-Rainstorm-

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This is the part where I tell you about my brother's best friend, right? The bane of my existence that also happens to be sinfully attractive? And then, in your run-on, rambling thoughts, you'll think "Oh, I bet that secretly he's in love with her, and that she really loves him back, only she doesn't know it, and then one time he'll unexpectedly kiss her, and she'll kiss him back, and whatever chaos will ensue before she finally realizes that they're destined to be together."

Hah. If only my life were that simple.

To some extent, the former is true: my brother's best friend bothered me to no end, with all his innuendos and making fun of me, and he was sinfully attractive. With those amber eyes and dark brown hair that was always mussed up to perfection, he attracted the eyes of girls wherever he went.

Then there was that one night when my dog ran away, and we were out in a rainstorm looking for him. I didn't really meant to enlist his help, but he came to our house to hang out with my brother and saw me gloomily sitting on the bench the front porch.

"Hey, Amie," Luke greeted me, sitting down next to me and stretching out his legs. "What's up?"

"What're you doing here?" I asked bluntly, even though the obvious answer was that he was here to see my brother. He was here often; his mother and father fought a lot, and he usually just came over here when they did.

"Oh, I'm just here to fantasize about you and your beautiful self," he responded cheekily, grinning devilishly.

I just rolled my eyes at the typical Luke-response. "Whatever you say," I said glumly.

"Whatever I say?" he repeated, waggling his eyebrows. "Well in that case, I say we go make use of your guest bedroom. It's there for a reason."

Ordinarily, a comment like this would have gotten a rise out of me. However, I was too upset today. My dog—the dog that my mother had given to me on the Christmas three months before she died—had run away. I loved that dog dearly. Sometimes I felt like he was the only remaining connection to my mother that I had.

"I am so not in the mood for this, Luke," I told him in a bland voice, suppressing the depression that threatened to diffuse through.

"Not in the mood? That's okay, sweetheart. I'll put you in the mood."

"Please, Luke. I really am not in the mood for this."

Almost instantly, I felt the atmosphere change. His demeanor shifted to one that was a bit more serious. "Are you okay, Amie?" he asked, now suddenly concerned.

"Do I look okay?" I snapped sullenly, crossing my arms over my chest. Usually, I was a little livelier when it came to Luke and his perverted comments. I could usually fight back with something insulting, but today, I hadn't, and Luke had to have realized that.

"What happened?" he inquired, still sounding genuinely worried for me.

So I told him about my dog, and Luke forced me off my butt and went out with me to search for him. I guess the reason that he did that was because he understood how much the dog meant to me. He knew what it was like to lose a loved one, as his older brother, Tom, had died in a drunk-driving accident last year, two years after my mother did. He had come to our house a lot around that time. That was when his parents really began to argue. Despite my professed hatred for Luke, I had comforted him, knowing what a hard time he was going through. My brother Jason had tried to help, but it hadn't really worked. He just wasn't one of those emotional people.

But after Luke recovered from the tragic death, our relationship returned to normal. I wasn't completely sure whether to be relieved or not. On one hand, it had been nice to see the actually human side of Luke, the side that actually had emotions. On the other hand, it had been odd to be near him all the time without him making some lewd comment, and, frankly, I started to get exhausted having to comfort him all the time.

Luke and I looked everywhere for the dog. We even went banging on every door in my neighborhood and all the other neighborhoods within three streets of mine, asking if they had seen him, but to no avail. Nobody claimed to have seen him at anytime.

By the time we finished with the last neighborhood, the rain commenced.

"We could go back to my car and drive around looking for him," Luke suggested.

"No," I declined. "But thanks. For everything. If you wanna go back to the house now and hang with my brother, that's fine. I'll be okay."

But he shook his head and refused to leave. With a shrug, I started out for the park with him by my side. The rain started to come down harder, but he didn't care. We reached the park, where I just stood there, staring blankly at the open grounds where my dog and I always played fetch. Luke stood next to me, even as the rain mercilessly poured down. Our clothes were plastered to our body, hugging our forms. Tears started to pour out of my eyes, mingling with the raindrops as they rolled down my cheeks.

"We'll never find him," I wailed despairingly to Luke as we stood there in the park.

It was still light out, as it was only three in the afternoon, and, despite the rain, Luke still looked as sexy as ever. Even though his dark hair was plastered to his head with the rain, his amber eyes gazed warmly at me in a way that they had never gazed at me before.

