Recap: School resumes with several new additions. LoVe are going strong, but ghosts of the past are never far behind. Newly engaged Keith is running for Sheriff. Logan makes strides to earning the Paris trip and receives an offer of help dealing with his family and past from his neighbor. Kate's nightmares drive her to the edge and she finally confronts what the dreams may mean, but the truth may be more than she bargained for. Duncan's affair with Kendall continued past warnings to both to stop, but eventually Duncan decides to start reconnecting with old friends and his high school life. Wallace likes Jackie and thinks they have moved from dating to exclusive, but the friction between Jackie and V makes things difficult and only gets worse when Jackie is a suspect in who is leaking negative info on Logan to the press. Dick's interest in Mac continues to grow, causing friction with Enbom, and making Mac face down the hard choice of moving on, going back or going it alone. After run ins with both Lizzy and Nash, Meg ends her relationship with Richie, but Nash is sending mixed signals. Logan is suspicious about Veronica's secrecy (planning his birthday) and vows to find her out, so she recruits his friends to throw up a smoke screen. A fracture in Veronica's friendship with Wallace opens, but leads to Wallace opening his eyes to see Jackie a bit clearer. An explosion rocks Neptune High leaving emergency services scrambling and seven students in various states of health. The mole is revealed, Kate's fundraiser happens and Logan's surprise birthday weekend goes off without any (much) drama, despite a freshly single Enbom deciding that Mac is the one he wants even as she grows closer to Dick.


Thanks for all the reviews, the story is picking up speed now and since there's going to be some (a lot) lemons in the next few chapters, I'm (temporarily) changing the rating.


Chapter 28: LoveFool
(Sunday, October 23)

There were still about 25 people downstairs when Veronica slipped upstairs, the long day finally getting to her. Logan loped up the stairs after her, catching her at near the top.

Logan: Going somewhere without me?

Veronica: (half smile) Just to your bed.

Logan: Hmm. I like the sound of that.

Logan unlocked and opened his bedroom doors, pushing them open and waving Veronica through first then following and grabbing her hand before using it to spin her back into his arms. Logan kissed her backing her into the room, then kicking the door shut behind them.

Logan: The best birthday ever is about to get even better.

Veronica smiled as she let Logan lead her towards the bed. Sitting down on the edge, she stepped in between the V of his legs, resting her hands on his shoulders.

Logan: (musing) Now what to ask for… ah! I think I have it. A classic. (She arched one eyebrow, waiting for the verdict, feeling her skin warm in anticipation.) Do you have some more of that lipstick?

She tilted her head at the abrupt change of topic.

Veronica: I do, and are you really not going to tell me?

Logan: Oh, I am. But first… (He eased his fingers under the hem of her dress slipping off her panties.) And now the lipstick.

She shot him a questioning look, but went to the bathroom to retrieve the tube of red lipstick. Returning to the bedroom, she watched as Logan positioned a large oak framed oval mirror to the end of his bed, carrying it across the floor from the corner by the large closet that took up the back wall of his bedroom.

Veronica waited until she had his attention again, then uncapped the lipstick before smoothing it over her lips teasingly. Logan smiled slowly, his eyes heating as he stepped closer to her, but she pressed a hand to his chest, stopping him. Recapping the tube, she set it on his nightstand, before moving closer to him.

Sliding her hands up his chest she eased the suspenders off his shoulders, before starting on his shirt buttons. Letting him shrug the shirt off, she moved her hands to his pants, smirking as they slid down his legs to the floor. Logan toed off his shoes, leaving him only in his boxers. Veronica ran her hands back up his chest, circling his nipples lightly.

Logan: (raising his eyes skyward) God I love my birthday.

Veronica smiled, tilting her head up to ask for a kiss as his hands cupped her shoulders. Logan kissed her softly, then stepped around her, dimming the lights and locking the doors from inside, guaranteeing their privacy.

Logan: So… If you're game…

Veronica: So now I get a say in your wish fulfillment? Since when? You're usually pretty insistent that wishes are 100 percent what the wishmaker wants, no addendums.

