Okay guys...First off, my apologies for the very, very long wait in between updates! I know I said I'd have one up for you guys sooner and I haven't so...please...put the guns down...don't shoot! I come bearing a new chapter! lol. Anyway...without further ado, chapter seven! Enjoy!
Rory followed her mother into Luke's. She hadn't said much since they'd started the walk from home, and this did not go unnoticed by Lorelia. She turned, facing Rory as they both seated themselves on stools at the counter.
"You okay, doll?" Lorelia asked, leaning her head to the side in question.
Rory shrugged. "I'm not sure really." She said, sighing loudly. "I just need coffee." She said. "And...Jess." She added as an after thought.
Lorelia smiled lightly at her daughter, nodding her head slowly. "Okay." She said, pushing a strand of chocolate brown hair behind Rory's ear.
They both turned to gain the attention of either Luke or Jess, and if they were lucky, both. Lorelia whistled and Luke turned, facing her with a look of question. She shook her head, disapprovingly.
"Must you question my motives?" She asked, her eyebrow arched.
Luke shook his head, rolling his eyes. "You want coffee." he said.
"You learn well, grasshopper!" Lorelia mocked, giving one slow nod.
Luke gave a deep sigh that came out as more of a growl and went to obtain the coffee, shaking his head in the process.
Rory looked up from picking at the counter top with her fingernail when she heard a noise on the stairs. She looked up, meeting Jess's eyes.
"Hey." He said, nodding his head in her direction. "Lorelia." He added, glancing to Rory's right.
"Hey, Jess." Lorelia said, accepting the cup of coffee Luke set in front of her. "Thank you." She added, nodding to Luke who nodded back, setting a second cup in front of Rory.
"Jess?" Rory asked as he walked over, leaning against the counter beside her and looking over at her.
"Very good, Ror. Glad to see you haven't forgotten my name in the last..." He paused, looking at his bare wrist as if checking the time. "About two hours."
Rory let a smile slip onto her features and shook her head. "Clever, Jess, really." She said and he smirked, shrugging.
"Anyway." He said. "What's up?"
"Could I talk to you?" She asked, standing up off the stool. Jess nodded his agreement and followed her to the door.
"Yeah." He said. "I'll be back, Luke." He added, letting the door swing shut behind him. He motioned for Rory to follow him and headed for the bridge.
When they reached the bridge, Jess sat down, letting his legs dangle over the edge. He patted the wood next to him, telling Rory to join him and she sat beside him, letting her own legs fold underneath her.
"Tristan right?" He asked, looking out over the water at the ducks, swimming along in a line.
She nodded. "Yep." She said. "Tristan."
They sat there for a while, both just thinking, about different aspects of the same situation. Rory frowned, biting down on her bottom lip in concentration. Jess swung his legs back and forth, making a rhythm with his mind. "You love him?" He asked finally.
Rory looked at him. "You know that I do, Jess. I love all..."
"No." He said, shaking his head to cut her off. "That's not what I mean, Rory. You know what I mean."
She sighed, nodding. "I know." She whispered. He looked at her, his expression serious, concerned. He watched her for a while, waiting for an answer.
After a couple minutes, Rory nodded her head slowly. "I do." She said, quietly. "I think I love him." She looked up at him and he smiled.
"Then what are you so stressed about, Rory?" He asked, giving her a playful push on the shoulder. "He loves you back."
Rory bit her bottom lip, nodding.
"What?" Jess asked, leaning back and raising an eyebrow in her direction.
She shrugged her shoulders. "I don't know." She said. "It just seems...I don't know...too easy."
Jess chuckled. "Rory, this has been anything but easy, trust me. You have no idea how long it's taken Logan, Lorelia, and I to get to realize that you actually have feelings for Tristan. Easy..." He said. "Has nothing to do with you and Tristan."
Rory laughed. "Thanks, Jess." She said.
He frowned. "For what?" He asked, confusion lacing his features.
She shrugged. "All of it."
He nodded his head slowly in comprehension. "It's my job, right. Best friend duties."
Rory smiled. "Well still, thank you."
"Anytime, Rory." He said. "Anytime."
They sat there for a few more minutes before Jess stood, offering her a hand up, which she gratefully accepted. "Now go call, Tristan."
"How did you,...you know what, never mind." She said. "I don't even want to ask."
Jess laughed, throwing his head back and shaking it slightly. He turned, locking his eyes on hers. "Can you handle this, or is talking on the phone too scary for you?" He asked, mocking seriousness.
Rory rolled her eyes, reaching out to smack him, but he pulled back just in time for her hand to miss his stomach. "I can do it by myself, thank you." She said, turning away and heading back to her house, pulling out her cell phone in the process.
She pressed in his number and listened to the phone ring. After three rings she heard his voice from the other end. "Hello, Mary."
She smiled. "Hey, Tris. What's up?" She asked, opening the door to her house and stepping inside.
"Ladies first, Mary." He said.
Rory chuckled, plopping herself down onto the couch and running a hand through her hair. "What's up with me?" she asked. "I'm returning your phone call, Tristan."
