A/N: This story takes place after Logan and Veronica graduate from college. This is my gift to LateVMLover. She excels at writing chapters/stories at one sitting and has been encouraging me to step out of my comfort zone from time to time. I decided that I would attempt to write a Thanksgiving Story in one sitting so if it is difficult to follow and has a lot of grammatical errors, you know who to blame.
Logan Echolls or Jordan Johnson as he is now known, sits in his rented apartment in Paris. He looks up from his computer briefly as he waits for the website to load. The view outside his window is stunning. He loves Paris, especially during the fall. As much as he likes to be here, he wishes with all his heart that he could be in California with the petit blond that has held his heart for so long and he misses every moment of everyday.
Alone, across the world from where he wants to be, he has lots of time to think; perhaps too much time. As far as he knows, Veronica is living in LA in the mansion they bought together. He wonders if she knows the sex of their unborn child or if she decided to be surprised.
Of course she has not given any interviews so he only gets to see her occasionally being accompanied in and out of her doctor's office. She is always wearing sunglasses and does not look at the press. Their family and friends do not talk to the press either so any information Logan gets is only guesswork and speculation.
If she hasn't already had their child, she will be eight months along. Cynically, he is pretty sure she hasn't had their child as the tabloids would have enthusiastically reported the birth of the 'last Echolls'. In one of those weird coincidences, Veronica is due on Thanksgiving Day. He wonders if the birth of their child will make her thankful or if she is still grieving his untimely death.
He can't believe this is his life. The woman he loves and who he knows loves him is living in their mansion, pregnant with their child and she believes he is dead. He thinks of her grieving for him, crying alone in their big bed and rubbing her baby belly. It really hurts him to imagine her going through the pregnancy and birth without him. He wants more than anything to be there for her. He thinks about how her body is changing with her pregnancy; how cute she would look with her baby belly protruding. Did she have a lot of morning sickness? Is she more emotional with her increased hormones? He wants to be there rubbing her back, running to the store for all her cravings, looking through baby name books with her, shopping for new clothes when hers don't fit her anymore and sharing the joy of each doctor's visit. He wants to count the days with her until their son or daughter comes into the world. He wants to help her decorate the nursery, childproof the house and buy all the items for their new baby. He knows her and she is worried that she will be like her mother. She is worried she can't raise their child alone. He wants to be there to reassure her she will be a good mother. He wants to be there when their child is born.
Everyday he has to stop himself from getting on a plane and going to her. It is only the thought of what the Fitzpatricks would do to her and their baby that stops him. As long as Logan Echolls is dead, Veronica and his child are safe. It isn't only Veronica he worries about. All the people who are important to him, important to Veronica are safer now that he is dead.
Witness Protection; what a joke! The authorities didn't protect him when he ran from the Fitzpatricks in the first place. Then when the case against the Liam Fitzpatrick was going to court, they didn't protect him either. The psychotic murderer actually paid a hit man to have him killed. It was a real stroke of luck that the hit man's shot missed. At the exact moment the hit man pulled the trigger, Logan stepped into a hole in the sidewalk and stumbled. When the shot rang out and hit the window behind Logan, he hit the ground and lay there while the agents assigned to protect him looked for the shooter.
The FBI credited his quick thinking at staying on the ground as saving his life. The hit man, once the news came out that Logan Echolls, son of Aaron and Lynn Echolls, primary witness against the Fitzpatrick Family had been shot and killed, collected his money and disappeared.
Liam Fitzpatrick watched the tape of Veronica at Logan's funeral and had been satisfied that Logan was not going to be a problem for him anymore. No one could fake her grief; she was obviously devastated.
Now Logan is alone in Paris waiting for Liam's trial while the woman he loves and the family he misses live every day believing he is dead. All the while, day after empty day, he waits for the government to bring down Liam Fitzpatrick so he can have his life back.
Logan, in the wrong place at the wrong time, watched Liam shoot and kill Deputy Sacks. He had been on his way to the grocery store to get more cinnamon for Veronica. She had run out while she was baking her famous apple pie for Thanksgiving dinner at Keith and Alicia's house. Of course, Liam turned and saw Logan there and since that time Logan's life has been a nightmare of worrying about his loved ones and running for his life.
Immediately, he called Veronica and she had gotten out of their mansion. She called her father and friends warning them. Logan had gone to the police station and gave his statement and then had been driven to the airport and disappeared. Veronica, Keith, Alicia, Wallace, Daryl and Dick had immediately taken extended vacations and disappeared. They had all met in Italy and then had moved around staying out of sight and safe until the trial.
Logan had returned to Neptune after six weeks on the run to testify. He had been 'killed' on the way to the trial while in the custody of the FBI. Since that time, the trial has been delayed twice and Logan wonders if there is ever going to be justice for Sacks. Logan honestly doesn't know if he can wait if there is another delay.
The frustrated and lonely young man doesn't believe they are any closer to bringing his supposed murderer to justice either. He is told that they are still looking for the shooter and without him there isn't enough evidence to charge Liam with his attempted murder.
