Britin ([info]_alicesprings) wrote on June 20th, 2011 at 10:41 am
Cozy Inn
Title: Cozy Inn
Written By: [info]_alicesprings
Rating: NC-17
Summary: Reid gets a midnight phone call from Luke, and something's not quite right...
Author's Notes: This is based on [info]rhiannonhero's awesome prompt!. A big thank you to Rhi for betaing this, too! :X

The phone rang in the middle of the night, and Reid grabbed it, recognizing the ring tone he’d assigned to Luke. He went from asleep to wide awake in an instant. “Are you okay?” he asked.

“Yeah, yeah. I’m okay,” Luke said, but he sounded far from it. “I’m sorry to call you this late.”

“No… no, it’s all right,” Reid said, wiping the sleep from his eyes, and running a hand over his face. “What’s up?”

“I… didn’t know who else to call.”

Reid’s stomach twisted and he said, “Where are you?”

“I’m at a hotel off interstate 57.”

“The name?”

“I... don’t know. I didn’t look when I checked in.” Reid could hear Luke rustling around in the background. “Ummm, Cozy Inn.”

“I’ll be there in twenty minutes.”

“Reid, you don’t have to… I… I just wanted to hear your voice.”

Luke didn’t sound right, something was very off. Reid said, “Listen, Luke, I’ll be there.”

Eighteen minutes later, Reid knocked on the hotel room door, his stomach churning uneasily. Reid had replayed their brief phone conversation over and over on the drive to the hotel. Luke’s voice had sounded very, very wrong, and Reid needed to see him, needed to see for himself that Luke was all right before he’d be reassured.

It had only been two days since Reid had driven to Bay City and managed to procure a donor heart for Chris. Reid had been at the hospital all night, and then he’d been busy picking up the slack at work caused by both Bob and Chris being out of commission. He’d seen Luke at the hospital yesterday though, he’d brought Reid a latte from Java, and he’d been fine then.

Reid knocked on the door again, a little harder this time, and it finally opened. Luke stood silhouetted in the doorway, the room behind him lit only by a lamp.

“Luke, are you all right?”

Luke nodded. “I’m fine, Reid,” he said, but his voice still sounded all wrong. “I’m so sorry to drag you out here in the middle of the night. You should go back home, I’m fine. I just wanted to hear your voice, that’s all.”


“No, really,” Luke said, shifting his weight from one leg to the other, his face still hidden in shadow. “I’m fine, go on back home.”

Reid lifted his hand, wanting to touch Luke’s cheek, to reassure himself that Luke was warm and alive, but Luke flinched away and jerked backwards into the room, stumbling over his own feet.


Luke huffed out a strangled laugh. “Sorry,” he said. “Sorry. I’m fine, you just startled me.”

Reid frowned, his unease giving way to fear, and Luke was apologizing again, telling him to go home. Reid ignored him, stepping inside the room and scrabbling a hand against the wall, searching for the light switch. He flicked it, and the room was flooded with harsh fluorescent lighting. Luke winced, backing up against the bed. “I’m fine,” he said again. “I’m fine, I’m fine.”

Reid’s stomach roiled, and he had to choke down the bile that rose to his throat.

“Who did this to you,” Reid asked, his hands clenching into fists at the sight of Luke’s bruised face.

“I’m fine, Reid,” Luke whispered, sinking down onto the bed. “You didn’t have to come out here. I just wanted to hear your voice.”

Reid sucked in a breath and walked over, coming to a stop in front of Luke. “May I?” Reid asked, gesturing at Luke’s injured face, not wanting to startle him again. He’d never seen Luke so skittish.

Luke nodded, and Reid slowly lifted his hand, gently grasping Luke’s chin and turning Luke’s face toward the lamp light so he could inspect Luke’s eye. It was swollen, and the skin around it was starting to turn purple. Red marks marred the skin on Luke’s right cheek.

“It doesn’t hurt that much,” Luke whispered, his voice cracking on the last word.

Reid swallowed hard, and tried to smile reassuringly. “I’ll be right back,” Reid said. “I’m just gonna get some ice.”

Luke nodded, his eyes focused on a spot on the floor, and Reid slipped outside. He leaned back against the closed door and exhaled. Who did this to Luke? And what he Luke even doing at a place like this? It was a dive, and Reid had no idea why Luke had checked in here instead of going home, or coming to Reid. Surely Luke knew that he could come to Reid if he needed to? But... maybe he didn’t? This thing between them was still so new.... No. Reid shook his head. Luke knew Reid loved him, and right now Luke needed him. Reid pinched the bridge of his nose between two fingers. Focus.

