All About You... and All About Me


logan_icon.gif nicole2_icon.gif

Scene Title All About You… and All About Me
Synopsis Sometimes things get so pressurised, that an explosion is just inevitable.
Date January 27, 2011

Dorchester Towers: John Logan's Apartment

Knockity knock knock.

Logan pauses what he is doing, doubtfully casting a glance for the door which he failed to lock behind him in an unusual, uncharacteristic slip if caution. A half-finished cigarette dangles out the corner of his mouth, hands otherwise occupied — one delicately holds the pointed toe of a suede shoe between pinched thumb and index finger, the other gripping the water proofing spray that had just previously been going KSSSSSSSSHH over the faint sounds of a near muted television set reeling off the latest dramatic news unfolding locally all around.

A quick psychic once over confirms Nicole's number, and Logan is going, "Come in," before it occurs to him that anyone could be walking around with Nicole's phone, but he'll only have a second to freeze up in irrational, paranoid tension before the woman is entering into his living space anyway.

Say what you will for Logan's apartment — there is a modern, minimalist edge to it that allows it to remain more or less clean save for the occasional whiskey glass left lying around, a choked ashtray or dirty laundry piled on the floor as opposed to some sort of progressive wicker basket or garment bag for someone else to deal with. A few magazines on the glass coffeetable are kept company, now, by his new shoebox, the other shoe of which remains nestled in the crinkly paper inside, the smell of new leather blasted out by the smell of water proof chemical, and that Logan is smoking while he does it probably means he knows it isn't flammable. Or. Isn't aware if it is.

And if the person on the other side of the door is not Nicole, he'll deal with it in a sec'. Smoke puffs white through his teeth. KKKSSSSHHHHH.

Oh, shit. He's actually home. Nicole hadn't really thought that far ahead when she decided to stop at Logan's door since she was in the building anyway. Does he know he lives in the same building her fiancé? She blanches a bit at the very idea. Surely he must. Such a thing could not escape the man's notice, right?

Get a hold of yourself, Nichols.

The knob turns and the door opens to admit the woman, dressed down (for her) in jeans and a dark grey v-neck tee shirt. She's carrying a suitcase, which she sets just inside the door before she closes it and locks up behind her out of reflex. "You know… I didn't think you would… be here. Isn't that stupid?" Nicole slips out of her own (old, comfortable) sneakers and pads into the apartment in her stockinged feet.

"I like the shoes."

"Thanks." The cigarette weaves in rhythm of the monosyllabic response. KSSSsshhhHHHH. Logan sets the can down to pluck cigarette out from his mouth, absently waving away the remaining stink of chemical in the air, before carefully placing shoe back into the box. He's bare foot in his apartment, meanwhile, but dressed like he's been out in slacks that still have some urban dampness around the ankles, a grey and silver shirt untucked over the top with more buttons than strictly necessary undone.

Or maybe he's planning on going out again. A messy amount of eyeliner is not strictly daylight material for him. Squinting towards her, he flashes a smile, and points out, quite simply, "I was here first." First in comparison to who can be extrapolated.

"You always come first," could mean a couple different things, but one might opt for the sentimental rather than the risque if tone is indicative at all. Nicole smiles gently as she meanders through the apartment somewhat curiously. She's never been here before. She gave him her key, rather than the other way around.

"He's staying with me," she doesn't feel the need to say who, "for a couple of days. And I have no earthly idea why I feel compelled to tell you this, but we're sleeping in separate bedrooms." She angles a look over her shoulder as she moves toward the kitchen. "Would you mind if I fix myself a drink? Stay for a little bit?" Nicole pauses, suddenly feeling as though she has no right (she doesn't) to make herself at home in his space. She turns around, entire demeanour incredibly submissive in comparison to the persona she portrays in their professional lives. "Please?"

A shrug to Logan's shoulders, quick and easy. Go ahead, fix your drink. He will be going back to spraying the other shoe over once he ashes out some dead embers, clamping filter back between teeth as he picks out the shoe by its heel. "I had plans for tonight," he says. KSSSSHHH. "Not grand ones, mind. Humble little— " KSSSH. "— imaginings about these bars a lady as yourself dare not tred. I try not to go to the ones that actually look like they painted the bathroom walls over with— " KSH KSH KSSSHH. "— HIV so no worries."

