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At the sound of Carly’s voice, I lift my head and watch her smile, looking unsure as she steps into my office. “I wanted to come check on you. We haven’t had a chance to talk all day and I felt horrible after we hung up yesterday. I’m sorry I didn’t walk you out. I should have done that.”

“I’m good, and no need to feel bad,” I reassure her with a smile.

“You got home okay, right?”

“Yeah,” I leave out the part about waking up in Clay’s bed because each time I think about that, his statement about wanting me in his bed comes to mind, and I just can’t go there.

“Okay.” She frowns. “We really overdid it.”

“Apparently,” I mutter, and she laughs, seeming more relaxed than she was just a few seconds ago. “So how did things go with Matthew?”

“Good.” She smiles, ducking her head. “We spent the day in bed yesterday, then had dinner last night.”

“That’s great.”

“Yeah, I think he’s coming over this evening and we’re going to go out.”

“Wow, he’s not messing around.”

“I guess not,” she agrees, blushing. “Do you want to go out with us? I think we are going to do karaoke.”

“Sorry, I can’t. Brodie is heading out of town, and I need to meet up with him because I’m keeping Jeb while he’s away.” Even if I didn’t have actual plans, I still wouldn’t go, not after what happened Saturday night. I hate that I can’t trust her now, but that’s one thing Clay and I can agree on. Women should always stick together when they are out because you never know what could happen.

“He’s lucky you are nice enough to keep his dog for him every time he goes out of town.”

“I don’t mind. It gives me the feeling of having a dog without having all the responsibility.” I smile when she laughs.

“Well, I should go and finish closing out my till so that I can clock out.”

“Sure, and have fun tonight.”

“I will.” She gets up and gives me a smile before she heads out the door.

Once I’m done closing down my computer, I grab my purse from my desk drawer, then do a walk through of the bank. When I know everything is as it should be, I head into the main lobby where everyone is waiting.

“Are you all ready?” I ask, as I walk to the door with the key in hand.

“We’ve been ready,” Troy, the lead teller, says grumpily as he pushes out of his chair.

I just avoid rolling my eyes. A year ago, I was working at a bank near my parents when a job for the head investment manager for the office in Nashville came up and I applied. I honestly didn’t think I would get it, but was happily surprised when I was told that I did. What I didn’t know was that Troy, who’s always worked at this branch, was shooting for the same position and angry that they brought someone from the outside in. And every day he makes it glaringly obvious that he thinks I’m lacking and that he could do a better job.

“Well, now you’re free.” I give Troy a polite smile, then open the door and say goodbye to everyone as they leave before I set the alarm and lock the door with the master key.

After I get into my car, I start heading toward downtown and curse the amount of traffic there is. The only downfall of leaving my old job was that I had to give up small town life and my ten-minute commute. Having visited New York City numerous times, I wouldn’t say traffic in Nashville is the same or really even close, but it still takes forever to make it from one side of the city to the other during rush hour, which is so different from where I grew up.

I reach my building thirty minutes later and pull into the parking garage, then park in my space, making sure that my tag is on the mirror before I get out because the one time I forgot it, my car was towed. And since I had no idea that was even something that could happen, my first thought was my car had been stolen and that was not a fun experience first thing in the morning when I hadn’t had enough coffee and was already running late for work.

When I get to my apartment, I let myself in, making sure to be quiet in case Leah is sleeping. Her schedule has been all over the place the last few weeks due to a shortage of doctors and nurses at the hospital, and there are days she doesn’t even come home at all, and just crashes there between her shifts. So even though I don’t exactly love her mom, I’m glad that she will be on a forced vacation for a couple of weeks while she helps her parents who just moved from Colorado to Florida.

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