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Rekindled (Second Chance with You Book 8) by Jenna Brandt (1)


Ten years had passed since Molly left her hometown in utter despair. In that time, she completely overhauled her life, leaving her troubled past and adolescence behind.

Today, she was returning with a college degree, an established journalism career, and her hot, new boyfriend, Rick, an elite Seattle plastic surgeon.

As he drove his red Corvette through the streets of Bayfield, Washington, Molly realized little had changed with the small town she had grown up in. Main Street was still filled with the same two restaurants on each end, along with the grocery store, coffee shop/bakery, and salon.

She watched as people moved along the wide sidewalks next to the brick buildings. A handful of people were sitting on the benches, which had flower pots on the side of each one. The residents had on jackets and were carrying umbrellas, a common necessity in the town that regularly saw rain in the winter months.

“So, this is the town you grew up in?” Rick asked her, the disapproval obvious in his tone. “When you said small, I had no idea you meant this. I’m just waiting for a cow to come sauntering down the street,” he said snidely.

She forced herself not to show her irritation with his condescending judgment. She wasn’t sure why it bothered her anyway, considering that when she left a decade ago, she had convinced herself she was better off leaving the provincial place behind.

“No, the cows only come to town in the morning,” she said with sarcasm. “We must have just missed them.”

He let out a small chuckle as he turned onto the small road that led to her parents’ house. “If I didn’t know any better, I would think you were upset. I know that can’t be the case considering how you’ve never wanted to come back here to visit until now.”

“I never had a reason until my boss gave me this assignment.”

“And your reunion has nothing to do with it? You’re not coming back here to show off your awesome life?” He reached out and patted her arm. “Otherwise, why would you have invited me along?”

She shrugged. “I’m not saying it won’t be nice to show the people from school they didn’t break me; however, it’s just a bonus. The reunion will be the perfect cover for my real reason for being in Bayfield.”

“Right, you’re investigating some lawyer from here.”

Molly stiffened, not liking how casually Rick threw around her real purpose for returning. She didn’t need him ruining her chances of finding out the truth for her story. She had spent hours online going over Spencer Conrad’s social media, local newspaper articles, and past case results after years of trying to forget about him. She knew all the public details of the past ten years of his life, including the fact that he went to Washington State University before going to Stanford law school. There was no mention of why he returned to Bayfield when he could have gotten a job anywhere, but it was one of the pieces she needed to figure out. Perhaps it would reveal a connection to the district attorney, Jeremy Jacks, the other person secretly accused of unethical conduct. She had looked into him too, not finding anything out of the ordinary. Until she figured it all out though, she needed Rick to stay quiet.

“Remember, we discussed how we need to keep my work part of the trip a secret. If anyone gets wind of the real reason why I’m here, they won’t talk to me, and my whole investigation will be over before it starts.”

“You’re so dramatic. You act as if everyone in this town cares about what happens to this guy.”

“You say that in jest, but you have no idea how right you are,” Molly said, pushing her long, blonde hair behind her ear. “Spencer Conrad is the darling of Bayfield. He has been ever since we were kids, despite the fact he was an awful person.”

“Wow, you really don’t like the guy, do you,” Rick stated. “I mean, every time he comes up, you become hostile. What’d he ever do to you?”

“Nothing I want to talk about,” Molly stated adamantly. “It’s in the past, anyway.”

Without her wanting it to happen, her mind drifted back to the first time she met Spencer Conrad.

Oh, goodness, there was Spencer Conrad coming through the front doors of the town’s public library. Molly saw him every day in the school hallways and in two of her classes, but she never talked to him. He was popular, being the varsity football quarterback—and Molly was most decidedly not part of the “in” crowd.

He looked good, really good, with his thick, black hair and his blue and white letterman jacket hugging his body in all the right ways. He had his backpack slung over one shoulder, and his hands shoved into the front pockets of his jeans.

Her eyes drifted to his perfect pair of lips, and for a moment, she let herself wonder what it would be like to kiss them. She knew she wasn’t the only one to imagine it. Every girl in school was obsessed with Spencer Conrad, but she had made it a point to avoid his crowd. They were mean, and made it a point to pick on anyone unpopular. Even though she knew all the reasons that she shouldn’t have a crush on him, Molly found herself doing it anyway.

“Stop it,” she chastised herself. “Spencer Conrad is completely off-limits. Besides, you don’t want to be with someone like him. Just keep this about tutoring.”

