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Disclaimer:  I do not own these characters, yadda yadda yadda…

 

Title:  The Awakened, The Love

 

Rating:  NC-17 for sexual situations

 

Keywords:  Luke/Laura Romance

 

Summary:  Luke and Laura go briefly on the run and are encountered with Stavros Cassadine.  Through Stavros and the memories, Luke and Laura have to face their past, face what they’ve done to each other, and most of all, face what’s still right in front of them. 

Comments:  I really enjoyed writing this story.  Laura has fabulous romance with Luke, and a little with another wonderful man whom she’ll always love, though he’s not for her.  This was probably my favorite story for my writing of their love scenes.  I hope you like it too.

 

Author:  Paradise, e-mail me at

 

2001

 

            Just like she was sixteen again, Scotty kissed her.  His kiss had changed, they were both so much older and probably changed their kiss in twenty three years.  In that moment, she felt safe, protected, like nothing would ever harm her.  She’d always felt that way with Scotty.  His lips gripped hers, mouths meshing beautifully. 

            “Well,” she heard someone say.

            Laura and Scotty broke their kiss to turn and see Luke.

            “Looks like I got here just in time.”

            Laura frowned slightly, as Scotty smiled.  He couldn’t help thinking how much he was having fun.  Luke stole the love of his life from him, and now Luke had witnessed them in a passionate kiss.  Though Scotty knew Laura’s heart was still with Luke, he knew at least a piece of her wanted him.  This wasn’t about him though, he was glad Luke was witnessing that Laura didn’t need him, that she had moved on.  Even if she hadn’t.

            “We need to talk,” Luke said after Scotty’s bitched a minute before stepping aside.

            “He probably needs to borrow money-“          

            “BUTT OUT!   This is family business!”

“You have no family, and you have no business here-“

“Pick a window or a door pal, cause you’re going through one of them!”

“Not going anywhere, deadbeat,” Scotty said biting an apple.

“Wait a minute!” Laura said.
            Laura was too confused to laugh, though she normally would have.  Did they really still hate each other because of her?  She wanted to believe so, but that would be a little self-righteous?  She told Scotty she could handle Luke, and he reluctantly left.  Now Luke was going on about how Lucky was going to be hurt again by Helena.  He went on and on about breaking into Helena’s vault.  Brilliant Luke!
            “What did you think?  That someone would come running to your rescue, to break you out of jail again?!?”

Luke said softly, “I don’t know.  Would you?  Come…running to my rescue?  Risk everything?”
            “ME?” she said totally confused.  “Wait a minute, wait a minute!  What about Orphy Goodlove?  Where is she now?” 

            He didn’t even talk much about Felicia, which shocked her.  He said she was too busy knowing that Laura also now had a life…and Luke knew that but still asked.  She wasn’t in the mood to play this game.  He was getting on her nerves.  Yet…it was as if he was trying to ask her to be with him on the run again.  That was exactly what he was asking…

 

 

The Next Day

Afternoon

 

            Laura walked into Luke’s office, and told him she would rescue him, more she would help him.  He asked her why, and like every other time she’d agreed to go on the run with him, she had no answer, but she heard herself twenty years ago…

            “When you reach for me, I help.”

            “Oh I see, you feel sorry for me,” Luke said.

            “No!  No, it’s nothing like that.  You need me.  You need me…in a way that Scotty never did.”

            Whatever that meant now, who was with her, Scotty!  But she would do anything for her child, yet that wasn’t the only reason. 

            “I wanna hear all the JUICY details…” Felicia burst through the door.

            What angered Laura is that Felicia then acted like Laura had the nerve for being there.  She was only his wife for twenty years and the mother of all his children.  How dare Laura?

            “Oh, I thought you were alone.”

            Felicia stood there, as if waiting for Laura to leave! 

            “You were mistaken,” was the nicest thing Laura could think of to say.

            Surprisingly, but finally, Luke told Felicia to leave, while he and Laura finished their conversation.  And…they were pleasant to each other.  Laura even found herself offering to do whatever it took to help Luke.  She wasn’t ever good at turning that down though.  Though it was annoying it did always lead to some of the best days of her life.

 

 

One Month Later

11:12 PM

 

            “Laura, stop!  I can’t go anymore.”

            He dropped the bags and collapsed on the floor.  They were in Greece, on their way to Istanbul.  They wanted to stop to see the Cassadine Island, for clues.  This island was even more beautiful than the island they’d been on in 1981.  And surprisingly just as hot as it was all those years ago.  Laura never wore a coat, the only time it was cold was the wind from the ocean.  They were here because of Helena and Lucky and themselves.  They wanted to stop Helena. 

            “You all right,” he asked her.

            She turned around, her long blonde hair, thick, sticking to her. 

            “Yeah, I’m fine, why?”
            “I just thought this would be hard for you.”

            “Why, because this is wear I was kept for two years?”  He said nothing.  “I’m all right, I’m not a prisoner, you’re here.  I mean as long as someone’s with me, especially you, I just feel like I’m here on vacation.”

            She couldn’t believe she’d said that!  She looked away.  He walked in pain over to her, and she giggled. 
            “Hey Laura, you wanna carry your own crap and then tell me how to walk?”
            She kept giggling.  He tilted her chin up towards him. 

