Rory Gilmore whimpered, lying back on her bed, as she de-processed all the information that’d she had to know for the midterm she’d just taken, and thought of nothing.
Her answering machine beeped, and she played the messages, remembering reality. There was one from her mother, wanting to know which Rory thought Emily would hate more, Luke showing up to Friday night dinner in flannel or Lorelei in pants with the words hottie across her butt. Then, there was one from Lane about Hep Alien’s latest gig. But, the last was least expected.
“Rory it’s your grandmother. I’m calling to tell you about the Huntzberger’s annual Christmas Ball. Logan himself has requested your attendance. Shira you should probably change her name to Shira since we know what it is now says he was quite insistent on it, not that they don’t want you there. Apparently you’ve made an impression on him. Of course, this will replace Friday night dinner. I’ll tell your mother. Please call me soon I refuse to discuss this on an answering machine anymore!”
Rory wrinkled her brow in confusion and slight recognition. She faintly remembered that the night of her auction Logan had mentioned something to her about not having seen a sub-party until she’d seen the one at his Christmas Party. She remembered making some sarcastic remark, and having it come back to bite her in the butt when he replied by saying that she’d just have to come and find out. She never expected him to be serious. Closing her eyes, she fell asleep. She’d get out of the party tomorrow.
But Rory did not have a chance to get out of the party the following day, or the day after that. In fact, with the hectic-ness of midterms she forgot all about the party. Until, that was, the Thursday before when she received a message from her mother.
She was on a short coffee break, in between her last and second to last final, and on instinct she decided to check her messages, seeing as how lately that was the only human contact she’d had. “Hey hun...four words...Annual Huntzberger Christmas Ball. Let the relentless mocking begin!” At the remembrance of this event she almost spilt her coffee.
Regaining her composure Rory played the next message. “Rory! It’s your grandmother. If you’re there pick up your phone immediately. I detest answering machines, voice mail, and any other device in which you don’t speak directly to humans1” A pause. “Well, since you’re obviously not there, and you’ve failed to return my calls I took the liberty of responding to the Huntzberger Ball for you. It starts at seven, so you should be at our house by five. I’ve gotten you a dress and everything else you’ll need. Please try to respond to this message.”
The phone line went dead, and this time Rory did spill her coffee, all over the blonde who she ran into. She looked into the chocolate brown eyes, terror from the phone message still present on her face, ‘gaping’ as she would later self describe, ‘like an idiot.’
Snapping back to reality, she desperately pleaded with her brain to form a decent sentence. “Logan...hi...um...God, your shirt. I’m so sorry.”
He winked for effect, before grabbing a napkin to pat off his shirt. Once successful he shot her a toothy grin. “No harm done. Unless, of course, you’ve lost the ability to speak...”
She bit her bottom lip, as red crept up her cheeks. She hated the fact that he could make her blush, and without the slightest bit of trouble.
“I’m fine. I just...”
“Weren’t paying attention?”
“Yes. No. I was distracted.”
“Distracted? That must have been some phone message.”
Remembering exactly what that message was she spoke again, this time with a smile. “It seems my grandmother has roped me into going to one of those boring Christmas parties tomorrow night. She responded yes, bought me a dress, and has prepared transportation. But I think I might just skip it.” She shrugs. “They’re just not my type of thing.”
Logan smirked. “You’re not getting out of this one Ace. You wanted a Huntzberger sub-party; you’re getting a Huntzberger sub-party.”
“Logan I was tired, depressed, slightly drunk and I had just gotten dumped. If I recall, I also said I wanted to forget coffee and make champagne my beverage of choice. I wasn’t exactly coherent.”
He titled his head, staring at her. “I don’t know Ace. I think you should come. It’ll be good for you.”
“Right. Because my mom responded so well to the first time I came home drunk, why not try it again?”
“You don’t have to get drunk. Just hang out. Come Ace it’ll be fun. Bring a book, to read...or sniff whichever you prefer.”
“I’m going to ignore that comment, and just say I have other plans for tomorrow night.”
“That’s none of your business.”
“Well, let me think.” His face busted out into a grin. “Friday night. You’ve just finished your midterms, but you have to stick around because of the newspaper, so you’re not going home. You’ll be curled up in your dorm room with a nice book and a cup of coffee.”
She turned crimson, because that was exactly what she’d planned on doing. She sighed, not sure what to do. It wasn’t like she didn’t like Logan, because she did. She liked him a lot. She’d admitted to that much a while ago. So spending time with him should be an obvious no-brainer. But she was a Gilmore, after all, and things were never easy for the Gilmore Girls.
The complication was simple. She couldn’t stand being around him anymore if she had to pretend that whether he was alive or dead really didn’t make much of a difference to her. She wanted to be with him, and being around him, but not being with him was horrible. She also knew there was no chance of him liking her. Because, ask anyone, if Logan Huntzberger wanted you he went after you. There was no waiting for the right moment. No pomp and circumstance; he just did it. And he hadn’t ‘done it’ with Rory.
