Getting Lucky Ch. 04bynerd4music©
"Your what?" The room suddenly felt three sizes too small. Nina could her blood pulsing hotly through her veins. This couldn't be happening.
"Nina." Sean reached out to grab her arm, but she wrenched away from his grasp. "I can explain everything."
"I have to leave." She fetched her coat from the hall closet and shrugged it on. She needed to go. The world had snapped in two and it was getting harder to breathe by the second. Buttoning up her coat, she headed for the door. Sean edged his way in front of her, blocking her exit.
"Nina, please don't go like this. We need to talk." He cupped her chin in his hand, forcing her to look at him. When he looked into her eyes, he saw nothing. Her eyes were empty and blank.
"Take your hands off me," she said softly. "Or I'll put your ass back in a hospital bed." Her voice was monotone, but he could hear the dangerous flicker. Wisely, he did as she requested and she moved toward the door. Delia stepped out of her way.
Sean looked at her retreating back. "Pretty," he whispered. "Don't walk away like this."
Nina paused for a minute. Her heart was urging her to turn around, run to him, and hear what he had to say. But that stubborn streak took over; she was Nina Gill, dammit. She didn't get hung up on boys.
Wordlessly, she stalked out the apartment and into the cold February chill.
Sean paced around his apartment. "I have to go find her." He started to shrug on his jacket when Delia stopped him.
"Are you crazy? She'll kick your ass."
"Delia, what am I supposed to do? I can't just let her leave like that!"
"Yeah, you can. You have to give her some time Sean. You just basically kept a big secret from someone you supposedly love. You can't just fix that with pretty words."
"How do you know that?"
Delia smiled. "Because I've known you since you were four years old. I can tell these things about you. I know how much you care for her Sean, but if you try to fix everything right away she'll resent you. Give her some time, okay?"
Sean sighed. He knew Delia was right. He just didn't want to hurt Nina. "God, I am so fucking stupid!" He plopped down on the sofa.
Delia patted his shoulder sympathetically. "Yeah, you are. Why would you call me your wife, jackass? We've officially been divorced for nearly a month."
"Force of habit, I suppose. I really screwed up, huh Deals?"
"Yeah, but I have faith in you to fix things."
Sean nodded. "What are you doing here, anyway?"
"Your mother called me. She said it would have been a good idea to come by."
"It would have been nice if you had called first."
"Would you have answered?"
He eyed her. "What kind of question is that?"
"A legitimate one. I haven't seen you in a long time."
"I've been super busy, Delia. That doesn't mean I don't want to be around you. I've been working an important case."
"I know. Your mother told me what happened. You know, how you ended up in the hospital. I was just really worried. I would have come sooner, but I just got back from a business trip two days ago."
Sean held her hand. "It's okay, Deals. We're both busy. I just...I just don't know how I'm going to make things up with her."
"I know you'll figure something out."
It had been nearly three days and he hadn't heard from her. Sean was beginning to get worried. He tried to reach her by cell and her house phone but she must have been screening her calls. He had decided that if it was more than a week before he heard from her, he would go over to her house and demand that she listen to him.
Things at work were beginning to return to normal. Everyone was happy to have him back, especially Angie. The Morelli case had become even more important now, especially since one of their own had almost been killed.
It wasn't easy, but they were able to track down Sean's shooter. He was a lower guy on the Mafia ladder, just a punk trying to get made. Once in police custody, the guy started singing like a canary. Though there was nothing the police could do about his attempted murder charge, they did attempt to cop a plea with his attorney for a lesser sentence.
When Sean discovered their intentions, he was outraged. He barged into Adams office demanding for them to call the deal off. "I could have been killed, Lou and the DA doesn't seem to give a shit!"
"I know this. But you know how those assholes are. They want Morelli and his crew taken out. This guy, this Jonny Mancini may be the ticket. It's bigger than you, Reilly."
"Fuck this, Lou. I'm out, you hear me? If this guy gets a lesser sentence, then I'm fucking done with this precinct."
He had stalked out of the office and went home early to a bottle of gin and a shot glass. In the midst of his drinking binge, he realized Adams was right. It didn't make shit better. To think, he almost lost his life and Nina for a case, for people that in the end didn't really give a shit about him.