Reid got his medical bag out of the car, then stopped at the rickety old ice machine at the far end of the porch. Back in the room, he wrapped some ice in a hand towel from the bathroom and made a makeshift ice pack, telling Luke to press it gently against his eye while he dug out some pain killers from his bag. Reid got Luke a glass of water to swallow them down with, then stood by the bed, unsure how to ask again who’d done this to him. Luke was so upset Reid was worried he’d clam up, or worse, run, if Reid pushed him.

“Are you hurt anywhere else?” Reid asked.

Luke shook his head no, and swallowed the pills. He kicked off his shoes and climbed onto the bed, settling with his back against the headboard. Reid stood and watched, drumming his fingers against his thigh, wanting to touch Luke but too scared to, not wanting to see him flinch away again. The sight of Luke recoiling from him like that had made his stomach turn.

Reid cleared his throat, but didn’t know what to say, so he just stood there awkwardly, his fingers tapping nervously.

Luke’s face softened a little then, and he patted the bed beside him. “It’s okay,” Luke said. “Come and sit next to me.”

Reid nodded, toeing off his shoes and climbing up next to Luke, doing his best not to cringe at god knows what sort of germs were hiding in the bedspread. They sat in silence for a long moment, until Reid couldn’t stand it anymore.

“What’s going on?” Reid asked gently.

Luke sighed. “I wanted to get drunk. Really drunk.” Luke looked at Reid. “I thought hearing your voice instead might help.” Luke tried to smile, but it looked all wrong. “It did.”

Reid nodded. “Good,” he said. “You can call me anytime you need me, Luke. Or come to me.” Reid held Luke’s gaze. “Anytime.”

Luke nodded, and faced away again, his eyes locked onto the painting on the wall opposite the bed. He took a deep breath. “I was at Metro,” Luke said. “I had that meeting about the Foundation’s new project.”

Reid nodded. Luke had told him about it a few days ago. The Foundation was sponsoring a new outreach program for at risk gay and lesbian youth. Luke had been meeting with the program’s directors tonight.

“We’d finished up and I was just about to leave when Noah came out of Yo’s.”

Noah. Reid closed his eyes. He was going to kill him.

“He said he wanted to talk, but he’d been drinking, he could barely stand up,” Luke said. “I told him it wasn’t the right time or place but he got angry, raised his voice.”

Reid’s fingernails dug into his palms.

“People were looking at us,” Luke said. “I didn’t want to make a scene so I walked around the side of the building, into the alleyway, and told Noah to spit it out, whatever it was, so I could go home.”

Reid nodded. “And?”

“He told me he loved me,” Luke said, and choked out a laugh. “He said it wasn’t too late for us, that I could still go to L.A. with him and we could start fresh. That we were supposed to be together forever and that you weren’t right for me. He said that you would hurt me.” Luke laughed again, a hysterical, shrill sound, and Reid’s heart felt like it was being squeezed in a vice. “Funny, right?”

“It’s okay,” Reid said, not sure if he was trying to reassure Luke, or himself.

Luke went on. “I told him, again, that it was over between us, and that I was in love with you, but that I wanted to be friends with him if he’d let me.”

Luke pulled the ice pack away from his face, touching his fingers gently to his eye and wincing a little before tossing the towel onto the bedside table. He cleared his throat.

“He said that you’d never tell me you love me, that you were too cold for that. I told him you already had.” Luke smiled wistfully. “Then he said that it was only to get me into bed. That a man like you, a neurosurgeon, could never love a guy me: a drunk, a college drop-out, and that if you told me you loved me it was only so I would have sex with you.”

Reid exhaled, the anger rising inside his chest.

“I told him…” Luke swallowed and licked his lips. “I told him that we hadn’t slept together yet, and that you did love me, that I knew you did.”

“I do,” Reid said, his voice cracking.

Luke looked over at him and nodded before facing away again.

“Then he got this look on his face, and it was… kinda crazy. He couldn’t believe we hadn’t slept together yet, he thought we’d been doing it for months, thought that was all you wanted from me.” Luke swallowed. “Then he— he tried to kiss me.” Luke squeezed his eyes closed. “He said that it was a sign we were supposed to be together. That you and I hadn’t slept together yet because I still loved him. That I’d been saving myself for him.”

