So I drink, get drunk, sleep, and go to work.

I repeat the process over and over again, and I’m wondering at what point it starts to get easier.

Five days running now since Micah caught us and demanded I stay away from his sister, and it’s just not fucking working.

I switch to the text I sent Micah yesterday. I’d hoped he had time to calm down, so I threw caution to the wind and reached out.

What can I do to fix this between us?

He’s not responded to me, and it makes me feel like utter shit. I expect it’s how Jorie feels that I’m not responding to her.

I pour myself a vodka on the rocks and take it back to my couch. Listlessly, I put my feet on the coffee table. I rest the glass on my stomach and stare at nothing, knowing I’ll drop even deeper into my morose thoughts.

My phone rings and I look down at it slowly. I want it to be Micah telling me everything’s all right. I want him to tell me it’s okay for me to love Jorie.

Sadly, it’s Bentley, and I tense up wondering if Jorie is downstairs.

“Hello,” I answer hesitantly.

“Sorry to disturb you, Mr. Brooks,” Bentley says in his regal voice that’s pretty impressive. “But I have a Miss Elena Sanchez here to see you. She wanted me to advise you that if you don’t let her up, she’s going to, and I quote, ‘go apeshit and cause so much mayhem and destruction, your stock prices will drop’. What would you like me to do?”

I can’t fucking help the curve to my lips over her audacity, but truth be told… I expected this at some point.

“Go ahead and let her up, Bentley,” I tell him and then push up off the couch. I drain my vodka. By the time I have it refilled, Elena’s walking into my living room.

“Want a drink?” I ask her cordially as I turn her way.

“No, I don’t want a fucking drink,” she snaps at me with fire in her eyes. “I want to talk to you about fixing this shit. Jorie is devastated. She won’t get out of bed.”

My teeth clench, and my heart pretty much shrivels up into a painful knot deep in my chest.

“Micah’s been calling her and she won’t talk to him,” Elena continues. “I can’t get her to eat. She’s so depressed and I think… I’m worried she might harm herself.”

“What?” I yell at Elena as the glass of vodka falls from my hand and thuds on the carpet. I move toward the elevator. “You think she could hurt herself and you fucking left her alone?”

Elena grabs my arm. “Well, no… Jorie would never do that. But the situation is dire, and I need you to act.”

“What the fuck, Elena?” I snarl at her as I jerk my arm away. “Is she okay?”

“Um… well, she won’t leave the apartment and she really isn’t eating. She’s completely heartbroken.”

“Do you think she’s going to hurt herself?” I enunciate each word slowly and with simmering anger.

“Of course not,” Elena admits. “She’s not that far in despair, but she is really, really in the pits. You need to do something.”

“That is not fucking cool to throw that shit at me,” I growl as I push past her and pick up my empty vodka glass. I ignore the soaked spot on the rug and pour another.

“You’re just going to sit here and get drunk while Jorie is in pain?” Elena asks from behind me.

“Jorie will move on,” I mutter.

“No, Walsh… she won’t. You were it for her. There is nothing else.”

I didn’t think that shriveled knot in my chest could hurt worse, but it does. I take a huge swallow of vodka and let it warm me from within.

“Don’t you love her?” Elena asks me quietly.

I don’t answer out loud, but inside, it’s a resounding yes. I’ve loved her for decades and then some. I’ll continue to love her decades into the future.

“Do you?” Elena presses.

“It’s complicated,” is all I’ll admit to, as I walk up to the windows looking out over Vegas.

“Fuck yeah, it’s complicated,” she proclaims with exasperation. “But complicated doesn’t mean unfixable.”

“Micah has to cool down first,” I say distractedly. “I’ve got to fix it with him first.”

“No,” Elena says angrily. She marches up to me, positioning herself between me and the windows with a hard glare. “You have to fix it with Jorie right now. She’s the most important.”

I know she’s right about this but, sadly, I can only believe that really fixing this means I give her up. Fixing this means I sit down with her face to face, apologize to her and let her rant at me. I sit through begging and pleading and declarations of love, and when that’s all over, I have to tell her we can’t go on.

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