**Author's Note: Alright, firstly I know I am supposed to be writing my story Blood-Streaked at this moment, but I got this idea and wanted to write it down before I forgot it. In case anyone missed it, this is just a short story, well not so short, but this is it. I may add more short stories to this should I write more. Secondly, this is my first attempt at writing a short story, unless you count fanfiction which was written too long ago to count. Thirdly, if you are reading my author's note, then you will most likely be reading my story, so thank you:) Fourthly, Anne, it is Friday so I can post this up now. Lastly, I hope you all like it and enjoy!**

Morning After

            "Stupid, no good bastard thinks he can just… can just… disappear and not even tell me. I'm his fucking girlfriend for Christ's sakes! Does he tell me? Do I get a call? A letter, a fax, or a fucking email? No. I do not. Why should he have thought of me? I've just been his girlfriend for two years. I'm no one special," I muttered as I stumbled along the driveway.

            Imagine my mortification when I finally went to his boss to ask her if she had seen Michael. It had been four days since I last saw him. When I called his home, no one picked up. When I called his cell, no one picked up. I was about to go to his house. I had an extra key. I had horrific, nightmarish visions of finding him in a pool of blood. I stopped by to fill the tank of my Accord up with gas when I ran into his boss.

            I saw her once at Michael's work Christmas party. She probably hadn't remembered me, but I was out of my mind with worry. Hope blossomed inside me. Maybe Michael had an emergency business meeting. Maybe he wasn't hurt, dying or dead. Or cheating on me. That was also going through my mind, but I ignored that evil little voice. So when she went inside to pay for her gas, I followed her.

            She was in line in front of me. I tapped her on the shoulder and she turned to face me. Her green eyes open and an instinctive polite smile on her lips. She was a business woman; I knew that she was simply wearing a polite mask. I swallowed and licked my lips. "I've been trying to contact Michael for a couple of days. I'm his girlfriend, Elizabeth Ragan. Did… did he have a business trip?"

            The customer in front of her finished and walked out the door, but she was too preoccupied with me to notice. Something broke inside of me when I looked into her green eyes. They were filled with sympathy and pity. Her features rearranged themselves to assemble an expression of compassion. "Uh, I don't think I should be the one to tell you this, but Michael has moved, um, out of the country. He got a better job offer with another corporation down in the States. He left three days ago. He, uh well, I don't think… that he is coming back. I'm so very sorry."

            I was crushed. Every part of my body seemed to shrivel up. God, never before in my life did I ever want to die. I did now. If only I could have found a nice hole to crawl into. By sheer strength of will, I managed not to cry. The sadness and humiliation were so overwhelming. I was all but drowning in them. I stood frozen in place and might have swayed a little, for she put a hand on my arm and asked, "Are you going to be okay? Do you need to sit down?"

            I shook my head. Sit down? No, I needed a nice grave to lie down in and then, maybe I'd be okay. The shock I was feeling gave way to anger, but the humiliation never left. How could he? How could he be so heartless? I was still reeling, but I wanted nothing more than to leave. She wasn't the only one staring at me with pity. There was also the guy at the counter and at least two people behind her who were shuffling a bit and discreetly coughing in the awkward moment.

            "It's your turn," I told her and motioned to the counter. My face was flushed red, I knew it. My cheeks felt like they were on fire.

            She hesitated and then turned around to pay for her gas. Before she left, she hesitated again and whispered, "I really am so sorry."

            I shrugged. She wasn't the one who left me. She wasn't the one who should be apologizing. She would probably go back to the office and tell others around the water cooler and they would all have a good laugh at my expense. The guy behind the counter wouldn't meet my eyes as I paid him for the gas. Hell, I didn't want to meet his eyes either. I just wanted to walk out of there with the tattered remains of my dignity. I would never buy gas here again.

            My reverie was rudely broken as I tripped and fell crashing to the ground. I threw out my arms to break my fall, a lot of good that did. I lay there with scrapes on my palms and wrists. My cheek was still lying against the cool concrete and I knew I would have a nasty bruise tomorrow. I pushed myself up even though shooting pain traveled up my arm and glared at the crack that tripped me. I scrambled to my feet, but didn't stop glaring at that cursed crack.

