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Noah opened his eyes and growled with frustration. What had happened? What had Lucas said? Had they kissed again? Had they done more? Did Luke push him away? How did he get that home that night?
Everything from the kiss to when he woke up the next morning wasn't just a blur, it was gone. Anything could have happened in those hours. And he had no clues when he woke up. No note from Luke, no signs on his body that anything more happened, no residual feelings--nothing except a hangover and a flush of embarrassment. Did it matter if anything happened after the kiss? Wasn't the kiss bad enough?
The kiss had been bad enough to make him run away and never look back. Ultimately, it didn't matter how Luke had reacted. Noah was leaving and Luke was in love with Lilah, and that's all that really matter. It occurred to him once or twice that it would be as easy as picking up the phone to find out what had occurred, to find out what, exactly, he was hiding from.
But the only thing easier than picking up the phone was not picking up the phone. The only thing easier than facing his feelings was pretending that he didn't have any feelings at all. The only thing easier than keeping up his closest friendship was letting it slip away, a casualty to time, and distance, and avoidance. And shame.
Noah rubbed his eyes and took a deep breath, trying to clear his head. It didn't seem like Lucas was holding a grudge against him. Noah took that as a good sign. He didn't know if his need to reconnect was just a selfish indulgence, but he did know that the only thing he regretted was the loss of their friendship.
Noah got back in his car, but he didn't start the engine.Instead, he dropped the chair back and watched the sky through the window, covering himself with his jacket to ward off the chill. It wasn't nearly as comfortable as a bed, but he didn't relish the thought of returning home. He was content to lay there, letting his mind drift from one subject to the next, from one memory to another.
Somehow, it always came back to Luke.