"Mom? What are you doing here?" Veronica suddenly felt tense and uneasy. She hadn't seen her mom since she was in high school and only heard that she was doing ok from her father since he tried to keep an eye on her.
"I knew you wouldn't come see me unless I pretended to be a client," she said touching Veronica's hand but Veronica pulled it away.
"Why did you have me drive hours out here?" she asked skeptical.
"Well because I thought if you were far away from home you'd take the time to listen to me and because I actually need some help," she said looking down not able to look Veronica in the eyes.
"Mom, the last time I saw you, you were drinking again and you ran off with the money that could have helped dad and I have a better life!" Veronica said trying to take a bite of her sandwich but losing her appetite.
"I know, I was awful, I was in such a bad place for a really long time. I had to really hit rock bottom and I did end up getting help. I'm in AA now and am trying to get my life back on track," she said with years of pain and sadness in her eyes.
"I'm glad mom, really, I want you to get better but what happened that you need me here? Why couldn't you just hire someone locally?" she asked leaning back in her chair, crossing her arms and putting up her defenses.
"I don't trust easily but I trust you. I need your help because I really got my life together with a job an and apartment. I got a job as an admin in an office but I was fired because money was stolen from petty cash and I was blamed for it," she said anxiously.
Veronica just looked at her mother questionably.
"I know it doesn't look good, considering my past, but I promise you I didn't do it. You can ask my AA sponsor and my neighbors, I've changed, I'm not the same person I used to be."
"You can understand why I am having trouble with this right?"
"Yes, of course, but tell me this, are you the same person you were 10 years ago?" her mom asks her with a curious look on her face.
Her mom had her there, she couldn't ignore that. If she were the same person she was 10 years ago she'd probably be in some random hotel room by herself working on a case.
"Ok mom, I'll help you but I can't just let everything go, just so you know," Veronica said pulling out her notebook to take notes about the case.
"I wouldn't dream of it," her mom said with a soft understanding smile.
Veronica and her mother went to her mother's work and did some snooping. After that she was going to check into a hotel but her mother insisted that Veronica stay at her apartment. On the way to the apartment Veronica called Logan from her car.
"Hey, staying out of jail this time?" Logan answered the phone with.
"For now, I'll keep you posted."
"How's the case? Is it a complicated one?"
"Well, it's actually my mother," she sighed.
"Yeah, in part she wanted to reconnect with me or something but also I'm helping her out with a situation."
"You okay?" he asked with concern in his voice.
"Yeah, I'm tough, I'm staying at her apartment though, she insisted. I'll let you know when I'm heading back home," she said wishing she could be looking into his eyes right now.
"Well if you need me, just let me know ok?" he said but she could hear he was aching to hold her at that moment.
"I'll be fine, give Luce a tickle for me ok?" she said as they hung up.
Veronica pulled up to her mom's apartment and walked in. The apartment building itself was on the shabby side but her mom had taken time to make her apartment very cozy and cheerful. She walked around looking at how she'd decorated and smelled some of the candles that were on the tables. Then she found a table full of pictures of Veronica.
There was a picture of Veronica when she graduated from high school and one from college. There were some shots from various Christimases with her father. There was a picture of her with her long past Backup and a group shot of her with Wallace, Mac and Logan. She walked over to the refrigerator to find a picture of her with Logan standing in front of their first apartment together. Logan was standing behind her and had his arms wrapped around, they both had huge smiles on their faces.
"I can't believe you have all these pictures," Veronica commented to her mom who just came back from the store across the street with a few groceries.
"Yeah, you're dad has been kind enough to send them to me over the years," she smiled and put the grocery bag on the counter.
"Why is this picture the one on your refrigerator?" she asked taking it off and looking at it fondly.
"When your dad sent me that picture it made me so incredibly happy because I could see you were really in love," she said with tears in her eyes.
"Really?" Veronica found herself choking up as well.
"Yeah, it just radiates from the picture. You have such a wall up so much of the time, I know most of that is my fault, but there I can see your wall is down," she took out a bottle of juice and poured each of them a glass, "You know Keith told me over the years about Logan and while I could tell he didn't really trust him I knew that this guy was just what you needed. He's clearly someone who will stand his ground with you and love you unconditionally," she wiped a tear from her cheek.
"I've hurt him a lot over the years," Veronica admitted sitting down on the sofa.
"I think you get that from me, the hurting the people we love because it scares us," her mom said sitting down next to her.
"But I would never walk away from my child," Veronica said harshly.
"Consider yourself lucky you have a lot fewer demons than I do," her mom tried to put her arm around Veronica but Veronica stood up quickly.
"I need to do some work on my laptop for a while, I'll be at a nearby cafe," she said as she grabbed her bag and headed out the door. Just as the door closed behind her she nearly broke down into tears but pulled herself together with a few deep breaths and went to her car.
While at the cafe Veronica got an email from an Earl Livingston about some missing jewelry he needed her help with resolving. She replied to the guy, who didn't leave a phone number, that she'd be in touch with him as soon as she could once she was finished with the case she was on at the moment. She asked him to send her any information he could so she could start the research immediately. He replied with very little helpful information, she assumed this would be one of the difficult clients but that happened more often than not.
A few minutes later her father called her and she answered ever so slightly annoyed.
"I didn't realize you'd been in contact with mom so much over the years," she said with a bite.
"Yeah, despite everything she'd done to us I couldn't not share what a wonderful person you'd grown into," he explained.
"The flattery won't work this time, I don't understand, if you wanted to share so much about me with her why didn't you try to get me to talk to her again," she said frustrated.
"Because I knew you weren't ready and I told your mom that when you were ready that you'd reach out to her."
"But she ended up contacting me!"
"Yeah, I guess she just needed you, you're an adult you can walk away if you want but she really has changed a lot Veronica. She's your mom, I think you should give her another chance."
"What if she disappears on me again?" she said getting emotional against her own will.
"She might but that's a part of life, giving people seconds and third chances if you love them or until you have no more chances left to give them. Humans do stupid things, it's part of being human," he said wisely.
"When did you become the Dalai Lama?"
"I can't ignore my calling dear," he said and they said goodbye.
A few days went by and Veronica finished up the case by proving it wasn't her mother who stole the money but the vice president actually. Her mother even got her job back and over the few days Veronica really did see her mother had changed so much. They had gotten closer and all that had gone wrong between them over the years had fallen away into the past.
"I wish you didn't have to leave, it's been so great having you around," her mother said as they stood at Veronica's car as she was about to leave.
"It has been great, I'm so glad you've gotten to such a good place mom. Maybe sometime you could visit Logan and I?" Veronica suggested.
"I'd love to, you have a great guy you know? He's brought out a wonderful peacefulness in you," she said touching Veronica's arm as if she wanted to remember everything about this moment before she left.
"Yeah, it took me a while to figure out how great he really was."
"You got that from me, fight against it, the trust issues will leave you alone in the end," she said as they hugged and Veronica headed back home.
Veronica really wanted to head back to the house, she missed Logan and Lucy, but she had to meet with the most recent client to try to get more information out of him so she could do her job. She emailed him to meet her at her office, the sun was setting and she was hoping she could get this over with so she could get back home before Lucy's bedtime.
After a very long drive, and leaving a text for Logan that she'd be home soon, she arrived at her office. She grabbed a latte from the coffee shop next door and headed upstairs to meet with Mr. Livingston. She noticed a glow coming from her office in the hallway and walked up to the door carefully holding onto her taser in her bag just in case.
As she opened the door she realized it was already unlocked so carefully she walked inside trying to make as little noise as possible. As she stepped inside her heart seemed to stop.