“So do you and Noah have plans for tonight?” Holden asked Luke who had just flopped down on the sofa and turned on the TV, flicking through channels.
“No not really.” Luke replied with a shrug. “Just going to take it easy and relax you know.”
“Really? I heard Faith mention a party at Metro. That could be fun.”
“Are you trying to get rid of us dad?”
“No, no, not at all. But I just thought spending New Year’s Eve with your parents wouldn’t be very high on your list.”
“Well it is the reason why we’re visiting, dad. To spend time with you guys.”
“Where is Noah anyway?”
“Lunch with Dusty.”
“On his own?” Holden asked, sitting down next to his son.
“Yeah.. why not?”
“Don’t you want to wish your father in law happy holidays?”
“I saw him at Christmas! He was here for Christmas dinner.”
“Yes, because your grandma invited him. Because he’s Noah’s father.”
“Don’t remind me.” Luke mumbled. “I’m not exactly Dusty’s biggest fan ok. Noah knows that and he’s ok with it.”
“Are you sure about that?”
“How would you feel if Noah didn’t like me and never wanted to spend any time with me? If he’d made you come here on your own because he didn’t want to be around me?”
“It’s not like that..”
“No. It’s just.. me staying away from him so I won’t say something I’ll regret.”
“And upset Noah.” Holden stated.
“And upset Noah.” Luke agreed.
“You know, sometimes marriage is just putting on a smile and biting your tongue for your partner’s sake.”
“Seriously dad, are you giving me relationship advice? My marriage is fine. Noah and I are happy.”
“I know you are. I see it every time I see you two together. But Dusty never gets to see that.”
“Since when are you so worried about Dusty Donovan’s happiness?”
“I talked to him after dinner at Christmas. I’ll never be his biggest fan but I can be civil to him for Noah’s sake.”
“So can I. I didn’t say anything uncivilised at Christmas did I?” Luke defended himself.
“No, you barely said anything to him at all. Ignoring someone isn’t the same as being nice.” Holden reminded him.
“So what are you saying? I should go over there now and throw my arms around him and tell him he’s my favourite person in the world?”
“Doesn’t he own Metro now? Surely he can get you two tickets for the New Year’s party tonight.” Holden suggested, ignoring his son’s sarcastic comment.
“New Year’s at Metro doesn’t really hold the best memories for us..” Luke admitted.
“New year, new memories.” Holden said before patting Luke’s knee and getting up. “Think about it. I’m sure Noah would appreciate it if you made more of an effort with his father.” He shrugged on his coat. “I’m going to check on the horses. Oh and there is a box of your stuff on your bed that your mother found. Look through it and see what you want to keep, ok?”
Luke sighed. He hated when his father was right. The perks of being a parent, Holden had told him once, and that he’d find that out for himself when him and Noah had kids of their own.
“Hey dad, how was the rest of your Christmas?” Noah said, hugging his father before sitting down at the table at Metro.
“Not too bad. But I think I’m still full from that Christmas dinner.” He joked.
“Yeah you’ll never leave hungry when grandma Emma is involved.” Noah agreed. “The place looks great for tonight.” He added after taking a look around.”
“Couldn’t have done it without my staff. Who would have thought hiring Casey Hughes as manager was just what this place needed?”
“I’m glad it worked out.” Noah said, smiling, remembering the hesitation in both men when he’d first suggested Casey as manager for Metro.
“Yeah even though I would have rather had you working here with me.”
“I would have been terrible. I know nothing about music or running a club. I’m a filmmaker.”
“I know, I know. How is that project of yours going? The one you told me about during your last visit?”
“Not too bad. Luke is helping out with the script. He has some extra time on his hands now his book is finished. And we’re working on finalising the funding deals.”
“Anything I can help with?”
“Not really.. but well.. maybe you can let us rent the club for a night for the release party of Luke’s book?”