“But that’s not true,” Luke said, facing Reid. “It’s not true at all.”

Reid nodded, and Luke turned away, closing his eyes again. “He pushed me up against the wall and he tried to kiss me but I turned my face away, and he— he put his mouth on my neck instead. Kissed me there.” Luke swallowed again. “I tried to push him away but he’s bigger than me, and strong, I— I couldn’t! I didn’t want him to kiss me, Reid. I didn’t!”

Reid nodded. “I know you didn’t,” he said. “It wasn’t your fault.”

Luke’s eyes were shining with unshed tears.

“It wasn’t your fault,” Reid repeated.

“I told him that he was wrong, that it wasn’t a sign of anything, and that I did want to be with you, that I didn’t want him anymore, but he kept pressing himself against me, and I was trapped against the wall. There was no one around. I– I tried to push him away and he got angry again and started to say things… horrible things about me, and he was still touching me, trying to put his hands down my pants, and it felt so wrong, Reid.”

Reid’s fingers itched to reach out, to touch Luke, to comfort him, and at the same time something inside Reid’s chest clenched painfully. He swallowed hard, fighting back the urge to go out and find Noah Mayer, to beat his face to a pulp and hear the satisfying crunch of bone breaking.

“I finally managed to push him off me, but he was yelling, and he was so angry and so, so drunk, I’ve never seen him that drunk before, and when I tried to get away, to get out of the alleyway, he grabbed me and spun me back around and he– he hit me.”

Reid’s jaw clenched.

“He was sorry then,” Luke said. “He apologized over and over, said it was an accident and that he loved me and that if I just went to L.A. with him everything would be good. I ran. I ran and got into my car and I just started driving. I wasn’t even paying attention. I just drove, and I ended up on the interstate, and then I saw a sign for the hotel and I pulled off. I didn’t want to go home. I didn’t want my mom to see me like this. I didn’t know what to do. I checked in, and I stared at the booze for a long time.” Luke nodded toward the mini bar, where tiny bottles of vodka, rum and whiskey were lined up along the shelf.

“And I really wanted to take a drink, but I called you instead,” Luke said.

“I’m glad you did,” Reid said, clearing his throat. “I’m glad you called me instead.”

Luke bit his lip and reached out tentatively. Reid lifted his arm and sighed in relief when Luke came willingly, slotting in against Reid’s side and resting his uninjured cheek against Reid’s neck. Reid wrapped his arms around Luke, holding him close while Luke took harsh breaths, trying to calm himself down.

Reid pictured Luke in that alleyway, pressed against the wall, trying to get away, and his blood felt like it was boiling inside his veins. Noah had a history of violence, Reid’s nose could attest to that, and it was time that goon learned that it wasn’t okay to lash out with his fists whenever things didn’t go his own way. He’d talk to Luke about it tomorrow, maybe try and convince him to press charges. But not tonight, Luke was in no condition for that coversation tonight.

Reid stroked Luke’s hair for a long time, and felt him slowly relax in Reid’s arms.

Luke sighed against Reid’s neck. “I’m so tired.”

“You should get some rest.”

“Will you stay here with me?”

“Of course,” Reid said, nudging Luke to get off the bed so he could pull back the covers. Luke stood up and unzipped his pants, letting them pool on the floor before slipping into bed in his t-shirt and boxer shorts.

Reid stood by the bed, uncertain, and Luke said, “It’s okay, take your jeans off.”

Reid nodded and stepped out of his jeans, folding them up and resting them on top of the dresser before switching off the main light. He hesitated for a second by the bed, his skin almost crawling at the thought of sliding between the no doubt germ-infested sheets, but Luke needed him, so he took a breath and climbed in.

Reid didn’t know what to say, and he couldn’t seem to stop his brain from whirring through a million different thoughts. Reid had never felt rage this intense before. He wanted to hurt Noah, to wreck his hands on Noah’s face, and he wanted to wrap Luke up and never let him go, wanted to protect him from anything that could ever hurt him again.

“Reid,” Luke said, cutting through his thoughts. Reid turned his head on the pillow and caught Luke’s eye.

“Reid,” Luke said again, and then his face crumpled.

“Hey now,” Reid said gently, “Come here.” Reid lifted his arm and Luke latched onto Reid’s chest, clutching at him as his breath hitched into sobs.

