Make It Nasty

©Awarded Emmy

Chapter 18

-Four Years Later-

Eden Johnson stared out of the passenger window of her SUV searching the sidewalk for her daughter, the task was insanely difficult considering she was behind the wheel and the person in front of her slammed on their brakes every ten seconds. The airport was unusually crowded for the time of year which pissed Eden off. It was early June. Not early July. There were no holidays, or anything. Then again it was summer. And this was California.

Finally after going around the whole airport after accidentally passing the correct terminal twice, Eden found the right terminal, and came to a stop as close to the sidewalk as possible. Reclining in the seat she took out her cellphone and texted Emery.

-I'm here.-

And looking up, like clockwork, Emery came out of the terminal doors. Her handbag was on her shoulder and she was holding the cage containing Comet in one hand while dragging a cart with the rest of her luggage behind her.

Eden rolled down the window and shouted, "Emery!" While easing forward a little, but not too much for fear she'd roll over the little BMW before her and the man shoving bags into the trunk.

Emery looked around at the sound of her name being called and spotted her mother's SUV. She made her way through the throngs of people waiting for rides until she reached the car.

Eden jumped out of the car and opened the door on the back. When Emery met her around back, Eden immediately pulled Emery in for a hug. "Oh my God! Look at you!" She squealed her eyes taking in her daughter.

Gone were the golden tips at the bottom of Emery's hair. Her hair was straightened with a slight under curl at the ends and rested just barely past her shoulders, though the style was a little messy and tossed around from her flight. She wore soft pink maxi dress that complimented her caramel skin, and a pair of sliver flip flops. Her eyes were covered by a pair of large brown sunglasses and her ears were adorned by silver hoops. "You look so cute!" Eden gushed, pinching Emery's cheeks.

Emery grinned, "So do you. When did you cut your hair and start wearing it natural?"

Eden patted her short curls and shrugged, "I did this last week... Straightening and style took too long when I've got better things to do with my time." She touched Emery's hair, "This is your real hair though?"

Emery nodded, "I couldn't find anybody to do my hair in Spain so I had to do something myself." She shrugged.

"Emery put Comet's kennel in, I'm ready to get home." Eden said taking a suitcase from off of the cart and hoisting it into the back part of the car. Emery helped load her luggage into the car and finally put the cage into the SUV, but then took out the aging Comet to hold as she walked around the car and placed herself in the passenger seat.

Eden closed off the back door and got in, looking over at the fluffy cat on her daughters lap and sighed, "He's getting too old to be traveling." She warned.

"Yeah I know, but if I leave him behind he'll pass when I'm gone." Emery said pouting, and scratching her cat behind its ears.

Emery turned in her seat and looked at her mom, "Next time I go to Spain I'm taking you with me instead."

Eden chuckled, "Why? Was it that beautiful?"

Emery nodded wildly, "Oh my gosh- yes." She paused and then slyly added, "And you wouldn't cheat on me."

"You guys were there for a month." Eden asked taking her exit on the freeway.

"Yep. I bet he cheated on me when we were in London too."

"Asshole." Eden muttered shaking her head.

"I know."

Eden rolled her eyes, "So we're having a barbeque later on."

"Just a random barbeque?" Emery asked reclining her seat and brining Comet to her chest.

"Well you just flew in from Spain and Darrell just moved back to the city. We have to do something to celebrate."

Emery nodded, "Sounds good to me."

Emery turned back in the bucket seat and stared out of the passenger window. She loved living in Spain for a month, but it felt good to be home. Even if her heart was broken completely.

It all started because of senior prom. Dixon Hornet had asked her to be his date and she accepted- it only seemed right, he had been actively pursuing her since she'd arrived back in town from London. And after her 'break-up' with Logan and his complete three-sixty attitude towards her- treating her only exactly as what she was- Darrell's little sister, she'd given up hope that they'd ever be friends or anything, so she had to move on.

And she liked Dixon. After he apologized profusely for his behavior on New Year's Eve, he turned out to be a sweet guy. Emery knew he smoked, but he never did it around her, and never talked about it, and never tried to push her into it again. And he was gorgeous. His dirty blonde hair was messy on top of his head, and his eyes were such a dark blue that they almost looked black at times and always made butterflies appear in her stomach.

So when he asked her to be his date, she agreed.

She'd worn a coral dress that was longer in the back but exposed her legs in the front. The dress had a silver sequined trim. Her hair was curled into a mass of tiny ringlets. Her nails were French manicured. She wore white round-toe heels, and diamond jewelry. Natural makeup.

Dixon had worn a white tuxedo with white dress shoes, his vest was the same color coral of her dress.

That night they'd danced and they had fun, but they didn't fall into a relationship. They both ended up going to USC as good friends. There wasn't any opportunity for a relationship when Emery began studying abroad every chance she got.

They started dating during March of their senior year when Emery turned twenty-two. Dixon was the one who suggested going to Spain for their post-graduation trip. Their relationship was practically fresh when Dixon decided to step out with some Barcelona hoochie.

Eden turned into the driveway of the house Emery hadn't seen in an entire month, and when Emery got out of the car she wanted to kiss the driveway. Her mother's garden had bloomed in the last four years, almost to the point where it looked like an over grown jungle of plants and flowers. The big wooden door that used to be a staple on the gray concrete walled establishment had been hidden behind a glass door with an eclectic design. Parked next to them in the driveway was a black Range Rover which only meant that her father was home.

Four years ago… Emery would have dreaded the thought.

In the kitchen, after suitcases had been lugged up the wooden steps and stored in Emery's bedroom, Emery stood at the counter helping her dad season the hamburger patties.

"So you just packed up and left?" Dennis asked carefully with a cross expression. He was 'new' to being a father and he was actually trying. Years previous when Eden came around she forced her husband to do the same- it has taken time though.

"Yes." She said.

"And did he come back too?"

Emery shrugged her left hand lightly shaking salt across the meat on the counter, "I have no idea, actually. And I do not care." She said, but she did care. She cared a whole freaking lot. Two months, after four years of friendship, what was the point?

