Easter Egg Madness
It was a beautiful day at the Saulderman's house, with the sun shining down, the sky an impossible blue, and every flower imaginable blooming and sharing its fragrance with the world.
Too bad Luke had forgotten his medicine and was allergic to everything.
Currently he and Eric were sitting outside on the patio while all of Eric's relative's were either gathered around the bar-b-q or playing out in the yard. The house was decorated with many pastel colors for the special holiday and, while Luke didn't come from a Christian background, he had promised Eric that he would enjoy the weekend with the Saulderman family. Of course this had been greeted with much energy, mainly on the part of Karolyn, Eric's mother, who hadn't hesitated in smothering the smaller Indian man with a near-bone crushing hug before complaining that he wasn't eating enough. Luke had responded that there was no way he was getting as big as Eric, but he would love to eat as much food as possible.
So now it was the day before Easter, and the family was all gathered for a big dinner extravaganza, complete with food, an Easter Egg Hunt, and several movies to watch that night. The backyard was huge, with ample room for infinite nooks and crannies for eggs to be hidden, and Luke, despite his extreme hay fever, had enjoyed burrowing and tucking the small treats away in the foliage.
"Here Luke, you're going to need this." Eric held up a box of tissues to his lover. Luke took them with a nasally "Thank you" before draining his nose with a loud 'SNORT'. Several children laughed at the noise, yelling "Elephant, elephant, Luke's an elephant!"
Wiping the tears from his eyes, Luke shot up and cried, "I'll show you an elephant you little ankle biters!" With a mighty roar, Luke began chasing the kids teasing him playfully, one of his arms hanging by his face, impersonating an actual elephant's trunk. Catching one of Eric's little cousins, he scooped her up and carried her around, yelling out his victory. It was short-lived however, when the rest of the kids came to the rescue and dog piled Luke, burying him under a squirming mass of little feet and hands, all hell-bent on tickling him into submission.
Luke began crying out in between loud shrieks of laughter for Eric to come rescue him. Eric watched for a bit, smiling and chuckling with other members of his family as his lover vainly tried to get away and subsequently failed every time. Finally, when Eric saw Luke begin to really gasp for air, he came over and casually picked up his exhausted lover out of the mosh pit of children.
Speaking over the voices of little kids groaning at having their torture session cut short, Eric told them that Luke needed to take some medicine for his allergies. "Mom's inside with the pills, she'll give them to you."
Luke nodded and gave a quick kiss on Eric's cheek and went inside. Sure enough, Mrs. Saulderman, or Karolyn as she constantly insisted Luke call her, was in the kitchen, prepping food for that night with a few other family members. On the counter was some basic anti-histamine pills next to a glass of water.
"Luke!" Karolyn cried at seeing him swallowing the pills followed by drinking the water. She came over and hugged him. "I'm so glad you could make it, and I'm sorry for taking so long with getting your medicine." She continued as she led him to sit down in the living room away from other people.
Plopping down on the couch, Luke shook his head. "I would have driven to the pharmacy, but Eric wouldn't let me leave for a second." Karolyn laughed at hearing that.
"Yes, that's my son alright." She smiled, still chuckling a bit. "He loves you very much you know."
Eric played with the ring on his hand, rubbing it under his thumb a bit. "Yeah, I know. And despite how frightening that is, I love him just as much."
"Frightening?" asked Karolyn, confused by the word.
"I mean…" Luke started, not sure how to put into his words what he was feeling. "Frightening in that I can't believe that someone like me has found someone like Eric and that we fit so perfectly well together, despite all of our differences." Eric finished with a small smile, his eyes not focused as he thought about all the good times he and Eric had.
"Luke, dear….what about your family?" whispered Karolyn.
"What?" Luke asked, his head whipping around to stare at Karolyn in disbelief, wondering where such a question came from.
Karolyn looked distinctly uncomfortable. "What I mean to say, oh dear I didn't mean to be so blunt, what I meant is…have you talked to your family at all since you and Eric have become a couple?"
Eric stared at her, hardly believing that she would ask such a thing. He opened and closed his mouth a few times, unsure of even where to begin. So many emotions flooded him; sadness, anxiety, guilt, but most of all, anger.
"I haven't seen nor heard from my family in almost 4 years Karolyn, and I have no desire to start up again." answered Luke, his voice steely.
"No Karolyn." cut off Luke. Memories from before him and Eric ever having met flashed back in his head – memories of him and his family's last conversation. Words that were yelled, names that were screamed, things that were thrown; it was best to just let the past stay untouched. "I won't have anything to do with those people." Luke's voice was now tinged with a hint of venom in it. "I won't let them ruin this good thing I have with Eric, and I won't let you know such ignorant people either.
Karolyn took a deep breath, preparing herself to argue against her son's lover. "Luke, I believe that…"
She faltered at the pure anger in that single word. Luke was now standing up, his fists clenched and his eyes watering a bit, and Karolyn knew that it wasn't because of his allergies. "Karolyn…" Luke whispered his voice hoarse with pain and hurt, "I don't want to talk about this anymore. I respect you and I love you like a mother, but please, I don't want to talk about this anymore." Luke turned and strode away, holding in his tears until he reached the bathroom, letting a few drop fall from his face. He washed his face and then proceeded to move outside.
Eric looked away from his family and saw the puffiness in Luke's eyes. "Everything okay heart?"
"Yeah, I had a bad sneeze inside and I started crying. The medicine is kicking in though, so don't worry." Luke responded. He felt a little bad for lying to Eric, but he knew that if Eric learned the truth, he too would say the same thing as his mom, and Luke was certain that he couldn't take such questions at home as well.
