|Primary Characters:||Veronica, Wallace, Logan, Trina|
|Warning:||adult themes, rape, m/m|
|Description:||Logan’s on the edge, literally. Weevil comes to the rescue again. Then Trina’s there for him. Wallace is there for Veronica. Both Veronica and Logan need some tlc for a while. There’s someone else, who could use it too, but he’s never going to be able to tell anyone what happened.|
Logan felt himself shrivel up inside. He’d only just started to trust Keith Mars, then suddenly, the PI was looking at him as if he was a threat. Veronica, who he loved, had betrayed him. There was no one he could trust anymore. It had taken a while for the full import of his situation to sink in, but when it had, he’d just turned and run, blindly, anywhere, to get far away from the people he cared about, but to whom he apparently meant nothing.
He didn’t know how he ended up on the bridge again, but when he saw where he was, he realized that he’d finally come full circle. After what his dad had done to him, he’d wanted to die. There was nothing else left for him. That day, Veronica had pulled him back from the brink. Today, no one would interfere. At last he’d know peace.
On his way there, he had somehow found a bottle of booze. He was grateful for that. It helped numb the worst of the pain. Even so, he felt broken up inside, just like when his father had beaten him and – that other time.
Except now, it was even worse. Now he knew that he didn’t have anyone left. His mom was gone. Lilly – had never really loved him. What about Veronica? He was beginning to think that maybe she hadn’t either. She’d been too much in love with the past. With Duncan and Lilly and all her other friends. He’d just been a convenient means of hanging on to better times.
It was time he faced the truth. His time had come. End of the line. Why should he have to keep fighting, year after year, when all the time, things kept getting worse? Why? The answer that came to him startled him. Exactly. Why not stop right now? Before things had time to get even worse. If Keith and Veronica thought he was guilty, chances were the Sheriff would too. Soon he’d be in that cell on death row, he had a hunch Veronica had managed to snatch Abel Koontz from. They wouldn’t have the satisfaction of locking him up.
It was easy to find his way back to the exact spot. Strangely enough, despite the shock and the booze, he felt completely alert and had no trouble balancing on the edge. He even felt at ease, knowing that soon there would be no more pain, no more memories, no more –
Too intent on his own thoughts, he failed to notice that once again, that Weevil guy had shown up, just in the nick of time. Why did that guy bother? It was clear that he liked Logan no more than Logan liked him. This time, Veronica would have no reason to call in a favor to make Weevil put himself on the line for him.
“Weevil. Fancy meeting you here. You want a piece of me too? Go ahead. Get in line. It seems I’m everyone’s favorite guy today.”
“Hey, man. Get down from there. I just heard -”
“Yeah? What did you hear? That I killed Lilly? Fine. If you say so. What do you want to do about it? Push me? Be my guest. I’m going to jump anyway, so if you wait a minute or so, I’ll save you the trouble.”
“Wait. I know it wasn’t you.”
Logan didn’t listen. He made a big show of walking back and forth on the railing, like a tightrope artist. There was nothing to it. Either you fell – which was a good idea – or you didn’t fall – which didn’t really matter, because you could always jump any time. There was still a bit of the booze left in the bottle and he put it to his lips and took a generous swig. Even better. The less he felt the easier this would be.
A car screeched to a halt nearby and the sound of its brakes protesting made Logan take a look. He was no more than idly curious, but the car seemed familiar. A hard knot was beginning to form at the pit of his stomach. If it was dad, he’d better – The car door opened and someone flew out, so fast, Logan was amazed. Balancing on her high heels, Trina was standing right beneath the railing, face tense and eyes wide.
Today, she’d be the audience, not the performer. Wouldn’t that be quite a change for her? Even so, Logan felt a little uncomfortable, despite the intoxication. If he’d had his wish, Trina wouldn’t have witnessed his final act. He would have preferred to do this alone, but hey – did he ever get what he wanted? Did anyone care what he felt? Hardly likely, considering how his life had been. Seventeen. It was stupid age to be, but on the other hand, soon it wouldn’t matter.
“Logan, please. Don’t do it. Please come down again. I just heard who killed Lilly Kane. If you come here, I’ll tell you.”
