A/N: Well sports fans, I am sad to say that this is it for this story. I know that some of you wanted it to continue, but my original purpose was to explore the relationship that they could have built while Luke was away. It grew beyond what I thought it would be, but I still feel that this is the natural place for this one to end. As much as I hate the drama that came after this, I have no desire to rewrite seasons five, six and seven. I did leave you with a couple of special parting gifts, if you're so inclined…

I just want to say that I really appreciate you for sticking with me through this, and I hope that you enjoyed it. I do plan to continue Middle Management, and I am sure something else will tickle my fancy sooner rather than later. Thank you for reading and sharing your thoughts with me. XOXO Mags

Homecoming King and Queen

Luke helped Lorelai down from the truck, snagging the bag of food with one hand as he took her hand with the other. Lorelai snatched the bottle of champagne from the seat and followed him to the back door of the diner. Luke released her hand momentarily to unlock the door, and then held it open for her to precede him. She walked into the back hall and stopped to wait for him, her foot resting on the bottom stair. When he had locked the door behind them, he turned and said, "Go ahead."

Lorelai smiled and walked silently up the stairs, stopping at the top and leaning up against the wall as she watched him unlock the apartment door. She noted that his nerves seemed steady now. His fingers didn't fumble with the key, his grip on the bag of food was sure, and his eyes when he turned back to allow her to enter were calm and clear blue. There was an air of confidence in the set of his shoulders that wasn't there two hours ago. There was a gleam of pride emanating from his, as if he were warmed by an unseen fire. He placed the bag on the table, shrugged out of his jacket and hung it on the back of the chair in the living room next to the flannel he had discarded earlier. He walked back into the kitchen and reached for the bottle of champagne she held clutched in her fist. Without saying a word, he removed the foil, unscrewed the wire cage, and eased the cork from the bottle with a twist of his wrist, releasing the pressure with a soft gasp, rather than a loud pop. Lorelai cocked her head and said, "For a guy who hates champagne, you're very good at that. Most people try to put an eye out."

Luke smiled as he pulled a couple of wine glasses from a cabinet and said, "I told you, I know things." He held up the glasses and said, "I don't have the right glasses, though. Sorry."

Lorelai nodded and said, "These will do. Are you having some?"

"A little," Luke said as he poured the wine.

"But you hate it," she pointed out.

"I'm celebrating," he answered.

Lorelai stepped closer to him as he held a glass out to her and asked, "What?"

"Us," he answered with a shrug.

Lorelai nodded and lifted her glass. "Here's to you," she said, echoing his toast from earlier in the evening.

Luke shook his head and said, "Here's to us." They sipped the dry wine and then Luke snaked an arm around Lorelai's waist, pulling her to him and kissing her gently.

Lorelai smiled as she pulled away and slipped from his grasp, moving to place her glass on the table. She watched the bubbles rise and die at the surface in tiny little explosions before she cleared her throat softly. She looked up to find him watching her. "When I told you that I loved you, you know, before?" she reminded him. When Luke nodded silently she said, "I meant that I'm in love with you, not the 'Gee, I think you're keen,' variety," she said meeting his eyes at last. "Not that I don't think you're keen, that's sort of implied, there. I just, I wanted, I want to be clear about that," she finished in a whisper.

Luke nodded and stepped closer to her as he said, "I got that."

"Okay, well, okay," she said as she picked up her glass and took another sip.

"It's a big deal," Luke said quietly. "You and me. Saying these things, meaning these things," he said in a deep voice.

Lorelai nodded and said, "Yes, it is."

Luke smiled softly and said, "We're not really the, uh, spill our hearts out types, I guess."

"No," Lorelai said with a flush of pleasure. "You're an action man," she murmured.

"Did I make you uncomfortable?" he asked with a frown.

Lorelai looked up quickly and said, "No! God, no."

"Good," he said with a nod. He placed his glass on the table and said, "I not really good with words. I know I probably won't say it enough. I just wanted to be sure, that now, from the get go, you know," he explained.

"I know," she said as she moved to stand in front of him. She reached up to stroke his cheek affectionately and whispered, "I know, you know, and we both know."

Luke nodded mutely, his eyes searching hers for any sigh of doubt or hesitation, but coming up empty. He bent his head and kissed her tenderly, his soft lips melting against hers as she stepped into his embrace. Luke's hand skimmed over her long curls, his fingers flexing into the mass of them, and luxuriating in the soft caress. Lorelai's hand still held his cheek, her fingertips softly rubbing the rough skin as she slipped her lips to kiss the spot just beneath his bottom lip. "You shaved it," she murmured against his skin.

Luke smiled and said, "Too much grey now."

