|Primary Characters:||Logan, Mac, Veronica|
|Spoilers:||Season 1, possibly season 2, but not really|
|Description:||Logan’s drinking and gambling and ends up lying by the side of the road. Mac finds him and takes him somewhere he can heal. When he hears Mac’s story, it’s a wakeup call for him. He decides to go and see Veronica again.|
Logan woke up, trying to ignore the pain behind his temples. Someone once told him a guy his age shouldn’t get hangovers, but whoever that was, obviously hadn’t drunk as much tequila as he had last night. He had vague memories of a drinking contest, but surely he hadn’t been that immature? That was so sophomore year.
He got out of bed, and stood fighting down the nausea, almost promising not to do the same thing all over again tonight. But if he didn’t, what else would he do? His entire family had shrunk drastically and since Trina had landed a real role in a real – though of course not very high class – soap – she’d deserted him too. Mother dead, father dead, adopted sister somewhere in Hollywood – that left Logan himself.
One of Trina’s acquaintances – Logan refused to believe that weazel was actually a friend of his sister – a guy of an indeterminate age – anywhere between forty and sixty, fake hair, fake teeth, fake everything – had offered him the opportunity to play himself in the mini series about ‘the Curse of the Echolls’ family’. Yeah, that was the name the guy had come up with. The Curse of the Echolls’ family.
Of course, Logan would be playing his dad too, in the early years. He was surprised the guy didn’t suggest Trina play Lynn in the early years – but maybe that would be too much, even for this guy.
In any case, Trina had seemed reluctant to commit herself to the project, since she already had the role in the soap, and Logan had refused outright. When the guy wouldn’t accept his answer, he’d had the nerve to keep pushing, upping the pay offer, until Logan had grabbed the little creep by the scruff of his neck and thrown him onto the driveway and slammed the door shut behind him.
Afterwards, in bed, Logan had relived that moment, at first relishing the sense of triumph it had given him, but soon the elation had given way to dread. Was he turning into Aaron? Had it started like this for his dad?
He tried to tell himself that lots of people lost their temper and only psychos like his dad actually made a habit of torturing and killing people – like his kid or the kid’s girlfriend. It didn’t help much. The truth was, he didn’t know what had turned his dad into the sadistic bastard he was. He wasn’t sure Aaron knew the truth himself. Maybe his dad had beaten him throughout his childhood – or he’d been the kind, supportive man Logan had known. There was no way of knowing.
Logan was recalled to the present by the sound of his cell phone pinging. He glanced indifferently at the display. Who would be getting in touch with him now? Besides, when he studied the display, he realized he’d just put off charging it a little too long.
He plugged it into the charger, and took a look at his old, backup phone. It seemed to be ok for another night on the town. Who would he call anyway? Who would call him? There was no one left. It was just him and the money. Since Aaron’s will had mysteriously disappeared from his attorney’s office, all his considerable fortune was to be divived equally between Trina and Logan.
If Trina hadn’t gotten the part in the soap, she could have set up her own production company or a theater group. Whatever she wanted. At the moment, she only seemed intent on living it up, relishing the traditional lifestyle of the Hollywood movie star. Of course, strictly speaking, Trina hadn’t actually appeared in a movie yet, but Logan thought that might still happen. Young, rich, beautiful heiresses usually got what they wanted.
Unlike young, rich, disillusioned heirs, like himself. He’d never thought money could buy him anything he really wanted, but since he couldn’t get what he wanted – loving, caring parents and a normal life – he’d settled for what money could buy.
Speaking of which. He’d take the sports car. Might as well go the whole nine yards. Tonight, he’d be drinking at home, in Neptune. Last night it had been Cancun. Aaron hadn’t owned a private jet and Logan didn’t really want one, but being able to rent one as the need arose, did come in handy.
If he didn’t think of anything better, he’d fly to Vegas over the weekend. In the meantime, he forced himself to step into the shower, to shave and dress. Afterwards, he argued with himself for a couple of seconds and, since he knew how sick he’d be tomorrow, if he didn’t have something today, he took a few sips of orange juice and nibbled unenthusiastically on a piece of toast.
The housekeeper’s eyes slid indifferently across him. Logan fought to recall her name, but failed. So what? Hired help didn’t need names. They were there to make sure the house functioned, that was all. The fact that the gardeners came through an external service and the pool guy too, only barely registered in Logan’s mind. On the rare occasions he was sober during the day, Logan tried to focus on anything that might take his mind off – pretty much everything.
