Cadee exhaled deeply, before taking a look around her apartment for the thousandth time . Everything was perfect, the table was already set –candles included – and dinner was in the oven. When Logan had suggested another date, this time for dinner, she had proposed home cooking at her apartment; she had wanted to cook for him, open up yet another aspect of her life. She had selected the menu with care, as usual, and decided for simple American food, to be on the safe side: roast spring lamb with steamed vegetables with onion gravy. The smell of the roasting meat filled the apartment, and Cadee smiled.
However, now she was anxious and a little nervous; not because of the cooking, she was confident that would be great, but because everything else. Anne’s continuous innuendos and winks before leaving for her brother’s apartment hadn’t helped much either. *I guess Anne’s right and I’m just rusty.* She thought, *if I got laid more often, I wouldn’t be this anxious, would I ?*
“Of course she’s right,” she said to no one, as she walked to the bathroom to have a shower and get ready for her guest.
Cadee barely had time to pull on her top when the doorbell rang.
“A man on time, I’m shocked,” Cadee laughed as Logan greeted her on the other side of the door with a huge smile.
“I guess I couldn’t stay away,” he laughed, planting a playful kiss on her cheek. He welcomed the opportunity to spend an evening with Cadee. Things at Balthazar’s had been crazy since that night at Jasmin’s. Romano was like a man possessed; obsessed with whatever it was they took from the vampire. He wouldn’t let anyone disturb him, yet at the same time, he almost freaked out when Logan requested the night off. Balthazar had finally conceded, but had made Logan promise that he’d be back by latest 8:00 the next morning. *I guess he has something important tomorrow he needs me for.*
As he walked into the beautifully traditional New York style apartment, got a big whiff of her cooking. “Man, smells fantastic”.
“I hope it tastes as good,” she said, closing the door behind him.
Cadee smiled happily. After the events of the night before, she longed for some ‘normality’, and what was more normal than a date with a gorgeous guy? Oh, yes. It was good to be just a girl in a date. She was determined to have a nice time. No falling vampires, werewolf wannabes or not-dying freaks; just the two of them.
“Please, sit down. Would you want a drink before dinner? It won’t be ready for a while yet.”
Cadee poured two glasses of pinot noir, as Logan took a seat at the table. “So what do we toast to?”
“How about to…” he paused for a moment, contemplating as he lifted the glass. Logan‘s smile widened “I’ve got nothing”.
The two laughed, and ‘clinked’ their glasses.
“How about to new beginnings,” Cadee chuckled before taking a sip. She thought it was fitting; little did she know how appropriate it was for the man as well.
“I’ve just got to check on the food, if you’ll give me a second.”
As she disappeared into the kitchen, Logan followed quietly behind. She really is beautiful. He took a moment to admire the blonde as she toiled expertly over the stove. He snuck forwards, and placed his arms on either side of Cadee, trapping her against the large stainless steel appliance. “Need some help?” he whispered mischievously in her ear, hoping to catch her off guard.
Cadee didn’t so much as turn around. “I heard you come in.”
“Aw, there goes my aspiration to become a ninja.”
“I wouldn’t quit your day job if I were you,” she laughed, though her mind wandered to someplace dark. She didn’t want to dwell on the fact that he worked for Balthazar, but no matter how much she tried to suppress it, it was always at the back of her mind.
“Ugg, no talk about work,” Logan sighed, brushing Cadee’s hair to one side. He moved his body closer, gently kissing the nape of her neck.
“Rough night? Cadee purred, dropping her stirring spoon and finally turning around. God he was sexy. He had never been so forward, but it wasn’t like Cadee minded.
“You could say that,” he mumbled, now kissing Cadee passionately against the stove. “Way too late meeting with the owner of that Club we were at last week. But like I said,” he growled, lifting the girl up and spinning her so she wouldn’t hurt herself on the burners, “no talk about work”.
