His name was Logan.
He knew that much only because of the dogtags he wore around his neck and the kid.
He didn’t know the kid’s name, hadn’t thought to ask for it, but the kid had seemed to give a damn if he lived or died. He wore the dogtag with the name Logan on it, so he figured that he could trust when the kid said it was his name. Instinct told him not to trust much more than that though, not from anyone, so he parted ways with the kid at the first opportunity, just after they found the body of that woman. He didn’t know who she was or what had happened to her beyond the obvious gunshot wound, but part of him felt like he should have.
Something down deep told him that the woman’s death was important to him, but he didn’t know why or how and it didn’t take him long to decide he’d have to think about it later. All he knew was that for some reason she made him think of the moon, but that made no more sense to him than the fact he couldn’t remember anything about himself. It was almost as if he had sprung fully formed to earth in the middle of the devastation the kid had found him in, except for the fact he knew things.
Like the fact he knew the sound of approaching emergency personnel was bad. The kid had said Logan was the one who destroyed the place, and he knew that wouldn’t go over well with the fuzz.
Logan took one last look at the woman’s face, wishing again that he knew why he felt like he should know her, and then he took off into the rubble. He fell into a nearly silent run without really trying and soon found himself at the edge of the island he seemed to be on, looking across the still water towards a city. He glanced back towards the sound of the emergency crews, watching the lights for a moment before he turned and started along the shore, looking for a boat or a bridge.
Some instinct told him that he’d never make it to the distant shore if he tried to swim for it, so he didn’t even attempt it.
Logan wove through the crowd as he crossed the crowded street at a brisk walk, fighting the urge to run for the dark alley he could see on the far side as he wondered where he was. He turned into the alley when he reached it, nostrils flaring to take in the familiar scents of garbage and the city, and he let himself move a bit faster as soon as he was out of sight. There was no one in the alley, not that he could smell anyway, and he trotted quickly for a dozen steps before he stopped suddenly, turning back towards the brightly lit street he had just left.
He hardly knew why, but an instant later he was moving back towards the light as he strained to hear a low rumbling purr almost drowned out by the crowd. Something about the sound drew him like a magnet, even though he wasn’t quite sure why. A few moments later the crowd – Logan wasn’t sure why there were so many people on the street, but it seemed to be some kind of block party – parted so that Logan could see that it was a Harley motorcycle that he had heard, weaving slowly through the crowd.
The rumble of the engine and the sight of the bike pulled him forward without him realizing it, and a moment later the bike’s owner met his gaze, looking a bit suspicious as Logan stepped out in front of the bike. The owner was decked out in leather pants and a plaid flannel shirt over a tank top with short hair buzzed high and tight on the sides and a pair of heavy, scarred biker boots. The only hint she was female was the way she filled out the shirt; otherwise she was dressed like a man, and she carried herself like one, too.
“That’s a beautiful old bike,” Logan said without thinking or even noticing that he sounded jealous. “A ’62, isn’t it?” He inhaled the scent of metal and exhaust, feeling like he suddenly knew part of what had been missing for the last two days. He had walked and he had run, and he had hitched a few rides with truckers going the right direction, but none of it had felt right to him. The sight and scent of the bike triggered enough for him to suddenly know that was what he wanted, what he needed. He decided right then that there would be a bike of his own in his future, and soon.
The woman’s suspicious look faded slowly and then she finally grinned, relaxing. “Yep! Thanks.” She lovingly ran her hand over the bike’s gas tank, looking down at the gleaming paint as she said proudly, “Restored her myself.”
Logan moved around to see the other side of the bike, sparing the woman only a glance or two as his gaze roamed over the bike’s sleek lines. The bike wasn’t exactly what he wanted, but it was close enough to make him wistful. “You did a great job. I haven’t seen one lookin’ that good in…” Logan trailed off, then let out a slight little laugh as he realized he couldn’t really remember ever seeing a bike like the old Harley, even though he knew somehow that he had. He thought he might even have owned one, though he couldn’t remember it. “Well, ever.”
The woman preened, smug. “Learned all I know from my daddy. He’s a Hell’s Angel.”
“Tony!” A woman’s voice called suddenly from further down the street, “Stop showing off that damn bike! We’re going to be late!”
Logan looked towards the voice, spotting a beautiful brunette in a slinky black dress and stiletto heels standing on the steps of one of the nearby buildings. He looked back at the woman on the bike, curious. “Friend of yours?”
“Yep! The lady’s getting impatient,” she said with a grin. “Gotta go.” She winked at him and then gunned the engine and the bike rolled forward again, leaving Logan to watch it weave skillfully through the crowd towards the brunette.
The brunette walked to the bike and leaned in to kiss the woman who rode it, making Logan’s eyebrows go up as he watched the beauty sit sidesaddle on the back of the old Harley. A moment later the bike was moving forward again, disappearing into the crowd.
Logan looked around, still surprised, and finally noticed that the obvious couples around him were almost all same-sex pairings, and everyone seemed to be wearing rainbows of some kind, most with wild costumes. He turned to look in the opposite direction from the way the bike had gone and almost immediately spotted a banner in the front window of a café just down the block that proclaimed proudly “PRIDE 90” in rainbow letters a foot tall with the words “Out and Proud!” below it in pink glitter paint.
“Huh,” Logan muttered, bemused. He lifted one hand to scratch his head, looking towards the sound of a driving dance beat that turned out to be a club three doors down from the café. He let his hand fall as he spotted a dozen more butch bikers loitering on their bikes in front of a bar across from the nightclub.
He stared for a few moments, debating moving to get a closer look at the bikes and maybe go get a beer, but before he could decide either way someone ran into him hard enough to make him stagger slightly. He whirled and grabbed the person who had hit him, jerking him off his feet with an angry growl and picking him up with handfuls of shirt before it really even registered what he was seeing. The blonde twink who had run into him looked about sixteen and smelled like sex and booze, wearing disheveled preppy clothes that didn’t fit into the crowd at all.
The kid’s blue eyes were wide and terrified as he clutched at Logan’s wrists and babbled, “Oh god, I’m sorry! I didn’t see you there, I didn’t mean to run into you! Please don’t hurt me!”
Logan scowled and put the kid down, growling, “Watch where you’re goin’, kid.”
“I will!” the blonde said quickly, backing away. He bumped into someone else and squeaked, sparing only a glance for the guy he’d hit before he looked back at Logan. He let out a little whimper and then turned and bolted into the crowd.
Logan realized he was still growling and closed his eyes as he took a deep breath and counted to ten to try and get hold of his temper. It was a little scary how easily he went murderously angry, and how hard it was to rein in his temper once it was provoked, but he was starting to get better at it.
