Blame It On The Rain


bf_kaylee_icon.gif bf_luther2_icon.gif

Scene Title Blame It On The Rain
Synopsis Is it just dinner or is it a date? Kaylee takes steps to move things to the next level.
Date March 16, 2012

The forecast had predicted rain, but so far the skies above have only threatened, not followed through. The clouds look dormant in their ominous greys, casting the usual green and glass environs of the city with a muted atmospheric filter. People on the streets react with a deeply rooted response to the shift of the weather. Long coats and umbrellas still folded and wrapped accompany the bustling crowds on their ways, nobody really taking the time to notice a coming storm as they go about their lives.

Well, almost nobody.

Luther stands outside a restaurant - a real deal Szechuan Chinese this time that’s been recommended by (or in some cases kept secret by) the locals - face turned up towards the grey sky. His eyes, with irises that echo the very same colors he views, close and open in a slow, appreciative blink. The man stands outside on his own, the swirl of pedestrian activity moving around his darkly clothed silhouette like a wet boulder in the river of New York life. He too wears a long black coat over a cool toned business suit that contrasts against the red and gold decoration of the restaurant doors, against the vibrant greens and brighter facades that make up the rebuilt neighborhood in Manhattan.

It’s been a while since he and Kaylee have seen each other, their lives largely consumed with work and things. But they’ve got at least a few meet ups in the books so far, and the more than occasional encounter at the coffee shop. He’s up to the ‘S’ now, there. Sandy’s still in the betting pool looking to take the pot.

There also happens to be a second pool on the two of them in particular, but that one’s not been spoken of - not within audible earshot anyway.

While his attention is on the sky, he might hear the soft approach of heels clicking against concrete. Whoever it is, they are not in a hurry; but, when the sound finally stops, there is a sudden presence at his side. Close and vaguely familiar. Close enough that he gets a whiff of lavender and vanilla, when a cool gust blows through. Shoe soles scrape against the rough gray surface, bringing that presence closer. “Think it will rain?” Comes the familiar sound of Kaylee’s voice next to him, her own face turned up to search the clouds. “I kinda forgot an umbrella,” she admits sheepishly, looking at him out of the corner of her eye from where she stands shoulder to shoulder with him.

A look her direction would reveal why she might not have wanted to meet right after work for once. Kaylee took the time to dress nicer this time. Instead of work clothes, the young woman is wearing a knee length summer dress. The light dress is covered in a large floral print made of varying shades of soft yellow, with touches of blue. Even her shoes are more feminine; a pair of rich buttery yellow heels. She looks like she feels very self-conscious standing there, looking a little like she is having second thoughts about what she is wearing. Especially, the way that she awkwardly holds a clutch that matches her heels… which might match the color of the clip that holds back long golden curls on one side of her head.

The whole appearance might be marred a little by the fact she is wearing her worn leather jacket still. To be honest, if he looked in her closet, there would be no dresses there. Kaylee might have had to ask for help from a friend to find something suitable, but neglected to think of… or refused to buy a more feminine jacket.

The bright smile that she offers him is a little shy, as she finally says with just a hint of warmth in her voice, “Evening.”

Lost in the moment of staring towards the wide open sky, Luther doesn’t hear her approach. It’s the scent that interrupts first, lavender and vanilla shifting the ozone scent towards something warmer. With a blink he turns just as she speaks, and whatever response he had stops at the arresting sight of Kaylee in the breezy summer dress. Her awkward nervousness doesn’t seem to register on his radar, instead coming across as a radiant spot before him.

The worn leather jacket helps bring the man back to familiarity, grounding his brief floating away of thoughts. “Hey,” he returns the greeting, reaching a hand over to nudge just the tips of those curls over her shoulder. “If it comes down to it, we could probably get one off one of the street vendors,” he points out with a glance over that shoulder to the sidewalk behind her. It’s a fleeting one. Then he’s back to her.

“You look radiant,” he says after the pause to take her all in again, a smile formed on his lips. The smile turns just a crooked as he adds, “You went through all the trouble… hope I don’t disappoint in return.” After, he tilts his head towards the red and gold imperial looking doors of the restaurant. The same crooked smile quirks up further. “Don’t feel overdressed either.”

