CHAPTER ONE-THE PERFECT KISS
For every person, there is one moment in life which was so indescribably perfect, that you wish you could pause and play it over and over again. For Rory Gilmore, one specific moment found itself playing on a constant loop in her mind a lot lately. Despite everything which had happened over the last couple of days, that kiss was all she could think about, as she sat alone in the darkened bedroom of her best friend's brother. As the Graduation/Going away party continued downstairs, Rory had drifted away from the others, not really able to enjoy her achievements at graduating as Valedictorian of Chilton Private School. As much as she was proud of herself and happy that the torture of high school was over, she was equally sad at the finality of it all. She was off to Yale in three months time. Away from her mother and her quirky little town. She would be leaving behind everything she knew and that scared her. Another reason for her being sad, was the fact that she had just been unceremoniously dumped by her boyfriend, Jess, without so much as a goodbye. He had just left town. He ran away. He ran away from her, leaving her to pick up the pieces.
However, the fact that she was sitting alone in one of the many bedrooms of this fortress they call a home, not thinking about having been dumped or leaving the security of her mother behind, but instead thinking about a kiss, might surprise many people. It surprised Rory herself to a certain extent. But when you consider the fact that the giver of said kiss was someone whom she had had a humungous crush on whilst growing up, and was leaving the country for a whole year the very next day, it may be slightly more understandable.
It wasn't even her first kiss. That had occurred when she was sixteen in Doosey's grocery store, of all places, with her first real boyfriend, Dean. It wasn't even her most passionate kiss, most of those she had experienced with Jess. But, it was her most memorable kiss. It was the kiss that she looked back on and felt the butterflies all over again. It was a kiss which she swore she could still feel on her lips sometimes. It was the kiss which she compared all other kisses too. It was slow and lingering, building up to a more passionate and intense crescendo. But full of friendly innocence on his part, she was sure. But for her it was the perfect moment. The perfect kiss. One which, although she rarely saw him much afterwards, could still make her blush profusely whenever he was around. Just thinking about it now warmed her heart.
She had been sitting in the library for most of the night, fully engrossed in the copy of 'Catcher In The Rye,' she had found. Everyone else was in the pool house, drinking and indulging in whatever crazy game Finn had devised. It wasn't really her scene. She'd much rather curl up in front of the burning fire with a good book to keep her occupied. It was a week before Christmas and Honour, her best friend from Chilton, had invited her over as her parents were out of town, and her brother and his friends were home for the holidays. As much as she had convinced herself that she was over her little schoolgirl crush on Logan, and was happy with Jess, seeing him again had brought all the old awkward and uncomfortable feelings crashing back to her full force. The blushing, the sweaty palms, the constant rambling in his presence was too much for her, so she had retreated to her safe haven, the library. The library was her favourite place in the whole, wide world. It was her escape. She could fully immerse herself in a different world and not have to deal with any agonising crushes she had on completely unattainable people.
"Why is it that whenever I see you, you have your head stuck in a book?" Rory looked up, as she heard the all too familiar voice , startling her from her thoughts. It was Logan. He was standing, leaning nonchalantly against the doorframe, with a huge smirk on his face. She recognised the teasing, playful tone in his voice and felt her face turn a brighter shade of crimson. She tried her hardest to hold it back but she was fighting a losing battle. However, Rory was determined that she wouldn't be one of those annoying, idiotic, airheads who practically fainted when an attractive boy looked their way. Nope, she would give him as good as she got. She used all her strength to look up at him, as he approached her and gave him a devastating smile.
"Why is it that whenever I see you, you have your tongue stuck down some poor girls throat?" He laughed, his smile highlighting the mesmerising dimples on his cheeks, which made her melt right on cue.
"Touché!" He replied, as he moved over beside the grand fireplace. Rory returned to her book, but from the corner of her eye she watched him. She watched as the glow from the fire hit off his beautiful blonde hair and caused his warm, chocolate brown eyes to shine back at her.
"So what are you reading there, Ace?" He walked towards her as she pretended to ignore him. He closed over the book to see the front cover, before returning the book to the page she had been re-reading, ever since he had entered the room. "'Catcher In The Rye' I'm impressed."
"You've read it?'" Rory closed the book over, fed up trying to pretend she could focus on it while Logan was in her presence. He leaned against the frame of the fireplace, as his smile grew wider.
