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Marshmallows and Moonlight

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“So, should I grab a pillow and blanket for the top deck while I’m still in here?” Logan asked teasingly after the door to their room was closed; a mirthful grin was plastered on his face.

“I’m sure you can come up with some creative ways to make me feel better about my loss,” Veronica purred seductively, bobbing her eyebrows for extra emphasis.

“I’m more than happy to do whatever the lady desires,” Logan replied as his lip curled into a wolfish snarl. “I’ve always been a giver when it comes to you.”

“I certainly can’t argue with that,” she agreed as she wrapped her arms around his neck. He leaned down and placed a quick kiss on her lips.

“Hot-tub time?” he asked, raising his eyebrows questioningly.

It was a bit early to try to sequester themselves in the room. Since they'd already agreed to join them out there, her friends would certainly start banging on their door if she and Logan didn't come back out.  “Yeah, if this is our last night here, we’d better take advantage of it one more time.”

After some brief fooling around that seemed inevitable whenever they had to get naked, they finally managed to get their swimsuits on and headed out to join the other two couples on the top deck. Right after the poker game was over, Dick and Casey decided that they were just going to play video games rather than having to endure hanging out with three half-naked couples in the hot-tub. As Logan and Veronica walked through the main room, Veronica noticed that Dick and Casey were so enthralled in their game they didn't even acknowledge them.

“Would they even notice if the boat were sinking?” Veronica asked teasingly while they climbed the stairs to the top deck.

“Doubtful,” Logan replied with a chuckle.

“Twiz had me make another batch of coladas,” Jack shared before Veronica and Logan climbed into the hot steamy tub. “I know it's not as good as Worm’s, but there's plenty left in the blender on the bar if you want some too.”

“That sounds great,” Veronica replied as she glanced toward the outdoor bar.

“I'll grab it for you, if you want to climb in,” Logan offered. “I’m sure it's a little chilly up here in just your bikini,” he added quietly so no one else could hear him over the hot-tub jets.

Veronica smirked and nodded her agreement. Logan had tried to convince her to wear her one-piece so he wouldn't be tempted to misbehave in front of everyone else. After she’d put on her bikini, she’d denied that ignoring his request was punishment for him beating her at poker. She assumed that he was now likely trying to get her submerged as quickly as possible.

“So, I hear you two may be leaving us sooner than planned,” Jack commented as Veronica eased herself into the bubbly hot water.

An unhappy pout formed on Bianca’s face.

“Yeah, probably in the morning,” Veronica confirmed.

“You can't leave before bonfire night,” Bianca whined. “That's one of the best parts of the trip.”

“She's right,” Bennett interjected, drawing a nod of agreement from Dinah.

“One more night with us isn't going to kill you,” Jack continued.

“But I might kill you if you leave before the bonfire,” Bianca added with a faux threatening glare.

Veronica couldn’t help but laugh at her roommate. Veronica was probably one of the very few people who Bianca couldn't scare into doing whatever she wanted; although it was definitely better to not piss off your roommate. Veronica glanced at Logan, who shrugged indifferently, as he handed her the drink and climbed in next to her.

“We'll make hotdogs and s'mores over the fire,” Jack shared coercively.

“One more night, Vee,” Bianca continued, more pleading than threatening. “It’s not like you two don't have the rest of the summer to play catch up. I know you have a lot of lost time to make up for, but neither of you have any pressing deadlines, right?”

Veronica glanced at Logan who only shrugged again. Bianca was right, neither of them had anything else that they'd committed to doing, at least nothing that they couldn't do together. In order to keep Bianca happy, Veronica decided to relent.

“Fine, we’ll stay for the bonfire tomorrow night and then leave on Friday morning,” Veronica conceided, earning a delighted cheer from Bianca.

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Bennett and Dinah were the first couple to decide to head downstairs, followed a few minutes later by Bianca and Jack. Logan and Veronica decided to stay in the hot-tub a little longer since they’d come up later than the other two couples.

“I’m certainly going to miss being able to see the stars so clearly,” Veronica commented as she stared up at the sparkling sky.

“Well, there are several great observatories around LA that we could visit,” Logan suggested as he tilted his head up to peer at the sky as well. “My astronomy class visited a couple. At Mount Wilson, you can actually even book private viewing nights.”

