Love Notes (VM,LoVe,ADULT) part 3; 4/24 DEAD AND BURIED

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Love Notes (VM,LoVe,ADULT) part 3; 4/24 DEAD AND BURIED

Post by Ashita » Thu Mar 31, 2011 12:00 am

Title: Love Notes
Disclaimer: The characters and concepts of "Veronica Mars" belong to Rob Thomas, The UPN, CW and Warner Bros. Television, etc., etc., etc. No infringement is intended and I make nothing off this story. Just having a bit of fun.
Pairings: Logan/Veronica predominately; may have mentions of Veronica/Duncan and Lilly/Logan, other pairings to be determined.
Rating: Adult to be safe
Summary: Some LoVe vignettes/scenes that may or may not be related to one another. Sometimes, you just get a scene stuck in your head and you have far too much going on to fully develop the idea outside a scene. This series of vignettes solves that problem.

Love Notes

“I’m getting fat,” Veronica pouted, poking at her sides as she stared at her husband across the room from where she was lounging on the bed, her lips tilted petulantly as she stared at her gently rounding stomach with displeasure before flicking a disgruntled moue over at Logan when he chuckled quietly at her obvious fishing.

“You are not fat,” he smiled, sinking on the bed and pressing a soft kiss against her lips as he trailed his fingers over her arms, down to the now obvious swell of life she was complaining about, caressing the warm skin reverently before placing a proud, happy smack of lips against it, smirking when she squirmed under his touch. “You’re pregnant, Sugar puss, you’re supposed to gain weight.

“Whatever, I still feel fat,” she complained, shifting her aching muscles into a much more comfortable position as she propped up the pillows, flopping against them and scooting over to give Logan room to sprawl on the bed next to her, smiling bemusedly when he rested his cheek against her baby bump. “What are you doing?”

“Shhhh…” he hushed seriously, reaching up to place his forefinger against her mouth as he pressed his ear to her belly and furrowed his brow in fierce concentration, whiskey-tinted eyes twinkling in mirth as he raised them to hers and whispered in an awed tone. “I think she’s trying to say something; I can just barely make it out…”

“Oh, really?” Veronica laughed, her voice laced with amusement as she ran her fingers gently through his hair, tangling them in the soft, brown spikes as he stroked her stomach tenderly and humored him by asking just as seriously, cerulean irises filling with laughter at his antics. “What is she saying?”

“Man…i…cott…i… manicotti,” he drawled out as he shut his eyes and poked his tongue out of the corner of his mouth thoughtfully, his lips twitching when she snorted and tugged o his hair in mock retribution. Lifting his head, he patted the bump proudly and tossed Veronica wicked grin. “That’s my girl. Yup, she’s definitely yours.”

“Well, I’d hope so,” she smirked, her brow creasing thoughtfully as her eyes widened a touch before narrowing, her lips pursing as she averted her gaze contemplatively as images of being the subject of unorthodox medical experiments flashed through her mind, shrugging delicately as she dropped her eyes back to Logan. Well, anything was possible in Neptune. “I’d be a little confused otherwise.”

“Anything’s possible, Sugar puss,” Logan quipped dryly, his lips tilting mockingly as he unwittingly echoed her thoughts, lifting his hands and spreading them, his fingers unfurling in a dramatic flourish. Sliding her hands over her tummy protectively, she shook her head sadly as he intoned morbidly. “It is Neptune. I’m thoroughly convinced that this town is the nexus of all evil and that some of our former classmates are demons.”

“Yes,” she agreed succinctly, her eyes gleaming with humor and mouth twitching, a snicker bubbling over lips as he tossed a sardonic moue her way when she teased him lightly. “And I married their prince.”

“Are you calling me the spawn of Satan?” he asked in feigned offense, eyes darkening with desire as he stroked his hands over her form soothingly, massaging the aches and tension out of her lower back, his lips chasing a searing path up over her stomach before they sunk against her mouth for a slow, sweet kiss.

“If the hoof fits…” she murmured against his mouth, her eyes closing in bliss and head tipping back to give him better access to her neck when he pulled away to tease the curve of it with hot, open-mouthed kisses, purring when he nipped lightly at her pulse before swirling his tongue over it to soothe the slight sting and scrape of teeth.

“Wait,” he exclaimed and pulled back abruptly, smirking when she frowned at the loss of his mouth as he mused aloud. “Do I get a crown with that? Because I have always wanted one of those sparkly tiara things; I think they’re just so me…” he lofted before trailing off as her comment hit home and his brow pinched as he demanded with feigned annoyance. “Did you just demote me?”