"Vain," she whispered as he rained soft kisses over her cheek and jaw.

"Yes," he answered. "I refuse to look like an old guy trying to look like he's twenty," he murmured as he tugged her head back gently and began to feast on her neck.

Lorelai smiled and said, "You're pretty spry for an old guy."

Luke smiled against her skin and moved to whisper in her ear, "I may have a little spring left in my step."

Lorelai grinned and said, "I've missed you. I'm so glad you're here."

"Me too," Luke murmured as he kissed her ear gently and then nipped at the tender skin of her lobe.

"Every day," she whispered as she ran her hands over his shoulders. "I need you to touch me every day," she told him.

"I will do my best," he promised in a low voice.

"You make me feel," she gasped softly as he bit her neck, drawing the skin into his mouth and sucking lightly. "Oh, you make me feel," she whispered.

"What?" he asked as he moved with slow deliberation down the side of her neck to her collar bone, gently pushing her jacket from her bare shoulders. Lorelai let it slide from her arms before lifting them to encircle him again.

"Everything," she breathed as she clutched his back, pulling him closer. She turned her head and pressed her lips to the soft skin of his neck, feeling the prickle of his five o'clock shadow already poking through. She inhaled the woodsy tang of his aftershave, and relished the taste of him as she drew the skin into her mouth. For once, she felt no pressing need, no urge to hurry, no need to tempt him into submission. Instead, she focused on the feel of his mouth on her, his hands, holding her strongly and firmly against him, his hard body cushioned by her soft curves. "Oh Luke," she whispered in his ear.

Luke pulled back to look down at her, trailing his fingers along the ruffled neckline of her blouse. "Very pretty," he said as his nimble fingers found the buttons and began releasing them. He bent and nipped at her bare shoulder as he parted the material, caressing her stomach as he sought her warm skin. He splayed his fingers across her back and pulled her against him again as he kissed her deeply, his tongue dancing with hers in a slow, seductive tango. He found the clasp of her bra and released it quickly, pushing the blouse from her shoulders and them skimming his hands down her arms, whisking her bra to their feet.

Lorelai felt it hit her shoes, and pulled back, glancing down in a haze of desire. She giggled as she looked down to find herself topless and whispered, "Man, you're good."

Luke smiled as she reached for the buttons on his shirt and said, "I was wondering when you would catch up."

"I was savoring," she said with a laugh as she tugged the tail of his shirt from his jeans and parted the material, running her hands over his muscular chest and hard stomach. "You are delicious," she said with a smile.

"Even without the chocolate sauce?" he asked with a grin.

"It would just get in my way," she said as she ran her thumb over his flat nipple, feeling it bead against her touch.

"Turning down chocolate, I must rank," he said dryly.

Lorelai looked up quickly and asked, "We're you offering?"

"No," he said with a laugh.

"Then I didn't really choose you over chocolate, chocolate was never an option," she pointed out.

"Well, now I feel good," he grumbled good naturedly.

"You feel very good," Lorelai said as she ran her hands over his chest and started to nudge the shirt from his shoulders.

Luke smiled and said, "Cuffs," holding up his hands to her.

"Ah, the downside to the nice, big hands," Lorelai said as she worked the buttons from their holes. When she had succeeded, she tugged on the sleeves saying, "There. Off."

Luke smiled at her and said, "We should probably loose the shoes too. Before things get too clumsy."

"You are too cute," she said as she toed off her shoes and stood barefoot in front of him.

Luke chuckled and said, "Yeah, well you have a distinct advantage there." He toed off his shoes and kicked them aside.

Lorelai smiled down at his sock feet and said, "I'll get those later."

"Thank you," he said with a nod. "Come with me," he said taking her hand and leading her away from the table.

Lorelai grinned and said, "I know we can't go far."

Luke led her over near the chair and gestured to the new bed. "That's your side," he said gruffly.

Lorelai beamed at the plaid bedding and said, "I love the sheets."

"Thought you'd appreciate them," Luke told her.

Lorelai smiled up at him and said, "So, you really are going to take me to your bed."

Luke nodded solemnly and said, "It's yours too. You have your own side, remember?" he teased.

Lorelai pressed up against him, her bare breasts pressed against him as she hugged him tightly. Luke ran his hand over the back of her head, holding her firmly as they stood locked together in a simple embrace. Lorelai could hear his heart beating against her, feeling the pulse of it; she turned her head and pressed her lips to his chest, tenderly kissing the heart he had given her. She ran her fingers over the spot, pressing them there to feel him beating and looked up as she said, "Take me to our bed." She stepped back from him, keeping her eyes locked on his face as she unbuttoned her jeans and began to remove them.