“Oh, no you don’t. You’re not fooling me. It’s official. Keith Mars and Veronica found out that it was me. Funny, isn’t it? I loved Lilly, but now I’ve killed her.”
“No, you didn’t. I know you didn’t do it. Logan, please. I’m sorry I didn’t believe you when you told me about dad. It just seemed so unlikely. I mean, he never laid a hand on me. How could I have known he was -”
At this point, Trina began crying in earnest. Logan hesitated a little. He hated to see Trina upset, but on the other hand, poor as her acting skills were, he knew she could turn on the waterworks pretty convincingly, without actually being sad at all. Any actor could do that.
Besides, she couldn’t change the fact that he’d run out of options. He didn’t believe Trina and Weevil when they told him they knew who’d really killed Lilly, but even if they did, it didn’t matter. Veronica didn’t love him. There was no one left who cared about him. He’d – prostituted himself to stay alive a little longer. That was the worst part. If he’d stood up to dad, he would have been out of things now. No more pain, no humiliation, no rejection. Just peace.
“Logan, please. Don’t leave me. You’re the only one I have. I love you. I know I haven’t always acted that way, but I do. Your my brother. You mean everything to me.”
Again, Logan hesitated. It was hard to stand here, telling Trina she didn’t mean anything to him, when she did. He’d always loved her, even when she’d driven him up the wall with her fussing about dad. Poor old Trina really didn’t have anyone either. Her own mom didn’t care about her. He knew his mom hadn’t either. Dad – He could imagine dad’s reaction when Trina had turned on him. It was lucky that Keith Mars had been there when she renounced dad.
It was just that what he’d done, couldn’t be changed. He’d always have to live with the memory of how he’d chickened out. No. that was just it. If he got on with it, he wouldn’t have to live with it. That was the beauty of it.
“I’m sorry, Trina. I can’t. You know why. I love you too, but – it hurts too much.”
He turned and faced away from her and Weevil. Suddenly, his left foot slipped and he began to sway back and forth. Trina screamed deafeningly, and Logan lost his hold on the bottle. He could see it catching the light on its way down. Way down. It seemed to fall so slowly, it was almost hypnotic. He lost sight of it before it hit the water.
Trina Echolls’ arrival had provided the distraction Weevil had been waiting for. He’d inched closer, trying not to make any noise. When Logan turned away, he had his cue. Weevil shot forward, grabbed Logan and pulled him backwards, away from the edge. They fell hard onto the tarmac, knocking the wind out of them both. Partially stunned, Weevil lay on his side, still holding on to Logan, who was crying. Man, what a disgrace. Weevil was glad he wasn’t the one losing it like that, especially in front of his people.
Having regained his composure a little, Weevil got up, brushed himself off and bowed slightly towards Trina Echolls. There. That ought to at least be worth an autograph. He made a hand gesture to his boys to back off a little, out of earshot. What he had to say, he’d prefer to say to the Echolls kids alone.
Trina flung herself down on top of Logan and threw her arms around him. She was crying too, but Weevil didn’t mind a woman crying, if she had good reason. Why shouldn’t she cry? After what they’d all found out today, they were on their own now and he had a feeling rich kids weren’t used to pulling their own weight.
Weevil waited a while, to give the Echolls kids time to pull themselves together. When he felt they’d had time enough, he politely held out his hand to Trina and helped her to her feet. Next, he pulled Logan up as well. Logan whimpered and moved out of Weevil’s grip. Amazing. The guy really didn’t have any pride at all. Those anglos –
Trina again pulled Logan into her arms and they continued sobbing. That was it. Weevil really didn’t have time to stand around here all day, watching two rich kids bawling their eyes out. He had better things to do.
Trina looked up and faced Weevil.
“Yes? Eli, isn’t it?”
“You know my name. Call me Trina.”
“Thank you so much, Weevil. I don’t know what I’d have done without you.”
“This is getting to be a habit. If I’m going to act as your brother’s guardian angel all the time, someone had better pay me for it.”
Trina hastily rubbed her eyes with the back of her hand and kissed Weevil lightly on the cheek.
