Chapter 4: LoVe Rules
For the next couple of hours, the reunion is a relaxed time for everyone. There is dancing, drinking and lot of laughter. Dick sitting next to Veronica looks at her belly and is completely thrown by seeing her belly move. A little loudly he tells Logan, "Dude, Ronnie's belly is moving. It's like the movie 'Alien'". The group laughs and Veronica seeing that Dick is really fascinated, takes his hand and gently puts it on her belly. Little David obligingly moves and Dick yells in excitement, "Little Dude kicked me." Logan amused watches and Dick puts his head down and tells the baby, "Little Dude, I am going to teach you how to surf and pick up girls cause your mom has your dad's balls." The guys laugh and Veronica pushes Dick's head away from her son and then surprising them all, the corner of her mouth rises at the ridiculousness of the whole situation. Dick stands up and puts his hand out to Veronica and says, "Let's dance Ronnie. Maybe we can get Little Dude to come out tonight."
Taking his hand she tells him, "Frat boy, I can out dance you even carrying around Little Dude."
The guys at the table hoot and holler, amused at Logan's wife challenging Dick. Dick helps her up and then waves to the dance floor and answers her challenge with an, "After you."
She bends, kicks off her shoes and taunts him with a cute head shake, "Oh it's on!" before she walks towards the dance floor.
Dick following her yells, "I love to watch you waddle." The table laughs as Veronica gives Dick the finger without looking back.
Logan merely takes a drink from his beer and shakes his head. When those two get going, you might as well sit back and watch. It is worth the price of admission. The group at the tables is laughing as they turn to watch and cheer the dance off.
Dick, of course, yells at the DJ that there is a dance off happening. Veronica starts the contest with 'The Twerk" and Dick immediately joins in. The DJ quickly changes the music to accomodate their contest. While Dick is doing his part of the dance, Veronica shanghais some of the dancers around her to join in. Dick easily picks his team and it's on.
Lilly, Duncan and Meg watch in surprise as Veronica and Dick start a dance off. Looking over at Logan, Lilly sees he is having fun watching his wife and friend on the dance floor. She thinks about how now might be the perfect time for her to separate Logan from the pack and get him alone. His wife has been sticking to him like glue, careful to keep her away from her husband. Lilly looks at Logan. He looks even more fit and handsome than he did in high school. She came to this boring reunion to see everyone but especially Logan. She heard from her brother and Meg that he married and is expecting a son. He is supposedly 'happy'. His life sounds boring and Logan is not boring. He will be ripe to want to be with her.
Madison sees Lilly looking at Logan and inwardly smiles. Lilly is going to get Logan and that little undeserving bitch Logan married is going to be humiliated. She gets up and goes over to sit at Logan's table wanting a ringside seat to Lilly's reunion with Logan.
Meanwhile, Logan's buddies watching the dance off have to laugh. Dick has told them that Veronica has a bitchy side and she is well versed in self defense. As she dances, they see that even pregnant, she is fit. She must be pretty physical to keep Logan interested. Logan is definitely the man. He married to a hot blonde and Lilly Kane is here tonight and has made it clear she wants Logan. She is looking super nova in her barely there strapless black dress with the daring cutouts.
While half the dance floor including Dick and Veronica are participating in a dance off, Madison takes the opportunity to start a mini intervention with Logan. She tells him that they have all been his friends for years and they are concerned how his wife is keeping him away from them. Pam mentions how Logan didn't show up at the breakfast at the Grande this morning and how he is not going to the luncheon at the Sinclair's tomorrow. Carrie puts her arm on Logan's and adds, "None of us has even had the chance to really visit with you while you are in Neptune."
