Logan and Lauren Ch. 08byBizzy_Bish©
I walked into the library. Nothing felt quite right without Logan in my life. Ever since I watched him descend from my window, I felt a sense of loss... I felt hopeless and weak, even though it was my fault that we weren't together. Maybe I was wrong to deny him. No, he brought this upon himself. Maybe he could change. No, he's been this way this long... nothing will change him. I was so deep in thought, that I didn't even notice when the bell on the door jingled, signaling the approach of someone.
"Well, who shit in your salad?" I heard an extremely familiar voice echo through the silence. I jerked my head up and it was all I could do to not pounce on him over the desk.
"Dillon!" I screamed as I ran around it and threw my arms around his neck. "I've missed you soo much!" I pulled him away and gave him a once-over. He looked great, college suited him. His familiar, curly fro was gone, replaced by cornrows and he grew a neat goatee. He looked handsome, like a man and not my dorky, older brother.
"I've missed you too, Kidd," he said, ruffling my hair. "Why the makeover?" he asked, examining me as well.
"Someone once told me to keep my head up, that I was a good girl and sooner or later Logan would notice that," I said, smiling broadly at him.
"Yeah, Ren, but you didn't have to change yourself for that dick, you were perfect as you were," he said, looking down at me.
"It wasn't so much for him as it was for me. It was time for a change, you know? Just like you," I replied, gesturing at him.
"Okay, I can understand that. How've you been holding up? Did he realize how awesome you are or what?" he asked, seeming genuinely concerned.
"Yes, he did, Dillon," I said with a sigh.
"....and...," he said, egging me on.
"...and it was too late," I said, shrugging.
"Shit, I'm sorry, Ren. Any more prospects in mind?" he asked, actually buying my not-caring façade. If only he knew how much my heart ached with every thought of Logan Chadwick.
"Well, I have been talking to Tristan Wilson some," I said, shrugging again.
"Another white boy? Jeez, Ren! There's no hope for you, is there?" he said, throwing up his hands and acting all dramatic. I couldn't help but laugh because I knew Dillon could give a rat's ass about skin color, though I'm sure he would prefer if they were black.
"Easy, Killer, Tristan's a good guy," I said, blushing. As if on cue, my phone began to ring, I looked at it and Tristan's name popped up on the screen. I gave Dillon the 'one minute' finger and answered it.
"Hello?" I said excitedly into the phone.
"Hey, Gorgeous, I was just calling to see what you were up to this b-e-a-utiful Saturday morning," he said chipperly.
"Oh, nothing, I was just sitting up here at the library, my brother just got home for the weekend, but I'm stuck here for the next few hours," I said with a sigh.
"Oh... Well, would you like company?" he asked, sounding a little bummed as if he had something in mind before he found out that I was busy.
"I would love company!" I said, hardly able to contain myself. I watched as Dillon's eyes grew wide and he began to vigorously shake his head.
"Awesome, I'll see you soon, Babe," he said before hanging up.
"What?" I said as put my phone back on the charger.
"You can't have you're little boyfriends coming up here visiting you on the job!" Dillon said, tsking and shaking his head.
"Tristan is not my boyfriend and he just wants to come here to keep me company, look at this place! You could hear a mouse piss on a cotton ball in here and I don't want to spend the next few hours at wits end, trying not to pull my freakin' hair out!" I said frantically.
"Okay, okay, point taken. Just be careful. I'll see you when you get home," he said, giving me a small smile and a quick hug.
"I will. I love you, Dillon," I said as he began to walk away.
"Back atcha," he said as he made his exit. It didn't take long before I saw Logan's shiny, black Navigator pull into the parking lot.
Though I owed Logan absolutely nothing, I couldn't control the fact that I felt as if I was doing something I shouldn't be. It didn't take long before I heard the tell-tale jingling of the bell by the door. I tried to make myself look busy with some freshly returned books, looking up only as he approached the counter.
The sight before me made my jaw drop. Logan, stunning as always, was holding a vase with red roses, a box of chocolates, and a box. I stared at him with wide eyes in disbelief as he sat all of it down on the counter.
"Logan... what is all of this?" I managed to choke out, my eyes rolling over everything on the counter.
"It's part of my apology. I know it's too early for Valentine's Day but I was clueless about what girls like. I figured that girls like flowers, candy, and jewelry at least that's what my dad used to get mom before she lost it. Did I do okay?" he said, making the whole thing sound like one sentence.
