I don't usually have long and rambling author's notes, but this story kinda merits it.

First, I want to say sorry for those waiting for an update for Common Ground. That story was originally a oneshot and I had moved on to starting this one before I was encouraged to continue that one, so updates are coming but not here yet.

Second, this is smutty smut smut. Unapologetically so. The idea was borne out of a conversation between me and my husband, whose birthday is tomorrow, so happy birthday, baby! He is my own personal Luke Danes (anti-coffee diatribes and all) and I couldn't have a better muse if a fictional one plopped out of the sky. So, the story may be a bit ridiculous, maybe implausible, and a lot dirty, but I hope you'll enjoy it anyway.

And finally, this story is dedicated to all the ladies out there who've ever had a vibrator die on them at the exact. wrong. moment. My heartfelt sympathies.

Contrary to popularly held beliefs about teenage mothers, Lorelai Gilmore was not especially promiscuous. In fact, she had cultivated an almost nun-like existence in the years since Rory's conception and birth. She dated, but those dates so rarely turned into a second date, let alone a relationship in which she was comfortable allowing things to progress to that level. At first, it was a non-issue. She worked hard as a maid, cleaning guest rooms from sunrise to mid-afternoon, then transitioning into her second shift as mom once she picked up Rory from preschool. She collapsed into bed shortly after Rory every night, barely able to keep her eyes open from sheer exhaustion.

As her day-to-day routine changed, she became more aware of the occasional ache in her lower body. The wave would come unexpectedly. She would be watching a movie with a particularly steamy scene, and feel her hands clench at her sides. She would be reading a romance novel on her lunch break, and shift uncomfortably in her chair. She would be watching two newlyweds checking into the honeymoon suite, happy and in love, unable to keep their hands off each other, and she would feel her throat grow dry. For years, she simply tried to ignore it. Living in close quarters with her daughter made any exploration awkward and decidedly unsexy.

One year, when Rory was 8, she and Sookie were invited to a bachelorette party for one of the waitresses at the Inn. It would be a fun night out, and so Mia took Rory for the night so Lorelai could let her hair down for once.

The two women stumbled toward Sookie's house from the bar, tipsy and giddy over having had some raucous, grown-up fun. Lorelai was pawing through her goodie bag when she picked up a smooth, wand-like object. "What's this?" she asked her friend, and Sookie's eyes widened, before she let out a loud bark of a laugh.

"That's a vibrator, honey," she said.

"Oh!" Lorelai said, dropping the item back into her bag in surprise.

The object was shoved into a box with other things she didn't want Rory to look at, buried deep behind underwear and menstrual pads on the highest shelf in the potting shed. It completely slipped her mind.

As the seasons changed in Stars Hollow, she moved up the ranks at the Independence Inn, and after much scrimping and saving, Lorelai had enough money to place a sizable down payment on a small two-bedroom house.

She rediscovered the vibrator as she unpacked her things at their new home on Maple Street. She turned it around her hands a few times, then clicked the button. It whirred to life enthusiastically, and she dropped it in surprise. With concern that Rory would unexpectedly run upstairs at any moment, she scooped it up, turned it off, then stuck it in the very back of her nightstand.

Over the several weeks, Lorelai would often pause at that table, contemplating. At 15, she was one of the experienced girls, but she felt like her years of celibacy in order to give her daughter the life she deserved had practically re-virginized her. Desire sparked within her whenever she considered it, but it seemed so weird. Sex for her had been rebellion, not exploration. Like most everything else, she had done it because she knew it would piss off her parents. And, she liked it. It made her feel beautiful and feminine. She liked the closeness.

But it had been a long, long time.

Her last experience had been an ill-advised fumble with Christopher the first Christmas after she ran away to Stars Hollow. Her parents had invited her and a two-year-old Rory to their annual Christmas party, and after one too many spiked eggnogs Lorelai found herself wrapped around him. She had hoped that he might finally be grown-up enough to commit to her and Rory, but he'd left without a word to go backpacking across Europe before the ball dropped in Times Square.

The week before Rory's tenth birthday, both Gilmore girls were deciding how they were going to decorate their house for the celebration. Lorelai leaned against the porch rail, trying to show Rory how she wanted to hang the spooky decorations they'd decided on for her Goosebumps themed party, when the wood gave way and she plummeted to the ground with a yelp.

"Mom!" Rory cried, rushing around the porch to get to her mother, who was face first into the dirt.

"Ughh," Lorelai groaned, pushing herself up onto her hands and knees.

"Are you okay?" Rory knelt down beside her mother, looking up at the rail that was now hanging limply from the porch.

"I think I need pie," was all her mother said, wiping the dirt and bits of grass off her face.

After Lorelai cleaned the grime off her clothing and brushed the few stray twigs out of her hair, the two set off for Luke's diner, the place they had recently discovered now that they lived in town.

"Oh, Duuuuke," Lorelai called as they stepped inside. He looked up from his post behind the counter and scowled.

"It's Luke," he muttered, grabbing a mug and the pot of coffee as he came toward them. Lorelai fell into a chair, wincing. He appraised her bedraggled appearance, quirking an eyebrow. "What happened to you?"

"Such flattery," Lorelai cooed sarcastically. He set the cup down in front of her and poured the coffee.

"Mom ate dirt when the porch rail broke," Rory supplied helpfully. Lorelai shot her a scathing glare. "What?" she asked, looking from Lorelai to Luke, puzzled. "That's what happened."

"Your porch rail broke?" he asked, looking concerned.

"She was leaning on it and it just — snap!" Rory continued, while Lorelai dropped her head into her hands.

"I'll come by and fix it," he said. Lorelai looked up, surprised. "I have to wait until Ben comes in to help with the lunch rush, but I can swing by later this afternoon."

"Oh, you don't have to do that," Lorelai protested.

He held out his free hand, stopping her from continuing. "I insist. It's not safe. I mean, what if it had been Rory that fell?"

"Gee, thanks," Lorelai muttered, but a ghost of a smile traced her lips. "Well, thank you," she said, this time with sincerity.

"No big deal," he replied, then moved on to another table.

"See, he's nice," Rory said, her eyes traveling over the menu.

"I never said he wasn't," Lorelai grunted, snatching up her own menu.

