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BRAND NEW! "Hazard Pay - Chapter 27"

Posted on 2013.07.24 at 14:28
Title: Hazard Pay – Chapter Twenty-Seven

Pairing: Noah/OMC

Rating: M

Prompt: Action!Noah in action ripped from the headlines!

Disclaimer: Don’t own ‘em. Don’t make no money.


Hey, kids! I really hope you like this chapter. I’m going out of town for a few days, but I’ll be back at my desk this weekend, so expect an update soon.


Hazard Pay – Chapter Twenty-Seven

Jeff took off his glasses and rubbed his eyes. “You know that talk we had last night? The one where I said I didn’t care if anyone found out I’m gay? Well, I’m glad I said that before this happened.”

Noah’s heart sunk. “What happened?”

“We’ve been outed.” Jeff turned his laptop around to face Noah.

Noah peered at the screen, wishing he had his glasses on. “GMZ? What’s that?”

“A gossip site. An online tabloid, basically.”

Noah looked at the picture. ‘“Is that...wait a minute, that was taken here. Last night. When we were...”

“Making out like horny teenagers?” Jeff nodded. “Yeah.”

Noah took the computer in his hands and sank slowly onto the bed. “Someone took our picture and sent it to a website and it’s already up?”

“It’s spreading, too,” Jeff said grimly. “At this rate, we’ll be on track to make the weekend gossip shows.”

Noah stared at him. “How did it happen so fast?’

“Welcome to the Internet Age, Mayer.”

Noah stared numbly at the image on the laptop. His hands felt like ice, and there was a sudden throbbing in his head, behind his eyes. “The door was closed. How did anyone take our picture without us seeing them?”

Jeff smiled gently. “I think we were a little distracted, sweetheart.”

Noah blushed. The photo wasn’t lurid — they were just kissing, after all. But it was…intimate. The head of the hospital bed was up, and Jeff and Noah were sprawled side-by-side, their heads resting on the pillows, arms and legs tangled together. Jeff's fingertips were on Noah’s chin, angling his head for a kiss, while Noah clutched desperately at Jeff's hip. Jeff’s face was clearly visible and, even with his eyes closed, instantly recognizable.

“Oh, my God.” Noah raised his eyes and stared at Jeff. “Are you okay?”

Jeff hesitated, looking down at the floor. Noah felt sick to his stomach, and the pain in his head increased.

“You know what?” Jeff said slowly. “I’m fine.”

Noah stared at him. “You are?”

Jeff raised his head, and his eyes were calm. “Yeah, oddly enough, I feel fine. My whole life I’ve been worried about this, but now that it’s happened? I’m okay. Maybe even a little relieved.”

Noah nodded. “Living a lie, it really eats you alive. I know. I’ve been there.”

“Exactly,” Jeff said. “And now it’s like, well, what’s the worst that can happen?”

“You could lose your job,” Noah pointed out.

Jeff shrugged. “They can try.”

“Seriously,” Noah objected as a troubling thought occurred to him. “They might not be able to fire you for being gay, but what if you get in trouble for leaving the assignment in Tokyo? They could say you didn’t fulfill your contractual obligations. And it would be my fault because I asked you to—”

“Noah,” Jeff said firmly, taking his hand. “First of all, none of this is your fault. Secondly, like I said, TNN can fire me, but I’m fully prepared to sue their asses. Beau’s already on it. Hell, I might even get the Carters involved, just for kicks. They love to sue people. But even if worse comes to worst and I lose my job, so what?”

“Jeff,” Noah said slowly. “Are you feeling okay? Maybe you need to lie down again.”

Jeff laughed, an exuberant sound. “Seriously, Solo, I’m fine.” He hesitated, still holding Noah’s hand. “If you had asked me two years ago what was the worst thing that could happen to me, I would have said losing my job. Because my career was the most important thing to me.”

“I know,” Noah said. “You worked so hard and—”

“Noah, just let me finish, okay?” Jeff asked.

Noah nodded reluctantly, biting his lip.

“Like I said,” Jeff continued, “before I met you, I would have said that. But being with you, and then all the shit we’ve gone through — you getting hurt, us being apart — it helped me realize what really matters. Yeah, my work is still important to me, but it’s not the most important thing in the world. You are.” Jeff squeezed Noah hand reassuringly. “Okay?”

Noah fought back tears. “Okay. Likewise. What you said.” He shook his head in frustration. “God, I suck at words.”

Jeff smiled. “It’s okay, Solo. I get it.” He rose and picked up the laptop. “I’m still gonna kick Snyder’s ass, though,” he said cheerfully.

Noah stared at him. “You think Luke did this?”

Jeff frowned. “Of course. Who else?”

Noah scratched his head. “I don’t know. A hospital employee, maybe.”

“Why would anyone do that?”

