One Bad Day (One Day)
hesitant about having sex with her the night before—he was engaged. She was an idiot. And a home-wrecker! She should’ve known she wasn’t his type. He was into tall blondes. Now she was The Other Woman. She burned with shame and scrubbed hot tears away with the back of her hand.
    She took a deep breath. Get your shit together, Tessa. Shattered pieces of glass lay scattered throughout the kitchen and sparkled on the carpet in the living room. Pictures, damaged decorations, and tufts of furniture stuffing were strewn about. She had a lot of work ahead of her and Claudia would be showing up soon. Just as she picked up a broom and was about to start sweeping, she heard a knock on the door and looked up to see Claudia standing in the doorway.
    Claudia had Tessa’s bag over her shoulder and was wearing the same wrinkled clothes from the day before. It looked as though she had slept in them. Looking at Claudia’s face, Tessa wondered if she had even slept at all.
    “Hey,” Tessa said, setting down the broom. “Sorry about the mess. Here’s your mascot costume.” She came around the kitchen counter and handed Claudia the hot pants, nylons, gloves and tank top she had borrowed the day before. “I’m sorry I didn’t have time to wash them. I’m so glad you—”
    “Where’s the rest of my stuff?” Claudia asked, frantically shaking out each item of clothing.
    “It’s all there.” Tessa gestured to the outfit.
    “I want the SD card you took.” Claudia’s gaze darted around the room. “Where is it?”
    “Um...” She remembered giving the card to Gray the night before.
    “I need the card, Tessa.” Claudia ran her fingers through her hair.
    “I can get you another one.”
    “Oh, God.” Claudia’s voiced quivered. “I need that card. He’s going to kill me.” She paced the entryway. “All I wanted was for him to love me . To want to be with me .” She stopped mid-stride and looked over at Tessa. “Do you know what it’s like to love someone, I mean really love them? He would tell me that he was going to leave her and I believed him.” She continued walking back and forth while flinging her arms around. “I waited and waited,” she choked out, tears starting to stream down her face. “I recorded us. I thought that if I threatened him with the video, he would finally leave her.” She stood in front of Tessa, a crazed, desperate look in her eyes. “You can understand that, right?”
    Stunned, Tessa nodded. Claudia was clearly off her rocker.
    “I didn’t know that he would send people after me.” She walked over to a nearby chair and plopped down, cotton puffs blowing up around her. “I thought he loved me.” She took a shuddering breath before continuing. “They knew I would be working. They knew I would be the mascot.” She looked at Tessa, tears shimmering in her eyes. “That’s why we had to switch. It wasn’t personal. You understand, don’t you?”
    Tessa nodded again. Claudia had it bad for the guy. She thought about her feelings for Gray. Yes, love made people do some crazy things.
    She heard a noise at the front door and glanced over to see Scary Guy standing in the doorway. He had a purple bump on his head and a black gun in his hand, aimed in her direction.
    As soon as Claudia looked up and saw him in the doorway, she placed her head in her hands and sobbed.
    Well, that couldn’t be a good sign.
    ***
    Gray hung up with Davidson and blew out a deep breath. Damn it. Now he understood why Tessa was being targeted.
    The SD card contained naked photos and video of Senator Stone with a blonde. He knew for a fact that Mrs. Senator Stone was a brunette.
    He could only assume that Tessa had somehow inadvertently gotten herself in the middle of something big. And, after yesterday’s events, something deadly.
    On his way to Tessa’s apartment, he called Burg and filled him in on what he knew.
    “I’d heard whispers that the Senator was having an affair,” Burg said.
    “Any idea

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