Oh yes, Cadee let herself be engulfed by him as his touch made her skin come alive; her arms moved to his nape and her legs wrapped around his waist, enjoying the ride to the kitchen countertop where he sat her, before he moved forward, his tongue slipping inside her mouth, coaxing hers to play.
Cadee kissed him back fully, too lost in the moment to even think about his words, and then it hit her. *The Club we were last week? The Graveyard?* She knew it was Romano and his men who had attempted to kill Jasmin, but she had refused to believe Logan was in their numbers, how naïve of her…
“Wait, wait,” she pulled him apart, out of breath, his kiss still lingering in her lips. “Were you in Jasmin’s building last night?”
“What? Oh yeah, my boss had a late meeting with her,” he practically panted, caught off guard by Cadee’s hesitation. “But don’t worry, I’ve still got plenty of energy for tonight.” His hand began to move up her thigh, but she quickly grasped his wrist. “Whoah, you’re stronger than you look,” he said, realizing that she was no longer in the moment. “Did I do something?”
Cadee closed her eyes, gritting. Could she be more witless? It seemed everything she did lately was tinted with stupidity. Like believing that Logan could work with Romano and not be touched by his corruption and ugliness. “A late meeting?” she said at last, unbelievable. “That’s how you call it?”
Taking a step back, Logan and Cadee locked eyes. A second ago, they were glowing with passion and now they just burned with anger. “What are you talking about?” he asked innocently. Flashes of the fight with Jasmin flooded back into his mind. But she couldn’t know about that… “Cadee, seriously what’s going on?” Gently, he reached out again to touch her arm soothingly.
“Don’t,” she said recoiling.
“You’re scaring me Cadee, what is this about?”
“You. It’s about you. And your boss. And locking Jasmin out to wait for sunrise, that is this about.” Cadee trembled with anger; she knew she was overreacting but she didn’t mind. It was too much; she’d passed through too much these past few days: with Meredith, and with those damn zombies, and Jasmin’s broken body last night. All that and justifying her feelings for Logan despite his boss. Unrealistically, she had held to the hope that he was different, that the man she had recognized in his eyes was the real one, and not the dodgy, lying son of a bitch a Romano bodyguard must be. “How could you?”
Logan felt like he had been hit by a train. How did a sweet, normal girl like Cadee know about what had happened the previous night? None of this made sense. A chill crept over his body. Now it was his turn to take a step back. “You need to calm down Cadee. Things with my job are complicated, things with Jasmin are complicated,” he began, only to be cut off.
“I know she’s a vampire, and I know what you did!”
“I…but….” he stammered, his mind racing. She knew about the supernatural, she knew about Balthazar, she knew what he had done. “Just who are you?” Logan suddenly asked coldly. Sure, he was guilty of keeping secrets from her, but obviously the girl had her own skeletons.
Cadee inhaled deeply, trying to calm herself; she was already regretting her outburst, but she was very, very angry. Her eyes flashed when she looked at Logan again. “I’m a freak, just like Jasmin. I’m a vampire, a werewolf and a hundred different demons, and just in the bottom, deep down, I’m human. Are you going to kill me too?”
“Of course not!” his voice softened slightly. “Look, I said things are complicated”.
“Well I’m going to give you about one minute to uncomplicated things. Who are you really?”
“Cadee, come on,” Logan said, trying to wrap his mind around what was happening.
“How long have you worked for Balthazar?” she fired off.
Logan tried to think back, but no memories came. Wait…when did he get hired.
Cadee’s frustration was rising; she was so angry that she didn’t even consider that she had done her own lying. “Is anything you told me true?” she demanded. “Are you even from New York?”
“I didn’t lie.”
“Where did you grow up?!”
“In the city…”
The man winced, as a sharp pain stung his forehead. “I…I told you, I didn’t lie.” His voice faltered. He tried to picture himself as a child; tried to imagine growing up, having a mother, a father…but there was nothing. “Cadee, stop”.