At least he hadn’t shown his claws this time, which was a vast improvement over the first time someone had bumped into him after he crossed the river. He had left the bridge and ended up in the makeshift shantytown under the bridge supports where a large group of homeless had settled. The one who ran into him had been a drunk little old man half his size, and Logan still wasn’t sure if he scared the man to death or not. The little hobo had squeaked at the sight of his claws and dropped like he had been poleaxed, and the screams from a nearby woman made Logan bolt before he had a chance to see if the old man was dead or not.
He opened his eyes again a few moments later and spared one last glance for the bikes and the bar before he reluctantly turned away, heading back into the alleyway.
He wasn’t fit to be in a crowd. If he walked in a bar on a hair trigger like he was – especially a butch biker bar in the middle of a Pride celebration – someone would get killed. He didn’t want that, so he continued to work his way west through the city, following a vague instinct that told him home was that way. He had no idea how far it was, or even where it was, but something told him that west and north was the way to go if he wanted to find safety. He didn’t have anything else to go on, so he was going to keep going that way until something looked familiar.
He’d been moving west for two days already without finding anything that he remembered, but he figured his luck had to change eventually.
Logan sat at the bar, a cheap cigar clamped in his teeth and a glass of whiskey in front of him as he counted the cash in his hands, deft fingers making swift work of the five hundred dollar pot he’d just won in a bare-knuckle fight. He didn’t like to steal so he’d been fighting when he ran out of money, which was happening a lot more often because of the beat-up old Harley he’d bought from a pawn shop several days back. The Harley had needed major repairs when he bought it, but he already loved it despite how homely it looked covered in rust and battered to hell and gone.
A chance bar fight the day after he bought the bike had made him wonder about the moneymaking opportunity that side bets could offer, and already he was making money betting on himself in fights. His plan was to keep it up until he could afford to rebuild his bike like it should be done, and so far it was working out pretty well. He had been surprised by the side benefit that all the fighting seemed to help him keep a rein on his temper, but he welcomed it. After a good fight – usually with the odds stacked against him, since he wasn’t a tall guy and was getting better at keeping his claws hidden – he was always more cheerful, and he had just about enough cash now to afford all the parts he needed for the bike. He had to rebuild the engine and the carburetor yet, and completely replace the gas tank and half a dozen other things that had been shamefully neglected by whoever hocked the bike.
It was a nice old bike, or would be once he was done, but at the moment it looked pretty rough and ran even worse. The sound made him cringe every time he fired it up, and he felt guilty as hell for every mile he pushed the bike because he knew he was making some of the problems even worse. It was a crime to abuse the bike like he’d been doing, but he hadn’t had much choice. He had been babying it along until he got together the cash to hole up in some quiet little town and rebuild it into the machine he knew the ’49 Panhead could be, given the chance.
“You should finish that drink and get out, buddy.”
Logan glanced up at the old man behind the bar, meeting his gaze as he said mildly, “I’ll leave when I’m damned good and ready, barkeep.”
The bartender snorted. “You’re tough enough, mister, but you can’t win against half a dozen guys. Leroy has friends, and they’re all over there plotting to teach you not to mess up a local boy. Take my advice and run while you can.”
Logan glanced behind the bartender at the mirror, spotting the group of angry-looking lumberjacks as he asked softly, “And if I don’t?”
The bartender nodded towards the cash Logan still held. “That’ll be payin’ for your burial, son. Them boys don’t play fair.” The old man looked at him a moment longer and then moved to get a beer for someone else, leaving Logan alone at that end of the bar.
Logan looked at the lumberjacks in the mirror again and then smiled, finishing his drink in one swallow. He turned from the bar and made a show of tucking the money into his shirt pocket, smirking at the men gathered around the battered Leroy. “Nice doin’ business with ya, fellas.” He nodded and started towards the door, his smirk widening into a fierce grin when a glance at the mirror showed the men were hurrying to follow.
This would be fun.
Logan drove along the dirt road, the soothing rumble of the old Harley’s rebuilt engine the only sound as he traveled steadily upwards. He didn’t hesitate at any of the turns or forks in the road, some half-understood instinct telling him where to go as he worked his way higher. He didn’t remember any of the landmarks he passed and yet it was all as familiar as his own face as he drove unerringly up the mountain. He finally turned onto an overgrown rocky track that led up a particularly steep slope, and then a few minutes later he stopped the Harley near the burned-out wreck of a cabin, far above the tree line.
He was sure that this place high in the Canadian Rockies was where he had been going all this time, but now that he was finally there he still didn’t know why.
Logan cut the engine on the Harley and dismounted, walking slowly along the top of the ridge as he looked around, trying to figure out why he was there. The charred remains of the cabin still stank of smoke and kerosene to his sensitive nose, telling him that the fire was recent and intentional, but he didn’t really care one way or the other as he picked his way into the wreckage. He stepped over the twisted, melted remains of pots and pans in what had to have been the kitchen, cinders crunching beneath his boots on the blackened flagstone floor as he looked around for some clue why he was there.
He wandered aimlessly through the rubble for over ten minutes, occasionally stopping to get a closer look at some charred remnant of whoever had lived in the cabin, but he saw nothing useful until he was poking through what was left of a bedroom. He was about to move on when he noticed a locked metal box beneath the pile of old fashioned bed springs, charred but intact. He kicked the springs aside and picked up the box, feeling that he had found what he was after as he turned and carried it out of the cabin.
A few minutes later he had the box on the recently replaced two-up seat of his Harley, the lock neatly sliced apart and the lid open as he stared down at the discolored but intact items inside.
A photo of the dead woman from Three Mile Island lay on top of a pile of photos inside the box, looking at the camera with a beautiful smile. The woman was leaning back into the arms of a man he recognized as himself with a cabin behind them that Logan thought was likely the one he stood by the remains of, but Logan remembered nothing about the woman or the cabin. He also didn’t remember ever being as happy as he looked in the photo, eyes sparkling and a wide grin on his face.
It was more than a little surreal to see himself so completely and obviously happy and in love but remember nothing about it. The photo could have been of strangers for all he felt when he saw it, despite the fact it was his face. He remembered none of it and he felt nothing for the woman whose body he had left behind thousands of miles ago. He felt like he should at least care that she was dead after seeing his own face so deliriously happy to hold her, but he was still empty inside. Her death should affect him, should anger him or sadden him or something, but the simple fact was that it didn’t.
Logan just looked at the photo for a minute longer and then picked it up, revealing a photo of a long-legged black appaloosa horse with Logan and the same woman on its bare back, galloping through a shallow river with no restraint of any kind on the horse to guide it with. He stared at the photo for several minutes before he finally looked at the back of the first one, reading the simple legend there and wishing he could remember anything about it. ‘James and Kayla, June 87’ was all it said, and a quick check of the back of the photo of him and the woman on the horse revealed ‘James and Kayla on Liberty, March 86’.
