About: Nora, Sarah, Noah, Tommy, Kevin, Scotty, Justin, Jordan, Chad, Justin, Mario, Quinn.
Disclaimer: I don’t own anything
Extra: This an AU (Alternative Universe) story, so remember : The more things change, the more they stay the same. Here are part 01, part 02, part 03, part 04, part 05, part 06, part 07, part 08, part 09, part 10, part 11, part 12, part 13, part 14, part 15, part 16, part 17, part 18, part 19, part 20, part 21, part 22, part 23, part 24, part 25, part 26, part 27, part 28, part 29, part 30, part 31, part 32, part 33, part 34, part 35, part 36, part 37, part 38, part 39, part 40, part 41, part 42, part 43, part 44, part 45, part 46, part 47, part 48, part 49, part 50, part 51, part 52 and part 53
HALFWAY APRIL 2008
Nora mingles with her guests as the perfect hostess that she is. She talks with the neighbours, jokes with Mario and Quinn, doesn’t even blink when Sarah introduces Noah to her, wins over Warren’s Democratic heart, manages to put a blush on Chad’s face with a sweet compliment and to take away Jason’s worries with her hospitality.
She feels like she’s on an adrenaline-rush. She’s simply everywhere, overlooking the party, but also participating.... But when she steps back in the shadows of her favourite rose-bushes her lips tremble. It is so hard to watch everyone having fun, knowing that in a few days her family will be torn apart.
She’s rather sure that Tommy and Kitty will pick William’s side and she that Sarah, Kevin and Justin will be on her side. She doesn’t want to hurt William, she still loves him, but at the same time she cannot stand to be touched by him ever again. His lies have ruined the foundation of their marriage beyond repair.
But tonight she must laugh and talk, put a smile on her face, while her heart cries and.... Alright enough poetry for one day. Time to get back to the party... She straightens her back and soon enough finds herself in a wonderful conversation with her neighbours from the left about the increasing amount of cats running lose in their neighbourhood.
Sarah places a glass of wine before Noah.
“Are you alright? Having some fun? I know that this may not be your kind of crowd..”
“What do you mean?”
“I know some men are gay…. I thought maybe… you feel uncomfortable?”
“No, not really. They are very friendly. No, that’s not it.”
“What is it then?”
“I spoke to Trish this morning.”
“She’s not my ‘ex’ anymore that Joe is your ‘ex’. We are both still married to them, neither of us has taking the step to divorce our partners.”
“No, I know.” Sarah says, feeling as if he just accused her of something.
“I’m sorry, I didn’t put more effort into this than you did. So, it’s not a reproach.”
Sarah nods, that she understand, but she doesn’t know where Noah is going with this.
“Trish called to tell me she’s coming back, with the kids…”
“She’s…?” Sarah stops herself, not wanting to contemplate the meaning of her return. Or what Sarah herself had given up for an affair with Noah.
“She was in tears, said she was sorry, the kids miss me, the new boyfriend didn’t bring the bliss she hoped for. He wanted her, but not her kids. She thinks we should sit down and talk… Seriously think about what we want…. If we can forgive each other…” He gives Sarah a painful look. “This would also mean, that we must think about giving our marriage a second chance…”
“Oh.” Sarah stares at him, unable to quit get what he just told her. “So… We’re through? … Just like that?”
“I’m sorry, Sarah, but let’s be honest, we didn’t have much chance to survive anyway… We were both aware this was more physical, then emotional…” Noah tries.
Sarah looks at him and knows, she knows, he’s lying… And then the words come out, that makes all of this make sense.
“They are my children, Sarah, I want them to be happy.” Sarah nods, she gets it. Looking past Noah, she sees Paige and Cooper playing by the pool. The kids. Naturally. He wants his kids.
“I think it’s best if you would leave, Noah.” Sarah says calmly, but clearly upset.
“I will tell mom that you had an emergency at home. She’ll understand.”
“Just go away, Noah, … please?” Noah can see Sarah fight her tears and he gets up.
