Chapter Two: Baby, Talk is Cheep.
Rory sat in a chair by the window, a pen in her hand and a pad of paper near her but she hadn't written anything yet. Her bags sat by the door from when she packed earlier, prepared to leave early, before Logan showed up at her door. So here she sat, a clear view at the bed while he slept. The time on the clock radio by the bed read four in the morning. She hadn't gone to sleep yet, worrying over the conversation that would soon come once he woke up.
It just happened and she wasn't even sure what it was. All that she did know was that they were not together and she was pretty sure that one night of sex wasn't necessarily a prelude to a relationship. Just because they were together for three years during college didn't mean that they had to get back together. They had a history and that was it, nothing more. She was well aware that two people with a history would on occasion fall into old habits. She just had to look at her parent's relationship and history to be aware of that fact. So she was clear, just because they had sex, six years after breaking up, didn't mean that they had to get back together. What was more, they didn't have to see each other again in the foreseeable future.
Having decided what this was for herself, Rory didn't want to wait for Logan to wake up and share his own thoughts on the subject. Especially when there was a fifty/fifty percent chance that he might or might not feel the same. Though on a logical level, she knew they would have to talk to come to a mutual agreement on the matter, she wasn't interested in hearing his arguments. She quickly jotted something down on the pad of paper before standing, knowing that she was taking the coward's way out, but not caring. She grabbed her bags by the door and walked out of the room.
Her first stop was at Doyle's room where she knocked. It took a few moments before he appeared at the door, clad in a bathrobe. "Hey, do you have any idea what time it is?" he asked irritably.
"I'm sorry if I woke you, but I thought I would be considerate enough to let you know that I'm catching a cab back to Hartford," she told him.
"Why? What happened?" Doyle asked, concerned.
"It's nothing, I'm just behind on that piece that Dekker assigned me. I have some new stuff to consider for it and I just want to get a head start on it," Rory explained.
Something in her hastiness to leave must have shown for Doyle seemed to get some kind of understanding. "It's Huntzberger, isn't it? I saw him making the rounds yesterday. I knew that it was suspicious when he sought me out and continued to catch up for half an hour. God, I should have known he'd make a bee line to you with the questions he asked!" he chastised himself.
"Logan has nothing to do with my decision to leave early," Rory protested, sounding too eager to convince him of the fact. "We did talk and he gave me some new material for my article. And it's a lot so I'd like to tackle it as soon as possible," she amended.
"Is that it?" Doyle asked, not sounding convinced.
"Doyle, it's me. Logan Huntzberger no longer possesses the ability to affect me the same way that he used to. We're two entirely different people, I got over him a long time ago," Rory insisted.
"Good, don't let that pompous jerk get the best of you, you're better than him," Doyle encouraged.
"I'll see you back in Hartford," Rory told him before she turned away and headed down to the lobby to check out. Checking out didn't take much time, she payed the bill for up until noon and by then, she knew that Logan should be out of it. A cab was called to take her back to Hartford and as she piled her bags into the cab, she turned once to look back at the hotel, to the window to the room she had just vacated before she climbed back into the cab.
On the ride home, Rory took the time to consider her feelings on what happened. No matter how she may feel now or in the future, she would always love Logan. Though she thought that she loved Dean and Jess, she was unable to feel anything more than platonic feelings for both now. She had dated in the last six years, but, no man had been able to make her feel the way Logan had. No other man could bring her to tears on the bathroom floor in one moment and completely sweep her off her feet in the next. There were so many times when he had hurt her and then others when he made up for it in grand gestures. She was so sure back then that he was the one and when he left her when she made it clear that she wasn't ready to get married, she was so sure that he would rethink things and come after her. But he didn't and when she realized that he wasn't going to, it was tears on the bathroom floor all over again with her mother holding her like a child. She had vowed then that she wouldn't let him affect her like this again.
