Emily felt, momentarily, that she must be hallucinating. It seemed neither likely nor possible that he was really standing there. She took a few steps past Nikolas, completely focused on the figure at the end of the drive.
“Lucky,” she said, softly. At her acknowledgment of his presence, Lucky walked slowly towards her.
“Yeah?” he stared over her shoulder at Nikolas. He was wondering exactly who he had ticked off and in what life to deserve this. Of all places, of all times, or all days, what possible reason could there be for Nikolas to be at the mansion? He didn’t want to know the answer to that question.
Emily’s heart sank. She had just momentarily allowed herself to believe he was here because of her. Even if that was true, it didn’t matter now. She wondered if there was some way Lucky could have found out that the Cassadines were here tonight. Lizzie was usually the answer to that question, and she had been there when Sarah had asked her about the diner. Still, she suspected Lizzie had been telling the truth when she had said she was finished with him.
Nikolas stood just behind Emily, his arms folded across his chest, an impatient look on his face. Deja vu, she thought.
Lucky felt a familiar rage building inside him. There wasn’t one thing he didn’t despise about the guy. The pompous, in control air he was giving off made his blood boil. He wanted nothing more than to knock the smug look off his face. However, he was not here to deal with Nikolas. He tore his eyes away from his rival, focusing on Emily. She was looking at him with a mixture of horror and confusion. He knew from the tension in her body that the last thing she wanted to witness right now was another fight.
“Cassadine,” Lucky said, through his teeth. This wasn’t going to be easy.
Nikolas nodded stiffly.
There was a long, intense, incredibly painful silence. Emily didn’t think there had been any way for this day to get worse, but now she realized that had indicated a lack of imagination on her part.
“So,” Lucky said, his voice eerily light and jovial, “How’s your fist?”
Emily bit her lip and examined the ground. It amazed her how Lucky could make any awkward situation truly unbearable with a well placed injection of sarcasm.
Nikolas furrowed his brow.
“I didn’t intend to hit you,” he stated emphatically.
“Guess it was just...” he narrowed his eyes pointedly, “Providential, huh?”
Nikolas shook his head, exasperated.
“You took the first shot,” he pointed out, tensely.
Emily wanted to scream. She looked at Lucky pleadingly, hoping he would back off a moment. She knew there was no point, however. Previous experience had taught her that Lucky didn’t see anything else when he was around Nikolas. There was nothing inside of Lucky that was more powerful than his hatred for his brother.
Lucky closed his eyes, and took a deep breath. He tried to relax his jaw, and remember what he was doing here.
“I’d go hungry, I’d go black and blue....”
“I know,” he said finally. “It’s not your style to take the first shot.”
Emily felt she must be in a parallel universe. Suddenly, nothing made sense to her anymore.
“No, it’s not,” Nik said evenly. Lucky smirked and nodded his head. God this was hard. He looked at Emily once more to steel his resolve. The same desperate look was in her eyes, and he immediately felt like he hadn’t restrained enough. It just wasn’t a talent of his.
“I’ll keep that in mind,” Lucky muttered, still looking at Emily, who was thankfully, looking back at him. “Hi,”
Emily opened and closed her mouth helplessly. This wasn’t fair! She tried several facial expressions before setting on complete bewilderment.
“Hi,” she said finally. Lucky’s eyes seemed to grab hers and they looked at each other intently.
“I...guess my timing’s off again,” he murmured. Emily frowned. Were they talking in code? When else had his timing been bad? Why was he here? What was going on? Why was he being civil to Nikolas?
“I guess.... “ she said slowly.
“You’re busy,” he said heavily. His voice was decidedly uneven. He forced himself to continue. The circle was going to end here, even if he ruptured a vital blood vessel from the effort. “I’ll see you at school, ok?”
“Sure,” she hesitated, trying to think of something else to say. Lucky, however, wasn’t finished.
“Or, uh...” Lucky had never realized how many defense mechanisms he had. He had to let go of them all if this was going to work, and he was finding it difficult. He took a deep breath, “Or, you could call me later, if you want.” There. It was out there. She had to realize that he wanted to talk to her, and that he felt it was important enough for him to walk over here to see her in person. Emily, however, looked even more freaked out.
“Alright,” she said distantly.
