Only For You(111)

By: Genna Rulon

I grunted my displeasure like an ornery caveman, “More. Now!”

“You talk, I pour. You don’t talk, I don’t pour. The choice is yours.”

“I’m in love with Hunter.”

I nodded to the bottle in his hand demanding recompense for my five words.

“Tell me something I don’t know.”

“I’m in love with Hunter and he doesn’t reciprocate. He is an FBI agent, undercover at Hensley to catch Heath. Every moment I spent with him was a fabrication, part of his cover.”

Griffin whistled his surprise while he poured me a shot, which I raised to my lips without hesitation.

“Both of my best friends are gone. I’m alone.” Griffin cleared his throat with a reproachful look. “You’re right, thank you, Griff. You have been a good friend to me and I’m sorry for diminishing you. Tequila?”

“No harm, Ev. I know you’re feeling rejected and isolated, but I am your friend, too.” I smiled my appreciation while reaching for the shot he refilled. “Your friend who is giving you a limit. Three shots are all you’re getting tonight. Do you want to consider keeping the last on reserve?”

I grabbed the shot and swallowed before he could offer any further wisdom.

“I find myself wondering where he is and what he’s doing. Does he have a girlfriend or a wife who is celebrating his return? Is he sharing drinks with his FBI buddies, swapping stories of the dumb women who fell for them during an operation?”

“He wasn’t faking it, Ev.”

“Yes he was. I offered myself to him, begged him to want me and he patted me on the head like a faithful collie and declined. It was all a lie; he was pretending to be my friend.”

“Cut the crap. He was never just your friend,” Griffin shook his head. “When people feign emotions they only emote when there is an audience to witness their performance. Hunter displayed the most unbridled feelings when he thought no one was looking. It was not fake, Ev, he was not pretending.”

The tequila was making its presence known. The warm tingles were encompassing my body, providing the companionship my lonely heart required. I wanted more of the goodness, but Griffin had made my quota clear.

“I miss Sam,” I lamented.

“Where is your lovely partner-in-crime? I haven’t seen either of you ladies for the last month. I was afraid she was avoiding me.”

“She’s not avoiding you, Griff. She has been…indisposed, on an extended vacation. She will probably be gone a couple more months.” I aimed for nonchalance, trying to hide my concern.

“She just took off for a couple of months and left you behind?” He was skeptical.

I shrugged, “I have to work.”

Griffin studiously read my reaction to his queries, determining there was more to learn.

“What about loverboy?”

“That’s through. Sam learned some things about Robbie she couldn’t live with. She kicked him to the curb a couple of weeks ago.”

“We had a deal Miss, you promised to notify me when she became a free-agent,” Griffin reminded me.

“It isn’t the right time Griff. She’s working through some issues,” I hedged.

“So she took off on an extended vacation to mend her broken heart. That doesn’t ring true. You two have one of the most symbiotic friendships I have ever seen. If she was hurting you’re the first place she would go—and remain—until she was restored. You draw strength from one another, support one another. What aren’t you telling me?”

He was right and each of his words prodded a wound that had yet to scab over. My eyes filled with tears that clung to the rim before spilling over onto the table.

Griffin took my hand in his, consoling me, “Ev, honey, what happened?”

I shook my head, unwilling to break Sam’s trust. Griffin drew a sharp breath and clenched the table’s edge in his huge hands.

“No,” he muttered to himself. “Ev, please tell me it’s not the horror I’m imagining.”

I averted my eyes, unable to meet his stare. I heard the shot glass rattle on the table and raised my eyes to find Griffin trembling with rage. I gasped at the fury emanating from him.

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