Noel Bright and Wes Rivers have hit a snag in their relationship. They aren’t communicating the way they should be, and as the trip to visit Wes’ family in Maine nears, Noel feels only dread.
The rainy weather in Haydon Cliff matches Noel’s current outlook, and he feels it’s up to Wes to right things between them, with a little pep talk from Noel’s sister, though, maybe he and Wes can work it out together and not fall victim to rainy days and Mondays.
“I’m going to get the tickets tonight when I get home,” he announced as he plated the toaster pancakes for both of them.
When Noel didn’t react in any way, Wes looked over at him. Noel’s expression was carefully blank which was not like him at all. Noel was very expressive.
Not for the first time in the last few weeks, Wes felt uneasy. He’d tried to ignore the feeling that something was up with his lover, deciding it was just attributable to having moved in with Wes at the beginning of the year.
But the truth was he just didn’t know. He had little experience with serious relationships, he just didn’t do them, he was a workaholic and had spent years a homicide detective before making captain. It was a rough and depressing job to bring back to a significant other.
Now he had Noel, while trying for a long-term relationship, and his first guy.
“What’s wrong?” he asked, because it didn’t take a detective to know there was something.
Noel’s gaze skittered away back to his breakfast, avoiding looking at Wes.
“Nothing, really. I’m just ... maybe now’s not the time, you know. To go to Maine.”
Wes frowned. “I already didn’t go at Christmas.”
“I know. But that wasn’t really your choice. Your parents changed their plans.”
“Are things too crazy at the hospital?”
Noel shrugged, which Wes had to admit he didn’t like very much.
“I’m just thinking maybe it should just be you.”
“Yeah, you go and see your family in Maine. I can stay here and watch Kirby and the house.”
Wes put his coffee cup down and even he winced at the snap it made. “I thought you wanted to meet them. Back at the holidays you wanted me to invite you along and now I have. Why wouldn’t you want to go, Noel?”
“Maybe this is just too soon like you said.”
A muscle jumped in his jaw. “What’s really going on here, Noel? You’ve been acting a little strange since --”
“Valentine’s Day,” Noel supplied for him.
“Yeah.” He frowned. “So something is going on.”
Noel sighed. “Probably not what you think. Don’t you have to go to work?”
“I do, yes. But I have a few minutes. What happened then that now has your mind changed about meeting my family?”
Noel got up from the table then, picking up his breakfast plate and putting it in the kitchen sink.
“I don’t see the point in meeting them, honestly.”
“What does that mean?”
“Wes, you’re not ... it took you a long time to get to this point. I get it. Having me move in here was a big step for you.”
“It was,” Wes agreed. “I haven’t made any secret of that.”