"Wow, that's quite an improvement since last week," Lorelai commented, adding, "no offence," as she observed her daughter move around the kitchen unpacking Sookie's cooking dressed in one of her semi-casual dark burgundy wrap dresses her hair actually washed and pulled up to a neat bun. She looked almost radiant. Lorelai had just arrived carrying the trays of food on Rory's request to join her for dinner.
"This is what happens when I get some sleep. Megan is a genius," she exclaimed.
"Who's she?" Lorelai asked, clearly not having been kept in the loop.
"She's the doula, or well… I guess she calls herself a baby consultant," Rory explained, trying to plate a cheesecake, not entirely successfully.
"Tell me it isn't true?" Lorelai asked demonstratively.
"What?" Rory said confusedly.
"You got a nanny?" Lorelai exclaimed.
"She's not a nanny, she's a consultant who helps me get some sleep, there's a difference," she explained.
"So instead of actually babysitting, she tells you what to do?" she inquired.
"Pretty much," Rory agreed.
"So you're paying someone to tell you what to do?" Lorelai asked confusedly.
"Well it works…. I'm definitely willing to pay for sleep," she said.
"Who is all this food for anyways, I thought it was just going to be Logan and me," Lorelai asked, looking at the pile of plates Rory was piling up on the counter. Luke had had to work that evening, having given Caesar a night off.
"About that..," she began, hearing the doorbell ring.
"Rory…," Lorelai scolded, realizing Rory hadn't told her everything.
"Hey kiddo," Christopher greeted as she opened the door. Behind him stood Francine.
"Hey," Lorelai said, having pasted on a forced smile.
"Lorelai, good to see you," Christopher added, giving her a small hug, while Rory greeted Francine. He could see from Lorelai's face she had been blindsighted.
"So where is this grandson of mine," Christopher asked, expectantly.
"Upstairs with Logan, they should be down shortly," Rory said, gesturing everyone towards the living room.
"You look well, Rory," Francine commented.
"Thank you," she said smilingly. She felt so much better compared to the week before, having slept and showered, she'd even been out shopping on her own once.
"I'll just go check on baby Lee and Logan," Lorelai excused herself, not really feeling like hanging around the living room,"
"Don't mind her, it's my fault, I sort of tricked her into joining us today. I'm sorry, I just wanted her to be present and see that you're not carrying on Straub's issues. And she probably wouldn't have come if I had told her," Rory explained.
"It's okay, Rory. Thank you for trying," Francine replied.
"I'll go talk to her," Christopher offered, heading towards the staircase, only to be stopped on his path by Logan with Lee on his shoulder.
"Now there's a proud looking father," Christopher commented as he saw them. "Hi Lee, it's me, gramps," he spoke to Lee over Logan's shoulder. "I'll be back," he added, heading towards Lorelai who had already come downstairs.
While Logan burped Lee and Francing went into a full-on baby-talk mode, Christopher led Lorelai into the kitchen.
"You okay there?" he asked.
"I can't believe she tricked me like that?" Lorelai huffed, as she began plating the antipasto skewers.
"Well why do you think she did that?" Christopher asked.
"Because she knew I wouldn't have come otherwise," Lorelai admitted.
"Well…, can you really blame her then?" he inquired.
"Still, I don't see why I need to be here," she replied.
"Well that is something I can't answer for her completely, but I bet she just wanted you to see that my mom is a very different person these days, and I guess she also might want your support on her decision by giving this a try," he explained.
"I guess," she muttered, like a grumpy preschooler.
Logan stepped into the kitchen, beginning to fix their guests some drinks, interrupting the two. "Christopher, Maccallan or would you something else?" Logan asked.
"Maccallan would be great," he replied. "So how does it feel, Logan, being a young father?" he asked, perhaps even not realizing the bitterness in his gut. In front of him stood a man who was actually there for his son, and for Rory.
"It's been crazy and exhausting, but he is incredible. I've read all about the hormone triggers and I think it's the most incredible trick babies play on you. It's just impossible not to love him. And now when I'm actually able to help more, I'm really going to hate going back to work," Logan explained enthusiastically.
"So when are you due back to work?" Lorelai asked.
"In a week," he replied, adding, "but then I just have a few months to go until I can focus on the hub in Hartford."
"What kind of hub?" Christopher asked.
"It's an innovation hub of sorts. I want to work with young professionals, some fresh out of college, help them to put their ideas into practice. I offer them a co-working space, access to patent lawyers, consultations, we do pitching training and help them create contacts, things like that. To begin with it works pretty much like a NGO but once it gets going I aim to get clients to come to us with real-live problems and then we can hold competitions to solve them. The focus is publishing and media, but not necessarily limited to that," he explained.
"That sounds pretty interesting," Christopher commented. "You should really give me a call when you have time, I am sure there are some ways we could work together. You're bound to need some liability insurance at some point just to begin with," he added.