But seeing him again was a different matter. In many was he was still the Logan that captured her heart, but there were subtle changes in him that she noticed. He still possessed the charming smile and his thoughts were still expressed through his eyes. He still carried an air of confidence, but then there were the changes. He seemed more mature and serious, the arrogant and cocky attitude was replaced by something more down to earth. Whatever happened in the past six years obvious affected him profoundly and Rory was partially curious enough to find out.
But to find out what, she would have to interact with him on a personal basis. Rory wasn't sure if she wanted to ride that emotional roller coaster again, which is why she left the way she did. She needed time to figure out what she wanted and what she felt before she was forced to face the inevitable confrontation, because if she knew Logan, she knew that he would track her down after what had happened. Because she was fairly certain that he still had strong feelings for her and Logan Huntzberger was used to getting what he wanted.
Logan couldn't remember the last time he had felt so content as he woke up in the morning. He could feel the sun streaming through the window like a bright beacon to wake him up. Life was calling him to wake up from what must have been a pleasurable dream. A smile curled at his lips as he recalled the night's activities and he turned to his side and reached across the rumpled sheets, expecting something else besides the cold sheets beside him. Alerted to consciousness, he sat up instantly, eyes open and looking around. No he wasn't mistaken in where he was, but still there was no sign of anyone else in the room but himself. In a chair across from the bed was his clothes, neatly folded. Before his mind could process what his eyes were telling him, there was a loud knock at the door.
He wrapped the sheet around his waist to answer the door, seeing a bellboy standing there. "Yes?" he asked.
"It's twelve o'clock sir," the bellboy told him.
"And?" Logan asked.
"The room is only paid for until noon and we need the room," the bellboy told him.
Logan leaned back and looked up slightly as he chuckled at the irony of the situation. Sometime while he was asleep Rory had left and checked out, probably on her way to wherever. He looked at the bellboy. "I'll be out of your way in a moment," he said casually before shutting the door to get dressed.
When he returned to his own room that he was sharing with business partner, Keven MacDougal, Keven was sitting on his bed with his laptop. "Hey, subscriptions have gone up ten percent for Undercover, Underfire," he said as Logan walked in.
"Ten percent, huh?" Logan replied as he walked to the bathroom. "That should say something right?"
"Well it's not our exact goal but we're getting there. We just need to expand on the magazine and subscriptions will skyrocket," Keven retorted.
"In order to expand, we need investors," Logan pointed out.
"Which is why we're here," Keven stated flatly. "Whats with the attitude?" he asked, affronted. "Hit the bar again?"
"No I did not hit the bar again," Logan retorted. "I was with someone," he explained.
"Someone? You mean a woman," Keven set his computer aside and looked at him, interested in hearing the story.
"If you're hoping to be regaled with some grand story, you'll be disappointed," Logan said as he started to brush his teeth.
"Hey, I read the part of you memoir that you've finished so far. I expect nothing less," Keven pointed out.
"I was with my college girlfriend. We ran into each other yesterday and had some catching up to do," Logan explained.
"Oh, her," Keven said deflated, knowing exactly who Logan was talking about. "How'd that go?" he asked, not nearly as interested as he was before.
"Have you ever woke up in the morning to find someone sleeping next to you and instantly regretted it so you slipped out before she could wake up?" Logan asked.
Keven chuckled. "We've all done that, Mate," he said.
"Yeah, well, I never considered how the other person may feel until seven minutes ago," Logan commented dryly.
In answer to that, Keven let out a hoot of a laugh. "That is priceless! You really had me going there," he said.
Logan leveled him with a look that shut him up.
Keven sobered up. "She really did that? Man I have to give her some props," he said.
Logan just shrugged it off. "The way I see it, it is a clear indication of how she feels is all," he said. He walked over to the suitcase to grab a change of clothes. "Time to make myself presentable to do the rounds downstairs," he said before walking into the bathroom to take a shower.
