The next day at lunch was almost the same as the day before had been. Lilly had once again accosted her and dragged her to the 09er table. Lilly made her sit down - next to Logan - and then proceeded to drop down right next to her so that she was squished in the middle and it really wasn’t the most horrible place to be.
Today’s topic of conversation though, was the big party that the Kanes were having that night.
As soon as some of the other 09ers realized that Veronica had been invited, they got jealous and were trying to convince Lilly and Duncan to invite them so that they could go as well, which Lilly brushed off. Lilly had declared that she only got to invite one person as did Duncan, that they both had already chosen, and that they were not going to change their minds.
Once the table had quieted down, Veronica had turned to Lilly and reprimanded her for the dress that she had bought for her. Veronica knew that Lilly had only gotten that dress by her was because of she had been distracted after talking to Logan and Duncan.
Veronica hadn’t even gotten to the point of telling Lilly what she really felt about that dress, because Lilly had taken over the conversation. Lilly had already planned everything that night, as she soon told Veronica. Veronica would come straight over to the Kane house where Lilly’s personal stylists were going to get them ready. Veronica’s hand rose up to play with the star necklace that her mother had given her. Veronica tried to protest this, but Lilly was having none of it.
Although it was really fun hanging out with Lilly, Veronica realized, it seemed as though Lilly was buttering her up. It seemed like Lilly was trying to buy her friendship somehow, which was totally unnecessary.
Veronica leaned over and whispered in Lilly’s ear, “I found something interesting out last night.”
Lilly cocked her head and arched a perfect eyebrow. Veronica smiled in response. Lilly scooted closer to Veronica even though there was hardly any space between them, and shifted towards her in response for her answer. “Tell me,” was all Lilly had to whisper before Veronica whispered what she had learned from her father the night before.
Lilly pulled back from where her head was resting next to Veronica’s and her mouth widened in an O expression as her eyes grew larger. Veronica nodded her head at her.
“Well, that makes things a lot more interesting.”
Veronica nodded her head once again. “It explains why your mom hates me.”
Lilly giggled. Oh what fun it would be now, to keep reminding her mother of her father’s first love and infidelity. Lilly had noticed her mother’s expression when she had introduced Veronica and it made her so happy to know that she had another way to piss Celeste off.
It also explained her father’s reaction to the mention of Lianne. It seemed as if her father had seen a ghost. In a way he had because he was seeing his old girlfriend’s daughter, but for some reason, Lilly felt that there was more to the story. And she was going to figure it out.
To Veronica, it seemed as if the party was never going to start. She had been at the Kane house for the last three hours getting ready with Lilly, waiting for everyone to arrive. Well to be honest, she just wanted Logan and his parents to hurry and arrive.
He had told Lilly and Veronica earlier that his parents had demanded that he arrive with them to the Kane estate.
He was little dull – as if he had no life inside him – but other than that he was nice and very sweet. She had known before hand that he was the Class President and that he was on the soccer team and when she had brought up that he was in soccer they had had a great conversation about their favorite teams and their favorite position. It was nice to have someone to talk about soccer with. She hadn’t found a lot of people to talk soccer with since she moved to Neptune, and she couldn’t talk to Wallace because he hated the sport.
When she had voiced this to Duncan he had told her that whenever she felt like playing a game of soccer that he would gladly have one with her. She accepted the invitation and promised that she would definitely take him up on his offer.
He had since left to go get ready and then it had been just Lilly and her with a multitude of people who were curing her hair, painting her nails and doing her makeup. She felt like a movie star, but it was boring just to be there doing nothing.
Lilly was barking orders at everything that moved being the raining princess that she was and Veronica wondered why she was so cruel to them. They were helping her and she should be a lot nicer and less rude. Maybe Wallace had been right to warn her about Lilly Kane afterall.
It wasn’t until later when she was finally zipping up her dress and doing last touches that Veronica realized this kind of lifestyle was something Lilly was accustomed to and that she had never needed to worry about things. People always flocked to her because of her money or her beauty and she knew that no matter how she treated them, they would still come to her because it was “cool” to know Lilly Kane.
