A/N: I've had this written for months and months and just found it again. There's no real point here, just some lovin' for LP.

----

"What the hell is this?" he asks, perhaps too harshly as he steps into their bedroom.

There are candles lit and there's music playing, and she's laying in their bed in nothing more than one very, very sexy satin nightgown.

He won't deny that it's a nice thing to come home to, but he's had just the worst day, and all he wants to do is have a glass of scotch and go to bed. He's home late, and he's missed her, and he just wants to talk to her and have her understand, and kiss him before he goes to sleep.

"I heard you had a bad day," she says simply, shrugging her shoulder.

The strap of her nightgown falls off her shoulder, and he's sure that any other night, he wouldn't have even said anything to her when he walked in and saw her. He just would have shed his clothes and kissed her, asked no questions about her motives.

And as much as he loves her for trying, he doesn't want her this way. He likes to take his time and love her. He doesn't want to use her to numb any pain or erase the thoughts of his day. He wants to attend to her and worship her.

He won't treat her like a temporary escape, because she's a million times better than that, and he knows it.

"I did," he says, dropping his keys and wallet onto the dresser.

He's avoiding eye contact because he won't be able to control himself if he sees that look in her eye that tells him he can do whatever he wants to her. He's a man, and she's perfect, and it would just be too much to ask for him to ignore that look if he saw it.

So he walks out of the room and into the kitchen without elaborating or explaining himself.

He doesn't realize, however, that she takes that as an insult.

She's laying there, baring herself to him and ready to love him and let him love her, and he's walking away. She's never felt cheaper. She's wanted him all day, and she feels burned knowing that he doesn't want her.

He didn't even consider that she'd be upset about him walking away until he hears the harsh slamming of the bedroom door.

Fantastic. Now he's pissed her off.

He set his glass down on the counter hard enough that he has to check to see if he's broken it.

He mutters a choice four-letter word and heaves a sigh, running his hand through his hair in frustration. He's mad at himself, he's mad at everything that's been eating at him all day, and he's mad at her, a little bit, for not just talking to him and trying to understand.

He realizes that he sounds like a girl. He's got the love of his life laying half naked mere feet away, and he's thinking about his feelings. She's offering sex, and he's turning her down, and he's just the biggest idiot in the world.

That sentiment is confirmed when he tries to open the door and he realizes it's locked.

"Peyton," he says, tapping gently on the wood. "Come on. I'm sorry."

Silence.

She's the queen of the silent treatment, and it kills him. He loves words. He's an author; words are his livelihood. So when she takes them away and makes it impossible for him to gauge her reaction, he feels helpless and awkward and desperate for anything that will help him communicate with her.

"Baby, I just had a bad day, okay? And I don't want to dump it all on you and project, or whatever the hell that's called," he mutters. "I just...I'm not pushing you away, I just don't want you to take this on."

It doesn't take her long to realize that he's stupider than either of them thought. She wants him to dump things on her. She wants to take on his burdens and help him carry the load. That's what a relationship is. Why he can't understand that, she doesn't really know.

He's still talking through the door as she pulls on her baggy pajama pants and tee shirt. She pulls her hair up, not caring how it looks, and blows out the candles, opening the window to clear the smoke. He obviously didn't appreciate the effort, so she'll erase all traces of it.

"Can you please open the door?" he asks. "I hate it when you do this. You want me to talk to you, then you close yourself off when I need a little time to sort shit out in my head."

Accusations like that, he realizes, may not be the best way to get her to let him into the room.

He'd go outside and around the house to the side door, but he's done that before, once, during a huge argument, and he knows she'll have locked it, too. He pats his pockets before remembering that he dropped his keys in the bedroom.

"Come on, baby, you know I hate sleeping on the couch," he pleads. He hopes the teasing nature of his words will break her a little. The truth is, he's never had to sleep on the couch, not unless she's been there with him.

Nothing.

She'd always thought him an intelligent man. She's rethinking that now. She's laying alone on their bed, so far from where she'd assumed they'd be at this point, and she's wondering how long she'll keep this up for.