“Of course. Just let me know when and I’ll clear it with Casey. He has some battle of the bands thing planned for next year… I’m not sure when that’s all supposed to go down.” Dusty said. “But will Luke want to have his party in my club?”
“Of course.” Noah said quickly. “It’s perfect. He’ll be helping his best friend and his father in law.”
“If you can get your husband on board, you can have the club any time you want. Food and drinks will be on me. Think of it as a wedding gift.”
“We got married two years ago. You were there. And you gave us a gift.”
“I know but I missed out on almost 20 years of your life, I have some catching up to do.”
“You don’t have to do that. But thank you.” Noah said, knowing he wouldn’t be able to convince his father anyway.
“So what are your plans for tonight? Romantic dinner by candle light and a kiss under the stars at midnight?” Dusty asked.
“No we don’t really have plans. We’ll probably just stay home and watch TV.. with Luke’s family.” Noah replied. “New Year’s Eve in Oakdale doesn’t hold the best memories for us.”
“Maybe it’s time to make some new ones then. In a club that was recently renovated and has its grand opening tonight.”
If you followed my directions and didn't read this last night, then this is the first day of 2009.
We spent our first night together and I'm lying in bed with you watching you read this.
Knowing me I'm betting I didn't say everything you needed to hear last night.
You've always been better with words than me.
But I want to thank you Luke, for being my love, for being my future.
Happy New Year
Luke smiled to himself as he reread the letter a few more times before putting it aside. He’d decided to do as his father had asked of him and look through the box on his bed. There were some old papers and other old school stuff that he flicked through quickly before putting it on the to throw away pile. Some photos from his childhood and surprisingly large amount of photos of him and Noah. He blamed his sister’s love of old school photography.
“Oh god I was such a nerd.” He said to himself, looking at a picture of himself from the day he’d first started at WOAK. He still found it hard to believe sometimes that Noah actually fell in love with him back then.
“You still are a nerd.” Faith said, sticking her head into the room and grinning at her brother.
“Shut up. I’m sure there are plenty of embarrassing pictures of you around here too.”
“Nope. I was a cute kid. I’m still cute.” She said as she stepped into the room and gave him a twirl.
“You look nice. Are you going out tonight?”
“Of course. It’s New Year’s Eve. My friend’s band is playing at Metro tonight. I got Casey to put them on near midnight so they can do the countdown.”
“You mean you bugged him until he gave in to get rid of you.” Luke teased.
“He’s family. If you can’t ask favours from your family then who can you?”
“So this friend of yours..” Luke started. “Are we talking friend, friend.. or more of a boyfriend or girlfriend friend?”
“Wouldn’t you like to know?” Faith replied, winking at her brother. “What are you doing?”
“Just looking through some old stuff mum found. Some school stuff and a lot of pictures. I think you took a lot of them in your photography phase.”
Faith looked through the pictures and found one of herself and Noah with Ethan tucked under his arm.
“See? I was cute.” She said and showed her brother the photo. “I think this was my birthday party and Ethan kept crashing it.”
“And Noah saved the day by entertaining Ethan.” Luke said, remembering how him and Noah both had spent the afternoon chasing Ethan around the farm so he’d leave Faith and her friends alone.
“My friends all told me to just let Ethan swim with us so Noah would come keep an eye on him. They all just wanted to see my brother’s hot boyfriend in swim shorts.” Faith said and laughed.
They looked through some more photos together, sharing memories until Faith saw the letter.
“What’s that?” She asked, quickly snatching it from under Luke’s leg.
“Nothing. It’s private.” Luke said and tried to grab the letter from Faith’s hands.
“Aww! This is so cute! He wrote you a love letter after your first night together!” She gushed. “Why aren’t the guys I meet like this?!”
“That wasn’t even our first night together.” Luke said, finally able to get the letter back from his sister. “I messed it up.”
“Of course you did.” Faith said, rolling her eyes. “It’s a miracle you two got married. You’re both idiots.” She said before turning her attention to her buzzing phone and smiling when she read the message. “I have to go. My friend is here. Happy new year big brother. Don’t party too hard.”
