This is the 4th chapter in my Post-Season 3 stories. If you have not read "Tear Away the Mask," "Ties that Bind," and "Road to Epic," I do not recommend you start with this one. I have created 3 original characters that feature prominently.
This story will be much darker than previous stories. I will be exploring the heartaches, disappointments, and tragedies that happen to all of us at times. I think people who stay in love no matter what and learn to work through the challenges are the real epitome of epic love. I hope you will go with me on the journey I take our beloved characters through. Enjoy!
Chapter 1: The Road to Epic Continues
Where We Left Off:
It's fall of their junior year at Hearst. Logan and Veronica are officially engaged and expecting a child. Veronica is a little over two months pregnant. Eli and Jason started their own P. I. business with Jason's Uncle Nico as their front man. Eli finally told Jazmin he loved her, and they are together. Piz stayed in NY leaving a heartbroken Parker behind, who Duncan is trying to win for his own. Parker, Mac, and Jazmin all live together as do Eli and Jason. Dick, Logan, and Mac opened a modeling agency in Neptune called Faces. Trina works with them. She had a son that she decided to not give up for adoption. She named him Logan Richard Echolls. They call him Richie. Mac and Dick are happy and in love. Everyone is excited about Veronica's baby even though she isn't very far along yet. Gory Sorkin's older brother Sean and cousin Julie came to town to get revenge for his disappearance, suspecting he was dead. Julie planted bombs, killing Clarence Wiedman. Nathan Woods, Wallace's father, is now head of Kane Security. Sebastian Jaleno, the twins father, came to town to end the Sorokin threat forever. Sean Sorokin headed Sebastian's warning and left town.
Now: This chapter takes place a few weeks after "Road to Epic" in about the 3rd week in October. It is Wednesday night, and they have just finished with midterms. Fall break starts, giving the students a four day weekend. Logan turns twenty-one that week, so Dick insisted on a party to celebrate. The party is on Wednesday because it marks the official end of midterms and because Logan and Veronica plan on driving to Malibu the next day to celebrate their recent engagement.
****At the Beach House****
Dick examined all the party-goers that filled their house with satisfaction. He had never got to throw a back to school bash or a Labor Day party. But after all the drama the past two months, now was the best time. Sean Sorokin was out of his fraternity forever and out of town, permanently put in his place by the twins' dad, who Dick now referred to as The Godfather. Logan, who turns twenty-one tomorrow, is engaged to Veronica and happier than ever. He watched them slow dance not too far away from him in their living room, smiling at the picture they made. Dick examined the dancers around them. Although many of his frat brothers were here blowing off steam, the room was filled with happy couples. Eli and Jazmin were dancing—if you could call their swaying dancing. Duncan and Parker obviously weren't in the same place but seemed to be enjoying themselves. Wally-world was having an animated discussion with that too serious-Thea chick. Dick realized suddenly that not every couple was doing okay. He grinned as he watched Jason glower at Daisy as she flirted with some of his fraternity brothers.
He felt small hands snake around his waist. He smiled down at Mac. "I was wondering where you ran off to," Dick said.
"I was making sure your frat boys were behaving," Mac said.
"I told you not to worry. They are all afraid of Ronnie and know better than to trash our place!" Dick said with a grin. He pointed at Daisy. "Looks like Daisy is on the prowl again, though. Did her and Jason break up?"
Mac looked and frowned. "No, she's just punishing Jason by making him nuts," Mac said.
"What did he do?" Dick asked.
"He doesn't always make Daisy feel like she's important to him," Mac said.
Dick scoffed. "What an idiot! The smarter they are, the dumber they are!" Dick said, immensely happy to see the too perfect Jason screwing something up for once.
"He's never had to work for it before. Logan says he loves that about Daisy, though. Plus, he's never had a serious girlfriend," Mac shared.
Dick shook his head. "I don't envy him or Logan with their crazy, drama-prone women! I'm lucky to have you!" he said, making her smile. "Dance with me, woman!"
Mac giggled as he swung her around to the dancing area.
Across the room, Jason was trying to not get mad as he watched Daisy flirt shamelessly with another guy right in front of him. He didn't know if it'd be better to play the same game, to pretend indifference, or to let her know how upset he really was. She'd been frosty with him for the past two weeks, refusing to get over him never mentioning her to his dad.
When the one guy, turned into two, Jason's fist clenched. That was it. He walked up and stood next to her. "Daisy, can I talk to you?" he asked, trying to keep his annoyance from showing.