Clearly annoyed, Logan pulls his arm away from Carrie's and looks at the group around him. He tells them openly and a little loudly, "It's not Ronnie that doesn't want to see some of you, it's me." When they look at him in surprise, he adds, "The names of the underage girls that were on the video tapes having sex with my father may have been kept out of the press, but I saw the indictment against dear old dad." He looks at Madison, Pam, Erica, Carrie and Jennifer pointedly. He waves his arm as he says clearly, "I don't want anything to do with the sluts on his porn collection." There is a shocked silence as Logan stands, gently puts his hand out to Dick's date who looks really uncomfortable at the interchange between Logan and some of the 09er girls. Logan tells her, "We should go out there and rescue our dates before Dick hurts himself or Ronnie actually goes into labor." A little unsure, she tentatively smiles at him and takes his hand allowing him to pull her to stand. She hasn't been dating Dick long but she has met Logan before. He has been charming and sweet to her so she is not sure what to think about how rude he just was. They walk off without meeting any of the shocked gazes of the people sitting around them.
Logan knows that his father was the adult and took advantage of the easily impressed young girls but they snuck over to his house to have sex with a man they knew was married and was his father. They knew what they were doing was wrong; they did what they wanted and didn't give a thought to his mother or him. What really pissed him off is that they had the nerve to attend his mother's funeral and try to tell him how sorry they were for his loss after being part of the humiliation that drove her to the Coronado Bridge. Now they expect him to forgive and forget. Clearly they don't know him very well.
A few of Logan's surfing buddies smirk and enjoy the scene Logan just caused. This older Logan has mostly been quiet and respectful to everyone. It is nice to see the old Logan appear even for a moment. In reality, most of his closer friends know how crushed Logan was when the news of his father's video collection, his mother's subsequent suicide and then Lilly's video with his father was leaked to the press. Many of them had secretly speculated on which girls in their school were on the videotapes. Logan had never said but he quit speaking to a few of the 09er girls and they were never invited to Logan's parties at the new place he rented part way through senior year.
Lilly sees that some of the 09er girls said something to piss off Logan. Disappointed she watches as Logan escorts Dick's date to apparently join the dance off. Logan walks up behind his wife and puts his hands on her hips and begins to dance with her. She smiles back at him and tries to continue with the new dance when the music changes but Logan just pulls her into his arms. Dick seeing that Veronica has stopped participating in the dance off, loudly declares himself the winner. Knowing that Veronica is going to argue with Dick, Logan leans down and kisses her. Veronica stiffens initially but quickly decides that kissing her handsome husband is more important than beating Dick in the dance off. Besides, she was getting tired. It has been a busy day and Logan is rescuing her. She breaks the kiss, turns to face her husband wrapping her arms around his neck instinctively following his lead to move slowly to the music. Logan ignores the rest of the dance off and holds his wife closely moving to their own beat. Leaning down, he gently kisses her forehead, temple and finally her lips as they dance. To those watching, it is clear that Logan is very taken with his wife. Dick's date stops his part of the battle with Veronica by stepping closer and wrapping her arms around him. Getting his full attention, she leans up and talks quietly to him probably telling him what just happened at the table.
After one slow dance, Logan takes Veronica back to their table. He knows some exercise is good for her but she walked a lot today with him and he wants her to rest at their table for a while. When he arrives there, he sees Lilly is sitting there waiting for them. Her date is on the dance floor enjoying the single women admirers. Lilly smiles at Logan engagingly knowing that he finds her flirty smile hard to resist. She is surprised when he frowns at her clearly annoyed that she is sitting at his table. He walks Veronica over to the other side of the table and assists her to sit. Then he sits beside her. Before Lilly can talk, Logan casually asks as if she is just another one of his classmates, "So how have you been Lilly?" He puts his arm over the back of Veronica's chair and gently wraps his arm around her as they sit comfortably and look across the table.
Smirking she answers, "Oh you know, living the life."
"Good," he answers calmly. "We saw 'A Taste of Italy' last year. You were good in it Lil."
Actually a little pleased that he enjoyed her movie, Lilly tells him, "I like acting."
Nodding he answers easily, "I'm glad for you. I hope it's everything you wanted."
"Let's go somewhere private where we can talk," she suggests.
A little incredulous that she would think he would go somewhere to be alone with her, he quietly but firmly continues talking to her about her career, "So do you have another film coming out this year?"
"No," she tells him a little annoyed he would ignore her invititation, "I will be in LA for the next few months."
Nodding, Logan tells her, "I bet your parents are excited that they will get to see more of you now you are back in the States."