“You’re a fucking liar!” Cadee couldn’t stop; she just needed to know the truth. She was falling for this guy; she just needed to know the truth. “Now it all makes sense. Your secrets, your round about answers!”
“Cadee,” he pleaded, not wanting the situation to escalate further.
“Tell me the truth. Just one thing without dodging the question. Is Logan even your real name?”
The man didn’t answer. Suddenly the name sounded so foreign. Was it his name? Why couldn’t he remember anything. The room began to spin around him, causing his stomach to do summersaults.
Cadee continued to assault him with a barrage of questions. Was he human? Why did he work for Balthazar? Where did he learn to fight? And one by one, Logan realized he couldn’t answer a single one.
“Who the hell are you really?”
A heat began to swell up inside him. At first it was just a slight warmth, but within seconds his whole body felt like it was on fire and for a moment, Logan thought he was going to explode. With each question, Logan’s mind pushed further and further for answer, weakening the enchantment that shrouded him. He was just about to cry out in pain when the agony subsided. And just like that, the fog was gone.
“Answer me! Who are you?!”
“I…I…I don’t know!” Logan’s rage shocked Cadee and himself alike. For the first time it was like the clouds had parted and he could think clearly. And with his new found clarity that he realized he couldn’t remember a damn thing. Not his name, where he was from, how he came to work for Balthazar, how he learned to fight, why he was so strong, not a damn thing!
“Magic!” The word came out with a roar. It was the only plausible explanation for his amnesia. And there was only one man who had the power to pull something like this.
The sound of that word got Cadee out of the frenzied state she’d been in. She covered her mouth with her hands, immediately regretting her callousness. *Magic* It made sense, he wasn’t responding because he couldn’t, not because he wouldn’t. She watched him, despaired and confused, and she felt terrible, she just hoped it wasn’t too late…“Logan,” she said hesitantly, walking towards him, “I’m- I’m sorry…”
“Don’t!” Logan barked, halting Cadee in her tracks. His mind was reeling with a thousand questions and his blood was about to hit a boiling point. He was a man of action, and every cell in his body urged him to do something, problem was he didn’t know what to do. Where did he start? Every aspect of his life was artificial…or was it? Everything was upside down and he needed to lash out. “You, are you part of this?” he yelled, his voice booming. It was just too much of a coincidence that the girl he was falling for ended up being part of the supernatural world. She had to be involved in this conspiracy. “Are you part of this!?” he repeated, louder than the first time.
“No! I’m not!” Cadee answered, and her face was the picture of confusion. She could understand if he hated her for grilling him like she had, but how the hell could he believe she was in league with Romano? “I have nothing to do with whatever happened to you! I promise you, Logan, I don’t.”
He was only half listening to her pleas while he played back the events of the last few months in his head. The images were all there, but when he tried to access anything pre-Romano, it was just white. I’ll kill him…no, I’ll get some answers and then I’ll kill him!
Cadee once again advanced but Logan’s hand flew up, his finger pointing accusingly. “I’m leaving Cadee,” his voice was shaking with a mixture of emotion. “And I better not find out you have anything to do with this!” He backed away, his eyes locked on hers as if she was some sort of dangerous monster.
The girl recoiled at his look - it hurt. He accused her of conspiring against him, he threatened her... only the recognition of her mistake prevented her from answering him similarly. Instead, she breathed deeply and tried to calm herself. “You won’t,” she said at last, evenly, when she felt she could talk without lashing back at him. “I have nothing to do with Balthazar Romano; I never had and I never will. I despise him. That’s the only reason I reacted like I did with you, and I’m sorry for that.”
A part of Logan wanted to believe her, but how could he? How could he believe anything at the moment? Grabbing his jacket, he opened his mouth to reply, but his throat was so clenched, nothing came out. It was probably for the best anyways - anything he was going to say would not have been nice. With one final icy glance, he slammed the door, leaving Cadee alone with her uneaten roast.