“I’m guessing those aren’t terribly cheap,” Veronica deduced derisively.

“Well, that depends on your definition of cheap ,” Logan replied, sounding amused by her reaction. “Hey, that’s what I could do with my winnings—book us a private viewing night.”

Veronica sputtered for a second before replying. “It costs four thousand dollars? That’s not cheap , Logan!”

Logan laughed at her as he shook his head. “I should have said part of my winnings, although for a full night at the large telescope, that is five thousand, but the smaller telescope is much more affordable and more than sufficient for the two of us. I’ve heard you can get some really spectacular views of several nebula and stars as well as a planet or two.”

Veronica glanced at him to determine if he was serious. She could easily see by the look on his face just how excited he was about the idea. “That would probably be a better use of your winnings than frittering them away on booze and bimbos,” she replied with a wink.

“I’d still have a little over half of it left if I booked the sixty inch for a full night for us, plenty for frittering .”

“Well, that does sound like a very romantic courting opportunity, doesn’t it,” Veronica commented affectionately. “I wouldn’t object if you wanted to use some of your winnings on that.”

“I look forward to that immensely,” Logan replied, nuzzling his nose against her cheek and placing a soft kiss there.

“Even though we don’t have a private observatory tonight, I’d still take another story to tide me over until then,” she purred softly, enjoying the feel of his mouth trailing more kisses along her jaw.

“Mm…” Logan replied as he kissed right below her ear, drawing a soft moan from her. “I did say earlier, whatever the lady desired.” Veronica nodded her head in agreement. “Did you want it now, or should we change clothes first?”

“I don’t want to turn into a prune, so maybe we should get out of the tub first,” she suggested, sounding a bit more breathless from the sensations shooting through her from what he was doing to her with his mouth.

“There might be a blanket up here that we could snuggle under,” Logan suggested as he stopped kissing her and glanced over at the built-in seating area. There were a couple of cabinets flanking the built-in couches.

As Veronica dried off with her towel, Logan wrapped his own towel around his waist and went to check the cabinets.

“Voila,” he announced as he pulled a blanket out of the second cabinet he opened. He walked back and wrapped it around her before going over to turn off the hot-tub jets and replace the cover. A few minutes later, they were snuggled up under the blanket on one of the large built-in couches.

“Any special requests,” he asked softly as the stared up at the stars. Veronica shook her head in response. “Hm…” he mumbled as he moved his head slightly, looking in different directions in the sky. “How about Gemini—the twins, Castor and Pullox?”

“I’ve heard of Gemini before of course, but I don’t think I know the story.”

“Okay… um,” Logan muttered as he glanced around for another few seconds. “Do you see those two really bright stars right up there?” Veronica nodded as she followed his finger to see where he was pointing to. “Those are actually called Castor and Pullox, and if you drew lines down through about a dozen other stars, it would look like two stick-figures. Like many of the constellations’ namesakes, there are variations of their mythology. For the most part, though, both twins shared the same mother, Leda, but in several stories, they had different fathers. In some versions, Castor’s father was the King of Sparta, Tyndarus, making him mortal, while Pollux’s father was Zeus, making him a demigod and immortal. Helen of Troy was actually their sister, and they both fought in the Trojan war too. Castor was an excellent horseman and proficient at fencing while Pollux was famed for his boxing skills. The two were also part of the Argonauts’ expedition to get the golden fleece. Pollux’s boxing skills came in handy when Amycus, a son of Poseidon who ruled Asia Minor, refused to let the Argonauts leave until one of them fought him in a boxing match. Pollux accepted the challenge and easily won.”

“Hm… boxing skills… now who does Pollux remind me of,” Veronica interjected playfully. “Oh, that’s right, you .”

“Technically, that was Logan Echolls … Logan Lester is much more of a lover than a fighter .”

“Well I certainly won’t complain about that character trait,” Veronica purred salaciously. “But seriously, while I’d certainly never condone violence, it was sort of nice to know you’d be there to protect me or defend my honor when necessary.”

“Anytime you need someone to fight a son of Poseidon, I’m your guy,” Logan replied with a soft chuckle.