Around nine, he left in the black sports car. The gates opened and closed for him. He had a specific bar in mind. One that had some interesting back rooms. The stakes were high in those games and he knew that if he ended up in debt, someone might break his arms, but so what? What was the point of living safely? Statistically speaking, an Echolls wouldn’t live long anyway. Trina was lucky to be adopted.
He parked the car at the hotel and set out on foot. It wasn’t as if he couldn’t afford a new car if anything happened to it, but it would be such an inconvenience to have to do without it for a couple of days. The temporary replacement you got could hardly compare to the real thing.
Logan nodded to the huge, bulky doorman and the guy let him through, ahead of the losers waiting in line. The owners recognized him by now. These guys were Korean or Japanese, and Logan had heard horror stories about cut off fingers or thumbs, but he didn’t really believe in any of that.
By the time light came through the windows, Logan had won more than on any previous night. The staff had begun to stare at him, nervously, but the other players were the ones that bothered Logan the most. He didn’t know them even by sight, which told him they’d come in from out of town to play at these guys’ place.
There were three of them. About ten to fifteen years older than Logan, he guessed. Fancy clothes, what looked like a real Rolex on one guy’s wrist. Whoever they were, they were probably legit. As in actually being wealthy. Where they’d earned their money was a little harder to tell.
One of them especially, gazed at Logan in a way that told Logan the guy held a grudge. Tough. If he couldn’t take the losing in stride, just like the winning, he should get out and leave the serious gambling to those who could. Amateur.
Logan picked up his winnings and headed for the door. It wasn’t as if he needed the cash, but now that he’d won it, he was going to get it home.
He missed the glances exchanged between the three men in suits. Outside, Logan noticed that his legs felt a little wobbly. Time to go home. Or to what passed for home. Whatever those Asian guys served, it was strong. He was hoping it wasn’t brewed on bugs or snakes or something.
After a while, he became aware of the sound of footsteps behind him. Once he’d picked up on it, he tried to stay alert. At least two others were following behind him. If it hadn’t been against everything he stood for, Logan would have glanced over his shoulder. Whoever it was was getting closer.
He tried tp pick up his pace, but his pursuers kept up. There were still at least two blocks to go, before he was outside the hotel.
Suddenly, he ran into two guys, who seemed to be blocking his way. He recognized one of them. It was one of the guys he’d ripped off tonight. In a manner of speaking. The other one looked like a driver, but he was suspiciously tall and bulky. Doubling as a bodyguard too? Logan was beginning to suspect who was behind him.
Well, they were welcome to try it on. He was used to being used a punching bag by his dad. Weavil and his gang had tackled him too, on occasion. For once, he might actually welcome a chance to fight back.
Too late he realized that those four were professionals of some kind. They’d come armed. He was barely concious when they dragged him into their car and after that, he remembered nothing.
The sun was getting into his eyes. These days, he woke up with a hangover pretty much every day, but this time, it was worse than ever. It felt as if he was lying on rocks. The pain in his head was more localized. A spot behind and below his left ear was pounding like mad.
He tried to roll over and hurriedly closed his eyes again, but couldn’t stop himself from retching dryly. Judging by the smell, he’d already emptied his stomach.
Not only his head, but his abdomen and more or less his entire body ached. At the moment, all he wanted was to curl up and go back to sleep.
The sound of a car made him try to open his eyes again. Even that minor effort made his head spin and threatened to make him throw up again.
He heard the car squeal to a halt, then the car door opening. The footsteps seemed to echo and reverberate inside his head. Uh oh. He’d really had it this time. No matter how hard he tried, he couldn’t get up and he could hardly get his arms up to try and protect his face.
A vaguely familiar voice said something. The voice reminded him of someone else, someone he really wanted to see right now, except that would never happen. It was all over.
“Logan? What happened to you?”
He knew who it was, could even match a face to the voice, but at the moment, the name escaped him. In any case, he didn’t have a reply for her. Somehow, the hours leading up to his waking up were just a vague blur in his mind.
Mac had been driving back home to the commune. Normally, at this hour of the day, she’d be driving into town again. For another couple of weeks, she was stuck working here, in Neptune, until it was time to go to the university and start her new life.
Last night, though, another of her projects had crashed, and she’d been stuck trying to salvage the contents of a server. She’d been successful, but now she’d been forced to call in sick. Not that it mattered. She was always ahead of her workload. Any computer job came easily to her and this was just routine. It paid the bills, in a manner of speaking. What it did was pay for her car and her clothes. Anything else, she got from her friends at the commune.
