Author's Note: I want to send out a huge thank you to xphilehb for all of her help with this story.
Previously in "A New Beginning": After months of friendship, Luke and Lorelai finally took their relationship to the next level.
Luke absentmindedly traced patterns along Lorelai's bare shoulder as she slept. She looked so peaceful. A gentle smile was playing at the corners of her lips. Luke liked to think that it was him she was dreaming about, causing the smile.
He had thought about going to buy them breakfast and her some coffee, but he quickly threw that idea out the window. Their bodies still remained tangled together, and he feared that he would wake her as he extricated himself from her. He also didn't want to let her go, afraid that it may all be a dream. He liked being able to reach out and touch her.
He brushed away the hair that had plastered itself to her forehead during the night. As much as he was enjoying watching her sleep, he was beginning to wish that she was awake. He wanted to kiss her again. He wanted to hear her voice, assuring him that this was all real. He leaned over and softly kissed her shoulder which his fingers had abandoned. He trailed his lips up her body, leaving kisses along her neck.
Lorelai sighed from contentment. "I could wake up like this everyday," she murmured.
Luke grinned. "I can arrange that," he told her before leaning down and capturing her lips in a kiss.
"I need coffee," Lorelai stated when they broke apart.
"I kiss you, and all you can think about is coffee?" Luke asked, pretending to be offended.
"How long have you known me?"
Luke chuckled. "Good point."
Lorelai pulled him close, so his lips were only centimeters from her own. "And just think. Now, I have many new ways to thank you for giving me coffee," she said suggestively.
"Dirty," he replied.
"See! I am so rubbing off on you!" She laughed before exclaiming, "Dirty!"
Luke rolled slightly so that he was on top of her. "I think that you need to show me some of these new ways," he said in a low voice that drove Lorelai crazy.
She ran her hands up his bare back as he began placing kisses along her collarbone. "Luke," she breathed. "Don't think that this will get you out of getting me coffee." He found a particularly sensitive spot, causing Lorelai to moan.
"I wouldn't be so sure about that," he replied.
Lorelai finished the last of her coffee as she watched Luke load up his truck. She tilted her head so she could get a better view of his butt as he bent over to pick up the last of her suitcases. She loved being able to openly admire his assets. A grin crossed her face as she got an idea. Sneaking up quietly behind him, she pinched his butt.
Luke jumped. "Lorelai!" he hissed.
She smiled innocently at him. "I couldn't help myself."
"Don't do that again," he warned her.
"You didn't seem to have any complaints last night," she reminded him. "Or this morning," she added with a coy smile.
"Just try to keep your hands to yourself when we're out in public."
She caressed his shoulders, pulling him in close before nuzzling her nose against his neck. "So I'm not allowed to do this?"
Luke wrapped his arms around her, lowering his head to meet her lips in a sweet kiss. When the kiss ended, he placed another soft kiss on the tip of her nose. "Come on, crazy lady, we need to get going."
He let his fingers linger on her arm, making Lorelai weak in her knees. He had been like this all morning, constantly touching her, and she enjoyed every second of it. She loved this new side of Luke. He had been very flirtatious and playful, making her laugh and grin like an idiot. He was driving her crazy, and she just couldn't get enough of it. Or him.
A part of her wished that they had started this sooner. They had wasted so much time, dancing around each other. But the other part of her knew that she hadn't been ready then. She had needed a friend, and Luke had stepped in, no questions asked. He had become her rock. If they had started something earlier, she may have run off, afraid of changing things.
She climbed into the truck next to her best friend and now boyfriend, and she felt so sure of everything that had happened. This past year had all been leading up to this moment here. She felt so secure and happy, and as he smiled at her, she melted into his warm eyes. He brought her hand to his lips and gently kissed her palm before settling their joined hands on the bench between them. Lorelai had never been so sure of anything in her life.
They took their time driving back to Stars Hollow, stopping for a long lunch and at some locations that Luke called "waste of money tourist stops", but Lorelai knew he secretly loved every minute of it.
The sun was beginning to set as Luke pulled the truck into Lorelai's driveway. Turning off his truck, he climbed out and came around to open her door. She leaned into him as he helped her out of the truck, and then the two of them went to unload her luggage. After dragging her suitcases onto her porch, Lorelai quickly invited Luke in, not wanting the day to end.
