“Why did you come to get me?” Evan peered out the passenger side window and watched the trees pass by at lightning speed.
“Todd called me.”
“I told him not to call anybody.” Evan looked down at the handcuff impressions in his wrists and rubbed them gently.
Amanda tucked a strand of hair behind her right ear and then gripped the steering wheel with both hands. “I think he was worried about you.”
Evan looked out the window. The trees continued to pass by quickly.
“You told my brother what happened, didn’t you?”
Evan turned to Amanda with narrowed brows. “It just came out. I’m sorry.”
“Well, if it’s any consolation,” Amanda declared, “I’m pretty sure he used it against the asshole to not press charges against you.”
“Yeah,” Evan turned to the passenger side window again. “I gathered that.”
They drove the rest of the way to Evan’s in silence.
Amanda pulled into Evan’s driveway and shifted the gear into park. “Why are you sleeping with my cousin?” she asked without looking at him.
Evan sighed deeply. “It was a mistake.”
“Really?” Amanda turned to him with a shake of her head. “Your dick just accidentally slipped? Come on, Evan. What is wrong with you?” She turned away abruptly. “Don’t you have a girlfriend now? That’s what Samantha told me. My cousin’s no better than you. Maybe you’re meant for each other after all.”
Evan could hear the distaste in her voice. He inhaled deeply and slowly exhaled, trying to develop a valid reason for sleeping with her cousin. Nothing that he said would matter. He had let Amanda down again. “I promise, Amanda. It was a mistake.”
She turned to him with angry eyes. “You make a lot of those, don’t you?”
“I don’t know what the hell is wrong with me.” Evan pressed the back of his head into the passenger seat and stared out the windshield. The flowers that Emma planted along his walkway shortly after they started dating caught his attention. “I don’t deserve Emma, and I didn’t deserve you.”
Amanda’s anger seemingly turned to empathy. “Maybe you should see a therapist again. A male, preferably.”
Evan smirked at her. “No more Dr. Nelson’s for me.”
Amanda cracked a smile. “That’s probably for the best.”
Evan gripped the door handle and pushed it open. “You have no idea how much I appreciate you taking me home.” He looked at the clock radio that read 1:30 AM before offering a smile to Amanda. “Thank you.”
“I would say anytime, but let’s not make this a habit, okay?”
Evan nodded, then slipped out of the car, shutting the door behind him.
Amanda rolled down the passenger side window as Evan started up his walkway. “Hey, Evan.”
He stopped and turned back to Amanda. “What’s up?”
“I don’t know what your plan is with my cousin, but if you don’t want Emma to find out you slept with her, you should be careful. Samantha can be a little crazy.”
Nick appeared at Evan’s office doorway. “He’s here.”
Evan dragged himself to a standing position before glancing at Nick, who was staring back skeptically.
“You look like shit.”
“Thanks,” Evan responded dryly. “I had a late night.”
Nicked nodded. “So it seems. Do you want me to handle this?”
Evan chuckled with a shake of his head. “No, I need to be there.” He straightened his tie before picking up an Advil container from his desk, removing two pills and swallowing them without water. “Let’s go hire the next Director of Marketing.”
Two hours later, Evan and Nick escorted their candidate for the position out of the building and then gave each other a high five.
“I think that went well,” Nick offered with a grin.
“I think so too. So, go ahead, write up the offer, and send it to him. I don’t want to lose this guy.”
“You got it, boss.”
They parted ways, and Evan went back into his office feeling a sense of relief for the first time in weeks. Now that his job was back on the right track, it was time to work on himself. So, he sat at his desk, logged onto his computer, and searched for a local therapist, determined to become the man Emma deserved.