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"Have you talked to him since?"

Keeley pressed the phone closer to her ear as Tucker started barking at a flock of birds.  "We texted a couple times but I don't know, Nicky...things are different between us."

There was a long pause. "Do you not have feelings for him anymore?"

Tucker lunged for the birds and she tightened her grip on the leash. "Trust me that has never been an issue. No, the problem is that our texts feel stilted."

"I think that's normal. Now that everything is out in the open, you're not sure how to talk to him."

"But it's not just me. The awkwardness is on both of our parts." The ease of their relationship was gone. It showed in every word, every sentence—carefully typed and analyzed before sending. "I don't know what he's thinking anymore."

"He's probably thinking the same thing you are. And if I was in his position, I would be embarrassed that you saw that scene between him and his friends at the restaurant."

"He has no reason to be embarrassed. He didn't know what his friends were doing."

"But I'm sure to someone like Talon it is a big deal. He strikes me as the type of guy who doesn't appreciate being duped and to find out he was in front of the girl he likes..."

Keeley could see how that might muddle things up for him. Picking up the pace, she crossed the street and began walking back home.

"He's most likely trying to feel you out and see where your head is at," Nicky continued. "What did you text him after his "Hey" message?"

"Hey."

"Seriously?" she laughed.

"I didn't know what else to say! I was already embarrassed about that awkward voicemail I left. I thought I'd play it cool and leave the ball in his court."

"Geez, Keeley. He took his cues from you. No wonder he's acting so standoffish."

She groaned into the phone. "There should be an app that slaps you on the back of the head when you're being an idiot."

"There is. It's called your best friend."

"Then I want a refund. Mine seems defective," she shot back.  

"You get what you pay for."

"You were free," she pointed out.

"Exactly."

She felt a prickle of awareness just as a black sedan drove down the street. It slowed as it passed her and then sped up. "This is going to sound paranoid, but I think someone is watching me."

"Have you been sneaking downstairs and watching Criminal Minds again? You know you're not allowed to watch that show anymore."

"I haven't. And for the record, that rule is completely bogus. I was not scared."

"Says the girl who booby trapped her room after watching one episode."

"It's called being prepared. If someone is going to break in I want to be able to defend myself. It's not my fault Zach opened my door and got pelted with golf balls."

"You almost gave him a concussion!"

"Then he should have read the warning sign posted on my door," she argued.

"Warning sign? It was a piece of paper that had 'You'll Never Take Me Alive' written across it."

"You act like that wasn't enough."

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