Chapter 19

19.6K 697 132

"...and we can't make her talk because we know that she's just going to keep pleading the fifth," Olivia, an associate at the firm, was saying.

"Well, our job is to make her talk, so how about you do your job and figure how to make that happen!" Ryan exclaimed. 

I chuckled from the doorway. Same old Ryan. Some things never changed.

"Get out of my office, now. I have things to take care of," Ryan said to Olivia after glancing at me. Olivia, who was now red in the face from embarrassment, excused herself and shuffled out the door. I watched her go before turning my attention to Ryan. I raised an eyebrow at him.

"That was harsh," I said.

"You see what happens when you leave me? Incompetence!" he said, thrusting a manilla folder in the direction that Olivia had walked in. I laughed and then went all the way inside his office, sitting myself down in front of his desk.

"So you're finally back?" he asked.

"For good this time," I replied.

"Better be," he said. 

"What are you going to do when I get into law school and won't work here anymore?" I asked.

"Well, we all know you're going to go to Harvard Law. And  once you graduate, you'll be back here working for me anyway. So I can be patient," he replied.

"You? Being patient? I find that a little hard to believe," I said. He gave me a look and I smiled at him. He rolled his eyes at me and then put on a more serious expression.

"You doing ok?" he asked. 

"It's been a rough couple of weeks," I admitted, sighing.

I had moved back to the city two weeks ago. When I got back, however, I still wasn't up to going in to work. Today was the first day in a while that I stepped foot inside the firm building. And I had to admit, it felt nice. 

"I can tell. You look like a ghost," he said. 

"Thanks. You always know how to get to a woman's heart," I said to him sarcastically.

"You know what I mean. You've really got to start taking better care of youself," he said. 

"Thanks for the concern," I told him. 

"So, seriously, are you actually staying for good? Or are there plans to go back?" he asked.

I thought of Carter's wedding invitation that was stuffed at the bottom of my unpacked suitcase at home. The wedding was a week from today. And I still had no intention on going.

After I told Carter about Lillian, I was disappointed, to say the least. I gave him the time he asked for, but I expected him to try to talk to me before I left for the city. He didn't. I didn't even see Carter for that next week. Just as I had previously made an effort to not see Carter around town, he was doing the exact same. 

And I was just fine with that. If that's how he wanted it to be, then so be it. It was, after all, what I had wanted. I wanted things to remain the same as they had been before. I wanted him to still marry Julie. I wanted him to never meet Lillian. I wanted him to remain distant from me.

So what was this feeling of emptiness that I couldn't shake?

"I'm staying for good," I assured him. "The longer I stayed away from here, the more I realized that this is where I belong. I'm not a small town girl. I never was. I was always meant to be a big city girl. It's who I was born to be," I said.

DecemberWhere stories live. Discover now