Sorry for the lack of updates the last few days! I just had to handle some other things for a while and didn't have time to add much to the story. Thank yous go out to everyone's been commenting! Nice to know Ms. Walsh and winterguy125 are keeping up with the story!
Part nine is here! We are introduced to a new character in this part who will become part of the cast of my little version of ATWT as she is connected to long-running character who isn't involved in this story. Look for her to be featured more prominently in third ATWT story. Enjoy part nine!
AS THE WORLD TURNS
"The Luke and Kevin Story" part 9
Luke looked at the word as it appeared on the front of the brochure that Susan had given him at the hospital. He sat in his room, scared to open it, because it would mean accepting that he suffered from the respiratory disease. "This is just ridiculous," he said aloud. He opened the brochure and began to read. On the first page, there was a passage that said that asthma was commonly diagnosed when the patient is a young child. Of course, he had to defy the odds in this situation.
After reading several paragraphs, he threw thew folded paper across his room and watched it land on his desk. He looked out the window and saw the moon sitting up high in the sky, somehow giving him hope. The moon had a funny way about it. No matter what Luke was going through, all he had to do was look up at the moon and he felt better. He went to his door and quietly opened it a bit, looking down the hall to make sure Holden and Lily were fast asleep. Lily's snoring was enough to wake a dead man, so she definitely wouldn't be awake anytime soon.
Settling back down in bed, he got out his cellphone and dialed Kevin's number. In Kevin's room, a familiar tune rang and Kevin knew that it was Luke calling him. "Luke," he greeted when he answered the phone.
"So you are awake," Luke said surprisingly. "I was hoping you were."
"I'm always awake for you, sweetheart," Kevin said.
For just a small second, things felt surreal to Luke again. He wasn't used to hearing Kevin say such mushy phrases and terms of endearment. But then he remembered, he liked this Kevin. It wasn't the same as the always joking, rarely serious Kevin, but it was the perfect balance in character.
"I can't get to sleep," Luke said.
"So, naturally, you called me? Am I that boring?" Kevin asked jokingly.
"Of course, I did!" Luke replied. "Five seconds of talking to you and I'm out like a light!"
They both started to laugh. It was such a beautiful thing. They weren't even laughing at their own lame jokes, but they were laughing out of happiness to be together. That's what their love was about. Being together and loving each other.
"Seriously, though," Luke said, "I think that on top of the kidney crises and this asthma stuff, I might be suffering from insomnia now."
"And you know what? I think I found a lump in my breast earlier. And there's this funny looking mole on my shoulder. And I think my Alzheimer's made me call my parents Will and Gwen on the way home from the hospital. But you know what? Everything will be okay once I talk with my grandma. She's gonna love the idea of you living in her guesthouse."
Kevin wasn't so sure about that. After realizing that Lucinda was the reason why his father was a raging alcoholic, he didn't think that it would be too appropriate if he lived with her. "She doesn't even know me," he said.
"But she knows how you feel about me and that's enough for her to want you around."
Kevin didn't know any other way around it. He knew it would break Luke's heart, but he had to tell him the truth. Their relationship was only a few days old and he knew that lying about anything was not good. "Listen, Luke..." he began softly, "I don't know about...well...your grandmother...that's Lucinda Walsh, right?"
"Yeah, and she's mega rich. I kinda like it. One grandma is like swimming cash and living in a mansion, but the other one lives on a farm. It's cool."
"Yeah," Kevin said, letting it fade. He took a deep breath and just came out with it. "Luke, I don't think I can live with your grandmother."
Luke was shocked. "Why not!? Oh God, Kevin, don't tell me you're going to stay with your loser father. What did he tell you? Because it doesn't mean anything!"
Kevin felt terrible. He didn't want Luke to worry about him. "Luke, I don't know if you know anything about it, but my dad worked at your grandmother's company."
"Worldwide?" Luke asked.
"Yeah. He had some complicated position or something like that. But the thing is, he was fired a few weeks ago when your grandmother started going back to work."
"Yeah, Grandma's been telling me about how she's been trying to bring the company back from the gutter. She fired a whole bunch of people."
Kevin was frustrated. He was hoping Luke would understand without having to tell him himself, but he realized that would not happen. "Well, when she fired my dad, that was when he started to drink more, and..."