She doesn't want to be mad at him, but he's making it too easy. He managed to make her feel like he doesn't want her, and though she knows deep down that's not true, she still finds herself wondering why he rejected her. The explanations he's given aren't working for her.

But she loves him so much, and she's still worried about him. She wants to hear about his day, and she wants to talk to him, and she wants to run her fingers through his hair like she always does when he needs comforting.

She wants him. Good, bad, and downright moronic. She wants it all.

Apparently tonight she's getting the downright moronic part of him.

But then he's practically begging, and she can't be mad at him.

"Peyton, I love you," he says eagerly. "And I want to be with you, and you look so fucking sexy, and..."

He hears the click of the lock, so he stops talking.

She doesn't open the door, and he doesn't know if he should, either. But he knows her well enough to know that even unlocking the door is a step in the right direction. She's putting the ball in his court, and it's time for a real apology. A proper, face-to-face apology.

He opens the door and peers in almost nervously. He sees her laying on the bed in completely different attire than what she was wearing just ten minutes before, and yet she looks just as incredible to him, and he regrets even more that he didn't just let her kiss away his troubles.

She's playing with the corner of a pillow, and she won't look at him, but she's not yelling either, and he knows that's a good thing.

He moves towards her and lays down on top of her, resting a bit of his weight on her, forcing her to move the pillow to the side. He brushes a piece of hair from her face and smiles down at her.

"So fucking sexy," he mutters before kissing the corner of her mouth.

She'd really like to hate him for it - trying to erase it all with a few nice things and a kiss - but she can't. Because this is how their fights usually play out, and as much as she'd like to tell him to get serious, she knows he is being serious.

And she kind of likes it.

So she looks into his eyes and his hand moves down to rest on her side over the material of her tee shirt, and she smiles.

"You still think so?" she asks seriously, needing, for some reason, to know that he still finds her desirable. He walked away, and though he came back and he's just said all the right words, she still needs to hear it. It's silly, but she needs it.

"I always think so," he promises. He presses a kiss to the hinge of her jaw and murmurs in her ear. "Always."

She loves that word. He knows she loves that word. She knows he knows she loves that word.

She takes a deep breath and her hands finally make their way to his back, and he actually sighs his relief.

"I'm sorry," he repeats, though he's sure it's not necessary.

"I know," she whispers, running her fingertips up and down his back. "You want to talk about it?"

He knows she's talking about whatever happened during his day, but it's the furthest thing from his mind now.

"No," he says, shaking his head as his hand slips beneath the fabric of her shirt.

"Luke," she sighs, shifting her hips a little bit, just to drive him a little more wild. He lets out a sound that's either appreciation or displeasure that she's tempting him.

She wants him to kiss her, and he knows that's why she said his name that way. His lips haven't met hers since he left for work, and that was far too many hours ago. She needs him. She needs his lips on hers, and he's taking far too long to do it.

She tries to lean up to kiss him, but he pulls away and stops her. She whines a little and he smirks in twisted pleasure at how he can make her feel. She knows he's trying to gain control. It's psychological. He couldn't control whatever had happened to ruin his day, so he'll control this. She'd complain, but he's so hot when he acts like this. She loves this side of him, even though she really wishes he'd just fucking touch her already.

"Luke," she tries again. It's far whinier than she wants it to be, and the grin he gives her and the sapphire flecks in his eyes are telling her that he's really enjoying making her crazy.

"Patience, babe," he murmurs, moving just his thumb slowly on her hip.

He leans down and presses his lips to the apple of her cheek before moving to her forehead, then the tip of her nose. He bypasses her lips and heads for her neck, sucking gently on the spot they both know she loves, and she takes a sharp breath.

She won't say his name again, because she knows that's exactly what he wants. He wants her to beg him, and as much as she really wants to, and as hard as it is not to plead with him, she won't do it. They both know that.

His lips drag across her collar bone and his hand slips beneath the cotton of the shirt she's wearing, but he stops moving his hand when he reaches the space just below her breast.

He's such a fucking tease.

