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bsp; “Okay.” She smooths her hands down the front of her wrinkled shirt. “I’ll see you tonight?”

“Yep. My place or yours?”

“Yours. Casey will be home, and if you come to our place, we’ll never get rid of her.” With one last peck on the cheek, Brittany is out of my bedroom and moving down the hall at a fast clip. Following behind her, I open the door and smack her ass as she walks out.

Twirling around, she points a finger at me. The smirk on her face tells me that she isn’t actually mad. I’d bet just about anything that she secretly enjoyed it.

Poking my head around the shower curtain, I listen carefully. I swear I just heard someone knock on my door. A few seconds pass and I hear it again. “Shit.” Turning off the shower, I grab a towel and wrap it around me, knotting it at the waist. The knock becomes more insistent, and I pick up my pace in case it’s Brittany and she forgot something. I skid to a halt, nearly falling flat on my ass as I yank open the front door.

My shoulders deflate when I find Logan standing in my doorway. “Hey.”

“Don’t sound so excited to see me,” she says, pushing her way into my house. “If I didn’t know better, I’d think you were hoping I was someone else.”

“As a matter of fact,” I say, shutting the door behind her, “I was hoping you were someone else.”

She winces, feigning pain. “Ouch. No wonder you haven’t called me back.” Cocking her hip, Logan narrows her eyes. “What’s her name and how long until I get my best friend back? And why in the hell am I just hearing about her now?”

“You called?” Brushing past Logan, I walk into the kitchen and grab my phone off the counter. Sure enough, I’ve missed three calls since last night. I should probably feel bad, but I don’t. Mainly because I was too preoccupied enjoying who I was with. “Her name is Brittany. You’re just now hearing about her because we’ve only been seeing each other for a few days, and what makes you think it won’t last long?”

“Because it won’t.” Logan walks over and stands next to me. “It never does. You gave up fucking and started dating, but your standards are too high. No woman ever measures up.”

“What’s wrong with a guy wanting a smart, sexy, funny, caring woman who has dreams and goals and actually goes after them?” I ask, feeling more than a little put off by her assessment that Brittany and I won’t work out. “Why shouldn’t I wait for a woman with all of those qualities?”

Logan’s face softens, and I remind myself she’s just looking out for me. Plus, I’ll just have to prove her wrong. Leaning down, I press a kiss to her cheek. “Besides, you’re all of those things.”

“Ooh, you’re good,” she says, wrapping her arms around my stomach. “So this Brittany…she’s all of those things?”

Logan gives me one tight squeeze before pulling away, her question lingering in the air. I don’t answer right away. Logan doesn’t show affection very often, mostly because of her childhood. Being neglected for years on end will do that to a person. I’m guessing that not hearing back from me—and quite possibly the mention of Brittany—has left her feeling a little insecure. She’s reaching out, needing to know I’m still here. I know this girl better than she knows herself.

“Hey,” I say, snagging her arm when she turns toward my refrigerator. “I’m sorry I didn’t call you back.”

She shrugs, but it’s half-assed and I know I need to give her more. “She consumes me,” I say, breathing out the words. “When I’m with Brittany, I forget everything else around me. But that’s no excuse. I should’ve checked my phone and called you back. Please forgive me?” I ask, jutting my lip out, mostly because I know she has a weakness for my pouty face.

I really do feel bad. Logan is the closest thing to family I have, and it devastates me to know she’s hurting because of me.

“I forgive you,” she mumbles, grabbing a bottle of water from the fridge. She twists the top off and takes a swig. “So I guess this means you wouldn’t consider moving to Tennessee with me if I asked?”

“What?” My eyes widen, my brain processing what she just said. “Oh my gosh, Lo, you got the job?”

She nods, smiling wide. Grabbing her by the waist, I spin her around and she squeals with laughter. I fucking love that sound.

“Holy shit.” Putting her back on her feet, I grip her shoulders. “You’re leaving?” My mind races, trying to decide what this means for her…for us.

“I am.” Placing the bottle of water on the table, she wrings her hands together. “But I’m nervous, you know? This is a big move.”

“It is, but you’ve worked so hard for it. You deserve this.”

“Really?” Her dark brown eyes search mine.

“Of course.” Taking her hand, I lead her to the living room. She sits down on the couch and I move to sit next to her before remembering I’m wearing nothing but a towel. Holding up a finger, I motion for her to give me a second. Then I rush down the hall to my bedroom, where I make quick work of putting on some clothes. When I walk back into the living room, Logan is reclining on the couch.

“Talk to me,” I say, swatting at her legs so I can sit down next to her.

Sitting up, she props her elbows on her knees and drops her head into her hands. Her dark brown hair falls around her shoulders, acting as a curtain. “I’m scared.”

“Of what? You’re finally getting out of this hellhole, so what on earth are you scared of?”

“This hellhole is my home.” Lifting her head, she glares at me. “This is all I’ve known. Plus…” Her words trail off as she purses her lips.

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