He put a comforting arm over my shoulder and pulled me to his side. I was surprised at first; it was the first real physical contact we'd had since his brother died.

"Yes, we will," he assured me. "He's probably just hiding because of the rain. We'll find him once it lets up."

Even with his soothing words, I only bawled even more. Without thinking too much about what I was doing, I spun around so I was facing him. I wrapped my arms around him in a tight hug and pushed my face into his chest, sobbing loudly but also not caring. Luke hardly even hesitated before weaving his own arms around my waist, holding me.

"I'm sorry," I apologized when my tears died down, which contrasted the completely unrelenting rain. I tried to pull out of his arms, but he wouldn't let me.

"Don't be," he murmured, intensely staring down at me. "Please, Amie, don't be sorry."

And then, in one of the most clichéd kisses in romantic history, Luke brought his lips down upon mine. In the middle of the rainstorm.

At first, I didn't react, because honestly, I had no idea what to do. I had even sworn to myself that I would never fall for Luke—that I would never submit to the whims of the cliché. But there was something in the kiss that made it impossible to pull away. Something in the way his mouth curved against mine, working the kiss hungrily, desirously, in a way that made me wonder exactly how long he'd been craving to kiss me. Something in the way the rain slipped in into our mouths, despite the fact that they were crushed so roughly together. Something in the way my knees went weak beneath me, and in the way I was suddenly so aware of all the places his body made contact with mine.

I tried to make sense of things, but my brain had melted into a giant puddle, leaving me with absolutely no coherent though. I felt like I was about to collapse—my legs had simply turned to jelly—so I clung to him tightly. Luke took it as a green light, a symbol of my response: he pulled me closer to him so there was not an inch of space left between our bodies and deepened the kiss, running his tongue along my lip. And then I realized something I should have realized at least a year ago, when he spent all that time at my house, and I wasted so much of my energy trying to make him happy again: I wanted us to be more than enemies. More than friends. I wanted to kiss him whenever I could, to hold his hand whenever the opportunity presented itself, to hug him for as long as I wanted, feeling his heart beat against my head. I wanted to be romantically involved. I didn't just want to be his best friend's little sister; I wanted to be his girlfriend.

So I parted my lips and allowed for his tongue to enter, where it eagerly explored my mouth. In the strangest way, I was suddenly glad that he could get any girl he wanted, not because it meant that he'd chosen me out of all of them, but frankly because he was a phenomenal kisser. On the other hand, I'd never been kissed like this before, so I wasn't sure what to do. I simply slid my own tongue into his mouth and let it run around the interior, wondering if I was doing it right.

All the while the raindrops crashed down, slipping in between our mouths and mixing with our saliva.

Luke pulled away from me with a grin. We were both gasping for breath, but that didn't seem to bother him. He left his arms around my waist, as did I. My legs still felt weak, and that smile he was grinning didn't help things any.

"Luke," I gasped, trying to string together words to form a coherent sentence. "Why did you . . . how come you didn't . . . you could have just . . . how long?"

"When Tom died," he answered without delay, "and you were just there for me. All I really needed in my life was a constant . . . y'know? Someone I could rely on. I couldn't depend on any of my friends, even Jason. And then my parents started to fight . . . But you were always there, Amie. And I just knew."

That had definitely sounded rehearsed, like he'd written something up and then practiced it in the mirror a hundred times a day. But that, honestly, was the last thing on my mind.

"You 'just knew'?" I repeated skeptically. "What about all the girls you dated in the past year? If you 'just knew,' why are you only saying something now?"

"Do you think it was easy for me to admit I had fallen for my best friend's sister? Those girls meant nothing to me, Amie."

"So you were scared of the truth, then?" He was, and we both knew it. The real question was: would he admit to it? Would he surrender his manly, macho pride and confess that he, arrogant and coveted Luke Gillis, had actually been afraid of something?

He didn't answer for a while. All I could hear was the gentle patter of raindrops hitting the ground, hitting our bodies. The rainstorm was dying.

And for the second time that day, I had another realization: Luke and I would never work out. I wasn't in love with him, but it still broke my heart for me to understand that. We were simply too different. He was outspoken, haughty, and popular. I wasn't exactly unpopular, but I wasn't popular either. I was more reserved than he; I was more modest. He wore masks to school. The only time I'd ever seen this side of him was when we were just one-on-one with each other, never with other people around. He was too fearful of who he really was, while I was fearful of not being myself.