He knows that his name is on the tip of her tongue, but that she's holding it back because she's stubborn. It still amazes him how well they know each other. She knows he wants to hear it, so she won't give in because she wants to torture him like he's torturing her.

"Say it," he demands softly.

She smirks at him and shakes her head gently, and he squints a little, disapprovingly. He starts moving his fingertips over her rib cage and she shivers a little beneath the simple touch.

His lips hover above hers, but he doesn't close the gap. She could if she really wanted to, but they both know that as much as she's hating this, she's enjoying it all the same.

He shifts against her just enough for her to feel how much he wants her. They haven't even kissed yet - their lips haven't met at all - and he's still aching for her.

That little movement, and the feel of his weight on her is enough to break her resolve.

"Lucas," she whispers pleadingly. "Please."

Their eyes are locked and she can't see his lips, but she sees it in his gaze and the way the corners of his eyes narrow that he's smirking in accomplishment, and she's about to speak again when his lips crash onto hers. He slips his tongue into her mouth without warning, not that she's complaining, and she moans into his kiss, making him hum from low in his throat.

Her hands run along the skin at his back just above the waistline of his jeans, and she pushes his shirt up, but he's got other plans. He's not going to let her take charge. So when he rests a little more weight on her, effectively stopping her from undressing him, she whines a little bit again.

He breaks the kiss and moves back to her neck, and she can feel the grin he's wearing as he presses open mouthed kisses on the hollow of her throat.

"I hate you," she says softly, making him laugh against her skin.

His fingertips dance over her hip bone as he pushes the waistband of her pants down ever so slightly. It's then that he discovers that she's not wearing anything underneath. He drops his head to her shoulder and lets out a groan. Here he was, thinking he was going to be able to playfully torture her, and she's doing it to him without even trying.

It's her turn to laugh, and he pulls his head back to glare at her. His girl is a vixen, and he wouldn't have it any other way. She's a little dirty when she wants to be, and he's never going to complain about that. Ever.

He stops moving his hand when he reaches the inside of her thigh, and she moves her bottom half again to encourage him. He grins wolfishly and pulls away from her completely to stand from the bed. She throws her head back in near agony. She totally does hate him right now.

He pulls his shirt over his head and discards it somewhere in the room, and he sees her eyes darken even more from where he stands. Before he can stop her, she's got her own shirt off, and he sucks in some air. She throws it at him as she raises an eyebrow, and he just chuckles and drops it to the floor before moving back to the bed. He hooks his fingers beneath the waistband of her pants and she raises her hips to help him remove them.

She's a goddess, and he takes a moment just to stare at her. He places his hands on his hips as he stands at the end of the bed, and he unabashedly eyes her. She's all tanned skin, and perfect body, and legs that haunt his every second thought. And she his. He's the only one who gets to see her this way, and that thought alone has him going crazy.

She locks eyes with him, and he can see that she's scheming. She moves her hand down her stomach, clearly unimpressed with his stall tactics, but he rushes to stop her just before she reaches the place he so wants to pay attention to.

"I don't think so, babe," he growls.

"Then fucking touch me," she demands.

He smirks and leans down to kiss her quickly. His lips travel to the valley of her breasts and down her stomach, stopping to pay attention to her belly button. He nips at the taught skin just below her navel, and she's squirming beneath him when his hands fall to the outside of her thighs. She knows what he's going to do next, and she feathers her fingers through his hair in anticipation.

Her man is a lot of things. He's brilliant and thoughtful. He's a wonderful writer and an incredible friend. He's sweet and funny and just a little geeky. He's boyish, but still sexy as hell.

He's also the best at this.

The best.

She spreads her legs a little bit, and he places his palm flat on her stomach like he always does. She doesn't know why he does it, but she loves it, and she'd miss it if he didn't. It's all part of what makes this so amazing. He just barely presses his lips to the inside of her thighs, and he hears her take a deep breath.

He'll give his girl anything she wants, and it's clear that all she wants is him. She wants his lips and his touch, and all the things they both know she loves.