“How’s that? Want an autograph too?”
“Gee, I thought you’d never ask. Better be careful though, with how you behave around me. I wouldn’t want my reputation to suffer. Can’t have people saying I let anglo girls kiss me all the time.”
“And we wouldn’t want that, now would we?”
Trina was beginning to recover a little. Logan was ok and it didn’t look as if he was going to try again. Trina had heard about the last time. It seemed Neptune was never going to stop gossiping about them. Now, she’d have to consider changing her name.
Weevil grinned. He liked Trina. She had an attitude. Pretty cool for an anglo girl, just like Veronica Mars.
“Where do you want me to sign?”
Weevil glanced over his shoulder. No. Not while his people were watching.
“Raincheck, ok? See you later. Do you think you could get your brother home ok?”
Trina studied Logan thoughtfully. She didn’t think he’d do anything foolish now, even if he was still drunk. It occurred to her that now she’d have to break the news to Logan about Lilly, but Weevil couldn’t help her there, so she might as well get going.
“Yes. We’ll be ok. Thanks.”
Weevil returned to his bike and after a few words, the whole gang blasted off together, in a huge cloud of exhaust fumes.
Trina put her hand on Logan’s shoulder and herded him towards the car. It was lucky she’d been able to lay her hands on it. When she’d heard the news, she’d forced a crew member to drive her home. Even if she could have made Conner do it, she didn’t want to. She’d been hoping to find Logan at home, but within five minutes of her arrival, she’d received the phone call, telling her where to find her brother. Neptune really was a small town.
Once she’d shut the door on him, she ran around the car and sat down in the driver’s seat. She cast a glance filled with concern at Logan. He’d retreated inside himself for the time being, or maybe it was just the alcohol. Trina didn’t try to talk to him. She merely made sure his seat belt was securely fastened, before driving back home.
Home. Well, in a way, it was. Dad wouldn’t show up there again, causing any more pain. Despite everything, that was a relief. She remembered that she’d have to break the news to Logan, but that could wait a while. For now, she’d just focus on making sure he was ok.
The servants were standing around staring at them, and Trina knew they would have been chattering about her family all the time since she’d left.
“You can take the day off. All of you. We’ll be ok on our own.”
“Thank you, miss Echolls.”
They couldn’t wait to get out, and Trina couldn’t blame them for that. Some of them at least had to be terrified they’d been working for a killer. She still hadn’t been able to take all that in yet, and she didn’t even think about where her dad could be right now or what was happening to him. It didn’t really matter anyway.
“Logan, let’s -”
Logan was standing, his back against the wall, his face empty of all expression. His reaction alarmed Trina. She didn’t think she’d be able to get him to eat anything, but she hoped he’d let her put him to bed. Thinking back, she realized that unlike many other older sisters, she’d never really had to babysit. There had always been someone else to put Logan to bed or feed him or give him a bath. Someone who was getting paid. It was ridiculous how much Logan loved Lynn, when in reality she’d cared just as little about him as dad had. Or her own mom had cared about her. At least they had each other.
“Come on, Logan.”
She didn’t tell him where they were going and too late, did she remember that he probably wouldn’t like to use his own room anymore. Too close to dad’s room. Too many memories. Instead, she forestalled any protests by leading him to her own room. She had a comfortable couch in there, as well as the bed and she could always sleep somewhere else, if she could sleep.
He didn’t seem to notice where she was taking him. She made him sit down on her bed. Finally, he began to take notice.
“Your room? Ok.”
He shrugged indifferently, then glanced back at her as if it wasn’t until now, he’d begun to wonder about her presence.
“Aren’t you supposed to be with Conner?”
The bitterness in Trina’s tone even penetrated the gloom in Logan’s mind.
“What’s wrong? I mean, apart from everything else?”
“He was cheating on me, but never mind that.”
“No, tell me. I’d rather talk about that than – if you don’t mind?”
“Why should I mind? He means nothing to me anymore.”
“You know, if it had been the female lead, I could have understood it. I mean, after all, I was just a glorified extra, and his girlfriend.”
“So who was it? The male lead?”