“I take your silence as a confirmation that I’m right.”
“Huntzberger, you’ve known me for a few months now, have I ever admitted defeat?”
“There’s a first time for everything, Ace.”
“I suppose that’s true. But not today, and not me. I will however, cancel my plans and attend your party, because I really don’t want to have to deal with my grandmother telling me how rude I would be.”
Leaving Logan, in shock she left with a parting comment. “It better be good.”
“She’s coming.” He said, still in disbelief as he entered the dorm he shared with his best friends. “She’s coming.”
“Who is?” Colin said from behind his newspaper.
“Ace. She’s coming. To the Christmas Ball tomorrow night. She’s coming.”
“Of course she is. You checked your mother’s guest list twenty times to make sure Richard and Emily were coming, and then you badgered your mother constantly to make sure the invitation had been extended to her. What’d you expect her to turn it down?”
Colin sighed, finally giving Logan his full attention. “Let me guess. You have no idea what you’re going to do.”
“Logan you’ve known this girl for about four months now, probably liked her for four, were in denial for three, and have accepted it for one. When are you going to make your move?”
He ran a hand through his hair. “I just don’t want her to run away screaming. And the fact that she’s stated, on more than one occasion that she’s on a ‘boy break’ doesn’t help either.”
“Alright, you leave me no choice–Finn!”
“Oh God!” Logan lowered his head into his hands.
”Dam it Colin!” A disheveled Finn roared coming out of the bedroom. “It’s bloody early!”
“Sorry to interrupt your beauty sleep Finn, but this is important. It’s about the reporter girl.”
“Yes, well, Logan’s afraid to make a move. It’s your job to get them together tomorrow night.”
“What?” Logan raised his hands in protest. “No! No way! Not tomorrow! Not Finn! Just...no!”
Finn smirked. “Don’t worry mate. No one thinks any less of you ‘cause you need a little help on this one!”
“So, then I get a call from my mother telling me that limo boy has personally requested your attendance. Apparently you made ‘such an impression’ on him that you had to be there. You’re just lucky I held in my ‘dirty’!’
“Mom!” her daughter screeched into the receiver.
“You owe me big. I really wanted to see the look on my mother’s face when she realized the other implication.”
“So why is the young Mr. Huntzberger requesting your presence tonight, hmm?”
“I already told you...it’s a joke-type thing.” Rory tried to explain as she rummaged around for a book that would fit in the sure-to-be-tiny-purse, her grandmother had gotten to go with her dress.”
“Right, because that vague description really does it for me.”
Grabbing The Portable Dorothy Parker in triumph, she answered her mother. “I don’t know Mom. He likes to bother me, to get under my skin. It’s all some game. And for some reason I’m attracted to that.”
“Maybe he wants to seduce you. You know, mistle toe, chestnuts roasting on an open fire, Logan Huntzberger nipping at your nose.”
“Yes Mom.” Her daughter stated dryly. “I’m sure that’s it.”
“Then you’ll conveniently get snowed in, only to find out years later that he paid a snow-cone guy big bucks to put it all around their estate like Uncle Jessie in Full House!”
“Mom! I told you. Logan and I are not going to work out. I’m not his type.”
“And, what is his type?”
“Well, for starters I can read. So, immediately I’m out of the running.”
“Hell hath no fury like a women’s scorn”
“I’m not scornful, just factual.”
“Right.” Lorelei overemphasized.
“All I’m saying is that Logan goes for a certain type of girl; I’m not that type. And I am not willing to compromise myself just to get a guy.”
“You’ve really got it bad for this one; you’re going all ‘powerful women of the world on me.’ Cheer up kid; at least you get to go. I, on the other hand wasn’t invited.”
“Oh, and if you did get invited you would have graciously accepted?”
“No. But, it would have been nice to be acknowledged.”
“Don’t worry Mom. Next time, I’ll make sure you’re invited.”
“No! Rory! I didn’t mean it!”
Ignoring her mothers please, Rory hung up the phone and hurried out of her room.
Logan ran a hand through his hair, an action he had repeated five times in the last minute. He was nervous, an uncharacteristic trait for him, nonetheless, he was nervous. Rory Gilmore had that affect on him. But tonight he wasn’t supposed to be nervous, because finally Logan had a plan.
The plan was simple; be Logan Huntzberger. Be suave. Be charming. Be confident. Be seductive. Be sure to get her under some mistle toe. This was not normally a problem, but around Rory Gilmore Logan Huntzberger was not himself.
But tonight he would be. Hell, he was Logan Huntzberger, handsome, charming, heir to his father’s newspaper kingdom. If he wanted something he went for it. He wanted Rory Gilmore, and tonight he would get her.
He spotted her across the room, and immediately made his way towards her.
“Ace...you made it.”