            "God damn you, crack," I yelled. "Can't the damn government make sidewalks without cracks in the middle of them waiting to pop up and trip innocent…innocent pedestrians!"

            "Drunk," some guy muttered as he pushed past me.

            I staggered back a bit, trying to regain my balance before I took another spill on the ground. I glared at the man, but he was already far away. "I'm not the drunk," I screamed so he could hear me. "You are!" As far as comebacks go, it was pretty lame and even more unbelievable since my words were slurred.

            I lowered my gaze to glower at the crack in the sidewalk. "God damn safety hazard," I muttered and started walking across the lawn of some building. I figured grass was safer than concrete in my condition. I squinted to make out the words on the building, but gave up. It was some federal corporation. I was drunk. I knew that. After crying for an hour or two, maybe three, in my car, I drove aimlessly around the city until I saw a bar.

            When I walked in, the waitress said I looked like a mess. I replied, "No kidding, give me a fucking drink."

            She didn't take to kindly to that. She gave me scotch on the rocks and it was the first in a long procession of drinks. I'm normally only a social drinker, but I had more to drink today than I did in the previous six months, maybe even year. When the waitress didn't bring my tenth or so drink around, I went to the bar. The bartender was nicer. He gave me a free sandwich and by the end, I was pretty sure he was giving me juice sans alcohol. It was okay though. He was nice, until he took my keys away.

            It was his fault I was walking home. All men were bastards. Michael left me and the bartender stole my car. Evil bastards, every one of them. I had gone through enough shit today for any girl to consider becoming a lesbian. As if to make my day worse, it started raining. I knew I really must have had too much to drink when the rain seemed to be coming out of the ground instead of the sky. When I dropped to my knees to investigate, I realized I was right. The rain was coming from the ground, but it wasn't rain. It was water from a sprinkler.

            So here I was somewhere in Toronto, walking around wet, drunk and broke. It must have been the cold water that sobered me up for a second. It was just enough time to realize that the bartender also had the keys to my house. I turned around and stared in the direction I had just come from. What was the name of the bar?

            Forget it, I thought. I knew where I could go. I began marching to the one place where I swore I would never go near again. Michael's house. Some of my belongings were there. Would he take them with him? I tried to imagine Michael wearing my black lacy underwear. Pervert, I scoffed. I should have known he was a cross-dresser.

            By the time I got to Michael's street, I had lost my jacket, purse and shoes. The purse was still in my car. I had only grabbed a handful of cash when I left my car to go to the bar. I smirked. Wait until Michael found out how much I took from his bank account. He wouldn't leave the country without telling me again. My jacket was gone because it was wet and what good was a wet jacket? My shoes were annoying, and so were my socks. I was still wearing my jeans, even though they were wet. The key was in my jean pocket. I put it in there this morning when I rushed off to rescue Michael from whatever horrible fate he was in.

            At his front door, I fumbled with the key, but after dropping it twice, it finally went in the lock and a small click told me I was in business. I walked into his house and finally got rid of those soggy, uncomfortable jeans. I knew he was moving because there were still boxes littering the place. It didn't occur to me that the furniture that was out was all wrong. I just sneered at the new fancy coffeemaker he got and went for his liquor supply. He moved that too, but I found it and took out a nice expensive bottle of wine out. A party for me.

            I went to the bedroom where he moved things around too. Leave it to Michael to think I wouldn't find his underwear drawer if he moved the dresser to the other side of his bedroom. The man clearly was an idiot. I went through all the drawers, tossing the clothes behind me onto the floor. Where was he hiding my underwear? I found a box of condoms in his sock drawer. I peered into it to find it nearly empty. Ha! Not even Michael got that much action. What had he done with the rest of them, made balloon animals?

            I hadn't heard anyone coming into the apartment. I had locked it after I came in, but someone was walking around. Michael was here. I clumsily got to her feet and grabbed the first thing that came to hand, a sock. I was going to give him a piece of my mind. I charged out the door of the bedroom, just as he was coming in. We both fell down and I landed on top of him, straddling him.

