Thank you so much everyone for sticking around and loving this story. This is the final installment and I hope you like it. XOXO <3 NIGHTTEMPEST
P.S. This playlist is a little wilder than the last. Beware. :D
ON MY MIND PART 3 PLAYLIST: TROUBLE MAKERS
Coma Complacency - Japandroids
Quiet Little Voices - We Were Promised Jetpacks (AWESOME!!!!!)
Glitter and Gold - Cheap Time
Wet Hair - Japandroids
Kill the Director - The Wombats
Go There - Embarrassing Fruits
Strange Desire - The Black Keys
Guitars - Red Collar
Backed Out On The Cause - Kevin Drew
North - Phoenix
Another Number - The Cribs
Sometimes in the Fall - Phoenix
My Life Flashed Before My Eyes - The Cribs
Lazerwalker - The Delgados
ON MY MIND (PART 3)
Noah parked the truck in front of the house and cut the engine. Jamie had become quieter the closer they came to their destination and Noah knew he was replaying Dee Pierson’s words in his head. Jamie was scared but Noah knew he wouldn’t admit it. Instead of trying to pry words from Jamie’s mouth, Noah unbuckled his seatbelt and leaned over. His lips brushed Jamie’s cheek before his hands found their other half. “I promise you everything is gonna be alright Jamie. She ain’t mad at ya. More like she’s mad at herself for what she done said to you. Please come inside.”
Staring out his window, Jamie felt Noah’s lips reassure him but he couldn’t shake the foreboding feeling in the pit of stomach. First Jerry showed up, then Jamie had yelled at Noah, and now he was expected to walk into Dee’s house like everything was alright? Someday this was turning out to be huh? But Jamie was a grown man and if he was going to be any good in this thing with Noah, he needed to start acting like one. Turning to Noah, Jamie palmed the man’s cheek and kissed him. “Okay,” Jamie whispered pulling back to look the country boy in the eye. “Let’s go inside.”
“Yeah?” Noah slowly grinned. “You sure?” Secretly excited to have Jamie staying at his house, Noah hooked his leg over Jamie’s lap before he opened the passenger door and kissed Jamie. Lingering for only a few seconds to get Jamie all riled up, Noah quickly jumped out the passenger side and winked.
“Oh yeah?” Jamie bit his lip and eyed Noah up and down.
“Yeah,” Noah put his hands on the door frame and leaned in. He slowly kissed Jamie and the blonde reciprocated with his hands threading into Noah’s hair.
“Will ya’ll do that somewhere that granny can’t watch? Jesus!” Mason slammed the screen door open and crossed his arms. Sure enough granny Ella Mae was peeking through the front window with wide eyes and a stupid smile. “I mean…I know ya’ll are…whatever but c’mon now.”
“What? You don’t like this?” Noah laughed and kissed Jamie again, even though the city boy was embarrassed and tried pushing against Noah’s chest.
“Noah!” Mason squeaked.
“Ma-son,” Noah mocked back and pulled Jamie out of the truck.
Jamie squirmed a little under Mason’s gaze and wondered if the guy disapproved of his brother’s sexuality. He didn’t want to make things worse for the Pierson family and would just assume stay out in the barn rather than in Noah’s room if it was going to cause a problem. Pulling his hand from Noah’s, he crossed his arms over his chest.
Noah screwed his brows together and eyed Jamie. “Do I have cooties or somethin?”
“No,” Jamie said softly. “I just don’t think we should uh…make a big show in front of your family. We’re not sure what we are anyway. So we don’t have to overdo this.”
“Jamie, look at me.” Noah stepped close and rolled his eyes with a laugh. “You already done made a show out of us and everybody already knows who you belong to. So if you need me to tell you out here in the front yard while my family watches, then so be it. Jamie Ford?” Noah grabbed Jamie’s hands and fluttered his lashes teasingly. “Will you be my beau?”
“Noah, come on seriously. This isn’t funny.” Jamie turned beet red and looked away as Ella Mae waved at him in the window. Dee Pierson made an appearance behind her mother and Jamie inhaled sharply.
“I was being serious Ford. You do or you don’t, simple as that. For the first time in your life, stop thinking and just go with it. I want you even though you drive me up the damn wall and have a way of giving me a wrinkle a day but…I still want you at the end of the day. I hope I haven’t made a fool of myself these past few months and wasted my time on you…” Noah turned his head and grinned while Jamie surely thought he was upset.
“Noah, I didn’t mean it like that. I just…oh fuck. Alright, alright. Do I need to sign something to make it official or what?” Jamie sighed loudly and shook his head when Noah looked at him with a big smile.
“Make it good. I want Mason to blush for the next few days,” Noah purred and Jamie gave him a confused look.
“Huh?” Jamie had only a second before Noah grabbed him around the waist and kissed the ever loving shit out of him.
“Oh my God! Granny’s never gonna sleep now!” Mason groaned and went inside to get Ella Mae to stop clapping and shut the curtains. Dee Pierson turned away from the picture window and covered a small laugh with her hand. She hadn’t seen that kind of Noah in a really long time and it seemed she had a lot of apologizing to do where Jamie Ford was concerned. Because anyone that brought a smile out of Noah like that, deserved her undying love, not her grief.
Ten minutes later, Jamie stood with a mortified expression in front of a winking Ella Mae and Dee Pierson herself. “Mrs. Pierson, I am so sorry for the other day…” Jamie looked at the ground but was cut off.
