Best Friends, Secret Lovers

By: Jessica Lemmon

Oh, that I could choose.

Gage’s hair had grown some since Flynn’s father’s funeral. Now that it was longer, the ends were curling and added a boyish charm to the mountain of charm Gage already possessed. Flynn didn’t know anyone Gage didn’t get along with, and vice versa. It made him an asset at work, and he provided a softer edge for Flynn whenever he needed it—which, lately, was often.

“Surprised you’re still upright after the long weekend.” Gage slapped Flynn’s back.

The long weekend was to celebrate the finalization of Flynn and Veronica’s divorce. It couldn’t have come soon enough, but Flynn hadn’t felt like celebrating. His divorce marked an epic failure that piled onto the other failures he’d been intimately acquainted with lately. In no way would Gage and Reid have let the momentous occasion pass by without acknowledgment.

Acknowledgment in this case meant going out and getting well and truly “pissed,” as Reid had put it. And honestly, Flynn had had fun letting go and living in the moment, at least for a weekend.

“I always land on my feet,” Flynn grumbled, still tired and, yeah, probably a little hungover from last night. He should’ve stopped drinking before midnight.

“Good morning, Fleming.” Reid sauntered in next. “Morning, Parker.” Reid had refused to leave his accent in London. He kept it fine-tuned for one essential reason: women loved it.

Where Flynn was mostly an insensitive, shortsighted, hard-to-love suit, Gage was friendly and well liked, and Reid...well, his other friend was a split between the two of them. Reid had charm in spades but also had a rough edge from a past he’d always been tight-lipped about.

Flynn figured he’d tell them when he was ready. At this rate probably when one of them was on his deathbed.

“Well, well, well, what have we here? Three of Seattle’s saddest rich boys.”

Sabrina strolled in with her signature walk, somehow expressing both childlike wonder and sophisticated capability. Her slim-fitting skirt, blouse and high-heeled shoes proved she was 100 percent woman. Sabrina had a fun-loving attitude but liked everything in its place. She was the only one who’d balked at the promotion that Flynn had had to talk her into. She put others ahead of herself often, which was so converse to who Veronica was it wasn’t even funny.

Sabrina saw the world as a sunshiny bouquet of happiness even though Flynn had cold hard proof that it was a cesspool.

“Whoa.” Sab’s whiskey-smooth voice dipped as she took in Flynn. “You look like last night handed you your own backside.” Her eyebrows met the frame of her glasses as she studied Gage and Reid. “You guys don’t look that great either. Were you... Oh my gosh. It’s final, isn’t it? It’s done?”

“He’s single with a capital S,” Reid confirmed.

Her smile was short-lived as she approached Flynn. “Are you okay?”

“I’m fine.”

“Are you sure?”

That question right there was why he hadn’t told her about the finalization of the divorce. He wanted to drink away his feelings on the topic, not discuss them.

Flynn sent a glance over her head to Reid and Gage.

Little help, guys?

“You wouldn’t have wanted to accompany us even if we invited you,” Gage said.

“What’s that supposed to mean?” Her frown returned, but she aimed it at affable Gage, which was fun to watch. He finished stirring his own coffee and sent her a grim head shake.

“Darling.” Reid looped an arm around her shoulders. “Don’t make us say it.”

“Ugh. Did you all pick up girls?” She asked everyone but her eyes tracked to Flynn and stayed there. “And why wasn’t I invited? I’m an excellent wingwoman.”

Flynn felt a zip of discomfort at the idea of Sabrina fixing him up with a woman—or being there while he trotted out his A game to impress one. He’d suffered a few crash-and-burns last night and was glad she wasn’t there to witness them.

Sabrina pursed her lips in consideration. “Did the evening have anything to do with you three reaffirming your dumb pact?”

“It’s not dumb,” Flynn was the first to say. Family and marriage and happily ever after were ideas that he used to hold sacred. He’d seen the flip side of that coin. Broken promises and regret.

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