The only positive things is that at least now Veronica, her family and their friends can have their lives back. They don't have to run from Liam; they are safe. It is everything to Logan for them to be happy and secure, but he misses them with every beat of his heart.
Even though he has no contact with anyone from his former life, he religiously reads the LA and Neptune papers on line. He also watches the Neptune television news on line. That is the website that he patiently waiting to open.
The ping of the opening of the website drawns his attention from his unhappy thoughts. He scans the headlines and doesn't see anything of interest. There is a breaking story about how a mysterious company wiping out crime in Neptune. Since a lot of crime in Neptune is tied to the Fitzpatrick family, Logan clicks on the video to watch it.
A studio reporter appears and talks about how a company called LEE Holdings has found a new way to wipe out crime in Neptune, California. A short description of the city, its population and major businesses is outlined. Then the reporter reappears and talks about how LEE Holdings is buying up the land and mortgages of an alleged crime family, the Fitzpatricks, in what looks like an attempt to force them to move and shut down their businesses. There is a short overview of the Fitzpatrick family and what illegal businesses they are suspected of running.
Logan sucks in his breath in shock. He immediately knows that Veronica is somehow behind LEE Holdings. It would be fitting to her to use his initials in the company.
The scene switches to a reporter who is standing at the site of the latest bulldozing. The reporter shows footage of a huge bulldozer demolishing a house. He listens as the reporter at the sight talks about how Neptune Reality was bought out by LEE Holdings. Neptune Reality had been renting houses, apartments and business properties to many members of the Fitzpatrick family. LEE Holdings had immediately given the required 90 days notice to vacate each and every property they rented from Neptune Reality.
Today was the 91st day and if they had not vacated, the Sheriff's Department had been called to remove them. Their belongings were loaded into trucks and taken to the nearest landfill.
Interestingly three houses and one business were demolished. The reporter is at the house of Liam Fitzpatrick, the head of the alleged crime family. He had refused to leave. A local company had been hired to bulldoze the house and was able to provide the legal papers for the action. Leo D'Amato arrived with his deputies and had forcibly removed Liam.
Logan watched as Liam was carried out by the Sheriff's Department and stood watching in shock as the house was totally destroyed. Liam Fitzpatrick is interviewed and he loudly complains that he is going to sue LEE Holdings and he laments how he lived in the house his whole life.
Logan watches as video of the house Danny Fitzpatrick rented, Liam's mother's home and the River Styx are bulldozed. The reporter talks about how all legal attempts by the Fitzpatrick family to stop the evictions from the rental properties were blocked by the lawyers of LEE Holdings. Any attempt by the Fitzpatricks to negotiate the rent was immediately refused even at double and triple the value. They were summarily told to vacate at the requested time and any further conversations were ignored.
The CEO of LEE Holdings, Bryan Smith, and the lawyers for LEE Holdings refused any comments or interviews.
Logan smirks as he watches the news cast. The reporters in the studio talk about how whoever owns LEE Holdings must have a lot of money to be able to forcibly buy out Neptune Reality which is the largest reality and rental company in Neptune. They add that they will follow this case.
Logan has to admit that he felt a large measure of satisfaction watching Liam get forcibly dragged out of his house and stand helplessly watching as his childhood house was bulldozed. He could just imagine that Liam, used to running the town, had arrogantly refused to move even after he received letters of notice from LEE Holdings. His attitude just cost him all of his possessions. Logan would rather see him in jail but this is nice as well.
Logan calls the federal agent on his case. The Agent appears on the screen. The agent tells Logan that as near as they can figure LEE Holdings is a front company for Lester Holdings based out of LA. Lester Holdings is a front company for Fab Four Holdings based out of New York.
Logan shakes his head. The FBI agent says, "You have one guess who owns Fab Four Holdings?"
Logan smiles and comments, "It would appear that Veronica has become a business woman with the money I left her."
The agent says, "Well actually we have been unable to contact her to ask her about the holding companies. She flew to Italy and then disappeared."
Logan is actually happy that she is not around for retribution from the Fitzpatricks. He asks about Keith and is told that his whole family has taken an extended vacation in unknown locations.
Logan tells the agent that Veronica never cared about his money. He believes that she is just harassing Liam.
"Actually we think she has a much bigger plan than simple harassment," the agent tells him.
After a pause the agent begins to outline what the FBI thinks is happening. He says, "This is a multi pronged plan that must have been hatched when you all disappeared last year."
Logan thinks about when they were overseas. She never mentioned having a plan to deal with the Fitzpatricks. He looks in puzzlement at the agent.
The agent, seeing that Logan genuinely doesn't know what is going on says, "It's actually very impressive." He pauses and then finishes, "and kind of scary."
Worried now, Logan asks, "What do you mean?"
Pulling a new file out and opening it, the agent explains, "Firstly, we believe she commissioned a complete family genealogy of the United States Fitzpatrick Family. It took a few months to complete and then she had it updated when you were killed." He pauses and then looks up from his file papers and adds, "Since you were killed in protective custody, Veronica has apparently decided that she is not going to trust that the government will bring Liam Fitzpatrick to justice."