"I think you care." Dennis said. She bit her lip and caught the dark brown eyes of her father. He raised an eyebrow.

Emery wasn't going to cry in front of her dad. Their relationship wasn't there yet. He'd probably get super uncomfortable. So she blinked a few times and looked away.

"We were really shocked to get your text yesterday. I'm sorry you didn't get to finish your vacation."

"It's alright, I'll get over it." Emery said smiling through her headache, the burgers were finished being seasoned, "Is there anything else I can help with? How about I make the salad?"

Dennis nodded, "Yeah you can do that." He then placed the patties on the tray and exited the kitchen.

Emery pranced over to the refrigerator and pulled out the romaine hearts and set them on the counter and then retrieving a knife from the utensil holder, she began to slice the lettuce and while she did it, even as she tried her hardest to push the image from her mind, she couldn't help but pretend the lettuce was Dixon's penis.

She needed to get a grip.

"Auntie Em!"

She knew that voice, and she loved it to death. Four year old Madison came barreling into the kitchen and wrapped her little arms around Emery's legs.

Emery set down the knife and stroked the silky straight platinum blonde hair on Madison's head as she bent down to her level. "Maddie! Hi!" She said, wrapping her arms around her 'niece'.

Then she stood to her full height in time to see Cassidy come into the kitchen with a plastic grocery bags stuffed with varying brands of chips, "Is Darrell here yet?" She asked, placing the bags on the island counter and rearing her head back to peer through the window into the backyard.

"Not yet." Eden said trailing in behind Cassidy with a few more grocery bags.

"Auntie Em?" Madison asked tugging at Emery's dress.

"Yes Mads?"

"Um- is- um- is Uncle Darrell coming too?"

Emery nodded, "Yes ma'am."

Even though Madison didn't have an ounce of Johnson blood in her body, Madison and Cassidy were considered family. After Maddie's birth the DNA results were negative for Darrell being the father. Even though he was happy to hear the news, the look of absolute terror on Cassidy's face made him feel guilty. Guilty for throwing the party. Guilty for getting so wasted that he couldn't remember the night even as hard as he tried.

By the time that he'd compiled a list of all the people that attended the party and tracked down Madison's father- who refused to take responsibility, claiming he wouldn't have slept with Cassidy if he'd been sober, like that was a real excuse… Darrell had already formed a small attachment to both Cassidy and Madison, thus becoming Uncle Darrell. He never dated Cassidy though, but he became a good friend to her, offering help when she needed it, even when he was miles and hours away.

"What about Uncle Logan?" Madison continued.

Emery pursed her lips and shrugged, "I don't know about Uncle Logan, babe…" She trailed off, unsure of whether or not she wanted Logan to attend. "I'm going to toss this salad, and then me and you can get into the pool. Okay?"

Madison nodded and stood with her back against a dark brown cabinet waiting for Emery to finish. Emery turned back to the task of cutting the lettuce heads, but this time Dixon's man parts weren't on the front of her mind- Logan was what she couldn't push from her head.

She chided herself not even forty-eight hours out of a relationship and she was already thinking about another man. Truthfully though, she thought about Logan often. After going away for college, the only time she really saw him was on holidays, but after she started studying abroad, some holidays she wouldn't even come home. Spending summers in China and Italy and winters in Brazil and Australia. She was sure it had been more than a year since she last saw Logan.

But she knew that shouldn't matter, there was a chance she could reconcile with Dixon. Maybe his cheating was a onetime thing. "Don't be stupid." She said to herself out loud, shaking her head and rolling her eyes at herself.

"Still talking to yourself?" Emery jumped at the sound of that voice in her ear. The voice that slid across her senses making her want to melt on the spot.

So he was coming. How could she have not noticed the racquet, Madison shouting with glee that her uncles had arrived, Darrell announcing he brought liquor, the heat of Logan's body so close to her from behind?

"I didn't know you were invited." Emery said, her hands were shaking making it impossible to cut the lettuce.

Logan stood next to her and leaned his back against the counter, "I'm family." He told her.

Emery nodded, "How could I forget?" She asked, forcing herself to smile even though she felt nauseous.

"Beats me." Logan said, she could see him shrugging his broad shoulders. She had yet to look at him, too afraid of what she would see. Too afraid that she'd succumb to her crush again. "You're cutting the pieces of lettuce too big. No one wants to eat the whole fucking head." He muttered under his breath before pushing off the counter to go harass someone else.

Emery's shoulders could not relax. Suddenly something so simple like making a salad seemed too difficult of a task.

A heavy arm was thrown onto her shoulder and a chaste kiss was placed on her forehead. "Emmy, how was Spain?" Darrell asked.

Emery shrugged, "It was pretty."

"That's it?" Darrell asked, and Emery nodded. She was so shaken by Logan she couldn't even converse with her brother. So she set down the knife and settled on giving him a hug instead.

When they separated, Darrell gave Emery a silly grin, "I'll let you finish this, and I'm going outside with dad." He said and Emery nodded, but they both shared a look, knowing it was crazy that four years ago they were done, and now they were having barbeques and actual conversations all because the twins snapped.

Darrell left Emery's side and Emery was able to return to cutting the lettuce. She gathered enough focus to finish the salad and then go upstairs to put on a bathing suit.

Truthfully, she felt uncomfortable wearing a two-piece when Logan was there- especially since she was still donning the suits he'd bought her in high school. It was crazy and she knew it, but she couldn't deny how she felt. Even though they agreed to forget about that rollercoaster she'd taken them on, she couldn't forget. It was impossible.

So in the end she ended up not changing into a swimsuit at all, and stayed in her dress. When Madison got into the pool, Emery only dipped her feet, and Madison, who was so pleased to be spending time with Emery, mostly stayed on stairs, giggling.

Emery's phone was glued to her hands, she kept checking it for texts from Dixon. Of course there was nothing. She couldn't stop herself from wishing he'd call and grovel. Even text and say something. When she'd come back to the hotel room after shopping in the market to find him in bed with one of the hotel's barmaids she wordlessly packed her things and vacated as he sat on the edge of the bed with his head in his hands.

