There was a guy sitting on the porch in front of Marie’s home when the jeep pulled into the driveway. A pretty boy who looked outta place in the cold north. Right away, Logan decided that he didn’t like the guy. Pretty boys weren’t exactly his thing. There was just something about the kid Logan didn’t trust. Over the past few months Logan had become pretty good at reading people. He could normally tell what he wanted to about them right away.
“What on earth is Dave doin’ here?” Marie mumbled as she drove up the driveway.
“He your boyfriend or somethin’?” Logan asked, trying to sound casual about it.
“No he’s not,” Marie said as she brought the jeep to a stop right next to Logan’s bike. “He’s a kid who goes to the high school in town.”
“Want me to scare him away for you?”
Marie burst out laughing when he said that and swatted Logan on the arm. “No, Ah don’t want ya t’ scare him away. Yer awful, Logan. Now sit tight an’ Ah’ll go ‘round t’ the other side. Ah don’t want ya fallin’ flat on yer face tryin’ t’ get outta the jeep.”
Logan wanted to tell her that he could get out on his won, but he knew that he couldn’t. And it pissed him off. Logan liked to be able to take care of himself. It was something he had prided himself on since he had left the hospital. He had left the hospital with only the clothes one of the nurses had picked up for him from the thift shop and fifty dollars to his name. That was it. He had simply signed his release papers and walked out of the hospital. It had taken him two days to find the fight circuit and that had been his lucky break. He had been even luckier that the circuit had stayed in the same spot long enough for him to work up the money to buy his car.
From then on out, Logan had been entirely self-sufficient.
It wasn’t that he resented Marie for the help she was providing him. Logan just wasn’t used to people helping him. The only people who had claimed to want to help him had been woman who had wanted nothing more than to fuck him and take the money he had made that night. After the first time, Logan had learned to be wary of people who wanted to get close to him.
Something told him that Marie was different. He didn’t know why, but for some reason that he couldn’t figure out, Logan trusted Marie. She seemed to genuinely want to help him.
“Hey, Dave!” Marie called as she ran across the front of the jeep to Logan’s side.
By the time Marie reached the other side of the jeep, Logan had to the door open and was attempting to ease himself onto the ground. Marie’s glare stopped him dead in his tracks. He smiled sheepishly and allowed Marie to help him outta the jeep. Logan stumbled, putting as little pressure on his right leg as possible.
Right from the start, Logan could tell that pretty boy Dave was pissed off about his presence. While Marie wasn’t looking, the teenager sneered at Logan, his eyes unfathomably dark. As soon as Marie’s looked over in his direction, though, Dave was smiling as though nothing was wrong.
“What happened to him?” Dave demanded, obviously feigning concern.
Marie grinned up at Logan, rolling her eyes dramatically. “Logan decided t’ take a little tumble on his bike. Ah really can’t figure out why he rides that thing. More often than not, he crashes it inta the snow.”
“Hey, I only did that once!” Logan insisted, grinning back.
“Yeah, says ya,” Marie teased as she led Logan past Dave towards the door. “Ah’m shocked ya haven’t crashed it more than this.”
While Marie reached into her pocket to grab the keys to her cabin, Logan attempted to put some weight on his injured ankle. Just like all of his previous attempts, all that it did was hurt like a bitch. Marie must have heard his pained grunt because she looked at him and rolled her eyes.
“Will ya just learn t’ behave yerself an’ stop tryin’ t’ put pressure on yer foot? The doctor said that ya hafta take it easy fer a little while,” Marie reminded him as they entered the house.
This time it was Logan who rolled his eyes. “It’s really not that bad, Marie. It’s not like I’m gonna keel over and die ‘cause I stand on my right foot.”
“Yeah, well how ‘bout we don’t find out whether that’s true or not?” Marie suggested, bypassing Boris who was sound asleep in the middle of the living room.
“You’re no fun.”
“She’s just looking out for you, man.”
