CHANGE OF HEART
He had told her that he was in love with her. Head over heels, heart in his throat, butterflies every time their eyes met, in love with her. When a jumble of words that sound suspiciously like an admission of feelings come stuttering from the mouth of the guy your secretly crazy about, the first instinct is generally to pinch yourself and make sure that reality isn't being impersonated by yet another hopeful dream.
Not when the guy is Logan Reese. Dana's first instinct was to pinch him. So she did. Hard.
"Ow!" He yelped, single handedly sabotaging his tough guy reputation in a fraction of a second. "What the hell was that for?"
"'That,' pretty boy, is an incentive not to tell lies." Dana spat in a cautionary tone.
She took an annoyed step back, putting some much needed distance between her and Logan's lips, which had hovered dangerously close to her own as he'd whispered his confession.
"Who's lying?" He demanded irritably, rubbing a protective hand over his rapidly bruising bicep.
Dana had to admit he was good. Completely believable. His liquid green eyes were sincere, and filled all the expected nerves and self-doubt that usually accompanied the position he had just put himself in. His jaw was clenched. He was at a complete loss of what to do with his arms. If Dana didn't know any better she'd say he was verging on heartbreak. But she did.
This was Logan Reese, son of the renowned film producer Malcolm Reese, self confessed player, two-timer and cheat. If there was one thing Logan did well it was acting. He'd grown up surrounded by film sets and celebrities and money. For anyone who had seen him playing the lead role in the school production several years before, there was little need or demand for proof that the talent had rubbed off on him. It was written in everything he did. Charming any girl with ears into going out with him. Talking his way out of detention, or persuading teachers to give him an extension on assignments. Convincing a certain girl whose conversations with him rarely exceeded two syllables before turning into an argument, that he was completely in love with her. Dana wasn't willing to let the third example make his list.
"Take a wild guess." Dana mocked, knowing that she was safely back in familiar territory with him now. Arguments were so much easier to handle than fake declarations of love.
"I'm not lying." Logan repeated. "I love you."
"'You talking to me or the mirror?" Dana said, gesturing to the large oval slice of glass hanging over Logan's bed behind her. "Do you want me to leave you and you're reflection alone?"
"Do you want to stop making jokes long enough to have a mature conversation with me?"
"Dana, stop it. You know I like you. I know you like me. Everyone knows. Don't you think it's time to stop playing around?"
She lost her balance slightly, and took a step back to steady herself.
"For gods sake Dana, will you stop running away from me?"
"I'm not running anywhere." She retorted, her voice ringing hollow and untrue, as she realized she'd been backing away slowly since the conversation began. Subsequently her unconscious retreat resulted in the back of her legs connecting with Logan's bed, and her falling backwards rather ungracefully onto it. It was unmade obviously. A lumpy tangle of screwed up duvet and discarded clothes along with god knows what else. Knowing Logan as well as Dana did, she really didn't want to hazard a guess at the things most likely to be in his bed. She wouldn't be surprised to come face to face with a cheerleader or two.
"My, my… someone's eager." Logan smirked, making his way over to her.
In seconds he got on the bed, rested his legs in the space between hers, weighted her down, and took both of her wrists in his hands, holding them at either side of her head. Dana barely had time to struggle. She wasn't scared. Nothing about Logan frightened her. But she didn't like the way her heartbeat sped up when she felt his weight on top of her, or when her mind drifted to scenarios, which incorporated the idea. She didn't like the tingle it sent to her lips. And other places. She didn't like the sense of helplessness that came with him being in control. But most of all she didn't like the self assured grin he had on his face. Logan always had a grin on his face. But she was well aware that this one was fuelled by the knowledge that she loved everything he was doing to her.
She narrowed her eyes and glared at him, focusing as much hatred as she could manage at such short notice. He must have realized it was forced, and decided to take a stupid chance. Dana took a sharp intake of breath, and quickly started to issue a warning, that was intended to end with an extremely graphic death threat. She never got to finish it.
"Touch me, and I will scream so loud-"
Funnily enough, it was practically impossible to emit a scream, with someone's mouth covering its only escape rout. All thoughts of castration and gruesome murder faded, but didn't quite disappear. She'd contemplate them again in mere seconds. As soon as she remembered her own name.