            I beat him with the sock. "You bastard! You just left. You didn't tell me. I come here thinking to find you dead and some lady at the gas station tells me you moved. Didn't have the guts to tell me to my face? You never had the balls to face up to anything. I hate you. Where the fuck is my underwear?" I stopped my tirade and hit him in the head with the sock some more. I looked into his piercing, angry blue eyes and blinked. Michael's eyes were hazel. "Oh crap."

            I got off of him and went back to the bedroom. The bottle of wine was in the bedroom and I desperately needed another drink. I took two big gulps before it was yanked out of my hands. Did I get the wrong apartment? No, the key would only fit into Michael's apartment. That only meant one thing. A smile broke out on my face. "You are going to rob him, aren't you?"

            The man winced at my slurred speech and put the bottle on the dresser out of my reach as he surveyed the damage in the room. "Tell you what," I offered. "You take the TV and sound system and I'll grab the coffeemaker."

            He grabbed my arm before I could go. "What are you doing here?"

            "Duh, looking for my underwear," I snapped.

            His cobalt gaze wandered downward. "You are still wearing it."

            "My blue ones, yes, but I want my black ones. Where did Michael put them? Is he wearing them?" I demanded then my eyes went wide. "Are you wearing them?"

            He frowned. "Michael? Do you mean Michael Hudson, the guy who lived here before? He's moved."

            "Yes," I snapped. "Apparently he told everyone he was moving except me. Who cares? I'm just his girlfriend, hardly anyone who matters. Did he tell the mailman, too? And the grocer on Front St. I bet he did. Now I have to find a new grocery store to go to. I don't care about Michael. I'm not leaving until I get my black underwear." My bottom lip began trembling.

            "Look, I'm sorry your boyfriend-"

            "Ex-boyfriend," I interrupted.

            "Right, I'm sorry your ex-boyfriend was a jerk, but this hardly concerns me. I'm going to ask you to put your, uh, jeans back on and leave."

            I glared at him. "He has my work, too. I need my manuscript."

            "I guess you'll have to contact him to see what he did with it. I'm a detective, I can help you find him and get it back if you want."

            I wasn't listening to him. I really needed that manuscript. I lifted my hands to rub my temples and when I opened my eyes, things were blurred. Dear Lord. "I'm going to be sick."

            Turning around, I dashed back to the bedroom and into the bathroom. The sandwich I ate came out into the bowl along with a good portion of the alcohol I consumed. I washed my face and rinsed my mouth with mouthwash he had. While I was at it, I cleaned my scrapes too. Another wave of dizziness came over me. I collapsed into a quivering pool of limbs.  He came into the bathroom, picked me up and carried me out. That's when I remembered what he said. I'm a detective.

            I began struggling in his arms. "You can't arrest me. The bartender stole my car so I wasn't drinking and driving and I didn't break and enter because I had the key and… and … and you can't arrest me. I'll arrest you if you try!" As a result of my struggles, we both fell back and he twisted in a way so that he landed half sitting, half lying on the bed with me sprawled over him. He gave me an infuriated look and to my dismay, I began crying, sobbing really, all over him.

            He froze and then his arms came around me. He was probably the kind of guy who couldn't stand a girl crying. He rocked me back and forth in a comforting motion. It worked. The crying spell passed, but he still held me. "Want to talk about it?" he offered.

            It was his mistake. I blurted out everything. My worry that Michael had been hurt, or worse, cheating on me, how I found out in the gas station from his boss that he left the country, my walk home, yes even the crack in the sidewalk, the sprinklers and how I just wanted my manuscript and black underwear. I even mentioned my considering becoming a lesbian after this.

            He listened to me the entire time and at the end, I was very comfortable sitting in his lap. I didn't want to move. Seeing as I was still wet and wearing no pants, I was a bit cold and he seemed to emanate heat. My hands traveled up from his chest to his shoulders, down his arms and back again. I knew without a doubt that he was all muscle underneath that shirt. I felt the first twinges of lust and knew that I should stop, but I didn't. Seeing as he didn't stop me, I figured he didn't have a problem with it either. After a second or so, his hands began moving too.