Logan looks at the agent and listens intently. He doesn't know why he didn't anticipate that Veronica would try and get justice for him.
"The next step was to get a new Sheriff that is not owned by Liam Fitzpatrick elected." He goes on to explain how a number of well placed television and newspaper advertisements were placed by a group called Neptune for a Safer Community. These ads demonstrated the corruption with the former Sheriff…" He shuffles his papers and finishes, "Vinnie Van Lowe."
Agent Young continues telling Logan how the community was up in arms about how the Fitzpatrick family owned the Sheriff. The new Sheriff came into office with excellent funding and the platform of ridding Neptune of crime.
The agent tells Logan the new Sheriff's name is Leo D'Amato. He looks at Logan and says, "A man named Dick Cassablancas is the founding member of 'Neptune for a Safer Community' or NSC. Once the new sheriff was elected, the foundation hired a PI company owned by Weevil Navarro to work for them."
Immediately Logan knows that Veronica set the whole thing up. He looks at the list of board members of Neptune for a Safer Community that Agent Young faxed him and sees they are all friends of Dick's who still live in the 09er district.
Agent Young carries on with his briefing. "As soon as the new sheriff took office, anonymous tips with videos of Fitzpatrick illegal activities have been sent to the Neptune Sheriff Department. The new sheriff has taken the easy information and arrested many of the Fitzpatrick family. The public is happy with the new sheriff. With the video information, the conviction rate of the Fitzpatrick clan is high."
Logan is amazed at Veronica's plan to get back at the Fitzpatricks. She has gone hard after their illegal money.
"Now you know about the third prong of the plan. LEE Holdings has systematically taken away the personal residences and the places of business for almost every member of the Fitzpatrick family." He pauses and adds, "That is a huge and expensive feat."
The agent sees that Logan doesn't care about the money either so he continues, "LEE Holdings is managed by a David Smith. He works full time for Veronica managing the company she set up when you went missing. He lives in New York but has not been in the office the last few months. We are not sure where he working from."
Logan racks his brain but he can't remember meeting a David Smith. He asks the agent about him and is told he graduated from Neptune High two years after he and Veronica. Logan remembers Veronica helping this sophomore kid find his father and vaguely remembers Wallace and Veronica reminiscing one night about the impossible chore of finding a John Smith. Veronica must have looked this guy up and then got him to work for her.
The agent continues, "Although it is a huge outpouring of your money, the strategy seems to be working. Having to move and rent new homes and businesses has been a huge financial stressor for the family. They were paying very low rent or no rent at all in most places. Now many of the properties in Neptune are owned by LEE Holdings or a member of NSC. They are either denying them the rental or asking for very high rent from any Fitzpatrick or associate of a Fitzpatrick."
The agent looks at Logan and then back down at his paper. He says, "We think another part of her plan to hurt them financially is that each and every adult member of the Fitzpatrick family has experienced a dramatic drop in their credit score over the last year."
He listens as the agent shows him comparisons of their credit scores a year ago and now. He sits shocked; trying to take in all that the agent is telling him. Agent Young talks about how many small things have been happening to the Fitzpatrick Family all over the US including memberships to hundreds of book clubs, video rental organizations, health clubs, dating services, magazine subscriptions and other annoying services have appeared in their names and they deny ordering them. Some of their credit cards have been mysteriously maxed out with donations to hundreds of charities. Other credit cards have been cancelled mysteriously and it takes a few weeks for them to clear up the problems.
He adds, "All little things but together they have had a profound affect on each of their credit ratings."
Logan knows this is Mac's thing and she must have started her plan when he first had to run after he saw the murder. He can see that with the lower credit ratings, the Fitzpatricks would be unable to get lower interest rates on their mortgages and loans. It is a good way to go after their money actually.
Logan listens as the agent talks about how Veronica has put a lot of Logan's money in the banks in Neptune. The banks also do business with members of the NSC and together they have strongly recommended that the banks not give mortgages or business loans to any Fitzpatrick or partner of a Fitzpatrick. If they want to keep their business, they don't.
Logan is a little horrified and impressed at her business prowess and the depth of her plan to go after the Fitzpatricks. It is truly genius and so Veronica.
He comes back to Agent Young's voice. "We believe that Veronica also went after the corrupt government officials that were in the pockets of the Fitzpatricks. While you were missing, her father Keith Mars had his PI Company investigate branches of the Neptune City Government and the California State Government that were assisting the Fitzpatricks. Once you were killed she put the information to good use." He talks about how the government officials who were being paid to look the other way were found to be breaking some law or were found to be negligent at work and were fired. The new persons hired were strongly advised not to cooperate with the Fitzpatrick family. The Fitzpatrick family started having difficulty getting business licenses and was given the required government inspections from non corrupt officers. He talks about how inspectors from every government department have randomly been inspecting various businesses that the Fitzpatricks are a part of. They have been flooded with improvements that need to be made before businesses can reopen.
