Title: Gangsters Paradise (1/4)
Summary: Veronica is a working girl in the 1930s and when she meets supposed gangster her life is turned upside down
Spoilers: None, its AU
Disclaimer: I own nothing, except for the clothes on my back and I don't plan to give them up.
Author's Note (Optional): This is written for round of vmfic_gameon as part of the word table. I used 9 of the 25 words (plead, clearly, wish, duo, untouched, taint, screenplay, appointment, willpower). There is gangster slang in this fic so in case you're wondering about the meaning of the words are you can find a post with them here. Also I have to thank the lovely, wonderful, amazing thegraduate09 for the superfast and incredible beta. Thank you so much. On that note if you feel the need to leave constructive criticism I would more than welcome it. I'm still trying to get better at writing so if you think it will help go right ahead.
"If that twit undercuts my scoop one more time I'm going to be giving him a lead poisoning!" Veronica cried, slamming her papers onto her desk, "It's not fair that that little twit keeps doing this."
"Well, there's nothing I can do about it now," her editor replied.
"You could give me my credit. I did earn it after all!"
"And cheat Kane out of his credit? That's not fair, he wrote the story. Now, stop being a girl, Mars and go get your next story. Myrna Loy is hosting a screening party tonight. I want you and Kane to attend together."
"Fine but if that Abercrombie steals my story again I'll refuse to work with him," Veronica replied, turning on her heals and walking out of the editor's office.
Enraged by what had just happened she slammed the door to her office behind her. Sighing as she sat down, she couldn't believe that this was happening again. She always knew it would be hard when she had decided to work for the paper. Hell, it was unconventional to work as a woman at all in this day and age but she had to. She couldn't be a movie star or a singer and she was okay with that, it was just society that wasn't. Her family needed the money and, while she was doing what she loved, she wished that it could be in an environment where she could get credit. After all, she had been the one to discover the real killer of Leanne Reynolds, against her father's wishes, and she had been the one who had found the proof. She had even written a great article about it but because Kane was a man, if one could really call him that, when he had swooped in and stolen her story, like he had that story before and the story before that, no one had given it a second thought. She promised herself that it would be the last story he took from her. Ever.
"Won't you look at this cave you've got here," Kane said as Veronica opened the door for him.
"Duncan, you can say all you want about my cave just as long as you never step inside, otherwise I'll be forced to stick the coppers on you."
Ignoring her Duncan whistled, looking her up and down, "Well, you are looking mighty fine, dollface."
"Don't you dare dollface me after what you did! You're lucky I need my job otherwise I would have kicked your ass for it."
"Oh, dollface, it's all fair in love and work. Not that it matters. When you marry me you won't have to work so it doesn't matter?" Duncan smirked, a small grin on his face as he reached out to stroke her cheek.
Slapping his hand away quickly Veronica growled, "I'm not going to marry you."
"You say that now but I know you'll give in. Shall we go to the wingding already? I promise I'll make it up to you."
"Oh, like last time were you told everyone you were my betrothed? If that's the kind of help you're offering I don't want it." Veronica replied as she pulled the door shut behind her.
******* LoVe **********
As Veronica walked into the ballroom, she couldn't help but be amazed. For a woman to work in their day and age meant that they had no husband and no prospects, it didn't matter that girls like herself liked the thrill of having something more to do with their day than look for a suitable bachelor or sit around waiting for a husband to come home while practising their needle work. Society didn't accept that there were girls like her who wanted to be where the men were, experiencing the whole world not just the one created at home. Until tonight Veronica had always assumed that acting was a hobby for Myrna Loy but watching the way she played the room, single handily upstaging every man she was having a conversation with, gave Veronica hope for herself and every woman in the world. If they could match her likes by doing a very womanly thing like holding a dinner party as well as shining like a star in her elegant ball gown and holding her own amongst her male colleagues, then maybe someday someone would see women for more than what they do at the moment.
Having gotten so lost within her own thoughts, Veronica didn't realise that Duncan had moved to her side until he spoke, "Well that dame is togged to the bricks." He whispered giving a tiny wolf whistle in her ear, "If only I could be the guy she was talking with."
"The man she is talking with is Aaron Echolls," Veronica supplied, off handily while trying to find excuse to leave Duncan's side again.
"You mean the gangster's father?" Duncan said in awe.
"I don't know what you're talking about?"
"Aaron Echolls' son is Logan Echolls, known gangster."
"Really, well, at least he doesn't have to be here," Veronica replied. "I'm going to get a drink," she continued before leaving quickly not waiting for Duncan's response. Not watching where she was going, she ended up running into the chest of another man.
"Yeah, if I had to talk to that guy I think I'd run too," the man said with a little laugh holding onto her shoulders until he was sure she had her balance.
"It's not his fault, I've met his mother, she's worse," Veronica replied, a glint of humour in her eye as she studied the man in front of her.
"Ah, genetics, that pesky thing rears its head again." The man said with a laugh, "I'm Logan Echolls." He continued, holding out his hand in greeting.