It wasn't one of those busy days at the diner, it wasn't a slow day either. Luke found himself keeping an eye on April as she waited tables for him as he often did. It was spring break and he had expected that she, like any other college Freshman, would head down to Florida to party with friends. But he had been quick to learn that April was no normal girl. April liked order and something to work on and he was proud to note that she had the kind of work ethic that Rory had, much unlike his nephew, Jess, had and for that he was grateful. He was pretty sure that shoving April into the lake as he had done to Jess would only set Anna off in ways he couldn't imagine. Granted, it wouldn't be a worse thing than when Jess totaled Rory's car and broke her wrist at the same time and when Lorelai blew up over it. Anna wouldn't settle for a raging fit, she would bring lawyers in and make damned sure that he would never see April again. Now that April was over eighteen, Anna posed less of a threat and he only had to deal with Anna on occasion. Though, when April decided that she wanted to go to Yale after Rory set up an interview with the Dean of Admissions for her, instead of attending a university closer to her, Anna threw a fit. Thankfully, April smoothed things over by promising the first half of the summer and Christmases with her mother and to work at her store here during the week and then offering weekend hours at the diner, the second half of the summer and thanksgiving with her father. She was good at that, sensing the tension between both he and Anna and mediating between them, which Luke firmly believed that she shouldn't have to but Anna was very possessive over the fact that he had only known April for seven and a half years.
He was in the middle of fixing yet another toaster when Taylor came bristling in, coming straight towards him. "Ah, Luke, I have a grievous matter to discuss with you," he said, waving a finger in the air as he came towards him.
Luke set down his tools and braced both hands on the counter, giving Taylor an annoyed look. "I'm busy, Taylor," he told him.
"I am afraid that this cannot wait, Luke," Taylor told him.
"What can't wait?" Luke demanded.
"Three minutes ago your son came into my ice cream shop and started to disparage my shop, he turned away a few costumers and when I tried to stop him, he said "I hate you" and proceeded to spit in every flavor of ice cream that I have in store before kicking two chairs over and running out. Now I don't know what you and Lorelai teach him but obviously it isn't good decorum," Taylor started.
"Are you criticizing my parenting, Taylor?" Luke demanded agitatedly.
"The way a child behaves is a reflection on the parents, everyone knows that. Perhaps if you disciplined him some more then he would know how to behave in public," Taylor pointed out.
"I discipline my son just fine, Taylor," Luke told him angrily.
"Then how do you explain his behavior? You have to admit, he has a strong apathy towards local business," Taylor pointed out.
"Just because he spit in your ice cream and kicked over a chair means little. The fact that he told you that he hates you must be a reaction to you. Have you considered that this may be a reflection on you?" Luke shot back.
"Are you telling me that you refuse to do something about your son's behavior?"
"Well if that's how you interpret things, Taylor, then that is exactly what I mean," Luke told him.
"Well, this just wont do," Taylor bristled.
"Deal with it," Luke told him.
"And here I actually thought you would be reasonable," Taylor said despairingly.
"Don't let the door hit you on the way out, Taylor," Luke told him.
Taylor took a deep breath before turning and walking out the door just as Lorelai walked in. "And Rory was such a nice child," he said as he walked out.
Lorelai turned to watch him walk away, feeling both confused and slighted before turning back to Luke. "Wanna tell me what that was about?" she asked, jerking her thumb in the direction Taylor was last seen from.
"It's nothing," Luke told her.
"He mentioned Rory in a tone that suggested otherwise. I'm feeling like I have to go confront him and I wouldn't know why. Care to fill me in?" she asked.
"It's nothing, I'll deal with it," Luke told her before he rounded the counter and left the diner in search of the six year old.
The sound of movements and banging woke Rory from a restless slumber. She had arrived home to an empty apartment, obviously Paris had a double shift at the hospital and now she was home doing something that disrupted her attempts to sleep. She sat up in bed and pulled her robe on before exiting her room. She found Paris in the kitchen preparing a small breakfast. "Hey Miss Ray, think you got a handle on things?" she asked as she saw Paris bundle up a bunch of ingredients in one arm.
