This is part three of five of Finding Home. The sudden departure of Noah’s mother doesn’t make life any easier for Noah and Lacey. After an unexpected accident, a trip to see Lacey’s family in Montreal brings even more uncertainty.
While Finding Home can be enjoyed on its own, it is a sequel to the original story, Runaway, and its epilogue Waking Up. The story will be posted in five parts, each containing multiple chapters. Driven mainly by plot, you can expect a number of erotic scenes, romance, drama, and Canadianisms.
It took some time for the strange melancholy to vanish from our apartments and our lives. As Noah and I picked up the pieces after Diane’s departure, we eased into a new chapter of our lives together. In some ways, it was harder, but in a lot of ways it strengthened our resolve, our commitment to each other.
The morning after she left, I woke to find Noah already out of bed, despite it being unreasonably early. I quietly got up, used the bathroom and took my birth control pill, then padded through the apartment to find him.
He was in the den, still clad in pyjama pants as he sorted through the things Diane had left behind. I watched from the doorway for a moment before entering the room and sitting beside him on the single bed.
“Morning,” he said.
He wrapped an arm around my shoulder and kissed the side of my head.
“Something like that.”
He was holding the book he’d gotten Diane for Christmas. Besides that, there were only a few small items left behind. Quietly, we gathered them up, then stripped the bed down so we could wash the sheets.
“Are you okay?” I asked when we finished.
He turned the washing machine on and nodded, smiling that tight, tense smile that told me he wasn’t really okay at all.
I nodded, not meeting his eyes, knowing he would be able to tell I wasn’t really okay either.
“Liar,” he murmured, though it wasn’t an accusation.
“You are, too.”
He drew me into his arms and I wrapped mine around his waist. His chest was warm against my cheek, his arms were tight around me, and we stood like that in the laundry room for a long, long time.
“We’ll be okay,” he finally said. “Not, you know, now. But soon. Right? We… you and me, I mean. We’ll be all right?”
His voice was unsteady. The sound of it made my chest tighten. I pulled back, letting go of Noah’s waist so I could look up at him. The tightness worsened at the sight of his face, his jaw clenched so hard it was twitching, his eyes dark and pleading and trying to hide how heartbroken he was.
I touched his cheek, fingers grazing along the spot that was twitching.
“Of course,” I whispered. “Noah, of course.”
He nodded, swallowing hard.
“Last night, when I said… or, well, didn’t say… baby, I’m sorry.”
“It isn’t, I—”
I pulled myself up, stretching to press my lips to his and interrupt him. He sighed as I did, his arms wrapping around my waist as I let my fingers trail down the back of his neck.
“I don’t deserve you,” he mumbled.
“Don’t say that.”
He kissed me back instead of saying anything, holding me tight. I could feel him responding to me, his cock thickening between us. I shifted my hips against him, eliciting a soft groan that vibrated on my lips.
“I need you.” He seemed almost embarrassed, his head bowing as he admitted it to me.
Maybe it was the timing: the fact that even though we were still shellshocked from his mom’s sudden departure, he needed to be with me like that, and he felt it was inappropriate. Maybe it was something darker, something that stemmed from the harsh words his mom had thrown at him the night before, some deep-seated sense of shame that he could possibly need comfort from another person.
Whatever it was, I tried to show him it didn’t matter. I tried to show him he never had to be embarrassed by wanting me, or needing me, or being who he was around me.
“Come with me.” I pulled away and took his hand, leading him from the laundry room to our bedroom.
He embraced me again once we got there, holding me close as he kissed me eagerly. I let him kiss me for a moment before pulling back, brushing the hair from his face, and smiling up at him.
“Go sit on the end of the bed,” I directed.
“Sit down, Noah. Oh, but take your pants off first.”
He almost protested again, but as I bit back a smile, his eyes sparkled.
“Yes, Miss Lacey.”
Once he was appropriately naked and seated, I undressed in front of him. Even without looking, I could feel his eyes on me, an almost-palpable sensation as his eyes trailed along every curve of my body. When I finally turned back to him, he was staring at my breasts, his lips parted just slightly.
