"I was giving her a graduation present."
Scott leaned across the table. "Yeah? And what exactly was she giving you?" Jagged veins cut across the whites of his eyes. "I can't believe I'm running a Bartlet-era liberal who sleeps with hookers."
My brows flattened into a line. "I don't--"
"Don't even tell me you didn't, Sam. Because if I don't believe you, then neither will the Orange County Register." He snorted. "At least this one might shut up the guys who think you're gay."
A comeback burned into my tongue. I met Scott's eyes, glaring, and swallowed it down.
Ron Butterfield's face was grim. "He was shot through the window. He died instantly."
Shot. Died. "Is C.J.--"
"She's fine. She was right here when it happened."
My eyes flicked over to the corridor. C.J. leaned against the wall, shock still masking her grief. She wasn't fine. "Thank you," I murmured.
I closed my eyes. The marble theater arches were replaced by the sterile white of hospital walls, then by Josh trembling in a sweat-soaked bed. Nausea gripped my stomach.
Beside me, Leo reached for his cell phone. "Wait," I said, a hand on his
arm. "I'll do that."