             I lifted my head and gazed into those piercing pools of azure. I tilted my head and brushed my mouth against his once, twice and then our lips sealed together in a hot, burning, all-consuming kiss. I pressed against him, wantonly, not wanting him to stop. Unfortunately, he did stop. With shaking arms he pulled us apart. "Hold on," he panted. "Just hold on for a minute."

            "I can't," I told him and surprised as it came out as a moan. "I want you."

            My lips cut off whatever protest he was going to make and kissed him. This time was better than the first. The hunger surprised us both. I don't think he was any more aware than I was that the craving would be this intense. I want to be flat on my back with him moving inside me now. I could feel his control slipping and was thrilled by the power I had over him, even if he was a complete stranger.

            He pulled away again. "We can't."

            "We have to," I contradicted and sought for his lips, but he was being stubborn. First I was rudely dumped by Michael and now I was being rejected by a man who, judging from his nearly empty pack of condoms didn't refuse an invitation very often. "Fine," I stated as she tried pulling away from him.

            He had seen the tears welling in my eyes and let out an exasperated curse. "Wait a second." But I didn't. I yanked my arms out of his grasp, lost my balance and toppled backwards, head first onto the ground. I felt the pain in my head before merciful darkness took over.

            I woke up, hot and aching. The night hand been full of scorching, sizzling dreams, fantasies really, all centered on him. His intense cobalt looking fixedly on her as he moved inside her, his lips and hands all over his body with me writhing underneath him. God, how I wanted him. I opened my eyes and glanced around the room. I bolted upright. My God, it hadn't been a dream.

            I was in his bedroom, but he wasn't. I didn't know whether I was relieved or disappointed. Yes, I was sober now, but I still wanted him with an intensity that was unbeknownst to me. I didn't get hangovers. Thank you, Merciful God! I wasn't wearing my clothes. My underwear and bra were still on, but I couldn't find the rest. I reminded myself to breathe and sat down on the edge of his bed.

            Okay, I needed to think. What the hell happened last night? I felt my face go red thinking about what Michael did. Crap, I told … what was his name? I knew I was blushing now. I had desperately come on to a man, got rejected by him, passed out and spent the night in his bed and I didn't even know his name. I never indulged in one-night-stands. I was wearing a t-shirt, probably his, that fell to my knees, but I still felt it was necessary to wrap myself in the bed sheet.

            The only dignified way out of this was to grab my clothes and run before he noticed I was awake. Then, I could worry about what I did. I crept out of the bedroom and saw the coast was clear. No one was in the living room and I didn't hear anything coming from the kitchen. I found my jeans draped over the back of the sofa. They were slightly damp and somewhere deep in my mind a voice said, Ah, the sprinklers. I didn't care. I let the bed sheet drop and began tugging on my jeans.

            I had just pulled them over my hips when I heard, "Bolting?" I looked up and froze. He was lounging against the kitchen doorway watching me just as intensely he had been last night. That was what I first noticed. Then I noticed he wasn't wearing anything. He casually leaned against the doorframe completely unabashed that I could see everything. My gaze naturally wandered downward and was having trouble remembering to breathe. I swallowed since my throat seemed suddenly dry.

            "Are you done looking your fill?" he queried.

            My gaze automatically fastened on his eyes. I licked my lips and swallowed again before I was able to talk. "That… that's impressive," I said, striving to sound nonchalant about his early morning erection and failing horribly. My face was heated and I knew I was blushing fiercely.

            He brushed the palm of his hand against himself and I wanted nothing more in the world to be allowed to touch him myself. He wasn't impressed with my dignified plan of fleeing. He walked toward me with that predatory grace and stopped when his toes were millimeters away from mine. Our bodies were brushing against each other, just slightly. My breasts against his chest and his member against my juncture. My throat transformed into dust. It was so dry it felt like I had swallowed a mouthful of sand. My bones liquefied into trembling jelly. He knew. He had done it on purpose.

            His hand rose to brush his knuckles along the line of my jaw. His callused thumb caressed my lips and shot astonishing sensations all the way down to my core. Everything was made more intense because his keen eyes never wavered from mine. "We were in the middle of something last night," he said in a low, husky voice that sent my nerves tingling with anticipation. "I think it would be wise to finish it. Do you want to?"

