Logan was in a daze for the rest of the day. He ended up being late to first period, and thus incurred Mr. Eagle’s wrath. Ethan helpfully tried to smooth things over by volunteering his best friend to do the homework problems up on the overhead projector (homework didn’t end just because the school year was). Unfortunately for Logan, his homework was in his binder, and that was still in his locker, and he wasn’t revisiting the site of the crime anytime soon if he could help it.
He somehow managed to bluff his way through the problems well enough to escape back to his seat, and spent the rest of the class—and the day—in a roiling storm of emotions that ranged from giddy disbelief to frustrated rage.
By the time the school day had mercifully ended—without the appearance of his ex-girlfriend, despite her twin’s promise—he was firmly on the furious side of the scale, and determined to vent some of his frustration on the source.
“Logan! I’ve been waiting for you to show up! And…you’re not happy. Why aren’t you happy? Didn’t my plan work? I gave Kylie very explicit instructions!” Olivia grabbed him by the arm and pulled him into the house, still chattering. “What happened?”
“Wait a minute. You planned the whole damn thing?” He sputtered.
“Shhh! Come upstairs.” She ordered. “Amelia is working at the cafe today but she may get home early.”
Upstairs, Logan sat on her bed, his mind reeling as she briefed him on her nefarious plotting. “Let me get this straight. You set me up so that Amelia would have to step in? Why?”
“Because she’s had a crush on you since the fourth grade.” Livy shrugged. “But I liked you too, and you, being a boy, were instantly distracted by my growing bosom–lookit. Boobies. Heh.” She mocked, making a grabbing gesture and causing him to scowl. “Ami got regulated to the ‘friend zone’, and then even worse, to the ‘LYLAS’ zone. Love you like a sister,” she clarified. “Same place you put Paige and Piper. Which means that you could go all big brother mode on other guys, but you regulated yourself to the same rules. Look but no touchy.”
“Well she busted right through those zones today. I was definitely looking and there was plenty of touching,” he muttered.
Livy grinned. “She did, did she? That’s my girl! I didn’t think she would actually do it. She must really like you.”
“Or she really loves her sister!” Logan snapped. “She seems to think that you and I should continue dating in the public eye so that you can still be voted Queen. United front and all that.” He leveled a hard look at her. “Liv, why haven’t you told her the truth?”
Livy bit her lip. “There just hasn’t been a good time to tell her!”
“But you promised. Olivia,” he warned when she hesitated.
“And I will. After graduation.” She wheedled. “Come on Logan. Please? Let’s just let this play out as it will.” She grinned slowly. “I have another idea…”
“Excuse me. I need to borrow her for a bit.” Livy said sweetly, not waiting for Amelia’s date to stammer out a reply before looping an arm through her sister’s and pulling her away.
Amelia threw an apologetic smile over her shoulder at her date. “I’ll be back soon.” She called over her shoulder. “Livy!” She continued in a hiss. “What is so utterly urgent that you had to be so rude?”
“I need you to go stand with Logan for me.” Livy answered. “They’re about to announce senior royalty and I have to pee. Please, Ami!”
“Can’t you hold it for another minute? This is your moment!”
“No! Please, my Ami. Just go up and pretend to be me. No one will know the difference, and I’ll still get the crown anyway. Besides, it should be the both of us up there. You deserve it as much as I do.”
Amelia didn’t bother dignifying that with an answer. “But our dresses–”
“Yours is purple, mine is black. The cut and cloth are the same. Go!” Livy pushed her towards the stage. “I’ll be back as soon as I can, I promise!” She disappeared into the crowd.
Reluctantly, Amelia moved to join Logan. He smiled down at her in welcome and kissed her cheek, lingering for a moment before running his fingers lightly down her spine. She suppressed a shiver in response. His smile turned wolfish for a moment before returned his attention to the stage where the principal was talking.
“…And the King and Queen of the Senior Class of 1999 are…Logan Kingston and Olivia Crawford!”