            “Nothing’s gonna happen to you.  I will still die first before I let anyone hurt you.”

            “I still trust you,” she said with anger, yet honesty.

            “Laura, life is changing on me again.  I asked you to come with me.  I wanted you to.  And you said yes.”

            “Because I’m Lucky’s mother,” she stated bluntly. 
            “No.  Not just that.”

            “Oh, no, because Felicia can’t leave the country.”

            “This is not about Felicia.”

            She ripped his hands off of her shoulders.  “Well, you see Luke, I have just an teeny, tiny problem believing that.”

            “Laura, but we can work together.”

            “Yes we can.  We always could.”
            “All right, let me guess, you’re hungry!”
            Laura smiled.  “I was trying to shut about it.”

            “I’ll go get some food.  You stay here, and you take this gun, and if anyone hurts you, don’t scream unless it’s more than one person.  If you need to shoot-“

            “I know,” she said smiling.  Did he not remembered she’d killed a few times before?

            He stroked her face with the back of his hand.  “Be careful,” he said and left.

            She sat down, organizing their things.  She felt so hot.  She was going to change into something cooler.  She lifted her shirt off of her body, then unhooked her bra, exhaling relief as the stickiness left her breasts.  She put on a sundress, during the summers on this island she wore them everyday.  Laura tried to put her hair up in a ponytail.  She was so hot and uncomfortable that it was harder to put her hair up than she thought. She really realized she had a ton of hair!

She turned and saw a face she hadn’t seen in years.  She began to breathe heavily though she tried to remain calm and tell herself it was just an image inside her mind.  And even if it wasn’t, he had to go away…no matter what.  His face was still smug and evil, and she knew he’d watched her undress.  His face told her so.  She reached for the gun and couldn’t get it because she refused to take her eyes away from him because he would just disappear and then she would be the victim again.  She began to scream for Luke.

            Luke came around the corner, but she was delirious.

            “He’s here!  He’s gonna rape me and he’s gonna kill you!  Luke, please help me.”

            “Laura, shh,” he said holding her.  “Who’s here, what the hell are you talking about?”

            “He’s gonna hurt me!  He watched me just like he always did!”
            Luke began to shake her, tear stains against the brown dirt covering her face. 

            “Who?  What are you talking about?”

            She was still breathing hard, and she began to choke.  She pushed her over, lightly tapping her back, and her chokes and tears lasted until she gagged.  He couldn’t understand what the hell was wrong with her.  He wiped her mouth and cupped her face.

            “Laura, Laura, calm the hell down.  Who did you see?”

            “Stavros.”
            Luke looked at her, asking more questions and she felt him disbelieve.

            “He was just standing right there!” she pointed behind the trees.  “And he watched me like he’d been watching me for hours!”

            Her eyes began to not be completely there, and he clutched her to him.  “Shhhh,” she heard him say.

            Laura never thought she’d be in his arms again.  It comforted her, and the tears stopped falling.  Eventually her breathing came back to normal again.

            “He was standing right there,” she said sniffing, in a tiny voice.

            “You’re were so afraid, you just remember this island all too well.”

            “Don’t patronize me!  I know what I saw!”

            “Laura, Stavros is dead, now you’re gonna be fine-“

            “Stop it!”

            “He’s DEAD!”

            “Yeah, I recall that, Luke, but he was standing right there!  It wasn’t my imagination!”

            “All right, all right-“

            She yelled at him terribly, not really yelling at him about anything in particular, but it almost turned lighter through her empty threats.

            “Holy, Jesus, Laura, just…okay, just calm down,” he said as if she were in labor.

            She couldn’t help but burst out laughing.  “You never could handle my anger.”

            “Well not psycho anger, no.”

            Her face turned serious again.  “I’m not gonna let him hurt me, Luke.  There’s still no way now that he’s seen me and he knows I’m here with you.  I know that you and I are not leaving this island until somebody is gone.  And I will make that him…myself!  But I don’t want him to touch me.”
            “We’ll stop him.  We did last time and it could be Helena or even Stefan making you nuts!”

            “Forget them, how can we stop him-“

            “Laura, I’m not even sure he’s really alive!  There are so many explanations.”

            “What if he is!  Just for a minute, tell me what we’re gonna do if he’s alive.”

            “I’ll stop him.”

            “HOW!”
            “We’ll just…more securely make sure he leaves the face of this earth!”

            Laura nodded, more convinced and determined than he was.  “There is no other option.  Death is the only way to stop him.  But he’s Nikolas’s father.”

            “Yes, and he will destroy Nikolas along with you.”

Her beautiful face looked at him with such insecure eyes.  Eyes that weren’t seeing everything, but maybe she was the one seeing more than him.  He cupped her face, frightful to touch her more.  She looked at him, telling him with her eyes that she was here, but he knew what he’d done to her.  He knew what she’d been through.  He hugged her instead.

            “I’ve gotta go get my children, Luke!  I have to protect them-“

            “You can’t protect him as long as he’s alive!  We will protect our kids and your son when we make sure that you and I are the only ones leaving this island!”

            Laura cringed and thick tears fell, burning her skin.  He held her close, rocking her.

