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Crash and Burn (The Witness Series Book 6) by Heather D'Agostino (1)

Amber

“I don’t know what’s been going on lately,” I sighed as I rolled over and glanced at the clock again. I’d been enjoying a morning lying in bed when my best friend, Dani, called. I hadn’t really talked to her much since she got in engaged to her boyfriend, Mason. I knew it would happen as soon as she gave the asshole a second chance. I had no idea why she’d want to, but who was I to judge? She was happy. That was all that mattered to me after the crap she’d been through. 

“Have you talked to him?” she prodded.

“No,” I grumbled as I rolled to my back. The sheets were so inviting I had no interest in getting up, but as the sun shone through the curtains alerting me to the fact that it was close to mid-day, I knew I needed to. “He said he’d call me last night, and he didn’t. It’s the fifth time it’s happened. Something in my gut says that it’s not normal.”

“Why don’t you meet me for lunch? We can talk, and you can tell me why you think he’s lying as I explain how crazy you sound,” she laughed lightly making me think that I was over reacting again.

“Fine,” I grumbled. “You always were the smart one between the two of us.” We made plans to meet at the local sub shop around the corner from her and Mason’s apartment before I clicked off the phone, and punched the bed beside me. It wasn’t that I was angry per se, I was more worried that I was right.

After pulling on a pair of jeans and a sweater, I grabbed my purse and coat, and made my way to the L. I had a car, but I rarely ever used it. Mark usually drove, or I took the bus, or the L. There really wasn’t a need for a car in the city, and I know if it wasn’t for his job, Mark wouldn’t drive either.

ooooooooo

“So what exactly did he say?” Dani set the sandwich she’d been eating down on the wrapper in front of her as she studied my face.

“He’s been busy, and he’d call when he got off work,” I rolled my eyes. I’d heard this line every day for the last two weeks. “I can count on one hand how many times I’ve seen him since Christmas. We haven’t had sex since the ball.” Dani snickered and I glared at her. “It’s not funny. I think he’s cheating on me.” I blew out a breath as I slumped back in my chair, blinking my eyes furiously to keep from crying again. I’d done this a lot lately, and I was tired of it.

“Maybe he really is busy. You know things are crazy at the station right now with a bunch of the guys leaving,” she tossed her hand in the air as she sipped her Diet Coke. “With Ford Stevenson Security opening up soon, Dev and Jase have been busy, or so I’ve been told. I’m sure Mark’s feeling a little overwhelmed with Jeff leaving too.”

“Maybe,” I muttered. “He doesn’t have to do anything though. The department will pick his new partner. He just has to learn to work with him.”

“I don’t think it’s that simple,” she smiled at me. “I mean, Jeff’s been his partner for a while, right? They probably know each other pretty well. I would think having to start over with someone new would be a challenge. I mean, you’re putting your life in that person’s hands,” Dani shrugged before glancing out the window.

“You sound like Mark,” I could feel the anger that I’d tamped down the night before rising once again.

“I’m just trying to understand his side of it. I know I don’t know him like you do, but I understand what he’s going through. When I moved back out here, I didn’t have any support business wise. It took all of my time to get things going again. I’m not complaining about that. I love my job, but it wasn’t as simple as opening an office space and plugging in my laptop. I had to start all over again. I had one client here, and I had to build everything up, and establish a routine. How do you know he hasn’t gotten a case that’s kept him occupied?” her head tipped to the side as she stared at me.

“I don’t. That’s the thing. He can’t tell me most of time. I thought I could handle that, I did for a long time, but now it seems to be getting harder and harder. I just don’t understand why he didn’t tell Dev ‘yes’ when he was offered the job to work with them,” I frowned as I picked at my sandwich.

“Maybe he just wasn’t ready to. Maybe he’s happy with where his career is. Ever think of that?” Dani’s eyebrow rose as she stared at me.

“Whose side are you on here? I thought we were friends.” I crossed my arms over my chest.

“We are. That’s why I can tell you stuff like this. We’re best friends, and I am telling you this with love. You are acting like a jealous girlfriend right now. Whatever’s going on between you two is going to get worse if you keep this up,” she narrowed her eyes at me as if to drive the point home. “Try understanding where he’s coming from. Give him space, and be patient about him checking in. You two aren’t married. What’s it going to be like when you are? Are you going to get upset when he goes under? It could happen, you know? I saw the tail end of it with Sam when I first moved here. Start making plans without him. Go out with your friends, or me,” she pointed at her chest. “Maybe things will change with him when he sees you’re not sitting at home waiting on him,” she shrugged as a small smile tugged at her lips.

“You’re right. I’m making plans for Friday. Maybe if I’m not home when he calls, he’ll see that he needs to make more of an effort to see me,” I smirked as the idea formed. If I wasn’t available all the times he came over late just wanting to snuggle, maybe he’d see fit to take me out or at least plan a real date. “If he can do his own thing, so can I.”

ooooooooo