The remains were hideous, shards of windscreen surrounded by twisted metal and flaking yellow paint. Logan surveyed the scene, his car written-off completely. Whoever was responsible had been smart enough not to torch the thing and draw attention in the hotel car park, but the damage that had been inflicted was bad enough without a fire to help it along. Logan tugged on the driver's side door but it refused to open, jammed shut in its new position.
He kicked the side panel harshly, grazing his ankle on split metal until blood seeped thickly through the bottom of his Diesel jeans, staining the expensive material redundantly. He watched the wound numbly for a moment before a voice broke him from his reverie.
"What the—?" Duncan stopped in his tracks, a breath caught half-way up his throat. "Logan, what the hell happened?"
He shrugged, trying to feign nonchalance. "My fan club obviously paid another visit."
"I'm sorry, man. This is just… sick."
"But kidnapping me was totally humane. S'ok, if it's totaled I'll just head to the dealership tonight."
"Duncan…" Veronica's voice echoed from the front of the Neptune Grand. "Are we going? If I'm late for homeroom Clemmons is going to make me see Ms. James again to talk about my 'difficulties'."
"Just a sec," he called.
Hearing the direction of his voice, Veronica wandered over to where the two boys were staring at Logan's destroyed car. She gasped a little, trying not to be affected by the mess.
"Modifications?" she inquired as lightly as she could.
"For free apparently," Logan agreed.
Duncan swallowed, finally slapping Logan on the back and trying to turn him toward the direction of his own car. "Come on, man, let's get to school."
"Shotgun!" Logan cried as they reached the car. He yanked open the passenger side door, leaving no room for Veronica to slip past him and veto the claim.
"What? No, Logan, he's my boyfriend, you get in the back!"
"Uh, uh. You should've been faster."
Duncan looked over his shoulder, merely offering Veronica an apologetic glance as Logan jumped swiftly into the passenger seat. His eyes were puppy dog begging her to let it go, and for the sake of her boyfriend—her current boyfriend—Veronica only glared as she climbed up into the back of the large SUV.
"Remember over the summer when I told you to stop pulling those stupid stunts?"
"Like it was yesterday," Logan sighed in an affectedly nostalgic tone.
"This is why!"
"Geez, Veronica, so I guess we won't be carpooling every morning, then."
"Not if Duncan wants to remain my boyfriend."
Logan turned in his seat to face Duncan once more, letting himself fall back into the comfortable leather. "See, man, it's always the same with chicks. They get their claws in, then the orders start. Makes me glad to be footloose and fancy fre—"
"Shut up, Logan." The command seemed to come from Duncan and Veronica in unison.
"Dude, what?" Logan threw a hand into the air between them.
"Just turn on the radio, man," Duncan tried to look firm for Veronica's sake, while maintaining that it was okay Logan was with him. Duncan didn't want to ostracize his best friend after they had only just tentatively form their new truce.
"If you think you can manage it without a crude joke involving knobs or pushing buttons," Veronica asked venomously from the backseat.
Logan twisted back in his seat to get a good look at Veronica as he smirked, then leaned forward to peruse Duncan's CD collection.
"I'm not really up for hearing about how my house got burned down, so excuse me if I pick a CD instead."
Veronica rolled her eyes and leaned back, kicking Duncan's seat hard as they approached a stoplight.
Duncan moved leisurely through the corridor, looking for once as if he was comfortable. Usually his steady stares and stiff arms looked painfully awkward but he seemed warm and genuine as he approached Veronica with a soft kiss. "Mmm, hey baby."
"Hi," she murmured, reaching her lips up to catch another small peck. "Whatcha up to?" she asked affectionately.
Duncan hesitated a little, his fingers flexing by his side before he finally relented with a short sigh, "Trying to stop Logan putting his fist through someone's face."