Plunk. With less care, suede shoe is dropped back into box, the can is capped and he turns back towards her. He snorts draconic curls of smoke out his nostrils. There isn't any unusual amount of kindness or unkindness about him. He's just not really.

Pretending, all that much. "He seems nice, actually. I thought he was gonna belt me one. Bit of a shame he didn't, but I suspect men like that know where the cameras're pointing."

"What the fuck is that even supposed to mean?" It was meant to come out as something good-natured. Haha, I get the joke. But it ends up sounding defensive. Nicole is silent for the time it takes her to locate the whiskey, a proper glass, and some ice.

And in that time, she decides not to pretend that she isn't feeling defensive. "Not… Not the second part. About him. I don't give a fuck about him right now. What was that supposed to mean about me?" Nicole shakes her head, cradling the glass of alcohol to her chest, rather than nursing it just yet. She looks wounded.

Usually when Logan deals his barbs, he means it, and knows it. This time, there is a rapid series of blinking with overdarkened eyelashes at the bridling defense behind the whiskey glass, a tilt to his head as he assesses her. He'd much rather talk about Russo's attractive fighting stance and quick reflexes, but if she insists—

"We're feeling a little sensitive, aren't we? As far as I can tell, I was talking about me." He picks up his ashtray so as best to not ash embers onto his carpets, bare feet padding across it where footprints sink marks into the luxurious layer and takes its time to even out again.

Nicole's eyes lid heavily, her shoulders sagging. "Yes," she sighs. "we're feeling a little sensitive." There's a generous sip of whiskey before she actually bothers opening her eyes again. "I went… to see Daniel last week and stayed through the weekend. I'm really out of sorts still, I guess."

Ice clinks against the sides of the glass merrily in contrast to the dour mood of the woman who causes the motion. "He couldn't even speak to me anymore. His physician is supposed to call me if…" The press of Nicole's lips together explains pretty well what the if is.

Oh, that. Logan's interest glimmers, shown in his eyes, the way his chin lifts up a little and fingers fidgeting around cigarette filter stilling. If implies options, and options implies life, still. "Hanging in there, isn't he?" he muses, resting a hip against some padded piece of furniture and delicately tapping ash into glass tray. Then, there's the solid thump thump thump of something with four legs entering the equation — vacating the bed she claimed as her own, for now, Cheza sleepily wanders into the room.

Pauses, and snorts with some violence when lingering chemical in the air tickles the insides of her over-long nose, ears flapping, before she goes to stick cold snout between Nicole's legs in the hopes said ears get some attention.

"I didn't want you to find out like this," is Logan's wry commentary, dry as bone. Joke.

It's hard to be so sad when there's an absolutely adorable dog nudging at your legs. (Or crotch. Nnnnno not where doggie noses belong!) Nicole sets her drink aside on the counter and crouches down to pet the dog. "Heyyyy, Cheza." When Logan makes his quip, she actually laughs.

She laughs harder than that joke deserves, but that's nerves for you. The dog receives affectionate scratches and pats, though Nicole manages to keep herself from cooing at the animal. "This is who you've been running around with since I've been wearing another man's ring? I suppose we're even, then."

Nicole straightens to stand again and works the aforementioned ring off her finger and sets it too on the counter.

"Are you serious?"

This is an abrupt turn from lazy casuality — sharp, yes, but the way British people get when they're being incredulous. The minor signs of a smile on Logan's mouth aren't disingenuous either, just a contrast to his eyes which don't hold the same thing as he tracks the progress of her ring, then back to her face. "You were pretty fucking mad at me the last time we saw one another, and I won't believe for a second he didn't at least mention the psycho ex-boyfriend in the hotel lobby. Did you two have a row or something?"

There is open and honest curiosity only for Nicole, or at least, that's all that's available to be read.

