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here comes the sun

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Veronica Lodge was always destined to live in Paris, the next move in furthering an already esteemed career. 

After graduating with high honors from Parsons where she double majored in both fashion and interior design, Veronica received her MBA for global marketing and merchandising at LIM. 

Then, shortly after, she skyrocketed to fame and made a household name of herself wearing a now iconic wedding dress. 

One of her own designs.

She sketched it for weeks before enlisting the help of Katy Keene. Her best friend slash seamstress magically brought the gown to life over months of meticulous stitching.

After that, their careers in the industry went from zero to one hundred at the speed of light. Once just young girls parading up Madison Avenue to splurge after school, now successful women of a favorite fashion house. 

Between Veronica’s trust fund and a generous investment from her Abuelita, she built her company with paraffin manicured hands and pure determination. 

It was exhilarating to report to her doubtful father all the accomplishments and reputable branding she’s achieved without his guidance. 

But she saw the twisted twinkle of pride in his eyes when she shared her entrepreneurial success.

As the CEO and Creative Director of Posh, Veronica’s turned her party girl past into a lucrative business to set up a secure future for her daughter, Audrey Cecilia Lodge.  

Her assistants work around the clock, though at first the company was juggled by a handful of employees.

They recruited another friend from their past to manage the books, Elio Grande, who was recently appointed as the company’s Sales Director. 

Katy now leads the ever-growing Department of Design, happily overseeing the operations while acting as Veronica’s right hand.

They’ve acquired a heavy following on social media and publish a quarterly catalog. Their designs are so unique, they’re regularly asked to create custom pieces for both celebrities and royals alike. 

One gown worn for a luxury wedding was recently showcased at the MET.

Veronica has been named the guru of their generation, by Anna herself, never missing a beat on the red carpet. 

Her career has blossomed into everything she ever hoped it would be, but she’s always striving for more. 

Relocating to Paris was also the right move for her young, broken heart. 

Growing up a socialite within Manhattan’s Elite, teenage Veronica weaved in and out of all the right circles to make her contact list something of an urban legend. 

Her carefully planned debut to society went off without a hitch, one of the most talked about cotillions to date. 

Veronica excelled in her education at Spence where she earned top marks. The Lodge family was proud to parade their daughter and her collection of prestigious accolades around town. 

As she grew older, she became a fixture on Page Six every week while appearing on a blog alongside other New York City teens through an anonymous tip line. 

It infuriated her father when the world got a glimpse into the party girl she was becoming. 

The public’s infatuation with Veronica Lodge became essential when she fell head over heels for an aspiring rock star. 

Their relationship was what so many love songs are about, that thrill of falling with no reservations. This became the case with Archie Andrews, anyway. The whirlwind of their love affair was one that kept the paparazzi in business as hungry tabloid readers demanded to know more of the handsome musician and Manhattan’s beloved It Girl.

Hiram Lodge did not approve of this new lifestyle or the spectacle it was becoming, so he cut her off.

She moved in with Archie, got married and sold their wedding pictures to the highest bidder. 

Just when they were considered the ultimate fairy tale, came the announcement of their first child. 

Which turned into twin girls.

Veronica’s heart aches for that time in her life all too often, though her head pushes it away to bring her back to the present. 

Eventually the spotlight became too much and the hot-headed lovers parted ways, taking one twin with them each. 

His career remained steady when he moved to LA, from what she sees. 

Out of sight, out of mind her mother always said. But it hardly seemed to be the case. His voice followed her across the ocean, even though he did not. 

The first few years were tough; transitioning to a single mother building a team of people to help raise her daughter while she built them an empire. 

The heartache was real when she poured her emotions out to the cobblestone streets below. She cried into another glass of pinot as her baby slept soundly in the next room beneath a mobile of gossamer wings. 

She has plans to move them back to New York soon, already having a fully furnished home in the city when they visit her parents. Over the summer, they’ll close up their Parisian place and settle back into the city. 

By then, Posh will have two headquarters; the Paris office remaining focused on clothing, while her New York team will be busy working on the upcoming home collection and shoe line.

After ten years, Veronica’s ready to go home. Though, it’s been quite a life of luxury living in Paris.

This would have not been nearly as wonderful without the perfect team making their home complete. 

The ever-loyal Hubert Smithers accompanied her across the pond, offering his services as her butler and they searched for an Au Pair to look after the little girl. 

Kevin Keller was one of the first people she connected with in Paris, a struggling performer from home with a degree in education and willing to do anything to stay abroad. 

She hadn’t seen him since her wild days in New York but was grateful for a real friend during a lonely time in her life. 

