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-5-

Monday morning I arrived at the office earlier than anyone else. Usually, the smell of a fresh pot of coffee would meet my senses as I stepped off the elevator, but not this time. This time I was the one to put on the first pot of coffee and the strong aroma was a welcoming smell. I poured myself a cup and made my way into my office. I closed the door, hoping that it would stay closed all day. I didn’t want to see anyone’s face this morning, let alone have to deal with any possible interactions with Kaine.

I booted up my computer and quickly scanned through my planner. There was nothing in the plan for today that would possibly require a reason for Kaine to need me. There weren’t any meetings, no other teams were coming home or had final reports handed in. My day was a simple day and I really hoped it stayed that way.

The first hour of my morning went by in silence. As eight o’clock neared I could hear the bustle of the office outside my door. The shadows passed the windows in my office as people walked by. I felt my cat wake up in the back of my mind, she stretched as she took in the room around us. My eyes moved from my computer to the shadow that paced outside my office door. I watched the person move outside my door as if they were hesitating to come in and speak to me. I pushed myself away from my desk and pulled open my office door.

“Reba?” I looked at the woman in front of me. She was a small woman, round and warm in all the places that made you feel safe when she wrapped you up in a hug. Her graying strawberry blond hair was pulled up into a bun at the back of her head, her black thick-framed glasses hung around her neck. My eyes snapped to hers.

“Olivia, darling.” She spoke, her voice breathy from surprise.

“Is there something I can help you with?” Her golden-brown eyes moved over me as I spoke.

“Yes, may I come in?” She stepped towards me, I moved out of the way and let her move past me. I closed the door and looked at her.

“I wanted to talk to you about Kaine.” She turned to face me, her eyes assessing my reaction.

“Look, I really don’t want to talk about him or talk to him.” I moved back to my desk and sat back down in my chair.

“Can you just let him explain himself? Let him apologize for what he did to you.” She looked at me with pleading eyes, the same eyes that Kaine had given me over the weekend.

Well, at least he comes by it honestly. I thought as I let out a large sigh.

“Why?” I said. “It’s been five years, Reba. I’ve moved on.” I turned back to my computer.

“If you’ve moved on then why are you still so upset?” She raised an eyebrow. “Just let him take you to dinner or something. Give him a chance to make things right.” She pleaded for her son.

“So he can just run off and hurt me again?” I shook my head. “That’s not something I ever want to experience again. He hurt me, ripped me apart, humiliated me in front of our whole pack. It took years for anyone to look at me like I was normal and not some broken girl.” I ran my hand through my curls, pushing them back from my face.

“I’m not saying what he did wasn’t awful. His actions were incredibly disappointing. I thought I had raised him better than that. I thought I had raised him to be kind, gentle, loving towards his mate. I knew the moment you guys were teenagers that you were made for each other.” She smiled sadly at me. “Then what he did to you...” She shook her head. “What he did, gives you every right to hate him, to never trust him, but at least let him explain. Maybe his reason is terrible, maybe it’ll make sense to you. I’m not sure, but what I am sure of is that he would never leave you again.”

She stepped towards me and reached out and squeezed my hand. “Just think about it.”

I watched Reba walk out of my office, she closed the door behind her. My eyes stayed glued to that spot as my mind raced with thoughts of Kaine, what I really wanted and if Reba was right.

In the end, I knew that she was.

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