As soon as he pulled into the driveway, Logan breathed a huge sigh of relief. Finally they were back home. On their own turf where Marie didn’t have to be afraid of anyone or anything.
Logan was incredibly thankful for Bernie’s presence the night before. The older man had not only kept an eye on Marie, but had also shown up at the hospital. He had done Logan a huge favour by taking Logan’s bike back home in the back of his truck and returned later with the jeep. Logan had known immediately that it would be easier to get Marie home in the jeep rather than on the bike.
Glancing down at Marie who was sleeping peacefully on the seat beside him, Logan let out a huge breath of relief. Relief that nothing even more serious had happened to Marie. As bad as the situation had been, it could have easily been much worse. Something truly terrible could have happened to Marie and both of them would have been unable to prevent it. Logan didn’t know how he would have been able to live with himself if the worst had happened to Marie. One thing for certain, he would have killed Dave with his bare hands if he’d done anything to Marie.
One he removed the key from the ignition, Logan simply sat back and stared at Marie. She was so beautiful, especially asleep. Logan loved to watch her sleep. He could sit there for hours and watch her. He would have been happy to do that just then, except that he knew sleeping in the jeep wasn’t the most comfortable thing in the world.
Not bothering to wake her, Logan hopped out of the driver’s seat and jogged over to Marie’s side. He opened the door and deftly removed her seatbelt without waking her. Being extremely careful, Logan pulled her from the passenger seat into his arms. Logan held her close, cradling her gently against his chest. Marie was dressed simply in a pair of hospital scrubs, socks and his leather jacket. She had been unable to bear the thought of wearing the clothes she had on the night before, not that Logan could blame her. A nurse had suggested she wear the hospital scrubs and Logan had readily agreed. As long as it meant never seeing those clothes again she was all for it.
“Just relax now, darlin’. We’re here,” Logan murmured in her ear as he carried her towards the cabin. Inside, he could hear Boris barking and hoped that the dog wouldn’t wake her.
Logan managed to get the door open and unlocked without waking Marie, something which he was incredibly grateful for. About ready to burst, Boris rushed outside before Logan had the chance to step inside. Once he did get inside, Logan kicked the door with his heel and used his shoulder to shut it the rest of the way. Not wanting to set Marie down, Logan didn’t removed his boots. Even though doing so would earn him a stern lecture from Marie, Logan trudged through the house in his boots and up the stairs to their bedroom.
After gently setting Marie down on her side of the bed, Logan pulled one of the six thick blankets Marie had folded at the end of the bed over her. He got her nice and comfortable before taking off his boots and lying down next to her.
“I love you,” Logan whispered, curling his body around Marie’s protectively. “I don’t know why I can’t say this to your face. I know that I should be able to. You mean more to me than anything else in the world. You’re everything to me.... So why can’t I tell you? Why is it so hard for me to tell you that I love you?”
The only response Logan got was silence. The cabin was entirely silent. Eerily so.
Logan was now beginning to understand Marie’s desire to simply forget everything that had happened. Logan was desperately trying to convince himself that nothing bad had happened the night before. That Logan had gone to the bar to pick her up then they’d come home and Logan had finally gotten up the nerves to tell her that he loved her.
Only now their world had been turned upside down. Three months of happiness was thrown for a loop because of one night. One night that never should have happened. Logan wished that he could get his hands on Dave and make him pay for what he did to Marie. He wanted to beat the kid to a bloody pulp. Only problem was that Dave was now in jail which would make it more than a little difficult.
“Don’t worry, Marie, he’s gonna pay for what he did,” Logan murmured, brushing his lips against her forehead before lying his head down next to hers.
Now that he was actually comfortable and lying down, Logan slowly felt himself drifting off to sleep. It had been more than twenty-four hours since he’d last slept and he was exhausted. At the same time, Logan didn’t want to fall asleep. He wanted to stay awake in case Marie needed him. He wanted to be there for her in case she needed him. Logan was going to make it up to Marie for not being there when she had really needed him. Logan had let her down. He had always protected what was his no matter what the cost to himself and he hadn’t been able to protect Marie.
Logan fought sleep as long as possible, but his exhaustion eventually won out and he drifted off into a deep sleep.
One that was ended all too quickly by Marie’s frightened whimpers in his ear. Awake instantly, Logan peered down at Marie’s sleeping face. Being extremely careful so as not to frighten her, Logan lightly ran his hand up and down her arm, murmuring softly.
“Marie. Darlin’, wake up,” Logan said softly, but loud enough so that Marie would hopefully wake up.
With a whimper and a moan, Marie woke up and promptly buried her face against his chest, bursting into loud sobs. Logan held her tightly, his hands sliding up and down her back in a soothing gesture.
