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So, How Did You Two First Meet ?

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"Charles, my dear, how have you been?"

Emma Frost greets him with her usual saccharine voice, which does nothing to hide the mastermind behind the superficial façade Charles is privy to. Charles gets to see as close to the real Emma as he thinks is possible, and it's comforting to him, to know that despite their upbringing, they've managed to maintain a genuine friendship from childhood. He joins her by the poolside, where she's lounging, a glass of martini in hand, making flawless look effortless. Charles knows many people envy his privilege to see her perfect beauty up close, which baffles him, because he doesn't see this as a privilege at all. It's a little insulting, but he's long made his peace with it.

"Good," Charles replies, leaning down to exchange kisses with her. "You look radiant, Emma."

"Of course," she says, giving him a soft smile before gesturing to one of her servants. "What will you have, Charles?"

"An iced tea would be brilliant, thank you," Charles tells the waiter, who nods in acknowledgment before leaving to fetch his drink. He lies back on the chair beside Emma, undoing the first buttons of his polo shirt. It is a rather hot day, and his pale skin will no doubt be flushed come late afternoon. Emma seems to have read his thoughts, even through the mental barrier he puts up constantly, and hands him her fancy sunscreen. Although, they know each other so well now that they don't need to actually read each other's minds anymore.

"How's your trip to London coming along?" she asks, taking off her sunglasses to meet his eyes. "Found your arm candy yet?"

"No," Charles says, heaving a sigh. He applies a thin layer of sunscreen on his face and his arms. "You make it sound like a vacation. It's a genetics conference, Emma, not a cocktail party."

"Didn't you mention a closing ceremony, dear?"

"I...yes, but—"

"And that you needed an escort?"

"That was your idea, and your words, Emma," Charles says with a groan. He takes the tall cold glass handed to him and thanks the young waitstaff before taking a sip. "Which, by the way, got around. You know who called yesterday and offered to go with me? Erik."

Emma actually looks surprised at that, eyebrows raised in shock. He huffs, still angry at his ex's presumptuous tone over the phone, making it sound like he'd done Charles a favor by calling him first. It made it easier for Charles to decline Erik's generous offer.

"You know, it's actually not that bad an idea," she says with a pensive gaze, while nodding at him.

"Are you kidding me?"

"Erik's company is doing incredibly well these days, are you not aware? He's basically been accepted as one of our own. He is gorgeous beyond denial, and would scare off any threat pointed your way. He could just stop anyone coming at you."

Charles hates how she can make such compelling arguments so easily. Even he has a hard time coming up with a counter point.

"Going with Erik is out of the question," Charles says firmly, shuddering at the mere thought. He's afraid they would just jump back into bed, their political differences all but unresolved. They would just go back to their vicious cycle of sex and explosive arguments and resentment. "I would much rather go alone."

"Thankfully, you won't have to," Emma says with a mischievous grin, one Charles has long been accustomed to. Nothing good ahead for him.

"Emma, what have you done?" Charles asks, fearing the worst. He has been the victim of many of Emma's plans in the past. He has a feeling it's going to happen again.

"Why, I've found you an escort."

"Please, please tell me you're joking."

"Charles, dear, your fears were founded. I've seen your presentation, it's bound to attract some unwanted attention," she says, her tone dead serious. "Your theory on mutants being the next step in human evolution is brilliant, and revolutionary, but the average human will not rest easy with your work. Trust me, the media will talk about it for months. I would love to go with you, as I'm sure you know, but I'm needed in Dubai that week. So I've found someone to be your date/bodyguard."

At this point, Charles doesn't even have it in him to argue with her. She's good at convincing him, no matter how reluctant he is to begin with. He's just lucky that Emma seems to have his best interests at heart only, at least. She is a powerful friend to have, Charles has realized long ago. He feels her scrutinizing him, and taking his silence as agreement, she continues.

"He's a very nice gentleman, Charles, and he happens to be your type. You trust me, don't you?"

"I suppose," he says absently, his shoulders going slack. It's a testament to Emma's persuasive skills that he ends up rationalizing the situation. "I just need him to be imposing arm candy, after all, don't I? Just for a few days."

