Frisky Friday Flash Fiction
Happy Friday! This was a weird week. I got stuck on Tuesday and spent the rest of the week wondering what day it was. Sadly, I think many of you can relate.
On a happier note, the anthology with a contemporary second chance romance from yours truly is now live!
When the unimaginable happens to all-American quarterback, Mackenzie Craig, he loses everything. His hopes, his dreams, and his heart. Pushing aside Remi Hollister is for her own good. That’s what he told himself ten years ago.
But fate likes to play with fragile hearts.
A reunion offers a second chance but will Mack allow himself to take it?
It’s been a decade of lies and secrets. He’s no longer sporting the chiseled god look. Mack’s just another man struggling to survive and beat cancer. Again.
Remi’s the girl too scared to try but unable to let go. Would learning the truth about their breakup change things for the woman who can’t stop thinking about her first love?
It all comes down to one simple word.
When you’ve looked death in the face and gave it the finger, saying sorry should be easy.
Are you ready for the SECOND TO LAST installment of The Secrets We Keep? It’s been fun writing this tale. I’m wondering what I should write next…
The Secrets We Keep
Driving back without Tiago was lonely as hell. More than once, I was tempted to turnaround and go back for him.
But it was too late.
I missed the opportunity.
Paul waited for me on the front steps as I pulled in behind a foreign sedan. The vehicle either belonged to the district attorney or Paul’s assistant. Since the car looked too new, I figured Annie couldn’t afford such an extravagance on a government salary.
“Where’s Tiago?” my ex asked as I exited the car.
I shook my head and remained quiet.
I held up my hand, silently begging for him to leave me alone. But rather than walk away, Paul grabbed my shoulders, stopping me in my tracks. He looked deep into my eyes and asked, “What happened?”
Swallowing hard, I weighed my options. I could stick with the agreed upon story. Tiago went to the bathroom and never came back. Or I could tell the truth. I chose the former.
Paul lowered his hands. “You’re kidding, right?”
“Nope.” I popped the p for emphasis. A terrible habit I had whenever I became nervous. “I asked an employee to check for me when Tiago didn’t come back to the car. Apparently, he went out a back door and disappeared into the woods.”
I hated lying, but it wasn’t the first time. It sure wouldn’t be the last. Secrets filled every nook and cranny of my life. In all honesty, I kept more shit private than Fort Knox.
My ex-boyfriend held his head back and stared up at the dreary sky. “Casinda, Santiago was my entire case.”
I cleared my throat. “I’m your case.”
“Huh?” Paul stared at me as if my hair turned into a tangle of snakes. “Hearsay won’t work on the stand.”
Feeling a little more confident, I said, “No, but you have the pictures. Create a sting operation and trap Morgan and Warren.”
Paul smirked. “You watch too much TV, but there might be some merit in what you said.”
My mouth fell open. Honestly, I didn’t know shit about sting operations. I pulled that one out of thin air. Just something I remembered from the latest detective show on Netflix.
Paul reached for my hand. “Let me do the talking. I’ll come up with something plausible for the D.A.”
“Fine by me.” The less I spoke, the fewer lies I told.
The district attorney was a portly white guy with thinning blond hair. He reminded me of a cartoon pig dressed in a suit.
I had to hand it to Paul. That man crafted lies much better than I did. By the time he finished, I almost believed Tiago had pulled a gun on me. Thankfully, the D.A. accepted Paul’s explanation and the pictures. The man also agreed to investigate Morgan and Warren. I’d have to testify about how I came across the photos. The attorney claimed he wasn’t interested in looking for my friend.
But I was.
Every time the screen lit up; I checked my phone. After an hour of no messages from Tiago, fear coursed through me and tied my stomach in knots. I imagined the worst. Had Morgan and Warren found him? It was cold out, and Tiago was on foot. Was he freezing?
Paul did his best to ease my concerns. He made a pot of his famous five-alarm chili and a pan of jalapeño cornbread. He even whipped out a couple of bottles of premium ice-cold dark ale.
Any other time, I would have shirked off his kindness, but my heart was too heavy to push him away. In a matter of weeks, I’d lost both of my best friends. I hadn’t even taken the time to call Hollis’s family. They were in Europe for two months.
“Talk to me, Casinda.”
I sighed. Talking through shit was overrated. Purging my thoughts wouldn’t save my soul or bring back Hollis and Tiago.
Paul touched my arm. “I won’t stop pestering you until you tell me.”
Pushing my spoon through the bowl, I considered what I’d tell him. How do you feel right this minute? “I’m all alone.”
Glancing up at him, I said, “Thanks.”
I really appreciated all of his help.
“Casinda, I mean it. I’ll always be here for you.” Paul took a long pull on his beer bottle. “Babe, you don’t have to keep running. No more lies either.”
My head whipped up, and my lips parted.
“The cops picked up Santiago an hour ago.”
My vision blurred.
“He was trying to hot wire a car. Before you ask, I called the police after you came back without Santiago.”
I should have hated Paul, but I couldn’t.
“You don’t have to worry about your friend. When I got the call, I told the officer that Santiago was my nephew. Annie posted bail and then drove him to the border. She’ll get him set up in Canada.”
Oh, thank God!
Paul continued, “If you want to be with Santiago, I’ll take you.”
Did I want to be with Tiago? I wasn’t sure.
“What about the case?”
I shook my head. “As long as I know that Tiago’s okay, I’ll stick around. If you need me to testify–”
“Thanks, but Casinda…” A pained expression crossed Paul’s face. “I want a second chance. Let me make it up to you.” When I averted my eyes, he said, “Once upon a time, we were good together.”
We were. Emphasis on were.
“Can I think about it?”
“Take your time.” He rose from the chair. “But I’m not leaving until we reach an understanding.”
I nodded. For once, I had to think about what the best thing for me might be.