Amelia smiled so hard her cheeks hurt, all the while glancing frantically around for her sister.
“After you, my lady,” Logan murmured in her ear, gesturing for her to ascend the stairs. He kept his hand on her lower back, just above the rise of her ass, supposedly to help her keep her balance in the high heels but also to make sure she didn’t run.
“Thank you, all of you. Most of all, thank you to the gorgeous woman next to me for making this night and year that I’ll never forget.” Logan said, staring into her eyes.
“Kiss! Kiss! Kiss!” Someone–Amelia suspected Ethan–started the outcry.
Logan grinned and turned to her, that mischievous light in his dark blue eyes. “Once more for the memories?”
He didn’t wait for her shy nod before leaning down and pressing his lips to hers. He kept the kiss light and sweet, well aware of their audience and the flashes going off. When he lifted his head, she had a soft little dreamy smile on her face. Acting on impulse, he kept hold of her hand as they descended back to the sparkling dance floor. The music started and she automatically put her hands on his shoulders, letting her body sway with his as they moved slowly to the beat.
“I know we’re going our separate ways, but can we just enjoy the moment tonight?” He said softly after a moment. “Once Upon a Forever–” he gestured at the decorations and photo backdrop. “–it’s our fairytale night. Why not seize it?”
“Logan, I–” Amelia gazed up at him, her heart pounding, about to confess everything.
Once Upon a Forever.
Why couldn’t she be the princess instead of the lonely older sister, always in the shadows of her twin’s bright light? Especially when it looked like Olivia had done a Cinderella act of her own yet again and disappeared.
The senior committee had spared no expense, as usual. The Blackwell Hotel had hosted the senior ball there for nearly as long as the high school had been open. Amelia’s great grandmother, in all of her liberal thinking, had been of the opinion that if children were going to have sex, then at least they would have it in a protected, known location. In more recent modern years, the hotel had taken to discreetly supplying condoms in all of the rooms reserved for or by the high schoolers. It would be so easy to go upstairs and indulge for once, let herself be loved by the man she could see herself loving and living with.
Except he, once again, thought she was Olivia. He must have heeded her advice and gotten back together with her twin, because they had shown up to the ball tonight, the perfect couple once again.
She shook her head sadly, and Logan’s heart dropped. He opened his mouth to speak, but she beat him to it.
“I’m sorry. I have to go.” She said helplessly, and turned on her heel and ran, slipping out of his fingers like quicksilver.
He let her go.
Olivia found him the next morning up in their tree house in his backyard. He was still in his tux, although the jacket and tie were gone and the shirt unbuttoned, giving him a sexy tousled look. There was a half-empty bottle of rum next to him as he sat by the railing, idly swinging his legs.
“Hey, handsome.” She said softly, ascending the last couple of steps. “Come over here and talk to me.”
He went to where she was curled up on the worn mattress. She looked like a pixie, with her new short haircut emphasizing her already elfin features. She sighed heavily, one hand dropping to its familiar spot over his heart as she rested her head on his shoulder.
“You know, I’ve figured something out in the last week.” He said abruptly.
She sat up slightly to look at him with a frown. “And what’s that?”
“Amelia, sweet innocent thing that she is, was muuuch more affected by that kiss than she wants to admit.” He waved the bottle around for emphasis, the liquid sloshing inside. “And that scared her. So, silly girl, she’s running from her own emotions and feelings–and me–rather than facing them.”
“That’s quite the astute observation.” Livy said wryly. “So what are you going to do about it?”
She shot to her feet. “WHAT? Logan–”
“Nothing yet.” He emphasized, meeting her gaze for the first time. She caught her breath at the determination and intensity in his eyes. “We both have a lot of growing up to do, Liv. A lot of life to live and experiences to have first. But.” He held up a finger. “I’m counting on you, Livia-my-love, to take care of your sister. And watch her. Because someday, she’s going to stop running. And when that day comes, you’re going to make sure that I’m there waiting to catch her.”