“Ha! I knew it,” Veronica chortled gleefully, folding her arms over her stomach gently, tossing her husband an amused grin when he scowled at her words. “I’ve always known you’ve had aspirations of being a beauty queen. And my bad, King of Jackasses, better?”

“Much,” he asserted, instantly mollified by his regained status as he slid his hands over her lightly, his fingertips ghosting over her breasts as he settled back onto this knees between her thighs and laced his fingers with hers on her belly as he quipped. “And what can I say? You got it, flaunt it. I can’t help that I’m so pretty.”

“Modest too,” she observed, her tone mocking, and nodded gravely.

“Modesty is overrated,” he retorted, flicking her a deprecative smirk.

“As is your sense of self-worth,” she quipped, softening what could be harsh words with a smile and tender glance.

“Please,” he scoffed, splaying a hand over his chest and cocking his head in a preening fashion. “We both know just how fabulous I am…”

“Channeling Lilly already?” she commented dubiously, shaking her head sorrowfully as she compressed her lips and tsked. “You’re losing your touch.”

“That’s not what you were saying last night,” Logan rumbled seductively, his tone low, warm and dangerous as he slowly inched up her body, careful to keep his weight on his hands as he dipped his head and brushed his mouth against hers, humming with pleasure when her lips molded to his, meshing hotly as their tongues tangled lazily.

“Typical,” she breathed, moaning in the back of her throat as he settled his chest half on her, avoiding her baby bump as his fingers feathered over her ribs, over the curve of her breast before tracing over her cheek lovingly as he peppered her mouth with soft kisses. “Go for the obvious sexual innuendo when you paint yourself in the corner.”

“Not my fault that I find my wife irresistible,” he murmured, biting back a groan when her fingers slid over his bared back, teasing corded, rippling muscle and the remaining, silvered scars left over from a past with which they’d finally learned to cope. Leaning his brow against hers, he leveled her with an assessing look before pulling back and nodding knowingly. “It’s the damned head tilt. That thing should be declared a weapon of mass destruction. Leaving trails of helpless, babbling men in your wake.”

“And here I was hoping it was the Echolls charm rubbing off on me,” she lofted airily, breath hitching when Logan’s eyes darkened, flashing at her dangerously when she wriggled, rubbing her body sinuously against his and she shivered when he clamped his hands on her hips, stilling the tormenting rocking as he whispered against her ear darkly. “Oh, I intend to rub on you alright.”

“You do? I don’t know, so far you’ve been all talk, pookie,” she needled, sinking her teeth into her bottom lip and curling her fingers into his hair tightly, desperately quelling the breathless moan threatening to spill over her lips when he pressed the hard line of his erection against her and nipped her lobe remonstratively, eliciting a tiny catch in her voice as she taunted mildly. “No?”

“No,” he grunted thickly, scraping his teeth over her collarbone, laving the skin with warm, rough pad of his tongue before sinking lower, placing soft, teasing kisses along the upper curve of her breast, his fingers gliding up under her shirt, impatiently seeking out warm, smooth skin and snorted as she continued to ramble charmingly. “Muffin? Babykins? Cuddle-bear?”

“Hush, woman, you’re distracting me,” he rumbled laughingly, dragging his lips from her flesh when a tiny movement against his side caught his attention and made his face split into a wide grin as he whipped his head down toward her belly. Palming the smooth bump, he chuckled delightedly when the baby kicked again, tipping his eyes to the petite blond happily.

“Oh, ow,” she grumbled, a grimace twisting her lips as she rubbed at her belly absently, her fingers automatically tangling with Logan’s as they hovered over the active spot, a soft smile curving her lips when another little movement fluttered against their joined hands. “I think this one is going to be a soccer player like her mama.”

She is not,” he refuted hotly, scowling as he pictured a petite girl with flowing blond locks, tiny green shorts and white knee socks running around the field as he, Duncan and several other boys watched with avid interest. “There is no way in hell I’ll allow her in knee socks. I know what they do to boy hormones.”

“Not every boy has your particular fetish, snookems,” she snickered, laughing as his all to obvious thoughts flashed over his features and she ran her free hand over his head affectionately.

“In fact,” he continued indignantly, completely disregarding her comment, his brow furrowing and lips curling into a deeper frown as he stroked her stomach softly. “She’s not leaving the house until she’s thirty.”