Lucky wondered if he’d interrupted anything, and immediately forced the thought from his mind. Thoughts like those were not conducive to his maintaining his sanity in front of his half-brother. Besides, she’d agreed to talk to him again, and that was easily half the battle. He decided to get out of here before he ruined everything.
Emily swallowed hard.
Lucky stepped backwards, still looking into her eyes. Emily felt the hair on the back of her neck stand on end. He then pulled his eyes away from her and gave Nikolas a slight nod, not actually making eye contact with him. Nikolas responded to the gesture coolly. Lucky turned and walked down the driveway.
Emily shook her head. She had no idea what had just happened here, but whatever it was, it was good. She watched Lucky walk away. He stopped at the gate, and looking back at her, smiled quickly, then disappeared.
It took a moment for the importance of that gesture to sink in. Nikolas approached Emily from behind and put a cautious hand on her shoulder.
“Are you alright?”
“He.... he turned back.” she said, a grin quickly spreading across her face. Nikolas tried to think of a proper response. Emily giggled at his expression. She suddenly felt incredibly giddy. “No, that’s a good thing....” She laughed again, and took a moment to attempt to force her face into a more appropriate expression for the moment.
“I thought.... Sarah told me you two weren’t getting along right now.”
“Oh, we aren’t!” Emily tried to look grave, but only managed to pull it off a moment before she cracked up completely. She clapped a hand over her mouth to try to halt the laughter that was bubbling over inside her.
“Am I missing something?” Nikolas asked, looking slightly amused. Emily shook her head, unable to respond. She couldn’t catch her breath, and her stomach was beginning to ache. She wasn’t sure why this whole thing had suddenly struck her as so hysterically funny. She guessed it was mostly relief. She knew, something had changed, and for once, it was something good. It would be impossible for her to explain how a tiny little thing like Lucky not taking this opportunity to go another round with Nikolas meant so much. Ever since Lucky’s mother’s “death”, Emily had, without even meaning to, approached their relationship differently. She felt that the safest way to deal with him was to simply have no expectations. If she didn’t expect him to be friendly, expect him to be thoughtful, then she was never disappointed in him. Every time she crossed that line and let herself anticipate something from him, she got crushed. It had happened again that afternoon, just reinforcing her belief that he couldn’t be counted on, that he would never put her first. The only way they could ever be friends, she’d realized, lying on her bed that afternoon, was if she was prepared to never ever hope for anything from him. She’d realized she simply couldn’t do that anymore. And now.... Now he’d surprised her, he’d done something she’d never have asked for or even presumed him capable of: he’d been civil to Nikolas. All the feelings of hopelessness were falling away, the doubts being shouted down by her sudden certainty that things were finally going to go her way. Lizzie had been right, she realized. She had absolutely no talent at staying angry at Lucky. She turned back to Nikolas, finally bringing her laughing fit under control. Nikolas, it seemed, was at a complete loss.
“I’m sorry,” she sighed, still smiling goofily. “I just have a tendency to go a little crazy sometimes.” That struck her as funny too, and she giggled again. She bit her lip hard and managed to suppress it so that it came out as a high-pitched squeak.
“Alright,” Nikolas said slowly. “Perhaps we should return to the party.”
The smile faded immediately from Emily’s face.
“Oh,” she whispered. “Right.”
Nikolas extended a supportive hand to her, and she hesitantly reached out to take it. Right as she was about to close her hand around his she pulled back, and stepped away from him.
“I’m... I’m sorry, Nikolas,” she stuttered. “I can’t go in there.”
Nikolas sighed. She could tell he’d expected this.
“You’re going after him.”
Emily bit her lip and nodded.
“I have to.”
Nikolas studied her expressions, and shook his head sadly.
“I know you two are friends....”
Emily wrinkled her nose.
“But..... Lucky’s never really struck me as particularly stable.”
Emily laughed and shook her head.
“Believe me, I know. But I still have to go. Will you... Just tell Ned I’m fine, but I had to leave.”
“Alright,” he said reluctantly. “If you must.”
Emily was already backing down the drive.
“I must,” she called to him. “I’m sorry.”
She turned and dashed down the driveway, not feeling particularly sorry about anything.
* * * *
Lucky was already at the bottom of the street. She caught sight of him just as he turned the corner heading back to his house. She thanked the Gods of Footwear for blessing her with hiking boots this time, and began to chase after him. She was barely aware of the earth beneath her as she flew past the grounds, finally catching up to him at the hill that headed up to his part of town.