Tossing her hair back, she looks only at Logan, ignoring Veronica. She gives him a coy look and tells him meaningfully, "You should come and see me in LA. It would give us a chance to catch up. I've missed you."
Pausing for a few seconds as he really looks at her, Logan quietly says, "Lilly, if you want an Echolls who is interested in the Hollywood lifestyle, well then try Trina or dear old dad." Meeting her gaze, he says meaningfully, "I'm out."
Now frowning, she says, "I know you Logan." Waving at him she adds, "This life is not you."
Snorting he retorts, "I have always wanted out. If you'd been paying attention, you would have known that."
Lilly, sure of her old lover and the hold she had over him, says, "You know our plan was to sow our wild oats and then get married." Waving her hand dismissively at Veronica, Lilly tells him, "You should have waited for me." She smiles victoriously as Logan abruptly stands and walks around the table towards her. She is dismayed when he bends down, picks up his wife's shoes and then stands and walks back around the table to where Veronica has remained sitting. Without saying another word, he bends down and helps her put them on her tiny feet. Lilly's confident facade falters as she watches her former boyfriend. Standing back up, he takes Veronica's hand and gently pulls her up to stand beside him. Turning to Lilly he tells her quietly but firmly, "The day I found out you fucked my father, our relationship was over. The day you did your first interview and talked about me, we were done as friends. Have a good life Lilly Kane."
The people hanging around to listen are shocked and many gasps can be heard. Logan gently turns Veronica and escorts her over to the bar to get her a fresh drink. Meg and Duncan sitting at the table see in the interaction between Lilly and Logan. Although they can't hear what is being said, it is really clear that Logan is not interesting in Lilly anymore. Duncan knows his sister well and can see she is not happy at what Logan said to her. DK imagines that Logan told her that he couldn't forgive her for having sex with his father. Being with this Veronica has really changed Logan. He is not the Logan everyone remembers. First Lilly and his parents were not invited to Logan's wedding, then this Veronica threatens to expose his affairs to Meg and now Logan has openly been rude to Lilly. His father is right; Logan should be warned about the affect Veronica is having on him. He can't imagine why Logan is so in love with Veronica. She doesn't understand their lifestyle and how things work for the wealthy. She actually thinks she is better than them.
Meg is a little shocked that Logan has been openly rude to Lilly. She knows Lilly came tonight to reconnect with Logan and Lilly usually gets what she wants. Unlike her fiance and best friend, Meg can understand Logan's hurt and anger with Lilly. Standing in the bathroom after Veronica left, Meg listened to Lilly and the other 09er girls talk negatively about Veronica . The thing is, Meg had tried to warn Lilly not to underestimate Logan's wife who is taking her degree in psychiatry and planning to be a profiler for the FBI but Lilly was dismissive, not concerned that Veronica was any match for her. What impressed Meg the most was Veronica left the bathroom truly not concerned about what Lilly or anyone thought of her. Meg wishes she could be more like that. She seems to need to please everyone and always ends up feeling like she didn't please anyone. When Meg looked at Veronica after Logan talked to Lilly, she expected her to have a triumphant look on her face but she just looked sad for Lilly.
Veronica is a real enigma to Meg. She doesn't care what people think of her and she doesn't seem to be jealous of Lilly. Meg talks at least weekly to Logan and he loves to talk about how much he loves Veronica and how much he loves their life together. Logan has told Meg how Veronica absolutely hates to shop and dresses very casually most of the time. He ended up getting one of his mother's favorite designers to send over clothes and accessories for more formal functions. Meg was also shocked at how Veronica seems to have no respect for the Kane name. It is a foreign concept for Meg as, over the years she has seen that most people are impressed with and try to please the wealthy and powerful Kane family. When Duncan asked Logan why his parents weren't invited to the wedding, Logan reluctantly confided that Veronica absolutely refused to have them there. Meg thinks about how she was sitting there when Duncan told his parents what Logan told him about Veronica's belief that they knew about Logan's abuse and did nothing. Watching she could see that Veronica was correct, they did know Logan was being physically abused. When Jake looked at her, she saw that he knew about her and her sister's treatment as well. She thinks about all the beatings they let Logan take and she thinks about how traumatized her little sister is. She wonders how someone as powerful as Jake Kane could sit and do nothing. She sits and listens to Jake tell Duncan that Logan should not be influenced by his fiancé and he will call and talk to Logan. He looks at Meg and Duncan telling them that as his best friends, they should warn him about Veronica. Jake had acted like there was something wrong with Veronica and Meg could see that none of the Kanes felt they had done anything wrong. Even though Duncan and his parents pressured her to talk to Logan about Veronica's negative influence on him, Meg found she couldn't.
