This story occasionally includes explicit depictions of sexual acts between consenting adult males. If you are underage or it is illegal to view this for any reason, consider yourself warned. If you find this material offensive, I have to wonder why you came here in the first place.
This story is a work of fiction, and any resemblance to people, living or dead, is entirely a coincidence.
As author, I retain all rights to this story, and it cannot be reproduced or published without explicit consent from me. This work is copyright © Fitz, 2011 and 2012.
This is my first attempt at writing a story, so I would love to hear any feedback, be it positive or negative. Send me an email with any comments or questions at email@example.com. I haven't been doing well responding to emails in a timely manner recently, but hopefully I'll do better.
I would like to thank Jay Gordon at jaygordonstories.com, for much of the inspiration to write this, in addition to the many amazing stories that I've read by a wide number of authors. Jay's stories may have given me the inspiration, but all the excellent writers have created a desire in me to write. Thank you all.
Finally, my wonderful husband gets a shout out for being so supportive, allowing me to bounce ideas off of him and for taking the time to edit for me. He is apparently a glutton for punishment, as he keeps volunteering to look at the newest chapter for me. NCRaider has taken on the task of proofing drafts for me, and my good friend Kai has stepped up to the plate and has been indispensable in the editing process. They have been amazing, and any errors that remain are mine and mine alone. Thank you all!
Sorry this chapter took so long. Kai wants me to make sure that everyone is aware that it is entirely on him. I'd go into everything that's gone on for him since I submitted the chapter (they are all quite legitimate excuses), but that's none of anyone's business. All I can do is apologize on both of our behalves, and hope that you will continue to enjoy the story. I hope to do better in the future, but I make no promises, because I know that my history speaks for itself.
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"So I wasn't too forward trying to kiss you?" Noah asked hopefully, still worried that he had pushed too far.
"No. Definitely not," I said with a little smile. "Like I said, I just need you to meet someone. I wouldn't feel right kissing you before I introduced you to him."
He smiled. "I can't wait to meet Steve, but wouldn't it be better to go during the daytime?"
I had expected Noah to be bothered by the idea of being taken to a cemetery to visit my dead husband, but he didn't seem to be.
"I really want to go tonight, if it's alright with you. Besides, no matter what, I want to give you a goodnight kiss, and I wouldn't feel right until I tell him about you. I know it must sound stupid, but he's still my best friend. I never kept anything from him in all our years together, and I just can't start doing it now."
As I was talking, I could feel my voice beginning to waver and my eyes were growing moist.
"I understand, I think," he said wrapping his arms around me. "I'll admit it's a little weird, but it doesn't sound stupid at all. He will always be one of the most important people in your life. Just tell me where to go."
I told Noah, and then he helped me into the car. As we pulled up in front of the main gate, I was surprised by how different it looked at night. Up to this point, I'd only visited during the day. I know I shouldn't have been surprised, but I hadn't thought about it.
"Sorry, Noah, I didn't realize how creepy going to the cemetery would be at night. I really want to do this now, but if it would make you feel more comfortable, we can come back when we don't feel like we're vampire slayers or something."
"No, if you want to do this tonight we should. Granted, part of me wishes we'd brought along some wooden stakes, but I'll do my best to keep you safe," Noah said with a laugh, getting out of the car.
I responded by giving him a playful shove. "My hero."
Holding hands, we walked into the cemetery and up the hill to Steve's grave.
With my voice catching in my throat, I said, "Steve, there's someone I really want you to meet. This is Noah. I know I talked about him the last two times I've been here, but I never said his name."
A quick glance over to Noah made me realize that I had just revealed to him that he had largely been the inspiration for the rapid changes that he had noticed on Monday.
"I'll be honest, Steve. I know that I like Noah, and I'm pretty sure that he feels the same. With that said, I don't know yet where this relationship is going."
With that, I paused, looked at Noah, and whispered, "Sorry."
He just gave me a smile and a shrug to indicate that he understood. I let go of Noah's hand and walked up to Steve's headstone, gently placing my hand on it.
"Anyways, I'd really like the chance to find out. But only if I know that it's alright with you. I know you've sent me signs in the past, but I really want to make sure that you are okay with it. I don't know if I could bear the thought of doing something you didn't want me to do. So please, I really want you to be as clear as possible this time."
