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Burlesque 6/12 NC-17

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  • Joanne Van Vranken
    Disclaimers in Part 1 ************** Nina awoke and lay quietly listening to the muffled sounds of movement in the kitchen. Her face still stung terribly and
    Message 1 of 1 , May 13, 2001
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      Disclaimers in Part 1

      **************


      Nina awoke and lay quietly listening to the muffled sounds of movement in
      the kitchen. Her face still stung terribly and her eyelids had swollen so
      much overnight she could barely see through the slit. The low rumble of a
      masculine voice told her that Logan was out there. He'd obviously spent the
      night and was making breakfast for Mike. She blinked back unexpected tears.
      He'd been such a good friend to her in the weeks they'd known each other; it
      would be so tempting, so easy to just let her burdens go and lean on him.
      She wanted to so badly. She wanted to be loved and cared for by this man.
      She loved him. Oh my God, she loved him. When had that happened, she
      wondered.

      Her thoughts were interrupted by a quiet knock on the door and Logan
      entering with a tray. He looked alarmed when he caught a glimpse of her
      face but quickly covered it.

      "Good morning," he said brightly. "Did ya sleep? Did the sedative the
      doctor gave you help?" She sat up against her pillows and he carefully
      placed the tray on her lap. "Made ya a little breakfast." He said
      indicating the plate of eggs, bacon and toast.

      He continued. "Mrs. L is going to stay with you and Mike today. I'll tell
      Joe you won't be in for a few days." She nodded and set to eating her
      breakfast. It was a little difficult getting her mouth open with her face
      so swollen.

      "Logan, it's really not that bad." She spoke stiffly, movement difficult.
      "I mean it's uncomfortable but I can take care of myself. You two don't
      have to go to all this trouble."

      "I know you can take care of yourself, darlin'," he said humoring her, "but
      who's going to take care of Mike? Think about it. If he saw you the way ya
      look right now you'd probably scare the bejeezus out of him."

      "Oh, you're right."

      "Mrs. L will be here in a few minutes. I'll drop off the prescription the
      doctor left and have the pharmacy deliver it. Tell Mrs. L to call me at the
      theater if you need anything." He bent over and placed a light kiss on her
      forehead. "I'll see ya tonight."

      Her hand went to the spot on her forehead where she could feel the imprint
      of his lips and she watched him go.


      Logan stalked angrily into the theater. Red clouded his vision and his
      terrible temper was beginning to surface. He took a few deep breaths and
      pushed it back but it took all his meditative powers to do it. He quickly
      went to Joe and told him Brandy would be unable to make it into work for the
      next few days; he made no mention of the real reason why.

      After that he went to find Rosie. He knocked on the door to her dressing
      room and entered without waiting for permission.

      She stood from her dressing table in surprise but quickly recovered.
      "Logan, mi amore," she purred seductively. "What can I do for you?" She
      slithered over and rubbed up against him.

      He sniffed at her; positive he smelled something familiar but it was so
      faint he couldn't be sure.

      "You listen to me, you vicious bitch. If you do one more thing to hurt
      Brandy I'll pick you up and throw you bodily from this theater myself. I
      didn't tell Joe what you did this time so you've got one more chance to
      straighten yourself out, but the next time, you're out on your pretty little
      rump. Do we understand each other?"

      She turned away from him so he couldn't see her face. "I have no idea what
      you're talking about, lover. What happened to the little slut anyway?"

      Logan strangled an enraged snarl and spun her to face him once again. "You
      know damn well what I'm talking about. She's lying at home, her face and
      hands blown up like red balloons. You're damn lucky she didn't go into
      allergic shock from whatever you laced her cold cream with or I'd be
      breaking you into little tiny pieces with my bare hands right now! I've
      tried to be nice about this. I know I'm partly to blame for the situation,
      but I'm telling you this garbage ends now, or I won't be responsible for my
      actions."