"Absolutely, my dear. I've already made all the necessary arrangements for you two, you won't have to do a thing. I'll send you his info soon."

"All right. Thanks, Emma. I guess."

"My pleasure."

------

The man who shows up at Charles's apartment door takes his breath away.

"Logan?" Charles asks, baffled, and it's all he can do to stop himself from gaping at the hunk before him. Christ, he could suffocate me with his large body any day, Charles finds himself thinking. Emma was not kidding when she told him Logan was his type. Taller than him, muscles bulging from his three-piece suit, a dangerous glint in his eye and a thick beard? Charles is both charmed and aroused at the same time. He should have expected it of Emma, of course. She never settles for mediocrity in anything in life. It makes Charles wonder just how much she paid Logan for this trip.

"Hi, Charles," Logan says, extending his hand for him to shake. Charles takes it, not expecting Logan to use his hand to pull him close and kiss him on the cheek. It leaves Charles's face warm where Logan's lips have touched his skin, and his heart speeds up at a quick pace.

"Hello," Charles greets back, stunned and unable to stop staring. Come on, Charles, this is unbecoming of you. "Um, we have some time before my chauffeur gets here, come in."

Logan flashes him a grin, and steps inside his place, a large shuffle bag in hand. Charles closes the door behind him, biting his lip as he appreciates Logan's backside, the latter's perfectly tailored pants doing nothing to hide his firm ass. Charles lets out a breath, heart still pounding in his chest, face flushed. How is he going to survive the next three days without jumping the guy and getting sued in the process, by Logan or the company that employs him ?

"Nice place you have here," Logan says, having put his bag down in the hallway, now turned to face Charles fully. Charles barely manages to mutter a thank you, and shakes his head vigorously to get it out of the gutter.

"Can I get you anything to drink?" he asks, leading them to the living room where he gestures at the couch for Logan to take a seat.

"I could use a beer," Logan replies, and doesn't follow Charles's invitation to sit, instead standing close to him. So close, in fact, that Charles can get a whiff of Logan's enticing cologne, which makes his entire body flush with arousal. He really isn't used to see people looking like Logan in his line of work.

"I don't have any beer, sorry," Charles says, breathing heavily under Logan's intense gaze. Charles really has to give it to Emma, for hiring such a...talented escort. Charles could almost believe Logan actually wants to take his clothes off and ravage him. "I have some scotch though, if you'd like."

"Even better," Logan says, and Charles takes this as his cue to flee. His face must be beet red, and he needs to take a moment at his home bar to compose himself. Logan is hotter than the sun, and way out of his league, Charles reasons—not to mention, Logan's an escort. Not only is it part of Logan's job to seem interested in him, but anything beyond what falls in his list of duties for the duration of the trip is off limits. 

He takes a deep breath before going back in the living room with two tumblers, where he finds Logan elegantly sprawled on the couch, looking like a model posing for a GQ cover. God but he's gorgeous, Charles can't help thinking, hoping he doesn't project the loud thought.

"Before we get into this, I want to make sure you were informed that I'm a telepath," Charles says as he hands the glass to Logan, and takes a seat besides the man.

"I was told, yeah."

Charles startles when he feels Logan's arm draping over the back of the couch, close enough to touch Charles's shoulders. It takes everything in him to refrain from leaning into Logan, who, Charles realizes, has scooted closer to him.

"I don't mind, I'm a mutant too," Logan adds, and holds his fist upwards, from which three long bone claws emerge. Charles's eyes go wide at the sight, and he can't help but reach for the claws.

"Fascinating," Charles mutters, stopping himself just in time from actually touching the claws, thinking it's inappropriate. The claws retract, leaving the skin between each knuckle intact. "You have fast healing as well?"

"Yeah, and a few more tricks."

"Well, anyhow, I wanted to assure you I won't invade your mind at any time," Charles says, his gaze dropping from Logan's face to his throat. He watches, mesmerized, as Logan swallows his scotch in one gulp. "I, um... uh. However, I can't help it if I catch a few stray thoughts. Same way you can't help hearing ambiant noises."

"Thanks. But I wasn't worried to begin with, bub."

