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Disclaimer:  I do not own these characters.

 

Title:  Why

 

Rating:  PG-13

 

Keyword:  Luke/Laura Romance, Laura/Stefan Relationship, Luke/Stefan Relationship

 

Summary:  Luke encounters a woman and stops the evil from happening to her, only to remember the evil he caused so many years ago.  The last person he expected makes him understand the truth, and someone overhears, and is in tears.

 

Dedication:  Genie Francis and Tony Geary, my love to you both!

 

Author:   

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            Luke was driving around trying to think of where she would be.  He drove like an insane person because of his fear for her.  He reached the cliff and figured she’d be there.  Where she’d thrown the keys over the cliff in 1979 to save him.  Even if she wasn’t there, it was better than any of the other ideas floating around his mind. 

            He pulled over far enough away from her that he would walk a bit to get to the edge.  He saw Laura and exhaled with relief.  She sat there, legs over the edge and it reminded him of his dream not too long ago where she jumped off the roof of General Hospital.  Should he call her name?  She wasn’t exactly trusting of him at the moment, and she was probably more than willing to jump off if he called her.  But seeing her hanging half way off a cliff was not an option either.  He walked very quietly over to her, quickly putting an arm around her neck and dragging her back as she screamed like hell.

            “It’s me!  Laura, it’s me.”

            “Jesus,” she whispered.

            She placed a hand over his arm, not even looking up as she tried to calm down.  Luke took her hand and pulled her up off the ground.  Holding her against him and tangling his hands in her hair she felt relief as well.  He whispered how afraid he was against her ear.  He then held her at arms length.

            “You okay?”

            She was still shaking, though breathing normally.

            “Stefan told me about the Cassadines endangering you again.  You believe that?” Luke asked.

            “Oh yeah.  When did they stop?” she laughed sadly.  “Luke I need to ask you something.  I need you to really tell me the truth.  No matter what.”

            She had walked far enough away he couldn’t touch her. 

“Yeah, of course.”

            “If I was somehow, unreachable to them, would they leave my children alone?”

            “What do you mean?  If you ran off would they concentrate on you?”

            Laura shook her head quickly.  “No, I mean if they knew I was gone, forever.  If they got their revenge and there was no way I was ever coming back to anyone or anything, would they let any part of this go?”

            Luke swallowed, afraid of what she meant by that.  “Never coming back…how would you do that?”

            “If I died.”

            He froze for a second, not sure how to answer that.

            “Why would you even ask that-“

            “The truth, Luke.  No matter what, tell me what you think would happen.”
            “I have no idea what would happen but nothing good!  Why are you talking like this-“

            “Because even if I do win, somebody is going to be hurt and if you recall, when Stavros died, we still weren’t free.  So I see there are two choices for me.  I can repeat what I did last time and just do what they all tell me to do, or I can find a way to stop them before they touch anyone.” 

She leaned in real close to him. 

“And I am telling you, I know I’m supposed to do anything for my children, but I won’t go back there.  I can’t.”  She inhaled, shaking as she did.  “Never again will I do what I did.  I will never be ashamed, I won’t be a possession, I will die first and I’d be happy to do so.”

            There was a fire in her eyes that showed her firmness and her conviction.  Luke didn’t understand why she was acting like her only choice was to give up.

“How can you doubt that you can beat them?  Even without anyone to help you, you know them, and you can fight them yourself.  How can you doubt yourself like this?”

            Laura spoke casually, and quickly.  “Because I was there.  I did what they said, with no strength, no independence, no freedom.  And I want you to tell me after experiencing all of that…how I can ever believe in God.”  She grew furious through her words.  “Where the hell was God when I was there?!?  What was he thinking and was that okay with him?  Nobody ever made them suffer!  How could God watch over me and love me and let that happen, let them do that to me!  There was no amount of praying, it was all in their control.”

            He embraced her.  She was exhausted and a little distant in reality.  Who wouldn’t be?  He held her close, kissing the top of her head as he kept her warm.

            “You have faith in a lot of things, Laura.”

            She pulled back, looking at him with wide, hateful eyes.  “Oh really?  On that island there was absolutely no way out for me, and no one ever named any names!  I don’t believe in justice, and I don’t believe I can win this without losing something in the process!”

He slipped his hand beneath her hair holding her close by her neck.  She shivered from tears and frustration, and hate.

