marsabi1: (Default)
[personal profile] marsabi1
Author: Marsabi
Title: Sticks and Stones
Pairing: Luke and Reid
Summary: Halloween
Rating: NC-17
Warning: Angst, Explicit Sex, Kink, Hurt/Comfort
A/N: This fic was written for [livejournal.com profile] lure_prompts
It was loosely inspired by Hawthorne’s story “The Birthmark,” and the song “Somebody’s Watching Me.” All the smut is a belated birthday gift for[livejournal.com profile] rhiannonhero Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] _alicesprings for the beta read!



Sticks and Stones

They’d been together for one year, five months, and twelve days. Reid knows he could calculate it down to the hour, even to the minute, but he resists the impulse. Luke would just consider it a further sign of Reid’s need to turn things that are “fun” into observations. Having friends come over and eat all their food, scratch up their CDs and sleep in their guest room is Luke’s idea of fun too, so Reid no longer bothers to fake it. He’s no fun and he’s proud of it. What’s amazing to Reid is that Luke loves him anyhow.

Four months ago, they bought their house. Reid was surprised how much he enjoyed fixing it up with Luke. Reid has never paid much attention to his surroundings before; his life was the hospital, not the places where he paid his rent. Reid feels differently about this house. He knows every inch of it, has been involved in every piece of furniture, every wall of paint, and has bickered happily with Luke at each turn. It’s their house, nobody else’s.

Reid peers out the window. He can feel it again-the eyes, watching, looking in. Someone is out there, threatening his domestic bliss, Reid knows it. He parts the curtain and presses his face closer to the glass.

“Are you at it again?” Luke comes into the room, yawning, as he tugs on some jeans. “I swear, the closer Halloween gets, the more spooked you become.”

“I don’t get spooked,” Reid says, making a face. Reid can see his breath at the window, and he stabs at it with his finger. Car lights shine in, white and blinding, and a prickling feeling runs down Reid’s spine. He exhales as the car drives on with a squeak of its tires. It passes their house, leaving nothing to look at but the pre-dawn black. Reid turns to look at Luke. He hasn’t told him the real reason he’s upset because he’s not sure what to make of it all yet.

“If you don’t get spooked then why were you at the window last night too? If I hadn’t come home and distracted you, I think you might have stood here all night looking out at nothing.”

Reid leaves the window to go over to Luke. “Maybe I just like making you distract me,” he says, looking Luke up and down. “Want to distract me right now?”

“I need to get to the farm,” Luke says, but he flushes slightly. “And don’t change the subject. We’re discussing your mental health. As cute as you are when you get all freaked out, I’m starting to worry.”

Reid scowls. “I’m not cute and there’s a perfectly good reason for-”

“Relax then, okay?” Luke pats him. “Why not try taking a deep breath and counting to ten?”

“Like I’m on Sesame Street? No thanks. And for God’s sake, don’t tell anybody at the farm about your ridiculous take on my supposed freak out.”

“I wouldn’t tell-”

“Like you didn’t tell everybody about the day we were trapped in the elevator?”

Luke blushes. “It slipped out when I was defending you to Mom. She thought you had no feelings. And I can’t help it if she told, well, everybody else.” Luke leans in and pulls at Reid’s robe playfully. “Besides, I can’t resist talking about it. Because that was the day I fell in love with you.”

“Really? Hmm. Then why didn’t I get in your pants until six months later?” Reid squeezes Luke’s ass.

“Reid,” Luke admonishes, but gives a snort of laughter. He kisses Reid softly, threading his hand in Reid’s hair. They smile at each other, and Reid feels a jolt of happiness inside his chest, the one he always feels at Luke’s smile, yet it never fails to surprise him.

“And you were so cute babbling nervously that day.” Luke gives Reid’s shoulders a quick rub. “The minute you started in about the Godfather and chocolate, my heart began thudding so loudly in my chest and I didn’t understand what was happening to me at the time but…Hey? Are you listening?”

“Sure.” But Reid is glancing at the window again. He could swear he sees a face from the corner of his eye, but now-nothing. Gone in a blink.

“Better go lock that window. The crazy Halloween killer might show up!” Luke gasps like he’s choking.

Reid gives him a long, stone-faced look.

“Oh, geez, okay.” Luke offers a sheepish smile.” I’m sorry for teasing. I just thought a little humor would work, but you’re really uptight about this, huh?” Luke tilts his head, studying Reid with gentle concern. ”Maybe try picturing brains? Go on, close your eyes a moment. Think brains like you did on the elevator.”

Reid obediently closes his eyes, but it isn’t a brain he sees. Reid thinks about that time in the elevator, and he thinks about the sex they had six months later. He thinks about Luke being naked on his bed, having finally been ready to consummate their relationship. So it’s not a brain that he pictures. It’s Luke’s cock, erect and thick. The crown flushed red, velvety soft to suck on, the slit a long slash, his cum salty-sweet, his balls pendulous.

“Did it work?” Luke asks. “You’re smiling.”

Reid opens his eyes to look at Luke. He reaches out for Luke’s hand and presses his fingers to the bulge beneath his robe.

“Oh.” Luke’s eyes widen.

“Yeah.” He puts his arms around Luke, letting his erection stab his stomach.

“God, cut it out.” Luke licks his lips. “Stop looking at me…like-like that. Reid,” Luke groans, squirming. “I can’t right now. I promised Dad to help him with the farm and setting up for the upcoming Halloween party.”