The changes she sees in Logan have been positive. When Meg talks to Logan, she sees that he is much more confident in himself. He firmly told Duncan and Meg that it was his decision that Lilly was not invited to his wedding and that his father would be turned away if he showed up. Meeting his best friends' gazes, he said, "I am starting fresh with Veronica. Our wedding is about our commitment to each other and having only the people who genuinely care about us there to witness it." The Logan that didn't think he would ever amount to anything, would travel the world and blow his trust fund is gone. This Logan has started his own business and is doing well with it. He is used to making decisions and dealing with all the issues of running his own company. It is weird to see him so directed. Duncan sees Logan as subservient to Veronica but Meg thinks that Logan is the one pushing his agenda in their relationship. He is the one who wanted to get engaged quickly and then he pushed Veronica to set the wedding date. Now he is the one who wanted to start their family early and he is the one who is set on having at least four children. Logan's new found confidence has led him to be more challenging with Duncan and with her when they talk. She knows Duncan doesn't appreciate that Logan calls him out when he makes a decision that might upset her. Plus Logan has been letting her know when they talk that she should not be putting up with some of the things Lilly, Duncan and their parents say and do to her. Meg is not sure how to deal with this new Logan. He is a little disconcerting to be around. What she does know is that Logan is her true friend. She knows he will be there if she needs him. It is a good feeling to have. She watches Logan and Veronica as they walk towards the bar.
On the way to get Veronica a drink of water, the Echolls' stop to answer greetings from a group of his classmates who comment on the dance off. Veronica answers their teasing, "Can you believe Dick actually thinks he won?"
The group laughs and Logan leans in to tell them, "I know I enjoyed watching her do the twist the best." Veronica playfully smacks his arm and there is general laughter at Logan's teasing. He briefly talks to everyone finding out what they have all been doing since graduation. After a few minutes he excuses them and they head to the bar. When they return, Lilly is out dancing very suggestively with her latest date. Logan and Veronica sit and talk with the group for a while longer and then Logan and Veronica head upstairs after Logan makes arrangements to meet the guys to go surfing the next morning. He is excited about going surfing with his buddies again. He has a lot of good memories out on the water with them.
Once they are in their room, Veronica orders a snack and they sit on the balcony and talk. Veronica gives Logan an abbreviated overview of her talk with Lilly. Logan laughs out loud when he hears that Veronica called her out on her daddy issues. He is annoyed but not surprised, that Meg stood there and let Lilly talk negatively to Veronica.
Shaking her head, Veronica tells him that Meg hides it well but she is really beaten down. Understanding Veronica's concerns, Logan thinks that he might have to have a talk with Duncan about how he treats Meg. Looking at Veronica, he asks, "So why did Duncan need a drink after talking to you on the dance floor?"
Looking innocent, Veronica tells him, "I don't really know."
Giving her a wry look, he tells her, "Nice try V. DK talked to me before we left. He is concerned that you are going to try and break up his relationship with Meg. He wants me to talk sense into you."
When Veronica doesn't seem to have anything else to say, Logan gently caresses her cheek with his thumb as he cups the side of her head with his hand. Meeting her gaze he questions, "You overheard my telephone conversation with DK before we napped."
Nodding slowly, she keeps his gaze and confirms, "I did."
For a few moments he continues to caress her soft skin and then he continues, "You know I would never deceive you about other women?"
Tilting her head she questions, "I trust you Logan, you know that." Pausing to decide how to word her thoughts, she finally shares, "I get frustrated with people who know what they are doing is going to ultimately hurt the person they profess to love but choose to be selfish anyways." Sighing she turns and gently kisses his palm before she looks back at him and adds, "I think Meg is a person that could be in a real loving relationship but her childhood made her feel like she is weak and helpless. She won't demand better for herself." Finishing baldly, "She will need you to support her someday."
