Maybe if my heart stops beating it won't hurt this much.
It's amazing how much more desirable something can become, when you're told you can't have it. The unattainable. It's not often you hear the word no, or are told you can't have something. Your life has been one of privilege and excess, never wanting for anything.
But you can't have him, and now he's all you want.
These parties are always the same. The grown ups gathering in their little groups to either gossip or talk business as soon as the event begins. Champagne flows like water and all you can see are fake smiles plastered on everyone's faces. You're sure some of them are probably genuine, and if you bothered to put down your glass of champagne and take a closer a look for more than 3 seconds you'd easily be able to spot them. But sincerity is rare with this crowd. Even those who start out that way usually have it beaten out of them over time. It's the only way you learn to survive. Know your place, and be ruthless when necessary.
He's always at the same events. Both children of society, it's impossible to escape them. But the open bar keeps you entertained, until you find some other way to better occupy your time.
Your families have been not so secretly praying you will get together virtually your entire life. Talks of wedding at the cape and business mergers have been around almost as long as you have. This remains the reason you run in different circles and avoid each other by all means necessary. The last thing either of you want is to give your families the satisfaction of getting what they want.
So with the exception of a polite smile or hello, and the occasional hidden drunken flirting you've managed to avoid each other publicly, for the most part. But here you both are. No dates. No friends. No entertainment for miles. And you're each the only thing the other can't have. Temptation is a wonderful thing. You know it's all just a game. The smiles and hellos are full of tension, never lacking in attraction. Once the alcohol starts to flow you can often be found in a back room talking and flirting, or skinning dipping if you manage to find a pool.
But the clock always inevitably strikes midnight and you're forced to return to your lives, pretending the other doesn't exist, preventing a future of doilies and misery.
"Shot for your thoughts?" A smile immediately graces your features as he stands coolly behind you, his lips resting just millimeters from your ear.
"I'm pretty sure it's supposed to be a penny for your thoughts, but you know me, I'm up for anything." He knows it's true. He was there the first time you got smashed and proceeded to table dance. He was there the first time you decided it would be a good idea to go skinny dipping. He was there the night you wanted to have sex for the first time. He's been there for it all. And yet to the world you're strangers.
"That I do." He quips as you turn to face him. Clad in an expensive black suit, he never looks anything but gorgeous, and he knows it. You eye the drink in his hand; he's never without one at these parties, neither are you. It would be unladylike for you to be seen drinking scotch though, and it's not really your drink of choice anyway. So you sip slowly on your champagne, masking how much you actually drink.
Out of the corner of your eye you can see your grandmother get closer, mingling with various couples. You know exactly the thoughts that would run through her mind if she saw you with Logan. Wedding bells would ring and the whole event would be planned before she even reached you. A truly terrifying and sickening thought.
You cough lightly, code for when you're potentially cornered. Not even a second has passed before Logan has disappeared back into the crowd, leaving you alone again. You make your way to the bar in need of another drink, and also in an attempt to avoid your grandmother. She's been particularly nosy of late and you don't feel like another lecture about your lack of a date.
"Vodka martini please." The bartender doesn't even question your age, but why would he? He looks pretty happy in his job, and refusing the youngest Gilmore a drink at a party thrown by Emily Gilmore would definitely send him packing in the most painful of ways. You can see Logan leaning lazily on the other side of the bar, holding your gaze whilst sipping his scotch, the smallest of smirks on his lips. You thank the bartender politely when he returns with your drink, raising the glass ever so slightly in Logan's direction before drinking it quickly.
The balcony outside the ballroom allows you a much needed escape from the hordes of society barbies inside. You're not exactly dressed appropriately for the cool autumn air that hits you, your simple black cocktail dress providing you with little warmth.
It isn't long before he joins you outside, not saying anything as he leans against the balcony rail next to you. This game has been going on for as long as you can remember and it's at moments like this where you find yourself not wanting to play. For it to no longer be a game. But those thoughts vanish quickly when you think of the consequences attached to them. And besides, it takes two to stop the game. He likes the chase, the danger and the idea of rebelling against his preordained life. Deep down you do to, but lately you've been struggling to see the line between your nature to rebel against all that is planned for you, and your desire to actually be with him.
You keep telling yourself you don't want him just because you can't have him, even though in some ways you've had him for years now. You were 13 when you both fully realised what was to come if you remained close. It wasn't until 15 when you really started to distance yourselves though. And by that stage you'd already shared so many things, there was no breaking the tie. So your 'relationship' became a series of drunken indiscretions, hidden smiles and hidden feelings, all in the name of distancing yourselves from 'the plan'.
"Penny for your thoughts?" He questions, staring lazily at you. He can read you like a book.
"I thought we were doing shots." You joke, he smirks and returns his gaze to the expansive yard beneath you.
"Given that it's 10.37pm I'm assuming you're already passed your limit, as per usual."
"You know me too well."
"There's no such thing."
You ponder his comment. Is there such a thing as knowing someone too well? If that's true, than you would certainly fall into that category. There isn't anything you don't know about each other, which has both advantages and disadvantages. You can't lie. But you've never really needed to, there's a never been a point. Now you find yourself wanting to hide those thoughts of a night that doesn't end at midnight. They're dangerous.
