It was funny how within the past 24 hours the focus of Rory's visit to Hamburg had shifted. She'd aimed to immerse herself in the plenaries and discussions, bringing home fresh ideas, looking for a couple of art exhibits she'd hoped to see and checking out the Elbphilharmonie. That was all the homework she'd managed to do prior to this trip. Now all that was utterly insignificant to her, doing the bare minimum her job required. That alone was unlike her, but this was worth it. The connection was too strong to just dismiss, and spending the next three days with Logan meant at the very least waking up the emotions in her, even if they chose to leave it at that. But it was just too tempting not to see what was still there.
She'd skipped off from the conference venue during lunch hour, grabbing just a quick sandwich and a coffee on the way. She googled the nearest department store and burned a small, unplanned, hole in her private travel budget. She'd gotten a pair of black treggings, a dark blue silk spaghetti strap top and a light blue short A-line dress with a laced top and V-neck and some underwear. She had struggled at the underwear section being forced to think what her intentions truly were in this situation, eventually settling for a few pairs of fairly neutral black mesh sided panties and a matching unpadded bralette. It took her some effort to squeeze everything but the dress into her messenger bag, not wanting to parade around with several tote bags the rest of the conference. In this professional setting it was not ideal, but spending the last sessions with a dress under her chair, left her with a welcome anticipation. She had three full days to spend with Logan, having pushed her flight to Sunday evening. She knew she was going to be dead tired arriving to work just an hour to spare, cutting it close if the flight was late, but not once had she ever regretted having Logan taking her on a wild ride and she doubted she was going to now.
As the last speaker began, Rory texted Logan letting him know the plenary was on schedule.
"I'll see you soon," he texted back a few minutes later, creating a nervous knot in her stomach.
Logan waited for her at the side of his car, smiling smugly. He hadn't felt like that in years, almost seven years to be exact - it was just something different about Rory. Surely he had dated and even had a few girlfriends during that time, one even that he might have actually loved, but it had become clear in comparison that that too came at different intensities.
"I see someone's been doing some shopping," he noted, observing her tote bag.
"Oh, they were just giving these out at the coffee break," she joked, obliviously.
"Can't wait to see what you got, Ace," Logan commented, expectantly, opening the car door for her.
As they returned to the apartment, for a moment it felt as if the two actually lived there, returning home after a long work day. It felt natural for Logan to head to the kitchen to brew a couple of espressos for the them while she took a shower, changing into her new pair of treggings and the spaghetti strapped top. The autumn evening was still unusually warm, and Logan opened up the balcony doors to bring the outdoors in.
"So is this okay for tonight, or do I need to change?" she asked, emerging from the questroom to the kitchen.
Rory really didn't need much to look gorgeous, and that was obvious to Logan. Still, seeing her dressed up, even if it was fairly casual, clearly having made an effort, left him a little speechless as he glanced over her. Rory could sense him appreciating the view, struggling to pick his words.
"Is it just me or are you getting more gorgeous, Ace," he said, smugly, after gathering himself.
Rory's cheeks flushed a little. It wasn't as if she'd never heard him compliment or appreciate her looks before. In fact she'd probably never heard as many compliments, counting the indirect ones - "Okay, put my number" she heard echo in her mind - from anyone as she had from him - yet it felt like the first time, making her smile uncontrollably.
"Where are we going anyways?" she asked, trying to overcome the jitter his words caused.
"To dinner, and later... We'll see," he replied mysteriously.
"At least there's no blind fold this time," she grumbled, grabbing her cup of coffee.
"Don't tempt me, Ace," he laughed, placing her empty cup in the sink. "Alright, my turn to get ready," he said, leaving the kitchen.
Rory took her seat on the balcony again, breathing in the fresh air, trying to enjoy the excitement in her gut. It had been far too long since she'd felt like that. The last proper date she'd had was a couple of months ago with a guy called Sebastian, a co-worker. It had even gotten as far as the second date until the guy had announced that real books were rightfully becoming obsolete. She'd debated him fiercely until after a while she had just given up and left the table. She was after all the girl who loved the smell of old books, and the feeling of a real paper pages under her fingers. It really didn't take her long to throw the towel in the corner when it came to her dates. She always searched for that connection, unable to stop herself from comparing, even if just subconsciously.
Logan materialized shortly, finding Rory deep in thought, on the fold out chair on the balcony, the nearly empty coffee cup in her hand.
Jolting out of her thoughts by the feeling of his eyes observing her, she finished up her coffee and glanced over to him. He wore a pair of dark blue jeans and a grey henley shirt with a sleek leather biker jacket over it.
Rory could read that outfit like a book. "Dinner and a few parties, right?"
"You're good," he commented.
"I know you," she said, adding, "at least I used to. Now it's just time to find out how much you've changed," slipping past him through the kitchen door frame, just an inch between them. He could've moved, given her room, but the closeness was just too tempting.