“It’s all right, Marie. I’ve got you now. You’re all right,” Logan whispered in her ear, raising a hand up to smooth through her hair.
“Ah just wanna ferget,” Marie sniffled, pulling back so that she could see Logan’s face. “Mah mind’s just makin’ up all sorts o’ things in place o’ what Ah can’t remember. There all so awful, so terrible an’ they always end the same. Ah always look over his shoulder an’ yer standin’ there. There’s so much pain in yer eyes an’ Ah feel so awful. Ah just can’ stand the look in yer eyes. Then ya’d just walk away without lookin’ back at me.”
Logan looked directly into her eyes, his gaze never wavering. “Look at me now. I’m not going anywhere. I’m here to stay, darlin’. That’s a promise. He’s not gonna take you away from me.”
Marie gave him a watery smile then snuggled her head under his chin. “Ah’m sorry that this is so hard fer ya. Ya shouldn’t hafta deal with this. Ah’ll try not t’ be too much o’ a bother.”
“You’d never be a bother,” Logan told her, pressing a kiss to the top of her head. “Your just not capable of it. So quit being so noble and tell me if you need anything.”
“Could ya get me some chocolate ice cream?” Marie asked in a tiny whisper that Logan almost couldn’t hear.
Logan gave her a quick squeeze before rolling out of the bed. “Sure thing, darlin’. Sit tight and I’ll be right back.”
“Ah’ll be waitin’,” Marie said softly, curling in on herself and pulling the blanket up over her shoulders.
Logan all but ran down the stairs, wanting to get back to Marie as soon as possible. He wasn’t ready to be away from her yet, even if he was just going downstairs. So Logan ran around the kitchen, making a fair sized mess in the process. Marie would probably get annoyed with the sticky, chocolately mess, but he’d deal with it later. It would be good to bicker with Marie about inconsequential things again.
“Hey there, darlin’. I come bearing chocolate ice cream,” Logan announced, brandishing the ice cream bowl before him.
That got a smile out of Marie which made Logan smile big. Wanting to keep Marie in a happy frame of mind, Logan jumped up on the bed, barely able to keep his balance. Once he was sure that he wouldn’t fall and spill ice cream everywhere, Logan lowered himself down onto his ass, holding the bowl out to Marie who was sitting up with a wide grin on her face.
“Thanks,” Marie said quietly, taking the bowl from Logan.
“I also have this,” Logan said, pulling the bottle of chocolate sauce from his back pocket. “I figured you could use as much chocolate as possible right now.”
As soon as he saw the tears in her eyes, Logan started to panic. He quickly dropped the chocolate sauce on the ground, his eyes going wide. “I’m so sorry, Marie. I didn’t mean.... God, I’m so sorry, darlin’. It’s okay. I just.... Please don’t cry, Marie. I hate it when you cry.”
“This is good cryin’,” Marie assured him, wiping away the tears with the sleeve of his jacket she was still wearing. “Ah just can’t believe that ya thought enough t’ bring the chocolate sauce. That’s so sweet. Ah love ya so much.”
“I love you too,” Logan said, cupping her cheeks. A huge grin spread across his face when he realized that he’d finally told Marie that he loved her. “God, I’ve wanted to tell you that for so long. I was beginning to think that I’d never get up the guts to tell you that I loved you.”
“D’ ya mean t’ tell me that the all powerful Logan is scared o’ little old me?” Marie whispered, a few stray tears still making their way silently down her cheeks.
“I was just scared to tell you,” Logan said softly, lowering his gaze. “Falling in love wasn’t exactly something I’d planned to do. I couldn’t remember ever being in love and it sounded kinda scary to me. Hell, I all out avoided women ‘cause I didn’t want to fall in love.”
Pulling Logan down next to her, Marie snuggled into Logan’s arms, carefully positioning the bowl so that she wouldn’t spill the ice cream. “And now that ya’ve fallen in love, is it as bad as ya thought it’d be?”
Logan thought for a moment before nodding his head. “No it’s not as bad as I thought. It’s a real good feeling, you know? To have someone who actually gives a damn about me. I’ve never had that before and I like it.”
“Ah like it too,” Marie murmured, stirring the ice cream with her spoon. “Ah’m real happy that Ah picked ya up off the side o’ the road. Ah don’t thin that Ah’d be able t’ get through this without ya.”
“But if it wasn’t for me, Dave probably wouldn’t have done what he did,” Logan muttered pressing a kiss against the side of her head. “Hell, if it wasn’t for me, you and Dave could very well be in the middle of some great romance. Then there would have been no need for him to do what he did.”
Marie reached up and cupped Logan’s face, forcing him to meet her eyes. “Trust me, Logan, Ah have no feelings fer Dave. Never have, never will. Especially not now when Ah have ya. Yer the most important person in mah life an’ Ah plan on lovin’ ya ferever.”