            She bent her head down, crying.  “I don’t know anything.  I never thought on this island, I just breathed because they told me to,” she sobbed. 

            Suddenly, they heard something.  Luke shook her, telling her not to go anywhere.  He heard the footsteps head away from them.  Luke shoved the gun to Laura and took another one for himself.  He turned back.

            “Do not hesitate to protect yourself!  Nikolas knows you, and not his father.  He’d choose you!”

            And with that, he was gone.  After a few minutes of terrible shaking, she heard footsteps.  She called out Luke’s name, but the figure was not Luke’s.  She pointed the gun but she couldn’t see from the blur of her tears.

            “Stop!  Please, stop!  Stavros!  Stop it!”

            The figure said nothing.  “Lasha,” he screamed, as terrified as she was.

            She dropped the gun on purpose, her entire body shaking.  The man scooped her up in his arms, holding her. 

            “Stefan!” she said as he held her and she latched onto him.  “I saw him!  I saw Stavros, please, you’ve gotta help me!  He’s gonna hurt me and everyone I love.  He’ll hurt you!”

He gripped her face, running his thumbs over her cheek. 

“Lasha, why do you think I’m here?  I’m here to protect you.  I know he’s alive!”

Laura’s eyes widened and sparkled in the moonlight.  The moisture gathering in her blue eyes took his breath away.

“You’ve known?”

“No!  No, not at all.  You had every right to hate all of us, but I won’t let anyone hurt you anymore.”

“Nikolas!  Where is he?”

“He’s fine!  I have him protected!”

“Where-“

“Trust me,” he interrupted, still holding her face.

She searched his eyes.  She did trust him, still.  And the way he looked at her, it was 1982. 

“Lasha, you are not going back into any sort of world of theirs.  I know you’ll never love me, we are way past that, but my feelings will always be there, and I will die before I let anyone harm you.”

Luke had said those same words.  She kissed him softly and when he tried to pull back, she breathed him in, planting soft kisses all over him, then just clinging to him, rocking him in her arms. 

“I lied,” she said softly.

“About what?”

“I would’ve loved you.  I was afraid of what I was feeling.  I love Luke, but you were…everything.  And had he not been alive, you would’ve been my world.  You were for two years.  You know things about me no one else does, and making love to you that night was more than comfort, or relief, it was everything.  It still is.  I was in love with you, and my feelings haven’t changed either.  Would you please learn from me, learn from my love, that love is more important than being a Cassadine.”

“Is Luke here-“

“Oh forget him!  If he ever dares to harm Nikolas, I am fully capable of killing him myself!”  She smiled a little. 

She heard Luke call her name.

“Get out of here,” she whispered to Stefan, hearing Luke.

Stefan wasn’t one to run from Luke, but she pushed him.

“Luke!”

He came to her, running so quickly towards her that he almost knocked her over when he finally reached her.

“What happened?  You all right?”

“I’m fine.  I saw Stavros.  He’s worse than I remembered, and that’s not easy to beat!  It’s like he woke up in a chronically more insane mood.”

She looked back, where Stefan had left, then turned back to Luke.

“Luke, he’s gonna try and hurt us.  We can’t wait.  We have to do something now, maybe I can talk with him-“

“Laura-“

“No!  Let me handle it-“

“Handle what,” Stavros asked.

Luke placed Laura behind him, as she fought to not hide.

“You can’t hurt her!” Luke yelled to Stavros.

“You mean the way you did?  I never would’ve left her.”

Laura looked down.

“No, you would’ve just continued to rape her and possess her!”

“I swore I’d give her everything she wanted.”

“Except her life.  Except herself.”

Laura tried to move, but Luke held her firm. 

“She’s my wife!”

“Last time I checked, you divorced her.”

Luke was caught off guard.  “That’s not the point, I will always be here for her, and I’m not gonna watch you even think you can do anything to her anymore!”

            “Luke, let go of me!”

            Laura broke free and faced Stavros. 

“Stavros,” was all she said.

His face frightened her, the obsession increasing in his eyes.
                     “You’re never gonna let me go, are you?”

            “Never.”

            “You won’t hurt her-“

            “Shut up Luke!  I am a Cassadine too.”

            “Our son,” Stavros said.

            Laura looked down.  She wanted to yell to him that Nikolas was Stefan’s.  He stepped towards her, gripping her face, holding her as she frowned.  She tried to break free, and he hit her so hard she fell into a tree trunk, falling to the ground.  Luke tried to help her, but she yelled at him not to.

            “Let me handle it, for once, Luke!”

            She stood up, blood trickling down her face.  She smiled at Stavros.

            “You forget I was married to you, and I know that you’re punishing me, but you didn’t hit me.  I know what you are now, too, and I can fight back!”

            “You won’t fight me when you know I kept you alive.”

            He hit her again, causing her to fall to the ground, and he began to kick her in the stomach as she screamed in pain.  He then bent down and cradled her.  She couldn’t breathe, but finally, she was able to gulp air. 

            “Don’t make me do that again,” he said to her.

            “Don’t make you?”
            “LAURA!”

            “Luke…don’t.  Leave me alone for a minute.”

            “He’s just going hurt you!  He is hurting you.”

            Luke pulled out a gun.