Veronica laughed as well. “I know I’ve crossed some questionable people in the past, but I don’t think any would qualify as demi-gods. If I do end up in that situation, though, you’ll be the first to know.”

“That’s comforting,” Logan said a little sarcastically before turning to kiss the top of her head.

“So, is that how they got their own constellation? By helping to get the golden fleece?”

“Nope,” Logan said as he shook his head slightly and turned his head upwards again toward the stars. “As with many greek tragedies, this one included forbidden love which ended in death. Well at least according to some versions.”

Scandalous ,” Veronica teased.

“Very. It was even another set of twins that brought their tale to an end. The twins Idas and Lynceus, who were also former Argonauts, clashed with Castor and Pollux over two women, Phoebe and Hilaira. The other two brothers were engaged to them, but Castor and Pollux fell in love with them and carried the women off. Idas and Lynceus pursued them and in the end there was a fight between the four. Lynceus stabbed Castor with a sword and when Pollux saw that his brother had been stabbed, he killed Lynceus. When Idas saw his own brother die, he attacked Pollux, but Zeus intervened and sent a thunderbolt which saved his son. Pollux asked Zeus to share his immortality with his dead brother and the god placed them both in the sky, where they remain inseparable as the constellation Gemini.”

“Well that’s what you get for carrying women off, I suppose,” Veronica pondered with a chuckle as she continued to stare up at the sky.

Logan laughed as well. “Do you remember watching that Travolta and Nicolas Cage movie Face/Off once with Lilly and Duncan?”

“Vaguely… I think Lilly dragged me off shortly after it started because she was mad that we didn’t get to watch the movie she wanted.”

“Sounds about right,” Logan replied with a scoff. “Well Travolta’s character is Sean Archer and Cage was Castor Troy. Cage also had a brother named Pollux in the movie. Sagittarius the Archer constellation is diametrically opposite the constellation Gemini. So like the characters, the constellations are also complete opposites. I stumbled across that when I was doing some research for a paper. I loved that they used Troy for the last name too, given the connection to Helen of Troy.”

“Talk about trouble from carrying off women,” Veronica remarked. “Their family just had all sorts of trouble didn’t they?”

“Speaking of carrying off women ,” Logan growled as he unexpectedly rolled so he could hover on his elbows above her. “I’m thinking about all the trouble I could get into if I carry you back down to our room. Are we done with star-gazing for the night? I think I’ve been pretty well-behaved given the fact that you’ve been sitting next to me nearly naked for the last hour. Instead of gazing at stars, I’d much rather enjoy my very own goddess and show her just how much I worship her.”

Veronica bit on her lip and nodded. She was pretty sure her face had gotten a little flushed as she felt just how interested in moving to the privacy of their own room he was when he pressed closer to her.

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Veronica woke up once again to the strong aroma of coffee wafting through the houseboat. Logan’s arms were possessively wrapped around her as he spooned her from behind. She could hear his deep steady breathing and knew he was still sleeping soundly. By the time they’d finally fallen asleep, it had been more like early morning rather than nighttime. She wasn’t sure what time it was at the moment and considered trying to go back to sleep when the unmistakeable smell of bacon made it’s way along with the scent of the coffee. After another few seconds, there was a loud banging sound on their bedroom door.

“Hey, sleepyheads!” Jack yelled. “If you want to actually eat breakfast, you’d better haul your asses out of bed before it’s all gone.”

Logan groaned and buried his face against the back of Veronica’s head. “Is he like this when he stays with you and Bianca?”

Veronica chuckled and shook her head. “Nope, usually I’m the one yelling at him to get out of bed if he wants food. He must still be extremely anxious about the unwanted house guest that he brought home.”

“Ah, trying to get back on Bianca’s good side? I can feel for the guy. I seem to recall needing to do that a number of times with you.”

Veronica rolled over so she could face Logan. He loosened his hold on her, but repositioned his arms around her once she was done moving. “I’m sorry for not being more understanding back then and making you feel like that more times than you deserved.”

“Hey,” he said softly as he reached up and stroked her hair. “We said we were going to leave all that in the past right? I appreciate the apology, but you don’t need to feel bad about that now, okay?”