Daisy turned to him, still smiling at whatever the guy had said to her. "About what?" she asked with a raised eyebrow.
Jason found her dismissive attitude too much. He grabbed her hand and pulled her away from the frat boys. She didn't appreciate it and protested. "What do you think you're doing? Let go of me!" Daisy demanded, obviously not happy with him and his highhandedness.
The two guys she'd been talking to saw an opportunity to score some points with her and quickly came to her defense. "Hey, let her go!" one of them said to Jason.
Jason did just that and turned to face the two guys. "This is my girlfriend you guys are hitting on, so I suggest you back the hell off!" Jason said angrily, punctuating his words with a hard shove.
His actions caught the attention of the surrounding people. Veronica and Logan both turned at the commotion. They were taken aback to see that Jason was the cause and moved together to keep things from escalating.
The man didn't appreciate Jason's shove and swung at him. Jason quickly dodged the fist and gave the guy his own right hook, knocking him into the other man. Logan moved swiftly and grabbed Jason and pushed him back while Veronica turned down the music. Dick quickly joined Logan in keeping his frat brothers from jumping Jason. "Chris, what the hell?" he asked the guy Jason had hit.
"He was manhandling Daisy! We were just defending her," Chris said defensively.
"I wasn't manhandling her! I had her hand and was pulling her away from you two!" Jason said hotly.
"No need to fight over me, boys!" Daisy said in amusement.
"You know what? You're right. My mistake. I'm sorry," Jason said to her in disgust. Then he turned to Chris. "She's all yours." Jason gave Daisy a final angry look and walked off.
"What are you doing?" Veronica asked, pulling Daisy aside.
Daisy lost her amused expression as she watched Jason walk away. "I'm not sure anymore," she admitted.
"Are you trying to break up with Jason?" Veronica wondered.
"No. I just want to matter to him," she said quietly.
"Well, I've never seen Mr. Control so out of control, so I think it's clear that you matter," Veronica pointed out. "If you don't want to lose him, I suggest you go after him."
Daisy realized Veronica had a point and went after Jason.
Logan came up behind Veronica and wrapped his arms around her. "You know for some reason it never occurred to me that Jason was the one we needed to worry about," Logan said dryly.
Veronica grinned up at him. Dick overheard his remark and chuckled. "I am stoked that Mr. Perfect isn't so perfect after all!" Dick said with satisfaction.
The man in question was trying to exit the party and pretend the night never happened when his concerned sister and Eli corned him, demanding to know what was going on.
Jason was trying to brush them off when Daisy came up behind him. Jazmin glared at her. "Daisy, why are you hitting on other guys when you're supposed to be dating my brother?" Jazmin demanded to know.
"I didn't realize that dating your brother meant I could never talk to another guy," Daisy said sourly. "Not that it's any of your business!"
"It's my business when your floozy behavior gets my brother into fights!" Jazmin exclaimed angrily.
Jason stepped between them. He faced his sister. "That's enough, Jazmin. You need to back off," he warned.
Jazmin opened her mouth to argue, but Jason interrupted. "Now," he ordered in a tone that broke no argument. "Daisy is not a floozy, and you need to apologize for saying that."
Eli, who was standing next to Jazmin, had to quell his natural instinct to defend Jazmin. He knew better than to get in between the two siblings. He also knew Jazmin's dislike of Daisy wasn't always rational.
Jazmin looked shocked at her brother's demand. Daisy had to fight the grin that threatened to appear.
"I'm not apologizing to her!" Jazmin insisted, dismayed at his request.
Jason reached for Daisy's hand and pulled her to his side. "Look, Jazzie, you know I love you more than my own life, and I know you think you're watching out for me. But Daisy is my girlfriend. She is important to me, and you need to respect that. Sure, she makes me crazy, but that's why I am so crazy about her!" Jason said as he flashed a grin at Daisy.
Then he looked back expectantly at his sister. She recognized the look and knew he meant it. She sighed in annoyance. "Fine. I'm sorry, Daisy," Jazmin said.
Daisy bit back the rude remark she wanted to say and simply nodded. Letting go of Daisy's hand, Jason stepped closer and kissed his sister on the cheek as a thank you. "Sis, has it ever occurred to you that I've never cared enough about a girl to be bothered by who she's talking to?" Jason asked quietly. He didn't wait for a response. Instead, he turned back to Daisy, who flashed him a pleased smile. She willingly took his hand again, and they left the party together.