As Spencer approached the table, he looked annoyed, like he didn’t want to be there. Good, I don’t want to be here either, she thought to herself.

“You’re late,” Molly stated with frustration, pushing her long bangs out of her eyes. “If this is going to work, you have to be on time.”

He shrugged, placing his backpack on the ground next to him as he slung himself into a seat across from Molly. “What can I say, I had football practice.”

“You’re not the only one that has a busy schedule. I have commitments too.”

“I’m sure; math and science club I’m betting, right?” he asked with a smirk.

“No, yearbook and church.”

“Ah, you’re one of those,” he said with a knowing smile.

“One of what?” Molly asked with confusion.

“A Jesus freak.”

“You know that’s offensive. I believe in Jesus, but that doesn’t make me a freak. You should really think before you speak,” Molly suggested to him.

His face pinched up for a moment as if he was thinking, then a moment later, he gave her a big grin, making sure to flash his smoldering blue eyes at her. “So, how are we going to do this?”

“Do what?”

“The coach said this was all lined up by the school,” Spencer said, gesturing between them. “You’re supposed to take care of this English thing for me.”

“Correction, the school counselor assigned me as your tutor. Mr. Marks wants me to help you pull up your grade since you’re in danger of failing.” Irritated that everyone jumped through hoops for him, she added sarcastically, “Otherwise, no more sports for you, and the town can’t have that. I mean, heaven forbid, the star quarterback for the Bayfield Lions can’t play anymore. It would be a sign the end of the world is coming.”

“Exactly, the team has a real chance of making it to State this year, but only if I can play. The season is over if I can’t.”

Ugh, he is so full of himself, Molly thought to herself. He literally thinks the world revolves around him.

Trying not to let his ego get to her, she focused on making it clear he wasn’t the only one being inconvenienced by the forced arrangement. “So to keep you eligible to play, I have to give up three hours of my life every week.”

He narrowed his eyes as he crossed his arms. “Hey, there’s no reason to be so snotty. You think I like this? I can think of like five other things I would rather be doing.”

“Only five? And I’m sure all of them center on the cheerleading squad,” Molly mocked with a roll of her eyes. “I can think of a dozen myself, and all of them are much more practical than yours.”

“Why do I feel like you’re judging me, and you don’t even know me,” Spencer stated defensively. “Didn’t you just say you’re a Christian or something?”

Molly stiffened under his rebuke. He was right, she wasn’t acting the way her parents or God would want her to.

She pressed her lips together as she averted her eyes. “I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have said that. I think we’ve gotten off to a wrong start, so let’s just focus on working at raising your English grade. What’s your latest assignment?”

Spencer bent over and opened his backpack. He pulled out a bent, blue folder and slid it across to her. “Everything’s in there.”

Molly opened the folder and glanced through it. “You have three essays you’ve never turned in; plus, a test you could have corrected to get some extra points.”

“What can I say, I’m busy with football,” he said as he rolled his shoulders, “but that’s why I have you now. How about I meet up with you in a couple of days and you can give me the essays so I can turn them in.”

She shook her head. “No way; I’ll help you write them, but I’m not doing your work for you.”

“Seriously? You can’t just do it?” Spencer asked with incredulousness as he ran his fingers through his hair.

“Nope, this is going to be a partnership. We’re both going to put in 50/50.”

He seemed to contemplate what she was demanding from him. After several moments, he unfolded his arms and said, “Fine, we’ll do it your way.”

As Molly looked across the table at Spencer, she wondered if she had made the right decision. Could she sit across from him three times a week and not be taken in by his good looks and charm? She didn’t want to fall for the football star like all the other girls in her school, especially since she knew it would remain one-sided.

Pushing the troubling thoughts out of her mind, Molly picked up Spencer’s first essay assignment and started to explain what he needed to do.

“We’re here,” Rick said, drawing her attention back to the present.

Molly’s jitters were strong as they pulled into the driveway of her parents’ two-story brick home. Though her parents had come to Seattle to visit at least two times a year, she hadn’t set foot in her childhood home in a decade. Would everything be the same? Did they change her room, or was it exactly how she left it?

Being the baby of the family, her parents had doted on her. By the time she entered high school, her two older brothers had already started their own lives. One had joined the military and was stationed overseas—he still was—and the other had moved to California for a job.