“Same here, Marie. Nothing’s ever gonna make me stop loving you,” Logan told her, holding her tight. “Now how ‘bout you start eating your ice cream before it melts.”
Marie shook her head. “Sorry, sugah, but Ah can’t do that.”
Logan’s eyes bugged outta his head. “How come you can’t eat the ice cream?”
“‘Cause ya put the chocolate sauce on the ground,” Marie informed him, peering over his shoulder.
Logan chuckled quietly and rolled over to reach the squeeze bottle of chocolate sauce. He fumbled a little bit until he had it firmly in his grasp then shifted back over so that he was lying in Marie’s arms. Flipping the top with his thumb, Logan proceeded to dribble a large amount of chocolate sauce over the ice cream just like he knew Marie liked.
Before dropping the bottle back onto the ground, Logan upended a large portion into his mouth. As soon as the chocolate hit his tongue, Logan realized that he was starving. he hadn’t eaten anything since the pizza the night before and it was already four in the afternoon.
“Taste good?” Marie asked, grinning from ear to ear.
Logan grinned back, swallowing every ounce of chocolate in his mouth. “Fabulous. Damn, but I’m hungry. You want any dinner?”
Marie shook her head, holding up a spoonful of ice cream. “Nah, Ah’m good. But ya can go make yerself some dinner if ya want.”
“I’m not going anywhere,” Logan told her, lowering his head down onto her shoulder. “So you go ahead and eat your ice cream. We’ll head down together later.”
“Logan, Ah’m all right. Ah’m not gonna go completely ballistic ‘cause yer not here anymore. So go make yer dinner if yer hungry,” Marie said, pushing lightly against his stomach. When he still didn’t move, she tilted her head to press a light kiss against the bottom of his chin. “Ah’ll be fine, sugah. An’ even if Ah’m not ya’ll just be down in the kitchen so ya can be here in all o’ five seconds if Ah need ya.”
After brushing a kiss against Marie’s forehead and gaining her promise to call him if something went wrong, Logan rolled off the bed and trudged towards the stairs. As hungry as he was, Logan was more than willing to put off eating if Marie needed him. He could easily last off the chocolate sauce for the rest of the day. Granted, he’d probably eat everything in the fridge the next day, but he’d still be with Marie.
Logan was about halfway through the submarine sandwich he’d decided to make when there was a knock at the door. Glancing towards the stairs for a moment, Logan quickly jogged towards the door, hoping that Marie wouldn’t notice the knocking.
When he glanced through the peep hole, Logan wasn’t the least bit surprised to see a police officer there. He’d taken Marie home before they’d gotten a chance to take her statement so it was only a matter of time before they showed up.
“Officer Tomolski,” Logan said with a with a curt nod.
“Hello, Logan. How’s Marie doing?” Tomolski asked, shifting idly from foot to foot.
Logan snorted and rolled his eyes. “Call me an idiot, but I think that she’s had better days. So whadaya want?”
“I need to take Marie’s statement about what happened last night,” Tomolski said, ducking his head down. “I know this may not be the best time, but--”
“Logan, who’s there?” Marie shouted from their bedroom.
“Officer Tomolski is here to take your statement. You feel up to it?” Logan called up to her, turning towards the stairs.
There was a slight pause before Logan heard the bed shift. Next thing he knew, she appeared at the top of the stairs, blanket draped across her leather clad shoulders. She looked a bit shaky, so Logan rushed up the stairs to meet her, guiding her down the stairs.
“Hello, Officer Tomolski,” Marie said softly once she and Logan reached the bottom of the stairs.
Logan could feel her trembling and tightened his grip on her waist. “You sure your up to this, darlin’?”
Marie nodded her head, giving Logan a shaky smile. “Ah’m sure. Better t’ get this over with now, right? Ah wanna ferget ‘bout this soon as possible an’ this is the best way t’ do it.”
The three of them went into the living room then. Logan sat down on the couch, pulling Marie down into his lap, and Tomolski sat down on the chair opposite them.
In a quiet voice with her body still shaking, Marie told Tomolski everything she remembered from the night before. There weren’t many memories for her to draw upon, something that Logan was incredibly grateful for. Only problem was, that seemed to agitate Marie more. By the time she was done telling her story, there were tears glistening on her cheeks even though she refused to burst into full blown tears.
As soon as she was done her story, Tomolski excused himself, leaving Logan and Marie alone once again. As soon as he was gone, Marie twisted in Logan’s arms, curling herself around him and finally letting loose the sobs she’d been holding back the whole time he was there.
“It’s okay, Marie. Everything’s all right,” Logan murmured in her ear, holding her tight against his chest.
Eventually, Marie sobbed herself into an exhausted slumber. Not having the heart to wake her, Logan stayed right where he was, watching her as she slept.