Luke watched with avid interest for a moment, and then began to follow suit. He bent to remove his socks and he kicked the wad of denim and cotton to the side. He stood up to find her standing with her arms slightly apart, completely bare. He reached out, and pulled a mass over curls over her shoulder, watching as the ends as the ends curled near the tip of her breast. "You are the most beautiful woman I've ever seen," he rasped. "I can't believe I get to touch you, see you, taste you," he murmured.

"Luke, take me to our bed," she whispered.

Luke nodded and bent to sweep her into his arms, placing her gently on the bed and looking down at her adoringly. He covered her, stretching out on top of her, his chest pressing against hers, his legs draped over hers, letting his weight press into her as she sighed and ran her hands up his back. Luke toyed with a tendril of her hair, letting the soft curl trail through his fingers as he whispered, "Now I'm home."

"Yes," Lorelai whispered in return. She pressed her lips to his and rubbed them gently over the soft skin, taking her time as they lingered over the soft caress, letting the kiss deepen slowly and grow fuller with each passing moment. Luke pressed up on his arms, releasing her from his weight without breaking the kiss. He shifted to his side, allowing his hand to trail down the valley between her breasts before he traced a line back up to the hollow of her throat, spreading his fingers possessively as he pressed harder, his tongue demanding her response, and making Lorelai arch against him.

He broke the kiss looking down at her with eyes as dark as midnight. He swallowed thickly and said, "You are my home."

Lorelai looked up at him and said, "Love me, Luke."

"I do, I do," he murmured as he pressed his lips to the soft skin of her throat, following his hand as he slowly let it slide down her soft skin. "Oh, I do," he whispered as he cupped her breast gently and bent his head to kiss the pointed tip. He caressed her with his lips and tongue, drawing the beaded tip onto his mouth and laving it, sucking it until she moaned softly. He ran is thumb over the wet skin, and watched as she pressed up into his hand with a small whimper. He caressed other breast reverently, smoothing the soft skin as he nuzzled her, letting his lips sweep teasingly across her aching nipple before drawing her into his mouth and drawing on her insistently. Lorelai draped her leg over his, rolling onto her side slightly, trying to get closer to him. When he released her nipple, teasing it with the same tender strokes he had lavished on the other, Lorelai pressed her hand to his chest and pushed him onto his back. "Hey," he protested.

Lorelai shook her head and said, "Me, it's always me. I want you," she told him as she scrambled to straddle him. She ran her hands over him, raking her nails through the hair on his chest and stomach, squeezing him with her hands and watching his abs quiver and jump under her touch. She leaned forward slowly and placed her open mouth to his throat, nipping at his bobbing adam's apple as she let her hot breath wash over him. She sat back, pressing her damp curls against his hard cock with a moan of pleasure and grinding against him. "You feel so good," she whispered as she let herself slide teasingly along the length of him.

Luke smiled but said nothing as he gave himself over to her, running his hands over her body, caressing every bit of her within his reach. When she rose up and let the tip of his cock nudge and part her folds, he shook his head and said, "Not yet."

Lorelai looked down at him and said, "We have all night. I need you in me," she said simply.

"I want," he started to protest.

"And you will. Later," she said firmly. She leaned down and kissed him tenderly. "I don't want the teasing, whipping each other into a frenzy," she told him gently. "I don't want this to be about the want. I need this to be about the need," she said softly. "I just want this," she told him as she pressed against him.

Luke nodded his assent, never taking his eyes from her face as she pressed down onto him. She parted slowly easing him into her warm heat, and lacing her fingers though his as they were joined. When he was completely enveloped in her, Lorelai leaned forward. Pressing their laced fingers to the mattress and stretching their arms out to their sides as she draped herself over him, straightening her legs and pressing her entire body against him. She tucked her head into the crook of his neck, lying completely still as she listened to the hammering of his heart.

Neither could say how long they stayed like that, it could have been seconds, it could have been an hour, as they soaked up the intimacy of their bodies, and the knowledge that their embrace is more than merely physical. Lorelai breathed in the scent of him, relishing the solid reality of his body beneath hers. She could feel him throb and twitch inside of her, reacting to the involuntary squeezing of her walls. Luke lay as still as he possibly could, knowing that she was absorbing it all, and letting himself feel every inch of her soft skin against his. "I love you," he whispered into her hair.

"And I love you, Luke," she answered as she lifted her head to look at him.

He flexed his fingers in hers and said, "Let me hold you."

Lorelai released his hands, bring hers up to cradle his head, resting on her elbows as he reached around her, cupping the nape of her neck in his hand. Lorelai smiled lovingly at him and began to move her hips in languid circles. "Mmm," she hummed deep in her throat as she bent to kiss him. Luke banded one arm around her waist, holding her down against him as they kissed, their tongues lazily tangling as they began to move together.

