Noah Puckerman hadn't set foot in Lima in years, and that was just fine with him. There was nothing in that town that held his interest, nothing he wanted to go back for... But obligations forced him. His mother's funeral wasn't exactly something he could miss, and it's not like he could just ask if they could please have the service in New York so he didn't have to go all the bloody way down to Lima just to say goodbye to his dead mother (who he hadn't spoken to in about ten years).
He made the plans to go to Lima, attend the funeral, and liquidate his mother's assets with the intention of making it as quick as possible before getting the hell out of there. Only his plans pretty much crumbled the first time he saw Kurt Hummel's pretty face.
Noah was stopped at an intersection near the high school when he saw the kid. All of sixteen with a face that made him look at least two years younger, pink lips, pale skin, blue eyes. Fucking gorgeous. And worse - the kid had obviously just been crying.
Noah just had this thing about pretty boys (or girls) who cried. He saw a gorgeous young thing with tears in their eyes and he just wanted to whisk them away and make it all better. Preferably with champagne and sex in his penthouse apartment in New York. So he really couldn't be blamed (ok, he could) for rolling down his window and calling out; "Hey kid, need a lift?"
The boy turned, wide blue eyes suddenly looking right at him, and Noah felt his cock stir just from the blueness of those eyes. The kid bit his lip (fucking tease) and shook his head. "No... thanks."
"Lamborghini, Muira, 2008," Noah wheedled, and gave the kid his best charming grin. "Come on. I don't bite, and it's not as if I'm going to kidnap anyone in a car this expensive, right? I'd get fingered in half a second. Maybe less."
The light at the intersection changed and the car behind him beeped at him. Noah flipped the bird at the driver. He looked at the kid and offered one final seduction; "Live a little. What's it going to hurt?"
The kid looked at the backed-up and irate cars behind Noah's Lamborghini, then let out a shuddering breath and quickly hopped from the sidewalk and hurried around to the passenger side of the car. Noah barely waited for the kid to close the door after him before he sped off down the street.
"Where you headed?" He asked. "Where can I take you?"
They were two very different questions, and the boy seemed to realise that. He looked down at his knees, hands clasped loosely in his lap. "Kurt," the boy said, his voice soft. "Hummel. And... Home, I guess."
Noah snorted. "Fuck that. Boring."
"What?" Kurt looked startled, his blue eyes blinking rapidly, face flushing pink. "But..."
"Let's go shopping. I'll buy you icecream." Noah glanced at the kid again, noticed a recent stain on his sleeve that had all the marks of spilled soda. "I'll get you a new jacket. Vivienne Westwood, right? I'll buy you something from the new collection."
Kurt bit his lower lip again. He looked down at the stained sleeve of his jacket. "I don't even know you," he protested.
"I'm Noah Puckerman," Noah replied, taking a hand off the wheel to offer it to the kid. "And I'm bored as fuck and avoiding my family. I live in New York, I own Strut, Glamour, and Vive. Inherited the company they belong to a few years back when my dad's mother died. I'm in Lima for a funeral."
"Oh." Kurt's face was even more flushed than it had been before, his eyes wide. He took Noah's hand hesitantly and his hand was warm and soft, fingers delicate, nails neatly manicured. "I'm sorry, about the funeral."
"Don't be. She was a cold-hearted bitch. Anyway," he flashed a grin at Kurt. "Now you know me."
Kurt gave him a hesitant little smile. "So..." he said after a moment. "Where are we going?"
"It's a surprise. And a half hour drive, so pick some music and make yourself comfy." Noah waited until Kurt was looking through his music collection before he asked; "So why were you crying?"
"What?" Kurt blinked, face flushing again. "I wasn't crying..."
"Yeah you were. It's why I offered you a ride. I can't stand it when I see someone beautiful crying."
"I..." Kurt shifted in his seat, cheeks bright red. His eyes were starting to fill with tears again, lashes clumping together from the moisture. "I had a particularly bad day at school," Kurt explained. "Normally I don't cry, but today it just got to me. I'm not sure why. Stupid."
"Tell me about it?" Noah took his eyes off the road to smile at Kurt. "Tell me about it and I'll buy you a pair of shoes to go with that new jacket..."
"You're bribing me to tell you about my crappy day?"
"I want you to smile," Noah corrected him, "if I'm going to spoil you 'til you're better I need to know how bad your day was first."