And so that afternoon, Lorelai watched from the kitchen window as Luke Danes expertly sawed wood on her front lawn, measured it carefully, and nailed it firmly to her porch. Her heart began to pound erratically when he whipped off his shirts, mopping the sweat from his forehead before tossing it to the ground. She could feel heat begin to pool between her legs as she watched his muscles flex and move while he worked. God, I'm hard up, she chastised herself. Ogling the man like this. She plastered a smile on her face when she went outside to hand him a bottle of water, pretending she hadn't just had some very lascivious thoughts about him. That she hadn't just pictured those muscles hovering over her body, right there on the lawn.

Later that night, her reluctance broke. Long after Rory had gone to bed, Lorelai scrabbled in the back of her night stand, her hands curling around the vibrator triumphantly. The desire in her belly was like a fire that had been suppressed for years. She pushed down her pajama pants, taking her panties with them, then paused. She wasn't exactly sure what to do. She'd never really masturbated, since she had just gone straight for the main event with Chris. She clicked it on, and it came to life in her hands.

Laying back against the pillows, she slowly pushed the buzzing appliance inside of her, feeling pleasure spark through her core. She moved it in and out in a steady rhythm, feeling a warm sensation fill her body. She continued the movement, but quickly realized it wasn't going to be enough. She wracked her aroused brain to think of what else she could do, when a flash of memory occurred to her. When she and Chris had been kids, he had pilfered some of his parents' dirty movies for them to watch and mock. She remembered one of the actresses rubbing the outside of her vagina, and so she began to use the tip of the vibrator to explore her aching vulva. Suddenly, she hit something, and nearly arched off the bed in surprise. She pressed the vibrating device to it, and was suddenly overwhelmed with sensations, all of her nerve endings exploding. She rode the sensations wantonly, bucking her hips and trying not to moan audibly. All too soon, it was over, leaving her whole body tingling.

She fell back against the bed and dropped the vibrator, gasping and panting. It continued to whirr beside her as she returned to her senses.

She hadn't intended to use it again the following night, but temptation won out. Again, she waited until she was sure Rory was deeply asleep, and she furtively pulled out the device from its hiding spot. But just as she was about to reach her sought after high, the vibrator choked and spluttered and stopped, leaving her incredibly frustrated. Frantically, she searched for more batteries, ultimately pulling them out her alarm clock. But after she replaced them, the vibrator did not turn on. It was dead. Laying back on her bed, she tried to use the tips of her fingers, but the window of arousal had passed, and she instead took a very cold shower before crawling into bed, muttering to herself.

After seeing Rory off to school the next morning, she decided to drop in and see how Sookie was coming along with Rory's birthday cake before she had to go to the Inn. Her friend was in full baking mode, and barely greeted her before turning back to the kitchen, a puff of flour in her wake. Lorelai loved watching Sookie in the kitchen. It was obvious that she was in her element here, surrounded by mixing bowls and ingredients. Lorelai made herself at home, pouring herself a cup of coffee and sitting at the kitchen table to watch the practiced movements of the talented chef. She sipped at her drink, internally debating whether or not to broach the subject of her useless toy.

"Hey, Sookie?" she began hesitantly, as her friend measured ingredients for the cake.

"What's up, sweetie?" she said absently, checking to make sure her brown sugar was packed firmly in the cup.

"You remember that bachelorette party we went to, awhile back?"

"Oh yeah," she giggled, cracking an egg into the bowl. "Kristy got so hammered, I thought we were going to have to pour her into the taxi!"

"Yeah, that was funny," Lorelai replied, smiling slightly. "Um, I was actually talking about the thing in the goodie bags."

"Which thing? The penis necklace? Because I've gotta tell you, not the best fashion choice."

"No, the uh, the vibrator."

Sookie stopped mixing, and looked up. A smile curved her lips. "What about it?"

"Do you, um, know where I could find another one?"

Sookie nodded, understanding. "Sure, there's a shop in Hartford. I think it's where Kristy got the stuff. You want me to take you?"

"That would be great," Lorelai said, relieved.

"I should probably get a new one, too," Sookie mused. "I'm impressed that the one you got lasted this long. Mine died out maybe 6 months later. I think it was a cheap one."

"Oh," Lorelai said in surprise. "Well, I didn't use it much."

"Well, we'll go, make a girls' shopping trip out of it. Get some sugary coffee milkshake things, it'll be great." Sookie began bouncing up and down on the balls of her feet. "I'm excited!" Lorelai couldn't help but smile, too. Sookie's enthusiasm was infectious.

But the excitement was short-lived. When Sookie came over a few days later to set up for the birthday party, she noticed Lorelai looking a little dour. "What's up, honey?" she asked, pulling things out of the tote she had brought over to the house.

"Oh, nothing, just a little irritated."

"What happened?"

"Oh, well," Lorelai began, flushing slightly. "You know those things we bought the other day?"

"Yesss," Sookie drawled, smirking a little.

"Mine died already."

Sookie looked up in surprise. "Already?"

"It was kinda my fault," Lorelai admitted. "I was pretty sure the woman who helped me at the store told me this one was waterproof, so I took it in the tub with me, and I killed it."

"Hmm, that's too bad," Sookie said. "Death by drowning. Never a good way to go."

Lorelai let her head drop to the table. "I was so sure I understood correctly, but maybe I got confused with one of the other ones. Or maybe I just picked a defective one. I don't know, but I can't be going to Hartford twice a week just to keep up in vibrators."

"Why don't you just start dating more?" Sookie asked, going back to her task.

"I have dated," Lorelai replied, standing up to help unload the tote. "But most of them run screaming when they find out I have a kid. No one wants to date a single mom with a ten year old."

Sookie murmured sympathetically. "We could try and take it back," she suggested.

"Uh," Lorelai said, feeling embarrassed. "Can you do that? I mean, it's… been places."

"Well, if it's defective…"

"Or it could be me that screwed up. That's embarrassing." She sighed. "I don't really want to look that woman in the eye and tell her I broke it because I'm a dummy."

Sookie giggled. "You're not a dummy. Who can keep all these things straight? I'm sure she's used to it." The friends bustled around the kitchen in silence for a moment before Sookie paused abruptly. "Did you say twice a week?"

"Yeah, well," Lorelai said, blushing furiously. "I hadn't in awhile and so I'm kind of like catching up, you know? I'd probably use it every night if I didn't have such bad luck."

"Oh!" Sookie replied, obviously surprised and trying unsuccessfully to hide it. "Every night, huh? Well, that kind of explains it."

"Oh god," Lorelai gasped, stopping and pressing a hand to her suddenly burning cheek. "Do you think I'm a nympho? Do I need to start going to Sexaholics Anonymous? I never thought I'd have something in common with Michael Douglas."

