Prologue

“It was an accident!” Cade wailed. “I swear, Noah, you gotta believe me! I would never purposely  do something like that”

 

Noah’s eyebrow arched as he stared down at the skinny blonde.

 

“Er….weeell…not to YOU at least!”

 

Noah’s frown deepened and then turning, swiftly, he stalked off down the street. He was really tired of drama and while he knew this teen was so full of it, he had let him hang around him from time to time. But, not anymore. This would be the last straw and he’d be damned if he let the younger man within twenty feet of him ever again.

 

“Wait! Noooaaaah!!”

 

He heard the scrambling feet behind him and broke out into a run. He was stronger and more importantly, faster, than Cade and in no time was around the corner, down an alley, and over the chain link fence separating the rich and extravagant  Stephens Street from the ratty ghettos laying behind on Radford’s. When his feet were firmly planted on the ground he looked back to catch one last glimpse of the man whom he had once considered a friend.

 

Cade skidded to a stop upon reaching the fence. It wasn’t too hard of a climb and jump, but one glance at the man on the other side kept him from trying. There was a look of finality in the other man’s eyes. A look that bothered Cade immensely. Surely, Noah knew he hadn’t done it on purpose. Surely, Noah could forgive him for a mistake he had never meant to commit.

 

But, no.

 

Those dark blue eyes pierced right through the fence, straight into his own and he felt his heart clench. Their gaze was so cold and empty that Cade felt the first tremor of fear pass through him.

 

“No-ah?” He whispered tentatively and shuffled closer to the fence. He lifted his hand and hooked his fingers onto the metal, so tightly, his pale fingers began to turn impossibly whiter. “Noah, please.” 

 

He leaned in closer, pressing his face against the cold metal and looked pleadingly at the dark haired man on the other side. “You can’t just leave like that. Not like that. Not over something I didn’t do on purpose! You can’t leave. You can’t leave me!”

 

Noah felt his gut twist at the begging words filling the air. He had to leave now or he wouldn’t leave ever. His gaze slid over the younger man pressed against the fence, soaking in all his features, memorizing them, knowing he’d never forget him or this day.

 

He took everything in, from the dark, ripped jeans hanging loosely off slim hips to the two sizes too large, white t-shirt swallowing the small, pale body frame and even the ridiculous looking bear hat pulled over messy blonde hair, and let it imprint into his mind. Then he looked away, shut his eyes for a second, before turning his body and walking away.

 

Cade felt like he was just punched in the stomach as he watched the retreating body walk away. No, he can’t just leave, he cried out within his mind. His pulse quickened and he opened his mouth to shout obscenities, but his voice didn’t seem to work. He was shaking, he realized and slumped against the fence before letting himself fall to his knees.

 

He gazed at the ground in numbing shock as his brain processed over the fact that Noah had left him all alone, for good. A hand lifted up wipe at his burning eyes and came away with wetness on his fingertips.

 

He was crying.

Finally his voice worked and he howled out his pain. He sobbed hard until his eyes burned and his head pounded. He lay there on his knees, weeping until he felt like he’d cried all the water out of him. His tongue flicked out over his lips and tasted the saltiness of his tears on them. It’s not healthy to taste your tears, Cade. He laughed hoarsely, remembering Noah’s words. Don’t waste them on someone not worth it. How ironic those words were now.

 

But, like always, he listened to Noah. He weakly rose to his feet and wiped at his eyes. He wouldn’t cry anymore. Noah was gone and he couldn’t do shit about it. And more importantly, if Noah ever saw him like this, he’d be ashamed and so disappointed. Noah had never liked weakness and Cade was being downright pathetic.

 

He slowly walked away from the fence and out of the alley, heading towards home. He kicked at some cans littering the streets as he neared the mess he called his home. He paused and looked at his surroundings, surveying the sorry state everything was in. He was glad he had never let Noah see this. It would’ve been a disaster showing his rich friend how freaking poor he was. Of course, Noah had known he was poor, but he hadn’t known how downright in poverty he was. Really, if it wasn’t for the fact that no one wanted to visit the slums. he’d have been kicked out by now. As it was, he was sure any day now, men would show up and drag everything he ever owned out into waiting trucks and he’d be back on the streets.

