That didn’t stop my stomach from sinking the second door swung open. Dr. Andrews strode into the room, casting a cautionary glance in my direction before turning his attention to Logan.
Dr. Andrews sat down, situated a pair of tiny spectacles on the end of his nose and opened the file containing a mass of papers across his knees. After asking Logan a few basic questions, Dr. Andrews turned to me. “Why don’t you step outside?”
“She’s staying,” Logan said, his tone ringing with finality.
Dr. Andrews narrowed his eyes, clearly not liking his direction being ignored. He removed his glasses and tucked them into his coat pocket. I could tell he was dying to ask what type of relationship we had, but having no medical reason for that information, it stayed unspoken.
He concluded that the effects of Logan’s concussion and previous injuries were gone, and he was healthy and well, aside from not remembering the past twenty-some years of his life.
“I’m glad you came back in. I’d like to perform periodic neurological evaluations to check on your progress and to see if you are recovering any old memories or forming new ones.”
Logan nodded his consent.
“Are you able to recall details and recent memories? Any trouble remembering what you did yesterday?” Dr. Andrews asked.
“I remember everything since the day I woke up in the hospital. But still nothing from before.”
After finishing up with a few more questions, and offering suggestions on vitamin supplements, Dr. Andrews turned to me. “He’ll provide a very interesting piece for your amnesia publication.”
I ignored his implied message – that I was using Logan to get ahead in my research. “Let’s go home, Logan.”
Logan nodded and took my arm, helping me down from the exam table.
We were silent on the train ride home since there wasn’t much to talk about after his appointment. I’d been so set on Logan getting help, but I’d been grasping at straws. Still, it meant a lot to me that he’d agreed to go.
Logan got off at the stop for my apartment. At the next stop; I set off on foot to meet Liz for coffee. I hadn’t spoken to her since Logan had returned and I wasn’t even sure we were still on for our standing coffee date, but when I’d sent her a text asking if she still wanted to meet, she’d replied enthusiastically with, of course!!
When I got to the coffee shop, Liz hadn’t yet arrived and I went to place my order. The bells on the door chimed and Liz came strolling in, dressed in workout clothes. She’d just gotten done with her run by the looks of it. She plopped herself down into the chair across from me.
“Oh thank God.” She reached for the large iced Americano I’d ordered for her and began sucking it down.
Liz drank coffee like most people drank water. I sipped my warm latte and watched her, wondering if we were going to talk about Logan, the elephant in the room.
After a few more healthy gulps, and with her breathing now returning to normal, Liz lowered her drink to the table. “Listen, I don’t want you thinking I hate him, that’s not the case. I’m just worried about you.”
I appreciated how she never beat around the bush. “I’m worried too. I’ve been guarding my heart for the past twenty years. I grew up without the usual affection and love most families have. You know me. I hardly date. I wasn’t looking for anything. And I certainly never intended to fall for a test subject.”
She scoffed, cracking a smile. “I get it. Your mom was gone and your dad put food on the table, but that was it. Logan’s different, and you care about him.”
“Very much,” I admitted.
“So what happens when he takes off again?”
I noted she said when and not if, but I let it go. “You’ll be there for me.”
She nodded once. “Fair enough.”
We sipped our coffee in silence for a few minutes more, until I saw a flash of an idea in her eyes. “Now that he’s your boyfriend, we should all go out, introduce him around to the gang. I’ll round up some friends.”
“Hm. I don’t know if that’s a good idea, Liz.”
“We’ll go out and grab a drink, something casual, low key. It’ll be fun.”
“Sure. I guess so,” I mumbled, knowing I’d never be able to dissuade Liz once she was set on an idea.
Logan dressed in the new gray button down shirt I’d bought for him, and rolled the sleeves up to his elbows. “How will you explain me to your friends?”