There was no urgency, no rush to completion as Lorelai lay flush against Luke, feeling him slowly slide into her with each thrust of her hips. Luke looked up at her, watching the play of pleasure and emotion flickering through her eyes. He could feel her building, her thrusts quickening, opening herself to him, taking him deeper with each stroke, and he let himself go with the flood of feeling coursing through him. "Oh Lorelai," he sighed softly. He watched as her eyes darkened with awareness and she bit her bottom lips gently.

She looked down at him and said, "Your hand." Luke took his hand from her waist and brought it up to his head, letting her twine her fingers with him as she rode him steadily. She watched him carefully as she felt the tension knotting in her belly, panting softly as she closed her eyes momentarily.

Luke tightened his grip on her neck, urging her on as she whimpered softly. "Yes, Lorelai," he said in a raspy voice. "Oh," he groaned as she thrust down onto him harder.

"I need you with me," she whispered desperately.

"Always with you," he answered. "Oh, let go," he told her. "Let go."

"Luke," she gasped.

"Oh God, Lorelai," he groaned as he felt her tighten and begin to spasm. "Oh!" he cried as he felt her coming before she knew what had happened.

"Luke!" she cried as she crested.

"Oh yes, oh yes," he whispered as he felt his own completion rushing for him. He thrust up into her, pressing his face to her hair as he chanted, "Lorelai, my Lorelai," holding her tightly as he shuddered beneath her.

"My Luke," she answered softly as she slowed, bring him down gently with her. "My love," she murmured into his neck. She slowed to a gradual stop, going limp on top of him, except for their clasped hands which she clung tightly to. The silence was punctuated only by their breathing, soft gasps and hums of pleasure, as they lay entwined and content.

Lorelai dozed lightly as Luke stroked her back soothingly, and his heart rate slowed and returned to normal. "Sleepy girl," he whispered, kissing her head.

"Dessert," she mumbled.

"What?" he asked with a chuckle.

"I want my dessert now," she said as she lifted her head lazily.

"Why am I surprised?" he asked with a laugh.

Lorelai smiled down at him and said, "I can't imagine why." She pushed herself up, pouting a little as she pulled away from him and asked, "You want water?"

"That would be good," Luke said as he watched her roll to the edge of the bed and stand up, offering him a terrific view of the gentle curve of her spine, and her soft rounded bottom. She stepped over to the chair and snagged the flannel with two fingers, slipping her arms into it and flipping her hair over the collar as she wandered toward the kitchen. She pulled a glass from the cabinet and filled it full of cold water, setting it aside as she opened the bag and rummaged for the small container holding her chocolate cake. She folded the bag and said, "I'm gonna put this in the fridge."

Luke nodded and said, "Good call." Lorelai picked up the water and carried it over to the bed, handing it to him with a smile. She walked back into the kitchen and opened a drawer, looking for a fork. "To the right," he told her without looking.

She located the fork, snagged the container of cake and the open bottle of champagne, and brought it all back to bed with her. She sat down, placing the bottle on the nightstand next to his blue cap and turned to him with a smile as she opened the box. "Next time, you can wear the hat," she told him with a nod.

Luke smirked as he watched her cut off a forkful of cake and said, "Always thought you had a thing for the hat."

Lorelai moaned softly as she chewed and said, "This is so good."

"Maisy's grandmother's recipe. She won't give it to me," he told her.

She cut off another bite and held the fork out to his lips. Luke opened his mouth and took it, staring up at her as he chewed slowly. "Ha! Made you eat cake!" Lorelai said with a grin.

Luke swallowed and said, "Believe it or not, it's not my first time."

Lorelai pouted and asked, "You weren't a cake virgin?"

"Sorry," he said with a chuckle.

Lorelai stared down at the cake and said, "Cherries."

"Pardon me?" Luke asked with a laugh.

"This would be even better with some of that cherry glaze stuff over it," she told him as she took another bite of cake. She placed the fork in the container as she reached for the bottle of champagne and prepared to take a swig of it.

"You're gonna drink from the bottle?" Luke asked.

Lorelai held it out to him and said, "What? You wanted more?" When he shook his head she took a drink and smacked her lips. "Chocolate cake, bubbly, and a boy," what more could any girl dream of?" she asked delightedly.

Luke smiled and said, "Glad I could fulfill all of your fantasies."

Lorelai smiled down at him and asked, "Another bite?" When he nodded, she fed him another and then set about polishing off the cake. When she was done, she licked the fork with relish and said, "Tell Maisy that I love her."

Luke smiled and said, "Look who's a fountain of love today."

