“Nora, I came over as soon as I knew you’d left the station.”
Evangeline gave Nora a hug as she pushed her way inside. Evangeline had every belief that Nora wanted to be alone, but she knew that was the last thing she needed right now. She needed to be surrounded by people who loved her. For that reason Evangeline had called Rachel as soon as she’d left the station.
“Evangeline, you didn’t have to come over. I know that you’ve been really busy with Antonio’s case and I remember what it’s like to be a defense attorney.”
“I’m never too busy to be there for you. I’m so sorry about everything that happened today.”
Evangeline followed Nora to the living room and the two sat down looking at each other.
“I know. I’m sorry, too. Daniel really did a number on me. I really believed him when he said he loved me.”
“Nora, we all believed him. He was very convincing.”
“Yeah, I know. But he’s gay and was having an affair. He killed my step-daughter to cover up him killing Paul Cramer. I and my son were living with a killer and I never knew. Matthew didn’t want me to marry Daniel. I knew something was wrong before the wedding, but I allowed my confrontation with Bo to push me into marrying him. This is all my fault.”
“No, it isn’t. Daniel was a liar and a cheat and he was very good at it. He hurt you and Riley and he did it knowingly. You can’t blame yourself for this. Put the blame where it belongs; on Daniel’s shoulders.” Evangeline laid her hand on Nora’s arm to emphasize her words.
“I’d like to, but I can’t totally. The thing that hurts more than anything else is the way it happened. Not only do I look like a fool, but I look like a fool in front of the whole town. That is Bo’s doing. I just hate it when Bo’s right. You know what’s funny? I knew in my gut that I didn’t love Daniel; not the way he said he loved me, but I married him anyway. What do you think of that?” Nora’s voice broke as she admitted her mistake.
“Nora, I’m so sorry.”
“You should have seen Bo’s face. He took pleasure in bringing Daniel down and he didn’t care that I got hurt. I mean, he did offer to take it somewhere private, but after all the times he’s been after Daniel, I just thought it was another attempt by him to get the better of Daniel. I thought Bo cared about me; how wrong could I be?” Nora looked on the verge of tears. Evangeline hurt for her, but she felt the need to defend Bo.
“Nora, I think maybe he thought he was doing what was best.”
“Don’t defend him. Don’t you dare, because it didn’t have to happen that way. Bo and I have history. He knows how to reach me; he didn’t. I knew Bo hated Daniel and that he was mad at me for marrying Daniel, but I never thought he’d do this.” Nora was trembling with anger as she spoke.
“Nora, I don’t think he did this to hurt you.”
“Maybe, maybe not, but he knew that I was going to be hurt and he could have done something different and he didn’t.” Nora had run through a flurry of emotions. Now, defeat was prominent in the slumping of her shoulders.
“You’re right. I’m sorry; in fact, I had this same conversation with John. I felt like he could have done something to help diffuse the situation.”
“This has nothing to do with John. This is all Bo. I feel like an even bigger fool, because Bo was always the man I could turn to in any crisis. That’s over.”
“Nora, you can still go to him. He cares about you.”
“If this is how he cares, I don’t want it. I want him to leave me alone. If it weren’t for Matthew, I would have nothing to do with him.”
“Nora, I wish there was something I could do.”
“You are, just by being here. Are you hungry? Let’s have some ice cream. I’ve got Häagen-Dazs.” Evangeline laughed at that. That was exactly what girlfriends did in times of crisis; load up on fattening snacks that held no other value. The ice cream would hit the spot.
“So what’s going on with you and John?” Nora asked much later.
“Nothing is going on with John. I know that he has feelings for me, but does he love me? I don’t know. When I was home, my mom and I talked about my father and how he was always quiet and didn’t share much. She questioned whether I was using my relationship with John to exorcise those demons. You know, get him to talk and share with me, when my dad wouldn’t. I don’t know if she’s right, but I’ve been questioning myself about that.”
“What are you going to do?”