For maybe the briefest moment, there is shock. Clearly, she doesn’t have much confidence in herself. It was like she didn’t expect that to work. Maybe something from her past? It passes quickly and her skin flushes from that same praise, shock eases into feeling pleased with how he reacted. It was what she was going for, even if she didn’t expect it to work. His crooked smile is returned with one of her own. “Thank you.”

Fingers, brush along the light fabric to smooth out an imaginary wrinkle. “I feel ridiculous and… admittedly amazing at the same time.” Fingers snag at the dress fabric, spreading the skirt a little for the briefest moment. “Just know, I don’t do this for just anyone.” Basically, he is getting a special treat. The skirt is left to fall back into place, so that she can reach out with long delicate fingers to run them down the lapel of his suit. With a subtle tilt of her head, she seems to consider what he is wearing. “And no disappointment here. You always look good.” There is a warmth in her tone and in those blue eyes when she looks up at him. “Very handsome,” she adds while smoothing down the lapel with a rather bright smile.

Compliments passed, Kaylee asks the all important question. “Shall we eat?” Because it was why they were there after all. Glancing past him to the restaurant, she instinctively takes a deep breath, savoring the promising smell of food. “I’m starving,” she declares on the exhale. Deciding what to wear was stressful work, not to mention the anxiety of how he would react.

Taking a step toward the entrance of the restaurant, she offers out a hand. “Shall we?”

Ridiculous yet amazing, that’s about right to describe Luther’s feelings on this situation as much as well. In the back of his mind, a shadow of doubt that this situation is real; this could be all one huge hallucination, a beautiful lie that he’s telling himself. He doesn’t deserve this, doesn’t deserve her. But she reaches for him, her fingers finding the lapel of his suit at he straightens from a subconsciously motivated hunch that has him looming. He sucks in a long breath, inadvertantly puffing his chest in the same action, pausing then to truly appreciate the moment and her compliment to him in return.

She’s the first to step away, and he takes one more moment to look her up and down, establish that ‘yes, this is real’, and moves to match her stride. A hand slips around her, the other going to pull open the red and gold door. “Yes, let’s…”

Szechuan Mountain Garden Restaurant

Inside the restaurant, the first thing to hit the pair is the traditional erhu Chinese fiddle music playing softly over the speakers. The interior isn’t quite as traditional but it is meant to seem resplendent, individual tables surrounding larger ones, all of them covered with white tablecloths, white plates with golden cloth napkins, shined silverware and clear wine glasses awaiting them.

They’re seated quickly in the not-quite full restaurant at the farther wall from the door, allowing them some privacy to converse away from the bustle of the restaurant proper. Both wine and tea are offered, to which Luther agrees to both to start.

Very good, the hostess says in a politely pleased manner and hurries off to inform the servers while the pair peruse their menus.

“Someone told me this place is pretty good, if you’re into the spicy stuff,” Luther says as he scans the items. Mandarin and English are present for all the items, although it takes but a moment to know and recognize he can’t read the former and that he’s not entirely sure what they’re going to be ordering. That part has no plan, so maybe they’re going to wing it. So he glances up from the menu to look towards Kaylee, brows arching, trying to see if she has experience with this type of cuisine. He doesn’t, and that is soon apparent.

“By all of the little red peppers, I’d say that person was right,” Kaylee sounds rather amused. At first she doesn’t notice that he is looking at her, though she is sitting a little straighter than normal. Amazing what a change of appearance and the appreciation of the guy you are trying to impress will do. “Oh. Look at those appetizers. I think spring rolls and…” She points to the menu and looks up with a grin. “Spicy deep fried squid to start. I’m feeling adventurous tonight.” Clearly, she is since she dressed up for him tonight.

She still couldn't believe she was sitting there in that dress, with him. They normally just got together and talked and ate. Enjoyed not being alone at a meal or over coffee. More amazing to her was the fact that she didn’t even want to peek at what he was thinking, the rumbling hum of his mind was enough. A portion of her mind wondered if it was the same sound if her head rested against his chest as he talked.

So lost in that single thought, that it takes her a moment, but she does suddenly realize he is looking to her for guidance on the matter of food. The feeling of self-consciousness returns and her gaze shyly drops back to menu. “You haven’t been to a place like this before?” She can’t help but ask, it’s a bit surprising for her. “If you looked in my fridge right now, it is probably full of take out cartons. They know me by name now.” There is no hesitation in admitting that. She isn’t the cooking type, she isn’t going to hide that.

