Shame on You
Author:Tara Sivec

“Look, how about you just let him go and deal with me?” I ask him, trying to plead with the tiniest bit of humanity I hope he still has left in him.

“Sorry, no can do. I don’t trust either of you. You’re each getting a bullet to the brain.”

Okay, maybe not. On to Plan B.

Except I don’t have a Plan B. I’m pretty sure I didn’t even have a Plan A.

“I don’t think that will be necessary, Steve.”

Pure elation and downright dread fight in the pit of my stomach when I hear the sound of Griffin’s voice and the click of a gun that I’m pretty sure he has aimed at Steve’s head right at this moment.

I’m so happy he’s here that I want jump up and down and point and laugh in Steve’s face. But I’m also scared to death that he’s here right now. What if he gets hurt? Griffin can’t get hurt just because of me. Especially when he doesn’t even know I love him.

“What are you going to do, hotshot? Shoot both of us? In case you haven’t noticed, there are two of us with guns and only one of you,” Steve taunts Griffin.

We all turn at the same time and look at the pothead standing on the other side of me, swaying back and forth, twirling his gun through the air like he’s writing his name with a Fourth of July sparkler.

“Oh, for fuck’s sake, Gunnar, FOCUS!” Steve yells at him.

Gunnar? Note to self: Never name any future children that I may or may not have Gunnar. They will indeed be brainless twits.

Gunnar jumps into action, sort of, and stands at attention with his gun held up to his forehead and his chest puffed out.

As soon as I look away from him, I feel Steve remove the gun from the back of my head and in a flash, he twists around and pistol-whips Griffin against the side of his face, taking him by surprise. I watch as Griffin’s gun goes flying through the air and he stumbles backward a few steps. He gains his footing and shakes the cobwebs from his head. With a growl, he ducks his head and charges right at Steve, tackling him to the ground like a linebacker.

McFadden stands in the middle of the clearing flapping his arms wildly and screaming as he jumps up and down in place like a six-year-old girl throwing a fit in the toy store.

While Gunnar is distracted by Steve and Griffin’s scuffle and McFadden losing his ever-loving mind, I take that moment to pull my arm back and throw an uppercut. His eyes roll into the back of his head as soon as my fist makes contact and he crumbles to the ground at my feet.

I turn around with a satisfied look on my face when I see Steve kick both of his feet into Griffin’s chest and send him soaring backward, knocking the wind out of him when he lands. While Griffin groans and tries to catch his breath, Steve rolls over and grabs one of the fallen guns, jumps up with blood dripping from his mouth and nose and aims the gun at me.

Pulling the slide back to load the first bullet into the chamber, he winks at me while I watch his finger tighten on the trigger. There’s nothing I can do at this point but squeeze my eyes closed and brace myself for the pain.

I hear a loud yell of protest and fear that comes from Griffin, along with the unmistakable sound of the gun going off. What feels like a brick wall crashes into the side of me and I’m slammed down roughly into the dirt and broken cornstalks. I can’t breathe with the heavy weight on top of me and all I can think about is that being shot hurts a whole fucking lot more than I thought it would.

Another shot goes off and it makes me flinch and finally open my eyes. When I don’t see a white light or any golden gates, I realize I’m not dead. I’m flat on the ground with Griffin on top of me.

“OH MY GOD, I SHOT HIM! Oh no, I’m going to puke. It’s happening. Right now. I’m going to be sick,” McFadden yells as he bends over at the waist and dry-heaves next to a screaming Steve who holds on to the bloody mess of what’s left of the hand McFadden shot off.

“Are you okay? Are you hurt?” Griffin asks in a panic as he takes some of his weight off me and runs his hands over every inch of me, checking for bullet holes.

“Jesus, that just took ten years off my life,” he whispers in my ear as he pulls me against him and I bury my face in his neck.

“Seriously, does no one even care that I’m throwing up over here? I need a cold washrag and some 7 Up,” McFadden complains through his heaves.

As good as it feels to be wrapped in Griffin’s arms, knowing that we’re both safe and sound, there’s something I need to do before this goes any further. With a sigh, I gently push Griffin off me and ignore the questioning look on his face as I get up and walk over to McFadden.

Patting him on the back with one hand as he gags, I reach into my back pocket with my other hand and pull out my zip ties. While he’s busy retching, I pull his arms behind his back and secure them together with the pieces of plastic.

“I saved your life and this is the thanks I get?” McFadden complains as he stands up and struggles to move his arms.

I refrain from responding to him, on the grounds that it may result in me murdering him in cold blood in the middle of his precious crop circle. Instead, I leave him there to complain and walk back over to Griffin.

“So, I guess this means you won the bet. You don’t have to go on a date with me now,” he tells me with a cocky grin.

I smile sweetly right back at him. And then I punch him square in the jaw.

Satisfied that this stupid bet can stop looming over my head, I grab on to the front of his shirt, quickly haul him to me before he can complain and plant a kiss square on his mouth. After a few seconds, I pull away and give him my own cocky smile.

“How about we just call it a tie.”

GD stalemate.