Until he had spoken, Logan had forgotten about Dave. The little prick had been silent for a while so Logan had thought he’d left.
“Stuff it, pansy,” Logan growled, wincing as a sudden jerky movement sent a wave of pain flashing through his upper body. “I think I know my limits better than you.”
“All right, boys, let’s lower the testosterone levels a little,” Marie ordered as she lowered Logan down onto the couch. “Dave, don’t antagonize Logan. He’s had a rough day an’ if ya get him goin’ he’s gonna do somethin’ t’ hurt himself more.”
When Marie turned around to go put her jacket in the closet, Logan stuck his tongue out at Dave.
“What did ya want anyway, Dave?” Marie asked, this time heading into the kitchen.
“I uh....I just came over to say hi, I guess,” Dave stammered, shuffling his feet. “And since I’ve said that, I guess I’ll go.”
Marie seemed a little confused by his actions, but only shrugged her shoulders. “All right then. Bye, Dave. Ah’ll see ya at the game. Oh shit! Ah fergot ‘bout Logan. Guess we’ll just hafta wait an’ see ‘bout the game. If Ah’m not there, will ya tell the guys Ah’m sorry?”
Frowning slightly, Dave nodded his head. “Sure thing, Marie. See ya later.”
Without another word, Dave turned and left the small cabin. When the door shut, Marie shook her shoulders as though rousing herself from a stupor. Glass of water in hand, Marie walked back into the living room where Logan was still seated on the couch.
“Here ya go,” Marie said, holding out the glass of water to Logan. In her other hand were two white pills that Logan eyed warily. “Oh quite actin’ like a baby, Logan. It’s just some painkillers. They’ll put ya t’ sleep right away. The doctor said fer me t’ give them t’ ya when we got home. An’ since we’re home Ah’m givin’ them t’ ya.”
Still a little wary, Logan took the pills from Marie’s small hand. He turned them over in his hand for a moment before popping them in his mouth. Marie handed him the glass of water and Logan drank it all down in long gulps, trying to swallow the acidic taste that lingered in his mouth where the pills had touched his tongue. As soon as he handed the glass back to Marie, she helped him out of his leather jacket and the jean one underneath. His boots came next then Marie eased him down onto his back. There was a huge collection of throw pillows at the end where his head went and Marie pulled an afghan from the back of the couch and draped it over him. Logan winced a few times as he tried to get himself comfortable and he noticed that each time his face contorted in pain, so did Marie’s.
“I feel funny,” Logan told her as she headed back into the kitchen.
“That’s just the drugs,” Marie called back. “In no time at all ya’ll be sound asleep. By the time you wake up, it’ll be time fer supper. Ya got any requests?”
Before Logan had a chance to respond, he was out cold. He could feel himself falling asleep and found it very eerie. Logan didn’t want to fall asleep. He wanted to stay awake for as long as possible. Something told him that when he woke up, he wouldn’t be cocooned in the warm blanket on Marie’s couch. He’d be in another ratty hotel room that reeked of sex and an over-abundance of perfume. That was the last thing Logan wanted. Marie was the first person besides the nurses who had actually seemed to give a damn about him.
The thing about Marie that confused Logan the most was the fact that she didn’t have any reason to care about him. She could have simply left him on the side of the road, yet there he was. In her living room, fighting off sleep.
”You’re gonna die, you little fucker!”
In his sleep, Logan strained against he afghan that covered him.
”When I’m through with you, they’ll need dental records to identify you!”
Logan swore that he could hear the wind whipping past his ears. Feel the steering wheel under his hands. Hearing the blaring of the horn.
”Time to die, little runt! I’m gonna fuckin’ kill ya!”
That was it.
Logan could feel himself crashing through a plate of glass, his skin being ripped to shreds. He flew through the air for what seemed like an eternity before his head smashed against something hard-- a tree.
Then it all went black.