Her parents had spent their mid-fifties attending her debate competitions, academic decathlons, and church choir performances. By the time her senior year rolled around, she had become the center of their lives. She was certain it was the reason it had broken their hearts to send her away.

Even though they claimed to have done it for her own protection, she often wondered if they were embarrassed by the unflattering rumors that had circulated around town when everything went bad for Molly. She wondered if sending her to live with her aunt and uncle in Seattle, was more to do damage control for the family’s reputation, rather than to shield her from getting hurt further.

Rick climbed out of his Corvette as Molly did the same. He met her at the steps as he asked, “You ready to brave coming back home?”

She nodded, steadying herself as they walked up the steps. At the front stoop, Molly rang the bell. A few moments later, the door opened to reveal her mother, Beverly.

“Hello, there, Molly,” her mother said as she reached out and gathered her daughter into her arms. “Welcome home.”

“Thanks, Mom,” she said against her mother’s shoulder.

“We’ve missed you so much,” her mother stated, continuing to hold onto her.

“Let the poor girl go, Beverly,” Molly’s father, Ken, stated from behind them.

Beverly did as ordered, quickly dropping her arms from around Molly. “Sorry I held on so long. It’s just been forever since we’ve seen you.”

“It’s only been six months, Mom,” Molly pointed out.

“Six months feels like forever when it’s your child,” Beverly corrected. “You’ll understand soon enough when you settle down and have kids.”

Beverly eyed the man next to Molly skeptically. “Aren’t you going to introduce us to your new boyfriend?”

“Of course,” She gestured to her boyfriend, “Mom, Dad, this is Dr. Rick Colson. Rick, these are my parents, Ken and Beverly.”

Everyone greeted each other before moving into the nearby living room. Once inside, they took seats on the couch and chairs in the center of the space.

“Have you decided how long you are staying?” her mother asked with a hopeful tone.

“Well, at least through the weekend. The reunion is Saturday night,” Molly explained.

“I have to get back for work on Monday,” Rick stated. “I have two breast augmentations and a rhinoplasty scheduled.”

“But that doesn’t mean you have to leave, does it Molly?” her mother asked. “Can’t you stay on even if Rick has to get back to Seattle? Your dad can drive you back to the city later.”

“Quit hounding her, Beverly, or you’ll just end up driving her off quicker.”

Her mother nodded her head, her eyes averted to mask her disappointed expression. “You’re right. I should just be happy for the time I have with her.”

“Can we help you with your luggage,” her father offered. “We have you set up in separate rooms upstairs.”

“Molly, you get your old room, and Rick, you can use the guest room.”

Rick raised his eyebrows in surprise. “We can’t share a room?”

“Not under my roof,” Ken stated adamantly. “We’re Christians. Only married couples get to share rooms around here.”

“Oh Dad, you don’t have to be so traditional. It’s no big deal. You can’t expect—”

Rick raised his hand towards her to stop her. “It’s okay, Molly. This is your father’s house. We should respect his rules.”

“Thank you,” her father said, “now let’s go get that luggage.”

“May I use the restroom first?” Rick asked. “It was a long drive from the city.”

“I can show him,” Molly stated, wanting a moment to make sure Rick was really okay with the sleeping arrangements.

As they made their way down the hall, Molly broached the subject. “I’m surprised you reacted so well to my father’s conditions for staying here. I honestly thought you would insist we go stay at a hotel.”

“Oh, I don’t plan to follow them the whole time. I just said that for his sake. Believe me, when everyone is sleeping, I’ll be sneaking into your bedroom,” Rick explained with a wink.

Molly wasn’t sure what to think of Rick’s plan. Though she didn’t necessarily agree with her father’s archaic rules, she didn’t like the idea of breaking them. She had been pleased, thinking Rick was being respectful. This new information, however, made her realize he hadn’t any intention of following through on what he said.

“I think under the circumstances, it’s best if you don’t. My parents are light sleepers, and I want them to like you.”

He shrugged. “It’s only a few days. I guess it doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things. But you’re going to owe me when we get back to Seattle.”

She chose to avoid addressing his innuendo, and instead pointed to the room at the end of the hall. “That’s the guest bathroom. I’ll meet you back in the living room once you’re finished.”

Molly turned and headed back down the hall. She hoped everyone could get along for the duration of their stay. The last thing she needed was her parents and Rick to hate each other. It would keep her from focusing on her true task for being in Bayfield—finding out the truth about Spencer Conrad.

