Liar Ch. 07bysinfully_divine©
"What happened?" Dean asked after Sloane hung up the phone, "Is everything okay?"
"No...that was Gigi." She replied distracted.
"Gigi? Is there something wrong with Ethan?"
"No, no..." Sloane said shaking her head and meeting her brother's concerned gaze, "Ethan's fine. She's on her way here to drop Ethan off before she goes home."
Dean breathed out a sigh of relief upon hearing Ethan was okay only to suck it in just as quickly, "Wait...Gigi's on her way here? Here as in Reston? With Ethan?"
Sloane fought to register the nightmare that was becoming her reality. If she didn't have the overwhelming sensation to fall to the floor and curl into a ball, she might've laughed at the situation. Somehow her careful and strategically planned visit had turned into a catastrophe.
She inhaled deeply and nodded her head in confirmation.
Dean looked at her, letting his lips form an 'O'.
"Well that...can't be good for you." Dean said delivering the understatement of the year, "Are you going to tell him now?"
"I don't know." Sloane replied quietly, distracted by her thoughts.
Twenty-four hours ago, her biggest worry about coming back to Reston was running into Gabe. Been there, done that...and boy did they do it. Running into Gabe was a cake walk compared to what she was going to have to do.
"Sloane..." Dean started, his tone notably irritated.
"Dean! Please, I-I know what I need to do, just..." She trailed off trying to compose herself. She didn't want to yell at Dean, he was just telling her what she refused to all these years, "Just please give me a minute okay? I will...figure it out, okay?"
"Well you better and quickly. You may have forgotten, but this town is small. All it takes is for one person to see your son."
"I know." Sloane clipped.
Dean looked at his sister hard. As brave as was trying to sound, she looked scared.
A part of him knew she deserved to feel that way but the brotherly side of him wanted to protect her from the incoming storm that was about to hit her. If he knew Gabe, which he did, he was not going to take this well. No one in Gabe's position would.
Dean shook his head. He couldn't understand how two perfectly sane and sensible people could do extremely demented things when they're within the same vicinity.
As pissed as he was at Sloane's sheer stupidity, he had to remind himself that Gabe had messed up too. He wasn't there for her when she needed him the most, he wasn't going to let that happen again.
Dean sighed raggedly and ran his hand through his hair, "Alright, look. Even though you are extremely, extremely in the wrong, you're still my little sister. Whatever you decide, I got your back. Although I seriously advise you to tell Mom and Dad before they get here."
Sloane looked at her brother and smiled wearily. Before she could respond, their father's voice boomed after the door slammed open.
"Sloane! Get down here right now, young lady!"
"Not now Noah." She heard her mom say in a hushed tone.
"Oh yes, right now." he replied heatedly, "Sloane Jolene Bennett! Now!"
This wasn't going to be good..
"Calm down, I'm right here." Sloane said as she turned the corner.
Sloane stopped dead in her tracks when she saw the look on her father's face. She couldn't quite read it, but it wasn't the he look of disappointment he usually gave her.
"You have some explaining to do." he said.
"What did I-" Sloane said just before a dark haired, ball of energy squirmed his way under her dad's arm and launched his 3'5" body at her.
"Mommy!" Ethan exclaimed, jumping up and wrapping his skinny arms and legs around her neck and waist.
"You're here!" Sloane said hugging him close, burying her nose in his dark hair.
He smelled like chocolate, peanut butter, and peppermints. It was amazing how relieved she felt just having him in her arms. His presence seemed to remedy her nerves slightly before the reality set in that he was actually here. She looked at Gigi, who had just walked through the door, "Already?"
"When I couldn't get you on your mobile, I called the house number that you had left with Miss Jacobs-."
"And imagine my shock when I answered the phone to discover that Georgina and Ethan were in town and stuck at that airport." Her mother said, picking up in the middle of Gigi's story, "She insisted on having you pick her up, but of course your father and I couldn't just leave them there."
"How nice." Sloane said wryly.
"Oh honey, don't frown. We couldn't very well wait for you to wake up. You got home so late last night, who knows when that would've been." Her mom replied as Sloane ignored Gigi cocked eyebrow.