“He just had a party last month, remember? That welcome Fall malarkey. “

“I know, I know. But this is Halloween.”

“So what? Why do you have to keep dragging me to these Snyder shindigs?”

“I don’t know. Maybe I enjoy tormenting you with social obligations.” At Reid’s snort, Luke grins. “Or maybe because you’re my partner and I’m proud of you. I want you there.”

“Flattery. Nice.”

“Thanks.”

“But I prefer physical persuasion.”

“You always do.” Luke grabs the sides of Reid’s face and gives him a fast kiss.

“More. Now,” Reid groans, his hands already working the button of Luke’s jeans, but Luke stops him.

Luke pets Reid’s dick through his robe. “Later. When I have the time. It’ll be worth waiting for.”

“Yeah, I’m not that patient.”

Luke laughs. “There’s news.”

Reid’s mouth lifts automatically back. Reid strokes one hand down Luke’s face and rests his thumb at the dimple in Luke’s chin. Luke sighs, turning into the palm of Reid’s hand to nuzzle it a moment, and then steps reluctantly away, snapping his jeans up.
“Later,” Luke repeats. “And I’ll be giving it to you slowly, and for a long, long time.”

Reid’s hole flutters, and the muscles in his stomach clench. Luke’s grin widens. Cheeky brat. Christ.

After Luke is gone, Reid heads to their bathroom to shower and change. But his morning hard-on won’t quit and he still has an hour before he’s due at Memorial, so he opens his nightstand drawer, getting out some lube and a toy. If he can’t have Luke, he might as well have something. But then he gets that uneasy feeling again, and decides to just get ready for work instead. He sheds his robe and heads for the shower.

Reid gets why he’s uneasy. It started a day ago at Memorial. He hasn’t told Luke, not yet, because he knows when he does Luke will hound him like a worried puppy. There had been a car accident out on Dawson Road, and an unidentified woman had run into traffic, coming from the woods. By the time Reid had arrived at work, she was deceased. As the Chief of Staff, Reid went to examine her, heading into the trauma room to take a look at the corpse.

The woman was still in her clothes, her blouse shredded, her legs bent out, twisted unnaturally, and her skirt was hiked up and splattered with mud, damp and foul-smelling. Her hair was snarled with twigs and small leaves. Dirt caked under her nails, and the cuticles were ripped, as if she’d been clawing at something. Her face was pale and bloated, her lipstick half-bitten off, and there was bruising on her neck, but nothing inconsistent with a car accident.

“Chief,” Nurse Gretchen said, peeking tentatively into the room. She handed him a plastic bag. “We did find a small clue to her identity among these things.” Gretchen clicked her tongue, looking at the woman’s body. “It’s so sad to think nobody claimed her. That she seems to have no people.”

Reid nodded, barely listening, and opened up the bag. There were two bracelets inside. The first one a small, silver bracelet, tarnished and old looking, had the name Julie on it. The second was a green rubber one-the kind used for the club scene or to promote awareness for various medical conditions. Green…That represented what? Reid reared back as if slapped. Quickly, he snatched off the blouse and skirt. She had a small, half-moon shaped scar over her kidney. It was an old scar, but must have been recently infected, because the skin around it oozed. Swearing, Reid grabbed a scalpel and cut her open, lifting the flap of skin, he saw that the kidney was diseased. It was a dark purple color, swollen to the size of a fist, tumors everywhere. “Get a toxicology report on her,” he ordered Nurse Gretchen.

“A tox screen? Why? She was a hit and run victim.”

“Did you suddenly earn a medical degree?” Reid snapped. “Just do it.” If this woman had taken any of Sawyer’s pills, Reid damn well wanted to know it. A cold feeling rushed over him. Luke had promised, hadn’t he? He shouldn’t worry. Luke had given Reid his word that he was no longer mixed up with Sawyer.

He’d gone onto do his other rounds, but the strange feeling of being watched had started then, as if the dead woman’s ghost was following him, not that he believed in such things.

Showered and dressed now in a white shirt, tie, and dark pants, Reid drinks some coffee and eats some slightly burnt toast. He glances through his daily planner, and turns on his laptop to check his email. He looks up Dr. Sawyer on the internet. It’s not that he doesn’t trust Luke to keep his word; he promised Reid not to let Sawyer treat him, but Reid can’t stand the idea of that quack duping other people. People like Luke who desperately want to believe in miracles, but who don’t have genius boyfriends to protect them. The front door bangs open. His eyes dart to the kitchen entrance, blood roaring in his ears, a metallic taste in his mouth. But it’s Luke who comes through the swinging kitchen door, a silly grin on his face.

“You’re back?” Reid says, carefully closing the laptop, willing his heart to slow. His eyes take in Luke hungrily. Luke’s hair is damp from the rain, and a touch of color is on his cheeks. Reid’s throat constricts and he swallows convulsively. How can he love somebody this much? He certainly hadn’t planned on falling for Luke so hard he often can’t breathe. Looking at him now, anxiety ping pongs in his stomach. Reid knows if he ever loses Luke, his heart will crack open, the organ snapping in half, bloody and irreparable.

Luke bites the corner of his lip, and shrugs bashfully. “I was halfway to the farm, when I called Dad from my car. Told him I’d be there in an hour or so.”