She offered him a hefty salary to care for Audrey. He moved into their home and has become a brother to Veronica. 

Between Kevin and Smithers, she felt so fortunate. 

Smithers interviewed for a part-time housekeeper and gourmet chef, bringing in Celeste and Gaston to keep the home functioning. 

Veronica puts her daughter’s education above all things, a firm believer in both academic and cultural immersion. They take Audrey to the theatre and on trips to places of historical importance. 

Kevin still dabbles in acting on the side, so she grants him periods of time off to pursue anything he wants. 

While Audrey was at camp last summer, he enjoyed a three-month stint studying at Cours Florent.

He keeps her sane most of the time.

And allows her to wallow on her wedding anniversary with a bottle of red and a fresh pack of gauloises. 

It’s unconventional but she’s been yearning for this feeling of home for too long.  

They all live comfortably, in the ivy-covered château nestled perfectly at #7 Pembrooke Lane. 

 

----

 

Archie Andrews looks out his backyard, enjoying the calming swell of the ocean just beyond the greenery. Palm trees sway in the warm breeze and he greets the salty air blowing over his skin. 

He finds a lot of inspiration out here, listening to the waves crash as he sips a beer and plays some chords. 

He didn’t know he could find a peace like this again, the kind of peace he used to seek out in the form of soft, tan skin. 

Archie sets down his guitar when the front door beeps.

Betty comes home with totes of groceries, excitedly telling him she found a great girl at the gym before giving him her number. He guesses he should text her to see if she wants to grab dinner. It would be rude to get her hopes up and not reach out. 

He hates when Betty interferes with his love life. Or lack thereof. 

Tina texts back within a few short minutes. 

Betty does this on occasion, sets him up on blind dates just so he can get back out there. Especially since he hasn’t gotten back on Tinder after Moose, his manager, convinced him he should start. 

As a musician, Archie receives floods of racy pictures from fans while bras always find their way thrown on to whatever stage he’s singing on. 

It’s flattering, just not his style. 

He’s a romantic at heart, always wanting the firework inducing kiss before the big movie ending. 

And he doesn’t think he’ll find that by responding to a nude DM. 

Plus, he’s a dad. And nobody seems good enough to bring home to meet his Violet. 

The truth is, he hasn’t had the slightest desire to be anywhere out there since the divorce; knowing that he found his soulmate long ago, that once in a lifetime kind of love. 

Then she told him to leave and never come back. 

So that’s exactly what he did. Veronica was always so much smarter than him, knowing what was best. 

He stalks her social media from time to time, searching through digital platforms that didn’t even exist when they were together. 

His heart sank when he saw a photo of her attending a sports gala a few years ago with Chuck Clayton, offensive lineman for the New England Patriots. 

It’s not like he’s been keeping tabs on her, he just can’t help himself when the mystery is only a click away. Most of the time he just aches to see her face again or hear her laugh. 

It hurts when he looks for too long, plunging headfirst into the rabbit hole of her tagged photos. 

Veronica doesn’t share any pictures of Audrey anymore.

She never posts anything personal, which is very much like his ex-wife who always enjoyed their privacy behind closed doors. 

He can’t help the tremor-like crack that runs through his heart when he thinks of Veronica Lodge. 

She’s the only woman he’s spent years dreaming about, singing about and thinking about. It's like he keeps her on an endless loop. 

He met Veronica when she was graduating college, bringing all the love and happiness into his dull life. She was a ball of fire who set his heart, and his world, ablaze. 

She raised the bar higher for anyone else before he realized, there would never be anyone else. It didn’t take him long at all to know she was it for him. 

Their honeymoon phase seemed to last forever, a love that would seemingly burn for all eternity. He certainly doesn’t love her any less now, on the contrary; but he’s often been told he loves too hard and too much. And that they fell in love too fast. 

The nine months Veronica was pregnant remain the most cherished in his life, never getting enough of her glow. 

Sometimes he reminisces on the times during that blissful period; the bubble baths, her adorable bump and the never-ending supply of chocolate flavored kisses. 

It nearly broke his heart when his little girl started asking for Veronica's favorite milkshake at the diner, opposing his preferred choice of strawberry.

After moving home for a few months to get his life in order, Archie relied heavily on the help of his parents and everyone back in Riverdale. 

Betty and Jughead joined him in the big move to the west coast when the new label signed him and offered to cover all the relocation costs. 

It was the perfect set up; the four of them living in the Santa Monica estate. It felt like home, as much as it could anyway, with his best friends by his side helping him raise his baby. 

Fred and Mary flew out to enjoy extended visits during the holidays, smitten with their granddaughter.