“I don’t know. He’s working on this Killing Club case and Natalie is in his face every chance she gets. She made a pass at him a couple of weeks ago, but she isn’t our problem. John doesn’t want to totally commit to me or anyone. I don’t know if that’s because of his past with Caitlyn or something else he hasn’t shared yet. Either way, the whole thing is getting old.”
“Do you think John has feelings for Natalie?”
“Of course I do. What are they? I don’t know. I have to believe they aren’t romantic, because if they were he could’ve had her. She’s been throwing herself at him since we found out the Cristian that came back wasn’t Cristian. There’s no reason for him not to have acted on it if he wanted her.”
“Yes, there is. You.”
“If John really wanted Natalie, he would have gone after her. John doesn’t do anything he doesn’t want to do.”
“Well, what’s the problem?”
“The more time that passes, the less I feel I know him. I don’t know, Nora, it’s scary. If Daniel can do that to you, what is John capable of?” Evangeline couldn’t believe she’d just expressed her greatest fear.
“Evangeline, John would never kill someone to cover up being blackmailed or to keep some secret. Besides, John and Daniel are polar opposites.”
“Nora, I know John wouldn’t kill someone in cold blood, but there are a lot of things that he could do that would hurt me. He’s already hurt me on occasion by being insensitive to what I needed. You know what, let’s talk about something else.”
“No, you need to get this out and I need to focus on other things. Matthew is at Llanfair with Viki and Rachel called me and told me she’d be here tomorrow. Thank you for calling her by the way.”
Evangeline looked down and smiled. Nora wasn’t her best friend for nothing; she knew Evangeline better than practically anyone.
“No problem. I thought it was the least I could do, after I came to the station and Bo wouldn’t let me see you.”
“You came to the station?”
“Of course, right after I found out about Daniel.”
“No one told me.” Evangeline smiled at that. Nora probably wouldn’t have remembered even if someone had told her.
“Everyone was probably busy. Anyway, I went back to my office and after I couldn’t get anything done there, I went home and checked back with the station periodically to find out when you left. I didn’t want you to be alone tonight.”
“You are the best friend anyone could ask for,” Nora said.
“Thanks, I try.”
“I know,” Nora said being her cocky self. “Okay, tell me what the real problem is with John.”
“The fact that I deserve it all. I have his passion and his friendship. I need his love. I need the words. If I can’t have it with John, then I need to move on now. I do love him, but I can get over that.”
“I know what you mean.”
“I know you do. What are you going to do about Daniel?”
“Actually, I want you to start divorce proceedings for me.”
“Okay, if that’s what you want.”
“It is. I don’t want to be married to him any longer than necessary.”
“I’ll get on it first thing in the morning.”
“Thank you. Hey, how did the custody hearing go? I totally forgot.”
“RJ got custody of Jamie for six months until the judge can reevaluate the case. In the meantime, Antonio gets supervised visitation. I let Antonio down and I feel awful.”
“You didn’t let Antonio down. What did the judge say as a reason for awarding RJ custody and giving Antonio supervised visitation?”
“That Antonio needs to get his temper under control. The whole thing with Jessica and the fire didn’t help either. I don’t know what Antonio is going to do. I’m seeing him tomorrow.”
“Antonio does have anger issues. He should just get some help and spend as much time with Jamie as possible. The six months will be over before he knows it and Jamie will be home with him.”
“That’s what I’ve tried to tell him, I don’t know how well it worked, though.”
“I know. He and RJ have a lot of bad blood between them.”
“Don’t I know it. I’m just hoping for the best.”
“Antonio will be alright. You’ll talk him out of whatever crazy scheme he comes up with to get back at RJ. You and John will work through whatever is going on and you’ll start my divorce. See everything’s taken care of.”
“There’s my best friend. You’re going to be okay, too. I’m here to make sure of it.”
The two women were extremely lucky to have the relationship they did. What more could anyone ask for when they had a best friend who was there no matter what?