Shame on You
Author:Tara Sivec

I always used to ask him why he never settled down and got married since I was sure he’d make an amazing husband and father. He would just shake his head and laugh and tell me that he’d get married when his dream girl became available. Then Alex would always pipe in about Griffin’s celebrity crush—Megan Fox—and make a joke about her being too good for him.

“Well, the pathetic excuse for a man you speak of has gotten worse. He hasn’t seen his daughters in two months. He was supposed to pick them up for dinner tonight and cancelled at the last minute. I’m sure Chloe with an e had episodes of Sesame Street she needed to watch or something.” I try to make light of the situation. I can’t take the heavy stuff right now. I can’t handle thinking about how much I’ve missed having Griffin in my life.

“Chloe with an e? Am I missing something? Is there some other way you spell Chloe?” he asks with a laugh.

“He actually brought her to Uncle Wally and Aunt Janet’s anniversary party a few months ago. He assumed that since he got an invitation before he cheated on me, he’d still be welcome. They stayed long enough for her to introduce herself. ‘Like, hi everyone! I’m Chloe, with an e!’” I say in a singsong, squeaky voice. “Bobby and Ted dragged Alex outside and told him they would use him for target practice if he ever showed his face at one of our family get-togethers again with that whore.”

Even though I wanted to puke when they walked into the restaurant together hand in hand, the night was made all better by watching Alex sob like a baby out in the parking lot. Real tears and everything. It was beautiful. If only he would have wet himself, I could have died a happy woman. Maybe next time.

“He’s an asshole,” Griffin growled.

“Yes, yes he is. Unfortunately though, there’s nothing I can do about his assholishness. He’s going to continue to let the girls down and all I can do is sit back and pick up the pieces,” I tell him with a sigh. “Look, I don’t want to talk about this anymore. All I want to think about right now is catching McFadden because he’s really pissing me off. Thank you for saving my ass when he tried shooting at me. I appreciate it. But I work alone.”

It’s one thing to go easy on the guy so that he can still be in Meadow’s and Livia’s lives, it’s a whole other thing to work side by side with him and try not to think about banging him. Or if he has birthmarks in any special places. Or tattoos that can only be seen with his pants off.

“I figured you’d say that. Which is why I came here tonight with a proposition for you,” Griffin tells me, one side of his mouth tipping up into his signature grin.

I’m always a sucker for this man’s smile and will agree to anything when he aims it in my direction. I should know by now just to run away when I see it.

“Fine. What’s your proposition?” I ask.

Obviously, I’m a moron.

“How about a little wager? We’ll each do our own separate thing. I didn’t reenlist with the army and I’m on furlough from the police force right now because of budget cuts, so I need the work. But I’ll leave you alone to chase after McFadden. If you catch him first, you win.”

Who doesn’t like a little bet? My heritage practically screams gambling aficionado; we go to the church and bet on simulcast horse racing all in the name of Jesus. If a Notre Dame game starts to get a little boring (don’t tell my father I said that), we’ll start placing bets on anything we can think of.

“I’ve got five on that super fan in the first row taking his shirt off before the third quarter.”

“Double or nothing on the announcer saying the phrase ‘ball and sack’ in the same sentence by the end of the quarter.”

“I’ll wash your car for a week if there’s a Budweiser commercial during the next break.”

“What do I win, since we both know I’m going to get him first?” I ask with my own cocky smile.

“If you bring him in before I do, I’ll let you get in one good solid punch to make up for the hurt I caused you,” he replies.

Oh, man. He knows exactly how to sweet-talk a girl.

“Deal.”

I quickly accept the bargain with a firm shake of his hand and as he’s opening the front door to leave, my brain finally gets with the program and I realize I just agreed to this thing without asking what he would get if he caught McFadden first.

“Wait!” I shout to him as he gets to the bottom step and heads toward his motorcycle parked at the curb. “I know it’s a long shot, but what do you win if you catch him first?”

Griffin grabs his helmet and after securing it on his head and swinging his leg to straddle the bike, he turns to look at me, and son of a bitch if I can’t see the twinkle in his eyes through the visor of the helmet.

“If I win, you have to go on a date with me.”

He starts up the bike with a roar of the engine and peels away from the curb, and I swear to God I can hear him laughing as he takes off down the street.

I walk back into the house with a slam of the front door and stand in my foyer cursing myself and my stupidity.

GD gambling problem.





CHAPTER 8




Come on, ladies—harder! Faster!”

I hear a snicker from the corner of the exercise room at the fitness center and turn to see Paige thrusting her hips in the general direction of the heavy bag instead of punching it.

“Keep it up, McCarty, and you’re going to run laps around the gym,” I threaten her.

Paige gives me the finger and a sweet smile before turning back to the bag and punching it for all she’s worth. I scan the rest of my class of about twenty women ranging in ages from sixteen to sixty and I smile at the progress they’ve made in the last few months. Most of them couldn’t have hurt a fly when they walked in this room. Now, after a lot of hands-on instruction and some added kickboxing cardio, they can take down men twice their size.