Jughead spent a few years finishing his novel from the guest house, finally landing himself on the New York Times Bestseller list. He recently set off to spend a few weeks touring the book.

Archie arranged a deal with Betty when they moved into the mansion. She started watching baby Violet while Archie was out at all hours making another album fresh off his split from Veronica. 

It was nice to have her prepare meals and take on some domestic duties to help him around the house. 

A few years later she transitioned into Violet’s personal tutor, and he hired a housekeeper. Betty comes along with them any time they travel so his daughter never falls behind in her studies. 

The public schools are receptive to his lifestyle, working closely with Betty to ensure the curriculum requirements are met. 

She still moonlights as a contributing editor to the local paper, something she can also do remotely.

It’s really worked well, adjusting to this unconventional life of theirs over the years. 

All things considered. 

He has a healthy daughter, a successful career and spends most of his time with family and friends.  

Things are as good as they could be, while half of his heart lives on the other side of the world. 

 

----

 

The hours seem to drag as Veronica impatiently waits for her daughter to arrive. Sure, she’s only been gone a few weeks, but she selfishly wants her home now. 

It was a little out of the ordinary for Audrey to be away in the winter, but Veronica was also a lover of camp growing up. Archie used to tease her about it, calling her version much more glamorous than what he endured as a Boy Scout. 

The memory makes her laugh while adjusting the strand of Mikimotos. 

Her love of glamping during teenage sleepovers prepared by professional staff was better suited to her style, a la Troop Beverly Hills. 

She could never understand the appeal of covering her skin with sticky bug spray while sitting around a campfire roasting marshmallows and singing kumbaya.

Hiram Lodge always ensured his little princess stayed with family friends or in the comfort of a five-star hotel, sending Smithers along to keep an eye on her. 

Her daughter loves it as well. 

Audrey found a close group of girls back in the Hamptons Equestrian Camp last summer, forming a habit of incessant texting and mysterious late-night calls. 

At first, Veronica thought maybe there was a boy on the other end of the line, but Audrey told her very matter-of-factly, it was because of the group’s various time zones. 

A hello from her friend, Mildred, cleared things right up. 

She prays her little girl stays this innocent for a while longer. Looking back at the craziness Veronica put her own mother through, she shudders in fear of what could be considered karma. 

A ski camp was offered under the same umbrella of programming and Audrey begged her to go. She reasoned that she wouldn’t miss Christmas and the other girls would be attending, too. It’s had her excited at the prospect of taking the family to Switzerland next Christmas to ski. 

Her daughter’s time away allowed Veronica to work like crazy, ensuring everything for fashion week was prepared. 

There’s been a constant swarm of butterflies deep in her belly thinking of her upcoming trip to New York. She hasn’t been back since the Met Gala last spring and returning always gets her heart beating a little differently, the magic of it always present.

Veronica spritzes Chanel on her neck and rubs a little dab on her left wrist, sliding on a gold bangle while sitting perched at the vanity. 

Her fingers hover over the velvet rows showcasing her collection of rare jewels. In one of the tray’s hidden compartments, she pulls out the diamond she once wore proudly on her left hand, nestled next to a silver locket. 

Veronica is very careful not to go there, but sometimes she needs to reassure herself that it was real. The item in the heart-shaped necklace confirms it, happiness radiating off the dated photograph. 

She hears the oak door open below and snaps the locket shut, stowing the items quickly. Audrey’s voice filters upstairs, causing her to sprint out of her bedroom and pause on the first landing. 

Her heart swells at the sight before her. 

It’s endearing to see Kevin and Smithers embracing her little girl. She feels the air shift as it becomes a complete home again now that the heart has returned. 

She and Kevin exchange their silly handshake, one they’ve been perfecting for years. 

Veronica beams at her daughter, who brings them such joy. 

Audrey is brilliant and charming, Veronica’s best friend in the world. Hiram proudly referred to her an exceptional child. Accomplished just like my palomita was at her age, he’d say. 

She’s cultured and curious, but most importantly she’s sweet. 

Her daughter is well-versed in classic literature, always found reading in her decorated window nook. She’s a gifted pianist and is very soft spoken. 

Her sweet nature is a constant reminder of Archie. 

Smithers re-enters the foyer, carrying her things in from the town car. She watches as he stacks the mini Louis Vuitton luggage, she bought it so they could match for Fashion Week.  

Her daughter meets her with big, brown eyes that shine with unshed tears. She nearly crashes into Veronica’s arms, holding onto her mother tightly. 

Veronica feels her shaking in her embrace. “Darling? What is it?” 