"I… had to try really hard not to laugh when he told me what you did," Nicole admits. And she even smirks about it now. "That's probably the closest thing to a romantic gesture I've ever received in my life." Then, the smile fades as some of the words sink in a little deeper than just the surface.

Dark chocolate hair is tucked behind one ear. "You consider us ex…?" The thought leaves Nicole feeling sick to her stomach, and it shows. "He's in love with his producer." She isn't sure why it stings to say that, but it does. "She loves him back. So she kind'a hates me right now. I'm kind of waiting for her to… pull a Logan." The attempt at humour is short-lived, a quick twitch of her lips.

"I tried to sleep with my fiancé this morning, and he. didn't. want me." Nicole's head bobs with each enunciated word. Her smile is unkind, and directed at herself. "I don't even know why. I… I mean, if I have to be stuck with his last name, I should at least be able to get a shag out of the deal, right?" One arm wraps across her midsection and the opposite elbow rests there, fingers at her lips as though she might like to bite at her nails for the anxiety of the moment.



A hand sort of goes up in some sort of attempt to fend off words, a pained expression crossing Logan's features. No. No no no. "You laughed. Fuck. Did he laugh?" This is terrible. A disaster, clearly, and pull a Logan as code for what a vengeful ex might do seems to collapse some sort of support structure in his shoulders, despondently stabbing out cigarette into tray and placing it down on a miscellaneous flat surface nearby. The rest is sort of whitenoise, except he does feel moved to comment—

"Need to brush up on your negotiation skills, love. There should always be a shag in the fine print. That said, I think we should break up."

"No, he didn't fucking laugh. He was fairly well horrified and not too pleased about the fact that I was smiling about it." Nicole rolls her eyes and retrieves her drink. Which is unfortunate, since she happened to be mid-swallow when that last bit left Logan's lips.

The mouthful of whiskey is half choked on and half spit out, the glass spared from dropping to the floor only by virtue of it having already been on its way back to the counter. When she relearns to breathe again, the tears in her eyes have nothing to do with all the coughing and sputtering. "No." Nicole wipes at her face hastily with the back of her hand and the pad of her thumb before she hurries to bridge the distance between herself and her (soon to be ex-)lover.

"I don't want him. I've never wanted him. It was a… fucking publicity stunt! He couldn't give two shits about me, and- And he asked me on tee-vee and—" Nicole's jaw works soundlessly around half-formed words, most of which never find a voice. "Everything I said at the Orchid was a lie. All except one thing. Nothing about what I feel about you has changed."

Logan only takes a hint of a step back as a pair of shiny eyes come at him, though he doesn't seem surprised — sort of ready, and as interested as a scalpel is about one's insides. "You don't want him and don't get why he don't want you?" is a little Brixton in delivery, cynicism making his posture stoop low in itself, but it lacks the poison of heartbreak or the knife edge of scorn. "Man was a split second and a bit away from eating through a straw for the next three months and you—

"Think it was romance. What the fuck do I look like to you?" There, a flash of fire, but not exactly passion. It's warm like threats can be, a low and trickling, magma heat of mood, and steers his hand to bat the whiskey glass from her grip without much thought or effort behind the action. Cheza gives a soft whine but otherwise isn't the kind of dog that interferes in matters most human, moving to investigate where glass has bounced on carpet and ruined it with whiskey.

"Don't ever laugh at me."

Nicole gasps when Logan knocks the glass from her hand, but she doesn't recoil like a frightened little girl. "Oh, my God." She does recoil in revulsion, however. Sick and churning in the pit of her stomach, cold seemingly in contrast to the warmth of her body from her ability. "You were hoping he would take me off your hands?" It's a question, because she isn't sure. Hopes she isn't right.

One arm languidly gestures out to her side, then snaps rigidly in time with a furious expression. "Like you didn't fucking know long before I said the damn words! I gave you my fucking key, and it wasn't just because I wanted you to drop your fucking dog off at my apartment so you could spend the day fucking some stupid tramp with nothing between her ears!"

"You like my dog."

Cheza's ears fold back at the sound of noise echoing in her general direction. Unwishing to be a part of this!