Kurt bit his lip (for the third fucking time, this kid was going to give him a hard on if he kept looking at those lips). "More like a bad year," he said. "Or a bad lifetime." And suddenly he was spilling his whole story, from the death of his mother to having no real friends at school to his father not connecting with him and the bullies that made his time at McKinley a living hell. "I'm sorry," Kurt finished with, "I don't even know why I told you all of that."
"Maybe you needed to," Noah suggested. "Anyway," he nodded ahead to the parking lot and slowed his speed, "we're here. So now I can buy you an icecream, then I'll spoil you fucking rotten."
By the time the shops in the mall began to close Noah was already loaded down with several bags full of new clothes and accessories for his smiling new blue-eyed boytoy. Kurt didn't know it yet, but Noah wasn't planning on the afternoon being a one off. He didn't just throw a couple of thousand dollars down and walk away. Kurt was gorgeous, smart, witty (when he wasn't upset) and he liked old fashioned butter-pecan icecream. No way in hell was he just walking away from that.
Kurt was much more talkative on the drive back. He told Noah all about his plans for the future, his love of music, and his passion for Broadway (even if he only got to see the bootleg videos online and not the real thing). He didn't seem concerned that his father would notice his bringing home a heap of shopping bags, and just shook his head when Noah asked if he'd get into trouble for staying out late.
Noah finally pulled the car to a stop outside the house Kurt pointed out as his home and unbuckled his seatbelt so he could look at the boy properly. Kurt looked back at him out of instinct, tilting his face up to look Noah in the eye. He gasped when the older man leaned down and kissed him but didn't pull away or protest. Noah raised a hand to cup the side of Kurt's face, stroking the boy's cheek with his thumb and coaxing his mouth open to make the kiss deeper.
"I was planning on leaving Lima again as soon as fucking possible," Noah said afterwards, looking into Kurt's half-lidded eyes. "Now... Do you want to see me again, Kurt? Can I take you out?"
"On a date?" Kurt asked, sounding just a little dazed.
"Dinner," Noah agreed, "a movie. Whatever you want."
"Here. Here's my number," Noah dug in his wallet a moment and handed Kurt his card. It had both his mobile and office numbers. "And here... is my hotel number. Call me if something comes up, otherwise I'll pick you up tomorrow at seven."
"Ok," Kurt said again. He tucked Noah's card into his pocket and smiled. "I'll think about what I want to do tomorrow."
"You do that," Noah replied, and caught Kurt in another kiss. One kiss turned into two, and more, and by the time they finally broke apart Noah almost had his hand down Kurt's pants. He stopped, fingers still on the button at the top of Kurt's fly, when the boy pushed him away. "What? Too fast, baby?"
"Well, that yes," Kurt admitted. "And we're outside my house in a very attention-grabbing car."
Noah thought about that for a moment, and what being caught making out with a teenage boy could entail. He kissed the tip of Kurt's nose and moved away from him and back behind the wheel. "I'll see you tomorrow, Kurt."
The boy gathered up his shopping bags and got out of the car. He smiled at Noah before he shut the door. "'Bye."
Noah waited for the kid to disappear into the house before he floored the accelerator and roared off down the street. This kid was a keeper. Kurt had a lot of potential, even aside from being a cute little slice of virgin sex. Noah didn't plan on letting him walk away.
"How old are you?" Kurt asked innocently. He looked dazzling, the height of male fashion in his new Westwood coat. Noah could name all of the designers that the boy's outfit comprised of, and he had to wonder if the kid didn't spend the entirety of his money on clothes to be able to dress that well. Or maybe he just spent a lot of time trawling eBay - a little more likely, considering the upper middle class house he lived in.
They were sitting in a private corner in a little bistro that had the dubious distinction of being the best they were going to find in town. Totally out of place given Kurt's beautiful jumble of designers and Noah's simple but elegant matte black tailored suit.
"Twenty-seven," Noah replied, easy and unrepentant as he sipped his glass of white wine. That was an eleven year age gap (actually closer to twelve) and he could care less.
"I recognised your name," Kurt admits, looking at him from under his lashes. They're long and dark, Noah would bet a straight hundred that he'd put on mascara. "Before. I knew the name Noah Puckerman, I'd read it before in magazines. I looked you up on google to make sure you were actually the right Mr. Puckerman and not an eccentric psychopath with a lot of money and a nice car."