“I’m sorry. I never meant to hurt you. I …” He wanted to say ‘I love you’ but the words don’t come and Sarah swallows her pain away.
“I know. I feel the same about you…. Now go.” And Sarah watches Noah leave.
“Are you absolutely sure about this, Tommy?” Kevin asks, looking up at his brother. Both Tommy and Julia nod their heads. “This is a huge step. You and Ojai are one. Ojai runs through your veins. Just like it does with Sarah.”
“It’s time to make some changes.”
“Have you found another job?”
“No, but we’re financially strong enough to take the chance. I just want to get away from dad. I noticed these last two weeks, that I can’t handle being in the same office with him anymore… Jules and I both talked about it and we agree, this is the best choice.”
“Wow.” Is all Kevin come up with to say.
“Listen, I’ve written the letter of resignation…. Would you read it? See if it’s good enough?”
“Sure, come by the loft tomorrow you both. I’m sure Scotty would love to whip up some delicious little brunch for the four of us.”
“If it is approved, it will be huge, we’ll be busy all summer running from one marriage to the other. I already know five couples who intend to get married as soon as it’s possible.” Quinn, Jordan, Jason, they all listen as Mario enthusiastically names the couples that plan to get married.
“Yes, all nice and good, but for now it’s still a huge ‘no’ and I’m not getting my hopes up.”
“Oh, Jordan, don’t be so negative… You’re just sour because you have no one to marry.” Quinn teases and even Jason manages to smile, though he feels uncomfortable about the topic.
“Quinn, out there is the man for me. I just keep him waiting a little longer, I like my men frustrated and rrrready for it!” A roll of his hips emphasizing what the ‘it’ is supposed to be about.
“Be careful with those sort of movements, Jordan.” Justin says sliding down, next to Jordan, on the wooden bench, “You’re kinda completely and totally out of practice. You could seriously hurt your back…”
“Speaking from experience, aren’t you, love?” Jordan immediately comes back.
With everyone still laughing, Justin nods in good humor, points at his back, winces and shakes his head, as if he’s in too much pain… Jordan puts down his glass and sighs:
“Justin, why aren’t you gay?”
“I ask myself that question every day.” Justin answers with a mock-serious face.
“You know, Jordan,” he continues. “If I was gay, you’d be the first guy I’d go for… I think I’m exactly the guy you look for… Sexually frustrated…” he jokes. Jordan laughs.
“Justin, my love, if I were straight….” Jordan pauses.. “.. I still couldn’t have sex with you. Oh, damn!”
Jason laughs at the plain silliness of the conversation. He feels rather carefree. It is so liberating to himself and to not to be afraid of how he comes across. As he still laughs at Jordan’s remark he sees Scotty and Kevin approach the table. They stop to say hello to someone and as the man turns around to talk to Kevin and Scotty, Jason holds his breath.
It’s Chad Berry! Jason has had a crush on him for nearly 15 years, but never thought he would actually meet the man in person. Somehow, being a Catholic priest, he doesn’t travel in the same circles as a well-known porn-star. Jason watches more closely. Their conversation seems serious enough.
He notices the concern on Scotty’s face, the gentle smile on Kevin’s and Chad seems to smile but not very heart-felt. Jordan sees Jason’s stare and looks over his shoulder to see what or who Jason is so focused upon. Ah, Chad Berry! Of course.
“He IS available, you know, Jason.”
“Uhm, what?” Jason says, distracted.
“Chad… available… he and his boy-friend broke up… He could use a shoulder to cry on?” Jason is not sure if Jordan is teasing him or not, but he decides to see it as a joke.
“I don’t think he and I are compatible.”
“Honey, you’d be surprised how ‘compatible’ you can get after a few glasses of red wine, a decent dinner, the right music and with the help of a fair amount of lube…” Quinn says with a wink and Jordan feels his cheeks burn with the suggestion. And then he hears Scotty announce cheerfully:
“Guys, this is Chad.”
END OF PART 54
NO SNEAK-PEEK JUST YET. I MIGHT POST IT LATER, WHEN I HAVE DECIDED. ;)