“It’s going to be okay,” Reid soothed, stroking his hand up and down Luke’s back. “You’re going to be okay. Everything’s going to be okay. Shh shh.”

Reid looked up at the cracked ceiling, at the shadows in the corners, and he held Luke in his arms while he cried. Because his ex-boyfriend had assaulted him. The only thing keeping Reid here in this room, and not on his way out to find Noah, was Luke. Reid tightened his hold around Luke, and finally, Luke quietened down, rubbing his wet face against Reid’s t-shirt.

Luke looked up at Reid, and his bruised face made Reid’s stomach twist again. Luke bit his lip, searching Reid’s eyes. “Thank you,” he whispered.

“Nothing to thank me for,” Reid said, swallowing hard. “I’m here whenever you need me.”

Luke nodded, his eyes wide and sad.

“I love you,” Reid said fiercely, because Luke needed to know it was true.

“I love you too,” Luke whispered. “And Noah was wrong. About why I wanted to wait. That’s not why.”

“Shh,” Reid shushed. “It’s okay, we don’t need to talk about that right now.”

“Yeah we do,” Luke said. “He was wrong, and I am ready, Reid. That’s the truth. I need you to know that.”

“I know, Luke,” Reid said. And it was true, he did know. They’d been ready for days, since before Chris got sick, they’d almost done it that day before work last week, but the timing was off, and then Chris’s condition had worsened so suddenly and Reid had his hands full with Katie, and the hospital.

Their timing had sucked, but he had no doubts anymore that Luke loved him and wanted him.

“I’m— I don’t…” Luke trailed off. “Noah was right,” Luke said. “I am a drunk, and a college drop-out, well, not even a drop out, I got kicked out, and Reid, you’re...” Luke shook his head. “You’re a genius and brilliant and you could do so much better than me.” Luke laughed, his breath hitching. “But I’m selfish, because you do love me, and I’m glad you do and I’m not letting you go. Even if you do deserve better.”

“Luke...” Reid sighed. He didn’t know what to say. He’d never been any good at this heart-on-his-sleeve crap. But Luke needed to know. He deserved to know, especially after the night he’d had.

Reid traced a fingertip softly across Luke’s eyebrow, and across his cheekbone.

“Luke, you’re... amazing,” Reid said honestly. Luke snorted disbelievingly, and tried to look away, but Reid held him still and looked him in the eye. “You didn’t drink tonight, even though you wanted to. That means you’re strong. You don’t let your addiction control you, and that’s admirable. I’m a genius, like you said, so you have to believe me.”

Luke snorted again, but he smiled a little more like his old self too, and the pressure in Reid’s chest eased a little.

Reid licked his lips and went on. “You do incredible work with your Foundation. You help people, and it doesn’t matter a damn if you never finished college. And hell, you can always go back to college if you want to. If you’d feel better earning your degree, you should do it. No one should be able to make you feel like you’re not worth as much just because you don’t have that piece of paper.”

Reid took a breath, Luke’s eyes were focused on Reid intently, taking in every word. Reid swallowed.

“When I first came to Oakdale, and I saw you and... him together, how much you loved him and would do anything for him, I envied that,” Reid said, thinking back to those early days in Oakdale, and how his gut was always a twist of feelings when it came to Luke Snyder. Annoyance and confusion and lust and jealousy.

“I’d never had that. No one’s ever loved me like that. Maybe my parents did, before they died, but I don’t remember.” Reid swallowed again. “You’re amazing, Luke,” he repeated. “I’m the one who doesn’t deserve you, but I’m not letting you go, you hear me? I told you once before, I want the whole enchilada.”

Luke’s eyes were shining again, but not with tears this time, and Reid thought if he could just get Luke to look like that at him again, he’d spill his guts like this every day for the rest of his life.

“Touch me, Reid,” Luke said quietly.

Reid shook his head. “Luke…”

“Please,” Luke said. “I want you to.”

“I don’t think this is the right time—”

“Please, Reid. I need to… erase this horrible feeling. I want to replace the bad memories with something good.”

Luke’s eyes were wide and earnest, and he was looking at Reid like he believed Reid could solve all the problems in the world.

“Please, Reid,” Luke said again. “We should have done this a long time ago. It wasn’t because of him that I wanted to wait, because I was still hung up on him. It wasn’t that at all,” Luke shook his head. “I just wanted to do things right this time, with you. I never did things right with him and I didn’t want us to fall apart the same way. But it was never because I didn’t want you.” Luke said adamantly. “I want you so bad,” Luke said breathily.