He looked disappointed and Veronica understood the feeling, she constantly gave Logan too much credit for how he would handle situations. Every time she thought that maybe he would think with his head for once and every time she proved him wrong like it was some kind of game that he needed to win.
Veronica refused to show her feelings to Duncan. Logan was his best friend but he wasn't anything to Veronica, she didn't really have the right to be mentally berating him for his choices anymore—she had told him as much on more than one occasion when he had tried to poke his nose into her business. "Hmm, wish I could say I'm surprised."
"What do you say we call this little cat fight to a halt?" she proposed, hands on hips, knee bent at an authoritarian angle that made Logan wish she was wearing a shorter skirt—maybe some knee-high boots to complete the look.
He disguised his distraction with tightly clipped words, asking, "You finally wanna play nice?" He straightened, moving away from his ground-level locker to regard her with some small amount of skepticism and glee.
Veronica held a hand up in protest. "Hey, I'm not the one that's been making things awkward."
Logan's gaze fell onto the ground before it returned swiftly to her face, his voice low and accusing, a wronged mumble, "Pretty sure you did that when you switched straight back to Duncan."
"I didn't trade you, Logan," she sighed, defensive.
He sounded disbelieving, complying to easily with no conviction, "Right."
"Come on," she pleaded, "you're Duncan's best friend, I'm his girlfriend—"
"My ex," he interrupted, disrupting the flow of her words.
"—we should at least be able to be civil."
"Would that be easier for you?" He advanced on her, a small step that though not menacing made Veronica's breath catch in anticipation. He continued slowly, his enunciation biting, "To fit us into a nice, neat normal situation?"
"It would be better for everyone," she affirmed, her voice small in comparison—lacking strength or will.
"'Cause you always have everyone else's best interests at heart, don't you?" he threw at her dully, turning on his heel with bag slung over one shoulder—a study in nonchalance and not needing Veronica Mars' advice.
Veronica let her gaze follow the light that spliced the shadows surrounding her. It seemed harsh, clinical—it was only a few seconds before she realized that it was a flashlight, not part of the natural night time environment of Neptune. Holding her breath, Veronica tried to ignore the burn in her chest from keeping quiet. Everything was silent, void. The slight crackle from the ground shocked her further into her seat, back pressed tightly against the leather interior as her fingers tightened convulsively around the steering wheel. Her knuckles white, face flushed red, Veronica desperately wanted to close her eyes and pretend that she wasn't outside in the dark on her own.
The crackling sounded closer and she chanced a glance into her rear view mirror. It was there that she saw clearly a darkened figure, a silhouette cut out of the shadow it was hiding in. A fevered chill ran the length of Veronica's spine and she slowly exhaled, reminding herself to breathe as she tried to remain as inconspicuous as possible. Maybe it was just a neighbor—or a hobo.
One hand slid down the dashboard as the shadow advanced, its speed keeping at the same leisurely ominous pace. Fingers curled around her tazer and Veronica pulled it closer to her, trying to make sure that her movements were unnoticeable from the outside of the car. She suddenly wished for tinted windows and not a soft top. The light flooding through her window was slowly diminishing as the shadow got closer and closer, blocking out the light. Veronica's breath hitched unconsciously. She clenched her teeth, setting her jaw against the adrenaline coursing through her veins.
With a sudden dart of movement and a quick tap of knuckle on glass it was level with her window and Veronica jumped, turning to witness her stalker.
Logan's shadowed face watched her, prompting, and letting go of a deeply held breath, Veronica rolled down the window impatiently.
"What the hell, Logan?"
A slight grin colored his face as Logan shrugged, explaining, "You were zoning, didn't want to scare you."
Veronica's lips set into a tight line as her eyes hardened into an unmistakable glare. "I wasn't zoning, I was preparing to fight off some three hundred pound goon!"
"They say the dark adds like a hundred and fifty pounds," he offered lightly.
Veronica sighed heavily, her tone blank and impatient as she demanded, "What do you want?"