* * *

Spencer watched the brown-haired man in the orange jumpsuit sitting across from him in the county jail. The man was obviously suffering from narcotics withdrawal. He was sweating profusely, his eyes were darting everywhere, and he was sporadically twitching and scratching his tattooed skin.

Compassionately, Spencer pushed a bottle of water towards the inmate. “Here, this should help some.”

The man gave him a surprised look as he reached out and yanked the bottle towards him. “So, how are you going to get me out of here?”

“I need you to give me a detailed account of that day, Mr. Burke. This is my third trip to see you, and you still haven’t told me where you were when the robbery happened. If you could just give me your alibi, we could build a defense around that,” Spencer explained to his client, Daryl Burke.

“Like I told you and the cops, I let Joe Gunders borrow my truck that night. I had no idea what he had planned, and I wasn’t involved.”

“I understand that, but the jury is going to want to know what you were doing during the time of the robbery. There’s even a possibility I can get this thrown out before it goes to trial if I can prove you weren’t there.”

Daryl shrugged. “That’s the problem; you won’t be able to. And even if you could, what I was doing wasn’t exactly legal. It would just get me into a whole other set of problems.”

“Why don’t you let me worry about that? I need you to tell me, so I can figure out the best way to defend you.”

The other man crossed his arms and eyed Spencer skeptically. “This isn’t my first time down this road. My last attorney messed me over bad. I ended up doing a whole year for a simple bar fight.”

“Mr. Burke, I’ve read your entire file,” Spencer said, patting the folder in front of him. “I’m aware of what happened to you three years ago. Let me make one thing clear, I’m nothing like your last public defender. I care more about my clients than getting my cases closed. If you work with me, I will do my very best to help you.”

“Fine,” Daryl said as he leaned forward onto the table. “But I’m telling you, it’s just going to make everything harder. I was with a woman friend of mine that evening.”

Spencer jotted down the information. “This can help. I just need you to tell me her name and where to find her. Once I get her statement on the record, I can present it to the district attorney along with a request for dismissal.”

“Yea, so that’s where we run into a problem,” Daryl stated as he cracked his knuckles. “She’s not going to want to go on the record. She’s skittish of cops and lawyers because of her job.”

“What does she do exactly?” Spencer probed. “Maybe we can figure something out.”

Daryl’s brows came together in a furrow as he rolled his shoulders. “She’s a hooker. I’m one of her regulars down at the Sundance Hotel.”

“Oh, well…” Spencer thought about their options for a few moments, then said, “We could have her give her statement, but leave out the part of what she does for a living. They just need to know where you were. She can verify it wasn’t at the robbery. It could still work. Do you have a cell phone number for her?”

Daryl shook his head. “No, she hates them. Thinks the government is listening through them. She usually works the corner by the hotel most nights. Her name’s Trixie.”

“What does she look like?”

“Brown, curly hair and a big rack. She’s also got a butterfly tattoo on her lower back, but that probably won’t help you find her.”

Spencer internally cringed at the description of the woman. It wouldn’t be his first time tracking down someone on the seedy east side of town.

“Okay, Daryl, that should do it for now,” Spencer stated as he put away his notepad and files. “I’m going to work on this over the next couple of days.” He stood to his feet and gave his client a nod. “I’ll come back when I have some news.”

As Spencer headed back to his office to check in and make a few calls, he mulled over the other three cases he was working on. He had two narcotics cases, one possession and one dealing, and a felony battery case. He was making good headway on the dealing case, as his client was willing to trade supplier information in order to get his charges pled down to misdemeanors, but the possession was harder since the college kid didn’t have anything to trade. He was just stupid enough to get caught buying illegal prescription drugs. Since it was a first offense, Spencer hoped the district attorney would be willing to offer rehab with probation.

The most difficult of the three though, was going to be the battery case. It was his client’s third offense, and the district attorney already made it clear there wasn’t going to be any deals. He wanted the guy to go away for a long time. When Spencer got back to the office, he needed to make some calls to see if he could locate any witnesses that could prove the other guy provoked the fight in the parking lot of the smoke shop. Of course, the cops didn’t take the time to interview anyone, but Spencer was great at finding overlooked witnesses.