When she’d caught sight of the man lying stretched out on the edge of the road, she’d immediately thought of a car crash. She’d begun to scan the surroundings for the wreck, but all she could see was the immobile man.
As she got closer, she realized the guy looked familiar. She had to stop and take a look. And she’d been right. It was Logan Echolls. Her friend Veronica’s ex. Or current boyfriend. It was a little hard to keep up. The last thing she’d heard was that Veronica and Logan were back together again, but then she’d heard rumors to the contrary, so she had no idea, really.
“Logan. Can you look at me?”
The friendly voice filtered through to Logan and he tried his best to comply with the request. Eventually, he managed to get his eyes open, but all he saw against the sun, was a hazy figure bent over him.
“Do you feel nauseous or dizzy?”
“Yeah. Duh. I always do after I -”
At least that was what he’d intended to say. For some reason, even Logan himself had a hard time deciphering the words.
“Nauseous? Or dizzy?”
“Ok. Don’t try to move. Except – you’re lying in the road. At least your legs are. I’ll have to do something to get you out of the way. In a little while traffic will be heavy again and -”
She tried to drag him a little way off the road. Logan yelped. If nothing was broken, something at least had to be twisted or badly bruised.
“Sorry. But you’ll be even sorrier if a car takes your leg off.”
He had to admit that was true. Even now, he wouldn’t want to lose a limb. His entire body, maybe, but not parts of it.
“I guess I’d better call an ambulance.”
“No. I’m ok. It’s just the crap they serve at the – well, the club I hang out at.”
“Oh. So what you drank gave you that lump?”
“No. I think that was – I guess they got my winnings.”
He didn’t really mind. It was only money.
“Were you robbed? Are you sure you don’t want me to call the Sheriff or something?”
“Never mind. Easy come, easy go. If you just help me up, I’ll – yeah, I don’t suppose my car is around either?”
“No, I can’t see any car here. It’s ok. I’ll drive you. To your house?”
At that point, Logan keeled over and threw up inches from Mac’s shoes. She jumped back, and immediately jumped forward again, as she heard and felt the approach of something big on the road. Breathless and shocked, she saw a huge truck drive by, again, only inches from her. At least she managed to stay out of Logan’s vomit.
He was lying hunched over, his face so close to the vomit Mac almost felt sick herself.
“Hey. Logan – come on. I guess I’ll drive you -”
Mac broke off, considering Logan’s home situation. She wasn’t sure about the status of his relationship with Veronica and she knew there was no one waiting for him at home, unless the staff were willing to hold his hand through this. Not that she felt too sorry for him about the hangover. That was entirely his own fault, but still. He was Veronica’s ex and really cute.
In any case, she was speaking to herself. Logan seemed to have blacked out again. That worried her. Despite what he’d said about not going to the hospital, she felt inclined to ignore his wish. After all, she recalled a time not so long ago, when someone had taken her to the hospital, not worrying about her lack of health insurance, and doing so, had saved her life.
Of course, health insurance, or lack thereof, wasn’t Logan’s problem. Anyone would recognize him, even if his ID and social security card and insurance info were lost along with his winnings – clearly the club he came from provided gambling, not just the sort of liquour that gave you a headache that could compare to one you got from a big lump on the back of the skull.
“Ok. Can you get up? I can’t carry you.”
She bent over to grab Logan’s arm to at least try to get him up on his feet. To her surprise and alarm, he recoiled violently, looking terrfied. She hadn’t even expected him to be conscious.
“Logan. I’m only trying to get you into my car. Do you want my help or not?”
A look of recognition came into his eyes and with it what looked like embarrassment.
“Yeah. Thanks. I’ll try to -”
With her help, he managed to get up, and Mac, slightly reluctantly, was able to half drag him towards her car, then help him into the passenger seat. If he was sick again – he’d better pay her cleaner’s bill.
But it seemed Logan had emptied his stomach. Though he looked barely conscious, he didn’t get sick again. He also didn’t seem to object to or even notice the route they were taking.
Mac parked the car in the grass behind the barn, then turned to study Logan uncertainly.
“This is it. Let’s get you out of here.”
So far so good, she thought. The seats of her car, which was her only memento from a bygone, happier time, were safe, at least for now.
She walked around to the other side and opened the door. This time, Logan seemed to be able to keep himself in check a little better. Not until now did he realize where he was, or rather where he wasn’t.
“Where are we?”
“This is where I live, these days.”
He gazed at her for so long, Mac was afraid some of the biting sarcasm he was known for would begin to burst forth.