She left without saying anything and in her mind that meant that she hadn't even officially broken up with him.

That's why she knew she shouldn't have looked over her shoulder towards where Darrell, Dennis, and Logan stood at the grill. But she did, and what she was met with made her heart pound almost out of her chest.

He was so very handsome. He'd cut off his hair, it was now a dark brown buzz cut barely even there and it accentuated the strong lines of his face. His arms were crossed over his chest- flame like swirly designs took up both arms and biceps bulged beneath the tight fit of his maroon t-shirt. He wore beige cargo shorts and white sneakers. He was listening to something Darrell was saying, but his focus was on the concrete ground.

Emery turned back around to look at Madison, "Are you ready to get out now?" She asked even though they'd only been at the pool for fifteen minutes. Maddie grinned and shook her head. Emery pursed her lips and nodded.

Then took another peek over her shoulder, this time catching the vibrant topaz eyes of Logan. She smiled weakly, embarrassed that she'd gotten caught peeking at him, and turned her gaze towards Darrell who was saying something to Dennis.

In her hands her phone vibrated and she looked at it, the screen flashed Dixon's name and her heart leapt from her chest. "Mads get out of the pool for a second, okay?" She asked, standing up. Madison pouted, but got out of the pool and Emery walked over to the pool chair to sit down and answer the phone. "Hello?" She asked into the mouth piece.

"Hey." Dixon said, his voice was hoarse and sent chills down her body. She could not believe she witnessed him screwing some other woman and still reacted to his voice. "What's up?"

"I don't know, Dixon." She said, sitting pulling her legs into Indian position as she tucked the phone between her shoulder and ear and picked at lint on the chair.

Dixon sighed, "Are you okay?" He asked.

Emery looked up at the sky and rolled her eyes, "Yeah." She lied. "Should I not be okay?"

"Um- did you get home safely?" Breezing over her question.

"Who said I went home?"

Dixon sputtered, "Wait- where are you? You didn't go home?"

"Why would I? I still have a vacation to enjoy." Emery continued her lie with a smile on her face, "Just didn't want to spend the rest of it with a cheater- is all."

"Okay- well I'm flying back and I'll be home tomorrow night. I wanted to tell you that cuz I wanted to meet somewhere and talk, but uh- I guess that won't be happening?"

"No sir." Emery sighed, "I don't really know if there is anything to talk about. We both know what you did."

"Yeah. I guess." Dixon clicked his tongue annoyingly and Emery cringed, "I'm gonna finish packing up, I'll call you tomorrow."

Emery rolled her eyes, "Don't bother." Then, "Bye." She hung up. "Oh my God." She whispered under her breath shaking her head. She had no idea what to do with herself. Uncrossing her legs and standing up from the chair, she looked up in time to see Darrell motion for her to come over.

She made her way to the grill and stood next to Darrell who smiled, "Who was that on the phone?" He pried and Emery frowned.

"Why are you asking? Invasive much?" She asked crossing her arms over her chest and frowning slightly. She didn't want to tell Darrell about the situation with Dixon. He hadn't approved of the relationship.

"You just look upset, so I was curious." Darrell continued.

Dennis turned his head and looked at Emery, Emery shook her head a little pleading with her eyes for her father to not say anything. He nodded and turned back to the grill. "Burgers are done." He said, taking the attention off of Emery.

"They smell so good. Geez." Emery said, "I haven't eaten all day." The only thing she had was a little snack on the airplane. So technically she hadn't eaten since the morning before. Too sick and too preoccupied to eat after witnessing Dixon's tryst.

"That's unhealthy." Logan quipped from the other side of the grill.

Emery peeked around her father catching the gaze of Logan and she smiled, "Thank you, Dr. Isley."

He nodded solemnly- not looking at her, but out into the vastness of the backyard, his hands still crossed over his chest.

Emery pinched her lips together and looked away from him before he had the chance to turn his head. She was too afraid his gaze would still be the all-seeing, panty-dropping, gaze that it was four years ago. And she knew she was crazy for being so skittish about something as simple as eye-contact, but it didn't stop her from wanting to avoid it at all costs.

The dinner was one big catch-up. Darrell talked about the reason he was moving home- which was the law school in California that he'd been accepted into. Logan shared the process of gaining a license in architecture and told the table that he was going back to school to gain his masters. Everyone was intensely interested in Emery's tales of her travels- though she left Spain out of her grand depiction of the countries she'd visited, and then she shared that since she minored in English she was greatly interested in going overseas to teach it. Cassidy was quiet mostly saying that she was still in school trying to become a nurse, and leaving it at that. While Madison boasted about how ready for kindergarten she was. And Eden and Dennis only provided their input in the conversation when giving advice, other than that they knew their jobs over the last four years and going forward would be trying their hardest to continue forging a relationship with the twins.

Cassidy had left around eight due to a strict bedtime that she kept Madison on, she was still living in the apartment she'd shared with her mother while pregnant with Madison.

Around nine, Darrell announced that he was ready to leave, after eating nearly three hamburgers he was stuffed and tired. Emery insisted on walking him out and giving him a big hug, "I missed you." She said, smiling.

"I missed you too." Darrell said, "I still can't believe you excluded me from all of that travelling."

Emery shrugged her shoulders, "No one told you to immerse yourself into studying law and being so busy." Darrell snorted a small laugh and rolled him eyes.

Emery looked to Logan who was standing awkwardly to himself on the driveway, "So you two are living together?" She asked, including him in the conversation.

He nodded a little bit, "Yes. We're sharing that house I lived in in high school."

Emery cocked her head to the side and looked at Darrell, "You're actually sharing a house with someone?"

"Yeah- I haven't found something I like yet. So I'm imposing on my man here."

Logan exhaled loudly, "I wish you'd hurry the fuck up in that search by the way."

Emery rolled her eyes, and Darrell pet her head, "Hey since you weren't here to celebrate our twenty-first birthday, why don't we all go out next Saturday, catch up, and get wasted."