Veronica was startled out of her reverie when she heard the door bell ring. She took one last look into the mirror and smoothed out the front of her dress before turning around to look at Lilly.
Lilly was looking at Veronica with a wicked grin and she then walked over extending an arm as if she were a gallant prince from a fairytale. Veronica accepted her invitation and they walked out of the room to get to the staircase.
Duncan was standing before them as they got to the staircase and he offered his arms just as Lilly had done and Veronica giggled. They were so much a like in some ways it was funny, but they were so different. She took his right arm, but Lilly declined stating that she didn’t need a man to help her make an entrance. She was fine doing it on her own.
Lilly descended the stairs before them and made her way to the bar. Earlier that night, Jake a come in and told them that they each could have one glass of champagne and that was it. It seemed as if Lilly was starting early.
Duncan led Veronica around the dance floor to make their way to where Lilly was and he handed Veronica a glass of punch. She smiled at him and he smiled happily at her. She didn’t know why, but it seemed like every time he smiled at her he wanted something else. She knew that she was probably overreacting and she hoped that he didn’t want anything more from her because she wasn’t really that interested in him. Yes, he was a great guy and could be an awesome friend; it’s just that she didn’t seem him like that
. Plus, it would be very weird since her mom and his dad had dated. She didn’t even want to go there.
It was an hour into the party when Logan finally arrived. As the doorbell rang throughout that hour, Veronica had locked her eyes on the door to see who had arrived. Many people she did not know entered the estate without her notice because they weren’t who she was looking for.
Lilly and Duncan had pulled her along to meet Logan’s parents and she had said hello and shook each of their hands before they took their leave because Mrs. Echolls wanted to get something to drink. Once they had left, Logan had turned his gaze on her.
“What?” she asked with a smile. She had felt his gaze on her and wondered what he was thinking. He had this wondrous look on his face.
“Nothing…it’s just interesting that you didn’t get worked up about being in front of the great Aaron Echolls.”
Veronica looked at Logan in shock. It seemed as if he had a great distaste for his father, which she didn’t understand. “Logan, I don’t care who your parents are. I’m not hanging out with them. I’m hanging out with you.”
Logan smiled and threw an arm around her shoulders. “Good to know. I think its time that I got a drink.”
“Oh my god, this is like the most boring thing. Ever.” Lilly looked over to where Logan, Veronica and Duncan were sitting. They had spent the last few hours doing a little bit of dancing and a lot of talking. Lilly had snuck out a bottle of champagne for the rest of them and hid it under the table. She was so glad that her mother’s decorator had the tableclothes reach down to the floor.
“It could be worse,” replied Duncan. “Look at it this way, at least none of the old people have pinched your cheeks and asked you to dance.” Duncan rubbed his pink cheeks after being pinched so many times. He casually smelled his suit that still smelled – to him at least – like old ladies.
“No, I just had an ugly forty-five year old man grab my ass. That was fun,” snickered Lilly. It was actually one of the only highlights of the night so far. She had been trying to push Veronica and Logan together to further help her plan along, but that wasn’t going that well, and it seemed as if her brother had a crush on Veronica. Great, just fucking great. She was going to have to nip that in the bud, because if that were to ever happen it would fuck up all her plans as she needed those tapes badly.
Those tapes were the key to everything. She could finally break free from her family; piss her mother off, and the get the stardom that she wanted. Those tapes... those tapes made her so giddy that she wanted to dance around and shout out from the rooftops.
Lilly took a look around the room. There weren’t many people left: only a few important business partners of her fathers and the DJ who had kept playing the same stupid song over and over again. Lilly tapped her foot in boredom; she wanted this damn thing to be over with. Tonight was the night that she wanted to talk to Veronica about getting the tapes. Veronica was spending the night and it would be the perfect opportunity. Especially with the way Veronica kept looking at Logan like he was a god.
It was actually kind of sickening, she thought. God, everyone just wanted a piece of him. She smiled internally because she had had him, and she could have him again. She had taught him everything that he needed to know about the female body and her teachings would benefit him in the long run.