“Oh?” Reid’s eyebrow arches up. “And what did you have in mind to do for that extra hour, Mr. Snyder?” He’s determined not to have the same stupid fight with Luke about Sawyer-not again. Besides, a woman with a botched up scar doesn’t mean anything. There really is no need to worry Luke. Not yet. Not when he’s standing in front of Reid, so eager to be with him, his skin flushed, and his eyes glowing with happiness.

“Sticks and stones,” Luke says.

Reid’s cock jumps to life. Sticks and stones is Luke’s code word for a game they sometimes play, a game where one of them takes charge and the sex borders on rough. Since his relationship with Noah, Luke has trouble verbalizing what he wants, especially things that push any boundaries, and Luke likes to push; he likes messy and dirty, even if he can’t actually ask for it.

“On your knees,” Reid orders, ignoring Luke’s delighted grin. He rips his tie off and gathers up Luke’s hands, tying them behind his back. “Close your eyes.”

Luke obeys, scrunching up his face. Reid stares a moment at him, just smiling, and then he slowly unzips his pants and lets his cock spring free. Hearing the sound, Luke whimpers. Reid’s tip is already creamed with pre-cum and he teases Luke with it, swiping it along his waiting lips, letting some drip on Luke’s chin. Reid can tell Luke wants to put his tongue to it. Luke is trembling with an effort to wait, his hands helpless and tied, his eyes closed. Reid strokes himself, and then slowly puts his engorged dick back to Luke’s quivering mouth.

“Open.”

Luke’s mouth feels hot, his tongue eagerly laps at Reid’s cum, flicking it across Reid’s crown. He shifts on the wood floor, leaning forward, to take more of Reid inside. Reid is pushing his cock in, pumping his hips, all in what feels like one continuous movement. They’re both moaning. Reid is talking to him, dirty talk, the kind Luke loves. “I’m going to take you right on the table soon, strip you naked, put my tongue in your ass-”

Luke’s making pained sounds, his mouth sucking Reid’s cockhead , his body trembling. Blindly, Luke licks Reid from root to tip. “And you’ll be hard and ready for it, begging me. I’m not taking you until you beg,” Reid says.

Reid winds his hand in Luke’s hair, pulling it back. He grinds his hips forward, and fucks Luke’s mouth. Luke cheeks hollow, and he makes those sweet sounds he always makes when he blows Reid, his amazing lips, meant for being fed cock, powerfully suctioning Reid deeper. Reid feels his cock at the back of Luke’s throat, and Luke rocks back with the force of his thrusts. Reid cries out, lost in a haze of dizzy arousal, his nuts draw up. He shoots out with force, ordering Luke to swallow, which Luke does in great gulps. Reid sees Luke is also coming, still in his jeans, a damp spot at his crotch. Luke breaks his hands free of Reid’s tie, and nuzzles his face at Reid’s cock, even as it slides out of Luke’s mouth. Luke is still licking him clean, and then he scoots up Reid’s body, eyes open, a grin on his face. He gives Reid a quick, messy kiss, letting their tongues touch, teeth clank, mouths latch.

They keep their hands on each other, unbuttoning shirts, sliding belts out of loops, and it’s Reid who is shoved down onto the kitchen chair. Luke straddles him, placing kisses along his torso, his cock wet-tipped between them. Reid bites hard at the tender skin of Luke’s ear, and then licks at it, and Luke turns to suck on Reid’s Adam’s apple in retaliation, hard enough to bruise. Luke’s legs rope around him firmly. His fingers grab and twist Reid’s nipples, rolling them to reddened tips, and Luke’s tongue laves over one pebbled nub, making Reid release a low growl. Reid sinks his fingers into Luke’s ass, clutching it, kneading it, until Luke cries out and Reid feels a shiver go through his body.

Having given up condoms long ago, Reid milks Luke’s already leaking dick and begins to lube his crack with Luke’s own cum. He massages Luke’s hole with his fingers, starting to stretch it, but Luke impatiently bats his hand away and lowers down, impaling himself on Reid’s cock. Both of them cry out at the fast movement, Reid’s hands hold Luke’s back as he begins to slam up and down, forcefully, ignoring any pain. Their bodies are bathed in sweat. Reid’s ass muscles flex as he soars upwards, and Luke’s fingers dig into his hips enough to cause bruises. They are both breathing heavily. Luke rides him, his muscles gripping Reid’s cock. Luke’s dick is resting at Reid’s stomach, dripping, and his hole is tight, and Reid knows Luke’s rectal walls must be burning from the sensation. He fingers the tip of Luke’s cock, raking his thumb across the slit, and as Luke pushes out more seed, Reid takes his ejaculate and puts his finger to Luke’s lips, letting Luke suck on his own cum.

Reid’s balls are heavy and ache, his chest heaves. He stretches Luke’s hole more, going deeper, jamming his cock upwards past that second barrier, and grunting as he penetrates Luke’s ass completely. Luke moans out at the deep fucking, and rides wildly, their skin slapping together. Reid groans with pleasure, hammering away, and Luke takes every punishing thrust with ardor, his head thrown back, neck exposed, his voice breathless as he pleads for more, and Luke’s body feels so damn good.