Reid lifted his hand to Luke’s face, gently cupping his uninjured cheek and rubbing his thumb across Luke’s cheekbone before placing a feather-soft kiss against the bruised skin around Luke’s eye. “Are you sure?”

Luke nodded and tilted his face up for a kiss. Reid pressed his mouth against Luke’s and Luke sighed, relaxing back against the mattress and guiding Reid’s hand underneath his t-shirt.

Reid touched him gently while they kissed, his fingers tracing lazily along Luke’s ribs and dipping into Luke’s bellybutton as their tongues tangled together. Reid moved his lips to Luke’s neck, kissing him there too, erasing the feel of Noah’s mouth. Reid’s hands continued to explore, stroking Luke’s skin and tugging at his chest hair, and when his fingers brushed against a nipple, Luke gasped, his body reacting to the stimulation.

“Keep going,” Luke murmured, and moaned as Reid sucked on Luke’s neck and worked his nipples to hardness.

Reid pulled away from Luke’s neck and Luke whimpered in frustration.

“Don’t stop,” Luke said, and Reid nodded, sitting up to push the covers away and settling between Luke’s legs instead.

Reid rucked Luke’s t-shirt up under his armpits, exposing his torso. “Okay?” Reid asked.

Luke nodded and Reid pressed a kiss to Luke’s clavicle, enjoying the way Luke’s body reacted to his touch, the pleased sounds he made. Reid kissed down Luke’s sternum, then laid a line of soft kisses along the transplant scar on Luke’s side, the visual reminder that he could lose Luke at any time. Reid felt the icy fear inside him again, but then Luke squirmed, trying to get away. “Ticklish,” Luke said, and Reid smiled, moving back up to Luke’s nipples and tonguing them instead.

Luke’s fingers sunk into Reid’s hair, holding his head against Luke’s chest while Reid nipped and sucked at Luke’s nipples, Luke’s erection pressing against Reid’s hip.

Reid moved down to the waistband of Luke’s boxers, then paused, not sure he should keep going after the trauma Luke had been through that night.

Sensing Reid’s hesitation, Luke opened his eyes, and smiled encouragingly. “I’m okay,” he said.

“We don’t have to do this tonight,” Reid said. “You don’t have anything to prove, Luke. Not to me, or to yourself, or to... him.”

“I want this, Reid,” Luke said. “I’ve wanted this for a long time and I don’t want to wait anymore.”

Luke’s eyes were wide and earnest, and Reid nodded, tugging Luke’s boxers down and revealing his heavy erection. Reid looked up at Luke, his eyes were heavy-lidded, dark with lust, and Reid ducked his head down, nosing along Luke’s thick cock, breathing in his scent. Luke groaned, reaching his arms back to grab onto the headboard, his stomach muscles quivering under Reid’s touch. Reid grasped the shaft, wrapping his fingers around Luke’s width, then tongued the slit. Luke groaned again, deep and low in his throat, and the sound sent a jolt to Reid’s own cock, hard inside his underwear.

Reid swirled his tongue around the head of Luke’s cock, then bobbed down and swallowed him in one long movement. Luke whimpered, and Reid pulled off, jacking the wet shaft a couple times before swallowing Luke down again, setting a steady rhythm as his other hand gently squeezed and tugged Luke’s testicles. Reid pulled his mouth off and grabbed Luke’s ankles, sliding his feet up the mattress and exposing his ass for Reid. He spread Luke’s cheeks and saw his hole for the first time, running his finger around the wrinkled pucker.

Reid bent his head and swirled his tongue around Luke’s hole, and Luke gasped Reid’s name in a surprised, breathy voice. Reid smiled against Luke’s ass before licking around his hole again, letting his spit get him wet so he could slide a finger in. Reid speared his tongue inside, tasting Luke there while his right hand went back to jack Luke’s cock a few times.

Luke was making little whimpering sounds above him, maintaining his white-knuckled grip on the headboard as Reid ate his ass. After a few minutes Reid replaced his tongue with a finger, and then two, sucking Luke’s cock into his mouth again and setting a fast pace while his fingers brushed against Luke’s prostate. Luke spread his legs wide and started thrusting up into Reid’s mouth, and Reid moaned around Luke’s cock, encouraging Luke to fuck Reid’s face, loving the way Luke was losing himself in this, pleased he was letting himself go and enjoy it. Reid rubbed his own aching cock against the mattress, desperate for some friction.

