Characters: Reid/Luke, Bob, Henry, Chris
Disclaimer: All belongs to As the World Turns, not me.
Summary: Sequel to Dad is Not So Bad. After Reid moves to Oakdale to be with Luke, he has trouble adjusting to his new life and relationship.
Previous: Part 1/Part 2/Part 3/Part 4/Part 5/Part 6
Bob closed his office door behind him and smiled at Reid. “Do you mind if we talk on the way to the meeting?”
Reid nodded. “Sure, that’s fine.”
“What is it, Dr. Oliver?” Bob asked as he and Reid walked down the hospital corridor toward the conference room. They and the board were meeting designers and a marketing team to discuss the promotion and image of the new facility.
“It’s, uh, about the request you made to me and Luke regarding our relationship.”
“What about it?”
“Don’t you think you’re being unfair?”
“How is it unfair to ask the people who work for—and at—this hospital to behave professionally?” Bob asked, his eyebrows furrowed.
“We are professional,” Reid said.
“You two were kissing when—”
“And that won’t happen again, at least not that . . . explicitly,” Reid interrupted.
“But if you keep reminding the board that the two of you are together, there will be concern that—”
“—Luke’s granting me special favors, I know, but that’s not true. Luke won’t do that, and I won’t ask.”
“When I hired you, you told me that Luke ‘promised’ you everything you’d want. Do you remember that?” Bob asked.
Reid laughed. “I was being an ass, and trust me, I know I said a lot of bad things to a lot of people that day. But the only thing Luke has actually promised me is to listen to and carefully consider all my ideas as a board member and donor, not as a boyfriend. So why do we have to hide our relationship?”
Bob stopped walking and faced Reid. “I never told you to hide anything; I only want you to be discreet.”
“So as not to offend the board members?” Reid asked defensively. He was trying very hard to keep calm. Mo matter how much Reid disagreed with Bob, Bob was his boss and Reid wanted to keep his job. “Why don’t you tell me what this is really about, Dr. Hughes? You and the board have a problem with the idea of two gay men.”
“This has absolutely nothing to do with your sexual orientation,” Bob said loudly, causing a few nurses to look his way.
“If you say so,” Reid muttered, glancing at the floor.
“Hey Dad,” Chris said as he walked up to Bob and Reid. He narrowed his eyes upon seeing Reid. “Oliver.”
“Christopher,” Bob said with a nod. “You’ll have to excuse us, but we’re discussing a private matter.”
“Oh, I don’t want to interrupt.” Chris clapped Reid’s back. “I just want to know what Reid got Luke to give him after showing him a good time last night.”
Reid glared at Chris.
“I’m only calling it like I see it, Dad. I don’t want you to get in trouble because Reid’s prostituting himself for donations to the wing.”
“Chris, that’s enough.”
Chris held up his hands in mock surrender. “Just looking out for our hospital, Dad.” He patted Reid’s shoulder as he walked away.
Bob pointed at Chris’s retreating back. “It’s accusations like that that make me realize I’m not out of line in asking you and Luke to avoid flaunting your relationship around here.”
Reid snorted. “Your son’s an idiot.”
“Sorry. Your son’s an idiot, sir.”
Bob glared at Reid. “Dr. Oliver, this is no laughing matter. I am very invested in this new facility and the many positive things it can do for the patients and the staff. This wing is going to save countless lives, create numerous jobs and attract more donors and I will not have any of that jeopardized because you and Luke Snyder can’t keep your hands off each other when you’re in this hospital. You are a logical man, Dr. Oliver, and a doctor first and foremost so I know you feel the same way I do when it comes to helping people with the best services possible. This wing is designed to do just that and that’s why I am simply asking you to consider your priorities when you’re on the job. I fail to see how that is too much to ask. ”
Shit. He makes sense.
“There is a place and time for everything but when you’re at this hospital, you’re an employee, a professional, a supervisor and the best doctor you and everyone else know you are. You wouldn’t be here otherwise.”
Reid sighed. He was a doctor—the best one could find. And it wasn’t just Bob Hughes and Reid who wanted the facility to be a success. Luke wanted it to; he’d invested so much money already, and Reid didn’t want to let him down. And after the talk to end all talks that had transpired the night before, Reid felt secure that he and Luke could do this and still be all right. “Okay, Dr. Hughes, I—we will be careful.”
“Good to hear, Dr. Oliver,” Bob said, patting Reid’s shoulder. “Shall we go in?”
“Wait just a damn minute!”
Reid groaned as Henry walked up to him and Bob. “What do you want, Hank?”
“That’s Mr. Coleman to you, and you know what I want,” Henry said loudly. He pointed a finger at Reid. “I want you off this project.” He looked at Bob. “Isn’t there another brain surgeon who can supervise the wing, Bob?”
Bob smiled, quietly amused. “Yes, Henry—or should I say Mr. Coleman?”
Henry crossed his arms, not amused at all.
“There are plenty of other brain surgeons, but none as renowned and qualified as Dr. Oliver here,” Bob answered.
“And certainly not as hot and handsome either,” Reid added, smiling widely at Henry.