The epiphany hit home. He needed Nina, now more than ever. He was so stupid to let her walk out, to end things the way he did. Is it really over? Sean couldn't accept that answer.
He dialed her number once more. This time it went straight to voicemail. Just hearing her voice, its usual breathy sweetness made him ache for her.
"Neens," he began. He cursed himself for the slur in his words. He shouldn't have drunk so much. "Babe, please pick up the phone. I miss you. You have to let me explain things.
See, that thing with Delia is ancient history. I should have told you about it, yes. But I don't know, I didn't think things would go this far. How was I supposed to know, Nina? But you, you can't just walk away from all this. Don't just shut me out because you might not like what I have to say. Maybe I'm out of line considering the circumstance, but you're not being fair."
He paused. "Maybe I shouldn't say that. Dammit, Nina just answer me. I lo..." the beep signaled the message had reached capacity. Sean sighed. Maybe it was for the best.
Nina accepted the drink from the smiling bartender. It was a Thursday night and she was a single(ish) girl in the most fabulous city in the world. And she felt pretty good. Almost.
She tried to cheer up; after all it was her idea to come out that night. Sighing, she sipped her drink and attempted to make her way back to Carrie and Jess, who were sitting at a high table talking to some very hot stock brokers.
Nina took her place next to Carrie, as the quartet broke into laughter. "What's so funny?" she asked, trying to keep her voice light as possible.
"Eric here was just telling us about the last time he went snowboarding. He face-planted in a ditch," Jess said.
Nina smiled. She could tell that Jess was feeling Eric. She couldn't blame her. He was tall, tousled honey colored hair and green eyes. He navy suit and matching dress suit was well-tailored and fit his muscular body like a glove.
Carrie, on the other hand, was looking positively bored. Eric's friend was talking about hedge funds and other business deals. Nina was pretty sure his name was Sam, or something, but Carrie kept calling him Ben. Nina tried to suppress a giggle as Carrie attempted to stifle a yawn.
"So Neens, what kind of drink is that?" She looked at Nina with pleading eyes.
"Uh, I told the bartender to make whatever he wanted. It's called a Screaming Orgasm."
"Yeah, we all know that you could use one of those right about now." Carrie winked emphatically.
Nina nudged her. "Shut up, before I slide Mr. Hedge Fund your number," she whispered.
Carrie's eyes went wide. "You wouldn't dare."
Nina's eyes glinted with amusement. "I so would, and you know it."
Carrie cracked a smile. "See now, I miss my old Nina. You were turning into a moony-eyed housewife. It's so good to have my bad girl back."
"She's been here all along."
"Nah," Carrie remarked. She took a generous swig of her gin and tonic. "She was gone. She was in love. But you have to remember something Neens. Love ain't for girls like you and me. We are too fabulous for one man to handle. We look too fly for only one guy, especially tonight!"
Nina had to smile at that. She did look especially hot tonight. Her smoky makeup was flawless, as usual. There was a hint of green in her makeup to match the emerald silk halter dress she poured herself into. With her silver and emerald accessories and matching designer pumps, she looked like a million bucks. If only her looks translated into how she actually felt.
Sighing, she downed the rest of her drink and checked her cell phone. It had been days since she ignored his call, but she kept replaying the message. He sounded so sad, and a little drunk.
She knew she was being childish, but she couldn't face him. Not after Delia.
Carrie looked over at her friend. "Dammit, girl leave that phone alone!" She tried to snatch the tiny black cell from her hands. "How many times are you going to do this to yourself?"
"Maybe I should just call him."
"Or maybe you can listen to your dignity and say fuck that shit." Carrie flipped her hot pink and blonde hair over her shoulder. "The guy lied to you, Nina. You were too good for him. This shit should have been over since Christmas. You should have gotten the holiday booty and bolted."
Nina normally appreciated Carrie's blunt honesty. But tonight it was hitting too close to home. "Carrie," she started.
"I know, I know; I'll back off. I'm just saying. I just wish you'd realize that if Sean was really the guy for you, he wouldn't have been dicking around with your emotions." She patted her friend's hand. "You're too special, and worth so much more than the crap he pulled."
Nina could feel the tears pricking her eyelids. She knew Carrie was right. "I don't know if that's the alcohol talking, but that's the nicest thing you've said all night."
