"Princess." He nods in greeting, his lips quirking in amusement as she flushes at the nickname.
She attempts to look annoyed, a shy smile giving her away. Hannah ducks her head a little as she replies softly, "Hi." When she looks up, Logan is grinning at her response and Hannah sets her mouth, hands coming to her hips as she asks, "So do I get to give you a nickname?"
"Only if you find an appropriate one. No pet names, Princess."
"Hannah," she smiles back determined.
"Princess," he repeats, emphasizing the 'P'. She tries to scowl, her smile breaking through.
"You're not going to bow? Uh, that's not very gentlemanly."
"Seems a bit formal for a first date…" he decides, moving closer to kiss her.
Hannah blushes, a nervous giggle slipping from between her lips. She pulls back, reaching out impulsively for Logan's hand at the same time as she moves her lips out of his reach. "Aah, uh, we should…" she nods toward his car.
Logan cocks an eyebrow, informing her with a slightly disbelieving smile, "I was kidding about you not kissing on the first date."
Seeming to recover a little, Hannah explains, "My dad's inside."
"Ah," he nods in understanding, "the ever-present dad, Date's natural predator. Then we should definitely go," he grins.
Hannah smiles brightly, moving toward the car as Logan sidesteps her to open the passenger side door. "Thanks," she blushes. Once he's inside the car with her, Hannah turns to face him, regaining some of her composure. A smart smile crosses her features as she tells him, "And dude, you have to buy the cotton candy this time."
"Fair's fair." Logan shrugs with an infatigable smirk.
Hannah folds her hands in her lap a little nervously, the smile never leaving her face. Logan darts glances at her once they're on the road. She reaches up and brushes the bangs from her eyes, slight self-consciousness overtaking her.
"So, what's your dad do lets him slack off on a Saturday?" Logan asks as he weaves the car down the road between traffic.
Hannah lets out a small sigh, thankful for some easy conversation. She hadn't been kidding when she said she had never been on a proper date, taking that step with someone not only older and more experienced, but infamous was sort of scary. A good scary, she liked him, but still enough to unsettle her stomach. "He's a plastic surgeon. He mostly works his own hours."
"Plastic surgeon?" he repeats questioningly, "And I thought you were this beautiful naturally."
"Heeey," she protests good-naturedly. "I haven't had any work."
"Oh, yeah, you got that cute through chance."
She tilts her head in an echo of someone else. Beaming from the compliment she defends, "Maybe I have good genes."
He smiles back, taking his eyes off the road just long enough to catch her gaze, "Maybe you do."
Logan realizes that the beach is a little cliché for first dates, but it's one of his favorite places and Hannah hasn't had a chance to experience all the clichés of dating yet so it works out nicely. They walk down the strip slowly, their hands clasped between them as she darts out her tongue to catch a tiny river of melted ice cream that's dripping down the side of her cone.
Logan chuckles at her determined expression, the slip of pink between her lips attempting to get to the ice cream before it reaches her fingers. He catches her wrist and moves the cone away from her mouth, kissing her before Hannah can lick her lips.
"Mmm," he grins. "You even taste sweet."
She laughs nervously into his mouth when he kisses her again. As soon as his hands slide down from her waist over to her hips, gripping lightly. A shiver crawls up her spine and Logan can't help smiling against her lips because it's so easy. He pulls back a fraction to take in her bright pink cheeks and smudged pink lip-gloss. Hannah glows under his carefully constructed adoration and he can't even feel bad about it.
She has an infectious attitude that almost makes him forget why he's with her. Constant smiles and careless shows of affection and awe are something that's been relatively limited in Logan's recent existence—he's not used to it anymore after dealing with the barrage of Lilly's rejection and Veronica's insecurity.
He's fairly certain it's not just her age. After all, when Logan was newly sixteen his life was already fucked six ways from Sunday. Of course it was much less sordid than it is now, but still bad enough for him to be adequately jaded. Hannah's just… naïve. But she's happy and Logan can't help but wonder if that's rubbing off on him because he seems to be smiling a whole lot around her without trying much.
When he pulls away properly, leaving his arm around her waist, Hannah moves closer to his side surreptitiously. She proffers the melted cone toward his face and Logan grins wickedly as he catches her fingers—now covered in sticky, sweet goo—with his tongue.