I took that time to stare back, licking my lips unconsciously as I took in the swell of his muscles, the tightness of his stomach, and the hardness of his cock. Noah’s body was covered in tattoos. Both arms were covered from his wrists to his shoulders, and his back and chest had tons of different pictures and symbols and words. There was less density of tattoos on his stomach, though there was one that I was particularly fond of to the left of his belly button. He had comparatively few tattoos on his legs, but I took in each one of those as I stared at him.
When I looked back up, Noah was watching me with a half-smile on his face.
“Nickel for your thoughts?” he asked.
“You’re so hot,” I said without actually thinking.
He laughed, startled, but before he could say anything I moved across the room and between his legs. Seated, it was his turn to look up at me, and I touched his face as I kissed him gently.
Noah touched my hips, then slid his hands up my side and waist before wrapping his arms around me. He pressed my body close to his, parting only from my lips to bring his mouth to my breasts. He kissed each of them before flicking my nipple with his tongue, then proceeded to lavish attention on my breasts in a way that made me gasp.
When I couldn’t handle it anymore, I squirmed out of his arms. Noah looked up at me and I kissed him again.
“It’s my turn,” I said. “Lie down.”
“You told me to sit down.”
“I changed my mind. Lie on your back.”
He obliged and I crawled onto the bed next to him, kissing him again before going to work on every inch of his body.
I traced each of his tattoos with my tongue, kissed each of his ribs, and trailed my fingers along the spots I knew would make him groan. With every touch, I tried to tell him, tried to make him understand how much he meant to me and how perfect he was, how he was everything I wanted and more, how he would always be enough for me, how impossible it was for him to let me down, how I could never love anyone the way I loved him.
By the time I reached his cock, it was sticky with precum, and he almost shuddered with relief when I stuck my tongue out to lick it off. He gasped softly when I wrapped my fingers around him, and groaned loudly when I took his tip into my mouth. Each sound sent a shiver through me, a yearning that settled deep in my core.
“Fuck.” His hands found their way to my head, resting lightly against my hair, only pressing down once I tried to swallow his cock and he hit the back of my throat.
I let him push his cock deeper down my throat a few more times, listening to the breathless noises he made and feeling the way he tensed each time I gagged softly on him. I would have let him continue, too, but with an almost-reluctant tug on my hair, he pulled my mouth off his cock.
“I wanna be inside you,” he said softly. “Please, baby.”
I was certainly not going to say no to that. Smiling, I brushed his cock with my lips before moving back. Noah started to sit up, but I pushed on his chest.
He raised his eyebrows.
“I want you like this.”
He relaxed against the bed as I straddled him, gripping his cock to guide it inside me. I sank onto him slowly, taking the time to feel every inch of him stretching me, revelling in the relieved sigh that left Noah’s lips as I finally settled on top of him.
I could feel him straining to thrust up into me but I held still, only moving when his eyes opened and he looked up at me pleadingly. Slowly, carefully, I began rolling my hips, stopping again when his hands came to my hips and tried to guide me to move faster.
“Baby,” he gasped.
He chuckled, a strained edge hiding in his laugh.
“Gonna make me beg?”
I shook my head and leaned forward, eliciting another soft groan from Noah as his cock shifted inside me.
“I don’t want you to beg.” I kissed him softly.
He kissed me back and pushed his hips up again, frustrated when I stilled him.
“What do I have to do to get you to fuck me?” he gasped.
“Nothing. I’ll fuck you whenever you want me to. I just wanted you to know how much I love having you inside me like this. How good your cock feels.” I rolled my hips and he groaned, his fingers digging into my skin. “I just want you to know how perfect you are and how much I love you.”
His eyes met mine, dark irises that were a mix of desire and lust and love and surprise.
“I love you too,” he said.
I kissed him again, cupping his cheek as I started moving my hips gently. Noah made another soft noise against my mouth, but his grip on me loosened as I lowered myself on him again and again.
The focus was on him. So many times when we made love, he made it completely about me. Not that I had a complaint about that, but I needed to show him how much I loved him, how much I wanted him, making the moment about him and his pleasure and his body. I needed to make love to him.
So I did. I moved on top of him, whispered in his ear all the things I loved about him, all the ways he made me feel. He chuckled a bit as I told him that he was the most beautiful man I’d ever seen.