She nodded and leaned forward to kiss him. She wasn’t quite sure why what he’d said seemed to hit a nerve with her. Maybe it would just take more than a few days—no matter how wonderful they had been—to feel like they’d moved beyond everything in their past. “Okay. But, I really do want things to be different this time. You mean way too much to me to lose you again.”

Logan’s smile softened as his thumb gently stroked her cheek. “You mean the world to me too, and I don’t plan on making any of the same mistakes ever again.”

Before she could reply, a loud growling sound emanated from her stomach.        

Logan laughed and moved his hand so he could playfully rub her belly. “And keeping you properly fed is definitely on the top of the must-do list for staying out of trouble. Let’s go get you some breakfast.”

As they started to get dressed, Veronica couldn’t help but smirk at him when she grabbed his UCLA sweatshirt and slipped it on.

“Are you still going to want to wear that when I get a new matching one? We’ll look like one of those couples that dress alike,” Logan asked, his lip curving up into an amused grin.

“Well then there won’t be any question you’re mine ,” she replied playfully. “Maybe we should look into getting other matching items as well”

“I promise you don’t have to worry about staking your claim on me,” Logan assured her as he finished pulling a t-shirt over his head. “I could always get another tattoo though. Property of Veronica Mars? Right across my heart?”

She could tell by the way he was smiling that he was only teasing her, but the fact that he’d already permanently tattooed her initials on his body made her pause. She reached out and ran her fingers over his tattoo. “I’m still amazed that you put my initials on your arm.”

Logan’s expression softened and he pulled her closer so he could kiss her on the top of the head. “Well my heart does belong to you, even if it’s not spelled out in tattoo ink.”

After taking a few seconds for what was clearly a mutually appreciative kiss, Logan grabbed her hand and lead her out the door.

Veronica was a little surprised when they reached the main room that Bianca, Dinah and Bennett were all sitting at the table, while Jack was the one carrying plates of food over to them.

“Just in time,” Jack announced as he spotted Logan and Veronica.

“Where’s tweedle dum?” Veronica asked, glancing around the cabin, expecting to see Dick.

“He and Casey already headed back to shore to have breakfast with their ladies,” Jack explained while Logan pulled out a chair for Veronica to use. Veronica gave Logan a grateful smile before sitting in the offered chair; scooting toward the table as Logan pushed it back in for her.

“You cooked?” Veronica asked Jack skeptically as he sat a platter of pancakes down in the center of the table next to a large plate of bacon and a bowl of sliced fruit.

“I am capable of doing that,” Jack scoffed as he took the empty seat next to Bianca.

“Well you rarely do, so it is a valid question,” Bianca chimed in as she reached for a pancake.

“I thought I'd make up for my spectacular lack of judgment yesterday,” Jack replied while passing the plate of bacon to Veronica.

“You'll never hear me complain about bacon,” Veronica commented, snagging several pieces off the plate. She glanced at Logan who had a small smirk on his face. He was obviously very familiar with her love of bacon.

“Well, I wanted to make sure everyone had a good breakfast before we start the fishing derby today,” Jack continued.

Veronica scrunched up her face. “The what ?” she asked in confusion.

“The fishing derby,” Jack started to explain while Bianca, Dinah and Bennett all nodded in agreement. “It's tradition too, just like the bonfire and you two can't leave until we have it. Twiz was certain I wouldn't convince you to stay another full day, so we'll have the derby before the bonfire. With any luck we'll catch several nice bass and can cook them over the fire for dinner—in addition to hotdogs if you still want those.”

“It's a contest to see who can catch the biggest fish,” Bianca added over a mouthful of pancake.

“Of course it is,” Veronica replied, not at all surprised to hear that. “And I'm guessing there's a wager involved?” She heard Logan laugh softly and she gave him a small smile.  

“Why the hell would someone have a contest and not wager?” Jack asked with an incredulous expression on his face.

Veronica shook her head and let out a small sigh. “So how much is the wager? Are you hoping to win back your loss at the poker game last night?”

“That would be nice, wouldn't it,” Jack replied with a broad grin.

“We normally just do fifty per person,” Bianca chimed in. “Of course there are generally side bets too.”

“Of course there are,” Veronica laughed. She raised her eyebrows questioningly at Logan, wondering what he thought about it.  