That person was right indeed. And maybe, putting Luther to a challenge, or pulling the man’s leg to see if he’d actually go for it. There’s a bunch of unfamiliar menu items, for one, and the spicy calamari appetizer is one of them. An arched brow ticks up further for the woman’s adventurous streak tonight. Her emboldened manner aids in confidence on his part, despite his admittance, “No, I haven’t really had the opportunity, but that’s what we’re here for, right?” He chuckles at her later confession. “And mine,” he pauses, brow knitting as he pictures the contents of his fridge, “has a lot of sandwich meat. And cheese.” The man clears his throat, looks up from the menu again, and laughs a short self-deprecating laugh.

“Guess since we’re both busy, that’s a thing,” he says, shrugging a shoulder. No judgment there on his part that she doesn’t cook because apparently neither does he really. Eyes drop back down to the menu, and he runs a finger down a few options that sound more familiar. “See anything else you’d like? Or want to try?” A beat passes. “Kind of wish they had pictures.” Because what the hell is a bok choy, really. He isn’t sure.

And still isn’t, when the server comes to ask if they’re ready to order. Despite his not having truly decided on anything save for the pork fried rice, he defers to Kaylee by lobbing it verbally with, “Whatever the lady wants.” Good luck, Miss Thatcher. The server glances over to the detective, pen poised over notepad expectantly.

Has she giggled in front of him before? She isn’t sure; but, Kaylee does so now when he makes the wish for pictures. “There is a bit of an adventure to a place like this. I mean… you could ask, but it’s more fun to order and see what you get.” That last bit said with an impish smile and a little upward twitch of her brows.

She is momentarily silence, double checking her choice when he suddenly puts it all on her to order. Well then…

There is a confidence to Kaylee as she turns a bright smile to their server. Leaning a little that way and pointing to items on the list as she reads them, he can even read long on his own menu. “Let’s start with the spicy fried squid… Szechuan Beef” a pepper sits next to that entry on the menu “The General Tso Chicken” another pepper “And can’t go wrong with the orange chicken.” a third pepper. Indeed, he will be challenged tonight. Adding an order of steamed rice, Kaylee offers over her menu to the server with a softly spoken “Thank you.”

Turning back to her companion with a mischievous smile, Kaylee quips brightly, “I hope you’re hungry.”

Luther opens his mouth to say more in response, but it turns into just a smile at her words, her confidence. It’s that same expression through the whole order process even if there’s a touch of worry every time she throws in a spicy dish. Three is a row even. The server nods with all the choices being made, briefly checking with Luther if he’s going to add, and he throws in a “ginger milk pudding”, which is about as adventurous as he seems to be with all the food she’s ordered.

The choice actually seems to surprise the server, but gets a quick scribble on the pad and she’s off to place it with the back of the house.

There’s relief when the server heads off with there menus. Luther reaches for the wine, taking a larger sip of it. He’s more a beer and spirits guy, given the times they’ve gone out, but this calls for a bit of class in this case. Plus, she’s all dressed to impress. “You definitely know what you like,” he says, setting his wine glass back down with an amused grin. “Have you done much traveling before? Or is it all done traveling through culinary adventures?”

“Just culinary,” Kaylee doesn’t sound to put off by this. “Maybe one day, though not on what I’m getting paid, I’m not.” There is a small shrug of her shoulders, since it really is not a big deal at this point in her life. “I thought about saving up for a nice trip somewhere, but…” She doesn’t finish the sentence and sighs softly, “… never seems the right time. Also the idea of going alone just doesn’t seem as fun, as sharing the adventure with someone. I figure I have plenty of time still.”

So far her own glass of wine is untouched, beyond the sip she allowed herself when it arrived. She may take another sip or two during the meal, but she’ll never need a refill. Mostly, she sips at the Oolong tea, seeming to savor the flavor of it.

“How about you?” Her tea cup set gently on the table, this way she can lean forward a little to rest her chin on the heel of her hand. There is a genuine look of interest on Kaylee’s features when she asks that, brows lifting a little with that inquiry. “You a homebody or a world traveller?”