Lilly stood up, agitated, and walked over to the DJ. She looked over his playlist and chose the next hour worth of songs. If she was going to have to sit in the damn hall with everyone bored, then she was going to at least listen to some music she actually liked.
Over the next twenty minutes the group sat and talked about some of their favorite interests and tastes. Lilly learned that Veronica had won the soccer championship at her old school and had received her first kiss in sixth grade from a dare from her older cousin.
A few minutes later when Duncan excused himself from the table to go to the bathroom, it was as if fate had been shining down on Lilly. Veronica’s favorite ballad began to play. After she had announced it as her favorite Lilly casually said that she and Logan should have a dance before the night was over.
Veronica blushed, and Logan smirked, but he nodded his head and agreed. Veronica stood up attentively and pushed her chair in. Logan came around and grabbed her hand, gently guiding her to the dance floor. Veronica’s arms cautiously went up around his neck while his hands rested against her slim waist.
Veronica looked up into his eyes and blushed. He gave her a small smile in return. He found it absolutely adorable that she was blushing. He hadn’t met many girls like that and there was no way in hell that Lilly would ever blush for anything. Logan had never seen Lilly blush a day in her life. Not even when they had sex or he had talked dirty to her. It was very refreshing.
Logan slowly leaned forward so that his mouth was next to her ear and whispered, “Has anyone told you that you are adorable when you blush?”
Veronica’s head snapped back and she looked him in the eye before she let out a small giggle. She slowly shook her head.
“Well, you are.” Logan looked down at her with a small smile and she smiled back at him.
It was nice to have him in her arms. She got such a different feeling from him than she had with other guys. She had dated and messed around in Fresno, but she hadn’t met that one. The one that made her knees tremble and made butterflies appear in her stomach.
Yet, the first day she saw Logan, he had done all that and more, and standing here now, was a heady feeling. She felt light-headed.
She liked the feeling of her arms wrapped around his neck and his arms wrapped around her. She felt safe, like he would protect her from anything and everyone that would ever try to hurt her. She knew without a doubt that the feeling that she was feeling right now was how love was supposed to be.
She wondered what he was thinking, yet at the same time she didn’t. She wanted to get to know him and he her.
She laid her head down on his chest and he tightened his hold on her. She knew that they were running out of time. The song was slowly coming to an end and she knew that when it did, she would have to let go of him and this feeling. It was a painful notion. But she knew she had to. He belonged to Lilly. They technically may have been broken up, but it was common knowledge that sooner or later they would get back together and the circle would start all over again.
She just wanted to savor the last few seconds she had while she was in his arms. When the last note finally subsided, she pulled back and gave him a soft thank you for dancing with her. He ducked down his head and nodded.
He motioned her to follow him back to the table and when they had finally sat down, Lilly had told them that Logan’s parents were ready to go and that they would be in the family room awaiting him when had finished the dance.
Logan stood up to leave and gave Duncan a handshake goodbye. He then made his way around the table to give Lilly a quick kiss on the cheek and a quick hug to Veronica before taking his leave.
Veronica watched him leave with a smile on her face. When he almost got to the corridor to the family room he turned around and gave Veronica a small smile and she wondered when he would stop giving her the butterflies.
“Can I ask you a question,” asked Veronica, sitting cross-legged, in her pajamas, stationed next to Lilly on the bed.
“How did you and Logan get together?” she asked softly. She had always wondered how someone like Logan fell for someone like Lilly. Yes, both families had money, but it seemed as if their personalities were such opposites.
“Um, in like the seventh grade, I was swimming in our pool and Logan and Duncan joined in and Duncan made some crack about Logan thinking that I was hot. So, I swam over to him and just basically stuck my tongue down his throat. He and I just sort of… um… clicked.” Lilly looked over at Veronica, and knew that Veronica was still reeling from the dance that she and Logan had shared earlier that night.
“So then, why did you guys break up?”
“That’s a very loaded question. Logan is very intense and he is the most jealous person I have ever met. He sees me talking to another guy and he wants to go attack him. I’m not like that. I have guy friends as well as girl friends and he doesn’t understand that.”