"I can't just want to catch up with an old buddy?" he asked innocently, the sliver of light in his eyes glimmering with amusement.
Veronica paused for a moment before repeating, "What do you want?"
Logan let out a deep breath, pressing his hands deep into his pockets until he could touch the seams. His shoulders slouched slightly and his leg twitched with cramp from his position and the awkwardness between the two of them. His voice was sincere when he asked, "Can I come in? Or do we have to do this through the window?"
"I don't know, if I let you in are you going to behave?" Veronica arched one eyebrow, tapping on her tazer subconsciously.
Logan held up three fingers in salute. "Scouts' honor."
She let her lips crack very slightly into a small bemused smile. "You were never in the scouts."
"Yeah well you're no girl guide yourself," he mumbled.
Veronica finally nodded towards the passenger door and moving quickly around the side of the car, Logan slipped into the seat beside her, fingers running the dash uncomfortably as he stared out the windscreen.
"What is it, Logan?" she asked, her voice softer—more compassionate. Veronica sounded a lot like she had when she had been his girlfriend; she tried not to let that bother her.
"I think I'm in trouble," he claimed, erratic enunciation acting as bravado.
She was disappointed but she didn't know why, of course Logan would be in trouble and of course he would expect her to fix the mess for him. She sighed, her voice hardening again as she observed, "What's new?"
"Really this time," he added earnestly.
"You've been arrested, imprisoned, accused of murder, had your house burned down, been shot at, attempted suicide—"
"That was not suicide!" he interrupted.
Her tone was disbelieving as she let the words fall from her lips carelessly, "Okay."
"It wasn't. I wasn't going to jump," he defended.
"You know," Veronica started, "I'm not your girlfriend anymore and I don't have to stop calling you on this stuff."
"And I thought the reason I liked you more then was the toplessness. Maybe it was the blind loyalty all along."
"I wasn't being sarcastic."
"So…" he nodded into the space between her, trying to prompt a reaction from Veronica as he continued, "trouble…"
"You might want to tell me what it is before I can help you," she pointed out lightly.
"I was in a bar—" he started.
"Can you not see this would end badly? 'I was in a bar'? Really, Logan?"
"And you're a paragon of goodness and light," he snorted.
"At least I don't go around drinking myself to death and shooting my mouth off. What now? Insult someone's mother's virtue? Get in a bar brawl? Short-changed by a hooker?"
"Hey," he shot back defensively, one hand raised to counter the statement.
Veronica crossed her arms tightly under her chest, a short breath huffing impatiently from between her lips as words continued to fall from her mouth, coated in unnecessary venom. "I'm sorry, none of that seems horribly out of character for you Logan."
"I've never paid for sex," he nodded.
Veronica was exasperated, "Because that's what's important here!"
"You know what? Forget it. It's fine."
He stopped with his hand half-way to the door, turning his head to see her clearly. Veronica's bottom lip was worried between two front teeth, her hand tapping lightly on her leg in an anxious pattern.
"What kind of trouble?" she asked quietly.
"You were pretty close with the 'mother's virtue' one. Someone's sister. Oh, and there may have been something about drugs, but I was kidding."
She sighed, utterly defeated in the face of his self-destructive stupidity. "What do you want me to do?"
He shrugged, "I don't know. I'd like not to have my ass beaten by the Neptune mafia though."
She shook her head lightly, "I'll see what I can do. What was the name?"
The desk almost completely covered Veronica as she slide down in her spinning chair, trying work out the knot of tension that had fixed itself firmly at the back of her neck. Just as she felt a crack release, the door to Mars Investigations swung open and the familiar figure of Cliff McCormick strode toward her.
"V, you look like someone ran over your Prom float," he drawled.
Veronica let a breath escape her lips, "Ex-boyfriends—bane of my existence."
"Ah," he nodded comprehendingly, "pesky critters."
She tilted her head, comically, asking lightly, "I'm thinking of some extermination, know anyone good?"
