“Mmmm.... This is something I could get used to,” Logan moaned as he stared at the sight before him. He had awoken only a few moments before and upon opening his eyes had been greeted with the sight of a very naked Marie breast feeding Alexandra. “I didn’t even hear her wake up.”
Marie grinned over at him and shifted a slightly drowsy Alexandra to her other breast. “Well that could have somethin’ t’ do with the fact that ya were in a nice drug-induced sleep. Sugah, ya were exhausted an’ doped t’ the gills. Ah’m actually surprised that yer up this early.”
“How early is it?” Logan asked, laying his left hand on Marie’s thigh.
“About eight-thirty,” Marie said softly, extending her left hand across her body to lace her fingers through his. “Alex here slept in Normally she’s up at the crack o’ dawn with Boris, but she got all worn out yesterday playin’ hostess with Momma. Didn’t ya, mah little angel?”
Logan chuckled quietly and gave Marie’s fingers a quick squeeze. “Admit it, you love waking up early.”
Marie shot him a mock glare. “Keep this up an’ Ah’m gonna make ya get up fer the midnight feedings. See how much you like gettin’ up early then.”
“I wish I could help you out more with her,” Logan said softly, the smile fading from his face. “I can barely even hold her right now and I hate it. God, I’d be happy if I could just pick her up on my own.”
Releasing his hand, Marie reached out to cup his cheek. “That’s not yer fault, Logan. Ah know that. Alex knows that too,” Marie assured him, smiling sadly. “All that we care about is the fact that yer alive an’ still with us. That’s all that matters right now. The rest will sort itself out later.”
“I just feel so useless right now,” Logan muttered, pursing his lips.
“Yer not useless,” Marie told him, maneuvering Alexandra so that she could burp her. “Yer just a little restricted fer the moment. An’ Ah promise that ya’ll be more than useful when Ah start plannin’ the weddin’. Ah was thinkin’ we could get married in about six months. Alex’ll be a little older so we can leave her with either Cal an’ Wendy or Martha an’ George. They’ve both volunteered t’ look after her when we go on our honeymoon. Plus, in six months ya’ll be as good as new. This’ll all just be a very bad memory by then..... Oh! An’ Madison said that she’d take pictures of the weddin’ fer us. While ya were sleeping, the two o’ us started talkin’ about the weddin’ an’ she agrees that we should have it in the back. It’s so beautiful out there with the forest an’ mountains in the background. Perfect place fer a weddin’....”
Logan listened with half an ear as Marie started going on about the wedding. Their wedding. Logan loved the sound of it. In roughly six months, Marie would be his wife and he would be her husband. As much as he loved calling Marie his fiancée, it would be about a thousand times better to call her his wife.
Once she got Alexandra to burp, Marie laid the infant down on his chest. Logan loved to hold her whenever possible. He loved the feel of having Alexandra curled up on his chest even if she did slobber all over him half the time.
“.... Jubes an’ Kitty have both been after me t’ pick them as mah maid o’ honour so Ah’m thinkin’ that Ah’ll have Alexandra be mah maid o’ honour an’ just have someone hold her. It’ll keep them from arguin’.... At least about that. Whadaya say, Alex? Do ya wanna be Momma’s maid o’ honour?” Marie asked, her fingers dancing up and down the infant’s small back.
Alexandra’s response was to start squirming and spit up on Logan’s chest.
Marie burst out laughing and scooped Alexandra up into her arms. “Ah’ll take that as a yes, mah little angel.” Grabbing Alexandra’s light blue spit cloth, Marie first wiped the milky residue from their daughter’s chin before turning her attention to Logan’s chest. “Ya know, Ah’m startin’ t’ get jealous o’ our daughter. She gets t’ spend a lot more time on yer chest than Ah do. An’ all she does is spit up on it.”
Logan groaned and squeezed his eyes shut. “I don’t wanna hear it, darlin’. Even if I wasn’t like this, Melissa said we can’t have sex for six weeks after Alex was born. It’s gonna be hard enough without you teasing me like this.”