"I wasn't hoping," Logan states, flatly. Anything, is the silent conclusion to that statement. "But we'd be having a really different conversation if blue eyes hadn't put his hand up fast enough when I swung, and I don't think you really understand that, or me, for that matter. It isn't cute, it isn't our little joke, because it never was before, and you don't get to wander on in 'ere because your fiancé won't give you a good dicking. Is he shagging the producer lady?" is sudden keen interest, as if backtracking over a missed plotpoint in his new favourite soap.

"That is not the fucking point! Just because I like Cheza doesn't mean—"

Nicole's shoulders sag, some of the fury drained out of her. "You're right. You're absolutely right. If you had actually managed to break Brad's face, I would probably be pretty pissed at you. I'm trying to make him mayor. I can't do that if he's in the hospital…"

She parks herself on the man's sofa, forearms resting against her legs as she peers up at him with eyes that aren't quite glowing, but are too bright to be her natural shade. "I don't know if they're fucking. It doesn't matter if they are. This isn't about the sex. I didn't come here just because Brad wouldn't sleep with me. I only told you because I thought maybe you would laugh at me." Nicole sniffs audibly, but it's not the wet kind that accompanies crying. "Maybe I thought I deserved to be laughed at."

Logan walks the necessary paces it takes for him to retrieve his cigs from the last place he set them down, with unnecessary clatter and throwing things. The lighter skitters along kitchen counter. It's one of the signs that he's willing to let irritations go, if he's seeking a drug to help the process along, or maybe he just wants something to do with his hands. "Well, that makes sense. It's all clear to me now." He blows a steady stream of smoke out, smiles, jabs the lit end in her direction. "You're running out of domineering political figures to ride on the coat tails of, aren't you?

"They just keep fucking dying at every turn."

That was low, and Nicole is certain he knows it. She prepares to put her mouth around a set of words that she knows once she says them, she can't ever take them back.

She bites her tongue.

A pack of cigarettes is fished out of the back pocket of her jeans, along with her lighter. If it's good enough for him, it's good enough for her. And focusing on the task keeps her from spitting metaphorical acid in the wake of his hurtful comments.

"All right. You win. I'm running into dead ends left and right, and they're a little more literal than I'd like them to be," she admits in a quiet voice. "But level with me… Why did you attack him?"

He doesn't feel bad about being a dick, that much she can see — it's more an internal acknowledgment, focuses briefly introspective as he studies more the smoke making patterns in the air before sharpening his attention through it to look at her. Curious about the words she trapped behind her teeth, but, he listens to the ones she delivers instead too. A small huff of laughter disturbs the whorls smoke makes in the air, Logan leaning against kitchen counter.

He considers real answers. If he delivers one, that's up for interpretation. "Dunno. James Muldoon likes to say I'm the reason we don't get nice things. Bet you could get a shag out of him if I held him down for you. Russo, not Muldoon."

"I don't want that," Nicole grinds out between her teeth. "And that's a general answer, but it's not a motive. That's not why you did it." She considers the end of her own cigarette, chewing at her lip for a moment as she watches the paper and tobacco burn. "What you do is make it so we can't have nice things, according to James." Meaning to imply she disagrees. "The whys are different. You know why you did what you did, babe." Her eyes seek out his, gaze tired but only in the emotional sense. "Please, just tell me."

"To prove a point!" is sudden snarl, as if her weary imploring finally broke the camel's back. Logan no longer has the ability to make his eyes blaze, but he seems to be trying — and nearly achieving it, stare as cutting as the volume of his voice. "Fuck! And you were supposed to get it! You're supposed to know you can't fuck with me, darling, but I forgot — you love me!" Haha. Arms out, sharing this revelation with the wooorld.

Only Nicole is listening, because Cheza's retreated to the bedroom again. At least fear is something more within his level of comprehension. "And now I don't have a fucking clue what to do with you. It's just like— it's like Toru when he got all fucking smug— "

A flip of a hand sends ash to ruin his carpet some more, cutting himself off, and her.

