Shame on You
Author:Tara Sivec

According to the file, he’s fifty years old, has never been married, and is kind of a hermit. I get to the top step and the loud rumble of a motorcycle has me whipping my head around and my hand automatically going for my gun. I didn’t see anything in the notes about McFadden owning a motorcycle, but you can never be too sure about these things.

I watch as a Heritage Softail Classic Harley pulls to a stop right in front of the house and feel my insides quiver. Even though this guy is wearing a helmet and I haven’t seen his face yet, I can already tell this isn’t my guy. McFadden is five foot five and a hundred twenty-five pounds soaking wet; this guy is wearing a tight, white T-shirt and the muscles in his biceps tighten as he clutches the handlebars and swings his leg over the seat of the bike.

With his back to me while he pockets the bike key, I have time to appreciate him. And by appreciate, I mean ogle. I’m staring at his ass and I’m not ashamed to admit it. Whoever this guy is, he has an amazing ass. I watch as he reaches up and slides his helmet off and I take note of the way his shirt stretches across the muscles of his back.

I need to get laid. I really, really need to get laid. I’m standing on the front porch of a bail jumper’s house panting like a dog.

This must be the guy my father hired. I can see his service pistol secured in the waistband of his jeans at his back. It’s a Beretta M9—the exact same gun I use. Maybe my father had the right idea hiring this guy. I don’t need the help, but at least he’ll be pretty to look at. And maybe if he’s lucky, I’ll throw him a bone. Or he can throw me his bone. My girly bits tingle just thinking about being anywhere near this guy and his bone.

“Come on, pretty boy. Turn around so I can see your face,” I whisper to myself as he secures his helmet to the back of the bike and finally turns to face me.

All thoughts of bones, humping, and great asses fly out the window and my mouth drops open in complete and utter shock.

This isn’t happening. This is SO not happening right now.

The corner of his mouth tips up in a panty-dropping grin, showcasing the dimple on his left cheek, and I want to stomp my feet and throw a temper tantrum right now because he knows I was staring at his ass. He knows I was standing here on this porch thinking about all of the dirty things I could do to him. He knows it and he’s enjoying every minute of it, the rat bastard.

“What the hell are you doing here?” I shout angrily as I stomp down the steps and meet him in the middle of the sidewalk.

“It’s nice to see you too, gorgeous. It’s been a while.”

Griffin Crawford. My ex-husband’s best friend and the guy I once had a massive crush on in high school. Even though I never did anything stupid like act on my attraction to him back in the day, he still knew. Somehow, he knew and he used it to piss me off on a regular basis. Griffin went to high school with me and Alex and he also followed us into the army. On my last tour in Afghanistan, it was Griffin whom I spent months with in the desert, fighting for our lives. It was Griffin whom I confided in that I thought something was off with Alex back home. It was Griffin who convinced me that Alex and I were just going through a rough patch, and that once I got back home, everything would be fine, and we’d work things out.

A few months after I kicked Alex’s sorry, cheating ass out of the house, I found out Griffin knew about the affair the entire time.

He knew and he had let me cry on his shoulder wondering what the hell was wrong. He let me pour my heart out to him day after day and he never said a word. Childish teasing aside, through the years, Griffin became one of my best friends too. You would think that would guarantee me a little bit of loyalty. But obviously, since I don’t have a penis, I wasn’t cool enough for the truth.

“Don’t call me gorgeous and don’t waltz in here like it’s no big deal,” I growl at him. “I don’t know what angle you’re playing at by getting my father to hire you, but you can just get your ass back on that bike. I am NOT working with you.”

Griffin takes a step closer to me and pushes his hands into the front pockets of his jeans.

“Are you referring to the ass you were staring at when I pulled up? I just want to make sure I’m understanding you correctly,” he says with that stupid, cocky grin.

“Oh, get over yourself! I have a job to do and I don’t need you fucking everything up. I prefer to work with honest, loyal people. Not backstabbing, lying assholes,” I fire at him.

I’m actually shocked to see the cockiness wiped right off his face, replaced by a look of regret and anger as he stares down at me.

“I never lied to you, Kennedy. I was in the dark about Alex just as much as you were. If you stopped avoiding me and ignoring all my calls and texts at any point over the last few months, I could have explained it to you,” he tells me, moving even closer until I have to crane my neck to see his face.

I’m pretty tall, but Griffin towers over me at six foot four. Alex and I are the exact same height. Maybe that’s why I always felt more safe and protected when I was in combat with Griffin. Or when I was anywhere in the same vicinity as him. Griffin always has a five-o’clock shadow and I’ve never seen him in anything other than a T-shirt, jeans, and shit-kicker boots. Where pretty boy Alex is a lover (of anything with a vagina), Griffin is a fighter and intimidates everyone he comes in contact with. Except for me.

If he didn’t have such a big attitude and so many muscles, I’d say he could pass for a surfer boy with his blue eyes and dark blond hair that he usually keeps military short, but it had grown out a bit on top since the last time I’d seen him.