Twenty pages later she was startled out of her concentration as Logan's phone began vibrating in her pocket. She pulled it out and opened it just in time to miss the call but she looked at LCD anyway. Missed call: Summer. She tried to picture Summer's face but came up with a blank. She couldn't really remember Logan ever mentioning the name either, although really, Logan never brought up any of his girlfriends unless she asked about them. She hesitated for a few seconds before letting her curiosity get the better of her and she quickly maneuvered herself through the menu to see the list of missed calls. 19 missed calls.
Nineteen? She frowned as she scrolled through the names. Four of the calls were from Summer, and the rest were from several other girls. Hailey, Jenna, Rachel, Sara, Angela.
Rory studied the list. The calls had started last night around eleven and went right through today. She realized she hadn't seen Logan on the phone at all and wondered if he had purposely ignored the calls and if so, why he would do that. She shut the phone and put it back in her pocket but the book was long forgotten.
She and Logan had spent all day together, something they hadn't actually done before. Not just the two of them anyways, Logan was a big fan of group activities and secretly, Rory preferred them as well. Rules weren't broken in groups; it was much easier to stay inside the lines if other people were around to watch. Today had been one big rule breaker and if she hadn't already been confused about what they were she would be now.
Rory couldn't blame everything on today though; things had gone from black and white to a lovely shade of gray weeks ago in her opinion but she hadn't dared bring that up to Logan. There were too many ways he could answer her questions, too many answers that she really wouldn't want to hear.
She thought again, of the list of girls in his phone from the last twenty-four hours, and wondered how many of them had done the same things with Logan. How many of them had woken up to breakfast in bed and whatever activities he had planned specifically for them.
A sigh fell from her lips as she picked up the book again and tried to read. She couldn't fool herself anymore, she wasn't really as special as she'd like to think, she was one of many, or at least, one of seven.
"Hey so that took longer than I thought it would." She looked up and saw Logan standing in front of her. "I would have brought you a coffee to make up for it, but I thought instead, I'd just take you to dinner."
"Actually, can we just get back?" she asked, standing up.
"We could, but come on Ace, you haven't had anything to eat all day except those pancakes this morning and I'm starving, so I know you have to be at least a little bit hungry. Besides, isn't it against some Gilmore rule to turn down food?"
She smiled at that. "All right," she relented. "I am pretty hungry," she admitted.
"Great, let's go."
The drive back towards campus was mostly quiet. Rory had asked Logan if he had finished his LDB business and the talk just died off after that, except for a few random comments from Logan, all of which Rory politely responded to but offered no further conversation.
"Don't you need reservations for here?" she asked as he pulled the car up to Zinc, a restaurant close to Yale.
Logan chuckled. "Not when your last name is Huntzberger," he reminded her. He held her door open for her and then led her into the restaurant. Sure enough, once he mentioned his name to the host, their wait time decreased from forty minutes to five.
"Oh don't look at me like that," he said once they were seated. "Admit it, you love the perks that happen when you're with me."
"Hey I love anything that allows me to eat quicker," she said as she picked up the menu and began reading.
Logan looked up from his own menu and looked at the waitress who approached their table. "Katrina, hey," he greeted her with an easy smile. "How are you?"
"Well I'd be better if I ever heard from you anymore," she said with a little pout. "I tried calling you last night, you know."
No you didn't. Rory studied the redhead as she chitchatted with Logan. She was tall and pretty and she looked like pretty much every other girl Logan hung around with but she didn't look familiar. She wondered if she would even know which girls Logan were sleeping with from the ones he wasn't at this point.
Katrina took their drink orders and let them know that their waiter would be with them shortly. She then made Logan promise to call her to do something this coming weekend and then walked away, making sure to look Rory square in the eye as she did.
"She seems nice," Rory noted as she looked back down at her menu.
"She's fun at parties," Logan said.
"Ever date her?" She hoped she sounded casual, but the way Logan was looking at her over the top of his menu had her thinking she sounded more like a jealous girlfriend.
"Nah. Like I said, she's fun at parties, but that's it." He chuckled. "Besides, did you see her hair? Finn would never let me hear the end of it."
She laughed with him. "She didn't call you last night though, like she said she did." At that moment she wished for a breadbasket to magically appear on the table. Anything to help her keep her mouth shut instead of letting all of these words out.
"She probably didn't," he agreed, still looking at his menu. "She probably thinks she did though, because well, she's not the brightest girl and I'm sure she knows more than one Logan."
"Six girls called you last night," she blurted out.
"Yeah, when I used your phone earlier I saw that you had nineteen missed phone calls, all from girls," she explained, handing his phone back to him.
"All girls?" She nodded. "Not even one call from Colin or Finn?" He flipped the phone open and looked at the display. "Huh, you're right." He put the phone away just as their waiter came over; ready to take their order. Rory just shook her head as he set the breadbasket down five minutes too late.