She pulls away to look at her, this little girl she has missed and picks up on little changes already. Veronica pushes a few raven tendrils away from her damp cheeks, lovingly studying her face. 

“I just missed you so much.” She sniffles, reaching out to stroke Veronica’s hair. “I’d almost forgotten how beautiful you are.”

Her daughter’s smile is all his, along with the freckles sprinkled across her nose, though the dark features are all Lodge. Sometimes it’s a struggle, loving something so much while being reminded of the pain she still feels.

“It feels like it’s been forever.”

She runs a thumb over the miniature locket hanging around the little girl’s neck, a gift Archie gave his newborn twins to match the one he bought Veronica so long ago. 

“Tell me about it.”

 

----

 

Violet Olivia Andrews is impressively smart and talented in competitive sports. She’s learned to kick his butt in poker and holds her own when they surf in Malibu, making her Archie’s best friend. 

He gets teased all the time by others in the music industry, the most devoted dad. But it’s a title he wears proudly, considering his own father his role model in all things and as a boy, he’d always tell everyone what a hero he was. 

He’s proud of her good grades and the collection of trophies lining her bedroom wall, but he’s most proud of her kind heart. 

Whenever able, Archie brags about how he lucked out with such a loving child. 

She’s very popular with her friends and he has a hard time keeping up with her social life.

His heart cracked a little when she asked to try out for junior cheerleading, wishing Veronica had been there to see. He knows it’s something she did in high school, and he had to force himself not to get too emotional. 

That was around the same time she started painting her nails and sneakily wearing makeup. 

Violet’s wild spirit reminds him so much of Veronica. 

He waits at the airport with a big, cheesy sign to greet her off the plane. She’s been gone for a few weeks and he’s enjoyed his time, taking Tina out for a few dates.  

Violet attends camp every summer allowing Archie to tour new music while Betty and Jughead enjoy a few months alone.

This year, Archie sent her to a highly recommended horseback riding camp on the east coast. 

His daughter came home all grown up after the best summer of her life. Archie was overjoyed, being reunited after what felt like so long. 

Violet begged him to go away again in December to a snowboarding camp in upstate New York. He talked to a few other parents of campers she met, agreeing to send their girls as well. 

Archie almost refused to let her go so soon, especially after receiving a call at the end of June about his little girl being involved in some mischief with her fellow campers. 

Truthfully, he was sad Violet was leaving him over Christmas break but looking forward to taking her to Mammoth and hitting the slopes together next year. 

It’s impossible for Archie to say no to his little girl when she pouts. She has that power over him just like her mother always did. 

Archie’s thoughts disintegrate as he’s met with that bright smile, the one he loves so much, breaking into laughter when she finally comes barreling into his arms. 

She latches on to him so tightly, his heart soars in happiness. There is no better feeling than his Violet hugging him like this. 

Archie pulls back and plants a loving kiss to her locket, something he’s done since she was an infant, and cups her tiny face with his hands. 

His thumbs wipe her tears, before wiping his own with the back of his hand and throws the purple duffle bag over his shoulder. He slings an arm around her and brings her closer by the little pea coat. 

“Have you gotten taller?” Every time he sees her, she becomes less of his little girl and grows into a mature young lady. 

It nearly broke his heart when she started talking about boys and asking for money to go shopping; a time he desperately needed Veronica to calm his uneasiness. 

“Did you get your ears pierced??” He halts, crouching down to see the miniscule pearls right in the center of her earlobe.

She laughs, keeping eyes on her father as they make their way to the car. “Yes, daddy. But it’s not a big deal.” 

He shakes his head, mentally preparing himself for all that the teenage years will have in store for him. There’s no doubt he’ll grey early. 

They hop in the Jeep and Archie maneuvers out of the airport parking lot before the freeway grows even more congested. 

“So, no isolation cabins this time?” He quips. 

He watches her eyes flit nervously around the car, very unlike his straightforward daughter. 

“No, daddy. I had a lovely time.”

“Daddy? Lovely?” He looks at his daughter skeptically. 

“What?” She laughs shakily. 

“Well, you haven’t called me daddy in forever and you’re talking like you went to finishing school instead of learning the bunny trails.”

She folds her hands neatly in her lap before explaining herself. “I just missed you, daddy. And the girls from camp are very sophisticated, with an impressive vocabulary. I’m simply learning from them.” 

With that she sticks her little button nose up in the air and Archie swears he sees her again, in the form of his little princess; exuding that snobby attitude Veronica would show him occasionally. 

He shakes his head at the thought. 