"You weren't? Most people would be weary to even be in proximity to a telepath, let alone spend so much time alone with one."

"Yeah, well, you'll find I'm not most people."

"I'm starting to get an idea, yes," Charles says, and downs his glass of scotch in one go to keep his eyes away from Logan's lips. He makes a mental note to keep from getting too drunk around Logan. The way Logan looks at him, mischievous and amused, makes Charles nervous, as though the man can read him like an open book. God, how many guys like Charles has Logan been assigned to ? A whole bunch, most likely, and Charles must be no different. The realization sobers him off, and helps him cool down.

He's just going to have to endure a serious case of blue balls for a few days, and hope he doesn't make too much a fool of himself. It's a new kind of torture that Charles has no idea how he will survive.

Damn you, Emma.

-----------

Charles doesn't expect Logan to be such great company, and it only adds salt to injury. They chat amiably on the way to JFK, about all sorts of things, and the uncomfortable feeling in Charles's gut only grows after that. Logan has gone from incredibly attractive to down right irresistible. Charles hates his life.

"So, what's our story?" Logan asks while they're stuck in traffic, a fond smile on his face.

"Beg your pardon?"

"You know, a few facts about our relationship. How we met, how long we've been together, what we argue about," Logan explains, which takes Charles a few seconds to process. He hadn't even thought past the idea of having someone accompany him to the convention, let alone having to come up with a fake story. Charles isn't one for dishonesty and deceit. He would have no problem pulling it off, sure, but he just wishes he didn't have to lie at all. Some part of him wishes this fake relationship wasn't...well, fake. Charles knows better than to hope for something more, though.

"Oh, right. Whatever you think works. I doubt people are going to pry too much," Charles says, but then something hits him. "On second thought, they just might wonder how someone like you settled for someone like me and get curious."

"You're kidding, right?"

"I am not," Charles heaves a sigh, chancing a glance at Logan, who looks...perplexed. "I mean, I know I'm not bad looking. It's  just...you know what you look like, right?"

"Charles," Logan says, taking his hand to get his attention. "Get that notion out of your head; you're a catch, and nobody's going to question why we're together, all right?"

Logan looks so sincere that Charles can only nod in response. He's tempted to take a peek in Logan's mind, find out what the man really thinks, but he's better than that. He can at least tell that Logan's not outright lying, which is reassuring. He looks down at their hands, and notices Logan hasn't let go, the latter's thumb brushing his knuckles.

"Besides, if anyone steps out of line, I'll glare them to death if I have to. I can look pretty menacing," Logan adds, giving Charles a crooked grin that makes him chuckle.

"I'm sure you can," Charles says, his heart feeling lighter already. He can't remember feeling at ease with someone the way Logan makes him feel. Safe, appreciated. Even when he was with Erik, when he thought he'd found the love of his life, there was always something off about their relationship. He thought at first that their divergent views on mutants' place in society was a good thing, that it was a subject for discussion between them. But then, Charles realized Erik always was weary of his telepathy, worried that Charles would use it against him. Erik never took Charles's pacifist beliefs seriously, laughed them off like some sort of naive and childish ideas.

"So? How did we meet?" Logan asks again, bringing him out of his thoughts.

"I don't know," Charles answers, avoiding to look at Logan. "What do you suggest?"

"Hmm...Let's keep it simple and say we met at a bar, shall we?"

"Fine with me," Charles says, looking out the window as traffic finally clears up a bit. He doesn't want to participate too much in this ruse, and get too emotionally involved. It'll only make it harder for him to let Logan go once this is all over.

"We've been dating for almost a year, you're trying to coax me into moving in with you, but I'm not quite comfortable yet with all the luxury you have."

"What if people ask about your job?"

"Security agent," Logan replies with a shrug. 

"Is that the story you usually use with your clients?" 

Charles is curious, for Logan seems to be familiar with this fake background story. He wouldn't be surprised at all, if that were the case. No matter how much he tries to reason with himself over how stupid it is, Charles can't help feeling jealous of all the other people Logan has...escorted. He wants to blame Logan for making him feel so singular, but it's only a testament to Logan's professionalism that Charles feels that way.

"My...what?" Logan asks, dumbstruck.