Eli put his arm around Jazmin's waist and hugged her to him. "Princess, let it go," he advised.
She turned to him. "How can I? She's all wrong for him!" Jazmin stubbornly insisted.
"How would you feel if your brother said that about me and was constantly trying to get you to agree with him? Would you appreciate it?" Eli asked.
"No, but Jason knows you're perfect for me and that you love me. Daisy is just toying with my brother!" Jazmin insisted.
"I love you, babe, but I don't agree. Your brother has never been any girl's boyfriend and keeps messing up. She's just training him," Eli remarked with a grin.
"He's not a puppy!" Jazmin said with a pout.
Veronica and Logan had come up behind them and overheard their comments. "Jazmin, all men are dogs until the right women comes along to train them!" Veronica said, grinning.
Logan didn't take offense and grinned back. "True," he acknowledged.
Eli laughed. However, when Jazmin didn't join in, Veronica said, "Jazmin, you really need to let go of this dislike of Daisy. Your brother has been the one to hurt her and make her feel bad about herself. It's not the other way around."
"I'm sorry. I just have a hard time believing that. Jason has never hurt me," Jazmin said.
"How a man treats his sister or mother is not always how he treats a woman he's sleeping with or wants to sleep with," Logan said.
Veronica didn't appreciate Logan's implication. "That's not all that's between them! If you can't see that when they're together, then you're both blind!" Veronica stated loyally. She dismissed them both with an annoyed sniff and stomped off.
Logan could tell Jazmin was a bit hurt by Veronica's defense of Daisy. "You know she'd react the same way if Daisy was insulting you," Logan said.
Jazmin looked sad but nodded. "It's just that last year Veronica and I bonded over our mutual dislike of Daisy and now she's like Veronica's new best friend, and I'm the bad guy," she remarked. Then she turned to Eli. "I want to go home." Veronica was the first real girlfriend she'd ever made. Her friendship meant everything to Jazmin, and suddenly it seemed like Jazmin's wasn't that important to her. Old feelings of insecurity and not belonging were rising up. Was she always going to be the outsider, the one never quite fitting in?
Eli knew not to push. He exchanged a look with Logan. "Thanks for having us," Eli said.
Logan nodded and watched them head toward the front door.
Across the room, David, Wallace's roommate, was watching the couple with avid interest. Wallace's new friend Thea, noticed his intensity and asked Wallace, "Why is your roommate so focused on Jazmin?"
Wallace looked and saw Jazmin and Eli walking toward the foyer. He looked at David, who was sitting on a bar stool a few feet away from him. "He has a crush on her. She went out once with him in an attempt to get Weevil's attention. It worked as you can see. David can't seem to move on," Wallace said with a shake of his head. He shouted to David, "Move on!" David gave him a confused look. Wallace pointed at Jazmin, who had gotten stopped by Mac at the door. "Move on already! It's pathetic!" Wallace yelled with a grin.
David smiled easily enough, flashing Wallace a sheepish look. Wallace laughed and looked back at Thea, who was frowning.
"He's a Texan," Wallace said as if that explained David's behavior.
"It's never a good sign when a guy's so fixated on a girl he never slept with or had a real relationship with," she remarked.
"Jazmin definitely didn't sleep with him. She just had dinner with him one time. She told him no more than once before agreeing to the dinner," Wallace shared.
"So after getting rejected over and over, he kept asking?" Thea inquired, clearly bothered by the picture Wallace was painting. "That's harassment!"
Wallace's eyes widened in surprise at her assessment. "I wouldn't say that. Jaz has never told me she feels harassed. He's just admiring her from afar."
"I hope so," Thea said, still not satisfied.
"Well, he's an okay roommate. A nice guy, but I really miss Piz, my old roommate. Piz wants to come back. He gave his notice at the radio station in New York," Wallace revealed.
"Why would he come back in the middle of the semester?" Thea asked.
"Parker, Jazmin's roommate, was his girlfriend. He was stupid and stayed in New York instead of going back to school this semester. He regrets it and misses her like crazy. He knows Parker's been dating Duncan. He doesn't want to lose her forever," Wallace said.
"You know I really don't see how your friends ever have time to study with all the constant drama," Thea said in wonder.
"Me neither! The semester started off pretty rocky," Wallace admitted. "But thanks to you, I got through my midterms!"
"Glad I could help. My high school required an insane amount of work, so I learned how to study. That's how I tested out of so many hours," Thea said.