“Compromise. You didn’t want me to call an ambulance so I thought, this was the next best thing. If you black out or – throw up again.”
She couldn’t read the expression on his face. Was he secretly laughing at her? Trying to gather his strength to yell at her? In the end, he did neither.
“Ok. That was – nice of you.”
“I wasn’t sure if you wanted me to drive you to Veronica’s place -”
Logan looked away, but Mac had caught the look of regret. He wanted to, but he knew, or thought, he wouldn’t be welcome. Interesting.
As they were picking their way through the grass, to the main building, where Mac was hoping to find breakfast and if she was lucky, someone to help her with Logan, they met others going in the other direction. Most of the members of the commune were heading to work, though Mac thought it was a little late for that.
Two girls stopped and gave her a hand. Mac knew that they might recognize Logan from the tv news, but that was not why they stopped to help. The people out here didn’t pay much attention to fame and wealth or anything in the outside world, except their immediate surroundings. Work, friends and if they had any – family. For most of them, the people out here were their family.
“What happened to him?”
Mac glanced inquiringly at Logan, who seemed to be pleading with her. In the end, she didn’t reply. She let him explain for himself.
“I’m not feeling too good. A little too much to drink last night, that’s all. You ladies are too kind to help me.”
One of the girls smiled warmly, but – at least Mac thought so – without any ulterior motives.
“That’s no trouble. If we all helped each other a little more, the world would be a nicer place. There. Will you be ok? I have to get to work.”
“Me too. Nice to meet you, Mac’s friend.”
Logan picked up on the unspoken question, wondering if anyone could be unaware of who he was.
“Hi. Melanie. This is my friend Eleanor.”
They were met at the door by the three designated cooks and housekeepers for the day. Depending on their different schedules, everyone did kitchen duty, as well as gardening, laundry and other duties.
“There you are, Mac. We were beginning to worry. Are you ok? How is your friend?”
“I’m ok. Logan’s feeling a little sick.”
“I see. Mac, there’s breakfast for you, over there. Logan, there’s herbal tea, fruit juice and iced water over there, if you want it. There’s something for you to eat as well, if you want anything.”
“Thanks. No food. Maybe some – juice or water.”
Mac sat down and tried to eat, under Logan’s woebegone stare. He sipped his fruit juice, but couldn’t even look at the food.
After they were finished, Mac remembered that they had a real nurse out here. Sheila was older than most of the members of the commune. It was hard to say how she’d ended up there. Like many of the other members, she was taciturn when it came to her background.
Mac asked one of the girls responsible for the breakfast buffet – if you could use such a word for something so down-to-earth as their dining hall – if Sheila was in.
“Logan’s been in a bit of an accident. Is Sheila in?”
“Yeah, I think so. She wasn’t going anywhere today, I think. Try her cabin. Or she might be out for a walk.”
By now, Mac was so exhausted, all she wanted was to stretch out on her bed and finally get some much needed sleep after all her hard work.
To her relief, Sheila was in and she agreed to take a look at Logan’s head. It was clear that she recognized Logan, but she didn’t seem to care one way or another. To her, it was her job, and – at least Mac thought so – a way of helping a friend of a friend. A friend of another member of the commune.
“I guess this hurts a lot?”
“That’s all, though. I don’t think you need to worry about concussion, but just in case, try to keep still for the next twenty-four hours or so, at least.”
“I don’t have anything for the hangover. I suggest you sleep it off.”
“Will do. Thanks.”
They crossed the yard and returned to the main building. Mac had a room in one of the smaller houses, but she knew there was a joint dorm for the single men. No one was encouraged to move that quickly, if two people hit it off. You could get a room of your own, and Mac had, but the newcomers usually had to make do with a bunk in one of the communal dorms.
Mac was wondering how a guy like Logan would react to being forced to share a barracks-like dorm with – at the moment – three other guys. She was betting he’d never expected that. But he didn’t say anything and seemed grateful enough to be able to lie down.
“Thanks, you too. I owe you.”
“No, you don’t. It’s ok.”
Logan looked as if he was about to object, but instead he shrugged and stretched out on his bunk. He seemed to doze off right away. Mac didn’t stick around to watch him sleep. That would be going way too far. Borderline pscychotic celebrity worship. Ugh. Not her thing. Besides, as far as guys went, she knew someone she liked even better.
She hurried back to her own room and only kicked off her shoes before she, too, fell asleep, stretched out on her bed, in the sunlight from the window.