Luke was insulted. "Kevin, your father was a stinking drunk way before a few weeks ago! You can't blame my grandma for that."
"I know!" Kevin exclaimed. "He just...I don't think it would do him any good to know that I'm staying with the woman he can't stand."
Luke thought about it for a while, ultimately deciding that Kevin was right. "But you shouldn't have to stay there just because of that. Didn't you say that you have a cousin that you can stay with?"
"Yeah," Kevin said. "I'm gonna talk to Nora about it tomorrow and see what she says."
They sat on the phone in silence for awhile. Luke felt all kinds of emotions. He didn't want to think about anything for a long, long time. He just wanted to fall asleep. "Kevin?" he asked. "Remember when we'd have sleep-overs when we were younger, and we'd sing old songs the whole night long until we fell asleep?"
"Yeah," Kevin said, almost laughing at the memories. "The good old days."
Luke had an agenda. "Sing," he coaxed quickly. "Just sing some song to make me feel better."
"Um...okay?" Kevin agreed, but in question. He cleared his throat. "You're just too good to be true...can't take my eyes off of you..."
Luke was pleasantly shocked out of his mind. Was this really Kevin's voice? It was so smooth, so fragile, but yet so dominant and demanding. It put him in such a spell that he didn't think he'd be able to hear anyone else sing and not compare it to Kevin's singing.
"You must be heaven to touch...I want to hold you so much..."
So soft, so calm. It was something that Luke thought only existed in dreams.
"At long last love has arrived...and I thank God I'm alive...you're just too good to be true...can't take my eyes off of you..."
Every word was filled with meaning and truth.
As Kevin continued to sing, Luke just listened in silence. How did he get so lucky? He had no idea that Kevin was such a big romantic, but he was so glad that he found out. All he wanted to do from then on was be with the guy that he loved.
Lily poured a generous amount of orange juice into her glass as she, Holden, and the girls sat at the breakfast table. Both parents understood that, after being diagnosed with asthma, Luke would probably like to sleep a little late this morning.
"So what did daddy teach you girls how to make this morning?" she asked the daughters when she sat down.
"Scrambled eggs," Faith replied.
"Yeah, and Natalie thought it would be funny to hand me the sugar instead of the salt, so be warned."
They were all enjoying themselves, having their cheesy family moments. Holden and Lily had been through so much together that they were pleased to be living this life. Two adorable daughters, a baby on the way, and...
"Luke!" Faith called out when her brother came into the kitchen.
"Good morning, darling!" he greeted her. "What are you guys up to?"
"Just a little breakfast," Holden answered, hoping Luke would take his silent offer to sit down and join them.
"Well I hope there's enough for another mouth," Luke said. He got himself a plate and sat down.
Lily flashed Holden a warm smile. They were both more than happy to make room for their son at the table. "Your dad's gonna go pick up your prescription at the pharmacy later on today," she said.
"Oh?" Luke asked.
"Yeah, you want to come with?" Holden asked. He wanted Luke to say yes so that they could have some time to talk alone on the way.
"Sure, why not?" Luke agreed, knowing exactly why Holden asked.
Four doorbell rings followed by three hard knocks. Nora Larpenter knew that her favorite cousin was coming over for a visit. The beautiful brunette woman in her mid-30s was engrossed in her favorite soap opera, "As the Wind Blows," and Kevin was the only person she would tear herself away from it for.
"Hey, hun!" she greeted in her big voice. Everything about her was big. She was well-rounded (for lack of a better term), her personality was urgent, and her heart was the size of a giant elephant. "Come on in!"
Nora went to the kitchenette in her apartment and did what she was used to doing whenever Kevin came over. She got out two sodas and a huge bag of hard candy. Chances are, she thought to herself, he's having problems at home.
Kevin waited for her to come back into the living room area before he told her. "How do you feel about putting your old cousin up for a few days...or weeks...or maybe some months?" he asked hesitantly.
Nora seemed unfazed by his question. She just opened the bag of candy and put it all in a bowl, casually answering, "I have no problem with it. Where's your bags? Get them out from off of the porch, it looks like it might rain."
"Nora!" Kevin said, trying to stop her before her mouth started to talk and talk and talk. "I didn't bring anything. Hell, I didn't think you'd be so open to the idea."