Logan found many more photos in the lockbox, all labeled in a careless scrawl he thought might be his own handwriting, but he recognized none of the people in them except himself. There were a dozen photos of him with the dead woman called Kayla, all labeling him as James, and below those was a recent-looking group photo of men in uniform with him wearing a captain’s insignia and the name Logan on his chest, but none of the people felt familiar to him any more than the name James did.
Logan dug deeper in the box despite his disquiet, and as he did so he found pictures of himself that got older and older. James seemed as if it might be his own first name, the other half of a name he had wondered about often over the long lonely miles he traveled while instinct pulled him unerringly towards something that felt like home, but the name James felt no more like his own than the land he stood on felt like his home. He was there, and he was sure the ridge was where he had been searching for, but finally finding it left him feeling cold and empty just like the name did.
The only photos of him out of uniform were all with either a man named Victor or the woman, Kayla, but there wasn’t a photo of the three of them together, or any photos with Victor within the last seven years. As he dug deeper in the box the dates on the photos grew more and more unbelievable until he got to one that said ‘Me and Victor, 1942’. The Logan in the photo was smiling up at the other man, Victor, like he was the only thing in the world that mattered to him, and Logan felt it like a punch in his gut. The Victor in the photo was looking at Logan much the same way, both of them in tattered Army uniforms that were streaked with mud and blood, and Logan was suddenly sure that they had been more than friends.
Logan stared at the picture of him in the arms of the big guy who had been in many of the other photos – usually with an arm around him, grinning at the camera – for a long time before he finally laid it aside to see what else was in the lockbox. He knew something more about himself, something that explained why he had found his eye lingering more often on another man than on a woman, but the knowledge gave him no satisfaction. He didn’t need more problems, and even though he didn’t remember much, he had seen enough on his journey to know that being queer wasn’t much easier than being a mutant. He was pretty sure that being both would be worse than either, even if he was bisexual. He hadn’t seen much indication that people who despised queer men might be less inclined to hate men who preferred other men but also liked women. Just knowing that a man thought someone with a dick was sexy seemed to be enough for most of the world to condemn them.
He moved two slim leather-covered boxes without opening them to see what rattled inside them, somehow knowing they held medals even though he didn’t remember ever seeing them before, then found the deed to the ridge he was on in the name James Logan III, dated 1983. Beneath that deed was another to several thousand acres of ground in Alaska dated 1901 and owned by James Logan. Underneath that deed was the last item in the box, an ancient photo of himself and Victor in Union army uniforms.
The label on the back of that photo was written by a different hand in a careful childish print that said simply, ‘Jimmy & Me’, and Logan wondered how old he and Victor had been then. Victor was the only one who was as unchanged through the decades as Logan himself was, and all the photos of them together had made Logan sure that the man had been very important to him even though he had no memory of him. The phrase two against the world popped into his head suddenly, and it felt so familiar and right that Logan was sure it must have been something he thought many times before.
Logan began to put everything back in the box just like he had found it, looking again at each photo and trying to adjust to the fact his face and Victor’s never changed, even though the people around them in the photos did. Victor had to be a mutant like him to still be so young and strong after over a century, but Logan couldn’t even begin to guess how many years they stayed together or why Victor was in none of the more recent photos. Logan’s face the day he wore that Union uniform over a hundred years ago looked almost identical to the way his face still looked, and he finally began to wonder if he would ever age. He had already known he healed almost instantly from minor wounds and expected that he would heal from major ones, too, but he was still surprised to realize he might well be immortal, or close to it.
The thought of living forever left Logan cold and he finally put the last photo back into the box and closed it, reaching into one of the heavy leather saddlebags on his bike for a small coil of rope. He tied the box closed and then started to tie it securely on the rear seat of his bike, wanting to take it with him despite the fact he remembered nothing of the past it held. The names of the people who had been in the most recent photos gave him a place to start asking about his past, which was more than he had before he found the lockbox.
He didn’t know what to think of learning his own first name was James, evidently also called Jimmy. They both felt foreign to him and he wasn’t sure he wanted to try to be either person again. The name Logan felt right to him, felt like it was his, but James felt like someone he didn’t even know. The nickname Jimmy left him feeling tense and even a bit angry, and he decided after only a moment that he would never use it. He didn’t know why he felt so negatively about it, but he did and he figured there had to be a reason the thought of being called Jimmy made his gut clench and set his teeth on edge. He thought it might have something to do with the man called Victor, mostly because looking for long at any of the photos of Victor left him feeling almost as unsettled. He couldn’t fathom why he would stay with the man for over a century and then part ways with him, but that seemed to be what had happened unless the man named Victor had been killed.
Logan shook himself, hating that he didn’t even know why he was suddenly tense and wary as a deer scenting wolves. He determinedly put thoughts about the man he had once been out of his mind, along with thoughts about Kayla and Victor. The man in the photos with them wasn’t him anymore, and he decided suddenly that he wouldn’t use either of the names, not unless someone recognized him and called him by them. The man he used to be was gone, and as he stood there holding that box of memories he couldn’t recall, he had the feeling his life would be better if he let that man die.
Logan looked around the ridge one last time once the box was secure, pausing to enjoy the view of the sunset over the mountains to the west until the last ray of light was gone. He turned away then and climbed on his Harley, and moments later he was roaring off down the overgrown trail towards the highway he’d left twenty miles and several hours ago.
He had no idea where he was going anymore, no direction calling to him the way the road to the ridgeline cabin had, but by the time he reached the main highway he didn’t hesitate to turn east. He turned south on the first major road he found going that direction, roaring on down the moonlit highway through the night to stop near dawn on the US side of the border in a stand of timber about a mile off the road. He slept there until noon and then got back on his bike and headed for the road again, turning off the highway at the first sign promising food and gas.
An hour later he was on the road again, driving steadily through the day. He had nowhere to go as far as he knew, but he did have his Harley and the road in front of him and Logan figured that would be enough for a while. He would see some country he didn’t know – or at least didn’t remember – and go the way the wind took him until he had a reason to stop. Maybe someday he’d find something that would bring his past back to him, but he was finally sure he would survive without it.
Going by the photos in that box on the back of his bike, he’d been alive longer than anyone he’d ever heard of before, so he figured there was a good chance he’d keep right on living.
Logan shifted in the dark booth as he glanced around the crowded club, trying not to be obvious about adjusting himself.
The name of the place was ‘Forbidden Fruit’, and it fit pretty well. Just after Logan had stepped inside the door he hadn’t had a clue what drew him there, but ten minutes later he did know why he hadn’t left.