Logan's eyebrows raised in appreciation of Darrell's idea and he looked to Emery, "Well," Emery pursed her lips, "Okay. I'm down. I need a drink or two- and not one in the company of my parents." She said mentioning the small very tame glass each one of them had with their dinners.

"Alright sounds good. I'll text you details." Darrell told her, unlocking the door to his old Mustang, and then unlocking the door for Logan. "Love you." He said over the door before getting in, and starting the engine.

Logan hadn't made moves to get in the car and Emery turned to him and smiled, "See you next weekend."

He nodded and took a step towards where he needed to be, "Yep." Then he turned on his heel and hurried to get in the car. Darrell was revving the engine annoyingly causing Emery to roll her eyes, then giving one last wave she hurried back into the house.


Emery's very belated twenty-first birthday party came around quickly. She stood in the mirror of her bathroom tousling her curls repeatedly until they fell loosely around her head. Her lips had been puckered and glossed, a thin line of eyeliner had been drawn on her upper eyelids. Her scent of choice for the evening was strawberry due to its summery vibe. She wore a navy blue bodycon dress with three counter sleeves and paired it with yellow round-toe heels, white bangles, big silver hoops, and a white clutch.

She tousled her hair again before pursing her lips and putting on her sexiest face. She was going to enjoy her belated birthday party. The location was a ritzy club in Beverly Hills- which she wasn't too thrilled about because she could already guess the attitudes of the attendees. Her ride was already waiting downstairs, Darrell had swung to get her.

She descended the wooden steps as quickly as her heels would allow with a big smile on her face. Darrell grinned, "Aww look at you." He teased throwing his arm over her shoulder.

Emery shrugged his arm off, "You'll mess up my hair." She fussed, not missing the way Darrell's eyes rolled.

"Yeah- yeah." He yanked a strand of her hair and Emery shoved him.

"Don't make me beat you up, asshole." She seethed. "I'm serious."

Darrell chuckled, "Whatever, let's go, Logan's meeting us there."

"Why didn't you guys come to pick me up together?" She asked, checking her hair in the mirror by the front door.

"He takes forever to get ready. Let's be honest," Darrell explained, "He doesn't even have any hair to do anymore."

As they stepped out into the warm June breeze Emery recalled his look from the nights before and frowned, "Why'd he cut his hair?"

"Because he wanted to?"

Emery rolled her eyes, "Stop being an asshole or I'm going back inside, for real."

"Yeah, yeah. Get in." Darrell ordered opening the door for Emery. She got in while glaring at Darrell, and pulled the door closed herself.


Getting into the club was simple because Darrell had arranged things earlier in the week. Emery was surprised that the place was actually filled with familiar faces, all of them friends of Darrell who wished the both of them a 'Happy-Late-Ass-Birthday!'.

Even though they were supposed to be catching up, Darrell was more running around greeting friends, getting drunk, and actually 'celebrating'. After thirty-minutes of following him around as he talked to people, Emery realized she wasn't clicking with anyone and excused herself to take a seat in a booth off to the side.

An employee came around and asked Emery what she would like to drink. She asked for straight whiskey. She couldn't stop mentally cursing out Darrell in her head, the least he could have done was invite Chelsea and Trenise- that way she wouldn't be completely by herself. She crossed her arms over her chest and sunk into the black leather booth seat.

Sucking her teeth she removed her phone from her clutch and turned on the screen.

Dixon hadn't called all day.

She knew she shouldn't have been disappointed when she told him not to call, but was their relationship really nothing? She thought four years wouldn't have amounted to this. She blew out a loud sigh and placed an elbow on the metal table top, and rested her cheek against her open palm.

She tossed the idea of texting him back and forth a few times, but for what? Would he respond?

Would he grovel—apologize?

That's all she really wanted.

She couldn't deny that if he apologized she'd go right back to being his girlfriend and the thought was disturbing to her.

She licked her lips tasting her sticky lip gloss, "Fuck it." She muttered, her finger tapping on the messaging icon.

"Wow, don't you look like a waste of space at your own damn birthday party."

Emery looked up and scowled, "Fuck you, Logan."

"What?" Logan asked, holding a hand up to his ear and leaning over the booth table a little, "I'm sorry, I couldn't hear that threat. Say it again, but this time lick your lips and say 'I want to' first, yeah?"

Emery squinted her eyes as she pieced together his request and then she leaned into the booth seating and crossed her arms over her chest, "What do you want?"

"I came over to say 'hi', is all." Logan said, standing to his height and smirking.

"By insulting me? 'Hello' to you too, asshole."

Logan frowned as he slid in the booth to sit next to her, "Did I miss something? When did you become so hostile?"

Emery pressed her lips together and then sighed, leaning forward and crossing her arms over her chest, "I'm just not in a good mood."

"Boyfriend troubles?" He asked. And Emery looked at him for a second, preparing herself to nod, before he continued, "Pretty sure I warned you about that dick-wad way back in the day. Why the fuck would you date him?" Emery's jaw dropped, damn, she thought he was preparing to give her advice, not make her feel like an idiot. Logan chuckled, "I'm just saying. How long did you guys date anyway? A year? No… Six months… Nah? Oh wait, two months, right?"

"We're still dating." Emery said. "And yeah it's almost been three months… But we've been friends for like four years."

"Yeah?" Logan asked.

Emery nodded, "Yeah."

"I mean it totally makes sense that I just passed him- with his arm around some other girl. You know? Makes sense, but damn she was fine."

Emery's heart began to pound slowly in her ears, "What?"

"Almost three months sure as hell is enough time to 'hump it and dump it', like I told you, right?"

Emery looked into those topaz eyes that pinned her against her seat accusingly and her bottom lip quivered as she recalled the conversation they'd had, four years ago, but she still remembered the way he'd gotten angry at her for just texting Dixon.

"At least I didn't come running to you crying." She said, turning her head away from him.

"At least you didn't, because I would have an 'I told you so' waiting." Logan said honestly, his fingers tapping the table top.

