Shame on You
Author:Tara Sivec

“What?” I ask, looking back and forth between them.

“Nothing, it’s nothing,” Ted says as he picks up the pistol and busies himself loading it.

I walk up and snatch the gun out of his hand and smack it back down on the ledge.

“Speak.”

“Ruff!” Bobby pipes up from behind me.

Without taking my eyes off Ted, I reach back and smack Bobby in the stomach, feeling satisfied when he lets out a painful oof.

Ted has always been the easiest one to break. Even when we were little and he was eight and I was four. All I had to do was glare at him and he would sing like a canary. Narrowing my eyes and putting my hands on my hips, it only takes a few seconds before Ted bursts.

“I don’t understand how in all these years you never noticed that he TOTALLY has a thing for you. He’s been in love with you since high school and only joined the army because you did and he wanted to make sure you were safe and then made sure to live close enough to you to keep an eye on you. Haven’t you ever wondered why he never got married himself? YOU’RE his dream girl, not stupid Megan Fox. Alex is such an asshole that he might have just married you so Griffin couldn’t have you.”

Ted finally shuts up and lets out a huge sigh of relief at having unloaded a huge pile of shit right at my feet that I have no idea what to do with. This cannot really be happening right now.

“Jesus, Ted. When did you grow ovaries?” Bobby complains with a sad shake of his head.

“Whew, that felt good. That’s been like a brick on my chest for years,” Ted says.

A smile. Like it’s no big deal. I don’t even know which part of that confession to process first. Could it be possible that Alex only married me so Griffin couldn’t? Thinking back over our marriage and all of the ups and downs, mostly downs, it could very well be true. And if Griffin really was in love with me, why the hell didn’t he ever say anything sooner? I mean seriously? Aside from my daughters, whom I wouldn’t trade for the world, there is nothing else even remotely memorable about my marriage to Alex.

“This is BULLSHIT!” I finally yell with a stomp of my foot. “He had plenty of time to make his move. Prom. FUCKING PROM! I had a crush on him. I was thinking about dumping Alex for him. We were going to go to prom together and everything would have been beautiful, but he ditched me and I married Alex!”

Bobby cocks his head at me. “Wasn’t that like, twenty years ago? Who cares about prom? Let it go.”

“Let it go?! LET IT GO?! I CARE ABOUT PROM! There is no statute of limitations on being angry about getting ditched two days before prom,” I argue indignantly.

Don’t judge me. I don’t care if it was eighty years ago. I had bought a dress and matching shoes. A DRESS. I was going to wear a fucking dress for him and most likely give him my virginity. I’m allowed to be angry about that for as long as I want. Plus, being angry about prom helps me to not think about the fact that he’s been carrying a torch around for me all of these years and never said anything.

Why the hell would anyone have a thing for me that long? I’m nothing special. I’m just me. Griffin is gorgeous, funny, sweet, helpful, a good listener, a great friend, beats up my ex-husband for me, and loves my girls unconditionally. He even puts up with my insane family. I love that about him. I love everything about him, even his stupid, cocky attitude.

Son of a bitch!

All thoughts of Steven Lawson/Sven Mendleson fly from my mind. When in the hell did I fall in love with Griffin Crawford??

GD Griffin Crawford!





CHAPTER 18




Sitting all alone in the dark on the floor of Fool Me Once at midnight on a Wednesday should tell you just how fantastic I’m doing right now. As soon as I left the shooting range, I sent a text to Alex and told him he was keeping the girls for a few more days because I had work to do.

It wasn’t completely a lie. I did have work to do. But I also had thoughts to think. Lots of thoughts. Important thoughts. Thoughts that couldn’t be thunk with a twelve-year-old complaining that I’m the worst mom in the world and a nine-year-old begging me to send her to military school.

It’s not their fault their father is an asshole. They deserve a man in their lives who will put them first. Griffin would put them first. Griffin does put them first. He also manages to somehow put me first as well. How could I have been so blind?

As I continue to beat myself up, my thoughts are interrupted by a soft knock on the glass door to the building. Pushing myself up off the floor, I rest my hand on the butt of the gun in my holster as I head toward the door and wonder who the hell would be knocking this late at night. I stop in my tracks when I look up and see Griffin standing on the other side of the glass.

How the hell did he even know I was here?

The streetlight on the sidewalk shines down on him and I cover the remaining distance to the door in a trance, my eyes never leaving his. He stares down at me as I reach up and turn the deadbolt on the door and push it open for him. I take a few steps back to give him room to come in and he relocks the door without looking away from me.

Why did I never see this before? Why did I never notice the way he looks at me: like I’m the most important person in his world? Why did I never appreciate him and love him like he deserved?

“I drove by your house but didn’t see your car. Took a chance that you’d be here.”

He opens his mouth to say something else and I quickly reach my hand up and place it over his lips. His eyes soften as he looks down at me.

“No more talking. Not right now,” I whisper to him.

Right now I don’t want to argue with him and I don’t want to hash out all of the details. I just want to feel.

Griffin nods his head in agreement and I drop my hand.