Disclaimer: I wished on a lucky penny, a rainbow, and a cross-eyed, one-footed rabbit, but I still don't own Veronica Mars.
A/N 1: Yes, this is it, but it's almost twice as long as the previous chapters because there were no natural breaks. So be of good cheer. Oh... and for anyone skittish out there, this gets a little bit 'M' toward the end. (Was that a 'squee' I just heard?)
Like Sand Sticking to My Wineglass, These are The Days of Our Lives
I whirled. Logan stood there, holding two glasses of white wine. I hoped it was pinot grigio. I immediately felt guilty for hoping for anything associated with Logan. Like I was betraying myself.
"I'm wearing a tuxedo," Nick answered flatly, when I failed to make the introductions.
"I can still tell you're a suit."
The lawyer didn't bother hiding his annoyance. "Nick Castle. And you are?"
"Logan Echolls. Veronica?"
"Can we talk?"
"Sure we can. We're doing it right now. Like pros," I evaded. I looked at Logan on my left. He was serious and demanding. I looked at Nick on my right. He was smiling and ready to have fun. Or, at least, that's how I broke it down.
"Nick, I... I need to talk to Logan. Can I catch up with you later?" Later sounded far away and noncommittal to me. I hoped it didn't sound that way to him.
He nodded, his smile slipping slightly, but holding on bravely. "Sure. All you have to do is whistle. You know how to whistle, don't you?"
"Just put your lips together and... blow," I answered with a smile.
I don't know what was wrong with me that I let the easy choice go. He had quoted one of my favorite movies, for crying out loud.
I turned and faced Logan. He placed the glass of wine in my hand. I sipped it and smiled. "Kris pinot grigio delle Venezie," I said. Very good. And very expensive.
"If you say so. I bought a whole bottle. It's behind the bar."
"Bought, huh? Well, that is classy."
He lowered his eyes briefly before nodding toward the empty dining room down the hall. It was getting close to midnight and I had battled every sort of emotion for eight hours now. I was glad to sit somewhere quiet for a minute. Even if it meant having a talk with the man who'd cheated on me and broke my heart.
We went into the quiet room, lit only by the moon pouring through high windows overlooking the empty beach to the south and the light of the hall.
"Veronica," he began, swirling his glass of wine speculatively, "What happened out on the deck, I'm sorry. It's just that when I'm around you, no matter how long it's been, I obviously slip back into old habits."
"So you're saying the invitation was a mistake?" I asked. I half-hoped he'd just say yes so I could go back to my easy lawyer. But, it was only a half-hope.
He looked at me squarely. "No. It wasn't. Ever since I saw you in the church, touched you, every old feeling, every memory of you, every want, desire, and need came flooding back." He gave a course laugh. "I became a shrink so I wouldn't have to analyze myself any more. 'Those who can't do, teach' and all that happy horse shit. You can see that's working out really well."
I matched his laugh with one of equal measure. "I'd be lying if I didn't say that you incited some feelings in me. When you said I looked 'well' back in the church, I wanted to bash your brains in with one of those swinging incense holders."
He chuckled. "I guess that's a good sign. And now?"
"Oh no you don't, doc. No head shrinking here."
We sat silently for a moment, sipping the wine. It was a beautiful shade of pale yellow-green in the dark.
"That day at the Grand," I started. I waited for him to mentally catch up. I knew he'd know exactly what day I meant. "I didn't listen to you."
He twitched a shoulder in response. "Honestly, I probably would have reacted the same way."
"But you might have listened. I didn't even hear what you said. I just stared at that damn scrap of satin and planned my escape."
He shook his head to indicate that he didn't agree. "Be serious, Veronica. I was rarely a sit down and listen type of guy."
"And now you do it for money?"
"For fame, really. I still have money."
"Fame?" I asked, doubtfully.
"No. Not that either."
"Now, now, Detective, no snooping."
"I'm a lawyer."
"You might also be a lawyer, but you never stopped being a detective."
We stared across the table at one another. The tension was palpable, but it wasn't threatening to crush me the way it probably should have. I invited it. It felt better.
"So, what did you try to tell me that day?" I challenged.
"That I'd never once touched another girl since I'd been with you."
"Where did the panties come from?"
"I like the way you say that word."
"Panties or come?" I shot back.
He stared at me, wide-eyed and obviously surprised.
"Answer the question, Logan," I demanded.
"Well, I moved into Duncan's room since it was the larger of the two after he fled the country. I assume they were his."
I arched an eyebrow. "You think Duncan cross-dressed?" I asked, struck dumb.
He shook his head with a mild laugh before clarifying. "No, I think they were Kendall's."
My eyes widened. "Kendall Casablancas?" I asked. I hadn't thought of that skank since my dad told me he felt responsible for her murder.