“You want harder? Rougher?” Reid taunts out with a throaty growl, and as Luke yelps out a yes, Reid picks Luke up, still inside him, and shoves him back onto the kitchen table, knocking things out of the way. He begins to thrust into him with tough, animal aggression, knocking his ass back down on the table each time. Luke bites his lip hard, moaning, and Reid smashes their mouths together, stuffing himself into Luke, his cum-filled balls ready for release.

Luke is grabbing the edge of the table so that he doesn’t fall off, his fingers scrambling. “Yes, yes, yes,” he chants. Reid pumps, straining with effort, plunging, pushing them both to their limits. Reid’s cock aches, his balls hurt, and Luke’s clear fluid smears on his skin. He rubs his thumb at the sensitive head and Luke’s mouth opens with a soundless wail, his dick jerking, arching his back off the table.

“I can’t-” Luke gasps. “Oh God, please don’t stop.” Luke’s legs slide down his back to dig his heels at Reid’s ass. Hissing, Reid slams the base of his cock right up to Luke’s tight heat. Reid’s hands clamp down at Luke’s hips in a vise-like grip. Luke’s body is slick and stretched open; his movements shamelessly wanton, making Reid react like an electric socket is at his spine and shooting into his balls.

He roughly hauls Luke’s ass higher, changing the angle to focus on the rough nub of Luke’s prostrate. Reid drives his cock impossibly deeper into the tender flesh, and Luke rasps out one more moan, his anus contracting as he comes, spurting out at Reid’s chest. With a deep groan, Reid follows, his face pulled tight, his teeth gritted, ejaculating deep inside Luke. The climax rolls over him, and he bites Luke one last time, where the curve of his neck meets his shoulder, marking him. Luke makes a low noise, but it doesn’t sound like a protest, and he shudders.

Licking the tangy skin soothingly now, Reid takes in shaky gulps of air and his eyes slowly focus on Luke’s face. Reid’s heartbeat is thudding as he bends down and brushes his mouth across Luke’s, keeping the solid weight of his body pressed down on him. They kiss for a long time, not ready to move. Reid feels his semen dripping out Luke’s ass.

Slowly, they ease back down to the chair, still connected.

Luke skims his fingers lightly down Reid’s shoulder and laughs. The sound of it is indescribably sweet and Reid lets out a chuckle in return. They smile at each other.

“Pretty good, Dr. Oliver,” Luke sighs.

Their bodies are pressing close, Luke’s warm breath at his cheek. This is my person, Reid thinks, right here. Reid cradles Luke in his arms, tracing the shape of his face.

“Luke, I need to tell you something- ” Reid falters a moment, heat rushing up the back of his neck. He knows he needs to tell Luke what’s happening, that it’s more than his normal hang-ups, that there’s evidence of odd events going on, and he’s always honest with Luke. Reid opens his mouth to be honest now.

“Okay, sure.” Luke says, climbing off Reid’s lap. “But after I go help Dad out. Is that alright? I’m so late already. I feel awful about it. Well,” Luke shoots him a beaming grin, “I don’t. But now I really should go.” He starts to head into the bathroom that is off of the kitchen to clean up quickly. “We can talk all you want at dinner, right?”

Reid says nothing, thinking. He picks up some of his clothes that are scattered around the floor. Maybe by dinner he can tell Luke about that dead woman and her scar. Or maybe he should call Margo, just to be sure it was a coincidence? Reid rolls his eyes. Is he really putting his trust in the Oakdale PD?

Luke emerges a few moments later from the bathroom, and he gives Reid a goodbye kiss. Reid inhales his scent and the smell of their recent sex, and wants to pull Luke down and kiss every inch of his skin.

Instead, he lets Luke walk out the door.

***

As Luke drives the tractor, he smiles to himself, happy he went back home to Reid before he came to the farm. He doesn’t mind helping his dad. Luke loves Halloween and the farm is the best place for parties, in his opinion anyway. The last one was over Labor Day to welcome a season of good crops. Everybody had a good time that day, Luke remembers. The kids ran all over, shrieking like wild animals, scrambling up and down the hillside. His dad’s bonfire was going strong, and Luke had wanted to roast some marshmallows with Ethan. Reid stood close by, warning them that eating food from a stick wasn’t too sanitary. Poor Ethan had burned both of his first two attempts, and his third one rolled away into the dirt, so Luke quickly gave his brother his own marshmallow. That was when Reid took action, Luke recalls with a grin, holding another marshmallow out for Luke on a small twig. They had roasted it together, browning it just right, and Luke had fed Reid some of the gooey treat, teasing him by letting the stick stroke his mouth.

Reid made a sound of pure appreciation, as he began to bite the marshmallow off, his teeth sinking into it. “Maybe it’s not too bad,” Reid conceded, wolfing down the rest of the marshmallow off Luke’s stick, his mouth sticky, his tongue running over his lips. They kissed, letting their mouths fuse together, Reid tasting hot and sweet. Ethan tugged at Luke’s jacket, forcing Luke to reluctantly break the kiss off.

“I wanna have more marshmallows,” Ethan whined. “I got no more sticks.”

Luke glanced at Reid with a silent plea for understanding; he knew his siblings took up a lot of their free time. Reid leaned down to Luke’s ear, nipping at it, and growled. “You Snyders, always worried about your wood.”

Before Luke could stammer out a reply, his cheeks predictably flushed, Reid had taken Ethan on his own, holding Ethan’s small grubby fingers as they walked back to the woods, and went in search of more sticks.