"And I'm leaving," Veronica whispered sadly with a small shake of her head.
"Why?" Logan asked, seeming interested about what had changed the mind of the woman in front of him so quickly.
"I don't socialise with gangsters, it's one of the things I promised my father when I first took my job," Veronica replied with a shrug.
"So you're a working girl?" Logan questioned, a teasing smirk gracing his lips.
"Yes, I'm also a leaving girl," Veronica replied, matching his smirk with her own, before she left him standing where he was.
***** LoVe *******
Logan couldn't believe the girl he just met. When she had bumped into him he had thought she was just another ditzy blond who had seen, and recognised, him as Aaron Echolls boy and to get into the good graces of his father decided to work her magic on him. It was part of the reason he despised these events, the constant need for every woman in the room to feel as though his father's going to like them more if they sucked up to his son first. But that girl had intrigued him. She had bumped into him by mistake and had laughed at her own accord. She didn't even know who he was until he said his name, although it worried him that she thought he was a gangster, after all, he wasn't. He was however very close friends with a gangster and that allowed for some people to perceive him as one as well. It wasn't his fault though that one of his closest friends, Richard Casablancas, had decided to go into the family business, with his brother at his side, and the untouched duo made a powerful gangster team without cutting ties with their straight cut friend.
The affiliation had never hurt his reputation until now. It was a rare occurrence that a woman talked to him without knowing everything about him, it was one of the multiple down sides of having a father who stared beside Myrna Loy in almost every movie, but this woman, who had seemed willing to continue talking to him without ulterior motive, had stopped because of the gangster ties he seemed to possess.
Sighing, he knew it would happen sooner or later but he found himself completely and utterly drawn to this woman, and he had no understanding of the cause behind it. Glancing around the room, he saw her elegant, green gown several tables to the left of him and decided that since she hadn't left, he may as well try talking to her again. Just as he was about to make his move something led him to a smarter plan than the one he already had.
****** LoVe *******
Veronica sighed, knowing she couldn't say no when Kane had asked her to dance because it would look rude and most likely cause him to steal her credit again at the paper. In no way did it mean that she liked him and it in no way meant she wanted to do what he was proposing, even though he obviously thought that it did.
"Just one date," Kane whispered, "One date is all I need to convince you that I'm the man for you."
"But I already know you're not the man for me Kane and one date is not going to change my mind," Veronica said as kindly as she could. She hated this part when they were alone, he had spent the majority of the times they were placed together trying to get her to go out with him for the last three years and for the last three years she had always said no. Regardless of how often he asked the answer was always going to be no. Allowing him to spin her away from him, she hadn't expected someone to swoop in and take her away until she was in the arms of another man.
Looking up, she gasped when she realised who had unknowingly saved her, "It's you."
Logan smiled, "I hoped you weren't expecting someone else," he snarked as he moved the pair away from Kane, "And for some reason I keep saving you from that dead hoofer."
Veronica laughed, "Well, I'll give you that but I still think he's better than you."
"Oh, now, kitten that's not really fair, you don't know me."
"But I know what you do for a living. Don't worry, I'll keep it a secret. There'll be no need to give me a kiss off."
"But what if I'd like to kiss you off?"
"There's no need," Veronica repeated, dropping her arms from around him, "And now, if you don't mind, I have to make tracks."
"Why? Why can't you just talk to me?"
"Why should I?"
"Why don't I walk you home and tell you all about it?"
"No, I can walk myself home."
"Then I'll just take a stroll beside you. It's not like I wish to taint you in any way. I just find you interesting and wish to walk you home on this lovely night." Logan said, throwing her a smile.
"All I know is that I'm leaving now and if you wish to amble beside me than I have no control over where you walk." Veronica said with a slight nod of the head, feeling a little won over by his smile. Turning and leaving, she collected her coat from the coat room and as she pulled it on, she felt two hands help pull it up her shoulders. Without looking back, she trusted that it was Logan who was helping her and her suspicions were confirmed when he fell into step next to her.
******* LoVe *******
Duncan watched as the gangster he had warned Veronica of helped her pull her coat on. He couldn't help but wonder why it was that Logan Echolls got the job of walking the girl he was wooing home. It took all of his willpower not to walk over there and deck the guy as they left but he couldn't. Veronica would never be impressed with that and with time the girl would come to see who she belonged with. Still he was the one she was suppose to go home with, if just for the courtesy that he was the one who brought her. Now all he could see was that gangster, and his hands, all over the girl of his dreams. He was a Kane, he was rich and powerful, he could make all her dreams come true but instead of wanting him she despised him. Sure he probably shouldn't write stories from her scoops or stories he knew she was going to write but he felt like he had to make sure she knew her place and no one would fire him from the paper because of who his father was so it didn't matter. He couldn't understand though that if he knew what wouldn't impress her how he couldn't use that to his advantage.
Heading for his own coat he made the decision to phone their editor on the way home and have her story of Leanne Reynolds murder published instead of his own. Hopefully that would be a start and from there he would be able to woo her away from the gangster and into his arms.