"I am," Lorelai said with a nod. She got up to dump the container in the trash and place the fork in the sink. While she was up, Luke pulled back the covers and slipped into the bed, folding back the blankets for her to get in. Lorelai paused at the side of the bed, and took another drink from the bottle of champagne. Luke watched with interest as muscles in her throat worked and she placed the bottle back on the nightstand. Looking him in the eye, she peeled back the sides of his shirt, letting it slip enticingly from her shoulders as she draped it over the end of the bed.

Luke was sprawled out on his back against the jumbled pillows. He reached out and patted the spot next to him, flipping the covers back over her as she snuggled up against him. He held his hand out palm up as she burrowed into her pillow, smiling at him as her fingertips traced his palm and stroked his wrist tenderly. "I can't believe you kept that horoscope," she said softly.

Luke smiled slightly as he said, "You're just lucky I never clean out my wallet".

"You can't take it back now. You've exposed yourself," she told him. "You've been pining for me," she said as a matter of fact.

Luke chuckled and said, "I have not been pining."

"I'm your Ava Gardner," she told him.

Luke snorted and said, "God help me." He sighed and said, "Okay. Let's get something out of the way right now." He rolled over and reached for pad and pen from the nightstand.

"What? What are you doing?" she asked as he rolled back over.

Luke held the pen to paper as he said, "Tell me what CD's to get so I don't have to hear about it."

Lorelai grinned and asked, "Seriously?"

Luke looked at her pointedly and said, "And skip any '80s groups where the guys dressed up like pirates. I draw the line at pirates," he told her firmly.

Lorelai kissed his shoulder in delight and said, "This has been a really great first date."

Luke smiled as he turned to her and said, "It only took us eight years to get here." He kissed her gently, and Lorelai kissed him again before tapping on the pad to remind him. Luke turned back and asked in a businesslike voice, "Okay. So, U2, right?" he asked.

Lorelai pushed her hair from her face and said, "Yeah, Bono is a must, and Blondie and, um, ooh - Sparks, especially the new one. Plus Bowie," she added.

Luke looked over at her as he stopped writing and said, "Okay, I know he dressed up like a pirate."

Lorelai shook her head and said, "Space man."

Luke started writing again as he said, "Space man I can deal with."

"Luke?" Lorelai asked.

"Mm hmm," he said as he finished writing 'David Bowie' on the list.

"I'm really happy," she said softly.

Luke looked over at her tenderly and said, "That makes me very happy."

"Put that down for now," she told him.

Luke rolled over and dropped the pad and paper back onto the nightstand. He rolled onto his side to face her and asked, "Something else I can do for you?"

Lorelai nodded and said, "Worry about that other stuff tomorrow."

"It has been tabled," he said with a nod. "Yes, pun intended," he said as she opened her mouth. "So, movie tomorrow night?" he asked.

"Sure, but we have to go to the town meeting first," she told him.

Luke snorted and said, "That's one way of breaking the news."

"No, I mean, I go because Rory wants the scoop on what's going on around town," she explained.

"Fine, I'll pick you up after the meeting and we'll go," he said as he pushed her hair back over her shoulder, running his hand over her bare skin.

"You're not going to go with me?" she asked in an injured tone.

"I hate those things. They always put me in a bad mood. I don't wanna be in a bad mood when we go out," he told her with a shrug.

"So, do we hold hands and go skipping down the street?" she asked him.

Luke smiled, remembering Jess' mocking words and said, "Yes, because I love to hold hands and skip."

"We can't keep it a secret forever. Sookie's gonna crack soon," she warned him.

"So it's not a secret," he said with a shrug. "We're you planning to make an announcement?" he asked.

"I'm just trying to figure out how to handle this," she said softly.

Luke shook his head and said, "Nothing to handle. Let it happen."

"Says Luke 'Go with the Flow' Danes," she mocked.

"Lorelai, I couldn't care less if people know or not. No wait, I take that back," he said quickly. "I don't want it to be a secret. I won't hide," he told her, remembering how she hid her relationship with Jason from her parents. "From anyone," he told her firmly.

"No hiding," she assured him.

Luke stared at her for a minute and then asked, "Rory's okay with it?"

"I told you, yes, she is," Lorelai said with a nod.

"Just checking. Hers is the only opinion that really counts," he said gruffly.

"She is very excited for us. For both of us. You know she loves you," Lorelai said gently.

Luke smiled and said, "She's a great kid."

Lorelai's blinked and reminded him, "She's not a kid anymore."

"You know what I mean. A great young lady," he corrected dryly.

Lorelai smiled and said, "I'm glad you feel that way."

Luke snorted and said, "Please, compared to you, Rory's cake."

"Oh, she can be difficult," Lorelai said with a knowing chuckle. "Don't let the sweet face fool you," she told him.

