“You were right,” one of them whispered to Mrs. Winslow, staring at Finn. She was hooked up to a portable oxygen tank, hence the Darth Vadar–like breathing.
“I haven’t seen hipbones cut like that in sixty years,” the other said in the same stage whisper as her friend.
“You realize I can hear you, right?” Finn asked.
The women all jumped in tandem, snapping their gazes up to his. “Oh my god, he’s real,” the woman with the oxygen tank said—wheezed—in awe.
Mrs. Winslow snorted. “You’ll have to excuse them,” she said to Finn. “They probably need their hormone doses checked.”
Finn decided the hell with waiting on Pru to answer her door. He’d slept with her. He’d tasted every inch of her body. She’d done the same for him. So he checked the handle, and when it turned easily in his palm, he took that as a sign that the day had to improve from here.
When Finn had left, Pru stood there in the kitchen, shaken. She grabbed her phone because she needed advice. Since she was still wearing only Finn’s shirt, she propped her phone against the cereal box on the counter so that when the FaceTime call went through to Jake, he’d only see her from the shoulders up.
No need to set off any murder sprees this morning.
When he answered, he just looked at her.
“Hi,” she said.
“Hi yourself. You think I don’t know your thoroughly fucked face?”
She did her best to keep eye contact. “Hey, I don’t point it out to you when you get lucky.”
“Yes you do. You march your ass into my office, pull out your pocketknife, and make a notch on the corner of my wood desk.”
“That’s to make a point,” she said.
“You get lucky a lot.”
He arched a brow. “And the problem?”
Well, he had her there. “I need your advice.”
“Okay, I deserve that,” she said. “But remember when you were worried that Finn was the one who would get hurt?” She felt her eyes fill. “You were off a little.”
“Ah, hell, Pru,” he said, voice softer now. “You never did know how to follow directions worth shit.”
She choked out a laugh. “I know this is a mess of my own making, I totally get that.” She closed her eyes. “And I’ve got no excuse for not finding a way over the past few weeks to tell Finn sooner.” Well, she did sort of have one—that being she was deathly afraid to lose him when she’d only just found him.
Not that Finn would take any comfort from that.
Jake sighed. “Chica, the mistake’s been made. Shit happens. Just tell him. Tell him who you are and who your parents were. Get past it. Stop hiding. You’ll feel better.”
No, she wouldn’t. Because she knew what came next.
Finn would be hurt.
She’d been so taken aback by the speed of events between the two of them, at how fast things had gotten out of her control, that she was scared. Terrified, really. Because hurting him had been the last thing she’d ever wanted. She opened her mouth to say so but at the sound of footsteps coming toward the kitchen, not hurried or rushed or trying to be stealthy, she whirled around, already knowing who she’d be facing.
Finn, of course. Still shirtless, face carefully blank, he strode to the table and picked up his forgotten keys.
God knew how long he’d been there or how much he’d heard. It was impossible to tell by his expression since he was purposely giving nothing away.
Which really was her answer.
He’d heard everything.
“Finn,” Jake said, taking in his shirtless state with a slight brow raise.
“Jake,” Finn said, either not noticing the unspoken question from Jake or ignoring it completely.
Then they both looked at Pru, to their credit both doing so with a mix of affection and concern. With good reason, as it turned out, because she suddenly felt like she was going to be sick.
Go time, she thought.
“Pru,” Finn said quietly. Not a question really but a statement. He wanted to know what was going on.
Oh God, this was going to suck. And the worst part was she’d started all of this with the best intentions. All she’d ever wanted was to fix a wrong that had been done to him, a terrible wrong that she regretted and had carried around until she’d been able to do something about it.
And she’d righted wrongs before, successfully too. But she’d crossed the line this time and she knew it.