Logan: True, but for this particular wish, I want to add an addendum. I want you to be honest and tell me if anything makes you uncomfortable or if I just push it too far.

Logan…

Logan: (insistent) Promise me.

Veronica: It… I might not be comfortable talking about sex, but I would let you know when something makes me… (she fluttered her hand) uncomfortable, if you didn't usually sense it before I needed to say something.

Logan: (softly) Promise me.

Veronica: (tilting her face into his hand, which cupped her jaw) I promise.

He kissed her hard, hands gliding over her back.

Logan: Reverse cowgirl.

Veronica: (sputtering with laughter) What?

Logan: That's what I want. For tonight anyway.

Veronica: Well, (making a faintly sad face) there goes another purity point. (frowning) Though I still doubt I'm anywhere near a 14.

Logan shook his head, not happy with the reminder that he and his friends had ostracized and taunted Veronica for a year, slut shaming the girl who had once been his friend, who was the farthest thing from a slut that he could imagine.

Logan turned down the covers, revealing new sheets in a warm gold color with a lighter pattern on them. Veronica ran her hand along the sheets softly, feeling the soft flannel.

Veronica: New sheets?

Logan: Grandma Hatchet sent them. Said something about it getting cold, even in California.

Veronica: (idily, watching as Logan removed his boxers, sitting down and pull her into his lap) Mrs. Navarro must have put them on today when she was here.

Logan: I don't really want to talk about my sheets, grandmother or Mrs. Navarro right now.

He was kissing her neck and Veronica tilted her head back to give him more access, sighing at the slow humming of blood heated under her skin.

Veronica: No? What topic do you suggest then?

He paused for a second and Veronica met his eyes as he seemed serious.

Logan: Literature.

Veronica: (laughing) Literature?

Logan: Yes, as in how Charlaine Harris should not count as literature, more…

Veronica: Southern gothic pop noir?

Grinning, he returned his mouth to her skin, kissing a path across her shoulder, pushing the dress aside and looking in admiration as her bare breasts were revealed.

Logan: Yeah. That covers it.

He closed his mouth over one breast and Veronica's hand clenched in his hair, holding him close.

Veronica: Just because you read Tolstoy for fun.

Logan: "All, everything that I understand, I understand only because I love."

They continued their unhurried foreplay, until his erection was pressing insistently between her legs and her own desire was undeniable.

Veronica: (shifting position to be straddling him but facing away from him) I… think I understand the mechanics of this… but if you have any guidance…

Logan: Just do whatever feels good for you.

Logan lifted her dress back into place, wanting the effect of the sequins sending off star-bursts of light with every movement, able to see her clearly in the mirror. Veronica lifted up on her knees, positioning him at her entrance before sliding down.

He felt her tremble as she settled over him, and he ran his hands over her hips reassuringly.

Logan: How does it feel?

Veronica: beginning to rock her hips, getting comfortable) You know… I like to be…

Logan: On top. I know. And I like to watch you.

As she gained confidence she began to raise and lower herself over him, swirling her hips occasionally, keeping him guessing. Propped up on the pillows at the head of the bed, Logan kept his gaze locked on her as she moved seductively her silver dress, makeup darkened eyes, red lips and short hairdo, making her both familiar and unexpected.

Logan: Take your dress off.

Veronica didn't question it, just did as he asked, happy to be free of the stiffness and weight of the vintage dress. Logan's dark eyes toured her body, his hands sliding up her legs, still sheathed in black silk thigh high stockings.

Logan: You're so sexy. So beautiful.

Twisting, her hand pressed into his abs for balance she met his eyes.

Veronica: You make me feel that way.

He rewarded her words by thrusting up, pushing deep into her, earning a sharp gasp.

He grasped her waist, helping her keep a steady rhythm, until as she began to chant his name, a clear signal that she was close, he pulled her back a bit, forcing her to arch backwards, his shaft putting pressure on her g-spot and sending her over the edge immediately.