“We don't want to miss out on the full experience just because we're leaving a little early, now do we?” Logan replied, definitely looking intrigued by the idea.

“I didn't notice any fishing gear on the boat, and don't you need a license?” Veronica asked as she swirled a piece of pancake through the syrup on her plate.

“We’ll rent some at the marina and we can pick up licenses for anyone who wants to fish that doesn’t have one yet. But I think most of us have them already,” Jack explained.

“I’ll pass on actually fishing,” Dinah announced. “But I’m always willing to consider offers for side bets,” she added with a sly grin.

“Well, as the reigning champion from last year, I’m definitely in,” Bennett confirmed.

“Casey, Shelly and I already picked up our licenses while we were waiting for Dallas to pick us up at the Marina since he’d mentioned we might do some fishing,” Logan shared with the group.

“So are you game, V?” Bianca asked, giving Veronica a questioning look. “I’ll even share some of my secrets with you if you decide to fish with us.”

“Toad stole Twiz’s title last year,” Jack explained, giving Bianca a sympathetic smile. “She’d won two years in a row before that, but he got lucky and caught one that was just a quarter of an inch longer than hers.”

“This year we’re renting a scale and going by weight , not length ,” Bianca protested. “Mine was fatter than his, so I still don’t believe he was the legitimate winner.”

Jack laughed and nodded. “I didn’t forget. Already planned to get one, my dear.”

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As the group finished their breakfast, they decided that Jack, Bianca, Logan and Veronica would go to the marina to pick up the fishing gear while Bennett and Dinah would take the larger WaveRunner out and scout for a spot that they could use for the day. They were planning to fish along the shore and then needed a good location for their bonfire as well. Jack had even brought a tent along that he planned to set up at the site. As they were leaving the marina, Jack had shared that during their past trips, he and Bianca would always stay the night at the campsite and then finish cleaning up everything in the morning after the sun was up.

By the time they made it back to the houseboat, Casey and Shelly were back as well. Veronica was relieved that it was just the two of them and that Dick must have stuck to the plan of heading to Napa after one night with them. Even if she and Logan were leaving in the morning, she really didn’t want to have to endure anymore time around Dick and Madison than absolutely necessary. She was skeptical that Dick and Madison’s relationship would likely last long anyway, but regardless, she was glad that Logan was currently living with Casey and not Dick. Thanks to this trip, she’d already learned that she could easily get used to spending time with Casey and Shelly anytime they were all in LA. And, at least during the school year, she'd most likely be riding down to Logan's with Bianca who would just be right across the hall.

Dinah had stayed at the site that she and Bennett had found for them while Bennett came over to guide the others back to it. The site they'd found was right on the lake and close enough to a formal campground where could use the restrooms when necessary. There was already a nice established fire pit for them to use as well, and they brought several folding chairs from the houseboat to set up around it. Given her friends’ competitive nature, they all had to start the fishing contest at the same time after Jack was done setting up the tent.  Logan and Casey volunteered to help, so Veronica took a seat and enjoyed watching them cluelessly try to help an increasingly frustrated Jack. Bianca also seemed to be amused watching the three of them and gave them what she likely thought was helpful advice, although based on their success, Veronica wasn't so sure it was.

“So, I take it you didn't have an elective course on tent assembly,” Veronica teased as they headed along the shoreline carrying their fishing gear. She felt Logan's hand reach out to grab her elbow, providing extra support as she carefully climbed over a large log in their path.

“Nope,” Logan chuckled as he followed her over the obstruction. “Maybe I'll check into one next semester.”

“And fishing? Do you have some secret skill there that I don’t yet know about?”

Logan laughed a little deeper and she turned back to watch him shake his head in reply. “Nope, although I do know a few amazing recipes that I could use to prepare any fish we do catch. How about you?”

Veronica shrugged slightly before she answered. “We did a little fishing up in Washington over spring break, and then my dad took me a few times when I was younger too.” A puzzled look formed across Logan's face, prompting her to continue. “It was before you moved to Neptune. Before he was promoted to sheriff. I guess we did more things before that happened.  He had more time for family activities before he was responsible for the entire department.”

