It's a terribly short chapter and it's not that much drama going on in it, but it leads to the next chapter – and that's always something!
In a state somewhere in between asleep and awake, Jess felt the bed shift underneath him and as a reflex he stretched his arm out to pull the warm body next to him closer against his chest. Usually he wasn't that keen on snuggling, but this was different.
They had been apart for so many years and he just wanted to feel her skin against his as they drowsed off to sleep together. Feel the smell of her hair in his nostrils. He wanted to hold her and protect her against anything that might attempt to upset her or scare her. He wanted to stay like that forever.
But instead of being pulled closer, he felt her warm body moving further away, towards the edge of the bed and when he opened his eyes, she was standing next to the bed, looking for her clothes.
"Where are you going?" He fought to keep his voice steady and not as terrified as he felt. Did she regret what had just happened? Did she regret opening up to him? To making love with him?
She stirred at the sound of his voice, but turned around with a smile on her face as she was putting on the underwear he ripped off of her earlier. "Go back to sleep" Her voice was soft, but demanding in a way that didn't sound very much like the Rory he'd gone to bed with only a couple of hours ago.
Jess frowned and slid towards the edge of the bed, sitting himself straight up on it. "Where are you going?" He repeated, a bed feeling spreading throughout his stomach.
Ignoring the irritated tone in which his question was asked, Rory walked over to where he was sitting, placed herself standing between his legs and stroked his hair. "Logan gets back from his business trip today, so I have to go home"
"Why?" He looked up at her, certain that all the hurt and disappointment he felt was openly displayed on his face, but he didn't have the energy to hide it.
After what had just happened between them, she was going home to her husband? What about everything she'd told him last night? About how lonely she was and all the other girls sharing Logan's bed?
She tilted her head and let her hand slide from his hair and down along his face, cupping his cheek. "You wouldn't understand" She looked sad for a short moment before she bent down and kissed his cheek.
Annoyed with her evasive answer he pushed her lips away. "Why don't you try me?"
Her smile was playful as she stepped away. "Didn't I just do that?" She picked her dress up from the floor and started slipping into it.
He sighed and felt his heart drop. "Rory…"
Zipping herself up, she turned around to face him. "Listen, I don't know who you've talked to or what they've told you – but I am happy. I love my husband and I love our life"
"And this…?" He threw his hands out, gesturing towards the tangled sheets in the unmade bed and his clothes, still scattered across the floor.
"I was lonely" She shrugged her shoulders as if her answer should have been obvious.
He scoffed, feeling the blood rushing through his veins in a completely different fashion from the way it'd been rushing a few hours back. "Well, next time you're lonely – get yourself a hooker!" His voice was filled with all the anger he was trying to hold back.
Rory didn't respond as she grabbed her bag and started making her way towards the front door. "Or a new gardener!" He yelled seconds before the door closed behind her.
Jess sighed and sank his head into his hands. She had fooled him. The old Rory begging for his help was nothing but a trick to get him where she wanted, or to prove some kind of crazy point. She had dangled the old Rory, his Rory, right before him as a lure – and he had swallowed it; hook, line and sinker.
I love my husband and I love our life. Her words rang in Jess' head. It didn't make any sense. She had looked so broken and sad only a few hours ago; claiming that Logan didn't care about her and her needs anymore. But still she loved him. It didn't make any sense.
Had it all been an act?
"I'm out" Jess' voice was determined. Stern.
"What do you mean you're out?" The voice on the other end of the line sounded disbelieving and confused.
"I mean that I'm out" He clarified. "Mrs. Huntzberger can live her life the way she wants – I couldn't care less"
There was a loud intake of air heard on the other end. "What did she do?"
"It doesn't matter" His answer came fast; he didn't want to go into any kind of details. The details about how he had bought into her act without even thinking twice about it still hurt a little bit too much. "I'm out"
"You can't let her get to you" The voice sounded desperate, pretty similar to the sound Rory had had in her voice when she had begged for his help. When she had fooled him.
"Lorelai, listen…" He started. "Have you ever thought that maybe she doesn't want to change back? Maybe she doesn't want to be saved"
She sneered. "You really believe that?"
Jess sighed. "I don't know what to believe. All I know is I'm out"
"Just like that?" Her tone was accusatory. "You're giving up?"
Jess sat down on the edge of the couch and ran his hand through his hair. This was why he had ignored Lorelai's calls for the past week. She was too stubborn to ever give up. She was too stubborn to let him give up.
At least Rory had only called once since their meeting and hadn't tried again when he didn't pick up. Lorelai had called at least once a day.
"Yes" He admitted. "I'm giving up. Just like that"
He couldn't keep trying. It hurt too much. He felt stupid over the way she had fooled him. Over the way she had used him. Over the way she had quickly slipped back into her clothes and gone home to her husband.
"Guess you didn't care as much as I thought then" She muttered in a sad voice and hung up the phone.
Jess sighed as he threw his phone aside on the couch and leaned back against the headrest. Sure, it must suck for Lorelai that she and Rory had lost contact – but it wasn't his problem and he shouldn't make it into his problem either.
She'd said it herself; she loved Logan and she loved her life – she didn't need anyone to save her from it.
"Jess!" An excited voice called at him from behind, ripping his focus away from the cereal shelf he'd been staring at. He turned towards the sound and saw a tall, blonde girl making her way towards him with a wide grin plastered across her face.
Jess searched his brain. Where had he seen that face before? She looked familiar, there was no doubt he'd seen her before. But where?
He watched her hips sway suggestively as she walked and suddenly he remembered. The blonde from the bar. The blonde with the amazing legs he used to try and distract himself from thinking about Rory after he'd first spotted her at that art-show.
"Hi" He tried to return her smile while rummaging through his mind in search of a name to accompany the legs. Mary? Mindy? It started with an M, he was sure about that.
"Hi" She greeted back, still smiling. "How've you been?"
"Good" He nodded to himself. "Good. And you?"
"Good" Her smile grew, if possible, even wider. "Listen, I–"
"Michelle!" She was cut short when a female voice called for her attention from the next aisle.
Michelle. Yeah, that was it. Jess smiled, genuinely this time.
"I'm coming!" She yelled back and rolled her eyes for Jess to see. "My roommate" She explained and he nodded.
She bit the corner of her lower lip for a few seconds and then dug her hand into her bag and picked up a card. "Here" She shoved it in his hand. "It has my phone number on it. If you ever feel like…hanging out…some time again"
She smiled one last time before she bid him goodbye and went to search for her roommate in the next aisle.
Jess looked at the card in his hand and at first he thought about throwing it away. The last thing he needed right now was anymore female drama. But for some reason he put the card in his pocket instead.
Michelle hadn't seemed to be all that complicated. She had been fun, joyful and easy-going. She hadn't even been pissed at him when he stood her up in the morning in what probably sounded as the lamest excuse ever.
Maybe keeping the card wasn't such a bad idea.