“No. Not even that. It was a makeup artist. You know? One of the makeup girls. How flattering for me. I walked into his trailer and there he was on the floor, his face between her -”
“Whoa. That was way more information than I wanted. More than I can take right now. I’m sorry, though. Poor Trina. That too, on top of everything else. I’m – on my own too now.”
“No, you’re not. You have me. I have you. If other people don’t care, so what? We have each other.”
Logan actually smiled at that.
“Yeah. You’re right. To hell with them. So – who killed Lilly? I’d like to punch his face in.”
“Me too. Logan – I don’t know how to tell you this, but – it was dad.”
“Yes. I don’t know all the details yet.”
“Are you sure? I thought maybe it was Duncan.”
“Duncan? No. That’s not what I heard.”
“Ok. I guess I shouldn’t be so surprised. He’s one sick bastard. Except, what does that make me?”
“Not sick anyway. You’re – I never thought I’d say this – but you’re a lot like Lynn. Not like him at all.”
“Yeah. I know. He told me.”
Reading Logan’s tone, Trina hurriedly changed the topic.
“And I’m like my mom. So you see, we’re not like him at all.”
“I love you Trina.”
“I love you too, Logan. You should go to bed now. After all that stuff you drank you’ll have one hell of a headache tomorrow.”
“Whatever. Are you sure you want me here in your bed? I’ll probably puke or something.”
“It’s ok. Wouldn’t be the first time.”
“You were like three years old, I think, and you had had a bad dream. Lynn wouldn’t take you and the nanny just told you to go back to bed. So you came into my room and begged me to let you sleep in my bed. You don’t remember?”
“I – at that time, I thought you were the cutest thing in the world, so I told you to get in under the covers. Uh – I kind of thought of you like a doll or something. You know, I wasn’t very old myself at the time. At first it was ok. You fell asleep right away but -”
“Please don’t tell me I peed in your bed.”
“No. You’d stuffed your face with something in the kitchen. Cake, I think. Anyway, you threw up on my pillow. It got in my hair.”
“I’m really sorry about that. I don’t remember any of that, but – I’ll try not to mess up your pillow this time.”
“It’s ok. I’ll live. Maybe you should try to eat something too.”
“No. I don’t think I could. You have something.”
“Maybe. I’ll just sit here and talk to you until you fall asleep.”
“You want to make sure I don’t do anything stupid again? Don’t worry. I won’t. Promise. I’ll just sleep.”
“There’s nowhere I want to be either. I’ll just stay here and – wait – in case they call.”
“No. I’ll deal with it. You don’t have to do anything. Sleep it off.”
“But if -”
“That’s an official big sister order. Stay.”
Again, Logan smiled faintly.
“Ok. Whatever you say.”
He didn’t think he’d be able to sleep, but somehow, it wasn’t long before he dozed off. Though he slept fitfully, he had a dream. It was about Lilly. She never turned to face him, and all the time she kept walking away, but he knew it was her. It looked as if Veronica was walking with her, but she never turned and faced him either. The thought of being completely alone made his chest constrict, but suddenly, he heard a familiar voice.
Trina. His sister was calling for him. He turned and saw Trina smiling at him from unusually high up. It was as if he was little again, but she was still grown up. She held out a hand to him and he took it. They turned their backs to Lilly and Veronica and walked away. He had a feeling they were going somewhere nice. Somewhere safe, where no one would hurt them.
Since Veronica had left her dad at the hospital and Wallace had shown up on her doorstep, she and Wallace hadn’t been separated for more than an hour or so at a time. They’d picked up Darrell and made up the couch for him. Wallace slept in Veronica’s dad’s bed. In the brief time they’d spent at the Fennel house, Veronica offered to pack for the two boys. She sensed that Wallace was relieved.
They returned to Veronica’s house and locked the door. It would be a long time until she felt completely safe again. Those moments inside the old fridge or the time it had taken her to put out the flames consuming her dad’s body, had felt like an eternity. She didn’t think she’d ever forget how she’d felt.
Darrell began to investigate the house right away. He turned on the tv, and after that, Veronica and Wallace were left in peace.