“You act as though I’m free now, Luke.  Like I’ve been free ever since I left.  I was never free.  I was still controlled by what I could and could not say.  You and I were never real apparently, because I never told you all of the truth.  They didn’t have to do anything to get you to punish me, what I did was obviously enough.  You let them get what they wanted, which was you leaving me.”

            She looked at him with hate and then turned away, nausea coming over her as she covered her mouth with her hands.  Stavros was alive.  She shivered as the fear and the memory coursed through her.  Luke came up behind her and held her.  She gasped as he touched her.

            “I won’t do it again,” she whispered, leaning her back against him.

            “No, you don’t have to do any of that again.  Because you can stop it.”

            She turned around.  “We owe each other nothing, that’s what you’ve said for years and now I believe it.  Because you’re another thing I don’t believe in.”

            He looked at her with hurt and questioning.

            “What,” Laura said hatefully.  “You hurt me more than anyone else ever has and it was because you wanted to punish me!  For lying to you about loving another man when I thought you were dead!  So now I will save myself.  I gave you my life and you didn’t forgive me.  You want to talk about truth and honesty?”

She began to walk away.  Luke grabbed Laura’s hand to pull her back a little, holding onto her upper arms tightly.  He was furious and his grip bruised her arms a little.

“I told you how much I hate what I did.  That isn’t going to go away anymore than you’re pain!  I wasn’t there!  Either time you needed me, and Stefan was.  Helping you with the loss of my son, helping you survive his own sick family.  And I know that you’d like nothing more than to hurt me back, and you’re welcome to it, but the last time they scared you I let them make me think you were dead for two years and I did nothing.  I’m not doing that again.”

Laura’s eyes glared at her ex-husband. 

“But of course it wasn’t all right that I did what I did while I was there.  That I dared to be happy, right?  That I dared to be who I wanted to be in the arms of another man?  You don’t know what they did to me.  Stefan knows,” she said coldly.  “And you know something Luke, he still loved me!  It didn’t matter that I left him and our child and had two children of yours!  It didn’t matter to him that Stavros touched me!  He loved me for me, not because of who else HAD me!”

            Luke knew she wasn’t saying this for any reason other than that she meant it.  He knew she loved Stefan, how much she really did love him.  And he pushed her there.  He’d forced her there by turning away and not fighting for her. 

            “We divorced on our nineteenth anniversary but of course you didn’t sign them correctly so we had to go through more pain!  You pushed me away no matter how much I loved you.  He loved me no matter what I did.”

            Luke tightened his grip on her arm, forcing pain as the other hand combing her hair.  I loved you no matter what you did!”

            Tears streamed down her face as the fury poured out of her. 

“Oh right!  You loved me so much that when our son died you left me alone and had sex with another woman on the counter of your bar and then you hated me for turning to Stefan!  You didn’t mind going off and finding your own “comfort”, but I was nothing but a Cassadine whore.”

            “I know I screwed up.  I know I punished you for something stupid, but I’m not going to just let them scare you like this and let you think that I am not going to help you.  I’m never going to let anyone hurt you like that again.”

            His hands enclosed tighter around her arms so she wouldn’t escape him.

“I don’t want you to save me for your own revenge, Luke.  Just because they stole something that belonged to you!  That’s what this is really about.  They took me from you, but I was nothing more to you than I was to Stavros, a possession that the Cassadines tampered with.  Well now I don’t want to belong to anyone.”

She broke free of his arms with such a cry of agony he knew he had never heard.

            “Wait a minute!” he said jerking her so she’d stay still for a second.  “You can yell at me all you want but you know how much I love you and you’ve always known that.  You can tell me how much you hate me, but I know you still love me.”

            “Any realistic belief of that died when you threw me away, letting the whole world know,” she said firmly.

            He ignored that.  “Admit it,” Luke said jerking her slightly.  “You told me you loved me just a couple of weeks ago.”

            She couldn’t believe him.  She couldn’t believe he would say that to her.  He was poisoned when she’d said that.  She was helping, and yes, she did love him, because it was the past.  She loved who he was, just like he had only loved who he thought she was.

“Why should I tell you I love you?  For what purpose?  I told you before because you were in the past and so was I.  Now, in this life, I owe you less than nothing!”
            He kissed her then, embracing her as she struggled once comprehending his actions.  And she fought him with everything she had left in her, but he was as determined as she was.  She yelled through the kiss and pushed him away unsuccessfully.  She pulled free for an instant but Luke grabbed her by the wrists and kissed her again, passionately.  He brushed her hair away from her face and kissed her on her cheeks, her forehead, her chin, her nose, and her closed eyelids.  Tears slid down her face as she continued to protest.  As she fought he grabbed her arm and bent it back behind her, twisting it up her back, keeping her there. 