Unfortunately, the moment Reid was gone, someone heavily tapped him on the shoulder.

“Noah!” Luke was startled. He’d forgotten that Noah was even in town, or that his mom had invited him to the party.

“Hey, Luke.”

They’d shaken hands, and awkwardly patted each other’s shoulders, and Luke found it all pretty weird and disturbing. He jammed his hands into his pockets, attempting to smile up at Noah. He really wanted to be friends with Noah, because Luke thought, once upon a time, they loved each other. Didn’t they?

“Um, so. How’s L.A.?”

“California’s great,” Noah enthused. “I’m involved in so many interesting projects.”

“That’s wonderful.” Luke smiled, sincerely happy for him. “Like what?” Noah loved to talk about his passion for movies.

“Oh,” Noah waved a hand at him, dismissively, “A lot of complex film noir stuff, Luke. You wouldn’t understand.”

Luke forced a smile to remain on his face. Reid never did that. He never talked down to him. Whenever Luke asked Reid about his day, he always answered-sometimes in gory detail. To be honest, Luke didn’t always understand everything Reid said, especially the medical terminology, the times Reid went into what Luke thinks of as his doctor-babble, but he always appreciated the way Reid shared his day with him. Reid might call him an idiot on occasion, but Reid never made Luke feel stupid.

He realized, as Noah had smiled thinly at him, condescendingly, that he and Noah never did feel comfortable with each other. Luke loved Noah once, but he could never recall being relaxed around Noah. He’d been too busy trying to endlessly please him.

Luke had shifted his feet back and forth. His hand pressed unconsciously to his scar, which was throbbing slightly, as it occasionally did in cold, damp weather.

Noah had glanced at Luke touching his scar and smirked. A knowing expression crossed Noah’s face.

“Ever tell Reid how you got it? Mexico? The drinking?”

“Reid doesn’t care about my scar and he knows about my past.”

Noah looked at him, his eye small and mean, his mouth curled up. “Yeah, Luke I’m sure he tells you that.”

Luke flinched. He darted his eyes toward the woods, really wishing he’d gone with Reid and Ethan.

“If you want,” Noah offered, “I can do you a favor.”

“A favor?” Luke looked back at him.

“I know some really good plastic surgeons in L.A.. There’s tons. They might fix you.”

Luke had shaken his head, opening his mouth to answer, but nothing came out.

“And while you’re out there,” Noah had went on, thinking Luke’s silence was agreement. “You could do something for me.”

“What?”

“A screenwriter out there wants me to direct his new film. A really big deal, really big. But..” Noah squinted at Luke, shrugged. “We need some funding.”

“You want me to come out to L.A. to loan you money?” Luke asked.

“Of course not! I’m thinking about you and your scar. Maybe there are better operations now for it. But if you don’t want to help me in return…I guess I got it wrong. I thought you kept saying on my last day in Oakdale how you wanted us to stay close. I thought you’d want to be involved with something this important to me, but if I no longer matter-”

“I’m sorry,” Luke had said automatically, biting on his lip until it stung. “You know-”

“Besides,” Noah cut Luke off. “You owe me.” Noah had reached out and dug his fingers into Luke’s arm and looked down at him so that their eyes met.

Luke stared at Noah. “I …what?”

“For cheating on me with Reid, when I was blind. You owe me.” The words had hung in the air between them.

His scar was burning, and Luke had jolted back, grimacing in pain. He’d reached under his shirt and put his finger to it-the skin felt hot.

“We were broken up,” Luke said softly.

“That’s the way you tell it,” Noah had shrugged.

Luke had stared at him, feeling like if he looked long enough, he might find the Noah he used to know. Only he didn’t.

Luke remembers that Reid had come up to them then, and put a casual arm on Luke’s shoulders. The scar pain had lessened and Luke had drawn in several deep breaths.

“How’s the coffee in L.A.?” Reid asked. His hand rested at Luke’s back, his fingers stroking him reassuringly, and Luke had melted into the touch.

“I love Los Angeles,” Noah said. “The coffee. The people. Everything . Best decision I ever made to move there.” His lips stretched into a tight smile. “How’s my ex-boyfriend treating you? Are you sure, you don’t want to give him back?” Noah said, like it was a joke, but his voice was cruel.

“I’m sure that Luke can make up his own mind about who he wants,” Reid said mildly, shrugging, and Luke’s heart had swelled with love for him.

“Whatever,” Noah said. Had Noah always been this way? Why had he ever fallen for Noah? He was so young and needy back then, Luke had thought, and so easily flattered.

Reid’s hand was still pressed on Luke’s back, his muscles tightening under Reid’s sure touch. Sparks flew between them, the way it always did, and Luke had felt his body responding to Reid, his blood flowing with warmth. As if sensing how Luke felt, Reid had captured his mouth in a light kiss.

Noah had given Luke that familiar look of disappointment, like Luke had done something wrong, the look that in the past had always made Luke hunch his shoulders up, lower his eyes, and duck his head. Noah had turned away, his back to them, and gone to talk to Luke’s parents and his younger siblings about how fantastic L.A. was and how he couldn’t believe how bright and sunny it was there all year round. Lily hung on Noah’s arm, and Holden nodded, but Luke could tell his mind was elsewhere, and Faith looked bored. As Noah boasted about his gluten free diet, Reid had looked over at Luke rolling his eyes and deliberately taking a big bite of his cake, making Luke smile.

