"I can't believe that you're here, and I can't believe that you're leaving
in just 26 hours and 45 minutes."
"That's an entire lifetime to a fruitfly."
"Actually, you're thinking of a mayfly."
"…when it comes to debts versus equities, they're screwed! They have no liquidity, huge expenses, zero revenue…I mean, the target advertising potential alone…" He was momentarily distracted from his spiel by Rory staring at him with a bemused expression on her face. "What? What are you staring at?"
"You, Mr. Debt-versus-equity!" It was a side of him that was so new to her. His face had become animated but serious, his voice passionate. He was beautiful, the tiny lights strewn on the plants around them—or was it the stars?—reflecting in his eyes. Beautiful…and he was talking about the financial status of some hapless Internet company.
"Are you mocking me?"
"Yeah, but…I like it, tell me more about this, um...'targeted advertising potential'." Rory knit her brows, her blue eyes huge with mock earnestness. Sweet, Logan thought.
"Well, what do you want to know?" Logan lowered his voice a notch. "There's pay per click, pay per lead, banner ads, pixel tagging…"
"Oh stop, I'm getting weak at the knees…" She sighed and half-flopped onto the cushions in a Scarlett O'Hara surrender.
Logan laughed, pulling her head closer for a kiss. As Rory leaned into him, opening her mouth for him, thoughts of fruitflies and mayflies, the jet lag he had been fighting, the tension surrounding the upcoming acquisition, evaporated from his head. Rory was here. He could smell the subtle lavender in her hair and the fabric softener on her sweater; he could taste the oak-y red wine in her mouth. He felt slightly drunk with the scent and taste and mere physical existence of her.
Rory put her palm against Logan's neck as he deepened their kiss and swept his tongue in her mouth. She felt his pulse against her hand—so strong, so here—as she lay back on the cushions and pulled on his arm to follow her. Logan groaned against her mouth as he felt her body shift and lengthen under him. Her left thigh was caught between his legs; his pelvis hard against her hip.
His mouth broke its contact with hers as it trailed kisses down her chin and neck. "Rory," he murmured, nuzzling her neck as one hand tentatively felt for the edge of her sweater. So tentative, as if it were all so new. "It's been so long…"
Already missing his mouth on hers, Rory dropped kisses on whatever part of him she could reach, his forehead, ears, eyelids, hair. "I missed you," she murmured back.
She tugged his shirt out of his slacks and flattened her cool hand against his warm abdomen. His breath caught. "My knees are now officially weaker than yours," he whispered against her mouth, capturing it again in a more urgent—harder—kiss. His hand caressed her stomach and swept up to tease the underside of her breasts with his thumb. "Good thing we don't have to get up and walk downstairs."
Rory's eyelids flew open and her hand stopped moving on Logan's chest. "What?" she whispered. "Logan, we can't…we're…it's open air…" Her face was flushed, from passion or the idea of making love on the rooftop, Logan couldn't tell. Either way, she looked beautiful and he wanted her even more.
"Who's gonna see, Ace?" he chuckled, brushing strands of hair off her face and capturing her lower lip between his. Despite her reservations about the appropriateness of their location, she automatically responded, kissing him back and curling her fingers in his hair.
"Star gazers…clueless British sods thinking there might be a meteor shower tonight…" Rory murmured, as Logan slowly, almost reverently lifted her sweater to reveal her torso, so pale in the moonlight. He bent his head to press kisses and flick a trail with his tongue up to her chest. "…depressed college students contemplating flinging themselves…off… the rooftop…" Her eyes shut and her breathing became shallow as Logan's mouth crept up with painstaking slowness. "George our doorman…on some rendezvous…" Logan's head had finally reached her breasts, but Rory still wouldn't lift her body to let him unhook her bra. So he deliberately stroked her hardened nipple with his tongue through the cotton, before taking it into his mouth. Rory gasped at the wet heat that sent her nerve endings ringing with pleasure, her hips instinctively moving against his as he sucked, her thighs rubbing against his hardness.
Then Logan abruptly stopped his ministrations, eliciting a frustrated whimper from Rory and a painful tug on his hair. "Didn't I say earlier that I would move the cosmos for you? Meteor shower or no meteor shower."
"Arrogant," Rory said, rolling her eyes. "Tease," she added, as Logan half-sat to shrug off his jacket. "Logan…downstairs…" Again, self-conscious, she pulled her sweater back down.
"Rory, you know how thorough I am. I assure you that no one will be coming up the roof tonight," he said, sitting back on his heels and removing his dress shirt. He smiled at her, challenging her. "The stars are yours," he said, gesturing widely with his arms.
Rory considered Logan, golden and happy against the backdrop of black sky, and let one last heartbeat of hesitation pass. Twenty-six hours. "And you are mine," she simply said in turn, finally raising her arms to help Logan rid her of her clothes.
