Disclaimer: ASP's creation not mine. Don't own anything! If I did, I would want to own, Luke Danes. ;p Also, if I did own GG, there would be no such existence of the Nardini's, and LL would be happily married at the end of S6, while making Lorelai's dream in S3 become a reality in S7.

Author's Note: Wow! Ya'll don't even know how happy I am to know that there are still interested LL readers out there – let alone readers for my story. I am eternally grateful, and like I said before, I promise to finish this story. I've always had it all mapped out in my head, but now I'm working my ass off to make sure it gets written - correctly.

Anyway, sorry if you feel certain things or characters are ooc, I'm just trying to write it like I've seen it in my head for all these years. Also, I feel like whatever I write, I can actually see them doing if it was actually in the show, but that's just me. Okay, enough jabber. Hope you enjoy!


Happy Belated to our Queen!

Vital Company

Chapter 12: Raining Ashes

After his bone-chilling nightmare, Luke had hopped into the shower and desperately attempted to wash away the haunting visions of his dream. He welcomed the warmth of the water to swathe over his body, as he stood motionless under the cascading drops.

Lorelai's drowning and pained voice rang stridently in his ears, while the visual of him being pummeled by the crashing waves and him not being able to find her, replayed over and over in his head. He squeezed his eyes shut at the heated sensation he felt quickly forming in the back of his eyes, as the steam from the water desperately tried to relax his muscles, but failed with no such luck.

The vision of Lorelai sinking into the dark blue depths of the bottom of the ocean as she frantically tried to reach out and call to him flooded his mind, causing him to snap his eyes back open as he anxiously gasped for air. He swiftly shut the water off and stepped out of the shower, gripping onto the towel rack beside him in search for some sort of grounding.

After a few dreadful minutes of Luke panting for air to reach his lungs, he finally found his bearings as he attempted to dry himself down, before he made his way out of the bathroom and over to his dresser with his towel wrapped around his waist.

He turned his head to look at his nightstand to check his alarm clock, seeing that the time was 1:27am, he sighed dejectedly, knowing that he still had a while more before he was due to be up. He still felt exhausted, but he internally debated with himself on whether or not he should risk going back to sleep, in fear that his nightmare would return.

His mind told him he shouldn't, but his body was rapidly shutting down from the lack of sleep, so he grabbed out a clean pair of boxers, a gray sweats and a navy blue cotton tee and quickly got dressed. He stripped his sweat-laden sheets from the bed and replaced them with fresh ones, before he tiredly plopped himself back into bed.

He lay unmoving with one hand resting on his abdomen, while the other cradled his head as he stared up at the ceiling. The faint sound of the rain pelting against his windows sounded in the background as he again thought of his parting conversation with Lorelai before she left.

"Can you honestly say that you could connect that bridge right now, if I asked you to?" Her helpless plea for a link tore at his heart.

Her question was an easy one and he had the simple answer for it, and yet he chided himself for staying silent.

Why didn't he say yes? He knew he was being ridiculous by keeping April away from Lorelai. He had been childish and immature on his feelings of Lorelai stealing April's interest from him. She was right, he was her dad, and nothing would change that. The burning in her blue eyes for his approval set him a flame.

"I don't think you realize that I'm drowning here, Luke." Her dimmed-down sapphire eyes pierced into his with utter desperation.

He had done everything in his power to ignore the changes with her, even though he did notice that her smile never reached its full wattage. He saw her once cheerful bright blue orbs take on a darker shade of sapphire with each visit or story he'd share about April. He detected the shock and pain on her face as she suggested for them to postpone the wedding after he found out about April, only for him to jump at the idea. He noted her extremely dampened mood change, and he definitely marked her weight loss, from the last time they were intimate. Yeah, he knew.

"I can't keep waiting for something that might never happen, Luke. I want you. I want a life with you. I want a family with you, but what I want doesn't mean anything if you don't want for the same things." The usual indestructible and absolute force of a woman he had known had been damaged immensely and battered into uncertainty. Her words cut deep into him.