“You ain’t need to be sorry for nothin. I’m the one who’s sorry Jamie. I shouldn’t have said those things and maybe some it was true in the beginning but I done talked to Merna and she says…well, she says you’re like the son she never had. That’s high praise from Miss Merna and those are words that I won’t tread lightly upon again. If you like kin to Miss Merna and you make my baby smile like that…” She pointed to Noah who cleared his throat and looped his thumbs in his jean pockets with a blush. “Then you and I will work out just fine. That said, get on over here.” Dee gestured Jamie over and wrapped her arms around the boy in a fierce hug.
Jamie slowly returned the hug because he wasn’t really familiar with them. Merna had seemed natural in a way that scared him but Dee Pierson scared him shitless. But as he leaned into her tiny frame and wrapped his arms around her, the scent of sunflowers and her hand rubbing up and down his back, made him want to cry. He hadn’t had a hug that meant this much to him since his dad. Jamie took a deep breath and pulled away. Smiling at him, Dee turned away with a squeeze to his hand and went into the kitchen. Mason sat down next to Ella Mae and flipped on Family Feud for his granny.
“Mr. Harvey is so handsome,” Ella Mae shouted and Mason jumped but laughed.
“I guess so granny.” Mason shook his head and waved Noah and Jamie off.
“What’s an Augusto?” Ella Mae cupped her ear and squinted at Mason.
Noah chuckled. “C’mon.” Before he knew it, Jamie was being pulled down the hall. They walked up a flight of stairs towards the back and Noah opened the first door off the landing.
“This is me,” Noah explained and walked inside. Jamie followed with a growing apprehension. This was Noah’s private space and he was here, just the two of them, and Noah was closing the door, and… “Relax Jamie, you look ready to crawl out of your skin.”
He was, wasn’t he? Jamie looked up at Noah who shrugged and went to sit on the bed. The room was large but not too big, with coffee colored walls and a large soft looking bed that resembled a big pillow. Jamie could just imagine crawling onto it and sleeping for the next week with the weight of the stress he was carrying. “Sorry,” Jamie said with an exhale as he sat on the bed next to Noah.
“Will you stop apologizing for every little thing? You’ve had a rough day. Okay make that a rough summer, now that I have all the facts. Why don’t you kick back a minute and just breathe?” Noah flopped back on the bed and his shirt rose up on his stomach. The brunette patted the bed and Jamie kicked his shoes off with a yawn. “See? You don’t even know how tired you are, do you? When’s the last time you slept boy?”
Jamie shrugged because he couldn’t remember a full night’s sleep. Reports, research, and maps had filled his head until the wee hours of the morning and the rest of his time had been spent stalking Noah. Now he didn’t have to do either of those things but he did have a job to do—ridding Shermin Heights of Jerry Hobbs. Stretching out next to Noah with their legs dangling off the bed, Jamie looked at his new boyfriend and sighed. “I’m just worried about Jerry. Not about his well-being or anything,” Jamie snorted and Noah snaked his arm under Jamie’s neck. “He thinks he owns me or something because my mother belongs to him. Jerry was a sick fuck from the beginning. Even my dad hated him when they had worked together, but that didn’t stop him from moving in on a grieving widow. She ate up his lavish gifts and promises of this or that. She just stopped caring about my dad and then somewhere along the way…she stopped caring about me.”
Noah’s heart broke for Jamie but he just listened because he had a feeling that’s what Jamie needed right now. Just to be heard for once. Noah ghosted his lips over Jamie’s cheek and shifted on to his side to snake his arm around his boyfriend’s stomach. Jamie didn’t even flinch or shy away this time. He relaxed into Noah because he felt that he belonged here—in Noah Pierson’s arms, everything was okay.
“Nothing can ever just be easy for me Noah. Because of Jerry, these last few years have been a game of follow the leader or hit the streets like the black sheep and he knows it. When my dad was alive…shit…” Jamie tried to hold back the tears. He hated talking about his dad but he hated trying to forget him more. Noah pulled Jamie close and stroked his hair. “He’s going to try like hell to take your land from you. I didn’t even try compared to what he’ll do Noah. I was never cut out to be a shark like him. I tried to be because I thought that’s what my dad would have wanted but now I realize…”
“What?” Noah murmured.
“My dad was never like Jerry. Yeah he got what he needed but he’d have been fair about it and no meant no to him. He was a good man and the way Jerry runs the company is unsavory to put it nicely. But, I’ll do what I have to so that he’ll never touch your family’s land Noah.” Jamie propped up and grabbed Noah’s face. “He’ll never get you.”
“He can’t have me anyway.” Noah lifted his face and kissed Jamie. “I’m taken.”
“You know what I meant.” Jamie blushed but grinned and straddled Noah.
“I know but I was just sayin. You ain’t got nothin to worry about now though city boy. Jerry Hobbs just made his debut at the top of the Shermin Height’s shit list. Word will get around and trust me when I say that small towns stick together. What’s mine is yours all that bull crap.”
“But they hate me,” Jamie said and closed his eyes as Noah ran his calloused hands under Jamie’s shirt and along his bare chest.
“Nah, just consider it an audition that you passed. Since day one they been watchin you and from what I heard, you fit in just fine.” Noah groaned and tugged on Jamie’s shirt. The blond lifted the shirt over his head and Noah whistled low. “Damn boy. I don’t much care for the Yankee attitude but I sure do like this Yankee body just fine.” With that he flipped Jamie over and peeled his own shirt off his body. Equally matched in size, Noah paused and ran his hands over Jamie’s chest before bending down and slowly working open Jamie’s mouth.