Nothing happened. Each previous time, there had always been a change in the air, or something, but not this time. I could feel the misery growing in me. I thought I had read the signs from Steve so clearly, and I couldn't figure out how I had been wrong. After a few panic-filled moments I turned around in confusion to look at Noah. When I saw him, I was instantly worried. He had turned extremely pale, and looked scared. After a moment, however, he burst out laughing.
I was a little worried, very confused, and slightly irritated. I didn't know what had caused his outburst, but I couldn't help but feel like it was inappropriate. Noah noticed the mix of confusions on my face.
"Sorry, let me explain. Just after you said you wanted Steve to give you a sign, I heard a sexy voice in my ear. I knew it had to be him, and while I believed you when you said he's spoken to you, I didn't expect him to come to me. It was very disconcerting. Anyways, he told me that it was nice to meet me, and that he'd heard nice things from you. Then he told me, 'If you ever hurt Scott, I'll come back as a zombie and fuck your shit up.' I really didn't mean to laugh like that, but the mental image was just too much for me."
As he explained, I knew that it had to be Steve, if for no other reason than it's exactly the type of thing that I would have expected him to tell Noah. I couldn't help but burst out laughing as well. It was one of those deep, hearty laughs that seemed to come from the very core of my being. I was surprised by how enthusiastic it was. Suddenly, it was my turn to hear his voice.
"I have missed that beautiful sound so much. You haven't laughed like that in over a year, and I hope that this guy is the one who will be able to keep making you do that for a long time to come."
I blushed when Steve told me that, and wiped a tear from my face. Noah and I stood there for a few more minutes in silence before starting to walk back towards the entrance of the cemetery, once again holding hands.
We didn't get far before I stopped Noah and extracted my hand.
"Actually, can you give me a few moments alone with Steve? There's one last thing I have to tell him."
"Anything, babe. I'll be waiting by the gate."
Noah rubbed my back before turning and walking towards the entrance to wait for me.
When I returned to Steve's grave, I said, "Please don't hate me for what I'm about to do. I think you'll understand though."
With that, I slipped my wedding band off of my finger. I kissed it before placing it gently on Steve's headstone.
"You know that I love you, and always will. But I can really see things with Noah becoming serious. I have deep feelings for him, even though I've only known him for a short time. The fact that he knows all about you and me, and accepts that as part of me, just makes me feel even more hopeful. It just doesn't feel right entering into a new relationship wearing my wedding ring. I know that I could just put in a drawer or something, but I'd just feel better returning it to you."
I felt a gentle breeze break through the still night, and I knew that Steve was giving me his approval of what I had just done. I bent down and kissed the headstone. I then kissed my hand, and placed it on the ground, about where I expected Steve's lips to be. I stood and slowly walked down the path back to the main entrance.
When I returned to the sidewalk, instead of going directly to Noah, I walked over to the wrought-iron fence that separated the cemetery from the street and slumped against the brick retaining wall.
He was immediately by my side asking if I was ok.
"Sorry, I'm just a little overwhelmed," I told him. "I think I was on an adrenaline rush or something, and it's over now. Other than that, I'm okay, though."
"Do you want to just rest here for a minute, or do you want me to help you to the car? I'm feeling really energized and think I'm going to walk back through the cemetery a little bit and look around. Considering all the history in this place, I'm a little surprised that I've never been here before."
"I'll just rest here, if that's fine with you. I don't want to stay too much longer, if that's alright."
Noah walked away, and I must have dozed off, because the next thing I knew, he was waking me up. He helped me back onto my feet, and we slowly walked to the car.
When we got there, Noah once again put his hand on my cheek. This time I didn't hesitate. Before he had even started to lean in, my lips bridged the gap between us. The electric charge from his lips set off fireworks throughout my body until it felt like the energy was exploding out my pores.
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As Noah's car pulled up in front of my house, I turned to him.
"So, um...I guess...would you like..." I gulped trying to get it the question out, "to...um...spend the night?"
Noah looked amused, and chuckled. I could feel my cheeks burning in the darkness of the car.
"Is that something that you'd like?"
"I don't really know. I think a part of me wants that. Besides, I had an amazing time tonight, so I almost feel like I owe you."
"Scott, hold it right there," Noah said, grabbing me by my shoulders and twisting my body so that we were facing each other. "You don't owe me a damn thing. We went out tonight as friends, and only because you really needed a chance to get things off of your chest. You having a good time would have been all the repayment I need. This," he grabbed my hand and intertwined our fingers, "was completely unexpected, and perfect.
"One day, you will want me to
spend the night. That night is not tonight. As our relationship grows, I don't
want to do anything that isn't something you want to do. I never want you to
regret a single moment with me."
