AN: You have no idea how much your positive feedback means to me. And what better incentive to procrastinate by writing/posting another chapter, right? I really should be writing so many other things (work related). This is so definitely my guilty pleasure. Thank you again!
This chapter is still setting the mood, trying to show you what is going on in their minds, their circumstances.
The soles of Logan's sneakers crunched against the gravel as he ran along his usual route. Many of his business acquaintances did what he did, choosing the 6-7 AM window for their only chance of exercising, yet this morning he wasn't so much as enjoying his brisk run in the morning drizzle, rather just trying to distract his brain. Hence he turned the Rammstein in his headphones louder and pulled his hood over his head, hoping to avoid eye contact with anyone who might know him by blending anonymously into the background as he picked up the pace.
The whole situation made him sick to his stomach. The news he'd gotten last night was the worst and best he'd ever heard, and to confuse him even further they'd hit him in the wrong order, only realizing a little later that for some brief time there had actually been a baby. How does one even begin to grieve something like that? At that moment, more than anything he grieved for Rory - she was the one dealing with it more directly, the sound of her cries still echoing in the back of his head, which even Rammstein couldn't smother.
He cringed at his own pathetic reasoning for not jumping on the plane to go see her. In part it was as simple as not having no more than a 30 minute gap in his calendar for three weeks solid of meetings, presentations and social obligations. That was what Mitchum did - he treated other people's time as his own property. Sure, Logan had tried fighting it in his youth, and while he had briefly succeeded, it was eventually his name that had closed just as many doors in front of him as it opened. But now he just felt powerless. It had been after another patent lawsuit, when he had finally resorted into asking Mitchum's help, and soon after relented and returned to the family business realizing that his name also made him very vulnerable. In the HPG, in theory at least, he could do what he type of work he liked doing, without having to worry about personal liability if anything didn't turn out according to plan due to someone else's hidden agenda. As for the second part, he was just confused about what Rory wanted him to do, what was his place in all this, and whether anything he chose to do, would actually even help rather than do further harm.
Logan was roughly halfway through his run, when his phone rang. He panted momentarily, having pushed himself a little to the red zone, before answering it. There were not a lot of people who would be calling at this hour.
"Logan, care to elaborate who is going to be staying in my Maine house this time? It's not some bed and breakfast you know that you can go offering everybody," Honor asked, having received a text from his brother at 3 AM. He'd asked her for the house a couple of months ago, and now he was asking again. It simply seemed odd to her. What's with the sudden attraction to Maine? she wondered.
"Sis, I'm not offering it to everyone...," he began, thinking what to stay. "It's Rory, alright?" he stated, waiting for her reply, knowing his sister certainly would have something to say to that.
"Oh," she reacted. "I thought you weren't seeing her anymore," Honor commented, having had some knowledge of their arrangement during the past few years.
"Well I am not," Logan said. It was true, but whatever was still there, didn't really have a format. Where did 'seeing' her begin and end exactly? Did thinking of her every time he had a moment to himself count? "She's just going through something and needs a place to write in peace," he stated weakly, trying to keep it together.
"Alright then, sure," Honor relented. "You sound a little off, Logan - are you okay?" she asked a moment later.
What was he supposed to reply? No? His sister would never just accept that answer, and he certainly wasn't going to lie to her. Then again filling her in on everything felt just too raw.
"I'm just worried about her," he replied. It was indeed the truth.
Rory arrived at the white trimmed grey shingle house in pitch darkness, just a lonely porchlite lit above the door. Turning off the engine of her trusted Toyota she stepped into the night just the ocean waves rustling against the shore in the distance. She edged her suitcase and her messenger bag from the trunk, slowly pulling the former along the gravel path around the house and loudly up the back porch stairs looking for the blue decorative lantern that held the key the housekeeper had left for her. She could sense the chilly ocean breeze in the back of the neck. Having found the key, she turned it in the lock, opening the door with a slight creak, allowing her to step in, pulling her suitcase after her.