"You know me, V." He took a seat across from her, slapping down a file on the tabletop as a wry smile appeared on his face, "More likely to find cockroaches in my little black book."
"Well that actually might come in handy for me. I'm looking for the Marlones."
"Why?" he asked plainly.
Coaxing up the corner of her mouth Veronica let her shoulders slump as she sighed, "Must we?"
Cliff leaned forward onto the desk to emphasis his point. His voice was wry, "Well your daddy's away, V. I lead you to what sounds suspiciously like the mob and he may well want to introduce his foot to my ass."
"Aw, Cliffy," she started. Veronica spun from side to side in her chair coyly. "It's not like that, really."
"Come on, V." He cocked one eyebrow smartly.
"The ex? He may have gotten himself into a spot with them, I need to go act as negotiator, less he be killed and I lose all opportunities for awkward moments while he's still shacked up with my boyfriend."
"Your ex lives with your boyfriend?"
"Not in a gay way… I hope."
"Okay, V. You take a look at that file for me and maybe an address and some info will turn up on the Marlones."
"Thanks, Cliff. I owe you big time."
"Don't get killed and we'll call it square."
"Win-win for me."
"Let's hope so."
Veronica's short, neat fingernails drummed a painfully staccato rhythm on Duncan's coffee table next to Logan as she bite out her words quickly while Logan ignored her, his attention fixated solely on the television set. "Logan, there isn't anyone called Marlone in over a two-hundred mile radius."
"Gosh, Veronica—I must have got the name wrong," he answered with eyebrows raised and irritating tone in place, his eyes never leaving the TV as he attempted to wind up Veronica.
"Why were you really there?"
Finally he turned to face her, resting his arms on the tops of his knees as he took up a good amount of the couch, his sprawling, lazy attitude sure to annoy Veronica. "Really?"
"Really," she demanded.
"You really want to know?" he asked sweetly.
Veronica was losing patience as she snapped, "You know me, curiosity and the cat and all that. Spit it out, Logan."
"I was following you," he admitted with a small nod and sincere voice. Logan's hands tightened on his knees, the fingers finding small threads and knots fascinating as he avoided her gaze.
Veronica didn't know what to say. She scrutinized him for a moment more before softening her voice to ask, "Why?"
"Does there need to be a why?" he looked up, a desperate strain to his voice.
"Yeah, kinda," she swallowed. "If I'm going to have to get a restraining order then I'd like all the details thanks."
"It's hardly that dire." He rolled his eyes.
The small gesture tipped Veronica over into anger. Her eyes were narrowed, he hands gesticulating wildly as she barked out, "What the Hell were you doing following me, Logan? Do you know how stupid that is?"
"Why, in case precious Duncan sees?" he asked sarcastically, his voice thick with disgust.
"In case one of the philandering husbands I'm tracking down sees and you give me away, jackass! But now that you bring it up, Duncan's your best friend. Right now one of your only friends," she was so angry tears were beginning to seep into her voice. Veronica was angry with Logan, with Duncan, with the situation—but mostly with herself, for caring at all when she shouldn't do. Easy wasn't spelt caring by a long shot.
"I know this!" he cried out suddenly.
The kitchen counter was covered in an assortment of festive foods. Turkey, yam, cranberries, potatoes, mini marshmallows, eggnog, carrots, greens, chips, dip and popcorn littered the kitchen in preparation for the Holidays. Veronica fingers a large packet of chips as she looked over to where her father was unloading yet more bags of groceries, considering they were eating at the Fennels she didn't know why he was bothering to keep the food here. And if Alicia's fridge was full then maybe they should have just planned to stay home for dinner anyway.
As she leaned against the counter watching Keith, Veronica started carefully, "Dad, I was thinking—"
"Should I be worried?" he joked without looking up from his task.