“Lucky!” she called out after him. He stopped and turned to see her. Breathless, Emily reached him, and realized she’d given no thought as to what she was going to say. For the first time. she began to worry this might have been a mistake.
“Hi,” she blurted out.
A smile crept across Lucky’s face, but he quickly forced himself to stay grounded. He didn’t know why she’d run after him, and he didn’t want to find out that it was to tell him to get lost again.
“Hi,” he responded. He dug his hands into his pockets, hunching his shoulders. “Again.”
Emily laughed, then felt her face redden. This was horrible. She wondered if there was any way she could turn around and go back to the mansion without looking like a complete freak.
“Ummm... I ... ok, I just wanted to say that I’ll call you tonight, if that’s ok.”
“Ok... “ Lucky looked confused. “Knock yourself out.”
“Probably around 10.”
Emily waved her hands around uselessly in the air, then folded them firmly
across her chest.
“I’d better go back to the house,” she said, a little too upbeat. She smiled again, nervously, and then turned heading back up the hill.
“Emily,” Lucky called after her. She spun on her heel, nearly loosing her balance, and stumbling slightly. Regaining her balance, she dug her hands into her pockets, an tried too look casual.
Lucky suppressed another smile.
“Did you really come down here just to say you’d call?” he asked. “Cause when I answered the phone, I probably would have figured that out.”
Emily groaned with embarrassment.
“Ok, you’ve got me,” she took a deep breath. “I was just weighing my options, and thinking that I could either go eat with my family, or talk to you, and well....”
“If you were anyone else, I'd be touched,” he laughed. “But your family is crazy -- oh wait... not crazy, they’re... kooky?”
“Zany,” Emily dead panned. “Zany, but we’re having dinner with the spooky people, so things are probably going to get all together ‘ooky’ by the end of it.”
“You’re having dinner with the Cassadines?” Lucky asked incredulously. “Who’s the main course?”
Emily made a half-hearted attempt to look disapproving.
“Actually, if I don’t get back there, it’ll be me.”
“Ohhhh,” Lucky said knowingly. “What did you do this time?”
Emily shrugged, abashed.
“I’m kind of in trouble.”
Lucky raised his eyebrows.
“What for? Did you use the salad fork for the entree?”
Emily gave him an annoyed look.
“First of all, the salad comes first, secondly, we haven’t eaten yet, and thirdly, you can go jump in the lake, ok?”
“Sorry. Why are they mad at you this time?”
Emily sighed and contemplated how much to confess.
“I..... disappeared. They thought I was in my room, and I’d gone for a walk, so they panicked, of course.”
Lucky cringed. Panicking Quartermaines -- No thanks!
“Where were you?”
Emily shifted uncomfortably.
“Long story,” she muttered. They both looked at each other. “I’ll tell you when I call,” she told him, quietly.
“Ok. At ten?”
“I’ll ...... well, I’ll talk to you later.”
“Sure,” Lucky tried to sound cavalier about it. Inside, his heart was swelling with a levity he barely recognized.
Neither of them moved. Lucky cleared his throat.
“And, uh... good luck with diner.”
They still stayed, glued to their respective places, neither one making the slightest attempt to leave. Finally Emily cracked a smile, which quickly descended into mutual laughter.
“God, I don't want to go back,” Emily gasped.
“I can understand that,” Lucky murmured. The gentle intimacy of his voice sent an unexpected chill down her spine. She turned suddenly serious.
“And I want to know why you came back,” she said softly.
Lucky let himself get lost, just for a moment, in the incredibly tenderness in Emily’s eyes. She’d done it again. He didn’t know why her emotions -- where he was concerned, at least -- were so uneven, but he really did appreciate the highs. He repressed an urge to enfold her in his arms, and instead broke the gaze, and shrugged nonchalantly.
“I wanted....” he exhaled heavily. How was he going to put this? She had an expression on her face that seemed to be mixture of hopefulness and apprehension. His heart moved up into his throat. God, this was hard. He was so used to keeping things cool and detached. Whenever he started mucking around in his “real feelings”, things got ugly. He didn’t want that to happen again. He cleared his throat. “Probably for the same reason you came after me.”
“I came after you to thank you for not taking a piece off of Nikolas. I mean, You were almost cordial!”
