Shame on You
Author:Tara Sivec

I snatch the paper out of his hand and flip to the classifieds. Right smack in the middle of the page is fool me once in big, bold letters. Underneath are the words “Looking for a good time?! Call Fool Me Once at 555-205-7201 for all of your escort needs. We have blondes, brunettes, and redheads. Make sure to ask about the Busted Back Door Special!”

“SON OF A BITCH!” I shout as I crumble up the paper and throw it in the trash.

“The guys at the VFW all want to know if they can get a friends-and-family discount. Tell me the truth, Kennedy. Is this business a front for prostitution?” my dad demands. “Are you a hooker? And when did your back door get busted? Is that a euphemism for something?”

Before I can set him straight, I feel my phone vibrate in my back pocket. Pulling it out, I see Griffin’s name on the display and I growl into the phone when I answer it. “You are in big, big trouble.”

He laughs through the line and I clench my teeth so hard I’m afraid I might break a few off as I watch my dad waltz over to Lorelei’s empty desk and answer one of the ringing lines.

“You want to pay how much? Wow. Let me get your name and number and get back to you,” my dad tells the person on the other end of the line.

“Kennedy!” he whisper-yells to me as he covers the mouthpiece with his hand. “This guy says he’ll pay fifteen hundred dollars to bust your back door. I don’t know why he’d pay that much to break a door, but I’m going to tell him you’re game. We can always get it fixed later. I didn’t realize prostitutes made so much money for weird stuff. I thought they just gave happy endings. I’m in the wrong business. I should be a pimp.”

I groan loudly at my dad as he goes back to his phone call.

“What’s wrong, Kennedy? I thought you would appreciate the fact that business is booming,” Griffin says.

“This is NOT funny, Griffin.”

He laughs again and it takes everything in me not to throw my phone against the wall.

“No, you’re right. It’s not funny,” he tells me in a moment of seriousness. “It’s HILARIOUS! Sorry, I don’t have time to talk. Just got a tip on McFadden and I’m pulling into the location he was spotted at. Talk to you soon. Go pick out something pretty to wear on our date. A dress would be perfect so I can stare at your gorgeous legs.”

I hang up on him mid-laugh, walk over to my dad, snatch the phone away from his ear, and slam the receiver down.

“Heeeey, I was just in the middle of negotiating you a higher price for this back-door thing,” he complains.

“Paige, get the state police on the line. Griffin e-mailed them this morning and now he’s got a bead on McFadden. I need to find out where he is and get there ASAP,” I tell her as I head for the door. “Dad, help Paige man the phones until Lorelei gets out of court. And for the love of all that is holy, stop making deals with these idiots.”

“I hope when your back door gets busted and you make a bunch of cash you get in a better mood. You’re too grumpy,” my dad complains as I throw open the door and ignore Paige’s hysterical laughter.

GD busting-back-door requests.





CHAPTER 16




It takes most of the day for Paige to finally get back to me on where Griffin is. Through her powers of persuasion, she found out that Griffin lied and he really wasn’t about ready to nab McFadden when he called me earlier. He was just following a few leads and coming up empty, thank God. I really don’t know how Paige did it, and I sort of don’t want to know since it probably now involves free anal from one of us, but she was able to convince the police to send Griffin a text with the wrong address in it.

Since he was currently working with them on leads, it wouldn’t be weird that they’d send him a text. When she called me with the news, all she told me was that when I got there, I should make sure to have my camera phone ready.

Pulling up to the Hyatt in Mishawaka, I call Paige as I make my way inside and step into the elevator.

“Are you sure this is the right place? Why did you send him to a hotel?” I ask her as I press the button for the third floor.

“One of my friends from college is having her bachelorette party there tonight. I may have called and told her that a man, matching Griffin’s description, would be knocking on the door claiming to be a bounty hunter, but he’s really a stripper,” she informs me. “I also told her that no matter how much he denies it, she should just play along.”

Oh no.

“Paige, you didn’t.”

The elevator dings and the doors open up to the third floor and I can already hear screams and catcalls coming from a room at the end of the hall.

“You can thank me later. Take lots of pictures!”

I end the call and shove the phone into my pocket as the screaming and cheering gets louder and louder the closer I get to room 325. Taking a deep breath, I knock loudly on the door. It’s immediately flung open and a woman wearing a tiara and a sash that reads bride to be greets me with a huge smile.

“Yaaaaay, another guest! You’re just in time,” she squeals as she grabs my arm and drags me into the room. All I see is a group of twenty or so drunk women huddled in a circle.

The bride-to-be shoves a few of the women aside and pulls me front and center of the circle and my mouth drops open when I see Griffin sitting in a hotel chair shirtless, with a pink feather boa draped around his neck, swatting away hands that are reaching for the button of his jeans.

“Seriously, ladies, it’s flattering that you think I’m a stripper, but I really need to get back to work.” He tries to get up from the chair and five women all huddle behind him, shoving him back down in his seat by pushing on his shoulders.

“Wow, you guys are freakishly strong,” he mutters as one of the girls gets down on her knees by his feet and starts untying his boot to the tune of Kid Rock’s “Cowboy.”

I really need to help him. It’s all fun and games until some other woman tries to undress him. Watching them manhandle him is making me stabby. I’m kind of struck dumb by the sight of him with his shirt off. He doesn’t have a six-pack—he has a ninety-five-pack. And when did he get a tattoo above his left pec? It’s the United States Army insignia and I have the sudden urge to run my fingers over it. And then my tongue.