Veronica waited while Wallace unpacked, feeling strangely restless.
“Hey – where did you find these clothes? It’s all -”
“It was in your closet. On the bottom shelf. It was completely new. Look. The labels are still on.”
“That figures. Mom must have bought them for us.”
“Anything wrong with them?”
Wallace wasn’t fooled by Veronica’s innocent tone. She’d done it on purpose. He’d known for a long time that she didn’t appreciate his cool outfits. Girls seemed to prefer geeky tight clothes. It was unbelievable but true. After all she’d been through lately, Wallace decided to give her a break. He’d wear those dreadful clothes for a while, but after that –
“No. They’re ok.”
“Oh, good. Why don’t you put some of them on right away?”
“Why? I just put these on this morning.”
“Oh. I was thinking – never mind.”
“I’ll wear them tomorrow, ok?”
He was hoping she’d feel better then, because he was going to be the laughing stock of the entire team, after showing up in that. Of course, some of those guys were going to believe he and Veronica were close in a totally different way than they really were. So all in all, things might end up pretty much ok anyway.
“Do you think Darrell will mind about his clothes?”
“You found some new clothes for him too?”
“Yes. They were in his room.”
Wallace knew his brother was going to complain but he’d put a stop to that. For now, they’d let Veronica do whatever she wanted. If that meant letting her dress them up, like dolls, as she’d once put it, that was ok with him.
So mom preferred those kinds of clothes too. How typical of a girl. Or in her case a woman. Oh, well, at least she’d be happy too.
“Are you hungry, Veronica?”
“No, not really. Are you?”
“Sort of. I could make you something. Waffles or pancakes or – you know, anything you like.”
“I guess Darrell will be hungry. Ok. I’ll help.”
“No, that’s ok. Why don’t you sit down and relax? Let your favorite brother take care of everything.”
“My favorite brother? You don’t think Darrell’s going to get upset about that?”
“Nah. We’re not going to tell him.”
“Hey. I like him too. He’s a real cutie.”
“Yeah, well, you wait and see. He can be a real pain too. Oh – what about Duncan Kane? Is he your brother?”
“No. Fortunately. You know – those photos – of me -”
Wallace could barely repress a shudder. Veronica had added those last two words just so he wouldn’t have that reaction, but he couldn’t help it.
“What about them?”
“There’s something very odd about them. I found out that I wasn’t raped after all. Duncan and I – well, we kind of -”
Wallace found that Veronica was actually a real cutie herself when she was blushing like that. He was grateful she probably wouldn’t be able to tell he was blushing too. She and Duncan Kane. Well, not much of a surprise there.
“I see. What about the photos then?”
“Don’t you get it? They must have been staged for a reason. Someone wanted to be able to use them against me, in case I got close.”
“Close to what? I thought Aaron Echolls killed Lilly Kane?”
“He did. So there has to be something else too. Clarence Wiedman’s involved. I thought he was working for Jake Kane, but – maybe he’s got his own interests in all this.”
“Hey. Don’t even think about it.”
“Don’t try to get involved again. Isn’t it enough you were almost killed? Leave the rest of it alone.”
Veronica knew what Wallace had been through because of her stubborness, and she decided to at least lie low for a while. Whoever she was up against, could be just as dangerous as Aaron Echolls. If only she could figure out who had a grudge against her and her friends and why. It didn’t make any sense. But she’d have to tell Wallace something. She owed him.
“Ok. You’re right. I’ll hold off – for a while at least.”
“I guess I’ll have to settle for that. Knowing you, that had to be a real effort.”
“You know me so well, bro. Ok, let’s fix something delicious and unhealthy for our baby brother.”
“Yes, let’s do that, or you’ll soon find out just how far from cute he can be sometimes.”
“Aw. Don’t say that.”
“Just you wait and see.”
Later that night, once they’d finally managed to get Darrell to go to sleep, Veronica and Wallace sat in her room, talking again. She told him more about what had happened and at last got round to talking about what her mom had done. By now, she’d found out that her mom had taken the check with the reward money. After all she’d done for her, she’d stolen money from her own family.
