Veronica's not exactly thrilled to get all dolled up, but it was a requirement in order to attend the reception for the board of trustees. It's just the price of doing business. Dressed in a red frilly dress, she grabs her bag as she exits her bedroom, shouting to Keith in his own room, "I'm off to steal the souls of the rich with my evil image-capturing device."
"Have fun. Oh, and call Logan. He left a couple messages," Keith shouts back.
"I will. Bye!" Veronica reaches the door and pulls it open to find Logan, hand raised to knock.
"Wow, synchronicity," he says with a grin.
"Hey there, tall, dark, and timely," she replies.
"I've been trying to reach you all day. Did you get my messages?" She internally groans. She really doesn't have time for this.
"I did. I'm sorry. I was gonna—" Veronica begins as Logan walks past her into the apartment.
"We need to have a talk, a serious one," he continues, not letting her divert him.
"Yeah, I got that from your messages. That's why I haven't called. I haven't had time to have a talk.".
"Well, then I'll make it quick. I want you to stay away from the rape case. Okay? Just let it go. It's clear the rapist knows who you are."
Veronica frowns and motions toward her dad's bedroom. "He doesn't know about the hair, just about the getting dosed part," she says in a low tone.
"Well, maybe he should be in the loop on this one," Logan responds.
"Don't you dare," she warns.
"Fine. Just stop digging around. No more looking into the serial rapes. No more putting your nose where it doesn't belong," he gruffs back at her with his jaw set, eyes boring into her.
Veronica is beginning to take offense at being told what to do. "My nose kind of belongs wherever I decide to put it."
"I'm worried about you. I want you to stop now. I'm not kidding." His tone softens.
"Kind of a one-eighty, isn't it? Can we rewind a week? Cue it up to the part where you were asking me to exonerate your Mexican vacation buddy, Mercer." She's getting tired of this conversation.
"That was before you were attacked," he volleys back a little louder than Veronica cares for. "Why can't you for once just leave things alone?"
"Okay, now you're starting to piss me off."
"Frankly, Veronica, so what?! You're not invincible, and you're not always right!" he yells.
Keith comes out of his bedroom, charging towards Logan. "Hey! You might want to stop yelling at my daughter."
Flashbacks of the time her dad came in when Logan broke the lamp fill her mind, and the startled look on Logan's face tells her he's remembering that too, but he recovers quickly as he addresses her father. Having spent more time with him since the incident in the parking garage, Logan has gained a bit of confidence.
Keith was angry. Logan has always been a hot head, but things have gotten better. He should have known it was only a matter of time before the darkness inside this kid reared its ugly head.
"Yeah? You might want to start," Logan tells Keith, clearly not afraid to speak his mind. When Logan turns to address Veronica, Keith notices the fear in her eyes. "He deserves to know the truth, Veronica, the whole truth."
Veronica grabbed his wrist. "Logan!"
Things had changed since the last time he stormed out of his room to end an argument between these two. Logan lets his emotions drive his responses, but once he realized Logan was going to always have a place in his daughter's life, Keith decided it was best to figure out what made the boy tick. After that, they'd slowly come to an understanding in regards to his daughter, even building something of a rapport with each other. Keith thought they'd cleared all this up the night Logan called him to meet them at the hospital after Logan found her in a parking garage, drugged. When they brought her home, she'd been in and out of consciousness and Logan looked like a sick, loaded with regret for not finding her sooner. Filled with both gratitude and pity, Keith didn't even try to make him leave, so they had a lot of time to talk. He should have known things were still being omitted and there were secrets Logan still kept...for Veronica.
"What? He wants to know why we're fighting. He has to know by now that I'm only looking out for you. That I will do anything not to lose you like we lost Lilly. You've been willfully putting yourself in danger and I'm not going to go along anymore. Tell him, or I will." Keith watches Logan pull his wrist from her grasp and shake his head at her before turning to Keith. "If you have any questions for me, Mr. Mars, you know how to find me."
Logan turns back to Veronica and reaches to cradle her face in his palm. She tries to twist free, but when he pins her against the counter, Keith steps forward to stop him.
"I love you Veronica. It's about time he knows I'm not the bad guy. Maybe if he and I came together, instead of you keeping us apart, we can protect you." At Logan's words, Keith stops, trying to read the expression on Veronica's face. Logan backs away, glances toward Keith again, and gives him a nod before he leaves.