Logan sat up with a scream that was half from the nightmare, half from the incredible pain in his chest. He was breathing heavily, as heavily as his brace would allow, and sweat covered his skin, dripping from his hairline down the back of his shirt.
“Logan!” Marie shouted as she went barreling down a staircase.
It wasn’t the first time he’d had that nightmare. Every few days Logan would awaken in the middle of the night, screaming and covered in sweat. After each one, Logan found it all but impossible to fall back asleep that night.
“Logan, are ya all right?” Marie demanded as she sat down next to him on the couch, smoothing her fingers through his damp hair. “What happened?”
“Night... nightmare,” Logan gasped out, still attempted to pull oxygen into his lungs. “S-sorry. I just.... Fuck! I just want it to stop,” Logan moaned, lowering his head onto Marie’s shoulder as she gathered him up in his arms.
Marie pressed a kiss to his shoulder through the material of his shirt as she continued to smooth her fingers through his hair. “It’s all right, Logan. Yer safe here.”
“I just want to know who he is. Why he did it,” Logan mumbled, more to himself than to Marie. Logan didn’t know what he’d done to piss the big man off, but he wished that he hadn’t done it.
“Who?” Marie asked, lifting her head from Logan’s shoulder and staring into his dark eyes.
“The guy who ran me off the road six months ago,” Logan revealed, letting out a deep sigh. “Everyone keeps telling me that I hit a patch of ice and lost control of my truck and, trust me, I want to believe them. But if that was the case, they could have simply looked at the plate on my truck and figured out who I was.”
Logan could see the trepidation on Marie’s face when she asked her next question. “Why didn’t they do that?”
“‘Cause there was nothing left on my truck that would identify me. No wallet. No plates. No serial number on the engine. Nothing. It’s like someone came and took it all. Hell, I know that’s what happened, but the cops won’t admit to it. They just told me that my truck was totaled beyond all recognition and they couldn’t get the information they wanted,” Logan rambled on, revealing all of this to another person for the first time in six months.
“How do ya know that’s not what happened?” Marie asked, her thumbs lightly caressing his cheeks. “Maybe ya really did just total yer car?”
“I saw my car, Marie. I tracked it down a few weeks ago when I was passing through the area where I had my accident. The right side was a little crumpled, but it really wasn’t in that bad o’ shape,” Logan told her, glancing down at his lap. “I met some guy who hacked into the police files and found out where my car was. I went to check it out and there it was. There was some traces of red paint on the back and left side, like I was getting rubbed by another car. Plus there’s these goddamned nightmares that keep telling me that someone drove me off the road.”
“Oh mah Gawd,” Marie gasped, placing a hand over her mouth. “That’s awful! Why on earth would the police try t’ cover somethin’ like that up?”
“I wish I knew,” Logan muttered, refusing to meet Marie’s eyes. He knew that at any moment, she was going to tell him to get out. That she didn’t want someone like him living with her.
That didn’t come.
Instead, Marie wrapped her arms around his shoulders, hugging him against her. Confused, but still relieved by Marie’s actions, Logan hugged her back. He had never told anyone what he had just told Marie. Hell, he’d never even told anyone about his amnesia. No one had asked. They had all either wanted to fight him or fuck him. Marie, on the other hand, seemed to actually care about him. Logan didn’t know why, but he was glad that she did.
“Ya know what Ah think ya could use?” Marie asked as she pulled away from Logan. She was grinning from ear to ear, as though nothing was wrong. “Ah think that ya could use a bath. A nice warm bath. It’ll relax ya an’ make ya feel so much better.”
“A bath?” Logan asked, a little unsure. He’d never been a bath guy, normally just taking a quick shower in whatever motel he was sleeping in.
Marie nodded her head enthusiastically. “A bath. It’ll make ya feel so much better, Logan. An’ it doesn’t even require that much movement which’ll be great fer ya. All ya hafta do is sit there an’ let the warm water sink inta yer body.”