The tables around the dance floor were crowded, but they seemed empty compared to the writhing mass of beautiful bodies out of the floor. There were men and women out there dancing in pairs and groups, and it had taken Logan a few minutes to notice very few of the couples were male/female. He had been by an empty booth in the back by the time he realized it, and he had settled back into the booth to reconsider the sanity of his choice. Considering his sanity soon fell by the wayside as he got distracted by the sea of moving bodies and the overpowering scent of sex, weed, and alcohol in the club.
A friendly waiter had been glad to bring Logan a bottle of Jose Quervo, and he had quickly downed more than half of the bottle in the hopes of relaxing a bit. His healing factor wasn’t cooperating with his desire to get drunk, though, and it seemed like every time he barely felt a buzz it would fade away again within moments. He had been just sipping his tequila since he realized that, still enjoying the taste even if he couldn’t use it to help him relax while he soaked up the heady blend of pheromones in the air and watched one of the couples on the floor not far from his booth.
The two men seldom glanced at anyone else, and from the way they looked at each other Logan thought they had been together a while. One of them was a slim freckle-faced man with red spiky hair and flashing green eyes, and his partner in leather pants and a vest was a burly tattooed guy that was bald as an egg but had a very hairy chest. The big man was obviously a biker, and his build and what Logan somehow recognized as a prison tattoo on his shoulder told Logan that the guy had probably spent a lot of time working out while he was in prison. The redhead obviously enjoyed the biker’s muscles and kept stroking them or playing with the hair on the biker’s chest, teasing the big man who just laughed and let him as they danced. They kept up that routine through four songs while Logan watched, and Logan was surprised to realize after a while that he was jealous.
He finally admitted to himself then why he was there, but as he began to look around the club again he didn’t remember how to go about getting what he wanted. He saw more than one obviously unattached man in the crowd who was dancing with anyone who seemed interested, but he wasn’t about to try the same thing in hopes of meeting someone. He wasn’t sure of it, but he had the feeling he was a terrible dancer.
One of the skimpily-dressed waiters stopped in front of him suddenly, making Logan look up in surprise. “You’ve got an admirer, sweetie,” the rather short, mostly naked boy teased him, dark eyes sparkling as he showed Logan the virulently blue margarita he carried on his tray.
Logan's eyebrows rose in surprise. “Who?”
The twink leaned closer to Logan’s side and pointed several tables over to a tall dark-haired man who was watching them intently as he raised a glass to Logan. “That’s him, right there.” The waiter looked back at Logan, eyes still sparkling as he added, “You seem new to this sweetie, so I’m going to give you a bit of advice. Accepting the drink is as good as telling him you’re interested in getting a lot closer to him.”
Logan gave the waiter an amused look. “I knew that much, kid. That’s why I asked who sent it.” He looked back over at the guy, giving him a slow appraising look.
The man looked to be in his mid thirties and didn’t look any more at home in the club than Logan did. Logan’s worn blue jeans and tight black t-shirt with an open but tucked in red and black flannel shirt over it stood out a bit more than the other man’s jeans, t-shirt, and leather jacket did, but only because the man was dressed all in black. The guy’s dark hair was long and pulled back into a ponytail, and his blue eyes were intent and amused as he watched Logan look at him. The guy could have easily passed for a straight guy in any bar Logan had ever been in, even with the silver hoop earrings he wore, and there weren’t many men in the club that Logan could say that about.
Logan finally reached out to take the drink off the waiter’s tray, not taking his gaze off the man who had sent it.
The man smiled and stood to begin making his way towards Logan’s table as the young waiter patted Logan’s shoulder and leaned down to murmur into his ear, “Remember to find out who he thinks is topping before you go anywhere with him, sweetie. Guys that look that straight can get mean as hell about being asked to bottom, even for a studmuffin like you.”
Logan looked at the kid quickly, blushing slightly as he let out a surprised laugh, but the boy was already heading towards another table. The kid was dancing more than he walked and it did interesting things to his round little ass that held Logan’s attention despite the fact he was sure every move was being made with that goal in mind. Logan felt like a dirty old man for it, but he still watched the boy go.
“Mind if I join you?” an amused male voice asked a moment later, making Logan look quickly towards the voice.
“Not a bit,” Logan said easily, and then he finally took a sniff of the margarita that the dark-haired man had sent him. He smiled when he realized it wasn’t some unholy blueberry thing like the color had made him suspect, taking a drink of the tangy citrus cocktail before he added, “I’m Logan.”
“Nick.” Nick settled comfortably into the booth across from Logan, still amused as he added, “You don’t get out much, do you?”
Logan snorted a laugh, meeting Nick’s gaze again. “That obvious, huh?”
Nick grinned. “I get the feeling you’re more used to quiet little biker bars with battered old jukeboxes and waitresses that call everyone honey.”
“You’re good,” Logan said, chuckling. “I’m still not real sure why I came in this place.”
Nick leaned forward as if to tell Logan a secret, blue eyes sparkling as he teased, “To get laid.”
Logan laughed. “Maybe.” He glanced around and then back at Nick, smiling crookedly. “This sure ain’t my kind of place, though. You were right about that.”
Nick grinned and cocked his head to one side slightly. “How about we get out of here, then? I know a great little bar not far from here. They’ve got a few pool tables and a jukebox, and they serve the best barbecue around.”
Logan’s smile widened into a grin, and he downed the rest of the margarita in one long swallow before he grabbed his jean jacket off the bench beside him. “Let’s get the hell out of here, then.”
“Great!” Nick stood and waited for Logan to do the same, then headed towards the front door, smirking a bit.
Logan followed close behind Nick, letting his gaze roam over the taller man’s wide shoulders and down his muscular back to the tight jeans he wore. He got distracted then by admiring the curves of Nick’s ass until someone grabbed his waist and pressed up against his back. Logan looked over his shoulder in surprise to see the waiter who had brought him his drinks beaming at him.
“Good for you, sweetie!” the boy said happily, pressing closer to kiss Logan soundly on the cheek. “Enjoy yourself!”
The waiter patted his ass familiarly and then hurried off into the crowd again, leaving Logan to continue after Nick, wondering what he’d done to make that kid like him so much.
Nick was waiting at the door and looking amused, leading the way out into the comparable quiet of the parking lot before he teased, “Got an admirer, huh?”
Logan chuckled. “Seems that way, but I sure dunno why.”
Nick smirked. “Now you’re just fishing for compliments.”
Logan laughed and pulled on his jean jacket as he started towards his bike, which was parked with well over a dozen others right in front of the club under the doorman’s watchful eyes. The other bikes were actually one of the main reasons Logan had finally gone in, since he figured with so many bikes there had to be other bikers inside. He hadn’t realized that most of them belonged to women until he had been inside a while and finally noticed the group of butch bikers who had staked out the corner of the club between the bar and the restrooms. “Nope, just not seeing whatever a kid like that might see in someone like me.”