Before Lorelai came along, Luke hadn't given the idea of kids much of a thought – not even with Rachel. It wasn't until Lorelai came along, that he found himself praying that one day they would have kids of their own together. Lorelai and Rory had shown him a type of love and sense of family that he hadn't experienced since he was a child and both of his parents were still alive. He did want that. He wanted all of that. The whole package with her.

He'd find himself yearning to one-day turn the mother-daughter dynamic duo into an unshakeable mighty trio, and once he got that, he found himself craving a little person that was half him and half Lorelai. He did want it all, and he wanted it all with Lorelai only. But when April came barging into his life, he had gotten so turned around and was at a lost of what to do.

He tried to reason with himself that him not blending Lorelai and April together was purely to learn more about his daughter and create some sort of bond with her, since he had missed the first twelve years of her life, but he knew it was partly because he was scared.

Scared that Lorelai would witness him fail at being a good dad, and get second thoughts on having a child of their own with him. He knew it was ridiculous, but he didn't really have another reason of why, besides his other nonsensical reason being that April would forget about him and like Lorelai better.

Pin a sharp tail to his hind side, because he knew he had been the biggest jackass. How could he think that Lorelai would try to out due him with a situation as sensitive as that? Lorelai literally begged him numerous amount of times to just be a part of that other world he had wrongfully built, but his pigheadedness refused. He knew that unifying Lorelai and April was their biggest dilemma, and he swore to himself that it would be the first thing he would fix once Lorelai returned.

He fought his heavy lids to stay open as he kept his eyes glued to the ceiling. The dim orange hue from the street lamp outside slimly filtered its light through Luke's apartment windows, mixing with the faded brown paint on each walls face, causing it to take on a deep-seated reddish tint. The mix of the heavy rain and the spontaneous flicker of the lamp outside caused the light to create an image of robust crimson dancing shadows on the ceilings surface.

The thunder rumbled lowly, while the color red continued to flash itself into Luke's mind as he blinked sluggishly. The bright ruby colored taillights of Lorelai's jeep burned in his memory as he wretchedly replayed her departure. He desperately attempted to pry his eyes back open, but it was ill fated as he was instantly swallowed into a boundless slumber.

He stood rooted to the spot in the middle of her driveway as he stared at the outlying red lights in the distance that were suddenly drawing nearer. His heart sped up, in hopes that Lorelai had second thoughts on leaving, but as the red lights got even closer, the blaring wail of a siren sliced through the stillness of the night.

The long emergency vehicle was headed straight towards him. He frowned in bewilderment, finally peeling his eyes from the flashing red lights as he allowed himself to really take in his surroundings.

Thick black smoke ghosted past him and the sharp smell of burning wood hit his nostrils as he turned to see what direction it had come from. His eyes grew wide in pure terror as his heart stopped at the sight before him.

Lorelai's house was engulfed in a riotous fire. Wild flames whipped out of each window, madly trying to lash out to set more of the house aflame. The sound of snapping wood cut through the oncoming sound of the sirens. Luke quickly looked over to where Lorelai usually parked her car and swore his heart plummeted into his stomach when he saw that it was peacefully resting in its spot.

"Lorelai!" He gasped in horror, his feet finally syncing with his mind as he shot up the stairs of the porch, and dashed into the burning house without hesitation.

"Help!" He heard her faint cry as he kicked open the front door.

The fire lashed out at him, causing Luke to pull back a bit, before he quickly made his way over the fiery threshold, sifting his way pass falling embers. The orange and amber blaze swiftly surrounded him as the heavy black smoke dangerously began to squeeze the air from his lungs, causing Luke to cough violently as he squinted his way past the foyer.

"Lorelai?" He called out as loud as he could muster. He lifted the collar of his flannel over his nose, trying to filter out some of the smoke from his airway, "Lorelai, where are you?" He called to her again, his throat quickly going dry as he tried to puzzle out where she was.

"Luke!" He heard her terrified voice call out for him, "Luke, help!" Her muffled voice pleaded as she coughed viciously.

The living room as well as the kitchen was encased in flames. The fire had worked its way up the wall and onto the ceiling. Luke speedily, but carefully made his way to the stairs, but just as his foot made contact with the first step, the wood crackled and gave way to his weight. He stumbled back, startled by the diminishing stairway, but just as he was about to jump to the next step, he felt a couple of gloved hands wrap around his arms, before he was unwillingly being dragged out of the house to safety.

