“I thought we’d try a practice run on Catalina Island. So what do you think about skipping school Friday for a little ride on Dad’s boat? Dinner and a movie?”
When she arrives at the dock he’s already opened the champagne. She wasn’t sure if she was going to come, not after she found out about the GHB at Shelley Pomoroy’s party and the fact Tad had secured the dose Carmen had taken from Logan.
And if Tad got the Liquid X from Logan, who else had Logan supplied to? Could Logan really have -
Could be the one? Could he be the reason why she’d woken up without underwear a year and a half ago?
God knows he hasn’t always been someone who had her back, but even at his worst, would he really have…? Could he really have…?
She doesn’t want to think it of him, but Veronica was feeling pretty burned out on trust right now, what with her father’s secret newspaper ad and Carmen’s popsicle related loss of face. Tad was what Carmen said - an idiot loser crabface, dosing his girlfriend’s drink with date rape drugs and video taping the results. But then Veronica knew how much worse it could have been, after all Carmen hadn’t been the one waking up roofied and raped in a guest bedroom.
And yet Carmen had been forgiving.
Veronica didn’t know if she had the same level of forgiveness in her, but she also knew she had to know. And if finding out the truth meant the end of her and Logan’s fledgling relationship, so be it.
She turned the LaBaron into the marina parking lot and killed the engine.
Since leaving Tad duct taped to the flag pole she’d been driving in circles. She hadn’t even handed in the assignment that was the only reason she’s been anywhere near the high school to begin with. She didn’t want to go home - with Dad off chasing Duncan Back-up would be extra nervous, and she didn’t have the energy to deal with the dog’s enthusiasm at her unexpected return. Wallace was already in school and not picking up his phone, and for all that Mac was a helpful ally she had not yet crossed the line into being the sort of friend Veronica could talk this over with. And even if she had been, what would Veronica say - no one knew about the rape, save Sheriff Lamb and she certainly wasn’t going to turn to him for comfort.
No, this she had to face head on.
She had to talk to Logan.
She glanced at the clock set in the car’s dashboard. Eleven am. She was already two hours late. Would Logan even still be in the marina?
Would he have waited?
Her phone beeped again - another missed call from his number and Veronica knew her decision was made. She turned the car south toward the yacht club and hoped that Logan was going to be able to come up with some completely reasonable explanation why he was the one with the drugs that resulted in the worst morning of her life.
As she walks up alongside the boat she can see him drinking from the bottle of champagne, apparently not caring that as much was going down his shirt as into his mouth.
She doesn’t say anything as she approached, but his eyes locked onto hers and she could see him mentally choosing between potential opening lines. Would he be teasing or aggressive? Could she take it if he was nice, given what she had to ask. For half a second she almost wished he was back in old Logan mode, his aggressive reaction to Lilly’s death and her father’ pursuit of the Kanes. She didn’t want to regret losing this new thing that was between them but if he had had anything to do with that dose of GHB that ended up in her drink, she wanted to be be able to hate him without reservation.
“You’re late,” Logan says, wiping the remnants of champagne off his lips.
“I thought you weren’t coming.” He doesn’t sound right and she realises suddenly that it’s because his voice is completely flat. Almost emotionless. Something in her twists at the sound but the more rational part of her brain recognises that this might well make things easier.
“I need to talk to you,” she says, and if she thought his face was closed down before, those words make virtual shutters slam down behind his eyes.
“Breaking up already Ronnie? I’d have thought you’d at least want to thank me properly for saving your life.”
“It’s not about that,” she says. She has trouble choosing the right words. Part of her wants to scream and part of her wants to cry and part of her wants to throw things. And then there’s this other part of her that just want to walk away. “Look,” she adds, “I need to tell you some stuff and I need to ask you some questions, and I need to you be honest with me.”
“Is this about Lilly?”
“No,” Veronica says, steeling herself and looking him straight in the eye, “it’s about the night I was raped.”
“The night you -” and just like that all the aggression is gone from his face. Replaced with something closer to horror. “When? Who? Veronica, I-”
She knows as well as anyone that there are no easy words for this. So she says nothing as he holds out his hand to her, stumbling over the start of sentences and helps her board his father’s yacht.
The champagne bottle is half empty, it’s contents going flat, abandoned on the table. Logan holds both of her hands, standing over her, his face full of concern.
“We should go to the police,” he says, and she can’t help but make an undignified sound at that. If only he knew.
“I tried that,” Veronica says. “The morning after. It didn’t do any good.”