Carrie smirked. "Don't get too excited. Those compliments only show up once in a while. Enjoy it while you can." Standing up, she smoothed down her black cocktail dress. "Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to find my warm body for the night." She walked away from them, leaving Sam/Ben to glare at her as she stalked away during the middle of another ridiculously dull story.
An overwhelming wave of exhaustion overtook her. After bidding Jess and the boys goodnight, she left the club, its pulsating lights and smoky interior behind. While in the taxi, she listened to Sean's voicemail once more before deciding that she would call him in the morning. The least she could do was hear his side of the story.
She scrambled from the taxi, allowing Wes to take her hand and lead into the building. Since Sean's shooting he had been nicer to her than usual. Nina was grateful to him. Riding the elevator, she yawned loudly. It had been a long day. At her office, she had to deal with a bratty Broadway star who was jealous of another actress and threatened to reveal dirty secrets. After much cajoling, Nina managed to calm the girl down. She sighed tiredly. Some days it seemed like she was a baby-sitter for self-absorbed fools.
Nina unlocked her door and tossed her purse and keys onto the tiny table by the door. When she turned on the living room lamp, she nearly screamed.
"What the hell are you doing here," she hissed angrily.
Sean awoke from the spot he was sleeping on. "What?" he asked groggily.
"How the hell did you get in?" her heart was still beating rapidly from the scare.
"Wes let me in. What's with all the screaming?" He sat up and threw an arm over his eyes.
"I wasn't screaming. Forgive me for disturbing you. I didn't realize I had to be considerate to jackasses that break into my home." She placed her hands on her hips and stared at him. Part of her was completely thrilled to see him, while the other half wanted to chuck the television remote at his head.
Sean gazed up at her. She looked positively gorgeous, if not extremely irritated. Her black hair was swept into a ponytail that fell between her shoulder blades; her inky black bangs were delicately swooped over one eye. Her body simply smoldered in her that silky dress, the soft material clinging to every imaginable curve, gently cupping her large breasts, sliding sweetly over her dainty hips and round ass, to skim her legs nicely. Her feet were encased in the sexiest silver pumps. He felt his stomach lurch in spite of the overwhelming pleasure the rest of him saw while drinking her in.
She was wearing that for someone else.
"Were you with someone tonight?" As soon as he said it, he wanted to bite his damn tongue off. Bad move, Reilly.
Nina looked at him incredulously. "Are you seriously going to ask me that question?"
He rose from the couch. Even with her heels, he still towered over her. "Nina, I didn't mean..."
"What damn right do you have to ask me anything, Sean?"
He sighed. "None, I suppose."
He thought about it for a moment. She was wrong. He had every right in the world. "Wait, yes I do. I have every fucking right. I am your boyfriend, dammit! Just because you won't talk to me at the moment doesn't change that fact. Things aren't over between us."
"I didn't want it to be, until you lied to me" Nina stated.
"That's my mistake. But I can't continue to apologize for something that you won't even let me explain. Give me two minutes and then I'll leave. Okay?"
Nina thought about what he offered. She was still pissed at him. Her head was telling her to kick his ass out, but she couldn't hear over her heart which ached for him to be near. Sighing, she sat down on the sofa. Crossing her legs, she looked up at him. "Two minutes, Sean."
He sat down on the edge of the coffee table.
"Delia Donnelly and I grew up together. We lived in the same building. When shit used to go down with my dad, I would climb down the fire escape to Delia's room and spend the night. We were best friends, doing nearly everything together, even going to the same college. She's a buyer for some major department store, so she traveled a lot. We still got together as often as we could to hang out. A year ago, Delia comes to me, clearly upset. Her mom was sick, really sick. Cancer. She wasn't going to last long. Mrs. Donnelly was like a second mother to me, so I felt for her."
Nina's heart reached out for him as she saw the tear threatening to slide down his cheek. His eyes one blue, one green, were red-rimmed. Sean coughed quietly before continuing.
"Delia decided that she was going back home to take care of her mother during her last days. Only trouble was, she was two months pregnant."
She felt the anger surge in her once more. "Sean, do you have a kid?"
