Disclaimer: Not my characters.
She couldn't believe he'd ordered the shot. After defending her to Nicole – "I've been saved more than once by Frankie's gut" – he'd gone ahead and let the kid die. She'd heard him tell Nicole it was the right thing too. So much for trusting her gut.
Frankie avoided Kilmer's gaze as they left the house. She couldn't talk to him right now. From his silence, she guessed that he wasn't in a hurry to talk to her either.
Not a problem, she thought.
When they arrived at the hotel, Frankie went straight to her room to pack. Their flight to DC was only in the morning, but she needed to be doing something. She didn't dare turn the television on; the sniper's death was all over the news.
There was a knock at the door. Expecting Kilmer, Frankie's tone was harsher than usual. "What?"
"We're going to grab something to eat." It was Lark. "Do you want to come?"
"No, thank you." Her answer was automatic. When she was in a mood like this, it was better to be alone. When she'd finished packing, she could take a hot bath and hopefully relax.
"Do you want us to bring anything back for you?"
"Nah. I'll get room service," she lied. She didn't have much of an appetite. Though maybe she could do with a healthy dose of chocolate mousse, she thought. Wasn't chocolate supposed to be the universal cure for everything?
There was another knock. Frankie opened the door. "Lark, I said . . . Oh. Kilmer."
"Can I come in?"
She looked up at him, trying to read his face. He'd always been a mystery to her, which had attracted her to him in the first place. Now, it was just infuriating. "Why?"
"We need to talk."
"No, we don't."
"You're angry with me."
"You should be used to it by now."
She stepped aside and gestured for him to enter. "Talk, then."
"Is this because I sided with Agent Hill?"
Frankie said nothing.
Kilmer sighed. "You're not in college anymore. It wasn't a competition about grades—"
"It's not about who's better, John. It's about trust." Frankie walked to the window, suddenly needing as much distance between them as possible. "You didn't trust me."
"Of course I trust you."
She shook her head sadly. "Only when it suits you."
Kilmer was silent for a while. Eventually he sat on the edge of the bed and looked at her. She felt his gaze but refused to turn around.
"Do you trust me, Frankie?"
"Yes." She didn't even need to think about her answer. Kilmer had come through for her more times than she could count. Yet he'd let her down just as many times.
"It was the right thing to do. I believed it then and I believe it now. Do you trust that?"
Frankie turned around. "What?"
"Do you trust that I believe it was the right thing to do?"
"He wasn't going to shoot his father."
For a moment, Frankie didn't know what to say. "Then why give the order? Because Nicole told you to?"
"Because you were out there."
And, suddenly, Frankie understood. Kilmer had trusted her. But she was blonde, she fitted the profile, and she'd been right in the line of fire. If Heath couldn't kill his father, she would have made a good consolation prize.
Kilmer stood and came towards her, then put his arms around her. "I've come so close to losing you too many times. I can't – I won't take any chances when it's your life on the line."
Damn it, Frankie thought. Kilmer always knew exactly what to say. She was unexpectedly moved by his words – did he still love her? She closed her eyes as he wiped away a tear with his forefinger. The gesture was reminiscent of too many nights in the past. They'd been happy together once, and now that he was holding her, she couldn't remember why they'd separated.
Kilmer's lips were warm on her forehead, then the tip of her nose. He brushed her hair away from her face, and his smile was bittersweet. "Good night, Mrs. Kilmer."
He released her and headed for the door. Just before he closed it, he said, "Get some rest."
Frankie hugged herself, her eyes on the door. "It's over," she said aloud. "Don't even think about it. You're not going down that road again."
When he didn't come back, she told herself it was a good thing. But then she picked up the phone and ordered the chocolate mousse.