There is a long pause and then the agent says, "If this is Veronica's doing, it is really genius. With bad credit ratings, the Fitzpatricks have difficulty getting mortgages, credit cards and loans unless they have really high interest rates. They are being forced to pay high rents if they can get a property to rent. Legitimate lending institutions are refusing to lend money to them and they have been forced to use their financial reserves and at times to go to less savory places for loans."
Logan smirks at the idea that the Fitzpatricks who are loan sharks would have to turn to other loan sharks. It is really poetic justice.
"Wow," Logan exclaims, "Someone paid attention in her business classes."
The agent smirks at Logan's comment and says, "We think she also went after each of their personal lives as well."
"What do you mean?" Logan asks a little tentatively.
The agent goes on to explain how that since he went missing the first time, their personal lives have been full of problems. He says dryly, "At first I imagine they assumed it was just normal problems and then perhaps bad luck." He pauses and says, "Now I imagine they know Veronica was behind a lot of it."
He outlines how every Fitzpatrick has been affected. Logan flips through the papers he's been faxed. The file contains pictures of their affairs that have gone public along with some divorce papers; articles about college scholarships cancelled; students expelled for cheating even though they deny it; pictures and pictures of Fitzpatrick vehicles caught speeding on the camera lights; pages and pages of parking tickets that they deny getting; dinner reservations mysteriously cancelled; a multitude of bills for vehicle repairs.
Logan listens as the agent tells him that some of their cars are being towed to wrecking yards and mysteriously cubed in a serious of paperwork mistakes. Some of their telephones have been put on a listing for political parties and they receive thousands of complaint calls. Some of the numbers have been automatically forwarded to 1-800- sex lines and they have been receiving calls all day and night. Some of their electricity has been mysteriously shut off and it takes a while to get it turned back on.
The agent says, "Last week the Fitzpatrick-McDaniel wedding was a disaster. The caterer was given the wrong time and address. The church was mysteriously double booked. The hall failed an inspection by the Neptune Fire and Safety Division and had to cancel the reception as they couldn't get the wiring repairs done in time. The Fitzpatricks failed to get the necessary permits to hold the wedding reception in the groom's parent's back yard at the last minute. The reception was held in a restaurant that didn't hold everyone." He adds, "Liam Fitzpatrick was very upset."
The agent pauses and then says, "This is just what we know she is doing." He adds, "Actually we can't prove it was her. The computer being used is untraceable and whoever is doing it is very, very skilled."
Logan sits back in awe. He says, "Wow I knew she was the queen of vengeance but this even surprises me." Logan adds, "I don't know what to say."
The agent meets his gaze over the computer and says, "There is more Logan."
Reeling from all he has learned, Logan wonders what more there could be to her plan. Having been with her for years, he knows to be concerned when she is out for justice. Worried, he asks, "What?"
"The final part of the plan was to make Liam Fitzpatrick confess to having you killed," Agent Young quietly tells him.
Logan sits looking at Agent Young absolutely blown away by what he is hearing. He has done nothing but think of Veronica the last few months but it never occurred to him what havoc she would wreck on Liam and his family once she had money. She was always good at making her enemies pay but she had never had unlimited funds to use before. It was actually quite amazing. He had used his money in the past to get back at people who really bothered him but Veronica is just putting his weak attempts at revenge to shame.
The agent plays an auditory tape of a meeting between Veronica and Liam Fitzpatrick. He reassures the worried young man that it is through a video link and that Veronica is safe and far away from Neptune. Logan sighs in relief.
It is obvious that Liam is angry and equally obvious that Veronica set up the meeting. Veronica thanks Liam very politely for taking time to talk to her. Liam doesn't wait for Veronica to tell him what she wants to talk to him about. He immediately angrily accuses Veronica of orchestrating all the bad things that have been happening to his family.
Logan listens as Veronica denies any knowledge of what is happening to him. She tells him that she since she became pregnant she has become interested in religion and is trying to fill her life with light and with the spirit of good. She tells Liam that whatever bad things have been happening to him is probably bad Karma. Logan shakes his head as Veronica explains that when you harm others it comes back to you threefold.
Of course he doesn't believe her and he yells at Veronica threatening to harm her and everyone she loves if she doesn't immediately quit what she is doing.
Veronica's voice comes calmly over the tape, "Liam, you are filled with so much anger. You need to get some spiritual counseling."
Logan is amazed at how she is playing this. She is denying everything he is accusing her of and is claiming to have changed her life. He can hear her voice is calm and confident. He knows her. She must feel that she is holding a good hand. He listens as she says, "Liam, I feel like I should share what I have learned with you. I have sent over some papers that have inspired me. They are the teaching of my mentor. Maybe they can inspire you." She adds, "I sent them by messenger. You should be getting them now."
There is a few seconds of silence where you can hear the doorbell ring and Liam tell Danny to get the papers. Then you can hear Liam opening the envelope. There is quiet on the tape as Liam is looking at some papers.
