She flipped open her phone as she replaced the nozzle to the pump and went into the store to pay for the gas.
"Logan, hi, it's Veronica."
"Ronnie, to what do I owe the dubious honor of a phone call when you know I'm hung over?"
"I'm sorry," she said with a cringe. She had forgotten about his condition until he mentioned it. She had been so focused on finding her mother and then actually seeing her after all these months that she did not think. "I'll let you go."
"No, wait, Veronica, what is it?"
"I was hoping you could come to Barstow."
"You were hoping I'd come to Barstow?"
"That's what I said. What are you a parrot?"
"Why don't you have your cop friend come help you? You two seemed awfully cozy last night," he said. She could picture him waggling his eyebrows suggestively over the phone and rolled her eyes. She threw up her hands in frustration.
She had forgotten about Leo in her rush to find her mother. She had kissed him, had liked kissing him. It was not an earth shattering, firework invoking kiss but it was nice. So, why was she calling Logan Echolls for help instead of Leo?
"I found my mother." This was followed by silence. Veronica paid the clerk for the gas and returned to her car. "Logan?"
"I'll be there by noon. Where will you be?"
"Um," she said, her eyes scanning the highway. "There's a no tell motel on the highway, The Seascape Inn. I don't see a sea, but that's the name of it. I'll be there, look for my car."
"Veronica, I had no idea you felt this way about me. A hotel? This isn't some ploy to get me alone is it?"
"I haven't slept yet, silly," she said and noticed her smile was wide and goofy looking in her rear view mirror. She shook her head wondering why she bothered trying to talk to Logan sometimes.
"Be there by noon," he said and then he was gone. The call had been disconnected.
She checked into the room, no questions asked as she suspected would be the case and pulled her bag out of her trunk. She always traveled prepared, just in case. She could be gone for up to a week and not run out of clean clothes or protein bars. They tasted nasty but if push came to shove, she would at least survive. And they could not taste any worse if they were stale, so she figured she would not notice the difference.
She locked the door, drawing the paper-thin curtains closed so no one could peak in and see her sleeping. She had requested a room away from the highway. Hopefully, Logan would think to look in the back of the motel for her car. She did not need anyone else paying her a visit while she slept.
Veronica woke with a start. She knew she was not alone in the room. Her eyes scanned the room, settling on the figure standing by the window as they adjusted to the light.
"Logan?" she asked.
"That's right, sleepy head."
She noticed a cup holder with two very tall cups of coffee in it. "You're a god send," she said sitting up in bed. He took a seat beside her after handing her one of the cups of coffee. "Mmm," she said inhaling the scent of French vanilla.
"I figured you'd be tired after driving here and I chugged about a gallon of this stuff on the way down here."
"You look like shit."
"Right back at you, Ronnie."
"How did you get in here anyway?"
"You're not the only one who's good at this detective stuff."
"You picked the lock?"
"No, I asked the desk clerk for a key."
"And he gave it to you?" She had shown the clerk a picture of Logan and told him if he came around asking about her to tell him where she was. She had not told him to give him a key.
"I can be very charming when I want to be."
"I know," she said sincerely. He could be as picture perfect as a choir boy when he wanted to be. "I'm sorry for waking you up."
He held up his cup of coffee in a cheers gesture which she imitated. "It's not a problem, Veronica Mars. So, what's the game plan?"
She gave him a rundown of the events that had led them to be in this sleaze bag motel room together and her idea.
"So, we're going to go to the bar and wait to see if your mom shows up?"
"And this is worse than camping out in the hotel lobby why?"
"Meow," he said. "Watch those claws, Ronnie, they're sharp."
"Well, what else can I do? I don't know where she's staying or what kind of car she's driving. All I can do is go back there and hope she'll show up again, assuming I wouldn't be stupid to go back there again."
"Yeah, most mothers wouldn't want to think of their daughters having a death wish."
"Would you give up? Would you go home?" Their eyes met and Veornica had her answer. He did not have to say a word. He would die trying to find his mother if he believed she was still alive.
"Okay then. So, you woke me up, got me to come down here and we're not doing anything until dinner time?"
"Well, I hadn't really thought it through when I called you."
"Now, I find that hard to believe."
"Hey, it's been known to happen."
"I think you just wanted to get me alone."
She snorted almost spewing her coffee. "Right. Logan."
"So, what's the deal with you and Robocop?"
"There is no deal. He was feeling sorry for me."
"Didn't look like that to me."
"You were too drunk to really know."
"I know. Did he kiss you?"
"As if that's any of your business. Listen, Logan, I'm not ready to start braiding your hair and exchanging notes in between classes with you."
"Why is that?" he asked and sounded sincere in his curiosity.
Veronica felt a little sorry for him. He was stuck with the 09ers while Veronica had moved on. He was reminded every day of Lilly and the fact he no longer had her. And despite having his so-called friends surrounding him he was more alone than she was.
"Logan," she whispered not sure where this conversation was going. Why did Logan care who she was kissing? He was not asking for Duncan, because the former love of her life had officially moved on. She had first, by way of Troy, but she had been the one dumped so she was justified in moving on.
"What would your father say if you were here alone with that cop?"
"He wouldn't be happy," Veronica admitted.
"And what would he say if he knew you were here with me?"