"Ha ha," she scowled. "No. Just, since Duncan and the Fennels are going to be at Thanksgiving and y'know it's a time that nobody should be alone I figured maybe we could invite Logan." Veronica paused, her lips wedged firmly between two teeth as she awaited Keith's response. There was a long moment of silence in the kitchen before, finally, he began to unpack the groceries again and a moment after that answered her question.
"No, Veronica," Keith replied. "I don't want him around you."
Veronica sighed, moving around the counter to take the bag from his hands and force Keith to give her his full attention. She tried to persuade him as she dropped the bag full of canned goods back onto the floor. "Come on, Dad. It's a time to be thankful and it's not like we're dating or anything."
Keith closed his eyes momentarily, as if trying to draw strength from an invisible source as he eyed Veronica, keeping his voice as light as he could while still maintaining the façade of 'stern parent' "As thankful as I am that you're not dating Logan, I don't want to see him at dinner."
Veronica pressed her tongue tightly against her teeth, trying to reel in her annoyance. "Well you probably won't, 'cause he's stubborn—but I'm asking him anyway. I don't want him to be alone and he will be if Duncan has dinner with us."
Keith didn't hesitate before he replied, "Then tell Duncan to stay at home."
"What is it with you and my boyfriends?" she asked with a short laugh.
"You're my only daughter, Veronica." He moved to pat her shoulder warmly. "When you're a parent you'll understand why the 'boys have cooties' stage of your life was my favorite.
Pouting slightly Veronica tried to look unshakable as she stated, "I'm inviting Logan."
"We're still going to the Fennels, maybe you should ask Alicia," Keith answered vaguely.
Veronica bite her lip and knitted her brow in incredulous irritation before observing, "Maybe you should have asked if I wanted to spend Thanksgiving there."
"Veronica—" Keith's tone was warning.
"Dad—" she mimicked, not willing to give in as she indulged him in a staring match.
Finally Keith relented, "He'd better be on his best behavior."
Veronica smiled brightly, offering, "He probably won't come; I just want the invitation to be there. Nobody deserves to be alone during the holidays."
"Okay." Keith nodded, sympathetically.
After five minutes of knocking Logan eventually conceded that Duncan must be out and got up to answer the door, even if it was just to stop the unearthly pounding that was rocking through his sensitive skull. He was not surprised to see Veronica Mars standing on the other side of the hotel room door, he was however surprised to discover that she was looking for him rather than Duncan. Suddenly though, it all became clear.
"Veronica," he greeted coldly.
She imitated his formality, "Logan."
"Duncan's not here," he added.
"I know," she replied calmly, "I'm not looking for Duncan."
Logan looked at her curiously, playing dumb. "Well, as far as I know it's just the two of us that live here."
Veronica moved forward a step, trying to get passed Logan and into the hotel suite, apparently he had other ideas and she moved to block her entrance. "Uh huh, are you going to continue to be an ass or let me in Logan?"
"You want to see me?" he pretended to be surprised.
"If it's not going to cut into your stimulating schedule," she shrugged accommodatingly. "I wouldn't want to take any time away from your right hand."
Logan's mouth curled into a smirk that belied his defense. "Harsh."
"Maybe," she agreed easily. "Can I come in?"
"Since you're so set on it," he acquiesced, moving aside to give Veronica a clear path into the room. "So…" he let his silence elongate as she took a seat on the couch and waited for him to join her, "excuse me if I cut to the chase but: why the hell are you here?"
"I get that this, being the holidays and all, is a hard time. I mean not having family sucks normally, right?" she tried to keep her tone inoffensive and safe.
Logan looked down at her, refusing to take a seat, indignation painted over his face clearly. His tone was accusatory as he shot her down, "Your dad keeps your teeth in a jar; my mom wouldn't even hang homemade decorations on the tree. What do you know about not having a family, Veronica, really?"
Veronica stood up to face him, anger blazing across her cheeks. "I know that while my dad was playing tooth fairy my mom was playing booze hound."