"What makes you think I'm not anyway?" Noah asked, giving the boy a playful smirk.
"Then you're at least an eccentric psychopath who gives his real name."
Noah chuckled. "So," he said, "am I the right Mr. Puckerman?"
Kurt's cheeks flushed a little pink, either from excitement or embarrassment. "Yes. I looked up press release photos to make sure."
"So you know all about me, and after all that talking yesterday I know all about you." Noah fell silent for a moment as their waiter brought out their meals. Salad for Kurt, and a pasta dish for Noah. He'd gone for something lathered in sauce on purpose, so he could spend some time licking his lips or sucking his fork while making bedroom eyes at the boy across the table. Kurt would be desperate to go back with him to the hotel room whether he realised it now or not.
"Thankyou," Noah added to the waiter. He continued only when the waiter was gone and they were alone again. "So I'm going to cut to the chase. I'm attracted to you. You're fashionable, adorable, witty, and full of potential. I want to... what's the arts term?" He smirked. "I want to be your patron."
"My patron?" Kurt repeated. He looked shocked, a forkful of lettuce stopped halfway to his lips. "You want to be my financial backing?"
"When you move to New York," Noah explained, smiling, "you're going to need an agent, a place to live, a means of income while you make your way to stardom. And in the meantime I can give you things you'd never get here in Lima. You want a vocal coach? I'll get you one. Dance lessons? I'll hire the best fucking dance teachers I can find."
"What's the catch?" Kurt asked flatly, salad completely forgotten as he watched Noah twirl pasta onto his fork.
"This is the catch."
"Dating you is the catch?"
Noah nodded. He sucked pasta sauce from his fork, eyes locked on Kurt's face.
"You want to be my sugar-daddy?" Kurt translated, totally baffled. He searched Noah's face, obviously looking for signs of some kind of deception. It annoyed him, to think that Kurt was so beaten down in this shithole town that he didn't believe flat out honesty. "I... Alright."
"Yes." Kurt nodded. And smiled. And flushed that pretty pink that Noah liked on him. "Be my sugar-daddy, Noah."
He'd predicted right. A short drive just for the hell of it after dinner and before they knew it Kurt was standing in the elevator with him, waiting for the fourth floor. At first glance the boy didn't look like he was too nervous, but Noah knew better. He could see the way Kurt had his hands twisted together so they didn't tremble. Noah smiled at the boy and placed his hand low on Kurt's back to guide him out of the elevator and down the hall.
"It's ok," he reminded the boy, "I don't bite, remember? And just because you're here -" he withdrew the key card from his pocket and swiped it through "- doesn't mean you have to do anything."
The hotel room was neat, but fairly dull compared to what Noah was used to when he travelled. Mr. Noah Puckerman was used to huge flat screen TVs, luxurious beds, and 24/7 room service. This hotel was nice, but utilitarian. He hadn't cared much, figuring he'd only be in town for a couple of days. He let Kurt step inside first and closed the door only after hanging the 'do not disturb' sign.
Kurt was standing by the window. Noah walked up behind him and dropped a kiss to the back of his neck. He smoothed his hands down Kurt's shoulders, taking the boy's jacket with him. Kurt turned, his face flushed, blue eyes bright. The boy raised his hands and hesitantly placed them on Noah's chest.
Together they started to undress, kissing as nimble fingers found shirt buttons and Kurt loosened the knot of his tie.
Noah opened the boy's shirt and slid a hand across his pale chest, watching the contrast of his olive skin against Kurt's whiter-than-white complexion. He pulled away only when he felt Kurt's hands pushing the shirt off his shoulders, and shook his arms out of his confining sleeves before placing his hands right back where they were before.
His fingers stopped exploring, paused to gently pinch the boy's rosy pink nipples. He bent down to soothe the pinches with his tongue, smirking to himself when he heard Kurt's soft gasp. He glanced down at the boy's groin, covered him with a hand and palmed the hardness he could feel underneath the layers of Kurt's clothing. The boy's hips pushed into his hand and he could tell the movement was nothing more than instinct from the deep red that rushed to his cheeks.
"Shh," Noah soothed, dropping seductive kisses to those pretty pink lips, "I'll take care of this, baby. This your first time?"