"You know...when you're hired to do this sort of thing," Charles elaborates, feeling awkward to point it out, even more so when he notices the frown marring Logan's face.

"My covers are usually a lot more elaborate than this," Logan says after a few moments of thinking. The conversation ends there on a silent agreement, what with Charles being too self-conscious about the subject, and Logan seemingly offended. Charles can't be sure, but Logan is brooding, and he won't take the chance to upset the man further, so he keeps his mouth shut for the rest of the ride.

-------

Emma helpfully booked Logan's plane ticket so that they would be sitting together in first class, and Charles is relieved when he notes that there is no residual awkwardness between them when they step inside the airport up until they board the plane. They chat for a while, sharing stories of their travels all around the world. Logan has been to many places, Charles finds out, and is an excellent storyteller. The conversation is so easy Charles forgets that Logan's hired to be company. 

The flight is uneventful, Charles having booked a night flight—the only way he can survive long-haul flights—and spends most of it sleeping. It's a late rainy morning when they step out of Heathrow and hail a cab to their hotel. Everything goes well until the hotel receptionist informs them that their honeymoon suite is ready and that someone will take their luggage up. Charles should have expected Emma would pull something like this on him.

"Thank you," Logan beats Charles to whatever objection he was going to say, and actually sends him a thought. 'Play along, Charles, this is our cover, remember? We're a couple. I think I spotted one of your colleagues watching us, he's coming our way.'

Charles turns around, and watches in horror as Erik of all people approaches them, a suitcase trailing beside him. His ex-lover looks as impeccable as usual; clean shaven, hair neatly styled, and a grey suit that accentuates his lean body. Charles has to admit that Erik looks damn good. That, and Erik's brilliant sharp mind have been Charles's weakness in the past few years. Logan wraps an arm around his waist in one swift movement, and presses their bodies close. Logan feels solid and warm against him, which does nothing to help Charles quell his attraction.

'He's my ex, Logan. He knows I'm single,' Charles tells Logan as he puts on a soft smile, readying himself to face Erik. What the hell is Erik even doing here? Charles doubts Erik's presence is a coincidence. It wouldn't be the first time they 'accidentally' bumped into each other. At least this time he's fairly certain it won't end up with the two of them in bed.

'Well, let's prove him wrong, shall we?' Logan suggests, and Charles wonders how they're going to pull it off.

Logan's voice in his head is soothing, and Charles is surprised by how fast Logan takes to speaking with him telepathically. Erik has never really grown accustomed to Charles being in his mind.

"Charles, fancy meeting you here," Erik drawls when he gets to them, sparing a glance at Logan before fixing his gaze on Charles. He looks predatory, even more so than usual, and Charles feels shivers running down his back just from meeting Erik's steely eyes. He's glad to have Logan to support him at the moment, not trusting himself to resist any attempt Erik might have made otherwise.

"Erik. I didn't know you were in London."

"I had some business to take care of in town. I was just checking out," Erik replies, and spares another glance at Logan. "And this is?"

"I'm Logan. Charles's boyfriend," Logan says, tightening his grip on Charles's hip as he shakes hand with Erik. The look on Erik turns murderous, and Charles can sense the turmoil in Erik's thoughts. Not wanting to witness a show down between both men, Charles chooses to get them away from each other quick.

"Erik Lehnsherr," Erik says as he lets go of Logan's hand, doing nothing to hide his contempt for Logan. This only seems to amuse Logan, Charles notes with curiosity. 

'Let's go, Logan, he's not worth it,' Charles sends the thought, and voices aloud for Erik, "It was nice seeing you, Erik, but we've had a long flight. We could use some rest."

"I see you've managed to find someone to take with you to this convention, after all," Erik says before they can walk past him, having apparently deduced who Logan actually is. His smug grin says it all, and Charles would just give anything to wipe it off his face. 'I never thought you would stoop this low, Charles. Paying someone to be your date? I'm disappointed.