"Oh yeah, me and Holden go way back. Old friends. That book got me through some pretty rough times as a kid."
Rory stood up, eyeing him sceptically as she joined him. She didn't know what was drawing her more, the handsome blonde or the heat from the fire.
"Umm, nothing…" She hesitated. "I just didn't think that you read anything other than the drink's menu at the pub."
"Oh really." Logan moved closer towards her, warming his hands over the fire. Rory felt her whole body warming up, as he stood inches away. She could smell his aftershave. Closing her eyes, she let his scent wash over her almost making her dizzy.
"Well, I guess I'm not just some dumb, rich, pretty boy after all." He teased, turning to face her. Rory opened her eyes and looked at him straight on.
"I never said pretty." She insisted, trying to sound steady and calm, all the while screaming inside. "Dumb and rich, sure. But 'Pretty'…" She paused, looking him up and down, as if trying hard to decide. "…Not so much."
Logan furrowed his brows and brought his hand to his chest. "Ace, now that hurts."
"You'll get over it." She told him, rolling her eyes. "In fact, aren't there some members of your fan club in the other room? I'm sure they'd be more than willing to ease that already over-inflated ego of yours."
Logan's trademark smirk crept over his features again, as he leaned in closer. "Jealous?"
Rory felt her whole body shiver at his husky voice. She had to summon up all of her reserves to stop herself from keeling over right there. 'Jess,' she thought to herself. 'Think of your boyfriend, don't let Logan affect you like this.'
"Shouldn't you be getting back to the party? I'm sure they're missing your presence." She said, changing the subject, which did not go unnoticed by Logan.
"I could say the same about you, Ace." He crossed his arms over his chest. "You're missing all the fun." Rory shrugged her shoulders.
"Playing 'Spin the Bottle' isn't exactly my idea of fun. I'd much rather be in here with all these books to keep me company." She turned back so she was facing the fire, but she could feel his eyes on her. The intensity of his gaze on her was almost as fierce as the flames that roared from the fireplace. He laughed.
"You really need to get out more, you know." He shoved his hands in his pockets, as he spoke. "Go see the sights. Live a little. There is a whole world out there, Ace. Its just waiting for you to go and discover it."
"I think Christopher Columbus already did." He smiled at her quick wit, before shaking his head.
"You know what I mean. Connecticut is way too small for someone like you, Rory."
Rory's heart stilled a little. 'He called me Rory. He never calls me Rory.' Somehow hearing him refer to her as Rory made her stomach do somersaults. He always called her 'Ace' It was his little pet name for her. He had started calling her by that particular nickname shortly after they had first met and she had told him about her ambitions to be an overseas correspondent. He had asked to read some of the articles she had written for 'The Franklin', and had soon after started calling her 'Ace,' as in an Ace reporter. He was the only one who called her it. She liked the fact that he did, it made her feel special.
"Rory!" She heard him speaking to her, as she drifted back from her thoughts. She blushed a little, as he looked at her questioningly.
"Daydreaming about me again, I see." He smirked at her, as she tried to focus back again.
"I see that pesky ego of yours needs no help after all."
"Hey, I cant help it if you find me irresistible, Ace." He raised his hands, as he replied with a serious look on his face. Rory could feel her face redden again, but rolled her eyes at his arrogance.
"You, Logan Huntzberger, have way to high an opinion of yourself." She said, raising her head in the air, trying to give off the vibe that he had no affect on her whatsoever.
"And you, Rory Gilmore, have to start living more for the moment and take more chances."
"I take chances!" She was insistent. She didn't want him to think that she was just some shy, timid, little mouse who played it safe her whole life.
"I don't have to prove anything to you, Logan." She could feel herself starting to get slightly annoyed at his insistence, and wished that he would just leave it alone.
"So, then you wont mind helping me out with my dare." She looked at him curiously, trying to work out if he was serious.
"What are you talking about?"
"Steph dared me to come in here and kiss you." Rory let his words sink in, before she tried to fully comprehend what he was saying.
"I'm sorry, what?" She couldn't quite process the information she was receiving.
"I was dared to come in here and kiss you." He repeated his words slowly, watching her closely for her reaction. She blinked for a few seconds.
"Jess, I have a Jess. I mean…I have a boyfriend." She said nervously. "I…I cant just go around kissing random guys." Logan's smile faded a little.
"I'm hardly some random guy, Ace. Besides, its just a dare. Its not like I'm going to throw you down and have my way with you right here in the library."