Spencer walked into the Public Defenders Bayfield downtown office. He weaved through the cubicles until he reached the hallway that led to his office. Just as he came around the corner, he overheard his assistant, Jane, talking to one of the paralegals named Allison. He stopped moving and felt his stomach tighten as they mentioned a name he hadn’t heard in nearly a decade.

“I couldn’t believe it when I saw Molly Price at the coffee shop this morning,” Allison stated. “I mean, she’s got to be back in town for the class reunion, right?”

“I guess. I just didn’t think she would want to come back here, considering what happened before she left. I know I wouldn’t.”

“Wait until Spencer finds out she’s back in town. He’s going to flip out after the lies she told about him. I still can’t believe she wanted everyone to think they had a serious relationship when all that happened was that she tricked him into hooking up.”

“You know, the weird thing about all of that was that I had a few classes with Molly. She kept to herself and never caused problems. It shocked me when Tiffany exposed what happened. Molly never seemed like the type of person to do all of that.”

“Yes, but it’s always the quiet ones who go all fatal attraction on someone. Besides, can you blame her? It is Spencer Conrad after all. Everybody wanted him back in high school,” then, changing her tone to a whisper barely loud enough for Spencer to overhear, she added, “not to mention many of us still do.”

Jane let out a laugh. “He has held up pretty well over the years, with that full head of dark hair and charming smile.”

“Have you guys, you know, ever? I mean, with all the late nights you end up here working with him, mixing business with pleasure seems plausible.”

“No way,” Jane protested. “Spencer keeps it strictly professional, despite growing up together. I haven’t even seen him look at me that way, let alone make a pass.”

“Too bad, call it a hunch, but an office romp with him would be mind-blowing.”

Spencer decided he had heard enough. Making a “hum-hum” sound, he emerged from around the corner. “Good afternoon, ladies.”

Both froze, turning to face him with embarrassed expressions.

“I wasn’t expecting you back this early, Mr. Conrad,” Jane scampered to his side, patting her brown hair into place.

“Obviously,” he said with a narrowed glance at Allison, who tossed her black hair over her shoulder, trying to appear nonchalant.

“Can I get you anything?” Jane offered.

“Just any messages that I might have,” he said as he entered his office and set down his briefcase. “And a cup of coffee. I can tell it’s going to be a long day.”

He sat down at his desk and flicked the mouse to turn on his computer. He quickly typed in his password, but as he stared at the screen, he hesitated before doing anything.

Molly Price was back in town. Not a day had gone by since she left Bayfield that he hadn’t thought about her. He still felt tremendous shame and guilt, not only over what he had done to her, but what he let others do to her as well. He had been so foolish back then.

Spencer watched Molly as she read his first draft of his latest essay. Though he was making an effort to not let it happen, his eyes kept drifting to Molly’s tempting lips. He liked how they slightly moved as she silently read the words on the paper. He wondered what it would feel like to kiss those pink pillows of perfection, and to feel her soft curves against his muscular frame as he wrapped his hands in her hair.

He shook the image from his head, and tried to focus on English. Though they had started off in a rough spot, he had grown to admire the quick-witted, quirky girl that sat across from him. He had recently noticed she was cute too, with her long, blonde hair, green eyes, and button nose. He wondered why he had never noticed her before.

Because your friends will never let you live it down if you end up starting something with the class nerd, Spencer thought to himself. Stick to your own kind; cheerleaders are more your speed. They don’t make you feel stupid every time you open your mouth.

If he admitted it to himself, however, Spencer liked the fact that Molly challenged him. He was tired of having lengthy, awkward silences with girls that simply wanted to be with him because of his popularity. He wanted more, but he wasn’t sure he was willing to cross his friends to be with Molly.

Get it together and stop this before it’s too late, Spencer chastised himself. You’ve worked too hard to let anyone destroy your reputation.

Creating some distance between them could help. It was time to step back and put things back into their proper place.

“So, what do you think? Are we good here?” Spencer asked with a cold tone.

“Almost,” Molly stated as she finished marking a couple of spots on the last page. “Once you make these corrections, you can turn it in. I think Mr. Warner will be pleased with the work you did on this.”

Molly handed the paper over to Spencer, who yanked it from her hands. “May I go now?”

“Geez, what’s the matter with you? You’ve been short with me all afternoon. I thought we were finally getting to a place where we could work together without things being weird.”

“Let’s make one thing clear, if anything is weird around here, it’s not me, which only leaves you.”