"More like 'cause you're a genius!" Wallace said with an admiring grin. "So are you gonna let me take you out to dinner this weekend as a thank you?" Wallace asked.
"No, I'm going to my grandparents tomorrow and won't be back until Sunday," she said. "Fall break, remember? Besides, I don't need a thank-you. I like helping people."
Wallace realized that she honestly didn't seem to get the fact that he was trying to ask her out. She was probably the smartest girl on campus, but she really was oblivious to male-female relationships. He didn't want to spook her, so he kept it casual. "I know, but I like buying dinner for pretty girls that help me," he said, flashing her another grin.
She laughed, assuming he was kidding. "You're sweet," she said.
Wallace shook his head in amazement; he wasn't quite sure when he lost his game.
****Daisy and Jason****
Jason drove Daisy back to her dorm since she had her own room, and he knew they would be assured privacy.
They didn't speak much during the car ride. Daisy felt nervous for the first time with him. It suddenly seemed like a first date. She instinctively knew that something had shifted between them. When Daisy opened her door, she turned and asked tentatively, "Would you like to come in?"
"Would you like me to?" Jason asked with a smile. He never knew with her. Her unpredictability always kept him guessing.
Daisy relaxed slightly and returned his smile. Then she stepped back so that he could come in.
"I'm sorry for being such an ass," Jason told her as she put her keys and purse on her desk.
Now feeling confident, she went to him and put her arms around his neck, flashing him a flirtatious look. "Well, I was purposely annoying you, so it's okay," she admitted. "You more than made up for it."
"I did? How?" Jason asked.
"You showed me that you care. That I matter," Daisy said simply.
Jason cradled her cheek in his hands. "I hate that I've made you feel so insecure. I'm sorry," Jason said sincerely.
Daisy could tell that he meant it and decided it was time. "I know how you can make it up to me," she said with a saucy grin.
"How?" Jason asked, smiling at her sudden warmth.
Daisy stepped back and reached behind her back and lowered the zipper on the dress she was wearing. She let it slide to the ground and stood before him wearing a set of black lingerie. Her full breasts barely contained within the black, lacy bra.
"You can make love to me," Daisy offered.
"I can? Really?" Jason asked in surprise.
She made it clear by unsnapping the bra that hooked in front and letting it drop to the floor. Jason's mouth fell open in amazement. He swallowed hard. It'd been too long since he'd had sex of any kind, and she was a goddess!
"I haven't been with any guy since the last time we had sex, but I wanted it to be more this time. I wanted it to mean something," Daisy told him, somewhat bashfully.
Charmed, Jason grinned at her sudden shyness. Wasting no time, he kicked off his shoes and pulled off his shirt. Then he quickly grabbed and kissed her before she could change her mind. "You aren't going to change your mind?" he had to ask when he broke off the kiss.
Daisy laughed, his reaction giving her confidence. "No, I'm ready. Punching out a guy because you were jealous helped a lot, but sticking up for me with your sister completely won me over and silenced my doubts," Daisy said. She kissed him.
Without breaking the kiss, Jason walked her backward to the bed. When her legs hit the bed, she broke off the kiss and turned to pull back the covers. Jason sat down next to her and took her hand, surprising her. "I want you to know that I haven't been with anyone else either. My inattentiveness wasn't because of my lack of interest. I just was and am always so busy. This summer I had time and opportunities, but no one seemed as exciting as you," Jason admitted with a rueful smile.
Daisy was taken aback by his confession. It filled her with warmth. She gave him a happy smile. Finally, she knew without a doubt that it was the right time, and he was the right guy.
*****Back at the Beach House*****
After Weevil and Jazmin left, Logan found Veronica chatting with Thea and Wallace. She looked up at Logan with barely suppressed excitement. "Thea says I can get an ultrasound now! She says it's too soon to determine sex, but most doctors do two. The first one to make sure everything's okay and that there's only one!" Veronica shared excitedly.
"More than one? What do you mean? Twins?" Logan asked in alarm as if the idea had never occurred to him.
"Not likely but you never know! Dad had a cousin that had twins," Veronica said with a mischievous look in her eyes.
Wallace laughed at Logan's panicked expression. "You ain't right, girl! You shouldn't tease him like that!" Wallace said.
"Thank you, Wallace! I'm glad someone sees what I have to put up with!" Logan complained. The look of adoration in his face as he looked at his fiance belied his complaint.