"He," she started to say that he would not be happy about it no matter who she was here with. But that was not quite true. Her dad had never had a bad thing to say about Logan, even when he found out about Logan's parents. In fact, her dad had to know how screwed up his family was long before Logan's mom came to him. "He wouldn't be as unhappy."
"I didn't think so," he said rather smugly. He stood from the bed, placing both coffee cups on the table and returned to the bed. Hers was not all the way empty and it tasted pretty good.
"What are you doing?" And before she knew it he was kissing her. Just like that. Her hands were at his chest. Her first thought was to push him away. This was Logan. He was Lilly's guy. He slid a hand to her face. His fingers found her hair while his palm cupped her cheek. It was not so easy to push him away when he was so gentle with her. He deepened the kiss, his lips parting. He dipped his tongue and licked along her lower lip and she no longer wanted to push him away. Her lips parted and their tongues met. He shifted their bodies so she was no longer sitting on the bed with Logan on top of her.
"Veronica," he whispered as his mouth found her ear. Her eyes opened and she stared at the ceiling for a moment willing herself to come back to earth. No wonder girls were willing to take the scraps he offered on the side when he was with Lilly.
"Huh?" she said softly. Her heart was racing and she was having a little problem breathing at the moment. His lips closed on her earlobe and she felt as if her eyes might roll back into her head. She had to regain her composure, to take control of this situation. She was not going to let Logan Echolls seduce her in a bed that who knows how many others had been in before today. "Just another minute," she murmured, not realizing until it was too late she had spoken aloud.
He laughed lightly and it felt funny against her ear. His hand found her hip, adjusting her so she fit underneath him just perfectly. Perfect for what? "Oh God, Logan," she whispered, feeling as if someone had splashed a bucket of cold water over her. "We can't."
"Why not?" He laced her neck with kisses and gentle nips, a few bordering on love mark territory. If he was trying to distract her he was doing a bang up job. She could feel him pressing against her and knew if she said yes there would be no going back. He was more than ready and apparently willing and able, too. She was able and pretty close to being ready. It was the willing part that she was having trouble with.
"Logan," she whispered again, though she did not sound that convincing even to herself.
"I think I'm falling for you, Veronica."
"Oh God, no, Logan, don't say that," she said. "I'm a mess."
"So am I," he said, kissing her collarbone.
"I don't have room for a guy in my life, Logan."
"So I'll be the one you come to when you have room."
She closed her eyes, feeling tears welling in them that she did not want him to see. She did not think she would be ready for a relationship ever again after Duncan had broken up with her. But Logan was tempting her. She arched into him when he kissed the base of her throat. God was he ever tempting her.
Her hands slid to his shoulders where they sought purchase in order to prevent herself from falling too deep. She suspected it was too late, though. She had to remember never to invite a guy to meet her at a motel room again. Hindsight is twenty-twenty as they say.
"Veronica," he said, sounding more than a little frustrated.
"We have to stop, Logan. This isn't right."
"I can't think of anything more right."
"You're just doing this because I'm helping you with your mom."
He drew away then, but did not move from on top of her. His eyes cloudy with desire and she suspected hers looked the same as his. "No, this has nothing to do with my mother, Veronica. Leave her out of this."
She reached to touch his face, cupping his cheek and smiled at him. "When this is done, when we have the answers about our moms if you still want to then we'll talk."
He thrust his pelvis toward her, letting her know that he was now very happy to be there. "Does that seem like I want to wait until we have answers. That could take forever, Veronica."
"You do have a point," she whispered. Instinctively, she shifted her body beneath his, granting him access that if they were not wearing clothes would spell trouble. She should have been put off by him, but she found it a little arousing to know she could do this to him. Think, Veronica. You do not want your first time to be like this. He is probably hung over and would have no memory of what they did tomorrow.
"Let's get through today and then we can go from there."
"Don't you want me?"
The answer to that was a double edged sword. If she said yes he would try to convince her they did not need to wait. If she said no he would get hurt and upset and what chance they might have could be ruined. A wounded and upset Logan tended to react the same way, push the person responsible for the wounding or anger as far away from him as possible. She did not want to be pushed away. She felt like she had truly found a friend in Logan, something she had never counted on happening. "You know I do, Logan, but I've learned over the past year or so to think logically. Let's sleep on it and see where we are when we wake up."
"You want to sleep?"
She closed her eyes sensing that he was relenting and nodded slightly. "We need it. You're hung over and I've been up most of the night." She needed to keep her eye on the ball. The ball at the moment was locating her mother somewhere in Barstow.
Funny, when she was with Leo last night she had no qualms about leaving him at the drop of a hat. Logan, however, she was tempted to get lost in the moment, to ride the wave of pleasure he was offering to give her. She had no doubt he could deliver.
She leaned up, pressure at his cheek increasing as she drew him toward her. She placed a kiss to his mouth. "We have plenty of time to figure this out," she whispered, having no idea what this really was. Maybe it was nothing, but she would be a fool not to pursue it and find out for herself one way or another.
He slid beside her on the bed. They struggled for a moment, finding whose arm went where comfortably as they sought to be as close to one another as possible. Later, they would go out and try to find her mother, but for now sleep beckoned to both of them and neither were strong enough to fight it any longer.
Story ©Susan Falk/APCKRFAN/PhantomRoses.com