Logan watched Rory tear her dinner roll into tiny pieces without eating it. "Whatcha thinking about Ace?" he asked knowingly as she began shredding the pieces into even smaller bits.
She looked up at him and shrugged. "Nothing," she said softly. She attempted a smile. "I've successfully missed all my classes today. Congratulations."
He laughed. "I think the congratulations should go to you," he said. "After all, you made it through today with minimal damage and admit it." Underneath the table he nudged her foot with his own. "You had at least a little bit of fun today, didn't you?"
"It has been fun," she confessed.
He sighed and reached over, taking the bread from her hands. "Out with it," he said finally. "You've been quiet ever since we left the mall. Is it because of the phone calls?"
She nodded but couldn't bring her eyes up to meet his.
"Well what about them?" he asked. Before she could answer their food was served and Rory took a few bites before going back to the conversation.
"Nineteen missed calls," she said finally. "Six girls desperately trying to get a hold of you."
"So?" she repeated incredulously. "Logan, I know you're seeing other people and that's fine, I expect that from you, but six? Well, seven including me, that's a little outrageous.
Logan set his fork down and looked at her. "How many missed calls were there again?"
"Right, so, how many of those calls did I answer?"
He sat back in his chair. "So what's the problem? I don't understand Ace."
"Its just tha—"
"Because the way I see it," he interrupted. "If I had answered any of those phone calls and you were right there, you would have a reason to be mad, and even a little, dare I say it, jealous, but I didn't. I picked you up last night and I turned my phone off and didn't give it another thought until you brought it up a little while ago."
She studied her plate as his words sunk in. He had a point and she hated that. She was reminded of their first actual conversation all over again, and just like then, she would have to concede this fight as well.
Or maybe not. She tapped her fork against the plate lightly and then looked up again. "Have you done this for any of them?" she asked suddenly.
"Taken them to dinner?"
"Spent the day with them," she clarified. "Logan, try and deny it if you want, but today was—"
"Fun," he interrupted again. He held her gaze for a moment before speaking again. "We had fun today Rory, but let's not get into anything that might ruin it, okay?"
She nodded slowly. "Fun," she repeated quietly. They ate in silence for a few minutes before Rory pushed her chair back and excused herself to the ladies' room.
Logan watched as she walked away from the table and then looked down at his hands. He had deliberately left her question unanswered, which probably hadn't been the smartest move, considering that the simple truth would have diffused the whole situation and they would have been able to enjoy the rest of their dinner.
The answer was no. No, he hadn't done anything even remotely similar to this for any of the other girls he saw. As far as Rory knew, this had been some spontaneous day that was the result of him carelessly forgetting to set the alarm after a night of drinking.
What she didn't know was how carefully it had been planned out. How he had learned her class schedule, made sure she had no exams, anything due, or any other reason to be in class. He had spoken to all of the professors, letting them know she wouldn't be in there, but stretching the truth so that she wouldn't be penalized for missing the day.
She had no idea that the only reason they even took the day off was because two weeks prior, he had watched her nearly kill herself over research papers and exams and not one, but two articles for the paper. It had been clear she needed a break before she herself broke and he knew she wouldn't do it on her own so he had taken it upon himself to make sure she relaxed, even if it was only one day.
He had no idea why he had done it in the first place. Sure, Colin and Finn would say otherwise and while there would be some truth in their opinions, Logan was still trying to convince himself that he would have done this for any of the other girls in his cell phone.
As if on cue, his phone rang then, startling him out of his thoughts. Jenna flashed on the LCD and he hit the ignore button without a second thought, sending the call directly to voicemail.
In the ladies' room Rory was staring at herself in the mirror when her own cell phone started buzzing in her purse. She opened it up and saw a new text message. She read it slowly and then read it a second time, a smile playing over her lips.
Ace- the other girls don't exist when you're around. L.
She would have read it a fifth time, but by then, she realized she had been gone a long time so she dropped the phone back into her purse and walked back to the table.
"Thought maybe you had ditched me," Logan said as she slid back into her seat across from him.
"Thought about it," she admitted with a grin. They stared at each other for a few moments before Logan winked at her. She ducked her head, smiling and pretty sure she was blushing as well.
"You up for dessert?" Logan asked as they finished their dinner. He laughed at the look she gave him. "Of course you are; what was I thinking?" He signaled for their waiter and ordered dessert for the two of them. The rest of their dinner was spent in a comfortable silence that stayed with them as Logan walked her back to her dorm an hour later.
He stopped just outside her building and turned to her. "So, how much do you hate me?" he asked as he stuck his hands in his pockets and rocked back on his heels.
"Hate you? I don't hate you," she replied.
"Oh. Not even for making you take the day off when you really didn't want to?" He frowned. "I thought you would at least a little."
"Nah." She flipped her hair over her shoulder and shrugged. "Taking the day off was exactly what I needed," she admitted. "Although, somehow, you knew that, didn't you?"
