I did make a yummy macaroni cheese with mushrooms, bacon and onions. Delicious...
But I should have been writing... these are the boys talking to me at the moment. Unedited etc.
JT pushed the white envelope containing his resignation across the polished expanse of the desk. “I can’t stay here, Lukas.” He was doing his level best to hold onto the fractured remnants of his control in front of his section leader, but if JT didn’t get the hell out of Lukas’ office he knew it wasn’t going to last.
Lukas Romaine, a man in his late thirties who’d once been beautiful enough to stride down a Paris catwalk, but was now worn by years of herding stupid cats as he described his operatives, ignored the envelope and stared at JT. “You don’t have to leave. Not yet. Don’t make a hasty decision you’ll regret later.”
JT had known he’d have a battle on his hands to get Lukas to accept his resignation, but he was tired and he hoped Lukas would accept it without question. He should have known better. “Yeah, I do. I can’t stay, Lukas. Not now, not after what he did.”
“Riley’s locked up. He can’t get anywhere near you,” Lukas said. “You’re safe now.”
“It doesn’t change what he did.” Nothing would change what Riley had done to JT’s life.
Lukas leaned forward in his seat, his knuckles white as his hands gripped the arms of his chair. “JT, I promise you he’s going to pay for what he did to you.”
JT’s patience snapped. “Do you thinking locking Riley up in some fancy Fed jail is going to ‘make him pay’ for killing my sister?”
“He can’t hurt you.”
“He already has hurt me. Riley Cooper was my best friend since grade school and he killed his wife—my little sister. Do you know how that feels? I’ve lost them both.” JT resisted the urge to wrap his arms around himself as he remembered bursting into his sister’s kitchen to see her lying blood-soaked on the floor and Riley standing over her, a knife in his hand. As he’d watched, a drop of blood fell to the floor, adding to the crimson puddle next to Sharon.
“I’m sorry, JT.” Lukas exhaled sharply. “I know how much you loved them both. Riley was one of us too. But he’s gone and now I’m losing you.”
“I’m sorry too.”
Lukas sighed as he picked up the envelope. “No, you’re not. Are you sure about this, JT? If I process this there’s no going back. You’re finished here.”
“Accept my resignation, Lukas. It’s better for all of us this way.”
“What about Ryan?” Lukas asked.
JT stiffened. “What about him?”
“You’re going to walk away from your boyfriend?”
“You knew?” Fuck! He and Ryan had been so careful to keep it quiet as inter-office romances were strictly against the rules. Three years together and never a look or a kiss between them during ‘office hours’.
Lukas got to his feet, slamming his hands on his desk. “Don’t treat me like I’m stupid. You’re both in my section. Of course I knew.”
JT stood, his hands on the desk and glaring at Lukas. “Don’t take it out on Ryan. It was my fault.”
“I’m pretty sure you two broke the rules together,” Lukas said drily, his anger fading as quickly as it had flared. “But you haven’t answered my question. “You leave the section and you leave him. Is that what you want?”
JT looked away, unwilling to let Lukas see his inner turmoil. Leaving Ryan was the last thing he wanted to do. “It’s for the best.”
“You’re an idiot, JT.”
“Maybe, but I can’t stay here. No one treats me the same and everything reminds me of Sharon and Riley.” JT was sick of his team tiptoeing around him as if they expected him to fall apart. He was sick of feeling like they were right, and he was one breath away from a meltdown. He needed to get away for his own sanity.
“I’m going to miss you.” Lukas finally picked up the envelope and tapped it on the desk.
“I’m going to miss you too,” JT said.
Lukas grunted. “Try and sound more sincere. Leave a forwarding address.”
JT forced a smile at him. “I don’t want you to tell anyone where I’m going.”
“Especially Ryan.” The last thing JT needed was Ryan storming back into his life. “Oh, and one more thing.”
Lukas scowled at JT across his desk. “Yes?”
“My name’s not JT any more. It’s Jacob Tyler. Jake. JT died when Riley stuck a knife into my sister’s gut.”