A moment passes, then Keith turns his attention to his daughter, ready to have it out with her, but Veronica beats him to the punch and does what she does best.
"Not now, I have to go," she mutters and races out of the apartment.
Hours later, Veronica walks into the apartment with Dean O'Dell. Keith is sitting in the oversized chair facing the door trying to keep his composure. He had contemplated calling Logan to get him to talk, but thought he would give his daughter a chance to come clean first, so he settled for texting the boy a time for them to meet up tomorrow. He'd been preparing himself to square off with his progeny when she'd texted him she was bringing home a visitor. Keith knew she thought she had created a perfect diversion. He took a few deep breaths before getting up to join them in the kitchen. He greets his guest and sits at the counter across from Dean O'Dell. They would deal with this first, then have their talk.
Once the Dean leaves, Keith grabs the used mugs to place in the sink. He turns around, leaning against the counter, and addresses Veronica about the Hearst case.
"So, here's my thought, I'll go talk to the family tomorrow, and you talk to the waitress and the caterer." He could let her think her diversionary tactic had worked for a while longer.
"Ah...high road…" She points at him, then back at herself with her thumb, forming a gun. "Low road." She clicks her tongue. "Got it." Her response tells him that she's pretty pleased with herself for distracting him.
Just as Veronica moves to go to her room, Keith shakes his head with a wry grin, then sighs. "Not so fast, oh daughter of mine. We need to talk."
Veronica hangs her head, then turns to take a seat on the couch. "Damn you, Logan," she growls under her breath, but Keith still hears it over the deafening silence in the room. Of course she would blame Logan, excusing herself from any accountability.
When Logan got the text from Keith to meet him for lunch today, he wasn't sure how things had gone with Veronica. It simply said, "Lunch tomorrow, noon at the cafe". Veronica's not answering his calls, not that he had expected her to. When he'd gone to see her, he hadn't meant for it to go as badly as it had, but when he started, it was as if the floodgates had broken, and everything just spilled out. He was sure she blamed him for all of this. Clearly he was the prime evildoer in her story, but having a never ending loop of all the possible worst-case scenarios running through his head, he hadn't been able to sit around The Grand waiting any longer. Now though, he sat waiting for his lunch date, drumming his fingers on the table, letting his worst-case thoughts run rampant in his head.
He's as tuned into the chime of the door as one of Pavlov's dogs, so he notices Keith as soon as he enters the cafe. Keith has barely taken his seat when Logan bombards him with the most important question. "How mad is she?"
Keith chuckles as he settles into the booth. "I told her we were having dinner tonight; attendance was not optional. You will be joining us," he says, waving his hand in Logan's direction. At least his spirits were bright considering all the information he now had, Logan thinks.
"She may have called you a few colorful names when we talked last night. She seemed to think that everything I knew came from you."
Logan lets out a deep sigh as he slumps further into his seat, but he perks up a little at Keith's next words.
"I let her know that you're not my only source of information, and in the end, when I told her I was meeting you for lunch today, she wanted me to tell you to track her down when we were done."
That wasn't exactly reassuring, and there must have been clear signs of his distress, because Keith kicks him under the table to get his attention.
"Hey, I shared the good and bad. I'm still not sure if I've gotten the whole truth, but she knows that I'll have questions for you both, in front of both of you together, so there are no more secrets or misunderstandings." Keith pauses and takes a deep breath, then knocks on the table between them to get Logan to look up at him.
"Listen, son, the two of you have been through more than anybody your age should. My biggest worry has been that you'd either implode or explode and take my daughter with you. I can't sit back and let that happen, so I'm going to help the two of you figure it out, one way or another."
Logan sits forward, frowning, not sure what Keith's trying to say, but before he can interrupt, Keith waves his finger back and forth between them and continues.
As long as you're a part of her life," he says, "you and I are going to make sure my daughter stays safe. It's quite clear to me that you only want to protect her. I can't deny that."
Logan can't help the smile that forms on his face. Never has he imagined Keith Mars would be on his side. Reveling in the idea that he could count on him, Logan was startled when Keith added, "Oh, and you're both starting therapy. Non-negotiable."