He used his other hand to firmly hold a grip on the back of her head as he kissed her.  Luke drew her lips apart brutally with his tongue, suckled intensely on her full lips before flicking his tongue lightly in her mouth to draw her close.  The tears slipped down as the passion flared inside her. 

            He pulled her back, lowering himself to be more face to face with her, foreheads touching and his hand holding her hair.  She was breathing heavily from exhaustion.

            “I love you, and I’m going to prove to you that there is nothing now you could ever do to push me away.  No secret is going to make me walk away from you ever again.  I’m not going to let you go and I don’t care what you say to try and make me because I have let that destroy too much.”

            She tried to speak as he continued to kiss her, to take her in.  He kept her close, smothering her, places kisses over her face too quickly and too desperately for her to think of something to say.     

“Luke, Luke please, you had me by your side for most of my life, I gave you everything I could.  How much more are you gonna take from me?” she said with desperation.

            “That’s not what I’m doing,” he said softly, need and fear in his voice.  “I should have been someone you could tell everything to.  I will be everything for you now, Laura.  I love you so much, I’ve always loved you, I’ve done terrible things and I’ve said terrible things but if there is any piece of you that still might have even the potential of loving me, I will fight for you, and I will fight for us.”

            He held her arm with one of his hands and her face in the other, pulling her to him to kiss her again.  His lips brutally inflamed hers, and there was no way to stop him at that moment or not feel what he felt.

“Luke-“ she said but he cut her off again.

He cupped her face with both hands now and kissed her lips very slowly, still very deeply.  She tasted his fear and his guilt.  He stroked his tongue with hers, gripping her lower lip between his teeth, running his tongue smoothly along the edge, then taking possession of her entire mouth.  She knew she loved him, she knew she never denied that.  But hated him just as much.

            “Stop!” she said desperately, managing to push him back for a minute so she could speak. 

            Laura’s mind faded into memory.

 

<"Look, stop it!  Stop--stop trying to turn this into something that it isn't.  In court, under oath, the D.A. asked you if you had slept with Cassadine. Stefan, not Stavros, because we all know you did that.  And I waited.  And I waited for you to look at me, for our--eyes to meet or something so that we could share a wink or a laugh or a smirk because the idea was so absurd.  But you didn't look at me because you couldn't. And there's only one reason for that--because when you said that you hadn't had sexual relations with Stefan Cassadine, you were lying. You had an affair with him, didn't you? Say it!"

Laura hated that Luke was so furious.  She felt backed against the wall, she had to tell him the truth but he would be no less angry whether she told him or she didn’t.  And maybe this was HARD on her too!  Stefan, the only constant in Nikolas’s life was about to go to prison for a crime he didn’t commit!  So she testified, and she tried to tell Luke before she testified but he slammed the door in her face saying he couldn’t STAND to hear her speak of her son anymore!  So what were her options?

Laura swallowed, tears down her cheeks.  "A long, long time ago, yes, I had an affair with Stefan."

Luke’s face was more angry than she’d ever seen.  Laura ducked her head and cried at all the pain she had caused from trying to prevent pain.

"I want specifics.  I want to know when it started. I want to know where you and your brother-in-law met.  Was there a special place?  Was it a cove or on a boat or in a cave?  And how did you keep it a secret from the brother that you'd married, the paranoid, homicidal--how?  How?  That must have taken incredible planning, a lot of guts, and motivation.  You must have had a great deal of need.  So no more lies.  I want details.">

 

Laura looked back up at Luke, eyes flashing pure hatred.

“You wanna know the details of me and Stefan, you said you did when I told you about the island and that we’d had affair!  You demanded details, well fine, I’m gonna tell you now,” she said softly, with anger.

            “I know,” he said, not wanting her to.

            “No you don’t!  You asked if we met in a cave or a cove or in a boat, all of the above, Luke,” she hissed.  “Also in the wild garden.  That’s what we called it.  After Stavros would pass out drunk I would go out there and be consumed in his love, and my love, and the way we could create our own world and be our own people, we could be each other without all the Cassadine crap!  We were inside emotion when we were together.  It didn’t matter where we were, if it was raining, if I could hear Stavros screaming at me to come back to him that minute!  Stefan let me be me!  And he saw me strong and passionate instead of a weak victim!  And when he touched me, and I welcomed it.”

