"Hey, Damian, do you got a minute?" Logan asked softly, stepping closer to him and lowering his gaze. Show him submission . . . that should help keep him off guard.
Logan still wasn't sure that what he was planning on doing was a good idea. He hadn't been full of too many bright ideas since he was six. That was the last time that he could remember doing something that was a good idea and didn't hurt anybody - mentally, physically, or emotionally. It was something that he had done for his older brother on his birthday. Seth must have been turning . . . nine? He was somewhere around three years older than Logan. Anyway, it was Seth's birthday and Logan got some bright idea to bake him a cake. Steven helped. And Harding (although, back then, he still went by his first name, Ethan). It was so weird thinking back to the days when they were all just little kids. Back when they didn't have a care in the world. Yes, those were the days. Man, if Logan could go back in time and give some advice to his younger self, boy would he jump at a chance to do exactly that. But he couldn't. As much as he wanted to did not chance the fact that he had royally fucked up. Just like he was (most likely) doing now.
"What's up, Logan?" Damian asked, stepping up closer to him.
If I could . . . I would so try to fucking kill you right now, Logan thought to himself. However, now was not the time for bold moves . . . that was for later. Right at that moment, all Logan had to do was play nice. So, rather than saying the threatening words that he really wanted to, Logan said instead, "I'm still really fucked up from losing Steven and Harding. Look, I know it is kind of against the code and all, but I promised Steven that I would do something for him if he died before me, and well, I feel like I need to keep my word."
Damian nodded easily. He understood about losing your best friend in a fight - after all, he had lost his best friend that same night, too.
"How long do you need to keep your promise?" Damian asked thoughtfully, pressing his fingertips together right at the tip of his nose.
"Only one day; it shouldn't take long. I just need to find his brother and give him one of Steven's necklaces."
Damian considered the question once again, but ultimately nodded and said, "Yeah, you can do that. Be back tomorrow morning."
Logan nodded and tried to flash Damian a grateful smile, but his expression did not quite reach his eyes. Then, he turned around and started walking. He really did know where Steven's brother lived, but hell, if Damian was stupid enough to actually allow Logan to walk out of the gang's stronghold for twenty-four hours just to keep a promise that he had made years ago to his dead best friend, well, Logan had every intention of enjoying the afternoon.
It wasn't that he had a set plan, per se, but he did know about the three things he was going to do: first, he was going to go see Tasha. Second, he was going to go to Steven's house and return the necklace. The third one was the hardest to convince himself that he could do - he wanted to go see Seth. Seth had always been a hard brother to please, and certainly, Logan knew that he had pissed Seth off, possibly beyond repairable damage, when he didn't go to their mom's wake or funeral, but that was all beside the point. Seth was one of the more reliable people that Logan had ever known. If anyone could help him get out of a gang, it was his brother.
Logan had tried to imagine the scenario that would bring him within speaking distance of his brother several times. Sometimes it was when he was close to dying, and he pictured his brother regretting that he had written him off so easily. Other times, it was still him dying, but Seth pissing on his grave (theoretically speaking, since he was not going to get a head stone or a grave if he died and he was still in this gang). Usually, though, Logan imagined what would happen if he just happened to see Seth on the street. Most times that Logan saw a flash of that happening, Seth just ignored him. A couple of times, he imagined Seth being pissed at him and trying to beat him up. Only once had he imagined Seth actually walking over to him and hugging him like he used to, and acting like he was glad to see Logan.
But any way he looked at it, it didn't change the fact that he didn't have to deal with that mess. Not yet. All he had to do was right now was walk over to Tasha's neighborhood and pray that she was home. Because Logan really, really wanted a fuck right now.
Logan had met Tasha at the local strip club. She was not a stripper, though. She was there for a bachelor party (her brother's) and she was the designated driver, though Logan hadn't known that at the time he spotted her. What had caught his eye was her long blonde hair. She wasn't very tall, but she had fucking long logs. And that night, she was wearing a skirt that showed off just how long her legs could look. Sharp blue eyes and a set of full lips. She was a blonde bombshell, a knockout, if Logan had ever seen one. That first night that he saw her, he walked over to her to offer to buy her a drink.
