**Author's Note: Well, here we have a short story I wrote today. The summary is a bit sketchy I know, but well after reading my story you will know why. It's not the same as my other and it really is quite short… this time anyway. Thanks to everyone who reads my work and I hope you enjoy this, I guess. Also, because I haven't mentioned this in awhile, you can flame if you want as long as it's 25 words or more. Lol, read and review.**
A Kiss in the Rain
Distant thunder rumbled interrupting the stunning, tense silence that had followed the angry slam of the front door. Leigh Bancroft stood tautly, anger radiating out of her, in the otherwise empty room. Her feet were planted wide apart, her hands at her sides curled and uncurled into tight fists. She glared at the last spot Luke last occupied. He was so damned stubborn, so damned proud. She tightened her fist until her nails bit into her palm. She looked down surprised at her palms to see small trickles of blood to see what she had done.
She glowered as the argument played again and again in her head, his endless demands and her disdainful replies. Her words laced with scorn and he remained unrelenting, inexorable, and implacable. Then her final tirade ended that all. Damn it, why did she have to go and say such hateful things? Fury rose up within her again as she picked up vase and threw it against the door. It smashed against the wall where it shattered to pieces. Glass rained on the floor as droplets began falling from the dark, billowing clouds outside.
Footsteps came in a hurry as the maid, Elena came running to see what has caused the clatter. She gasped as she saw the terribly expensive, handmade Oriental vase that her employer loved so much lay in jagged pieces on the floor. The beautiful red flowers, that the vase held and protected, lay scattered around like blood seeping from the broken vase. She hurried forward to pick up the pieces, but was halted by a sharp command, more biting than the bits of glass on the floor.
"Don't touch it!" Leigh ordered. She wanted the glass to remain. She wanted the painful reminder of the certifiable disaster that occurred in this room, the disaster that left Leigh's emotions in chaos and her nerves ragged. "Get out."
Elena hesitated. "But, miss—"
"Get out!" Leigh shrieked. Lightening flashed outside and this time, the thunder was not distant and it roared. The maid fled and Leigh collapsed onto a sofa, satisfied. Lightening lit up the sky once more followed by another deafening crash of thunder. Leigh blinked and looked outside. It hadn't started to pour. Yet.
She thought of Luke. He would be walking. Unlike her, his father didn't buy her a new Mercedes for his twentieth birthday. Luke's family wasn't nearly as well off as hers. His family probably wasn't any better off than Elena, the maid's family. He wasn't dirt poor, but he hardly would be accepted into Leigh's ring of friends or her country club. Her friends laughed at him, though they wouldn't dare in front of her.
Nobody did anything that might upset her in Ashton. They all knew her Daddy owned half the town. They all knew that he had enough money to buy the town and everyone in it five times over. That was why they were all so perplexed when instead of going out with a guy from her country club, instead of dating a guy whose family was affluent as hers, she chose Luke Radcliffe.
Luke was older than her by two years. His father was a mechanic and his mother was probably working as a maid in another house. Leigh wasn't sure because Luke never spoke of his family often. Luke was the dark, brooding, incredibly sexy type. His hair was black; his eyes were a murky grey. He had a rap sheet miles long seeing as Luke, when he was younger, didn't believe that laws were not meant to be broken. In short, he was hot, smoky and alarming—like a volcano about to erupt. Yes, that was a good analogy. He erupted often because that temper of his was so easily pricked. There wasn't much for Luke to be proud of, but his pride was boundless.
A ribbon of dread uncurled in her stomach. Yes, his pride was great, as well as Leigh's pride. The two fought often, but making up with him made it all the sweeter. He always came back to her. No matter how bad the fight was, he always came back. But you pushed him too far this time, an annoying voice whispered in her head.
"No," Leigh said aloud as if that would be more assuring. "He'll come back. He has to."
He won't, the voice persisted. He won't forgive you this time. He won't ever forget your words. How could you say something so cold, so callous? How could you love him and say words that would crush his pride, humiliate him?
"Luke's pride is strong," Leigh murmured, as her worried gaze watched the scene out her window. The wind was picking up. He shouldn't have been outside during this storm. "I could hardly crush it."
You did! You mocked him with the fact you had more money that he did, the voice screamed. You basically told him he would never amount to anything in life. You told him you were the best thing that ever happened to him. You reminded him that you should be untouchable for someone like him. You let him know that he should be grateful to be with you because he was unworthy of you, below you, beneath you. He promised you that one day you would regret this day. He plans to leave. He doesn't make promises unless he plans to keep them.
Leigh stopped breathing as the ramifications struck her, but she tried her hand at denial once more. "I didn't mean it. I was angry. I didn't know what I was saying."
Do you think that matters to Luke? The voice taunted. Everyone tells him he's not good enough for you. Having you tell him that was the last straw! Find him. He'll leave you. He won't come back. You pushed him too far.
"Oh God," Leigh whispered to herself. "What have I done? I can't lose him. I didn't mean any of it. What do I do?"
Find him. Go after him. Stop him before he leaves forever like he promised.
Leigh jumped up from the sofa and put on her shoes in a frenzy. She flung the door open and ran out the door into the storm. What the hell had she been thinking? How many people had told her that she and Luke would never last? How many times did she deny it? How many times did they say she was better than Luke? And how many times had she told them that they didn't know Luke at all so they had no right to attempt to determine his worth?