"Good you guys are back! Mom and Dad, I'm borrowing your luggage. Brodie is packing up a storm--"
"Uncle Dean!" Ethan cried, squirming out of Sloane's arms to run to him.
"Look at you!" Dean laughed leaning down to swoop Ethan up with a feigned grunt, "Oh my back...you're getting so heavy. You're such a big boy now!"
"Oh please don't say that..." Gigi muttered.
"A big boy?" Ethan said before Gigi could finish. He looked between Dean and Gigi, "I told you Aun' Gigi. Now yer gonna hafta take me."
"Take you where?" Dean asked Gigi.
Gigi hesitated as her eyes darted between Dean, Sloane, her parents then back to Sloane again.
"Well...uh...see what had happened was--"
"Aun' Gigi's friend has a club." Ethan said, his green eyes growing huge with excitement, "A big boy club..."
"A big boys only club?" Dean replied, exaggerating his tone to match Ethan's excitement one.
"Yeah! But Aun' Gigi is a girl and Dude said he'd take her whenever she wanted."
"Dude?" Dean asked, completely confused now.
'Jude' Gigi mouthed to Sloane.
"Yeah, Dude! He says he was yer friend." Ethan said, before lowering his voice as if he was telling Dean a secret, "He was givin' Aun' Gigi the eyes."
"The eyes." Ethan replied as if everyone understood his five year old babbling, "The eyes that Liam gives Mommy."
"Uh...I think we've heard enough for today." Sloane interrupted, realizing where the story was headed.
"But Mom I wanted to see Myles..." Ethan whined.
"Ethan." Sloane said sternly, giving him a serious look.
"How about we go upstairs and look for Grandma and Grandpa's luggage?" Dean interrupted when he saw that Ethan was about to cry.
"Okay!" Ethan replied excitedly.
Sloane could only shake her head as she watched Dean and Ethan go up the stairs. She was slightly jealous of her son's emotional rebound rate. What she wouldn't give for an ounce of it, cause she could certainly use it now.
"I told you Josie."
Sloane heard her father say, drawing her attention to the conversation he was having with her mother behind her.
"Dean saw it too. Our grandson looks just like the Jennings boy."
"We will talk about this later."
"I said later." Her mother clipped, successfully shutting down the large man Sloane knew as her father. Her mother then shot her an equally chilling look. "Isn't that right, Sloane?"
She was in deep shit.
"Right." Sloane choked out, before looking at her father, "I promise."
"There, see? I told you. She'll explain everything. Now we need to go to the market, we're going to need more groceries for dinner tonight."
"Yes dear." her father replied before following his wife out the front door.
Sloane inhaled deeply, before turning and looking at Gigi. Gigi must've misinterpreted the look she gave her because she immediately started rambling.
"Oh god, I'm so sorry Sloane. I didn't know what to do. Daddy is about to sell his company to this...this...this prick! So I booked a flight immediately only to find out that the bleeding meeting was postponed because the tosser's secretary scheduled the meeting the same weekend as some personal matter he needed to attend so I don't even need to be there until later this week." Gigi inhaled sharply to get air into her lungs and continued, "We should've flown back. I didn't even realize he looked so much like Gabe until your dad said something. I am sorry. I am so sorry--"
"Gigi, stop. Stop. Really its okay." Sloane said soothingly, "You have nothing to be sorry about. You did the right thing. With my grandparents here for the wedding, I don't know who else would've watched him."
"There's always Liam." Gigi shrugged, "I'm sure he would have no problems assisting you in any way, shape, or form."
Liam Mason was a single father that lived in the same building as Sloane. His wife had left him and their daughter after discovering that motherhood wasn't something that suited her. Sloane sympathized with the man and figured that he could provide a fatherly figure for Ethan, as she provided a motherly figure for Jenny, his daughter.
She knew Liam had feelings for her, but she didn't allow herself to press the issue. Between Ethan and work her scheduled was locked down.
"I mean that in the physical sense." Gigi unnecessarily clarified.
"I caught that."
"Just making sure."
"Thanks." Sloane smiled wearily at her attempt to make her feel better, "I couldn't ask him to do that, I already feel like crap passing my son around for everyone to watch."
"Love, it was just for one night." Gigi comforted, "You're allowed a break and trust me...I have a new found respect for you."