"How you doin'?" he had asked, once he was standing right next to her.
Tasha stared dumbly at him, as though she wasn't sure that he was actually talking to her. When he didn't say anything else, she asked for clarification, "You're talking to me?"
"Yeah," Logan confirmed easily. "Can I buy you a drink?"
Tasha had given an uneasy chuckle and said politely, "Normally, I think I would say 'what the hell' and let you buy me a drink, but today I'm strictly on a water or soda kick. That guy over there is my brother, and this is his bachelor party. Guess who gets to be the designated driver to take him and all of his drunk friends home tonight?"
Logan smiled, nodded once, and then did something that Tasha later admitted had surprised her - he ordered her a coke and water. Then he did something even more startling - he sent a shot over to her brother. "To the marriage," Logan had laughed, seeing the confusion on his face. "I've never gotten to send a shot to a bachelor before. Now I can cross that off my bucket list."
"Is that right?" Tasha had laughed. "Glad to provide you with this opportunity. I'm Tasha, but the way."
"I'm Logan," Logan responded easily.
The two of them just talked after that. He listened to her talking about her normal life, how she had just lost her daughter a couple of months ago, and how she threw herself into her work at one of the local Denny's to try and keep her mind off of it. Logan listened intently, trying to imagine growing up like most other people grew up and having a kid and losing him before he turned four. It seemed so wrong. Nothing in Logan's life had ever been normal. Not that he was going to tell Tasha that . . . not on that first night, anyway.
Instead of telling the truth, Logan fibbed (a little, anyway). He said that he worked in a family owned business and he was still trying to find where he fit in at. He talked about how he had been moving up, but all of a sudden he had hit a wall. "I need something that will either get me back on the track to moving up or I need to get out of this line of work. I'm kind of stuck at the moment."
Logan couldn't stay long that night, but before he left, he bought another shot for Tasha's brother and turned to look at her. She really was a pretty thing and he wanted to get to know her. So, he did something for the first time ever - he gave her his number. His cell number - no girl knew that number. That number had been bought for him by the gang. He had never felt comfortable giving that number to a girl. But with this Tasha girl, Logan didn't know why, but she made everything feel comfortable.
"I'm going to give you my number, Tasha," he told her, looking her straight in the eye. "Call it anytime you want. I keep kind of odd hours for the business. I'm usually up. Seriously - call whenever."
Tasha nodded and said, "It was nice meeting you, Logan."
Logan was actually surprised that it had made him so worried that he didn't hear from Tasha for a couple of days. When his phone rang, he had been shooting the bull with Steven and Harding. "I'm sure it's the big boys - I'm telling you two, I'm moving up!"
But it wasn't one of "the big boys." It was a female voice. The female voice of the girl he had bought shots for at the bachelorette party a couple days ago. The girl that he had thought for sure never wanted to speak to him again because she never called him.
"Wassup?" he had answered the phone easily. "I thought you were done with me."
Again, Tasha laughed. She was always laughing. It was a comforting sound; Logan loved it. When she spoke, she said, "Honestly, I didn't think I would be calling you, either."
"So, to what do I owe the pleasure of getting a call from you?" he asked, waving off his friends who were giving him very odd looks.
"I was wondering . . . what are you doing tonight?"
"Tonight, huh?" he asked, chuckling himself. "So this is a fuck-favor call, then? I mean, I'm fine with that, but I didn't think that you were that type."
Tasha had denied it at first, but that is how their relationship started. She had just found out that her boyfriend at the time was cheating on her with a hooker. Not only that, but he had been sleeping with the hooker for almost as long as he and Tasha had been dating. Ever sine the first month they had been dating. And Tasha didn't know if he had been faithful for that long; she only know that he had been cheating on her with the current hooker since after their first month of dating. So, yeah, the first call was to be a fuck buddy. She felt an indescribable need to fuck someone that wasn't her no longer the scum bag that she had been calling her "boyfriend" for the past six months. So, she gave Logan a call.