“Yeah, good luck with that,” she scoffed, snorting in amusement as his lips pursed thoughtfully, obviously trying to conjure a fool-proof way of keeping their daughter locked tight in her room away from hormonal boys. “Between your roguish charm and my single-minded…

“Pigheadedness?” he quipped lightly, eyes sparkling with mischief as he dodged her arcing hand when she reached out to swat him.

“…Determination,” she emphasized passionately, glaring at him heatedly when he snickered and patted her head placatingly. “We’re doomed.”

“That’s it,” he declared, resting his hands on his hips with a frown. “I’m enrolling her in an all-girls school at birth, followed by residence in a convent. There will be no boys.”

“Of course,” she placated, favoring him with wide eyes and quirked lips as she patted his thigh in mock agreement. “You keep telling yourself that, Daddy.”

“Daddy…” he whispered mistily, the word tugging at his heart and gut as he leaned over and pressed his lips to her stomach softly, his breath hitching as a turbulent roil of emotion washed through his body. Closing his eyes, he pressed his cheek against her warm, rounded skin in gratitude, overwhelmed by the sheer joy and love coursing through his veins at the thought of the tiny life they’d created, murmuring in a choked voice. “God.”

“Feeling proud of yourself, Echolls?” she teased softly, her eyes filming with moisture as she watched the emotions flit over his features before they settled into reverence as he placed tiny, butterfly kisses all over her stomach and bit her lip to quell the happy sigh clogging her throat, a sweet rush of tenderness burning through her veins at his actions.

“Yeah,” he chuckled shakily, his eyes glassy as he met her gaze, fierce happiness radiating out of whiskey irises as he leaned over and cupped her jaw delicately, pressing warm, damp lips to hers in a slow sweet kiss. Touching his brow to hers, he swallowed thickly and continued, his voice rough and husky with suppressed emotion. “I never dreamed this would be possible after everything… thank you.”

“For?” she asked softly, cocking her head at him curiously, a bemused smile curving her mouth as she tipped her head slightly, pressing a tender kiss to the fingertips gently tracing over her cheeks and jaw line.

“Making the dreams I’d never realized I wanted, come true,” he replied, his lips curling into a sweet smile as he rolled onto his side and settled next to her, their faces intimately pressed together and love shining in his eyes as he drew his fingers through her hair affectionately.

Veronica beamed, her face lighting up at his words as she carefully turned onto her side, pressing a hand onto the bed and lifting up so that she was staring down into his face and cupped his jaw, feathering her fingertips over his features. Licking her lips, she slid her hand to cup the back of his neck and leaned over, nuzzling his nose with hers before placing a light kiss on his lips.

“I love you,” Logan murmured against her lips, smiling into misty blue eyes, clearly showing all her love and affection as she pulled away, her breath washing over him in ragged, sweet puffs, eliciting a sigh of happiness from him. Tucking a strand of hair behind her ear, he traced his finger over her nose, tapping it softly as he wondered if she’d say the words this time or just show him, as was her typical M.O.

“I know,” she whispered, throat convulsing as she swallowed thickly, visibly struggling with the words she felt with all her heart, but were always hard for her to express and closed her eyes, pressing her lips to his, her confession barely audible as it got lost against warm, pink flesh. “I love you, too.”

Grinning against her lips, he rolled her over and sealed their mouths together, licking her lips lightly and chuckling wholeheartedly when she nipped his bottom lip and lightened the moment by quipping irreverently, “Now give me some sugar, baby.”

“That’s my Sugar puss,” he snorted dryly, shaking his head disparagingly and lofted airily before he claimed her mouth once more. “Always the romantic.”
Last edited by Ashita on Sun Apr 24, 2011 4:53 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: Love Notes (VM, LoVe, Adult)

Post by Ashita » Sun Apr 10, 2011 7:48 pm

AN: Okay, this was going to be random vignettes, but they are panning out to have a common thread and starting to tell a little story. This still will be in vignette style and I don't intend to develop it into a full story as I have far too many other epics I'm working on in another fandom. Sorry! Just snippets of LoVe (with others) as they build from the end of the third season to the happy scene in my first drabble. I blame all of this on my beta, Whimsy, and my muse, Andi; I swear they both need to stop encouraging me. Hope you enjoy the next piece despite it being much more angsty than the first.

Painful Truths

“Are you crazy?” Veronica spat without preamble, shoving her way past a gaping Logan when he opened the door to his suite, her cheeks scarlet, anger, worry and a touch of fear flaring in her eyes as she spun around and stared at her former boyfriend incredulously.