Veronica gasped and trembled over him, the delicious release of tension leaving her feeling relaxed and blissful. After a minute she shifted her hips again.

Veronica: (plaintive) Logan.

Logan: What?

Veronica: You didn't…

He was still hard. Sometimes she wondered if his experience gave him more longevity than other boys, not that she had much besides rumors and Lilly's stories to go by, or if it was just Logan.

Logan: I will.

He grasped her shoulders and pulled her down so she was lying on his chest, facing the ceiling, her legs bent in a deep bend.

His hands took a firm hold of her thighs, holding her steady as he began to thrust into her deeply, setting of growing ripples of sensation within her. Once she was settled back against him, her small body cushioned on his chest, his hands began to wander, teasing her clit, circling and cupping her breasts, teasingly light as they ran up and down the length of her thighs.

Time seemed to stop, the only measure that had any value was his thrusts and her breathing, growing more ragged with each lift of his hips.

Veronica: Logan, please…

Logan: I'm close, baby, can you come again?

Veronica: Yeah…

His fingers slipped between her legs, finding her swollen clit, and rolling it gently as she cried out his name, both of them coming simultaneously.

—VM—LoVe—VM—

Logan woke up early the next morning, hearing the sound of voices and footsteps. Shutting his eyes to focus his hearing, he recognized Luke's voice, then what must have been Malia, and finally Mrs. Navarro. He recognized his longtime housekeeper's voice more from the rhythm than the timber of her voice since she sounded much farther way and must have been downstairs.

—VM—LoVe—VM—

Waking up the second time, Logan saw that it was almost nine o'clock. Turning to look at Veronica, he was unsurprised to see her still asleep, her body soft and warm against his side. He studied her face, framed by tangled blond hair. There was an innocence about Veronica. Still. A touch of the untouched in her. Logan was pretty sure he was one of the only people who ever saw it, besides her father and maybe Wallace, maybe Meg.

Logan rolled onto his side, carefully moving the covers aside, his eyes tracing each inch of pale skin as it was revealed. Shifting over her, Logan smiled as she unconsciously widened her legs to accommodate him. He might have worried about touching her while she was still sleeping, if not for the wish and the fact that she had granted him permission to wake her up this way while they'd been on spring break. Logan set about arousing her slowly, not wanting to wake her up quite yet.

When her blue eyes finally opened she was completely wet and he was hard.

Good morning.

Morning.

She stretched, arms lifting then wrapping around his shoulders. Logan kissed her softly then shifted into position between her legs. Veronica raised her knees to cradle him, and then he was inside her, the feel of her sheath stretching around him, never losing it thrill for him.

Logan lifted up on his arms, driving his hips forward into her with deep even thrusts. Her face was flushed, her nipples tight with arousal. And even then, even in bed with her naked and wanting, beneath him, he saw it almost every time. Her innocence. The sweetness that reminded him of the girl she had been. The girl she had disavowed a long time ago. He doubted Veronica would admit it if he asked, if he pointed it out to her. She thought of herself as a badass now, needed to believe it. But still there was a bit of untouched innocence in her. And Logan thought he would do anything to protect her, to keep the last part of the girl she had been.

—VM—LoVe—VM—

Sometime later they determined that they needed to eat, and to do so had to leave his bed. Logan threw off the covers, practically jumping out of bed, his energy level a direct opposite to her careful, slow movements.

Logan went to the closet pulling on a pair of pajama pants that she knew were more for her than him, and a soft silk robe for her. A part of her knew it was silly to still feel the need to cover up around him, but she did, and he rarely made her feel bad about it.

If Logan had been at all self conscious or uncomfortable with sex then Veronica thought she would have been too- much more than she was. She still had moments of shyness, of discomfort with others knowing or guessing what they did together, but because Logan effortlessly accepted her, her body, and his own sexuality, it somehow made it easier for her.

—VM—LoVe—VM—

Downstairs, they'd finished off the hearty breakfast of eggs, bacon, potatoes and salsa and tortillas that Mrs. Navarro had left prepared in the fridge. Logan had been shocked coming downstairs to see that his house was back in order, all evidence of the party removed, and all his furnishings returned.