            “NO, Luke!  Don’t!”

            “You would kill the father of Laura’s first child,” Stavros said to Luke.

            “You’re no one’s father.  He’s gonna kill you, Laura, or do something worse, and I won’t let him!”

            “I can’t let you to do this!”

            Stavros pulled out a gun and pressed it against Laura’s head. 

            “Should’ve let him, Lasha.”

            She froze, and then Stavros shot Luke’s gun out of his hand, then pointed it back at Laura.  She rolled her eyes.

“You never did give me a fair chance to be anything real, did you?  You’re going to shoot an unarmed woman.”

Luke had never been so afraid in his life.  Stavros tortured Luke while holding the gun to Laura’s head.  She swiftly knocked the gun out of his head, and suddenly, he fell to the ground.  The shots rang out and Stavros was powerless.  Laura looked around, and saw Stefan, looking as though he’d shot nothing.

            Laura bent down to Stavros.  He touched her hair.

            “Why couldn’t you have been human,” she said.

            She flew into Stefan’s arms.  “Lasha,” he said.  “It will never be your fault,” Stefan said to her. 

            He pushed her away, walking over to his brother.  Stefan covered his hand with his eyes, crying himself as he shot his brother again.  Stavros still wasn’t dead.  Suddenly, from out of nowhere, Nikolas came, ripping the gun from his uncle’s hand.  He’d seen his father beating his mother.  He leaned over to Stavros.

“NIKOLAS!” Laura said running to him, but Luke grabbed her and pulled her back.

“Don’t,” Luke whispered, comforting Laura as best he could without words.

“I have a mother.  She’s not your wife, not your possession.  She never belonged to you, she wasn’t even your wife.”

  Nikolas looked away, shooting his father, finally killing him.  He threw the gun down as if it were on fire, and ran off crying.  Stefan cried and screamed about allowing someone that was still a child to him, do something like this.  Tears slipped down Laura’s moist cheeks.

            “Stefan!”

            Laura ran over to him, holding him to her.  He wouldn’t stop crying, he hadn’t cried like this since he thought Laura had died.  She tried to comfort him like he had on her wedding night to Stavros. 

            “Stefan…shh, listen,” she said cupping his face with her eyes full of hope.  “Listen.  Helena doesn’t own you anymore.  You don’t have to be a Cassadine, you can be the man I was in love with.”

            Stefan stopped crying and he hugged her. 

            Luke walked over, but Laura knew he would, and she turned, eyes flashing.  “And you are gonna stay the hell away from him.  You two are gonna stop right now!  It’s over.  You run the Cassadine organization, and you Luke, are through!  I’m so tired of this.  Stavros is dead,” she breathed in heavily.  “I pray.  Luke, you don’t have to give a damn about Nikolas, but you will not hurt him anymore-“

            “And you will regret-“ Stefan began.

            “Excuse me, I’m handling my husband!  Ex-husband.  Luke, do you hear me?”

            “I hear what you’re saying, Laura.”

            “I am a Spencer and a Cassadine, I know how to be both.  While you both play games, I will rip the rug out from under you so fast, so you need to stop, because you are what keeps everything alive.  Both of you.  Please stop, for me, and for my children.”

            Stefan had a hand on her waist, which Luke noticed. 

            “I have to go find my son!”

            “No, Lasha, let me.  Let me help him-“

            “He needs his mother!”

            “He needs me.  Stavros is dead, Luke, get her out of here!”

            Luke grabbed her arm, swinging her around towards him. 

            “Luke, let me go!”

            “Laura, come on, now!”

            She cried as Luke dragged her away.  She fell to her knees, the moonlight shining in her sparkling, moist eyes.  It was her hands reaching to him in that dream.  He grabbed her hands, and helped her away. 

 

Two Weeks Later

9:14 PM

 

            Lulu was fast asleep, and Laura, with her hair in a sloppy ponytail and a satin nightgown, began to fall asleep on the couch.  She opened her eyes when she heard a sound, and Luke stood over her.  She jumped up screaming. 

            “Jesus Christ, Luke.  Do you ever ring the doorbell?”

            “Not in about twenty years, no.  Are you all right?”

            She sighed.  “I’m fine.  What are you doing here?”

            “It’s good to see you too.  I’m serious, are you all right?  This whole mess with Stavros being alive, and Nikolas pulling the damn trigger-“

            “My son protected me, just like the rest of the men that have been in my life try to.  But I asked too much of a favor from him, and from you.”

            “From me?”

            Laura looked away.  “I’ve grown up, Luke.  I’m stronger now.”

            “You were always strong.”

            “No I wasn’t.  Even though I desired a house, a family, I never stopped craving the adventure.  And I didn’t come to you as pity.  I know you’ve moved on, and so have I.  I really have.  And I know we can’t go back.”

            “Why do we have to go back?  Who says it’s going back?”

            He moved closer to her, and it scared her.  He brushed her cheek with the back of his hand.

            “Everything’s changed.”

            “Not everything.”

            She laughed.  “Luke, you are in love with someone else, and I…” she didn’t finish.

            “Felicia is…” he didn’t finish either.

            “It’s all right, I know-“

            “No, you don’t know-“

            “I don’t wanna hear it.  I’m tired of trying to live a dream-“

            “We’ve always lived a dream.”