Emery watched his lips tilt into a smirk, and she wanted to scream, but the waitress delivered her whiskey to her at that moment. Emery reached for the glass and without a thought tipped it to her lips and downed the whole glass. It burned her throat and warmed her stomach. She placed the glass before her and wheezed. She couldn't decide if the whiskey was making her eyes water or it was the situation.

"What the fuck is Dixon doing here?" She asked herself, powering on her phone and opening the messaging screen with more gumption, only to have Logan snatch the phone from her fingers.

"What were you trying to do?" He asked assessing the screen she'd opened, "Who were you going to text? Him?" Emery didn't look at him. "Damn, babe." He tusked, "So is this why you came back early? Did he cheat on you in Spain?"

"You know for someone who doesn't know the situation you sure as hell are talking a lot of shit to me." Emery said through gritted teeth.

"I think I'm headed in the right direction though." Logan said, moving to put her phone in his pants pocket. Then he cupped her chin and turned her head to face him, "Right?"

Emery blinked and forcefully removed her head from his hands, "I'm not obligated to answer your questions. Mind your own damn business." She then scooted in the opposite direction to get out of the booth.

She stormed away from where Logan was sitting and found the woman's restroom. She wouldn't allow herself to cry, because she was positive she looked ugly when she cried, but damn there was a lump in her throat and she knew tears were threatening to spill. She wanted another drink, but she didn't want to leave the ladies room, because Dixon was out there with someone else a week and two days after he'd gotten caught. And Logan was out there waiting to make her feel like an idiot for dating Dixon.

But why should she feel like it was her fault for Dixon's infidelity? She didn't even need to really ask herself that question. Because then she would blame herself. If she'd just had sex with him…

Emery shook her head and braced herself on the restroom counter and looked at her reflection. The wound was too fresh she could still see the sadness in her own eyes. It was too soon to be out in public after having her heart broken. She inhaled through her nostrils and exhaled through her mouth, before fluffing her hair and exiting the restroom.

She needed to find Darrell and get the hell home.

A hand caught her wrist, stopping her dead in her tracks. She turned her head and looked up at Logan as he began to pull her with him, back towards the restrooms. They passed a small dark alcove and Logan paused and took a few steps backwards before walking into it and pulling Emery in with him.

Emery waited until he turned to face her, before making moves to escape, but he stepped in front of her and took steps towards her. Her back hit the back wall of the alcove. "Logan." She muttered, making moves to go around him, but his body was big- taking up most of the small cut-out.

She couldn't see his face as his back was to the dim light of the club. "Why did you drag me in here?" She asked.

"Where were you going?" He asked.

Emery huffed, "To the bathroom." She replied.

"No I mean after the bathroom." He clarified and Emery rolled her eyes.

"Does it matter?" She asked, and he didn't say anything, but she noticed he hadn't released his grip on her wrist and it tightened slightly. "To Darrell." She answered.

Logan chuckled, "So you were just going to force Darrell to take you home? When he's actually enjoying tonight? You know he only threw this party for you since your ass decided to jet set all over the damn world."

Emery gasped in offense, "Hey!"

"Why were you leaving Emery?" He asked seriously, "Were you leaving because of Dixon bringing a date to your party? Or were you leaving because of me?"

Emery glared at him incredulously, but she was positive he couldn't see it, "I was leaving because I'm bored." She responded.



"I don't believe you."

"What?" She repeated, "I'm not lying, I'm bored. If he threw this party for me, he could've invited my friends. Besides I thought we were catching up. I didn't think it was actually a party. And why don't you believe me? You're really starting to piss me off. You know that, don't you?"

Logan took a step closer, his body dangerously close to Emery's, "I know right now you're trying to pretend this whole situation doesn't remind you of anything." He said.

It did.

"I'll get a cab. I won't bother Darrell." She said quietly.

"What does this situation remind you of?"

Emery rolled her eyes, "I thought we decided to forget all that shit, Logan."

Logan sighed, "We did, but I know you didn't."



"What? I'm officially pissed, let me out before I hurt you."

"In case you haven't noticed miss five foot two, hundred and twenty pounds, I'm over six feet and built… Hurt me?"

"That's what I said." Emery gritted her teeth, "What are you playing at?" He didn't respond, "Oh my God, I won't leave the party, just let me out of this box, I'm starting to sweat." Logan sighed and stepped away from her, and exited the alcove. Emery sighed as she came out, "Thank you." She huffed.

She turned to look up at him and noticed the pointed look he was giving her and she shuddered, his topaz eyes giving her butterflies. She continued out and towards the dance floor, hoping to squeeze into the crowd and disappear from Logan who she could feel following her.

As she got closer to the middle and started weaving through people, she noticed a familiar blonde, but not familiar in the sense of she'd just seen him before. She knew him.

He was grinding all up on some girl, making her nauseous. "I mean?" She mumbled to herself.

A week and two days.

A week and two fucking days.

Did he forget?

Maybe he thought that they never even started dating?

She tried to rack her brain for how he asked her out, but she knew it was legit. He'd practically chased her for four years.

She needed a drink.

She needed three.


Emery turned around with the intention of heading towards the bar, but instead walked into the open arms of Logan. He wrapped his heavy arms tightly around her, and pressed his mouth to her ear, "We're going to dance or we're going to talk and catch up. Which would you prefer?" Emery's body had frozen from the chills of his mouth against his ear.

Emery pulled her head away, "Are we actually going to talk or are you going to berate me?" She asked loudly over the music.

"We'll actually talk." He replied and Emery nodded, allowing Logan to lead her back to the table they'd just abandoned. Emery sat opposite of Logan and pursed her lips waiting for him to the start the conversation. Which he did after getting comfortable in the booth, "So- how have you been?"

Emery raised her eyebrows and shrugged, "Besides an unfaithful boyfriend, I've been pretty good. What about you?"

"Eh-." He started and looked down playing with the buttons on his shirt, before looking up, "I've been okay."

"Just 'okay'?" Emery asked crossing her arms under her breasts and frowning.

"Yep… So tell me about this whole teaching English overseas thing. When did that come about?"

