Shame on Him
Author:Tara Sivec

“And you’re in over your head. You can’t handle this case. Go back to your courtroom and stop trying to be something you’re not,” he informs me.

I’m so tired of people assuming they know what I can and can’t handle. All people see when they look at me are three-piece suits and a brain, not someone who can solve a murder and kick Dallas Osborne’s arrogant behind.

“You have no idea what I’m capable of, you smug bastard.”

Shouldering past him, I make it to my car and slam the door closed behind me. I let myself fall apart just a little when I see that Dallas is no longer watching me and is already ringing the doorbell. My hands shake and I swallow past the lump in my throat. All my life someone has been trying to tell me what to do and I’m sick and tired of it. First my parents and now Dallas. I’m tired of being the woman who does as she’s told. And on top of all that, now I have to worry about Dallas informing Ted that I was impersonating someone from the media to get close to a suspect.

Pulling my cell phone out of my purse, I make a call to my secretary at the law firm.

“Candace, I need you to pull up a case the firm handled about ten years ago for the Bay Corporation. I need an address for one of the members of the class-action lawsuit. His name is Andrew Jameson.”

As I wait on the line for Candace to search through the archives on the computer, I try not to think about the fact that I’m doing something illegal right now that could compromise everything I’ve worked for over the last seventeen years. I’m crossing a line.

Candace gets back on the phone and tells me she’ll have to call me back because it’s going to take her a while to find the file, which ends up being perfect.

My next call is to Paige. Right now, her help is equally important.

“I’m coming over. I need to borrow some clothes.”

I ignore her squeal of delight through the phone line and remind myself that I’m doing what I need to do to make it as a private investigator.

Hopefully I don’t regret it.


Will you hold still? I can’t get the eyeliner on right if you keep moving,” Paige complains as she comes at me again with the black eye pencil.

“Is all of this really necessary? I just wanted to borrow some jeans and a T-shirt,” I complain.

Paige ignores me and finishes up with my eye, taking a step back to admire her work.

“Dallas is going to be eating out of your hand when he sees you in this.”

I roll my eyes at her and stand up from the edge of her bed? making my way over to the full-length mirror hanging behind her door. “Is he a horse? I don’t want Dallas eating out of my hand. I couldn’t care less if I ever see that jerk again.”

“Yeah, good luck with that. I thought the same thing about Matt before I first met him,” Paige replies with a smile.

I pause in front of the mirror and my jaw drops open.

“It’s okay; you don’t have to thank me. The look on your face is payment enough. You should go to dinner at your parents’ house looking like this. Maybe then they’ll take you seriously about not wanting to be a lawyer anymore.”

I couldn’t even speak if I wanted to. I look like Kennedy—like I could beat up a stranger in the street and not give it a second thought. Since Paige and I are roughly the same height, her skinny Seven jeans fit me like a glove. She gave me a pair of knee-high black Gucci boots with silver buckles on the side, a white low-cut T-shirt, and a body-hugging black leather jacket.

My normally poker-straight brown hair has been curled into gentle waves that frame my face and the smoky eye makeup she artfully applied makes my boring brown eyes pop.

The best part is, I don’t feel like a fraud in this outfit. I feel confident and sexy and like I could take on the world. And by the world, I mean my parents.

“Could you imagine if I showed up to dinner in this? They would have a heart attack,” I whisper.

“Now all you need are a few tats and a nose piercing,” Paige jokes.

My cheeks immediately redden at her words. A few weeks ago in a moment of complete self-pity and defiance, I got my first tattoo. I didn’t tell anyone, not even my best friends. I was driving home from the courthouse, exhausted and frustrated after a phone call with my father where once again he had asked me what I had done so wrong that the firm hadn’t announced me as partner yet.

The red neon sign for a tattoo shop caught my eye at a red light. When the light turned green, I stepped on the gas, cut across three lanes of traffic, and rushed inside.

It’s Paige’s turn to stare at me with her eyes wide and her mouth dropped open. “Oh, my God. Lorelei Warner, did you get a tattoo?”

My cell phone beeps loudly on Paige’s side table and I rush over to grab it, rescuing myself from having to explain. It’s a message from Candace with the address for Andrew Jameson.

“I have to go. I just got the address I was waiting for,” I tell Paige as I shove my cell phone into my bag. Before I walk out the door, I quickly grab on to her and give her a hug.

“Thank you for this,” I tell her softly before pulling away.

“It’s just a little makeup and different clothes. It won’t solve this case for you, but it sure as hell will give you some confidence. You look hot. And if you see Dallas, tell him to suck it,” she says with a laugh.

Dallas makes me feel small and insignificant, just like my parents. I don’t care how much he makes my insides flutter—if I never see him again, it will be too soon.

Paige’s voice stops me as I reach her front door. “Oh, and Lorelei, you better tell me all about this tattoo when you’re finished.”

Double-checking the address in Candace’s text and the location on my GPS, I stare at the house I’m parked in front of.

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