Noah shrugged. “I don’t know. Maybe they saw a chance to spread some gossip about a famous person, figured they’d make a little money.”

“Noah, I’m not famous.”

“Yeah, you are.”

“Okay, I’m on TV, and some people know who I am, if they watch the news. But I’m not famous famous.”

Noah smiled fondly. “Jeff, there are entire websites devoted to your eyes.”

Jeff blinked. “There are?”

Noah nodded at the computer. “Try Silver Fox Dot Com. Or Baby Blues Dot Net.”

Jeff put his glasses back on and sat at his makeshift desk, glowering at the laptop as his fingers flew over the keyboard.

Noah took the opportunity to finish getting dressed. He had no idea what the day would bring, but he wanted to be ready.

He checked his watch as he buckled it on and saw it was three in the afternoon. He realized to his chagrin that he’d slept almost eighteen hours. Fortunately, it was Saturday, so he didn’t have his usual scheduled physical therapy.

What he wanted more than anything was a cup of coffee. (He thought longingly of a cigarette as well, but quashed that thought.) His headache was growing, no doubt from lack of caffeine. It was snowing heavily outside, dashing his dream of maybe escaping the facility and taking Jeff to Java. It was almost December, as well, which meant the sun would be setting in a little over an hour.

“Shit,” Noah muttered, disgusted with himself for sleeping so long. All the more reason he needed to get off the painkillers.

“Holy crap,” Jeff murmured.

Noah turned, buttoning the sleeves of his flannel shirt. “Did you find the websites?”

Jeff nodded, his eyes still on the screen. “I don’t know whether to be flattered or disturbed. Jesus.” He ran a hand through his hair. “I had no idea.”

Noah grinned. “You’re blushing.”

“I am not.”

“You are. It’s adorable.”

“I’m not...hey, wait a minute.” Jeff’s eyes narrowed. “You took some of these photos. When we were in Iraq.”

Noah glanced at the screen and saw the photo he’d taken of Jeff standing in the desert, white shirt blowing in the wind. “Oh, yeah,” he said teasingly. “I love that one.”

“I look like a fucking...” Jeff waved a hand vaguely. ‘Movie star.”

“Hell, yeah.” Noah grinned again. “That’s my Lawrence of Arabia shot. I took it at sunset. Old-time filmmakers used to call it the Magic Hour, because the light was so beautiful.”

“What about this one?” Jeff pointed to the black-and-white candid of him gambling with the soldiers.

“Totally James Dean.”

“Noah.” Jeff frowned at him over the tops of his glasses.

“What?” Noah asked innocently. “I was just doing my job.”

“Your job is to film the news,” Jeff said sternly. “And occasionally film me talking at the camera. But not these...”He waved his hand again. “Glamour shots.”

“My boss told me to take them,” Noah countered. “Patty, not you,” he added at Jeff’s confused look. “She said they needed some publicity stills.”

Jeff scowled. “Patty knows I hate that shit.”

“Which is why she told me to take them on the sly,” Noah said smugly.

“I should have known the two of you were in cahoots,” Jeff muttered.

“Uh-huh. Check the People Magazine site. I’m going for coffee. You want tea?”

“No, thanks.” Jeff’s fingers clattered over the keyboard again. “I’ve had like eight cups already.”

When Noah returned from the vending machine, he laughed at the look of outrage on Jeff’s face.

“Sexiest Reporter?” Jeff asked. “Seriously, Sexiest Reporter?”

“You’re the sexiest reporter to me,” Noah pointed out, bending down to kiss Jeff. “But don’t worry, you’re more than just a pretty face.”

“You are so dead,” Jeff muttered. Then his eyes caught something on the computer screen, and he frowned. “Shit.”

“What is it?” Noah sat on the bed, sipping his coffee.

“They picked up the story about us.” Jeff read aloud: “‘Sorry, ladies. America’s Sexiest Reporter is now off the market — and out of the closet. Hearts broke across the globe today as TNN war correspondent Jefferson Carter confirmed longtime rumors that--"

Jeff broke off. "Well, you don't need to hear the rest of that crap.” He sighed, looking tired suddenly. “I give it ten more minutes, and then they’ll be posting pictures of my mom and talking about the custody battle.”

“I’m sorry, babe,” Noah said softly.

Jeff shrugged restlessly. “Nothing we can do about it. I learned that a long time ago. Sharks always circle when there’s blood in the water. Then a bigger fish comes along, and they move on.” He shook his head in disgust. “We’re actually lucky this happened over the weekend. By Monday, when the news cycle starts, they’ll have fresh meat to feast on.”

Jeff was about the close the laptop when something caught his eye. “Hang on,” he murmured. He clicked a few links, and his shoulders sagged.

Noah’s stomach dropped. “What now?”

“There’s a picture of you.”

