Hey! I'm Helen and I'm your writer for this tiny piece of the internet.
The characters in this story belong to CP Coulter, author of Dalton.
Review it if you like it!
"Yes. That's fine. I'm sure I'll be able to be home by then, I just have to pick up some stuff here…" Logan pushed his shoulder up so that the phone still rested between it and his ear. "Love you too. See you later. Bye."
He snapped the phone shut, sighing, and climbed out of his car. He was tired, but Noah wanted him to pick up dinner on the way home from the office, so here he was.
And dammit, he'd forgotten what kind of pizza Noah wanted.
Oh, well, Noah would just have to deal with whatever Logan got.
The door to the pizza shop jingled when he opened it. Everyone turned to stare at Logan, who looked straight ahead.
What kind would Noah probably want…?
"Oh my God." The voice was familiar. Very familiar, but it hadn't been heard in years.
Nine years, to be exact.
Logan turned, and he saw none other than Julian Larson, Hollywood movie star, striding toward him, dressed in a t-shirt and jeans and wearing sunglasses to disguise himself.
Logan's heart leapt at the sight of Julian, which was odd, because nothing had surprised him or excited him in years. Noah liked it when he took his medication, and so Logan took his medication, every single day. He hadn't felt genuinely happy about anything in a very long time.
Which was why he smiled a wide smile at Julian and said, "Julian! It's so nice to see you!"
Because it was. It was nice to see Julian.
"Hey, Lo." Julian's mouth twisted into a kind of smirk, but it wasn't mean-spirited, it was more appreciating the humor in a situation.
"What?" Logan asked, stepping out of line and following Julian back to his table.
"Nothing." Julian was headed straight for a table that had a pretty blonde women and two children sitting at it.
"Jules," the blonde woman said as they approached, "you know Tabby doesn't like strangers."
"Tabby can suck it," Julian replied calmly, picking up one of his children – a blonde little girl with her mother's green eyes who Logan knew from reading tabloids was Tabby. He put her on his lap as he took a seat, and motioned for Logan to sit in the seat next to him.
"Hi, I'm Logan Wright-Greenfeld." Logan stuck out his hand to Julian's wife, whose name Logan couldn't remember from the tabloids…
Julian almost choked on his coffee. "What?"
"Hi, I'm Logan Wright-Greenfeld?" Logan repeated, confusion working its way past the mist in his brain. He'd learned to live with his haziness, live without emotion. It really wasn't too bad, as long as you didn't count on loving people or ever being truly happy.
"Uh, hold on. Just a second. We'll be back." Julian held up his index finger to his wife, indicating that he'd just be gone for a minute. He stood up, placing Tabby – who was eyeing Logan suspiciously – on the floor, and grabbed Logan's arm. He dragged the blonde off toward the restroom, and once inside, he locked the door behind them. "Logan Wright-Greenfeld? You got married and didn't tell me?"
"Why didn't you tell me?"
"That didn't mean you could just go and make big life decisions without me!"
"And does that mean I didn't care anymore?"
"What are you, a broken record?"
"Jules…you left. You didn't care anymore. You didn't answer my texts or my calls or anything. You didn't come back. Why would I think you cared?"
Julian didn't respond for a minute. "You're on your medication."
"That's old news."
"I don't like you on your medication."
"Then suck it."
Julian considered this half-hearted attempt at teasing for a minute. "What happened?"
"What do you mean?"
"I mean…" Julian leaned against the sink. "After I left. Up to now. You used to hate taking your meds. Why would you start again?"
"I got married and it wasn't right for me to be like I used to be. I couldn't be that crazy Logan who flips shit every five seconds. I had to grow up."
"Who is he?"
"You love him?"
Logan thought about it for a minute. This was Julian, this was his old best friend. He used to spend every day with Julian in high school. But things were different now. Logan was grown up.
"No, you don't," Julian retorted.
"How do you know?" Logan's eyes held none of the biting feeling that they were supposed to, that they always had whenever Julian had challenged Logan on anything.
It was what Julian had missed the most about Logan, it was what he'd spent all those nights, all those nine years, thinking and dreaming about, trying so hard to forget…Marrying and having kids just to forget, but he didn't forget, he never did.
Now to find out that those eyes had dulled, that the fire was out…
Logan's phone rang through the bathroom. Logan pulled it from his pocket, checked the caller ID, and put it up to his ear.