"I'll do that," Logan replied, enthusiastically, finishing pouring everyone's drinks.
"Alright, enough shop talk guys," Lorelai said, wanting to add 'let's get this over with', having poured herself a large Chardonnay, heading back towards the living room.
"Alright, let me see this grandson of mine," Christopher said determinedly, following her Logan with a tray of drinks behind him.
Lorelai said very little during the entire evening but she tolerated it, and indeed, Rory had been right - Francine didn't sound hostile or insincere like she'd imagined. But still, erasing her past experiences wasn't going to be that easy. It was surprisingly easy for her to focus on something other than Francine that evening, as she observed Christopher handle Lee, while she'd seen him with GG just the same, somehow seeing him with Rory's baby felt more painful, a slight reminder of what could've been. She was past that of course, but it was just the interaction between Christopher, Francine and Rory together with Lee that she'd never thought she's see in real life.
Lee slept cozily in his stroller which Rory had placed just outside the gridded door, leading to the back yard, the door ayar. It was a warm summer day, a Saturday afternoon, and the back of the house offered a nice shade along with a smooth breeze. It had been a while since Rory had had the time and energy to open her laptop for more than buying a few baby essentials or ordering groceries, having used mostly her phone for answering a few e-mails on the go. Today, however, she stared at her book tour schedule. There were still nearly three months to go, but already the thought seemed daunting.
"Boston, Providence, Pittsburg, Charlotte, Charleston, Vermont, Philadelphia, D.C, Baltimore, Chicago, New York," she listed to herself, noting down the dates on her calendar. While on her campaign trail days that list would've been nothing, but now, with Lee, she could hardly imagine surviving it. Essentially there were a few options - leaving Lee at home or bringing him with her. But she still had no idea how she was going to do either of those versions. Surely there was Logan and Lorelai, but she felt silly now, having somehow naively thought she could manage without a nanny. Somehow when she'd picture being a mother she hadn't realized how little control she had over her time, Lee was in charge now, and sticking to a busy travel schedule hardly seemed to match his. She even momentarily contemplated the suggestion of buying Brick Publishing just for the sake of cancelling the tour, but truly that wasn't what she wanted either. She'd worked hard for that book, and for months that had felt like her most important assignment, perhap even one of her most important assignments in her life. The book was telling her story, after all.
"What's up?" Logan asked quietly leaning against the living room door, before walking up to her
"Just thinking about the book tour," she replied.
"There's still some time until that begins, isn't there?" Logan asked, stroking her shoulders.
"I know, but I honestly have no idea how I am going to be able to pull this off," she sighed, sounding worried.
"Is it all in one go or just a few days at the time?" he continued, trying to calm her.
"The ones that are closer to each other are in one go - the lengthiest is two weeks in one stretch, the ones close to here are one day trips, I think," Rory commented, checking the dates.
"So mark the longer ones in my calendar. I'll be off Yale by then and I'm sure I can just come with you," he offered. Having his own business certainly had some advantages.
"You're sure?" she asked, not wanting to force him out of his busy schedule at the LH.
"Absolutely," Logan replied. There really was no doubt in his voice.
"You're pretty amazing, you know that right," she rose, wrapping her arms around his neck and landing a deep kiss of gratitude. It had been a while since she kissed her husband like that, deeply and with passion, momentarily losing herself in him. Logan pulled her closer, exploring her mouth with his tongue. She could already feel how the kiss had awaken him, his member lodged between their hips. She wanted him badly, but wasn't allowed to have him yet.
"Wow," he commented, still floating in a bubble. "You realize kissing me like that is making it very difficult to keep my hands off you, right?" he added with a smirk. She still felt incredible, her shape ever so slightly more curvy now.
"While I may be off-limits for now, it doesn't mean you have to be," she replied teasingly, her hand already making its way down towards his pants.
"You're incredible, Ace," he murmured, allowing her to unbutton and unzip him, running her hand over his arousal several times. He ran his fingers over her hips and waist, her light blouse hinting at what was underneath. His hand gently cupper her full breast, knowing they were a little tender, nevertheless enjoying their rounder and fuller form.
Dropping his pants and boxers onto the floor he leaned against her desk. He really didn't need a lot, having not had her touch him like that in a little more than a month, both of their minds having been taken over by more pressing matters. Her soft tongue made him moan since the first taste, making Rory add a, "shh," in between. He bit his lip, trying to stay quiet. She held onto his base while her mouth did the rest, gently teasing in between with the tip of her tongue, while his hand was wrapped in her hair. It made him go wild, seeing her glance up at him, while she sucked onto him, her innocent eyes making him lose control. It took just a few delves before he came, leaving traces of him on her face and blouse. The sight had been incredibly sexy, yet making him feel a little apologetic leaving this one sided. She rose and picked up an old burp cloth from the table, next to him, wiping herself clean, smilingly.
"God, how did I ever deserve you," he sighed, kissing her once more holding her close. He was definitely going to make it up to her.