“His name was Cole. He said he’d call back,” Becky said.

“Thanks.” Jade sat down heavily on the chair behind the desk. He’d called for her. God, it felt like weeks since she’d seen him for the first time instead of the day before. The thought of being with him made her body tingle, but now it would be even more impossible to see him since she’d be working all the time.

At five, Jade left the center and made her way down the street. The bar was only four blocks away, which was a plus. She’d have to walk seven blocks home when it was dark, but she didn’t have a choice. Hell, she might not even get the job.

An hour later, she walked out with a new job. She’d be working from five-thirty to midnight Wednesday through Saturday. It was kind of nice since she didn’t work at the center on the weekend, so she’d only have three long days. Another bonus was that she was able to have a sandwich and all the pop she wanted during the night.

Jade was in a daze as she walked the seven blocks home. She vaguely acknowledged how dark it was, and it was only six at night. She’d be terrified walking late at night, but she’d deal with it somehow. She didn’t have a choice. Another plus was she wouldn’t have to worry about the rent anymore.

At her apartment, she made some soup and forced herself to eat the whole bowl even though she wasn’t hungry. She was able to get some crackers from the center. They were crumbled in their small packages, but they were edible.

She felt almost human after she finished eating. It was only seven at night, but she decided she needed sleep because she started the job the next day and needed to be alert.

Chapter Three

Cole rolled into Kane’s office.

Kane stood with a smile and came toward Cole with his hand out.

“Hey, Cole, I’m glad to see you.”

They shook hands.

“What the hell took you so long?” Kane asked.

“Dude, I had a house to sell and everything to go through to see what I was going to bring with me.”

Kane scowled. “Didn’t you get any help from the guys?”

He knew he was talking about the team he worked with in Afghanistan. “Yeah, they brought everything downstairs for me, and then I told them to beat it.”

“Goddamn, you’re stubborn.”

Cole snorted. “You’re calling me stubborn?”

“Are you still taking one of the condos?” Kane asked.

“For the time being, but they’re not really meant for a wheelchair.”

“I’m shocked you are still in one. What happened to the prosthetic leg they have for you?”

Cole’s teeth snapped together. He was sick of everyone asking him that because he had no answer. “When I’m ready, I’ll deal with it.”

Kane raised his hands. “Hey, man, I’m sorry I asked. That’s no one’s business but your own.”

Cole relaxed. “Sorry, it’s a sore subject.”

“No problem. Are you ready to see your off—”

A woman skidded into the room. “Daddy, guess what?”

Cole watched the interaction between the two. He guessed this was the woman Kane was involved with.

Kane set a hand on her shoulder. “Easy, baby. Slow down and tell me what’s going on.”

“Well, you know Aleena and Eve and Bella.” The girl snorted and rolled her eyes. “Duh. Of course, you do. Anyway, they asked if I could have a picnic with them tomorrow.”

She started hopping up and down with her palms pressed together in front of her as she begged. “Oh, please, please, please. I promise to be good for the rest of today.”


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