They are famous for their fragile beauty and short lifespan, usually a single day to mate, and then they die. The poignant drama of the mayfly…their entire life and purpose for being crammed in those precious few hours.
There was something strangely exhilarating about making love on a rooftop. She imagined it to be the stuff of love songs, the type she never listens to, or something out of the pages of a sweeping, sappy romance novel, the kind she's never read. The fall air was crisp and cool. And as sweater and jeans were peeled away, her body felt more exposed and vulnerable, alive and new, than ever before.
He immediately covered her body with his, and they both exhaled sharply at the skin-to-skin contact. "Cold?" he whispered, pulling a throw over them.
"Hot," she replied, a bit cheekily, as she placed her feet on the back of his calves and cupped his hardness at the juncture between her legs, nudging.
"Rory, stop," he groaned against her neck. "It won't take much you know…it's been 4 and-a-half months of your texts and phone calls feeding my fantasies, and now…" He shut his eyes in concentration, touching his forehead to hers. "I need to make this worth the wait for you; make it last another couple of months."
She held his face in her hands and kissed him, her lips opening under his as her tongue boldly played with his for some moments, before she pulled away. "Logan, that's sweet of you, but if you insist on taking the slow route…" She tugged at his hand resting on her hip, ever so subtly, leading it to her center. "…I'll push you off the roof. I'm dying here too, you know…you've made me long ready, even from London, and as soon as I saw you…" And so she was. Almost as soon as he traced a finger against her folds, pushing in slightly to feel her already wet, then she started to shudder. He had no idea she was already orgasmic. Trying to keep her steady where she was, he gently inserted one, two, fingers rhythmically inside her, as he bent his head to lave a nipple with his tongue. He kept in check his own painful desire to be deep inside her, but then she began to moan, and her sounds alone nearly did make him go over the edge, off of the roof. She lifted her hips against his hand, trying to make him intensify the pressure, bring her where she needed to go. "Please…please…Logan," she started to pant quietly, grasping his head as he sucked fully on her breast. He brought his fingers out and up, wet with her, to finally flick and then press against her clit. Her hand clamped around his wrist, holding it there, as her body shook under him, her moaning muffled against his hair. She continued to thrust against his hand, and he let her go, watching her now as her head fell back on the pillow, stretching her neck. Her mouth slightly open, her face totally lost and awash in pleasure. The facial expression he had envisioned night and again when they graduated from text sex to phone sex.
As her body drifted back down, down to the rooftop, she became aware that he was watching her intently. "That was hot," he smiled, and she still felt herself flush. Naked in 50-degree weather, and they both had a light patina of sweat. She pulled his head down and kissed his neck, as if to hide her sudden shyness. "I…well, that was quick. I'm sorry; I guess it really doesn't take much to make me happy…just you, and…"
"Just me? Well I'm gratified. I thought it might have been the second helping of flan…" He kissed her softly on her mouth, then started slowly moving downwards again, pressing soft, slightly sucking kisses on her neck, shoulders, breasts, stomach. He spent longer moments in the sensitive area around her belly button, dipping his tongue in the indentation and licking around it. Her body was tight and taut, like a well-played string to his bow; she knew what was coming next.
"Logan," she whispered urgently, trying to pull his head back up. "Wait…what about you?" Already he was arranging himself between her legs, hooking her thighs over his shoulders. "It doesn't take much to make me happy either, Rory." He kissed lower, his chin tickling the patch of hair below her pelvis. He murmured against her thigh. "This makes me happy." His eyes watched her, as he turned his head to the side to kiss her inner thigh. She seemed like she was holding her breath, her eyes glazed over in anticipation, looking at him. Her hands were clenching and unclenching on her thighs, fighting the urge to put them on his head.
"And I thought one second helping deserves another…" With that, he finally lowered his mouth to her. She was left with the vision of his blonde head moving between her open legs, the feel of his breath on extremely sensitive flesh, before turning her head up to stare at the lights in the sky. He opened her with his thumbs, pressing in with long, languid licks from her cunt to the base of her clit. She didn't realize it, but she was exhaling fitfully, loudly, her chest heaving with every stroke of his tongue. She wasn't aware of anything but his tongue and the maelstorm of pressure growing from under it. Her fingers curled in his hair and he let her guide him upward; with the press of her hands, he knew whether she wanted it slower or faster, firmer or gentler, licking or sucking. Even in this, she had learned to tell him what she wanted, and he reveled in it. There. His tongue on her clit. Licking first, then gently sucking, his tongue swirling around it…and she was gasping loudly, panting his name, as her hips bucked up against his mouth. The stars were bright against her closed eyelids, and she rode out the immense waves of pleasure ripping through her. It was almost painful, in a crazy way, like she was being torn apart.