      Rosie looked unimpressed with Logan's threats. She merely pulled her arm
      away and went back to arranging her hair.

      "Can I help if it the little idiota is accident prone?"

      Logan ran his hands through his hair in exasperation and turned to go.

      "Just remember what I said, Rosie. You don't know me well, but I'm telling
      you, I don't make idle threats." He slammed the door behind him.

      ***

      Standing in front of the tiny bathroom mirror in his apartment, Logan tied
      his new hand-painted silk tie in preparation for Thanksgiving dinner with
      Nina and the others from the theater. He ran a comb through his hair one
      more time, trying without success to smooth down the cowlicks that grew into
      points at the sides of his head. No amount of pomade tamed them completely,
      to his eternal frustration. Crossing to the small closet he pulled out his
      suit jacket and slipped it on, grabbed the bouquet of flowers he'd bought
      for Nina, took a deep breath and went upstairs.

      Nina's eyes widened at the sight of him when she opened the door. He looked
      unbelievably handsome in a charcoal gray flannel, double-breasted suit. The
      snow-white shirt accentuated his dark skin and was complemented by a pink
      and gray silk tie. Her heart started pounding in her chest when he smiled
      at her.

      "Happy Thanksgiving!" she greeted cheerfully.

      "Happy Thanksgiving," he answered handing her the flowers. She looked
      gorgeous in a black crepe dress with long pointed sleeves, a square neckline
      and huge velvet bow on one shoulder. Her legs were encased in a
      near-priceless pair of black nylons and he wondered just how long she'd
      saved them for an occasion like this. Despite the end of the war many
      things were still being rationed or were hard to get, nylons being one of
      them. Her face was almost completely back to normal but he could still see
      a hint of redness under the powder she used.

      She gave him a delighted grin and his breathing sped up. When she moved
      aside to let him in he saw Windy, Jewel and Gus seated in the living room.
      Windy was bending over Mike and helping him choose crayons to color with.
      They all glanced up and said hello. Through the kitchen door he could see
      Mrs. L puttering on the stove.

      Brandy excused herself and went to stir the gravy.

      Logan went into the living room and shook Gus' hand. The big man was
      obviously playing bartender and he offered Logan a drink, which he readily
      accepted.

      Everyone chatted amiably for a few minutes until Nina called them all in to
      dinner. She pointed out everyone's seats, placing Logan and Gus in end
      chairs.

      "Logan since this is your first real American Thanksgiving, would you do us
      the honor of carving?" She held the carving knife and fork out to him.

      "Thank you, Nina." He smiled down into her beautiful blue eyes, allowing
      himself to sink into their depths for a second until the sound of throat
      clearing and knowing giggles brought him back to reality.

      Dinner was lively and everything was delicious. They all ate too much and
      Windy and Jewel offered to clear up while Logan and Gus went to the living
      room to listen to some football before dessert.

      Mrs. L and Nina sat down to play a game of Candyland with Mike.

      It was eight o'clock when Brandy sent Windy, Jewel and Gus home with bags of
      leftover turkey and pie. Mrs. Lieberman was back in the kitchen cleaning
      up. Logan and Nina sat together on the couch sipping coffee.

      Mrs. L came in and took Mikey's hand. "Michael, how would you like to sleep
      over at my house tonight?" The older lady asked him. "We can pitch a tent
      in the living room and make hot chocolate and tell ghost stories! It will
      be great fun."

      Mike looked at his mother with wide excited eyes. "Can I, Mommy? Please?"

      Nina looked hesitant. "Welllll."

      "Of course you can, sweetheart," Mrs. Lieberman told the little boy. "Nina,
      you've worked very hard today and you haven't been well the last week. Let
      me take him for the night." She winked over Nina's head at Logan.

      He chuckled quietly to himself. The little matchmaker was doing this so
      they could be alone. He'd have to remember to get her something very nice
      for Chanukah.

      Nina smiled at Mikey. "All right, go get your things and you can go with
      Mrs. Lieberman tonight."