"I-I'm not ready," Kurt admitted softly, despite letting himself be pushed back onto the bed.
Noah's quick hands undid the boy's pants and peeled them down, he smiled reassuringly at the teen, fingers wrapping around his erection through the cotton of his underwear. Boxer-briefs, Noah smirked. A man after his own heart. "Ok," he purred, and bent down over the teen to press a sucking kiss just above the waistband of those briefs. "Think you're ready for a blowjob?"
He didn't wait for an answer, just hooked his fingers under the top of Kurt's underwear and pulled the cotton down. He listened with one ear for a no, or any indication that the boy didn't want this, the rest of his attention on the hard, young, mouth-watering cock he'd just revealed. He wanted that cock in his mouth, wanted to roll his tongue over the head and listen to Kurt's tiny murmurs of pleasure.
Noah was unfailingly hedonistic. He quickly undid his own pants and shoved a hand inside to touch himself while he sucked the head of the boy's cock into his mouth.
It was over fast, and Noah found himself amused and thoroughly aroused by the noise Kurt made as he climaxed. A soft, muffled whimper. Quiet like a mouse, Noah thought to himself, pulling away a little so he could look at the teen while he jerked himself to completion. He wondered what it would take to change that.
The funeral was one big ball of boring. Noah got through the eulogy without any inappropriate comments to the people beside him only by spending the whole time playing games on his phone and sending a couple of dirty jokes to Kurt, who he knew would be in the middle of a class at school.
The funeral also marked Noah's last day in Lima. Or what was supposed to be his last day there. He had already contacted the hotel to extend his stay several days, and had emailed his PA back home to let everyone know that he'd be away for at least another week. When he received the slightly snarky reply asking him what he planned to do in this (quote) boring dump of a shithole town (unquote), Noah didn't even dignify it with a response. His PA was pretty good about the barely legal girls. He didn't know how the man would feel about Noah taking up with a sixteen year old boy.
Noah spent only as much time at the wake as he had to before getting the hell out of there. He drove to McKinley and parked his car outside. His watch read 3:40 and the parking lot was still full, so he sat back to wait. Five minutes later and students started pouring out of the school. Noah kept an eye out for Kurt and leaned on the horn when he saw the boy. Kurt's face flushed and he changed course, turning towards the distinctive sports car and dodging small groups of students until he could jump into the passenger seat.
Hidden by the car's tinted windows, Noah leaned over to greet Kurt with a kiss. The teen's lips tasted like cherry flavoured chapstick. Noah licked his lips afterwards, tasting the lingering cherry sweetness as Kurt buckled his seatbelt and leaned back against the leather seat as if he'd been getting rides from Noah for years.
When he left town a week later he still had the taste of Kurt's lipgloss on his lips. He'd taken the teen out to a movie before saying his temporary goodbyes and they'd kissed under the projector in the back row. Noah had dropped Kurt back home but stopped the boy from getting out of the car until he'd handed over a brand new phone with his numbers (home, mobile, office, and pager) already programmed in.
"Call me whenever you want, Kurt," Noah had told him. "If I can't answer I'll hit you back as soon as I can."
"Ok," Kurt had agreed. He'd tucked the phone away and given Noah one last kiss before he'd hurried out of the car and to the house.
He had to have figured out by now that the contract was in Noah's name and the bills being paid through his account. Noah had wanted to leave him with a reminder that this wasn't just a wild fling. He was Kurt's patron his sugar-daddy now. And he planned on looking after his boy even when he wasn't physically there.
Noah stood in front of the doors that led out to the balcony, a rum and coke in one hand, the other holding his mobile up to his ear. New York was beautiful at this time of night, when it was nothing but lights and silhouettes. Noah's penthouse was comfortable, the carpet plush and not his responsibility to clean. He was barefoot, his shirt open at the throat and rolled up at the sleeves, looking out at the skyline as he listening to his boy talk.
"... have no idea how much I wish those cretins would just choke and die," Kurt said, and Noah could clearly picture the pursed lips and narrowed eyes that would accompany his tone. "There are only so many times I can assure myself that one day it will be my boots they'll be licking before getting tossed into a dumpster becomes unbearable. And it is no consolation that they let me take my jacket off first."
"You're better than they are," Noah replied, and sipped his drink. "Listen, I'll be in town again this weekend, you want me to have a word with them?"