“We are going to have a talk about your cell phone bill, young lady. It’s getting out of hand and you barely called me while you were gone.” Archie says more seriously with a little frown to show he’s hurt at the lack of communication. 

Truthfully, he’s very lucky that he’s never had to be stern with his well-behaved daughter. 

His precious Violet used to tug on his hair with tiny fists, gurgling with joy. She is his everything and he’s proud to have raised such an upstanding child. 

She apologizes with sweet sincerity and asks about what’s been going on at home.

He feels nervous to even bring up the prospect of her meeting the new woman in his life, so instead he talks about their upcoming trip to New York.  

It seems to be the right topic of conversation when her eyes light up in excitement. 

 

----

 

Audrey has been acting peculiar since her return home, spending less time to herself and more time focusing on what Veronica is doing. 

Her daughter has always been the light of Veronica’s life, but she tends to keep to herself, always reading or practicing the piano. 

Lately, she’s like a little ball of energy in their normally quiet home. 

She watches in confusion as her daughter fumbles with the spoon as they enjoy their afternoon tea in Veronica’s master suite. 

They sit cuddled up on Veronica’s chaise as the sunlight streams in through the open doors that lead out to her private balcony, where the wrought iron is lined with flower boxes. 

There’s a perfect view to the Eiffel Tower. In the spring, it’s quite a sight when the warm breeze makes the sheer curtains dance. 

With the doors closed to the chilly outside, the sun casts bright beams along the dark, mahogany floor. 

Veronica’s phone vibrates on the dresser before she can question where her daughter’s table manners have gone, apologizing for taking this important call. 

Audrey stands and walks slowly to the ornate desk, dragging her fingers up the sinuously curved wood. She moves along the surface and marvels at Veronica’s crystal lamp, smiling as she studies the object with intrigue. 

The sun catches the dangling gems, adding a rainbow glare to its beauty. 

She leans over the desk to sniff the fresh arrangement of gardenias, tracing the Waterford Crystal vase that holds them. 

Veronica speaks French over the phone to her employees as they sort out the crisis between the Art Director and Event Coordinator. The in-house styling team is fighting over the use of the accessories department as they pack up everything to travel west. 

Audrey has been studying French since she could talk, trilingual with both English and Spanish already under her belt.  

They’re learning Chinese together, too. 

Veronica hangs up the phone and observes the sight before her. Audrey moves across the room to inspect her mother’s vanity, smelling bottles of perfume and admiring the porcelain bowl of pearls. 

Kevin pops his head in through the French doors. 

“I was looking through your backpack to find your assignments and found this.” He holds up a baby Labrador stuffed animal as if it was contaminated with germs. 

Which, from the looks, it may very well be. 

Audrey’s eyes nearly bulge out of her head as she uncharacteristically scrambles for an answer. 

“Oh!” She exclaims, snatching the little plush from Kevin’s grasp. 

Veronica kinks an eyebrow at her daughter. 

“It belongs to a girl from camp. I’ll get her address and make sure I get it back to her.” It’s comical, the way she clutches the small pup close. 

It reminds her of Archie’s dog, Vegas. Their old dog. 

It’s sweet that Audrey still has a sentiment for childlike things. 

She’s always wished for her to remain little. 

Veronica was in heaven with a baby girl, always dressing her up like a doll. She was so scared she’d fail at being a mother, but she’s never felt stronger. 

She bought her baby a mini Birkin bag to match her own and Gucci sent her a variety of baby sunglasses so they could always coordinate in style. 

Her heart clenches thinking about the way little Audrey used to babble into her toy cell phone, mirroring her mother’s mannerisms. 

They’d spend time playing dress up in Veronica’s custom closet, trying on shoes and testing lipstick shades. 

The media was so smitten with the mommy-daughter fashionistas, that Posh-wearing bloggers around the world requested a chic children’s collection based around Audrey’s wardrobe. 

It received rave reviews. 

“Now go get showered, we’ve got to get moving mon ange. We’ve got tickets to the ballet.”

Audrey squeals in excitement and pulls her mother along by the hand to help her pick out the dress she’ll wear. She never does this anymore.  

Veronica’s heart feels so full. 

 

----

 

Archie straightens his tie in the hall mirror, assessing his suit for the Annual Father-Daughter Dance. 

The past few weeks have been a little different. 

Betty assures him this is just part of her growing up. He hates it; hates that the good old days of tucking her in and reading bedtime stories are gone. 

But lately, she seems to have a newfound love for her father. 

Not that he’s complaining; he’s happy every time someone says what a delight she is, always so courteous and polite. And he’s over the moon with how much time she wants to spend with him lately. 

Even Vegas has been acting a little strange around Violet since the holidays.