"When I first went into USC I was undecided, because I had no idea what I wanted to do, right?" Logan nodded and Emery continued, "So I was just floatin' around looking for something and then I got involved in the study abroad programs and ugh-," Logan quirked an eyebrow and relaxed into the booth crossing his arms over his chest. "I don't think there is any way to describe how I feel when I get on an airplane or how I feel when I'm like in a new country." Emery leaned forward propping her head up on her elbow, she grinned and sighed. "It's like refreshing."

"Really?" Logan asked, "And what about the teaching? Who would you teach? Kids? Older people?"

Emery chewed her lip, "Definitely kids."

Logan crinkled his nose and leaned forward resting his arms on the table, "You like kids?"

"What!?" Emery asked loudly, "I love kids! Do you not think I would be a good teacher?"

Logan shrugged, "I think you'd do fine." Then he grinned, "Now that I'm looking at you, you do look like you could deal with kids. I bet you want a lot of kids of your own don't you?"

Emery frowned, "I think I want to be a teacher because I don't want children of my own- honestly."

It was Logan's turn to frown, "What?! What kind of woman are you? All women want kids."

Emery shook her head, "I-," She paused and thought for a second, "I wouldn't want to make the same mistakes as my mother. I'm too worried about that. So I don't want kids. Besides a lot of women choose not to have children."

"Really?" Logan asked, raising an eyebrow, "You shouldn't be worried about that, though. You can learn from your mom's mistakes and raise your own kids your way."

Emery gave Logan an impressed look, "Thanks for the advice, Dr. Isley."

He shrugged, "Just make sure you get the right man." Emery sat up, reality smashing back into her. She sniffed, feeling tears coming. "Aye- don't get upset though."

Emery rolled her eyes, "It's hard not to get upset when you keep bringing him up." Emery said rather quietly, rolling her eyes to keep the tears at bay. "And when he's here. If he wanted to screw other girls he shouldn't have asked me to be his girlfriend."

Logan frowned, "Yeah- he's a dick. How did he fool you?"

"People can change Logan."


Emery sighed desperate for a conversation switch or she'd end up crying, "So what? Do you want kids?"

Logan nodded and grinned, "Yeah, lots."

Emery smiled weakly, "Why?"

"It'll be inevitable." She frowned, "For reasons." He 'explained' then added a small wink.

"Oh-um." She blushed and flagged down a passing waitress, "Can I have a glass of whiskey ple-,"

"Bring a whole bottle actually." Logan interrupted, the waitress was gone immediately.

"I'm not drinking a whole bottle." Emery said frowning at his requests.

"Yeah you are. You and I are going to share." Logan explained, "Your brother invited you out to catch up and get wasted. So that's what we're going to do."

Emery sighed and nodded at his logic, "I guess I agreed with it."

"This is going to be fun." He said, "You should have fun tonight."

Emery shrugged- she should be having fun tonight, but with Dixon under the same roof she felt that was impossible. Even though he was supposedly there with another woman, sitting with Logan made her feel as though she was the one who had cheated.

"So tell me why you minored in business." She inquired trying to keep thoughts of Dixon out of her mind.

"Uh- I'm still unsure about what I'm doing with my life." He said and then he chuckled, rubbing his hands together, "I know that doesn't sound too good, but business really interests me."

"What happened to football?" She asked.

"Too many head injuries, it wasn't advised I keep on doing that. So…" He trailed off and frowned.

Emery sighed, and went to reply, but the waitress appeared showing the bottle and Logan paid for it, and poured them both a glass.

Logan bit his lip as he stared at the glass then his eyes that matched the whiskey rose to meet Emery's as he smirked, "Drink up."

Emery smiled and did as she was told.


"I just want to dance with you." Logan slurred into Emery's hair, as he wrapped his arms around her waist and pulled her body into his after he slid all the way around the booth to be next to her.

Emery squealed and pushed at his arms and chest, "We can't." She whined and turning her head she leaned away and looked him in the eyes, "What if Dixon sees?" She whispered.

"Fuck Dixon." Logan replied jerking her back closer to him.

"I don't want to fuck Dixon." Emery slurred, hiccupping.

"Then don't." Logan mumbled, holding onto her as she fidgeted nervously and drunkenly. "Come out and dance with me." He continued to push, "One dance."

Emery sighed, "I would be cheating on Dixon."

"Fuck Dixon." Logan repeated, honestly annoyed with hearing that name.

"Fuck Dixon." Emery mimicked pulling away to look Logan in his eyes, she grinned and held up one finger, "One dance, Mr. Isley."

He nodded, "One."

"One." She clarified giving him a pointed look before giggling, and holding onto his arms as she pulled the both of them out of the booth.

Logan gripped her hips eagerly, but still held the bottle of whiskey, as he walked behind her, tripping over her heels as they stumbled onto the dance floor. Emery's giggles were infectious and Logan's cheeks hurt from grinning so hard. After squeezing through bodies and finding comfort towards the center of the floor, Emery started wining to herself as she got into the music.

Logan watched her for a second, even in his drunk state he knew that he shouldn't touch, but he did. He stepped to her pulling her body into his and wrapping his arms around her waist. She felt so good against him, it made his heart hammer against his chest. Emery took each of Logan's hands in hers and waved them in the air as she swayed drunkenly.

"Two Chainz!" Everyone in the club who was coherent of the music droning in the background called and Emery giggled some more and put Logan's arms around her waist again and ground her bottom into his front. Then she manipulated his hand and took a long swig out of the whiskey bottle while two stepping- before completely snatching the bottle from his grip. Logan was lazily following her motions waiting for his turn to take a sip from the bottle. Over her head he caught the gaze of Dixon.

Dixon's blue eyes pierced Logan accusingly as he oozed and grooved behind the brunette he'd been with earlier. Logan frowned, at the bottle of whiskey being pushed in his face, and he removed a hand from Emery's waist to retrieve the bottle. He took a long sip of the whiskey, before mashing his lips against the side of Emery's face. Emery swiftly turned her head and pressed her lips to his before removing herself from him completely and dancing solo.

Logan's eyes widened as he looked at Emery as she wined to herself. He ran a hand over his face and shook his head.