“Of course, I did. I said I’d be here. So I’m here. Where’s the sub-party?”
He let out a chuckle. “Easy Ace. That’s not ‘til later. No one’s really here yet, and the adults will notice if we’re gone to early.”
“Right...” She smiled mischievously. “I guess we’ll just have to mingle.”
“I guess so.”
“Oh, and just for the record, you’re my boyfriend of a year and a half. I so do not feel like being auctioned off tonight.”
“My pleasure Ace.”
Placing his hand on the small of her back Logan led the brunette outside.
Her insides twirled as Logan easily pressed his hand to her back. He probably didn’t even recognize the action, but it made Rory’s nervous system go into over drive. The feel of his hands scrunching up the back of her dress was something Rory never wanted to end.
And lucky for her, it didn’t.
“Dance with me.”
It wasn’t a question. It was a demand, a demand that Rory couldn’t seem to resist. The way he was looking at her, she felt trapped, under his gaze. And at that moment Rory was pretty sure that she would do anything he asked of her, a fact she admitted with great reluctance.
And so, she simply nodded letting Logan Huntzberger lead her onto the dance floor.
“Promise not to laugh.” She hissed frantically. “I can’t dance.”
“Everyone can dance Ace.”
“Not me. When I was sixteen, at my coming out my boyfriend and I fell all over each other.”
He smirked. “You just need the right partner.”
“It seems like Rory and Logan are getting along just fine.” Shira Huntzberger observed.
Emily turned to the dancing couple with a smile. “Why, it seems your right.”
Mitchum turned to Richard, who’d also been watching the couple. “If a match were to be made Richard, good friend, what does Rory have to offer?”
Clearing his throat Richard spoke. “Well, I believe any gentlemen would be quite pleased with the sums we have provided for Rory once she’s ready to settle down. There far more than adequate.”
Mitchum moved closer. “How adequate?”
“A white dress....sleeves....with a nice trail....and a tiara. She’ll wear a tiara just like I did.”
“Yes. That does sound nice. Now what about the fabric?”
“Possibly a rough silk?”
“Let’s keep our options open. After all, they haven’t even gotten together yet.”
“It’s only a matter of time Shira, only a matter of time.”
She wasn’t in the study anymore. He noticed it right away, but hesitated to make a move. If he went after her, he’d look like a love-sick puppy. And Logan Huntzberger was not a love-sick puppy.
So he waited. And he waited. And then he checked his watch. Five minutes. So he waited so more. He lasted twenty minutes before heading to the library.
He found her curled up in a chair by the fireplace.
“Ace, what are you doing? You can’t sub-party a sub-party.”
The brunette looked up from her book with a smile. “Well what can I say; me and Dorothy needed some time alone.”
Logan grinned before retorting. “Does she smell as good as Pushkin?”
Her cheeks turned crimson. “You’re never going to let me live that down, are you?”
“You have to admit. It’s a pretty strange habit.”
“I don’t have to dignify my habits to you.”
Not wanting the night to turn into another one of their debates, however entertaining they were, Logan held out his arm. “Come on Ace. Put it back. How ‘bout living out some of those adventures tonight, instead of reading about them?”
Rory snorted, but took his arm nonetheless, after returning the book to its rightful place. “Because the ‘Annual Huntzberger Christmas Ball Sub-Party will be filled with adventures?”
“You’d be surprised.” He said with a wink. “But let’s no go back to the sub-party. I know noise and drinking aren’t your thing. Want to sit out on the terrace?”
“Are you kidding? It’s freezing out there. And as pretty as this dress is, it doesn’t provide a lot of warmth.
He shrugged off his tux coat and handed it to her.
She took it without protest or complaint.
“It’s beautiful out here.”
“I’ve seen better.”
“Oh that’s right. I’m talking to the great yacht sinker. You’ve seen it all.”
“That yacht thing was an accident, and I wasn’t talking about something I’ve seen when exploring.”
Rory didn’t even have time to register the implications of the comment because a loud ‘Aww...’ was heard from above.
“Well, I’m sorry Colin, but that was just too cute. We never get to see cute Logan. He’s always cocky or annoying.”
“Shut up! Now they’ve spotted us.”
The pair looked up to see Colin, Finn, Stephanie, and company crowded on the balcony above them Finn holding a string of mistle toes above their heads.
Rory blushed. Logan fumed.
“Just trying to help you out.”
“I don’t need any help!”
“It seems like you do.” Colin agreed.
“Hey wait!” Stephanie screamed! “They’re still under the mistle toe. They have to kiss.”
Logan turned to Rory, checking to make sure she was still there. She was, but her cheeks were as red as a tomato. “What do you say Ace?”
That’s when the chanting started.
“Kiss! Kiss! Kiss” The audience cried out.
Logan turned to Rory who nodded her head shyly. That was all the confirmation he needed. The blonde took Rory in his arms dipped her backwards, and kissed her senseless.
And that was how they remained for quite a while.