“Well, hello to you too, Veronica,” Logan replied dryly, waving her into the room with a sarcastic smirk, closing the door with a light shove as he watched the petite dynamo barrel her way into his life once more. “Nice to see that you wait for someone to answer the door before barging in uninvited. Oh wait, that isn’t the Mars way.”

“Do you know who he is?” she hissed, crossing her arms over her chest, her chest heaving in agitation, lips compressing into a thin, pale line and a fine tremor of frustration and indignation coursing through her limbs as Logan affected a bored expression, seemingly unaffected by her earlier warnings.

“Nope,” he drawled, his typically intense whiskey irises falling flat and expressionless as he gave a careless shrug and brushed past the steaming blond impatiently, his own lips thinning as he poured himself a drink, his effectuated calm belied by the stiff, rippling muscles in his back. “And I don’t care.”

“You should care,” she retorted, her fingers curling into balls, shaking her head in disgust as he downed the whiskey in one fell swoop before pouring a second and turning to face her, the faint stirrings of anger and disbelief flickering in his eyes.

“I’ll try to muster up some enthusiasm on your say so,” he lofted airily, holding the tumbler aloft and gesturing imperiously as he leaned against the counter, his mouth twisting into a bitter smile as he touched a finger to his lips thoughtfully, before setting the glass down and pantomiming flipping through a calendar. “Let me pencil it into my calendar for, let’s say, right after hell freezes over.”

“I told you he was connected,” Veronica stated coldly, glaring when he stared at her blankly before looking down without a trace of concern and flicking an imaginary piece lint from his shirt. Stalking over to him, she smacked him on the chest lightly to get his attention. “Like mob connected. Like he’s going to send someone after you connected. Like right now, he’s probably putting out a hit on you, connected. What the hell Logan?”

“And again, I’m supposed to care, why?” he drawled in a steely tone, his back stiffening as he noticed spots of blood flecking his shirt, jaw hardening when he recalled the words the other boy had flung at her while her pathetic puppy looked on ineffectually. Eyes blazing, he stepped into her, a scant inch between them as he stated in a low, dangerous voice. “He got what he deserved.”

“Oh, my God, do you even hear yourself?” she cried in disbelief, cheeks and lips blanching as she rocked back onto the balls of her feet, shoving her hands through her hair as she spun away and began to pace the length of the room for a moment, muttering under her breath. “Do you have a death wish?”

“Yeah,” he cracked, with a disparaging shake of his head, a cool smile flitting over his features when she spun to face him once more and snarked contentiously, unable to resist needling the tiny blond. “Or so I’ve heard over and over and over again from you. Ironic isn’t it, considering you’re the one who has almost been killed how many times now? And I’m the one with the death wish.”

“You’re going to get yourself killed!” she barked, stalking back over to him and jabbing him in the chest with her finger, her heart pounding in her ears as visions of coming home to a broken and bloody Logan flashed through her head, making the fear building in her gut, spill over, icing her blood. Inhaling sharply, she glowered at the man in front of her, mouth opening and closing in an effort to find the words to explain what she was feeling when he cut her off with caustic snort.

“And explain to me why I should care again? Please, tell me what is so great about living? Why should I bother? What do I have to live for? My family? Nope they’re either dead or mindless, media suck-ups. My friends? Outside of Dick, do you really see anyone that I pal around with? My girlfriend? Oh, yeah, I was dumped – twice. There is just so much keeping me here, Veronica,” Logan snapped, a bitter laugh spilling over his lips when she stared at him blankly, stunned by his acerbic tirade. “Silence? Yeah, that’s what I thought.”

“That’s not fair,” she replied quietly, a touch of hurt and confusion lacing her voice as she backed a couple paces, wrapping her arms around her stomach protectively as she tried to rebuild the walls that she’d let down in her anger and feeling completely unbalanced and off center by his accusations.

Life’s not fair, Ronnie,” he smirked, holding her gaze for a moment before he looked away, sorrow and resignation flitting through his eyes as his shoulders slumped and he ran his left hand over his hair nervously, swallowing thickly as the fight went out of him. “You of anyone should know that by now.”