Luke smiled and said, "Too late."

"Who's the sucker now?" Lorelai taunted.

"I'll sucker you," he said menacingly.

"I'd like to see you try," she taunted.

"I believe I already have," he said firmly.

"Do it some more," she said with a grin.

"Insatiable," Luke hissed as he rolled over to pin her under him.

"You like it," she said with a laugh.

"I love it," he answered as he kissed her firmly.

Lorelai giggled and said, "Come on, Burger Boy, show me what you've got."


The alarm went off at six the next morning. Lorelai groaned as Luke rolled over and reached out for it. "Sorry, I forgot to turn the alarm off," he grumbled as he silenced it.

"Bad alarm. Bad, bad alarm," Lorelai mumbled into the stack of pillows under her. Luke rolled onto his back, raising his arm to draw her close to him. Lorelai abandoned her mountain of pillows in favor of the comfort of Luke's chest as she asked, "What time is it?"

"Early," he grunted as he wrapped his arm around her, stroking her hair.

"Hate early, must kill early," Lorelai mumbled with her eyes closed as Luke pressed a kiss to the top of her head. "Okay," she said with a sigh. "I gotta get up," she mumbled.

"Why?" Luke asked gruffly as he cradled her head to him.

Without opening her eyes, Lorelai said, "Work, inn, but shoes…" She sighed loudly and said, "Oh my God, I can't move. I need coffee."

"I don't have coffee up her, it's all downstairs," Luke mumbled sleepily.

Lorelai whimpered and said, "Downstairs." She turned her head and pressed a trail of sleepy kisses to his chest as she sat up and reached for the flannel at the end of the bed.

As she slipped it on, Luke asked groggily, "Where are you goin'?" He rested his hand on his stomach and began to drift back to sleep.

Lorelai stumbled down the steps, humming softly while trying to push the buttons of the flannel through the holes as she stepped through the curtain and into the packed diner. She glanced up in surprise to see Kirk, Gypsy and the other patrons all look up at her with interest. She smiled uncomfortably and backed slowly to the steps, before turning and dashing back up quickly. She slammed the apartment door behind her and said, "Well, I think people are going to know."

"What?" Luke asked startled from his doze. He rolled over and struggled to sit up as he asked, "What are you talking about?" Blinking his eyes to wake up, he asked, "Why are you wearing my shirt?"

"I put it on to go get coffee," Lorelai said with a big fake grin.

"Downstairs?" Luke asked incredulously.

"Well, you don't keep it upstairs," Lorelai pointed out in a sarcastic tone.

"The diner's open," he told her.

"You're kidding!" she said with mock surprise, holding up her arms for him to see.

Luke pointed at her and asked, "You walked into the diner like that?"

"Well, I didn't think the diner could open without you," she insisted.

Luke rolled onto his back, arms spread and said dryly, "I had Caesar open."

"Well, he did, with a floor show," Lorelai said as she gestured to her attire.

Luke held his hands out and said, "Okay, so, maybe nobody noticed."

"Look at me!" she snapped, nearing panic.

"Okay, yes," Luke conceded as he propped himself up on her mountain of pillows. "Well, but you wear crazy outfits all the time," he tried to suggest.

"They usually include pants," she informed him, not amused.

"Okay, so they know," Luke said in an exasperated tone. "So what? I mean, they're gonna find out eventually, right?" he asked helplessly.

"Right," Lorelai answered with a shrug. "So, we'll hear about it for a few days."

"Few weeks," Luke corrected as if it were no big deal.

"Six months of hearing about it, but then it'll die down," she said with false enthusiasm.

"We'll be used to it," Luke sighed.

"And everything will get back to normal, so, okay, well, they know," Lorelai said with a nervous giggle. "It's out," she said with a sigh.

"It's out," Luke agreed as she chuckled anxiously. "Where's your coffee? He asked blankly.

Lorelai gestured to the shirt futilely and hummed, "Mm-hmm."

Luke took a deep breath as he began to get up and said, "I'm getting your coffee."

She watched him pull on his boxers and jeans from the night before and glance around for his shirt. "Kitchen," she told him.

"That's right," he mumbled as he scooped it up from the floor and looked around. He unlaced his shoes and shoved his bare feet into them as he buttoned his shirt, leaving it untucked. He bent over to quickly tie his laces as Lorelai sank down onto the edge of the bed, pressing her hands between her knees. "Right back," he told her as he headed out the door.