Noah glanced at the screen and saw the photo that TNN had broadcast after he’d been injured, the one of him holding his camera and wearing his favorite Millennium Falcon T-shirt.

“Well, it couldn’t have been hard to figure out who I am,” he said, resigned.

Jeff shook his head. “It’s worse than that. Some enterprising reporter actually did his homework. They found out about the restraining order Luke filed and...Shit, Noah.” He leaned back in his chair. “They know about your dad. And your mom.”

“Jesus.” Noah set aside his coffee cup and rubbed his eyes.

“That does it.” Jeff took off his glasses, slammed the laptop shut, and rose. “I was okay before, but now I’m pissed. They can fuck with me all they want, but not you.” He reached into his pocket and pulled out his cell phone.

"What are you doing?” Noah asked.

“I’m calling Beau. If those motherfuckers think they can just—”

“Jeff.” Noah put his hand on his arm. “There’s nothing you can do about it. It’s all public information.”

Jeff paused, then shove his phone back in his pocket. “You’re right,” he said. “God dammit.” He dropped back in his chair and looked worriedly at Noah. “Are you gonna be okay, Solo? You’re not as used to this as I am.”

Noah shrugged, surprised by his own lack of reaction. “Yeah, I think so. Like you, I feel..okay with it. Maybe even a little relieved. What’s the worst that can happen with my dad? I already know he hates my guts. Who knows? Maybe People will contact him in prison for a quote, and the shame will make him throw a blood clot and die.”

Jeff snorted with laughter. “Maybe my grandmother’s withered old heart will finally stop beating from the shock.”

“We can only hope.” Noah reached over and tangled his fingers with Jeff’s. “This is all my fault for getting you involved in my fucked-up life.”

“Please,” Jeff said. “My life was fucked up way before I met you.”

Noah smiled. “Hey. Two fucked-up peas in a pod. That’s us, right?”

Jeff smiled back, his eyes crinkling at the corners. “That’s us.”

“I love you,” Noah said softly. “And I’m proud to be with you. I don’t care if it’s on every computer screen in the world. As a matter of fact, if anybody wants a quote, I’ll tell them you’re the best reporter on the planet AND you’re fantastic in the sack.”

Jeff cracked up.

“Seriously!” Noah said. “I’ll say, ‘Not only is Jeff Carter gay as a three dollar bill, but when we make sweet love, I see stars.’”

“‘Make sweet love,’” Jeff chuckled. “Listen to you.”

“I could get a little more graphic for the homophobes,” Noah suggested. “'When Jeff Carter fucks me in the ass with his enormous cock, I come like a fire hose.’”

Jeff laughed so hard, he nearly fell off his chair. Noah felt warm inside at the sight. Despite what Jeff had said, it couldn’t be easy to have his privacy violated again, not after what he’d been through in his earlier life.

“Oh, God.” Jeff said finally, wiping tears from his eyes. “I haven’t laughed that hard in years.”

He smiled shyly at Noah and took his hand again, interlacing their fingers. “But, um, while we’re on the topic of making sweet love...”

“Yes!” Noah said. “God, yes. As soon as possible. As a matter of fact, let’s lock the door right now and get busy.”

Jeff chuckled again. “Noah, your leg—”

“Is not connected to my dick, last time I checked. Let’s go.” Noah tugged Jeff toward the bed, then fell on his back. “Hell, don’t bother with the door. Everyone knows anyway. Let them take photos. Fuck it, let them make videos. We’ll sell them on the Internet.”

“Noah,” Jeff said sternly, planting one hand on either side of him. “You have a severe injury. It’s probably not a good idea to—”

“We don’t have to fuck,” Noah suggested. “We could just fool around.”

Jeff raised an eyebrow. “Fool around?”

“You know, get each other off.” Noah twined his arms around Jeff’s neck and tilted his back, rubbing his hips on Jeff’s.

Jeff closed his eyes, clearly trying to resist temptation. “Noah,” he murmured.

“Yeah, my leg hurts, but who cares?” Noah asked. “It’s been months. Come on.” He rutted against Jeff again, and felt his hard length against his hip. “Just put your hands on me, Carter,” he whispered. “God, put your mouth on me.”

Jeff groaned and gave in, lowering his weight onto Noah and kissing him frantically. Noah kissed him back, tangling his fingers in Jeff’s hair. His breath caught as his body came alive again. The pain in his leg faded, replaced by far more pleasurable sensations.

Still kissing Noah, Jeff wedged an arm between them and pressed the heel of his hand to his cock.

“God!” Noah’s head fell back on the bed, and he arched his back. “God, do that again.”

Jeff obeyed, and Noah bit his lip to keep from crying out. Still touching him, Jeff pulled up Noah’s shirt and kissed and licked his way down his abdomen. As the same time, his fingers eased open the buttons of Noah’s jeans and grasped his length and—

The door opened. “Noah, are you decent — Woah! What the hell?”

