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The day began with a draft of cool air blowing through Lana Parker's bedroom window. The smell of saltwater mixed with rain lingered in the air, rousing her interest to look out the window. She slept well feeling refreshed and rejuvenated. Though to her dismay the air outside had not quieted, the wind continued to blow furiously.
Her absence from work the past four days had undoubtedly created a stir, none of which she cared to worry herself over. The journalism circuit would survive without her newspaper articles. After hearing of her Grandfather Jacks death, Parker flew to his home in Rhode Island, as his executor she finalized his wishes and promptly decided to leave the states and rest at their secluded hideaway.
It was the perfect escape often retreating there with him. The island sat near Costa Rica, overlooking the Southern Pacific. Parker knew majority of the citizens of the "The Outlook" community consisting of strictly family inherited property. No outsiders were allowed, reducing crime and negligence to a dismal threat compared to her downtown NY condo.
It had now been two days since she arrived and time seemed obsolete, with each sunrise and sunset reminding her of another day without her grandfather. He had taken the place of her provider after the sudden death of her father. Grandfather Jack had never liked her mother's company and offered her a settlement in place of Parker. Her absence of a loving bond to Parker enabled her to cut ties to her daughter and live without remorse while spending her millions in inheritance.
Parker never blamed her mother. The Parkers' were a difficult family; snobby and pretentious. But not Parker. Her grandfather never allowed her inheritance to change who she was to become.
Coffee lingered to the kitchen air, tantalizing scents of caramel and vanilla permeated from the candle still burning on the counter. Good one Parker, burn down your favorite place, she chided to herself, feeling a rush of panic jolt through her body from the thought of suddenly forced to leave the place where she felt safe. As she blew out the candle, thunder roared from outside, bringing with it a gust of wind and throwing the patio doors wide open. Parker rushed to them, slamming them shut- double checking the lock to assure its security. She walked the house, checking all the windows and shutting all the doors. She would have to wait the storm out alone; without the company of her grandfather for the first time.
Thinking of him brought the same repetitive lump in her throat, making it difficult to breath. She pushed the tears back refusing to spend her days crying, he wouldn't want her to mourn for him.
After securing the house, Parker brought a few kerosene lamps down from the attic and settled in front of the fire with a cup of tea. The lightening lit up the night sky illuminating the house and leaving no need for inside light. She thought about turning on the radio to listen to the weather details, but decided she had taken all the precautionary measures and was little else she could do.
Parker retrieved a book off the wall but after inspecting the inside jacket for a synopsis, an inscription caused her heart to freefall into her stomach. To Lana, all my love, Luke Roberts.
Four years had passed since she had seen or heard his name spoken. Luke Roberts was the best thing that ever happened to Lana Parker, but she felt she had been the worst thing to happen to him. She slammed the book shut, she could not think of him right now.
Over the next couple of hours the storm progressively escalated. By nightfall, the power went out, along with the phone lines leaving Parker completely disconnected. The howling wind sent chills up Parkers spine.
A knock at the door startled Parker. She had an idea of who was standing outside her door, but the thought of seeing him made her stomach tense and palms sweat.
"Lana it is me." He yelled over the angry wind. "It's Luke, let me in."
Lana rushed over to the door and as soon as she turned the lock, the door flung open pulling Parker along with it. Luke took the door from Parker's hands and shoved it shut, locking it quickly.
He stood tall in front of her with water clinging to his hair and face. "Quite a storm brewing." He said, smiling as soon as her eyes reached his.
"What are you doing here?" Parker asked, damn his smile and the effects it had on her. She had known Luke since the first day she came to the Outlook she was 5 years old and hunting sea shells. So was he. They crossed paths, sharing their newfound treasures with one another. They exchanged everything thereafter. Including their virginities. Of which they had not seen one another making the courteous visit awkward.
"My father wanted me to check on you." He looked hurt. Hadn't he gotten over their last encounter as she had?
"Well as you can see, I am fine. Run on home now and tell your watchdog of a father." He and her grandfather had a quarrel each time their paths crossed, shoving a wall right between Luke and Parker. Parker in return never liked Luke's father, he was an angry old man unhappy with his son's choice.
"Please Lana. I don't want to argue with you." Luke sighed, wishing he could touch her. Comfort her. But he knew if he tried, she would only pull away. "I also wanted to make sure you were ok. Storm or no storm."
Parker turned away, refusing to let him see her cry. She had been here for two days and he had waited until now to come to her. However, she did not feel like being alone.