One Friday after a rough week Reade watched a game while sipping a beer. Meg had traveled and will return next morning. The ringing of the phone took her focus off the game.
"Reade." Patterson looked distressed on the other end of the phone line. "Do you know where is Tasha?"
"The last time I saw her was when I was leaving and she was in her lab. Did something happen?"
"It's just that she wasn't fine. She had cried. I thought she talked to you." The blonde thought before speaking. "Never mind, I'll try her phone again. It should be nothing."
After Patterson hung up Reade tried Tasha's cell phone, then her home phone, and nothing. He left a message in the mailbox and waited about five minutes later decided to leave.
Tasha had always been an unknown to him, Reade even kissed her once, but soon regretted that she said she had no feelings for him and that they were just friends. He confused himself with some signs she had shown, he only kissed her because he thought she felt something for him, but it really wasn't. They had been friends for so long and had a lot of freedom to talk about many things, but about his feelings he never had the courage to open up. He preferred to move on and not insist, for what they had was too precious to spoil by feelings he wasn't even sure if he really was. And then Tasha left to work for the CIA and they spent a long time without talking. Reade had been hurt that she had left him. In the meantime he met Meg and laid a stone on everything he thought he felt.
Reade walked into three different bars and didn't find her, so he remembered a bar they went to about two years ago and that's where he found her. Tasha was sitting in the corner with a half-empty glass of drink and a lost look. Her heart was moved because she didn't look well.
"Tasha, are you alright?" She was drunk and with red eyes.
"Reade, how did you find me here?"
Tasha had lost all hope, preferring to drown in the drink rather than talking to him. Reade was fine with Meg, she deserved it, Tasha didn't. She was a mess and never wanted to involve him in her sentimental life so as not to ruin their friendship and complicity.
"Come on, I'll take you away and we'll talk when we get home." Reade offered his hand to support her and helped her to her feet.
"Leave me, go home to stay with Meg that I call a taxi." The brunette answered with dismay in her voice.
"No way. You come with me." Reade wondered at the tone she used when speaking of Meg, but let it pass because she was so drunk and didn't even know what she was talking about.
The two remained silent until they reached her house. Tasha was leaning against the passenger door looking through the glass and didn't want to talk. Reade just drove silently.
"Do you want a glass of water? I can make some coffee to help you get better." Tasha was sitting on the couch in her living room and Reade bent down next to her as she talked.
"No, it's not necessary, Reade, go away. Leave me alone with my problems. You already helped me get here."
"I can't leave you like that, you drank a lot and it's not okay, I won't go until you're better. Patterson told me you had cried. Want to talk? You know you can talk to me about anything."
"Patterson ... she can't keep her mouth shut." Tasha spat those words and turned her face away.
"She was just worried, and asked me to help her find you. And honestly, if I hadn't arrived, I don't know how you would come home."
"Reade, go to your house, you don't have to stay here." Tasha knew that Reade wasn't guilty of how she was feeling and would rather he left so as not to dump all his shit on him.
"I'll take you to your room. Come on." He stood, took her by the hand and led her into the bedroom.
Tasha fell into bed without changing clothes. Reade felt obligated to help her get more comfortable, but he didn't want to invade her privacy that way.
"Look Tasha, I'm your friend and I'll always be here for you. I'm leaving and if you want tomorrow we'll talk."
Reade put a blanket over her in an attempt to make her more comfortable. - I'm going. Now that you are settled I get more relaxed." He said sitting on the bed next to her.
Tasha sat down and quickly approached him and kissed him on the lips. Reade found herself unresponsive, just pulled her against him and kissed her as well. Her lips were soft and sweet and had a slight taste of alcohol. He was mesmerized by the intensity of the kiss and the way she wrapped her arms around his neck. He didn't have the strength to stop her, for even he didn't know how much he wanted to kiss her too.
- I love you... - Tasha whispered these words and lay turning to the side.
When Reade found the strength to get up and leave, she had already slept. He hardly slept. He kept thinking of the kiss and the words she said to him. It must have been alcohol, she couldn't really feel anything for him, because she was Tasha and because if that was the case she could have told him, after all they talked about everything.