To be continued….


myalterego1 at 2013-07-24 20:16 (UTC) (Link)
There are no words to describe how much I love this story. I was such a Luke and Noah girl - but I so love Noah and Jeff together. This was such a good chapter.

Have a great trip!
willwork4dean at 2013-07-25 02:50 (UTC) (Link)
Honestly, when I started the story, my plan was to send Noah on a little adventure and then reunite him with Luke. I still don't know how it happened, but I fell in love with Jeff and Noah. I'm just thankful that so many readers were willing to go along for the ride!
seajellybaby at 2013-07-24 22:24 (UTC) (Link)
Thinking that's Casey who just walked ;-)

Sweet, sexy chapter! They are just beautiful together and facing the world down without much worry because they both realise they aren't alone in it!

Great! Great!

Still feel sorry for poor Luke though :-( This is gonna hurt!

Can't wait for more!
willwork4dean at 2013-07-24 22:28 (UTC) (Link)
LOL! I'll tell you a secret. It was supposed to be Luke who walked in. But it turned out to be Casey instead! Good call on your part!
willwork4dean at 2013-08-06 01:18 (UTC) (Link)
New chapter up now!
pirl at 2013-07-25 01:48 (UTC) (Link)
Aaaaaahhh, this chapter makes me want to go back and re-read the whole story from the beginning!! Jeebus, I love them so damn much. So happy that they're both taking the 'outing' in such a reasonable and mature way. And dumb-dumb, jealous Luke leaking photos? You douche! Get over it Snyder, you lost him for good.

And haha! I suspected it was Casey walking in on them. HEE!! Poor boy, gonna have to scrub those eyes. :P Tho, I'm a bit peeved he interrupting their "sweet loving" and Noah coming "like a firehose." LMAO!!
willwork4dean at 2013-07-25 02:31 (UTC) (Link)
I love the fact that everyone can tell it's Casey just from one line of dialogue! It was supposed to be a surprise but everyone has figured it out.

This was a fun chapter to write, so I'm glad you enjoyed it. :-)
valenti1965 at 2013-07-25 05:11 (UTC) (Link)
Such a great chapter!!! So Jeff is out...and seems Noah has made him a little heart-throb lol

I really love Jeff in this story so much! What a great guy he is.

Yeah...I think that's Casey coming in lol

Enjoy your break and I can't wait for more!!! x
willwork4dean at 2013-08-06 01:18 (UTC) (Link)
FYI - the new chapter is up!
wheelie47 at 2013-07-25 11:05 (UTC) (Link)
Such a great chapter! Love how cute and so damn sexy they are together! I also love how unfazed they both are about their story coming out! Just proves how much in love they are.

Lol that was a shock for Casey!

I hope to God that picture wasn't leaked by Luke! Like Gillian I feel for Luke too. He's going to be hurting!

Glad to hear there'll be another update soon!
willwork4dean at 2013-08-06 01:18 (UTC) (Link)
Hey, wheelie - just wanted to let you know the next chapter is up.
jeri_1116 at 2013-07-25 14:37 (UTC) (Link)
Please let that have been Casey who interrupted them. As much as I want to strangle Luke don't do that to that poor boy.

God, I love the way you are writing Noah and Jeff, they seem strong and unbreakable, but with you we never know. I like that, but still I love me some Jeff.

Great freaking chapter.

I'm also wondering if it's Holden inviting Noah to Christmas Dinner, since you mentioned it was December. But hey it could be Luke. Can't wait to find out.
willwork4dean at 2013-08-06 01:19 (UTC) (Link)
The new chapter is up, so you can find out who's at the door!
BOOM! goes the dynamite!
mslauren2930 at 2013-07-26 01:09 (UTC) (Link)
LOL! That could only be Casey there at the end.
willwork4dean at 2013-08-06 01:19 (UTC) (Link)
Darn! I can't believe everyone figured out it was Casey so easily!

Next chapter is up now.
BOOM! goes the dynamite!
mslauren2930 at 2013-08-12 22:25 (UTC) (Link)
it just felt like Casey. what can I say? :)
random_nic at 2013-07-26 01:10 (UTC) (Link)
Loving the Neff togetherness. As for the interruption - Casey, I love ya but the thing to do here was silently exit and let the loving commence. Silly boy.

Though I've been mightily annoyed with Luke at times throughout the story, everything he did was because he loves Noah, so it was in character and at least somewhat understandable, however maddening. I can't envision a scenario in which Luke would have taken and leaked photos of Noah with Jeff to the press, knowing that Noah's past would be dragged through the mud. Can't think who would have done it, though. Maybe just a hospital employee looking for a quick buck.

Thrilled with all the recent updates!
willwork4dean at 2013-08-06 01:19 (UTC) (Link)
The next bit is up - hope you like it!
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