“I’m in the best shape in my life,” Noah said. “I work out at my gym and run on the beach. When I was living here, I’d eat too much junk food and had too much stress. “

Stress from Luke, even Luke could hear the unspoken words.

Reid leaned closer, his voice near Luke’s ear. “And yet, even in the firelight, Noah’s ass looks flat.”

Snorting, Luke covered his mouth to stop his laugh, but he was pretty sure that Noah had heard Reid by the way his shoulders had stiffened up. He was always so humorless. The rest of the night, Noah had continued to make catty remarks about his time in Oakdale being the most difficult period of his life and his joy at living in Los Angeles. Luke had tried not to let Noah bother him, but it had hurt.

Luke sighs, shaking his head now to get rid of the memory. He hopes that Noah stays in L.A. for Halloween. Luke can’t help touching his scar, running his finger along the ridge. Noah always did know just how to hurt him. He knows that for Luke the scar isn’t about its physical appearance, although it is ugly. No, Noah knows it’s about Luke’s past, all his failures, and how he still blames himself for them.

Reid isn’t Noah. Luke knows that, he does. Reid has never once recoiled from Luke’s scar. He touches it, probes it with gentle hands. It’s Luke who tenses, who pushes his hand away, who doesn’t want Reid to go there. Reid always gets that baffled, slightly hurt look, and Luke knows he’s waiting for Luke to talk to him about it. But for once, Luke is the one who doesn’t want to talk.

Strangely, it was just after that incident with Noah that Dr. Sawyer came to town, trying to get Luke to agree to fund his project, which promised to remove any birthmark, burn or scar from a person’s skin. Sawyer was a plastic surgeon who had invented a formula-some kind of pill that you take for four months, tops, and your body is altered.

Luke had looked into plastic surgery for his scar years ago, but had learned that it would take at least three operations to completely get rid of it. Reid usually went off on a tangent about this fact, going on and on about why Luke’s filthy rich parents hadn’t looked for specialists to perform Luke’s transplant, why they had trusted doctors who had gotten their degrees in Oakdale, doctors who’d ruined Luke’s scar, until Luke would usually beg him to stop. He’d never told Reid the truth. He tried, but the words would choke inside of him. Luke had a fairly normal scar from his transplant, until he got drunk, and taken a knife to it, telling his mom’s lover that he wanted to cut it out. The kidney had been from the black market and worse, Luke’s mom had sacrificed her happiness for it.

Luke barely remembers that day. He knows that he’d been crying, red-faced and gasping for air, and drinking vodka, and he’d stumbled up to Keith swaying side to side, the knife gripped in his fingers. His mom had ruined her life all because of him and Luke hated himself, hated his kidney, and he’d wanted it ripped out. Before Keith could stop him, he’d cut into his skin, looking down as it bled, almost in amazement that he’d done it, and then he’d blacked out.

Luke had woken up in the hospital. Since then, the scar had never really healed properly. Honestly, he didn’t really relish the idea of going under the knife now. But a pill! He’d been so excited by the idea of a pill. Reid, of course, hearing the initial details from Luke, quickly called it baloney, and called Sawyer a quack. He didn’t understand how much Luke wanted it to be true. How could Reid understand? He didn’t believe in looking backwards or wallowing in his mistakes. He never had. And Reid’s body was flawless, like marble, not a single freckle or mole or hangnail-nothing.

Last week, Luke had pushed Reid and Sawyer to meet. He thought it might be a good idea, that if Sawyer could just convince Reid there were solid, scientific methods behind his pill, maybe Reid wouldn’t be so stubborn about Luke testing it. Luke explained to Sawyer about Reid, telling him about Reid’s many accomplishments. Luke had prattled on, and Sawyer had listened intently.

It hadn’t gone well. Reid had insulted Sawyer, Sawyer had gotten enraged. Luke tried to play peacemaker. Luke turned sullen, Reid defensive.

“What?” Reid kept saying, looking at Luke as he drove home.

“You know,” Luke finally spat out, and they’d fought about it for the rest of the ride. As they’d gotten ready to turn in for the night, Reid had won the argument, coolly listing all the reasons Sawyer’s project was no good, leaving Luke little to argue in return.

“I want to do this,” was all Luke could say, knowing he sounded petulant and that he was probably pouting at Reid, but wanting to keep funding the project all the same. His scar had burned again, but Luke was getting accustomed to the jabs of pain. He kept his face still.

“Promise me to think about it some more,” Reid had urged finally, seeing that Luke was refusing to listen. “Give me that.”

Luke shrugged and promised. But as he sat up in bed that night, Reid snoring next to him, Luke had felt the scar aching, the skin pulled tight. Luke had lifted his shirt up. The scar’s color, normally a dull purple, looked vivid. Gasping, Luke had lowered his shirt. He glanced uneasily at Reid. He should tell Reid, let Reid examine him; make sure it was just the surface skin causing him pain and not his kidney. It didn’t feel like his kidney; Luke was familiar with that pain. His kidney pain was more of an ache than a throbbing or burning. It was a deeper pain, a pressure. This pain felt as if an unseen hand was pinching Luke’s flesh. If it became worse, then he’d tell Reid, but not yet. The last thing Luke wanted was more fighting. He shifted in bed, moving his body closer to Reid’s warmth. Maybe he shouldn’t be trying experimental pills, even Sawyer had admitted the side effects were still unclear.