“When?” he asks again. “When was this?”
“The morning after Shelley Pomoroy’s party,” she says and watches as his eyes change from concern and confusion to something with just a hint of guilt to it.
He knows something.
The realisation hits her like a train and she pulls back, yanking her hands out of his.
“Oh God Veronica,” he says, “No, no, I had no idea. I would never have -”
She can’t seem to free her hands from his grasp, he’s holding onto her tighter than ever and he knows something and she has to get away.
“I never wanted to hurt you,” he says, and even as he says it she can see him flinch. “I would never hurt you.” He corrects, “but I was so angry that night.”
She twists and manages to break free of him, but she can’t get away, he’s crowding her.
“You were so drunk,” he says, “and that’s my fault, and if I hadn’t - Oh God!”
“Logan, what did you do?” Her voice is rising higher and higher and there are tears in her eyes and she can’t take this.
“I gave you shots,” he says, “You were passed out by the pool and we woke you up and we fed you shots.” He stares into her eyes, willing her to understand, to forgive him.
“I was drugged,” she says, “I only remember one drink and there was GHB in it, and Tad, Tad that asshole, he told me you were the one with GHB that night.”
“I didn’t give you GHB,” Logan says, shaking his head, “I didn’t. I fed you tequila and that’s it. I -” and now it’s his turn for his voice to break, “I thought it was funny.”
“Funny?” And there’s steel in her tone now, and she’s determined to break away from him and he steps in even closer and wraps his arms around her, trying to erase the past with a hug. “You thought feeding me shots was funny? What else happened? What else did you do? What else did you do?!”
She struggling in his arms now, and he knows if he keeps hold of her it’s all going to be worse, but it’s a conscious effort to get his arms to unlock. He’s got the distinct feeling this could be the last time he ever gets to hold her and he doesn’t want this to be over yet, but if he’s going to have any chance at keeping her he needs to be honest.
“There were bodyshots,” he says, letting go of her and dropping his arms to his sides. “And some of the guys thought it would be funny for you to make out with Shelley, but that’s it. Duncan came, and he picked you up and he took you away. That’s it. I thought he took you home but then I saw him with someone else, and I, I just went home. I left you there.”
He looks up from his contemplation of the deck to see her, eyes red and swollen, standing there staring at him. “If I could take it back I would.” He says, “I never wanted to hurt you, I should have stopped it. I’m so sorry.”
She doesn’t say anything and suddenly in his head he realises she’s caught between fight and flight. That these seconds are crucial.
“I’m so sorry Veronica, I didn’t know.” And he feels his legs go out from under him and he’s falling forwards, falling down onto his knees so he was to look up at her and he can feel tears on his face to match the tears on hers. “I’m so sorry.”
And for a second it’s exactly like when he accepted that his mother was dead, and her arms come up around him instinctively and they cling to each other on the deck of the boat, champagne abandoned just like all the other happy plans they had made for today.
She cries and he cries and she cries again and one of them holds the other the whole way through until she’s sniffing back the last of her tears, cradled in his arms, hidden from sight of the world by the boat’s dashboard.
She sits there unmoving, then realises he’s stroking her hair and probably has been for a long time.
“What now?” She says in a quiet voice, so completely unlike the girl he knows, the girl he loves.
“I can never say sorry enough,” he says into her hair. “I should have protected you. I should have done something.”
She shifts in his arms and he knows that this delicate broken version of Veronica is building up her walls and clamping down on her emotions. It’s of absolutely no surprise to him when her tone on her next words is brusque, business like.
“You had GHB at the party?”
“Did you give it to anyone?”
“I gave it to Duncan. I put it in his drink.”
“No other drinks?”
“No, but” and she shifts at his hesitation. He sighs, knowing that this isn’t nearly over yet. “I wasn’t the only one with GHB. Luke had some. He gave it to Dick. Sean had some but I think he gave it to Tad.”
“So, Dick.” She says, her voice considering.
“Dick wouldn’t,” Logan protests.
“Are you sure about that?” She says, “because someone spiked my drink and if it wasn’t you…”
“I’ve known Dick Casablancas for years,” he says, “he wouldn’t.”
“Someone did,” she insists.
“And we will find out who that was,” he says. “We’ll find out and we’ll make them pay. Even if it’s Dick.” He pulls back to look her in the eyes. “We’ll do it together. I’ve got your back Veronica. Always.”
It’s not much of a smile, but it’s the beginnings of one, and just like that he knows this can be fixed, that they can come back from this together.