Suddenly Liam starts screaming that he is going to kill her. He is upset and angry and Logan can hear there is confusion as Liam is showing the papers to his family and he is cursing and yelling.
Logan wonders what is on the papers and he looks at the agent in question. The agent seeing Logan's curiosity says, "We aren't sure what she sent him. It is obvious that it is not the teaching of a Buddha. Whatever it is upset him and sent him over the edge."
Logan nods. Soon he can see that Veronica has grown impatient with his rant and she finally cuts him off. She says sweetly. "Liam I am praying that you will change your ways. I forgive you for having Logan killed."
Liam appears to get a hold of himself and his voice gets dangerously quiet. He tells Veronica that he got to Logan and he is going to get to her as well. He tells her she can run but he will eventually find her and when he does she is going to die.
Calmly Veronica says, "You sure like to hear yourself talk." She says, "You are headed down a bad road Liam. You need to confess your sins." She further tells him that he must agree to jail time for killing Logan.
Upset at her suggestion, he loses his temper and yells at her threatening her, her family, her baby. He tells her he not be shooting her like he did with Logan. He is going to really enjoy torturing her. Viciously he spits out, "I am going to prolong it until you are begging for me to kill you."
Her voice unconcerned and perhaps a little bored, Veronica interrupts him, "Liam, you took the man I love from me and ensured that the last Echolls will grow up without a father. At first I hated you; but now, I only pity you. I can see that hate is the path to darkness. You must let go of your hate and let your family help you to see the light."
Logan shakes his head at the double meanings in her statements. She talks like a woman who has found religion, "You should admit to having Logan killed or I am truly worried that the negative Karma that has been surrounding your family will continue to affect you and your clan. The only way for the bad vibes to disappear is for you to take responsibility for the blackness you have caused and take the punishment. Teaching is that this sacrifice will allow pureness of spirit to come in and the blackness that has fallen over your family will be replaced by good karma."
Logan is amazed at how Veronica has made it sound like she is genuinely worried about the bad karma that has fallen over the Fitzpatrick family. Yet is it clear that she has agreed to stop her vendetta against his family if Liam agrees to confess and go to jail. She very sweetly says, "I hope you do the right thing Liam. Talk it over with the priests from your church. Talk it over with your family. Hopefully they can help you see the light. I am really afraid that your soul is surrounded in blackness. Please repent your sins and turn your life around."
Liam says, "You should be worried about your own soul. You are going to meet your maker a lot sooner than I will, "he vows.
Carrying on as if she didn't hear him, Veronica adds, her voice dreamy, "That would be a wonderful legacy to Logan. You turning your life around and coming to the light."
Liam totally loses it and tells her that he is going to kill her personally. He is not going to get hired guns to kill her like he did Logan. He adds menacingly, "I am going to wait for your baby to be born and I am going to take it away from you."
Undeterred, Veronica continues, "The power of good is strong enough to turn even your evil. I am going to be praying for you Liam." She adds, her voice now a little threatening, "I truly believe that as long as you are in jail paying for your sins, the negative ness will end. If you ever get out of jail or try to continue to run the family from jail, the bad karma will continue."
The audio tape ends and Logan can tell that she hung up even though Liam had started to talk again. She just reinforced that she doesn't care about his threats.
Logan sits quietly at the end of the tape. He is in shock; so many thoughts are running through his head right now. He goes with his first concern, "Is Veronica safe? Is the baby OK?"
The agent nods and reassures, "Everyone is safe Logan. Your money has made it so she is almost impossible to keep track of."
Reassured Logan takes a deep breath and lets it out. He finally asks, "What is happening with Liam?"
The agent tells Logan that the family has met and Liam has been removed as leader. He has been told to confess and go to jail for the good of the family. He is resisting but it is clear that the family is going to take over from him and force him to comply with Veronica's demands.
Obviously a little bemused himself, Agent Young adds that the FBI thinks the papers delivered to the family depict that if anything happens to her, the baby or anyone she loves, the vendetta against the Fitzpatricks will escalate. He shakes his head and muses, "I am not sure how much more she could do to them but somehow she has let the family know that Liam must give up leadership of the family, confess to having Logan killed and go to jail. He must never run the family from jail or when he gets out. Whatever she has on them seems to be effectual."
Finally seeing that his situation has changed, Logan tentatively asks, "What does this mean for me?"
Agent Young smiles. He knows that it has been really hard for Logan to stay in hiding while Veronica is pregnant with his child. "Once Liam confesses to paying to have you killed and agrees to go to jail, you will have no need to remain in hiding."
Logan's breath catches in his chest. He checks, "I can have my life back?"
