Chapter One: Waking up in Vegas
Veronica's first thought upon waking was to wonder if anybody had caught the license plate of the truck that must have run her down. As hangovers went, this one was a doozy. Her second thought was the realization that she was naked in a strange bed being spooned by an unidentified, but also quite naked body.
A feeling of panic came over her as she racked her mind to remember how she had gotten here, and with whom she was sharing a bed.
Veronica had come to Vegas on a cheating spouse case. She had been cleaning up at Texas Holdem' the entire evening as she had been able to intuit the "tells" of most of the other players at her table.
There had been Sophia, a 50-ish Personal Assistant from LA whose warm smile belied her no-nonsense attitude. She tended to twist her diamond stud earring when she had a good hand. Marie, a willowy brunette in her mid-twenties from Portland looked like a supermodel, but was actually a preschool teacher. Her face was an open book, showing her pleasure or disappointment in each hand. Tucker, a large cheerful Texan with a larger voice kept buying rounds of tequila for the table. He became extra chatty when he had a good hand, but was quieter when his hand was poor. Joe, a quiet nondescript man on Veronica's right was completely unreadable to her. Finally, there was Tony Spencer to Joe's right, the man Veronica had been tailing during this excursion to Vegas. Tony was dark-haired and hairy with nervous eyes. Veronica noted that his hand would shake after betting if he had a good hand.
Veronica's client, Amanda Spencer would be relieved to learn that her husband Tony was not, in fact, having an affair. Veronica had been able to infer from a whispered conversation she had eavesdropped on earlier, that Joe was SEC and Tony had been meeting with him regularly regarding a case of corruption in his workplace. She had noticed a flash drive being discreetly passed from Tony to Joe.
Having 'solved' her case, Veronica had been in a great mood. It was so rare for there to be happy endings in cheating spouse cases. She'd laughed and raked in the pot for the latest hand, saluting Tucker with her shot of tequila.
"I don't think you should do that shot, honey." Sophia had warned. "I used to moonlight as a bartender, and I can tell from your size and weight that your last shot was one too many. You don't want to do this one. "
Veronica assured Sophia that she would be fine and swallowed her shot of tequila. That was her last conscious memory.
Now, in bed, she racked her brain for answers. She took in the hotel room - or as much of it as she could see without moving her head. It wasn't her room - it was about ten times more opulent than the budget priced room she had rented for the night. It had the luxurious feel of a penthouse. The balcony off the opposite wall, appeared to look out over the entire city, and the furnishings in her sightline were dripping in luxury, made of deep mahogany and sumptuous fabrics. The mattress she lay upon was the most comfortable she had ever encountered and the high thread-count sheets felt heavenly against her bare skin.
The body pressed up against her back was warm and hard and one calf tangled between hers. She could hear the sound of soft measured, breathing, and the exhales slightly tickled the back of her neck. The arm wrapped snugly around her eliminated any of the men from her poker table. It was too toned to be Tucker, too tan to be Joe, and not hairy enough to be Tony. Her eyes followed the arm down to the hand pressed possessively against her abdominals. The hand was large, well-manicured and wearing a platinum wedding band.
Veronica was overcome with shame. She knew that many girls eventually hooked up with a stranger for a one-night-stand. She never thought she'd be one of them, and especially not with a married man. She felt like vomiting, but that would require moving, and moving would require turning around and facing the music. She wanted just a few more minutes of blissful ignorance.
Perhaps sensing that she was awake, the body behind her stretched slightly and then pulled her more snugly against him. She felt a mouth begin kissing the place where her neck met her shoulder.
Veronica forgot her panic as a surge of electricity shot through her body. She broke out in goose bumps all over, her nipples hardened, and she felt herself become aroused almost instantly.
She kept her eyes closed, silently cursing her traitorous body. She didn't want to let on that she was awake yet. She needed time to think.
Veronica was confused about her body's reaction. It was out of the ordinary for her to feel this turned-on this quickly. Was her skin hyper sensitive due to the taboo of not knowing who was in bed with her?
Really, she could only remember one man ever making her feel like this. A man who had been like a drug to her, overwhelming her senses every time he'd touched her. He had taken off for parts unknown over five years ago without even a goodbye. The very thought of him, made Veronica even more turned on, and she tried desperately to eject the image of him from her mind.