'I am not paying him,' Charles retorts, hands tightening into fists. It's not an outright lie. Technically, Emma is paying Logan to be here. He makes sure to keep these words from Logan's mind, too ashamed of himself for the man to realize how pathetic he really is.  Logan must sense how tense he is, for dropping a light kiss on Charles's neck. Under other circumstances, Charles's legs would have probably given out, but he's too angry to enjoy how good Logan's lips feel.

"Why is that surprising? I had to fight off tons of people to get Charles to myself," Logan says, his face showing a fake sweet smile, all for Erik. Somehow, Logan found the perfect words to hit Erik where it hurts, Charles notes with satisfaction as the expression on his ex's face hardens. 

"I'm sure you did."

"We'll let you check out of your room. Let's go up to our room and rest, bub," Logan says, and adds mentally. 'What an asshole. You actually dated this guy?'

'Yes,' Charles replies, locking eyes with Erik. For a second, he's overwhelmed by a wave of nostalgia—probably influenced by Erik's own emotions—as the few fond memories he has of his relationship with Erik resurface. He supposes it is expected, after over 5 years of an on and off relationship with the man. Charles steels himself and says, "Goodbye, Erik. Have a safe flight back."

"Goodbye, Charles. Enjoy your convention." 

Charles lets out a breath once they get in the elevator, and Logan doesn't let go of him as they make their way up to their suite, which Charles is thankful for. It feels incredibly nice, having this sort of intimacy again, after being single for so long. He hadn't realized how much he missed it until now. Seeing Erik after all this time has rattled him more than he likes to admit, so having Logan there with him was a welcome support. Charles thanks Logan for being so understanding and playing pretend in front of Erik.

"You're welcome, it was fun to piss that guy off," Logan says, and leads them into the room where their suitcases await them. Logan walks around the suite and into each room while Charles opens his suitcase to get his clothes out.

"You can go take a shower first, I'll order us some lunch if that's fine with you," Logan tells him when he comes back in the living room. 

"Yes, that would be perfect. I'll let you choose from the menu, anything's fine with me. Thank you, Logan."

Charles has longed for a hot shower ever since they touched down in London, and the water pressure in their shower is heavenly on his skin. He takes the opportunity to relax and put Erik out of his thoughts. He realizes then that the encounter with Erik has made him forget about the upcoming days he's going to spend with Logan, the two of them in one same hotel room. There's only one bed, and Charles doesn't know how they're going to handle that part.

Once he's done with his shower, Charles lets Logan have the bathroom while he sets his laptop on the desk in the living area, and unpacks the few sets of clothes he brought with him in the bedroom. He's just done putting away his last dress shirt when Logan emerges from the bathroom, and Charles's heart skips a beat at the sight of Logan, naked save for the small towel wrapped around his waist, skin still glistening wet and taut around rippling muscles. He wonders whether he's fallen asleep and is having one hell of a sexy dream that will feature extensive steamy sex scenes. He stands frozen, unable to do much else but stare at Logan, his mind stuck on all the things he wants to do to that man.

"Charles? Hey, Charles?"

Charles doesn't know how long it takes for him to snap out of his lustful haze. When he does, Logan is standing close between Charles's legs where he's sitting on the bed, hand waving in front of him.

"Like what you see?" Logan asks, a grin forming on his handsome face. He's still very much naked, and Charles's breath hitches in his throat. He's speechless, his hands trembling with the desire to touch, his tongue itching to lick every inch of Logan's body. He lets Logan cup his face with his rough hands, and doesn't question it when their lips meet, too aroused to deny himself this. The first touch of their lips is tentative, a caress much like a first introduction, and grows more passionate by the second. It's better than Charles could have imagined, and the last bit of control he had fades away. He lets his hands roam freely over Logan's chest, his fingertips meeting soft hair and hard muscles, and Logan lays him down on the bed, straddling him as they keep kissing.

Charles's erection is training in his underwear, seeking friction against Logan's own hard cock. Logan moves his lips down to his neck, rendering his body completely limp. Logan's body crushing him and rubbing up against him feels amazing beyond words, to the point where he's on the edge of coming within seconds. Logan stops kissing him out of the blue, and gets off of him. Only then does Charles realize there are loud knocks at their door. 

"Fuck," Logan says, lying beside him. "That's room service. Sorry, I lost control there for a moment."

