Shame on You
Author:Tara Sivec

Son of a bitch.

I don’t have time to sit in a chair for four hours and listen to Sven tell me about his Yorkshire terrier, Mrs. Justin Bieber, and her bowel movements. That dog is as dumb as her namesake. She walks in circles until she gets so dizzy that she falls down. Like those fainting goats on YouTube. Her legs go all stiff and then she just falls to her side and Sven leaves me in my chair with enough foils on my head to communicate with Mars to go running up to her in a screaming panic telling people to call 911. Then the dumbass dog immediately jumps up and starts the process all over again. Mrs. Justin Bieber is an asshole.

“Sorry, I have to be in court in twenty minutes,” Lorelei states, getting up from her own desk and walking toward me. “What happened?”

I do my own shrugging in response and continue with the act that this is just a regular day at the office. A regular day of being shot at and snuggling in the grass with a guy who makes my blood boil.

“Hey, I need you to pull up whatever information you can find on McFadden. My dad didn’t have time to get everything.” Time to change the subject.

“I figured as much. Here you go,” she tells me, handing me a file filled with papers. “Now, back to the issue at hand. Or should I say, tree bark in hair. What happened?”

Taking the file from her hand, I make a production of flipping through the pages, oohing and ahhing at what I see as she stands there tapping her high-heeled foot on the floor.

“Thanks, Lo. Speaking of the bail jumper, how about we switch cases? I think it’s about time you got your feet wet out in the field,” I tell her as Paige begins pulling leaves and grass out of my hair, mumbling to herself about wasted beauty.

Lorelei snorts, shaking her head. “Nice try. I’m pretty sure we have a rule somewhere in our mission statement about how each individual assigned to a case will see the entire thing through, right, Paige?”

Paige nods her head absently as she gives me a reassuring pat on the back before noticing another grass stain by my hip.

“Thou shalt not covet thy friend’s cases. Why do you want to trade?”

I smack Paige’s hands away from my hip and shoot her a dirty look.

“Really? The Ten Commandments are in our mission statement?” I ask irritably.

“Why are you changing the subject?” Lorelei demands.

Because I cannot work with Griffin.

“Because this is going to be a pretty boring, easy case. Perfect for one of you to handle to get some experience behind you,” I lie.

“A boring, easy case doesn’t usually involve coming back to the office looking like roadkill,” Paige says.

“Gee, thank you so much,” I tell her sarcastically.

“Fresh roadkill, but roadkill nonetheless,” she replies with a shrug. “Spill it.”

I can question insurgents in the middle of war-torn Afghanistan, but I am no match for these two. It only takes a few seconds of their stare-down before I cave.

“I WAS SHOT AT! I saw my life flash before me!”

Lorelei rolls her eyes at me. “You love being shot at—it gives you a cheap thrill. Try again.”

GD friends.

“FINE! Griffin Crawford showed up at McFadden’s house. On a HARLEY. And dove on top of me to protect me when McFadden started shooting. And my father hired him to work on this case. Can you believe that? My own father is a traitor.”

Paige lets out a low whistle under her breath. “A Harley? Oh, man. You’re screwed.”

“She speaks the truth,” Lorelei adds as she grabs her leather briefcase and Coach purse and moves toward the door. “You’ve watched every season of Sons of Anarchy thirty-seven times and instead of porn hidden under your mattress, you have American Iron and Harley-Davidson’s HOG magazines. You’re definitely screwed.”

Lorelei blows us a kiss as she exits the office to get to court and I turn to face Paige with a sigh.

“So, what kind of bike does he have?” she asks.

“Oh my God, it’s a Heritage Softail Classic with a Twin Cam engine, laced wheels with whitewalls, and studded leather. It’s beautiful,” I tell her as I close my eyes and picture the bike in my head. The bike with me on the back of it, my body draped around Griffin, and my arms clutching his waist.

Shit!

“What the hell am I supposed to do? I can’t work with Griffin,” I complain.

“You’re right. You’re absolutely right. There is no way you can work with that man under these conditions. It’s a tragedy and I am going to do something about it.” Paige grabs her cell phone from her desk and starts scrolling through her contacts.

What would I do without my friends? Seriously? I knew Paige wouldn’t let me down. I know my father gave me this case and transferring it to another firm is going to piss him off, but he’ll just have to deal with it. Paige understands what a bad idea it would be for me to be anywhere near Griffin, Harley or no Harley. I don’t trust him. I can’t work with someone I don’t trust. Especially when he’s a cocky smartass with too many muscles. And a Harley. A fucking Harley.

“Hello, darling, it’s Paige,” she says into her phone. “I need your help. It’s an emergency.”

I can always count on my friends. This makes me feel warm and fuzzy to know she’s got my back.

“No, not for me, for Kennedy,” she continues, before turning to face me and staring me up and down before shaking her head sadly at me.

What the hell is she doing? She doesn’t need to look at me like that just to call another PI firm a few towns over for some additional help.

“Yes, I think it has to be today. She can’t go on like this anymore,” Paige adds. “Perfect! You are a lifesaver. Kiss, kiss. We’ll see you in twenty.”

Paige hangs up the phone and walks around her desk to retrieve her purse from one of the drawers.

“Why do we need to go see the guys at Osborne Investigations? Can’t they just send someone over so I can fill them in on the case?”