            She waited a few seconds as he looked at her, and then she tried to move, but he didn’t loosen his hold on her.  Why the hell wouldn’t he let her go!  She was telling him exactly what he never ever wanted to hear yet demanded as his own right!  She was angry with him, and desperate not to go down this path again, she was afraid to, she used the weapon she thought would work.  She had slept with a Cassadine.

            “Laura,” he said, placing his hand against the left side of her face.  “Don’t try and push me away.”

            “Like you didn’t push me away?” she replied brutally.

            “I love you,” he told her.

            “Stop,” she said.  “What are you doing,” she said pushing harder now.  “I’m not gonna let you try and make me say something that’ll ease your pain-let go of me!”

            She got a start on pushing him away but he took hold of the arm he had twisted behind her and used that to pull her back, hurting her for a second.  She yelped in pain as her twin blue flames stared at him.

            “And I’m not going to watch you leave again!” he said to her, holding that one arm behind her back.  “You loved Stefan on that island meaning you would’ve loved him and never come home had his psycho mother never made you, and then I would’ve never known!”

            Luke so conveniently forgot that she came back to HIM!   

            “I’m not going to watch you die, or fade off into nothing, or turn away from me because you think I won’t accept you.  I don’t care what else you say, I’m not gonna do what I did three years ago!”

            He engulfed her lips with such passion. 

            “Tell me you remember,” he said, dragging his lips along her jaw, lightly biting her chin.

            She breathed heavily a little and she threw her head back in the passion he was inflicting on her.  She then opened her eyes and felt the fear and the hurt and the betrayal.  She began to push and tell him to stop but he wouldn’t dare comply.  He held her closer, kissing her, unbuttoning her shirt. 

            “Luke stop it!”

He told her he loved her again and placed a kiss on her lips and moved down. 

            “Stop it,” she whispered with tears as he pushed her shirt back a little.

            Luke could feel her about to cry.  He stopped unbuttoning her shirt and just held her.  He cupped her face and didn’t seek permission, didn’t seek gentle entry, he just forcefully took any ability to cry away from her.  He tried to reach into her and take the pain away.  The kiss was full of need and he held nothing back.  He ravaged her lips and an unintended moan came from her mouth he was sure he imagined. 

Laura hated him, she hated him for leaving her.  And she hated that she did love him, that there was passion between them no matter how far apart they were.  She hated that he let them win by doing exactly what they came here to do.  She hated every time she’d come to him and he’d turned her away.

But most of all she hated that he hated Stefan when he gave right into what Stefan had wanted him to do.  Ruin their marriage.  She hated Luke for not forgiving her.  It wasn’t all the Cassadines, it was what she’d done too.  But Luke was the one right here and now trying to make her remember how much she loved him?  Luke never gave up on anything.  Except her.

            “You’re hurting me,” she said, losing a lot of her own energy from fighting this hard.  “Please Luke, please stop,” she said breathlessly.

            He shook her, his face only inches from her own, they almost battled for the most fierce and determined expression.  “I’m not hurting you,” he said knowing he wasn’t holding her tight enough to cause pain.

            She felt his breath against the skin of her face and his hand holding her there.

“Laura,” he said holding her with one hand and the other cupping the back of her head, her hair in his hands.

He trailed kisses from her temple down her cheek and jaw.  He whispered erotic promises to her as he kissed her.  He held her, burying his face in her hair and then looked back at her.  He ran his thumb over her lower lip and then he once quickly kissed her but without any lack of need.  Just as he pulled back to look at her, he leaned in again to kiss her, this time not leaving.  He forced her lips to collide with his and held her so tightly it was more than difficult for her to stop him. 

“I need you, more now than I’ve ever needed anything,” he said nearly swallowing her whole with his passion.

This was all so unreal to her.  And it stabbed her because of how much she had forced herself to move on and he was trying to break all that down.  From that caused hatred in her but the hatred turned immediately to pain.  The pain she felt now.  He knew that even if she was fighting him and not telling him she loved him, that she was at least acknowledging that he needed her.  He prayed she believed he loved her.  Though Luke was always pretty hard to ignore. 

“Luke, please stop!  You are hurting me!” Laura said.

            “Laura,” he said harshly, yet with his own pain because he didn’t know what to do to make it all okay again.

            “Stop trying to make me go back there,” she yelled.  “Please stop,” she said more softly, with such emptiness and she begged him not to do this.