Nick followed him towards the bikes, amused. “I’m not sure if you just told me I have bad taste or not.”
Logan swung onto his old Harley, the beefed-up suspension he’d given the bike making it seem like he didn’t weigh any more than the next guy despite the fact he weighed a good five hundred pounds. He flipped up the kickstand and then looked at Nick with a grin. “Well, you did make a move on me. That ain’t a sterling recommendation for you havin’ especially good taste. I don’t clean up near as pretty as half the guys in there.”
Nick moved to a new-looking candy apple red Honda further down the row of bikes, pausing by it as he smiled at Logan. “Maybe I was looking for something a little harder to find than a pretty face.”
Logan watched Nick settle onto the bike, surprised but pleased. “Thanks.”
Nick kick-started his bike, grinning at Logan. “It’s not far to the bar I told you about.”
Logan started the Harley, loving the deep-throated roar of the engine, and then waved towards the road. “Lead the way.”
Nick didn’t wait for a second invitation, guiding his bike backwards out of the row of bikes and then driving slowly towards the parking lot’s exit to give Logan time to do the same. Logan backed out of his parking spot and then turned his Harley after Nick’s Honda, amused because he had been sure the Honda was a lady’s bike when he went into the bar. Nick glanced back to be sure he was following and then sent the little Honda leaping forward out onto the nearly empty highway that ran in front of the club.
Logan gunned his Harley to follow, grinning as he realized he was looking forward to relaxing for a while and maybe finding out just how interested in him Nick was. He hadn’t done anything with a man, not that he remembered at least, but he had noticed quite a few over the last few months that he wanted to do something with.
The women he went home with just hadn’t been what he was after recently, no matter how much he enjoyed himself with them at the time. He couldn’t really put what was missing into words or even sort it out in his own head, but after the sex was over it left him feeling unsettled and unsatisfied every time. All he had wanted was to get out of their bedrooms without making an ass of himself and to get on the road and as far away as he could. He wasn’t sure if it would be any different with a man or not, but he figured it was about time to find out.
Logan followed Nick for a little over two miles further into St Louis and then they turned onto a side road that led out of town again. They had gone about four miles when Nick turned again onto a narrow two lane road that looked like it got a lot of traffic despite the fact there wasn’t much at all along the road but trees. Logan was just beginning to wonder where they were going when they rounded a curve and he spotted a neon sign that said ‘Rogan’s Bar and Grill’ and pointed down a gravel driveway.
Nick turned down the drive and Logan followed him through a thick stand of trees until they suddenly emerged into a dusty gravel parking lot that held a huge old log cabin. The cabin had been remade into a bar, and was surrounded by a few cars, around a dozen pickups, and twice that many bikes that were lined up along the front of the bar. There was a driveway marked private leading further into the trees next to the bar, and a huge black iron smoker on the other end of the building was giving off the heady scents of serious barbecue. Logan could hear older rock music coming from inside the bar, but only faintly, which made him smile. The last club had been loud enough to make it uncomfortable for his keen hearing, so a quieter bar in the sticks would be a welcome change.
Logan parked his bike next to Nick’s at the end of the row of bikes, inhaling again before he gave Nick a wide grin. “This’ll be worth the ride just for that barbecue if it tastes half as good as it smells.”
Nick laughed and nodded, getting off of his little Honda. “Every time.”
Logan stayed where he was a minute, grinning as he looked at Nick’s bike and unable to resist it anymore. “What’s with the riceburner, anyway? Lose your bike in a bet?”
“My riceburner’ll outrun that old hog any day,” Nick replied quickly, laughing. “I’ve made a lot of money off of guys on hogs who thought power and speed are the same thing.”
Logan snickered and finally dismounted his bike. “Not the same thing at all, but you’re forgettin’ some bikes have both.” He looked at his bike, taking in the sleek midnight blue paint and new black leather seat and matching saddlebags that all just set off the spotless chrome he had spent many an hour restoring. He finally lifted his gaze again and smirked at Nick as he patted the gas tank of his bike, adding smugly, “Especially ones that have been rebuilt from the frame out like my baby has. She’s outrun everyone I ever needed her to.”
Nick grinned. “Most hogs won’t, though.”
Nick turned to start towards the door of the bar and Logan snickered as he moved to follow, nodding to a couple who were coming out the door. The man glanced at Nick and then gave Logan a knowing look with more than a hint of disgust in it, and Logan’s eyes narrowed as his friendly expression faded into a frown. The man’s wife grabbed her husband’s elbow and hurried him along before the man could say anything, and after an annoyed glance back at the man Logan tried to put them out of his mind as he looked forward again.
Nick had paused by the door to wait for him, and he gave Logan a resigned look as he murmured, “Better get used to that, the regulars here know I’m gay and this is Missouri. Things aren’t as bad here as they are in the smaller towns, but being gay’s still not anything most folks approve of.”
Logan reached out to push open the door with one hand, moving his other hand to Nick’s back to push him inside. “They better not start mouthing off around me, or I’m gonna be payin’ for using their faces to bust up a perfectly good bar.”
Nick let himself be guided through the entryway and into the restaurant side of the bar, looking a little surprised as he waved to Mike Rogan, who was tending bar as usual. The building was divided inside by the double bar where Mike worked, separating the bar and dance floor in the right half of the old log building from the restaurant in the left side and making it easy for Mike to watch everything. The kitchens were to the far left, but instead of a solid wall to close it off from the restaurant there was another bar where people could sit and watch their food prepared if they wanted to.
“It’s just words, Logan, or looks,” Nick said quietly after a moment. “It’s not like anyone’ll try and kick our asses for it or something. Not here.”
“I ain’t tellin’ them what I think of what they do in bed, and they’d better show me the same courtesty,” Logan said firmly as he looked up into Nick’s eyes, not bothering to try and be quiet. He thought it was better to let Nick know where he stood from the start, and he wouldn’t let anyone treat him like a second-class citizen. “I don’t go around askin’ for a fight, but I damn sure won’t turn tail and run from anyone.”
Nick just looked at Logan for a long moment and Logan was still, waiting. He knew he looked rough and tough as an old boot, especially in the worn denim and flannel he was wearing at the moment, and he had used it to his advantage more than once. Most of the time people would take one look at him and decide they’d rather leave him alone, and the few that didn’t were easy to teach a lesson to. If Nick wasn’t looking for the kind of guy who wasn’t afraid to stand up and fight for what he believed, Logan would rather know so he could ride out. Well, after he had some dinner, anyway. The barbecue smelled too good to leave without trying it.
Nick’s gaze finally settled on Logan’s chest. “Military?” Nick asked, seeming a bit surprised, and Logan glanced down to see his dog tags were hanging outside his shirt again
Logan tucked the tags back into his shirt, shrugging one shoulder as he met Nick’s gaze again. “Yeah, but nothin’ I can talk about.” Mostly because Logan didn’t remember a bit of it, but he wasn’t about to tell that to anyone he had just met.
