As Mitch’s hand reached out for her shoulder she shrunk from his touch, again a little girl who couldn’t stand sympathetic contact. She bathed him with a hard look. “How could you do this to me,” she spat. “After what we shared, how can you think I was involved? How dare you!”
A shuddered breath wracked her tense body and she refused to let the tightening of her throat release the threatened tears as she continued in a hoarse whisper. “I would have thought your investigation would have revealed where the money came from,” she said forming air quotes over the word investigation. Swallowing to contain her emotions further, Lorna stood in the hopes of putting an end to the conversation. “As for Tim Fong. He’s the CEO of Aqua Oil. My client. I am their marketing person. I handle PR and media relations. That’s what I do—what my company does. Investigate that! I don’t know and have never heard of the Fong Family. I am sure everyone has some shady characters in their background. As you unearthed, I obviously did.”
Feeling the weight of sadness envelope her like a blanket, Lorna waved her hand at him, palm outstretched in dismissal. “I’m tired Mitch.” She sighed forcing her feet to move and hold her weight without shaking as she backed away.
Looking down at the one and only man who ever made her feel special, wanted, desired, Lorna realized all of it – her feelings – the way she thought he felt for her – it was all a big lie. Just another lie. He used her to get to her client and she felt deflated, drained of all emotion. How could someone she had been so open, so intimate with assume that she was somehow involved in an illegal crime ring? Because you have a record of being involved in criminal activities.
“Lorna, please. I can’t lose you again . . .” Mitch stood to reached for her hand.
She turned at her name. The anguish in his voice almost, but not quite able to penetrate her defensive shell. Arms crossed protectively over her stomach, holding firm to her sides, she lowered her head. “You’re not the person I thought you were,” she said turning. From over her shoulder she continued. “You’re not someone I want in my life.”