That first night, it was amazing. Logan didn't know if that was because of how pissed off Tasha had been and had some extra energy to burn or what, but the sex was mind-blowing. He had never had such a good night. Sure, he had fucked a lot of people over the years, but that night was the first time that he felt truly alive. When they finally finished, both orgasming and collapsing from exhaustion.
"Wow," Tasha panted, giving a low chuckle once they had both caught their breath and were inhaling at a normal pace, "that was way better than I had been expecting."
Logan snorted back a laugh. "I don't know if I should take that as a compliment or a back handed insult."
"It was meant as a compliment," Tasha said lightly.
"Compliment it is, then," Logan agreed, kissing her forehead.
A couple weeks passed by before Logan heard from her again. This time when she called, he was alone; it was right after a really successful raid on the Cripps and he was enjoying the night air. He had been thinking about going out to a bar when his phone rang and his screen identified the caller as Tasha.
"Hey, Tasha," he answered. "Need another fuck?"
Letting out a loud laugh, she said, "No, actually. I was wondering if you would be interested in going on a date with me. And actual date. No fucking involved."
"You're joking," Logan coughed out. He had never heard of "actual" dating still going on. Everyone he knew only dated people so they could fuck them. End of story.
"Am not," she said teasingly. "I can't stop thinking about that night a couple weeks ago and now I'm interested in seeing if the rest of you operates as good as your lower half."
Logan choked back a laugh. "Well, I've gotta admit, I don't have nearly as much experience going on actual dates, but what the hell? I'll give it a try. You free tomorrow?"
She was. And they did go on a date. And, surprisingly enough to both of them, they still enjoyed themselves. The night went even better than the first night they spent together went.
"Huh," Tasha said as they stood on her front porch at the end of the night. "I didn't think that I would have as much fun tonight as I did the first two times we saw each other."
Letting out a soft chuckle, Logan responded easily, "Honestly? Me either. So what do you wanna do? You want to go out again?"
For a while, Tasha didn't respond. Not verbally, anyway. Instead, she cut the distance between them in half, stood on her tiptoes, and kissed him goodnight.
"What was that for?" he asked slowly, desperately wanting her to kiss him again, or invite him in, or both.
"For the wonderful date. I'll call you tomorrow."
And then she stepped inside and shut the door. That had surprised Logan. He had never been denied sex by a girl before. It wasn't like he was some sex-God or anything, he just had always gone for really easy women. Tasha wasn't like that, apparently, though. They went out a couple more times that month. After about a month of dating, Tasha caught on to the fact that Logan seemed to have loyalties to something dark. She thought at first that he was a mafioso or something, but when she said that (somewhat jokingly), Logan actually responded much more honestly than he meant to.
"I don't belong to the mafia," he said soberly. With a shake of his head, he said, "I belong to a gang."
She had thought he was joking at first. "Right. You're probably saying that just to scare me, right?"
"I wish that were true," he said slowly. "But it isn't. I've been a part of the Bloods gang for years."
Sobered by that statement, Tasha stammered angrily, "What do you mean that you are in a gang? And you're just telling me this now? After I've already fallen for you?"
"After you what?" Logan repeated dumbly, shock plain on his face.
Tasha actually had the decency to blush at that point, and she mumbled, "It doesn't matter. Just get out, Logan."
"I'm not going anywhere, Tasha," he told her steadily. He really wanted to move in at that point, but he got the feeling if he had moved, she would have kicked him or smacked him, or done something to hurt him. Holding his ground, he said softly, "I love you, too, Tasha."
"No, you don't get to say that to me," she growled, waving her hand fiercely. "You need to get out. I can't deal with this. I can't deal with you if you are in a fucking gang."
"It doesn't change who I am," Logan said slowly. "I'm the same guy I've always been."
"No, you're not," she argued flatly. "Not if you belong to one of those filthy gangs."
"Tasha, I-" he started, but she cut him off.
"I mean it, Logan. Get the fuck out of my house."