The very next day, Reid left some reading material for him on scar tissue and healing. Luke diligently read through it and it pretty much backed up all of Reid’s points. But it was the note that Reid had scribbled on the bottom of one page that really convinced Luke to rethink Sawyer’s project. “Trust me?” Reid had written. “Please?”

Luke couldn’t recall Reid ever writing please before, and he made up his mind right then. By that afternoon, Luke had called Sawyer and backed out. He trusted Reid, and if Reid felt it was bogus, than it was probably wise to stop. Sawyer got angry, accusing Luke of being under his boyfriend’s control. Despite Sawyer’s accusations, Luke felt awful about promising him money and then canceling it. He offered to meet Sawyer, not really looking forward to it because he hated to disappoint anybody. They had set up a meeting for the day after Halloween, but Luke doubts there is much Sawyer can do to get him to change his mind.

Luke shifts uneasily on the tractor now. He shouldn’t have agreed to even meet with Sawyer again; it’s too much like stringing him along. Luke continues to clear the field, putting it out of his mind for the moment, but his scar throbs.

Luke comes home tired and his mind is swirling from the last few days. He knows that if the scar keeps bothering him, he can’t keep excusing it because of the cold, damp, rain, his nerves or anything else. He’ll have to tell Reid. When Luke walks inside though, the house is empty. He really wants to enjoy the night with Reid and enjoy his family’s Halloween party tomorrow, and let go of his fears for a little bit. Luke’s not surprised that Reid isn’t home yet. He often works late since he became Chief of Staff. He has yet to miss a day at the hospital, not even the time he had a fever of 102, or the time he twisted his ankle. Reid works, no matter what. Luke doesn’t really mind. Well, mostly.

Luke heads to the bedroom to shower off the dirt from his skin, and it’s not until he is out of his shower and in some sweats that he sees that Reid has left some lube and a sex toy sitting out on his nightstand. He pauses, going over to it. A butt plug. Luke picks it up. There’s a cough behind him, and Luke spins around.

“I can explain that,” Reid says, a quick smile coming and going on his face. “I forgot to put it away this morning when you-er-surprised me.”

Luke holds up the toy, a wicked grin lighting his face. Suddenly, he’s feeling not at all tired from his day at the farm. He looks over to Reid. This is exactly what Luke needs to forget his troubles. The minute he touches Reid, his brain becomes mush, his dick becomes hard, and the world falls away. Luke’s grin widens, his dimples flash. Perfect. He wags the toy under Reid’s nose.

“Lemme guess? Sticks and Stones again?” Reid’s voice is cool, almost bored, but he doesn’t fool Luke. His eyes are focused on the plug in Luke’s hand, giving him away.

“But it’s my turn. On your back,” Luke orders. He could never say it out loud, but Luke loves ass play. Noah never allowed it. He didn’t like Luke’s mouth anywhere near there. Luke could just imagine Noah’s reaction to a toy.

Luke opens the nightstand drawer and attaches a bullet to the base of the butt plug. He can’t wait till the thing vibrates in Reid.

Unlike Luke, Reid has no hang-ups about nudity. He strips calmly, folding up his clothes, not bothering to turn off the bedroom light, and Luke gulps hard.

Reid, having shed all his clothes, lies down on the bed. Luke can see his erection jutting up, and licks his lips.

“What now?” Reid asks, ready to let Luke be the one in charge. Reid has never once objected to anything Luke suggests in the bedroom, and that alone is new for Luke, and always thrills him. He can feel the blood rushing to his cock as Reid waits.

“Touch yourself,” Luke says.

Reid starts with his nipples, twisting them hard, letting his nails scratch a path down his chest, leaving red marks on his skin. Reid alternates between his nipples and his cock, playing with both, yanking firmly.

Luke feels a warmth flush through his entire body. He crawls on to the bed, the plug in his hand. He wets the tip of it with his tongue, sucking it a little, and coating it with his saliva and puts it aside. His hand finds Reid’s dick, and his fingers glide over the slick head. Luke bends, taking one of Reid’s balls into his mouth, pulling at it hard, rolling it around, his cheek fat with it, and Reid digs his hand into Luke’s hair. Luke curls his tongue along Reid’s crinkled sac, which tightens with each of Luke’s teasing licks, and then Luke sucks the balls up again with loud, slurping sounds.

Luke releases him and turns, grabbing the lube and plug. He pops open the lube and generously spreads it in Reid’s crack, and then Luke slides the plug along Reid’s crease, his other hand back at Reid’s dick, pumping it in fast strokes. Reid’s breathing is erratic, and he trembles. Luke yanks off his sweats and briefs and touches Reid’s arousal.

“So hard,” Luke encourages, his hand gently squeezes Reid’s erection, spunk dampening his fingers. Luke eats some of it, smacking his lips.

“Knees up,” Luke says, and Reid obeys, hooking his knees over his arms, exposing his ass for Luke’s use. He loves Reid like this: spread out, vulnerable, ready.