Mac had expected Logan to be gone by the time she woke up, maybe by hitching a ride into town with one of the members who worked a late shift, or simply by calling a cab. Instead, she found him sitting in the sun, outside the main building. He looked almost as stunned as she was.
“Oh, no problem. Are you feeling any better?”
Logan made a face, so clearly the hangover was still as bad as it had been that morning. Mac didn’t know what to say, so she just nodded and went off in search of lunch, or rather dinner. One of the many things she liked about this place, was that there was always something waiting for you. If you got back late or if your work schedule kept you away from the main meal times, someone saved some food for you.
After she’d had her dinner, she went to find the cleaning gear. Part of their duties included tidying up. Everyone washed their own clothes, but mostly they had their meals together. Other chores, like this one, was evenly divided among the members of the commune. Even Mac, who normally wouldn’t do domestic work, had found that doing her part wasn’t as bad as she’d expected it to be.
When she returned, she had another surprise. Logan was doing the dishes. She never thought she’d live to see that day. He was standing in the kitchen, sunglasses on, looking as if he, himself, couldn’t quite believe what he was doing. The look he gave her seemed to defy her to laugh at him or make a joke. She hadn’t planned on doing that. It was just so odd.
Logan probably hadn’t lifted a finger to pick up after himself or any other domestic work generated by his presence in the Echolls household, and now he was acting like he was one of them. For a moment, Mac was hit by sudden doubts. What if Logan was in league with the Gants? Or someone else who wanted to shut the commune down?
But she couldn’t see Logan doing that either, unless he was blackmailed into doing it. In any case, she was hoping she’d been wrong in her suspicions. If she caused the breakup of their community, she’d never forgive herself. Maybe it would have been better if she’d just taken Logan to Veronica. She knew her friend, or former friend, she wasn’t quite sure which it was, could handle just about anything.
Over the next few days, Mac couldn’t help noticing how Logan relaxed and even when not only the hangover, but the lump on his head was more or less gone, he hung around. It was odd. He acted as if they were old friends, if not particularly close ones, and in general behaved more decently than she’d ever seen him do, in the years they’d been going to the same school.
Towards the end of the week, he asked if he could hitch a ride with her, back into Neptune.
“Sure. If you don’t mind me saying this – I was kind of surprised you stuck around at all.”
An odd look flew across his features, causing Mac’s suspicions to flare again, then he smiled in a way she thought was definitely sheepish.
“Actually, this place is – great. I never thought I’d say that, but I can see why you like it here. Come to think of it, what on earth are you doing here? If I can ask.”
Now it was Mac’s turn to hesitate. What could she tell Logan? She didn’t think he was in league with whoever had torn her life apart, but he was too closely associated with Veronica, Duncan Kane and all the other trendy Neptuners to be entirely safe. Or was he? After Aaron Echolls had been killed and even before that, when Duncan Kane had fled the country, the conspiracies seemed to have cooled off. As far as she knew.
“Well – you’d never believe me -”
“Try me. If someone wrote a soap opera about my life – and believe me, people have tried – who would believe in that?”
Mac responded to his wry humor, and felt herself relax slightly. She smiled crookedly. Oh, well. What did she have to lose? Uh oh. She ought to know better than to say something like that, but what the heck? If that black guy came around again, she’d spit in his face. Let him try his worst. She was a lot stronger today, than she had been on the day she’d been dragged off and thrown in a cell.
“Someone set me up. Two FBI agents came to pick me up and I was held in a cell for at least a week. When I got back – whoever it was had gotten to my family and they were gone. Since then I’ve been on my own.”
“Bummer. Yeah, you’re right. That almost takes the cake. At least it makes you a worthy runner-up.”
“Great. Do I get a prize?”
“I don’t know. Do I?”
Her smile faded along with his, as the reality of their different situations sank in.
“I guess I should move out here too, and turn my life around. Actually, in a way, I’d like that, but you know me – or maybe you don’t – but it wouldn’t work out in the long run.”
“Of course, our situations aren’t really comparable. You can live wherever you like. I – used to live in my car.”
That seemed to shock Logan.
“Seriously? How did you find your way out here?”
She wasn’t going to give Casey away, not to a guy who moved in the same circles as the Gants. Whatever happened, she didn’t want Casey to end up in worse trouble than he already was.
“I – don’t know if you heard, but I fell down the stairs and – got a concussion. If – someone hadn’t found me, that would have been it.”
“You almost died? No, I hadn’t heard. Things were a bit hectic at the time, but – I can’t believe no one – What about Veronica? You guys are friends, right?”