Logan nodded in understanding. “So are you going to mention our trip down the coast to him?” he asked, catching her a little off guard. She hadn’t actually given her dad much thought since they’d talked about him several nights before.

“I don’t know. It might be more fun to just show up at his house and surprise him,” Veronica replied acerbically.

“Was that what he did to you with Harmony?” Logan asked, a little more perceptively than she’d expected.

Veronica let out a loud sigh. “I'm sorry, that wasn't fair to you at all. I certainly don't want to put you in an awkward position with my dad just because I clearly still have issues with how he handled the whole Harmony situation with me.”

“Well, he may not be too thrilled about seeing me again regardless of whether you surprise him or not,” Logan commented somberly.

“I don’t think that’s true,” Veronica countered, drawing a raised eyebrow from Logan. “I think he’ll be pretty impressed when he hears how well you’ve been doing at UCLA—not to mention everything you did to keep me safe.”

“You’re going to share that with him?” he asked, sounding a bit nervous about the prospect.

“Well… he doesn’t really know about my issues with Gory, so maybe I shouldn’t, but I want him to see you the way I see you. I want him to know what an incredible man you really are.” Veronica could easily tell from Logan’s expression that he seemed skeptical. “What?” she asked as she stopped in the middle of the trail that lead to a spot that Bianca said would be good for fishing. “You are incredible, Logan.”

“I’m not sure I’d go that far, but I do appreciate the sentiment,” Logan replied reticently. “We’d better get moving or we’ll miss the start time,” he added and gestured up the trail with a tilt of his head.

Veronica frowned, not budging from her spot. “I’m sorry that I let my own selfishness get in the way of him seeing that before. It was easier to let him believe whatever he might think rather than me admitting I was doing something I shouldn’t be doing.”

“Hey… remember we said we’re not going to dwell on the past,” he reminded her with a gentle smile. “And there were certainly plenty of things your dad caught me doing that justified some of his thinking.”

“Well, I certainly could have worked harder to make him see you in a different light back then.”

“Come on,” Logan urged as he glanced warily up the trail again. “If we don’t get to the spot, we’ll seriously impede our chance to win first catch.”

Veronica let out a huff and begrudgingly started walking up the trail again. It didn’t take them long to find the spot that Bianca had described. There were several large flat boulders that jutted out into the lake and they carefully made their way across them, sitting on the farthest one away from shore.

“So,” Veronica asked after they’d been sitting mostly in silence after casting their lines out. “Did you have a route charted for our trip down the coast?”

“Not really,” Logan answered, staring out where his line disappeared into the water. “I had planned to just meander down the coast, stopping if someplace seemed interesting. Although I was hoping to spend a night or two in Santa Barbara.”

“With Henry and Madeleine?” Veronica asked excitedly.

Logan chuckled and nodded. “I guess I don’t have to ask if you remember that weekend,” he commented with amusement.

Veronica couldn’t help the delighted grin that formed on her face. “Of course I remember that weekend! That was one of my best birthdays ever.”

“I would have to agree that it definitely topped my list of Veronica’s birthdays too,” Logan teased with a salacious smirk. Growing up, he’d been invited to several of her birthday parties over the years, but of course those were way before they’d gotten together as a couple. “I talked with Madeleine a couple weeks ago, and she mentioned that the cottage was going to be open all summer. They had rented it out to a college student from France who’s gone home for the summer.”

“The entire summer?”

Logan’s smile grew even broader. “Yeah, she said I was welcome to use it as much as I liked. She figured I’d enjoy being close to the beach again after being stuck in LA for most of the last two years. They know I’ve been going to UCLA, and we’ve had dinner together a few times when they are in town.”

“I know I should make it down to Neptune at some point to visit my dad, Mac and Wallace, but I’d definitely be open to spending even more than a night or two there,” she shared, delighted by the prospect.

“Well, it is a two bedroom cottage, so if you wanted to invite anyone up for a few nights, we could probably do that too.”

“I’m not sure I want to share a small two bedroom cottage with my dad, who would likely drag Harmony along, but I bet Mac and Wallace would enjoy it—but not right away—I want to enjoy time there with just you.”

Logan smiled and nodded in agreement. Just as he opened his mouth to speak again, the sound of both of their cell-phones going off in unison interrupted him. Veronica pulled hers out first and looked at the group text, holding her phone up so he could see it too since he hadn’t pulled his out of his pocket yet.