Logan: Too bad.

Veronica: What?

Logan: Well, we could have kept the poker table a bit longer, if only for the memories, and I was thinking I could just keep some of the plants.

Veronica: You should have said something.

Logan: I was otherwise occupied.

She smiled, shaking her head at his antics even as she let him pull her down onto the couch.

Sometime later, Veronica turned in his arms to face him, the tv show they had been watching from his DVR having ended.

Veronica: We should leave here around 12:45.

Logan: Leave?

Veronica: For Shi's swim lessons.

Logan smiled slowly, his expression revealing his anticipation, which made Veronica frown.

Veronica: You do remember.

Logan: I remember, but… circumstances have changed.

Veronica: I'm not canceling on her.

Logan: One, I would argue that she's not even two yet, so she probably doesn't remember, but since it's her and you, I'll error on the side of caution and say she would be disappointed if you didn't show up when she's expecting you.

Veronica: So we should leave at 12:45.

Logan: But there is my wish.

Veronica: What do you want?

Logan: That leads me to two. Since Shi is probably excited to get to see you, and I assume you didn't see her yesterday because you were here, I'm willing to negotiate.

Veronica: Negotiate.

She stared him down, but Logan just smiled smugly.

Logan: I assume we'll be gone for a few hours? Taking time… precious time from the me time you promised.

Veronica: Probably closer to four hours.

Logan shook his head, looking amused but affecting disappointment.

Logan: So five, if you count travel. (Veronica rolled her eyes.)

Veronica: I assume you'll be amenable if I make up the time to you.

Logan: Of course, I can be reasonable. So you get five hours today, and I get ten hours later at a time of my choosing.

Veronica: Ten hours!

Logan: (smirking) Wishes come with a steep interest rate.

Veronica: And fairies can be vengeful little creatures. (Logan grinned, not worried, until he saw Veronica tilt her head as if a new thought had just occurred to her.) You know… While we're in negotiation mode…

Logan: Yeah?

Veronica: You need to get Dick a nice car. Or nicer at least. Seatbelts, air bags, not likely to breakdown on the freeway.

Logan: Why would I do that?

Veronica: Because he's taking Mac out on a date, their first date, and you know that as the more romantic one of us, you want it to go perfectly even more than I do.

Logan looked at Veronica with amusement.

Logan: I assure you my romantic thoughts do not extend past you. (He kissed her briefly.) Did he actually ask her out?

Veronica: I think he has several times already, but now that they are playing tonsil hockey with each other she can't really brush it off as a friend thing.

Logan: Sorry. Can't do it.

Veronica: (eyebrows drawing together in a confused frown) Why? Dick is your friend.

Logan: And so is Enbom. I'm not picking sides. Dick is on his own.

Veronica: OK, let's make this about you. If you don't give Dick a nice car to take Mac out in…

Logan: She has a car, she can drive.

Veronica: If you don't give Dick a nice, cool, awesome car that adds to their date's awesomeness then you'll be sleeping alone.

Logan: (surprised) For how long?

Veronica: I'm not sure. It depends.

Logan: (curious) On what?

Veronica: On how much this ends up pissing me off.

Logan: Why do you want to help Dick out anyway, I thought you'd be the one leading the "don't date Dick campaign."

Veronica: I would except for the fact that he makes Mac happy.

Logan: (smiling) Now who's the softie.

Veronica: (sharply) And, after we found Marisol, Dick lifted the bet you made so that you could hold me while I sobbed on your shoulder.

Logan began to look uncomfortable and guilty.

Veronica: So what'll it be? An asshole sleeping alone or a good friend and boyfriend with more than his right hand for sex?

Logan: What do'ya bet I could change your mind?

Veronica: What do'ya bet that would make me even more angry? Do the right thing snuggle bunny, or you'll be snuggling alone.

—VM—LoVe—VM—

At Torrey Pines, Jake and Duncan were on the green, overlooking the ocean.