Nicole shows emotion only in the way her jaw goes tight and she keeps blinking rapidly. And it isn't to remove the threat of tears, because there are none. Instead, she just nods her head silently, digesting the words and the intent. "Okay…" Cigarette caught in the vee of two fingers, she raises her hands up in surrender, or something like it. "I obviously…"

Halting, she takes a breath of air to stall for time as she reorganises her thoughts. "I don't always know how to read you." But she holds up a finger. "That one I got loud and clear. I'm just…" The menthol is brought back to her lips so she can take a drag. "I wasn't sure where we stood. Before all of this. Because I get you when you're all angry words and fists. But you're… Your subtleties aren't something I know backwards and forwards."

Holding her gaze steady on him is difficult. It'd be so much easier to let her eyes wander the room and inspect things that don't belong to her as if they could provide clues or inspiration. He deserves better. So, Nicole keeps her eyes on his face. "I didn't think you…" Frustration at her lack of eloquence plays out on her face, but she soldiers on. "I thought for me that it was love, and that for you, I was just a friend with benefits. And I guess I didn't realise that I was fucking with you, because it wasn't intentional.

"And that's my fault."

That gets a gravelly grunt at the back of Logan's throat, only made wordless thanks to the fact he is opting to smoke as he does it. "I've told you how I feel about that word." Love more likely than, say, fault. But anger is, as ever, a flash in the pan, sizzled out in the wake of all this fucking emotional processing going on that skids by him as unattainable as a UFO, a meteor shower. He considers his cigarette for a second, before putting it out, and moving from kitchen to couch.

A hand braces against the back of it as he sinks down beside her, and there is a sort of restrained tension in his body which for some men and women in the world alludes to sexual tension. Logan is lazier about sex, luxurious about it, and even in haste, he takes his time. Violence takes energy, requires muscle and alertness, and it's kept in check.

"But I do love instant tears at the promise of the end," he notes, voice dry and husky. "Very flattering."

Nicole's lips twitch either into the flicker of a smile at her own expense, or an aborted attempt to form words. Instead, she just flits her gaze along his form, assessing the coil of muscles and processing the non-verbal for intention.

That she's silent is not because she has nothing to say. The words are just far too important to spew them like vomit after binge drinking. Which is sort of how she feels right now. Like throwing up. Nicole brings her cigarette to her lips, taking a long drag before blowing the smoke out of the corner of her mouth, away from Logan. "You're so good at pretending that you only care about yourself, and protecting your interests, that I believed you." Congratulations? "Saying how I feel about you doesn't excuse what I did. And you have every right in the world to be furious with me, and to hate him." Russo. Her gaze drifts off, staring unfocused at (toward) the new shoes in their box, wrapped in tissue paper, on the coffee table.

There is something in there that has Logan's head twitching to tilt in sharp analysis, like trying to find the humour in something. The mocking. When it isn't readily apparent, he relaxes some, that coiled tension relenting, easing just a fraction. These are the old turns he's used to getting away with, and that he doesn't even have his power at his fingertips—

He leans in enough, the tip of his nose brushing feline against her hair, the finer strands of brunette toyed with in gentle breathing. It's nice to know he has subtleties, somewhere. "I think we're all a little good at pretending. But don't be silly, I don't hate Russo. He had good form. A nice jaw line. Bit greasy 'round the edges but nothing a good shower can't fix. No, this was all about you… and it was all about me.

"You can stay." His hand sneaks out, making a very lazy effort to steal her cigarette. Seeing as he killed his. "But not tonight."

It should be a charged moment. When her eyes lid, her head should be tipping back and a sigh should escape her lips, carrying the edge of a moan. Instead, when he leans in, Nicole's eyes shut, her lips purse faintly, her jaw gets tight, her shoulders hunch up with tension, and she inhales sharply.

When he steals her cigarette away, she opens her eyes again and stares at him from the corner of her eye, rather than lean away from the proximity to get a better look. Her lips part and her brows shift closer together in an expression of confusion.