“Looks like Casey won the first-catch pot,” she said, sounding a little disappointed. “So much for Bianca’s sure-to-catch-a-big-one spot.”

“Well you could still catch the largest one. That pot is the biggest anyway. The one Casey caught doesn’t look that—whoa.” Logan quickly put his second hand on his fishing pole to better secure it and stared wide-eyed at the end of his pole which was erratically jerking up and down.  

“You’re suppose to reel it in,” Veronica told him with an amused chuckle.

“Oh right,” Logan replied before he moved his hand again so he could crank the reel on the pole.

“Hey, didn’t you go ocean fishing with Duncan a few times?” she asked curiously as she watched him attempt to bring the fish to the shore.

“Well yeah… but there were crew people on the boat who did most of the work. We just turned the handle and then posed for photographs,” he admitted a little sheepishly.

Veronica laughed and shook her head at him. “Well there’s no crew here, so you’re going to have to deal with the floppy, slimy fish all yourself, buddy.” She couldn’t help but laugh harder when she saw the slightly horrified look that flashed across his face.

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Veronica and Logan spent about another two hours fishing at the spot that Bianca had recommended. Even though the two of them hadn’t made any side bets about which one would catch the first or bigger fish between the two of them, Veronica couldn’t help but be a little competitive. She’d caught a couple fish that were smaller than Logan’s, so she’d released them to keep trying for a larger one.

“If this one’s smaller than mine, I’ll let you claim mine as your own if you’re that worried about having a chance to win the contest,” Logan teased as she reeled in yet another fish. He’d told her that one fish was plenty for him after trying for a second fish for close to an hour without any luck. After that he’d spent the rest of the time lying with his head on her lap attempting to take a nap. She couldn’t help it if every time he’d finally start to doze off, she’d get another bite on her pole and disrupt him.

Veronica shot him a look of disapproval as she continued to reel in her fish. Logan sat up on the boulder and peered into the water as she brought the fish closer to shore.

“I know things look larger in the water, but this one actually might be bigger than mine,” Logan declared when it was finally possible to see it.

Veronica couldn’t help but snicker at him, earning her an eyeroll.

“I think you’ve been out in the sun too long if you thought that was funny,” Logan scoffed.

“You’re probably right… good thing Dick isn’t still around, you might compare my humor to his. But I think you might be right… this one sure does look bigger than yours.”

“We’ll see,” Logan countered, apparently not yet ready to agree completely.

It took her a few more minutes to haul the fish out of the water so they could compare it to the one that Logan had caught earlier.

“Hm…” she said as she squished up her nose. “Well yours might be a little bit longer, but mine looks a bit girthier.”

It was Logan’s turn to snicker at that. “Okay, Miss Mine-is-girthier-than-yours , why don’t we head back to camp and weigh them on the scales then? And if the others are still all fishing, we could sneak back over to the houseboat for a real nap. For some reason, I didn’t get a whole lot of sleep last night.”

“I can’t imagine why,” Veronica teased with a smug grin on her face. Logan shook his head as he started collecting their fishing gear so they could follow the trail back to camp.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

“Nice ones,” Jack commented as Logan and Veronica entered the campsite.

Veronica noticed that there was now a large pile of chopped wood next to the fire-pit and it looked like Jack was starting to arrange pieces into the center of the rock lined circle for the bonfire later.

“You’ve been busy,” Veronica commented as she gestured toward the pile.

“Dallas chop wood?” Dinah laughed from the chair she was currently occupying near the tent. She sat the book she was holding down on her lap and looked judgmentally at Jack. “Puhlease, you know him better than that.”

“Hey, I did haul it over here from the campground,” Jack protested. “With no help from you, thank you very much.”

Dinah shrugged, clearly not feeling guilty at all about not helping Jack.

“I thought you were fishing too,” Veronica commented, carrying her fish and gear toward some coolers that had been brought over sometime since they were there last.

“I fished for a little while, but then I decided I should work on getting the campsite ready,” Jack replied. “Seems like this area of the lake has been a little over-fished lately, and I didn’t want to waste my time if I wasn’t going to catch anything anyway.” There was something a little off in his demeanor, but Veronica couldn’t quite figure out what it was.