I waved my hand. “Don’t worry about it. They’ll be cool with it.” The truth was, I had no idea how to introduce him to my friends. The amnesia patient I was sleeping with? Boyfriend? Friend? Roommate? I took another healthy swig of my wine. It was a little depressing to think that the one man I’d opened myself up to had mental issues and a likely criminal record. Nice, Ashlyn. It wasn’t exactly a winning endorsement of my track record with guys. Regardless, I wanted to have fun tonight, to loosen him up and show him that we fit in each other’s lives.
I’d told Logan it was a night out to celebrate that my thesis proposal had been accepted, and it was, but more than that, it would be our coming out in public as a couple.
I pulled at my navy skirt, persuading it to inch closer towards my knees. Paired with a fitted cream top, I looked every bit the professional doctorate student I was, but my brown knee high boots lent a bit of edge to the look.
Logan ran his hands down my back, and stopped at my backside, appreciatively giving me a generous squeeze. “Seeing you in these boots and short skirt makes me want to bend you over and fuck you right here,” he whispered near my ear. A chill skittered down my spine.
“As tempting as that sounds,” I pressed a kiss to his lips, “you’ll have to hold that thought. Liz has arranged this whole thing, and I don’t want to keep everyone waiting for us.”
He met my eyes. “And if you showed up with bedroom hair and flushed pink skin, they would know I just fucked you. Because I don’t plan on holding back tonight.”
I groaned. “Do we have to go?”
He chuckled at me. “Come one. We’ll make our appearance. Then you’re mine. And if you keep me out too long, I’m not above fucking you at the table in front of your friends.”
I drained the rest of my wine and grabbed his hand. “Come on. Let’s go.” Let’s get this over with, I added silently in my head.
We reached the bar, which was more of a swanky lounge, and were directed to a table in the back by an overeager hostess. I shot her an evil look. Bitch, please. He’s with me.
Liz leaped up from the table when she spotted us. She pulled me in for a hug, and greeted Logan more coolly, with a wave and a nod of her head. We sat in the center of the table, me in between Liz and Logan, and friends from our program, a sweet Asian girl named Kim, and Porter, who had asked me out several times at the beginning of the year.
I’d mentioned to Logan on the walk over that I wanted a glass of champagne tonight, and when the waitress came by for our order, he ordered a bottle of champagne for the table, and a gin and tonic for himself. I patted his knee under the table. “Thank you.”
He slung his arm around my chair, leaning back causally. Kim was too polite to grill him with questions, but the appraising look on Porter’s face told me that he’d have no such qualms regarding this mysterious man I’d brought with me.
When our drinks arrived, Logan poured the glasses of champagne and Liz finished her story about the lovesick undergrad who was still following her around after their date several weeks ago.
Porter kept his eyes trained on Logan, and leaned forward on his elbows. “So how’d you two meet?”
I flashed Logan a panicked look, but his face was calm. “I’ve got this one, babe,” he said with a wink. “We met at Northwestern Memorial as part of a project Ashlyn was working on.”
I let out a little sigh of relief. It was entirely true, but Logan had worded it so that Porter and Kim would assume he was a resident, or employee of the hospital.
“Interesting.” Porter nodded.
“What are you studying?” Logan asked, subtly directing the conversation away from himself.
I grinned at his cleverness. Getting Porter to talk about himself was genius. Porter couldn’t resist, it was his favorite topic, and one of the main reasons I’d turned him down. He was self-absorbed. But more than that, I just wasn’t attracted to him. He wasn’t bad looking, but he was only a few inches taller than me, and scrawny, lacking in the testosterone and overt maleness I was attracted to. Looking between him and Logan – there was no comparison. Logan could pass for a male model. Even more than that, it was his confidence that I found incredibly sexy. He causally leaned back, draping his arm across my chair as he listened to Porter’s response.
“What do you do at the hospital?” Porter asked.
“I was working with Dr. Andrews. But right now I’m contracted to paint a mural at a school for underprivileged youth.”
“Aw,” Liz and Kim chimed in unison.
Porter narrowed his eyes at Logan. Why was he acting so strange?
“So, Logan, did you grow up around here? Sheesh, what was with Porter’s intense line of questioning?