Jake Kane: Duncan. How's school?

Duncan: Good.

Jake Kane: Good. Nothing else to say?

Duncan: What would you like to hear?

Jake Kane: You're keeping your grades up?

Duncan: Yeah.

Jake Kane: You went out last night.

Duncan: Yeah.

Jake Kane: A party? (Seeing his son's defensive look, Jake laid a soft hand on his shoulder.) I'm just asking. I don't know that I've been paying enough attention to you.

Duncan: You've been busy with Shiloh.

Jake Kane: And work.

Duncan smiled resignedly. It was always something. Not that he particularly wanted his father's attention at this point in his life.

Duncan: It was Logan's birthday party.

Jake Kane: Oh, so you were out with your friends. Did Logan have a good birthday?

Duncan: Yeah. Veronica… she threw him a big party.

Jake Kane: I'm sure it was wonderful.

Duncan's lips twisted at the things unsaid, his muscles tensing, but he forced himself to relax. Getting mad wouldn't change anything. His father would never openly discuss anything of any real importance. Like the fact that his worrying about where Duncan had gone stemmed from his son's affair with a married woman. Or that the reason Veronica was throwing Logan a birthday party, and not Duncan was because Jake had had an affair with Veronica's mother 18 years before, throwing her paternity into question. Or that the reason that Jake was being so involved with Shiloh, his new daughter was that he'd seriously constrained Leanne's interactions with the toddler, due to Leanne's continued struggle with the bottle. But Jake didn't say any of those things, and neither did Duncan. Instead they talked about the weather, their score and which club to use.

—VM—LoVe—VM—

Just after noon, Veronica stepped out of Logan's shower and inspected herself for any marks that might not be suitable for family viewing. Seeing that she was hickey free, she shrugged at the slight redness where her pale skin had been abraded by Logan's unshaven morning beard.

Quickly dressing in a modest swimsuit, she pulled her hair back into a messy low ponytail.

Veronica: (calling loudly) Your turn.

Logan: We could have showered together.

Veronica: You're the one who wanted me to be honest about when it was too much. (The words were lightly spoken but still made Logan frown.) Relax, I'm a bit sore, nothing that a few hours of splashing around won't cure.

Logan: You would tell me…

Veronica: I did, didn't I? And I knew what I was agreeing to when I agreed to the wish.

Logan: We still could have showered together. I can control myself around you, as hard as that may be to believe.

Veronica: (kissing him lightly) Maybe it's me I was worried wouldn't be able to control myself.

Logan grinned even as he shook his head.

—VM—LoVe—VM—

In Logan's Xterra, Veronica was wearing a strapless summer dress that showed the straps of her bikini top. Logan was dressed in Hawaiian print board shorts with a white t-shirt. Both were in flip flops and had bags stuffed with various supplies.

Logan took the turns on road to the Kane's with practiced ease. They lived just up the hill from where Logan had spent his first five years in Neptune. The Kanes' house lay in the foothills above Neptune while the Echolls', now burnt down mansion, had laid on the lower elevation closer to the beach and affording breathtaking views of the water.

Veronica's phone rang just as they parked in front of the Kane's multicar garage. Veronica pulled her phone out of her bag.

Veronica: It's my dad. I ignored his call last night.

Logan: Maybe because you were drunk.

Veronica: I was not drunk.

Logan: Tipsy, then?

Veronica: Maybe, now be quiet. (Hitting the button to answer the call, she put the phone to her ear.) Hey Dad! How's the windy city?

Logan smiled and shook his head at her continued charade of deception with her father. She chose to be honest about the big things- sleeping over and Logan's and having sex, but chose to hide other things. How she decided what to reveal and what to conceal he never knew. But regardless, Logan doubted there was much that Keith missed when it came from Veronica.

Keith: Have a good time last night at the party?

Veronica frowned, her eyebrows knitting together, but she recovered quickly.

Veronica: Yeah. It was fun. Good food, good music…

Keith: And alcohol?