“Logan…you…” she choked, swallowing harshly to break up the lump in her throat as she walked towards him hesitantly and placed a hand on his arm, drawing his intense, fiery gaze back to her as she continued haltingly. “You can’t just fly heedlessly into a fight because some asshole…”

“Remember how you said you weren’t built to forgive and forget?” he asked quietly, lifting a finger to stroke her cheek gently, his heart thrumming painfully when her breath hitched and her eyes darkened, filling with emotions he wasn’t equipped to deal with at the moment. Dropping his hand, he looked over her head, stating firmly. “Well, I am not Duncan. I am not built to sit idly by while the woman I love is being bullied, defamed and threatened by some asshole pansy hiding behind his daddy’s name.”

“Besides, what does it matter to you, Veronica?” he chuckled mirthlessly, averting his eyes and shaking off her hand as he grabbed the tumbler of whiskey, spreading his arms out as he backed away from her. “You were done with me, remember? Out of your life forever? You, again, couldn’t handle the person I really am. Threw me out like trash because I won’t roll over, sit up and beg like some people that shall remain nameless. How is Piz by the way?”

“I…I care,” she refuted in a small voice, shifting uncomfortably under his antagonistic gaze and shoving her hands into her pockets as she scuffed the ground slightly, deliberately ignoring the gibe at Piz and her relationship with him. She wasn’t ready to reveal that she and Piz had been a mistake and that it had been doomed from the beginning; that Piz had ended it before Logan had reached the cafeteria door.

“Wow, color me overwhelmed by that lackluster display of affection,” he bit out sarcastically, his typical impersonal smirk blooming over his face as he winked and pointed a faux gun in her direction. “The tears were a nice touch by the way, but the delivery and dialogue needs a little work to be fully convincing; although, kudos for the fine attempt. Can’t imagine why I’d question your sincerity.”

“You’re an ass,” she choked out, her voice low, harsh and rasping as she fought back the tears that had gathered in her eyes unnoticed during his tirade and swiped a hand over her face as she looked away, his words cutting deep, even if a small part of her acknowledged that she fully deserved his disdain and anger after the way she’d treated him last time.

“This surprises you, how?” he sneered, tossing back the remainder of his drink before slamming the glass onto the counter, his lips curling sardonically at her insult. “I thought we were both well aware of my jackass tendencies; although, I can’t muster up any regret for what I did. Sorokin needed to realize that not everyone is going to suck up to him because of his ‘connections.’”

They stared at each other wordlessly, each lost in their own pain and thoughts, a wealth of misunderstanding, issues and problems lying between them, both wondering if they’d ever be able to cross the divide, wondering if there was anything to salvage when her phone buzzed, breaking the tension between them. Looking down, she frowned before pressing ignore, reminding Logan of another time she’d deemed him as unworthy of her attention and making his heart ache even more.

“Well as fun as this hasn’t been, I have things to do,” he replied curtly, steely determination ringing through his tone as he turned and walked towards his bedroom, not even glancing at her as pointed towards the hall and tossed over his shoulder. “I’m sure you can see yourself to the door.”

“I love you,” she whispered, her voice barely audible over the pounding of their hearts, halting his escape momentarily as he let out a bark of bitter laughter, his shoulders and back stiffening as he shook his head and then continued on his way, unable to believe that she’d go there after all this time. Biting her lip, she watched him push on, pain flashing through her heart as she realized he didn’t believe her or simply didn’t care, a took a step forward, crying out to his retreating back. “Doesn’t that mean anything to you?”

“You know, months ago, I would have done anything to hear those words fall from your lips. Anything, Veronica,” he said as he halted in the doorway, swiping a hand over his face wearily as he spun and fixed her with a sad, resigned smile. “But now, I’m not sure that it’s enough. Because if I were to forgive you and try again, eventually something will happen – you’ll get in too deep with a case and I’ll want to protect you or you’ll accuse me of something or I won’t live up to your impossible standards – and then what? You run again?”

“I love you, Veronica,” he declared with a quiet passion, eyes glassing over as he met her equally anguished gaze and licked dry lips as he averted his gaze, searching for the right words. “I probably always will, but I’m done playing that game with you. I should have stuck to my guns when I broke up with you the first time. At least then, maybe it would have forced you to face some unpleasant truths about yourself.”

Veronica swallowed thickly, swiping at her face angrily as a tear trickled over her cheek, shaking her head in denial as she studied him quietly, pain flaring through her body as she sought the words to convince him that she loved him and that she’d always loved him, but had just been too scared to face the way he made her feel. Not that it would have done much good as he pressed on heedlessly.