“Then why do you and he keep going back and forth?” asked Veronica, cautiously.
“At first, it was because we wanted to be together and now I think it’s just because its habit for the both of us. It’s comfortable. But, I don’t feel like he and I are right for each other anymore.” Lilly looked at Veronica, trying to gage her reaction. She saw Veronica’s eyes light up and she knew that she was pulling her to exactly where she wanted her. “I mean, yeah, he and I will always be friends and be close, because he and I were friends before we got together. I love him and I want him in my life, but that spark is not there anymore.”
“So, you two are not going to get back together?” Veronica asked hopefully.
“I don’t think so. I want him happy, and we don’t do that for each other anymore.” Lilly smiled and knew that she had her. Now it was time to set the trap. To finally reel her fish in. “So, what did you think of Logan’s parents?”
Veronica pondered the question. She hadn’t really talked to them long, “They seemed nice. Mr. Echolls is really sweet and Mrs. Echolls looks like she would be a nice mom.”
“You weren’t creeped out or anything?” Lilly asked softly.
Veronica shook her head. “Why?”
“‘Cause Logan’s dad is a pervert.” Lilly looked down while she was talking, acting shy and coy, hiding behind her hair.
Veronica cocked her head. “How so?”
Lilly sat in silence as if she was debating on whether or not to tell Veronica. Finally she looked up and set her plan in motion. “One day I was at Logan’s and we were about to go swimming, so I went into the pool house to change. You will never guess what I saw?”
“What did you see?” whispered Veronica.
“Mr. Echolls had camera’s recording. There was one in the bed and one in the ceiling.” Lilly once again looked down, hiding her face from Veronica’s view.
Veronica gasped at this news. She would have never thought that Mr. Echolls was like that. “So are you saying that Mr. Echolls has tapes of you changing?” asked Veronica timidly.
Lilly nodded her head, “But there’s more. He has tapes of Logan and me –” Lilly suddenly couldn’t finish the sentence.
Veronica’s mouth slowly opened shock. “Do you mean he has videos of you and Logan – making love?”
Lilly nodded and Veronica suddenly looked sick.
“I don’t know what to do, Veronica. I mean, I think he knows that I know about the tapes. The day I found the camera wire I followed it to the pool house bookshelf and I found the monitors and it had a drawer below it, I looked in the drawer and there were hundreds of tapes. I barely was able to close the damn cabinet and shelf before Mr. Echolls walked in looking suspiciously at me. So, I told him hello and went outside to join Logan.”
“Lilly, you need to tell someone,” Veronica said quickly.
“I can’t. Who’s going to believe me over some movie star? What I need is those tapes.” Lilly looked up and into Veronica’s eyes. “Can you help me, Veronica?”
Veronica looked a little put out. Was this the reason Lilly had suddenly become friends with her? Had everything that had happened this last week been a ruse to get her to do her dirty work? When Veronica voiced this to Lilly she immediately began shaking her head.
“No. No, Veronica. That is not the reason I became friends with you. I became friends with you because I thought we should get to know each other better since we are partners for class. I didn’t expect for you and I to click at all.”
Veronica nodded her head. “How would you even expect me to help, Lilly?”
“Well, aren’t you a private eye? Don’t you know some tricks?” She asked with wide eyes trying to play up the naivety that she clearly lacked.
“I know a few things, but this is seriously deep. How am I supposed to get the tapes if you couldn’t even get them?”
Lilly pondered the question. “Well, Mr. Echolls knows that you are a friend, so we could all go to Logan’s and hang out and you can sneak away.”
“I don’t know about this, Lilly,” Veronica whispered, unsure of what she should do.
“I can make it worth your while,” said Lilly in a sing-song voice.
Veronica frowned, and finally answered, “What?”
“If you help me, Veronica, I can give you something you’ve been probably dreaming about for months.”
“And that is?” Veronica asked, wearily.
“What?” shrieked Veronica.