"I think if you went without it for ten years, you aren't a sex addict," Sookie replied dryly, shaking her head as she began to place items in the refrigerator.

Lorelai huffed out a breath. "Yeah, I guess you're right." She paused, musing. "Well, I mean, I've tried my fingers and stuff, but the vibrator is just different."

"I understand," Sookie said, nodding in agreement. She pulled up a chair at the kitchen table, and tilted her head thoughtfully. "You know, you can buy that stuff by mail order now."

"You can?" Lorelai asked, her interest piqued.

"Yeah, and it might even be cheaper than those specialty boutiques. You know, no overhead. Just a warehouse and shipping boxes. Plus, you won't have to wait for me to give you a ride."

"Hrm," Lorelai said thoughtfully. Then she shook her head. "But wait, I can't have a box of dirty things delivered to my house with Rory around."

"They are supposed to have packaging that makes it unrecognizable. Just plain, no logo."

She rested a hand on her hip and thought about it. "Do you know where I can find one of those catalogs?" Lorelai asked finally.

Lorelai waited on tenterhooks for the package to arrive. The catalog had bragged about discreet packaging, but she was still nervous. She didn't want her daughter to see it, and hoped against hope that it would arrive while Rory was in school.

After several days went by and her constant paranoia remained unrewarded, she tried to put it out of her mind. She went to work and came home, doing a swift perimeter check each time to no avail. On her day off, she was returning home from running a few errands after dropping Rory off at school to see Luke mowing Babette's lawn. She waved, and he stopped the mower. She waited at the foot of her porch as he walked over.

"Hey," he called, wiping his face with his forearm. "Your lawn's getting a little long. Want me to cut it while I'm doing Babette's?"

"Sure, if you don't mind," Lorelai replied, a smile coming to her face. "Pete from the nursery usually does it, but he recently sprained his ankle, so it's been a little while."

"Not a problem," he said.

"You need some water?" she asked, turning to start climbing the stairs toward the house.

"Yeah, sure," he said. "I'm going to finish up Babette's and then I'll start yours. Weaving around all the gnomes can be a little time consuming."

She was sitting on the porch steps, watching Luke mow her grass when the delivery van pulled up to her house. She was so distracted watching him that she didn't make the connection until the driver walked over, dumped a nondescript brown package in her hands, and walked away. Luke looked up curiously.

"I'll, uh, just take this inside," she babbled nervously, practically vaulting up to the front door in her haste to get away. She ran up the stairs and tossed it in her closet, throwing clothing on top to conceal it. She took a few deep breaths and steadied herself, then went back outside. Luke was just putting the mower back into the garage, and wiped his hands as he started back toward where Lorelai was.

"You okay?" he asked, tilted his head.

"Fine, fine," she said quickly, smiling brightly.

His eyes narrowed. "What was in the package?" he asked.

"Nothing!" Lorelai said, shifting her eyes back and forth. "Absolutely nothing."

He just looked at her, clearly not buying it. "Okay," was all he said, but Lorelai felt compelled to come up with something in order to explain her strange behavior.

"Well, if you must know," she said, placing her hands on her hips and trying to look less nervous. "It's… coffee."

"Coffee?" he repeated blankly.

"Yes, fancy special coffee I order from a catalog. I didn't want you to feel, you know, hurt or anything that I get coffee from other places."

"I'm not hurt," he replied, a bemused smile on his face. "Get coffee wherever you want to get it from."

"So, uh, thanks for mowing the lawn," Lorelai said quickly, desperate to change the subject. "Can I get you some iced tea? More water? A beer?"

"Water's great," he said, following her into the house.

Much to Lorelai's dismay, her mail order purchase suffered the same fate as its predecessors. This one lasted longer than the others, but an unfortunate incident with a bad batch of batteries caused the new one to also meet an untimely death. She picked up the catalog and breathed deeply, punching in the company's telephone number on her cordless phone.

"Hi," Lorelai began once she was connected to a person, already feeling embarrassed. "I recently purchased a vibrator from your catalog and it died. Um, it says that you have a guarantee on your products?"

"Sure, can you tell me the problems that you had?"

Grudgingly, Lorelai admitted the battery issue, but the person she spoke with was surprisingly sympathetic. She didn't replace it, but gave her 30% off towards a new order. Going for broke, Lorelai ordered three, plus some lubricant that the woman on the other end spoke very highly of.

She tried to avoid having Luke come by while she was waiting for her new acquisitions to arrive, but she was unable to come up with a good reason why Luke had to stay away when Rory brought up their clogged sink. And of course he was at the house fixing it when the package came. Lorelai saw the delivery van driving away through the windows and tried to sneak it up the stairs before Luke could notice, but right after she shut the front door, he walked into the foyer.

"More coffee?" he asked, smirking.

"Yes," she answered, walking past him up the stairs.

"You keep your special coffee upstairs?" he asked.

"Uh, I don't share this coffee with Rory," she said. "And I'd appreciate it if you didn't mention it to her."

"Sure," he said, looking confused.

When she returned downstairs, she distracted him with stories about working at the Independence Inn, and had him laughing at all the crazy things she had witnessed from guests. The mysterious 'coffee' had been forgotten.

She had varying degrees of success with this round, and had to order a replacement when yet another met an untimely death, although this time she was certain it was not her fault. Lorelai thought she was being clever by having the package delivered to the Independence Inn, but as always, luck was not on her side.

She was alone at the front desk, filling in for the usual desk manager, when the delivery man dropped the package off. She breathed a sigh of relief, accepting the package and setting it off to the side of the desk until she could slip away to Mia's office to hide it until the end of her shift.

"Hey," she heard the familiar voice say, and her head jolted up.

"Luke!" she gasped, and unbidden, her eyes darted over to the box beside her. He followed her gaze and his eyebrows raised in surprise.

"You're having your contraband sent here, too?" he asked, and then cocked his head slightly as a flush grew over her cheeks.

"Uh, yeah," she replied. "What are you doing here?"

"Mia asked me to look at something in one of the guest rooms."

"Oh, yeah, that must be the leaking shower head in room 3, I'll take you." She moved the box to hide below the desk and headed toward the stairs, without glancing behind her. She couldn't help but be mortified, even though he didn't have a clue as to what was inside the box. After she opened the door to the guest room, she fled down the stairs, mumbling about needing to get back to the front desk, hoping he wasn't paying attention to the blush that clung to her face.