How could he have fallen for me? How could I have fallen for him? We were opposites—polar opposites. He fell for me while I was preoccupied with taking care of him, a task which had exhausted me. And I fell for him then too, when he was vulnerable, exposing to me his true self, the self that his schoolmates and probably even my brother never saw. This was only the second time I'd ever seen this real side of him. Could I date someone like that? Could I be with someone who rarely let out his true self?
No. The answer was no. I did not deal with fakers.

And then there was the issue of my brother. My brother would never approve of our dating. Never ever. A couple of months ago, he told me not to get involved with Luke, because I would inevitably get my heart broken. I'd forgotten that until now. If Luke and I dated, would Jason ever forgive me?

Our arms were still around each other, and I pulled away, tearing in the eye. I spun around so my back faced Luke and started to walk quickly in the other direction. The rainstorm was slowly ceasing.

"Amie!" he called after me, and I started to sprint away from him. But he had always been more athletic than I, and he caught up quickly. He seized my wrist and prevented me from running.

"What's the matter?" he asked breathlessly, although he was not nearly as tired as I was.

I turned to face him and realized that I was crying. "This," I said, my voice cracking. "Us."

"Us?" he repeated, a look of pain flashing across his face.

"You and I. We won't work. Look at us. We're complete opposites. I fight with you everyday."

"You consider that fighting? That's not fighting, Amie; it's flirting." I shook my head. "And you know what they say about opposites: they attract," he added, watching me hopefully.

"It's not flirting. Maybe for you it is, but for me it's not." Tears poured out of my face a lot faster now, and with the dying rainstorm, it was hard to conceal them. "And opposite don't attract. They don't fucking attract. They did a study on it. Opposites don't fucking attract."

"Amie, please," he implored. "Don't do this. You don't want this."

My heart split in two.

"No, I don't," I replied, sobbing. "I don't want to do this. But I have to. It's for the good of both of us."

"How can it be for our good when it's hurting us both?"

That look in his eyes—that lost, hurt look, like an abandoned puppy—made me hate myself. But I knew what I was doing was right. I had that creepy sixth sense intuition. I knew. Our attraction to each other wasn't substantial enough. It was an attraction to the mysterious, to the unknown. We were too dissimilar for it to be anything more. I couldn't date him. He faked his life.

"Look at you," I said to him. "When have your friends ever seen this side? What would people think if they saw you like this? People don't know you."

"People don't matter." He tried to hug me, but I pulled out of his reach.

"You say that now. You act like you won't care what people think when we're at school. But you will. I know you. People do matter. They will matter."

The rainstorm was almost gone. Only the occasional drop dripped down from the sky like a leaky faucet. There was nothing more to conceal the tears. They streamed down my face for Luke—for the world—to see.

"Amie," he whispered, caressing my face. I didn't stop him this time. He was starting to understand. I'd allow this one last time, this last chance for intimacy. I looked up into his face, into those injured amber eyes.

"I never liked any girl as much as I like you," he whispered again, and then he leaned down and captured my lips with his for one last kiss, for the final good-bye before he resumed hiding under his mask again. The kiss was slow and sensuous. It was passionate. It was longing. It was a kaleidoscope of emotion, a whirl of feelings packed into one moment, one sensation.

Then I pulled away. I turned around and walked away from him, in the direction of my own house, resolute not to turn around and look at him standing forlornly amidst the trees and the grass. He did not follow me. He understood. Finally.

"What if I change?" he called out at my back. I stopped walking, willing myself not to turn around. I couldn't look at him. It would ruin everything.

"Don't change!" I shouted back. I didn't want him to change. "Just be yourself!"

Suddenly, things were turning around. Our future was beginning to look up. Down the street, I spotted my dog bounding towards me.

I resumed my walk with a renewed hopefulness.


Sorry that the summary's kind of misleading and kind of bad. I just could not think of anything. And for those of you that didn't read it closely enough, this is a one-shot. Meaning no updates. Ever.

I edited this like a hundred times, just to let you know, but I have a tendancy to be blind so I apologize for any mistakes.

I'd really appreciate a review on this, as it's kind of different (or so I feel) from anything I've ever written before. So... yeah. Hope you enjoyed:)