So that's exactly what he gives her. And he'd be lying if he said he didn't love it, too.

It's not long before her breaths are shallow and she's murmuring perfectly incomplete phrases about how he's making her feel, and he's this close to stopping just before she lets it go, but he just can't bring himself to do that to her.

Her hand clutches his as it sits on her stomach, and she can almost feel him smiling against her when she calls out his name. Almost. She's lost to rational thought for a few moments, and then he's kissing his way up her body again, and her eyes are half-closed.

He smiles at her and watches her for a moment, coming down from her high, and it only makes it even more difficult for him to control himself. He's still wearing his jeans, and they're definitely causing some discomfort.

She turns her head and looks up at him as he lays half on top of her, and she smiles a sated smile. "I love you."

He laughs, because not to long ago she'd said she the opposite.

At least now he knows all he has to do to get back in her good graces.

"I thought you hated me," he says with a smirk.

"Uh uhn," she mumbles, shaking her head as she reaches for his belt.

She distracts him with a kiss and she's pulling the leather through his belt loops and has the button of his jeans undone before he can stop her, but when he pulls away and stands from the bed, she's whining again and throwing her head back in frustration. He won't let her take control now.

"Lucas," she whines.

She's fully aware that she's completely naked and he's staring at her again, and she doesn't care. He's her man and he can stare at her as much as he wants, as long as that's not all he does. This night, she's not certain he wouldn't leave her high and dry. He's being particularly cruel, and she wouldn't be surprised if he just walked out, just to prove that he's still the one in charge.

But then he steps out of his jeans and walks back towards her, and she sits up and perches herself at the edge of the bed, planting her feet on the floor. He's standing in front of her in just his boxers, looking down at her as she looks up at him. She removes his last article of clothing tortuously slowly, just for a little bit of payback, and he's painfully aware of the position they're in.

She bites her lip a little, the tempest in her visibly on display, but he pushes her backwards on the bed before she can do what he knows she was about to do. She grins at him because she knows why he did it, and he kisses her before she can comment.

But apparently, she didn't forget the words, because she speaks as soon as they've parted.

"Why don't you let me take care of you?"

It's sexual, but it's also in reference to his apprehension of telling her what was bugging him when he came home this evening. He feels like he needs to protect her and keep his feelings and fears to himself sometimes. But he doesn't, and she's not sure why he hasn't realized that yet.

"Because I'm too busy taking care of you," he says with a smile before kissing the apple of her cheek again.

His answer is the same as the question. Sexual only because of their current position, but loaded with the truth.

And the words make her take a deep breath, and then he's nudging her legs apart with his knee. He moves so he's just barely pressing against her, and she's already letting out perfect noises at the feel of him. He presses his lips to hers gently, and she rocks her hips against his, but he's not giving in to her yet, though it's taking every ounce of self restraint he has.

"Luke," she says in frustration. He's enjoying this far too much.

"What do you want, baby?" he asks, letting his lips linger near her earlobe before kissing the hinge of her jaw.

She moves her head so he's forced to pull away and look down at her, and she locks eyes with him before she speaks.

"Everything."

Oh, she's good.

He lets out a breath intended as a laugh, but it comes out as a sigh of pure amazement that this perfect, beautiful, incredible creature laying naked beneath him is letting him be the one she says things like that to.

That word, those ten little letters, are the backbone of their entire relationship. From the very beginning, that's all it's been about.

Everything.

And he loves that his girl can take a sentiment so beautiful and turn it into the most perfect innuendo when the situation fits.

He caresses the outside of her thigh with his hand, and then he's sinking into her. She lets out a guttural moan and tightens her hold around him, pressing her fingers into his back.

He's motionless for a moment, just feeling her around him as they lay there together. He loves this part. Those first few seconds of being with her are (well, almost) the best thing about being with her. It's like every ounce of love he's ever felt, and every single perfect feeling all rolled into one.

He loves it. Just to be still with her.

Peyton doesn't.

She moves her hips, hoping he'll get the message, and when he doesn't, she starts to get antsy.

"Lucas," she almost shouts, signaling her impatience.