“I don’t know how else to describe it,” I giggled, still moving steadily. “You’re hot, yeah, and I want to jump on you like… pretty much all the time. But you’re also…”
I trailed off, kissing him again.
“I love you,” he mumbled. “I love you so fucking much.”
I tried to keep telling him why he was perfect, but the words became staggered as my body began insisting on taking more from him. Noah wrapped his arms around my waist as I began moving faster, craving release, needing the friction between us to spark and catch and send that roar of fire through my body.
It wasn’t long before I came, shaking in Noah’s arms as that fire overtook me. He buried his face against my breasts, strong arms holding me steady as he began pushing up into me, hard and passionate and perfectly right. He didn’t last much longer, grunting as he came, kissing my breasts as he finished until he slumped back on the bed and I could sit up.
Before I could, though, he pulled me in for another kiss.
“You’re amazing,” he whispered.
“You are, too. You’re so amazing.”
I knew I couldn’t fix Noah’s relationship with his mom, but I could make sure he knew he was my everything. For the few days we had left off of work, we focused on us. We cleaned the apartment, ridding it of the ghosts Diane left, making it our home again. We made love, we cuddled on the couch, we simply existed in a world that was just ours.
A week later, we finally heard from her.
We were eating dinner after work when Noah’s phone went off. He dug it out of his pocket, saw her number, and hesitated for a moment before putting his fork down to answer it.
His eyes met mine as she responded.
“Do you want me to go?” I whispered, making to get up from the table.
He shook his head, frowning.
“Are you okay?” he asked over the phone.
I gleaned what I could from his side of the conversation.
“Still in Prince George? With who? Didn’t think you knew anyone here.”
“Yeah, it’s my fucking business whether you are or not.”
“No, but I’ll buy you groceries if you want to meet at the store.”
“I’m not just giving you the money.”
“Damn right I don’t trust you. You haven’t given me a reason to.”
“That’s none of your fucking business.”
“Okay. I’ll meet you at the store in an hour.”
He hung up and sighed.
“Everything okay?” I asked quietly.
“She’s still in town. Staying with some people. No idea who they are. But she’s… safe, for now. Hasn’t, you know, frozen to death or something.” He picked up his fork and started eating quickly. “Hope you’re not mad. Said I’d buy her some groceries. She asked for money but—”
“I’m not mad,” I said. “If this is what it takes to help her, then let’s help her.”
He looked at me gratefully. “You know how much I love you?”
“Probably slightly less than I love you, but that’s okay.”
He laughed. “Don’t think that’s possible, baby.”
The peace between Noah and his mother was fragile at best, delicately spun but at least present. She checked in regularly, usually when she needed more groceries or a ride someplace, and once or twice asked him to take her laundry to our place because the dryer at the place she was staying had crapped out.
I didn’t go with him when he was helping her. He didn’t ask me to and I didn’t offer. We had silently agreed that would probably be for the best.
“You feeling okay?”
I looked up from my lunch to see Curt standing over the table in the staff room.
“You’ve been staring at that container for like five minutes.”
“Why have you been watching me for five minutes?”
He sighed and sat down next to me, glancing around to see who might be listening. Satisfied that no one was, he turned to me.
“Look, you don’t want to get too personal, fine.” He raised his hands defensively. “I get it. But you haven’t been yourself the past few weeks. I just want to make sure you’re okay.”
“How would you know?”
He raised an eyebrow and I blushed.
“Do you actually want to know?” I asked. “Or are you just asking to be polite?”
“I want to know.”
Shrugging, I told him the truth.
“We found out Noah’s mom started using drugs again.”
Curt stared at me, eyes wide.
“Regret asking yet?”
“Uh… no. What do you mean, ‘again’?”
“Well, she just got out of prison. Just before Christmas, actually. Stayed with us for a bit, that went really badly. Anyway, she called Noah begging for money while he was at work yesterday and yeah, turns out she’s living with this guy who’s a dealer and is back on drugs. Crack, I think. I don’t, um, know that much about the different… drugs. You know.”
“Sure, yeah. That’s… not surprising.”
“Yeah, well.” I shrugged again. “Last night was pretty bad.”
I paused, trying to figure out where to begin. There was really no way to describe the previous evening to Curt, but I tried to come up with some way of explaining it as I thought back through the memories.