            She tried to turn away, but he gripped her face harshly with his hand, and leaned into kiss her.  She let him because she really didn’t think it was real, and she actually felt the spark when his lips met hers.  She felt her whole body tremble, and it did sound like something out of a romance novel, but being with Luke was a romance novel.  He opened his mouth, capturing her lips between his, running his tongue between hers, to the very edges making her shiver.  Then he pulled back.  She frowned that adorable frown.

            “What the hell was that?”

            “Nothing, I’m sorry-“

            “Oh no!  You’re not getting off that easy.  Luke!”

            “What?”

            “Twenty years ago, you told me that I messed with your head.  What do you call that?”

            “That was…that was I don’t know!  But I know that you were here, and in that moment…”
            “In that moment, well, thank you.  You just went back in time twenty years!  In that moment, dammit, quit doing this.  You are the one messing with my head, I’ve always been pretty damn honest about how I felt-“

I beg your pardon?”

            “All right, that isn’t true, but you just did something ten times worse than what I ever did.  The moment has passed-“

            “The moment hasn’t ended,” he interrupted.  “This entire time we’ve been apart, I wanted to reach out to you, but I couldn’t.  You were too far away.  So I grabbed something I could have then.  A lifeline.  But I never allowed myself to truly think that someday we wouldn’t be together again.  I couldn’t go on living if I truly believed that.”
            “You divorced me,” she said flatly.

            “Scott Baldwin came to me with the divorce papers, darlin’.”
            “Because it was what YOU wanted!”

            “Yeah well, I was wrong.”

            She froze.  He moved towards her again.  She backed up, gathering things that she had planned to take upstairs with her, mostly work files from Deception. 

            “Laura, stop!  Quit running.  We’ve wasted so much time.”  She looked up at him, and he calmed down.  “I’m sorry,” he said, reaching for her face.  “Don’t run from me anymore because you’re afraid of the worst.  You haven’t changed in the way you look at me, and I haven’t ever held anyone in my life but you.”

            He lunged forward and kissed her, and the files fell to the floor, crashing down.  He opened her mouth with his, and fiercely kissed her, not letting any thoughts into her mind but him.  She wanted to stop, because of her fear.  As she almost ripped her mouth free of his, his strong arms wrapped around her, imprisoning her.  She screamed into his kiss and tried to get his hands off her. 

            “Luke, Luke don’t.  Stop!”

            Laura felt his mouth hot against hers, breathing almost for her.  They crumbled to the floor, and once again she felt his body against hers, him ripping the spaghetti straps as she still said no.  She licked the corners of his lips before running smoothly along the bottom of his tongue.  He clamped her struggling hands against the floor, lacing his with hers.  With a quick movement that made her jump, he curled his fingers within the golden strands that hung loosely along her shoulders, and kissed her, blocking off any air unless he gave it to her.  His body covering hers, inside hers.  He was crushing her breasts painfully, and they fell and rose with her breaths. 

            “Laura,” he said, looking at her. 

            He found both of her hands, and gripped them tightly as he held them above her head.  They were both breathing hard.  He saw the fear in her eyes.

            “What are you afraid of?”
            She closed her eyes, then opened them again. 

            “That you’ll go away,” she said softly, which forced him to want her even more.

            Her legs spread almost uncomfortably from the way the nightgown was designed.            “Don’t push me away, and I will never leave.”

            He released her hands and held her entire face within his hands.  He kissed her over and over, making her body rise and respond to him. 

            “Then take me now, Luke,” she whispered seductively.  “Take me now.”

            His heart leaped and he kissed her again, proving the passion had never died.

________________________________________________________________________

 

The Next Morning

7:12 AM

 

            Laura woke up, covered in a wrinkly blanket, her body in Luke’s arms.  She turned to him, sleeping peacefully, and cringed.  She slapped a hand over her eyes in disbelief at what she’d done.  She tried to wiggle her way out of his arms, but he moaned and pulled her closer. 

            “Luke,” she said.  “Luke!”

            He didn’t wake up.  She reached for her purse and banged it against his head to wake him up.

            “Holy hell!  What’s wrong?”

            “Wake up!”

            “I’m up.”

She wrapped the blanket around her body.

            “Luke, please go.”

            “Darlin’, you all right?”

            “Don’t patronize me!  Don’t put me through anything more!”

            “Anymore what?”

            “Of us!”

            He walked over to her and slammed the door, pushing her away from it.  She frowned which almost made him laugh.  Her frown was so…cute. 

            “Laura, I just want you to listen to me-“

            “No!  I want you out of here, why the hell are you even here!”

            “Hold it, hold on now, just calm down,” he said motioning with his hands.

            “Get out, and don’t come back, and don’t you dare tell Scotty!”

            “Um, Laura, wasn’t that the mistake you made the last time the three of us were in this place?”

            “He’ll never understand-“ she said, completely realizing it now, without much regret or pain in her voice.
            “He never did-“

            “There was nothing to understand!  You are a pig and you are walking out the door now and you’re not coming back!”

            “What is wrong with you,” he said taking her hands. 