With that, Noah pulled me in for our second kiss. As we broke apart, he continued.
"Besides, I think I'll wait to see you naked until after you get rid of your flab." There was no possibility that I would misinterpret his comment, as the big goofy grin on his face was broadcast through his voice. I just chuckled and playfully punched him in the arm, before pulling him back in for another kiss.
The kiss briefly became more passionate before we broke it off. With one last quick peck on the lips, I told him goodnight, and made my way to the front door. As I walked down the hallway toward my bedroom, I was so wrapped-up in all the emotions rippling throughout my body that I almost didn't notice the noises coming from the other side of Sarah's bedroom. Almost. I could help but smile, thinking that it was about time that Tom was happy.
After brushing my teeth I stripped off my clothes, and climbed naked into my side of the bed. I think I was asleep before my eyes even closed.
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I knew something was wrong when I jerked awake. I was no longer completely on my side of the bed. Instead I had curled against whoever was sleeping in the bed with me. I had no idea who it was that I was laying with, but he felt familiar. My eyes snapped open; I was not prepared for what I saw.
Steve was in bed with me. I was resting my head on his chest, and my right arm was wrapped around his shoulder. He was resting his hand on my back, stroking it gently. His body was radiating warmth, and I could feel his heart beating inside his chest.
"Good, you're awake baby. I didn't want to disturb you until you were ready."
Steve ran his hand through my hair.
"Trust me. If I had my way, this is how I would always appear to you. I hated our meetings before, because I knew how badly they would hurt you, but I didn't have a choice. As selfish as I wish I could've been, I've always been looking out for your best interests, even if you didn't realize."
"So are you saying that you're really here?" I asked hopefully, even though I already knew the answer.
"You know the answer to that, but isn't it much less disconcerting to be able to see me, to feel me?" He squeezed me slightly for emphasis. "I promise that you won't be left feeling as empty from this rendezvous. That's largely because you aren't allowed to use all your senses. All you're left with are haunted memories.
"Anyway, I've rambled long enough. Do you know why I'm here?"
I slowly nodded my head against his chest, feeling tears leaking from my eyes. "It's time, isn't it? To say good..." My voice trailed off before I could finish.
Steve was silent for a moment before laughing. "You're right. But what does that mean?"
He just lay there, rubbing my back while I gathered my thoughts. Suddenly I knew what he was referring to.
"You mean that you're going to explain what you meant?"
"Of course, babe," Steve said with a smile. "It was never supposed to cause you any pain. All I wanted was to make it easier for you."
"But you said 'don't'. How could that help to alleviate my pain?"
"Because I knew how your mind works, but I couldn't think of a better word at the moment. Your mind focuses on all the dark places in the world. Don't do that. Don't blame yourself. Don't be miserable. Don't shut down. Don't forget me. Don't shut people out. Don't stop loving me. Don't stop loving yourself. Don't miss out on love.
"I wanted to tell you all of this, but I only had enough strength left for one word. I hoped you would be able to figure it out on your own easily enough. I wasn't allowed to explain it to you explicitly until you finally managed to figure the basics on your own.
"Noah seems like a good guy, and I'm glad you're happy. I'll never stop loving you, or watching over you, but I can no longer come to you like I have in the past. It's not fair to you, and it's not fair to him. I'm sorry, love, but this is where we have to say goodbye."
I just smiled. I knew he was right. With dry-eyes, I kissed my husband one last time, before laying my head back down on his chest. Sleep quickly overtook me again, as I curled up with my first love just one last time.
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I woke up just as I'd fallen asleep originally, with one quite noticeable exception. A large tent had formed in the sheet. I tossed back the sheets and examined my body closely, and I was surprised by how good it looked. Though it wasn't quite as good as it was before Steve died, my body was starting to show signs of looking better. Maybe it never really looked as bad as I was imagining, and it was all in my head after all. I lay in bed for a while, lost in thought. The entire time I was slowly playing with myself, enjoying the feelings of pleasure that I had been denying myself for so long.
Eventually it was time to get up and get ready. I could barely contain my excitement as I showered and dressed. So much had changed in the past twenty-four hours, and I was eager to make my way to the gym so that I could see Noah again. My Noah. I loved the way that sounded.
It wasn't that I had to wait long before it was time to leave, but it certainly felt like an eternity. Finally, it was time to go, so I raced to my car and was on my way.