A hand wandered over Jamie’s growing bulge in his tight jeans and Noah squeezed a little. Grinning at the size in his hand, Noah filled out his own jeans and moved from Jamie’s mouth down his neck. Small but delicious kisses turned up the heat of Jamie’s skin—making the room grow smaller and his eyes roll in ecstasy. His pants were pulled down and yanked off his ankles by greedy hands. Noah licked his lips and returned his mouth to Jamie’s stomach, moving his way lower to the blue briefs that beckoned him closer. Blond curls tickled his lips and Noah flicked his eyes up as he licked his way down to the elastic band that created a barrier to the sensitive flesh that he wanted so badly.
His patience wearing thin, Jamie hooked his thumbs in the band of his briefs and pulled them down. His erection bounced back and hit his stomach softly. With a chuckle and a certain bit of hunger, Noah helped Jamie out and shucked the offending underwear off Jamie’s long legs quickly. Tracing his palms back up Jamie’s legs, Noah knelt between his boyfriend’s thighs and gave Jamie a small flash of his eyes before he lowered his lips to the head of Jamie’s cock.
Like a ring of hot heaven, Jamie felt Noah’s lips surround his cock and suckle him teasingly. The texture of the country boy’s tongue flicked over the head and Jamie bucked on the bed—his ass leaving the sheets in favor of driving his cock deeper into the heat of Noah’s mouth. Noah was right there with him, pushing Jamie back onto the bed with a few more inches added to his rhythm. After a few minutes, Jamie shook with a moan and Noah pulled off—squeezing Jamie’s balls a bit.
“Wha…why did you stop?” Jamie whined then went open mouthed when Noah kneeled between his legs and slowly undid his own pants with hooded eyes. The jeans came off and Jamie groaned at the sight of Noah’s hard erection and the fact that he hadn’t worn any underwear to begin with. Jamie had no idea where they were going from here but he was set straight when Noah grabbed his hand and sucked a few fingers into his mouth. Straddling Jamie’s waist, Noah rubbed his cock into the chest underneath him and brought Jamie’s hands to his ass. “You want me to…I thought…are you sure?” Jamie rotated his hips under Noah—his cock tracing the line between Noah’s ass cheeks.
Noah bent down and kissed Jamie. “I ain’t thought about nothin else for the past week. Now shut up and…” Jamie’s finger found Noah’s sweet spot and he moaned. “Oh yeah, that’s it.”Jamie didn’t question the opportunity he was being given and began to loosen Noah up with his fingers before his own cock got a mind of its own and did something stupid. Working his ass against Jamie’s fingers, Noah planted his palms on Jamie’s chest to spread his legs wider. It felt too good to be real. He’d never thought this moment would happen with Jamie but finally, here they were. And truthfully it wasn’t all about the sex between them. That just happened to be a really good benefit of this new
relationship between them. Letting Jamie take him like this was a way that Noah opened himself up. Like this he felt vulnerable, yet with Jamie, Noah felt equal and that’s what he wanted.
He’d never liked the weaker partner, stronger partner kind of roles. Noah figured you had to be both to make things work and Jamie couldn’t have fit him more perfect in that aspect even if he tried. Sending a silent prayer of thanks to whoever was listening, Noah laid his chest on Jamie’s and kissed him. He couldn’t get enough of the soft lips against his and Jamie seemed to like kissing him just as much. Despite his rough and tough exterior, looking into Jamie’s eyes now, Noah felt something spark in his heart—like he beautiful to the guy or some shit like that.
Just as he thought about pulling back, Jamie pushed a third finger into Noah and bit down on his lower lip. Noah gasped when Jamie pulled his fingers out and took a deep breath. “You sure Noah?”
Finding his voice, Noah replied, “This ain’t my first rodeo boy. Now you want me or not?” He grinned and stroked Jamie’s cock behind him—slipping the length between his cheeks to glide up and down.
“Noah,” Jamie warned. Any more of that and he wouldn’t last another minute. Noah’s cheeks were full but tight as they hugged Jamie’s dick with a squeeze of his muscles. Fine, Jamie thought with a grin of his own. Two can play at this game, he concluded and wrapped his arms around Noah’s waist before rolling him onto his back. “The past is the past but from now on…I’m the only rodeo you better ever attend,” Jamie growled into Noah’s mouth while pushing his legs wider. “I want you so bad Noah. There ain’t no one else for me but you.”
Noah moaned a laugh. “Hick,” he gasped at the look on Jamie’s face.
“Ain’t no other hick do it like this,” Jamie replied with his best Kentucky twang before he pushed inside of Noah.
“Ah, Jamie,” Noah hissed and pulled Jamie down to him. The curtains ruffled above them and blew away from the window. A roll of thunder rumbled in the distance and the smell of future rain filled the room. The swirling breeze ruffled Jamie’s hair as he slowly made love to Noah. Underneath Jamie, Noah felt every deliberate stroke, felt every breath on his neck and face, and for the first time in a long time, got what he needed from another man—love.
They’d fallen asleep before dinner and judging from the light grey sky outside the window, Noah guessed right into the morning. Jamie’s head was snuggled close to Noah’s neck with his body wrapped around Noah’s side like he was sort of human koala. Kissing Jamie’s temple, Noah rubbed his boyfriend’s back until he saw those sleepy eyes open a bit.
“Hmm,” Jamie grunted.
“Wakey, wakey,” Noah teased.
“Serious? I didn’t hear a rooster go off yet,” Jamied snorted.
“Rooster? Boy, do you think you’re on a farm?” Noah laughed and pushed Jamie onto his back. Jamie’s eyes opened and looked around after being tossed about. “Think you’re some kind of funny guy, you smart ass?”
“C’mon Noah, I’m so tired. Let’s just lay here a little while longer,” Jamie groaned--letting his head flop back onto the pillow.
“Nope. We got things to do today. You do remember our little visitors right?” Noah winked and Jamie shot up into a sitting position. “Or now you do I reckon.”
