Shame on You
Author:Tara Sivec

Ignoring her and the little butterflies in my stomach when I imagine what a date with Griffin would be like, I reach in and grab my cell phone out of the center console of my car and check my e-mail. When I see a fellow investigator’s name at the top, I almost jump up and down in excitement.

“How would you girls feel about getting to work on winning this thing tonight? One of my contacts heard through the grapevine that McFadden is going to be trying to sell his alien hats at Mulligan’s Bar and Grill tonight. If we hurry, we can make it there and catch this idiot. Someone’s got to be drunk enough to buy one and stall him.”

I glance up from my phone to see Lorelei with a huge smile on her face and Paige with an equally large frown.

“What now?” I ask her.

“We are not going out in public looking like this,” she complains, spreading her arms out, indicating her attire.

“You look like you just stepped off the cover of Vogue,” I fire back.

“Okay, fine. YOU aren’t going out in public looking like that.”

She points in the general vicinity of my hair, which is pulled up into a messy bun on the top of my head, and then down to my clothes, which include a pair of black nylon running shorts and a baggy, gray man’s T-shirt with ARMY written in block letters across the chest.

“It’s a college bar. Who gives a shit what I’m wearing?” I complain.

“I give a shit what you’re wearing. And so would McFadden—you’ll stick out like a sore thumb. As your friend, I cannot allow you to do this to yourself,” Paige replies.

“We don’t have time for this. If we don’t hurry, we might miss him. I am NOT losing this bet.”

Paige walks around to the back end of her red VW Bug convertible and opens the trunk.

“Lucky for you, I always come prepared,” she tells me, pulling out three garment bags and a makeup case the size of a suitcase. “Both of you hightail it back inside to the showers. I’ll have the two of you runway ready in less than twenty minutes.”

Lorelei doesn’t put up an ounce of complaint as she turns and hustles back toward the building. Lorelei is always up for one of Paige’s makeovers.

“I don’t need to be runway ready. I need to be ass-kicking ready,” I argue.

“Are you seriously questioning my ability to do both? It’s like you don’t even know me, Kennedy O’Brien. That cuts me deep,” Paige says with a sigh and a pout.

Looking at the time on my cell phone, I mutter and curse to myself as I throw my hands up in the air in defeat and trudge along behind Lorelei. There’s no point in arguing with Paige; she will always win. And honestly, there’s a reason why she is the master at catching cheating spouses: she always looks gorgeous, she’s resourceful, and she never takes no for an answer.

GD model and her guilt trips.





CHAPTER 9




I don’t see him yet, do you?” Paige asks as she scans the crowded bar.

“I can’t see anything through all this fucking mascara,” I complain as I blink my heavy eyelids and look around the packed room.

“Oh, quit your bitching. You look amazing,” Paige replies as she rests an elbow on the edge of the bar and signals the bartender.

Looking down at myself, I must agree. After Lorelei and I took the fastest showers ever, Paige unzipped the first garment bag and pulled out a black, pleated dominatrix-style bustier with a zipper down the front and two black buckles across the waist and a pair of skinny Seven jeans. It was badass and it was totally me. Unfortunately, it was also totally Paige’s size since the clothes she keeps stocked in her car are for her assignments.

As I didn’t have enough time to do anything other than throw on the ill-fitting clothes and hop into the car, Paige jury-rigged my outfit while I drove with a few well-placed safety pins, double-sided tape, and a sewing kit. A pair of tall, pointy-toed matching black boots with buckles on the sides completed the outfit and once they were on and Paige disappeared under the steering wheel while I was stopped at a red light to cuff the bottom of the jeans, you couldn’t even tell they were a mile too long for me.

I might keep the jeans to replace the ones I ruined during my and Griffin’s roll in the grass. Not to be confused with roll in the hay. Even though sometimes I think I want to be confused with a roll in the hay. With Griffin. Naked. In a bed. Or against a wall. Or on a kitchen table.

Shit!

“Could you order me a white wine spritzer, please?” Lorelei asks as she moves to my other side and perches on the edge of a bar stool, wiping the edge of the bar down with a wet wipe before placing her folded hands there.

As Lorelei scrunches up her nose at the bartender when he tosses down a bowl of peanuts in front of her that spill everywhere, I take in her usual work outfit—a cream, formfitting silk button-down blouse, black straight-leg dress pants, and black patent-leather Mary Janes and I have to admit, Paige really is a genius. Not because she had a perfect Lorelei outfit in her bag, but because she backed down when Lorelei threatened to have her committed if she tried to dress her in a red leather minidress and matching thigh-high stiletto boots.

“Sweetie, this is a dive bar. They probably don’t even know what wine is,” Paige informs her with a laugh.

“I’m confused. Why would this McFadden guy even come to a place like this? It’s a college bar. It doesn’t seem like his scene,” Lorelei questions as she looks around.

“Supposedly, he comes here all the time to try and recruit college kids for his cause. I guess drunk twentysomethings must be easy to fool into believing that aliens exist,” I explain as I tug the front of my bustier up a little higher so I’m not arrested for indecent exposure.

“Or drunk twentysomethings are easy to put foil hats on and convince to prance around the bar,” Paige adds.

“That too.”

“Oh my God. Oh no. Oh. My. GOD,” Lorelei whispers as she stares with wide eyes at something over my shoulder.

“Really, it’s not that bad. Just get a rum and Coke or something,” Paige says with a roll of her eyes as she digs in her clutch and pulls out a tube of lip gloss.