His eyes widen as he looks at her sad face. She is really going to be a great profiler. He has never told her about Meg's strict parents or his suspicions about how her parents treated her and her sisters. She just seems to be able to read people. He sucks in a breath and lets it out slowly. Veronica thinks that DK is really going to hurt Meg. He is really unsure what to say. His view of his best friend has been of a good, steady guy who is destined for greatness. Logan saw himself as the fuck up; the wild guy destined for nothing. To have Veronica think that Jake Kane and Duncan Kane are not good men is just mind boggling for him. He comes back to her voice as she admits a little shamefully, "I shouldn't have confronted him but I guess I just wanted him to have to think about the consequences of his actions even if it was just for a second. He is used to his friends all backing him up. He is not sure of me."
Logan looks at her and sees that she is not being vindictive; she merely feels badly for Meg. A little discouraged, she asks, "Did you reassure him that he will be able to continue to fool around on the woman he loves without my interference?"
"Well," Logan tells her, "I did tell him you wouldn't interfere but I was clear that Meg was my friend too and I didn't want her to be hurt. I mentioned that as a friend I would tell either of them if I knew of any wrongdoing."
She nods and says, "I really hope that you don't have to make a choice in the future."
Leaning down, he kisses her and then says, "Me too."
Logan gets up early in the morning leaving Veronica to sleep in the soft bed. She looks like an angel sleeping; so innocent and so beautiful. This weekend has prompted Logan to think about his past. As he gets ready for the morning, he remembers how his relationship with Veronica seemed to be moving along very slowly at first. Then after he overheard the two frat guys telling her that he was using her, they talked, really talked about what they wanted from their relationship. The barriers seemed to be gone after their talk. He came home from class one afternoon to find Veronica had cooked for him. She was wearing a sweater, jeans and an apron. Logan took a moment to revel in the idea of coming home to Veronica cooking supper for him. Music was playing, the house smelt wonderful and it felt more like a home. To Logan's surprise, Veronica went upstairs after they cleaned up dinner. After she was up there a few minutes, she called him. When he arrived in his room, she was there in a deep pink teddy. His breath caught in his chest. She looked innocent and sexy. He is not sure how a woman can look both but she did. It filled him with joy that she was ready to physically be with him and trust him with her body. He knew what a big step that was for her. He walked over to her, ready to show her what it could be like between them. After that night, their relationship picked up speed because it wasn't just him that wanted their relationship to work; Veronica was now trusted him and was committed to them. They learned that when both of them were focused on something, they were a really good team.
Once he learned what it was like to be in a true and loving relationship, he wasn't willing to waste anymore time apart from her. He immediately bought her a desk and state of the art computer to use at his house. He made sure his housekeeper put any of her clothes that she washed in his closet and had her favorite foods available in his house. It wasn't long before she spent most of her free time at his place. Soon after that he bought her a ring and asked her to marry him. She felt it was too soon to be engaged but he was sure and told her that he had dated enough to know that their relationship was the real deal. She agreed to be engaged but felt they should wait until they were finished college to get married. In his usual 'bull in a china shop' way, he decided that they should get married just after Christmas because her father, friends, Dick, Duncan and Meg would all be able to make their wedding. He told her they could decide what they wanted and he would make it happen; she could just work and study. After they were married, he immediately paid off her student loans, paid for her last semester at UCLA, bought her a new car, got her to quit working at the library and to not take as many cases for Mars Investigations. He comes out of the bathroom and smiles as he sees she has pulled his pillow over to cuddle it. The first time he came home and found her wearing one of his t shirts and cuddling his pillow, he felt a lurch in his stomach; just knowing she liked the smell of him near her when he wasn't there meant so much to him.