She grabbed her denim jacket, and lifted her small black purse across her body, adding, "Ready to go?" allowing the pleasant tension to carry.
She was wearing the same pair of heels she'd worn last night with her red dress, and she certainly looked amazing in them, making Logan reluctant to say what he was about to.
"I hate to say this, but I think you may want to switch to sneakers today," he added.
"This is why it's vital to inform the…," she began, unsure what to add there, wanting to explain the importance of knowing the itinerary for making appropriate outfit choices. She hastily tossed her pumps off her bare toes, making his heart skip a beat recalling the number of times her shoes had been hastily discarded, in a very similar manner, on their way to the bedroom.
It was a minute later, when she was truly ready to go, feeling somehow dressed down by the lack of high heels. He could see the slight pout in her face, suddenly feeling a little guilty for suggesting that.
"Don't worry Ace, you don't need the heels to look hot," he whispered, over her shoulder as he led out the door. That sentence made her bite her lip at the sensual tone of his voice.
They took the U-bahn, catching a glimpse of the real Hamburg, then walking over the bridges crossing the canals, and along the streets lined with modern architecture. She'd experienced this type of culture-immersion by Logan before, when she'd visited him in London for Christmas for example. He had no trouble doing what the locals did, eat where they eat - he was no longer the guy who expected to be treated according to the thickness of his wallet or his reputation and it seemed to have only improved with time.
"That's the Elbphilharmonie, right?" she noted, seeing the unmistakable shape in the distance.
"It is, I figured you'd want to see it, and I combined it with our dinner. They have an amazing brasserie," he explained.
"So, while we walk, I wanted to ask you something," she began after a few minutes.
"Shoot," he replied.
"I didn't ruin your plans for this weekend did I, by staying?" she inquired hesitantly, as if still needing some reassurance.
"You may have influenced me to postpone some work assignments for next week, but I was happy to do it. Really," he smirked.
"So no unhappy dates secretly hating my guts for stealing you for the weekend?" she inquired further, pushing him a little to spell it out for her
"No, Ace. Believe me. The only date I want to steal my weekend away is you," he said, even to his surprise, making her blush momentarily by his honesty. Finally she could breathe a little easier. At least he really considered this long weekend a date, leaving no room to misinterpret.
"I'm glad," she replied.
The brasserie overlooked the city and they sat at the windows, enjoying their IPA-s and fish burgers, which Logan claimed were the best in the city. They truly were delishious. After dinner, they walked over to the viewing platform for Rory to take a few pictures.
"Let's do one of us," she suggested, flipping the camera mode to do a selfie with Hamburg in the background while the sun was setting. They snuggled close, Logan's head placed over her shoulder and his hand gently holding her waist. It was intoxicating, the sense of his warm chest against her back, but the photographing tourist group around them made it awkward to linger, making them reluctantly step apart.
"So what now?" she asked as they stepped out of the building after touring the building for a few minutes.
"We take the U-bahn again, I thought we'd check out some of the trendier neighbourhoods, maybe grab a few drinks, see some art, there might be some cool music," he explained. It surely was an evening of adventure and discovery. Logan may have known his way around but half of the places they stepped into, seemed to be new to him too. Stepping into another loud establishment, with flashing lights and colorfully lit windows, trying to move past the crowd, he grabbed her hand, making him recall the first time they'd jumped - "You jump, I jump, Jack," her words rang in his ears, as he did.
His palm felt hot around her hand, but not sweaty, as if that hand really could pull her along through anything. The venue was an old police house, old signs lingering as remembrances from that time, barely refurbished to adjust to current needs. The crowd was younger than them, and clearly more drunk. But she really didn't care.
Despite the fact that she really wasn't much of a dancer, the lightshow and the music took over her mind, and she began to move. The music was too loud to talk, without shouting, and he didn't object, moving along with her. Their bodies went with the natural flow of things, adjusting to each other's movement, coming closer and closer together.
His hands no longer held their distance from her hips, inviting her closer, until the music finally stopped and the two bodies remained in place, feeling each-other panting. The music picked up again, but they stayed in place, the tension of their lips approaching, like having a mind of their own, needing to be solved.
She stretched out her neck as his slightly opened lips approached. They were perhaps half an inch apart, as their lips crashed into each other, unable to withstand it any longer. Her soft, slightly trembling, lips parted, welcoming his tongue into her mouth. The heatwave ran through her body, reaching every inch of it. It was so easy to get lost in her, in him. She could feel him smile as they kissed, unable to hide his euphoria. Her lips continued to move hungrily, until both of them needed to catch their breath again.
"And apparently, this time I did know what I was missing," he said finally, still panting heavily, his forhead lingering on her's.
AN: I know there is one major time lapse flaw in this story - the Elbphilarmonie wasn't opened until 2017, but it suited the story, so I'll let it slide. I hope you enjoyed this update! Reviews are appreciated - they really make my day!