Home > Hold On (The 'Burg #6)(5)

Hold On (The 'Burg #6)(5)
Author: Kristen Ashley

* * * * *

I did not go back to sleep to get rest I desperately needed (considering I had slept about twenty minutes).

I also did not get up to go to the grocery store.

I got up and went to the bathroom.

I brushed my teeth and looked into the mirror, thanking God for the first time that I’d perfected the art of makeup application through my stripper days so that shit would not move unless it was removed. The day before, I’d worked a shift with it on. I’d gotten drunk after that. I’d gotten royally laid after that, and it still looked awesome.

Nevertheless, I took it off.

I then went to the kitchen and got my hangover cure-all: two ibuprofen, two migraine pills (caffeine and aspirin), one Tylenol. I sucked that back, then power-slammed a huge glass of cold water. After that, I grabbed a Diet 7UP, made a pot of coffee, and hit the shower.

I did the hair gig. The makeup gig. The clothes gig. The jewelry gig.

Once ready, I called a taxi.

I could walk to J&J’s from my house, but I wasn’t going to do that, and not because I was wearing high-heeled boots. I could walk a mile in high heels. But the taxi ride would only cost five dollars, and I wasn’t doing what I was going to do with the hangover hovering and my energy zapped from hoofing it to the bar.

Or the station.

I sat in the taxi, knowing what I was about to do was a risk. A huge one, and not one I’d taken in years.

Then again, I hadn’t let anyone in in order for there to be a risk to take.

Not to mention, even before I built my shell, I’d never known with absolute certainty like I knew right then, that it was a risk worth taking.

I had to do it. I had to make that statement. I had to communicate without delay where I was. I was not going to make the same mistake as the stupidest bitch on the planet.

I was going to share what needed to be shared.

That being, I didn’t just like getting laid by Garrett Merrick last night.

I liked him.

And if this was our beginning, I was all in.

The taxi let me out in front of J&J’s, and since I knew the driver—he drank at the bar and he’d given me a ride more than once—I tipped him one hundred percent on the five dollar ride.

I didn’t go to J&J’s or through it to get to my car in the back.

I went to Mimi’s Coffee Shop.

I bought two lattes and two of her blueberry muffins with the sprinkles on top.

Luckily, my girl Mimi was in the back, baking, so I didn’t have to take time to chat. Two of the kids she employed were manning the counter—one who was a cheerleader at the high school, and the yin to her happy-go-lucky, my-life-is-golden yang—one who, this time, had green hair and, if I was right, two new piercings.

I got the stuff, balanced the tray of coffees and the bag, and left.

I hit the sidewalk and headed down the block to the station.

I made it there, climbed the steps, pushed through the door, and saw Kath at the reception desk.

Her eyes got big when she saw me.

“Hey, Cher!” she cried.

“Hey, Kath.” I smiled at her and jerked my chin up the stairs that led to the bullpen behind her. “Merry up there?”

She shook her head.

From her seat at the reception desk at the ’burg’s PD, she knew it all before anyone but the cops knew it. She also drank at J&J’s, so she knew me. And, of course, she knew Merry.

She’d seen me shooting the shit with Merry, so she also knew we were tight.

But more, she knew Merry wouldn’t go for me. Merry went for a lot of tail since he’d left Mia; however, I was not the kind of tail he went for.

So she wouldn’t have any thoughts about why I was there…at least not the correct ones.

“He’s out back,” Kath didn’t hesitate to tell me. “Mike needs a ride. Think Rees has his truck and Dusty’s doin’ somethin’ and needs hers, so Merry took off to go pick him up.”


“Left about two seconds ago, so you could still catch him,” she went on.

I nodded, turning and moving swiftly back to the front door, calling, “Cool. Thanks. See you later.”

“Later, babe,” she called back.

I was out the door and hoofing it around the station, taking my shot at catching him before he took off but not thinking I’d get that chance. Merry would go out the back door, which led direct to the parking lot where he’d left his truck last night and walked down to J&J’s so he could get hammered. He’d probably be gone by the time I made it around the building.

I was about to turn the corner to the back when I heard a familiar voice that came from a familiar man, this man being Alec Colton, that voice raised and irate, saying, “What the fuck, Merry? Jesus Christ. Did you bang Cher?”

Holy fuck.

How could he know that?

I stopped dead, out of sight at the corner of the building.

“Colt.” I heard Merry rumble.

“Feb went in this morning to do paperwork. I dropped her. Cher’s car there. Empty bottle of whisky you like on the bar. I get to the station, see your truck in the lot where it was parked yesterday. I walk up to the bullpen, you can’t meet my eyes.”



They figured out everything.

“Sorry, brother, gotta get Mike. Greetin’ you like a happy puppy was not top of my priority list,” Merry returned, voice not raised but instead sarcastic and also irate.

“Bullshit. Darryl walked in before I left Feb, said he left Cheryl with you, you drunk, her lookin’ to mother hen you. You take advantage of that?”

I peeked around the corner and saw them both in front of Colt’s truck. They were in standoff mode. Merry was pissed. Colt was more pissed.

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