"Will your words involve slashing their tyres or smashing their snivelling faces in?" Kurt asked, and Noah loved the way he said it. That tone was one that wouldn't be out of place in the top offices of the magazines Noah's company owned. He wondered whether he shouldn't bully one of them into giving Kurt a summer internship, which would double as an excuse to fly Kurt up to New York.
"Better." Noah smirked. "I can put their parents out of work."
Kurt was silent, clearly thinking about it. Then he sighed. "No... No, I'm better than that. I refuse to sink to their level." He paused, then added in a different tone; "My birthday is coming soon. I know my father will get me something terribly masculine, he always does... I'll be sixteen."
"Sixteen?" Noah repeated, eyebrows raised. Suddenly it seemed like an even better idea than before not to tell anyone about the reason he was so interested in his hometown again. He'd figured Kurt for sixteen already. "When is it? I want to surprise you."
"Friday," Kurt replied. "And you're a truly wicked man, Mr. Puckerman. You know I can't stand surprises."
Noah smirked but didn't call him out on the lie. Kurt loved surprises. He just hated waiting for them when he knew they were coming. "I have to go, baby," he said reluctantly. "I've got this shitty meeting tomorrow morning, and you should already be in bed."
"I am in bed," Kurt replied sweetly, and even though he sounded confident Noah just knew he'd be blushing. "I'm wearing the pyjamas you got me."
"The ones with the monogram?"
"Mm-hm. The blue-grey silk you said goes with my eyes."
"Yeah. You look hot in those." Noah downed the last of his rum and coke and turned away from the window to take the empty glass back to the kitchen. "Still, much as I'd love to keep you on the line so I can hear your voice while I jerk off... You want to get your beauty sleep, Kurt. Remember, I'll be in Lima on Saturday and I promise I'll keep you up all night."
"I suppose," Kurt sighed.
"I'll see you Saturday, baby."
Noah disconnected the call and laid his phone down on the kitchen counter next to his empty glass before padding silently through the apartment to the bedroom. If anyone wanted to call him between now and the morning they could use his home line (and risk getting yelled at) or they could leave it the hell alone until a decent hour. Noah needed to think about what he was going to get for Kurt's sweet sixteen.
"Where's the Lamborghini?" was the first thing Kurt asked on Saturday when Noah came by his house to pick him up.
Noah could tell from a glance up the driveway at the garage that Kurt's father wasn't home, most likely working the morning at his auto shop. Instead of the Lamborghini, Noah stood beside a black 2010 Lincoln Navigator. The tinted windows were currently blocking it from Kurt's view, but there was a bright red ribbon tied in a bow around the gearstick.
Noah smiled at the boy and produced the key from his pocket. "Happy birthday," he said, and watched Kurt's face as his expression turned from outright shock to the brightest grin he'd ever seen.
"Oh my God! You got me a car!"
"I got you a fucking awesome car," Noah corrected him. He handed over the car key and watched Kurt dash around to the driver's side. "It has a few miles on it," he explained, "I had to drive it from the dealership."
"That's ok," Kurt assured him, already behind the wheel. He turned his big blue eyes to Noah and grinned excitedly. "Can we take it for a drive, right now?"
Noah hopped into the passenger side and leaned back against the seat. "Insurance is taken care of," he told Kurt, listening to the purr of the engine when the teen turned the key. "It's registered in your name, so you don't have to worry about any legal bullshit if you get pulled over. And if you do get pulled over..." Noah flashed the teen a grin, "you send me the bill."
Kurt nodded, clearly still in awe of the fact that he now owned a car. And even better, a sexy badass of a car. He proved to be a good driver, and Noah spent most of his time in the passenger seat watching the teen rather than the scenery. It occurred to him that he should buy Kurt a pair of driving gloves and a matching scarf. That would make him look even more like a sexy little bitch than he did now.
The drive was long, scenic, and wholly enjoyable. Noah eventually directed Kurt to pull over and coaxed him into the back seat where he pulled the boy onto his lap and kissed him until his lips were red and tasted nothing like strawberries.
"What do you want to do tonight?" Noah asked, his arms looped loosely around the boy's waist. Kurt's head was tucked against his shoulder, breath tickling Noah's neck, and his hands were pressed flat against the older man's chest.
"Anything you want for your sweet sixteen."