He'd done it again.

He just wanted to keep her company.

Logan turned and walked away, needing to give her space.

Actually give himself some space.

Emery wasn't aware of Logan leaving her side, she thought it was him roughly jerking her from dazed dance, but what she was greeted with honestly surprised her. She'd pushed his existence to the back of her mind.

"Emery." He said sternly his blonde hair matted to his face with sweat.

"What?" She responded becoming aware that Logan had ditched her on the dance floor. She frowned and took a step away from Dixon ripping her arm from his grip.

"What the fuck are you doing?" He asked, as if she had been in the wrong for anything.

"Having fun at my belated birthday party." She responded, trying her hardest to convey her annoyance over the loud music of the club.

"Yeah it fucking looks like it." He snarled at her.

Emery gasped, "Are you kidding me, Dixon?" She asked taking a step closer to him, "Are you fucking kidding me? So you get to fuck other girls on our vacation and bring other girls to my birthday party and you get to get pissed when I'm dancing?"

"Damn right I do. You're still my girl."

Emery snorted a laugh, "What are you doing here?"

"I was invited." He answered venomously.

Emery's eyebrows rose, "Who the hell invited you?"

"I did." Darrell said coming to stand next to Emery, he looked very confused, as his eyes darted between Emery and Dixon. "I thought you'd want your boyfriend to come…? Was I wrong?"

Emery bit her lip and nodded slowly, "Yes." She replied calmly.

"Well you could have told you're brother." Logan came onto the other side of her, suddenly.

"I know I should have told him," She rolled her eyes in frustration, "But, I didn't want to talk about it."

"Well what the fuck happened?" Darrell questioned, watching his sister fidget.

Emery shook her head, noticing that a few people around them were eavesdropping heavily. "I don't want to talk about it. It's old news." She said looking at Dixon, "We're through. Don't ever speak to me again."

Dixon chuckled, "Can we talk privately?"

Emery frowned, "I don't want to talk to you."

"Why the fuck not?" Dixon asked taking a step closer to her, only to run into the chest of Darrell who slid between them.

"If I hear you talk to my sister disrespectfully one more time, I will beat the shit out of you." Darrell threatened crossing his arms over his chest and glaring hard at Dixon who visibly gulped. Darrell had a few inches and pounds on Dixon.

Emery bit her lip and stepped around Darrell, "Okay, let's talk." She said attempting to turn and go somewhere quieter, but Logan stepped in front of her.

"What is there to talk about?" He asked her, and she looked around her nervously, "He cheated on you. If he apologizes are you gonna take him back? Just like that?" Emery was now chewing her lip as she caught her brother's expression out of the corner of her eye.

"You knew about this shit?" Darrell asked, looking at Logan.

Logan nodded, "Only for a few minutes." He answered before turning his gaze back to Emery. Emery sidestepped her brother and Logan and stormed out of the club in desperate need of fresh air after she felt drowned by Dixon's blue eyes.

She would have been dumb to think she wasn't being followed, when she turned around Dixon cleared his throat, "Em?" Emery turned her head and looked at him, "I am so sorry." Her heart hammered in her chest and she gulped, "What happened that day- I just- I don't even know what happened. It's all a fucking blur I swear. I never meant to hurt you."

Emery's fought hard to keep tears she knew she shouldn't shed at bay, "But you brought some other girl to my party."

"I didn't-,"

"Don't play that shit with me." She responded, "You didn't know? Yet you admit to being invited by Darrell. I'm done talking to you."

Dixon looked around guiltily, "Baby." She looked away from his sapphire eyes and hugged herself, "I saw you getting really cozy with fucking Isley tonight." He spat, "That's how you're gonna play me?" He asked, "Wouldn't put out for me, but all that asshole has to do is fucking exist and your panties are fucking missing."

Emery gasped, and couldn't control the fist that she sent smashing into the side of his face, "Don't ever say that." As he stumbled at the impact she advanced on him, inserting herself into his space. He was wearing that cologne. That cologne that used to make her feel so warm, but now made her want to vomit. She hit the top of his head with her clutch, "How dare you. I am not the bad person in this relationship. You couldn't wait for me. You stepped out. Not me. I am not the bad guy in this situation."

She raised her clutch to hit him again, but he caught her wrist in midair and glared at her, "I chased you for four fucking years. We were friends. Why did I have to wait so long?"


"Because you couldn't stop thinking of Logan. Could you?"

"I said don't say that. Logan hasn't existed in my sphere for four years, Dixon. He was the last person I would have thought about. If I hadn't had been travelling, I would have agreed to be your girlfriend years ago, and who the hell knows where that would put us now. If I was thinking about some other guy why would I agree to commit to something with you?" Emery snatched her hand from his grip. "You let your insecurities fuck up what you spent 'four years chasing'. So I am not the bad guy. It's you. It was you last week and it was you tonight."

"I know you're putting on this act right now, but the minute I go back inside to Isabella you're going to miss me."

Emery shook her head, "You had no confidence in me." She said, "So I won't miss you. Not one bit. I am going to move on."

"But what about my mom?"

"I love her, but I don't love you. Don't bring her into this. Stop bringing outside people into this."

Dixon's jaw clenched as he glared at Emery, "I could fucking hit you right now. You're being so stubborn."

"Hit me, Dixon. Let's brawl." She challenged, pulling on the hem of her bodycon. He rolled his eyes and she straightened up, "So- was she worth it?" Dixon didn't reply- he just stared at her. "You'll miss me, more than I'll miss you."

Dixon was quiet for a long time as he reached into his pocket and retrieved a cigarette. "I know." He replied.

Emery nodded and made moves to reenter the club, "I'm going to enjoy the rest of my night. I hope yours is just as enjoyable." There was no condescension or hate in her wish, just emptiness. She didn't know if she actually meant it.

As she turned the corner to head back in, Logan stepped in front of her, "Really? You didn't think about me at all over the last four years?" He asked.

Emery jumped at his sudden presence, covering her chest with her hand, "Shit, Logan." She breathed, then met his topaz gaze and straightened up, "I-I- Logan, I-."