"At least one of yours got it right. While my mom was playing booze house my dad was sloughing anything that moved then disposing of them."
"You have Trina; she's still your sister, Logan," Veronica tried, her voice pleading him to relent and accept one of her answers. Veronica was steadily feeling more and more guilty about how alone she had left Logan, even if she didn't want to be trapped in that kind of relationship. Not that she would have stayed out of guilt—but still, it stung to hurt a person when they had no one to make it okay.
"And what a fine sister she is," he spat out harmonically, his tone lilting with hatred.
She refused to give up, "You've got Duncan."
"Who dropped me as soon as I attempted to date you?"
"You've got…" Veronica trailed off as Logan cut in.
"What, Veronica, what do I have to give thanks for on this glorious day?"
"You have me. I care."
He paused for a moment and his expression seemed pained. Turning away from her, Logan ran his hands through his hair and swallowed hard, beginning to speak before he was fully facing her again, his voice low, "And your behavior makes that so clear. I can feel the love from here."
"I do care, jackass. You just make it really difficult sometimes," Veronica's voice was tired, laced with regret and nostalgia. It was difficult to care about someone and not know how you were allowed to. In what capacity you could care for them. Logan would never just give her a line to cross; he was always blurring the boundaries to make her life more awkward.
After a long pause he said quietly, "I'm not coming to Thanksgiving dinner."
"I didn't ask you." She smiled slightly, trying to keep her face neutral.
"You were going to," he returned her tiny, wry smile. "You had some pity stuck right about…" he brought up his hand until he was pointing straight at her face, "there."
"Okay," she admitted. "I was. Duncan will be there and the Fennels so it's not like you'll stick out."
Logan gasped dramatically, raising one hand to cover his mouth before he continued, "The Murderer's son to dinner? What would the neighbors think of our illustrious sheriff?"
"You know my dad didn't win," Veronica reminded him, irritated.
"Yeah," Logan shrugged lightly, "well he should have."
Veronica nodded quietly. "I thought so too."
"Leave Logan alone," she demanded conversationally.
"What," Weevil looked up from where he was cleaning his bike, "you his mother now?"
Veronica raised an unimpressed eyebrow, bringing her foot up to rest on the edge of the curb. "That's just tacky."
Weevil straightened, wiping his hands on a rag from his pocket, he regarded her intently before noting, "You're not very nice lately, Veronica."
"Ooh," she feigned fear, "should I be fire-proofing my possessions?"
He took a step toward her, crossing his arms as if it would make him seem more intimidating to the small blonde. A self-satisfied smile painted his lips as Weevil returned, "If I did anything then I blame peer pressure and the latest trends as started by your boy there."
"Oh, yeah," she agreed sarcastically. "Burning stuff down is just so fashionable right now."
Weevil leaned against the low wall running the school parking lot, "Come on, V. You just here to accuse me of stuff I didn't do? I know you got more class than that, though it wouldn't seem it from the stuff that comes out of Echolls mouth."
"Well unless you're interested in investigating the possibilities of my foot being up your ass you'll keep quiet." She pursed her lips in annoyance.
"So it's this way, huh?" he asked, almost hurt.
Veronica didn't waste any time in clarifying, although her tone was endlessly disappointed. She had wanted Weevil to not have anything to do with Logan's torment, even if she knew that was a little bit like wishful thinking. "Weevil, you kidnapped him. You pointed a gun at him. I thought you were supposed to be different."
"Oh, don't get all cliché on me now. You've always known who I am V, I look out for my people and he's a threat."
"Logan's a threat to keg stands and panties," she scoffed. "He's not some maniacal genius—and if you think so you're giving him too much credit."
Weevil sighed, warning Veronica, "Watch yourself, I don't want to need an I Told You So."
"You won't," she added definitely. "Logan's a jackass but he's not a murderer."
"Got an awful lot of conviction for a guy you're not even dating," he taunted.