She closed the door after her and turned on the light, observing the massive vaulted ceiling living room she was now standing in. She was too tired to fully explore the place, only attempting to find the kitchen for a glass of water, before hauling her luggage upstairs in search of the guest bedroom. She was dead tired of her 6 hour trip and it wasn't long until she kicked off her shoes and stepped out of her jeans, before slipping between the fresh sheets not even bothering to unpack her toothbrush yet alone use it.
Rory woke in the morning to the sound of the door slamming downstairs. Jolted up by the sound, she recalled it must've been the housekeeper Logan had mentioned. She hastily pulled on the robe that hung at the back of the door, and snuck downstairs to investigate, only now realizing by glancing outside how close to the ocean the house really was, the dark grey stormy ocean leaving her in awe of it.
"Hello," she called out, slightly self-conscious about her appearance, not having properly looked in the mirror in a while.
"Oh hello," the grey-haired slim woman spoke, putting the groceries away in the cupboards. "I didn't mean to wake you, the wind just slammed the door," she added apologetically.
"It's fine. I'm Rory by the way," she added.
"Catherine," she replied.
"I really don't need you to go through all this trouble for me," Rory said.
"This is what I always do, whether it is you or the Rothchild's, doesn't matter," Catherine replied.
"I'm just not used to this," she added. She realized that if Catherine mentioned the name Rothchild, the place must've belonged or mostly be used by Honor and her family, which in a way she actually preferred. Having been surprised by an unexpected visit by Mitchum in Martha's Vineyard once, was more than enough. Here she truly hope to avoid any such confrontations.
"I usually come by one or twice a week, bring some food, cook a few meals so they're easy to heat up when you need them and do a round of cleaning on Mondays. And when the snow comes you'll be thankful that someone shovels the driveway for you," she explained, adding a card with her phone number in front of her.
She nodded thankfully, her mind already elsewhere, as she observed the foamy waves outside.
Rory hadn't really thought very far down the road. How long was she staying, she had no idea. There hadn't been a scenario in her mind that she would've ever ended up taking Logan's offer but life had had other plans. It had felt even a little dirty accepting the house when he first offered it, as if it was Logan's attempt to keep her on the sidelines, like some geisha. But after learning she had been pregnant with his child, actually feeling the loss rather than the relief, now she was the one desperately holding on. She felt guilty for her momentary clinginess, but she knew that Logan was too much of a gentleman to not help her if she asked for it. And he had. What else he intended to do, was up to him. But he certainly had no obligation, and she knew she had no right to ask him to rescue her, despite wanting to be in his arms right now was the only thing she felt like doing.
"Do you want me to make you some coffee?" Catherine asked, the word coffee waking Roy out of her thoughts.
"What? Oh, yes, coffee would be great," she said thankfully. She might have been stubborn and independent, but right now she just didn't feel like she had the energy to fight it.
The mechanical pounding of the toned body in front of him, her back to him, just barely did it for him. She certainly looked sexy, her perfectly symmetrical hourglass figure moving in the opposite directions of his thrusts, slight gasps leaving her lips. Her center was deep, warm and very wet as he drove himself into her again. Strangely enough it had seemed like the only remedy against the pain he was feeling. However, the concentration this required from him this time, he struggled with, unable to fully push his thoughts aside. He pressed his eyelids shut trying to make sure he got her off. He did, a high pitched moan and the slight tremor taking over her body, soon led him to his own high, almost involuntarily. It was as if the climax woke something in him, letting his guard down. As he came, he could feel tears and sweat dripping down his face. Before she had the chance to turn around, he swiftly disappeared into the bathroom, disposing of the used condom.
"Thanks for that, I needed that," Odette called after him, the bathroom door left half open while he stared himself in the mirror. He could hear her turning to her side and switching off the bedside lamp on her bedside table. "Good night," she added.
"Good night," Logan replied weakly, and washed his face. Was this what it was going to be like?
They might have been engaged to be married, but other than appreciation towards each-other's appearance, some level of friendship and excellent cooperation skills, there wasn't much more between them. They'd both settled. And despite the lack of something deeper, they'd agreed to at least scratch each-other's itch, when they had it, not needing to go out looking for casual relations. But it was getting increasingly difficult for Logan to do what he had promised, his mind overcrowded with emotion, above all, regret and guilt.