Lucky’s spirits crashed. Of course. Nikolas.
“Yeah, well,” he muttered, a bitter edge coming into his voice. “God forbid something happen to your sainted friend.”
Oh great, Emily thought. She should have known this was too good to last.
“Yeah,” she responded heavily. “If you want to put it that way.”
They’d reached another impasse. The subject of Nikolas was yet another thing they couldn’t communicate about. Lucky stared at the ground.
“You’re welcome,” Lucky said, his voice distant. “I’ll see you around.”
Emily looked heavenward and let out a scream of frustration.
“We’re doing it again!”
Lucky, who had just been about to turn to leave, froze in his tracks.
Emily glared at him.
“You’re were so right this afternoon,” she told him. “This is merry-go-round, we just keep doing the same things over and over.”
Lucky realized she was right. He’d messed up. Again.
“I don't think of it as a merry-go-round,” he said, chagrined. “More like a ferris wheels. Highs and lows.”
“I get sick on ferris wheels.” She lowered her head and looked at him intently. “I just want to know why you can’t just tell me why you came back.”
Lucky sighed heavily, and threw himself down on the bank at the side of the road.
“Ok, point taken,” he muttered. “I didn’t mean to tick you off again.”
“Then just tell me what is going on!”
Lucky raked his hand through his hair, and took a deep breath.
“I told you, I wanted to talk to you,” he looked up, a twisted expression on his face. “I can’t stand seeing you with Nikolas.”
Emily surveyed him carefully, trying to figure out why he was acting this way. She knew he wasn’t rational about Nikolas, and he hated the fact that she was friends with him. But if they were going to be friends he was going to have to adjust to it.
“I’m not going to stop seeing Nikolas just because you hate him.”
“Yeah, I’ve noticed.”
Emily sighed and sunk onto the ground next to him.
“But you want me to, right? I mean, you’d prefer it if I wasn’t friends with him.”
Lucky looked up at her, and shook his head.
“I thought you got that,” he said quietly. “I don’t care who he’s friends with. I just want to know why he keeps making friends with people from my life.”
Emily tucked her knees up under her chin.
“I don’t belong to you, Lucky. I can be friends with whomever I want,” she sighed. “Look, I know it must have hurt when he and Sarah started going out --”
“I don’t care about Sarah!” Lucky spit angrily. “I care about you.” He turned his head to face her. “Don’t you get that?”
Emily was stunned.
“I’m not... Nikolas and I..... I mean, I don’t....” she shook her head violently. “I don't have many friends, Lucky. I have to hang on to the the ones I have.”
“As long as they aren’t me.”
They stared at each other.
“What?” Emily murmured, amazed. “Lucky, we’ve been friends forever!”
“Then why did you tell me that you didn’t want me in your life?”
“We’ve covered that.”
“I still feel like I’m missing part of the picture.”
“I don’t want you to feel like you had to be friends with me, and I don’t want to be some pawn in your war with Nikolas. Is that so hard to comprehend?”
“When did I use you as a pawn with Nikolas?”
Oh, this was getting out of hand, Emily thought. When had their communication skills gotten this bad?
“What about when you showed up after he walked me home that day? What was that about if it wasn’t that you wanted to mark your territory?”
Lucky turned away, and focused his eyes on the road.
“He’s a Cassadine. His family has attempted to destroy almost every family in town at one point or another. But everyone thinks he’s the second coming.”
“Maybe if you tried looking at him as a person, instead of a Cassadine...”
“I’d be dead,” Lucky muttered with out a trace of irony. “Even if the guy wasn’t my brother, I’d still hate him,” The perversity of that statement, as always, went right over his head.
“It’s not like we’re best friends or anything, Lucky. I mean, he’s only here tonight because of his cousin. We don’t talk on the phone, we don’t hang out or anything. It’s not like...” she let her voice trail off, and looked at him seriously. “It’s not like you and me.”
Lucky looked over at her with surprise.
Emily looked at him in disbelief.
“What did you think, that he’s as important to me as you are?
Lucky turned away from her, confused.
“I didn’t think we were that close.”
Emily was shaken by that admission.
“You didn’t?” she said, hurt. “I thought .... I...” she felt really stupid. She’d been right all along. He was just killing time with her, performing a duty. She felt her throat close up, and angrily chastised herself. Why did she always let this boy bring her to the edge of tears?