"Hey!" she lets her mouth fall open in amused scandal at his audacity.
Logan only moves to press a quick kiss to her mouth. "Thought I'd get that for you."
"How considerate of you," she teases.
Hannah spins the dial on her locker, running through the combination carefully as she chats to the two girls waiting for her. Turning to speak over her shoulder, she doesn't notice the large bouquet of flowers until it almost tumbles out on top of her.
"Oh!" she lets out a short laugh. She lifts the flowers out by their crinkling cellophane wrapping to get a closer look. Fountains of pink and cream petals gush from the top of long, slender stems. Their velvety scent is thick in the surrounding air, assaulting Hannah's senses as she breathes in deeply.
"Someone's got a secret admirer," teases the girl to her left.
Hannah pulls the small card from the front and quickly reads the note. "Not so secret," she beams, passing the card back. It's signed 'Logan'. She hadn't known what to expect come Valentine's Day, it was a day for couples and a few dates didn't really qualify her as Logan's girlfriend.
"What's happening at eight?" the second girl asks excitedly.
Hannah shrugs, her smile never breaking. "I don't know, but I'll tell you guys all about it tomorrow."
She slips the card ("Princess—I'll pick you up at 8. Logan x") into the pocket of her jeans, and retrieving her wayward history book, pulls one stemmed rose out of the bouquet to take with her as she shuts the rest back in her locker.
"You're so lucky," the girl to her right decides.
Hannah agrees with an animated smile and a flash of white teeth. She feels light and frothy as they make their way down the corridor and a pulse thumps in her stomach when she spots a familiar face around the corner from her history room. Catching one of her friends with a warm palm on the girl's shoulder, Hannah excuses herself, trying not to bounce on the way over the corridor to where Logan is standing waiting.
"Hey," she meets him with a chaste kiss.
"Hey you." He smiles at her enthusiasm.
"The flowers are beautiful!" she gushes.
Logan smiles down at her, one hand resting on her shoulder as he let his fingers play through the ends of her long, blonde hair. "They reminded me of you."
"Oh," she laughs. "I have class." She moves to pull away from Logan, a wide smile gracing her lips.
"But we're on for tonight?"
"Uh huh. Don't be late."
"Oh, Princess?" he calls after her. Hannah looks back at him, impatient amusement still coloring her cheeks. She didn't think she'd ever get used to the nickname. Logan was just using it to get her riled and she couldn't help the secret shiver it sent up her insides at the attention. "Leave the tiara at home; I'm not taking the white horse."
She shakes her head in disbelief, a murmured giggle fading in her mouth as she headed to class.
The Neptune Grand looms before them, a large structure growing up from the concrete of the parking lot. Blinking like eyes, all along the walls hundreds of windows glint and gleam in the sunlight. They cast the pair in a bright, almost blinding light that forces them to squint upwards. "You booked a room?" Hannah asks, slight offence in her tone.
Logan stops to turn to her. He keeps a close hold on her hand. "I live here. You must have heard about my house burning down."
"You didn't get a new one?" she questions.
He just gives her the hint of a dazzling smile, "But then I wouldn't get a mint on my pillow every night."
"Oh, well, if there are mints then I'm sure my dad can't object to you taking me to a hotel…" She grins back at him.
"Think of it as forming that alliance with Denmark," he winks at her.
A high choke of laugher issues from Hannah's mouth as she smiles into the back of her hand. "I don't think so."
"Come on, Princess," he separates his hand from hers, wrapping it around her waist, "I promise not to besmirch your honor."
"Well, if you promise," she smiles up at him, pushing up on tiptoes to receive the brief kiss he presses against her mouth in response.
He pinches her side as they walk through the large glass doors into the foyer, "No stealing my mint though."
"You took my cotton candy," she argues incredulously.
Logan regards her thoughtfully as they wait for the elevator. It pings open to the ground floor and they climb in as he offers, "We'll share, okay?"
"Okay." She nods happily.
As his hand skims down her stomach, she gasps—a sharp intake of breath drawn through incredulous lips. "Logan…" she breathes out on a nervous giggle.