            I just stared at him. Did I want to? I only spent the night having x-rated fantasies. I had to lick my lips before I was able to vocalize my thoughts. His eyes trailed my tongue's movement and I knew that he was thinking about doing the same with his tongue. I knew because I was obviously thinking the same thing. I wanted his tongue all over my body. I wanted him to lap me right up.

            "Finish it," I repeated, sounding a little dazed even to myself. "Yes, I think you're right. Finishing what we started would be the only prudent thing to do."

            He chuckled and pulled me up against him. "I was hoping you would say that."

            Without a word, he picked me up and carried me back to the bedroom. My lips fastened on his and I showed him, even though my words had been enough, just how prudent I thought the idea was. It wasn't slow or tender like it was in romance novels or movies. I didn't want it to be. Hot and fast seemed to suit me just fine. In past occasions when I had sex, it had been simmering pleasure. Not this time. I was on fire. We were on fire. Sensibility and prudence flew out the window while primitive passion burned.

            It was the only way to describe it. I couldn't breathe. I couldn't think, didn't want to, about anything else. My blood was boiling. My skin was burning. I was being wholly consumed by the insatiable, fiery need that simply would not go unfulfilled. He tugged my jeans and panties off and tore off my shirt. That skin to skin contact, without anything between us felt so delicious, he groaned. Or maybe that was me.

            I couldn't get enough of him. I wanted to touch him, to taste him, to make him cry out with undiluted pleasure. My lips kissed anything they could contact, his lips, his throat, his jaw, or his hands. My hands traveled over him, touching all of him, caressing all of him. I felt his taut muscles ripple when he moved and tense when my tongue brushed over him. Fervor overruled everything else and controlled us. Neither of us could stop now if we wanted to. We didn't.

            His hands caressed and molded my breasts and then trailed lower. I gasped when his finger slid into me. I arched against him, wanting more, wanting all. I murmured incoherently and dug my nails into his shoulders. He positioned himself and whispered, "You are so ready for me."

            Even his arrogant statement wreaked havoc on my nerves. "Now," I cried out. "I want you inside of me now."

            "We should slow down," he said. I sunk my teeth into his muscled shoulders. A shudder wracked through him. "Now it is."

            He thrust into my awaiting body and a moan of satisfaction escaped from my lips. A new need took possession of me now. Before I had wanted him inside of me, but now I wanted him deeper inside of me. We rode the violent storm of need with every ounce of strength we had. I was closer to bliss with every lunge. I was just about there when he stopped moving inside of me. He pulled out almost all the way and froze.

            My eyes flew open with a desperation I had never known. "Don't stop," I pleaded.

            "Luke," he said through gritted teeth. "My name is Lucas Wyatt."

            "Elizabeth Ragan," I responded hoarsely and pulled him down for a kiss.

            He lunged into me and I came. It was as if I was soaring through the sky and I was indestructible, yet I was shattering into a million pieces at once. Wave after wave of pleasure washed over me. He came within less than half a dozen thrusts. He shouted out with pleasure at climax and collapsed on top of me. Both of us were breathing hard, slowly floating back to reality.

            He pulled out of me and rolled onto his back. He kept his arms around me so I lay against his side. He brushed his lips against my forehead. "I could only think about you last night. You kept me up all night wondering what happened if I hadn't stopped us."

            I just lay there at his side. "Now we know." He didn't respond so I shifted to look at him. He had fallen asleep. His face was smooth and peaceful. His eyelashes formed shadowy crescents that rested on his cheek. His black hair was disheveled and came to just above his shoulders. When his beautiful eyes were open, they were accented by high gothic cheekbones and a strong jaw. He was striking in every sense of the word. He was nothing like Michael.

            Michael. I frowned at the name alone. Yesterday morning, I had been sick with worry over him and now I was in bed with another man. … That wasn't right, was it? The word rebound came into my mind. I tried to think of something else, but it was there now. That made being in bed with Luke even worse than a one-night-stand, didn't it? I was assailed by guilt and self-consciousness.

