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I found myself in the vaguely familiar living room that belonged to Melissa, mindlessly staring at the television. Breaking news flashed on the screen. Apparently there had been a drug bust up in Pasadena, where several thousand pounds of cocaine and other drugs were located in an abandoned sawmill. They claimed it was the work of a notorious gang police had been investigating for quite some time.

Looks like their hard work had finally paid off, I thought to myself. A cynical chuckle escaped my throat.

Melissa walked in front of me with the remote in her hand, shutting off the TV.

I looked up. "I was watching that."

"No you weren't," she answered. She then threw herself onto the couch next to me and handed me a beer.

I pressed the bottle to my lips. After tonight I would need all the help I could get for even a wink of sleep. There were hundreds of questions I kept asking myself. What did this mean for my family? Was Ray going to try and come back into our lives? How was I going to tell Anna? Should I even tell her? How would I ever trust Derik again?

I shook the questions, forcing the bottle back to my lips. After I looked over to Melissa. "You're quiet."

She shook her head. "I just don't even know what to say anymore."

I laughed. "Well, that's a first."

Her gaze fell onto me while I peered down the neck of my beer bottle. It was already almost empty. I wondered if Melissa had more. Why couldn't I bring myself to look at her?

Maybe because she would have a sad expression that would resemble pity. I would feel even worse and lie and say I was fine. She would see past it and ask me if I wanted to talk about it. I would refuse. It was all something I terribly wanted to avoid. I was just an unfortunate soul reaping the karmic retribution I deserved.

"How are you dealing with it?" she whispered.

I sighed. "I don't know."

I could feel the tension growing. She wanted to talk about it with me and I was refusing. I just couldn't. Not tonight.

"Do you want another?"

She was referring to a beer. Another would probably make things worse even though I wanted one. I shook my head. "No, I'm fine."

I refused to look over again and stared at the wall instead. I should've been angry. I should've been hurting. I should feel something, but I was numb. Maybe my body had entered a new phase of shock.

It was like when you stubbed your toe, and the aftermath ached for a while if it was bad enough. The initial blow was the most painful, but the rest of the pain came in waves. That's what this felt like. Waves of pain

"What are you thinking?" Melissa asked.

I set the empty bottle on the coffee table. "How I'm going to sleep on this uncomfortable couch tonight."

"You're lying."

This time I turned my head to face her. I didn't want to talk because I knew it would be painful, but sometimes you just had to rip the band aid off. Sometimes it was better to talk. And Melissa seemed to be the only one I had left.

I ran my hand through my hair. "I have no idea how I'm going to tell Anna." The confession made my throat tight. My eyes burned but I blinked it away.

"For now I don't think you should tell her anything. Not until things settle down and make more sense."

Did she mean wait until after our final job? The one Chapman had promised to help us with if we helped him catch Stanley and my father? Was that offer still on the table after tonight?

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