By some miracle, over the next few months, Lorelai managed to bring in the brown packages without an audience. She was starting to amass somewhat of a collection, and she found that it only snowballed. At times, she would only need to reorder the lube and maybe try out something new. Sometimes, one of the appliances would die and she'd call in for another replacement. Some of the phone operators were beginning to know her by name, and she couldn't help but wonder if they thought she was damaging them on purpose but too polite to ask outright. Even the ones that continued working would gradually wind down, essentially becoming ineffective, and she didn't know what she was doing wrong. It was especially frustrating when she had to wait until payday in order to place another order, and she felt on edge for days waiting for the packages to ship.

In a burst of curiosity, she again asked Sookie for her thoughts on the matter.

"Well, how many hours would say you get out it?" she asked.

"I don't know. It seems like it lasts through one battery life cycle, but once I replace the batteries, it's a goner. I don't get it. It kind of depends, though. Sometimes it takes me longer to, you know, and before I know it, it's DOA, or at least significantly less powerful. Of course, the ones I don't actually like last forever."

"You let the batteries completely die before you replace them?" Sookie asked.

"Of course," Lorelai replied, puzzled. "Why wouldn't I?"

Sookie shrugged. "It's weird, but I find if I use fresh batteries every time, and just use the previous batteries in other things, like my alarm clock, they last longer."

"Hrm." Lorelai considered it. Well, it's worth a shot, she thought. She was getting tired of wasting all this money.

Lorelai was exhausted after completing her double shift, but she was still happy to see Luke's truck in her driveway when she arrived home from work later that day. As the months had passed, she was starting to look forward to seeing him when he would come by to fix something. The last few times, he had stayed to have tea or a beer, and they had talked a little, making it less of a handyman errand and more of a social visit. It had been a long time since she had called him Duke, and they were starting to become friends.

"Hey!" she called out as she walked inside the door. She shrugged off her light jacket, and kicked off her heels. "I'm so glad you found time to fix the dishwasher. I swear to god, Rory was about to lose her mind without clean di-"

Lorelai stopped short as she walked into her kitchen and saw Luke staring inside an opened box. One of those boxes, the nondescript brown packages with no logo. When he saw her, he jumped back as if he'd been burned. His cheeks were bright red, and he stammered as he held his hands out in front of him.

"I'm s-so sorry," he stammered, "I thought I'd unpack your coffee. You know, no harm, no foul, show you I didn't care. You seemed so worried about offending me, but I, uh, well, I—"

"It's fine," Lorelai said faintly.

"I'm, well, uh, I'm gonna go," he said, not meeting her eyes. He brushed past her and she stood still, staring at the opened box. She heard the door open and close, and the truck's engine start up, unable to move from where she was planted. Knowing that Mrs. Kim would be bringing Rory home at any moment, she forced herself from where she was standing and picked up the box to bring it upstairs.

It was several days before Lorelai felt brave enough to enter the diner. She was so embarrassed, and she couldn't even begin to imagine how depraved Luke must have thought she was. She'd been getting a variety of boxes for months, and now he finally knew what was really in them. At least it wasn't especially kinky, she thought to herself. She trudged up the steps, trying to square her shoulders to conceal her nervousness. She walked to the counter and sat on a stool. Luke nodded a greeting, barely glancing at her. Without a word, he pulled a mug out from below the counter and poured coffee into it.

"Hey, can we talk?" Lorelai asked quietly, as she stared into her coffee cup.

"About what?" Luke said, his voice cracking slightly.

"I just want to explain," she said, looking up. Luke's gaze was on his feet, and she could see a hint of a flush, one that probably mirrored her own cheeks.

"Nothing to explain," he said gruffly, grabbing a rag and moving it in absent circles around the counter.

"I just, I don't want you to think I've got a problem or something, like I'm an unfit mother," she mumbled. He stopped moving the rag, and inhaled deeply.

"I don't think that," he said, still looking down.

"Okay," she said. "I mean, Rory doesn't know or anything, and I haven't gone on any dates recently, and—"

"Really," Luke said firmly, eyes still focused on the rag. "It's really, really fine."

"Okay," Lorelai said softly. She lifted the mug to her lips and took a drink of the coffee. They continued in silence, Lorelai sipping her coffee and Luke busying himself behind the counter.

After a while, Luke poured her a refill without being asked, and gently said, "I think you're a great mother."

Lorelai looked up, and he was finally looking directly at her. She smiled, her face lighting up at the compliment. "Thank you," she replied.

"You're welcome," he said. He nodded toward the coffee. "That stuff'll kill you," he said, his slight smile betraying the gruff reprimand.

She continued to worry that she was turning into some sort of addict. It seemed that she couldn't be satisfied. And, even more worrisome, she began to be concerned when her personal escapades began to include a certain diner owner in her thoughts. She caught herself picturing his large hands over her curves, his stubble rasping the tender skin behind her ear, those perfect lips around a pink-tipped breast. It seemed wrong, somehow, to picture her friend this way, but the more she tried to fight it, the more frequently it seemed to occur.

Despite Sookie's battery advice, she still had intermittent luck with some of her acquisitions. Some were simply not to her liking, and so she re-ordered a few that she had liked from before, vowing to try Sookie's idea and hoping that it would fix the problem once and for all, barring any more battery fiascos or ill-advised water sports.

It had been a dry spell of several weeks, and she was delighted to discover the box on her porch when she returned home early from work one day. She had hours before she had to collect Rory from school, and so she giddily skipped up the stairs with the box, and practically tore it open in her haste. She fell back on her bed and wriggled out of her panties, pulling her skirt up around her waist.

She slicked on lube over the tip of her freshly washed toy and pressed it inside her folds after clicking it on. She pushed it in and out a few times, getting her body geared up for pleasure, before she circled it around her clit slowly. Unbidden, she pictured Luke's tongue pressed against her and opened her eyes, trying to banish the image from her mind's eye. She focused on the corner of her dresser, trying to zero in only on the sensations and not allow her imagination to run wild. She pressed the buzzing object to her engorged nub in pulses, letting the pressure build up inside of her. She was so close to tumbling over the edge of ecstasy for the first time in weeks, so close she could almost taste the sweet release, when she heard a noise downstairs.

"Hello?" she heard Luke's voice call, and she froze. Quickly, she pushed her skirt down, leaving her underwear on the floor by her bed, and stuffed the now silent vibrator into its hiding place. She smoothed her blouse as best as she could, and went downstairs.

"Hi," she said, breathless. He was standing in her living room, and she felt a pulse of desire so strong it surprised her. He looked up at her, taking in her mussed hair, bright eyes, and flushed countenance.

"Did I interrupt something?" he asked.