            Suddenly I wanted out again, like I did earlier this morning. As quietly as I could, I slipped out of bed. Not wanting to him to wake up and discover that I was trying to run away, again, I hastened to get dress. I just grabbed my jeans, bra and his t-shirt and practically ran out the door. I didn't live too far away so I only had to walk barefoot about two blocks to get to my apartment. I had left him there, I was home and all by myself and the oddest thing happened. I suddenly wanted to go back. I didn't though. It was too late for regrets, but I felt horrible about how I left him. The least I could have done was leave a note; instead I left the shirt I had originally worn at his house, a mess and my underwear.

            A week had passed since the incident. I received a Fed-Ex containing my manuscript and a hastily written apology from Michael. He didn't give me back my underwear though. I don't mourn Michael's departure. In fact, all I have been able to think about is Luke. What I did to him was no better than Michael did to me. I used him and left him and I didn't apologize.

            I tried to reason that I didn't have his number, but that is a horrible excuse. I mean, I know where he lives. I could write a letter or drive over there and apologize in person. I got my car back. I didn't remember the bar's name, but the bartender had taken my ID and used it to contact me. I guess he wasn't such a jerk after all.

            I will admit that I don't have the courage to face Luke again. I wasn't myself that night or the morning after. There is another scenario that I want to avoid. What if he didn't care that I left? I mean, I was a complete stranger. Maybe all it was to him was good sex. Wouldn't it be even more mortifying to seek him out to apologize and realize he doesn't even remember me? I'm a coward. If that's a possibility, I don't want to go find out.

            The doorbell rang and I thought, finally! My pizza had arrived. I was starved and not much of a cook. I was fumbling around in my purse as I opened the door. "How much do I owe you?" I asked without looking up.

            "I don't know. What's the going rate for a one-night-stand? Or I should say on-morning-stand," a familiar voice drawled.

            The purse slipped from my hands, I looked up and was horrified. Okay, it was more like horrifically embarrassed. "I'm sorry," I blurted out, knowing my face had gone bright red.

            "Don't be," Luke replied with a shrug and walked right into my apartment.

            He didn't say anymore. He just stood there looking at me with those enigmatic eyes of his. "How, um, did you find me?" I asked, nervously.

            He raised one brow and reminded, "I'm a detective. Finding people is my business."

            I waited for him to say more, but he didn't. I was sure he was enjoying putting me through this awkwardness as a sort of punishment for leaving him. What's more is that I knew I deserved it. "Well, you found me. What do you want?" I hated sounding unsure.

            From a pocket inside his jacket, he pulled out my blue underwear. "I thought maybe I'd return this to you before you got drunk and came looking for it yourself."

            I flinched. This had been what I had been afraid of. He didn't really care and worse, he had come to taunt me about it. I knew my face turned a deeper shade of red. "Thank you," I mumbled and waiting for him to pull out my shirt from one of his pocket, I asked, "Anything else?"

            "Yes." He walked up to me and lifted my chin until I looked at him in the eye. "You told me a week ago about this horrible guy who left you and that because of him, you were considering becoming a lesbian." If it was possible for her to blush more, she would have.

            "I might have said that. Do you have an ex-girlfriend who you were hoping to set me up with or something since I was so horrible, as your way of getting her back? Because-"

            He pulled me into his arms. "No, I want to show you that there are better men in this world than Michael Hudson. After what he did, he's no man at all. Let me convince you to not become a lesbian."

            I felt a smile tug at my lips. "How?"

            "Well, I would start by taking you out to dinner tonight."

            Now I was smiling openly. I was beaming to the extent where I was pretty sure my cheeks would hurt later. He did care and apparently, he cared enough to want to take me out. "I accept," I told him and leaned upward to give him a kiss. It was supposed to be a brief kiss, but that insatiable desire was once again awakened. It was a good thing I had ordered for pizza. We never made it out that night. In fact, we barely made it to the bedroom.

**So, what do you think? Did you like it enough to review? I hope so. You should all note that this is my first… no second story using first person narrative, but that other one doesn't count b/c it was for school. Therefore, I apologize now if I lapsed into third person. Thank you all for reading this story. Please review and tell me if you think it is okay or I should stick to my other stories rather than this short one. Thank you. Flawless Storm.**