Nick looked into Logan’s eyes a moment, smiling slightly, then turned suddenly to head towards an empty booth in the restaurant side of the bar and grill. “Not many military men who swing my way.”
“More’n you think,” Logan said, following Nick and feeling amused.
Nick took a seat in the booth, giving Logan a grin. “Oh yeah?”
Logan nodded, lips twitching into a smile as he tried to relax again. “I wasn’t the only one, I promise.”
Nick laughed as a tall brunette waitress walked up to their table with two beers, beaming. A nametag on the waitress’ blouse said her name was Patty, and she looked to be about twenty or so, bubbly and cheerful as she said, “Hey Nicky! Who’s your friend?”
Nick looked up at the waitress, taking one of the beers with a pleased grin. “Hey girl. This is Logan, he’s passing through and wanted to know where the best barbecue in town is.”
Patty turned her attention to Logan, still beaming. “It so is! Mike’s been to Memphis in May and made the top ten twice!”
Logan grinned up at Patty, brown eyes sparkling. “Well then, what’re you waitin’ on, darlin’? We’re starved.”
Patty giggled and reached over to swat at Logan’s shoulder lightly. “Don’t call me darlin’! My name’s Patty.” She pulled a notepad out of her apron pocket and looked expectantly at them. “What’ll it be? We’ve still got some of everything in the smoker right now, so you can take your pick.”
Logan glanced around for a menu on the table, but there wasn’t one so he looked questioningly at Nick. “What’s good?”
“Everything,” Nick replied promptly, grinning. “I’m partial to the pulled pork and the beef ribs, but the pork baby-backs and the brisket are great too.”
“Don’t forget the barbecued chicken,” Patty added, grinning. “It’s my favorite.”
Logan looked up at Patty again, smirking. “Yes, please. That all sounds good.”
Patty giggled. “How about a full spread combo, then? That’s some of everything with a side of barbecued beans and some potato salad. Then if you want you can order more of what you liked best.”
“Sounds great,” Logan agreed, nodding. “And iced tea, please. One beer’ll be plenty.”
“Sweet or unsweet?” Patty asked, surprised but looking pleased.
“Unsweet,” Logan said immediately, “and some lemon wedges if you got’em.”
“Gotcha.” Patty jotted down the order even as she glanced at Nick, adding, “And for you, Nicky?”
“Pulled pork and a half rack of beef ribs with a side of potato salad,” Nick said, smiling.
“And a Dr Pepper to drink,” Patty finished for him, grinning. “You’re predictable as a clock, Nicky.” She reached out to ruffle his hair as she turned away from the table. “I’ll be back in a few.”
Nick made a face as she walked off, reaching up to smooth his hair back, and Logan chuckled softly. “A friend, I gather?”
“Cousin, actually,” Nick admitted, smiling. “That’s how I found out about the barbecue. I live on the other side of town and only come out this way a couple times a month.”
“To go clubbing?” Logan asked, amused.
“Most times, yeah,” Nick agreed, nodding. “I hang around there until the dinner rush is over here, and then I come get dinner once the restaurant has slowed down.”
Logan glanced around at the restaurant side of the bar, which seemed pretty busy to him with only three or four tables empty, then looked at Nick again. “This is slow?”
Nick laughed. “Two hours ago there was a line out onto the porch waiting to sit down, and half the bar was full of restaurant patrons too. Give it another hour and this side of the building will empty out because they turn up the music on the bar side at nine. They usually run out of ribs by then anyway, so there’s not much left to serve besides burgers and whatever Patty can throw on the grill to cook in a hurry while the cook, Tony, takes over the bar. From nine till midnight Mike’ll be busy seasoning the meat for tomorrow, then the kitchen closes altogether and Tony heads home to catch some sleep. Mike does last call at three so he can load the smokers before he leaves at four, and then it all starts over again at noon.”
Logan grinned. “That’s one way to be sure they have time to get stuff ready for tomorrow. Just stop feedin’ folks.”
Nick snickered and nodded. “Seems to work.” He paused and then asked, “So you don’t like beer, huh?”
“I like it okay,” Logan replied, a bit surprised by the abrupt change of subject. “Just not in the mood for it tonight. Why?”
“I noticed the way you were putting away tequila at the club,” Nick explained, amused. “I figured you were wanting to get drunk, but you won’t do that on tea.”
Logan laughed. “I can’t remember ever gettin’ drunk in my life. Tequila might as well be water for all the buzz I get.”
Nick blinked, laughing slightly. “Wow. I’m not sure if I should envy you or not.”
“Mostly depends on whether or not you like gettin’ drunk, I’d think,” Logan took a sip of his beer and then added, “Sometimes it’s more a curse than anything else. I wouldn’a minded gettin’ a little drunk tonight. Might’ve made things easier.”
“Easier?” Nick asked, curious and interested.
Logan’s lips twitched. “Yeah. That kid waitin’ tables spotted me as bein’ new to that kind of thing right off the bat, so I figure you likely did too.”
“New to clubbing, yeah,” Nick agreed, looking surprised. “You mean new to the whole idea though, don’t you?”
“Figured you for a smart guy,” Logan said with amusement, taking another drink of his beer.
Nick watched him until Logan put the beer down again, looking serious as he asked, “So what, is this an experiment or something? One trip on the wild side to see what it’s like?”
“No,” Logan replied, meeting Nick’s gaze. “I’ve been playing the other side of the field long enough to know that’s not what I’m after, and I’m tired of not going after things I want just ‘cause folks expect different of me.”
“Things, or people?” Nick asked softly, searching Logan’s eyes for something.
“Both,” Logan said, smiling.
Nick smiled too. “And are you going after me?”
“I’m here, aren’t I?” Logan asked, smiling a bit wider.
“Maybe you’re just after the barbecue,” Nick said then, teasing.
Logan grinned. “Barbecue an’ then you was my plan, if you like the idea.”
Nick laughed, pleased. “That could be arranged.”
Logan grinned a bit wider. “Good to know.” He paused slightly and then added, “Just so we’re on the same page, you know I’m riding out in the morning, right?”
“I figured,” Nick agreed, nodding. “That doesn’t bother me.”
“Good,” Logan said, pleased. He noticed Patty heading towards them and turned his head to watch her carrying their order, eyes widening a bit as he blurted, “Good lord, she’s bringin’ enough to feed an army!”
Nick laughed. “You say that now, but I bet we eat it all.”
Patty grinned at Logan as she stopped at their table, starting to unload her tray as she teased, “You’d better eat it all, or Mike’ll come give you hell for wasting good barbecue.”