A hurt look crossed her face as she stated, “That was mean. I don’t know what’s gotten into you, but you need to figure it out before our next tutoring session.”

“Ugh, could you be any more sensitive? I seriously can’t take it,” he said, standing up and slinging his backpack over his shoulder. “I’ll talk to you later.”

As he fled the library, he realized he already regretted being mean to Molly. She didn’t deserve it. It wasn’t her fault he was beginning to see her as more than just his tutor. The worst part was that his plan had backfired. He didn’t feel any distance at all, but rather, he wanted to march back in and tell her he was sorry he had behaved like an idiot because he liked her.

He stopped on the steps, waffling between going back in and continuing home.

“There you are. I was hoping you were done with your stupid tutoring,” Tiffany, Bayfield High’s head cheerleader and Spencer’s on-and-off girlfriend, said with irritation. “I was hoping you would want to take me out to a movie tonight.”

“I thought you were done with me, Tiffany. I remember you saying this time it was for good.”

“Oh, you know how good we are together. It’s never really all the way done,” she said as she placed her hand on his arm and squeezed.

“Yea, but I’m thinking this time it should be. I’m tired of playing your games.”

“What are you talking about? We’re meant to be together Spencer. After all, you’re the star quarterback and I’m the head cheerleader. It doesn’t get any more obvious than that,” she stated with a roll of her eyes. “Stop punishing me for our last fight. Tell you what, we can skip the movie and just head straight up to the bluffs to make out.”

She leaned up on her tiptoes and tried to kiss him on the mouth. Before she could land her mark, he turned his head away.

“Stop it, Tiffany. I’m serious. It’s over this time.”

Stepping back, she narrowed her eyes and spat out, “Why? What’s changed? Is there someone else? Is it Amanda? I know she’s had her eyes on you for months. If she’s made a move on you, I swear I’m going to rip her hair out at the roots. And if you let her, you’re going to regret it, Spencer. You know better than to cross me. Remember the last time—”

“Excuse me,” Molly said as she tried to squeeze past them as she exited the library.

“Ugh, can’t you see you’re in the way,” Tiffany spat out at Molly. “You’re so annoying.”

“Believe me, I don’t want to interrupt whatever this is,” Molly stated, gesturing to them both.

“You’re not interrupting anything important. It’s just Tiffany being Tiffany,” Spencer explained as he reached out and stopped Molly from continuing down the stairs. “Why don’t I walk you to your car?”

Molly glanced hesitantly at Tiffany, then back at Spencer. “No, I’m good, thanks. See you on Monday for our next session,” she said before hurrying away.

“Good riddance,” Tiffany shouted out after her.

As Spencer watched Molly walk away, he had to force himself not to chase after her. After a few moments, he turned his attention back to Tiffany, who was glaring at him.

“Now it all makes sense. You’ve fallen for that tutor girl,” Tiffany accused. “Wait until everyone hears about this. You’re going to be the laughing-stock of the school.”

“What?” Spencer sputtered out. “You don’t know what you’re talking about. The school is making me meet with her.”

“Maybe, but it seems like you rather enjoy her company. Never took you for the type that would be interested in a nerd like that. I guess there’s a first time for everything.”

Spencer’s stomach seized with fear. There was no way he could handle Tiffany blowing up his life. He needed to do damage control quick. Against his actual desires, he stretched out his arms and pulled Tiffany into them.

“Why don’t I take you to that movie, Tiffany? Let’s forget all about this misunderstanding.”

“You sure?” she asked, looking up into his eyes. “Cuz you just said we’re done.”

“Yes, but you said it best; we’re never really done.”

Even as he said the words, his heart filled with regret. He didn’t like misleading Tiffany when he knew deep down he didn’t want to be with her anymore. He was certain of one thing now; his heart belonged to Molly Price. Yet, he was too scared of what Tiffany would do if he truly ended things once and for all.

“Here’s your cup of coffee, Mr. Conrad,” Jane interrupted his thoughts as she placed the mug beside him on his desk. “Is there anything else I can get you?”

“No, I’m good. Just shut the door behind you, please.”

Spencer forced himself to focus on his caseload and not think about the past. It didn’t matter how much he regretted his decisions when it came to Molly, he was never going to be able to make up for it anyway. The damage had been too severe. Spencer was keenly aware that sometimes there just weren’t second chances.