“But, wait, what am I saying, you’d never wait that long,” he snorted mirthlessly, waving the thought off as silly and pointless, knowing that the girl in front of him could replace him at the drop of a hat. “You’d just run off and find some patsy, like Duncan or Piz, who will fill your head with how wonderful you are, all the while reinforcing the notion that I’m being unreasonable, until you’ve licked your wounds enough and realize they will never make you happy.”

“And then somehow, you’ll weasel your way back into my life, and we’ll begin this whole dance all over again,” he choked, bowing his head as he recalled all the times she shoved him away, all the times she made him feel like a wreck, all the times she made him feel worthless, only to come running back because of she couldn’t get enough of the way he made her feel, like he was a drug, an addiction. It wasn’t healthy for either of them and the cycle needed to stop now. “Not this time. I deserve more than someone who only loves me when I follow her rules. Love doesn’t work that way.”

“Logan,” she murmured brokenheartedly as he spun on his heel slowly, tossing her a bittersweet smile as he hovered in the door for a moment, studying her as if he was committing every feature and nuance of her being to memory, as if he was expecting to never see her again. Sighing heavily, he nodded, running a hand through his hair and whispered softly, regret tingeing his voice as he moved to close the door. “Goodbye, Veronica. I’ll always be here if you need me, but right now, I need you to leave.”

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Re: Love Notes (VM, LoVe, Adult) 4/10

Post by Ashita » Sun Apr 24, 2011 4:42 pm

A Single Step

He shut the door with a quiet snick, blocking out the shimmer of tears he’d seen sparkling on the edges of spiky lashes just as he said goodbye, his heart heavy and throbbing dully as he sunk down onto the bed, resting his elbows on his knees as his shoulders bowed, caving in on themselves. Plucking at his sleeves, absently tugging them over his hands, he held his breath and strained his ears to pick up any sounds in the other room, a film of tears washing over bourbon-tinted irises.

Part of him hoped that she would ignore his words and come storming through the door, her eyes blazing, like a tiny, irate kitten hissing with indignation that he dared cut her out of his life before she was ready to cut the ties herself. That she’d stand there, his spitting, raging action-figure girlfriend that never took no for an answer, berating him for being so stupid as to think he’d get rid of her so easily. That she’d fight for them, rather than against them, for once.

That was the part that was damaged and wanting any tiny crumb of love, affection, acknowledgment from the woman he loved, that lapped up the little dredges of attention and hoarded them away to go over, savor in his mind when it eventually fell apart once more. That part was the little boy who wanted nothing more than to matter to at least one person in a world that seemed intent on hating him.

It was the part he ignored with all his might now, desperately quelling the urge to shove himself off the bed, to stride over to the door, throw it open and gather her in his arms, tucking her close to his heart so tightly that she’d never leave again. But he knew that was futile. Despite saying the words he’d craved, had been aching to hear from the moment he held her in his arms in his bright, yellow toy car as she dubbed it, he could see she wasn’t ready to face the full impact and commitment necessary with those words.

And his heart couldn’t afford to be dragged into another period of the Logan/Ronnie Game. He didn’t think he’d survive the next time she walked away.

So, for once, he listened to the other side of him, the obligatory psychotic jackass as she’d so lovingly dubbed him years ago, the one that told him to stay his course and keep his ass pinned right there. He hoped she’d actually listen for once in her life and back the hell off and let him process everything that happened over the past chaotic three years. He was the one that said, putting himself through an endless wringer for this girl was sadistic and was liable to leave him hurting, suicidal and locked up in a white, padded room, staring at the wall, while some sadistic fuck they called a doctor shoveled pills down his throat in an effort to cure him of mental issues.

That sounded just peachy. Maybe he could surpass his mother’s daily intake if he were truly lucky.

So he waited, tense and silent, as her feet shuffled closer, clenching his eyes shut as he almost saw her reaching for the door hesitantly, her fingers hovering over the knob as if she was afraid it burn her, a frown pinching her brow, her lips thinned and eyes glassing over as she dropped her hand, her shoulders slumping because she couldn’t make the last move. Then she’d avert her eyes, blinking back the tears before dropping her gaze to her toes as she struggled internally, debating on what she would even say if she were to enter.

Opening his eyes, he held his breath, heart thudding in his ears as he heard the little clatter of someone fiddling with the door knob and couldn’t completely quell the flash of hope that flared in his heart that maybe she’d finally break down the walls surrounding her heart and let him, only to have it washed away in a brackish curl of bitterness when it never turned. Dropping his head into his hands, he swayed dizzily, the acidic burn of defeat and anger bubbling in his gut for being so foolish as to think he meant that much, that he fell for the pretty tears and remorse once more.