Henry glared at Reid. “You-you leave Katie out of this.”
Reid wrinkled his brows. “Katie? Who’s talking about Katie? I’m talking about myself.”
“Oh, but I know what you’re thinking in that huge, huge head of yours, McBrainy,” Henry said, stepping closer to Reid. “You want to stay on this project so you can stay in Oakdale and stay in Katie’s place for a long, long time.”
Reid chuckled. “Oh, Hank.”
“My name is Henry!” Henry shouted. “And you know I’m right.” He glanced at Bob. “He knows I’m right.” He turned back to Reid. “Right?”
Reid grinned. “I do want to stay on this project, Mr. Coleman. And I do want to stay in Oakdale too. But as for Katie, I—”
“You what, huh?” Henry interrupted. “What?”
Reid sighed exasperatedly. “If you’ll let me finish—”
“Finish what? Telling me how you’re going to seduce her into letting you stay with her forever and ever and ever?”
“Gentlemen, I think we should go in. The meeting’s about to start, and everyone’s already inside,” Bob said, opening the door to the conference room.
“Hank, you need to relax,” Reid said.
“Do not tell me what to do!”
“Henry,” Bob warned.
“No, Bob, he will not order me around. This is my wing. I am funding it with my millions. I have every right to—”
“Luke is also . . .” Reid started to say but stopped when he looked into the room and noticed Luke talking to a young, brunet man who looked very, very familiar to Reid. “Bob, who is Luke talking to?”
Bob, still holding the door open, glanced at Luke and the man. “He’s one of the members of the design team, I’m guessing.” Bob nodded toward the entrance. “Shall we?”
Reid pushed past Bob and walked in, his eyes solely focused on the brunet smiling way too much at Luke.
“Hey, come back here!” Henry shouted after Reid. “We’re not done. If you won’t resign from the wing, then you have to promise to—”
But Reid wasn’t listening as he walked up to Luke, grabbed Luke’s face in his hands, and kissed him in full view of everyone in the room.
“—leave Katie alone,” Henry whispered as his eyes widened in shock at Reid kissing Luke.
Bob, the board members, and the design and marketing staff were just as surprised as they stared at the scene before them. Reid broke the kiss, smiled at Luke, and then faced the brunet.
“Tyler, hi, long time no see,” Reid said, smiling while putting an around Luke’s shoulder and pulling him close.
“It’s Trevor,” Trevor Brown—Luke’s friend from Dallas—muttered as he glared at Reid. “What are you doing here?” After experiencing Reid’s less-than-cordial attitude towards him when he’d chatted with Luke in Dallas, Trevor hoped he’d never see Reid Oliver’s face again.
But here he was face to face with the man.
“I live here now,” Reid said, his voice extremely upbeat. “Welcome to Oakdale.” And with that Reid released Luke and faced every eye that was focused on him. Reid clapped his hands together. “So, shall we get this meeting started?”
“Is Daddy picking you up or do you need a ride home?” Reid asked Trevor an hour later as everyone began filing out of the conference room. Back in Dallas, Trevor had been on a business trip with his dad, and Reid enjoyed reminding him of it.
Trevor shrugged, looking at Luke and smiling. “I’m in no rush to go home. Maybe I’ll stick around for a bit and check this town out.”
“Beat it,” Reid said quickly. “There’s nothing to see.”
“You’re here,” Trevor pointed out. “It must not be so bad.”
“Don’t listen to Reid, Trevor,” Luke said. “It’s actually a great town.”
“I’m sure it’s got its good points,” Trevor said, smiling at Luke. He then scowled at Reid. “And its bad points too.”
Reid took Luke’s hand in his.
Trevor stuck his hand out. “It was great seeing you, Luke. I’m looking forward to us working together.” After shaking Luke’s hand, he moved on to Reid. “Doctor.”
Reid ignored it. “See ya.”
As soon as Trevor left the room, Luke and Reid faced each other.
“What the hell is he doing here?”
“What the hell was that about?”
Before either could respond, though, Bob reentered the room. “Luke, Reid, could I talk to you?”
“Dr. Oliver, I thought we had an understanding,” Bob said, his voice loud and firm, as all three men entered Bob’s office.
Reid sat down in one of the two chairs facing Bob’s desk. He was about to speak when Luke, standing beside Reid, held up a hand to silence him.
“Yes, Bob, we know what you’re going to say and as much as I—we—respect you, I have to tell you that your request is bullshit,” Luke said.
“Luke,” Reid whispered, his eyes wide.
Bob remained silent.
“What harm are we doing by being open and public about our relationship at the hospital? Huh? We have to keep quiet about it just because a few board members are going to be assume I’m doing special favors for Reid? Well, guess what? I am, but not the kind you think. When Reid and I are together, we’re not board member and supervisor; we’re simply Luke and Reid. Nothing we have outside of the hospital is going to influence anything in it.”
Bob opened his mouth.
“I’m not finished,” Luke continued. “I should’ve said this to you yesterday. You can’t threaten me and Reid with removing us from our positions. Remember that it was Henry and I who approached you and the board about creating the wing, not the other way around. That means if Reid and I aren’t allowed to keep our positions here, then we’ll just take them elsewhere. And without my money and Reid’s brain, you won’t have anything to worry about since you won’t have . . . anything.”
