“When?” Finn asked.
Archer gave him a surprised look. “Shouldn’t the question be what? As in what did I find out?”
“You know who she is.”
“Yes,” Archer said. “Do you?”
“Why the fuck do you think I’m standing here by myself?” Finn asked.
Archer looked away for a beat and then brought his gaze back. “There’s stuff you might not know.”
“Like the fact that she’s spent her life since the accident trying to right that wrong to everyone who was affected. That she, anonymously through an attorney, gave every penny she was awarded in life insurance to the victims of that accident, including you and Sean. She not only kept zero for herself, she sold the house she was raised in and used that money to help as well. She kept nothing, instead dedicated the following years to making sure everyone else was taken care of, whatever it took. She helped them find jobs, stay in college, find a place to live, everything and anything that was needed.”
“You know?” Archer asked in disbelief. “So what happened between you two? She came clean and . . .”
“I got mad that she lied to me.”
“You mean omitted, right? Because not telling you something isn’t lying.”
Finn swore roughly but whether that was because he was pissed or because Archer was right, he wasn’t sure. “It was more than that. She had plenty of opportunities to tell me. If not when we first met, then certainly after we—”
Archer let that hang there a moment. “I’m thinking she had her reasons,” he said quietly. “And it wasn’t all that long. What, three weeks? Maybe she was working her way up to it.”
Finn shook his head.
“Look, I’m not excusing what she did,” Archer said. “She should’ve told you. We both know that. But we also both know that it’s never that easy. She had a lot working against her, Finn. She’s alone, for one. And she’s got the biggest guilt complex going that I’ve ever seen.”
Finn swore again and shoved his fingers in his hair. “She shouldn’t feel guilty. The accident wasn’t her fault.”
“No,” Archer said. “It wasn’t. So I’m going to hope like hell you didn’t let her think it was, no matter how badly she stepped on your ego.”
“That’s completely bullshit. This isn’t about my ego.”
“Your stupid pride then,” Archer said. “I was with you when your dad died, don’t forget. I know how your life changed. And I realize we’re talking about a soul here and I don’t like to speak ill of the dead, but you and I both know the truth. Yours and Sean’s life changed for the better when your father was dead and buried.”
Finn let his head fall back and he stared at the ceiling.
“You know what I think happened?”
“No,” Finn said tiredly, “but I bet you’re about to tell me.”
Archer smiled grimly, and true to his nature, didn’t hold back. “I think you fell and fell hard, and then you got scared. You needed an out and she gave it to you. Hell, she handed it to you on a silver platter. Well, congrats, man, you got what you wanted.”
At his silence, Archer shook his head and headed for the door. “Hope you enjoy it.”
Finn sat there stewing in his own frustration, both bad temper and regrets choking him. Enjoy it? He couldn’t imagine enjoying anything, ever again. He looked around him. In the past, this place had been his home away from home.
But that feeling had migrated to Pru’s place two floors up.
Just as his emotions had migrated to the same place, over softball, darts, hikes, and long conversations about what they wanted out of their hopes and dreams, often chased by the best sex he’d ever had.
He hadn’t realized just how far gone he was when it came to her. Or how lost in her he’d allowed himself to become.
But he was. Completely lost in her, and lost without her.
He hadn’t seen that coming. He’d assumed they’d continue doing what they’d been doing. Being together. Hell, it’d been so easy it’d snuck up on him.
And he’d fallen, hard.
That wasn’t the surprise. No, that honor went to the fact that in spite of what she’d done, he was still in love with her.
And, he suspected, always would be.
Pru was up on the roof with Thor, watching the fog roll in when she felt someone watching her. “I’m not going to jump, if that’s what you’re worried about,” she said.