"No," Sean said quickly. "Delia and I never did anything like that. The kid wasn't mine. Some guy she had been dating for a while, total fucking deadbeat. She didn't want to go back home pregnant and single. It wasn't the image she wanted her mom to have in her last days. So, I stepped in."
"You married her."
Sean nodded. "Yeah. It was only a temporary thing. Her mom thought she was happily married to her best friend with a baby on the way. She died that June, with the reassurance that her daughter was taken care of."
Nina felt blown. There was just so much to take in. "So, you and Delia never slept together?"
"Not in the biblical sense. The closest I ever got to touching her was copping a feel in junior high, after which I was promptly punched in the face."
"Nina, when I told you earlier that you were the first woman I've let into my life for a while, I was serious. Delia and I, we were friends, but being together like that nearly killed our friendship. We both realized that we needed something more out of a relationship than just relying on something convenient."
"I just don't get it, Sean. Why stay married?"
He was quiet for a time. "Honestly, I didn't realize how bad the situation was for me until you came along."
"So, Delia has a kid?"
At that, a tear did fall down his cheek. He looked so sorrowful that Nina almost regretted asking the question. "She had a miscarriage that August. You asked why I stayed around? Delia needed stability, especially after her mother's passing. I couldn't abandon my best friend when she needed someone the most. I just couldn't do that. She was the one person besides my mother who loved me more than anything in the world. I would have done anything for her. So I stuck by her side and helped pull her through."
Nina felt her heart break at his words. His dedication showed the type of man he was, the kind of man she wanted in her life. But she just couldn't bring herself to say the words.
"Sean, I know this must have been hard for you to go through. But, you lied to me."
"No," she said. She angrily brushed a tear from her eyes. She hated when she got upset and the tears would fall unnecessarily. It made her feel weak. "I told you all the shit I went through, the one-night stands and shitty guys. I thought you were different."
"Are you honestly going to sit there and put me in the same category as those other assholes you've been with?"
"Do you have another suggestion?"
"Yeah, you could try giving me the benefit of the doubt and realize I could never treat you that way."
"But you did, Sean." She rose from the couch, her hands on her hips. "You lied to me. I asked you to trust me with your past, your secrets, and you didn't. You knew how vulnerable I was. I asked you not to hurt me and you did."
She stalked down the hallway to her bedroom, angrily kicking off her heels. Sean followed behind her, his face a mask of irritation.
"You can't really expect someone to make a promise like that, can you? It's not fair to me or you."
"I can do whatever I want." She knew her response was childish, but it didn't stop the spoiled comment from tumbling from her lips.
"So you're saying you've never hurt anyone before?"
"I'm not saying that..."
"No, because clearly I didn't realize you were so perfect and blameless that you're above making mistakes."
"Sean." She walked into her large closet and slipped out of her dress. "You're being ridiculous." She quickly changed into tiny black shorts and a form-fitting tank top.
"Nina, I didn't come here to fight with you. I came for you to hear my story. If you want to act like a spoiled fucking child, I can't help that." He plopped down into the leather easy chair in the corner of her room.
"I'm not a spoiled child. I'm fucking hurt, you asshole!" She felt her anger rising, but she no longer tried to control it.
"That's it, Gill. Show me that temper. Show me something else other than that Ice Queen persona."
"Fuck you, Reilly! I gave you everything. I gave more of myself to you than any other ever has: my body, my mind, my awesome cooking skills, and my heart." Her voice broke on the last word. "My fucking heart. And you just brushed me to the side."
"Don't you think you hurt me? Or does walking out of my life at the time when I needed you the most seem like a fair deal for the guy that just brushed you aside?" He jumped from the chair and stalked over to her. Nina tensed at the dark look in his eyes as he stepped closer. She found herself backing up until she was pressed against the wall. "This shit, is ridiculous, you know? Why can't we just admit that we both hurt each other in the process of things and move on from there?"
"Because it's not that easy, Sean. You can't just fix everything with pretty words. I know you're sorry, but it just doesn't help."
He cupped her chin in his hands. "Isn't enough that you almost lost me before?"
She gazed up tearfully at him. "That wasn't up to me. This time you've brought this all on yourself."
"So, it's going to be like that huh?"
Nina nodded slowly. "Guess so."
"Are you really that childish, Nina? Are you so stubborn you'll deny yourself happiness because of your fucking pride?"