He grins at her wolfishly and he kisses her again, and then he pulls out almost completely before pushing back into her, making her let out his favourite noise she makes.

He controls the tempo, but at this point, she's just happy there is a tempo after all he's teased her with. Her legs lock around his back, and he's still not sure she knows exactly what those things do to him. He leans down to kiss her, and he's touching every bit of her bare skin that he can. She runs her hand through the hair at the back of his neck like she knows he loves, and he whispers three words because he wants to, but for no reason other than that.

She smirks devilishly and leans up to nip at his earlobe before saying the words back to him, and he almost loses it. Every single time he's inside her and she says those words, he feels like he might let it go. He'll never get sick of that.

They're moving together and it's just as amazing and better than it always is, and she wonders briefly if it'll always feel that way. Perfect and new but still familiar and so very them. She's brought back to the moment when his lips find hers again, and then she's telling him that she's close, and he's telling her that he knows. (He always knows.)

Not minutes later, she's trembling in his arms, and she takes him with her like she always does. Coming with her is always just the most incredible thing. She calls out the shortened form of his name, and she clutches him to her as tightly as she can, and her eyelids always flutter closed, and she's perfect.

Their breathing is still shallow, but she won't let him move from his place yet, and he loves it when she does that. She strokes his back and smiles in contentment, and he brushes the hair away from her temple.

"I'm sorry," he says again.

But by now, she can't even remember why she was angry.

She can't even figure out how she could ever be mad at him when he makes her feel like that.

"Shh," she whispers, pressing her index finger to his lips before finally letting him roll to the side and take his place next to her.

He gathers her into his arms, and he knows he should tell her about his day, but it's late, and they're both tired, and she usually falls asleep right after sex anyway. He finds it hilarious that he's the one who always wants to cuddle, and she's the one who drifts off within moments. He loves that they aren't like any other couple.

He can literally feel the moment she falls asleep, and he smiles to himself before closing his own eyes.

He doesn't how how he's got the perfect woman, but he has her, and he'll never let her go. He knows he's a jerk sometimes, and he says the wrong things and does the wrong things, but she always takes him back, and he realizes that he doesn't want to make her do it anymore.

He wants to be the man she thinks he is.

That's the last thing he thinks before falling asleep, but just after he's dozed off, she stirs a little bit, and says the sleepy phrase he's heard her speak so many times before.

"I love you, Lucas."

She says it often in her sleep, and he's never told her. Not once. It's a little secret he has with her subconscious self, and he wants to keep it that way. It's a part of her that he has that not even she knows about.

----

He wakes up in the morning in the best possible way. He's just barely got his eyes open, but he can feel her hand doing really, really amazing things to him as her lips press light kisses to his neck.

"Hmm," he mumbles, his voice thick with both sleep and absolute contentment.

"'Morning, baby," she purrs in his ear, continuing her ministrations.

She smirks against his skin when he moans in pleasure, and then she remembers why she's doing this. He teased her the night before, and so she's going to tease him now.

She pulls her hand away and rolls out of bed, making her way towards the kitchen for her morning coffee. She turns around and looks at him only when she hears him speak.

"You've gotta be kidding me." It's a breathless groan, and she knows he's frustrated.

She thinks he may have just learned his lesson.

"Payback's a bitch, baby," she says seductively from the doorway.

He throws his head back and groans again, and he can hear her laugh from down the hall.

And he even loves this about her.

But that doesn't stop him from heading to the kitchen and kissing her into submission.

He's well aware that she can't resist him, and dammit, he can't resist her either, and that's part of what makes them so perfect for each other.

When they finally get around to leaving the bedroom and drinking their coffee, they sit at the table for hours - her wearing his shirt and nothing else - he tells her all about what was bugging him the day before, and she offers advice and supportive words.

He tells her that she needs to get out of his shirt before she makes him take it off her, and she unbuttons it right there in the kitchen and drops it into his lap before walking away from him and back into the bedroom.

Yes, his girl is a vixen.

And he wouldn't have it any other way.

-Fin-