It had been my day to supervise detention, so I got home after Noah did. Normally, he would have dinner nearly ready on those days. When I walked in, though, he was sitting in the living room watching TV.
“No dinner tonight?” I teased lightly, putting my coat away.
“Didn’t really feel like cooking.” He stood up and came to the front door, wrapping his arms around me and kissing me softly. “Let’s order a pizza.”
I tensed, which he noticed immediately.
“Nothing. I just… I didn’t plan for us to spend money on pizza.”
Noah sighed. “Baby, I love you, and I love that you’re trying to be… you know, mindful of money and shit. But we’re not… like, we can order a pizza every once in a while.”
I bit my lip to keep from responding and nodded. Noah, of course, knew I wasn’t happy.
“Talk to me.”
I looked up at him. Dark eyes met mine, wary and concerned, his lips set in a line that just barely betrayed his nervousness.
“We just… we have a lot of expenses coming up,” I said quietly. “And we just had, you know, your mom… I know we’re doing all right but I just… I’m worried.”
It was hard to be upset or angry when his arms were around me. It was harder still to tell Noah I was worried about money, knowing it was a topic that was sensitive for him. Still, it surprised me when he stopped hugging me and sighed in frustration.
“You know we’re better off now than I have been in my entire life, right?”
“Like, that includes when I was dealing,” he snapped. “I didn’t have this kind of money when I was fucking selling drugs, Lacey. You clip coupons, you pinch every penny, you act like we’re one paycheque away from being on welfare. I know we got, you know, plane tickets and shit to buy. But fuck, we’re not doing that bad!”
I stared at him. The man standing in front of me wasn’t my Noah. My Noah didn’t snap at me in frustration. My Noah hated talking about his past, didn’t like to bring up what he had been in his previous life. He had pride when it came to money, hated feeling like he had to accept charity, but he’d gotten better about it. It was a sensitive topic but not a forbidden one, and it was completely out of character for him to blow up rather than to just talk things through.
There was clearly something deeper going on.
“I never said we were doing bad,” I finally replied, trying to keep my voice from shaking.
“You act like—”
“I act like my family lives on the other side of the country and I haven’t seen them for months,” I said. “And I don’t know if we can afford plane tickets over spring break because it’s stupid expensive that time of year. I act like my brother’s getting m-married and that means having to go to his wedding and buy a dress and buy a p-present and shoes and g-getting my hair d-done. We d-don’t have that much saved up and we’re also helping your m-mom and I d-don’t get a p-paycheque in July or August. You know that, right? I d-don’t get paid over the summer.”
He stared at me silently as I struggled not to cry, stuttering through each word as though I was speaking through a mouth full of marbles.
“I know we’re not d-doing that b-bad.” A tear fought its way out of my eye and dripped down my cheek. “I n-never said you… I didn’t s-say that, Noah.”
He tried to respond, but I couldn’t handle a single second more of that conversation. Swallowing a sob, I walked through the kitchen to the hallway, went into the bathroom, and proceeded to bawl my eyes out as I turned the shower on.
When I came out of the bathroom, Noah was standing in the kitchen.
I didn’t hear the rest of the statement before going into our bedroom and closing the door.
It probably wasn’t the most mature way to handle things, but it also wasn’t the first time in recent memory that he’d made an assumption about me that was just plain hurtful. First he thought I’d kept something from him when Diane had stormed out, and now he thought I, what, thought less of him because we had to save up some money?
Storming into our room and closing the door was not necessarily mature, but it was justified. The immature, unjustified thing was pulling out my cell phone, ordering a pizza online, and burying myself under our bedspread until a confused Noah buzzed a delivery driver in half an hour later. Bitterly, I hoped his damn pizza was worth it.
When our bedroom door quietly opened a short while later, I closed my eyes, the blankets covering my face. Even still, the greasy scent of melted cheese found my nose, and I tightened my stomach muscles as it grumbled painfully.
“Why?” Noah asked.
“You seem to think I’m the kind of person who does mean, petty things and thinks nasty, hurtful thoughts,” I mumbled.
He was quiet for another moment.
“Your idea of a mean, petty thing was to buy me a pizza? Like… you’re not gonna, I dunno, eat the pizza in front of me to prove a point?”