 

Cade looks back onto his relationship with Noah and chuckles darkly. He should have seen this coming. They were both on different sides of the tracks and the friendship they had had went against everything. Rich versus poor, educated versus stupidity, manners versus impoliteness, class versus scum. They were completely different and no way in hell was a friendship going to last. Definitely, not in this town. He should have known better.

 

He kicks out and slams his foot against his door. “Fuck.”

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Walking quickly and so deeply immersed in his thoughts, Noah almost ran over Emma when she stepped into his path.

 

“Ah! Noah!” Her hands pressed against his stomach, pushing at first before settling into drawing patterns with her fingers.

 

“Hmm…Emma?” Numbly looking down at her head as she giggled softly, clearly enjoying the chance to touch him. “What are you doing here?”

 

“Coming home from Sandra’s and you?” She said softly before pressing closer to him.

 

Feeling her press so closely to him, he snapped out of his daze and gently placed his hands on her shoulders and pushed her lightly away. “Just walking.”

 

“And just walking makes you frown like that?” She pouted before sliding a hand to cup his cheek.

 

He recoiled and snarled “Stop. I don’t have time for this. For you.”

 

Shocked and hurt, her eyes watered briefly before narrowing. She dropped her hand from his face and stepped backwards. “Asshole” She hissed and then she stomped away.

 

Watching her go, Noah felt a tiny bit of relief. He didn’t have time to deal with this particular blonde today. Granted, he was sure he was going to regret it later when he felt like getting laid but it was nothing he couldn’t fix with a few flowers, expensive jewelry, and empty sweet flattery. Besides, he needed to get one blonde out of his head before he could go around messing with another.

 

That thought chilled him to the bone. Cade. Cade was gone and he’d made sure of it. That sobered him up real quick and made a sad smile grow on his face. He was already missing his friend, a lot more than he should. They hadn’t been friends for long, but it wasn’t the length of a friendship that mattered but the quality, right? And by those standards, their friendship was the best fucking friendship a man could ever have. They had been, bros, dammit.

 

Shaking his head, he continued to walk quickly home. While he had been keeping his head down as he walked, he noticed when he got to his street as it was obvious that only the wealthy lived there. The pavement on the sidewalk changed and was perfectly white with no cracks and the grass surrounding each mansion was cut perfectly diagonal so that no matter what direction you looked in, the pattern of the grass lay the same, undisturbed and utter perfection. He passed by several mansions, noting all the expensive cars in the driveways, before reaching his own and slowly made his way up the long asphalt path. He preferred walking to driving, yet that didn’t stop him form having several expensive vehicles of his own like that of his neighbors. Sighing, he walked up to his own doorway and rung the bell. He had once again forgotten his key before heading out.

 

The door opened and an older looking man rolled his eyes before stepping aside so that his young master could enter. “Forgot your key again, Master Reynolds?”

 

He bristled. “Stop calling me that, I’m not my dad. ”

 

“But you are the man of the house now.”

 

Noah looked over at Henry knowing the butler meant no harm in his words. “But I don’t want to be.”

 

“You must be. You are 24 now and no longer a child. I would have rather waited till you were older but as your father is no longer with us it is up to you now to take control of all his responsibilities and duties that are now yours. ”

 

“I know, Henry. God, I know.” He slumped into one of the couches near him. “I don’t want to run this business. What if I screw up? What then?”

 

“You won’t” A hand ruffled his hair. “You’ve been prepared for this your whole life. It just came sooner than expected, that is all.”

 

A weary grin found its way onto his face as he looked up into the old, wise eyes of the man who’d taken care of him ever since he was a child. “I hope to God you’re right, Henry.”

 

“I am.”

 

He nodded and closed his eyes, praying that everything would work out and he’d be fine. He wondered briefly what Cade was doing and if he was okay before sleep overtook him.

Next: Chapter One: First Encounters

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Posted on November 8, 2013, in Despite The Odds, Novels and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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