"I'll go get it. I'm...dressed," Charles says, and catches his breath, frustration building up in him after Logan's led him this close to climax, only to leave him high and dry. This wasn't supposed to happen, Charles reminds himself, though he has a hard time recalling why at the moment. He gets up to get the door, and avoids looking at Logan on his way. Resisting Logan is going to be harder than he originally thought. He tips the hotel staff and brings the food trolley inside.  He stands staring at the metallic trolley and the various plates on it, and finds that he's not very hungry—at least not for food.

Damn it.

Logan emerges from the bedroom dressed in a simple white tank top that shows off his arms and chest, and naturally, Charles's eyes don't leave him. Logan notices, and the look he gives him is fond.

"Listen, Charles," Logan starts saying as he sets the plates on the dining table. "What just happened, in there, I think it's best we hold off for now."

"Yes, of course," Charles agrees, because he doesn't really have the right to ask for more. He's already taken more than he should have. 

"Don't get me wrong, I really, really want you, Charles. I think that was obvious enough," Logan adds, letting out a chuckle. "Call me old-fashioned, but I'd like to get to know you better first. I usually don't put out on the first date."

Charles nods, a soft smile pulling at his lips. Logan is quite the gentleman, to let him down so gracefully. Charles goes as far as imagining the two of them on an actual date, as two normal people, and not as one employing the other to be in his company. He lets himself entertain the idea for a moment. Logan seems almost too good to be real, which is probably just the result of Charles putting him on a pedestal. As far as ideal men go, Logan is up there, and Charles thinks there's no harm in having an ideal for his future relationships. 

"Come on, let's eat, and then we can take a nap," Logan says, lifting the covers from their plates and pulling out a chair for Charles. He obliges, and takes a seat beside Logan. Charles doesn't know whether it's a coincidence, but Logan's ordered risotto for him, one of his favorite dishes—if not his favorite. They eat in companionable silence, sneaking glances at each other and exchanging smiles.

"What do you plan to do the next three days while I'm at the conference?" Charles asks, taking a sip of wine. 

"I thought I'd go with you."

"Are you sure? You don't have to. I can show you the program, it's basically just panels and presentations back to back," Charles says, and puts down his fork, unable to eat anymore. "I don't want you to get bored."

"I'm sure. I didn't fly all this way only to spend half of my time with you, if even that," Logan replies, and finishes the last bite of his club sandwich. He's got a few colleagues he sees regularly on these conferences, but it's always nice to have someone to keep company. Erik's been a couple of times with him, and has always shown interest and great perspective on the various subjects presented at the time. It's something Charles has missed since they broke up, so he's glad that Logan will be there, even if he doesn't debate with Charles over each panel. Charles hasn't eaten much from his plate, more tired than hungry, now that the little energy he got from his shower fades away. 

He apprehends the bed situation, but Logan cuts through any potential awkwardness and climbs in bed, dragging Charles along with him before he can embarrass himself over suggesting sleeping arrangements. 

"I'm not going to try anything funny, we're just going to sleep," Logan says as he sits Charles down on the bed. In the end, it's not as awkward as it could be, considering they were dry humping each other just a few minutes ago. The bed is big enough, but Logan gathers him in his arms in a comfortable embrace, and Charles doesn't have it in him to protest. It's too good an opportunity to pass up. When will he get to cuddle with someone like Logan again in the near future? Or with anyone, for that matter? It feels amazing, snuggling with Logan, and it doesn't take long for Charles to fall asleep that way, and despite their little lapse in judgement earlier, Charles believes they're going to be all right for the next few days.

-------

The convention, for the most part, goes well. Logan goes with him every day, a comforting presence by his side. It really feels like he's in a relationship, what with he and Logan doing everything couples do—except for the sex part. They eat together, explore London during their free time, and go to bed together. Charles has such a good time that his burning attraction to Logan becomes bearable. If anything, it grows into deep affection. Charles's presentation raises many questions that he's prepared to answer beforehand, but he gets no overt aggression otherwise, and so he thinks he's clear. Until they get to the closing ceremony on the last night of the conference, when everything goes to hell.