He smirked. "Maybe."
"So what are you doing tonight?"
"Oh I don't know. Probably go back to the pub with the guys. I'd ask if you wanted to come along but I know you're just dying to get to your room and email your classmates for their notes and read all of the material you missed."
She didn't bother denying it. "Well, have fun, show your jeans to Finn." She smirked back at him. "Thanks for today though," she said sincerely. She reached up and kissed him.
"Where did we end up on the I Nevers?" he asked once they separated. She laughed and lifted her shoulders in a shrug.
"We'll call it even," she said decidedly and he nodded, dipping down to kiss her once more.
"I'll see you later," he said. "Don't spend too much time studying tonight." He turned to walk away but only made it a few steps before turning back. "I can't believe I almost forgot."
He grinned and led her into Branford Hall. "I have one last surprise for you and it's supposed to be waiting right…yep, here it is." He bent down in front of her door and picked up a bag. "For you," he said, handing it to her ceremoniously.
She eyed it suspiciously. "What is it?"
"That is everything you missed today. Not only detailed notes from your note buddies, but cassette tapes of the lectures from each class as well."
Rory lifted her eyes from the bag to Logan's face. "Are you serious?" she asked. He nodded and she broke out in her hugest smile of the day. "Logan!" She leaned forward and placed a succession of little kisses on his lips. "You know this is the best thing you could have done, right?" She asked between more kisses.
"I bet I could top it," he countered. He steadied her with one hand on her cheek and gave her one last kiss. "Night Rory." He winked at her and walked away, whistling.
He was such a coward. He decided that halfway back to his own dorm. If he weren't he would still be with Rory right now, telling her that it was time they changed their agreement, that he was tired of seeing other girls. Hell, he wasn't even sure she had gotten his text message though she must have since she had come back to the table smiling. That was another cowardly move, telling her that way and not actually telling her to her face but it had been the best he could do at the time.
By the time he turned around and got back to Rory's dorm she was already in her room and at her desk, reading over her notes. He smiled at her predictability and watched her through the bedroom window for a few moments. He hesitated slightly, knowing that she would probably fall off her chair at the sound of him knocking on the window but he didn't have any other choice. He rapped his knuckles against the window as softly as he could but sure enough, she jumped anyways.
"Miss me already?" she asked dryly as she swung the window open. She stepped to the side and waited as he climbed over the sill.
"Can I tear you away from your studying?"
She shrugged and sat down on the corner of her bed. "You have all day, what's up?"
"Buying a pair of jeans wasn't exactly my big I never moment." The words sounded stupid coming out of his mouth and he almost wished he had eased into it more subtly. Then again, there really was no need for small talk; all day long they had basically been leading up until this exact moment.
"Watching Empire Records was?" She frowned in confusion.
He shook his head. "You asked me at dinner how many girls I had done this before and I didn't exactly answer you."
"Logan, it's okay, you don't have to, it—"
"None," he interrupted quickly. "To all of it."
He nodded. "I've never had a girl wake up next to me in the morning and I've definitely never made her breakfast. I've never spent a morning in bed just watching movies, and I've definitely never gone to all of the trouble I went to making sure today went off perfectly."
"That's a lot of nevers," she remarked quietly.
He cracked a slight smile. "You're telling me." He sat down next to her.
She was studying her hands now. "Why me?"
"Why not you?" he countered, guiding her to look at him. "Ror, you tried to say it yourself at dinner, what we're doing here, let's face it, it's not our original agreement. Like it or not, there's strings now and neither of us has been very good at following the rules." He laced the fingers of one of her hands with his as he spoke. "So the way I see it, we've got two choices here. We can either go back to being just friends or we can move forward into something else but what we can't do is stay where we are, because it stopped working a long time ago. Now I don't know about you, but I don't want to go back to being friends."
"What about the other girls?" she asked doubtfully.
"Are you with me?"
She locked her clear blue eyes onto his brown ones for a few moments before nodding. "Yeah, I'm with you."
"Then they don't matter." He kissed her then, and then stood up. "If I don't go now, you're not going to get any studying done," he explained. He raised an eyebrow at her suggestively. "Unless you don't want to do any studying?"
She laughed and pushed him back towards the window. "I need to study, but I don't have any classes until noon tomorrow, so you could come by again after you leave the pub tonight," she suggested.
"I will be here by two-thirty," he promised, climbing back outside. "Leave the window open?"
She nodded. "Always." She kissed him again. "Good-bye."
"Bye Ace." He started back towards his dorm again.
"Hey Logan?" she had opened the window again to call out to him.
"I've got another I Never for you if you're interested."
"What's that?" He looked at her dancing eyes and mischievous grin curiously.
"You'll never make me banana pancakes again?"
He laughed with her and nodded his head in agreement. "No banana pancakes ever again," he promised.
"Good." She grinned at him and as she closed the window once more he could hear her departing words.
"Blueberry will be just fine!"