Watching Marie practically bouncing up and down on the couch, a huge grin on her face, Logan wasn’t able to say no to her. Before he was completely aware of what he had just agreed to, Marie was helping him into the bathroom which, Logan was to discover, was right next to the kitchen.
It wasn’t until Marie was lowering him down onto the closed lid of the toilet that the two of them realized the same thing.
“Yer not gonna be able t’ get inta the bath by yerself, are ya?”
“Getting out of this shirt is gonna be hard enough.”
Marie’s face got incredibly red at that moment. “Which means Ah’m gonna hafta help ya get yer clothes off and help ya inta the bath while yer... um, naked.”
“So it would seem,” Logan agreed, secretly enjoying Marie’s discomfort. She looked so cute stuttering and stammering, her cheeks flushed a bright red.
To busy herself, Marie leaned over and began fiddling with the knobs on the bathtub. Once she was satisfied with the temperature, she turned back around, muttering something under her breath that Logan couldn’t make out.
Then, to Logan’s complete shock, she pulled off her shirt.
“Marie, what are you doing?” Logan demanded, turning his head away.
“Well, the way Ah see it, if Ah get t’ see ya naked, it’s only fair that ya get t’ see me naked,” Marie told him bluntly.
There was a swish of fabric and Logan had a feeling that Marie was no longer wearing her faded jeans.
“Marie, you don’t have to do this,” Logan told her, not turning to face her in case she changed her mind. “I really don’t mind. I had an eighty year old nurse giving me a sponge bath once. You don’t have to do this.”
“Ah know Ah don’t hafta do this, Logan. Hell, every instinct in mah body is tellin’ me that Ah shouldn’t be doin’ this--”
“Exactly my point,” Logan tried to interrupt.
“--but Ah’m gonna do it anyway,” Marie finished, reaching out to grab hold of his chin.
Logan didn’t really want to turn his head, but allowed Marie to maneuver his head anyway. The first thing that he saw was Marie’s face and Logan chose to focus on that. He wasn’t going to look at the rest of her body. He wouldn’t do that to Marie.
“It’s all right, Logan. Ah’m chosin’ t’ do this. The way Ah see it, it’s hardly fair fer me t’ see ya an’ ya not see me. It puts us on unequal footin’.” Marie must have seen his look of disbelief because she rolled her eyes and smirked at him. “Ah know this sounds real stupid, but it’s the truth. Ah’m not gonna put ya at a disadvantage, Logan, so that means if ya get naked, so do Ah.”
Ever so slowly, and after a great deal of hesitation, Logan nodded his head. “You don’t have to do this, Marie. I won’t think any different of you if you change your mind and book it outta here. I’m sure I can get in on my own.”
Marie shook her head, her grin returning full force. “Ah’m sure, Logan. Now will ya quit with the noble act. Yer makin’ me feel like a prostitute.”
This time Logan returned her smile. “Can’t have that, now can we?”
“No we can’t. Now let me help you out of your shirt.”
It took every ounce of self control that Logan possessed for him to remain calm when he finally got a look at Marie’s body.
She was perfect.
Or at least as close to perfect as there was on earth.
Killer legs that seemed to go on forever, slim hips, flat stomach, nearly white breasts tipped off with rosy nipples. Logan could stare at her for an eternity and not get bored. He tried his best not to stare, though. He didn’t want Marie to get uncomfortable. How Logan managed to keep from getting hard while staring at Marie’s amazing body was one of the mysteries of the ages. Something that Marie commented on as well.
“Am Ah really that borin’ t’ look at?” Marie demanded as she began pulling his jeans and boxers down over his hips. “Really, Logan. Ah know fer a fact that Dave gets hard the instant Ah walk inta a room. How come Ah’m not gettin’ a reaction outta ya?”
Logan didn’t think that he’d ever been more embarrassed in his entire life. That included the parts of it that he couldn’t remember.