Logan inhaled deeply, looking down at the huge platter of food in front of him, then grinned at Patty. “I guess it’s a good thing I skipped lunch then, huh?”
Patty giggled. “Yep!” She grinned at Nick as she added, “I like this one, Nicky. You oughta keep him.”
Nick blushed, laughing. “Maybe he doesn’t want kept, Patty.”
Patty looked at Logan. “Aww, why not?” She grinned impishly. “I’ve always thought it’d be kind of fun to be kept.”
Logan snickered. “Mostly because I’m riding out in the morning. I got stuck in a snowstorm last week, an’ that was all she wrote. I’m headin’ south for the winter.”
“Yankee,” Patty teased, laughing.
“Just don’t call me a damn yankee and we’ll get along fine,” Logan countered, grinning.
“Yeah, everyone knows the difference between a yankee and a damned yankee,” Nick said then, laughing.
Patty grinned widely. “A yankee will go home.”
Logan smirked, reaching for one of the beef ribs on his plate. “An’ I’m just a yankee on vacation. I’ll head north again in the spring when I won’t freeze my ass off, ridin’ my bike.” He took a bite of the rib and then made a low happy noise.
Patty giggled and patted Logan’s shoulder. “It’s all that good, so enjoy. You won’t find anything near this good down south.”
Logan swallowed and gave her an amused smile. “You’re tryin’ to get me to stay, huh?”
“Snow’s forecast for next week,” Patty countered, grinning. “You might freeze your ass off, and then Nicky’d hurt me. He’s definitely an ass man.”
Logan just laughed as Nick blushed and asked pointedly, “Patty, don’t you have work to do?”
Patty laughed. “Yep!” She turned away without another word and headed towards one of the other tables to se if they needed anything, leaving Nick and Logan alone.
Nick was still blushing as he dug into his dinner, and Logan watched him with a bit of a grin as he went back to eating. The food was as good as Nick had promised, the best barbecue Logan had eaten since he went through Memphis a few weeks back, and it was no hardship to eat and give Nick a little while to recover from that last zinger. Logan hadn’t really thought about his own ass and how it might appeal to another man, mostly because he didn’t ever see it, but he resisted the urge to tease Nick or fish for whether or not Nick liked his ass in particular.
The way things were going, Logan figured he’d find out for himself before too much longer.
Logan put his bare feet on the floor and reached for his jean jacket, fishing the stub of his last cigar out of the chest pocket and sticking the butt of it in his teeth as he looked around for his jeans.
Logan looked over his shoulder at the other man in the bed, giving the leggy blond a slight smile when he saw the guy was holding out his Zippo. “Thanks.” He took the lighter and lit his cigar, leaning to tuck the lighter into his jean jacket before he settled back against the headboard to look at the guy again. “You don’t mind if I smoke, right?” he asked, belatedly realizing he probably should have asked.
The blond dropped Logan’s jeans back in the floor and then rolled to his side facing Logan, propping his head up on one hand as he smiled. “If I did, I wouldn’t have gotten your lighter.”
“Good point,” Logan murmured, chuckling softly as he took a slow puff of his cigar, savoring the taste.
The blond just watched him for a moment, smiling, and then said softly, “You know, I don’t think you even told me your name.”
“Logan.” Logan smiled at the blond, brown eyes twinkling. “And you are?”
“Greg,” the blond said, laughing. “We really didn’t say a whole lot, did we?”
“Eh, talkin’ is over-rated,” Logan replied, smirking slightly. “You got your point across, that’s what matters.”
Greg grinned and looked kind of pleased with himself. “And you liked what you see.”
Logan gave him a slow inspection, smirking as his gaze roamed from Greg’s full, slightly bruised lips down his smooth chest over the firm belly and rather nice dick to long legs that seemed to go on for a mile. “Still do,” he said finally, dragging his gaze back to Greg’s eyes. “But you know how pretty you are so there ain’t no reason for me to tell you again.”
Greg preened slightly. “I am too sexy for my shirt.”
Logan laughed. “Alright now, if you’re gonna start spoutin’ bad lyrics, I just might have to go after all.”
Greg laughed cheerfully and then teased, “You weren’t complaining when you stopped your bike.”
“I still ain’t complainin’ about you not wearin’ a shirt,” Logan countered, grinning. “I was complainin’ about that god-awful song.”
“It’s not that bad,” Greg said, snickering a bit as he brushed shaggy golden hair back out of his eyes.
Something began beeping suddenly then, making Logan look towards the sound in surprise. He had just pinpointed the sound to Greg’s leather pants when the bed shifted as Greg got up. He watched Greg move gracefully around the bed to retrieve a slim purple beeper from the pocket of his pants as he asked, “Anything important?”
Greg barely glanced at the beeper as he turned off the beep, smiling at Logan. “Just Robbie, making sure I’m okay.” He dropped the leather pants to move back around the bed with the beeper, asking, “Am I heading back to the corner, or what? I should let him know soon.”
Logan’s cheerful mood faded away as he just looked for a moment at the young blond he had wanted the moment he saw him, despite the fact Logan couldn’t remember ever paying for sex before. “Up to you, kid,” he said quietly.
Greg put the beeper on the bedside table as he climbed onto the bed next to Logan, surprised by his sudden change of mood. “Do you want me to stay?”
“I’m not kickin’ you out of my bed, if that’s what you’re askin’,” Logan replied.
Greg looked at Logan, eyes widening slowly before he asked hesitantly, “You did realize that I’m a rentboy, right?”
Logan snorted a soft laugh. “Yeah, I knew that, kid. I got the money to pay for a full night, if you want to stay. If you don’t, then I’m not gonna argue with you.”
“That bad, huh?” Greg half-asked, moving off of the bed again to start gathering his clothes, his earlier cheer forgotten.
Logan frowned, sitting up and watching Greg retrieve a skimpy leather vest as he said quickly, “I didn’t say that. I’m just not gonna tell you that you have to stay. I don’t want anyone in my bed that’d rather be somewhere else.”
Greg bent to grab his thong and then straightened up to look at Logan, confused. “Do you want to fuck me again?”
“You haven’t turned into someone else in the last hour,” Logan pointed out, “at least, not that I noticed.”
“What’s that got to do with it?” Greg asked, even more confused and frowning a bit.
Logan sighed, taking his cigar out of his mouth and looking down at it. “Kid, you’re still the pretty, leggy blond that made me pick up a hooker for the first time in my life.” At least, the first time he could remember, which he figured counted. Logan had gone through a lot of first times since the man he used to be died on that island. He looked back up at Greg, adding pointedly, “You’re the sexiest guy I’ve seen in a hell of a long time, so yeah. I still want you. What I don’t want is anyone in my bed that’s just stayin’ there because they feel like they have to. If you want to walk, I ain’t stoppin’ you.”