The large hand on her stomach flexed and moved up to her hip. It slid sensually up the side of her body at a snail's pace - her hip, her waist, the side of her breast. Whatever you do, don't moan Veronica! Don't let on that you're awake. The hand slid around to the front of her breast with a featherlike touch. It was a movement that had always made her insanely hot. Oh My God! It's as if he knows my body. His other hand curled in to caress her other breast as he started nibbling his way across her shoulder. Veronica wondered if it was possible to orgasm without any downtown stimulation, because she was pretty sure it was about to happen. Against her will, she arched back against the body.
A husky laugh escaped from his lips.
"I know you're awake, Veronica." a voice whispered into her ear.
At the sound of the voice - that particular voice - her eyes flew open and she rolled onto her back.
She found herself staring into the most beautiful, expressive, chocolate brown eyes she had ever known.
"Logan." she whispered wondrously.
"Hi." He whispered back, smiling.
She reached out to touch his smooth face. He didn't look a day older than the last time she'd seen him. She wondered how she'd held up in his eyes. She bit her lip, afraid that she was looking at him like a lovesick schoolgirl.
She wanted to touch every inch of his body to ensure that this was real. She ran her hands down his chest marveling at the feel of his skin, the soft hair. His abs felt harder. He had been working out more.
She felt like she was drowning in his gaze, so she reached up a hand and pulled his mouth to hers. They kissed with an intensity that she had never been able to recapture with any man since he'd left.
Their lovemaking wasn't rushed or frenzied, but instead languid and tender - like an expedition to rediscover lost territory. What their brains had forgotten, their bodies remembered - exactly how to kiss, touch, caress. It went on well into the morning and was filled with smiles and the occasional laughter. Veronica felt - for lack of a better description - as if she'd come "home."
When it was over and they lay sated and curled around each other, Logan smiled at her.
"You didn't know it was me, did you?" he asked.
"Humph?" Veronica mumbled.
"When you woke up? You stiffened. I could tell you were panicking." Logan said.
"My head may not have known it was you, but my body sure did." Veronica admitted, laughing. "I was afraid to look, so I was cursing myself for having such a physical reaction to whoever you were."
"So you don't remember last night at all?" Logan asked.
"Nothing past playing poker and drinking tequila. You weren't even there." Veronica admitted. Logan looked immensely disappointed.
"We didn't have sex." He said quietly. At Veronica's raised eyebrow, he clarified "Last night, I mean."
"So we just got naked and went to sleep?" Veronica asked.
"You got yourself naked and then went after me, wild woman," Logan laughed. "I had to beat you off with a stick."
Veronica laughed and Logan continued. "We fooled around for a few minutes, but then I had to put a stop to it. I started to worry that you wouldn't remember it, and I did not want to do that to you after everything you had been through. Or myself for that matter. I don't want to be forgettable. So we just cuddled and talked until you fell asleep."
"Logan Echolls, forgettable? Impossible!" Veronica smiled softly. "I can attest to that."
For a moment, Veronica felt an overwhelming sense of happiness, but then she entwined her right hand with his left. The glint of his platinum wedding band caught Veronica's eyes, and she was instantly off the bed.
"I have to go." She said, trying to avoid his eyes while she struggled desperately to fight back tears.
She couldn't find her clothes anywhere on the floor. She noticed some white lace lingerie that definitely did not belong to her. They looked like they'd cost more than her paycheck for an entire week. Had there been somebody else here?
"Where are my clothes?" she demanded.
"My assistant took them to have them cleaned." Logan answered, his face clouding.
"Why would she do that?" Veronica said.
"They were sticky and covered in champagne. Come back to bed Veronica." Logan pleaded.
Veronica started pulling at the sheet to try to cover herself.
"There are robes in the bathroom." Logan pointed out.
Veronica stomped off in the direction of the bathroom. When she hadn't returned after a couple of minutes, Logan followed. He found her sitting at the vanity wrapped in a fluffy white robe, her face in her hands.
He wrapped himself in the other robe and then put his hands on her shoulders. "Am I really that bad to wake up to in the morning?" he asked softly.
Veronica raised her head and met Logan's eyes in the mirror. Tears streamed steadily down her face.
"You're married!" She shouted like an accusation.
The look on Logan's face showed surprise and then turned wistful, and a small smile played at the corners of his lips. "Yes. I am married. We should talk about that."
Veronica's tears came on harder. She hated herself because she knew the tears were not out of shame, but out of heartbreak. She admitted to herself that she had always imagined Logan out there somewhere pining away for her. It was delusional, but it got her through the night. Now however, she had incontrovertible proof that Logan had moved on without her, and it felt like her heart was breaking into a thousand pieces. Logan knelt down behind her and wrapped his arms around her, pulling her to lean back against him. He buried his face in her shoulder.
