"I haven't held it over your head." He steps forward, his eyes searching my face. "You confided in me and I'm honoring that. I only bring it up to remind you that you trusted me once."
"That was a long time ago." I pause as I search for the right words. "One day you'll realize that what we had is nothing compared to what you can have with someone else. You have to let me go to find that, Brendon. If you want to really be happy forget I even exist. "
"Your life is so much better than anything I would have watched on Netflix tonight."
I smile at that. I have to. Sophia was waiting for me with a glass of wine and a willing ear when I turned my back on my ex-boyfriend and came up to my apartment. She listened keenly, without interrupting me, as I told her about Brendon and then Tyler.
"I wish my life was boring," I admit. "I should have taken your advice and sworn off men."
She finishes the last of the wine in her own glass. "I didn't actually tell you to stay away from men, did I?"
It might not have been in so many words, but the meaning was there within the message. She knew that when things ended with Brendon, I needed time to heal. She warned me to watch out for my heart when I started dating again. There's no advice that could have prepared me for meeting Tyler Monroe.
The attraction was strong. The desire to be with him was unyielding. I wanted him and now that I've had him, it's going to impossible to work with him. I have to seriously consider looking for another job.
"You told me to be careful."
"You are careful." She reaches for the almost empty bottle of wine. "Do you want any of this or can I finish it?"
"Be my guest." I tip the glass in my hand toward her. "I'm going to start looking for a new job."
She tucks her bare feet under her. We're sitting next to each other on the couch. There's a warm breeze flowing into the room through all the open windows. Dusk is falling and I'm hanging out with my very best friend. This is exactly what I need to feel calm and relaxed.
"Talk to Tyler first, Den."
"Why?" I wrinkle my nose. "It's my life, Soph. I don't need his permission to look for another job."
"Whoa." She pushes her shoulders back into the soft leather. "I'm not implying that you do. All I'm saying is that from what you told me tonight, your conversation was plum full of misunderstandings. Give him a chance to explain before you sprint out of his life."
"I don't owe the man a thing," I say defiantly. I don't. I worked for him, we slept together a few times and beyond that there's nothing. What happened the other night extinguished any sparks between us.
She finishes the last of the wine before she yawns. "There are always two sides to every story, Den. If he wants to talk, hear him out. It can't hurt to do that, can it?"
I run my finger over my top lip. She has a point. If Tyler still wants to talk to me, I'll listen and then I'll tell him exactly where he can shove his righteous, judgmental attitude.
"I'm not sure why you asked me to come here." I look toward the bank of windows and all the pedestrian traffic on the sidewalk. "I thought it was about the documents we need to fill out to get our wages paid until Nova reopens."
"Have some of your co-workers told you that they've filled those out already?" Mr. Reynolds cocks his head to the side.
I nod. "I was wondering why I hadn't gotten a call and then when you called this morning, I connected the dots."
He turns toward me again. "We're actually handling those on an alphabetical basis based on surnames. You're a Sutton so you should get a call regarding that in a day or two."
That clears that up. Unfortunately it doesn't explain why he called me earlier to ask me to meet him at this place. "Why did you want to see me, sir?"
"It's Hunter, and this is Nova's new home."
I scan the open space again. When I first walked in I hadn't stopped to take notice of anything. I was looking for a table or a desk. Maribel was the one who told me that she'd been ordered down to a building in Greenwich Village to fill out some documents so she'll get paid. It makes sense now given that her surname is Arturo.
Since Hunter gave me the address of a building in Greenwich Village, I thought I'd be filling out forms too. That's the main reason why I'm wearing worn jeans and a plain white blouse. I didn't even bother applying a stitch of make-up.
"This is where Nova is going to be?" I freeze, my eyes riveted to the back of the space. I see Maribel round a corner, quickly followed by Tyler.
My first instinct is to leave the same way I came in, through the front door. I fight off the urge because I refuse to be intimidated by Chef Monroe.
"What do you think of our new location, Cadence?"
I turn toward the sound of Tyler's voice. "It's great."