Reid bit his lip so as not to smile. Go, Luke.
Bob scratched his chin. “I see.”
“And if a board member or staff or anybody around here has a problem, you might want to let him or her know that anyone can be replaced,” Luke said, his voice low. “What can’t be replaced are the hefty donations that my grandmother and parents make to this hospital every month. That’s something you have to keep in mind, Dr. Hughes.”
Bob smiled. “You are your father’s son.” Luke stared at Bob, his arms crossed over his chest. Bob looked at Reid. “Dr. Oliver, you have anything to say?”
Reid stood up and pointed at Luke. “What he said.”
“Well, I certainly would hate to lose the chance to make Memorial one of the best hospitals in the country,” Bob said thoughtfully.
“So would we,” Luke said.
Bob nodded. “I guess from now on we will focus on what’s really important rather than on things that aren’t going to impact any of the valuable services we’re trying to provide.”
“That’s a good idea, Dr. Hughes,” Luke said.
“Well, then, we should get back to work,” Bob said, smiling at Reid.
“Aye, aye, captain,” Reid said as he saluted Bob and then followed Luke out the door.
“Okay, I don’t use this word a lot but that was awesome,” Reid said as he and Luke walked out of Bob’s office.
Unlike Reid, Luke didn’t look too happy. “I feel kind of awful about it.”
“Why? You only said what had to be said.”
"I had to get him off our backs, but . . ." Luke shook his head. “I did it like Damian would have and I-I’m not him.”
Reid looked confused. “Why would that be so bad?”
Luke rubbed his face and sighed. “Because Damian confronts things like that, and I’ve never been a fan of his tactics.”
Reid suddenly recalled his conversations with Damian back in Dallas, and he could almost understand what Luke was saying. Still, the guy wasn’t really bad, right? “Luke, what aren’t you telling me about him? After the talk with your parents and what you just said, I take it there’s more to Damian than what I know.”
Luke avoided Reid’s gaze and looked down at the floor instead. “Damian has done some pretty terrible things in the past, but he’s my father and he said he’d change and I believe in second chances so . . .”
“You’re still his son,” Reid finished for him.
Luke nodded. “Yeah, but I’m a Snyder first.” He laughed. “And Snyders aren’t mean.”
“Luke, don’t apologize. I get it. Bob’s cool and you didn’t want to fight him. But what he was asking us to do wasn’t and now thanks to you, we don’t have to hide anything or pretend that we’re not together,” Reid said, pulling Luke towards him. “I want everyone to know you’re mine.”
“Including Trevor?” Luke asked, putting his hands on Reid’s shoulders and looking directly into his eyes.
“Reid, you can’t act like that towards him. He’s working on this project too now. You have to be professional.”
“No, I don’t.”
“Of all the people who do what he does, why do you have to choose him to do it?” Reid asked.
“The entire board chose his company, not just me, Reid.”
“So he’s really not going anywhere, is he?”
“No, he is,” Luke said, rubbing Reid’s shoulders. “He’s going home and we’ll only be working with him through email, phone calls and video conferencing.” Luke smiled. “So you can relax.”
“I am relaxed.”
Luke grinned and leaned in to kiss Reid, but a loud chiming sound interrupted them. Luke pulled out his phone to read the text.
hi Luke, call me asap
It was from Noah. Noah, who had dumped him and then barely thanked him for getting Reid to perform his surgery, who’d left for Los Angeles immediately after that and who’d only talked to him twice since then—when he arrived in L.A. and then when he called to see if he’d left a particular DVD in Luke’s house.
“Who is it?”
Luke put the phone away and smiled at Reid. “No one important.”
“So, do you want to come over tonight?” Reid asked.
“Actually, I have plans.”
“But I have to thank you.”
“For standing up for me. I know you didn’t like it and you feel bad about it, but no one’s ever done something like that for me and I . . . I liked it.” And Reid meant it. It was during moments like this that Reid felt especially satisfied with his decision to move all the way to Nowhere, Illinois to be with Luke.
“I did it for us,” Luke said.
Luke had his back, and Reid had his. “Thank you.” And with that, he relaxed and pushed aside all thoughts of Trevor and Bob’s silly orders and concentrated on kissing Luke.
“I have an idea. Why don’t you join us tonight?”
“I take my sisters and brother out for ice cream once a week and since you haven’t met them yet, maybe you want to join us?” Luke asked hopefully.
“Kids? Ice cream?” Reid asked with a smirk. “You belong in a Disney movie.”
Luke laughed. “Is that a yes or a no?”
Reid grinned. “What flavor of ice cream?”
“All the flavors you can eat.”
Reid nodded. “As long as you’re paying.”
Luke tapped his chin with his finger. “We have to think about that one. The board might think I’m giving you special treatment.”
Reid laughed. “The only special treatment I want from you will happen after ice cream with the kiddies.”
“You’re on,” Luke said before kissing Reid in the middle of Memorial’s corridor in front of doctors, nurses, patients and a very delighted Henry Coleman.