‘Where will we go?’
‘Anywhere you want to.’
‘Florence.’ Franny sat up in bed. Logan has stayed over every night, for about a month. She knew what he was doing and loved him even more for it; he wanted to let her know he didn’t mind coming here, to her council flat where the bath was too small, there was no cloak room, the lift hardly worked, the neighbours were noisy, and the sirens were constantly whirring outside. This was a million miles away from how he’d grown up, but he was as at home with her here, as he was at his place.
‘I’ve never been to Florence.’
‘Of course, you’ve been.’ Franny laughed a little.
‘I spent a year there when I was at Uni, exchange programme and the Sterling factory is just outside Florence.’
‘Would you mind going back there?’
They’d been fantasising about where they’d go for their first holiday away together. ‘Why Florence?’
‘My mom. She always wanted to take me to her namesake but time, money… life really.’ She got out of bed, tied a robe around her naked body and headed out of the bedroom to the kitchen to prepare dinner for them. Sometimes the memories of her mother almost paralyse her. The plans they made to see the world together, it had been their dream to go travelling.
‘I’ve ordered us takeaway.’ Logan appeared in the doorway of the kitchen now in jogging bottoms and tee-shirt.
‘That’s the fifth time this week we’ve had takeaway. Why did you go food shopping if you had no intention of cooking anything?’ Combined with the bi weekly food shop her friends sent her, franny’s cupboards were groaning under the weight so much food.
‘Because…’ Logan pulled her into an embrace from behind. ‘I’m sorry if I made you think about your mum.’
‘You did but these are good memories.’ She turned to look at him. ‘Sorry for making you feel guilty.’
‘You didn’t. What do you think she would make of us having sex whilst she watches?’
Franny let out a loud laugh ‘Logan!’ She hadn’t even thought about it like that. ‘She’d have to ground me for life.’ She buried her head in his chest embarrassed at the thought. They’d only just had sex as well. ‘We need to move that picture.’
Logan laughed. ‘We don’t.’
‘We do! I didn’t even think about that.’
‘No, we don’t. I think she has given us her blessing.’
‘What? Her watching you spank me or do the many unspeakable things we have just done.’
‘Mm hm.’ He lifted her to the countertop, so she straddled him. ‘Morning and night and the weekends we never get out of bed.’
‘You’re a dirty old bastard.’
‘That’s why you love me.’ Logan kissed her slowly but felt her freeze and then he realised why. He said the L word. ‘Shit. I didn’t mean it like that.’
He runs a hand through his close-cropped head. ‘I’m sorry.’
‘What do you want me to say?’
‘Nothing. We can just pretend it didn’t happen.’
‘We can’t do that.’
‘But you froze.’
‘Yes you did. I felt it.’
‘No, I did not. Not because of that.’ Of course, it is because of that. How could he not know she loved him already? More than anything Franny was irritated at herself for being so transparent and easy to read. And he never even said anything about his feelings for her.
‘You do know I love you too, right?’
‘You’re just saying that and that’s even worse.’
‘Stop. I’m not just saying that. Why would I?’
‘I don’t know. You waited this long for me to say it-’
‘You didn’t say it. I said it.’
‘That’s much worse.’
‘You’ve known how I feel about you all this time and not said anything about it.’
‘Why didn’t you?’
‘Because I didn’t want to be the first one to say it. There.’
‘Well, you weren’t.’
Franny rolled her eyes at Logan. No idea what they are fighting over.
‘Dinner will be here in an hour.’ Logan said before leaving the kitchen. She was upset and he understood why; vulnerability is not something Franny is used to. He should be careful but when is love ever careful?
She stayed a while in the kitchen, deciphering her feelings, she so badly wanted to call her friends and talk to them, but she couldn’t; the walls in the house are so thin her neighbours will probably hear her. Goodness knows they heard enough earlier when she was moaning like a maniac from him making her come. There is also that little thing about her not having told them anything about Logan yet. This was so fucked up. ‘Fucking feelings.’ He’s probably going to go home now and then they’ll have this weird thing about who said it first and it’ll be all awkward and they’ll break up and that’ll be that. Another heartbreak bites the dust. Only this time she’d feel it because her feelings for Logan run deeper than she’d ever think to herself.
She waited. Listened out for the door to close. Nothing. Surely, he must be leaving soon.
‘You’re still here.’ Franny stood by the door to the bedroom, Logan was back in bed still in his joggers, laptop open. He didn’t look like he was going anywhere any time soon.
He turned to look at her. ‘Did you want me to leave?’
‘No. I just-’
‘You expected me to leave?’
‘Yes, I did.’
‘Do you want me to leave?’
‘No. I don’t.’ She sat beside him on the bed, ‘I’m sorry.’
‘Don’t be. I should be more careful.’
‘No. We are in a relationship therefore words and expected little words will be thrown around. Logan, I’m not used to any of this. Yes, I’ve had relationships before but nothing like this and certainly with no one like you.’
‘Yes. You with your…’ she cast around looking for the right words, ‘your everything and you’re not jerk you know. So yes, I am…always wondering when this fog will lift, and you’ll tell me we’re done.’
‘Why would I do that?’
‘Why does it never work out between the rich boy and the poor girl?’
‘I don’t know, and I’ve never thought of us like that Franny. Yes, I said it, you love me and I love you. That’s the truth. At least for me-’
‘Me too. I love you, Logan.’
‘I love you too Francesca.’
Franny averted his dreamy eyes. How could she not love him? He is kind and fun and has a good heart. He cares about her in a way she hasn’t felt in a long time. The thought of him makes her warm and happy. Moments they spend together fill her with such joy, sometimes it is impossible for her to contain herself.
The buzzer chooses the right moment to go, and Logan gets out of bed to answer the door. Dinner.
When he returned to the bedroom, Franny had taken down the picture of her mother, she’d seen enough.