Flinching as the echo of retreating footsteps pounded through his head, beating every soft, wondrous hope he held for that brief moment to a pulp, he growled in the back of his throat, desperately wanting to hit something or drown himself in alcohol as the sound of the suite room door clicked open and shut with a resounding bang, the sound a sucker punch to the gut. He couldn’t do this anymore, the ups and downs, the indecision, the wondering if this would be the last time he saw her face, the last time he’d taste her lips.

It wasn’t healthy.

Swiping at the moisture in his eyes, he shoved himself off the bed, stretching his arms up and linking them behind his head as he stared at the room blankly. There were so many little touches over her still present – from the tube of lip balm resting on his dresser, to the boxers she loved so much resting in a corner of his sock drawer, to the picture of the two of them on the nightstand – all making the walls close in on him, squeezing the air out of his lungs and making him gasp, sucking in deep gulping breaths like a mad person.

He couldn’t stay here. There were too many reminders of her and what he’d lost.

Whirling on his heel, he stalked over to the closet, pulling out a medium-sized, black duffle bag, shoving items into it blindly, completely uncaring to their condition or even what he was throwing in it, as long as he got packed and out the door before anyone could stop him or talk him out of leaving. Yeah, it was running away from the problem, but it seemed to work for Veronica over the years, so maybe it was time to find out what the great appeal was; who knows, maybe he’d like it.

The sitting around, moping in a drunken stupor certainly hadn’t purged her from his system, and neither had the drowning himself in warm, willing and completely anonymous bodies; so maybe it was time to try a different tact.

And they say an old dog couldn’t learn new tricks.

Of course, if they are beaten down, belittled or scolded enough, anyone would be willing to attempt it just to shut their tormentor up. And masochist that he was, even he had his limits, and knew when to throw in the towel and give up.

Scrubbing his hand over his face wearily, he surveyed his handy work, the clothing crammed into the bag haphazardly, and shoulders tight, bunched and burning as he realized he hadn’t even a clue of what he had packed in his rage. But then again, he didn’t even know where he was headed, so it really didn’t matter what he threw in there. One of the benefits of being filthy rich and frivolous? The ability to pick up whenever you wanted and simply buy what you needed when you arrived. At least Aaron, pathetic, abusive, psychotic asshole that he was, and his less than stellar talents were useful for something.

Thank you, Daddy Dearest. You were a complete shithead, but at least your progeny never has to worry about such trivial matters like money, and planning ahead.

Swallowing thickly, he swiped his hand over his cheeks, impatiently brushing aside the salty water that had gathered there as he headed to his dresser, opening his sock drawer to pull out his passport, his eyes latching onto a blue, velvet jewelry box, the sight making his heart lurch and seize as he pulled it out of the drawer. Flicking it open, he stared at it quietly, eyes hazing as the bright, princess-cut solitaire winked at him, reminding him of happier times, when he thought they might actually make it through the chaos and bloodshed that surrounded them.

Wishful thinking again.

Snapping it closed, he palmed the box, shoving it deep into his pocket, a reminder of the past, and maybe a hope for the future (he was after all the slightest bit of a romantic), and grabbed his paperwork, shoving that too in his pocket as he strode to the bed and hefted the duffle over his shoulder. Giving the room a cursory glance, his eyes settling on the shiny, happy faces gracing his nightstand, his heart panged, squeezing dully as he memorized the smile that haunted his every thought, before turning away and opening the door, quickly walking into the common area.

Grabbing his cell, keys and wallet, he searched for a pen and pad of paper to leave his roommate a note, startling when the outer door opened once again, making his heart flutter. It sickened him slightly, that little trembling hope that came over him at the thought that it might be her, a feeling chased closely by bitter disappointment flooding his system when Dick came into view, a careless, curious grin on his face.

“Dude you going somewhere?” he asked jovially, nodding to his bag with a puzzled grin on his face, flipping his head to flick his hair off his brow as he shoved his hands in his pockets and walked into the room, tossing his keys and cell on the counter.

“Yeah, I just…need to get out of here for a while,” he replied unsteadily, hoping that his friend would question him about it too deeply as he really wasn’t in the mood to go round four hundred and thirty-seven in the Ronnie and Logan Show with him. Averting his eyes over Dick’s shoulders, he shrugged nonchalantly. “I’m not sure when I’ll be back.”