"Mmm?" he murmurs, moving his mouth away from her jaw. She's breathless and flushed, her lips hovering partly open as he pulls back to look down at her, arms braced on the bed, either side of her waist. She ducks her gaze away from his eyes shyly. "You okay?" he asks, a little more coherently.
It takes her a moment to answer, catching her breath before she replies, "Yeah. I'm good."
"Good," he grins. "Because if you're not good then this..."
"Isn't good?" she teases. The words shake a little with anticipation and the unknown but she attempts to keep the slight awe of new sensation out of her voice.
"No," he counters, dipping back to her mouth, "this is definitely good."
"Good," she murmurs mindlessly against his mouth, losing herself in the feel of his warm fingers seeking out her skin once more. They slip in under her shirt, tracing up her rib cage to the base of her bra—gliding over the trembling skin as butterfly wings rattle inside the cavity of her chest. Hannah stifles a moan, breathy and thin, but she doesn't stop him as Logan plays around to the clasp, brushing it lightly before he smoothes both palms down her back.
He pulls his mouth back to press hot, wet kisses into her neck eliciting light strung-out laugher from Hannah. She tightens her hold on him, fingers grasping into the back of his shirt while her other hand runs the length of his arm over and over. Logan groans softly at the feeling of her thigh dragging the outside of his hip as her sock-clad toes curl up over his calf.
Her hand slips from his arm to his chest, trailing low experimentally. Logan moans her name into her mouth, his fingers tripping over the zipper to her sweater—finally easing it down. Hannah shrugs out of it, her eyes bright and deer-like as she gazes up at him. Logan can't help but kiss her, slow and steady as he drags the soft cotton of her t-shirt up her body. Hannah bites her lip before lifting her arms, letting Logan remove the garment.
"You're so beautiful," he breathes against her cheek.
She presses her lips against his, hands shaking almost imperceptibly as she focuses on the first button of his shirt. Trying, her best, to unhook the little sphere of plastic from its fabric loop without faltering.
Logan brushes his fingers down the side of her face, Hannah's eyes closing of their own volition. "You sure?" he asks quietly, gazing down at her intently.
Her tone is soft and warm, a smile threaded through it as she replies, "I really like you."
The sentiment is returned by a slick tongue stroking into her mouth soundly. "Denmark will be so glad," he jokes gently. Logan traces the band of cloth around her hips, dragging down the zipper. The swift snick of metal on metal sounds out against heavy breathing and she finally reaches the last button on his shirt.
Veronica spots the girl from the far side of the parking lot. She jogs over, trying to retain some semblance of nonchalance as she approaches her. "Hey. Hannah, right?" she asks complete with one small tilt of her head.
The other girl looks a little surprised at Veronica's presence, but responds, "Yeah."
Veronica attempts to be smooth, failing as she launches right into her spiel. "So I hear you're dating Logan Echolls."
"Yeah," Hannah smiles adoringly, "he's really amazing."
"Oh yeah," she scoffs beneath her breath. "Uh, okay. You're making this really hard to say."
"I know you guys dated, I'm not trying to hurt anyon—"
"Ancient history," Veronica gestures the idea out of the window.
"Great!" she smiles. Seemingly placated that she's not stepping on any toes, Hannah continues before Veronica can finish up her warning. "I'm meeting him right now, I'll say 'hi'." She lifts her hand in a small wave, clutching her books to her chest.
Veronica watches her skip away to where Logan is standing on the other side of the court yard. Veronica can feel his glare even at a distance, but it is quickly covered by a wide smile as he extracts Hannah's books from her, slinging one arm warmly round her shoulder.
There's something different in her face when he walks up to her, something sullen and quiet. Reaching out a hard to her arm, Logan is shocked when Hannah pulls away. She won't look him in the eye.
"Princess—" he starts.
"Don't call me that," she cuts him off sharply.
"What's wrong?" he asks. Then suspiciously, after a pause, "Did you talk to Veronica. You know she hates me, right?"
"How could you?" she asks unsteadily. "I thought you liked me."
"I did, I do," he defends, trying to reach out to her again.
Hannah steps away, wrapping her arms tightly around her chest. She swallows away a sob, asking, "Then why did you use me?"