Thinking of their wedding reminds him of Veronica's father. He had been a little horrified that his precious, perfect daughter was dating Logan Echolls and then even more unnerved by how fast Logan wanted the relationship to progress. Not that Logan blamed him. He is sure that when Mr. Mars looked into his background, he was not pleased at some of the stunts he pulled as a teenager and of course his upbringing. However Logan thinks that his excitement at dating Veronica and his strong belief in her relaxed her father somewhat. Now they get along pretty well. He likes talking to his father in law and he likes that he is open to answering Logan's questions about being a parent. Veronica's dad keeps tabs on his father for him and Logan thinks that Mr. Mars may have had a talk with Aaron about the perils of attempting to contact Logan or Veronica because his father has made no attempt to include him in his life and does not talk to him to the press anymore. Logan has never had an authority figure like Mr. Mars on his side and although he is an adult and can look after himself, he has to admit it is really nice to have a strong man like Veronica's dad protect him. Now that he has had time to adjust, Keith Mars is very excited about becoming a grandfather. He has plans for David to be a shortstop for the Padres.
As he watches Veronica sleep, her hand goes to her baby bump and he knows that David must be moving around. He thinks about how after graduation, he started talking about starting their family and Veronica was not as enthused. He had just started his business and she was accepted into Stanford. They had just moved to a new home and she wanted to enjoy the rest of the summer before she started school. She thought she would finish school, get a job and then they could think about having children. Logan though wanted a large family and he wanted to start young. He felt she could have one year towards her Master's degree and then could take courses part time while they were both home with their children. She could finish her PHD while their children were young and start working full time once they went to school. Veronica, seeing his real desire to have a big family, agreed to have one year full time at Stanford and then go part time. They got pregnant quickly and the timing was good as Veronica was able to finish in May with her usual superior grades and now she has some time off to enjoy the summer before David is born. The plan is for her to take the fall session off and start taking a course in the Spring. It just feels right to be part of the Mars family and to be having a family of his own. He looks at the clock on the bedside table and decides he should get moving if he is going to meet the guys in a half hour.
Logan enjoys surfing with his friends. He knows that he won't have as much time to surf while his children are young but he has already bought David a board and he can't wait to start teaching him how to surf. He takes the requisite teasing about how he shut Lilly down and his wife owns him with good grace. He has grown to see that he doesn't need the drama anymore. He always wondered what it was like to live an ordinary life and he finds that it is as great as he thought it would be.
As they drive towards home, Veronica texts Mac and reminds her that she will see her before lunch on Wednesday. She adds, 'Do we need to make a reservation at the vegan/craving restaurant?' Logan sees her texting and raises an eyebrow in question. She tells him, "I am reminding Mac of our lunch date on Wednesday."
Smiling Logan comments, "You two really seemed to hit it off."
Nodding she agrees, "I like her." Meeting his gaze for a few moments, she adds. "Makes the whole reunion thing worthwhile."
Logan shares, "I was thinking that we should try and visit Wallace and Georgia after their daughter is born."
Nodding she tells him, "That sound great!"
He looks at her for a second before he looks back at the road. It was enough for her to see his sincerity as he says, "Thank you for coming to the reunion with me. I think we got everything accomplished we needed to."
Pleased she agrees, "Good but know that even though I didn't want to go to my high school reunion, I will be expecting payment back for these three days."
Pouting a little he asks, "Isn't the fact you really supported me enough?"
"No," she immediately tells him, "I will be reminding you when David wakes us up in the night what a supportive wife I am."
Amused and unsurprised that she will use this weekend to her advantage, he agrees, "I will definitely pay you back."
Touched at how wonderful he is and how much he has faced this weekend, she tells him, "I know you will. You are the best husband and David is so lucky to have you as his father."
"I love our life," he tells her as he reaches over to take her hand. He gives it a gentle squeeze before he adds, "I can't wait until David joins us."
She smiles sweetly at him and agrees, "Me neither."
As he leaves the city behind him that had so many memories both good and bad, he feels his wife squeeze his hand before she lets go of him to recline her seat a little more, trying to find a comfortable position to relax. He glances at the clock on the dash of his expensive Lexis and sees that they will be home around supper. He will make her the mac and cheese she seems to be craving and he will try and sneak in some vegetables. Logan Echolls smiles a little as he thinks about how today is just another ordinary day with Veronica. Nothing has really changed but he feels lighter. Maybe this is what closure is like; this lightness inside and the feeling that the future is whatever you make it to be.