"Oh my God, Logan, are you all right?" Charles says as he lets Logan drag him out of the reception room, eyes frantically searching for the bullet wound. It's not hard to find, a patch of dark red seeping through Logan's suit around his shoulder.

"I'll be fine," Logan grits out, and Charles watches with awe as the bullet that was lodged in Logan's shoulder pops out, the skin healing before his eyes. They step out into the hallway, and Logan pins him back against the wall beside the door while he checks around him. 

"You shot him," Charles says, the realization hitting him. "You actually shot him."

"He shot first, bub, in case you forgot," Logan growls, and takes out another goon running down the hallway. Charles takes a deep breath to calm his speeding heart. Everything happened so fast, but Charles can still picture the man with his gun raised at him from across the room. Logan taking the bullet for him, and shooting back a couple of bullets into the man's heart.

"You didn't need to kill them," Charles says, livid. How could everything have gone to hell like this? This was supposed to be a boring scientific convention, for scientists only. Granted, he knew his work would brush some people the wrong way, but he never even conceived it would come to this. To people actually trying to kill him.

"I'm just doing my job," Logan counters, sending him a side glance. "I'm keeping you alive."

"I didn't know that fell into your job description."

Logan has proven quite...deadly. The man didn't even hesitate when he jumped in front of Charles to intercept the bullet, as though he'd done it a thousand times before, and pulled his gun out of nowhere to neutralize the assassin. He then got dragged out of the reception area where everyone was in a state of panic—understandably—to be kept within arms' distance of Logan.

"What did you think my job was?!" Logan asks while taking a look into the room, his voice barely below a shout, and Charles wonders why Logan is so angry—besides the getting shot at. He gets a few loud surface thoughts from the man—needtoprotecthowdaretheytrytokillmyCharles—and doesn't know what to make of them. 

"I thought—I thought you were an escort," Charles stammers.

"You thought I was a prostitute?!" Logan shouts this time, turning to face him, his face the picture of indignation.

"What? No! I said escort!"

"Well, I've got news for you, bub. They're the same thing," Logan retorts before turning his attention back inside and getting in a few more shots. "Fuck, there's more of them coming."

"I'll take care of them," Charles says through his heavy breathing, and wills himself to calm down and focus. He expands his mind over the entire building, sending a few calming waves to the other attendees, and locates the minds of all their aggressors. More are coming from outside, and a dozen is inside the reception room already. The thought that so many people were hired to kill him is dizzying, but he presses on. He puts them to sleep easily enough, one by one, and once he's sure every threat is out, Charles slides down the wall and sits on the floor. The tension slowly seeps out of him, and he lets out a long shaky breath. "We should call the police."

"Someone should have done it by now," Logan says as he takes a seat beside him, putting a hand on Charles's shoulder. "Hey, you all right?"

"Am I all right? I've almost been killed, if not for you," Charles answers with a scoff, turning to look at Logan. "I owe you my life, Logan. I don't know how to thank you."

"Just buy me dinner, and we'll be even, what do you say?"

"Is this a joke to you?"

"No, Charles. I really want to go on a date with you, because apparently, the ones we have been on the past couple of days don't count, what with you thinking I was a whore."

"I told you that's not what I thought you were!" Charles exclaims, still pretty embarrassed about the whole thing. If there's someone to blame though, it's gotta be Emma. If she'd just come clean from the beginning and explained everything as they were, the whole trip would have been different—mainly, Charles wouldn't have made a fool of himself. 

"Regardless, you obviously didn't think my interest in you was genuine, which explains a lot, in retrospect. It's the main reason why I've even accepted to come with you to this thing. The fact that I could guarantee your protection was an added bonus," Logan explains as he takes Charles's hand. He can hardly believe Logan's words, and has no idea what to say after that.

"How did Emma find you?" Charles asks instead, curious. Come to think of it, he still doesn't know what Logan's job actually is. His best guess is bodyguard, but Logan has acted nothing like a bodyguard the whole trip. Charles cannot be blamed for thinking Logan was an escort—not the prostituting kind—when the latter has acted exactly like one, can he? Although, now that Charles thinks about it, Logan did check every room they've ever been before letting Charles step in.

