Witness to Passion

By: Naima Simone

“Fine, fine.” Addy sighed. “But don’t forget. After work, you, me, The Dive,” she instructed, naming their favorite dive-bar hangout. “Cold beers and hot men. Am I the bestest best friend evah or what?”

“Uh-huh, the bestest. Now I gotta go for real. See you tonight.”

A few moments later, she picked up her order and exited the bustling shop at a fast clip. Ten minutes to get to work now. She ground her teeth together. Damn. Carolyn, aka the Event Planning Nazi, didn’t accept tardiness for any reason—even if that reason included her own order to pick up coffee before shadowing her office’s doorstep.

Moments later, she unlocked the passenger door of her beloved FiFi, the diamond-blue BMW convertible that had been a college graduation present from her father three years earlier. She adored the little car. Though a few years old, FiFi was the only thing she’d kept besides the clothes on her back when she walked away from the pampered and stifling life that had defined her for twenty-three years. The luxurious brownstone, the healthy bank account, and unlimited credit cards—gone. But the BMW? Shoot…her mama didn’t raise no fool.

Well, actually Chelsea Grace Wayland Jury Chancellor hadn’t raised her at all. But still…

She bent over and slid the cardboard holder with the coffee cups on the front seat of the car, all the while trying not to imagine what her ass looked like hanging outside the open door. Once satisfied the drinks wouldn’t spill, she straightened and closed the door. If God decided to actually bless her on her birthday, she mused, traffic would miraculously be clear, and she could make it to work with a couple of minutes to spare…

“Oh damn.” She winced, her cell phone pinging, signaling a text. It was probably Carolyn demanding, Where the hell are you? She removed the phone from the outside pocket of her purse and glanced down at the screen.

Huh. Not a text, but a Twitter notification from her boyfriend Jared.

Smiling, she swept her thumb across the screen. She’d been seeing Jared Combs, a fun-loving, if flighty, bartender for six months. Their relationship was…nice. Light, easy, nothing deep. True, sometimes she felt like they had a weird ménage between her, him, and his drinking buddies going on. But, when she had to work late or on weekends, he didn’t complain. Didn’t demand she give up her career to entertain him. Did they have a grand passion? No. But she’d done the run-through-men-like-water thing years ago and had long since thrown that Been There Done That T-shirt out. Jared was predictable, uncomplicated, safe.

Yes, sure, he wasn’t future husband material, as Addy often complained. But for Fallon, that was one of his selling points. A wedding, husband—those were Addy’s dreams, not hers. After witnessing the natural disaster that had been her parents’ marriage, she had absolutely no desire to walk down that aisle—literally. Oh hell no.

She stared down at Jared’s tweet waiting in horrifying—mortifying—disbelief.

Sorry @Fallonwayland1. We’re just not working out. I need a change & can’t do that with u. Gotta do me. Need the keys to my apt back. Thanx.

What the fuck? Did he…? She squeezed her eyes shut, counted to ten. Reopened them. Nope, still there. This asshat had just broken up with her. By a Tweet. A goddamn Tweet. In 140 characters exactly. Really? He didn’t even have the decency to private message her, but posted it for all of Twitterverse to see. Who did that? Who the hell did that?

Before the thought was complete, her fingers were flying over the keyboard. And hitting Tweet.

Aw @jaredcombs I’m sorry. I told u size didn’t matter & these things happen 2 a lot of men. But I understand.

And below? A photo of his itty-bitty willy.

That’ll teach you to sext a picture of your dick, you son of a bitch.

Immature? Yes. Vindictive? Yup. Felt good? Most definitely.

But in moments the golden glow of revenge started to fade, leaving behind the bright, pulsing red of hurt and humiliation.

Damn, it hurt.

She tossed the cell back in her purse and ground the heels of her palms to her eyes, surely smearing her carefully applied eye makeup.

They hadn’t been in love, but she’d cared for him. Thought he’d at least held some affection for her. Why did this crap always happen to her? Growing up with her parents, she should have a built-in radar for bullshit, lies, and betrayal.

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