“An’ just what makes ya think Ah’m teasin’ ya?” Marie asked, pretending to look shocked.
Logan only grinned at her. “Probably because you couldn’t be innocent to save your life.”
“Well, if Ah can’t, it’s yer fault. In case ya’ve fergotten, yer the one that corrupted me,” Marie told him, smiling innocently.
“You corrupted yourself,” Logan shot back, shaking his head in disbelief.
Marie rolled her eyes at that. “Nice try, sugah, but Ah was a good little girl till ya weaseled yer way inta mah life.”
“Oh really?” Logan asked, arching an eyebrow. “Then would you like to explain that bath the first day we met? You know, that one you insisted on joining me in.”
Marie opened her mouth to answer but was cut off by a knock at the door. Marie’s features scrunched up and she turned to glare over her shoulder. “If that’s Ron Ah’m gonna kill him. Maybe if we be real quite he’ll go away.”
When the knocking continued, Marie heaved a great sigh and set Alexandra back down on Logan’s chest. Grabbing a pair of boxers and the huge sweat shirt Logan had been wearing the night before, Marie hurriedly pulled them on as well as a pair of thick wool socks. After blowing a kiss to Logan and Alexandra, Marie bounded down the stairs and towards the front door.
“Hold yer horses, Ron!” Marie shouted as she pulled her hair into a ponytail. “Ah’m comin’ as fast as Ah can!”
Once Marie disappeared down the stairs, Logan carefully eased himself into a seated position. It was a little difficult since he had to keep Alexandra balanced against his chest, but he managed easily enough. Keeping his right arm, which was supported by the sling, under her bottom, Logan used his left hand to support her back and head. Only when he was sure that he had Alexandra secure did Logan attempt to lever himself to his feet. It took a few tries, but eventually Logan was standing. Logan grinned down at Alexandra who was snuggled contentedly against his chest then started slowly towards the stairs. At that moment, Logan was incredibly grateful that he’d gone to bed wearing his sweat pants.
Judging by her posture, Logan could tell that Marie wasn’t thrilled with whoever was standing on the porch. Wanting to see who it was, Logan slowly made his way down the stairs, keeping a firm grip on Alexandra the entire time.
“Ah thought we’d agreed that ya wouldn’t tell them were we lived? Logan’s not ready t’ deal with them right yet,” Marie hissed, her hands firmly planted on her hips.
At that moment, Logan knew exactly who was standing on the porch and felt his blood run cold. Marie had been right. Logan wasn’t ready to deal with his family. At least not anyone besides Madison and possibly Charles.
“I know, Marie, and I’m sorry--” Pete began and was promptly cut off by Maureen.
“We’re here for my son,” Maureen declared, shoving some papers into Marie’s hands. “So hand him over, you little hussy. You can’t keep him away from us any longer.”
As soon as she insulted Marie, Logan decided that it was time to make his presence known. “I don’t know who you think you are, but you don’t insult Marie like that. Not in her own home and especially not when both me and our daughter are right here.”
Maureen quickly pushed Marie out of the way and stepped into the cabin. “Morgan, my darling! It is so wonderful to see you up and about!”
Logan instinctively stepped away from her, holding Alexandra even tighter. “My name is Logan and you have no business with me and Marie. So I suggest that you get out of our home.”
“I’m sorry, Morgan, but we can’t do that,” Tanya said, coming to stand next to Maureen.
“Yeah, you can,” Logan growled, glaring at both women. “You turn around and get the hell outta our home.”
A frightened gasp from Marie caught Logan’s attention right away. Ignoring both women, Logan rushed to her side, already feeling the exhaustion creep up on him even though he’d been out of bed for only a few minutes.
“Marie, what is it? What’s wrong, darlin’?” Logan asked, handing Alexandra to Marie in exchange for the papers she was holding. Logan read the papers over, feeling his rage grow with each sentence that he read.
“We’re here to protect you for your own good,” Maureen declared, coming to stand in front of him. “You don’t know what you’re doing and we’re here to take you home where you’ll be safe.”
