Answering a roommate wanted ad on Craiglist had been a risk, Veronica would be the first to admit that. Her dad, Wallace and Mac had all tried to talk her out of it.
“What if he’s a serial killer?” Wallace had demanded.
Veronica had replied, “Just as long as he cleans up. Do you know how hard it is to sponge bloodstains out of carpets?” Wallace had not been impressed.
If she hadn’t been in such desperate need of a place to stay, she probably wouldn’t have chanced it - but when the apartment you had lined up fell through and there were only 72 hours before your new photojournalist job started, it made a girl willing to take a risk.
A month on, she still wasn’t sure whether or not it had been a risk worth taking.
She didn’t know what she’d been expecting from her new roommate, but Logan Echolls was not it. Generally, he was fairly easy to live with - he cleaned up after himself, always offered to include her if he was cooking or, more usually, ordering out, and Veronica couldn’t deny that she didn’t exactly mind occasionally catching him wandering about the apartment without a shirt on. But as a person he had a way of snarking and needling that got under her skin and annoyed her.
Like the smirk he was wearing now as he stood in the doorway, watching her with a kind of incredulous amusement. “Are you baking?”
Although she had only known him a month, Veronica was fairly certain that Logan Echolls was the only person in the world who could make her want to hit him just for saying hello.
“You seem surprised.” The best way to respond, she decided, was not even to look at him but to carry on rolling out the cookies she was making.
“Well, I didn’t think you were the Betty Crocker type.”
Veronica flicked him a glance. “Shows what you know. Cynicism and snickerdoodles are a match made in heaven.”
“Clearly,” Logan grinned.
And wasn’t that just the worst part, that he could be completely frustrating and utterly charming at the same time. For the life of her, Veronica couldn’t figure out how he did that. And perhaps that was why he annoyed her so much; most people she had figured out in seconds. Logan managed to keep her guessing, and she wasn’t used to that. It put her off balance.
So she settled for swinging a wooden spoon at his hand as he reached for a blob of cookie dough.
"Alright alright. So,” he hopped up on to one of the high chairs by the kitchen counter and rested his arms on the work-top. “Any other hidden depths I should know about, roomie?”
Veronica shrugged one shoulder. “Of course. Don’t we all have them?”
“Not me. I’m as shallow as I seem.”
“Oh, okay, so that was some other roommate I saw leaving milk on the balcony for a stray cat?”
“Ah. You saw that, huh?” He flashed her a lopsided, sheepish smile, like a kid caught with their hand in the proverbial cookie jar (clichéd as that was, Veronica couldn’t help thinking it was an appropriate metaphor at this particular moment.)
She nodded solemnly as she slid the first tray of snickerdoodles into the oven. “Yes, yes I did.”
“Okay, you caught me. I like stray animals, and you bake snickerdoodles. Not very good cynics, are we?”
Veronica was surprised to see him lowering his walls of snark and charm. She was even more surprised to find she genuinely liked this side of Logan. There was a softer twinkle to his brown eyes, one that was warm and open, and it made her want to keep talking to him and trading witty one liners.
“Nope. You and me, we’re marshmallows, Echolls,” she said, using one of Wallace’s old nicknames for her.
“Marshmallows? I don’t know, personally I see myself as more of the chocolate-covered nougat-y type …”
And just like that the smooth charmer was back, the walls so firmly back in place that Veronica had to wonder if she had imagined the glimpse of the boy underneath. She boy she could see herself liking and, well, stupid and reckless as it might be to even think it, more than liking.
“You have a really high opinion of yourself, don’t you?”
Logan just winked at her. “Well, I mean. You’ve met me, right?”
“True. I suppose you have to think highly of yourself, no one else is going to.”
“Oh, you’re cruel, Mars.” But there was laughter in Logan’s eyes as he jumped down from the chair. “You also have flour on your nose.”
Before she could move he had leaned across the counter and gently brushed the offending flour away. His fingers were warm and slightly callused, and the feel of them against her skin sent a pleasant shiver down Veronica’s spine.
As Logan disappeared into his room, Veronica realised he’d used her distraction to swipe some of the remaining cookie dough.
No, she didn’t yet know if this was a risk worth taking. But boy, was it going to be fun finding out.