The first time was an accident. She would have called it a mistake, but how could something that felt so right be a mistake? The second time was like a fever dream. She didn't fully wake until it was almost over, when she could feel the sweat evaporating off her skin in the cool air. The third time? The third time she went to him on purpose. After that, they were past the point of no return.

Everyone was mad at her that day. Rory was pissed because she and Chris got married in France, Chris was upset that Rory was pissed, and Luke was - well, he didn't want her around. He made that perfectly clear.

Lorelai knew he was hurt the moment he saw the gold band on her left hand. She rushed to the hospital to be there for him when April went into surgery. It was instinct, running to him like that. She had been rushing to his side for years, even before they became more than friends. She played with the label on her beer bottle, agonizing over the look in his eyes. The guilt twisted into her like a knife, sharp and direct, but the alcohol numbed the pain just enough.

She chose this bar because it was off the highway. KC's was too conspicuous. She didn't want to get pulled aside in conversation, for people to inquire about her life and her sudden marriage. She wanted to get drunk unhindered. Once she felt sufficiently numb, she gave the bartender her keys and asked him to call a cab for her. As she stumbled toward the front door, she saw him. He looked about as good as she felt. She turned and walked as quickly as her unsteady feet could take her toward the back, to the hallway with the restrooms. There, in the dim light, between a trash can and some stacked chairs, she leaned against the wall, wishing for some sobriety. As she waited, she hoped that he hadn't spotted her. She just wanted to nurse her pain in peace.

But fate wouldn't have it that way. She could feel him approaching. Raw masculinity, with a scent that was uniquely Luke, and her legs trembled. She didn't remember what they said to each other. He leaned into her, and she could smell the beer on his breath. Apparently, they had had the same idea. Drink to oblivion, deny the hurt, and forget the past.

She didn't resist when he kissed her. When his tongue swept inside her mouth, she invited it. Their bodies came together automatically, after two years of making love, she felt like they were on autopilot.

Afterward, she didn't give him a chance to tell her it was a mistake. She knew it was. The ring on her finger felt like it was cutting off her circulation. She felt numb and broken. She dressed herself quickly and silently, and ran out the door. She slipped into the waiting cab and rode home in the dark.

The next day, nursing his hangover, he puzzled over what they had done in that bar. It was so unlike him to act like this. He had never been unfaithful before. He'd never even been unfaithful by technicality. He was always free and clear by both parties before ever acting on something like this. Of course, he was free and clear. But she wasn't. She had married him.

All day, he went through the motions. He took April home, he made pleasant conversation. He made sure they had food and magazines and movies for the duration of her recovery. He returned to Stars Hollow and helped Caesar and Lane close up. After he flipped the sign to closed on the diner, he went upstairs. Sitting on the couch, staring at the wall, he didn't know what to do. If he should do anything. Maybe they would just ignore it, pretend it had never happened. But he didn't want to ignore it. He didn't want to pretend.

He hadn't meant to go to her house, but his legs went as if by rote. The only car in the driveway was the Jeep, so he knew she was alone. While he stood there, it was like he was outside of his body, watching someone else find the right key on the key ring that he'd never returned, and opening the door. He went up the stairs, and into her bedroom. She looked so beautiful, sleeping with her hair fanned out on the pillowcase. She sighed in her sleep, and he began taking off his shirts, his jeans, his shoes. He climbed into the bed beside her, like he had done so many times before. He held her, planning to stop at that, but when she snuggled closer to him, he was lost.

He didn't pause to think it over. He kissed her, his hands slipping under the waistband of her pajama bottoms. If she had murmured his name, he would have stopped. But instead, a breathy "Luke" escaped her perfect lips, and he covered her with his body, pulling off her clothes.

After they climaxed together, she finally opened her eyes and stared at him, as if in disbelief that he was really there. He kissed her one last time, got up and dressed, then returned to his lonely apartment. It was as if he had never been there at all.

Several days passed. Lorelai was conflicted over her thoughts and emotions but she tried to hide it from both Chris and Rory. As much as she tried to forget it, she couldn't. The night she showed up at his door, neither of them had expected it, but at the same time, neither of them were surprised. She walked up to him, and he took her in his arms. They barely made it to the bed, they were so consumed with lust, longing, and despair. She knew that she had started something that was dangerous, but she couldn't stop anymore.

She didn't stay the night. She crept out the back, and slipped through the alley. She carried their secret deep inside of her, the only thing that was preventing her from shattering into a million pieces.