"Uh," she replied, trying to think of something, but her brain was still addled with arousal and her synapses weren't firing as fast as usual. The pause was just long enough for him to put the pieces together, and his eyes widened.

"Oh!" he said, taking a reflexive step back.

"No, no, it's fine," she said, trying to shake herself back to reality. "It's great, really, I'm fine."

"I'll come back later," he said.

"No!" she exclaimed. She knew that whenever he came over to help her around their fixer-upper of a house, he squeezed it in whenever he could find time and she didn't want to inconvenience him anymore than she already was. "Really, it's not what you think," she said, trying to think fast, her body still buzzing with desire and trying hard to conceal it.

"Okay," he said. "If you're sure?"

"I'm sure," she said, walking over to him. She didn't know what possessed her to do it, but she reached out and squeezed his bicep. She had meant it to be a friendly squeeze, a "hey, buddy" type gesture, but as her hand curled around the hard muscle she felt the ember of desire burst into flame. Her hand lingered on his firm arm, and she squeezed again. She licked her lips, and chanced a look up into his face.

He was looking at her, his eyes darkening and lips parted slightly. She wasn't herself. "I want you," she whispered. She heard herself say it, but she could hardly believe it. And then she flung herself at him, grasping his head in her hands and pressing her lips to his.

His hands flew to her hips, and he eagerly participated in the kiss. Her hands roamed all over his hard back, feeling the muscles move beneath her palms. She ground her hips toward him, and he ground right back. She moaned into his mouth as he opened for her, and their tongues met for the first time.

She felt her back hit the wall near the stairs, and she welcomed the weight of his body against her. He edged his knee between her legs, and she gyrated against him wantonly. She was already so close from her earlier prep work, and she climaxed almost immediately, moaning his name.

She slowed her movements, gasping for air. Suddenly, she felt the absence of his body, and when she opened her eyes, he was plastered against the wall across from her, heaving with exertion.

"I'm sorry," he panted, eyes wide. "So, so sorry."

"What for?" Lorelai asked lazily, her voice almost sounding slurred.

He gestured between them, his hand flapping erratically. "For that!" he said.

"You don't need to be sorry," she said, her breathing beginning to regulate. "I kissed you first."

He paused. Swallowed hard. "You did, didn't you?"

Lorelai nodded. "I did."

"And you're not…" he trailed off.

"Sorry? No, not really. Should I be? I did kind of fling myself at you." She straightened, and rolled her shoulders a little. Thinking slightly, she cringed. "Ugh, I am sorry. Should probably have given you a heads up or something. That's kind of embarrassing." She cocked her head a little, taking in Luke's rumpled appearance. Her eyes flicked down to the bulge still apparent in his jeans. "Are you mad?"

He chuckled breathlessly. "Uh, no, not mad."

A thought occurred to her, and she gasped. "Oh god, please tell me you're single. I would never want to be the other woman. I've just never seen you with anyone, but that doesn't mean you aren't dating someone! God, I'm stupid!" She slapped her forehead, mentally chastising herself for impulsiveness.

"Ah, no," he said, and he pulled her hand away from her head. "I'm not seeing anyone." She relaxed, letting out an audible breath. "But since you did, as you said, fling yourself at me, maybe you'd let me take you out to dinner?"

"Really?" Lorelai asked, a grin spreading across her face.

"Is that a yes?" he asked.

"That's a hell yes!" she said, beaming. They stood in the living room, grinning like fools at each other when a thought came to her. "Why are you here, anyway? Was I expecting you?"

"Oh," he nodded, and he pointed toward the kitchen. "Rory mentioned you were out of water and needed the new one put in. I just ran by to do it between lunch and dinner. But then, we, ah…"

"Right." Lorelai nodded. "Well, don't let me stop you, water waits for no man. Or woman."

She openly admired him as he placed the new water bottle on top of the dispenser, chin resting in her hands as his arms flexed under its weight.

"Enjoying the show?" he muttered, grunting as he adjusted it.

"You know it," Lorelai said, biting her lip as he bent slightly. He straightened, and looked over at her with a bemused smile. "Hey," she said as their eyes met.

"Hey," he replied. The room was fraught with tension between them. She wanted to kiss him again, but was still feeling a little awkward over how she'd thrown herself at him earlier. Instead, she went to her old standby.

"Tea? Water?" she asked, standing up and walking to the refrigerator. After he accepted a bottle of water, she leaned against the counter, watching his Adam's apple bob as he drank.

"What?" he asked, self-consciously, as he lowered the bottle from his lips.

She shrugged. "Just like watching you hydrate."

"You have strange passions," he replied dryly. She laughed, and the tension between them dissipated slightly. They chatted for awhile until Lorelai had to leave to pick up Rory from school. She reached over in front of him to grab the empty water bottle, and they bumped into each other. She stumbled slightly, and Luke reached out his hand to steady her. When he didn't let go right away, she looked up, curious. He bent forward and kissed her sweetly.

"Will I see you tonight?" he asked, his voice quiet.

"We'll be in for dinner," Lorelai replied.

He nodded. "Good."

Once Luke left, Lorelai fixed her hair in the mirror and started walking toward Stars Hollow Middle School to pick up her daughter.

"Hey, kiddo!" she said once Rory bounded up next to her, backpack slapping against her with every step.

"Hey, Mom!" she said happily. "How was your day?"

"It was good," Lorelai replied vaguely. They walked passed the diner, and Lorelai peeked inside. Luke was facing away, taking an order. Her eyes drifted toward his delicious denim-encased ass, but she quickly looked away, cognizant of her daughter chattering animatedly beside her.

When Rory stopped to take a breath, Lorelai cut in quickly. "Sweets?" she said hesitantly.


"What do you think about Luke?"

"Hrm? What do you mean?"

"Well, do you like him?"

"He's nice," she said. She twisted her mouth thoughtfully. "He's really helpful, he's fixed a lot of stuff at our house over the past few months. And he sometimes gives me extra large slices of pie. Why?"

"Um, well, okay." Lorelai blew out a puff of air. "I'm going to run this by you, and if you feel weird about it, even a teeny tiny bit, it's forgotten, okay?"

"Okay…?" Rory said slowly. "What's going on?"

She decided to just rip off the bandaid and go for it. "Luke asked me to dinner, and I said yes."

"Like… a date?"

"Exactly like a date. Is that, are you, um, you know, is that—"

"Do you like him that way?" Rory asked, interrupting her mother's nervous babbling.

"Um, well, yes. Yes, I do."