Bianca suddenly appeared in the clearing right behind Logan and Veronica, and let out a loud laugh. “ Overfished ?”she countered incredulously. “And that’s the story you’re going with? Really ?”

Veronica glanced back and forth between Bianca and Jack, trying to deduce what the real situation was. Bianca looked smug while Jack looked chagrined; actually a fairly common thing for the two of them.

“So what’s the real scoop then?” Veronica asked, her curiosity peaked.

Jack let out a small grunt and went back to arranging logs in the fire-pit, apparently done participating in the conversation.

“Dallas was so excited when he hooked into a huge bass. It definitely looked bigger than any of the ones I’d ever caught here before. He almost had it all the way to the shore where he could grab it and unexpectedly the fish had a huge burst of energy and bolted; breaking the line in the process. Dallas got so mad, he slammed his pole down and snapped the tip of it off against a boulder. So then he said he was done fishing and stormed back to camp,” Bianca explained almost gleefully.

“Ah, poor Dallas ,” Veronica said with an amused smirk, knowing she’d get his attention using the name she never called him.

“Yeah, thanks,” Jack replied sarcastically shaking his head and still keeping his attention focused on arranging the logs for the fire.

“So, it looks like you two did pretty well for being newbies,” Bianca commented as she checked out the two fish that Logan and Veronica were carrying back. “They look like they are almost identical.”

“Mine’s girthier,” Veronica immediately chimed in, causing Logan to chuckle.

“Well, good thing we have a scale this year,” Bianca exclaimed as she headed over to the gear near the tent. Veronica spotted what must have been Jack’s pole with the broken tip among the other gear as she walked over to Bianca.

Jack halted his work on the firepit to watch Bianca weigh Logan and Veronica’s fish. Dinah also stood up from her chair so she could wander closer to the other three to watch as well.

“Wow,” Bianca said after she’d finished weighing them both. “They actually weigh exactly the same. Aren’t you two just the perfectly matched pair?”

“Yes we are,” Logan agreed as he leaned toward Veronica and placed a kiss on the side of her head.

“Well, where’s your catch?” Veronica asked Bianca, wondering how her roommate had fared.

“It’s already in the cooler,” Bianca explained with a large grin. “I was just out checking on Bennett to see how he was doing.” Bianca lifted up the lid to the cooler and pulled out a fish. It was easy to tell that her fish was definitely larger than the two that Logan and Veronica had caught. “Bennett is still holding out hope that he can catch one to beat me again this year, so I thought I’d pester him a bit.”

“I’m sure he appreciated that,” Veronica commented with a snort.

“Yeah,” Bianca replied with a smirk. “I’m sure he enjoyed the company.”

“Well as much as we enjoy your company,” Veronica teased. “Logan and I thought we’d head back to the houseboat for a little while. Grab some lunch, take a quick nap… you know.”

“Riiiight,” Bianca laughed with a teasing smirk.

“Any idea how Casey and Shelly are doing?” Veronica asked, ignoring the look Bianca had given her. “Are they done fishing already too?”

“Yeah, they quit a while ago. They said they were going to pack a lunch and take the larger WaveRunner out exploring again,” Bianca answered. “So you have a pretty good chance of having the houseboat all to yourselves.”

“What were you four planning to do for lunch?” Veronica asked, trying to gauge just how much alone time she might get with Logan.

“We’ve got plenty of food in the coolers. No plans to head back over to the houseboat for anything, right?” Bianca asked as she glanced between Dinah and Jack.

Dinah had a smirk on her lips too as she shook her head in reply. “Nope. Knock yourselves out over there with loud kinky sex if you want.”

“Dinah!” Veronica scolded unconvincingly as Jack and Bianca laughed at Dinah’s comment. Veronica glanced at Logan who seemed a little surprised by what Dinah had said, but he didn’t seem to be embarrassed by it. When his eyes met Veronica’s he waggled his eyebrows at her. She tried to give him an admonishing look, but knew it couldn’t have been very convincing. “We’ll be back later,” she finally huffed out and grabbed Logan’s hand, dragging him down to the edge of the lake where the speedboats were both tied up.