Satisfied that the possibility of her throttling him, had become less likely, Logan released her wrists from his grip, and slipped one hand behind her neck, letting his fingers tangle in her loose curls, while his other hand relocated to the small of her back. He was careful not to push his luck too far. He didn't ruin the moment with a stupid comment. He didn't let his hands wander. He let the kiss stay as innocent and soft as when it was initiated, enjoying the simple feeling of his lips on hers.
The kiss lasted five seconds at the most. But Logan was content with his work. Dana could tell from the sheer delight on his face, as he carefully stood up. It widened his eyes. It lit up his smile. It quickened the pace of his words. And all because she hadn't finished issuing her death threat.
"Look, I have track in like five minutes." Logan told her, still grinning insanely. "If I don't get a better offer, maybe I'll give you a call sometime."
And that was how he left it.
That was three days ago now. Three days since she'd been abandoned in Logan's dorm, left in a daze on his unmade bed, with the possible promise of a phone call at some point in time. What a jerk. Was it any wonder she'd turned down his prestigious offer of a date? She had been completely within her rights to be offended. He deserved it. Knocking Logan Reese off his high horse was the best thing she could have done. She knew that she'd been waiting long enough for someone to do it, and she among others was desperate to see the results. A less arrogant Logan? A generally better human being?
Maybe she had been too harsh. When he had called her later that evening, she told him in an offhanded manor, that a better offer had come her way, and hung up on him. She wasn't strictly lying. Dylan Lacey had asked her out a few days previously. He was cute enough. Piercing blue eyes, a shock of long blonde hair, and more often than not, a worn leather jacket, and guitar close to hand. He was basically the complete opposite of Logan. The complete opposite of Dana's taste. But she could make it work for her. She'd formulated a foolproof plan.
She'd date Dylan just long enough to make Logan jealous, if indeed it actually had any effect on him. It was a test more than anything, to see if his declaration of love was true. And to monitor how long it would take him to loose interest.
Dana wasn't one to play games, but he'd done it often enough to her. Deliberately flaunted girls in her face. Dated girls she really didn't get along with, just to get a reaction when he sat them side by side. The way Dana saw it, if she was going to risk her heart on him Logan had to prove himself. And it had to start with the knowledge that he wasn't just messing with her mind because he had a spare half an hour before track practise. So far all her brilliant plan was showing her, was that she was a complete bitch.
He had barely spoken to her all day. Or yesterday. Or the day before. It wasn't as if they generally wasted many words on each other, but absolute silence was unusual.
This was the closest proximity he'd allowed himself to be to her, since the incident in his dorm. He was on one side of the basketball court. She was on the other. They were in the middle of a big game, last in the season, and they were loosing badly. What's more, the coach had indicated that it was all their fault. As much as Logan loved to mock Dana's sporting ability, they generally worked well together. He knew she was one of the best players on the team, and he kept close to her, passing her the ball whenever possible. She did the same.
Today, it was like she wasn't even there. He hadn't passed her the ball once. A few times he'd actually hurled it at a player surrounded by several counter parts from the opposing team, rather than throwing it to her, even though she was completely unguarded and in close proximity to the basket. He'd also been the reason poor Zoey was ambushed at least twice by throwing her the ball, when there was clearly no advantage in doing so.
He was being a baby. A spoilt brat who didn't get exactly what he wanted for a change. Dana guessed it wasn't something he experienced a lot. This was only reinforcing her decision. Why would she want to be with someone like that?
Dana sighed. Because he was Logan. Pure and simple. She felt bad. Especially when she managed to catch his eyes. It was only for a brief instance, but it was enough to make her want to cry. He looked really hurt. He looked like she felt every time he found a new plaything. Dana ran a shaky hand through her tied back hair. Wasn't that exactly what she wanted? Maybe this whole 'test' thing wasn't such a good idea. Maybe she should just quit, before she ended up really hurting someone. Or maybe it was going exactly to plan. He was obviously bothered. His ego was dented, which wasn't necessarily a bad thing. Should she stick it out?
"Dana! Heads up!" someone yelled, at least two seconds too late.
Two seconds made all the difference. She didn't even have time to look up or realize that she'd just completely zoned out in the middle of basketball game to have an argument with herself, let alone reinstate her mind back into it, before the speeding orange sphere of rubber connected with the side of her head, issuing a loud thwack, when it did so. Dana experienced the weirdest sensation that everything had suddenly started to move sideways. The change in direction quickened, and her surroundings blurred into a mess of colours, zooming past her. Then the hard concrete of the basketball court came up to meet her. She passed out before she could feel the pain of the impact, but she knew her head hit first. Hard.