She shrugged. "Then I guess it's fine. As long as you don't break his heart, because then we'd have to stop going to the diner and that would suck."

"Well, it's just dinner," she said. "And if at any time you get weirded out, you tell me, and it's over."

That Friday evening, Lorelai was tossing outfits out of her closet like a woman possessed. Rory sat cross-legged on the bed, her dog-eared copy of Ramona Quimby, Age 8 cracked open, but her attention on the clothing being scattered across the floor.

"I didn't really clear it with Luke what time I'd be home. I guess we should shoot for ten. I haven't ever let you stay home alone that late though," she fretted.

"Why don't I have a sleepover at Lane's?" Rory suggested. "Then you don't need to rush your date to get home."

Lorelai paused mid-throwing of garments. "You'd willingly eat wheatballs so I can have more time on my date?" she asked, her heart swelling.

Rory shrugged. "It's been a long time since you've been on a date." Then she smirked. "Besides, I've never seen you this nervous, ever, so I think it's gotta be something special."

"You're some kid," Lorelai said. She dropped the clothing in her hands to the floor and rushed over to give her daughter a giant hug. "I'm a lucky, lucky woman to have a kid as wonderful as you."

"Just remember that next time I clog the sink with my hair," Rory teased.

"I'll tell the plumber it was mine," Lorelai promised, making a crossing motion over her heart. Rory left the room to call Lane and Lorelai looked around, taking inventory of all the rejected outfits, before sighing heavily and going back to it. She had two hours to find the perfect dress to knock Luke's socks off, and she didn't know how she was going to pull it off. Suddenly, she picked up an old blue dress that had been a cast off from Miss Patty. It was obviously too big, and not entirely her style, but the fabric was a luscious brushed velvet and she had thought maybe she could alter it.

Lorelai had gotten to be a fairly creative seamstress, particularly in their potting shed days when money was tight. She had repaired and creatively altered dozens of clothes over the years, the bulk of which had been for Rory. She had never really done more than a hem here or a seam adjustment there for her own clothes. But holding the dress and fingering the soft blue fabric, she began to imagine how she could transform it. Without a second to waste, she yanked out her old sewing machine and shears and got to work.

Rory was long gone by the time Luke knocked at the door. Lorelai snatched her silver heels from the pile on the floor and swept down the stairs. She'd decided to leave her hair down to offset the less than casual dress, since she had no idea where Luke planned on taking her. She had performed a miracle with the dress, giving it a gorgeous sweetheart neckline and a full skirt, which enhanced her curves to perfection. Breathless from her last minute whirlwind of preparations, she opened the door.

Luke's mouth dropped open when he saw her. She flushed with pleasure, almost giddy from happiness as he attempted to speak, obviously completely surprised by her appearance. "You look…" he finally was able to choke out.

"Acceptable?" Lorelai teased.

"Incredible," he breathed. She looked down at her feet, embarrassed but pleased. He cleared his throat. "I was going to take you to this Mexican place that supposedly serves the best queso on the Eastern seaboard, but I think you might be too dressed up for that."

"Best queso on the Eastern seaboard? With rave reviews like that, wild horses couldn't keep me away!" she exclaimed, hustling him out onto the porch and shutting the door behind her.

"You're too dressed up for this place," he insisted. "It's just a hole in the wall halfway to Hartford."

"I don't care what people think," she said loftily. He gave her a look, and she acquiesced. "Well, I don't care what those people think. I'll probably never see them again. Besides," she said, nudging him with her shoulder, "I'm on a date." He gave her a smile so brilliant that it warmed her to her toes.

He opened the truck door for her, and she climbed in, carefully tucking the skirt of the dress around her as he shut the door. As he sat behind the wheel, he looked over her appearance again.

"That's an amazing dress," he said, turning the key in the ignition.

"Isn't it?" Lorelai said proudly. "I didn't think I could do it, but apparently my sewing skills are better than I thought."

"Wait," he said, braking as they reached the end of the driveway. He looked back over at her. "You made that dress?"

"Sort of," Lorelai demurred. "I just altered one of Miss Patty's Broadway castoffs."

"Wow," he said, pulling out on the road. "I thought for sure you bought that at one of those fancy New York boutiques."

"When was the last time you went to a fancy New York boutique?" Lorelai asked, giggling.

He snorted. "Well, never. But this is what I imagined one from there would look."

"You're too kind," she said, reaching over to squeeze his knee. He glanced over quickly, and smiled as his eyes returned to the road.

Lorelai adored the quaint restaurant from the moment Luke pulled into the small gravel parking lot. There were brightly colored lights strung up outside the stucco building, and there was a giant mural with hand-painted cactuses wearing sombreros.

Lorelai went to open her door, but was stopped by Luke holding out his hand. "Stay put," he said. "This is a date." She giggled, loving every moment of the chivalrous attention he was paying her. He walked around to open her door, holding out a hand for her to slide down to the ground. She smiled up at him brightly, and they walked toward the entrance, hand in hand.

"Rory is spending the night at Lane's so we don't have to rush back," Lorelai said once they were seated and the waiter had taken their drink orders.

"Um, great," Luke said, shifting slightly.

"I think she's okay with us, too, which is a huge relief, because you know how much Rory means to me," Lorelai continued. Luke had a small smile on his face, and Lorelai raised an eyebrow. "What?"

"Rory came by the diner right before I came to pick you up," he admitted.

Lorelai let out a guffaw. "What?"

"Yeah," he smirked. "She wanted to know what my intentions were."

"Oh my god," she laughed. "You're not serious! What did you say?"

He shrugged. "I told her that I cared about you both, and I didn't plan on hurting you. Either of you."

"Glad to hear it," she replied happily.

The conversation flowed on smoothly during dinner and the drive home, until Luke drove past the diner and Lorelai looked back, confused. "Where are we going?"

"I'm taking you home?" he said, confused.

"But, I thought we were going to continue this at your place," she said, her tone insinuating.

"My place?"

"Yeah. I know Rory isn't home but she probably will be early in the morning, and while she seems quite okay with the whole you and me thing I was hoping to ease her in gently to overnight male guests and all."

"Overnight…" Luke said, trailing off. "Wait, what?"

"Uh, did that display in my living room a few days ago not tip you off?" Lorelai demanded. "I'm ready, god I'm so ready. You're lucky you're driving and I want to get to our destination in one piece."

Luke pulled the truck into Lorelai's driveway, and killed the engine. "Lorelai, I really have no expectations of—"

"Oh, I have expectations, buddy," Lorelai said firmly. "Now, turn this truck around and take me to your place."