He retracts a little himself, eyes widening in a mirrored impression of her confusion. "I've my prior engagements, love. No pun intended." There's a sort of ironic tone to those words— he actually didn't mean it— before pulling back completely, Logan pinching cigarette filter with his teeth to draw in smoke in deep, experienced exhale that has smoke pluming from nostrils a second later. His eyes sweep over the last of her tension in a kind of distanced curiosity, and the air is all smoke and chemicals, harsh to breathe.

"I have no idea what the fuck just happened," Nicole admits. "That you have prior… plans, I get." Her shoulders sag with an exhalation of a breath she didn't realise she was holding. "But what…?" Her head shakes a fraction, brows knitting further. "Where do we stand?" It's a question she should have asked a long time ago.

"Roughly about the same place we did before, I imagine. I tried to end things, and then you reminded me why they began." Logan flows to his feet, back stretching, and pacing off to collect his ashtray. There's a glance towards the whiskey glass, the stain of soaking alcohol and the fragments of ice yet to melt, as if surprised to see it, but it's only a glimmer of hesitation before he ashes his cigarette, back to her. More hazy smoke ribbons up.

Nicole follows Logan's movements, finally standing up from the couch again when he his own gaze hesitates on the downed glass. Her lips twitched at that, the memory of the action that sent it from her hands. She moves into the kitchen not for him, but to gather paper towels and begin soaking up the liquid from the carpet as though it were her mess to clean up. Like she'd been a bad houseguest.

"That… doesn't answer the question for me." Spoken a little helplessly as she keeps her attention on the task she's busied herself with. "I obviously didn't know where that was before, which is why you tried to end it." Nicole's head lifts so she can peer up at Logan from her crouch on the floor. "Why did it start?" She always thought that was all about her, and all about sex. But something tells her she was wrong.

Another exhale of smoke, this time sharper, a nasal sigh of frustration at another question. "The fuck do you want from me? Christ. I said you could stay. I said things can proceed as usual. We started because we flatter one another, don't we?" As he says it, he seems to realise it to be true, and latches onto the concept as he turns to face her, impassive to the fact she's cleaning up the booze he knocked from her hands.

"'No you're pretty, no, you're the prettiest' bullshit. You wanted an easy shag, and you still do, even with a ring on your finger. I like someone liking me. Preferring me. Needing— " Logan's fingers clutch compulsively on the ashtray, voice rasping dry in irritation as he diverts into, "And it shouldn't need to be fucking explained.

"It isn't worth it otherwise. We're either fine and dandy on even ground, or we're done. Do you need me to email that to your BlackBerry next?" He could, actually. It'd be easy.

"It was never about the sex!" Nicole fires back as though it had been an accusation. She sneers, "I could get that from anybody."

Except her fiancé, apparently.

Now it's her turn to groan, and she turns her eyes back to the floor, flipping over the wadded paper to soak up more amber liquid. "I just want to hear you say you're mine, Nicole." Those blue eyes shut in an immediate wince. "I need to know if I need to find a tactful way to leave him." The sopping towels are shoved into the bottom of the glass as Nicole rises to her feet, moving back to the kitchen to set the glass next to the sink.

She palms her engagement ring, after a vision of someone pitching it down the disposal. Nicole doesn't put it into her pocket or work it back onto her finger again, however. "You're better at this than I am," she tells him. "I'm all about definitions and knowing where the boundaries are, whether or not I even plan on sticking to them. I've never been good about…" She waves her open hand nebulously. "You don't give me labels, which is something I like about you. I envy that about you. You don't need them. I'm trying to learn how to do that…"

"That's it, isn't it?"

Accusatory point with the lit cigarette he stole, some bright idea making Logan's eyes brighter.

"You want out. You're not the daughter of politicians really, you just work for them, and this political marriage bullshit isn't really your thing — it was his idea, anyway, proposing like he did, and you test the waters today and find them ice cold. And you're willing to believe that me fucking up someone's face is romantic enough for you to run from his arms into mine. Fuck, it makes sense now. Well no, I'm not saying a fucking thing. Leave him if you want to. I'll still be here either way, unless you fail to call ahead. I'll even fuck you when you're wearing that."