It’s her return query that has Luther thinking, a hesitation, worry even. Though his expression doesn’t change save for a short knit of his brow, he loses the intensity of his smile to something tinted with embarrassment. “A long time ago,” he starts after with a glance down to his plate, “I moved out here from Los Angeles. Decades ago. That’s about as travelled as I got.” His mixed feelings at the sudden reminder of a past he thought he forgot about sweeps over, though he fights it back after a pause of silence. Luther’s grey eyes slip up to her face again. “And same,” he says with a more bolstering breath in, “Right now I don’t really go anywhere unless the company’s going to tell me I got an all-expense paid trip.”

He shrugs his shoulders lightly, finally admitting after a pause, “I work… in custodial. For the Pinehearst company.” In a way it is true, he’s not an invisible face if he does get looked up in a database somewhere. That he’s dressed so nicely might just be a testament to the way Pinehearst treats its employees. Or, how he chooses to spend his salary. People are such mysteries. “So I kind of don’t go anywhere unless it’s local.”

Even so, he seems inwardly surprised that he’s finally revealed who he works for and what he does. At least this much. He works a smile back to his face, though, and nods in her direction. “You know what we could do, though?” he notes as a thought comes to him. “Could head south to Jersey, or north. Find a nice beach house for a weekend. What do the magazines call it… ‘Staycation’?”

The job confession is a surprise for the woman sitting across from him. It wasn't something she thought she’d hear from him. Kaylee looks like she is seeing him for the first time, but surprisingly she just smiles gently. “I never would have guessed.” Especially, with how nice he dresses.

“And,“ she starts, her smile sliding to one side, “I admit, a weekend at someplace on the beach. Just me and you.” Kaylee look a little guilty for the thoughts going through her head right then. “I could go for that. I haven’t really taken any kind of vacation for awhile.” There seems to be a but in there.

Her hand falls away from her chin and fingers curls around her tea cup. The smile slides away a little and brows furrow a little. “But, it is confession time after all. You told me yours and so I will tell you mine,” she murmurs softly, holding up her cup in a salute. “I—” she takes a deep breath and sighs it out softly, “I work for the NYPD.” There is a moment of hesitation before she adds, “When I had met you I had just made detective.”

For her it is a tipping point as she waits, will he be like all the rest? Though this isn’t her biggest secret, it has weight of its own. It was a small step towards allowing someone new in past her defenses. It had been a long while.

Well, it says something to Luther that Kaylee hasn’t simply risen from her seat and left. Surely, he thought, to find out she’s been dating a janitor - even a glorified one decked out in a suit - would be a dealbreaker. But it only proves that he still has a ways to go in getting to know her. Her gentle smile that shifts into something more crooked, the admittance to liking the idea of a local getaway, brightens the man’s expression. She can see him already starting to think of further suggestions. More specific suggestions. Where to go. What to do. What they could do, and what they could, perhaps, plan for then put off doing…

But his distraction interrupts with her mention of confessions, ears catching her murmured words. Luther’s full attention returns to her. And then, she admits to being an NYPD detective, and the man stills, smile fading by a couple degrees, replaced by tones of surprise. For a moment, there is a flash of something very dark that crosses his inner memories, a fleeting shadow threatening to pull him away and into a deep, frightening hole. But then his mind turns blank of everything but those words echoing inside. It is so very obvious that he had not expected to hear that come from her either. The moment passes, leaving a touch of awkward silence behind.

Like her, though, Luther doesn’t get up from his seat and leave. Like her, he looks back as if to see her in a whole new light, and somehow not a terrible one, not some cold light of fear. “Detective?” he finally tries out verbally, and he instead responds with a twist of hers. “Heh, I should’ve guessed, the way you seem to really know how to read people.”

He’s about to say more, but the appetizers and first entrees arrive with their orders of rice. The server seems to sense there is an interruption of conversation going on, and thus hurries a little too quickly in setting things down. The server knocks the delicate glass of half-drunken wine over by accident, which causes a mad scramble in a matter of moments when the drink spills over onto Luther’s lap. He rapidly scoots the chair he’s sitting in back so the rest of the drink doesn’t entirely get on him, but by then it’s really too late. Luther stands quickly, grabbing his napkin to try and dab off the worst.

Horror pales the server’s face. “Oh my god, I’m so sorry, I’m sorry, I’m—” The profuse apologies continue even as she tries to grab a few napkins off the neighboring table and offers them over to Luther, shooting a glance over at Kaylee as well. She is so sorry!

