The Man of Few Words
Silence is Louder than Five Words
Before, he had woken each morning having to remind himself that his life was ok. He had his own business, which supported him enough; it wasn't necessarily comfortable, nor tightly budgeted; it was quite simply enough. The other aspects of his life he hadn't quite mastered, but he had been ok with that. He knew that eventually something would work in his favour and he would embrace the opportunity willingly. So it was a surprise when he was the thing that worked in his favour. He was even more shocked to find that there was a positive end result; that he actually got what he had been wanting for so long.
The honeymoon period had lasted an amazing three and a half months, and then reality had hit full force. The argument had been monumental, almost to the level of their last big fight after Jess and Rory's accident. Though hurtful things were said, he sucked up his pride and went to her with the revelation that he wasn't about to give up. After that, it had taken her a week to come to him and apologize, but he was grateful that she had found the courage she needed. Since that night (which happened to also be some of the best sex they'd ever had) they had worked tirelessly at their relationship. When she knew something was on his mind, she would bug him incessantly to tell her, and rather than getting annoyed at her prying, he would find a private place, a private moment to tell her about it.
And when he could see that she was feeling claustrophobic, he would tell her to go home, call her daughter and spend the night on her own. What he hadn't expected was for her to return the next morning, dragging him upstairs or to the storeroom, away from inquisitive eyes, where she kissed him hard and told him she hadn't slept well because he wasn't beside her. She had missed him, and she wasn't afraid to admit it.
Eighteen months passed, and he found himself waking every morning with the knowledge leaping forth that life was good. If he had been anyone other than himself, he might have substituted the adjective with something more exciting, but he was Luke Danes, modest and realistic.
On this particular morning, he allowed himself fifteen minutes' grace, staying in bed and watching her sleep. He had made a decision the day before and he immediately leapt into action, making plans, buying supplies and calling Rory for advice. Now that he knew he wanted it, he wasted no time in making it happen.
They were in his apartment, tucked under the covered, their bodies turned towards one another. His eyes travelled over her features; her dark lashes against fair skin, a sprinkling of faint freckles spread across her nose and cheeks; her full, rose coloured lips opened slightly, making them even more irresistible than when they were moving a mile a minute; her dark curly hair, long and soft, falling across her cheek and neck, tousled by the night in bed. To him, she was the most beautiful creature in the world, and he couldn't believe he was the lucky guy who got to spend every night with her. His eyes returned to her closed lids, and he was almost disappointed that he couldn't look at her clear blue eyes, but that would just mean that her mouth would also be open, words spilling out and spoiling the peace of pre-dawn.
He loved her, without a doubt, but he had learned very quickly that there wasn't anywhere she wouldn't carry on a pointless conversation, and their intimate moments were no exception. He reached out, brushing a cured lock of hair away, his hand brushing the soft skin of her neck. In the beginning, he had feared doing such things in case it woke her, but one disastrous morning involving a broken shower caddy and a jammed dresser drawer, he discovered that she could probably sleep through a natural disaster.
After placing a kiss on her forehead, he climbed out of bed and headed to the shower before setting the kitchen table with his surprise. After settling the coffee to brew, he hurried downstairs to retrieve the single pink tulip from the fridge in the storage room, where he had hidden it when he bought it the day before. Luke arranged the table in the apartment with the flower in a small vase, a cup of coffee sitting in front of it. With a piece of twine, he tied a ring to the stem of the flower, just below the petals, letting it dangle and glint in the morning sun. He stood back to admire his work a moment, turned, admired Lorelai a moment more, then headed downstairs to open the diner.
To his relief, he only had to wait thirty minutes until she dragged herself downstairs and onto a stool at the counter.
"Hey, sleep well?" he asked.
"Mmm hmm," she nodded, eyes still half closed. "Coffee."
As soon as the word escaped her mouth, Luke froze. Did she find it? She seemed like she had literally crawled out of bed and stumbled down the stairs. "Did you see the cup I left on the table?"
"Mmm. Downed it in ten seconds. Please Luke, I need more."
He sighed as he turned to retrieve the pot. Maybe she had missed it. Maybe her sleep-fogged brain had been unable to see past the coffee, maybe it wasn't as obvious as he thought it was. But the weight of the ring pulled on the delicate stem of the flower, making it bend slightly. Or maybe she had seen it and was pretending she hadn't in order to give herself time to figure out how to say no.
He turned back to her, studying her expression, the way she was slumped against the counter, trying to read her, but getting nothing. He grabbed a cup from the shelf below and carefully poured the hot liquid, watching her while she stared at the mug. When it was full, he nudged it towards her and turned his back, replacing the pot on the hot plate. When he turned once more, the sight before him took his breath away. She had the cup to her lips, both hands were wrapped around it, and her eyes were boring holes in him. A ring adorned her left hand, and it fit perfectly. Luke spread his hands on the counter, leaning towards her slightly.
"Well?" he asked expectantly.
"Well what?" she replied innocently.
"Don't you have anything to say?"
"I wasn't aware it was a question."
"What?" he was utterly confused by her statement.
"Well if it's not necessary for you to say your part, then I don't need to say mine."
A smile slowly spread across his face as she spoke. "Ok then," he replied, leaning forward to seal it with a kiss. "More coffee?"
She looked up at him, catching his eye as she responded, "Always."