A/N: For fanfic50, prompt number two, stone.


The stone is cool and smooth in his palm. So unlike his heart, which pulses hot and erratic inside him, smashing against his ribcage and spurting blood so quickly through his veins that it's a miracle they haven't burst.

Grinning, he tosses his gaze up to the window. Not that there is only one window set into the entire house. Just that he can only see one. He's smiling so hard that his face hurts as much as his ribs as he winds back his arm and throws the stone against the window.

Tap!

The stone bounces off the glass and tumbles into the street below, smacking against the ground and rolling once, twice, coming to a stop just as the window's white curtains are pulled to the side.

His rattling heart hurtles into his throat.

Her face arrives at the panes, her indulgent and weary smile foggy behind the glass, before she slides the window up and leans her head over, revealing a smile as clear as crystal and purer than snow.

"Mr. Barker!" she scolds, attempting to convert her smile into a frown. "This is terribly improper, showing up at a lady's home in the middle of the night. If anyone sees you – "

"Let them see," he says. "I had to see you."

"You saw me just earlier today, Ben," Lucy replies. "At the Johnsons' party? Don't you recall?"

"Of course. But I had to see you again."

She props her elbows on the windowsill, a decidedly unladylike gesture, conceding to the terrible impropriety of the entire situation. "Whatever for?"

Benjamin rubs his hands together; January nights are cold, and suddenly his feral heart is still, the blood in his veins setting rather than running.

"I love you," he says.

There is neither a scowl nor a smile upon her white face now. She is still. For a moment he worries that she's no longer breathing and prepares to shout for a doctor. Then air gushes from her lips: "You came all the way to my home – in the dead middle of the night – to tell me that?"

"Yes."

She shakes her head, skin still pale, eyes moistening under the night's feeble lighting. "You'll catch a cold – you're a fool."

"No," he says, "just in love."

The smile's won now, just as he prayed it would. "Me too," she whispers into the night, and his heart is no longer feral – for his heart, at last, belongs somewhere.