Author: Kat Lee
Challenge/Prompt: 1_million_words Monday Challenge: Opposites Attract and beattheblackdog 105: Current
Word Count: 1,101
Date Written: 31 March 2018
Disclaimer: All characters within belong to their rightful owners, not the author, and are used without permission.
By the time Allie finally reached her car, a car which was modern and which she supposedly drove for her boss, she felt like crying. Surrounded by the plush seats and all the most current technology, she was painfully aware of just how much she had lied to Cabe. She even had a Frank Sinatra CD in the player just in case she had happened to need to drive him somewhere. She could have said the music was hers but the car was her company vehicle, paid for by her boss, to explain the fact that it wasn’t a classic. The truth was she didn’t have very much in her life which was classical.
She also didn’t have very much in her life which was purely good, or even honest. Tears welled in her eyes as she slapped the steering wheel with her palms. She was so tired of lying! She had done what was necessary, she tried failingly to argue with herself. She had done what was required to preserve her boss’ job and status, thereby, her own. Politics was an ugly business. Men like Cabe Gallo and Sylvester Dodd didn’t belong in politics. They were too good for the system, too good for the people which, for the most part, which was dirty and wretched as her boss, and herself.
She wasn’t a good person, Allie admitted in the small, quiet space of her own mind. Her shoulders shook. She wasn’t a good person at all, but there was still enough good in her to make her realize just how horrible a person she was. She’d broken a good man’s heart and quite nearly broken that of another good man who was like a son to the first, the first warm and caring hands that had held her . . . It felt like forever, but it was at least since she had come to this and her boss had offered her a job when no one else had.
That didn’t excuse her behavior. That didn’t make it right. Nothing could deliver her from the guilt she had over what she’d just done to Cabe. The man was a widower! She was the first woman he’d been with since his wife, and she’d never felt for him the things she’d proclaimed to feel. It wasn’t that it wouldn’t be easy to fall for the man. It would be -- too darn easy --, but she had led him on since the very beginning.
There was one thing, she thought, that she had told him that wasn’t a lie: When she fell, she fell hard, and she tended to fall for the type of man who she couldn’t have, the type who had always and would always be too good for her. Cabe Gallo was too good for any woman she knew, especially herself, and yet because of her, he might never try the field of romance again. He didn’t deserve to be alone, but he didn’t deserve her either. He deserved something better, far better than a bitch who lied to him and used him to further her career.
He was a man of honor, of ethics, of integrity. He was a man who had served and continued to daily serve his country and who, in the process, had saved God only knew how many lives. And she had repaid his loyalty with deceit and his heroicness with cowardliness. She was the one who deserved to be alone, not him.
She stared, through the tears misting in her eyes, back at Scorpion Headquarters. She could walk back in there and apologize. She could plead and beg for his forgiveness. She could make up some wild story, as she had in the past, about how her boss had truly forced her to put that video out there about Sly. He might help her, but he’d never trust her again.
Allie shook her head. She knew games like this didn’t work, not with men like Agent Gallo. There was now nothing in the world she could say or do to deserve his forgiveness. He might help her -- he would help her if she was truly in distress --, but he’d never trust her now. Any possibility that she might have had of getting him to truly fall for her was over, destroyed by her own stupidity and greed.
She had her job. She had her position. She had her money. But she would never have a good man. She’d never have a man like Cabe Gallo. Hell, there probably were no other men left in the world like him. He truly was a classic, a classic hero with traits from John Wayne and Old Blue Eyes himself, a classic hero the likes of which she could never, ever deserved.
With shaking hands, Allie started up her car and punched the Play button on her radio. As Old Blue Eyes’ voice filled her car, she listened to songs she’d never appreciated before Gallo. She listened to a time gone by and wished like Hell she’d been born then instead of when she had. If she’d been in that world, maybe she wouldn’t have had to a carve a place for herself in one like this one. Maybe she would have had a good man. Maybe she would have even met Gallo before his wife had and been the lucky woman he’d loved.
Maybe her whole life could have been different, but that was a time long past her time. She sniffled. Opposites did attract: Cabe was decades older than she and light years better than she’d ever be, and yet if she’d had the chance, she could have easily let herself fall in love with him. As it was, she’d fallen too hard, and all that was left now was to pick up the pieces and carry on, to survive as she’d always done since she’d first found herself on her own.
And she would. She’d survive. She’d carry on, but she’d never have a good man like Cabe. She’d never know love. Maybe that was the price it took for a woman to survive on her own in a world like today’s harsh world full of lies, deceit, and betrayal. She knew all three of those acts too darn well, and they’d always served her well -- until now. Now she knew she’d survive, but she would never know love beyond her fantasies. She’d never know what it had felt like she and Cabe had almost had. She’d survive, but she’d survive alone. As she drove away crying, Allie wondered if the price would ever be worth it.