"No!" He shouted as he coughed furiously and tried to fight off the unwanted rescue, "No, let me back in. My fiancée is still up there." He fought against the constraints of the firefighters, "I need to get her. Lorelai! She's still in there!" He bellowed at them as the three firemen held him back, "Lorelai!" He screamed again, feeling the tears in his eyes quickly building as the men hauled him out into the yard.

"One of our guys is still in there. He'll get her." The Fire Chief tried to assure him as the other firefighters worked the water hose and continued to spray the house, while another siren and the sound of tires coming to a screeching halt behind the fire truck rang out.

"No! I need to get her!" He roared, his voice breaking at the sheer thought of losing her, "Lorelai!" He called out again towards the upstairs window, the warm uncontrollable tears spilled from his wild and panicked eyes, causing a clear path to form down his cheeks as the salty water cleaned the black ash that clung to his skin.

The two paramedics rushed out of the ambulance and raced around towards the back of the vehicle as they began extracting a stretcher and some other equipment.

"This the only victim?" One of the paramedics called out to the Chief as they pointed at Luke.

The Fire Chief glanced over at Luke, before he returned his stern gaze to the other man as he shook his head, "No… there's one more inside."

Luke stood paralyzed with his eyes locked on the front door, faintly hearing the conversation going on beside him as the two firefighters still gripped him tight, preventing his shaking body to escape, "Please, God… please." He silently prayed, with his hands clenched tightly in balled up fists at his sides.

Just then a deafening explosion raged, causing the windows from the upstairs to shatter to tiny shards and scatter over the front yard.

"Lorelai!" Luke howled in dread as he fought the restraints of the firefighters grasp once again. He didn't even attempt to contain his sobs as he yelled and thrashed against the men, "Lorelai!"

"Look it's, Jennings!" the slight sound of relief came from one of the men holding Luke back, "I think he's got her." He informed in general, causing Luke's head to snap back up in the direction of the steps of the porch as he held his breath.

"Lorelai?!" He gasped loudly as his heart rate quickened at the sight of her, only for it to drop considerably at the condition she looked to be in.

Jennings swiftly made his way down the porch steps, carrying a limped Lorelai in his arms bridal style, towards safety, "Quick, she needs oxygen!" He yelled to the medics as he laid her down on the open grass more towards Babette's side of the yard.

He immediately clasped one hand over the other as he interlocked his fingers together, placing them in the middle of her chest, a couple centimeters above her breastbone as he leaned directly over her and rapidly began CPR. He counted out his thirty chest compressions, then tilted Lorelai's head upward as he bent down to give her two rescue breathes, before he promptly resumed another round of chest compressions.

After the second round, he paused for a second to bend his head, placing his ear next to Lorelai's mouth as he placed two fingers below her jaw on her throat. He moved his fingers around, desperately trying to find a pulse, but unfortunately it went to no avail.

"I couldn't find a pulse." Luke heard Jennings pant, slightly out of breath as he hurriedly moved out of the way when both paramedics came rushing around, one holding an AED machine, while the other brought the emergency bag mask with the oxygen cylinder.

Luke's breath involuntarily hitched at hearing those words, feeling as if though he and Lorelai were one, and if she wasn't breathing, neither was he. He unnervingly watched the scene play out as the shorter paramedic retrieved a scissors from his bag, quickly cutting open Lorelai's shirt down the middle and pulled it aside, exposing her lace covered chest as the other paramedic swiftly slapped on the defibrillator pads over the right side of her chest and the other on the side of her ribs, directly under her left armpit.

Jennings stepped back in to help the taller paramedic as he placed the oxygen mask over Lorelai's nose and mouth, silently willing her chest to rise.

The AED monitor came to life and beeped loudly as it showed that Lorelai was in ventricular tachycardia just as the shorter medic checked for a pulse, confirming Jennings previous statement.

"We've gotta shock her. Might also be chemical asphyxiation." He said to the other two men, causing Luke's heart to thump out of his chest.