"I-I," I stammered, feeling the fist around my heart loosen a bit more. "Logan, I can't take any of this. It's not fair to you. Honestly, Tristan's coming here to the library to hang out and keep me company until I get off."
Logan looked at me as if I had just spit in his face and to my surprise, he kept his cool. "Lauren, you can keep all of this, okay? This is my apology to you. Here, let me show you what I got you," he said, picking up the box and gesturing for me to come close.
I leaned forward as he opened the box. Inside was a shiny, platinum necklace that read 'Lauren' in diamond letters. Again, my jaw dropped as he took it out of the box and clamped it around my neck. He allowed his fingertips to linger at the nape of my neck longer than necessary, causing me to shiver. Without warning, he leaned in and brushed my lips with his.
"I love you, too," he said as he stood upright and flashed me his perfect smile. We both looked to the window and saw Tristan's red F-150 pulling into the parking lot. "I'll see you around, Babe," Logan said as he quickly kissed me again and hugged me over the counter.
Before I could utter a word, his back was to me and he was disappearing out the door. From the window, I could see Logan and Tristan pass each other in the parking lot. They looked as if they were staring each other down before Tristan broke contact and looked up at the building.
Soon, the bells jingled and he came inside, damn near filling the doorway. "Wow," he began, looking at the counter, "someone's been trying some major sucking up... Did it work?"
"Does it look like it?" I asked, a playful smile dancing across my face.
"No, but looks are deceiving," he grumbled as he got closer. I walked from behind the desk and gave Tristan a light hug.
"It's good to see you, Tristan," I said as I inhaled his scent. I pulled away and gave him a once-over. He had on a white fitted tee shirt with the John Deere logo on it and a pair of fitted Levis. Against my better judgment, I stole a glimpse at his package and felt my cheeks grow warm. Thank God for fitted Levis. I silently prayed that he didn't notice my attention to his nether region, lucky for me he didn't.
"It's good to see you, too, Babe," he said looking down on me with that to-die-for smile. Lord, how I wished for simplicity. I'm in quite a predicament... not wanting to hurt Logan and not wanting to lead Tristan on. How I longed for the days when I was just a piece of furniture in the classroom. "So what are we doin today?" he asked.
"I don't get off for another two hours and some change," I said, bummed.
"Well, I was thinking... if you and Loverboy don't have any plans, we could go to the lake or something when you get off. We could grab some hamburger meat and hot dogs and I could grill. Then, if you aren't bored out of you mind, we could roast marshmallows and have s'mores," he said, avoiding my eyes.
Damn God's cruel joke... Two amazing guys and no way to choose between the two. It was at that moment that I took a strong stand to be single.
"That sounds amazing, Tristan!" I said, truthfully. Nothing seemed like it would be better than spending the day at a lake with Tristan. With any luck, I'd see him shirtless in swim trunks. It wasn't cold yet!
Over the next couple of hours, Tristan and I played board games and card games to pass the time.
"No Uno!" Tristan yelled excitedly upon realizing that I forgot to say Uno. I pulled my cards from the deck. It was hard to focus on the game when I kept hearing Logan's voice resounding in my head: "I love you, too." How could he love me after all of this nonsense? I'm so confused.
"Uno out," I said as I laid my last card down. I smiled at Tristan smugly.
"Do you have any idea how beautiful you are?" he asked, making me look away. "No, don't look away from me. You are beautiful... so beautiful, in fact, you should never feel self-conscious."
He leaned across the table and probed my eyes with his crystal blue ones. He took his hand and stroked my cheek causing me to blush and smile. I sat back in my chair and cleared my throat. I needed to get out of this library with him before I did something one of us would regret.
Tristan and I went our separate ways after my shift ended.
"Okay, so I'll pick you up at about six?" Tristan asked with furrowed eyebrows.
"Yeah, that gives me a few hours to hang out with my brother. Do I need to bring a swimsuit?" I asked.
"Uh, yeah, totally... Bring a swimsuit, definitely," he said, making me laugh.
"Alright, Tristan. Let me get everything together on my end and I'll see you later," I said, smiling. It was obvious that neither of us wanted to leave, but I let the fact that we would have hours of fun ahead of us be my inspiration.
"Okay, Lauren," he said with a nod. He walked over to me and wrapped his long arms around me and pulled me into a tight hug. Against my better judgment, I closed my eyes and relished in his sweet smell. He had a faint scent of cologne but it had been washed out by the smell of the outdoors. It was intriguing.
