“Ah’ll only be an hour,” Marie told Logan, wrapping her arms around his neck and pulling him flush against her. “Ah’m the cheerleader so Ah’ve gotta make an appearance. Ya just go home an’ watch yer hockey game. Ah know ya want t’.”
“I’ll be much happier if you were coming home with me,” Logan whispered, brushing his nose against hers.
“An hour, Logan. Ah promise,” Marie wheedled, pouting at Logan. “The boys’ll never let me live it down if Ah don’t at least make an appearance.”
Frowning, Logan finally nodded his head. “All right. I’ll be back here in an hour. And you’d better not be drunk when I get here.”
“Don’t worry, sugah, Ah won’t be the least bit drunk,” Marie assured him. “Now hop on yer bike an’ get goin’. Dave’ll give me a ride t’ the bar.”
Even though he didn’t trust Dave in the least, Logan knew that the boy wouldn’t try anything. Not when the entire team was there to make sure that he behaved himself. Giving Marie a deep kiss to ensure that the boy knew who Marie belonged to, Logan headed out of the arena to where he’d parked his bike.
There was something about the Dave kid that rubbed Logan the wrong way. Logan didn’t know what it was only that he would have been a lot happier if he hadn’t met the brat. The fact that Marie was gonna be at a bar with him definitely had him on edge. Logan was more than a little tempted to go to the bar to make sure the kid didn’t try anything, but the fact that the bar only served piss poor American beer turned him off real quick. That and the fact that he’d be surrounded by a bunch of high school brats who didn’t know how to hold their alcohol. Not exactly a fun time if Logan had ever seen one.
‘Sides, it was the Stanley Cup playoffs and Logan would be damned if he missed a single game. Now that he was able to relax and not spend all his time riding from city to city, Logan actually had time to keep track of the games. And with Detroit, one of the original six, playing, Logan wanted to make sure that he didn’t miss any of it.
So, ignoring the voice inside his head that was insisting he stay with Marie, Logan sped down the stretch of highway that led to their home.
Logan wasn’t sure when he’d started considering Marie’s cabin his home. It was just something that had occurred naturally. Somewhere along the line, though, it had become their home. The day he’d realized it was official was the day he’d called Marie at lunch, meaning to ask her if she wanted him to bring home anything for dinner. Instead of talking to Marie, the answering machine picked up.
“Ya’ve reached Marie and Logan’s cabin o’ love,” the machine said in her lilting accent. “Since yer not talkin’ t’ us, that means we’re either not here or we’re up in the bedroom makin’ love like a pair o’ horny weasels. An’ since Ah know that this is Logan callin’ me just like he does every other day at lunch, Ah’m gonna pick up the phone right now.”
By the time the message was finished, Logan was blushing a million shades of red. “Good God, Marie, what the hell was that?”
Giggling madly, Marie picked up the phone. “Ah just couldn’t resist mahself, Logan. Ya call every day like clockwork so Ah thought Ah’d take advantage o’ it. ‘Sides, Ah’ll be erasin’ the message soon as Ah hang up the phone.”
“Glad to hear it. Now what’s this about horny weasels?”
For about a week, Marie remained on this little kick. Every time that he called at lunch, there would be a new message waiting for him. Including one message about making love very carefully like porcupines would. Every time he would listen to one of those messages, Logan would burst out laughing. The guys that he worked with had no idea what he found so amusing and Logan didn’t feel the least bit inclined to tell them.
It hadn’t taken Logan very long to get attached to Marie. When he had first left the hospital, Logan had promised himself that he wouldn’t get attached to anyone. It would only lead to trouble in the end. With Marie, it had taken him a day to get attached to her. In the three months they had been together, Logan felt safe enough to admit, at least to himself, that he loved her.
Logan’s only real problem was actually admitting to Marie that he loved her.
No matter how hard he tried, Logan just couldn’t seem to find the guts to tell Marie that he was in love with her. He didn’t know what it was that was keeping him from telling Marie what he felt, only that every time he tried he ended up changing the subject.
Logan was bound and determined to tell her, though, and decided that he would do it when they were alone later that night. Once he picked her up from the bar and brought her home, Logan was going to tell her. He was going to gather up all of his courage and tell Marie what he’d been wanting to for months.
The first period was just starting when Logan flipped on the TV. The way Logan figured it, if he left at the end of the first period, he’d be at the bar in about an hour. Just in time to pick Marie up.
During the first commercial break, Logan headed to the kitchen for a beer and something to eat. He settled for some leftover pizza. Not bothering to heat it up, Logan plopped down on the couch with a plate full of cold pizza and a Molson. Feeling generous, Logan tossed one of his six pieces to Boris who was lounging on the floor by his feet.