“This is my home!” Logan shouted, crumpling the papers up and throwing them back at Maureen. “This is my home. This is my life. I’m sorry if you don’t like it, but the choices mine to make, not yours. So get the hell outta our home.”
“I’m sorry, Morgan, but I can’t leave without you,” Maureen said smugly. “That piece of paper you just threw at me says, quite clearly, that you are to be remanded into my care until a psychiatrist declares you mentally competent.”
“Then we’ll go to the hospital and--” Logan stopped suddenly, clenching his teeth to keep the moan of pain from his escaping his throat.
A few moments later, he felt Marie’s arms wrap around his waist and willingly leaned into her embrace. “Come on, sugah, ya need t’ calm down. Ah promised Bruce that Ah wouldn’t let ya get worked up.”
“Where’s Alex?” Logan wheezed, staring intently into her eyes.
“Don’t worry, Logan, I’ve got her,” Madison called from somewhere off to his left.
“Ah want ya all t’ leave now,” Marie declared, turning her attention to the crowd gathered in their home. “Yer upsettin’ Logan an’ Ah won’t have it. Madison can stay, but Ah want everyone else t’ leave.”
“I’m real sorry, Marie, but Logan has to come with us,” Pete said quietly, the regret distinguishable in his voice. “The judge said that Logan has to stay with his parents until a psychiatrist decides whether or not Logan is competent.”
“Pete, ya know Logan is more than competent,” Marie huffed, sliding her fingers up into Logan’s hair.
Pete nodded his head sadly. “I know, Marie, and as much as I hate to do this, I don’t have a choice. It’s my job to ensure that you and Logan follow the terms of the document. That means Logan has to leave with his parents.”
Logan shook his head, glaring at the woman in front of him. “It’s not gonna fucking happen. I’m staying right here with Marie and Alexandra.”
“Morgan, you’re just confused, honey,” Maureen said, her voice oozing with false concern. “You were in a very bad accident and this woman took advantage of you. But it’s all over now. Mommy’s here and she’s going to make everything all right.”
As soon as Maureen attempted to touch his cheek, Logan jerked his head back violently. “Don’t touch me. I don’t know you and I don’t want to know you. And my name’s not Morgan. It’s Logan. Logan Hunters. So either accept it or leave me the hell alone.”
Everything was silent for several long minutes as Logan and Maureen silently faced off. It was clearly obvious to everyone else that neither one was about to back down. Logan wasn’t going to go anywhere with the woman who had once been his mother and Maureen wasn’t going to leave without Logan. It was all just a matter of who would hold out the longest.
“Look, Logan,” Pete said at last, “as much as I hate to do this, I’m going to have to ask you to go upstairs and get dressed. I don’t like this any more than you do, but the document is perfectly legal and you have to abide by it.... Of course, if Marie was to go to the courthouse this morning and talk to the judge who signed this document-- the same one who preceded over Dave’s trial --I’m sure you can get him to understand the situation and get him to revoke the terms of this document. Our staff attorney has already filed the necessary paperwork and it will be waiting for you at the courthouse. Judge Bernard is expecting you at nine-thirty.”
“How dare you!” Maureen hissed, turning her attention onto the police officer.
Pete shrugged his shoulders absently, his expression neutral. “I’m sorry, ma’am, but the men of my station spent a great deal of man power trying to get Logan home safely to Marie and Alexandra. We are the ones who insisted on contacting you so we felt it our duty to ensure that you don’t separate them again. And, ma’am, to be quite honest, the rest of the officers and myself do not think it is in Logan’s best interest to be taken away from the two people he loves the most.”
Logan could not believe what he was hearing, but didn’t dare argue any of it. As much as he hated the idea of being separated from Marie and Alexandra, at least this way it would probably only be a few hours until he and Marie were together again. While the judge had reprimanded his behaviour when he was giving his testimony, Judge Bernard had commended Logan on his devotion to Marie during his closing statement before reading his verdict.
“Let’s get this over with,” Logan grumbled under his breath as Maureen and Tanya began to argue with Pete. Madison and Charles were busy cooing over Alexandra and paid the screeching pair no mind.