"Stand back!" the shorter paramedic informed the other men as they all backed away from Lorelai, "All clear." He confirmed, before he allowed the defibrillator to jolt a shock to Lorelai's heart, triggering her body to arc upward, off the ground.

"Lorelai!" Luke cried as he flinched at watching her lifeless body react to the jolt.

The monitor showed no change, so Jennings replaced the oxygen mask back over Lorelai's mouth, while the taller paramedic bent over and began more chest compressions as the shorter one watched the monitor for a conversion.

"Lorelai, please!" Luke begged, dropping to his knees as he watched helplessly, bringing the two firefighters down with him, "Please, come back to me."

"No sign." The shorter medic said, "I'm gonna her shock again." He told the two men, warning them to move back once more, "Stand back!" He called, confirming that both men had moved back, he called, "All clear." And again allowed the defibrillator to send an electric shock through Lorelai, initiating once again for her body to arch upward.

Jennings returned the oxygen mask over Lorelai's face as the taller medic moved back to continue chest compressions.

"We're losing her." The shorter medic said as he kept his eyes on the monitor.

"No!" Luke roared as he persisted to wrangle himself free from the clutches of the two men, "Lorelai, please, you can't leave me!" He cried, unabashed by the tears that freely flowed from his eyes, "Please, don't leave me!"

The bright red flames casted a vivid background to the desolate scenario as Lorelai remained unresponsive on the ground. The earsplitting sound from the AED monitor blared in Luke's ears as the tears continued to fall.

"Lorelai!" He gasped loudly as he awoke with a start. His eyes burned from the warm salty wetness that beseeched to be let loose, while his chest heaved rapidly as his heart raced, and once again his shirt had been drenched in sweat.

Rogue tears slipped pass his lids as they streamed down his face. He allowed his eyes to take in his surroundings coming to terms that he was still in his apartment. He yet again had a horrifying nightmare of Lorelai being in danger, only this time he saw her, but regrettably he couldn't help her. He still didn't save her.

Luke turned to look over at his beeping alarm clock to silence its ruckus. He flicked the button off as he saw that the clock read; 4:45am, which unfortunately meant that it was now time for him to start his day. He inhaled a staggered breath as he attempted to wipe the tears and sleep from his face, before he swung his legs over the side of the bed to stand.

He quietly made his way towards his dresser as he plucked a clean pair of boxers, jeans, and a gray t-shirt. He moved to his closet and retrieved a fresh flannel, before he finally trudged his way into the bathroom, hoping that a shower could help wash away yet again another haunting nightmare, and ease his exhausted muscles. He held out hope for at least the latter.

After Luke had gotten out of the shower, he dressed quickly and made his way into the kitchen. He opened the fridge and blankly stared into it, oblivious to what he was actually looking for. He knew he wasn't hungry, and even if he was, he didn't think he would be able to keep anything down, so he wearily nixed breakfast and made his way downstairs.

As he plodded down the stairs, his over-stuffed green duffle bag that sat on the bottom step came into view. He stopped in front of it and bent over to pick it up, internally debating with himself if he should take it over to Lorelai's house now or wait until she came back.

Then he remembered something she had said to him before she left.

"The house, this house," She began as she gestured her arms out, "we renovated it to be ours, and yet I can't remember the last time you spent a night here. You don't even call it ours, you always refer to it as mine." Lorelai's eyes scrunched in distaste, "I hate that."

Those words alone had Luke moving with a newfound adrenaline, determined to start fixing anything and everything in his control. He slung the bag over his shoulder and hurriedly made his way out of the diner into the storm, in search of his truck. He opened the passenger side door and dropped the bag onto the seat, before he made his way back into the diner and up the stairs.

He went straight to his closet and grabbed every piece of clothing of his that was hanging – save for two – before he trudged back down to the truck to unload his haul. He repeated this process with all of his clothes from his dresser drawers as well, until there was no room left in the cabin of his truck.

Luke had swiftly come to the conclusion that he would move as much of his things to Lorelai's – no… their house right at that moment. It was the perfect time, being that it was still in the early hours of the morning. There would be little to no curious eyes or unwanted questions from any of the nosy busy bodies in town.