"You can't do that!" Veronica said trying unsuccessfully to pull away from his strong arms. "What would your wife say about this?" she asked venomously.
"I think she'd be pretty confused, and then she would definitely jump to the wrong conclusion." Logan said in her ear, he kissed the tears on her cheek.
"Wrong conclusion?" Veronica asked incredulously. She yanked away from him and turned to face him.
"You took vows!" she shouted. "Doesn't that mean anything to you?"
Logan met her eyes. "It means everything to me." his voice was soft like a whisper.
"So prove it. Call her up and tell her what you've done." Veronica challenged him.
After a moment of staring at her, Logan said "OK" pleasantly and walked away.
Veronica sat, mouth agape for a moment and then ran after him. She found him standing near the nightstand reaching for his cell.
"Wait!" she said, holding her hands up in protest. "I didn't mean it."
Logan held up a finger to her as he scrolled through his contact list.
"Don't do it Logan!" Veronica said. "Don't hurt your wife just to prove a point to me."
"But I'd do anything for you, Veronica. You know that." Logan said sweetly, leaning over and giving her a chaste kiss on the lips. He held the phone up to his ear as Veronica looked on helplessly. Veronica's phone began ringing in her purse.
"Logan...no." She tried to stop him one more time, but he pointed across the room. "Aren't you going to answer that?" he asked, turning his back to her.
Veronica looked at Logan one more time in desperation before walking across the room to fish her cell out of her purse.
She checked the display, but didn't recognize the phone number.
"Hello?" she said, trying to control the quaver in her voice.
"Whatcha wearing?" She heard Logan's voice on her phone.
"Logan?" she asked, spinning around. His back was still to her.
"Oh, I'm sorry." he said. "OK. Back to business. So...I have a confession. This beautiful blonde that I've been in love with for almost half my life wanted me to call and explain how I'd spent a morning of passion with her."
"Real funny, Logan." Veronica said, hanging up. She flopped down on the bed in relief. "I thought you were really going to do it. Where'd you get my new phone number anyway?"
Logan turned back to look at her. "You programmed it into my phone last night." he said.
He stared at her for a minute quizzically. "Are you really that obtuse Veronica?" he asked finally.
"What the hell is that supposed to mean?" Veronica asked.
Logan sighed. He climbed onto the bed next to her and lay on his side looking into her eyes. He reached out a hand and touched her cheek, a soft smile formed on his face, and his eyes softened.
"Look at your left hand, Veronica." he said, his voice a caress. It took a moment for her to break free from his gaze. With a heavy sigh, she turned her eyes.
On Veronica's left hand was a delicate band of platinum. She stared at it for a moment in incomprehension.
Her eyes jerked back to Logan's.
"You?" she asked, a lump in her throat. Logan smiled shyly and nodded.
"Me?" she asked. He smiled and nodded again.
"Vows?" she asked.
He laughed. "Yes. Very creative vows, if I may say so."
She covered her face in her hands, struggling for breath.
"Breathe Veronica." Logan said, gently stroking her arm.
"Logan!" she said, or she asked. She wasn't sure if it was a statement or a question.
"Yes wifey?" he asked.
"What do we do now? Get an annulment?" she asked.
"That really amazing thing we did when we woke up this morning? That was consummating the marriage, Veronica," he said.
"Divorce?" she asked shakily.
"No." he said.
"No, what?" she asked.
"No, I'm not getting a divorce." he said quietly.
"We can't just stay married." Veronica moaned. "We're not a couple. We don't even live in the same city."
"I'm coming home." Logan answered softly. "We talked about it last night."
"Are you nuts? You're going to pack up and move back to Neptune?"
"Yes. To be with my wife." Logan answered, placing a kiss on her forehead.
"You don't realize how crazy this is?" Veronica asked. "We can't just stay married."
"You promised me a year." Logan said.
"I told you before the wedding that the only way I would agree to marry you was if you were committed to spending one consecutive year trying to make our marriage work. You actually signed an agreement to that effect."
"Like a pre-nup?" Veronica asked.
"No. I would never ask you sign a pre-nup." Logan laughed. "Everything that's mine is yours. Plus, I know you're not after my money. It was really just an agreement typed-up at the Wedding Chapel. It's not legally binding, but I hope you'll honor it anyway."