"I'm running on forty-eight hours of nonstop free clinic work, slowing down isn't an option for me," Paris rambled as she ran around like a bee.
"Well don't let me stop you," Rory said, crossing her arms.
Paris looked at her then, surprise at seeing her registering. "Aren't you supposed to be in New York or something?" she asked.
"I came back early," Rory explained.
"Something happen?" Paris asked.
Rory sat down at the table and briefly debated on whether or not she should say anything. "I ran into Logan," She told her.
To Paris' credit, she stopped what she was doing and sat down across from her. "Was it awful?" she asked. "Was there tears? What did he do? If he did anything I'll find him and..."
"Paris, it's fine. I just didn't feel like staying and pretending that what happened between us didn't happen or explain to everyone just how I knew him," Rory interrupted her.
"Did Doyle come back with you?" Paris asked.
"No, I took a cab," Rory answered.
"I hope Doyle does something about him. I swear if he comes around here I'll give him more than a piece of my mind," Paris ranted.
Rory wasn't in the mood to talk about Logan any more and promptly decided to change the subject. "Hey, hows that food coming along? I'm rather hungry," She asked.
"Right, you don't want to talk about this," Paris said, getting the hint. "One Mexican omelet coming up," she said and stood up to finish what she was doing.
As she worked, Rory couldn't help but think about what Logan was doing right now and whether or not he was upset that she left.
Logan turned the key in the lock of his apartment, opening the door. He set his overnight bag down by the door as the sound of paws tap dancing on the tiled floor came at him He turned in time to greet the miniature schnauzer that rushed at him, wagging its tail. "Happy to see me? Well you're the first one this weekend. What do you say to that, Eiscreme?" he asked as he gave the dog his full attention.
"You call him that just to tease me," Honor said as she stepped out of the kitchen to greet him.
Logan straightened up to look at her. "Was he any trouble?" he asked.
"I have to say, I'm surprised. When you said you would train him yourself, I had my doubts. I mean a professional would have suited, but it seems as if you managed quite well," Honor told him.
"I'll take that as both a complement and an answer," Logan said as he went to grab the pile of mail sitting at the end table.
"I stocked your refrigerator with enough food to last you two weeks. I was appalled to see that it was empty. You have been eating well, right?"
"I'm not starving," Logan pointed out.
"That puts my mind at ease," Honor sighed. "Do you have any more freelance articles for me?" she asked.
"They should be in the top drawer at the desk," Logan told her.
"Good, I'll hand them to Dad and claim that I was asked to pass them on by one of Josh's coworkers tonight at dinner," Honor told him as she went to retrieve the articles.
"Tonight?" Logan asked, looking at her.
"Yeah, Mom and Dad insisted on us bringing the kids by. Do you want me to tell them something for you?" she asked. It wasn't the first time she asked and she hoped for a different answer each time.
Logan shook his head. "No, I've got nothing to say," he told her.
Honor gave him that look again. The look that said 'enough of this already' and 'make the first move' as well as 'state your case already' in one shot. "What happened in California wasn't your fault, Logan. They'll come around and see that, you just need to force their hand. Remember, they need you, you have to take over the company," she told him for the hundredth time.
"I'm not going to beg them for anything," Logan told her stubbornly.
Honor sighed. "Alright, fine. Do what you have to do. I'll check back in a week," she told him before giving him a quick hug and a kiss before she left.
Logan shifted the mail in his hands and pressed the answering machine's play button as he sat down on the sofa, the dog jumping up to lay his head on his lap as he did so.
"Hi Logan, this is Gina from George Davis' office. He wanted me to tell you that he won't be coming to the meeting tomorrow..." the answering machine was full of messages just like that and the pile of mail in his hands was all bills.
Logan shifted in his seat as he dropped the bills down and scratched the dog's head. "At least we have each other, Muskau," he said and the dog merely barked in response.