“Well,” Lucky said, bitterly, “It’s not like you’ll confide in me or anything. Every time I try to figure out what’s going on with you, you push me away.”
Emily’s jaw dropped.
“What about yesterday? Was that not ‘confiding’ in you? I haven’t told anyone else what’s going on with Jason. I only told you because I knew I could trust you not to go to my parents or anything.”
“I thought we’d established that you don’t trust me.”
Emily jumped to her feet.
“Lucky!” she exclaimed, “I have always been able to trust you with anything like that. I trusted you with my life when we ran away together.”
“That was a long time ago.”
Emily shook her head.
“It’s hard for me to... I can’t forget what happened last year, Lucky.”
“About my mother?”
“NO! About everything else. When the Cassadines came to town, you forgot about me. I wasn’t important anymore. Why should I believe I’m important to you now? Or even if I am, how can I know that one day, I won’t be anymore?” Emily’s voice had become shrill, filled with emotion. Lucky didn’t answer. He had no way to reassure her about that. “It’s like how you thought I might be doing drugs again. We can’t pretend the last year didn’t happen. We both broke trust with each other, and I don’t know how we’re supposed to get that back.”
Lucky stood up, and walked over to Emily.
“Don’t you want to at least try?” he asked, his voice shaking. Emily felt her eyes fill with tears.
“Of course I want to try!”
They stared at each other, equally confused. Finally Lucky shook his head.
“Then why aren’t we? Why do we keep fighting like this?”
“I didn’t even know you cared enough to think about this.”
“How can you say that?” Lucky yelled, frustrated. “What the hell did you think I was doing? I tried and tried to get you to open up to me, so that I could understand why you felt.... I know you told me that doing drugs was all your fault, but I still have to live with the fact that I let you down. I wasn’t there for you, I put everything else first, because I always thought that you were strong enough to handle anything the world threw at you. I didn’t see how close to the edge you must have been. You never ever seemed like the kind of person who would do drugs, no matter what. You still don't. I can't recognize the signs because I wasn't there to see them the first time. I don't know why you did it, and every time I try to find out, you either get mad at me, or take off.”
“Wow,” Emily whispered. “Why didn’t you say that this afternoon?”
Lucky looked at her like his head was going to explode.
“When? What was I supposed to say? Here’s a leaf, why did you do drugs?”
“It’s better than ‘Lizzie-the-insane-girl told me you’re doing drugs again, so it must be true!’ ”
“That,” Lucky began to laugh in spite of himself, “That was not what I said.”
“So I’m paraphrasing, sue me.”
Lucky reached out and put a hand on her shoulder, seriously.
“You’re still not answering my question.”
Emily lowered her eyes, unable to look at him.
“It’s hard to just talk about something you’re completely ashamed of.”
Lucky closed his eyes, and took a deep breath.
“I know. The thing I’m most ashamed of right now is how I treated you. I took you for granted, and I swear, I will never ever do that again.”
Emily’s mouth went dry. She looked up at him in amazement.
“Do you really mean that?”
Emily smiled at him, and Lucky felt his heart start to beat a little faster.
“Remember what you said about wanting to be there for me instead of the drugs? So I didn't need them?”
Lucky looked at her seriously.
“Yeah. I meant that.”
“Ok... you realize that is totally co-dependent.”
“I really don't need a title, Em,” Lucky sighed. “I just want to be a better friend to you. Unfortunately, I seem to really suck at that. Everything I say or try to do with you comes out wrong. I don't know what you need from me.”
“I just need to know you’ll be there if I need you. That’s all.”
Lucky impulsively took Emily’s hand in his. Her heart skipped a beat.
“If I’m not, you have my complete permission to hit me over the head with something.”
“Provided I can find you, “ Emily said wryly.
“Should I get a beeper?” he joked. Emily found it hard to laugh. They were standing so close together, and it was such an intimate moment, she felt like one misplaced breath and it would all fade away.
“Just let me know when you’re going away.”
Lucky looked into Emily’s eyes. She looked tired, and sad and worried all at once. He realized she still hadn’t answered his question.
“Will you... let me know when you’re feeling like you’re getting close to the edge? I know I probably won’t be able to help, but it could at least help me to know when I should be worrying about you.”
Emily nodded and squeezed his hand.
“I won’t get so angry if you ask again, alright?”