Reid pressed against Luke’s prostate and held his fingers there as he tongued Luke’s slit again and again. Luke groaned loudly, his balls drew up tight, and a second later Luke flooded his mouth with come and Reid sucked it down, milking Luke’s cock for every drop. Reid watched Luke’s face in the throes of his orgasm, the way his back arched and he squeezed his eyes shut like it was so good he couldn’t stand it, and it was just about the hottest thing Reid had ever seen.

Luke collapsed against the mattress, legs still splayed wide and his chest heaving. Reid crawled up Luke’s body, letting his hard cock drag along Luke’s thigh. Luke opened his eyes, and seeing Reid’s pleased grin he laughed a little.

“You like doing that?” Luke asked, a note of pleased surprise in his voice.

“Lucky for you, I do,” Reid said, and Luke grinned. Reid kissed Luke while he pulled his boxer shorts back up, tucking his spent cock in and swiping at Luke’s tongue with the remnants of Luke’s orgasm in his mouth.

Luke moaned at the taste, clutching tightly to Reid’s forearms as they kissed. After a moment, Luke pulled away, breathing heavily, and reached a hand down to palm the bulge in the front of Reid’s underwear.

“Let me return the favor,” Luke said, and Reid whimpered at the thought, something he’d been jerking off to for months now.

“Your face,” Reid said, shaking his head.

“But I want to,” Luke protested. “I like doing it, too,” he said shyly.

Reid whimpered again, holding onto that thought for a moment before letting it go. “Next time,” he said.

“Count on it,” Luke smiled.

Luke’s hand slipped inside Reid’s underwear and wrapped around his cock, and Reid squeezed his eyes closed. Finally. Luke’s hand gripped him with the perfect amount of pressure, and his strokes were sure and steady. It wouldn’t take long, Reid was already so worked up.

Reid’s hips thrust into Luke’s hand faster and faster. Reid grunted, feeling his orgasm approach, and when Luke whispered, “I love you”, Reid came hard, spilling wet and sticky across Luke’s fist.

Reid fell back against the pillows, exhausted from his recent lack of sleep, and sated after his orgasm. He didn’t care about the germy sheets, or anything else in the world right then, except how right it felt to be with Luke like this.

Luke wiped his hand off on the corner of the sheet and flicked off the lamp, throwing a leg over Reid’s hip and settling in against his chest, one arm wrapped around Reid’s waist.

Reid held Luke close, feeling the steady beat of Luke’s heart against his chest, warm and alive.

“You okay?” Reid asked, carding his fingers through Luke’s hair.

“I am now,” Luke said, pressing a kiss against Reid’s shoulder and making a sound that let Reid know he was about to drift off.

As Luke succumbed to sleep, Reid held him close, pressed his lips to Luke’s forehead, reassured himself that Luke would be all right. He’d see to it. Luke snuffled a little, his soft breaths puffing against Reid’s neck with comforting regularity.

This was the second time they’d spent the night together, though definitely the first time there’d been sex involved. The first time had been a couple weeks back. He’d been over at Luke’s place one night, watching a movie, and they’d both somehow managed to fall asleep on the couch. When Reid woke up the next morning, it took him several seconds to place his surroundings. Luke was asleep on Reid’s chest, and he’d looked down, smiling fondly at the mess of Luke’s morning hair. He’d kissed Luke’s forehead and touched his thumb to the stubble on Luke’s cheek, not believing until then that it had been possible to wake up so happy to see someone, especially someone drooling on Reid’s shirt. Then he’d heard a sound behind him and craned his neck to see Luke’s mother watching them, smirking at the no-doubt ridiculously gooey look that had been on his face. He scowled, but the evil Ms. Walsh had just chuckled quietly, gesturing with her mug to let him know there was coffee in the kitchen.

Reid sighed, cradling Luke a little tighter against his chest. This wasn’t how Reid had been expecting to spend his night. The rage in his gut has abated a little, but not much. Reid had never felt like this before, the anger, and the protectiveness, it was almost overwhelming.

Reid never expected to feel like this, but in a shitty hotel room, in this shitty town he now called home, with Luke asleep in his arms, Reid wouldn’t change much.