He drove to the house, and unlocked the door. The image of the blazing fire flashed into his mind. He inhaled deeply as he shook away the unwanted thoughts, before he took a few steps in and looked around at the darkened home. It felt cold, barren and empty without the presence of Lorelai. His energy faulted a bit as he carried his duffle bag up the stairs and into their room. He aimlessly dumped the bag onto the bed, before he slowly allowed his eyes to take in the room.

The room felt so bleak and slightly foreign to him. Nothing really changed, but somehow it seemed as if the room hadn't been used in quite some time. The essence of Lorelai didn't fill the room like it usually did. The instant impact of her scent didn't envelop his nostrils as it normally would, and the gloominess of the room exceedingly contrasted Lorelai's customary lively demeanor.

Everything was so neat and in place that it almost looked as if Lorelai hadn't been spending her nights there either. He wondered for a split second if that was indeed the circumstance. He silently wandered over to the bed and picked up one of the pillows that lay perched on the bedspread. He lifted it up as he pressed his face lightly into its soft, fluffy embrace. He was immediately encased by the familiar and heavenly sweet scent of her, that he had missed so much.

He brought the pillow away from his face and exhaled loudly as he looked around the room again. There wasn't anything in the room that was vaguely close to presume another occupant resided in the room besides Lorelai. Part of him was disgusted with that thought, knowing it was purely his fault for that matter.

As he replaced the pillow back onto the bed, an overturned black picture frame on the nightstand caught his eye. He reached over to retrieve it and his breath hitched at the sight of the photo that rested inside the frame. The picture inside, was the one he, himself took with Rory's camera, back when he and April visited Jess at his bookstore out in Philadelphia.

He looked at the photo of Rory, April and Jess. Both Rory and April were smiling, while Jess' usual straight face held its place. Luke assumed that Rory sent the picture to Lorelai, and Lorelai had it printed, seeing as it was a really nice picture of some of the most important people in Luke's life.

Even though he hadn't allowed Lorelai to be a part of April's life, she still tried to include April into their home – even if it was just a picture, the sentiment was just so Lorelai. The idea alone of her thoughtful gesture caused another layer of guilt to be added to Luke's shoulders.

He returned the frame back onto the nightstand, but this time he set it right side up, for it to be on display. He sighed again as he exited the room and made his way back to his truck to fetch the rest of his clothing.

He quickly made work of unloading his things, before he hung all of his clothes on his side of the big walk-in closet and filled his side of the dresser drawers with his sleepwear, underwear, socks, and the remainder of his casual clothing.

He strolled into the bathroom and neatly placed more of his hygiene products in the bathroom drawer of his sink. He looked over to the middle of the counter of the his and her sinks, where his lonely blue toothbrush sat in the holder, inwardly longing to see Lorelai's pink one resting next to his again.

Luke blinked away his trance as he made his way out of the bathroom and stopped to look at the clock on the nightstand. It was almost time for the diner to open. He hazily remembered that April was supposed to drop by the diner after school let out, and he made a mental note that he would sit her down and make plans to have her and Lorelai be properly introduced.

He exited the room and headed downstairs and out the door. He locked up the house and hopped in his truck, and journeyed his way back to the diner to set up for the breakfast rush.

He climbed the few steps and unlocked the door to the diner and pushed it open, causing the bell to welcome him with a jingle. He hastily deposited each chair off the table, before he made his way around the counter to start the coffee. He sighed dejectedly at the thought of not seeing Lorelai come in to get her daily fix.

Luke knew that even though he constantly gave her a hard time about her caffeine addiction, a little part of him was always pleased to know that his coffee had the covetable ability to make her bad days better, and it had the enviable power to draw out a breath-taking smile from those soft, beautiful lips of hers.

After their passionate kisses up in the apartment a couple days ago, and the heated kiss they shared in the kitchen yesterday morning, or even the short, but loving goodbye kiss they joined in yesterday, caused Luke to realize just how much he missed kissing her. Not just a chaste type of kiss either, but an actual mind-blowing, toe-curling, heart-racing type of kiss, that only Lorelai was able to give him.

