Tasha woke up with a severe headache which was normal when she drank too much alcohol and had become frequent in the last month. She hated to admit it, but she didn't feel good about Reade's engagement. She was losing him. She never had the strength to tell him how she felt and when she left the FBI she knew she had given up. Last night she crossed the line with Reade. It wasn't fair to him to kiss him and say that she loved him now that he was engaged to Meg.
After taking a shower and a headache medicine she went to work, because there was a long day to deal with. Tasha didn't want to find him, but knew it would be inevitable. She shouldn't have exposed herself like that. Worst of all, she remembered the kiss and could still feel the way he kissed her. It was better to forget that.
"Hey, Patterson! What do we have for today?" Patterson was concentrated working on one of the lab computers.
"Hello! Are you ok? I was worried yesterday, you disappeared did not answer the calls. But Reade texted me that you were fine."
"I'm fine. I needn't have said anything to him. I can turn around."
"I was really worried. You had cried and you have all this betrothal engagement..."
"I am fine. Just drank a little too much. Reade helped me go home and..." Tasha stopped talking. "He left me there and left." She didn't want to talk about it.
"You know you can say anything you need to me. We are friends."
"I know. Thanks."
"All right." Patterson nodded and they spent the morning working in the lab.
Reade that had had two meetings in the morning had just returned from lunch and couldn't stop thinking about Tasha. The kiss she had given him rekindled a flame that he thought had gone out. For a long time after she left for the CIA he blamed himself for thinking he should have told her to stay and fought for his feelings. Tasha wanted to leave, she needed to find her way that he thought was not beside him. She left and he avoided contact with her for about a year even though she was the most important person to him, but Reade was afraid to talk to her and end up expressing her feelings or hurting her. Then he met Meg and realized it was time to move on. But yesterday, when he felt her lips on his, his heart sped up and Reade didn't know what to do except he needed to talk to Tasha more than ever.
"Tasha." Reade entered the lab where the two friends worked. "Can you come to my office a minute?"
She nodded and followed him down. She knew what he wanted to talk about.
"Are you ok?" He asked after closing the door.
"Yes, thanks for taking me home." Tasha said avoiding his eyes.
"Patterson called me and worried me, but it was good that I found you." He was also choosing the words to speak.
Reade looked at her studying her in an attempt to decipher what she saw, Tasha was quiet and avoided his gaze.
"Do you remember everything that happened yesterday?"
Yes. I was drunk, don't consider..."
"Tasha!" He interrupted her. "How long will we avoid this conversation?" Reade referred to never having talked about feelings with each other. He knew this was a minefield that they had always avoided. This attitude only drove them away from each other.
The brunette took a deep breath and sat on the chair in front of her. "Look, Reade, I've never been good at expressing my feelings, I don't quite know how to talk about these things."
"Me neither, that's why I didn't do anything to stop you from leaving for the CIA." He also sat in his chair.
"I just wish you had asked me to stay." She looked at him sadly. "When I asked you if there was any reason for me to stay, all I wanted was for you to show some feeling for me. But I left knowing that it would never be matched."
"All this time you've been away I've been wondering what it would be like if I'd done it, if you'd stayed. I wanted to ask you that, but I didn't want to be to blame for stopping you from seeking your happiness."
"It's too late for us. We wasted every opportunity we had."
"Were those words you said to me yesterday true?"
"Yes. I always loved you, but I let you escape for fear of losing your friendship." She said that and got up. "You're engaged now, and it's too late for anything. I'm sorry about yesterday, I just kissed you because I were really drunk. And that's it." She said that and left his office.