Veronica: Valet parking, dozens of DDs and cabs on order.

Keith: Any fights?

Veronica: Logan did try to wrestle me for the last bite of the cake.

Keith: The audacity.

Veronica: I know. Like it being his party for his birthday made him special.

Logan grinned and tilted his head back against the driver's seat head rest.

Keith: Is he with you?

Veronica held the phone out in front of her and put it on speaker.

Logan: Hi Mr. Mars. Make sure you get drinks at Rivers while you're in Chicago. Alicia can dress up while you can dress down, and the views are pretty awesome.

Keith: Thanks. I'll disregard that my daughter's underage boyfriend just recommended a bar to me, and take it in the spirit it was given.

Logan: You're a swell guy, Mr. Mars.

Keith: Yes, well, happy birthday, Logan.

Logan: Thank you.

Veronica continued talking to Keith while Logan grabbed up their various supplies.

Veronica trailed Logan as he beat a once familiar path around the side of the Kane mansion, to the large outdoor pool where they had spent hundreds of hours in years past. Memories danced in the back of Logan's mind, Lilly's laughter, her smug pride when surprising Logan with a new skimpy swim suit, Duncan's easy smiles and laughter, his eyes soft as they looked at Veronica. And Veronica, her face soft, not just relaxed or younger, but softer, unaware of life's cruelty. She had been different, they had all been different.

Memories of the past evaporated as Shiloh, spotted them and shouted for her sister.

Shiloh: Roka!

Veronica smiled, kneeling down in the grass as Shiloh ran as fast as her little chubby legs would carry her.

Veronica: Yeah Dad, everything is fine. Backup is well fed and exercised, the apartment is still standing, my homework is done, and I'm about to let Shiloh splash water in my face while we pretend to be teaching her to swim. (pausing to listen as Shiloh plowed into her, nearly knocking her back) Yeah, I miss you too. Want to say hi?

Veronica scooped Shiloh into her arms, standing up and switching the compact weight of the toddler to her hip as she held the phone to her little sister's ear, hearing the soft warmth in her father's words as he spoke. Looking around she saw that Jake had stood up to greet Logan with a handshake while Leanne bustled around a table full of food. Duncan was floating in the pool and waved to Veronica awkwardly, before climbing out to help Logan unload all their stuff.

Veronica smiled up at Jake as he approached; holding out his arms to relieve her of Shiloh, but the little girl shook her head, a scowl on her face as she wiggled to be put down and ran towards Logan.

Shiloh: Lo-lo!

Logan: (swinging Shi up into his arms then tossing her into the air) Oh I get a hello now too?

Shiloh: Mo! Mo!

Jake smiled indulgently, knowing from Weidman's reports that Logan was careful with Shi.

Veronica: Yeah, OK, I have to go. Love you. (laughing) Yes, I love you and miss you too. (listening) What? You're the one who left, why do I get punished? You want it to not be a punishment; we can catch up at Luigi's. (listening) Dad. I have to go. Yes. Really. Say hi to Alicia for me. Bye.

Jake couldn't help but feel envious. Veronica had such an easy, open relationship with her father. She loved him and he loved her and no one who had ever met them could deny that. Jake wanted that closeness with his children, he always had, but it had always been so complicated. With Celeste, and Leanne, and the company. But now there was Shiloh, a second chance.

—VM—LoVe—VM—

At the Casablancas home, Kendall was in her bedroom, dressed only in a silk robe, looking rumbled and annoyed as she held a phone to her ear with her shoulder, her hands busy painting her toe nails a bright red.

Kendall: Look, Liam, there is nothing I can do. (listening, frowning) No, how do you…? Yes, I know, and yes, I understand that Cormac wants the money just as much as you do, but I don't have it. Look, I have another idea… (listening) Do you want to hear it or not?

Elsewhere in the house, Beaver was sitting in his father's den, his laptop open a satisfied smile on his face. His company, Phoenix Land Trust was ready to launch publically. Mac had built the website and Beaver had completed all the filings and funded the startup capital from his trust fund. Now it was time to get started.