            She slapped them away.  “No Luke, I’m not gonna do this again.  I’m not going to go through this again.  I can’t play, I can’t!”

            He didn’t say anything.  She sighed and walked away. 

            “You have to go away.  You don’t love me, you never loved me, and I was never meant to be with you!”

            “What?”

            “I wasn’t, because you don’t want to be with anyone.  You wanna be alone.  You only want to run, because you’re afraid of failing, Luke,” she had tears streaming down her face.  “You don’t wanna grow up because you can’t except your life.  The life you regret, the life where you feel you let your mother die.  The life where you remember your father hitting Bobbie.  You don’t want to face anything.  And I can’t change that.  It took me twenty years to realize that, but I don’t belong with you.”

            He tried to speak, but she kept going.  “And it’s not because I didn’t love being on the run with you, going on adventures, but you were never willing to change for my sake.  You didn’t meet me half way, you hated living in a house with me, you hated my son and the fact that I loved him, you hated the fact that I had a past that didn’t involve you-“

            “Laura-“

            “So I know…that I was meant to be with Scotty-“

            “No-“

            “Yes, Luke.  He still loves me, and he’ll do anything for me.  He trusts me, he believes in me.  I can’t make you happy.”

            She turned away from him. 
            “Laura, you say how much Scotty loves you, what about you loving him?  Or are you just saying you should have always loved him?”

            “Get out!”

            “I can’t.  I can’t just go.  Before there was still a chance.”  He turned her around, forcing her to look at him.  “I couldn’t go on breathing the next day if I never thought we’d be together again!  You’re right, and I don’t know if I can…if I can ever…” he didn’t finish.

            Laura looked down, big tears falling down her cheeks.  She touched his arms.

            “Please go, go be happy. 

            “Laura, why don’t you understand?”

            “I understand everything.  You wanna save the world.  You wanna go out there and be something, but the times when you were the most was when you were in my arms.  I loved you, and I hoped that someday I would be enough, but I wasn’t.  I just want you to know that even if you can’t, you are better than being on the run every minute, never belonging anywhere.  I thought you belonged with me, and maybe a part of you does, our children show it, but I’m not going to do this anymore.”

            She reached for him, kissing him lightly on the lips, and he felt her hot tears against his skin. 

            “Everyday, I woke up believing you wouldn’t love me.  I always knew this day would come, that you couldn’t love me as me anymore-“

            “I do, Luke.  I do love you.  I love you in a way I still don’t believe is possible.  You walk into a room and every part of my body just rises in happiness, in excitement, and in fear of the intensity of the love.  But you never loved me enough.  You wouldn’t take a risk and stay with me.”

            She nodded.  “Please go.  We’ll never be right.”

            Luke left.  Laura screamed and threw a crystal bowl she had nearby, as she collapsed to the floor, screaming.  Her eyes cried and cried, draining tears and her mouth exuded painful, deep sobs that made her stomach hurt.  Her eyes became swollen shut.  She felt a pair of strong arms, curling her up and holding her.  It was Roy.  Roy held her, she stayed in the blanket, not even realizing she wasn’t closed beneath the blanket. 

            “I know, Laura, and I’m here.  What happened?”

            “I have no idea,” Laura said softly, holding Roy to her.

            He gripped her waist and pulled her up against him to hold her.  He combed his fingers through her hair and held her.

 

 

Three Weeks Later

 

            Laura sat reading Lulu a story, which was weird for it being a toasty summer day with the sun shining and the wind blowing.  She decided to move her to the porch outside and eat some donut holes she bought.  Those were Lulu’s favorite. 

            She had her hair down completely for once, and had curled it.  She heard a noise so she went inside the house, taking Lulu.  The doorbell rang immediately.  Laura wore black loose slacks with a golden tank top, with a brown, casual vest over it.  She looked like a country girl.  She opened the door and Lucky and Liz were there, holding some chips and dip. 

            “Hi, Mom!”

            “Laura, hi.”

            Laura smiled a little stunned as they walked in, following them was Nikolas and Emily.  As Laura began to close the door, someone’s foot kicked it open.

            “Excuse me, Laura, comin’ through!”

            It was Luke carrying a whole bunch of things, some were food items, and some other accessories. 

            “Hey, cowboy, help me out here, would ya?”

            Lucky rushed over and helped Luke.  Laura looked confused as she watched her son carry things his father had handed to him. 

            “Hey, Laura, think fast!”

            Laura turned back to Luke and he tossed her a box of something.  She looked at it and smiled sarcastically at him.

            “Very funny,” she said to him.

            “That was the one completely simple thing you could never cook, chocolate chip cookies.  Bobbie, Monica, Alan, and a few others are coming.  We’re all gonna cook some steaks and fried chicken, some corn on the cob and hotdogs and hamburgers-“

            “Daddy!”

            Luke lifted his baby girl up.  “Hello Angel!  We’re gonna have a party!”

            “We are?”

            Laura smiled a slightly irritated smile.  “You’re father always surprised me, yes we are.  You could’ve told me.  And you’re cooking?  Did you plan this?”

            “Yes and yes.”

            “You actually asked Nikolas to come, or did you get Lucky to?”

            “I asked him.”

            “You feeling okay?”

            “Yeah, come on,” he said putting Lulu down. 