Archie's been picking up on new quirks of hers since her return.

His daughter has never once shown an interest in taking up music, though always happy to listen to the vintage vinyl collection with her old man. 

But after camp, she seemed much more interested. 

One night, she padded into his studio and asked if he’d show her how to play the guitar. He, of course, put everything else on hold to enjoy that special moment. 

He was blown away by how quickly she picked it up, marveling at the way she was reading music. 

Betty has been doting on her even more than usual, something she hasn’t done since Violet was a baby. She’s been cooking special dinners every night and taking her to the public library. They’ve been talking about day trips to museums, too.

He’s grateful for his best friends, stepping in to help him raise Violet when everything else fell apart. 

Archie is greeted with the joyful chirps of his little girl, echoing through the grand foyer.

She's twirling around in a little silver dress. Betty curled her hair, excited to have something other than Archie’s poor attempt at braiding. 

“You look so beautiful, princess.” He can’t help but admire his little girl. 

Who isn’t so little anymore, a realization that breaks his heart. 

“Like mommy?” She asks, big brown eyes looking up at him with all the wonder in the world. 

This is something she does from time to time, ask about her mother. It’s become more and more demanding as the years pass. 

Just because he doesn’t talk about her doesn’t mean he’s not thinking about her, all the time. It certainly doesn’t help that she’s the spitting image of Veronica, a constant reminder of the woman he lost.  

“Yes, my love, just like mommy.”

 

----

 

They’ve eased back into their routine, starting with sunrise yoga and reading the newspaper every morning at the table. 

The act is something Veronica started doing to mimic her father, and she’s happy to see her daughter having such an interest in the world around her. 

Though lately, Audrey’s been more interested in star-studded events and fashion articles than the book reviews and business section. She currently sits with her face cast down in a captivating article featured in Teen Vogue. 

They sit around the dining room table for breakfast, chatting about their trip to New York as Gaston brings out their food.

Most days, there’s a vibrant fruit salad at the table to share before their chef brings out orders of egg whites and wheat toast accompanied by a variety of jams. 

Veronica alternates between coffee and mimosas, depending on the day, while Audrey drinks freshly squeezed orange juice. 

So, it’s no surprise when their chef looks taken aback at the little girl’s request for chocolate chip pancakes and bacon. 

And a glass of chocolate milk, please. 

Gaston has a general distaste for children, sneering at some of Audrey’s friends when they ask for things like Cheetos or Coke. But he’s fond of the refined little girl, who just took him by surprise. 

They finish their meal and Audrey announces she’s going upstairs to make a call. 

Veronica retreats to her own bedroom, selecting a few choice pieces and stages them on her portable rack, ready to be packed when they leave. 

She makes a note that everything should be steamed and pressed again before the items are stowed for the trip. 

It’s her first big fashion show, always admiring from the front row rather than watching her own line strut down the catwalk. 

She and Katy stuck to their original plans, remaining focused on the vision for their clients. 

From lingerie and loungewear to couture and street wear, Posh was founded on the idea of minimal chic. They started on a boutique level, offering one-of-a-kind pieces that were always in high demand.

They’d release four small collections each year with a handful of seasonal bags and fragrances.

Investors and department stores begged her to expand the line, but it was never the right time. Until now.

The negotiations for her high-end shoe line took nearly a year to settle, now on the fast track to debut at exclusive retailers before the holidays.

She decided to premiere the clothes making up Posh’s expansion in her native city, rather than the one she resides in now. 

They’ll travel to the Big Apple a few days early, to visit Hermione and get settled before the week begins. 

And the several weeks following that.

They’ll stay in New York through Valentine’s Day before she jets off alone to London, Milan and then Paris. 

Veronica ties the velvet Cartier bag containing her everyday jewelry and sets it inside her purse, completing the final touches of her packing. 

She takes a break to check in on her team and their progress, arriving in New York last night. 

Veronica lounges across her plush bed, MacBook perched on her knees as she sips from the fresh espresso in her cup. 

She feels the mattress shift just slightly as a pair of big brown eyes peer over the top of the screen, making her kink an eyebrow. 

“Yes, darling?” 

“I just wanted to spend some time with you.”

It never ceases to warm her heart when Audrey says things like this, her sweet girl. 

Veronica shuts her laptop and takes off her glasses, setting them down gently on the nightstand. 

She pulls back the duvet and pats the spot next to her. Audrey crawls under and snuggles with her mother under the silk sheets. 

Veronica wraps her arms around her daughter and drops a kiss to her forehead. 

“Care to join me for lunch at Lasserre and spend our last day strolling along the Champs-Élysées?” 