“If you get those tapes back, Veronica, I will help you get Logan to fall in love with you. I know how you feel about him, Veronica. Don’t try to lie. I’ve seen the way you look at him and if you help me do this, not only are you protecting me, you are protecting Logan. He would never want this to come out in the open and as long as Mr. Echolls has these, then there is a possibility that maybe one of the maids or someone could leak it to the press.” Lilly could tell that Veronica was slowly softening. When she had shoved Logan’s name into the conversation, she could tell that Veronica’s mind went directly to him.
“What do you mean, when you say you can get Logan to fall in love with me?” she said breathlessly.
Lilly grinned wickedly. “I know how that boy’s mind works. I can help you and he get together. Like I told you earlier, I just want him to be happy and I think that you could make him happy.”
Veronica was quiet for a moment, before she said in a hushed tone, “I need to think about this Lilly.”
Lilly nodded her head in acceptance. “I understand. But, the sooner we get the tapes the better.”
“I’ll let you know soon.”
The next morning Veronica found herself in the front seat of her father’s car as he picked her up from Lilly’s. It had been really weird after they had had their conversation. Veronica had lain down on her side of the bed and tried to go to sleep. Lilly hadn’t tried to engage her in any more conversation, which she was grateful for. She had too much that she needed to think about.
She knew that she should help Lilly, because what Mr. Echolls was doing was wrong and it would be the right thing. But, in reality, the thing that was actually deciding her decision was Logan.
She didn’t want Logan to have to live through something like that. You heard all the time on TV that most of Hollywood’s secrets were revealed because of a maid or someone who had found something in a house and it promptly destroyed families. Logan didn’t deserve that.
Veronica also found herself wondering if Lilly could help her and Logan get together. After their dance the night before, she knew without a doubt the she was in love with him. She had never pegged herself that she would be someone to do something only to snag a guy.
When her father pulled the car up to the apartment, she raced out and ran up to her room, slammed the door and lay down on her bed with her trusty pit-bull.
Veronica closed her eyes and she drifted off into the night before. Looking into Logan’s eyes, his arms wrapped tight around her. Her arms locked behind his neck, wanting to run her fingers through his brown locks. The urge to kiss him.
Did she want to be with him? Yes.
She could see him and her together walking down the hallway with his arms around her. She wanted him to kiss her and be with her and make love to her and do all those things that couples did. She now basically had Lilly’s concert with that previous conversation. And with Lilly’s help it would be possible to have that dream come true.
Did she want to be with him enough to do what Lilly had asked of her?
She knew that if she did what Lilly wanted her to do she would make a life-long friend because Lilly would be eternally grateful to her and plus Lilly would help Logan and her get together. So, not only would she get to be with him, but also she would have a connection with Lilly. A secret that no one else would know about and Veronica realized that she would be in with all the 09ers. It was a great feeling of being cherished and she knew if she did it, she would be cherished.
That was the dilemma. Did she want to be cherished? And each time she thought about it she saw brown eyes.
Was she strong enough to do what she needed to?
That was the real question.
A question she had no answer for.
Monday morning, Veronica was in a daze. She walked around doing her normal routing as if she was on an autopilot. She still had no answer for Lilly, and it was tearing her apart.
Part of her wanted to tell her dad and let him handle it, because he knew what he was supposed to do in situations like that. The other part of her wanted to do nothing and to try and forget that Lilly had ever told her anything about those tapes and the last part of her wanted to desperately help Lilly, so she could have Logan.
There were so many factors that went into something like this. What would happen if she took the tapes and Aaron finally found out? Would he come after her? Would he go to the police? She wasn’t sure if she could take the consequences if something bad were to happen.
Veronica contemplated her decision all the way to school. She knew sooner or later, Lilly would find her and ask her for an answer. It seemed if she had a shining star because she made it to first period without running into Lilly.
Her luck ran out when she got to Biology. Lilly was already sitting there in her seat, tapping a pink pen against the table. Veronica hurried into the seat next to Lilly and pulled her notebook out of her bag.
Veronica could feel Lilly’s gaze on her, but she said nothing. Mr. Wu soon began the class, and Veronica tuned out everything besides what Mr. Wu was teaching. She didn’t want to talk to Lilly yet and she wasn’t looking forward to that conversation, but it seemed as if Lilly was ready to because she spent the rest of the period glancing at Veronica, trying to catch her eyes.