"You love me and you know it!" Veronica said smugly, throwing her arms around his neck and lifting her head for a kiss. Logan gladly gave in to her silent request. However, before the kiss could get interesting, Veronica broke it off. "What time is it?" she asked suddenly.
Wallace looked at his watch while Thea glanced at her phone. "Ten," they both said.
"Where's Trina? She's supposed to go get Richie from Dad and Alicia," Veronica said.
"Mom, won't care," Wallace said. "It's too loud to bring the baby back here anyway."
"They like to go to bed around ten since they both work in the morning, and we didn't tell them to keep Richie all night. Besides, he's only a month old. He can't stay gone all night!" Veronica insisted anxiously.
"Okay, we'll go find Trina," Logan said easily. There was nothing that made her come unglued faster than thinking Richie was sick, upset, or being neglected in any way. Logan had a hard enough time convincing her that Richie would be fine the three nights and four days they were away in Malibu. Reminding Veronica she wasn't his mother didn't help. She took her role as aunt very seriously. Nor did she completely trust Trina, Logan suspected. She had never said that to him, but Logan understood. He was never 100% sure of his sister either.
Seeing Trina dancing drunkenly with one of Dick's fraternity brothers didn't help. Veronica looked horrified and marched over to her. She grabbed Trina's arm and unceremoniously pulled her away from the dancing into the kitchen where it was quieter.
"Damn, Veronica! What's wrong? Why did you pull me away from that cute fraternity boy?" Trina asked, disgruntled.
"Because it's time for you to go get Richie, but I can see that you are drunk! Why are you drinking? You can't drive to get him! Are you insane?" Veronica asked, upset.
"Relax, buzz-kill. This is the first time I've got to blow off steam in months! Not to mention I could get lucky tonight! It's been ten looong months, if you know what I mean," Trina said with a suggestive wink.
"Trina, you're supposed to wait until your six week check-up to have sex! Everyone knows that!" Veronica said.
"What?" Logan asked. "I have to go six weeks without having sex with you? Are you kidding me?"
Trina laughed. "It's the least suffering you get to do for putting us women through such hell! So suck it up and don't complain!" she said.
"Focus, you two!" Veronica ordered. "Trina, do you want me to go get Richie?"
"I'm not a complete moron, Ronnie. I did call Alicia earlier and ask if she could keep him all night. I didn't think he'd be able to sleep in all the commotion," Trina said.
When Veronica looked surprised, Trina rolled her eyes. "Sheesh, Veronica. Remember, he's my son, and I do love him. It's kind of a drag being a mom, but I'm doing the best I can. Give me some credit!" Trina said impatiently. Then she turned and walked back to the party.
Veronica was disgruntled and frowned after her. "I can't believe her!" Veronica said.
"Actually, I can. This is the Trina I know and love," Logan said wryly. "But she's right. You can relax some. You've been kind of all over the place tonight."
"What do you mean? I can't help but be anxious about Richie. He's so tiny and defenseless!" Veronica explained.
"Richie I understand. You're a new auntie. We've never been around babies. Lily was already a toddler when she came back home with Duncan. But earlier you were a bit abrupt with Jazmin. She seemed upset," Logan said. "I know you're hormones are making you more emotional than normal, but over-reacting to a typical Jazmin-Daisy squabble isn't like you. I never liked Weevil and you never liked Dick for a long time. We managed. They managed. It wasn't a big deal. Not everyone has to be best friends or agree all the time."
Veronica sighed, all her energy suddenly draining out of her. Her emotions were all over the place these days. It was really frustrating sometimes.
"I know. I've turned into a crazy woman!" she complained, leaning into him.
He wrapped his arms around her. "Well, I happen to love crazy women, so it's okay!" he teased. He leaned down and kissed her.
Dick came into the kitchen. "God, Logan, she's pregnant already! You know you can quit pawing at her every second!" Dick complained with a grin. "We're out of chips."
"So get some," Veronica said. Then she to Logan, "I love it when you put your paws on me!"
Logan laughed and leaned down to kiss her again. Dick rolled his eyes and grabbed a bag of chips from inside a cabinet. "That poor kid's going to be scarred for life!" he yelled as he walked out.
Logan broke off the kiss and grinned down at her. "You know those are the kind of scars I look forward to giving our son or daughter," he said.
Veronica had to fight hard not to get misty-eyed, thinking about some of his own very real scars both from his father and his gunshot. "Me, too," she said. "Me, too."