After we separated, I hopped in my car and started the engine. After giving him a final wave, I drove down the long road to my home.
"So what do you and Tristan have planned for the night?" Dillon asked me suspiciously.
"None of your business!" I said, laughing as his eyes grew wide at the clothes I pulled out of my closet.
"You better not be going out in public with shorts that short," he grumbled, holding up the pair of shorts that I laid on the bed beside him.
"Ugh, if you must know, Dad, we're going to the lake," I said, snatching my shorts out of his grasp. I laid my new bikini on the bed by the shorts and waited for his next comment.
"Since when have you wore bikinis, Ren?" he questioned, shaking his head in disapproval.
"Since right now, Dillon," I said smugly as I put a white tank top with the rest of my outfit.
"So, you think you're grown, huh?" he said with a smirk.
"No, I think I have a life," I said as I dropped to the floor and grabbed a pair of flip flops from beneath my bed.
"Okay, okay, just be careful. I don't like my baby sis being out in revealing clothes with guys that are bigger than her," he said shrugging.
"Don't worry, Dillon, I haven't forgot anything that you taught me," I said with a reassuring smile.
"Prove it," he challenged as he leaped off the bed and tackled me to the ground.
"Dammit, Dillon! Get off me!" I said as he put all of his weight on my back.
"Make me get off," he said, laughing.
I rolled on my back, struggling to free the arm that he held captive. After accomplishing my task, I pushed him off of my stomach and onto his back where I wrapped my legs around his and sat on them. He tried to get me with his arms but I stayed just out of his reach.
"What the hell, Ren? Did you date a wrestler, too?" he said, grimacing.
"No, I just have an awesome big brother," I said as I untangled my legs from his and got to my feet.
"Okay, maybe you can take care of yourself, just keep your eyes and ears open. I'll be here when you get back," he said as he got to his feet and exited my bedroom.
My cell phone began to vibrate. I walked over to my bedside table and picked it up. Logan's picture flashed on the screen.
"Hello?" I said, taking off my basketball shorts and underwear.
"Hey, Babe. What are you doing?" he asked in a voice that sent chills down my spine.
"Getting dressed. Tristan and I are hanging out tonight," I said, pulling on my bikini bottoms and my jean shorts.
"Oh," Logan said, sounding pretty bummed, "Are you and him...together now?"
"No, Logan. He's just a friend," I said, pulling my shirt over my head.
"Awesome... are we friends?" he asked cautiously.
"Uh, yeah. I would consider us friends," I said, unsnapping my bra and tossing it to the floor.
"Even more awesome!" he said enthusiastically, "So that means we can hang out sometime, as well, right? Since we're friends and all."
"Yeah, sure. I don't see why not," I lied. I could think of a million reasons why we shouldn't hang out. One of which being that I had no idea how long I could keep my hands off him.
"Great. What are you doing Friday?" he asked a little too nicely.
"Nothing yet," I said, wondering what he could possibly have in mind.
"Good. Friday's a home game and it's the first game they'll let me play since the injury." he began, "I want you there on the sidelines wearing my jersey."
"But Logan," I began, "I don't have your jersey."
"Yes, you do," he said smugly, "Look under your bed, towards the headboard on the side I slept on."
I did as I was told and there, on the floor, was a white box wrapped in blue ribbon. I undid the bow and the opened the box. Inside was a blue Crystal Bend Gargoyles jersey with the infamous number 13 on it. I grabbed it out of the box with shaky hands and turned it over. Above the larger 13, 'Chadwick' marked the back.
"Logan, how did you-," I began but was unable to finish.
"When I came to your room last night, I stashed it under your bed. It was gonna be a present for you...please tell me you'll come to the game with me and wear my jersey. It'd mean the world to me," he said, borderline begging.
"Of course I will!" I said, my heart melting. God, why did have to make my life so difficult?
"Thank you, Lauren. I love you," he said hopefully.
"Logan, I'm sorry... I can't-" I began, blinking back tears.
"You don't have to say it back, Lauren. Just know that, okay?" he said quietly.
"Okay," I said, nodding.
"Have a good time. Be good," he said before he hung up the phone.