Logan watches her, speechless. He realizes, all at once, that he never thought through a situation where he actually did like Hannah. In the beginning, when there had been a plan, she was a faceless pawn—he never expected her to become a person. And now she's crying and he doesn't know what to say.
"I—" If he was smoother then Logan might have managed to cook up an excuse, but caught off guard as he is nothing is willing to come out of his mouth and exonerate him. He mentally kicks himself, for someone always ready with a witty retort he's been embarrassingly brought down by a sobbing sophomore.
Before Logan can think of anything Hannah's friends are back at her side, grasping arms and elbows carefully to lead her away to one bathroom or another. He doesn't try to argue her departure. He deserves it. "Fuck!" he cries, kicking out at the leg of the nearest table.
Logan races toward her at the end of the day, taking advantage of the first five minutes break Hannah has had from her group of supporters. "I'm really sorry," he insists, catching up to her. Hannah ignores him, covering her face with one shaky hand as she dashes away. "Hannah! I'm sorry." He runs after her, wrapping one hand around her elbow to spin her back.
"Let go of me!" she cries.
"Hannah, please," he tries again. Logan doesn't want to make a scene but his voice is thick with regret and Hannah won't look at him. Her face is red, her eyes glassy and mouth clenched closed to try and stop her crying. She's not succeeding very well. Watching her helplessly, Logan swallows and releases her arm. "I'm sorry," he finishes redundantly, his voice low.
She doesn't respond as she whips around, a flurry of blonde hitting his vision. She runs a little awkwardly, her long limbs not co-operating with her request to be subtle. Logan doesn't bother walking away, even with the stares directed at him, he watches until she slams through the front doors and into the main corridor. When they swing back together violently Logan spins on his heel, fishing his keys out of his pocket as he storms back to his car. School suddenly seems very unappealing.
He finds her sitting on the swing in her garden, swaying lightly in time to the breeze that's kicked up off the ocean. He stops at the gate, one hand wrapped around the iron bar as he looks in at her quietly. After a second of hesitation he lifts the latch, cutting from the path to walk across the lawn toward her—for an 09er home the garden is modest and Hannah looks up as she sees Logan's shadow extend quickly toward her toes.
She refuses to make eye contact with him and Logan thinks that she might be crying. Her uneven voice supports his theory. "You shouldn't be here."
"Probably," he agrees easily. "But I really am sorry. You're really sweet, and I'm—"
"Charged with murder," she finishes. The hitch in her breath is indisguiseable.
"Only 'cause your dad's lying," he rebukes, defensively. "I didn't do it."
"But you lied to me." Hannah swipes at her eyes with the back of her hand, her hair covering her face from Logan's sight. She's glad he doesn't have any real proof that she's crying. It's too dark to see the puffy cheeks and red-rimmed eyes that he's left her with.
"Yeah," he admits with a short nod. Logan toes the dirt around the base of the swing awkwardly. "But I didn't mean to…"
"Yes you did," she cuts him off. "You knew who my dad was."
"He's trying to put me in prison!" Logan cries, hopelessly. A long pause follows, Logan's gaze trained on the shifting veil of Hannah's hair as she hides behind it. Her long, pale fingers are clasped around the chains of the swing tightly, her knuckles almost bright white. He doesn't know what else to say. She's right, he's wrong. If Logan could have do-overs then his life might be a lot more 'sunshine and flowers' but they don't exist and he doesn't think things through. Hannah's sniffling is the only sound that pervades the thick silence between them, even the nocturnal sound of insects is dulled away.
They would be a fitting accompaniment, Logan thinks, considering how much of an insect he feels every time he looks down at Hannah. She's not smiling and it's his fault.
"Could you please go?" she asks finally. A shudder runs through her words from holding her chest too tight to try and stop the silent sobs.
He huffs out a long breath into the cool night's air, trying to release the tension in his own chest. It always works out like this though. The silence it broken by the slight sob of the wind as it picks up, ringing in his ears as the cold rushes through Logan. He nods, turning from her. One day he'll get a handle on karma and disable his own dirty form of the Midas' touch.
Hannah's sob out shouts the wind and he knows it's not today.