She knew the kind, gentle, forgiving side of Luke that they didn't. He had nothing, but he would generously give her the world if he could. She knew she was pretty, but he made her beautiful. People got close to her to get closer to her father. Luke said he'd rather get closer to her and to hell with her father. For all she had said to him, she hadn't told him what really mattered. She loved him. But would he ever believe her now?
The howling wind slapped at her. The frigid rain lashed at her. Lightening danced around her and thunder bellowed. It was as if Mother Nature was berating her for her stupidity. Leigh was thoroughly drenched and it seemed as if she had been running for hours before she saw him. Despite the painful stitch in her side, she smiled and began running faster.
When she got close to him, she called out his name, "Luke!" The wind seemed to engulf her call and made barely audible, but he heard. His raised his head as he slowly turned around to face her. His expression wiped the smile off her face and fed to her panic, her desperation. She stopped a few feet from him.
They stood silently while the rain beat upon them. His hair was plastered to his face and his clothes clung to his well-defined body. He didn't spend time in the weight room or get them from sports. His perfect, muscular body was formed the way it should, through sweat and hard work. Leigh took a step closer.
"I didn't mean it," she blurted.
With a cool, level look, he replied, "I think you did."
Leigh felt fear claw at her belly. "Please, Luke, don't leave," she begged. "I take it all back. I don't want to lose you. I was being selfish and stupid. I'll never say those hateful things again. I'll change. Please don't leave."
"I think I have to," he replied somberly. And he would. She realized he really would leave then. With startling clarity, she knew she wouldn't be able to change his mind. His jaw was set, he was resolute. He was going to leave her and she wouldn't be able to make him stay. Tears of desperation leaked out of her eyes and mingled with the rain.
"I'm sorry," she whispered. "I'm so sorry."
His cold, hard eyes softened and when he spoke there was a rueful quality to his voice. "I know you are, but that doesn't change anything. You and I, we were never meant to be in the first place. We are too different. I don't know what prompted me to ask, I guess I was living happily and didn't see how illogical my demands were for you. I was asking you to give up everything in life you have taken for granted. I shouldn't have asked."
Leigh caught his hands in hers. "Don't say that! It's not that I don't want to marry you; I just don't want to marry yet. I'm not ready yet. I wanted to travel and find my career, but if I was ready to marry, I would only marry you," she insisted earnestly.
"We have two very different goals in life. I wanted to start a family now, you want to wait. It wouldn't be fair for either one of us to change our dreams," he stated with a sad smile. His thumb caressed her palm. She flinched as his thumbed went over the cuts she had given herself earlier. He turned her hands so her palms were facing upward and then lifted her hands to his lips to place feather-light kisses her cuts. First on one hand and then the other.
"Have a great life, Leigh," he said and then smiled wryly as he started to pull away. "Your money will ensure you will have just that."
"Please don't," she cried as she choked back a sob.
Luke halted and then pulled her into his arms, one last time. "We both know I have to," he said into her hair as she cried in his arms. The rain did not let up on them.
After a few minutes, she looked up. "You'll never let go of this, will you? You won't just forgive and forget and stay with me?" He shook his head slowly. "I ruined everything, then. With a few stupid words, everything is gone."
"Leigh, hardly everything is gone. You still will have your friends, your family and after university, your degree and then you will have your career. You will have everything you ever wanted."
Leigh shook her head and miserably exclaimed, "But I won't have you! What if I say yes? Luke, what if I say I will marry you now? We'll get married and you will stay then, right? You won't leave me?"
Luke sighed. "We were never meant to be, Leigh. We just weren't. But it was good while it lasted, wasn't it?"
Leigh looked up at him, tears silently and steadily tricking down her cheeks. They weren't sure who moved first, maybe they both moved at the same time, but Luke leaned down while Leigh tilted her head up and their lips brushed once, twice and then melded.
Heat shimmered as his tongue slid into her warm awaiting mouth. She felt her nails involuntarily dig into his back as that familiar heat began to burn throughout her body. His hands slipped over her wet clothing down to her hips and dragged her against him. Leigh kissed him hard, desperately. She never wanted to let him go. Luke ignored her demands and kept the kiss soft, tender and achingly, sweet. Leigh let out a low, hungry moan as she pressed herself still closer. He pulled away, still cradling her head in his hands.
"I have to go," he whispered. She shivered at the loss of his heat. And although his jacket was soaking wet, he still took it off and put it around his shoulders. "You should go home now. You'll get sick."
"If you won't be with me, I don't care," she stated numbly.
"I'll never forget you." He brushed the back of his knuckles against her face. "Goodbye, Lenore," he said softly, using her full name.
"I'll miss you," she whispered starkly. "I'll never stop."
He brushed his lips against hers once more. He then turned away and began walking away. Leigh stood rooted to her spot. She began shivering violently, but never once looked away until he had disappeared from view. That was it. With a kiss in the rain, he slipped away from her and he never looked back.
"I love you," Leigh whispered. "I'll never stop." She stayed there, even after she couldn't see him any more. Tears continued to slide down her cheeks as the unrelenting storm continued to batter her.
**Well, that was… different. Don't ask me what prompted me to write this story. I'm not quite sure myself, but it came to my eventually and demanded to be written. I cried during the end, stupid I know, but I guess it was because it was more intense in my head. Either way, I hope you enjoyed this… even if it is sad. I may end up writing a longer story about these two characters meeting up in the distant future, but I make no promises. Well, please review and let me know what you all think. Flawless Storm.**