She turns over and giggles in delight. “That sounds perfect.”

 

----

 

Archie packs his suitcase for their time away, chucking a second pair of boots in his suitcase. He’ll wear his new Converse on the plane, laying out his clothes for the morning. 

At first, this was meant to be a short, solo trip. He’ll be performing at a few gigs for the city’s fashion week. There’s also a young singer who is interested in Archie’s services. 

He’s been preparing to transition from performer to songwriting and producing full time; wanting to enjoy being behind the scenes and spending summers with his daughter. 

The world tours and write ups in Rolling Stone don’t compare to the camping trips with his Violet. 

Lately, Betty and Jughead are talking about having their own baby and Archie knows that things will eventually start changing again. He wants to be prepared when they do. 

He opens his sock drawer to retrieve a few pairs when his eye catches the photo he keeps stored away. He purposely placed it out of the reach of his curious daughter. 

He’s overcome with a wave of emotion, standing as a weak man in his bedroom. The tears start pricking his eyes, not having looked at it in some time. 

Archie took a candid picture of Veronica just after the twins were born. It was their first month home and she was curled up in their bed, wearing one of his white button-down shirts with a fresh face. 

She has a twin in each arm, both snuggled into the warmth of her chest as she shoots him a blinding smile. 

He would give anything to relive that moment and fix whatever it is he later did wrong. 

Wiping his eyes and moving out of the quiet bedroom, he meets Betty and Violet in the kitchen huddled around the island whispering about something. 

Lately, they’ve been even closer than usual, but he can’t help but feel like Betty is keeping something from him. He misses being the hero in his daughter’s life, but grateful to have a woman navigate her in the right direction as she grows up. 

“Dinner’s ready, Arch. You all packed?” She asks with a bubbly attitude. 

Betty’s excited because Jughead will join them in New York tomorrow. They have some secretive plans for Valentine’s Day. 

They sit around the table as Betty scoops salad for everyone. She made chili and garlic bread for Violet; Archie laughs at the gleam of excitement in her eyes. 

Once they get to New York, Betty and Jughead will take turns helping Archie. They’re traveling with their team, Archie’s manager, Moose and personal trainer, Mad Dog. 

They've become a family, pitching in to ensure the little girl is always cared for on the road. 

He tells the girls about his plans for them in the city and that they’ll be staying at the Four Seasons. 

“But daddy, I want to stay at the St. Regis.” She whines. 

It catches him off guard, chuckling at her insistence. Another thing she inherited from her mother. 

“You’ve never been there. Why the need now?” He wants her to humor him. 

“It’s just nicer, is all.” She squirms in her seat and folds her hands neatly in her lap. If there’s availability, he’ll of course make it happen.

He waits until Betty leaves the dining room, leaving to call Jug before he boards his flight to JFK. Archie wants privacy with his daughter and lately, he hasn’t liked Betty’s change of tune about Tina. 

“Daddy, I was hoping I could talk to you about something.” 

“I wanted to talk to you, too, angel.”

She almost looks relieved, motioning for him to continue as if she were a royal giving him permission to speak. 

“I want to talk to you about the woman I’ve seen a few times.” 

It’s hard for him to mutter the words, especially when he himself isn’t certain of their future. That is the main reason he hasn’t brought her around the house, it’d be cruel to introduce her to someone who may not be around for long. He also doesn’t want to lie to her.

“What do you mean? What woman?” She panics. 

“She’s going to be in New York briefly while we’re there. I thought you could meet her.” He explains cautiously. 

There’s a hardness in his daughter’s eyes he’s never seen. He thinks smoke will start coming out of her ears.

Instead, her face scrunches up and she starts spitting out Spanish at lightning speed. And right then he’s certain he sees it. He sees the miniature version of his ex-wife, pacing around the kitchen with her arms in the air.

 

----

 

“Tell me more about him.”

Veronica and Audrey walk up Fifth Avenue, toting shopping bags while stopping to leave them with Smithers and grab cups of hot chocolate. 

In an hour, Veronica will drop the little girl off to spend the night with Hermione. 

“Why the sudden curiosity about your father? I thought we cleared all this up years ago.” She blows the steam rising from her cup. 

“Please.”

Veronica takes a deep breath and nods her head. “He’s a musician, you know.” 

She rolls her eyes, very out of character for her sweet girl. “I know.”

Veronica heaves a sigh while trying to keep her heart intact. “Your father was very charming. His smile made me weak in the knees, always wearing his goodness like a halo. Very handsome, of course.” 

She tries to tone down the emotion in her voice, never feeling such passion for another person. It’s hard not to feel bitter now. 

