ...”
Gust turned and was shocked to see Joe standing behind him. Candes, on the other hand, stood there lowering her head trying to hide the victorious smile forming on her face.