I was officially between a rock and a hard place. I really wanted to be with Logan but at the same time I wanted Tristan. It wasn't fair. This was all Logan's fault. If it weren't for him, we could be together with Tristan nowhere in the picture, living our happily ever after. Also, if it weren't for him coming back with all of his love and forgiveness bullshit, I could be with Tristan with Logan nowhere in the picture, living our happily ever after.
I was so confused but one thing was for certain: I was going out with Tristan that night and was going to have a really good time, regardless of what tomorrow would bring. I applied waterproof eye makeup and sprayed a generous amount of perfume on my body. Everyone knows perfume smells better wet. I got a text from Tristan telling me that he was outside and I grabbed my purse and was out the door before James or Dillon could make any comments about my attire.
Tristan got out of his truck and opened the door for me as I approached him. "You look amazing!" he said as his eyes rolled over my body. He quickly blinked and shook his head, clearly forcing inappropriate thoughts back into their holding place. He was such a gentleman.
"Thanks. You don't look too shabby yourself," I said as I took in his appearance. He was wearing a fitted white tee shirt and some baggier jeans, I could see the waistband of his swim trunks underneath. God, I hoped we would get into the water!
After closing my door, he went to the other side of his truck and got in. Before putting it in gear, he looked at me and said "Are you ready to have the time of your life?"
"I am more than ready to have the time of my life," I said with a smirk. With that, he put the truck in reverse and backed out of my driveway. In no time, we were driving down the road, heading to the lake.
After a few minutes of driving, Tristan turned on the radio to break the awkward silence. Soon, the cab was filled with Kenny Chesney's voice singing She Thinks My Tractor's Sexy. I stifled a laugh.
"What's the matter, Lauren? Don't like country music?" Tristan asked, raising an eyebrow.
"Tristan, Sweetheart, I was born and raised in Crystal Bend... I have nothing against country music," I said with a smile.
"Good, because I'm a country boy through and through and if you couldn't deal with a bit of country, I was just gonna have to turn this Ford around and take you home," he said with a smirk.
"Really?" I asked with a pouty face.
"No, of course not! You're too pretty to let go!" he said, flashing me a perfect smile causing heat to rise to my cheeks.
"Thank you. So, do you really have a tractor?" I asked, trying to change the subject.
"Yes, Ma'am," he said, nodding.
Involuntarily, my mind drifted to an image of Tristan shirtless, riding on a John Deere tractor. I saw the sun beaming in the background and sweat dripping down his torso. I shook my head to rid myself of the inappropriate vision.
Before long, the remnants of our small town began to fade from view and our surroundings became more barren and rural. Dillon had good reason to be worried about me and I knew that now. I was in a truck with a guy that easily doubled my size, tripled my strength, and we were in a place that was miles away from civilization. I wasn't sure if I was more intimidated or turned on by this realization.
Tristan clearly became concerned about my sudden silence. "Why'd you get so quiet? Is it something I said?"
I shook my head vigorously. "No, you're perfect," I said genuinely, "I was just a little lost in thought."
"No, Babe... I'm not perfect. I'm far from it, but I'll tell you something: I plan to make this trip damn close," he replied, briefly making eye contact with me. "It shouldn't be long, now."
True to his word, within a few minutes we were pulling up to a concrete clearing. I smelled the lake through the vents, so I knew it was close. Tristan parked the truck and killed the engine. I reached for my door handle only to be stilled by the look he gave me. "Don't you dare," he said in his low voice and before I knew what he was talking about.
With no further ado, he was around to my side of the truck, opening the door.
"Thank you, Sir," I said, smiling politely.
"My pleasure," he said, returning the smile, "Let me show you what I got here."
He walked around to the bed of the truck and I did the same. I saw he had hamburger meat and hot dogs that he'd promised...I also saw graham crackers, Hershey's bars, marshmallows, and a tent.
I nodded my approval. "So, it looks like hot dogs and hamburgers for dinner and S'mores for dessert?" I asked with a smile.
"Yes, Ma'am," he said, looking excited that I approved.
"So," I began, "what's the tent for?"
Tristan's face turned beet-red before he began to speak: "Uh, well, I didn't know exactly, uh, what the plan was tonight. So, I, um, just got the tent and sleeping bags in case you wanted to call it a night. There's two separate sleeping bags back there, I swear," he stammered, being off-the-charts cute as usual.
"Tristan, it's okay, I wasn't trying to say anything. It makes sense," I said, softly, giving him a quick hug, "So what's first? It's still early, why don't we go for a swim?"