Rayna takes a pull on her cigarette and shivers. Goosebumps rise on her flesh, as cool night air wafts in from the open window, and she hugs her knees closer to her body. Next to her, Deacon's sprawled face down, hogging more than half the bed, like always. Moonlight sketches the bare skin of his back as he snores, dead to the world.

She knows she should move, put her clothes back on and drag her sorry ass right out that trailer door. Rayna's momma—god bless her soul—used to always tell people who underestimated her girls that she didn't raise no fools. For the first time in her life, Rayna's afraid she's making a liar out of her momma.

It was her own damn fault for coming when he called, Deacon's voice already whiskey-soaked as he'd pleaded over the phone line that he needed to see her. She'd begged her excuses to Teddy, promised to rush right back—her chest pangs with guilt as she thinks of poor, sweet Teddy—and left that fancy downtown restaurant he'd taken her before they'd even finished dessert. Did about a hundred all the way here, expecting the worst the whole way—blood and broken glass and six different kinds of disaster.

But when she banged through the door, there was just Deacon. Sitting at the table with his notebook and his guitar and looking up at her with clear eyes for the first time in god damn knows how long, like she'd just hung the moon. He'd had an idea for a song, a great song, and it just couldn't wait he'd said. She'd been annoyed, told him Teddy was waiting for her and she'd had to get back, but he'd just held up his hands and smiled that maddening grin of his and said "Alright, okay, but just listen to this first…"

And she had, and it'd been good at first. Like old times. But he kept refilling that glass of his, and his easy smile had grown smaller and tighter each time she said she had to go. And then he'd moved closer, kissing her neck, breathing her name into her skin. "Don't go, Ray," he'd said, voice hoarse and breaking. "You're all I have." And she was weak.

She's loved this man since she was 16 years old. After momma died and sissy was too young to make up for their father's absence, and Deacon'd been an orphan, foster home after foster home, kicking him out, till he got old enough to rent this shitty trailer and live on his own. They'd been two lost souls, but they weren't kids anymore. They had a chance, to make something of themselves. Watty Wyatt—the Watty Wyatt—had come and seen their last gig, promised them he could make something happen for them…if Deacon quit with the drinking.

But he's been getting worse, more and more out of control. The last time he'd called she'd had to take him to the ER to get his stomach pumped. Alcohol poisoning. He's addicted, and he won't admit it.

Deacon's head tosses on the pillow then, and her eyes drink in his profile, sharp-boned and beautiful and familiar. She supposes the irony here is that she is too.

He'll drag her down with him if she's not smart. Everything they've worked for, everything she's ever wanted, it's right here, finally, for the taking.

She just never thought she'd have to leave him behind to get it.

She swipes at a tear and climbs from his bed, slipping into her dress and her heels. Rayna grabs her purse and pulls out her keys, but as she passes the table, her eyes catch on Deacon's notebook. Scratched out lines of thick black ink running between the thin blue ones. They hadn't even finished the song. Sour bile fills her throat. For all their mess, all their troubles, this—the music— ain't never been one before.

It's one more shame piled atop all them others, and Rayna's not sure she can take this last little bit of it staring her in the face. So she sits herself down and picks up the pen, jots down the words filling her head, making her heart ache. When it's done and she reads it over, she's not sure if the lyrics are a promise or a lament.

But they're true.

And it's a damn good song. That much she knows. She picks up the pen once more and at the bottom of the page she scrawls "I can't do this anymore, Deacon. I'm done –R."

And she hopes with all her heart that those are true too, as she picks up her pride and walks out the door.

-fin-

Lyrics to No One Will Ever Love You Like I Do

Don't you try to tell me someone's waiting.
They're not waiting for you.
Oh and don't you try to tell me that you're wanted.
That you're needed.
Cause it's not true.
I know why you're lonely.
It's time you knew it too.
No one will ever love you, no one will ever love you.
No one will ever love you like I do.

Why you always looking for the limelight?
Ain't you satisfied with me?
For once why don't you get down off your high heels,
you're no big deal.
Can't you see? I know why you're lonely.
It's time you knew it too.
No one will ever love you. No one will ever love you.
No one will ever love you like I do.
I'm all you got.
I'm all you'll ever need.
I'm all you'll ever have.