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Red Wine

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"He wants to marry me."

Connor stood outside in the hallway, bleary eyes staring at Michaela as he let himself into her apartment, a bottle of wine in his hand. Michaela didn't know how to process it, lingering in the living room as Connor dramatically threw himself onto the floor, inhaling the wine as if it were oxygen.

"Oliver proposed?"

Everything happening in the last 24 hours sent them into a whirlwind, and Michaela didn't find herself breathing until she knew Connor was alive, the only good thing to come out of it.

Wes' killer was still at large, the plan of her seducing him, thanks to Laurel, failing.

"Yes," Connor replied, frantically looking around, "You've got any vodka? And where's Asher?"

"In the fridge," Michaela slammed the door, "and he sleeps like the dead, so he won't mind you barging in."

Everything failed.

And that's Michaela found herself next to Connor, sharing a bottle of wine and watching him drink straight vodka.

"Asher told me he loved me," she chugged another sip, the red liquid bitter on her lips, sliding down her throat as she stifled a cough.

Connor's eyes widened and threw his head back in laughter, "Asher?" His words were slurred, and Michaela rolled her eyes. "I always thought you could do better, no offense."

"None taken."

Michaela thought she could, too; Asher was different from when she first met him, and he'd been there for her- yes, he had problems, but didn't they all?

And maybe hers was that she didn't know if she loved him.

"Give me the fucking wine," a buzz danced through Michaela, and she felt full of energy and emotion, as if she were about to burst.

"I love him," Connor said, honesty lacing his voice, and he solemnly stared at nothing, thoughts racing his mind.  Michaela tried to ignore the fact he was crying, tears running down his face.

"I think I've loved him more than anything."

Michaela tried to picture her feelings for Asher, tried to paint them on a canvas. It was blank.

"I mean, I didn't think anyone would love me," Connor kept breaking, drowned and weighed down by drunkenness and exhaustion, "I don't think I even love myself."

I love you, Asher was saying inside her head, I love you, I love you.

"He said he wanted to have my babies, we were making out, and then he said he wanted to marry me. Me, Michaela! He wants to marry me!"

Did Asher want to marry her? Is that why he was saying it?

Don't think when you're drunk, Michaela.

Love, she thought, how fucking ridiculous.

"Do you love Asher?"

She couldn't lie, "I don't know."

Connor sighed, sipped the vodka, "Well, he's a murderer, don't forget that"

Sinclair's body lay in front of her, sprawled on the driveway, blood pouring from a wound in her head.

"We all are," Michaela argued, remembering Connor screaming out the parts of Sam's body as he lifted the crowbar, up and down, like a maniac with an axe.

"Do you tell Asher you loved him?" Connor stared, eagerly waiting for an answer. They were both vulnerable, drunk and dazed.

Michaela felt sick, her stomach turning. She nodded, whispered, "Yes."

The bottle of wine rolled across the floor, swaying, like a tree caught in the wind.

Michaela rested her head on Connor's shoulder, closing her eyes when the room started to spin.

"So," Connor said, "you're fucked."


The realization hit her like a punch to the stomach, a kick to the ribs, taking her breath away as it slammed her against the wall.

Michaela didn't love Asher, and she lied straight to his face, heart racing with fear as Charles Mahoney waited at the bar.

"We both are."