Greg just frowned at Logan a moment before he said abruptly, “I can’t just stay. Robbie’ll expect me to charge a lot for a whole night.”
“Toss me my jeans.” Logan waited for Greg to throw his jeans to him, the tugged the wallet out of his back pocket and opened the billfold, asking, “How much will he expect?”
“I usually get three hundred for the whole night,” Greg said softly, still confused.
Logan thumbed through the stack of bills in his wallet and then pulled out everything but two twenties, offering most of what he had to Greg. “There’s four and change.”
Greg didn’t make a move to take the money, protesting, “That’s too much—“
“Tell him I paid extra because you’re just that good,” Logan said firmly, cutting him off. “Take it.” Greg reached out to take the money, and then Logan asked, “Now, do you want to stay or not?”
Greg blinked, looking down at the money in his hand and then back at Logan. “You just paid me for the night.”
“No, I just gave you the cash to keep Robbie off your back,” Logan corrected. “That doesn’t mean I expect you to stay.”
“You’re crazy,” Greg said slowly, looking confused and a little lost. “You’d give me this much money and then watch me walk out right now?”
“If that’s what you want. It’s just money,” Logan said, dropping his jeans in the floor on his side of the bed as he settled back against the headboard again. “I can get more the same way I got that. There’s always some redneck asshole willin’ to bet he can kick my ass, especially if I flirt with him a little first.”
“But you just paid me to stay the night,” Greg repeated softly.
The lost, confused look in Greg’s blue eyes made Logan sigh, suddenly feeling old. “I gave you that, kid, but if it makes you feel better to think I paid you to stay, then I guess I did.”
Greg dropped his clothes and moved to the side of the bed, laying the money on the bedside table with the beeper and then sitting down with one foot tucked under him, his back to the foot of the bed as he looked at Logan. “You’re really not very good at this,” he said after a moment, looking a bit confused but smiling slightly. “Hiring a hooker, I mean.” He tilted his head, asking, “Is this really your first time?”
Logan snorted, giving Greg a wry little smile. “With a hooker, yeah.” He paused and then added truthfully, “Third time with a guy.”
Greg blinked and then let out a laugh, finally relaxing again. “Oh honey, I didn’t realize. No wonder you’re so out of sorts.”
Logan’s lips twitched. “Is that a hint that I need lessons or somethin’?”
“In how to pay a hooker? Yes,” Greg replied, grinning. “You suck at it, and not in the good way.” He smirked. “Though, you’re good enough at sucking cock that I thought this was all old hat to you.”
Logan shook his head, amused. “Not even. I picked up a guy in St Louis a month ago, and there was a bouncer in Alabama a couple weeks back, but that’s it.”
“Damn,” Greg said, laughing softly. “You’re a natural born cocksucker.”
“I’ll take that as a compliment,” Logan said, chuckling slightly.
“You should.” The beeper began to beep again and Greg looked towards it, then back at Logan as he asked, “Do you want me to stay?”
“I told you I do,” Logan said patiently, “but only if you want to be here. If you don’t, take the cash and have a night off on me.”
Greg looked at him a moment and then turned away, reaching for the beeper to turn it off and then picking up the phone. He dialed and then waited only a moment before Logan heard someone pick up on the other end.
“Gregory?” a deep, very male voice asked, and Logan could hear how worried the man sounded. “Is that you?”
“Yeah Robbie, it’s me,” Greg said, not looking at Logan. “I’m fine, we were just a little busy.”
“Still?” Robbie asked, surprised. “That biker looked like he was just your type kiddo, but damn.” He paused, and then asked, “Are you staying?”
Greg nodded even though he was on the phone, making Logan smile slightly. “Yeah, I am. He paid for the whole night.”
“Alright,” Robbie said, sounding pleased. “Enjoy yourself, and call me when you leave there in the morning. I’ll meet you for breakfast.”
“I will,” Greg promised. “Night.”
“G’night kid,” Robbie said, and then he hung up with a click.
Greg hung up the phone, looking at Logan. “Robbie doesn’t expect to see me until breakfast.”
“Are you staying?” Logan asked, still smiling slightly. That Robbie guy might be a pimp, but it had sounded to Logan like he actually cared about Greg so it couldn’t be too bad for the kid. Logan knew enough about life on the streets to be sure the kid was safer with someone watching out for him, even in a city like Jacksonville. Greg was healthy and he didn’t look like he was being abused by anyone, so Logan figured it wasn’t his place to tell the kid how to live or try to fix him.
Greg nodded, nibbling on his lower lip, and then he murmured, “If you don’t mind.”
Logan held one arm out from his side in an obvious invitation, smiling. “Not even a little.”
Greg smiled and moved to settle against Logan’s side, sliding his arms around Logan’s waist as he murmured teasingly, “Maybe I should give you lessons about how to treat a hooker, though.”
Logan snickered and gave Greg’s shoulders a squeeze, reaching with his other hand for the remote on the bedside table. “Nah, you’re no different than anyone else that’s ended up in my bed, you just didn’t expect dinner first.”
Greg laughed. “Good thing you don’t wear a hat, with an ego like that.”
Logan smirked, turning the TV on as he looked down at Greg. “It’s only ego if it’s all in my head, kid. I can’t remember the last time I wanted someone an’ they told me no.”
Greg snickered and reached for the remote, taking it from Logan to start flipping through the channels. “I guess I can believe that. You’ve got that whole broody biker thing going on.” He glanced up at Logan, grinning impishly. “It is pretty sexy, if you like that type.”
“And you do,” Logan pointed out, smirking.
“And I do,” Greg agreed, looking back at the television. “What is tonight anyway? I don’t remember.”
Logan laughed. “Sunday, at least for another hour or so.”
Greg snickered. “No wonder nothing’s on the local channels.” He pressed his thumb on the channel button, holding it down to breeze through a few dozen channels before he slowed again to see what he was passing as he asked, “Do you care what we watch?”
“Nah, not really,” Logan murmured, amused. “I was just gonna check the weather, see if I need to bring my bike in.”
Greg looked up at Logan, grinning. “The weather’s supposed to be good, but you still need to bring it in. You’re in the bad part of town, and that’s a nice bike.”
Logan snickered and patted Greg’s shoulder. “Let go then, an’ I’ll bring it in while you find something you want to watch.”
Greg sat up, still grinning as he said slowly, “I can think of something more fun to do than watching tv…”
Logan sat up, grabbing his jeans out of the floor and starting to pull them on as he looked over his shoulder at Greg, smirking. “Such as?”
Greg smirked. “Me.”
Logan laughed and stood, tugging the jeans up and then putting one knee on the bed as he leaned across it to kiss Greg soundly before he smirked at him. “Hold that thought.” He pulled away and headed for the door, not even bothering to button up his jeans as he headed out to get his Harley.