      When the little boy came back with pajamas and blankie in hand, Nina rose to
      see her guest out. "No, no," the older woman said. "No need to show me to
      the door, I know where it is." She held her hand out to Mike and they both
      left.

      Nina went to the kitchen to get Logan some more coffee. As she leaned over
      the end table to pour, Logan placed his hands on her hips and gently pulled
      her into his lap. "I owe Mrs. L for the favor she did," he whispered
      against her ear, pleased when he felt her shiver.

      "L-let me put the coffee pot back in the kitchen," she said in a husky
      voice.

      "Don't be too long," he told her with a smile.

      She came back in and sat down shyly next to him, her eyes focused on her
      hands. Logan gently placed his arm around her shoulder and pulled her
      closer. He sighed contentedly when she placed her head down on his
      shoulder. Turning his head he nuzzled his face into her silky hair,
      inhaling its fresh scent.

      The two of them were happy to just sit like that for a few minutes until
      Logan reached up and turned off the lamp behind him, leaving only the one at
      the far end of the couch to illuminate the room. Slowly he slid his free
      arm around her tiny waist and turned his body towards her. Tenderly, he
      began brushing light kisses across her forehead and cheeks before claiming
      her lips. He swallowed her involuntary gasp and pressed her closer. Her
      arms went around his neck and he slid his mouth across hers, coaxing her to
      open up to him. When she did, he slid his tongue between her lips. Her
      eyes flew open in surprise but he teased her gently until she relaxed and
      was answering his playful tongue tentatively with her own. He slid his hand
      up her waist to lovingly cup her breast. She gasped and pulled away.

      "I'm sorry, darlin'. I guess I was a little forward."

      Nina put her hands to her flaming cheeks. "No. No, Logan it's not you. It
      's me." She turned her head and chewed on her lip thoughtfully.

      "Logan," she continued, "there's something I have to tell you. You
      probably won't want to have anything more to do with me when you know, but I
      have to be honest with you." She hesitated a moment before looking him
      straight in the eye. "Grant, Michael's father, and I w-weren't married."
      She searched his face for any sign of disgust or rejection but all she saw
      was curiosity and compassion. It emboldened her to go on.

      "We'd known each other all our lives. We were childhood sweethearts and
      planned on getting married and moving to New York so I could try to be a
      professional ballet dancer. Then the war came and we wanted to be married
      that much sooner, but my parents wanted us to wait and wouldn't allow it no
      matter how much I begged them. The night before Grant shipped out I.I slept
      with him. He left the next day and was dead three weeks later, before I
      even knew I was pregnant with Mike. When I found out, I left my folks, my
      town, everything I'd known my whole life and came here to start over. It
      was easy to get lost in New York and not hard to get people to believe the
      story of a war widow with a small child. It's a common enough occurrence
      these days."

      He pulled her close to him and held her tightly.

      "Darlin', why on earth would you think I wouldn't want to have anything to
      do with you anymore? Just because you weren't married to Michael's father?
      Aw, honey," he stroked her hair soothingly, "you've been through even more
      than I thought. Leaving your home and the parents who cared for you, coming
      here and building a life for yourself and your child and keeping this secret
      all these years. Some people might say what you did was a sin but I know
      you did it out of love. I could never hate you for that. If anything I
      admire you for it and," he looked down into her brimming eyes, "I love you
      even more than I did before."

      She looked up into his shining hazel eyes, smiling through the torrent of te
      ars. "Oh, Logan, I love you too!"

      He smiled and brushed her tears away, bending down to place a gentle kiss on
      her lips.

      When he pulled away she continued, "But Logan, I just don't know if I'm
      ready to be.physical with another man just yet. I want you, very much, but
      the last time I wanted, it got me nothing but heartache. I hope you
      understand, I just need some time."

      "I understand, sweetheart. I'm willing to wait until you're ready. And if
      you wanna wait until we're married, I'm willing to do that, too."