But he was there. In the aftermath, he held her tightly in his arms, and she was whole, not broken. "God, you're so beautiful, Rory. I missed being that close to you," he murmured against her hair. She turned to look at him, wiping his mouth with her palm, and she felt overwhelmed suddenly by a wave of sadness. "Oh, Logan. I wish so much that you didn't have to go."
They just lay there for some moments, arms around each other; his leg between hers, her cheek wet against his chest. Then she realized how hard he was against her leg, still needing her. She folded her hand around him, squeezing lightly, her palm caressing the length. "But how selfish of me. I don't believe I've given you a decent welcome home." He emitted a low grunt, his eyes already shut and body braced at her hand on him. Her thumb rotated on the head of his penis, already slick, and she used that wetness to smoothen her grip on him as she pumped him rhythmically with her fist, pausing now and then to encircle and rub the sensitive area under the head. Her other hand reached under to gently cup his testicles, and her mouth latched on to the pulse at his neck, sucking in time with her hand.
His mind was putty, if not emptied, at her ministrations. The sensations were staggering, swelling. "God. Rory. I can't…I'm about to…" He removed her hands and turned her over on her back. "Thank you for your welcome, but I need to fuck you now." He talked that way, a bit crudely, when he was losing control. It excited her terribly; it made her seem wanton and powerful. She raised her legs alongside his torso, linking her ankles at his butt as he lifted her hips with one hand to enter her in one smooth, long stroke. They both groaned at the feel of him being inside her, a part of her; she felt full of him. After so long, she was tighter than ever, and she felt herself, her insides, expanding to receive him. He pulled out and drove in, ever deeper and faster, as she tightened and unclenched around him. "Fuck…so good, love, God, so good…Rory," he whispered. They breathed fitfully against each other's mouths and kissed frantically, her hands clasping his hair and back. He felt himself breaking, and so he bent his head and sucked on her breast, knowing that would take her along with him. And they convulsed and clung to each other, and shattered and came together on the rooftop.
The stars were theirs.
Do mayflies know when they're about to die? Do they simply drop from the sky, in the midst of dizzying, happy flight? Or do they drift down and lie painfully on the ground, awaiting the end of a lifetime?
Logan had thrown on his clothes and wrapped Rory around their thick blanket. The temperature had dropped several more degrees, and now that their bodies were spent, the air slapped them with the colder reality. They would be catching hypothermia if they didn't come down from the roof.
Rory looked around the remains of their dinner wistfully, as Logan scooped her up in both arms, staggering unsteadily on his feet. "Ahem, still weak at the knees, hm…?" she teased him.
"Smug much, are we? I'm not the one who needs to be carried," he retorted, walking tentatively down the stairwell.
"Well, this is certainly the capper to a romantic evening. Being carried over the threshold of our apartment…" Her eyes were laughing as she looked at him, not realizing the weight of her words until a heartbeat later. He busied himself with the door, uncertain about how to respond. When he lifted his head to look at her, her eyes were turned away. He kissed her cheek, kissed her hair. Pushing the door closed behind him with his foot, he strode across their living room to their bed. She felt heavy, but pleasantly so, in his arms.
They lay on their bed now, their arms around each other, still. As if, by not moving or speaking, the moment can be preserved in suspended animation. Rory's head was on his chest, listening as his heart and breathing slowed. She realized he was falling asleep; it was four in the morning in London, after all. And twenty-three hours to go. She'll let him sleep. For now, she thought. She was high on adrenaline, high on him, and she fully intended to milk his homecoming for all it was worth.
"Love you, Ror…," Logan murmured out of the quiet, surprising Rory, as he turned to lie on his stomach, his face against the crook of her neck. "Don't think I've told you that yet today…" It was easier to remember over the phone, almost routinary and scripted, love-you-bye. And then he was out, asleep. He didn't know it yet, but though Rory will touch him awake again in a couple of hours, it was to be the deepest and most restful sleep he'd have experienced in four months. While Rory remained wide-eyed, memorizing the rhythm of his breath, the shades of blonde and brown on his head, the angle of the bone jutting out of his elbow on top of her stomach.
She had it down pat, this whole long-distance relationship thing, and she was more pulled together than she ever was over the summer. Phone calls and texts, talk of dry blueberry scones and NickBobbyPhillip, the neon pink and yellow of her new highlighters and post-its, Paris and Lane's sex lives, her mother and father, the wonder of London cabs and Picadilly Circus, Luke's new baseball cap, YDN and the Nigels. Logan laughing in her ear. All seamlessly woven into her newly busy days. Always another day closer to the holidays, to Logan.
But now he was here, and she didn't foresee that it would be akin to stepping back to square one, to the night before he left, when she lay awake to watch him sleep until she fell asleep herself. She almost regretted him coming, but then immediately took it back, lest the gods of good fortune smite her and take him away. She burrowed closer against Logan instead. I miss you already.
Perhaps there is something to be said about being a mayfly after all. Then she wouldn't have to see him leave in the morrow.