Logan's hard at work on the pile of greasy dishes when a tall brown-haired woman ducks into diner's back room. "I just need five minutes," she mutters. "Just five, without someone yammering at me."
Then she spies Logan, and her eyes widen. "Um. I'm Annie, and I'm not crazy. At least, not crazier than anybody else."
Logan laughs, puts down the dish he's working on and leans against the sink. "I'm Logan. And I don't think you're crazier than anybody else. Susie's great, but she does go on, doesn't she?"
Annie nods, some of the tension going out of her face. She's younger than he thought at first, a few years older than he is, maybe. "So I'm taking my break in here. Just pretend I'm not here."
"Oh, no," Logan says. "You're not getting out of here that easily. I've been here a week. Why haven't I met you?"
She scowls at him, but it's clear she's not really mad. "Vacation. Where'd you show up from?"
"California. On my way to New York, but I broke down. I'm stuck here 'til my part comes in."
"So you're just earning some extra cash before you head on your merry way?"
He nods. "Something like that."
Annie smiles. "Well, it's nice to meet you, Logan. I'll be seeing you."
And with that, she ducks out, back to work.
By the end of the shift, though, the two are cracking jokes like old pals, swapping lies about themselves and teasing Susie. It's nice, Logan realizes. More than nice. It's really great.
As Annie takes off her apron and gets ready to leave for the day, Logan stops her. "You wanna grab a beer? Hang out for a while?"
She hesitates, then grins. "Yeah. Yeah, I'd like that."
They head over to the local dive bar, where they don't check IDs (because they all know each other anyway, Annie points out, and if she says he's OK, Jeff'll take her word) and only have domestics on tap.
It's great. A great time, a great bar, a great girl. Logan hasn't laughed that hard in months, hasn't liked anybody this much in even longer.
It's late, later than he'd meant to stay out, and it's with some reluctance that he settles his tab as the bartender gives him the familiar 'you can't stay here any longer' look.
Annie's grinning, and she looks just beautiful, her cheeks flushed, her eyes bright. "I've had a blast, Logan."
"Yeah, me too."
His gaze lingers on hers a moment too long, and she sobers. "I should go. I really, really should go."
"You don't have to," he says quietly. When she looks at him askance, he says, "You could come, stay with me. It's not much of a place I've got, but..."
Alarm fills her eyes and she starts back. "I can't. I've got to go."
"Annie," he says. "Annie, I didn't - "
"No. No. I can't."
And with that, she's gone, and Logan has to walk back to the motel alone.