Woody Goodman thought he was going to be the next commissioner for Balboa County and had plans to incorporate Neptune as a city, increasing land values inside the city limits while leaving those outside the line with a tax base that couldn't support a food kitchen let alone the schools and social services that supplemented the families that worked in Neptune's wealthy households.

But Beaver wasn't going to let Woody get away with it. Beaver knew exactly who Woody was behind the happy-go-lucky public image, and he planned to use it to bring Woody to his knees while making a fortune all on his own. Maybe then his dad would finally give him the respect he deserved.

Standing up, Beaver went to find Kendall to inform her that her first day as the CEO of Phoenix Land Trust had finally arrived.

—VM—LoVe—VM—

Awhile later, at the Kanes' everyone was in the pool except for Leanne, who was watching and taking photos as Shi was passed/splashed from person to person. Initially Jake had taken the lead on instruction, with Veronica acting out whatever Jake wanted before Shi would try it, but eventually Logan had taken over. Logan was easily the best in the water of all of them having swam, dived, and surfed with dedication for years.

Leaving Logan to it with Duncan watching, Veronica climbed out of the pool and wrapped herself in a big towel before sitting down by her mom and grabbing a half sandwich from the plate still stacked high.

Leanne: She's not afraid of anything.

Veronica: Not after the first few minutes at least.

Jake: I'll have to gate the pool. No sense taking chances.

As he spoke his phone rang and without a word of apology he stood up and walked away, giving himself quiet and privacy to talk.

Veronica: Mom… I don't mean to pry, and I'm not even sure I want to know, but where do you and Jake stand?

Leanne: We love each other.

Veronica: OK. That's not really an answer.

Leanne looked down, her expression unhappy.

Leanne: (quietly) I don't know.

Veronica nodded, not offering her apology or sympathy. There was nothing to be said. Leanne had pinned all her hopes and dreams on Jake- assuming that after all their years apart, that when they were finally together it would be perfect. But with two divorces, four children, and vastly different lives between them, it wasn't perfect.

Leanne: (perking up) I was thinking we could have lasagna for dinner on Wednesday. Or spaghetti and meatballs. You could help me make it.

Veronica: I can't this Wednesday, I told you. I have a class field trip.

Leanne: Oh, right. (overly bright smile) Must have slipped my mind.

Veronica: Maybe you could invite Jake to dinner.

Leanne: Oh, he's busy. It's alright. I'll just make myself a salad and we can do pasta next week.

Veronica: (uneasy with Leanne's resigned reply) Yeah. Sounds good.

After another 15 minutes in the water, Shi was just clinging to Logan's neck, appearing tired.

Leanne: She missed her nap. She might go down for a little bit if we try now.

Logan used the steps to walk out of the pool, handing the little girl to Veronica who wrapped her in a towel and spoke to her about how good she had done that day and how important it was to never go in or around the pool alone.

Logan ran his hand across Veronica's shoulders and down her back, the fabric of her sun dress not blocking the heat from his hand. Veronica shot him an aggrieved look and took a few steps away. She'd been keeping her distance from him most of the day.

VVO: You'd think with the wish he made, that Logan is the sex starved one, but every time he touches me all I can think about is wrapping myself around him. Which isn't really situation appropriate.

Swaying the little girl to lull her into sleep, Veronica sat down in a lounger and situated Shiloh comfortably in her lap once Shi's eyes closed. Logan moved over to the pool house, pulling a bottle of water from the mini fridge under the counter.

Duncan: Veronica really loves her.

Logan twisted his head to see Duncan had emerged, dressed, from the pool house bedroom.

Logan: Yeah.

Duncan: You're really good with her too. Shiloh, I mean. But… Veronica too, I guess.

Logan: Thanks. DK-

Duncan: It's been awhile since I heard you call me that.

Logan: Yeah. Listen…

Duncan: It's cool. I don't expect… I don't expect it to be like it was, but (holding up his hands in surrender), but I just don't want to feel like we're not friends anymore.

