Fair Warning

Piz bounded into the dorm room he shared with Wallace, happier than he'd been in months.

"Veronica broke up with Logan!" he said, the excitement pouring out of his voice. "How long do you think I should wait before asking her out?"

Wallace wanted to bang his head into his desk. He really did like his roommate, most of the time, but Piz's little crush on Veronica complicated things. He wondered how much he could tell the boy, to try to make him understand, without Veronica kicking his ass into the next week. Finally, he just said, "Man, don't."

"What?" Piz looked like a kicked puppy. "Why?"

With a sigh, Wallace asked, "You ever hear of Lilly Kane?"

"Yeah, it was the big news story a few years ago, even in Oregon. Software billionaire's daughter who got killed, right?"

He nodded. "Yeah. She was also Veronica's best friend and Logan's girlfriend."

Wallace watched the pieces falling into place in Piz's head. Veronica's detective abilities connected with why both her name and Logan's had sounded so familiar. "That explains a lot," Piz admitted.

"Of course it does. Now, listen. Veronica and Logan...they're volatile, at best. But you've heard that tragedy bonds people? Well, they're bonded. Those two are the only ones on the planet who can really understand where they've been. Except maybe Veronica's other ex, Duncan Kane, but he's...out of contact for a while."

But she broke up with him," Piz argued. "That has to mean something."

"Yeah, it means that she's hurting and scared that he can hurt her even more. And it means that in nine months or less, they'll be back at it. Honestly, this time I'd give it six months, tops, before you might find them making out in the janitor's closet or something."

He shook his head. "No way. Didn't you hear what he did?"

"Of course I heard. The point is, those two are gonna be drawn to each other until their relationship actually explodes and blows the both of them up. Anyone who gets in the way is just gonna get hurt. Fair warning, man."

Months later, as Piz stared at Veronica staring at Logan across the crowded cafeteria, he couldn't help but think, Damn it, Wallace was right.