Leaning on Marie a bit more than he would have liked, the two of them headed upstairs to their bedroom. True, there was a perfect view from the main floor into their bedroom because of its loft set-up, but Marie had bought a large Japanese type screen to section off an area of their bedroom so that they could change when company was over. So it was there that Marie led a slightly wobbly Logan.
“Ah wish Ah could just snap mah fingers an’ send yer mother t’ Antarctica,” Marie muttered under her breath as she sat Logan down on the wooden stool behind the screen. She then quickly headed towards the nearby dresser where Logan’s clothes were kept.
Logan squeezed his eyes shut and leaned back against the wall. “I really don’t see how she expects to win me over if she’s trying to get me declared mentally unfit or whatever non-sense was on that document. If anything, that’ll just make me hate her more. Which it does, in case you’re wondering.”
“Ah know ya hate her,” Marie said softly, returning with a pair of jeans, a black rugby shirt, a pair of boxers and some socks. “Ah hate her too. Don’t get me wrong, Ah understand why she’s all upset, but she doesn’t hafta be such a bitch about it. If it was Alex that lost her memory, Ah’d like t’ think that Ah’d be more like Madison an’ yer father. That Ah’d accept it an’ not try t’ force her t’ be anyone she isn’t.”
Logan waited until Marie carefully helped him into the shirt which, like the one he had worn yesterday, was a few sizes too big so that it would fit over his bandaged shoulder. They had learned yesterday that the shirt went on easier if Marie slipped it over his right arm first then stuck his head in before moving onto the left arm.
“I’d just like to know what I was thinking when I went out with Tanya,” Logan mused as he stood up and began shoving his sweats down over his hips. “I must have had a death wish or something. My taste has definitely improved since I hit my head.”
“Well if ya must know, the two o’ ya slept together a few times then ya wanted t’ break it off,” Marie told him, keeping a hand on his waist to steady him as he stepped out of the sweats. “Tanya didn’t like that an’ faked a pregnancy. Being the noble, honest person that ya are, ya stayed with her an’ the two o’ ya were gonna get married sometime durin’ the third month o’ her pregnancy. Only problem is that didn’t happen. ‘Bout a week ‘fore ya were supposed t’ get married, ya off an disappeared an’ were never t’ be heard from again. Tanya faked a miscarriage t’ do away with her fake pregnancy an’ her an’ yer Momma have been stickin’ together ever since.”
Logan could only stare at Marie in shock as she helped him into his jeans. “And just how do you know all this? Did you become a detective when I wasn’t paying attention?”
Marie just grinned at him, tucking in his shirt before he zipped the jeans up. “Nope. Tanya got drunk one night an’ confessed it all t’ Madison’s best friend who, naturally, told it t’ Madison.”
“Well you don’t have to worry about anything happening between us while I’m gone,” Logan teased, hoping to lighten the mood a little. “I love you and I plan on marrying you in about six months. I already made Ron rent a tux so it’s definitely happening.”
“Ron in a tux, that’s somethin’ Ah’ve gotta see,” Marie said with an amused grin on her face. “Ah didn’t think he wore anything ‘sides jeans an’ flannel shirts.”
Using his left arm, Logan pulled Marie against him. He buried his face in her hair and breathed in the scent of her shampoo. It was an intoxicating mixture of exotic flowers that Logan would always associate with Marie.
“It’ll only be a few hours,” Marie mumbled against his chest as she wrapped her arms around his waist. “Then Alex an’ Ah will come an’ free ya from the evil witch an’ her henchman.”
Cupping her cheek with his left hand, Logan raised her head so that he could see her face. Smiling softly, Logan leaned down and lightly brushed his lips against Marie’s. He sucked her lower lip between his own, wanting to memorize the taste of her while he was gone.
“Ah love ya, Logan,” Marie whispered, pressing light kisses against his upper lip.
Logan pulled back slightly and smiled down at Marie. “I love you so much, darlin’.”
Then, hand in hand, Logan and Marie left the safety of their room and headed back downstairs into the viper pit.