“Ok,” Lucky said slowly. “Because I’m asking again. You still haven’t told me.”
“It’s not a black and white question. I just didn’t want to feel anything anymore. And when I got high I could have fun, and laugh and not worry all the time. It made everything seem unreal. Even when I wasn’t high, things began to feel less important, because the really important part was getting out of the house, getting away from everything.....” her voice trailed off, and she got an eerily distant look in her eyes. “Sometimes I can pretend none of it really happened. Because how could it have? How could I have overdosed? How could Matt have died? It doesn’t really feel real.” She turned and looked back at him. They both just stared at each other in silence for a moment. Finally Lucky spoke.
“I’m sorry. I’m sorry you went through that.”
Emily breathed in sharply.
“Thank-you,” she whispered. She’d never felt closer to Lucky in her whole life. His response was so simple, but it was only him showing her compassion and empathy. It wasn’t about him, it was about what had happened to her. That meant more than she could possibly have put into words. He was still holding her hand.
Emily considered what she was about to do as carefully as you can consider anything in the span of five seconds. All the doubts in her head were falling silent, and she couldn't shake the feeling that this was the right thing to do. She reached out and took his other hand in hers. Lucky nervously moved slightly back from her, looking confused. She raised her face to his and kissed him very gently on the lips.
When she pulled back Lucky had a look on his face that could only be described as astonishment. She smiled at him.
"What was that?" he stuttered.
"I think that's the one thing we haven't talked about."
Lucky searched her face. He’d assumed from her angry reaction to the kiss he’d given her all those weeks ago, that she was not feeling anything even slightly romantic towards him. However, looking into her eyes, he could see quite clearly that he had been mistaken. He pulled his hands away, and moved them up to her shoulders, still staring intently into her eyes. Cradling her face in his hands, he lowered his head to kiss her again.
Emily’s whole body sighed with relief as Lucky’s lips touched hers. Part of her couldn’t believe this was happening, but mostly she focuses on how this felt. This small perfect oasis of time where everything was falling into place. Her hands were still hanging limp at her side, simply because she didn’t feel like she had the strength to lift them. She leaned against him, eyes closed, and returned his kiss sweetly. She felt his hands move into her hair, still kissing her softly. There was so much emotion, caring, and even love, she couldn’t believe that it could be communicated this simply. She had no suspicion of his motives anymore. Pity she might be able to believe of him, but there was no way Lucky would ever be able to kiss her like this if he didn’t feel something real for her.
Pulling back, Lucky gently brushed his lips against hers again. Emily could barely breath, she was so happy. She reluctantly opened her eyes, a smile creeping across her face. Lucky was still holding her, his eyes gazing into hers to gage her reaction. The look on his face was so vulnerable, that her heart immediately melted completely for him. There was no way she would ever be able to think about him the same way again. She moved her hands up and placed them over his.
“I never thought that would happen again,” she murmured. Lucky shook his head in disbelief.
“I never thought you’d want it to.”
Emily felt inexplicable tears welling up. She was simply feeling so emotional, she suspected her brain was incapable of telling the difference from the good and bad emotions anymore.
“I thought you only kissed me to get at Nikolas.”
Lucky looked at her seriously.
“I didn’t. I don’t think I knew why I was even that angry before I kissed you, but I wasn’t trying to use you. I don't know what I was doing.”
Emily frowned, getting worried.
“Do you know what you’re doing now?”
“Do I ever?” Lucky laughed. Emily pulled back, not seeing the humor in the situation.
“Lucky,” she said shakily. “I really care about you, like no one else in my life. I’ve never felt like this about anyone, and if you don’t feel the same way.....” she let her voice trail off. She didn’t know what to tell him. She didn’t feel like she’d be able to walk away from him again. She didn’t want anything but to remain this close to him, emotionally and physically. She was finally happy, and the idea of him not feeling the same elation horrified her.
“I...” Lucky fumbled over his words, trying to figure out what to say. He decided to stop the emotional censorship, and just say what he was feeling. “Emily!” He reached out and grabbed her arm. She turned back to him, anxiously.
“Yes?” she held her breath. She knew that he must care about her, but she wanted more than that from him. She was in too deep now.