“Eat up, buddy. If Marie knew I was feeding you this stuff, she’d skin both our hides,” Logan informed the dog moments before shoving a piece of pizza into his mouth.
Soon as the game started up again, Logan forgot all else but what was happening on the screen. He was seated on the edge of his seat, shouting instructions at the players knowing full well that they couldn’t hear him.
It seemed to be working, though, because everything that Logan wanted to happen happened. It wasn’t long before Detroit was up 3-1. And the first period wasn’t even over. Logan knew that if he timed it right and broke a couple of speed limits, he could get to the bar and back and only miss five or so minutes of the second period. If he really pushed it he wouldn’t miss any time at all.
The instant the timer reached zero, Logan was on his feet and running towards the door, grabbing his leather jacket on the way. Thirty seconds later, Logan was on his bike and speeding towards town. He passed no one on his way down the mountain highway, his eyes focused on the dark stretch of road that lay before him.
Five and a half minutes later, Logan was pulling his bike into the bar’s parking lot. Eager to get back to the hockey game, Logan was off the bike even before he had the key out of the ignition. Logan jogged into the establishment, his eyes scanning the smoky interior for Marie. He didn’t see her with the gathered crowd of hockey players and that instantly had Logan worried.
“Hey, Bernie, you seen Marie?” Logan demanded as he stalked towards the bar.
The barkeeper looked surprised to see Logan. “What are you doing here? I figured Marie would be back home by now.”
Red lights started going off in Logan’s mind at that point. “Why would Marie be at home? I was supposed to come pick her up. Like I am now.”
“You sure? ‘Cause I saw her leave with Dave about five minutes ago,” Bernie told him, gesturing towards the door with a wash rag.
“Marie left with Dave?”
Bernie nodded his head, concern flashing across his features. “Yeah, she did.... Now that I think about it, she did look a little off. Kinda dazed and mellowed out. Not at all like her usual bouncy self.”
“Where does this Dave fucker live?” Logan demanded, his anger reaching the boiling point.
After getting the instructions from the other man, Logan was heading back out of the bar. He didn’t know what the fuck was going on. All he knew was that Marie could be in some serious trouble. Logan would be damned if he let anything happen to Marie. He loved her and would do anything and everything in his power to keep her safe.
Speeding through the streets of the sleepy town like a madman, Logan had completely forgotten about his hockey game. All that mattered to him was getting Marie back before anything bad happened to her. It was only a matter of minutes before he pulled into Dave’s front yard.
“Dave, get your good for nothin’ ass out here now!” Logan screamed as he charged across the lawn and onto the porch. He didn’t even bother knocking before shoving the front door open. “Get the fuck out here now, you little bastard!”
Turning into the living room, Logan came to a complete stop. He felt like he had been punched in the gut and was unable to move for a few seconds.
Sprawled out on the ground on a bed of pillows, lay an unconscious Marie. She was dressed in nothing but the black satin bra and panties she’d put on this morning. There were candles all around and soft music was playing in the background. Logan paid it no mind, though, focusing on only two things.
His beloved Marie and the naked man who knelt between her spread thighs.
With an inhuman roar, Logan dove for the other man. Dave was caught completely off guard and didn’t have time to defend himself against the hard fist that connected with his jaw.
“You fucking bastard!” Logan shouted as he slammed Dave’s head against the floor. “What the fuck do you think you’re doing to her? I’m gonna fuckin’ kill you!”
“She wan... wanted it....” Dave gasped out, unable to shove Logan off of him.
That only pissed Logan off more. He attacked the boy with a berzerker rage that he’d never known before. It didn’t matter to him if he killed the punk or not. All that mattered to Logan was making the bastard pay for daring to put a hand on his Marie. Especially when she was unconscious. Logan knew that Marie could handle her alcohol well so she wasn’t drunk. That meant Dave had done something to her. Knocked her out somehow.
That little tidbit of information sent Logan over the edge, pounding the boy into unconsciousness.
“You don’t fucking touch her! She’s not yours! You don’t love her like I do!” Logan screamed, tears flowing unheedingly down his cheeks.
Logan felt arms wrap around him suddenly, catching him completely off guard. It pissed him off, too. Logan fought against the arms that were attempting to pull him away from Dave. He wasn’t gonna let the little prick get away with what he’d done to Marie. It wasn’t happening.
“Get off me!” Logan shouted, clawing at the hands wrapped around his waist. “He has to pay for what he did to Marie! He has to fucking pay!”