“But, dude, what about South America?” he exclaimed, his brow pinching in confusion as he studied Logan quietly, far too shrewd blue eyes burning into his friend as he started putting the pieces together, especially after the rumors flying around about a showdown between Logan and another student over Veronica.

“Yeah…um…I’ll call you,” Logan nodded, looking down at his feet to avoid eye contact and growing uncomfortable when the blond continued to stare at him unchecked. “Maybe we can meet up there if you can get away from your dad. I just, I need some time away from this place to get my head together.”

“What the fuck did she do?” Dick demanded heatedly, blue irises icing over glacially, knowing that full well that this had to be Hurricane Veronica’s fault in some way; she was the only chick that left Logan in this complete and utter state of devastation.

“What?” the other boy asked, surprise flitting through dark-brown eyes, rimmed with red and bloodshot after his confrontation, although he should have known better; his best friend had seen it all before the first two time Veronica stomped on his heart.

“Ronnie – this has her written all over it,” the blond spat, shaking his head in agitation as he ran his hands through his hair, his stomach churning angrily as he recalled all the times he’s had to pick up the ice queen’s pieces and put Logan back together again. He had hoped when he started dating Parker, it was the end of the Veronica-Logan tug ‘o war, but that…woman had her nails sunk so deep into Logan that his friend couldn’t see straight when she was around. “That bitch gets you so tied up in knots…”

“Don’t,” Logan grated, his tone determined and steely as he faced down his friend, a flicker of anger crackling through his veins. He knew that Dick had the best intentions, but this was one discussion he wasn’t going to have with his friend. “I’m not now, or ever, going to discuss Veronica with you. What happened is between her and me and it is only a part of why I’m leaving.”

“Whatever, dude,” Dick huffed, looking away from his best friend and the boy who had become like a brother since Cassidy’s death, and someone he cared about deeply, although he’d never admit it out loud. He couldn’t bear seeing Logan slip back into the Ronnie-induced slump he’d been in a couple of months ago, so maybe this was a step forward and getting away was best. “So where you going?”

“No idea,” Logan replied with a careless shrug, implying that anywhere was better than his current location, his stomach swirling sickly as he recalled bright blue eyes burning with accusation, and love, which was even worse in a way. Swallowing harshly, he fought back the burn of resentment that she’d use those words now when she couldn’t even look him in the eye months ago and choked out with a half-hearted smirk. “Guess I’ll figure it out on the way to the airport. Feel free to stay here as long as you want, and if you want, your dad is free to crash in my room if…”

“Oh hell no,” Dick complained, shaking his head emphatically, as he watched his friend gather up his things and head for the door, feeling an unexpected tug of hurt and loneliness that he’d rather go off and face his demons alone. Although, he also understood the need to get away from the toxic environment and find a sense of balance after the hell he’d been through over the past three years. “I may have to put up with him this summer, but no way in hell is he crashing here.”

“Yeah, I didn’t think so,” Logan gave a watery laugh, doubts of his actions starting to creep in the longer he stood there talking to his friend and he sighed, squaring his shoulders as he held out his hand, suppressing a grin when the blond pulled him into a light, one-armed hold that passed for a hug in Dick’s world. After all, guys didn’t do this emotional goodbye bit and there never could be a true goodbye between friends. “Keep in touch, man, and let me know if you can swing some time away from the ‘rent.”

“Take care, Logan,” Dick replied, backing away with a sad smile and shrug before shunting it off in his typical, easy-going way as he demanded with a grin. “Be sure to keep me posted on all the foreign hotties and the waves, dude. And you are not bailing on me completely – the beaches of South America call and we will answer. Sun. Surf. Chicks in string bikinis. It’s the single man’s Mecca!”

“Sure thing, Dick,” the other man snorted, a reluctant grin tugging at his lips as he shook his head in amusement, walking towards the door with a careless wave, his friend’s enthusiasm bolstering his flagging resolve a touch. “I’ll send you a postcard or two. Call me dude when you get the details worked out and I’ll see you there for the sun and surf at least. The babes, well, I’m swearing off them for a while. Hard on the heart.”

Nodding at Dick, he shoved the door open and walked out, a bittersweet warmth filling him as he closed the door quietly and headed to call the elevator, his stomach clenching with uncertainty, yet a paradoxical lightness filling him as he set off on his adventure. Staring back at the door that held so many memories, good and bad, painful and sweet, he knew that whatever life had in store for him, laid in front of him and not behind him, and the greatest journeys start with a single step in the right direction.

It was a thought that terrified him, and yet filled him with a hope hadn’t felt in years.