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I was surprised when I got there that he wasn't there yet. I double-checked the time on my phone, and I was a little early. He had always arrived before me in the past though, and I was only a few minutes earlier than normal. After about ten minutes he still hadn't shown up. I tried his cell phone, but it went straight to his voicemail.
I waited outside for another fifteen minutes or so before I tried his phone again, this time leaving a message for him. I then thought that maybe he'd forgotten about meeting me somehow. I went inside and wandered around the gym for ten minutes. I'll be honest; I wasn't actually expecting to find him, but I was beginning to get concerned.
My inability to think clearly and rationally under stress was once again coming through, and I began to get more and more concerned that something terrible had happened to Noah. At least I managed to wait another thirty minutes before trying his phone again. As well as all the area hospitals.
I was too upset to go home, and part of me was hoping that he was just running really late and had forgotten to charge his phone. I ended up going to the coffee shop to get a drink. I figured that I could sit in the window and stew for a while in case Noah decided to show up.
As I walked in, I immediately noticed a very morose looking Will. He didn't notice me walk in, so I startled him when I touched his shoulder gently.
"Will, is everything okay? You don't look like yourself today."
He looked at me for a moment as if appraising me. "Why do you care? Aren't you with Noah now, anyways?"
I couldn't help but gasp as he said that. This was a side of Will that I had never seen. Will had seemed a little off from his usual self the last few times I saw him, but he'd always been friendly and easy-going. Today he was abrasive and rude. I didn't really know how to respond to him, so I decided to go with the truth.
"Well, I thought we were, but he didn't show up for our standing gym date, and he's not answering my phone calls. I really don't know what's going on."
Will perked up upon hearing this. His eyes grew cold, but began to glimmer, and a smirk spread throughout his face as he let out a laugh.
"You mean, he didn't tell you? This is just too perfect!"
"What do you mean? Tell me what?" I was incensed. I had no idea what Will was talking about, and I wanted an answer, and fast. As Noah's best friend, Will had to know what was going on with him, and I had a bad feeling in the pit of my stomach. Every time I had talked with Will recently, he seemed more and more bitter and angry, but right now he seemed to be extremely happy, and it just made me feel uncomfortable.
"You do know that he goes out of town every week right?" Will asked with a sneer.
'Oh shit!' I thought to myself. I couldn't believe that I had forgotten. It didn't explain why he wasn't answering his phone, and I would have at least expected him to remind me that he wasn't going to be available.
"Did he tell you why he's not around on weekends? He didn't tell you about the guy he goes to see every week, did he?"
I couldn't have formed a coherent thought at that moment if I tried. All I could process were the words 'Noah' and 'guy'. I felt betrayed.
"I see he never told you. He must want to keep Zach a secret. You know, something on the side. In fact, before you came around, his Zachey was just about all Noah was able to talk about.
"I may have fucked up and misread the signals you were sending me, but I was never seeing anyone else the entire time I was spending time with you. You were the only one I ever wanted to be around." A particularly evil look flashed through Will's eyes, and he wiggled his eyebrows provocatively as he said, "In fact, if you ever get lonely, I'll still be here to satisfy your needs."
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I'd like to thank my readers for all the wonderful comments I have received. A very special thanks to those of you have emailed me. Please, keep them coming!!!!
Again, I am very sorry for the delay. As I've posted in every chapter, and in the majority of emails I've responded to, my story is also hosted at http://fitz.thestorycloset.org. If you register for the website, you can subscribe to "Fitz's Subscribed Readers Forum", which is located at the bottom of the forum.
I also have a few announcements. I have added a Facebook group. I'm not sure exactly where I'm going to go with it, but I figure it'll be a good place for people to socialize about the story (or whatever else). It is a 'closed group', meaning nothing posted in the group is visible to nonmembers, and the group does not show up on your profile. However, searching for the group will bring up the name and the members of the group, so it is not completely safe from prying eyes. The name of the group is 'Moving On', and all content will be kept at a PG-13 level. All are welcome to join by clicking on this link: https://www.facebook.com/groups/226097850809679/.
I also have my own basic free site where I've also been posting my story! The address is http://movingonstory.weebly.com. Not only does it host all current chapters of Moving On, but it also is the only place where you can get a sneak peak at Angels Among Us (which to be fair, I haven't really worked on much, and I even ended what's posted midsentence...oops!)
Alright...enough meaningless rambling! Don't forget to send me feedback, sign up for the Facebook group if you want, and please visit my new site!!
Don't forget to send me any questions or comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.