“Oh God, Noah I should call Merna. I just left her there to deal with them and what if he’s trying to play her too. This is such a mess,” Jamie groaned.
Noah smiled and pulled Jamie to his chest. “Hey now. None of that whinin. What did I tell you last night?”
Jamie tried to think past the warmth of Noah’s body and way that tongue had moved over his lips—the way they had been so in sync with each other’s bodies and thoughts. “Jamie?”
“Yeah, yeah small towns stick together. I heard you. I can still worry though, can’t I?” Jamie sighed.
“No. If you worry about him, then you’re just gonna get all down on yourself. We handle him together. We’re a team and don’t you forget it,” Noah whispered, smoothing his hands over Jamie’s bare chest.
“Okay.” Jamie tried to turn around but Noah slipped his hand under the covers and grabbed Jamie’s cock. “Uh, I thought you said we had things to do today.”
“We do. And first on the to-do list is you,” Noah rumbled and pushed Jamie onto his hands and knees. Jamie’s eyes went wide and he looked over his shoulder with a barely concealed smile. Noah winked and covered Jamie with his body. “Good morning.” He kissed Jamie’s neck and Noah felt him shiver.
“It’s turning out to be,” Jamie replied with a big smile.
Noah and Jamie huddled on the side of Merna’s house with the Olivette brothers and watched Jerry pace back and forth in the living room. All the windows were open so they could hear every word the man was screaming into his phone. “This is the second charger I’ve tried to have delivered express this week! What do you mean you’ve sent them? I have personally been to the post office in this God forsaken place three times and they don’t have a thing for me. I have an hour at the most left on my phone and then I lose all my contacts and…” Jerry’s face went red with anger and he hissed with rage. “I better start writing them down? Do you know who you’re talking to you little jerk! I’ll have your job…”
Noah looked to Sam and nodded. Sam Olivette pressed a button on the small device they had grabbed from a Radio Shack an hour out of town. Jamie covered his mouth to keep from laughing as Jerry paused and shook his phone and then put it back to his ear. All cell phone reception blocked as the device lit up green.
“Hello? Hello! Hello? Oh come on!” Jerry screamed as Merna set a plate of sandwiches and a bucket of beer out for the boys by corner of the house with a wink and disappeared back into the house. “Miranda!” Jerry pointed a finger at Merna who looked around with a snort.
“Ain’t no one named Miranda around these parts Mr. Hobbs. It’s Merna.”
“Oh what the hell ever, have you gotten any packages for me? I know you said you didn’t yesterday but what about today?” Jerry wiped his forehead and showed off the wet spots under his arms. “And for the love of God, turn on some air! It’s hotter than the Amazon in here.”
“No, I haven’t gotten any packages for you and…” Merna smiled with a wink. “We don’t have air here.”
“You what?” Jerry’s eyes bulged and Noah had to cover Jamie’s mouth with both his hands to quiet him. Perry Olivette turned the device off and they all listened as Jerry’s phone began to ring—the phone company trying to call back no doubt. Just when Jerry went to answer it, Sam turned the device on—cutting off the call. “Ahh!” Jerry threw the cell across the room--covering his mouth as he realized what he’d done. “This damn place is hell on earth,” he grit out. Turning from the window, Jerry stormed out the front door and down the steps. Upon reaching the last step, his loafers met a bottle’s worth of vegetable oil and the fat pig went down. Growling, Jerry pushed himself up with his hands and looked across the street at a group of little old men who giggled and went back to reading their papers.
“Oh, oh Jerry!” Karen got up from her chair on the porch and clicked down the stairs before she realized the problem and slipped—falling right on top of him.
Merna busted a gut right inside the front door and had to wipe the tears from her eyes. Noah, Jamie, and the boys plastered themselves to the side of the house and silently died of laughter.
The next day, Karen was walking through the general store like the place was made of cockroaches and snakes. She kept her purse close and gasped at every little noise—keeping an eye on the two overall clad men behind the counter. At the register, Clyde—the manager--gave a thumbs up to the little boy with the juice box outside. The tiny blond ran around the corner and nodded to Sam and Perry who grinned at each other. The boys hopped off their open truck bed and carried their cooler inside.
The front bell rang and Karen jumped away from the open drink cooler. She had been trying to figure out which dusty bottle of sparkling water looked less offensive when two dangerous looking bumpkins walked in and dropped an ice chest looking contraption on the counter.
“Afternoon, Sam.” Clyde nodded. His cousin George patted the cooler. “Perry. Whatcha have today son?”
“A bit of this and that, you know. Real big ones though,” Sam exaggerated. “Had to hold em down while they squirmed. This lot fought back real hard. Almost snapped my wrist trying to gut em.”
Karen’s heart stopped beating. I knew it, she balked, they’re murdering hillbillies. She closed the cooler door and slowly edged down the back aisle. No matter which way she went, Karen would still have to go out the front door and right past the group of backwoods predators. But hopefully she could scurry out the door before they turned around.
Perry heard the sharp gasp from Mrs. Hobbs and fought to keep a straight face as he cracked the cooler for dramatic effect. “Yeah between me and Sam we got us six of them bastards. Thought they could get away from us after all the trouble they put us through. Went through a rod or two in the process too!” Perry shook his head with a laugh as he spotted Mrs. Hobbs getting closer in the mirror above Clyde and George. Rods? Karen’s heart rate sped up. That’s probably how they killed them, blunt force trauma.
“Ah well that’s what they get for coming to close,” Clyde said looking straight at Karen. Her eyes went wide and her mouth made this pitiful attempt at playing it cool but terrified won out.