"I don't know, I—"

"Do… do you not want to?" Lorelai asked, suddenly nervous.

He looked over, and chuckled harshly. "I'm a man, of course I want to. I just, this isn't the way I usually do things."

"How do you usually do them?"

"Well," he paused to think about it. "On the first date, I usually get a kiss goodnight, but I guess we blew past that already."

"Mmm-hmm," Lorelai agreed.

"Maybe 3rd or 4th date? I tend to leave it up to the woman."

"Well this woman says take me now," Lorelai said, twisting her body to face him. He still looked unsure, so Lorelai racked her brain for something that would make his resistance snap like a twig. "What if I told you I'm not wearing any underwear?" she blurted.

His eyes widened. "What? Is that true?"

"No," she admitted. "But I'll take them off right now if it gets you to turn this truck around."

Luke gripped the steering wheel tighter. After a few silent seconds, he turned the key and began backing out of the driveway. "God, the work!" Lorelai teased. "Never had to beg a man to have sex with me, so that's off my to-do list." Luke laughed, shaking his head.

Once they arrived at the above diner apartment, Lorelai stepped over the threshold and looked around curiously. The room was sparsely furnished and even less decorated. It looked utilitarian and simple, and she decided it suited Luke's practical and self-effacive nature. Her eyes landed on some floral curtains near the apartment's tiny kitchen, and she pointed at them. "Nice curtains," she said.

"They were my mom's favorites," he said gruffly, taking her purse and setting it on the kitchen table.

"Were?" she asked. "Does she have new favorites now?"

"She, uh, passed away. When I was a kid."

"Oh," Lorelai said, all traces of teasing gone from her voice. She turned to face Luke, who was looking directly at her. His face didn't betray any emotion. "Your dad?" she asked, hesitantly.

"8 years ago," he said softly.

"I'm so sorry," Lorelai said, her hand reached up to cradle his face. He shrugged. "I can't even imagine."

"Hopefully you won't have to for quite some time," he said softly. "Sorry I spoiled the mood," he added.

"Not spoiled," Lorelai said, her other hand pressing gently against his other cheek. She pulled him down, and their lips met in a sweet kiss. "Just different."

They stood there, still only steps from the door, kissing each other softly. Lips brushed and teased, and when Lorelai parted her lips, Luke gladly accepted the invitation. She began to pull him toward her, and they slowly moved toward Luke's bed.

"Sorry it's small," he whispered as they broke for air.

"Cozy," Lorelai said, nuzzling into his neck. She began to unbutton his shirt, her fingers deftly moving from button to button as Luke watched her passively. She pushed it off his shoulders, tilting her head up for a kiss. He let the shirt fall to the floor, and her hands began to explore his chest, still covered by an undershirt but much more clearly defined through the thin fabric.

"I'd say you wear too many clothes, but I don't want all the single women of Stars Hollow to come sniffing around," Lorelai said jokingly.

Luke smiled softly, pulling her against him. "Not looking at those women," he muttered, before capturing her lips again. She pushed up his shirt, and he stepped back, pulling it off in one quick flourish. Lorelai purred appreciatively, letting her hands and eyes wander over him. He pulled her closer, his hands closing over her hips, and pushing his nose into her hair, breathing in deeply the scent of her shampoo.

"I don't want to ruin your pretty dress," he said, as his lips found her earlobe. She shuddered slightly.

"Zipper's in the back," she sighed. He turned her around in his arms, then slowly unzipped the dress, pushing the cap sleeves off her shoulders and watching her step out of the pooled fabric. She was left wearing a royal blue matching bra and panty set, and Luke felt his jeans get even tighter.

"I like this," he said, fingering the bra strap.

"Bought it special for tonight," she said, looking over her shoulder.

"Well in that case, let's leave it on for a bit." He stepped closer to her, feeling her body against his. He let his hands wander down to her breast, and palmed it carefully, feeling her nipple harden beneath his touch. He groaned. "It's been awhile for me," he murmured. "I'm sorry. Can this time not count?"

"We'll call a mulligan," Lorelai said breathily, as his thumb circled her nipple slowly.

"Yes, exactly," he agreed, smiling.

"I have condoms in my purse," she said, arching up into his touch.

He took a few steps back, turning to reach into her purse to pull out the strip of foil squares. When he turned back to the bed, Lorelai had already laid down on it, and she beckoned to him. He unbuckled his belt, sliding his pants and boxers down, feeling slightly self-conscious as Lorelai eyed him appreciatively.

He peeled off her panties and slid the condom into place. He paused, gazing at Lorelai for a moment. Her breasts were heaving in their lacy confines, her hair was tousled, and her lips swollen from his kisses. He swallowed hard, knowing this was going to be embarrassingly fast. She spread her legs for him, and as he slowly pushed inside of her, he felt himself losing control.

"Oh god," he gasped. "So sorry," he muttered, thrusting only a few times before he broke apart.

"It's okay," she murmured, running her fingers through his hair as he tried to regulate his breathing. "You gave me fair warning."

"I should have prepared," he said, closing his eyes tightly. "I didn't think—"

"Shh," she said, lifting his face to kiss him sweetly.

He pulled away reluctantly. "I'll be right back," he said softly. Lorelai nodded, and he pecked a kiss to her lips once more before pulling out, grasping the base of the condom in his hand, and ducking quickly into the bathroom. He caught his reflection in the mirror, his hair sticking up in all directions and his face slightly flushed, and couldn't help but smile.

When Luke returned from disposing the condom, he was surprised to see Lorelai stretched out on his bed, her bra now gone. They paused, gazing at each other's nakedness. Luke then got on the bed to lay next to her, and without delay, Lorelai climbed on top of him to lay her body against the length of his. She propped her chin up to look down at him, and his hands found their way to her lower back.

"So you said earlier you should have prepared," Lorelai said, her fingers exploring the curve of his neck and the stubble on his chin. "Did that mean you meant to spank the monkey?"

"I wouldn't have put it so eloquently, but sure," he said, a slight smirk on his lips.

"How would you put it, then?"

"Oh, I don't know." He shrugged as best he could with Lorelai draped on top of him. "Jerking off, I guess."

"Hrm," she said, her fingers moving toward the curls behind his ear. "So, have you ever thought about me?"

"Ah," he said, laughing nervously. "What answer makes me less of a creep?"

"I just want the truth," she said. "I've thought about you."

"You have?"

"Oh god, yeah. You know those packages I get sometimes?"

