"So are you going to tell me what crawled up your ass and died, or do I need to start digging into your private life again?" Georgia asked, thumbing through the photos in her hands, picking out the most damning.
Seated cross-legged next to her, Alex didn't look up from the sheet of credit card transactions, trying to pinpoint moments of spending that might have been out of the norm with a yellow highlighter. "You're going to have to be a little more specific," she said around the pen cap wedged between her back teeth.
Given Alex's choice of career, digging into people's private lives was almost a no-brainer. She made a living off of exposing the wet underbelly of the world, but this was the equivalent of tabloid work. A little underhanded and seedy, but it was the only way to start making amends with Georgia.
The PI had been understandably leery after their falling out, but given Alex's connections in other departments, there was wisdom in taking the offer of free aid. Thus, a strange but not unpleasant work routine was established. In her off hours and over the weekends, Alex picked up the slack in whatever cases Georgia needed help with, anything from the mundane to the moderately difficult and anywhere in between. Tonight was no different.
Holed up in Georgia's apartment with cheap food, good beer, and a movie playing in the background, they worked through cases one step at a time. Another affair case, Georgia's most common commission. Guy cheats. Wife catches wind. Wants proof so that during divorce proceedings she can take the bastard for all he's worth. Easy-peasy.
"I'll rephrase," Georgia said after a swig from her bottle. "Wanna tell me why you've been moping like a dude turned down too many times at a bar?"
Alex's frown was sharp, her attention finally snapping into focus. "I've not been moping."
"Bullshit," Georgia snorted, setting three explicit photos－it was amazing what a telephoto lens and no sense of decency could provide－down on the coffee table along with phone transcripts. "Spill it. You and I agreed. No more secrets or this whole thing starts from scratch. Something happen at work?"
"No," Alex muttered, focusing again on the paper until it was jerked out of her hands. "Hey!"
Georgia held the paper out of reach. "Someone giving you trouble?"
"No." Alex snatched at it but missed and almost slipped off the sofa cushion in the process. Tonight wasn't a night she wanted to talk. Tonight she wanted to drink, eat terrible food, and not think about her escapades in the tunnels and the relief her body kept crying for but was denied.
"You get laid recently and it wasn't up to snuff?"
Well, that certainly put her off balance. Ass cheek missing the edge of the cushion, Alex flailed to the floor, taking all her papers with her in the process. Snorting laughter, Georgia just looked down at her, elbows on her knees.
"You get fucked and not like it?" she asked with a lopsided grin.
"No! No, it's—I...not really." Smooth Bailey, she sighed, hauling herself back onto the couch and attempting to rearrange her pride.
"Not really?" The edges of Georgia's mouth curled almost catlike. "How can that answer be an open-ended one? You've either fucked or you haven't, and masturbation doesn't count. Which is it?"
"I have not," Alex said stiffly, back straighter than it needed to be.
"Which one, fucked or masturbated?"
"Jesus, if you're not my gynecologist, I don't want to have this conversation." She couldn't help notice how much enjoyment Georgia was getting out of this and wondered if it was payback.
YOU ARE READING
Journalist Alexandra Bailey never believed she'd become another tragic statistic ripe for the front pages. Abducted off the street. Beaten bloody. Left for dead in the unforgiving winter. The article wrote itself. And her crime? Not even she knew, b...