Their chemistry was undeniable. The way they fit together like two puzzle pieces, two halves of a whole. No matter how hard he tried, Logan never looked at him with the same sense of fondness, the same sense of warmth. Those soft gazes were only reserved for Kendall. The most genuine of laughter never rang out for James. Logan approached him with caution, eyes filled to the brim with pity and annoyance, as if James’ feelings were sprawled across his forehead, as if James’ heart breaking into a thousand pieces was nothing but a guilty burden to the golden couple.
Kendall’s eyes grew dark against his pale skin. He pinned Logan by the shoulders, licking at his sharp fangs.
“I’m sorry I have to do this.”
Logan whimpered beneath his hold.
His teeth latch against Logan’s neck and both boys bubble over with laughter.
“Cut!” Kendall yelled.
Logan wiped tears of laughter from his eyes, “I can’t.”
“What now?” The music director asked, exasperated.
“We can’t do this! It’s really weird!” Kendall shouted, “Griffin, what does this have anything to do with Elevate?”
“Vampires are in. Research shows homo-erotic subtext is cool. Have none of you seen True Blood?”
Kendall and Carlos have been trying to drag him out of the hospital. He resented them and appreciated them in equal measure. Still, he found it impossible to leave. Logan always smiled when he slept, even now, as his life teetered between the edge of life and death. James couldn’t understand it, couldn’t comprehend how the world continued spinning as his entire life halted to a stand still. All James wanted to do was sleep until Logan would wake. He wanted to disappear into Logan. If he could melt into Logan, he would. James waited. That’s all he could do.
“What did you do with my letters?” Logan screamed.
“I have no idea what you’re talking about.”
“You replaced every college acceptance with rejection letters.”
“I did no such thing.”
“The seal is broken!” Logan flailed the stack in his hands, shoving them into James’ chest.
“You are too dumb to attend here. Please try again later.” James read, “Sucks, dude.”
“You wrote that!”
“No I didn’t!”
“One is even handwritten!”
“I didn’t have time!”
“James! Give me my letters!”
“I don’t want you to leave me.” James frowned.
Logan’s anger crumbled, “I’ll never leave you. Promise.”
“Carlos! What the hell?”
“Kendall! You’re alive!”
“Why wouldn’t I be?”
“I was so worried! I thought you drowned!”
“You idiot, I was sleeping!”
“But why are you wet and lying by the pool?”
“I forgot a towel! Were you trying to give me mouth-to-mouth?”
“I was trying to save you!”
“What the hell was that? Why did you use tongue?!”
“I don’t know! I’ve never given mouth-to-mouth before!”
“What? I panicked!”
“You kissed me!”
“You kissed me back!”
“I thought you were a girl!”
“Well, I thought you were dying!”
“Agree to never speak of this again?”
Kendall wins. Every damn time. He should be used to it by now. He’s spent nearly his whole life in that boy’s shadow. Except when the prize is Logan’s heart he doesn’t know how he’ll survive. The crippling lost cuts too deep and James has never felt more alone. It’s a lot to carry, the unjust betrayal. Because as he grits his teeth and watches them together he knows he’s lost them both. Friendship has been replaced by an all consuming resentment. It’s an ongoing battle of competing emotions. Really, he couldn’t hate them any more than he loved them.
“What are you doing here?”
“What? Mr. Superstar can’t welcome an old friend?”
“You said you needed time.”
“I did. But you’re unavoidable, you know that? You’re everywhere.”
“No, you’re not. There’s literally not a single magazine in my clinic without you in it.”
“What? I can’t help it that I’m popular.”
“But cryptic interviews about still waiting on that special someone? The one that got away? Really, James?”
“Do you still mean it?”
“I’d wait forever.”
“You should really find a new place to hide that key.”
“What are you doing here?”
“I love you too.”
He’s cute when he’s mad. His eyebrows furrow and he points for emphasis, stammering out every word with his stupid condescending tone. James knows he shouldn’t smile. But really, who could help it? Logan’s cute in everything that he does and James can’t help but stare, grinning to himself with a sense of possession. As if Logan was made for his eyes only. Most of all, when Logan giggles, James completely loses it. Logan’s laughter belonged to him. He has to bite down on his tongue to stop himself from launching forward, from repossessing that sweet sound from Logan’s lips.
The scream shook James to his very core. Logan fell to the ice, face contorting in pain. The whistle blew and the entire team dashed to Logan’s side. The ref held them back as the arena grew silent. James pushed past the crowd and fell down beside him. “Logan?” He asked, heart caught somewhere in the back of his throat. The medics rushed to his side and Logan screamed at every small movement. Each shout gutted at James’ insides. “Back away, son.” He heard one of them say. He could only shake his head; hands clasped tight around Logan’s, “No.”
James kept dreaming of finding Logan lifeless, pillow stained red. Each time he reacts differently. Once, he screamed for help. Once, he laid down beside him. Last night, he pried the gun from Logan’s cold hands and took his own life. Without hesitation. Not a moment to regret. He woke up in the hospital, kissed the scars on Logan’s wrist as if he could breathe life back into him. His dreams mirrored reality even if Logan’s methods were not the same. He crawled in beside Logan.“Wake me up when you’re up.” He whispered. The monitors lulled him to sleep.
Started working on AFE and somehow wrote 12,000 words for something new. What the hell is wrong with me?
Carlos just wants the ceremony to be over. Kendall is looking at him funny, probably sharing his discomfort. He smiles back in reassurance. The satin cummerbund is making it hard to breathe! Tuxes are stupid. Carlos wishes he hadn’t snuck in two corndogs on the way to the chapel. Kendall keeps looking at him. A quick check reassures him he hasn’t spilt ketchup on himself. Still, Kendall’s eyes keep lingering with a sense of sadness. What could Kendall possibly be sad about? The organ music steals his attention. God, Jo is beautiful. Carlos wonders if she has any hot cousins.
Logan made excuses for him. Every bruise, every cut, every tear - there were no lengths to which Logan would not go to protect James. “I’m okay.” He’d whisper every time, fingertips brushing against James’ face, calming him down from his jealous rage, “My fault.” How did “I love you” turn to this? How could Logan not see the monster he’d become? “I want to kill you sometimes.” James confessed, voice barely above a whisper, “I love you so much, I can’t even help myself.” Logan nodded, smiling “It’s okay. I’d rather die by your hands than live without you.”