"What did you mean by 'the only way you would agree to marry me'? That sounds like I was chasing you around with a shot-gun." Veronica said.
"Well, you did come up with the plan." Logan admitted, smiling.
Veronica stared at Logan, unable to formulate words. He leaned in to her and pressed a kiss to her lips. She let him deepen the kiss for a moment before pulling away.
"I don't know how to deal with this. I need to go home. I have cases to work on. I need my clothes." She said.
"You need to process." Logan said, nodding. He rolled over and picked up his cell, dialing a number.
"Sophia? Hey! My wife is ready to bolt now. Can you drop off her clean clothes? Thanks."
Logan pressed a kiss into Veronica's forehead. "I'll see you when I get to town." he said. He rose from the bed and walked into the bathroom. A moment later, Veronica heard the shower start up.
Had she just been dismissed?
"Bolt?" She asked herself. "What had he meant by 'ready to bolt'?"
Unbidden, images came to her mind of her running away from the Camelot after their first kiss, running away from his un-birthday party after discovering Aaron's cameras, running away on the beach after he'd begged her to believe in his innocence in Lilly's murder, running away after he'd confessed his "epic" love to her at Alterna-Prom and the next morning when she'd found Kendall in his room, running away from him after learning about the fire in Mexico, and after learning the truth about Madison. She ran her hands through her hair and sighed deeply.
Veronica walked deliberately to the bathroom and dropped the robe from her shoulders. Stepping into the steamy shower, she pressed herself up against Logan's back, wrapping her arms around him. She had always thought his back was pretty stellar - as far as backs went.
"One more time can't hurt." she said, kissing a path up his spine.
Logan turned in her arms and pressed his mouth hard against hers.
"Many. Many. More. Times. Wife." he said between kisses as his hands tangled in her hair.
When they exited the bathroom, Veronica found her outfit from the previous evening set out on the bed - cleaned and pressed - along with her underclothes. Veronica dressed in silence while Logan watched her from the bed.
She disappeared back to the bathroom to pull her hair back into a ponytail, but didn't bother with any makeup.
Logan followed her out to the living room dropping down on the couch. Putting her hand on the door handle, Veronica looked at Logan awkwardly.
"So..." she said.
"At least stay for breakfast. I know how you love room service."
"I can't stay." Veronica said. "I have work to catch up on."
"I can fly you back to Neptune." Logan offered. "We can take my plane."
"I drove here, and I need my car." Veronica answered. "A plane? Really, Logan? Overcompensating much?"
Logan smirked at her.
"Ah...How I've missed your caustic wit, darling. I will be seeing you soon, Veronica." Logan's words were a promise.
"Just because we had sex doesn't mean we're together Logan. We've had some real issues in the past."
"Veronica, we're married. The only way we could be more 'together' would be if we did a Vulcan Mind Meld."
"This is crazy, Logan. We've always made each other miserable."
"You know what Veronica?" He said. "I've spent the past five years miserable without you. I think I prefer being miserable with you, where I can at least kiss you and wake up next to you and laugh at your corny jokes."
Veronica turned back to look at him, thoughtfully. "No one writes songs about the ones that come easy." She said quietly, a smile playing at the corners of her lips.
"Exactly." Logan said.
She gave him a little half smile and opened the door.
"Veronica?" Logan jumped off the couch and rushed to the door.
Veronica stopped and turned back to Logan. He pulled her into a hug, burying his face in her hair, and squeezing tightly for a moment. Upon releasing her, he leaned over and gave her a deep but gentle kiss.
Afterwards, he looked down into her eyes. "No matter what the crazy circumstances were, this was always meant to be." he whispered, touching her cheek.
Veronica's eyes welled up with tears, and she pulled away rushing out of the room.
Five years of keeping her heart carefully guarded, and Logan Freaking Echolls had managed to slip past her defenses in one morning. How did he always know just what to say or do to get under her skin?
A/N: I have two mammoth sized fics I'd really like to work on - one present day and one AU pre-series - but I feel like I need to finish up some of the smaller ones that I've started first. I hate leaving things unfinished. This is the first one that I have a decent grasp on. Should be around 5-6 chapters - most of them partially written.
A/N2: I've never been to Vegas or any other gambling establishment. I have no idea if poker tables are clustered together or spread out. I have no idea if Texans named Tucker can buy rounds of tequila for the table, or if needs to stay in the bar. I'm going by what I've seen on TV, so if I'm wrong, chalk it up to artistic license. :)