"No date this evening Huntzburger? You losing your touch?" You finish off your glass of champagne, liquid courage to drown out the nose in your head.
"Never. I just didn't want to waste a precious conquest on this boring shindig."
"Sounds to me like you couldn't get a date. Gone through all the girls at Yale already?"
"Well, you know me." He's response says more than he thinks. You do know him. Which is why you find it strange he's here without a date, or at least one of his sidekicks.
"Seriously Logan." He waits longer than is consider polite before finally turning to you, giving you his full attention.
"Just felt like spending the night with you, and just you. Not interruptions."
"You mean besides our parents and grandparents watching us like hawks, waiting for the marriage of the century?" He's telling you what you want to hear and yet you can't help but be sarcastic and distant, it's how you've been raised to be. He may be the only thing that you want, but you wouldn't have the first clue how to let him in. You've got barriers up, and they aren't the kind to come down easily.
"Of course, besides them." He's doing his best to read your vacant expression, trying to see what's going through your head before he jumps out on any limbs. "We've been dancing around each other for 4 years Ace. How long can we keep dancing?"
"You keep talking like that and we'll be dancing at a wedding in no time." You shift your focus from him to anything else you can spot in the garden below you.
There a few people wandering around, taking in the beautiful flowers and statues imported from god knows where. There's even a couple hidden away in a corner kissing. How sweet. You wish you could believe in such romance. They look so happy to be with each other, barely coming up for air. The fairy lights scattered around the expertly groomed garden provide them with the perfect getaway, shrouding them in almost darkness. Almost.
"Oh my god." The words come out as barely a whisper. You feel like all the air in your body has been knocked out of you as the couple step into the glow of a cluster of fairy lights. They look so content, not at all guilty. Smiles on their faces, the genuine kind.
"What's up Ace?" His words sound a million miles away. All you can do is focus on them as they discreetly make their way back to the party, clearly not wanting to part. "Rory?" He grabs hold of your arms and turns you to face him, his own face covered with concern. "What's wrong?"
Now's your chance to be open and honest. To stop playing games. To stop playing the part of spoilt society girl. To let him in.
"Nothing, I just realised I've been drink deprived for far too long." You spin on your heals and make your way back inside before he can even stop you. He wouldn't understand. He'd just think you were stupid for getting upset, after all, what more can you expect from the society game? Fidelity is a lie at the best of times. When everyone's eyes are on you, and you've been forced into marriages with people you barely know, how can anyone be expected to be faithful? The odds aren't good.
Your journey to the bar is a blur, ignoring the pleasantries being spouted by various passersby. Usually shots are done in the privacy of a back room, avoiding the judgmental stairs of society, but you don't care. You haven't had anywhere near enough to drown it out. To forget.
"2 shots of tequila please." The bartender raises his eyebrow at you, knowing full well that you're breaking a key rule, but he gets them for you anyway. The liquid burns your throat, but you don't care, it's a welcome distraction. You can't drink them quick enough.
"Rory what are you doing?" You don't want to turn around and face him, not now. How can you? "Rory?" But he won't leave.
"Hi." He eyes you carefully, taking in the empty shot glasses on the bar behind you. But your eyes don't meet his. You're afraid of what you might see.
"Think maybe it's time you slowed down?" A bitter chuckle escapes your lips. How can you take him seriously? All you want to do is yell at him. Beg him to explain himself. Make him realise what he's sacrificing. You can see your mother other his shoulder, talking animatedly with someone. It will kill her. They were meant to be 'the' couple. You couldn't do that to her.
"You're right daddy. I'm just going to go get some fresh air in the garden. Is it nice out there?" You're eyes finally lock with his, their glare betraying your sugary sweet voice. He falters. Fear creeping into his perfected smile.
"Just looked like a garden to me." He forces a chuckle that reeks on insincerity. He kisses you on the cheek. "I'll see you later kiddo." He disappears into the crowd and it takes all your energy not to throw a glass at him.
"Ace?" You can't help but wonder how long he's been standing there. He has a habit of always just appearing, never missing a crucial moment. Why would this one be any different? But you jump at the chance to forget the evening, even just for a little while. You turn quickly on your heals to face him, a mischievous smile gracing your features.
"Let's get out of here." If he's surprised at your suggestion he doesn't show. Deep down you know he is. You're up and down like a yoyo tonight. But you know he won't pass up the opportunity.
"Back room, 5 minutes?" You smirk and nod, watching him fade into the crowd. You can always count on him to just go with the flow, not question your need to be reckless. Glancing around the room, you take it all in. Couples dancing. They look happy. You can't help but wonder if they are. And if they aren't, why do they bother?
Your parents twirl around the floor like experts. Years of practice. You used to think there was no other couple like your parents. That they had what the rest of society didn't. Real love. You can't believe how wrong you were.
You make your way to the exit, hoping you aren't noticed by anyone. But you notice her. She's pretty. You didn't get a good look at her before, but now, under the harsh ballroom lights, she's all you can see. You've seen her at some of these events before. If you remember correctly she's the much younger wife of one of father's associates. Figures.
You run from the room, unable to stand looking at her. To see the woman that's about to destroy your family. Logan's waiting for you when you reach the back room. You've pulled him into a kiss before he can even speak.
You just want to forget.