Sometimes, no matter how Kaylee tries to keep people mentally at a distance, things slip through. Certain emotions can often turn the volume up and no matter how thick of a wall she puts up, the ‘sound’ of it still travels to her. She had hoped that he wouldn’t react in a negative way. The others had, before she gave up on trying all together. The fear in whatever he is thinking makes her smile fade.

The telepath is left with a sinking feeling in the pit of her stomach. It brings on its own worries and fears; as her past experiences with guys bubbles painfully to the surface.

Thankfully, the server arrives as a distraction; but then chaos ensues. The situation might have been amusing and funny and Kaylee might have moved to reassure the woman and help Luther; but something else tickles at the back of her mind. It’s an idea, possibly irrational.

What was she thinking? People like her can’t be happy.

There is a darkness in that thought and with it a knee-jerk reaction just as irrational. A need to leave and put distance between herself and him. To break the connection before — in her mind — it’s too late. So she finds herself snagging her clutch from the table, digging out some money to drop it on the table, and then she is out of her seat and the door. All this time, Kaylee refuses to look at him, she might not be able to walk out that door if she does.

The smell of thick ozones and wet pavement hits her as soon as she opens the door; followed by the sounds of car tires on wet roads. Kaylee finds herself stopping under the awning of restaurant looking at a drenched world as the clouds overhead have finally let loose and in an impressive manner. “Crap,” she murmurs. However, she is determined to put that distance, even if it means getting just as equally drenched as the people running around out in it.

Head ducking down against the sensation of the cold rain, as it hits her and soaks into hair and clothing; Kaylee strikes out at a hurried pace before she can change her mind.

The commotion caused by the spillage has not just the server but one of the hostesses coming over to try and mitigate the damage. Amidst Luther’s attempt to reassure them that it’s okay, it’s fine, it’s— Then there goes Kaylee throwing money onto the table like flares popping out to keep this explosive missile from hitting her directly. By the time he’s managed to settle the matter, she’s gone out the door.

She’s got a decent head start, though it’s not quite enough of one to have lost him. Luther bursts through the red and gold doors of the restaurant in his wine-stained suit and pauses under the awning just long enough to stare in either direction, through sheeting rain, to spot the brightly patterned dress moving through the umbrellas. Because she’s decidedly without one. He doesn’t have one either, which doesn’t stop him from barreling through the rain after her, pushing his way through pedestrian traffic. At one point, he dodges vehicular cross traffic.

The long coat takes the brunt of damage but by the time he’s within earshot, Luther has likely pretty much ruined this suit. “Kaylee!” he calls out, unmindful of this disaster and much more concerned about another, “Kaylee, wait!” His soaked hand reaches for her shoulder or her arm.

By time she hears his voice through the sounds of a busy, yet rainy city, she is soaked through. Arms folded and held tight against her body, cause she might have just forgotten her jacket back at the restaurant. The sound of his voice stops her, drawn to it; but it is the hand on her arm that has her turning to look back over her shoulder. Her blonde curls hanging wet around her face, while reddened eyes stare back at him.

She looks confused.

“Why did you follow me?” she asks with a light chatter of teeth. Kaylee wants to know, but she doesn't have to ask. She could find out, however, she doesn't want to know at the same time. So, blue-eyes study him, watching him. It is one of the reasons she liked him. He was so open. “I saw that look, I know that look. I gave you an out to walk away.” A hand motions as if giving him permission to do so.

That he actually manages to reach her, and she doesn’t turn away or flinch, strikes him somewhere unexpected. Her confusion reflects on his own rain drenched features, the water running down in thin rivulets along the lines of his brow and down the cheeks. His confusion is for her question, though, not for his reason. “Why?” he echoes, glancing down to his hand on her arm. The fingers curl a touch more tightly, not wanting to let go for fear she might truly leave. “Because… I wasn’t going to.” Walk away, that is. Grey meets blue, confusions exchanged. “Kaylee, I don’t know what look you saw but,… that’s on me. I do know, though, that I’m not going anywhere.” There’s a moment taken to really gather his thoughts on the matter, he looks at her, golden blonde hair darkened by the rain yet still serving as a point of light.

He’d been in the dark for so long. A point of light meant so much more than just something to see by.

He gives voice to the thought finally, leaning in, searching her face, her eyes. “I’m not going anywhere. Not without you.”

She looks a little pitiful standing there, wet fabric clinging to whatever skin it can find on her. “I saw fear,” Kaylee blurts out, with a barely contained accusation. It is the sound of a woman who has been hurt in the past.

