Conflict of Interest

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CHAPTER 17

Holy. Crap. Grace tried to push them down, but the nerves fluttered from the pit of her stomach to the ends of her fingertips. The walk over to Smack Shack – where the “if you get this, let’s meet here for lunch” coffee note suggested – went way too fast. And though it never bothered her before, today there were not enough windows lining the street to give her a good look at herself. She only wanted to confirm if she’d made the right choice in outfit, hair, or shoes.

One measly storefront window a block away was her last chance. She turned, angled, to get one last look. Who cared if the strangers who stared as they passed by thought she was a little vain? This was important, dammit.

The oatmeal-colored turtleneck sweater, along with the washed look of the dark, tight, skinny jeans, seemed pretty but not too overdone. Her black suede booties gave a little peek of her bare ankle and lifted her in height about two inches. Hopefully, they lifted her buns a bit too.

She shifted her bag to her other hand. She had to admit; it was a fabulous bag. The distressed black leather clutch was just a little too big to carry in hand, and she loved that she had an excuse to tuck it under her arm to rest at her side. She tousled her hair for a bit of volume and thought the long waves were laying rather nicely today. She might do after all.

“Here we go,” she said to herself after smacking her lips together to smudge around the pale pink lip cream and walked the final stretch of cobblestone.

Grace gripped the door and yanked it open, with more force than she anticipated having to use, and walked inside. She roamed, slowly eyeing the room, and searched for Luke.

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