"Logan…" He cut her off.
"Its one kiss. It doesn't mean anything. Jess doesn't even have to know." She couldn't believe she was even giving this idea the slightest consideration, but then again, she couldn't believe she was so against it. This was Logan. The boy she had fantasised about for so long and he was standing in front of her, asking her to kiss him. She felt herself blush again and then looked him in the eye.
"One kiss?" Logan smiled, as he nodded his head.
"Come on, Ace. You'd be helping me out big time. If I go back in there forfeiting, God knows what they'll make me do." He spoke sincerely. "I'll probably have to make out with Honour and that's just wrong." Rory laughed at that thought. Honour would not thank her if that was to happen. Maybe she could just do it. Kiss him. She looked at him and then sighed.
"Okay." Her voice was almost a whisper. "One kiss." Logan smiled, knowing that he'd won her over, finally. " But I want to make it very clear that I'm only doing this for Honour's benefit."
"Absolutely." He assured her, as he moved closer towards her. Rory could feel her heart racing, as he stood before her. Her lips were already tingling in anticipation. She nervously bit her bottom lip, as he stood before her. Raising his hand to cup her face, their eyes locked, his face inched ever closer, until she could feel his warm breath on her skin. And then he kissed her. Her breathe hitched at the contact .His lips gently found hers, and slowly and softly he kissed her. Rory moved her hands to his sides, holding on to him for dear life as she could feel her legs turn into jelly. He started to place open mouthed kisses on her lips to which she responded in kind. She placed her hands on his chest, as he wrapped his arms around her, pulling her in closer against him. All the while, neither ever losing contact with the other. The kiss, which started out as something gentle and innocent, began to intensify, as it became more passionate. They both seemed to lose themselves to the kiss. He tried to deepen it, as his tongue seeked entrance into her warm mouth. She was so caught up in the moment, that she more than willingly allowed him entry. He pulled her flush against him, as their tongues caressed each others. Her brain was mush. She couldn't think straight. She didn't want to think straight. All she knew was that she was kissing Logan Huntzberger and she never wanted it to stop. She loved the touch of his hands, as they roamed over her back. The taste of his lips, the feel of his heartbeat racing in his chest. She felt alive. More alive than she had ever felt before. More alive than she had ever felt with Dean or Jess. 'Oh God Jess.' His image raced into her mind, as she continued to let Logan suck the soul out of her.
How could she do this to Jess? Her boyfriend. After everything they had been through to get together, here she was making out with her best friend's brother in their family's library. But she couldn't stop. She couldn't bring herself to pull away. Logan was everything she had ever wanted, but she couldn't bring herself to stop kissing him for the sake of her boyfriend.
Logan pulling away, brought her out of her thoughts. They were both panting heavily, trying to catch their breath. She kept her eyes closed, as she sighed heavily, before looking into Logan's beautiful, brown eyes. He smiled at her, but neither spoke. They just stood in silence, trying to figure out what just happened. As both their heart rates began to return to normal, he surprised her when he grabbed the hem of his shirt, and began pulling it over his head to reveal his naked torso. Rory practically jumped back, incredulous at his actions. Did he think that they were going to go further? She definitely wasn't ready for that.
"What the hell do you think you're doing?" She asked, her voice raising slightly higher. Logan looked at her and smirked.
"What does it look like I'm doing? I'm taking off my clothes." He said, as if it was the most obvious and sane thing in the world. Rory was pretty sure she was going to pass out, as he began unbuckling his belt, as well as unbuttoning and unzipping his pants.
"Look Logan, I don't think…"
At the horrified look on her face, he couldn't stop himself from laughing.
"Ace, the kiss wasn't the dare." He revealed, pushing down his pants, leaving him in only his black boxers. She could feel herself get very hot, as she took in the site of his half-naked appearance. He stood before her in all his glory - well almost - with a big smirk on his face, watching her as she checked him out.
"What?" She asked, registering that he had said something to her.
"I said, the kiss wasn't the dare. I just wanted to see if you would do it." Rory threw her head up, looking at him in complete disbelief. "Steph dared Colin, Finn and I to run around in the snow, butt-assed naked." At that, he headed towards the door, after picking up his stuff . He stopped at the doorway and looked back at Rory, who was still in shock. He laughed. "I wanted to see if you would take a chance."