Close as they are, in that moment, he can see the mixture of emotions playing over her features and through blue eyes. “I saw… fear,” she says much softer. It sounded lame like that, without the context of everything else. She suddenly wouldn't have blamed him if he walked away now. It would make sense if she could say more; however, she doesn't dare. Not about what slipped past her mental defenses. The way his mind seemed to shut off when she said what she does.

Maybe she should be telling him that to, that she is a telepath. Get it all out there. She even starts to, but then it sort of hits her. Here they were standing in the rain. He was standing there with her in the rain. Looking into those stormy grey eyes, she says in soft wonder, “You… came after me?”

Fear, she says. Luther blinks slowly, the understanding seeming to dawn on him when she says that she saw him scared. Of her, of what she could potentially represent. The man closes his eyes and takes in a long breath, holds it, exhales slowly and opens his eyes again to gaze into those blues. “That’s on me,” he repeats with a low apologetic rumble.

With the pair of them standing there drenched in the rain, surrounded by an evening crowd of passersby that aren’t paying them any mind, it seems for all the world like they’re alone. For that moment, Luther nods slowly. Somewhere buried deep is the yearning he hadn’t realized he still could feel. That he could still need. And he chased after her to show it.

Compared to her, Luther is a man of very few words. All the times they’ve met, conversations have been consistent with his prompting her, her talking, him listening and giving interested commentary or insights. Always on a level of an open mind, a steady companion. If there was judgment, there were reasons, and nothing so irrational as deep rooted fears spurring them. What it comes down to is that he acts, he shows. He walks rather than talks. In this case, he’s run after her to do just that. Show her what he hasn’t found the words for yet.

But he does speak, in the quiet manner that is his way as he leans further in, hand moving from her arm around to her rain drenched back where the fabric of the dress clings against her skin. Even though they’re both soaked, his hand is radiating a natural warmth. “Kaylee, please… Let me be with you.” As those words leave him, he moves to press his lips to hers.

It starts with the touch of his hand at her back, the softly spoken words, and then the sensation of his lips on hers. The combination is successful in melting all her thoughts away and leaving her completely breathless. How many times had she thought about a moment like this? But she hadn’t dared, enjoying his company too much to risk it. Months they had done this dance, until finally she had gotten up the courage.

Tonight she had dressed up, hoping he’d notice her as more then someone to enjoy a conversation and a meal with. To really see her and she had almost ruined it.

That thought has cold hands bracketing his face once lips part and thought returns, fingers splayed across his scruffy cheeks, thumbs lightly skimming across rain drenched skin. It’s done to keep him from straightening, but also the warmth might feel really good. It is hard to tell if the trembling in her fingers is from chill or the emotions he’s invoked. He does gets his answer; but, in the form of a smile, as warm as his touch, and a gently spoken, “only if you will let me be with you, too.” In other words, she’d only open up her heart to him, if he’d do the same.

Kaylee doesn’t wait for him to speak and maybe she just already knows; but, embolden by the first kiss, one hand slides from his face to hook the back of his neck and pull him into another. It’s gentle and searching, but also full of barely contained restraint.

Later, perhaps, they’ll laugh about how the evening had started. In some time in the future, it’ll be a shared sidelong glance or a twitch of a crooked smile again. But for now, Luther holds on to her closely even as he’s not able to reply to her request vocally. He presses himself closer as she pulls him in, the kiss returned just as deeply as he can manage without being immediately overwhelming. It’s long, lingering, interrupted only not by the rain that continues to fall but by a brief need for breath. He pulls back first, but only just so.

“You’re going to catch cold,” he says to her, his forehead leaned so as to touch against those wet, blonde locks. Another beat in the drumming rain, and he adds, “And I think the server said something about packing up stuff to go.” Not that he had really heard the restaurant workers calling after him in his rush out the doors. She can still feel his hands around her back, fingers lightly drawing her close to him. His eyes blink once, seeking out hers and in the short pause, debating if he should have reminded her of the world around them or if he’d just keep this image, this memory in his mind forever.

“Good,” Kaylee says rather breathlessly, allowing herself to be drawn in close, savoring the warmth of him and the moment, “because, my place isn’t too far from here.”

The rain doesn’t let up, still pouring its cats and dogs upon them.

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