Something moved in Mac’s eyes and it seemed to Logan that a guarded look crept across her face. Had the two girls quarrelled? Over the someone who had found Mac just in the nick of time? Or for some other reason?
“Sure, but – if you remember, her life was a bit hectic, too, at the time.”
“Right. That’s scary.”
He suddenly realized that if he’d been left lying by the road for much longer, a passing truck might have finished him off. That wasn’t a very pleasant thought. Why had he alienated all his friends? It hit him that he’d never had any really good friends. That was something to consider. And what about Veronica? Had he really worked hard enough to be her friend, if their relationship was impossible to mend? Of course, he wouldn’t want to date someone like him. Why should Veronica?
“Are you ready to leave?”
Mac opened the door to the passenger seat and let Logan in. He glanced around the interior of the car and seemed to be moderately impressed.
“Thanks. It’s all I have left from my old life. I should sell it, but – I’ll wait until I get to the university.”
Logan had a vague idea that Mac was really clever. Probably even smarter than Veronica, which really was saying something. Personally, he’d never thought he’d go to college. Why bother, when you had more money than you knew what to do with? Then, when he realized Veronica was going, he’d changed his mind. It might not do any good, but he couldn’t resist the thought of being around her again. That got him thinking about Mac living on her own and the commune where she’d found a home. Where he’d found one, at least temporarily.
“Do you think the people out there would accept a donation?”
That caught Mac by surprise. Her first impulse was to put Logan off, but did she have a right to impose her own values on the commune? Too much pride never fed anyone. Besides, she could tell Logan wasn’t being condescending.
“Yes, probably. I’ll put you in touch with the founders. You might know them.”
The rest of the drive back into Neptune, they spent in silence. Mac dropped Logan off outside the hotel and went on to work.
Logan had a lot on his mind that afternoon. He kept returning to the image of Mac with a concussion, dying, because no one knew where she was, and no one cared enough to find out. Except one person, whoever that was. He thought it might be one of the computer geeks from the lab at school, but Mac’s reluctance to name the guy seemed to hint at someone else.
What about himself? Who would come looking for him if he pulled another of his reckless stunts? Would he be left lying somewhere, dying alone because he had no one in the world to call a friend? There was Trina, but by the time she noticed he was gone, he would have had time to die ten times over. Actually, the same might go for Trina, except right now she was important enough to someone to make a tv series with her in it. And she still had friends and a biological mother, who intended to keep in touch.
To his relief his car was still at the hotel, and when he’d promised Andre a more generous tip than before, and forced himself to ignore the guy’s indiscreet stares at his ass, he got it back. He got inside and after filling up the tank, he took it for a spin around the town. Though he wasn’t aware of it, he kept circling back towards a certain, by now familiar, part of town.
In the end, he realized what he was doing and parked the car. Pride struggled with a deeper need for affection and even companionship and in the end, he began walking in the familiar direction. Ten minutes later, he was knocking on Veronica’s door.
In his mind’s eye, he could already see her standing there, as she had so many times before, like a guardian angel. The image was so strong, he stood mutely, when he realized it wasn’t Veronica who had opened the door, it was Keith Mars, her dad.
“Hello, Logan. Long time no see. Go right in. She’s in the kitchen. I have to go. See you later.”
Just like that. As if no time at all had passed. Logan had to blink to clear his sight and by the time he had, Keith had pased him and was walking away. He turned and called out after the guy who came closest to being a father figure to him these days, or ever had been.
Keith nodded amiably, but kept walking. It looked as if he was late for a meeting or anyway something to do with work.
Pleasant aromas wafted through the air from the kitchen. He heard someone moving about in there and took a few steps inside.
When he stood in the doorway, Veronica heard him and turned around. Surprise gave way to a smile.
“Hi, Veronica. Can I come in?”
“No. Strictly speaking you’re already in, but hey, who’s keeping count? You’re welcome to stay, though.”
Logan was beginning to relax. Maybe he wasn’t quite as lonely as he thought he was.
“If I didn’t know any better, I’d ask you to set the table, but I guess you don’t do that.”
“I don’t? Just wait and see.”
“I guess I was wrong. Go ahead. Knock yourself out. Dinner is ready.”
He wasn’t talking about dinner, though that was nice too. So far so good. They’d have to see about the relationship. At least he wasn’t going to lie in a ditch somewhere, dying alone. Someone would come looking for him. He reminded himself to check if Veronica knew what had happened to Mac. Later. Right now, he was just going to sit at the table, watching Veronica, feeling at home, like he never did at his own place.