When she told Wallace about that, she couldn’t stop herself from sobbing loudly. Wallace put his arms around her and held her.
“Hey. Never mind. It’s only money. You told me she’s an alcoholic. She wouldn’t have done that otherwise. It wasn’t really her, it was the addiction, right?”
“I know. It just feels so – you know, that was my college money.”
“I’m really sorry, but you know – you don’t need to go to college. You’re a PI. You already have a job. If you’ll teach me, I’ll work with you. I’ll be your assistant. How about it, Sherlock?”
Veronica couldn’t help smiling again. Wallace really knew how to make her feel better.
“Sure, Watson. I’ll teach you everything I know.”
“I was wondering – why didn’t Duncan tell you he was the one – you know -”
“I’m not sure. He said he felt guilty. At the time, he thought I was his sister. Besides, I think he suffers from amnesia. Something to do with his epilepsy.”
“Oh. But – how could he – I mean, when he thought you were his sister -”
Veronica didn’t have an answer for Wallace. Maybe – if she’d thought so too, at the time, she might have done the same. She really loved Duncan. Then. Not anymore. It would be a long time until she dared to love anyone again. It was just too complicated.
In the morning, they all went to see her dad. He was in a lot of pain, but at least the doctors were certain he was going to make a full recovery. Veronica stayed at the hospital so that Wallace’s mom could go home and get changed and get some rest.
Veronica kept hoping her dad would come to, but the doctors told her he was being kept sedated because of the pain. Even when his eyes were open, he didn’t really seem to be aware of her presence.
In the meantime, Wallace was forced to go back to school. His mom wouldn’t hear of anything else. She’d taken time off from work, so she could take care of everything.
When Wallace passed Mac’s locker in the corridor, he suddenly recalled her. At the moment, he just didn’t feel like hanging out with anyone but Veronica. He wasn’t sure how to tell Mac it was over, so in the end, he decided to wait. After a while, when he didn’t hear from her, he began to hope that she’d taken the hint and that he wouldn’t have to talk to her at all.
That led him to thinking about Logan Echolls. He’d finally found out that Veronica had been involved with him for a while. Apparently that was over now. He didn’t have the heart to remind Veronica of that, and secretly, he was glad she didn’t seem to miss Logan at all. Even if he mostly felt like a brother to Veronica, there was a touch of jealousy involved. Wallace didn’t really like that Logan guy. Who knew if he wasn’t a bit like his father? Of course, Wallace knew that Logan had been beaten pretty badly by his dad, so that probably wasn’t fair. Even so, Wallace couldn’t help feeling relieved Veronica never asked about Logan or seemed to miss him. It was a long time until Wallace caught a glimpse of Logan and by then, it had been so long, it all seemed to be a thing of the past.
Wallace’s new clothes made quite a stir. All the guys on the team laughed at him, until Wallace got sick of hearing them. Strangely enough, after a while, some guys began wearing tighter clothes. He even overheard one guy talking to another about it.
“Yeah, yeah. It’s just because we’re athletes, you know. Other guys might not be able to wear this stuff and look cool, but we can.”
“You got it, bro.”
It bugged Wallace that Veronica and his mom were right. He’d been so sure that they weren’t. In this at least.
As Keith Mars kept getting better, Wallace started thinking about how he felt about the whole family thing. He’d always liked mr Mars and the fact that he was Veronica’s dad only made him like him more. On the other hand, it was another matter, having him as a sort of dad. Then there was that whole race issue. Not that Wallace really cared about that.
In the end, he decided to wait and see. At least he and Veronica had each other. No matter how things turned out in the future, they’d keep each other safe. Who cared if they called each other buddies or brother and sister? Besides, whatever happened, he and Veronica weren’t really siblings. If things ever changed between them, they both knew it would be ok for them to – love each other in a different way than they did now. Not like that sick guy Duncan Kane. That was one weird family. Lilly had slept with a guy old enough to be her father. In fact, come to think of it, Lilly’s dad had slept with Aaron Echolls. Ugh.
