Grease Paint

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Grease Paint

Grace was sitting next to Nate, having moved herself from his lap the moment she realized that this wasn't gonig to be a fun and light hearted talk. And even though she really did want to know what he had to say, a part of her dreaded it and was petulantly throwing an internal fit, not wanting to hear it today/ Bad enough that she'd learned her aunt Opi was dying, her women's intuition was warning that this next part was just going to add to the bad news day.

"You're aunt...Opi was going to commit suicide today." Nate started and Grace just felt a jolt of painful adrenaline flood her system at his words, then a strange coldness settled into her body. "She didn't get the chance, because I took away her pill bottle. I've been worried for some time that she might go that route and after finding out the news today, I just...Some part of me knew. When she realized that I had her sleeping pills, she confronted me on it. Didn't try to deny it or anything. It's her choice ultimately and I know Ophelia better than she expects and so I knew that I have no real grounds to tell her what to do. Instead I offered her a bargain.” Nate’s voice was curiously monotone, as if he had switched off his vast emotional capacity or maybe just run to the limits of it and hit his emotional overload. It helped Grace to not freak out but she felt cold, using the Scotch they were still drinking to warm up her insides as her best friend continued his explanation. “I’ve got her to give me just over a week to try and convince her that she has a reason to live. And if I fail, I’ve promised to be there with her when she goes through with it.” Nate sighed and took the bottle from Grace. She stared at him, shock still stronger than the anger beginning in her gut. “My first attempt today failed. Miserably. I’m not going to try and paint it in a kind light to save face. I tried to seduce her. She was passively willing but I couldn’t do it.”

Nate shook his head and scrubbed his face while Grace stared at him. She felt the anger in her belly broil but mostly she felt betrayed. He’d changed the rules of their friendship only to turn around and try to seduce her aunt?

“Is there anything else I need to know that you’re keeping from me?” Grace demanded, fighting the urge to slap him. Or worse, cry. She wasn’t one of those stupid Hollywood females that was weak because of a man dammit, so she refused to act like it now. He deserved her anger, not her hurt and she was happy that that showed in her angry tone.

“Are you sure you want to hear? I did warn you that you’d end up hating me for what I had to say.” Nate’s voice was resigned, like he knew what she was going to say but still had to ask. He wasn’t even apologizing for his actions either! Like he didn’t care that he had led Grace on and made her think that they could actually have a real romantic relationship.

“I cannot believe you right now. You selfish bastard.” Grace snarled out at him. “Just tell me the rest and get the hell out of my house.”

Nate sighed again, standing up from her bed without argument. He handed her the bottle after taking one last swig from it as if to fortify himself for this next part. “I think Ophelia’s in love with Colby. I know she’s hurt by your relationship with him and I am going to do whatever I can to help them get together. She deserves some happiness at least.” He walked to the window and opened it up. But Grace knew that there was some final thing he had to say before leaving. Something that was just going to break her heart and she almost told him to stop talking. Almost.

He perched on the edge of the window sill and Grace could see his face looking just wretched. “But what’s really terrible, what makes all of this unforgiveable; is the simple fact that I did all of this fully knowing that I am in love with you Grace. And I don’t think I’ll be forgiving myself for hurting you like I have.” His confession was simple and the plain emotion in his voice slapped Grace across the face because she believed it.

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