Sloane looked at Gigi. Only then did she realize that her usual put together appearance was...less than par. Ethan was a handful, she could only imagine how last night had went between the two.
"Thanks for watching Ethan on such sort notice last night." Sloane said, "I think you've more than earned the boots."
Despite the silence that enveloped them, the sound of her life crashing down around her was deafening.
A small voice in the back of her mind told her that all wasn't lost. She and Ethan could still take the first flight out of here and go back to California. Back to the way things were. Where things were easier and where Gabe was none the wiser about the son they shared.
Sloane was tired. Tired of lying to her family. Tired of lying to Gabe. Tired of running. It was only twenty-four hours, but it was long enough for Sloane to realize that it was a mistake staying away.
All those years ago, she'd let her fear of getting hurt and facing Gabe cripple her usual level-headedness. She had chosen to stay away and she knew what it would cost her. What she never expected was how much it'd cost her son, the only one in this whole messed up situation that was innocent.
Ethan had missed out on her family, one that was standing by her even though she had deceived them. Worse, the love of his father. Gabe may have walked away from her that morning, but she's the one that stayed away.
"Are you okay?" Gigi's asked drawing out of her thoughts.
Gigi didn't have to ask to know what was running through her mind, "Do you want me to go with you?"
Sloane couldn't say anything, but sniff and shake her head.
It was time that owned up to her mistakes and take responsibility. Cause that's what Sloane was slowly beginning to realize...she had made a horrible, horrible mistake.
That's exactly what sleeping with Sloane had been. Incredibly hot, but a mistake. He was more sated then he had been in a long time, but again...a mistake. It wasn't that he didn't want to sleep with her, hell no, he wanted to.
Her smooth skin.
Her eyes...how they could go from bright and full of laughter to dark and heavy with lust in a fraction of a second. And that mouth...Sloane's mouth had his mind racing with all the naughty things she could do with it.
Gabe groaned when he realized that despite his cold shower he was still rock hard. He had hoped that the cool temperature would shock his body out of the constant state of arousal he'd been in since the night before, but clearly his cock had other ideas.
Annoyed, he cranked up the cold water and braced his hands against the wall of the shower. Gabe dropped his head down allowing the water to hit the back of his neck and travel down his spine.
He was a fool to think that one taste would be enough, but it never was.
Sloane was an addiction. He was a recovering fiend. And last night he had a relapse.
That's exactly what he needed.
Such a simple, yet completely foreign concept when matters involved Sloane.
Control and structure had been Gabe's life. Well professionally, that is. He had quit a perfectly good job with the Reston Police Department to become a private detective where he could be his own boss, call his own shots and make his own decisions. He needed that control. He almost strived for it. He just started his business a little over a year ago, and although business was good the last thing he needed was his focus to be disrupted by Sloane.
She knew him and whether or not she did it intentionally, she seemed to use it to her full advantage. She constantly riled him up, called him out on his bullshit and refused to let him get away with anything that he would be able to with any one else. She always had to get the last word in. Knowing exactly what to say with that pretty mouth of hers to push him past the point of no return, to the dangerous place where he didn't know whether to throttle her or fuck her..
The woman was a contradiction, all come fuck me one minute and hands off the next. Her fire and ice mood swings were something to be reckoned with.
She overloaded his senses. She overwhelmed him. She frustrated him.
She messed with his judgment. He was damn good detective because he was level-headed, went with his gut instinct, and made smart, concise decisions when he needed to. However, all the logic and reason flew out the window once his animalistic urges surfaced invoked by Sloane. It wasn't anything new, it was the same feelings he always struggled with when it came to her. The urge to possess and dominate her overwhelmed him. It was all that he could think of. It consumed him.
It made him feel helpless, out of control...left him unfocused. Caused him to make judgment errors, missing simple details...things that if he paid more attention to them, he would've read them for what they were a hell of a lot sooner.
Sloane was hiding something.
He thought back to her skittish behavior, their conversation from the night before, her one-worded answers anytime he'd ask her about California before quickly turning the subject back on him...she was good, but he was a detective, it was his job to catch these things.
The only question that remained was what was he going to do about it?