      Brandy's heart swelled to bursting with the love and gratitude she felt for
      this amazing man. Never in her wildest dreams had she ever hoped to find
      anyone as wonderful as him after Grant was taken from her.

      "Why, James 'Just' Logan, are you proposing to me?"

      He looked as pleasantly surprised as she did. "Yes, Nina darlin', I guess I
      am. So whaddaya say?"

      She threw her arms around his neck and planted a big kiss on his lips. "I
      say, YES!" He gave her an enthusiastic kiss right back, leapt up and began
      swinging her around the room in his arms.

      They held each other until the early hours of the morning, sharing kisses
      and gentle caresses, making all the plans that couples in love are inclined
      to make. Nina told him more about Grant and growing up in Nebraska. Logan
      shared stories of his life in Canada with her. At sun up, when they finally
      went to their separate beds, it was to sleep the contented sleep of young
      lovers.

      One of the serious things they decided the night before was to try to keep
      the change in their relationship as quiet as possible since the knowledge
      would only infuriate Rosie further. Even so it was hard to keep their
      happiness completely under wraps.

      Windy walked into their dressing room after the second performance only to
      stumble on Logan and Brandy in a passionate clinch.

      "Oh, excuse me! Am I interrupting something important?" she asked dryly.

      Brandy looked up pretending annoyance. "Hmph! Isn't it customary to knock
      on the door of the dressing room of an engaged person?" She smiled waiting
      for the other girl's reaction.

      "Hot dog! It's about time! You two have been making goo-goo eyes at each
      other for long enough!"

      Logan frowned. "Hey, I don't make goo-goo eyes!" he told her.

      Windy gave a very unladylike snort. "That's what you think, bub!"

      "Windy, I'd appreciate it if you'd keep this kinda quiet. Rosie and all..."
      Brandy said.

      "Oh sure, sure! But c'mon guys, give with the details. When are you going
      to tie the knot?"

      "Well," Logan began, "we haven't really talked about that yet." He looked
      down into Brandy's eyes. "Soon, I hope," he said smiling at her.

      She smiled back.

      "Aww, aren't you two just sooo cute," Windy said, wiping away an imaginary
      tear.

      Brandy swatted at her playfully.

      "While I'm all choked up by the news and this tender scene," Windy
      continued, "some of us do need to get changed before the next show so if you
      can tear yourself away from this gorgeous hunk of man long enough to get him
      out of the room, I'd appreciate it."

      "Alright, alright," Logan said. "I get the hint. I've got to go work on
      few things myself before the next show. The sink is backed up in Wally's
      dressing room and I got elected to unclog it."

      Brandy rolled her eyes. Wally was their "Top Banana," the headlining comic,
      and even more of a Prima Donna than the headlining stripper.

      "Well then by all means, get out of here! The last thing I need is Wally
      holding a grudge because I kept you from snaking the hair out of his sink,"
      Brandy said sarcastically, pushing Logan out the door. He ducked his head
      back in to give her one last kiss and loped down the hallway.

      Windy sighed and shut the door behind him.

      "I envy you," she said, waggling her eyebrows. "What was it like?"

      "What was what like?" Brandy said, deliberately misunderstanding her friend.

      Windy rolled her eyes. "You know what I'm talking about, missy. 'It.' The
      big 'I-T,'" she added for emphasis.

      Brandy heaved an exasperated sigh. "We haven't done IT yet."

      The brunette looked at her incredulously. "What? Are you out of your
      pea-picking mind? If he was my man I'd never let him out of my bed!"

      Brandy smiled sweetly at her friend. "But he's not your man, he's MY man so
      what you would do doesn't matter."

      "Bitch!"

      Brandy giggled and began getting ready for the next show.

      ******************************************************
      "You know, whoever said that tight little T-shirt
      doesn't make you look like the team pansy was
      lying, Cyclops." - Toad, Ultimate X-Men #3
      Joanne NYC, USA
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