Luke begins to insert the plug. With one hand, Luke beats at Reid’s dick, traveling up the curved length of it, and with the other, he works the plug in, pushing it in farther, opening up Reid’s hole. He can see Reid’s ass muscles squeeze around it, swallowing it. Reid’s toes are curling as he pulls his legs up higher toward his head, some beads of sweat sliding down his face. Luke jabs the plug in and out of his hole in hard sweeps. Luke’s own dick aches and leaks, but he ignores it.

Luke’s rhythm picks up, building the pressure, the plug jabs and retreats, jabs and retreats. Every time Reid makes a small sound, Luke feels it in his own body. He flushes, his heart racing with excitement that he can make Reid moan like that, jerk his body that way.

Luke removes the toy slowly and uses his fingers; one finger, two, three knuckles deep. Reid urges him on with an inarticulate sound, and Luke scissors his fingers inside Reid’s ass. Reid feels tight, so very tight. Luke shivers slightly, his own senses on overload. His cock is rigid as he glided his fingers in and out of Reid’s hole.

Reid pants, his body buckling, sweat dripping.

“Take it, take it,” Luke croons. He licks away some of Reid’s sweat, and removes his hand. Luke stares down at Reid and watches the expression of pained arousal cross his face. A sweet tension grabs Luke as Reid groans, his pucker opening and closing, and Luke wants to make Reid wild. He wants to find just the right angle, the right pressure. He replaces his fingers again with the plug, roughly pushing it now, turning on the bullet, to make the vibrations start.

“Give it up for me. ”

Reid makes a choking noise and Luke knows he’s there. He twists the toy to its base, licks again at the head of Reid’s creaming tip. He twists it in as far as it will possibly go, until it can’t go one more centimeter. The bullet does its work, the vibrations furiously shaking the plug.

Reid’s balls tighten, ass spasms---

Pulling the toy out quickly, making Reid actually gasp, Luke wastes no time. He enters Reid’s raw pucker. Reid is already coming, spurting out hard, milky lines up at his chest and neck, and Luke doesn’t last either, not as he feels Reid’s heat clutching him.

Just as his orgasm rips through Luke, and Reid is finishing, the lights in the house flicker out, and it’s dark.

“What the hell?” Reid says.

Luke groans, still buried inside of Reid’s ass. “ Just the power. Rainstorm. Relax.” The lights flicker on again, and Luke sees Reid looks worried. He also sees Reid’s cum glistening on his stomach and chest. Without thinking, Luke dips his head down and takes a big lick, starting at Reid’s stomach and lapping his tongue upwards. Luke licks over Reid’s taunt nipples, loving the taste of skin and cum and man, and then moves his mouth over Reid’s long neck and up to his jaw.

“Luke,” Reid trembles underneath him.

“Mmm,” Luke says, his tongue full of Reid’s essence. Luke kisses him, letting Reid taste it. The lights flicker again and Luke feels Reid tense. Luke darts small kisses down Reid’s face reassuringly. He pulls out and rests against Reid. The lights come back on. “See? It’s the storm. Nothing else.” Luke circles a warm hand at Reid’s chest, yawning. “Nothing’s wrong.”

“Luke,” Reid says, his voice a rumble in Luke’s ear. “I know you think it’s just my imagination and all of that but I need to tell you something-” Reid stops, as if waiting for Luke to say something.

“Hmm, ‘K,” Luke mumbles, his eyelids shutting, his mouth growing slack. “Tell me. Just give me one sec.”

From what seems like a far distance, Luke feels Reid shaking him lightly. “Luke,” he hears.

“One sec-” Luke thinks he says, but he’s not even sure, he’s just so sleepy.

Luke wakes up a few hours later, reaching out automatically for Reid next to him, but the bed is empty.

Luke sits up, the covers falling off him, and rubs his eyes. He remembers that Reid wanted to talk about something and he feels badly that he didn’t stay awake long enough to listen.

Luke gets out of the bed, blinking hard in the dark room, and fumbles for his robe. He walks into the hallway.

“Reid?” Luke calls out, wandering through the dark house, switching on the kitchen light. Reid isn’t there. Luke searches the rest of the house as anxiety pulses in his neck, and a weird, creeping uncertainty fills Luke’s heart. It’s too quiet. There’s no sound in the house, no sign of life. Luke’s stomach flip flops, churning with nausea. His scar burns.

Luke continues walking through the house. His sense of something wrong is mounting. There’s no sign of any disturbance. No sign of a struggle. Tension pounds at the base of Luke’s skull. He tries to believe that Reid went out for some fast food or maybe he rushed off to the hospital and forgot to leave Luke his normal note. Luke inches his way down the hallway, past the smiling pictures of his family, walking as noiselessly as possible as he listens, straining his ears for sounds of Reid. His entire body is numb, except for his scar.

Cautiously, Luke opens the front door, already knowing what he will see. The rain is pouring outside, pounding the driveway. Reid’s car is still parked next to Luke’s. Luke can’t breathe, the enormity of his love for Reid lodged in his chest because he knows with a panicked dread: Reid’s gone.

Luke’s cell phone is ringing inside the house. Dazed, Luke automatically walks to it.

“Hello?” He says. His voice sounds high and funny to his own ears. For a minute, he feels off balance. Luke braces one hand at the wall. “Hello? Who’s there?”

“Now you’ll see,” Sawyer’s voice crackles over some static. “You’ll see the pill works. When he heals.” Sawyer laughs crazily and Luke’s guts twist.

“What do you mean?” Luke stammers, but the phone goes dead.

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December 2011

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