Logan: Veronica is trying, for Shiloh's sake, and I guess for mine, but I can't forget man. Too much has happened to just be water under the bridge.

Duncan: I made mistakes, can you say that you haven't?

Logan shook his head.

Logan: I have.

Duncan: Are my mistakes so much worse than yours?

Logan stared at Veronica for a long moment before turning to Duncan.

Bottom line, we both messed up, but you… what you did… and Veronica…

Duncan: I know Veronica isn't comfortable with me. I'll stay away from her. I never meant to hurt her. Or anyone.

Logan: But you did.

Duncan: I've apologized, or tried to. I don't know what to do.

Logan: Prove that you've changed, that you are the good guy they both thought they knew.

Duncan: How do I do that when neither of them will come near me… (seeing Logan's hard look) I wait for them to make an overture. When did you get so smart, man?

Logan: (half smile) Dating Veronica came with a steep learning curve.

Duncan smiled wistfully.

Duncan: You make her happy. That's all I could want for her. For either of you.

Logan: Thanks.

—VM—LoVe—VM—

At the MacKenzie residence, Mac was sitting on her bed, her laptop open in her lap, but apparently forgotten.

Mac: (laughing) No, I don't want to see 'In her shoes,' that is a total chick flick.

Dick: Well, I don't know, you are a chick.

Mac: Not that kind of chick, and not that I want to be called a chick.

Dick: How about Doom?

Mac: Is that the one with The Rock?

Dick: Yeah.

Mac: No.

Dick: There is a horror film?

Mac: Oh yeah? What about?

Dick: Fog.

Mac: Fog. Right. Scary.

Dick: Come on, Mackie, throw me a bone here…

Mac: How about Kiss Kiss Bang Bang?

Dick: I have no idea what that is, but it sounds awesome. It's a date.

Mac: A date.

Dick: Yep, a date. You OK with that?

Mac: (pausing) Yeah. Yeah, I think I am. (hesitant) But I want to go slow, keep it casual.

At the Casablancas house, Dick frowned, wondering what that meant. He knew what it meant when a dude said it, but not a chick. Girl. Whatever.

Mac: So, tomorrow, a date. Just you and me.

Dick: Yep.

Mac: OK.

Natalie Mackenzie knocked on Mac's door and pushed it open.

Natalie Mackenzie: Hi Honey, sorry to interrupt, we need to leave for the Sinclares' in five minutes.

Mac: OK.

Dick: You're still doing that?

Mac: Yeah, every other Sunday or so, dinner with my four parents, bio-sister, non-bio brother and evil doppelganger.

Dick: Sounds like good times! Yeah, me, I'll be chillin' in my parent free abode.

Mac: Kendall is there.

Dick: Not a parent, not even really a human.

Mac: Yeah, I can see that. She is… something else.

Dick: She spends most of her time locked in my dad's room, at least ever since DK dumped her.

Mac: Wow, this is not a conversation I ever imagined having. I am going on a date with Dick Casablancas whose stepmother was just dumped by the teenage son of one of the wealthiest men in the world, who is also my father's employer. Huh.

Dick: You just gotta open yourself to the possibilities, Mac-attack.

She laughed lightly before telling him she had to go and would see him at school the next day.

—VM—LoVe—VM—

At the Kane mansion, Jake stood with Shiloh in his arms watching as Veronica and Logan walked to his SUV.

Shi: (sad) Roka go?

Jake: Yes, Veronica has to go home, she has school tomorrow.

Shi: An' Lo-Lo?

Jake: Yes, Logan too. Veronica and Logan go to school with Duncan.

Shi: Me?

Jake: Yes, someday you'll go to school too.

Shi: Me. Lo-Lo.

Jake: You really like Logan, huh?

Shi: Love Lo-Lo.

Jake: Hmm. Seems to be common among the little blonde girls in my life.

—VM—LoVe—VM—


Words 5837

I forgot to make a Pinterst board for Logan's party public when I posted the last chapters, there are more dress pix as well as decor.