His need to always have her was insatiable. She always had him wanting more, even before they got together; he was putty in her hands and they both knew it. As he made his way into the kitchen to turn on the grill and fryers, he felt himself beginning to swiftly drift into a memory of his that caused him to forego his duties of setting up.

It had been storming for most of the day, which caused the majority of Stars Hollow to stay in, making it a very slow night at the diner. Lorelai had arrived about a half hour ago, and told Luke she was going to run upstairs to take a quick shower, seeing as she was shivering from getting caught in the rain.

The diner was a ghost town, and now Lorelai was there, so he quickly deduced that her presence alone was a good enough reason to close up early and spend his now free time with her.

He dashed around as he hurried to complete the routine closing tasks. Soon enough, Luke shut the last set of blinds, and made his way to deadbolt the diner door. Just as he turned the lock, he heard Lorelai's footsteps descending the stairs.

"Luke?" She sang as she stopped to gaze at him, and leaned her shoulder against the frame of the stairway entrance.

Luke smiled at the thought of Lorelai being too bored to stay up in the apartment alone as she eagerly came to seek out his company, but as he turned around to face her, his eyes bulged out in shock, and his mouth sat agape.

Lorelai smiled wide, obviously proud of herself at receiving the perfect reaction from Luke, "You like?" She purred, raising a hand up to her mouth as she bit her index finger enticingly.

The muscle in Luke's jaw jumped as he clenched his teeth together. He slowly allowed his eyes to rake over Lorelai's form - from head to toe and back again. She was clad in just Luke's blue flannel – the same one she had rightfully claimed as hers after their first official date. The top three buttons of the shirt were undone, shamelessly displaying the sun-kissed freckles that dusted over her delectable ivory skin.

Her endless stems were bare and screamed for his attention, which caused Luke to groan heatedly. He watched as those exact two legs leisurely made their way over to the stool on the end of the counter, closest to her. She sat down and smoothly crossed one long leg over the other as she patiently waited for his response.

Luke stood motionless for a moment, clearly stunned by Lorelai's appearance, "Uh… wha- what?" He attempted to form a sentence as he motioned towards her outfit.

Lorelai playfully fiddled with the collar of her flannel – purposefully drawing Luke's attention to her movements, before she slowly ran a finger down her luscious chest as she jutted out her bottom lip in a pout, "I was getting lonely up there, all by myself."

Luke swallowed thickly as his eyes locked on her rogue hand, clearly experiencing the effects from her wandering finger. He quickly strode his way in front of her, gently tapping her leg to uncross them, "I was um- I was closing up." He finally replied as he nudged his way to stand between her legs, and feverishly began to caress her exposed thighs.

Lorelai bit her lip, poorly containing a pleased smile as she snaked her arms around his neck and wrapped her legs around his waist, pulling him flush up against her center, "You closed early for me?"

He immediately wrapped his arms around her waist, holding her close as he gazed into her mischievous eyes, and mutely nodded his confirmation.

She released her lip as they formed a beautiful smile. Luke's eyes flickered down to her succulent lips as she leaned in, and gently feathered a kiss against his lips – tempting him to reciprocate, to which he eagerly complied. She pulled back a bit, not breaking their connection, but enough to allow her to speak, "You have too much clothes on, Mister." She panted as her fingers quickly worked to unfasten the buttons on his flannel.

Luke buried a hand into her thick mass of hair as the other hand slipped down from her waist and over her perfectly round bottom, keeping her tight up against him, "You're barefoot in the diner."

Lorelai removed one hand from around Luke's neck and slipped it over his hand that covered her bottom as she slowly began to guide it up her thigh, and under the flannel she wore, "My feet aren't the only thing that's bare."

Just as she finished her sentence, Luke's hand made contact with its desired target, causing him to suck in a jagged breath through clenched teeth, "Geez…" He groaned as he slightly lifted her from the stool, allowing his hands to fervently caress her soft exposed ass as he instinctively thrust his hips into her.

"Mmmmm…" She moaned against his lips, "God, you feel so good." She whispered breathlessly as Luke began trailing kisses along her jaw and down her neck, all while Lorelai's hands returned to ridding him from his flannel, "I want you."