"You coming, Ace?" No response. "This is your chance to see me naked." He told her in a sing-song voice. Rory just looked after him, as he left and headed back to join his friends. She brushed her finger tips softly over her still-tingling lips and sighed.
"So, who are you hiding from?"
Rory was startled from her thoughts, as she looked up to see the man she had just been thinking of, standing at the door. He was dressed in black from head to toe, and she had to admit, he looked very hot. His black shirt was tight against his ripped stomach, showing his toned physique. His blonde hair was mussed up just the way he liked it, and she could only imagine how good he must smell. As her eyes roamed over his body, finally resting on his face, she noticed his brown eyes staring back at her. His trademark smirk still in place, she could feel herself blush and knew that he noticed too.
"What's the matter, Ace? Cat got your tongue?" He peeled himself from the doorframe, and moved into the bedroom. Closing the door behind him, Rory - realising that she still hadn't spoken since he appeared - desperately tried to think of something clever or witty to say. Her mind was blank. All she could think about was how good he looked and how good that kiss had been, all those months ago.
"I was just…thinking!" She replied, finally. He raised an eyebrow at her, as he picked up some of his things from the floor.
"You weren't thinking about me now, were you Ace?" Rory was sure her face was now the colour of beetroot. 'Was he psychic?' she wondered. Trying to stay calm, she shrugged off his comment and rolled her eyes. Logan laughed. Rory suddenly remembered that she was in Logan's bedroom, and that if he was here, it would probably mean that he was expecting company. She started to get up.
"Where you going, Ace?" He questioned her, furrowing his brows.
"I'm just going to the party. I don't want to cramp your style." She hastily made her way to the door. Logan watched her, confused.
"Cramp my style? How could you possibly cramp my style?"
"Well, I assume you have some girl waiting for the 'all clear'."
Logan's smile widened, reaching his eyes.
"No girl Ace. I just came up to change my shirt. Finn soaked it when he decided to show everyone how talented he is by balancing his glass on his nose." Rory laughed slightly as a vision of Finn, the crazy Australian, entered her mind.
"Still, I'll just get out of your way."
"What, are you afraid to be alone with me or something?" He headed towards his closet, opened it and pulled out a blue shirt.
"No, of course not." She replied, only slightly lying.
"So then stay. I'm leaving tomorrow. You are not going to see me for a whole year." He told her, as he grabbed the hem of his soaked shirt, pulling it over his head to reveal his washboard stomach and glistening, tanned torso. Rory's jaw dropped at the sight before her.
"You should make the most of this opportunity to be in my presence." He finished as he threw the wet shirt on the floor, and replaced it with the baby blue, button-up shirt from his closet. Rory stared at him, as he buttoned up the shirt. He looked even more incredible. She had always liked him in blue. It complimented his hair and skin tone. He looked hot. She sighed louder than she wanted to, as she caught his attention. Logan looked up, narrowing his eyes. He tried to gage what she was thinking.
"You okay, Ace?" His voice was full of concern. Rory smiled, as she noticed the sincerity in those warm eyes of his. She nodded.
"I'm fine." Logan looked at her for a few seconds, before continuing.
"Honour told me about Jess. He's a punk. You want me to kick his ass?" Rory smiled at his offer and remembered how much he and Jess hadn't gotten along. Logan had always been quite protective of both her and Honour.
"That's okay. Besides, I think that would be quite hard seeing as he is in California." He moved closer to her, having successfully buttoned up his fresh shirt.
"Hey, I am Logan Huntzberger. I have connections." He said seriously, grasping her shoulders with both hands. Rory laughed quietly.
"Sorry. I forgot about you being in cahoots with the mafia."
"Hey, I'm just saying. It can be arranged. He'll be swimming with the fishes tonight. Just say the word." He told her in a mock Mafioso voice, making her laugh. Logan smiled, as he brushed a strand of her hair from her face. Rory swore her heart stopped at his intimate gesture. They stood in silence for a few seconds. Rory remembered the last time they were this close to one another, it had been the night he dared her to kiss him. Logan broke the silence.
"The offer stands Ace. Even if I am on a boat in the middle of the Atlantic, don't hesitate. That's what private jets are for." He joked, but she could still see the softness and sincerity in his eyes.
"I'm really going to miss you." She said in a whispered voice, not taking her eyes off his. Logan's smile softened as he moved his hands to her waist, inching closer to her. He sighed.