"Whatever you say, Mary." He said, and she could hear his smirk through the phone. For a few seconds she didn't respond. "Okay." Tristan said, finally. "I give. I'll tell you why I called you."
She smiled. "Good." She said, waiting for him to continue.
"I was going to ask a favor of you."
Rory nodded. "Hmm...were you?" She asked, slowly, trying to contain the smile in her voice. "And what favor might that be?"
"Since you, as far as I know, have no date for the very, ridiculously lame school dance on Saturday, and I have no date for the aforementioned event, I was wondering if you would consider being my date."
Rory paused, letting the information that she'd already known was coming, sink into her brain. "Yes." She said. "I would be honored to be your date, Tris."
"Yeah?" He asked and she could hear the smile in his voice as she nodded.
"Yeah." She confirmed.
"Good." He said. "So, what are your plans for the evening, Mary?"
Rory sighed, shrugging her shoulders. "I was thinking I'd hitchhike to Chicago, get into a couple of bars, do some shots of straight vodka, get ridiculously drunk, and probably go home with some guy named Harold, who looks really good with all the alcohol floating around in my system." She said, pausing for a moment before going on. "Just kidding, I'm not sure." She said. "Probably...talk to you for a while, talk to Jess, possibly to Logan, and then go to bed. Most likely some reading will come up somewhere in there also."
Tristan laughed. "That's thoroughly predictable." He said, nodding his head. "Just make sure Harold doesn't have a wife and kids."
"Okay." She said. "I can live with that." She said. "What about you? What are your plans tonight, Tristan?"
"Talk to you for a while, then to Logan, a chapter of the Great Gatsby, and sleep." He said. "Pretty lame night."
"Eh, about like mine." She said. "Look at the bright side." She offered. "You get to talk to me."
"How right you are, Mary. My night would be a complete waste without being able to hear your voice." He teased and she laughed.
"I know. I'm so glad that I was here to save the day. But you do need to learn how to manage the bat cave by yourself one of these days, Robin."
Tristan chuckled. "Yes, Batman." He said, and she thought there could possibly be a mock salute going on in the background.
"Very good." She said. "But, I think I'm going to hang up for tonight. I still have to call Jess and maybe Logan, and I'm pretty tired already. I'll see you at school, Tris."
"Night Mary." He said. "Sleep tight."
Rory smiled, nodding. "You too Tristan. Sweet dreams." She said, pulling her cell phone away from her ear and snapping it closed, leaning back against the couch and closing her eyes. She reached back for the phone and pressed in Jess's number, holding it to her ear to wait for a response.
"You called him." Jess's voice came through the earpiece.
"I did." She confirmed.
"We are going to the dance together on Saturday. He has no idea that I have feelings for him, and I'm almost positive that he's thinking this will just be a friend/friend date." She explained.
Jess sighed. "Well, he'll figure it out one way or another."
"I suppose he will." Rory agreed. "I hope you're right about this, Jess."
"And when have I ever not been right, Rory?"
"The time you told Logan that his tongue would not stick to that metal post. The smoke bomb disaster of 05. The orange sweater incident in the ninth grade..." She paused. "Need I go on?"
"No." He said. "That's enough. Okay, so I've been wrong a few times, but trust me on this one Rory, Tristan Dugrey is head over heels in love with you."
"You promise?" She asked.
"Cross my heart." He said.
"Okay. I'm trusting you on this one, Mariano."
"Night, Gilmore." He said.
"Night." She said, smiling and flipping her cell phone closed. She considered calling Logan then but decided that sending him a text message would be much easier.
--goin to dance w/ Tristan--
--good for u, ace!--
--thx! goin to bed now. nite!--
--sweet dreams, ace!--
Rory closed her cell phone, setting it on her bedside table and picking up Pride and Prejudice for about the millionth time.
She opened it to the marker and began scanning the page for the part that she wanted to read. She settled back into her pillows and engrossed herself in the book, forgetting her surroundings and the world around her. So much so, that she didn't even notice herself fall asleep.
She woke up the next morning to the sound of her alarm and hit the snooze button, rolling over and sitting up slowly, letting her feet just barely brush the carpet.
She stood up, and made her way into the bathroom, dragging her Chilton uniform along behind her.
Ten minutes later she was sitting at the kitchen table, coffee in one hand and a pop-tart in the other, waiting for Jess to come pick her up.
She sat patiently at the table until she heard the front door open.
Rory walked into the living room and met Jess in the hallway. "You ready for this?" He asked.
She sighed, shrugging and giving him a smile. "Just another day in Hell." She said. "Just one with more possible complications." She added and he laughed, nodding and letting her exit before him.
Jess opened the car door for her and then went around the hood to the other side, climbing in beside her and glancing over at her while starting the car.
"Okay." He said, leaning back in his seat. "On to the fire pits?"
Rory nodded, keeping her focus straight forward. "Bring it on." She said, chuckling and Jess smiled, nodding his head and pulling out of her driveway, Chilton bound.
And there you have it. Chapter Seven, up and finished. It wasn't as long as I would've liked it to be and I'm not sure how much I really like this chapter, but it needed to be written...so there you are. I hope you liked it...and please don't forget to provide me with my much needed review fix! Love you all! You're amazing!