I grit my teeth and clench my fists, trying to get my anger under control. I only have myself to be pissed at. I played this all wrong. The last year of my life has been miserable and fucking lonely, and the last two weeks were the best I’ve never known. I’m not letting it slip through my fingers so easily. One way or another, she’s going to listen to me. “As long as I’m somewhere with her, I’ll take it.” It’s the truth. I’ll take my girl any way I can get her. I may be in over my head with her, but that’s fine with me. I’ll drown in her, and it will be the sweetest death a man could ever ask for.
I walk out of the bar and make it in time to see her get into Butch’s car. I know they’re just friends, but fuck does it burn to see him taking care of her. She was hurting when I walked into the bar, and it isn’t Butch she should have been calling out for. No, it should’ve been me. But I fucked up. I want to be the man she runs to when she needs someone to lean on. I’d almost gotten all her trust, only to see it go up in smoke.
“Fuck!” I scream out to the empty parking lot before heading to my cruiser. I don’t give it a thought. I flip on the blue lights and the siren, chasing after them.
Butch pulls to the side of the road and I follow suit, turning off the siren but leaving the lights on. Butch goes to open his door, probably to argue with me, but I give him the same voice I used on thugs on the streets of Chicago when I worked patrol.
“Hands on the wheel and don’t so much as fucking move a finger.” It’s a dick move, using my power for my own ends, but I can’t bring myself to care. There isn’t anything I won’t do to have my sweet Josephine, even pissing a year-old case down the drain. I’ll find another way.
I go over to the passenger side, pulling the door open. Reaching in, I pop her seatbelt and pull her out of the car and sling her over my shoulder. She gives me a little bit of a fight, but she’s just so tiny it’s easy to get her under control.
Butch hops out of the car and I stop looking at him. I can tell from the indecisive look on his face that he’s debating what he wants to do. He may want to come at me, but I’m still the Sheriff.
“You made her cry. I’ve never seen her cry before, Law.”
His words are like stones dropping into water. The first impact is brutal, the aftermath rips through my body, reaching to my soul. I did the very thing I was trying to prevent, and now I’m going to lay my cards on the table.
“I’m going to fix it,” I tell him, letting all my emotion out in my words. I won’t get any points with Josephine if I knock her best friend out on the side of the highway because she’s not going with him. Over my fucking dead body.
“I’m not fucking with you, Law. Fix it or Paine and I will be so far up your ass…”
“Butch! What the fuck? You’re just going to let this lying cheating bastard take me?” She starts kicking her feet again, and I slap her ass. I’m trying to get her under control before she tries to buck off my shoulder and I land her ass on the hard blacktop.
“Call me in the morning, Joey.” Butch gets back in his car and takes off, but Josephine still yells until she realizes he’s gone.
I go to the passenger side of the cruiser and place her on her feet, caging her in. She bucks against me, trying to free herself. She’s hitting at my chest while tears stream down her face. Each verbal blow she lands is a direct hit to my heart.
“I fucking loved you! But I was just some dirty secret to you. Not good enough to take out in public. Not good enough to meet your parents.”
When the fight finally leaves her body, getting all of what she was holding in out, she sags against the car.
I drop to my knees in front of her, my hands engulfing her narrow hips, looking up as she looks down at me. The moon makes her big green eyes seem brighter than normal, and my heart aches twice as hard.
“You were right about my dirty secrets.” She starts to push my hands off her hips, but I just hold her tighter. “They are my secrets that I’ve been trying to hide from you. I didn’t want them touching you. I don’t want them anywhere near you.”