It would be nothing for him to do a background check on her. He wasn't going to lie, the thought of looking Sloane up had crossed his mind on more than one occasion, but he couldn't bring himself to do it. Aside from the work that his father and his associates threw his way, Gabe liked to keep his business life and personal life separate. Any personal cases he let his partner handle. Who was he to dig into her past and see what she was hiding anyways?
Her stricken faced flashed in his mind and it was all Gabe needed to give him the good sense to cut his losses and finally let Sloane go. He had already caused her enough pain and after all this time he still didn't know how he felt about her.
She had been right last night, no matter how right for each other they were sexually, they had a lot of issues. He'd managed to get by just fine without her all these years, he'd just have to suck it up and do it again.
'She's just a woman' Gabe told himself despite hearing the small voice in the back of his mind telling him that Sloane was more than that. A lot more.
He was drawn out of his thoughts when he heard someone banging on his front door. With a huff as he shut the water off and ripped open the shower curtain.
"Hold on." Gabe shouted when the pounding sounded again urgently.
He quickly wrapped a towel around his waist and made his way to the door leaving a trail of watery footprints in his wake. Swinging the door open, the last thing he expected, or needed, was standing on the other side of the door dressed in a simple white cotton mini dress falling mid-thigh and slouchy brown boots.
"How'd you know where I lived?" Gabe asked surprised.
Whatever Sloane had been planning to say died in her mouth as she looked up and down his towel-clad body. Gabe did the same wondering when the girl who swore to always and forever wear sweats, had learned to dress herself. Her dark hair was tied back and off her make-up less showcasing her flawless features.
She was gorgeous.
"Dean gave me directions," Sloane replied.
When she turned her big green eyes up at him he noticed that they were slightly puffy and red as if she had been crying.
"Are you okay?" Gabe asked.
"Can we talk?"
"Is this about last night?"
"No." she interrupted curtly before staring at him.
"Do you want to come in?"
"Uh..." Sloane hesitated "S-sure."
He moved back to let her pass and couldn't help but appreciate her backside. His gaze zoned in on the exposed flesh between her calves and the back of her thighs, wondering when the back of knees became such a damn turn on.
He wanted to touch them and see if she was ticklish. He wanted to lick him. He wanted to...rip his eyes away..
Control, he reminded himself. he needed control.
He watched as she shameless sized up his home.
"Very..." She said with a shrug as she turned back to him, "Neat."
Neat? His place was the epitome of a bachelor pad and he took great pride in it. If she meant neat as in clean and in order, then yes, it was neat.
His expression must've given away his offense, because she was staring at him comically.
"Don't look like wounded kitten. You're place is amazing. I only meant that I wish my apartment was a neat and tidy as yours. You should see mine, Ethan is a terror. It's impossible to keep-" Sloane stopped abruptly and cleared her throat.
Gabe tensed at the mention of his name. Ethan. The 'friend'. He'd forgotten about him. A friend who was obviously serious enough to be living together. He looked back into her red-rimmed eyes, finally putting the pieces of the puzzle together.
Of course Sloane was upset. She had cheated on her boyfriend with him.
"Make yourself comfortable," Gabe said restrained, despite his flailing jealousy, "Give me a minute to change."
'This was a bad idea.' Sloane thought as she watched Gabe disappear down the hallway.
Here, in his domain, she was at his mercy. She had to remind herself that she had to do it here. She sure as hell didn't want Ethan anywhere near him when he exploded, which she predicted he would.
"Deep breaths...deep breaths..." Sloane chanted quietly to calm herself.
She had deviated from the plan the moment she stepped inside his house. The plan was so simple. How hard was it to stay on the porch where there were plenty of witnesses and deliver the speech she had practiced the last six years and the entire drive over here?
It was so simple and so easy...and it was shot to hell the moment Gabe opened the front door wearing only a towel. God, he was so hot and so clueless.
She was barely holding it together. Her palms were sweaty. She was jumping at his every word. She felt like she was going to throw up. She couldn't do this.
Just as she reached the front door, Gabe's voice caused her to jump out of her skin.
"You're leaving already?"
"No." she squeaked out, whipping around in time to see him coming down the hallway.
He had changed into loose black basketball shorts and tee-shirt with the sleeves cut off, proudly displaying his strong, muscular arms. Muscular arms that ended in powerful hands, big enough to fit around her neck and choke the life out of her.