            “It doesn’t go away, you said it doesn’t go away,” he replied, using whatever he could think of to tell her what he felt.

            She stared at him with tears in her eyes, knowing she loved him but knowing what happened.  He crushed her lips with his, to pursue and persistently hold her so she couldn’t fight back, and though it was without permission, without regard or gentleness, it was incredibly romantic.  The intensity he had always was to her.  She knew Luke enough to know when he needed her, but how long since the last time he expressed it this way?  Was it this way?  Or was she mistaking his actions and his words?

He felt her back with one hand, his teeth resting on her lower neck and a hand on her bare shoulder.  She felt his hands brush by her breasts again, unbuttoning her blouse. She tried to break the kiss by moving her head a little, but he followed her, enveloping her mouth the more she struggled.  His tongue stabbed at the indentation at the base of her neck.  Her face with large tears hung against him.  Her eyes clenched shut trying to figure out a way to get out of this and not feel this angry, this afraid, or this affected. 

His kisses the skin of her shoulder and neck and it made her ache inside deeply from the pain of the years they’d been so far apart.  Now it was an invasion, not of her skin or her body but of the way she had forced herself to see things now.  The way she had moved on and accepted the way things were.  And now she felt the love she had always felt, never stopped feeling, but moved on somewhat from. 

            “I still love you.  Here, in this world.  The one thing that is real is what you won’t say,” Luke said to her.

            “It was all unreal,” she said. 

            “If it was so unreal then why did you come to me when Roy called?  Why did you stay instead of getting anyone else to help me?  And why did it hurt you so bad?  You could’ve left when it hurt so bad, if it did at all.”

            “Because you didn’t mean it!  And I knew you would regret saying it and how hard it would be for you when you came back to this time.  You were in another life, and it wasn’t your fault, and I wasn’t going to leave you.  You needed me.”

            “I still need you!” he shouted.

            “No you don’t!  You needed your angel then, and now you don’t have one because I made a mistake and then I wasn’t what you wanted!  I knew it was Helena’s poison, it wasn’t your fault, but that was then!”

            “You don’t have a clue, Laura.”

            He dropped her arm for a minute and held her face in both his hands.  She whimpered in dizziness and exhaustion.  He forced her to look at him.

            “Look at me!  Why?  Then, why didn’t you leave?  Roy could’ve gotten Bobbie.  Why did you save me?  Why didn’t you just let me die?”

            “Because if anyone’s gonna kill you it’s gonna be me!” Laura said.

            “You told me you’d always love me, was that in the past because you thought I was dying?  That is the only thing Helena’s ever done that I owe her for.  Because you looked at me that way too.  You said it to me and I know somewhere inside you, you know it was real.”

            Luke kissed her lips for a minute, then holding her neck as he made his way down her throat and a little below before she shivered again from what she tried to keep as silent tears. 

“I love you,” he whispered as he continued to kiss her.

She tried to keep the tears locked in her eyes, but they grew thicker, blurring her vision until she had to blink.   

“You only love me right now because you think Helena will hurt me, YOU are in the past right now!”

            He looked into her eyes.  “Then you tell me you’re not in the past right now too, if you think it’s only the past.  If the only thing we ever felt was in the past then you tell me right now that you don’t feel anything.  And mean it.”

He knew she was in a lot of pain for a lot of reasons, and as long as he did this he was increasing it.  But he couldn’t just let her walk away.  She made sounds of tears though held back each one.  Luke kissed her softly, then it grew with a little cooperation on her part.  Her hands went to his arms as he held her upper waist.  She began to sink a little and he held her against him and felt completely in his control.
            “Tell me,” he demanded against her lips.

The tears streaked her moist skin, and he felt her shake in his arms.  Still holding her arm behind her, trapping her, he felt her slip and helped her.

“Luke,” she breathed, eyes shut, lips shivering.

            “It’s okay,” he whispered reassuringly.  He heard her trying not to cry, but he heard the tears in her when she exhaled.  “It’s okay,” he said to make her feel safer, holding her tightly.  “You’re okay.  Just tell me you love me,” he said softer, sounding a little more desperate for his own sake now.

            “I have to go,” she said trying to make it harder on him to hold her like this by turning away. 

He held his grip on her firmly, she wasn’t going anywhere. 

            “Please Luke, you’re gonna kill me,” she cried.  “Please let me go.”

            “Laura-“

            “Please STOP!”