When the bell finally rang for Lunch, Lilly waited until Veronica had put all her books and pens back into her bag, before intertwining their arms and walking – pulling – her out of class.
“So, have you come to a decision yet?” asked Lilly, as she dragged them to her locker so she could put her books away.
“I’m not sure, yet, Lilly. There are so many things in my head right now. I have to take in everything that could or might happen if I do this and then I have to take in all the things that could or might happen if I don’t. That’s a lot of possibilities. I can’t just jump to an answer.”
“Not even for Logan,” she grinned and batted her eyelashes.
“Lilly, I like Logan. I do. But this issue is so much bigger than just Logan.”
“It’s a simple answer, Veronica. I just thought you might want to help Logan and me, but it’s okay if you don’t have strong enough feelings for him. It’s going to hurt him a lot, if those tapes ever got out. To know that his dad is a pervert who likes watching young girls taking their clothes off is going to be hard for him to take, especially given that the tapes show me, when I was
his girlfriend. I don’t want to be the one to tell him.”
“Lilly, don’t you think we should tell Logan?” asked Veronica, in a small voice.
“Tell me what?” said an extra voice.
Unbeknownst to Veronica, Logan and Duncan had been walking towards them. Lilly had stayed quiet, not wanting to distract Veronica from the conversation. Veronica turned slowly around and smiled at them. “Um…”
“We were just talking about how much that shirt makes you look fat,” Lilly said before laughing slightly at Logan when he looked down at his body to see if she was true.
“I am not fat,” said Logan, indignantly.
“Of course you aren’t,” teased Veronica, trying to regain her balance after being snuck up on.
“Oh please, Veronica,” Logan began, and then placed an arm around her shoulder; “I’m the hottest guy in the world.”
Veronica giggled. “You keep believing that, snookums.”
“Hey, I am, sugarpuss,” Logan said before he turned to Duncan. “I’m smoking hot, right DK?”
Duncan shook his head in the negative and Logan pouted.
“Are you guys gonna come with us to lunch? The food should be here by now,” Duncan asked finally injecting himself into the conversation.
“In a minute, Donut, Veronica and I still have to finish a conversation.”
The boys nodded their head before taking their leave.
Veronica kept her eyes trained on how happy Logan was. It was nice to see him happy and relaxed and she realized what Lilly had been trying to tell her. If Logan were to find out about his father, his life would go to hell and he would be miserable and she couldn’t find it in herself to let something like that to happen to someone as awesome as Logan.
Veronica glanced back at Lilly and noticed that Lilly’s eyes were also on Logan with a sad expression. “If I help you, do you really think that you can help me get together with Logan?”
Lilly nodded. “Don’t think about you’re doing all of this just for me. You are also doing this for Logan and Logan’s mom. They don’t deserve what Mr. Echolls is doing. You are protecting all of us. That’s a good thing, Veronica.”
Veronica nodded her head in understanding. “I know.”
“And just because you are going to profit from this, doesn’t make you a bad person. Not only will Logan not have to go through that pain of having his life torn apart, he will also be getting you and I know you care about him and will make him happy.”
“Are you sure about being able to get him to like me?”
“Veronica, he already likes you. He is just too shy to make a move on you because he doesn’t know how to approach you. Especially since you are a friend of mine, and once he sees that I am actually trying to get you together it will all sort its self out.” Lilly looked troubled for a minute after finishing her sentence.
“There’s only one problem: Duncan.”
“Oh. I thought that I was getting some vibes from him. At least I know it’s not just me.”
“I’m gonna have to tell him that you aren’t interested. It’s going to hurt him, but if you don’t have feelings for someone, then you don’t. It will be okay though. I will take care of everything. So will you do it?”
Veronica took a deep breath to give herself a little courage before she answered. She looked back down at the hallway the boys had just recently left down and she swore that she could hear Logan’s laughter.
She looked up at Lilly and gave her answer.
“I’ll do it.”