"We cannot tie any of the things happening to the Fitzpatricks to Veronica. Dick Cassablancas denies Veronica's involvement stating he is growing up and is concerned about all the crime in Neptune." He continues, "Brian Smith is a legitimate real estate investor and although we audited the books for LEE Holdings we have found they have done nothing illegal. Brian Smith claims he and Veronica were friends in school and she fronted him the money for the business." Looking at his paper he adds, "Weevil Navarro is a licensed PI. He has been hired by the Neptune for a Safer Community organization. There is nothing illegal about how he obtained his information. The tapes he made belong to the organization and they are within their rights to send them to Sheriff D'Amato." He looks back up at Logan continuing, "Keith Mars was hired by Veronica Mars to investigate the government officials. She claims that she initially was going to do an expose. She is a licensed journalist so the idea is not without merit. She further claims that once she got pregnant and was left your money she did not need to work so she just gave the information to the Neptune Police Department."
Logan shakes his head in wonder at how thoroughly Veronica covered her tracks.
Agent Young continues, "Capistrano Ministries has a counselor named Bonnie who admits to talking to Veronica after you were killed. She says what they talked about was confidential but she admits to telling Veronica to forgive Liam Fitzpatrick and that hate only made her weaker." He finishes, "We can't tie any of the misfortunes that have befallen the Fitzpatrick Family to Veronica or anyone else for that matter."
Logan sits there unmoving as he thinks about what to say and what he should do. He is actually touched at how hard she, her family and their friends worked to get justice for him. He comes back to Agent Young's voice, "As far as we know, Veronica is an upstanding citizen who has donated a lot of your money to the Lynn Foundation and other foundations around Neptune. She doesn't know you are alive but she seems to be protecting herself so she can be around for her baby."
Worried Logan asks, "How will I find her?"
Logan's question makes the agent laugh out loud. He says, "The FBI will have a press conference and state that you have been under witness protection after the attempt was made on your life. We will further state that now that Liam Fitzpatrick has confessed and is in jail, you have been released from the witness protection program."
Concerned Logan asks, "If you can't find Veronica, how am I supposed to?"
Agent Young smirks, "Logan, she spent months planning and taking down a crime family all to get the man who she thought killed you to confess. She spent millions of dollars to do it." He pauses and then says, "I think she will find you."
He ends the call by telling Logan he will call him when he is free to leave the program.
Two Weeks Later
Logan looks at his accountant in shock. Flipping back to the final page, he says incredulously, "I have more money now than when I went into the Witness Protection Program?"
The accountant shows him that although Veronica bought a lot of property in Neptune and many are not being rented at the present time, the actual value of property in Neptune has risen since the Fitzpatricks were forced to move. Areas of Neptune that used to have high rates of crime no longer do and people are moving in. Schools are increasing their ratings. Businesses are moving in. The value of land in the area is increasing substantially.
Logan laughs and comments, "Maybe I should just leave her in charge of the money."
His accountant smiles and points out that she made some good investments as well. "She funded a computer business and owns 49 percent of it. It has increased in value in the six months since it started."
Logan looks at the papers and shakes his head, "She started a computer company with Cindy Mackenzie?" He smiles. Mac is going to make them a ton of money.
Logan had not attended the press conference held by the FBI. They had simply said that he had been under the Witness Protection Program and now he had been released since his testimony was not longer required in the government's case against Liam Fitzpatrick. In answer to the reports' questions, they announced that Logan had left their custody this morning and was in an unknown location. Further they reiterated that they had closed the case and would reopen it if any new evidence came their way.
Liam Fitzpatrick was sentenced to life in prison and was transferred to a maximum security federal prison. He was not eligible for parole for twenty years.
Logan went to LA and opened the house there. It was large, on the beach and had state of the art security. He had the house, yard and pool cleaned. Then he bought nursery furniture and stocked the room next to the master bedroom with diapers, baby blankets, bibs and clothes in neutral colors.
Looking out the window from the master suite into the back yard, he thinks how he had almost taken his chances and come out of the program when he had inadvertently found out Veronica was pregnant. The agents had tried to keep it from him. They had convinced him his child would be in danger if he came out of hiding. Logan had reluctantly agreed. As it turns out the FBI had not caught Liam for him; Veronica had.
The week before Thanksgiving.
Logan was in the kitchen pouring himself a coffee when he heard the front door open and someone come in dragging a wheeled suitcase. Since he had not heard from the security officers at the gate and the alarm on the house had not gone off, whoever was at the door knew all the codes. His heart jumped into his throat and he walked over to the front entrance.
She turned from recoding the security alarm and looked over to see him standing there.
Logan stood there transfixed at the sight of her. Her blonde hair was pulled back in a braid. She was wearing a navy dress that gracefully displayed her prominent baby bulge. She was looking at him with her penetrating blue eyes that now were brimming with tears.
He met her gaze. After an intense silence, Veronica simply said, "Logan."
She put her hand to her chest, her emotions almost overwhelming her. Logan rushed over and pulled her into his arms. At his touch she started crying and he held her close not holding in his own tears. They had both hung on needing to feel the presence of the other in their arms.
When Logan pulled back and looked in her face, he felt like his dreams had finally come true. She was here, she was in his arms and he would be able to be with her in the delivery room to see his child born.