"Oh come on, Kevin," Nora said. She put her arm around his back. "You know you're always welcomed to stay here. Uncle Sean is back to...you know, right?"
"Drinking? Yeah," Kevin nodded. "I'm just tired of having to live with that."
"Well you don't have to anymore." Nora gave him a small slap on the back and opened her cold drink. "We can alternate every night. You take the bed one night, I'll take the couch, then we switch."
"Oh, no! No, I can't ask you to do that. I'm fine on the sofa, no problem there." Kevin looked at her for a moment and just hugged her. "Thank you, Nora, thank you so much. I promise, I'll do whatever I can to help out around here."
She could hear a little sob in his voice. Kevin was ashamed of himself, crying for something like this, but he didn't care. He was happy to finally be out of his father's home. "Hey now," Nora said, pulling him off of her. "Why the tears? What's the matter?"
Kevin knew he was going to have to tell her something about him and Luke, and even though he knew she was going to be perfectly fine with it, he had never really told anyone before that he was gay. The only person who knew was Luke, and the way that happened was so much different from coming out to a beloved family member. "Nora, I'm gay," he said. "Not flaming," he quickly added.
Nora laughed and hugged him again. "Your secret's safe with me. After working with the guys at the salon for so long, I'm pretty much used to it."
Kevin's tears went at it again. For some reason, he couldn't contain them today. For so many years, he never ever cried, but now, these tears were just streaming out. Must be tears of joy, he thought. "I'm glad you feel that way," he said after they broke apart again. "I told my boyfriend that you wouldn't care."
"Boyfriend!?" Nora was surprised at how fast her cousin worked when it came to getting a boytoy. "Is he somebody that I know?" She wad dying for details.
"Nah, I don't think so," Kevin replied. "It's kinda funny, actually. We've been friends for so, so long and then one day we went up to my parents' cabin and one thing lead to another, and..."
"One thing lead to another," Nora repeated. "That's exactly what Jenny said to Clark when he asked her about her affair with Bernard."
Kevin was lost. "Wha?"
"I'm talking about 'As the Wind Blows.'"
"Oh..." Kevin understood, looking at the TV screen.
"Speaking of boyfriends, guess who finally dumped that deadbeat dumbass that she was dating!" Nora announced as she went to throw her empty soda can away.
"Really!?" Kevin asked as he joined her in the kitchenette.
"Yep. I told him it was over yesterday afternoon. Honestly, it was over weeks ago, but he was too stupid to realize it. I mean, I've even been seeing a new guy ever since last Tuesday."
"A new guy? Sounds interesting..."
"Yeah, and the best thing is, he's a cop, so if I hear a bump in the night, I can call him up...and get a bump in the night, if you know what I mean!" Nora was the type to laugh at her own jokes, definitely. "Detective Jack Snyder," she said. "He came just the way I like it: fresh off a divorce and in need of help to move on. How could I resist?"
Kevin was hit by that last name. "Jack...Snyder?"
"Yep. His last wife was a little fiery blonde who lied her way out of everything. I think he's ready for a real woman now."
Kevin couldn't help but wonder if there was a connection between Jack Snyder and Luke. It didn't really mean anything to him, but he had to laugh at the thought of his cousin Nora at a Snyder family gathering. Suddenly, his cell phone rang. "Hello?" he asked when he answered it. "What!?" he exclaimed loudly. "Oh my God! I'm on my way! I'll be there soon!"
"What happened?!" Nora asked urgently.
"My house! My Dad's house! It's on fire!"
"Woah!" Nora exclaimed.
"I have to go!" Kevin said, quickly going to the front door.
"I'll be following right behind you," Nora told him as she grabbed her car keys from the counter.
Kevin opened the door and ran across the parking lot to the other side of the apartment complex, where his car sat. He just couldn't believe this. His father had gotten so desperate for money, so pathetically desperate, that he torched their house on purpose. Kevin didn't know who to blame. Mr. Davis had alcohol running through his veins, so he couldn't be held responsible for what he did. Who drove him to do such a thing? Why?
And then Kevin realized it. Lucinda Walsh, he thought to himself as he sped out of the parking lot. It's all her fault.
TO BE CONTINUED...