"I'm really going to miss you too, Ace."
Time seemed to freeze, as they stood in silence in the middle of his bedroom. The only noise she could hear was the music and voices drifting up from downstairs. But that was drowned out by the intense pounding of her heart in her chest, as she stood inches away from him. She could feel his hands on her waist. His touch seemed to burn through the thin material of her dress. She took a step forward, closing the distance between them, never breaking eye contact with him. Pressing her hands against his chest, she made a decision in that moment of silence. She wanted to be closer to him. Closer than she had ever been with anyone before. He was leaving the country the next day, and the idea of not seeing him for a whole year weighed heavy on her heart.
She inched her face ever closer to his, and as she felt his breath on her, she closed her eyes and the distance between them disappeared, as her lips descended onto his in a soft, lingering, yet passionate kiss. Rory placed light kisses on his mouth, waiting for Logan to respond. After a few seconds, he did. Wrapping his arms around her back, pulling her flush against his body, he kissed her back. Mirroring her light kisses at first, it didn't take long for him to deepen the kiss. He gently nipped at her bottom lip, before tracing her mouth with his tongue. Rory granted him entrance, and gave a slight moan as his tongue danced caressingly with hers. She slowly moved her hands up over his chest, wrapping them around his neck. Logan pulled her even closer, if that was at all possible. Her chest was pressed hard against his, allowing her to feel his tight muscles through his shirt. As the kiss grew even more intense, lack of oxygen quickly became an issue, causing them to break apart. Breathing heavily, Logan rested his forehead against hers, taking in her scent. Rory's eyes stayed closed, as she tried to regain some composure. Logan's kisses seemed to cause her to lose all sense of reality. For instance, here she was on the day of her high school graduation. The day she was unceremoniously dumped by her boyfriend, and all she could think about was how much she wanted to be with Logan Huntzberger. Playboy extraordinaire. Her best friend's big brother.
After a few moments, both their breathing returned to normal and just as she was about to speak, Logan pulled her back against him and crashed his lips to hers. Slightly caught off guard, Rory began kissing him back, matching him for passion. The feel of his mouth on hers gave her goose bumps. Her heart was racing. She couldn't think of anywhere else she'd rather be, but here in his arms. His hands began roaming over her back searchingly, his lips broke away from hers and started tracing a pattern along her jaw, inching down her neck. Rory bent her neck slightly to give him better access, as he placed wet kisses over her skin, down to her collarbone. His hands rested on the small of her back, as Rory moved hers to brush through his hair. She moaned as he nibbled on her collarbone, before pulling him back up and attacking his lips with hers in a fierce embrace.
Caught up in the intensity, she slowly moved her hands down to his chest and began unbuttoning the shirt he had just put on. As the realisation hit him, he pulled away grasping her hands in his, trying to catch his breath. He looked at her intently. Rory stared back at him, slightly confused. She moved forward, her head still slightly hazy. Logan stopped her, moving back a step.
"Ace, I think we need…we need to slow down a little bit here." He told her, smiling softly at her, still breathing heavily. He brushed his hand through his hair, trying to regain his composure. He was clearly affected by their little make out session just as much as she was.
"I don't want to slow down." She assured him, taking a step towards him. He remained in the same spot but looked at her trying to gage whether she was telling the truth.
"Rory, I-" She kissed him passionately, cutting him off. He responded by pulling her closer, before breaking off again.
"Sshh!" Rory moved her finger to his mouth, before replacing it with her lips, kissing him softly.
"Logan, I want this. I want to be with you. I want… I want to know what it would be like." Logan sighed, as he saw the sincerity in her eyes.
"Rory, I don't think that's such a good idea." He genuinely cared for Rory, he didn't want to hurt her. Rory smiled, wrapping her arms around his waist, breathing him in.
She untucked his shirt from his pants and moved her hands over his hard, muscular back, feeling the warmth of his flesh. He sighed at the feeling of having her hands on his skin.
"Logan, I want you." She whispered, huskily. She had never wanted anyone as much as she wanted Logan at this moment. Rory wasn't the type of girl to be so upfront or forceful when it came to the opposite sex. She was usually the one pulling away, slowing things down. But here, she couldn't help herself. She wanted her first time to be with Logan. She was ready.
"Are you sure?" Logan looked her dead in the eye. His face completely serious. Rory paused for a second, before returning his gaze and nodding.