No electricity made it difficult for Lana to cook a real meal. What made it worse was the fact she had only bought a few quick items from the market yesterday.
"You always did make the best sandwiches." Luke joked as she handed him a turkey sandwich on wheat bread.
She quickly responded. "Shut up, you know I can't cook. Besides without the proper elements, it's difficult to try and cook a "real" meal."
"Try being the key word." Luke said laughing. "I'm just teasing you Lana. It perfect." He said taking a bite. "Mmm…delicious." He said with a mouthful of food.
"Grosse Luke, don't talk with your mouthful." Parker said, unable to refrain from laughing at his immaturity.
After dinner they settled in front of the fire with a glass of wine. Luke had chosen a 1952 no label merlot that tasted of plums and berries and was laying against the couch with his legs crossed over one another. Parker couldn't help think about how good he looked.
She stared into the fire and thought about her grandfather. The fond memories she had of him in front of this very same fire. They had roasted marsh mellows and hotdogs here when she was a child.
"Why did you leave Lana?"
Her attention swept to Luke. She deeply regretted what she had done to him, but if she would have stayed Luke would have had full control over Parker. Her life would no longer be hers to live. Love had a price and freedom was its debt.
"I was scared." Parker said softly, though she knew that he required a deeper explanation. "I didn't know what was going to happen or change between us. I liked the way things were before…" Words failed her.
"Before you made love to me." Luke angrily spat.
"I don't regret it Luke." She countered.
"It sounds like regret to me Lana." Luke said, unable to finish his statement looking at her.
Alarmed by the sudden change of mood, Parker took a large gulp of her wine. She gained some liquid courage and spoke. "The only thing I regret Luke is my failure to lay unbroken in your arms."
Luke looked at her. "I wanted to be with you forever Lana."
Parker's stomach jumped. "But not anymore."
Luke cocked his head to the side as soon as she said it. "Four years has passed. You're a beautiful woman Lana, living in New York. I don't see a wedding ring or engagement ring, but I am no fool."
"What is that supposed to mean?" Parker asked defensively.
"It means, I'm no fool. You've never been one to be alone. For the past few years you've been living in the city of dreams. I know you succeeded in becoming the journalist you have always wanted to be, there must have been plenty of excitement in the love department to go along with your success."
"Is that what you think of me Luke? That I'm a whore who sleeps around." Parker exclaimed, anger rising up and flushing her cheeks.
He tried to backtrack. "I'm sorry Lana, I shouldn't have said that. I know you are not a whore. I am just being realistic."
"Damn you Luke. Not that it's any of your business, but you're the only person I've ever had sex with." Parker scolded.
Angry, she stood up and grabbed the unlit lantern off the table beside her. Even over the howling winds, Luke heard her footsteps strike each stair up to her room.
As always Parker succeeded in shocking the hell out of Luke. He knew what she said to be of truth. Of the 16 years he had known Lana, she had never lied to him. And Luke knew she would not lie about something as important as this. He was her one and only. The idea was…arousing.
Sickened the conversation had escalated to Lana thinking Luke considered her a whore made him want to throw himself to the mercy of Mother Nature. She had just lost her grandfather; the only person Luke remembered being a part of Lana's life.
The matches were still on the table. Luke grabbed them and made his way up the dark staircase above the foyer. Lana's room was the last room on the left. When he knocked on the door she didn't answer. He turned the knob and to his surprise it was unlocked. Lana was standing in front of the patio doors.
"Lana..." He started to say, but she interrupted him.
"Please Luke, not now. I don't want to fight." She murmured.
"I was just going to say it's not safe standing there."
"Oh." She said surprised "Yeah. You're probably right."
He watched her walk to the armoire and start looking through her clothes. Luke picked the lantern up off her desk and lit it; the small flame instantly ignited and illuminated the room. Amazing how much light comes from such a small flame.
She tugged an oversized black sweater off its hanger and pulled it over her head.
Light flickered off her black curls. He loved her almond shaped eyes that were a deep golden brown, with lush lips that tended to hold a natural crimson tint. She was beautiful and Luke had thought so since he encountered the charismatic girl at the tender age of five. She was lovely and tenaciously determined then and thereafter; perseverance he found endearing.
Shaking, she smoothed the front of her sweater with her hands.
"Lana I'm so sorry. I did not want to come here tonight to fight with you."
She looked at him. "You have nothing to be sorry for."
Parker pulled a pair of black leggings up her long slender legs. Luke turned away and gave her privacy.
Why do I love you so much, you stubborn woman, he thought scrutinizing himself. Lana caused a storm of emotions as strong as the storm outside. She had the power to bring down and destroy everything he had built since she left.
"I've missed you." He said running his hands through the sides of his hair, releasing a heavy sigh. Luke knew he could tell Lana everything, but he had no idea of her plans. She was unpredictable. For all he knew she could fly home after the storm. The probability of Lana darting for her freedom when the storm let up was high.
"I have missed you too Luke." She said, hugging her arms tightly against her chest.
Each step Luke took toward her was slow and resigned as if he were walking up on an exotic cat. "You look nervous." He stated with a coy smile.
She placed her hands to her hips; a reaction slightly childish but 100% Lana. "And what exactly am I supposed to be nervous about?" She asked.
He lowered his face to hers, pausing before their lips touched. He wanted to give her a chance to back out if she wanted too. But Lana didn't did not move. She hesitantly lowered her hands to her sides. Luke intertwined her small slender fingers in his, slightly squeezing them. He had waited a very long time for this.
Parker wanted to kiss Luke, but she knew it would not come without a price. A thought she instantly felt selfish for thinking. He was her first love and she knew there in that moment as his lips hovered inches away from hers, breathing his warm breath against her cheek, she wanted him to be her last. She took control of her want, throwing her arms around his neck, pulling him down to hers. Their lips crashed together.
Luke hugged his arms around Lana's waist; forcing their kiss deeper.
Suddenly she realized that she didn't come to the beach house to escape; she came to be found. Luke had always been everything she ever wanted and it took her sixteen years to realize it. But in that moment, she knew her Grandfather Jack had pointed her in the right direction.
Luke pulled away from Lana, holding her face in his hands. "I've always loved you Lana. You have always been what I wanted."
His breath on her face was intoxicating. Parker wanted to feel his hands against her body. Roaming every inch while he was deep inside her. The thought made her insides ignite like a brushfire.
"Kiss me." Parker breathed.
In an instant Luke's lips were on hers. He picked her up, wrapping her legs around his waist. "I've waited so long for this Lana."
She let her hands run through his hair, locking her arms around his neck. "So have I." She breathed.
The cold wall was suddenly at her back. Lips locked, hips rhythmically moving Parker moaned. Tonight she would give her body to Luke Roberts and tomorrow she would deal with the consequences. The hell with control.
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