At the foot of the stairs, he took a deep breath, fixed a forbidding scowl on his face and walked into the diner, focusing solely on the coffee machine. He poured a large mug, looked down at it, and placed the pot on the counter. He shoved an empty pot onto the burner. Quickly loaded a fresh filter with coffee and pressed the button to start it brewing before he grabbed the half pot and the mug and walked directly to the stairs. He placed the pot on a step and turned, tugging the curtain firmly closed behind him. He grabbed the pot and hurried back up the steps.

He found Lorelai standing in the kitchen, leaning up against the counter as she fidgeted with a button on his flannel. "Here you go," he said as he kicked the door shut behind him. He handed her the mug and placed the pot on the counter. "Sorry, I didn't think," he apologized.

"Add coffee to the list of things this girl likes to have in your apartment," she told him as she took a sip. "Thank you," she said with a sigh. "Sorry about, you know, outing us," she told him.

"No big deal," he said as he stepped over to her, tugging at the tail of the shirt she wore. "Good look for you," he said with a smile.

"Plaid is the new black," she said soberly.

Luke slipped his hands under the shirt to stroke her thighs gently and said, "If it makes you feel any better, you look beautiful."

Lorelai laughed and pushed her hair back as she said, "I bet I do."

"Beautiful, sexy, a little rumpled, and well loved," he told her as he leaned in to kiss her.

"Definitely well loved," she said with a sigh as he nibbled on her neck. "Luke," she whispered as his hand slid over her ass.

"Hmm?" he asked.

"I have to go to work," she reminded him.

"In a little bit," he mumbled against her ear. He kissed the soft skin behind it and whispered, "I think you need more loving."

Lorelai smiled slowly, setting her mug aside as she said, "Maybe a little."

Luke lifted his head and looked at her with a devilish gleam in his eye. "Maybe a lot," he corrected as he hauled her up against him and kissed her heatedly.

Lorelai backed up to the edge of the counter and began to unbutton his shirt frantically as he kissed her. When he bent to feast on her neck, she whispered, "A lot. Oh, yes," as she let her head fall back. She parted his shirt and pushed at it, urging it down over his arms. When it fell to the floor, she gasped his biceps, squeezing them as she hung on. Luke's hands found her breasts under the soft flannel, and he growled a little as he took possession of them squeezing her insistently. Lorelai fumbled for the button of his jeans and then drew down the zipper, pushing them down and taking his boxers with them.

Luke toed his shoes off again and bent to free his legs from the denim bunched at his ankles, grumbling, "Stupid, stupid shoes." When he kicked the clothing aside he looked up at her, staring down at him, wearing nothing but his soft, blue shirt. Luke groaned and pressed his lips to her thigh as he straightened. He grasped her waist in his hands and said, "Up," as he lifted her onto the kitchen counter.

"Oh God," Lorelai panted as he pushed the tails of his shirt up to expose her thighs and bent to kiss them. She parted her legs with a soft moan as he nuzzled her curls. He gripped her ass and dragged her to the edge of the counter as he plunged his tongue into her folds, teasing her clit with the tip of it. Lorelai whimpered and pushed against him as he sought better contact and drew her into his mouth. "Oh yes," she panted as he laved her clit with his talented tongue. He slipped a finger to her entrance and she lifted up, pressing her hands to the countertop for balance as she arched into him. Luke thrust his finger into her as he devoured her with his lips, teeth and tongue. "Oh Luke," she whispered as she looked down at him, his eyes closed as he pleasured her, moaning softly as he lapped at her. His eyes flashed to her face and he saw the sensuous haze of pleasure in her eyes.

He lifted his lips from her, placing a tender kiss to her curls as he slipped his finger from her heat, leaving her whimpering and panting. "Wrap your legs around me," he said in a deep, commanding voice. Lorelai obeyed, encircling him with her long smooth legs as he lifted her from the counter. He stood still for a moment, making sure he was supporting her weight before he turned, took two steps and placed her on the table. Lorelai looked up at him questioningly as she reached back automatically to brace herself. Luke kissed her hard, his tongue thrusting into her mouth, and demanding her response as he positioned himself at her entrance. He plunged into her heat recklessly, pushing into her and scooting the table slightly against the floor.

Lorelai's hand slipped and the salt and pepper shakers went flying, skittering across the floor. Neither of them noticed as she pushed back at him, her eyes locked on his as he drove into her determinedly. "Oh yes, God yes," she cried as he stroked her hard and fast.

Luke closed his eyes for a moment, fighting for control and then forced them back open as he watched her. Her eyes were wide open, her chest heaving as she panted for air, he looked down at the blue plaid shirt he wore the day before and grunted softly, "Mine."

Lorelai looked at him with a gleam of triumph in her eyes as she panted, "Mine now."

"You are," he gasped his eyes boring into hers.

"Oh yes," she moaned. "Oh God yes. Luke," she said in a warning tone.