"I've saved her pompous ass a couple of times, and she's kept me in her contacts, somehow. She offered me a free vacation with a hot date to go with it, and when she told me it was you, I said yes. She did choose me because of my qualifications, but I wasn't paid to be your bodyguard. I wasn't paid at all, in fact," Logan specifies, which makes Charles feel a bit better about the past few days he's spent with him. None of the sweet gestures and flirting Logan has done were fake, Charles processes. Logan actually is interested in him, and the thought makes Charles dizzy with relief and euphoria.

"Oh my God, Emma is going to have a field day when she finds out," Charles realizes and groans, already picturing his best friend in uncontrollable fits of laughter over the whole story—which would be a rare occasion, for Emma Frost does not laugh. Ever. 

"We don't have to tell her."

"It doesn't matter, she'll find out one way or another," Charles replies, and he knows he might as well save outright tell her everything. He's not above giving her some trouble finding out, though, if only in retaliation for the masquerade over Logan's job. She's most likely done it on purpose too, Charles figures.

"Probably, yeah."

"What is your real job, then?" Charles inquires, the last question he needs answered to solve the mystery that is Logan.

"That's classified, I'm afraid I can't tell you. What I can tell you is that I work for a government agency," Logan replies, giving him a soft smile that does nothing to reassure him. Charles's imagination runs wild over what Logan does for a living, but he settles on security agent, as Logan had suggested. Logan stands up and extends his hand out for Charles to help him up. "Come on, the police are here, we'll have to give our statement."

"Okay," Charles says, taking the hand of the man he realizes he's fallen in love with. 

------------

It's late when they back to their hotel room, and the agitated night's events seem so far away and still so surreal to Charles. He looks outside one of the windows, their room overlooking the deserted city. It's been pouring rain outside ever since they came back, the dropping sounds against their ceiling-high window a soothing melody, in a mind-numbing sort of way. He's a little shaken, after what happened, and can't even fathom what his life is going to be like now. Will he always be in danger from now on, with security trailing everywhere he goes, always on alert for any threat? He never thought, growing up, that his work would be the reason he'd have to fear for his life, but rather his family fortune.

Logan comes up behind Charles, almost startling him, and wraps his arms around his waist, head resting on Charles's shoulder.

"You okay?"

"I don't know. But I'm glad you're here," Charles murmurs, putting his hands over Logan's. Logan is a Godsend. From the moment he came into his life up until now. Logan's confidence and allure has been a grounding presence, especially for the past couple of hours, when dealing with the murder attempt and its aftermath. Whatever badge Logan flashed at the police earlier has apparently cleared him of the shooting he's done, and the fact that he is carrying a gun with him. Charles wonders how he never even noticed the piece. Thinking about Logan's job now gives him chills. "Does this mean I'll need an actual bodyguard now?"

"Several, I'd wage," Logan says. "Although, I think you are your best security. You can just take out anyone with your mind before they come even close enough to harm you. I can still find you some viable candidates to choose from, if you want."

"Hmm. I'll let you know. I know I've said it already, but thank you, Logan. For everything," Charles says, for what feels like the thousandth time tonight, but he really means it. Charles is grateful that Logan's come into his life, that he's turned those past three days into what felt like a romantic vacation rather than a boring trip for a scientific convention. He realizes then that he owes it all to Emma. If not for her, he would have never met Logan at all.

"Don't mention it," Logan says, and drops a kiss on his neck. "So, now that we've cleared things up about my actual profession, do we get to have celebratory 'I almost died' sex?"

"You know, I think we actually deserve it," Charles says as he turns in Logan's arms to face him, and puts his own arms around the latter's neck. He has a hard time computing that this is actually happening, that he can have Logan for real. That Logan actually wants him back. When Charles peers into Logan's eyes, however, and sees the affection in them, hears the loud loving thoughts coming from Logan, he lets himself believe it. 

"That we do," Logan agrees with a feral grin, and captures Charles's lips in a searing kiss as he gathers him closer in his embrace. "Fucking finally."

Their relationship got off to an odd start, sure, but it only makes for a great story, Charles thinks. In any case, he doesn't care, as long as he gets to kiss Logan for the rest of his life.