“Luke?” Noah called out when he got home and didn’t see his husband anywhere. He went upstairs to Luke’s old room where they were staying while in Oakdale and found a picture and an envelope on the pillow on his side of the bed.
‘Don’t open until 2017’ was written on it in Luke’s handwriting. Noah frowned and took a look at the picture. It was a picture of him and Luke on New Year’s Eve, standing in the kitchen downstairs, smiling just a little too brightly at each other, right before going to Metro to celebrate the new year. He turned the picture over.
Meet me at Metro at 8. Wear your suit and bring the envelope. Love, Luke.
When Noah got to Metro later that evening he was surprised to see his husband talking to his father.
“Hey you two. What’s going on?”
“We’re making new memories.” Luke said simply and kissed him hello. “And your dad is helping us.”
“I’m confused..” Noah said looking back and forth between the two men.
“Don’t look at me, it was all your husband’s idea. I only supplied the tickets and the food and drinks.” Dusty said and patted him on the shoulder. “Have a good night guys.” He said and walked away.
“I know it’s not a table in a restaurant but it’s the best I could do.” Luke said, leading Noah over to a table. “Fake champagne and finger food.”
“It’s perfect.” Noah said and kissed Luke. “And I can’t believe you’re actually talking to my dad now. Without being forced.”
“He’s your father. I figured I should make more of an effort.”
After they finished their food, Noah let Luke pull him onto the dancefloor.
“We can’t dance Luke.”
“I know. But tonight I don’t care. And soon everyone is going to be too drunk to notice anyway.” Luke said and Noah laughed.
Luke wrapped his arms around Noah and put his head on the other man’s shoulder, just like that night all of those years ago.
“This is nice.” Noah said as they softly swayed to the music. “We haven’t really done this since our wedding day.”
“I know. We need to do it more often from now on. More dates.”
It was getting close to midnight when the two of them had taken a break and just sat at a table watching the band play.
“This is a very special song.” The band’s singer announced. “I wrote this for my amazing girlfriend, Faith, the gorgeous woman in the red dress over there. I love you baby. This is for you and all couples here tonight.” She said and blew Faith a kiss before starting to play.
“Faith has a girlfriend?!” Luke said and looked at his husband who didn’t look nearly as surprised as him. “You knew.”
“We talk.” Noah told him. “Her name is Kerry. They’ve been together for a while now. You really should pay more attention to your Facebook.”
“I’m always the last to know these things.” Luke complained and Noah just laughed and kissed him.
“Come on everyone grab a drink and get on the dancefloor. This is the last minute of 2016!” Kerry announced after the song. Luke watched her take a glass from Faith before wrapping an arm around her waist.
“Stop staring. Faith is happy. You don’t have to be the protective and scary big brother.” Noah whispered in Luke’s ear before dropping a kiss in his neck and handing him a drink.
10.. 9.. 8.. 7.. 6.. 5.. 4.. 3.. 2.. 1 HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Everyone cheered and Luke pulled Noah close and kissed him.
“Happy new year bubby.”
Noah smiled at the pet name.
“Happy new year. You want to get out of here and make out in my car like teenagers?”
“I’d love to.”
“Morning.” Luke said as he softly kissed his husband. “Happy new year.”
“Hmm, definitely.” Noah agreed.
“I have something for you.” Luke said and gave Noah the envelope he’d left on the other man’s pillow the night before. “Open it.”
Noah sat up in bed and carefully tore it open.
If you followed my directions, and didn’t read this last night, then this is the first day of 2017. We spent an amazing night together and I’m lying in bed with you watching you read this. Knowing me I haven’t always made things easy for you. Especially not when you found out who your real father is. You and I both know this is true. But from now on, I’m going to do everything I can to be less of a spoiled brat who can’t let go of the past and more the loving husband you deserve. I love you Noah, you are my life, my future, my forever.
Love always, Luke.