He choked out, "Thank you for making Liam confess."
Veronica shook her head and suggested, "Let's sit down. I'm tired from the trip."
Logan simply picked her up and carried her up the stairs to their bedroom. He laid her down gently on the bed and gently took off her shoes. Then he immediately lay down beside her leaning on his elbow, unable to take his eyes off her.
Wondrously, she reached up and laid her hand on his cheek. Logan turned her on her side and they lay down content to just look at her.
Later neither would be able to say with any authority how long they laid there touching each other in wonder and love. Logan ran his hand down to her baby bulge and caressed it.
Afraid to believe that he was alive and they were really together, Veronica was reluctant to close her eyes in case this was a dream. When she felt their child kick under his hand, she put her hand over his and said, "Logan meet your daughter."
He bent down and kissed her abdomen saying, "Hey baby, I love you."
Veronica laughed and cried at the same time. Logan, hearing her outburst, leaned up and kissed her. The kiss was messy and wet with both crying. Finally they pulled apart and just put their foreheads together.
After what seemed like hours or minutes, neither knew, they began to talk; each telling the other of their love, loneliness and pain at being apart.
Finally Logan went over to the dresser and pulled out a small box. He knelt beside the bed and asked Veronica to marry him.
Without hesitation, she tearfully agreed and then looked in wonder at the magnificent diamond solitaire that he placed on her finger. When she could talk, she said, "I hope you bought wedding bands as well."
Smiling Logan nodded and kissed her hand. He asked, "Do we have time to get married before our daughter is born."
Tilting her head in thought she answered, "She is due next week."
"On Thanksgiving," he asserted.
Smiling happily Veronica bites her bottom lip and then comments, "That is a very fitting day to be married."
Agreeing he quizzes, "A wedding on the beach in our backyard?"
Veronica nodded in agreement. She says, "I called everyone. They should all be here by Saturday."
Excited Logan starts planning, "Thanksgiving it is then. I'll make all the arrangements."
Veronica leaned in and kissed Logan putting all her love into it. When the kiss ended, Logan put his hand down and ran it over her lower abdomen in wonder, "A baby girl." He sighs, "I hope she looks like you."
She looks at him in adoration. "Maybe she'll be tall with dark hair and dark eyes, like your mother."
Logan looked at Veronica and vows, "I'll love her no matter what."
"I love you," she tells him before she rolls to her back and pulls his head down to really kiss him.
A week after Thanksgiving
Logan looks over at his wife and comments, "You know we never got our romantic wedding night."
Smiling she teases, "Well I did give you the best wedding gift ever."
Leaning down to kiss her he agrees, "You really did."
He thinks about how after the wedding and dinner were over and their guests went home, Veronica called out from their bathroom, "Logan, I think my water just broke."
After a quick call to the family to meet them at the hospital, a stressful drive to the hospital and nine hours of hard labor, Mackenzie Lynn Echolls arrived; her cries a wonder to her exhausted parents.
Casually Logan metions, "A gift arrived today from Bonnie Capistrano."
Pleased and touched, Veronica shares, "Bonnie helped me after I thought you were killed. I was so angry and she helped me see that now that I am going to be a mother, I couldn't go down that path..."
Nodding in understanding he tells her, "It is a good thing for me that you didn't listen to her."
She shakes her head and said, "Oh I listened Logan. I toned it down from what I wanted to do."
He sees that she is serious and he puts his forehead to hers and says, "I am glad you got justice for me and Sacks but I am also glad that you are letting the anger go."
Smiling she says, "Without you I didn't feel like I had very much to be thankful for."
His eyes a soft brown he agrees, "I felt the same way."
Her beautiful blue eyes shimmer as she adds, "Now I have everything I dreamed of."
"Me too," he agrees softly. Gently he leans closer and kisses her.
When they part, Logan smiles and asks, "How is Bonnie?"
Veronica tells him that she is married and has a little boy six months old." She adds, "Her new last name is Wentworth."
There is silence for a few seconds and then Veronica says, "Now that you have been determined to be legally alive, I should return the reins of the Echolls money back to you."
"I saw the accountant. You are doing better then I was handling our money." He pauses and adds, "Besides, now you are an Echolls."
Veronica looks at her rings and repeats, "Yes we are." She looks down at their tiny brown haired daughter as she greedily sucks from her breast."
Logan smiles and observes, "She has your appetite."
Veronica laughs and agrees softly, "Yes, but she looks like your mom."
Happy at the idea his mother's legacy is continuing, he answers, "She really does except she is not going to be tall like mom. She's going to be petit like her mother."
Touched Veronica says, "She has some of both of us."
Logan nods. He sits behind Veronica holding them both in his arms. He has hardly been able to let Veronica and now baby Mackenzie Lynn out of his sight. It has suited Veronica fine as she seems to need to be touching or looking at Logan every minute as well.
Thinking of his telephone conversation with his best friend he says, "I talked to Dick this afternoon."
Curious Veronica asks, "How is he?"