******* LoVe *******
Walking a little way Logan finally turned to Veronica and asked, "When you ran into me you didn't know who I was 'til I said my name, did you?"
"No, I'm not big on Myrna Loy's films and she generally stars with Aaron Echolls, so knowing who you are, isn't on the top of my list."
"So why were you at the romp if you don't like Myrna?"
"On first name basis with a movie star, I feel like I should swoon."
"You should, or maybe I should, because you've got skill with avoiding questions."
"One of the many things you learn when you become a journalist, which is why I was at the wingding tonight."
"I don't know if I'd call it a wingding, I think it was more of a romp."
"I guess that's just one of those things we aren't going to agree on."
Logan laughed, "So you're a journalist with which paper?"
"Why's it matter?"
"I want to know if I've read anything you've written."
"I work for the Neptune Navigator but one of my colleges keeps stealing my stories so I haven't had anything published."
"Well, you're clearly not the type of person who would take that lying down."
"I'm not but it doesn't matter how much I plead my case, it keeps coming down to the fact that I'm woman and a man keeps stealing my stories."
"That's wacky. I could always use my gang connections to have someone put lead poison in him."
"Please, I want the pleasure of putting lead poison in him myself."
"I'll leave that pleasure for you then."
"Good, so what do you do for a living?"
"I don't need to do anything really. My dad earns enough so that I don't have to but I'm hoping to break into movies myself one of these days."
"As an actor?"
Logan snorted, "No way. I'm writing a screenplay and I hope to direct it. Myrna's even going to help me out."
Veronica smiled before shaking her head, "Ah, is it a typical boy meets girl thing?"
"No, it's more of a girl meets gangster thing."
Veronica stopped for a moment, looking into his eyes, trying to determine whether he was serious or not. Finally noticing that the right side of his mouth was trying not to curl into a half smile, she shook her head and said, "You're joking."
"Yes I am, but only cause I don't want you to steal my story," Logan replied with a fake shake of his head.
"I would never do that," Veronica said, stopping.
Pausing in front of her, Logan looked around, "Why are we stopping?"
"This is where I live," Veronica whispered, pointing to the small house behind her.
"And you're embarrassed?" Logan asked trying to gauge why her attitude had changed.
"A bit, yeah," Veronica replied with a shake of her head, "It's probably stupid but compared to what you live in my house has to seem so very small."
"Yeah but your home looks like a home. I could get lost in my parents' house and I grew up there so I think that I prefer this to that."
"Well, it is a well known fact I have never gotten lost in this house."
"I'm glad, if you got lost I might not see you again."
"Who says you're going to see me again anyway?"
"Well, I'm hoping that I'll get to see you again, you not being lost just raises those chances."
"Why?" Logan just looked at Veronica in confusion, "Why me out of that ballroom of people?"
"'Cause you're the only one who didn't seem interested in my dad, 'cause you took an interest in what I was saying and didn't seem to be just laughing cause of who I am."
"I didn't know who you were." Veronica replied. Sighing, she continued, "I guess seeing you again wouldn't hurt, just as long as you can keep an appointment."
"Of course I can. How's Thursday?"
"Thursday's fine, you can pick me up at six."
"And will you be organising what we'll be doing too?"
"Of course, bring your dancing shoes." Veronica said, entering the house before Logan could reply.
Shaking his head, Logan turned back towards his house, whispering to himself, "Well it's a good thing that I'm not a dead hoofer on my feet then."
Unnoticed to Logan, a car pulled up behind him and three guys jumped out. The first grabbed his shoulder and spun him around so that the second guy could deck him. Before Logan could get his bearings around him, the three men started to kick his chest until he couldn't put up a fight anymore. Two of them grabbed Logan's arms and pulled him so he was standing in front of the third man. Taking a deep breath Logan braced himself as the man began his assault on his stomach. Closing his eyes he tried his hardest to block out the pain by thinking of all the happy things that he could. Days as a teenager spent being silly with Dick and his brother, his mum holding him close when it was snowing at Christmas, Lilly, and the girl he just met, not even three hours ago, and realising that he didn't even know her name.
Just before he passed out he promised himself that he would be ok, if only just to find out the girls name.
****** LoVe ******
Leaning against the closed door Veronica couldn't believe that it had happened. It was unplanned and she had resisted as much as possible but at the end of the day a guy with that winning smile and roughed looks really was irresistible, even to her. Moving further into the house, she placed her coat on its hook and went in search of her father. Finding him in the kitchen she grabbed a tea towel and the nearest drip drying dish.
"How was the party?" Keith asked turning to his daughter.
"It was juicy." Veronica replied as a smile stretched across her face.
"And did you meet anyone?"
"I met tons of people but only one worth remembering."
"Yes a boy," Veronica sighed putting down the tea towel, "Can I ask you something now?"
"Why didn't you want me to investigate Leanne Reynolds murder?"
Keith sighed and rubbed his hand over his face before answering, "That's because she's your mother, honey and I didn't know how to tell you."