Veronica was starting to lose her patience, something that was happening increasingly more often as she encountered the opposite sex. "My dating Logan has nothing to do with him and Felix."
"Hear that's what sent him up there that night," Weevil continued the veiled taunts.
"I wouldn't know," Veronica spat back. "He was too busy trying to stay conscious when I saw him to offer up much of a story."
"We thought he killed Lilly," he tried to justify.
"Well, that just wasn't very thorough of you," she snapped insincerely—angry for Logan, for the way she had to find him, for the way it all turned out in the end anyway. "Maybe you should take a look at that whole 'innocent until proven guilty' speech you keep feeding the Sheriff every time you get hauled in."
"You've got a smart mouth."
"At least one of us has," she finished, turning on her heel sharply as she headed toward the LeBaron.
What's a BFF got to do to get some love? I know you're still trying to figure stuff out with your dad, but it's Thanksgiving and it would be really great if you could phone—I think if I call you anymore without an answer it actually constitutes stalking.
Happy Thanksgiving, hope the turkey's good where you are.
"What you doing?" Duncan leaned over her shoulder, pressing a quick kiss to Veronica's cheek as he tried to sneak a peek at her laptop screen.
She sighed lightly, it seemed like she had been doing a lot of sighing lately and none of it was having the desired effect of ridding the pressure building steadily and heavily in her chest. "Reaching out futilely—all day, every day."
"Wallace still not replied?" he asked sympathetically.
She shook her head once, quickly. "I think he has me blacklisted."
"Well, dinner was great," Duncan changed the subject, trying for her sake, "thanks for inviting me."
"You're welcome; I just wish Logan had shown," Veronica admitted. "I know we're not exactly the best of buds but I hate to think of him on his own."
"Yeah," Duncan agreed. "I'll probably head back soon—keep him from asphyxiating in a pool of his own vomit." He winced a little at Veronica's reaction, nodding.
"He was drinking?" she asked, disappointed—again.
"At 8 a.m. he toasted Thanksgiving. At 9 a.m. the Pilgrims. By the time I left at two he was mentioning names that sounded suspiciously like the Tellytubbies."
Veronica frowned. "What a holiday. Logan, a bottle and his Tinky Winky."
"You make things dirty deliberately don't you?" Duncan asked, a blush crawling across his amused features.
"I just like to see you blush when I offend your delicate sensibilities," she teased, pinching his cheek hard. "Now go make me some pie, woman!"
"You keep that up and you'll lose a sugar daddy," he warned with a pout.
"Pfft," Veronica scoffed. "If you were a real sugar daddy then you might have had some creative suggestions for Tinky Winky."
Duncan looked up sharply, gesturing to the glass on the table next to them. "If I choke on my milk, I'm blaming you."
"Don't worry," she sneaked a quick kiss, "I have connections down at the Sheriff's department," and another, "they'll never make it stick."
"Aww," he bent down to her mouth again, "so resourceful, my little Nancy Drew."
"Well," she smirked, "black polo necks aside you make an excellent Ned."
"Man, all my friends are going to be so jealous," he grinned as Veronica giggled into his mouth.
One missed call.
Time of call: 5.39 p.m.
One new voicemail.
"God gave us our relatives; thank God we can choose our friends—Ethel Watts Mumford."
End of message.
Veronica pressed the recall button and watched as her phone flashed and blinked before bringing it to her ear just in time for the call to be picked up.
"It's a start, Logan. Happy thanksgiving."
"I'm thankful for Advil."
"You will be tomorrow."
"Tell Duncan I'm still alive and he doesn't need to come baby sit me," Logan prompted.
"Okay. Don't drink anymore."
She could almost hear his smile down the phone, "Wouldn't dream of it. Don't call me again until we're safely out of holiday territory. This sentimental shit is worse than my imminent hangover."
"Wouldn't dream of it," she smiled, hanging up.