“Yeah, look here boys,” Sam said with excitement and opened the cooler—pulling a cooled bag of fresh fish fillets that they had purposely not cleaned. Blood pooled in the corner of the five pound bag and Perry pulled out another one and plopped it on the counter.
Karen started with a low groan and then started screaming as bags of bloodied human flesh was laid out on the counter. She let out a sharp scream in Perry’s face before she high tailed it out of the general store and out into the middle of the street—waving her arms and screaming murder like a lunatic. Noah and Jamie were tangled in each other’s arms on Henrie’s porch swing watching the entire event. Noah took a sip of lemonade while Jamie laughed as one of the little old men on the corner snapped a picture of Mrs. Hobbs tripping up Merna’s lawn.
The next day as Merna was hiding another package from the mobile phone people she spotted a stack of Jamie’s papers in his room and figured it was for the best to put them in the trash. She didn’t want Jerry all in the boy’s business and Jamie had made it clear he had no intention of returning to his job. So with a smile, Merna slipped the files under her robe and quietly made her way into the kitchen. With a sly smile at Jerry and Karen, Merna let the files slip to the bottom of the trash and silently let the lid close behind her. Jerry narrowed his eyes but went back to his paper.
Noah had his jeans around his ankles and Jamie’s palms were planted on the work bench. The high noon heat had both boys drenched with sweat but they didn’t mind. Loud rock music blared from the old radio in the corner and Noah matched the beat with each thrust into Jamie. The blonde’s fist moved like a blur up and down his own cock but his moans were no match for the wails coming from the speakers next him. The metallic smell of Noah’s welding, the feel of rough wood under his fingers, and Noah’s hands gripping his sweaty hips sent Jamie over the edge and he arched—sending his release all over the work table and the small window.
Planting a hand on the small of Jamie’s back, Noah pushed Jamie’s face into the table and bucked inside of him. His chest met Jamie’s. Noah slid in deep and hard as they melted together before he unraveled. His own climax released deep inside of Jamie and he gave a dying moan while relaxing his weight onto Jamie’s back.
“Fuck me,” Jamie laughed and Noah lifted his head with a smile.
“You’ll have to give me a bit. I know I’m a stud but I’m no machine,” Noah replied with a lick to Jamie’s bare shoulder.
“Oh whatever, Mr. Arrogant. You give me a minute and I’ll show you stud,” Jamie challenged.
“You are hornier than Perry after a six pack. Didn’t they show you the love up there baby?” Noah smacked Jamie on the ass with a laugh.
“Not an image I particularly wanted but I guess if that six-pack belonged to some rugged farm hand with a nice tan…” Jamie flipped over and sat on the work bench then pulled his knees up—running his hands down his bare chest and displaying his thoroughly worked goodies to Noah. “Then I guess the image isn’t so bad.”
“I don’t work on no farm so you better tell me who the hell you’re talking about. Because I’m just gonna have to go and whoop their ass.” Noah grinned and pressed their bodies together again. Jamie pulled Noah in for a kiss and hooked his legs around his boyfriend’s hips. “Like I said, you’re hornier than a cat in heat. So needy…” Noah whispered over Jamie’s mouth.
The sound of a car screeching to a stop outside had Noah and Jamie clamoring for their clothes. Pants up, zippers secured, half righted shirts, and unlaced boots were all they had time for. Mason pulled open the door and came running inside. “Jamie, you’re step freak is here with your mama. He demands to see you and Noah you better get your ass out here too. That fat shit just called granny Ella Mae, a blue haired, Helen Keller. You’re his boyfriend, so you get permission to hit Hobbs. Family hits family first and all that. But I swear to all that’s holy, if ya’ll don’t balls up and hit him, I will!” Mason spit on the floor to seal his pact with the almighty and narrowed his eyes before walking back outside.
“Family hits family first?” Jamie looked to Noah.
“Well you wouldn’t want no stranger sluggin Jerry would ya? You have first rights and if you don’t, I do by association.” Noah smiled. “C’mon lets go deal with this before that guy comes about the butterflies.”
Jamie felt much better about the whole Jerry situation. It had become a town sport to terrorize Jerry and Karen. Buzz had let loose a teaspoon’s worth of fire ants in Jerry’s coat while he was at the bar yesterday. Jenna had crushed up two of her daddy’s Viagra in his bear and the man had walked around all yesterday with a boner like a flag pole and tiny white bite marks all over his body. Sam and Perry had called him Franken-dick all damn day. It was pretty funny and that image along drove Jamie on. Not only that, but today was kind of big deal for Noah. Jamie had been working all week on setting Noah’s work up online. His iron works were getting kind of out of hand in the barn as he was cranking out about ten a week now. Plus he needed to buy supplies for cheaper, so online it was.
Within the first few weeks of showing his stuff on Etsy, a small web-page Jamie had set up for him, and a local dealer in Frankfort, Noah had been getting calls from people all of the country. He didn’t know what to do about it, so a guy from a glass blowing company in Louiseville was coming all the way over to Shermin Heights to see about doing a show together here in town. Matt—the glass blower—had liked the sound of a small town and thought Noah’s work was amazing. He said he’d love to keep everything authentic about Shermin Heights and do it Noah’s way—draw in the true country crowd and people that were there to appreciate the beauty of his work in its element. Total artist type, Noah had laughed. But Jamie could see how excited he was.
Walking out of the barn, hand in hand with Noah, Jamie smiled darkly at Jerry who stormed over. “I know what you’ve been up to James and your mother and I will not have it anymore. This…” Jerry gestured to their entwined fingers with rage. “Is not acceptable! He’s a fag and he’s draggin you down with him. You are better than all this scum hole of a town and this dirty hillbilly who is out to corrupt you. Now you’re mother is upset and I think you’ve had your fill of this rebellious attitude. So it’s time you got in the car and we we’re on our way. Your mother and I are willing to forgive you. So come on James, let’s go, enough of this.” Karen stood next to Henrie’s Bonneville and slowly held up a hand to her son.