He shrugged, "I don't know what I was expecting. It was you that said that we should forget everything, but it was me that agreed completely and all night all I've been trying to get you to do is remember. I'm sorry."

"Well." She said, giving him a blank look, "I don't know what to say."

"Me either- do you want to blow this?" He asked, pointing back towards the club.

She nodded without thinking, "Yes."

His smile was weak as he started walking, and Emery followed closely behind him, "So you eavesdropped on my break-up?"

He nodded and shot her a cheeky grin, "Your brother asked me to keep an eye on you while he made sure the party people were okay."

Emery rolled her eyes, "Priorities." She mumbled, then she loudly groaned, "I can't believe I just broke up with Dixon." She cried miserably.

"Shut-up." Logan commanded, "I don't want to hear his name ever again, for real." He said, "It took me everything not to smash his fucking face in tonight."

Emery sighed, "I don't feel horrible though." She told herself.

Logan cocked his head to the side, "No?"

She shook her head, "I maintain the worst break-up I've been through-,"

"Whoa. How many boyfriends have you had?"

"Just Dixon." She said, "But the last time we talked four years ago, felt like a break-up to me."

Logan nodded in agreeance, "Me too." He admitted, focusing his attention on the sidewalk.

Emery stopped walking, "What? You too?"

"Yeah." He answered not stopping his slow walk.

She shook her head and walked to catch up with him, "Well. Once again, I have no idea what to say."

Logan chuckled, but remained silent a little while longer as they meandered down the street. Finally he opened his mouth, "So, I have a plane to catch tomorrow."

"Damn and you were trying to get wasted tonight?" She asked.

Logan sighed, "Honestly, yeah. I kind of wanted to get so drunk that I would miss the flight."

"Really? Why?"

"I'm flying to New York to meet my baby brother." He deadpanned, looking off into the distance. "And stepmom."

"Oh." Emery pursed her lips, "Shit."

He nodded, "Yeah, fucking drama dude. Unfortunately, I left our bottle of whiskey in the club, and I'm like sober after dealing with your old dude. So, scratch getting wasted off my ass." Emery had no idea what to say about his situation so she stayed quiet while he thought for five minutes, "So I guess I should get you home."

Emery nodded, "For sure. Even if you don't want to go, I'd hate for you to miss your flight."

Logan rolled his eyes, "I am so not feeling this, and you have no idea."

Emery felt horrible, she didn't know what to say to him especially since she wasn't aware his parents had even divorced in the first place, so she pat his back in what she hoped was a comforting gesture, and walked in step with him as they walked back to the clubs parking lot.


It had been a very quiet drive to Emery's house. Emery knew that Logan was consumed in his thoughts about his family situation and she could understand how that could put a damper on anyone's mood. So when they pulled up in front of Emery's house, and she was prepared to hop out of the car, she only expected maybe a 'goodbye'. She wasn't expecting for Logan to become social again. The night had been a hectic one, and she was unsure about where it left them.

Obviously so was Logan, as he drummed the steering wheel and looked off down the street as he asked, "So- did you really not think of me at all over the last four years?"

Emery stopped her hand in mid-reach for the door handle. Logan's breathing had stilled in anticipation for her answer, "Logan- I thought about you all of the time." It was a joke, because she was unsure of where the question came from. The whole car ride she'd assumed he was thinking about his family. But, that question made her reassess her thoughts on his concentrated silence.

"Really?" He asked turning to look at her and raising an eyebrow.

Emery sighed, "Actually no, I was kidding- trying to be sarcastic." She laughed a little, but he didn't join her, "I did think about you, yes, but I tried my hardest not to."

"Oh." He responded, looking away from her and running his hands over his head. "Well, I mean. I want us to be friends." He said honestly, fixing her with an earnest gaze.

"Yeah? Well, I want that too."

Logan smiled a little, "Good."

"I don't want that awkward horny stage that we had in high school to mess anything up." Emery told him and she truly meant it, especially now- being fresh out of a relationship, she didn't want to rebound on Logan. She was glad that he was asking for friendship instead of asking about the 'What-If's which mostly floated around her mind.

He shook his head, "Me either."

Emery took a deep breath, "I mean, I'm wondering if we can handle a friendship, Logan? With our weird past…"

He laughed heartily, before cocking his head to the side and smirking, "I don't know, Emery. Can we?" He quipped and Emery's heart leapt from her chest at that memorable innuendo.

Her cheeks heated and she looked away from him, "We'll see, then." She then frowned, "Um- can I have my phone back?" She asked, and then laughed, "The last thing I need is some Jimmy to Alisha bullshit going on again."

"Oh yeah." Logan said, reaching into his pocket and handing her phone to her. "It wasn't bullshit by the way. I liked the conversations we had."

Emery shrugged, "Yeah me too." She wouldn't admit that she had a huge crush on 'Jimmy' at that time. It grew a little quiet between them until Emery was unable to control a yawn that escaped past her lips, "Okay, I'm obviously drained. So, I'm going in." She said, opening the door to Logan's Jeep.

He nodded, "Okay. I'll see you later."

"For sure. I want to hear all about your New York situation when you come back though." Emery said.

"Yeah, I'll be back in like two weeks? I don't know- I haven't decided when I'm coming back. I'll decide once I get there."

Emery nodded, "Okay, sounds good."

"Damn- you need to go to sleep." He said laughing at her dazed expression, "I'll see you."

Emery nodded and closed the door to his car, before hustling up the driveway and into her house. Once the door was closed and she had hurried upstairs into the haven of her bedroom, she couldn't help but press a hand to her forehead, close her eyes and sigh.

"Emery, Emery." She said to herself. She tried to take calming deep breaths, but, she couldn't settle the speed at which her heart was racing inside of her chest.

She felt guilty- like she was betraying herself because her relationship with Dixon had just ended, but she knew the situation. She knew that every time she met the light brown gaze of Logan something inside of her light up. And when he laughed her mood became better. And when he talked about himself, her heart swelled.


She was stuck on Logan Isley.