Logan nodded. His eyes met mine. "I know she went to him after I refused to open my bank account as her personal buffet of dead presidents."
"And, you know this how?"
"Because I was watching television when she sauntered out of his room a half-hour later. And, Kendall might have been a lot of things, but she was not a conversationalist."
Veronica nodded, this new information settling in, padding her Duncan file. She didn't know if was true, but what reason would Logan have to lie now? Other than to sleep with her, of course.
"Why should I believe you?" I asked. I watched the old hurt flash across his eyes. No one had ever made him look that way as far as I know, save for Lilly, his mother, and me. And I was the only one left. Guilt burned into the pit of my stomach.
"Because it's the truth," he replied quietly.
I nodded. "Okay."
"Okay?" he asked, surprised again.
"I believe you. I should have listened then."
We sat in silence, carefully not looking at one another.
He stood, suddenly. "We're out of wine." He reached down to take my glass the moment I grasped it. His hand brushed mine and he pulled away quickly.
I looked up at him. He looked the same as he had the day I'd walked out of the suite. He never chased me, never tried to clarify. I guess he knew I wouldn't believe him.
"Logan," I started.
He bent down and stayed my lips with his own. I was shocked, but I had been silently expecting it. I stood, not breaking the kiss, wrapping my arms around his neck.
He was just how I'd remembered him. His kiss was the one I imagined when I was with some new guy who tried to be smooth but always ended up muffing it somewhere on the way to third base. His hands on my waist... my back... Oh God, my breasts... in my hair... they were the hands I imagined when I was alone. I whimpered against him and he crushed me closer, pinning my legs against the low chair. I had no where to run. I didn't want to.
He turned me and sat down hard in the chair I'd just vacated. He pulled me down into his lap. I was twisted to the side, still kissing him as though I was afraid that stopping might make him disappear. I felt every hard plane of his body along my right side and he just clutched me close, equally desperate, equally hungry.
Before I knew what I was doing, I stood before him and glanced around. I took his hand and pulled him farther into the dark room and through a door into the kitchen. There were a few of the catering staff still there, talking, laughing, playing music and finishing off a bottle of expensive champagne. They stared at us as we passed. I laughed and Logan laughed and we raced through the kitchens and out the service door, past more of the staff standing around smoking.
I held his hand as we ran all the way to the empty beach. We ran so far that we couldn't even hear the music from the wedding anymore. We were out of breath when he tumbled me down against the wet sand and kissed me again. His mouth danced along mine and down along my jawline to my throat. He dropped kisses on the hollow behind my ear and down along the seam of my dress over the tops of my breasts. I just sighed and took in the texture of his hair, the day's stubble along his jaw, the scent that was identifiable as purely him.
He sat up above me on his knees and I sat up to lay my hand on his chest. I plucked the buttons of his shirt loose, smiling lazily up at him. He untied the bow tie and cast it to the side, matching my smile. We were in a hurry, but wanted to take forever.
I freed him of his dress shirt and he shrugged out of it. I slid my hands under his white tee shirt and watched them travel beneath the cotton. He sucked in his breath and stayed my wrists. "Veronica," he warned with a shaky breath.
I grinned and lifted the shirt up, baring his flat stomach and toned chest. I bit my lip as he finished the job and cast the shirt in the direction of the pounding waves. I sat up on my knees and faced him, kissing along his throat as he let his head fall to one side. I felt another warning issue from his throat, this one didn't even form a coherent word. I kissed his shoulders and let my fingernails scrape lightly over his bare back, loving the way his skin dimpled from the friction.
He grasped me by my waist and held me away from him. He searched my eyes and growled, "You're killing me."
I laughed and silenced him with another kiss. Sand tickled me where it ran down my back. He reached up and unhooked the neck of my dress as I unbuttoned his tuxedo pants. He groaned as my dress fell away, or maybe he groaned because I'd scraped my knuckles along his belly.
He held me back and laid me gently on the sand as he slid the dress down. He kissed each new bit of skin that he revealed, causing my own skin to dimple. I tossed against the sand, and gasped his name. He grinned back up at me. He hitched the dress down over my hips and studied me, naked save for a scrap of red satin keeping him from me.
He laid his hand on my chest and ducked his head to kiss my mouth. He kissed me so fondly, I thought I might cry. I didn't hate myself for it. His hands did the rest of the job while his lips held my attention. He slid the panties down over my thighs, my knees and tossed them the way of the rest of the garments. I was bare before him. I smiled against his mouth. He responded in kind.
My mouth went dry when he touched me. I arched immediately against his hand, wet and out of control. Minutes later, I cried his name aloud and he kissed me quiet. I don't know when he took his pants off, but the next thing I knew, he was between my legs and I was ready again.
I looked at him. He matched my gaze.