Noah’s hand was like a vice around Jamie’s, his jaw ticked in anger but he stood perfectly still. That’s okay, Jamie thought. Because it was his punch to throw, Jamie smiled. He turned to Noah and kissed him on the lips much to Jerry’s disgust. Pulling back, Jamie unwound his hand from Noah’s and took a step forward. “Yeah he’s a fag, but so am I. I’ve been into men since…well since before you went and poached my mother. You see Jerry, I love Noah and there ain’t a damn thing you can do about it. But I will tell you one thing. If you ever call my boyfriend a dirty hillbilly or his granny a blue haired Helen Keller ever again, I’m going to whoop your ass.” Jamie narrowed his eyes. “Now I think it’s time you got in the car with the woman who used to be my mother and went on your way. Because I ain’t going anywhere with you, I’m already home.”
Mason let out a whoop from the porch with a laugh and flicked Jerry off in a true Mase fashion. Dee Pierson wiped her eyes and put her arm around Ella Mae then shot a look to Henrie. He took off his hat and smiled at her sweetly. She knew the next stop for the Hobbs was a one way ticket to Frankfort on the Henrie express and she couldn’t be more grateful to the Mayor. Henrie winked and put his hat back on.
“You will not disrespect me anymore son.” Jerry went to grab Jamie but he ducked and brought his fist around into the side of Jerry’s face. The fat suit howled and tried to grab for Jamie’s legs but got a kick to the stomach instead. A resonating click sounded from above him and Jerry groaned looking up.
“You get the hell off my property and don’t you ever come back,” Noah growled, pointing his shot gun in Jerry’s face. “You ever lay a hand on Jamie again and you can eat a few of these babies. You understand you Hobbs?”
Calm as ever, Henrie walked to Jerry and helped him up. “Jerry and his beautiful wife were just about to leave for Frankfort. So we’ll be on our way. Ya’ll have yourselves a lovely afternoon and don’t forget about the potluck at church on Sunday.” Henrie tipped his hat and guided a groaning Jerry to the Bonneville. Karen didn’t even look at Jerry as he was put in the car. Instead she stared at her son from across the lawn and saw him for the first time in a long time. Confused with her sudden rise in maternal emotions, Karen gave Jamie one last look before she got in the car and shut the door.
Jamie, Noah, and his family watched Henrie’s Bonneville create clouds of dust down the long drive in their departure with relief. Jamie was shaking from head to toe and Noah had to work to get the guy’s limbs to relax. “I ain’t gonna ask if you’re okay, because I know you ain’t. But I need you to just take a few deep breaths and shake your arms out. It’ll help with all the macho juice you got flowin through ya right now.”
“Whoo Jamie! You got one hell of a right hook. Lord, I cannot wait to tell Sam and Perry. They gonna be so pissed they missed this. Ha,” Mason called out and ran into the house to call the boys. Dee Pierson saw the way Jamie’s mother had looked at him and her heart broke. That woman loved her child but she was under the thumb of some man and what he said was law. A woman like that had no spine and deserved not an ounce of respect to her name. Poor baby, Dee took the stairs down and crossed the lawn to Jamie. She held out her arms and enclosed them around the boy—sending all the love she had into him.
“I’m so sorry baby.” She kissed Jamie’s cheek and held his face in her hands. “No mama should ever turn out her own baby but know that you got enough mama to go around between me and Merna. You got us like you were our own and don’t you ever forget that.”
Staring down at Noah’s mother, Jamie burst into tears and finally let all the hurt out. Yeah he hated Jerry but what he had secretly hoped for was one day his mother would leave that son of a bitch. Maybe one day she would come to her son and they could be a real family. It was stupid, Jamie knew that but knowing for sure now that his mother didn’t want him was the final nail in his family’s coffin. He had no past anymore, those people were nothing to him now. His dad’s memory was all he would keep with him as he looked at his new family with a renewed heart. It would always be a sore spot to Jamie but with the help of this town, he could mend all wounds.
“God, I’m sorry.” Jamie wiped his eyes and sniffled. “Look at me, the big baby.”
“You say sorry one more time and I’m going to make you watch the Antique’s Road Show marathon with granny…without beer,” Noah promised and Jamie cracked a smile.
“Don’t you threaten my boy,” Dee scoffed and looped her arm through Jamie’s. “Just for that, he gets two pieces of apple pie.”
“Oh hell no!” Noah protested and hurried to catch up to the pair.
People from all over Kentucky and some from farther out wandered the streets of Shermin Heights. Lunching at The Shermin Shack, checking out the goods at Buzz and Louisa’s Antique Emporium, getting cold beers from Henrie’s Place, or even browsing the local vendor booths set up around town. And that was just the overflow. Between Matt’s glass blowing and Noah’s iron sculptures, the Pierson property was crawling with buyers, local news and papers, and people looking to carry the guy’s work. Noah hadn’t dropped his smile all day and always kept Jamie near.
Without Jamie none of this would have been possible and he made sure to make that clear every chance he got. “Have I told you how much I love you today?” Noah whispered to Jamie who blushed when a stray hand crept over his ass.
“About fifteen times,” Jamie replied quietly and handed out Noah’s business card to an eager woman. She clutched her prized garden stakes with tiny glass butterflies at the top to her chest and wandered off. The local ladies had catered the event and Jamie could see how much they loved to serve others. Southern woman just had that way about them. Not to say Jamie thought that was their place, he just noticed that they put an extra oomph behind anything they did because they loved the smiles they received in return. It was a heart-warming process to watch.