Logan took a sip of his drink. “Here and there.” He looked cool and collected, but my stomach was doing the cha-cha on crack. He reached under the table and squeezed my knee in reassurance.
I took another sip of champagne, trying to relax and listened to Liz pump Kim for information on which guys in our program she thought were cute. Kim’s expression was like a deer in headlights. Poor dear, but I couldn’t intervene. If the focus was on Kim’s love life, at least for the time being it meant she would stay out of mine.
Not gathering anything of interest, Liz stood abruptly. “Oh! I love this song. Let’s go dance.” She pulled Kim and me from our seats. “Girls dance!”
I turned to Logan, not wanting to leave him alone with Porter. “Come dance with me.”
“I don’t dance, sweetheart.” He smirked.
Porter drained his glass of beer. “I’ll dance with you.”
I frowned as Porter stood to follow me and I trailed behind Liz and Kim to the dance floor. I hadn’t wanted to leave Logan alone, but maybe he’d appreciate a minute to himself. This was a lot to take in since we’d spent the last several weeks practically secluded in my apartment. I followed the group to the center of the dance floor and began swaying in time with the music.
I wasn’t much for dancing, but Liz insisted on it every time we went out, so I knew it was easier to give in and sway with her on the dance floor, rather than have her fight me until I gave in. And I never liked making others unhappy, even if it meant doing something I didn’t really want to do. Watching Liz twirl and shimmy with a big smile on her face, I supposed it was worth it.
I glanced over at Logan. He was leaning against the back of his chair with his drink raised to his lips, looking smug as he watched me.
I was never the center of attention when dancing next to Liz, but Logan kept his eyes trained to my body. I recalled his promise when we got home and smiled at him.
I swayed under his promising gaze, his attention giving me a dose of confidence. I closed my eyes and let the music guide me, rocking my hips in time with the beat. I felt a pair of firm hands grasp me around the waist, and I smiled, opening my eyes, hoping to find that Logan had joined me. Disappointingly, it was Porter. My smile instantly fell.
“Don’t stop now. That was damn sexy,” he said over the music.
I stepped away from his roaming hands. “Porter,” I warned.
Logan stepped in between Porter and me. “How about you keep your hands to yourself?” he said, his gaze lowering to Porter’s.
Porter held up his hands in surrender. “Relax. You said you didn’t want to dance. I was just having fun with her.”
Logan held Porter’s gaze for a few seconds longer. Just as suddenly as he’d come to my rescue, he snaked his arms around my middle and swept me away to a more private corner of the dance floor.
He pressed his forehead to mine, his breath whispering over my mouth. “I didn’t like seeing his hands on you.”
I smiled in return. “I had the situation handled.”
“I know,” he quickly added, not wanting to insult me.
Logan and I continued dancing close together, gently swaying to the beat of our own music. I dared a glance back a Liz and Kim who had found a group of guys to dance with. Porter sat at the table, drinking his beer and pouting. Real mature.
I pushed Porter’s odd behavior from my mind. I focused on Logan who was pressed up against me in the warm, darkened club.
I loved how being out with Logan made me feel. Carefree. Alive. Daring. Everything I wasn’t during my day-to-day life. He was attentive and focused solely on me, though I saw several girls admiring him.
His body close to mine did delicious things to me. I turned around so my backside was pressed against his crotch. He gripped my hips while I slowly moved my body, dancing close against him.
For the briefest of moments I worried that I looked like an idiot, but then I felt his growing erection straining against his jeans. It was a very powerful feeling knowing I was turning him on in public. I nearly giggled at the thought. Then Logan leaned down close to my ear and I could feel his breath hitch.
“Damn it, Ashlyn. I’m not above taking you in the bathroom to fuck you. Now behave.” He swatted my ass.
I whimpered at the shock of it and turned around to face him, my mouth still agape.
“Are you going to behave?” he whispered, just loud enough to be heard above the music.
I found myself nodding. “If you take me home soon.”
His eyes gleamed with his arousal. “Let’s go.” He tugged my hand, guiding me off the dance floor.