Julian couldn't hear what the other person was saying, but he could tell it was a man. Probably Noah.
"Yeah, I'm picking it up now…No…What was it again?...oh, right…yeah, I know…sorry…okay…right…I'll be there in twenty…yeah, I just bumped into an old high school friend…no, nothing important…he's really cool…oh…that's fine…don't worry about it, I'm glad for you to meet him…yeah. See you in a bit. Love you. Bye." He clicked shut the phone.
"Right. You love him. That was the absolute worst 'Love you' I've ever heard in my wife, and I should know, my wife is having two affairs right now, and I'm standing in a bathroom while she's out there probably flirting with that guy I saw her eyeballing in the-"
"Shut up." Logan was rubbing his temple. "Shut up and just…just…Help me here."
"Very nice to meet you, Noah." Julian had his best acting in place and his biggest smile ready when Noah walked through the door of the pizza shop. Julian could already tell he was possessive from the way he came up behind Logan, wrapped an arm around his husband, kissed him, and only then did he introduce himself.
"Nice to meet you, too, what was your name?"
Noah looked at Logan. "Is he the guy on that show you used to watch every week?"
Logan was looking at the floor. "Yes."
"I didn't know you knew him in high school. That's pretty cool."
"It is." Logan was still looking at the floor.
Noah turned his attention to Julian's wife and children. "And who are these people?" he asked, rather rudely.
"These are my children, Tabby and Jackson," Julian said, pointing, "and this is my wife, Loe." Loe raised her head from where she was reading a magazine and smiled faintly.
Logan's head had popped up at Julian's wife's name. "Loe?"
"Yes." Julian looked him in the eye, half-wishing he'd see and understand and know, and half-wishing he truly was as idiotic as he was in high school.
"That's like Logan's name," Noah said, grip tightening around Logan's waist. Logan looked at Noah with serious eyes that said, 'Stop it.' "What, it is," Noah said defensively.
"Okay, as lovely as this is…" Loe stood up. "You," she pointed at Julian, "have to be at the studio by 10 to do night shooting, and these two," pointing at Tabby and Jackson, "have to be in bed by 9, so we have to go. Nice to meet you, Logan and Noah." She gave the two a smile that was a grimace and took Julian's hand.
"Wait. Could you please smile at my friends?" Julian pulled his hand out of hers.
"Julian. We have to go."
"Why won't you smile at them?"
"I'm just tired, alright? Let's go."
"What's wrong with smiling?" Julian glanced at Logan and Noah, who were looking at each other. Logan looked like he was trying his best to say something to Noah with his eyes, but Noah was just looking at him in confusion.
"Nothing's wrong with smiling, Julian, let's go." Loe scooped up Tabby and Jackson and held one in each arm.
"No, I don't want to go until I find out what the hell your problem with Logan is." Julian's eyes flashed. Now Logan was looking at him carefully.
"I have no problem with Logan," Loe said coolly. "We're leaving on the count of 3…1…"
"I AM NOT YOUR CHILD!" Julian shouted, causing everyone in the restaurant to look his way. "I am your husband, and I want to know what the hell is so wrong with Logan that you won't even look him in the eye and smile."
"I'm leaving." Loe turned on her heel and walked toward the door.
"Wait here," Julian said to Logan, and ran after Loe.
He caught up to her on the sidewalk. She was walking stiff-backed, lips tightly closed, and expression passive.
"Are you homophobic?" Julian asked.
"Not here, Julian."
"Yes, here. Are you homophobic?"
"Little pitchers have big ears."
"Please, let's not-"
"Oh my God, I married a homophobic woman." Julian threaded his fingers into his hair and pulled. "Shit."
"What's wrong with that, Julian? I just realize that there are some people who are better than other people. You and I are better than those people in there." She meant Logan and Noah.
"Loe…I have never met anyone in my life who is better than Logan, and I probably never will." He looked up at the sky, with its pinks and purples of twilight. "I can't believe I thought I had found someone who would even come close to him."
"What are you saying?" Loe asked.
"I'm saying I don't think this is going to work out between you and me," Julian said. "I'll stay at our house by the beach, you stay at the place where all the kids' stuff is. I'll see you sometime."
He turned and walked away from the woman he thought he would be happy with, the woman he thought could replace Logan in his heart.