Dee hauled out another glass dispenser of sweet tea and Mason followed with a multi-tiered display of mini lemon tarts. “You need some help Dee?” Jamie grabbed the heavy dispenser and put it on the banquet table.
“Thank you baby.” She patted Jamie on the back. Everything was going great and Matt could not be more pleased with the turn out. That is until a few minutes later, the crowds began to part for a convoy of white vans escorted by two state cops and a blue Bonneville. “What in the hell?” Dee put her hands on her hips and watched. Noah inhaled and let it go, reaching for Jamie’s hand as Jerry and Karen Hobbs got out of the first cruiser with two staties.
“Can I ask what all the trouble is officers?” Noah was loud and clear. “This is my property.
“Kentucky State P.D., Noah Pierson, we have a warrant to search the premises for chemical contamination and any bio-hazardous material that may have been leaked on the property. We’re going to need you to answer a few questions and have this property cleared immediately.”
“What! You can’t do that!” Jamie shouted and Noah held him back. Jerry grinned as Jamie quieted.
“We have proof that a few acres on the estate wasn’t properly secured after an oil testing last May. Continuous exposure to the environment is dangerous, therefore the warrant was issued sir. Now Mr. Pierson if you’ll come with us.” The officer gestured over and Jamie shook from head to toe.
Jerry chuckled. “Nice work son. I didn’t think you had it in you but you really came through for us.” The fat ass waved a manila file at Jamie with a wink. “You go on ahead and we’ll catch up. Just need to close things up on this end.”
Noah’s heart stopped in his chest and he looked at Jerry. “What did you say?”
“You didn’t think he’d actually want a hillbilly for real did you?” Jerry grinned and Karen slowly turned away to look at Jamie whose horror showed on every inch of his body. “He’s the one who did all the research for me. Hell, he isn’t even gay.” Jerry smiled and Noah turned to Jamie.
Jamie couldn’t think past the anger boiling his blood. “I’ll kill you,” Jamie whispered.
“Jamie, you can drop the act now. We got what we needed.” Jerry moved out of the way for a large crew of state officials with cases of equipment.
“How could you?” Noah felt his world dropping out from underneath him. He’d seen that file in Jamie’s room before they left. It even had his name still scribbled on the front. Jamie had grabbed all his papers when they ran away. He’d had to have given it Jerry personally.
“What! You believe him?” Jamie cried. “Are you serious Noah? He’s lying.”
“Noah Pierson,” Dee shouted but Noah stopped her with a hand.
“Stay out of this mama.” Noah’s heart broke as he looked at Jamie. “Get off my property. Now!”
“Noah…” Jamie pleaded and took a step forward. “I’m not lying.”
“But that’s your file isn’t it? Huh!”
“Yes but I…” Jamie cried.
“Then get the fuck off my lawn you damn Yankee.” Noah wanted to collapse and scream until his lungs bled when Jamie’s face fell like death and the blond wordlessly walked the path the crowd began to make for him. He didn’t look back as Jamie focused solely on placing one foot in front of the other. Noah would believe Jerry over him? Then Noah couldn’t possibly love Jamie like he claimed. He was the liar, not Jamie. With a completely shattered heart, Jamie walked off the property until he found the main dirt road and kept walking. To where? He didn’t care anymore.
Dee Pierson slapped her son so hard, her palm stung like the bite of a thousand bees. “I raised you better than that and you should be ashamed of yourself. You say you love that boy? You are a liar Noah Munroe Pierson. A liar and a fool! You’ll be lucky if he ever forgives you.”
Noah looked at his mom and tears streamed down his cheeks. “But it was all too perfect. Looking back now, he was too perfect. He was just getting information out of me. I mean he had stalked this place for weeks mama. I saw him!” Noah rubbed his cheek and wiped back the tears.
“Shut your mouth!” Dee pointed a finger and then turned to Karen Hobbs. “You! One day when you’re rottin in hell for the sins you committed on that poor child, I want you to remember this day as the day you officially sealed your fate within the fires! You are a spoiled bitch who has no heart and thinks about nothin more than money. You best get your ass away from me or I will not be held responsible for what I do to you.”
Karen Hobbs spared a small look at her husband before she took a deep breath and stepped in front of the crew about to infiltrate the Pierson’s land. “Stop! Please, listen to me.”
“What now you Yankee bitch?” Dee cried but Mason held her back.
Karen looked over her shoulder at Dee. “You are absolutely right Mrs. Pierson. I am a horrible mother and it’s time I made up for it.”
“Karen what are you doing?” Jerry hissed.
“The right thing,” she declared and straightened.
“Gentlemen, there is no evidence regarding the clean-up last March. If you’ll allow me to have my husband’s assistant fax you the correct work order, there were two inspections on the property and both cleared. What you hold in your hand is an error that my husband overlooked regarding another property. When I looked into it last month…”
“You what?” Jerry screamed.
“When I started investigating the matter myself because I thought something sounded fishy, I came across it. The legal team was trying to fix the matter as of two months ago but it never went into our database. My son initially thought he was onto something and printed up that order because it was never fixed. When he gave up on the Pierson project and tossed it in the trash, Jerry Hobbs stole the file with the idea that it would be enough to get the Pierson land handed over and had the warrant conjured from a judge friend of his in Frankfort. This is all a lie and as the legal CEO of OilWorks, I would like to give my apologies to you all and accept any consequences.”
“Karen!” Jerry roared and slammed a fist on the cruiser’s hood.
