Best Friends, Secret Lovers

By: Jessica Lemmon


Divorce had changed him.

“You’re single with us, love. Did you want in on the pact?” Reid smiled as he refilled his paper Starbucks cup.

“No, I do not. And I’m single by choice. You’re single—” she poked Reid in the chest “—because you’re a lemming.”

“I’m to believe you’re single by choice,” Reid stated flatly. She wisely ignored the barb.

“A pact to not fall in love is juvenile and shortsighted.”

“We can fall in love,” Gage argued. “We agreed not to marry.”

“Pathetic.” She rolled her eyes and Flynn lost his patience.

“Sabrina.” He dipped his voice to its most authoritative tone. “It’s not a joke.”

She craned her chin to take in all six feet of him and gave him a withering glare that would’ve shrunk a lesser man’s balls.

“I know it’s not a joke. But it’s still pathetic.”

She turned for the coffeemaker and Reid chuckled. “You have no effect on her, mate.”

“Yeah, well, vice versa,” Flynn said, but felt the untruth hiding behind his statement. Sabrina had enough of an effect on him that he treated her differently than he did Reid and Gage. As present as she was in his life, it’d always been impossible to slot her in as one of the “guys.” And in a weird way he’d protected her when he’d excluded her from last night’s shenanigans as well as the skiing weekend. Flynn was jaded to the nth degree. Sabrina wasn’t. He needed her to stay positive and sunshiny. He needed her to be okay. For her own sake, sure, but also for his.

“Heartbreak isn’t a myth,” Reid called out to her as she walked for the door. “You’ll see that someday.”

“Morons.” She strolled out but did so with a twitch in her walk and a smile on her face. Immune to all of them, evidently.





Three

Sabrina had lectured Flynn as much as she dared. She’d pushed him to the point of real anger—not the showy all-bark/no-bite thing he’d just done in “the Suit Café” as she liked to call their private break room, but real, shaking, red-faced anger. Which was why she recognized the sound of that booming timbre when she passed by a closed conference room door later the same afternoon.

Definitely, that was Flynn shouting a few choice words, and definitely, that was the voice of Mac Langley, a senior executive who had been hired on at the beginning by Emmons Parker himself.

She bristled as more swearing pierced the air. She’d seen a glimpse of the old Flynn when the four of them had fled the funeral to go to Chaz’s for fish and chips and ice-cold beers. In that moment she’d realized how much she missed hanging out with him, and how his marriage to Veronica had been the beginning of her new, more distant BFF. In college Sabrina used to bake him cookies, do his laundry, make sure he was eating while studying.

She felt that instinct to take care of him anew. Maybe because Veronica was so classless, having tossed aside what she and Flynn had, or simply because Sabrina wanted Flynn to be happy again and their college years were when she remembered his being happiest.

Flynn loudly insulted Mac again and Sabrina winced. There’d be no putting that horse back into the barn. No man could call another man that and not pay the price. It’d take time to smooth over, and some distance. And with a man like Mac, the distance would have to be Tokyo to London.

The heavy wooden door did little to mute the noise, and as a result a few employees had gathered outside it—staring in slack-jawed bewilderment.

When the shouts ceased, a charge of electricity lingered like the stench from a burnt grilled cheese sandwich—like the tension couldn’t be contained by the room and had crept out under the door.

She pasted a smile on her face and turned toward the gathering crowd—two gawping interns and Gage.

“Yikes.” Gage smirked, sipped his coffee and eyed the interns. “Unless you want to be on the receiving end of more of that,” he leaned in to say, “you might want to clear the corridor before they come out.”

He kept his tone light and playful, adding a wink for the benefit of the two younger girls, and when he smiled they tittered and scooted off, their tones hushed.

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