“He will, Logan. He will. But you’ve got to let us handle it.”
Logan instantly recognized the voice of Officer Malloy and slowly stopped his fighting. Now that he was calmer, Logan noticed the other officers that were spread out throughout the room. There were a couple hovering over Marie and that set Logan off again.
“Marie!” Logan screamed, scrambling towards her prone form. “Oh God, Marie! I’m so sorry. I never should have left you at the bar. Why was I so fuckin’ stupid?”
Logan gathered Marie up in his arms, holding her tight against his chest. He was slowly rocking her back and forth, his face buried in her silky hair. Logan let out several long, hitching sobs, his mind finally processing what had almost been done to Marie. To his beautiful, pure Marie.
“Logan, you have to let her go now,” Bernie said, placing a hand on his shoulder. “The paramedics need to examine her. You have to put her down.”
Logan shook his head, clutching at Marie tighter. “No. I won’t let her go. Never again. My fault this happened. I shoulda stayed. Shoulda stayed. Shoulda stayed.”
“It’s not your fault, Logan,” Bernie tried to assure him. “What Dave did was fucked up. But he’s gonna pay for it now. Okay? The little bastard’s gonna pay. But you’ve gotta put Marie down. They need to make sure she’s all right.”
Logan protested long and hard. He didn’t want to let Marie go. He wanted to hold onto her forever. Marie couldn’t get hurt if he was holding onto her. Logan could protect her as long as he was holding onto her. No one would touch her
“Come on, Logan, let them examine her. Make sure she’s all right,” Bernie pleaded, placing a hand on the back of Logan’s neck and forcing his head up. “We need to make sure Marie’s all right.”
There were so many tears in his eyes that Logan was having a hard time seeing things. He could vaguely make out Bernie’s face. Scrubbing at his eyes with the back of his hand, Logan took several deep breaths, trying to get his breathing back under control. Get himself back under control.
“I want him to pay for this,” Logan mumbled, reaching a hand down to comb through Marie’s hair. “He needs to pay. God, what if I hadn’t come? What if I’d just kept watching the hockey game? He could have done something even worse to her.”
After much cajoling by Bernie and the paramedics, they were able to convince Logan to let go of Marie. Logan didn’t go far, though, refusing to let go of her hand. He had to keep hold of some part of her. Touch her while the doctors examined her.
Once they were sure that she was stable and that there was nothing seriously wrong with her, the paramedics loaded her onto a stretcher. Logan hated that she hadn’t so much as moved in the time since he had entered the house, but was relieved that Dave hadn’t had the time to do anything to her. His speeding had been a good thing. If he hadn’t cut five minutes off the time it usually took to get to the bar, something awful could have happened to Marie. Dave could have done something to her, something awful, and Logan wouldn’t have been able to stop it.
“I can go with her, right? To the hospital?” Logan demanded as they began bringing Marie out to the ambulance.
The paramedic guy shook his head. “It’s a little crowded in there, so there might not be any room for you. Better if you just follow us in your own vehicle.”
Logan didn’t like the sound of that, but didn’t have it in him to protest. He simply kept his eyes on Marie as long as possible then rushed over to his bike. He was seconds behind it, pulling out almost immediately after the ambulance did. Not paying any attention to stop lights or speed limits, Logan followed after the ambulance. He was going to get to the hospital at the same time as the ambulance so that he could be by Marie’s side once again.
Keeping his eyes trained on the back of the ambulance, the only thought running through Logan’s mind was how much he wanted to hold Marie. He would have given anything to chance what had happened that night. He should have either stayed at the bar or convinced Marie to head home with him. Logan would never forgive himself for letting anything happen to her.
“I’m so sorry, Marie,” Logan murmured, as he raced along behind the ambulance.
When they reached the hospital, Logan pulled into the first available parking spot. He was rushing towards the ambulance before they even had the back doors open.
“Is she awake yet? Is she okay? What the fuck is wrong with her?” Logan demanded, once again taking his place at her side. He grabbed hold of Marie’s hand, lacing his fingers through hers.
It wasn’t until they reached one of trauma rooms that Logan was forced to leave her side. He didn’t want to and put up a great fight. In the end, though, he was kept outside in the waiting room while the doctors worked on his beloved Marie.
Slumping against a wall, Logan slid to the ground. He pulled his legs up against his chest, pressing his face against his drawn up knees. Logan stayed in this position, his mind a complete blank, until one of the doctors came out and told him that he could see Marie. Logan was on his feet in an instant, following after the doctor.
Just before Logan entered Marie’s room, the doctor spoke a single sentence that made his blood run cold.
“The boy gave her a date rape drug.”