They were watching a movie on her couch – Lorelai's head in Luke's lap as he ran his fingers through her hair – when they heard the door open. Luke moved to get up, knowing that Lorelai would probably spring across the room to keep her daughter from catching them like this. However, when she made no move to change their position, he relaxed a bit.
She smiled up at him. "It's okay."
He let out the breath he hadn't realized he had been holding. The ultimate reassurance that Lorelai wanted this new change in their relationship was her being all right with her daughter seeing them like this. He wanted to kiss Lorelai right then and there, but he restrained himself as he saw Rory and her father walk into the room.
"Hey, Mom! Hey, Luke!" Rory greeted the two of them. She had a questioning look on her face, but she was smiling.
Lorelai sat up from Luke's lap and stood in order to greet her daughter with a kiss. "How was your weekend, babe?"
"It was fun," she assured her mother. "I have lots to tell you."
Lorelai turned her attention to Christopher, who was shooting daggers at Luke. "Chris," she stated, and he reluctantly turned his attention away from Luke who was sitting awkwardly on the couch. "Thanks for getting Rory home safely. It sounds like you two had a lot of fun."
He nodded. "We did."
Rory noted the uncomfortable feeling in the room between the three adults. "Thanks, Dad, for everything," Rory began. "I'll see you soon?" When Chris nodded, she continued, "Goodnight." She gave him a quick kiss on the cheek and ushered him towards the door.
Christopher shot one last look at Luke before allowing himself to be led from the house.
"Wow. That was awkward," Lorelai stated.
Rory nodded in agreement. "Don't worry about it, Mom. That's just Dad for you."
"I know, honey."
Luke stood to leave. "I should be going."
"No, Luke, you don't have to leave," Rory assured him. "I'd like it if you stayed."
He thought for a moment but decided it was still better to leave. "It's getting late," he informed them. Both girls looked a bit disappointed. "But maybe tomorrow night, we could all have dinner at Sniffy's?" he suggested.
"We'd love that," Lorelai responded.
"Yes, we would," Rory echoed. "Mom's always raving about it whenever you two go there."
Luke nodded. "It's settled then. I'll pick you both up at seven."
"But we'll see you for breakfast tomorrow, of course," Rory added.
"Of course," Luke replied. "Goodnight," he told Lorelai and Rory before turning towards the door.
"I'll walk you out," Lorelai said, following him. When they reached the door, Lorelai leaned up and kissed him goodnight. "I'll see you tomorrow."
He ran his hand underneath her chin, before tilting her head up to give her another soft kiss. "Tomorrow," he whispered, giving her hand a squeeze before leaving her house.
Lorelai shut the door behind him, grinning to herself. She walked back into the living room and joined her daughter on the couch.
"So someone had a good weekend?" Rory asked, raising her eyebrows.
Lorelai giggled. "You can say that." She told her daughter all about her weekend with Luke, leaving out the dirty details, of course.
When Lorelai finished, her daughter gave her a broad smile. "Mom, you sound so happy," Rory noted.
Lorelai could not stop herself from smiling every time she even so much as thought about Luke. "I am, kiddo. I really am."
"I'm glad. You deserve this."
Lorelai pulled her daughter into an embrace. "So you're okay with all of this?"
Rory nodded. "I really like Luke." Rory stayed silent for a moment. "Mom?"
"We finally have it," Rory stated.
Lorelai pulled away a bit so she could look at her daughter. "Have what?"
Rory smiled. "Everything." Her mother was still giving her a confused look, so she continued, "When we first moved here, you called Stars Hollow our new start, our new beginning. And now, we have it. This house. This town. Luke. This is a whole new life for us, and I wouldn't change it."
Lorelai felt tears pricking at her eyes, touched that her daughter felt this way. "Me either."
Lorelai did finally have it. She had this whole new life ahead of her with Rory and Luke, and she couldn't wait to see where it would lead her.
Thanks for reading and for always leaving such wonderful reviews! Please review this chapter as well. I may write a sequel if there's enough interest, but it probably won't be anytime soon. I have one or two projects in the works for the summer (which I hope you all will read), and then, I'll be in France for the fall, but I may be willing to write a sequel after I come home :-)