Kurt was quiet for a minute as he thought about it, idly playing with the lapels of Noah's jacket. Finally he pulled away enough to look Noah in the eye. "Can we go somewhere you can listen to me sing?" he asked, cheeks flushed a light pink. "I'd like you to hear me sing."
"I auditioned for the school's glee club," Kurt told him, breathless at four in the afternoon while Noah was on one of his 'get the fuck out of the office before I kill someone' breaks. "It's called New Directions and the director teaches Spanish."
Noah stood in line at the Starbucks down the road from his office. "If you didn't get it in I'll eat my cat."
"You don't have a cat," Kurt pointed out, but Noah could hear the smile. "But yes, I obviously got in. I sang Mr. Cellophane, from Chicago."
"I bet you nailed every note, baby. I love hearing you sing. Cappuccino," he told the girl behind the counter, "tall, double-shot, no sugar."
Several hours away, sitting in the front seat of his Navigator, Kurt's lips twisted into a crooked smile. He liked the way Noah's voice changed when he spoke to whoever it was taking his coffee order. The difference between doting boyfriend and 'give me my fucking coffee, peon' was as if he were two completely different people. "Go easy on the plebeians, Noah," Kurt told him, "they're just doing their job."
"I tipped a twenty," Noah replied, "I don't think she gives a fuck. Anyway, about this New Directions thing..."
"There are only five of us right now," Kurt explained, reaching up to tuck the sun-visor down and flip the cover on the vanity mirror up. "Frankly I was amazed that there are that many passable singers in the school." He paused to uncap his shiny new clear lipgloss and apply it to his lips. During his pause he heard Noah say a muffled "oh thank fuck" and guessed that meant his coffee was ready. Kurt pressed his lips together, capped the lipgloss again, and flicked the cover down again. "Actually, I was surprised that Mr. Schue is such a good singer."
"Schue?" Noah asked, a touch of incredulity in his voice. "As in Schuester?"
"Mm-hm. First name William." Kurt had looked it up. He knew all of his teacher's first names through sheer perverse curiosity. He'd also looked most of the locals up in the old yearbooks in the library. He'd looked up Noah in the yearbooks too, and had been a little surprised that Noah had been voted 'most likely to get arrested'... until he remembered that the man was dating him, a sixteen year old boy. So perhaps it had been more accurate than most would guess.
Noah laughed, and the rich sound thrummed pleasantly through Kurt's body. "Fuck," he said. "I went to school with him. So he teaches Spanish now, and coaches glee?"
"Badly," Kurt said airily. He thought better of the comment a moment later and conceded; "But it's not as if he has a lot to work with."
"Is it fun?"
"Yes," Kurt replied, reluctant to admit that something so honestly geeky was actually enjoyable even despite Rachel's melodramatics and the fact that the group had yet to find a song they were actually good at.
"Then stick with it. Will Schuester is an obsessive, manipulative little hardass. He'll make it work." There was a short pause, then Noah sighed. "I have to get back to the office, Kurt. I'll give you a call when I get home."
"I miss you," Kurt said, idly running his hand over the Navigator's wheel. "I wish you could make it back to Lima more often."
"Me too, baby. I'm hoping to make it down next week, so just hold out til then. I'll talk to you later."
"'Bye," Kurt sighed and tucked his phone away. He started the drive back home so he could be there before his dad got home from work. Burt Hummel hadn't said a word about the sudden appearance of the Navigator, just like he hadn't said a word about Kurt's steadily improving wardrobe or the new phone. He'd stopped asking Kurt questions a long time ago.
Kurt had nothing in common with his father except blood and their shared last name. He often felt like it was awkward just to live under the same roof in the same house, and relished the fact that Burt had let him take the basement as his own.
He parked the Navigator in the driveway and retrieved his messenger bag from the passenger seat. Kurt felt so out of place here, walking up to the front door of his house wearing Westwood paired with Marc Jacobs and Hugo Boss. It wasn't until he was standing in the grey haven of his basement room that he felt at ease.
Kurt emptied the contents of his bag one by one and set his phone close to hand at his desk. He couldn't wait until it rang again and he could hear Noah's voice purring into his ear. Noah Puckerman was rich, well known, and had excellent taste in everything from fashion to food. He exemplified everything Kurt wanted from life, and everything he wanted to be.
Life would be a lot easier if he just lived in the same town.