Luke quickened his pace, and dug his fingers into her hips as he thrust blindly into her. "Mine," he whispered again.

"Oh! Luke!" she cried helplessly as she broke apart.

"Oh, ah, urgh," Luke said on a strangled gasp as he followed her over the edge. They stilled, panting and gasping for air as Lorelai started to giggle a moment later. "What?" Luke asked gruffly.

"'Cause they wouldn't have heard that downstairs," she said as she collapsed back on the table.

"What? No," he said shaking his head.

"Luke, I think we scooted the table across the room, and your salt and pepper shakers went flying," she said between giggles.

"Well, you were screaming," he pointed out.

"Well, you made me," she answered. She giggled some more as she whispered, "Oh my, wait 'til I tell Sookie."

"You'd better not," Luke said darkly as he leaned over her.

"The table!" she gasped. "Sookie wanted us to do it on a table, remember?" she said as she laughed.

"Oh God," Luke mumbled as he hung his head.

Lorelai pushed at his chest and said, "Let me up you big perv!"

"Lorelai," Luke said with a frown as he tried to straighten up.

"Molesting poor innocent women who are trying to enjoy their first cup of coffee of the day," she chastised.

"I couldn't help it," he said as he stepped back, rubbing his forehead and frowning at the pile of his clothing on the floor. He snatched up his boxers and stepped into them. "You know I like the legs, and then you're in my shirt," he grumbled. "Naked under there," he said as he pulled them up. "I'll never be able to wear that shirt again, and I liked that shirt," he told her, holding out his hand helplessly.

"I told you, it's mine now," Lorelai said as she scooted from the table and pulled it back into place with a smirk over her shoulder.

Luke's hand automatically slipped up under it again as he said, "You'd better get dressed."

Lorelai kissed him sweetly as she picked up her tepid coffee and leaned over his arm to take a sip. She kissed him again and sashayed over to the chair where he had tossed their discarded clothing earlier. "It's just not safe for a girl to go without panties these days," she said, shaking her head sadly.

"Let that be a lesson to you," Luke said gruffly. Lorelai pulled her underwear out of the pile and slipped it on under his shirt. She picked up her lacy bra and turned to face him as she began to slowly unbutton the flannel, flashing him glimpses of skin. He smirked at her antics and said, "I think you're safe now."

Lorelai shed the shirt and began to dress, appreciating the way his eyes followed her every move and roamed over her with avid interest. "So, I'll meet you here before the town meeting?" she asked casually.

Luke shook his head and said, "I told you, I'll pick you up after."

Lorelai smiled sweetly at him and said, "No sir. I'm not walking in there by myself. Not after what happened this morning. You're coming with me," she told him.

"I am?" he scoffed.

She stood in front of him in nothing but her matching bra and panties and said, "I think you are," as she gestured to her body.

"Blackmail," he hissed.

"Reality," she countered. "You throw me to the wolves, you get left out in the cold," she said with a shrug.

"Oh, how quickly it all fell apart," Luke grumbled as he rubbed his neck.

"Sad isn't it?" Lorelai asked with a grin. She slipped into her jeans and strolled over to him, rubbing the lace of her bra gently across his chest as she asked, "Please?"

"We're going late and leaving early," he told her. "Stop playing dirty."

"You like me dirty," she whispered as she draped her arm over his shoulder and kissed him lingeringly.

Luke tried to hide his smile as he said, "Get dressed. I'll take you home."

Lorelai strolled back over to the chair and lifted her crumpled blouse. As she slid her arms into it she said, "I'll sneak out the back and walk home. They're all going to be waiting down there," she told him.

"Oh, so it's okay to throw me to the wolves," Luke grumbled.

"You didn't think short term," she said with a smirk. She finished buttoning her blouse and put her jacket on, buttoning it over the wrinkled blouse. She slipped her feet into her shoes and walked back over to where he stood in nothing but his boxers. She tucked her finger into the waistband, tugging him closer as she whispered, "I had a great time on our first date."

"I did too," Luke answered with a meltingly slow smile.

"I'll call you this afternoon," she promised as she brushed her lips over his.

"I'll think about you all day," Luke told her as he pressed his lips to hers and kissed her tenderly.

Lorelai smiled brightly at him as she stepped back. She took her purse from the counter and said, "While you were downstairs I moved your milk. You can put it back if you want, but I'll just move it again tonight." She pecked a quick kiss to his lips and whispered, "Bye, Doll."

Luke jerked his chin at her as she opened the door and said, "I'm sure it's fine where it is."

Lorelai grinned, waggled her fingers at him and closed the door behind her. She crept quietly down the stairs and let herself out the back door, glancing both ways before she emerged and scurried home with a smile on her face.