“I’m not going to let you disappear from my life again!” he told her seriously. “Emily, you’re the one thing in my life that I can count on. I never doubted that about you, because no matter how much I screw up, you still accept me. Even when we weren’t talking, you still... you were still there when i really needed you. My whole life, the only people I’ve ever been able to count on was my family. We never stayed anywhere long, I’ve never had a friend like you before. I’ve always tried not think too much about the future, or expect anything, because you never know when the next shot’s going to come through the window, and you have to go the run again.” Lucky stopped and took a deep breath. “I’m not living that life anymore. I have a home now, and I have you. I don’t want to lose any of it.”
Emily exhaled heavily.
“You’re not going to lose me. I think I’ve proved that I’m not capable of letting you go.”
“I’m not trying to go anywhere.” Lucky said seriously. He wrapped his arms around her waist and pulled her into an embrace. “I swear to you, Em. I don’t want to hurt you again,” he breathed. “Every time I see that look on your face when I’ve let you down, I feel like I’ve failed you. I just want to make you happy.”
Emily closed her eyes, and wrapped her arms around his neck, and hugging him tightly.
“Alright,” she whispered. She felt Lucky’s hand tenderly stroking her hair. She opened her mouth to tell him something, but he cut her off. “I love you, Em.”
Emily’s eyes flew open and she pulled back.
Lucky looked at her seriously. The words had just come out of his mouth, but upon saying them he realized there was no doubt that they were true.
“You’re my best friend, you understand me like no one else ever has, and all I want is a chance to give the same thing back to you. Because I do love you, Emily.” He smiled at her nervously. “I’m just slow about these things.”
“I’ve always loved you, Lucky,” she murmured. “I only figured it out yesterday, though.”
Lucky’s face registered several expressions, before he finally broke out into a wide grin.
“Well, there you go. We were made for each other.”
Emily giggled and wrapped her arms around his neck again.
“This is so much better than fighting,” she laughed. Lucky squeezed her hard, lifting her off the ground for a second. She screeched happily and held him tighter.
“God!” she exclaimed. “I feel like I could fly!” Emily’s face immediately fell, as she recalled the last time she felt like that. Lucky pulled back and looked her in the eyes again.
“You can,” he said quietly, then leaned in to kiss her again. Emily lifted her head up to his, her hands still enclosed around his neck.
“EMILY!” a voice boomed just as her lips brushed against his. Em leapt in shock and spun around to see her Grandfather, standing at the corner. She could tell from here that his face was beet red, as he stormed down the road towards her.
“Uh oh,” Lucky muttered under his breath.
“I’m going to die,” Emily whispered back.
“Well, it was nice knowing you,” Lucky joked. Emily jabbed him sharply in the stomach with her elbow. Lucky choked just as Edward approached them.
“Is this where you’ve been all night? You had us out of our minds with worry!”
“I told Nikolas, I’d be back in a minute!”
“Nikolas!” Edward blustered. “I wouldn’t trust that boy farther than I could throw him!” He eyed Lucky suspiciously. “And besides that, we have guests.”
Emily opened her mouth to respond, but Lucky stepped in.
“Mr. Quartermaine, if you could avoid dinner with the Cassadines, wouldn’t you take that chance?”
“That’s not the point!” the elder Quartermaine raged. “And don’t think I don’t know what you’re thinking, either!” He shook a finger in Lucky’s face. “I was a teenager once too, you know!”
Lucky had to literally bite his tongue to avoid getting Emily in anymore trouble. Instead he took her hand and squeezed it.
“Grandfather, don’t be angry at Lucky, this is my fault,” she told him evenly. “And I’m coming back now, alright?”
Edward glared at Lucky.
“You better believe you are,” he growled. Emily hoped he would turn back to the house on his own, but there was no such luck.
“I better go,” she murmured to Lucky.
“yeah, I think that would be best.” He took a step back from her, reluctantly dropping her hand. “I’ll... see you at school.”
Emily smiled and waved her fingers at him as he continued to walk backwards up the street.
“See you,” she said, with equal reluctance. She forced herself to turn back to her grandfather, still fuming at her side. “Alright, let’s get back there.” she said, with forced severity. Edward eyed her suspiciously, then took her arm and proceeded to drag her back to the mansion. Emily threw another look over her shoulder as they turned the corner, and saw Lucky standing under the street light at the end of the street, watching her. She smiled to herself. Grandfather could try, but nothing would ever ruin her memory of that evening.