"How could I forget?" he asked dryly. She snickered at his reaction.

"Well," she continued, smiling wickedly, "the first time I ever used one of those was after you fixed my porch rail for the first time. My god, I thought I was going to explode watching you. All sexy and manly, building things on my lawn."

"Really?" he said, sounding incredibly interested.


"Well," he said, and his hands began to rub circles on her back slowly. "You may have starred in a thought once or twice."

"Yeah?" Lorelai said, her face lighting up. "What kind of things were we doing?"

"Oh! Uh, well usually you would be going, uh, down there."

"Sucking you?" Lorelai asked bluntly.

"The mouth on you," Luke growled.

She gave him a teasing leer. "I thought my mouth was what turned you on." He chuckled a little, her body bouncing against his as he laughed.

She paused thoughtfully. "I've never done that before," she said.

"No?" Luke asked, and she didn't miss the slight surprise in his look.

"Well, Rory's dad and I were usually too concerned about getting caught so there wasn't a lot of time for foreplay," she explained.

"And there's been no one else?"

"Nope," she said. "All of my relationships have been battery operated since then."

"No wonder you were in Sex Toy of the Month club," he quipped, and she swatted his chest playfully. He wrinkled his brow in thought. "Does that mean you've never had the same treatment?"

"What do you mean?" she asked.

"You know, you've never had a guy, uh, go down there for you?"

"Oh," Lorelai said, enjoying his apparently shyness when it came to talking about sex, even immediately post-coital. "No, I haven't."

"Well, then," Luke said, and before she knew what was happening, he flipped them over so she was laying against the pillows and he was kissing, biting, and licking his way down her body. It took her a moment to realize what he was doing, the sight of his lips traveling past her breasts and down her flat stomach one of the sexiest things she'd ever seen.

"Oh god!" gasped Lorelai as his tongue parted her folds, pressing against the sensitive nub. She gripped the sheet with her fists, unable to control her hips from bucking against the onslaught. He was relentless, driving her toward ecstasy at a frantic pace. "Guh!" she called out, feeling the first waves of her orgasm slam into her. He coaxed her down, slowing the movement of his tongue, making languorous swirls as her breathing slowed.

He pulled back, pressing sloppy kisses against her thighs as she let her body relax completely into the bed. He lifted himself over her, pressing his arousal against her. "Good recovery," she mumbled, and he chuckled.

"Ready for more?" he asked throatily, letting his lips trace kisses along her neck and jaw.

"Yes, please," she murmured, throwing her arm toward his nightstand and feeling blindly for the rest of the foil packages. He reached over her, grabbing a square and ripping it open with his teeth. He slid it on swiftly, and teased her opening with the head of his cock, prodding her still engorged clit. He pressed forward, letting her body take him in. She wrapped her legs around his hips and he pushed deeper, causing her to moan loudly from deep within her body. He pulled out and thrust forward, supporting her hips with his hand while the other kept him from resting his full weight on her. "Faster," she begged, and he picked up his pace, rocking against her, relishing all of the pleasured sounds bursting from her lips.

He felt her walls clenching him, and he groaned. Determined to make up for his poor performance earlier, he mentally recited his supply log, trying to hang on a little longer. He didn't slow his pace, and began rotating his hips against her. She bucked reflexively, and her eyes rolled back into her head as she gasped. "Kiss me," she ordered breathlessly, and he leaned down to give her a passionate, open-mouthed kiss. The taste of her arousal lingered on his tongue.

"Again," Lorelai gasped in wonder, her body going limp as he felt her squeezing him tightly once more. Unable to postpone it any longer, he hit his own release, grunting softly as he came. Their movements slowed, breaths coming out in puffs and sighs. Luke dropped his forehead to her chest, her heart pounding beneath his head. After a brief respite, he rolled them over so that she was once again laying on top of him, and he began to rub slow circles over her back as they calmed from their passionate coupling.

"Whenever I can move again," Lorelai said breathlessly, her body laying bonelessly atop his, "I totally plan to reciprocate."

Months later…

"Good morning," Luke said as Lorelai stumbled down the stairs.

"Morning," she said, smiling at the sight of Luke in her kitchen, wearing jeans and a t-shirt, his feet bare and his hair delightfully rumpled from sleep. He was at the stove, flipping pancakes. Her heart swelled seeing how well he fit in her and Rory's lives. She moved over to knock on Rory's door. "Time to get up for school, sweets!" she called.

"Pancakes?" came the muffled reply.

"Almost ready," Luke called back. Lorelai stood next to him, watching him. So much had changed in the last few months. They hadn't quite moved in together yet, but it was a step Lorelai hoped they would be ready for soon. He was spending the occasional night at their place, and so far her daughter appeared to be more than fine with it.

"Do I have time for a shower?" Rory asked, peeking out of her bedroom, her hair sticking out in all directions.

Lorelai checked the clock on the stove. "A fast one, chop chop!" Rory darted up the stairs, taking them two at a time. Lorelai was about to open her mouth to say something to Luke, when a knock at the door interrupted her.

She was surprised to see the porch empty when she opened the door, and was about to call for Luke when she saw the brown package on the floor by her feet. She clapped her hands excitedly.

"Who was that?" Luke asked, and when he turned to her, he saw the box in her hands and a huge smile on Lorelai's face. He almost dropped the spatula when he recognized it. "Uh, Lorelai?" he began.

"Yeah?" she said, setting the box down on the kitchen table and reaching for a knife.

"Is there something we should be talking about?" he asked.

"What do you mean?" she replied, beginning to break the seal on the carton.

He cleared his throat. "Am I not, uh," he lowered his voice, "satisfying you?"

Lorelai's head snapped up. "Huh?"

"Well, since we've been together you haven't needed any of, ah, those things," he said, waving his hand toward the box.

"Oh babe," she said laughing. "No, no. Put down the spatula and get over here."

He turned off the burner underneath the skillet and walked over. She held up the first item in the box, a pair of furry handcuffs. "I got us some good ol' grown-up toys," she said gleefully.

Luke blanched, then rushed over to cover the box with his hands. "Rory's right upstairs!" he hissed.

"Oh relax, with the stomping around she does, we'll have plenty of warning." Luke paused, then opened the box to peek inside. It was a veritable cornucopia of toys and supplies, including scarves, oils, and massagers.

"Happy birthday, babe," she said teasingly, and pecked a kiss to his lips as she took the box into the laundry room to hide until Rory left for school. Luke stood in the kitchen, shocked. After a moment, he chuckled to himself. Life was never boring with Lorelai.