A nod is meant to indicate her ring, before he goes to put out cigarette, then move back to inspect his shoes, picking up one before perching on the edge of the coffee table to pull them on over thin black formalwear socks.

"No," Nicole insists, having the grace to be somewhat annoyed instead of just offended, or - worse - sheepish. "I can handle the political marriage. But if it comes down to having to make a choice? You or him? It's you. Every fucking time anyone could ever ask me, who would you choose. Even if he becomes president, and you're back to playing pimp on Staten Island. It's still you."

The ring is pushed into her pocket before she can tighten her grip around it any further. There's already an imprint from the settings of diamond and flanking twin topaz in her palm. "Ask me to make that decision and I will. Tell me you don't fucking care? And I'm going to act like you don't. I'll keep going home to him and—" And what? The idea of going home to Brad is so foreign. Trying to imagine a life with him has Nicole's mind blank and she swallows dryly.

He flicks a glance up at her, but otherwise continues shoving shoes on his feet, knotting laces with brisk, economic movements as she talks before finally settling. A second of silence as he studies her from his perch, but he's already made up his mind. "I don't believe you," Logan states, simply. "I don't think it's your thing. Remember Jenny. How you are now, about Daniel. You get attached and that he isn't is going to drive you insane unless you leave him first, back to someone who says he needs you.

"And besides, who's asking? Has Bradley asked? Or is that the problem?" On his feet, he jolts a shrug at her.

Nicole keeps her eyes in Logan's face, as if to give him the full benefit of the look that comes over her that communicates you may be right. "Nobody's asking me. Not with words." She can't decide whether or not she believes the altercation that took place between her lover and her fiancé was a leave him ultimatum. "Nobody except Kristen's assistant, who doesn't give two fucks about what I want. What he wants is for me to drive a wedge between Bradley and Kristen…" She shakes her head. Obviously the jury is still out as to whether or not this is something she wants to accomplish.

On his feet by the time Nicole's finished, Logan waits a couple of seconds wherein he utilises this time wisely to raise an eyebrow at— dilemma, and internal struggle, going on in the shape of a woman in his apartment. "Fantastic," he says, in a way that turns all three syllables into uncertain punctuation, not terribly invested in the story past the producer lady. The assistant's involvement is a little more ground than he desires to cover.

"So I have no one asking me to leave, and someone telling me to stay." Nicole brings one hand up to her forehead, expression frustrated. She brushes away a strand of dark hair. "When Brad told me he was in love with Kristen, I encouraged him to break off the engagement, and he wouldn't. When I told him I was in love with someone else, and that someone was you… He didn't ask me to leave. Is he just selfish, self-destructive, or what?"

The emotional storm wrecking shit in John Logan's life sighs so heavily around an admission: "I don't wanna think anymore." Long legs and purposeful strides take her back to the living area, to him, where Nicole is reaching for his face to kiss him with more desperation and passion than she's felt in a long time.

And he accommodates this much, a hand coming up to seal a fist around dark hair and meet kiss, enthusiasm for enthusiasm — but he is the first, inevitably, to end it, with as much zeal as she had laid her hands on him. Logan has the grace to be breathless, however, a minor hesitation in the time it takes for him glance at her mouth, then back at her eyes. His hand in her hair loosens. "I want you 'round, but if this turns out to be me the emotional doormat you wipe your feet on, then we're fucking through. Do you hear me? This doesn't happen again.

"Now get out. Thank you. I told you, not tonight." He doesn't shove her away, but physical release is not gentle.

It takes a half a second longer to reign in instinct than it might otherwise. Nicole is left with her chest heaving when they part, no wince for the hand tangled in her hair, or the way he lets her go. There isn't a nod of acceptance, or understanding. She just turns away, and heads calmly for the door, lifting the suitcase she arrived with, unlocking the door, and letting herself out.

Outside the building, she loads the luggage into the trunk of her Buick, and drives herself home. Only once she's in the parking garage does she finally lower her forehead to rest atop the steering wheel and stare through the driver's side window.

Contemptuous for her own reflection.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License