            “Luke!” she wailed after him, then smiled, following him. 

            It was so wonderful, having a barbeque with her family.  Luke was so amazing with Lulu.  He swung her round and round, danced with her to the crazy blues he was obsessed with, and Laura found herself envying her daughter.  How did Lulu have straight black hair?  That was something Laura just realized.

            “Mom, you okay?”

            Laura said nothing, but clutched Lucky to her.  “I love you.”

            “I love you.  I love you so much.  You showed me love.”

            She just held him, and looked at Luke holding Lulu.  She was so happy with him around.  Liz came over.

            “Get over here,” Laura said, holding Liz. 

            They hugged and talked briefly, and then they went off.  Laura was content just watching.  Amy came around the corner.  Laura immediately braced herself for whatever crazy thing she was going to “accidentally” say tonight. 

            Hours passed and Laura sat content with her family.  All Laura could eat though was chicken and corn on the cob.  After the eating, Lulu fell asleep on the swinging chair.  Laura walked over and talked to Bobbie.

            “Hey there,” Laura said cautiously.

            “Laura, you okay?”

            Laura looked at Luke, then back at Bobbie.  “What the hell is he doing,” she whispered.

            “With my brother, who knows?”

            Laura looked down.  Bobbie’s hand touched her wrist.  “Hey, don’t worry, just have a good time.”

            Bobbie walked on to talk to Elizabeth, and Roy came to Laura. 

            “Would you dance with me?”

            Laura smiled.  “For you I would do anything.”

            Laura walked to the center of the yard and slowly danced with Roy, they smiled at each other and talked.  Giggling a little.  Others danced around them.  Lucky and Nikolas apparently decided to bring a stereo.  Luke cut into dance with Laura, which she reluctantly did, she refused to make a scene.  It was a little uncomfortable to say the least, she did her best to avoid eye contact. 

            Then Amy put on Fascination, and Laura’s head fell against Luke’s chest as she groaned.

“I’ll kill her-“

            “Are you surprised?  Amy’s Amy.  Don’t make a scene, Laura.”

            So he danced with her to their song.  She tried not to look at him, but he held her hand and her waist tightly.  She knew he was proving he could do it.  She danced back to prove she would.  This was the game they always played when they’d been crazy about each other, but the anger blocked complete happiness.  But were they crazy about each other now?  He was looking at her, but she refused to truly read his eyes.  She stared back, matching his look, and although it had anger, there was something else.  His hand held hers so tightly. 

            She was about to say something, but he twirled her back.  She hadn’t danced with him in a while, and all their friends and both her children were watching.  She didn’t want to see everyone’s face, so she had to settle for just concentrating on her dancing, and looking at her jerk of an ex-husband. 

            “I hate you,” she said as he smiled at her hate.

            The dance ended, and everyone clapped.  Laura yelled, “Is everybody happy?”  Everyone just clapped.  She walked over to Lulu.  Laura pulled her from Elizabeth’s arms into her own.  “I love you.”

            The rest of the party was just Laura observing everyone and every movement.  It fascinated her.  She was exhausted by 1:12 in the morning when she collapsed on the bed, falling asleep in her clothes. 

 

The Next Morning

7:59 AM

           
            “Rise and shine, Laura!”

            Laura had a slight hangover.  She didn’t even remember being drunk, guess she was getting to old to drink one too many glasses of wine. 

            “Go away,” she moaned.

            Luke stuffed a piece of bacon in her mouth, and she woke up.  Laura sat up and ate, remembering twenty one years ago.  She laughed.

            “What?”

            “Remember when you cooked me breakfast in Beecher’s Corners on the day we came back to Port Charles?”
            “Yes I do.  I force fed you.”

            “You said I needed to save my energy,” she said trying to catch him off guard.

            “I take requests,” was his reply.

            “Would you like a piece of bacon…I wasn’t asking.”

            “Lulu’s gonna be asleep for awhile,” he said, making her a little afraid.

            “Can I ask you something?”

            “Sure, quickly.”

            “Luke, I’m serious.”  He said nothing.  “Did you really love me?  I mean, all those times you told me you did?”

            “Did you doubt it?”

            “Not then.”
            “Yes, I needed you to face the next day.  Every night I went to bed fearing the next morning you wouldn’t be by my side.”

            “And what specific event made you stop loving me?  Exactly?”         

            Luke didn’t know what to say.  Laura went on.

            “I mean was it all Nikolas?  That I had a child with another man when I was prisoner and raped every night?  Was it that I didn’t tell you because I didn’t want any more deaths in my family or was it me wanting to be with the son I loved and lost?  Was it Stefan?  Or was it just Felicia?”
            “Felicia,” he asked like he had no idea what she was talking about.

            “During her Aztec adventure, were you in love with her then?”

            “Laura!”

            “No, I just mean, was it back then too?  Did I miss it when you went to have an adventure with her?”

            “I never looked at her as more than just a pal.  I never loved her, Laura.”

            Laura ate another waffle.  Luke ripped her hands from her food, holding her wrists tightly.

            “Laura,” he said softly, making her shiver with seduction and fear.