“Was it love at first sight?” She asks with hopeful eyes. 

Of course it was. Veronica fell in love with Archie Andrews so fast it made her head spin, the world around them falling completely out of focus. 

Her heart starts to soften over the hardness she once covered it with to attempt moving on, the walls she put up always coming down for her daughter. 

 

----

 

It’s a rainy afternoon when Archie pulls his daughter into a little pizza place he used to frequent when he lived in the city. It makes him happy to share this new memory with her.

Violet’s eyes widen at the size of the pepperoni pie.

She inspects it thoroughly with a raised eyebrow. 

“I thought you loved pizza. Not sophisticated enough now?” He teases her. “Might I remind you this is a New York City delicacy.”

It does make her laugh. 

“What’d they feed you out there anyway? Snails and stuff?”

“It’s called escargot, daddy.”

She reaches for the plastic cutlery and dabs off some excess grease with the paper napkin. 

Violet takes a reluctant bite, eyes widening as she does. She quickly moves through the first piece. 

“Tell me about my mother.” It seemingly comes out of nowhere as she demurely dabs the napkin around her mouth. 

He thinks she’s been more curious as time goes on, especially now that they’re back in New York together for the first time in years, the very city his daughter was born in. 

“Your mother was the most beautiful girl I’d ever seen. I actually brought her here for one of our first dates.” It’s taking everything in him not to show how broken he is at the thought. 

“I could never see mommy coming to a place like this.” She erupts in giggles. 

“Why not?” 

She falters just slightly before taking a sip of her soda. “Auntie Betty always talks about how glamorous she was. Is.” She quickly corrects. 

“She’s right. But even though she preferred the fancier things in life, she always knew how to have fun.”

Violet puts down her second slice and prompts him to keep talking. 

His heart constricts, loosening his tie as he thinks how he could ever describe all the amazing qualities that made up his dream girl. 

He could go on forever. 

 

----

 

She’s hurrying to the St. Regis, visiting the team to walk through the final programming plans before an early day of press tomorrow. 

Following the meeting, she’ll join Elio and Katy for a drink. The two have a lot to discuss with her regarding all the upcoming changes. 

Katy will be overseeing a lot of the new headquarters, recently moving back to start planning her wedding with longtime fiancé, K.O. 

They plan to hire a few interns from their alma maters over the summer. 

Elio will remain in France for the foreseeable future, having just purchased a home and meeting a great guy in finance. 

She and Audrey will stay at the penthouse she purchased a few years ago, but they have the Lodge’s suite here just in case. 

It’ll be great to keep going back and forth as they please. 

Veronica insisted on having a second space for the team when needed this week, keeping business out of her home. 

Veronica doesn’t miss the pang in her heart as they drive past St. Patrick’s Cathedral, the very place she exchanged vows with a man who is no longer her husband. 

Smithers drops her off out front as the rain pours down on this dreary February night. She’s greeted by a doorman with an umbrella, stepping out onto the pavement in her stilettos. 

She hands him a generous tip, instructing him to send the enclosed materials to the Lodge Suite. 

Veronica feels a set of eyes on her as she makes her way through the lobby, heart nearly stopping when she steps into the brass elevator. 

 

--

 

A few hours later, he leaves Violet in their room at the St. Regis, playing scrabble with Betty and Jughead and ordering room service while Archie prepares for his date. 

Though, it’s not really a date, since he doesn’t see this lasting. 

If she could be the one, he thinks he’d be more excited to bring her around or feel confident when he talked to his daughter about his new relationship. 

He agreed to meet up with Tina for a drink at the hotel bar since he has an early day tomorrow. As always, he’ll offer to remain friends. 

Archie’s tired eyes seem to play tricks on him when a petite raven-haired woman struts by in his peripheral. Every time he cranes his neck to get a better look, she’s gone.  

He sets down his drink, abandoning the bar and moving faster through the lobby; focusing solely on the black cape billowing behind the woman who’s caught his attention. 

He can hear the clicking of her heels and smell the fragrant perfume left in her wake, it keeps him on the right path. 

Anyone around him must think he’s crazy, some onlookers might even be concerned with the way he’s got smoke on his heels following such a beauty. 

He rushes to the elevator, sprinting past the concierge and jumping over a bellhop, before coming to a screeching halt on the marble floor.

His heart stops when his eyes lock on the set he’s been dreaming about forever staring back at him.

Blood is rushing to his ears in sync with a wild beating his heart hasn’t endured in years. 

She raises an eyebrow as the elevator closes and just like the first time he saw her, everything else blurs around them. 

 

 

 

 

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