“Ma’am, am I to understand that this warrant was issued by a judge who was paid under the table over a fake work order that was dug out of the trash?” The cop pulled off his sunglasses and put them in his shirt pocket.
“Yes, sir.” Karen nodded.
“Well I’ll be damned. That’s got to be the craziest shit I ever heard. How bout you Dave?”
“Pretty damn crazy.” The cop’s partner agreed.
“Pack it up boys! We’ve been duped,” the leading officer called. “Mr. and Mrs Hobbs, ya’ll are gonna have to come back with us. I’m not even sure what to charge you with but at the very least, we’ve got some questions.”
“Just a minute. Please?” Karen asked the officer who nodded like it was the most normal part of his day.
Karen turned to Noah who was numb from the inside out. “He never lied to you. Thank you for loving him when I didn’t remember how. I’m so sorry.” She covered her mouth to keep from crying as she got into the back of the cruiser.
“Noah?” Dee put a hand on her shaking son. Thunder rumbled over head like the inner workings of Noah’s heart and a mid-afternoon summer rain poured from the sky. People shrieked and laughed—running under the vendor tents of the porch of the house. Some even sought shelter in the comfort of their cars but there was no comfort for Noah. Jamie was out there all alone after Noah had betrayed him in the most horrible way possible.
“I gotta go mama.” Noah shrugged her off and started running. Mason rolled his eyes at his brother and pulled the keys to the truck out of his back pocket.
“Yo, Forest Gump! Get your ass over here. I’m drivin! Keep things rollin Matt! Storm will clear in a bit.” Mason whooped and banged his palm on the truck in excitement. This was like that epic moment you waited for all your life and even if it wasn’t his, it was joyful all the same. He loved his big brother and even though Noah was the world’s biggest dumb ass at the moment, Mason would walk through fire to help him out.
Noah wrenched open the passenger door and had barely closed it when Mason reversed like a mad man and took off down the drive. People ducked out of their way and Mason gunned it down the long dirt road. “You see which way he headed?” Mason called over the rumble of the truck.
“I was a little busy to notice Mase.” Noah gripped the dash and kept his eyes peeled. The wipers were going top speed keeping back the rain that wouldn’t quit. “Shit Mase. What the hell have I done! Why would I believe that fat bastard? Oh my God.”
“You said he was too perfect. You only think that because everything else is hard. We lost daddy, you sacrificed that house and the shop to take care of mama and granny. Whether you admit it or not, you take care of me but you never take care of yourself. Jamie brought that other side out of you—relaxed you so much that when the tough stuff reared it’s ugly head, cynic Noah stepped right back in. You stopped thinkin with your heart when daddy died and you’re having to learn to love all over again. More than the rest of us I guess.”
Noah stared at his younger brother as every word the boy said was true. “When the hell did you get so wise?”
“When you weren’t lookin.” Mason grinned and spotted a red shirt in the distance. “Noah! It’s him.”
“Stop right here!” Noah all but screamed and was out of the vehicle and running top speed before Mason put it in park. “Jamie!”
Jamie let the rain wash over him like liquid humiliation and wondered if there was anything worse than this feeling that he couldn’t describe. His wet jeans were starting to rub him the wrong way and his t-shirt was becoming cold against his skin. Done past miserable, Jamie kept walking. He knew he’d passed the sign for downtown a few streets ago, so he had oh about ten miles until he’d get to the highway. Where he would what? Jamie cried even though no one would be able to tell with the rain. So when he heard his name being called, he didn’t believe it at first. After the third time though, he stopped and turned around. Noah came at him like a bullet from a gun—his face a mess of pain.
“Noah?” Jamie stepped back but was captured within Noah’s arms. With nowhere else to go, Jamie clung to Noah for balance.
“Oh God,” Noah cried and brought the both of them to their knees. “Jamie I am so sorry. I’m the world’s biggest asshole and I don’t deserve you. But I love you and I can’t let you go. I’m sorry that I thought for one second you would do that to me. I should’ve known baby. I’m so sorry.”
“What changed your mind then?” Jamie hid his face. He couldn’t really blame Noah for the fleeting thought that he had something to do with it initially. It had been his job. But denying him like that was what had broken Jamie.
“Your mom confessed everything to the cops. She ratted out Jerry and thanked me for loving you.”
“She what?” Jamie looked up into Noah’s eyes.
“She loves you Jamie. But not as much as I do.”
“If you tell me that Noah Pierson,” Jamie cried. “This time you better fucking mean it.”
“I always meant it Jamie. This time, I just know why.” Noah kissed his boy and pulled Jamie into his lap. “I love you because without you, I’m nothing. And I don’t ever wanna feel that again.”
Jamie took a deep breath and knew the choice was his. He could leave Noah here to feel what he’d felt momentarily or he could be above that and forgive the asshole. Jamie didn’t have to think long about it because leaving Noah by choice was like ripping a limb from his body. Not being very smart in matters of love, Jamie was pretty confident that the dread at the thought of leaving Noah Pierson behind meant he loved him. He went with that.
“Me neither. Don’t you ever do that again.” Jamie pouted and searched Noah’s eyes.
“Never. Love me?” Noah pressed his forehead to Jamie’s.
“Yes.” Jamie grinned and inched his lips closer to Noah’s.
“Thank God.” Noah kissed Jamie and forgot about the rain. A strange tinkling noise made both boys look up with confused expressions. A small wind chime made of forks swirled about high in the tree above. “How the…”
Jamie broke into a smile and grabbed Noah behind the neck. “Good lookin out pop,” Jamie said to the heavens above before he kissed Noah back. Because no matter how hard he could even think to try, Noah Pierson would always be on his mind.