"It's always been you," I confessed breathlessly.
"Veronica," he said, his voice trembling.
I pulled myself closer, feeling every grain of sand beneath me, feeling him between my legs. With one thrust, he filled me. I trembled and he leaned down and held me with one arm, supporting his weight with one elbow in the soft sand.
I wrapped my legs around him, my hands curled around his shoulder and neck, clinging and arching and matching his thrusts with intensity I didn't know I possessed.
He devoured my mouth with his, taking greedy kisses and giving back my name, over and over, repeated like a prayer tripping from his sinner's lips. And finally, with the waves crashing behind us, I bit his shoulder to keep from screaming. I felt myself clench and pulse against him, every molecule of my body aware of him. And he buried his head in my neck and let go.
We lay there, covered in sweat and sand and tears, clutching one another tightly. He shifted his weight and lay facing me. I rolled onto my side, twining my short legs with his longer ones. I was suddenly cold without him on top of me. He saw my shiver, or felt it, and pulled me close.
"You probably know this already," he said against my ear. I felt his stubble on my cheek, all at once abrasive and welcome. "But, I love you."
I tucked my head against his shoulder and bit my lip. "Forever and ever, amen," I replied quietly.
"What?" he asked, softly.
"I love you, too."
"Mom! The oven isn't working," my fifteen year old daughter, Sam, yelled.
"I know, hon. I told you yesterday. We're getting a new one today," I came back. I stood in my old kitchen with its scuffed hardwood floors and the detritus of everyday life cluttering the island, carrying a basket of freshly folded laundry. "And you don't have to shout," I added sweetly.
My son, ten year old Jack, came to a screeching halt just inches short of the worn granite counter top. I plopped the basket into his hands and he fixed me with an irritated scowl. He looked so like his father when he tried to stare me down. I laughed.
"And, Jackie, quit rolling your socks up into little balls when you put them in the laundry. The stench is killing the plants in the cellar."
He quirked a smile at me. Stinky feet still made him laugh.
"Ew, mom, you're gross," Sam informed me. She was obviously beyond that stage in my comedic repertoire. I wiggled my eyebrows at her and she rolled her eyes.
"Yeah, she is kinda gross, isn't she?" my husband greeted me as he came in through the kitchen door. He dropped a kiss on my lips before looking at Sam. "She even smells kind of gross."
"You two are gross," Sam added with a sophisticated sniff.
"Well, I was made for lovin' you, baby, and you were made for lovin' me," Logan sang, kissing me again.
"Ewwww!" Sam complained as she left the room. I heard her stomp up the steps.
"Oh, good, we got rid of her. Where's Jack?" he asked, his eyebrows raised.
I pulled him down for another kiss. "Laundry."
He kissed me again and pushed me gently against the scuffed counter. "I don't have the video conference with Quantico until seven," he murmured, dropping light kisses along my jaw. When he finally pulled away, he had a decidedly mischievous glint in his eye. "Bedroom?" he asked.
"I have good news," I said.
"That can be discussed in bed," he asserted, leading me toward the stairs.
"We're officially homeowners."
He looked back at me and I produced the deed to our home in Kersey, Colorado from my back pocket. It had only taken us seventeen years of doubled mortgage payments, but we owned it. And without using his mother's money. We saved that for our kids.
"Then we should celebrate. And, honey, I love when you produce legal documents from thin air. Very hot," he teased.
And celebrate we did.
A/N 2: I also don't own To Have and Have Not, Kris wines, Randy Travis' "Forever and Ever Amen," Shaggy's "It Wasn't Me," or "I Was Made For Lovin' You" by KISS.
To my anonymous reviewers: Kattee: Thanks. I hope you LoVe-d the ending ;)
nikola:bows: Thanks much! I do try. Hope I didn't let you down with the end.
Sarah: Keith is so adorable. If only I lived in Neptune and were, like, ten years older...
Kate: I don't know if it's still screaming sequel, but feel free to tell me if it is and why. I'd love a prompt / challenge!
rainey: I know... Logan with a badge, busting the really bad guys (even if it is only with his sexy brain). Something so very hot about it all. Maybe that should be a sequel (prequel)? And, I loved your little thought process about the LoVe... very adorable!
Rookie: Thanks bunches. I hope I didn't stab anyone in the foot with my sword play in the ending! ;)
And, a million thanks to jacedes because that reviewer pointed out my "How Many Stories Make Up the Neptune Grand" muff-up. Thee are only 12... not 48. Still, it all turns out icky in the end for Cassidy!
Also, I am indebted to all of my reviewers for making me glad every time I posted. You are the ones who made me post so quickly, so thanks!!
Did you love it? Hate it? Well, it's over now and I'd LOVE a review!
Your Faithful Scribe,