The ringing of a cell phone startled Reid awake, and last night’s events came back in a rush. A glance at the clock on the bedside table told Reid it was after well after nine in the morning, and Luke sat up, fumbling around on the floor for his jeans and searching the pockets for his phone.

Luke answered, “Hey, Mom.”

Reid sat up against the headboard and wiped the sleep from his eyes as Luke spoke to his mother.

“I’m with Reid.”

There was a pause while she said something from the other end of the line, and then Luke said. “I’m okay, Reid took care of me.”

Reid snorted, wondering what Luke’s mother would say if she knew exactly how he’d taken care of her son, and Luke turned around at the sound, rolling his eyes.

Luke’s face looked even worse than it did last night. The skin around his injured eye had darkened and bruised considerably, and Reid’s stomach twisted up in knots all over again.

Luke caught Reid’s eye and ran his thumb across Reid’s mouth, wiping away his frown.

Reid pulled Luke close against his side and dropped a kiss on the crown of Luke’s head as Luke listened to his mother on the other end of the line.

“He did?” Luke asked his mom, surprise evident in his voice. “Okay, well, I don’t know what to say about that right now, Mom.”

Luke was quiet as his mother spoke for a few minutes, then said, “I’ll be home soon. We’ll talk then. Okay, I love you too. Bye.”

Luke hung up the phone and sighed.

“Everything okay?” Reid asked.

Luke looked down, studying the phone in his hands for a long moment before he spoke.

“Noah went over to my place this morning,” Luke said. “He wanted to talk to me but then he got mad because I wasn’t there. He was hung-over and he got mouthy with my mom. He told her that he’d— he’d hit me, but that it was an accident and that he was sorry.”

Reid raised his eyebrows, and Luke went on. “And she told him he was no longer welcome in her house, and that if he ever laid a hand on me again, it would be the biggest mistake he’d ever make and if he thought Damian was scary, he hadn’t seen anything yet.”

“Go Ms. Walsh,” Reid said, impressed. “I didn’t know she had it in her.”

“Yeah, well. She’s protective of me.”

“I know the feeling,” Reid murmured, turning his head to press his lips to Luke’s hair.

Luke smiled, then turned serious again.

“He told my mom he’d changed his ticket and was going to L.A. today,” Luke said. “He leaves this afternoon.”

“How do you feel about that?”

Luke sighed. “I’m not really sure. I’ve forgiven him for a lot of things, but I don’t know if I can forgive him for this.”

“I sure as hell won’t,” Reid muttered, the anger from last night returning once more. “Do you want to see him before he leaves?”

Luke rapidly shook his head no, his eyes wide and spooked.

Reid’s jaw clenched. “Do you want to press charges?”

Luke swallowed. “Do you think I should?”

“It’s your decision, Luke.”

Luke looked at him for a long moment, and Reid could read the warring emotions in his eyes.

“Would you think I was a coward if I didn’t?”

Reid squeezed Luke’s shoulder. “Of course not.”

Luke bit his lip. “I don’t want to get the police involved,” he said. “I don’t think I want to go through all that.”

“Okay,” Reid said. “If you’re sure?”

Luke closed his eyes. “I’m sure,” he said, opening them again. “But I’m going to contact him somehow, I don’t know how, maybe get the Foundation’s lawyer to do it. Scare him a little. Make it clear that I don’t want to hear from him, or see him, ever again. He can leave town and I won’t press charges, but he’d better not push his luck.”

Reid couldn’t help the surprise from showing on his face, and Luke smiled wryly. “Weren’t expecting that, were ya?”

“Honestly? No,” Reid said.

“He hit me, Reid. And he hurt you once, too,” Luke said, pressing a kiss to Reid’s nose. “Enough is enough. No one messes with the people I love.”

Reid couldn’t help but smile. “Are you sure this is how you want to handle it?”

Luke tilted his head, thinking for a moment, then nodded.

“Okay,” Reid said, exhaling. “Okay. What now?”

“My mom’s expecting me,” Luke said. “She was worried, wanted to see me.”

“That’s understandable.”

“Come home with me?”

“Of course. We’re in this together, remember?”

“The whole enchilada, Dr. Oliver?”

Reid chuckled. “You bet your ass the whole enchilada, Mr. Snyder,” Reid said, leaning in for a kiss.

Luke smiled against Reid’s lips, then pulled back a few inches, resting his palm against Reid’s face. “That sounds perfect.”
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