A little amazed, Logan tells Veronica that Dick is truly growing up. "I can't believe he started a surf shop last year."
Veronica nods in agreement, "I know. It took me a while to assimilate."
Laughing Logan teases, "It boggles the mind."
"Well he started the Neptune for a Safer Community Foundation and got a bunch of his neighbors to be on the board," she tells him.
"He said he's tired of all the crime in Neptune. He says it's a small community and shouldn't have so many problems." Logan tells her.
Veronica is quiet for a few seconds and then agrees, "He's right. A lot of bad things do happen there."
Logan adds, "Dick says he hired Weevil's PI firm to do work for him."
Readjusting her daughter on her breast, Veronica observes, "I guess working for my Dad gave him the investigative bug. He got his license a couple of years ago and has been doing a lot of work for Dick since he started NSC."
Logan comments, "So much has changed since I was hiding or in Witness Protection."
Veronica gently pats his arm in understanding. There is a peaceful silence as they both listen to their daughter drink.
After a few minutes pause, Logan says quietly but meaningfully, "I looked in the safe the other day."
Veronica stiffens and then questions casually, "Oh, did you find anything interesting?"
Logan quietly but deliberately answers, "Yes, there was an envelope full of photographs." His arms tighten around his wife reflexively. He is thinking about his shock when he opened the envelope and looked at the contents. He knows Veronica left it for him to see. They will never talk of it again but there was a picture of every Fitzpatrick and blood kin from the United States Fitzpatrick family tree. Each one had a rifle sight on his or her head and a contract stapled to the photograph. Logan had read one of the contracts in total shock. They were numbered depicting the order the hits were going to happen.
Unbelievably Logan realized that Veronica had taken hits out on each member of the family. The hits were to take effect if anyone in her family were injured or killed. This is what she had sent Liam. She had effectively told him that if he tried to end her family, she was going to end his family totally. Logan felt sick looking at the pictures as there were babies and children included.
Objectively, he understood that the photographs were to show his family how serious she was and how deeply in danger they were. They were all recent pictures and he guessed that she had not missed anyone.
Veronica looks up at Logan and whispers, "Mutually assured destruction."
Logan nods remembering the incident with Tad and Carmen in high school.
Sighing she holds his gaze and says, "Liam is not the type of guy who understands reason. I had to hold the bigger stick."
He nods in understanding and acceptance. He says, "He did not want to go to jail. He must have believed you would do it."
Veronica nods. She says very quietly, "The trick was to make them believe I had the money and the anger to do it."
Logan sighs in relief. He can tell by her wording that she would never have followed through. He says very quietly, "I burned the photographs."
"Good," she nods. Then she says, "I have to protect my family. We can't run or live our whole lives in fear that Liam is going to kill us. I had to make him go away."
He leans in and gently kisses her forehead and says, "I get it." They sit quietly for a few minutes and then Logan changes the subject. "I understand that LEE Holdings is still buying up a few buildings and some land in Neptune."
Veronica shrugs a little and then says, "Brian is a genius with real estate investing. He says land right now in Neptune is a good investment."
Logan nods and agrees, "It probably is." He adds, "I also saw that you are part owner of a computer company."
Veronica smiles and tells her husband, "Yes. I thought it would be a good investment as well."
Logan smiles back, "I'm sure it will be."
Veronica hands baby Mackenzie over to Logan who gently puts her on his shoulder to burp her. He rubs her back as Veronica does up her bra and blouse. They both smile as she gives a large burp and then settles to sleep in her father's arms.
His voice reverent, he almost whispers, "She is so beautiful."
Veronica cuddles into her husband's other arm and looks over at him holding their daughter. "She really is."
Logan looks over at Veronica and asks, "Is it weird that neither of us has jobs or future plans?"
She smiles at the question and answers, "All have you know I do have a job. My job is very important and takes a lot of my thought, time and energy."
Her husband of less then a week looks at her and guesses, "You mean being a mother?"
Her blue eyes shining with happiness and love she puts her hand up and gently caresses his cheek. She says her voice rough with emotion, "I got a crash course the last few months, when I thought you were dead, in what is really important. I regret wasting so much time with you fighting over money and careers. "
Quietly she vows, "I am not going to make that mistake again. I will not worry about whose money it is. I won't have a job that takes me away from you. I am going to focus on being your wife, mother to our children, a daughter, sister, aunt and friend."
Her gaze softens as her eyes lock with his. She sees the love in his warm, brown eyes. He sees the honesty, determination and he sees the truth. She says emotionally, "My marriage vows mean everything to me Logan. I am going to love, honor and cherish you every moment, every day, every week, every month, every year, as long as we both shall live."
Logan feels the emotions rise in his chest as he listens to her words and sees the love in her eyes. He says, "We both have so much to be thankful for."
She bites her lip and agrees, "We do."
Logan smiles at her, "I love you, Sugarpuss."
Laughing a little she tells him, "I love that nickname."
He leans over and kisses her. For the first time in his life, he understands the true meaning of Thanksgiving.