Eric nodded and sat down in the grass, pulling Luke down with him. Together, they watched as the family started the egg hunt, little children laughing and screaming as they found more and more of the little treats tucked away in the gardens. Fireflies came out too, and incensed candles were lit, adding to the twilight of the special day. Soon, kids were put to bed and the leftover food was wrapped up, saved to be eaten later.
Luke felt his eyes growing heavy around midnight, and he felt Eric put an arm around his waist as he was semi-carried up the stairs. The two men stripped of their clothing before falling into bed, and Luke rolled over a bit to lay half on top of Eric, his arms wrapping securely around the bigger man.
It was early morning, just before the sun was about to rise, when Eric woke up to a strange feeling around his neck. Fluttering his eyes open, he saw the top of Luke's black haired head underneath his chin, moving side to side as Luke planted multiple kisses along Eric's thick corded neck. Moving to wrap his arms around his smaller lover and to hold him closer, Eric laid there contently as Luke kept up his ministrations on his flesh. Soon though, Luke moved his kisses away from Eric's neck and planted a few on his lips, much to the happiness of the bigger man.
When Luke paused in giving his surprise kisses, Eric opened his eyes again and saw Luke looking down at him, an unreadable expression on his face.
"It wasn't an allergy attack early, was it Luke?" Eric whispered in the early twilight. He felt Luke stiffen in surprise, then go limp against his body. "You don't have to tell me if you don't want to, I just want you to be okay."
There was silence for a while, so long that Eric assumed Luke fell back asleep, until Luke whispered out, "Your mom brought up my family earlier."
Eric's eyes widen in shock at what his mom did; he hadn't told his family outright the relationship between Luke and his family, but obviously it had been assumed by his own. "Luke I'm sorry, she didn't have any right to bring that up." He rolled onto his side and hugged Luke tightly to him, pressing his whole body around Luke's own to cover him in a sort of protective manner. "Do you want me to talk to her or something?"
Luke stayed quiet for a bit, before murmuring, "No, its okay. She only wants to help, and I have to apologize, I was a bit short-tempered with her."
"She brought up something you don't like talking about; don't feel like you owe her or something." Eric gently countered.
"Yes, that's true, but I was rude, and that makes me feel bad." Luke chastised. "I'll talk to her before we go to the church service."
"Okay heart, it's your decision." whispered Eric, his eyes growing heavy from the remaining dredges of sleep. Luke looked up and gave one last kiss before laying his head against Eric's hairy chest, his quiet breathes evening out into sleep.
The couple drifted back into their quiet slumber, gently floating into one last round of dreams and visions with the soft light of the new day.
Eric and Luke walked out the front door of the Saulderman house, both dressed in a suit and tie outfit for the service everyone was going to. Earlier, before arriving at his family's house, Eric had told Luke that if he wasn't comfortable with going to church, he didn't have to go. Luke had smiled and patted Eric's face, saying that he would be honored to go. Eric had only smiled and hugged his lover tightly.
Now Luke was having second thoughts as they got in the car with Mr. and Mrs. Saulderman. Eric and his dad were animatedly having a conversation in the front while silence reigned between Karolyn and Luke in the back seats.
Luke shifted awkwardly in his seat. Apologies weren't his strong suit, and even though he knew that he had to say something, it was still difficult to find the right words.
"You're not mad at me are you Luke?" asked Karolyn, looking over at Luke in question.
Sighing, Luke looked over and saw the sincerity of Karolyn's question, how she was truly worried that Luke was upset with her. Shaking his head slowly, Luke quietly said that he wasn't angry anymore, and it hadn't been at her at all.
"I shouldn't have gotten angry at you Karolyn. I was just upset at the topic you brought up is all."
Not saying anything, Karolyn continued to look over at Luke, who was practically a second son to her, sitting in the car seat, trying to act calm, but remaining tense at the same time.
"It's just…" Luke paused, catching his voice and trying not to stutter, "its just that my family is a very sore subject and I don't want to talk about them. They're in the past and I just want to leave them there." Luke was now looking out the car window, hiding the tears shimmering in his eyes. Rubbing them away before they fell, he quickly blinked and cleared away the water.
The past is where it should stay Luke thought, contemplating about his family. I can't handle those people, not anymore.
The service was beautiful in Luke's opinion. Sitting in the pews next to Eric, listening to the pastor as he spoke of the Passion of Christ and His Resurrection had been really moving to Luke. The one thing that stood out thought was how Christ was so forgiving to Man, even though He bore their sins. Luke wasn't sure how to handle that, when he returned his thoughts to his family.
The drive back was quiet, but not in the awkward sense. Mr. and Mrs. Saulderman were sitting up at the front this time, holding hands while Eric and Luke were in the back doing the same. Eric looked over at his lover and saw him staring out at the window at the passing greenery, his posture of one who was lost in thought.
Giving a gentle squeeze of his hand, Eric drew Luke's attention over to him. Luke turned his head in question, looking at Eric with a silent questioning face.
Moving his hand free from Luke's own and placing it against his face, Eric leaned over and gently whispered, "No matter what life brings our way Luke, you'll always be my heart. You know that right?"
Luke closed his eyes in appreciation and when he opened them, Eric saw tears shimmering in the other's eyes. Luke leaned in and gave a gentle kiss on Eric's lips, telling without words just how much he loved the other man.
Karolyn saw the quiet interaction in the rearview mirror and gave a smile as she too planted a gentle kiss on her husband's cheek.