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Duncan continued.

“Bought it a few months back, and the repairs were completed last week. Only problem is that I need staff. Denver’s the HQ for Pitt Medical, which means that I’ve spent the last few years making sure that all the best medical professionals in the area are on my team.”

“So, now you’re going a little further afield.”

“That’s right.”

“Tell me what you have in mind?”

“I want you to run the ER. You’ll be in charge of getting the operation up and running, finding staff to work underneath you. The hospital’s not huge, but it’s a tall order all the same. I think you’d be perfect for it. Naturally, you’d be well-compensated although we can discuss salary later. The point of this call is to get a sense of how you feel—"

“I’ll do it.”

Silence followed, as if Duncan wasn’t quite sure what to say.

“You’ll do it? Just like that?”

“Just like that. I’ve been in New York for years, and I’m more than ready for a change. This opportunity at Evergreen sounds like exactly what I need. Not to mention that Pitt Medical’s the sort of operation that I’d be pleased to be a part of, especially with your stance on providing care for those who otherwise wouldn’t be able to afford it.”

I wasn’t lying at all. However, Imighthave left out the part about how I probably burned serious bridges with some of the most dangerous criminals on the east coast and needed to get the hell out of town.

“That’s right—we’re not just about making money, we’re about providing care for anyone who needs it.”

“So then, there’s really nothing to deliberate. You’re offering me an incredible opportunity, and I’d be a fool to turn it down.”

“Excellent. In that case, the only thing to discuss is how quickly can you make it to the area? I’ve got a place in Denver where I could put you up until you found something more permanent closer to the hospital. You’d be about a forty-five-minute drive away until then.”

“The sooner, the better. In fact, if we could work it out, I’d like to fly into Denver and meet with you face-to-face, assuming you have the time.”

“I’d love to. I’ll give my schedule a look over and get back to you within the hour with a date that works.”

“Sounds perfect. Thanks, Duncan.”

“Thankyou, Alex. You’re going to be a great addition to the staff, and I can’t wait for you to come aboard.”

After we finished our call, I tucked my phone into my pocket and let it all sink in.

Just like that, I’d ended my life in New York. Part of my terms with Nico had been to stay in the city, to be on-call for whenever he needed me. Over the course of a five-minute conversation with Duncan, I’d unilaterally terminated that arrangement.

Nico wouldnotbe happy. That is, assuming he didn’t already have me in his crosshairs.

I finished my workout, then headed back up to my apartment to shower and get ready for that evening’s shift at the hospital.

Once I was dressed, I headed out the door and was on my way, the gun tucked into my jacket pocket. Over the course of the last month, I’d trained myself to watch over my shoulder in a way I’d never needed to before. Sure, I’d been affiliated with the Godfather of the Night himself, which might make me a tempting target for anyone looking to get at him. However, one of the benefits of my association with Nico was that no one dared touch me.

I had no doubt that things were different now. I made my way down the lonely streets of Manhattan, pulling my jacket tight against an unseasonably chilly breeze. Figures made their way down the sidewalks, cars driving through puddles from the afternoon’s rain.

I put all thoughts of danger out of my head as I hurried down the street toward the hospital. Part of me wished I’d taken my Jeep to work. Perhaps an oversight, but this was going to be my last night at Midtown Presbyterian, and one of my last in New York.

I reached the hospital without issue, the bright lights of the building shining like a beacon in the night. Calm washed over me as I hurried inside. Once there, I made my way to the office of Dr. Jenna Ruben, one of my immediate supervisors and the head of Midtown’s ER, the same position I’d just accepted from Duncan.

“This is a hell of a loss.” She sat back in her leather chair, regarding me with eyes of shimmering intelligence as she took off her glasses. “You’re really quitting tonight?”

I wasn’t one for lying, but I’d managed to conjure together some excuse about a family member in Denver who needed to be cared for, and that I had no idea when I would be returning.

The truth wasn’t an option. What could I have said? That I was on the run from the mob and my life was in danger? Doing so would put her at risk—Nico hated loose ends.

“I’m so sorry to have to do this,” I said. “To leave you in a bind.”

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