            “It’s killing me because I hurt you,” he told her, holding her head against his chest, giving her only a few seconds to breathe and tell him the truth.  “I am the one who made you feel all this guilt.”  He gripped her head in his hands in a viselike grip.  “It’s okay, you are okay.  You are better than the way I have treated you.  I love you, don’t be afraid of your own pain anymore.  Laura…” he breathed.

She just exhaled from relief that he’d stopped for a minute but then he held her face, kissing her very slowly yet very deeply.  She became dizzy not just from the passion from the unexpected sinking into him she continued to experience every time she thought she could stop him.  Her hands went to his shoulders, and she kissed him back.

Why couldn’t she ever just stay in one place?  Why was she constantly ripped in and out of lives and then at fault for trying to combine them in someway where she didn’t have to choose?  She sank into Luke, sank into the kiss, letting it soothe her pain.  Suddenly Luke pulled back, and she was so into the kiss she moaned a little when he stopped.

“Laura,” he said, almost as a question.

“Luke-“

“No!  No.  I’m not going to let you leave, so just tell me the truth, Laura.”

            He took her hand and placed it against his face so she would feel him.

“I’m not going to leave you again, Laura.  I’m here, I’m right here.  Feel me.  I love you, you know you are the only one I have ever loved.”

Her eyes were sad and intense, her lips trembling trying not to cry as she looked at him.  She felt him, he was real, her hand inside his.  He dipped his head and kissed her again, more gently, and she surrendered. 

            “Fine, you win,” she said, exhausted.

            “I don’t wanna win, I want you to love me.”

            “Why would you need me to tell you, you’re so goddamned sure you know!”

            She was tired and kinda let her eyes leave his face to just stare into nothing.  She leaned her face into his neck to rest for a minute.  Luke caressed her hair and her face.

            “You know I love you but I’m not going to let you do anything because then when something goes wrong God knows if you’ll forgive me,” she said, the loss of energy in her voice.

            He’d kissed her like he needed her, and Luke never held that back in his kiss.

            “I never denied that I love you,” she said, his hands reached for her face.  In her voice she was reminding him about never denying she loved him, making him feel guilty.

            He reached down and swiftly kissed her, holding her face and hair in his hands.  He deepened the kiss, he was ruthless and dominating and it made her feel safe, like he would never let her go, never let her fall.  Laura motioned her lips to echo with his for several seconds until he pulled back, looking at her, as if he was checking on her.  She looked back at him and felt her love for him, and for the first time wondered why she loved him.  Sure there were hundreds of reasons but was there ever a realistic reason anyone loved anyone?  You just do. 

            It either happens or it doesn’t, and no matter how much simpler her life might’ve been, when she looked back she wouldn’t have been happy with the simple life.  She would’ve chosen this, God help her.  Not just Luke, but this life.  The life she learned quickly and now would never get out of.  The life that had given her everything. 

            Those thoughts never occurred to him, it never mattered, maybe.  Why did he love her?  Every thing was a reason.  She was still his angel, the one thing he could never have.  The only thing he ever wanted that he could never have.  The only thing that was ever good in his life.  And maybe that was why she loved him.  Because no matter how much they destroyed each other day after day, when he would tell her he loved her, there was no way he was lying.  It was when he didn’t say it that it could be doubted.  He needed her, and who doesn’t want to be needed?  

            “Luke,” she whispered.

            “No, don’t go, don’t leave,” Luke said softly.

            “I need to think, Luke, I need to know what’s going on.”

            “Do you love me?”

            She nodded, her eyes opening slowly. "I love you, Luke," she whispered. "But I can’t have you.  We…we had our chance, and it was beautiful but I can’t risk it again.  I can’t lose you again, please…"  She reached up, grasping his head in her hands, bringing his mouth down to hers.  She kissed him urgently, passionately, until the taste of her and her tears was deeply buried in his mouth. "I want you so much, Luke…so much…"

            He broke the kiss, separating their hungry lips.  “We were more than pain, we were mostly love, and that’s still here.  I won’t leave you ever, and if I do, please kill me, because if I can’t have you there’s nothing else I want.  And I don’t care about being totally rational, and honestly, who the hell is when it comes to this?  When it comes to love?  It’s not like you can choose and flip a switch off, so don’t go.”

            "Yes," she cried as her lips met his again, she was living in the moment as she kissed her way down his neck to his chest, unbuttoning him the way he had her. "Yes…right now…I love you, I’ve always loved you," she whispered.

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