When Jake Kane watched Aaron Echolls being taken away, he didn’t feel any satisfaction. That sick bastard had taken him in completely. While they’d been sleeping together, Aaron had also been sleeping with his daughter. Worst of all, he’d killed Lilly. Just like that. As if she wasn’t worth more than an object. You played with it for a while, and if you broke it, you threw it away and got a new toy. Of course, by the time Aaron Echolls was finally brought to justice, Jake already knew exactly how sick he was.
That night, he’d been surprised, but not alarmed. Aaron had something he wanted to discuss with him. Jake hadn’t thought there was anything more to discuss. A man who physically abused his own son wasn’t someone Jake wanted to have anything to do with. Still, they were neighbors and had been friends for years. He hadn’t seen any reason not to trust him. Even if it had seemed weird that Aaron wanted to meet him his guesthouse.
Aaron had seemed his usual charming self and Jake could almost feel himself weakening. He wasn’t normally into men, but there was something – special about Aaron. Maybe it was just that he was such a great actor, but – Jake had always felt drawn to him, ever since they’d first met so many years ago. When Aaron and he had been out on that fishing trip, the first time they’d – had sex, the whole thing had felt so – tempting.
Even now, when he knew how ruthless Aaron could be, Jake was wavering. Who knew what a difficult kid Logan was? Maybe Aaron had been provoked beyond endurance. Surely, it was just a one time thing only.
Aaron poured him a drink, doing his best to dazzle him. Jake knew that now. At the time, he hadn’t found it at all odd, that Aaron took so long getting to the point. They were sitting there relaxing, talking about old times. It had taken Jake a while to realize he was feeling a bit – odd. His head felt so heavy and his arms and legs too. It was hard to stay upright and he kept slumping down. He hadn’t realized he was that tired, but he had been working really hard and on top of everything, he’d had that annoying PI, Keith Mars snooping around. The strain of all that had to take its toll.
Then suddenly, Aaron had moved closer and begun to undress him. Just like that. No preliminaries. He could feel his body reacting to Aaron’s familiar touch. Jake had closed his eyes and decided to let things just happen. Then suddenly, he’d felt his clothes tear and Aaron slammed into him. He still couldn’t understand what was going on. Aaron’s hands, which could be so – gentle – were turning into fists, raining punches on him.
Despite feeling so drowsy, Jake’s eyes opened and he tried to make eye contact with Aaron. He desperately tried to talk to him, but it was as if Aaron had suddenly turned into a stranger. He kept pounding Jake’s face and abdomen until all he could do was lie on the floor, whimpering in pain.
By that time, Jake knew better than to refuse Aaron anything.
When it was over, Aaron just got up and left, leaving Jake lying there in his own blood. It was well into the morning, when Jake finally felt able to crawl out to his car. To his relief, no one saw him. Not even at the gate were there any paparazzi lurking. He forced himself to think. Most of all, he wanted to curl up into a little ball and die, but he knew he couldn’t do that. If he died, the autopsy would show what had happened to him. He couldn’t let that happen.
In the end, all he could think about was going all the way to San Franscisco. Fortunately, he had a pair of sunglasses and a tracksuit lying in the car. He put them on and was able to have the car filled up with gas when the meter was getting close to the red.
Finally, he found a doctor who would treat him, no questions asked. Apparently, this sort of thing was quite common there. He gave a fake name and paid cash. It was clear the doctor knew he was lying, but he didn’t let that stop him. Jake thought the guy was gay, but even if he wasn’t, he seemed to have an understanding with the gay community.
Celeste gave him a hard time when he got back, but he deflected her questions and finally, she gave up. For about two weeks, he remained in his house, taking care of business by phone or by fax.
All this went through Jake Kane’s head as he watched Aaron Echolls being taken away by the police. He might not feel any satisfaction that he’d finally learned that it wasn’t his own son who had killed Lilly, but at least one thing was reassuring. As Aaron left him, in that guesthouse, he’d told him he was going to do the same thing to Duncan. At least now, that would never happen.
Duncan was all he had left. As for himself, Jake knew it would be a long time until he felt anything like normal. Physically, he was healing, but his mind was still in turmoil. Would he ever be whole again? He didn’t know. All he knew was that he’d do anything to keep his boy safe.