Luke growled as he ground his hips into her again. His mouth landed on his favorite spot in the middle of her neck as he allowed his lips and tongue to lave and caress her sweet flesh, before he hungrily sucked her heated skin.

"Luke…" She purred as she hurriedly lifted his t-shirt up over his head, briefly breaking the connection of mouth to neck, before he hastily resumed his work, "Here." She gasped as she felt his hands squeeze her ass cheeks possessively, "Now." She pleaded as she pulled gently on the curls at the nape of his neck so she could look him in the eyes.

Luke looked into her eyes as he panted heavily, "Here?" His brows lifted in disbelief as his brain battled his nether regions for control.

"Right here." She whispered confidently, locking her eyes with his as she nodded, while she ran her hands over his chest, down his taught stomach and onto his belt, hastily disengaging it and slipping it free from his pant loops, carelessly dropping it to the floor as she then freed the button from its hold on his jeans, "Right now." She added as she alluringly lowered the zipper.

Luke could feel his heartbeat pulsing out of his chest as he found that his brain was quickly losing the battle, "Um… Here?" He questioned again distractedly, his mind more focused on his willing, and practically naked fiancee in front of him.

Lorelai leaned up to gently suckle his bottom lip, before she glanced over at the table behind them as she said, "That table might work a little better."

Luke turned to take a glimpse at the table Lorelai most frequently dined at, his lower regions already claiming victory as he turned back to face Lorelai, to see her flashing him a devilish grin. He growled roguishly as he swiftly grasped her bottom tightly and hoisted her up, causing Lorelai to tighten her legs around his waist.

"Luke!" She gleefully squealed next to his ear as he placed her on the table, and immediately dipped his head to attack her neck.

"Luke," She giggled feverishly as his stubble tickled her skin, "Luke…"

He heard her call to him, but her voice didn't hold a feminine tone anymore.

"Luke?" The voice from behind him called to him again, quickly pulling him from his stupor.

He squeezed his eyes shut as he shook the fog clear, bringing him back to the present.

"Luke?" The voice called once more.

He turned his head to see Ceasar standing at the entrance of the kitchen, looking a bit worried. Luke looked around and remembered he was still in the kitchen of the diner.

He cleared his throat as he glanced back at Ceaser, "Sorry, I didn't hear you." He apologized half-heartedly.

"No problem," Ceasar replied easily as he continued to eye his boss warily, "but are you feeling okay, boss? You look like you haven't gotten much sleep."

Luke continued his on with his tasks as he answered gruffly, "I'm fine."

Ceaser held up his hands in surrender, "Okay."

Luke huffed out an exasperated breath as he added, "I'll help you with the breakfast rush, but I've got some things I need to get done today, so I'll be leaving after that. Can you hold things down while I'm gone?"

Ceaser clasped his hands together cheerfully as he smiled at Luke, "Of course, Luke. I would be delighted."

"Great, thanks." Luke frowned at his over-zealous enthusiasm, "And don't even think about changing my menu again."

Ceaser dropped his hands as his shoulders slumped, "Yeah, okay."

Luke blocked out the rest of his surroundings as he resumed his rituals of setting up the diner for the morning. He was grateful that he could at least control his daydreams. He gladly welcomed more happy memories of good times with Lorelai, rather than his recent unsolicited nightmares.

He sighed as he recalled that the heated escapades from his daydream had taken place before he had found out about April. He and Lorelai constantly had exhilarating intimate adventures together. He couldn't even count on his hands anymore of how many times Lorelai was able to convince him in partaking in some thrill-seeking sexual experiences at outrageously inappropriate places.

He would always simulate to put up a fight, but they both knew he would end up caving soon enough. He would unapologetically do anything and everything that she asked of him, especially when he was rewarded with her happiness and affection. He truly missed those days, – and only now he realized that it had been so long since they had been alone together – but he desperately hoped there would be more adventurous encounters in their near future, and if he could help it, there definitely would be.

Authors Note: Sorry for the slow build, I just don't want to miss anything. I also had to cut this chapter in half, because it was way too long, so hopefully I can keep rolling out these new chapters. Thanks again for all the love and continuous support. You all rock so much!