            He let go of one wrist, but held even tighter to the other.  He reached and cupped the side of her face.  He brought her face to his, enveloping her mouth inside his.  She felt his passion overcoming her own, making her literally dizzy.  He bent her head back, bringing her body against his, kicking the tray of food to the floor, the plates shattering into tiny pieces.  She tried to speak, gasping quickly.

            “Shh, talk later,” he said.

            She moaned into his kiss as he ripped the vest off of her body.  He unbuttoned her pants quickly, pushing her back against the pillows.  Every inch of her body responded, even her toes seemed to have heat coming off of them.  He never let her see anything but them whenever they made love, he was just too consumed in her to let her get a breath of air.  His hand trailed down her neck, lifting her shirt off of her, then imprisoning her between his arms.  His lips traced down her neck, kissing her chest lightly, caressing her.  He kissed her heart, the cleft between her breasts, over and over, before resting his head there, hearing her beating heart. 

            He pulled her jeans down the rest of the way, taking off his shirt also.  He took it off as quickly as he could, and she made a surprised sound as he covered his lips with hers, gathering her in his arms.

            “Laura, I need you.”

            She said nothing.  His hands ran along her stomach, just barely touching it, forcing goose bumps.  She ran her fingers through his hair as he placed hot little kisses along her skin.  He pulled her legs off the bed, and she tilted her head to the ceiling.  She felt his tongue stabbing at her provocatively, beautifully.  He touched her briefly before he heard her say no.  He wasn’t sure he heard her right, but stopped to look at her.  She had fear in her eyes.  Tears threatening to fall.

            “Luke, stop,” she said quickly, afraid.

            Tears did fall, large black tears. 

            “Okay, okay, it’s all right,” he said moving up towards her, wiping away her tears.  “I won’t touch you unless you want me too, I’m sorry.”

            He helped her quickly to cover herself, respecting her, and just held her for a moment. 

            “I’ll leave if you want me to.  I’ll stay but I won’t touch you anyway you don’t want me to, but if you want me to go, I will.  Please don’t cry.”

            “Yeah, I need you to go, I’m sorry.”

            He tightened his grip once more before releasing her, and he covered her up a little more.  He stood up and headed for the door.

            “Luke!”

            He popped his head back in, and knew that look.  He lunged forward to capture her lips, overlapping and suckling on them for a matter of seconds before letting go of her newly bruised mouth.  He looked at her once more, and she told him with her eyes she needed time.  He left.

            She didn’t believe him yet.  She didn’t believe in anything yet.  She wasn’t sure.

 

Laura’s Garden

7:13 PM

 

            Laura sat in her knees in ratty light blue jeans, watering the flowers.  She slowly arranged the cute daisies and sat back, admiring them.  She heard footsteps, yet didn’t turn around.

            “My wife gardening.”

            “I’m not your wife,” she said, still arranging the flowers.

            “Aren’t you,” he said contradicting her with a hint of anger. 
            Luke grabbed Laura making her scream as he silenced her by crushing his lips against hers, harshly tangling his hands in her hair.  He pushed her back, yet held his grasp on her face.

            “I want you,” was all he said.

            “So I gathered.”

            She placed her hands over his, her moist lips parted slightly, her eyes looking at his mouth.  He held her tightly in his arms, as they slowly slid to the floor.  He held his grasp around her as he placed her beneath him, his gaze studying hers.  Somewhere in between possessive kissing, some of their clothing was lost.  He caressed her face as he explored her inner moist surfaces, making her body ache and have little beads of condensation form on her chest.  Laura could feel the press of his shirt against her bare skin, and it felt uncomfortable.  She shyly placed her hands at the bottom on his shirt, edging it up, before he completely relieved himself of it, brushing his lips against hers, and it seemed to burn her.  Luke explored the soft surface of her lips with the tip of his tongue, making them tingle, and sampled the moist and delicate corners.

            The deeper the kisses, the tighter the hold he had on her body.  He twined his long fingers in Laura’s hair, pulling it out of the sloppy ponytail, combing it with his hands.  He kissed her neck, and with a quick stroke of his tongue, sent a shiver along her nerves.  Laura’s breathing became thick and shallow, and he turned her towards him, looking at her big blue eyes as they both just spoke of desire with their eyes.  He trailed hot kisses along her jaw, and as she moaned he covered her mouth, breathing her in, causing her head to move up with his.

            Luke placed his hand softly on her breast, still kissing her, and quickly loosened the buttons of her blouse, revealing a very thin white bra.  Her nipple was already hardened, as she reached to him, pressing his body against hers, massaging his back with the tips of her pressing fingers.  He peeled the cup of her bra off, leaning in to taste a nipple, circling it briefly with his forceful tongue, then taking it into the intense adhesion of his mouth.  He left kisses along the contracted peak, before she reached with her hands, pulling his mouth to hers, rolling over on top of him.  Just as she rolled him over, he grabbed her upper arms, holding them tightly, rolling over again on her.  As she tried to touch him again, he harshly tore her hands from his face, scaring her momentarily, and again they stared, their breathing ragged and varied.

            “Make me yours,” was all she said.

            As soon as she pressed his back on her skin, she felt pleasure ripple through her in exhausting waves.

 

“You wanna have another baby,” Luke asked.

            “Me and what uterus!”


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The End~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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