“Is there something going on between you and Cole?” Veronica asked, always right to the point.

“Why do you ask that?” Although Sierra and her mother were close, she’d always found it difficult to talk to Veronica about matters of the heart. When it came to the fact that Sierra found herself in the middle of some sort of convoluted love triangle, she didn’t have the slightest idea what she would even say.

“I don’t know. The two of you seemed rather close on Saturday. I got the impression he was worried about you.”

“Cole’s a good man, Mom. And I’m sure he was just worried about making sure I was taken care of since my date had to leave so suddenly.” There, that was the truth. Cole had been worried about her, the same as she had been worried about him.

There was a moment of silence on the phone line before Veronica picked right back up, side stepping the personal issues as she always did. “Did you strum up any contacts at the conference?”

That question was so much easier to answer, so Sierra proceeded to tell her mother about the appointments she’d made with a few business owners in the Dallas area, including one personal consultation with a prominent Dallas lawyer looking to make some significant changes to her house. In the end, when it came down to how her business faired over the weekend, Sierra was satisfied.

If only she could say the same for her personal life.

After a few more minutes of mundane conversation, Sierra let her mother go.

With nothing else to focus on, Sierra’s attention was once again on the sparsely furnished rental she inhabited. Part of her wanted to run out and drop a chunk of change on making the house a home, maybe some furniture, some art work, whatever it took to focus on something other than Luke and Cole.

Instead, she gave in to her exhaustion, both mental and physical. Thanks to the time difference between Vegas and Dallas, it was already closing in on dinnertime, and Sierra hadn’t eaten since early that morning. A quick perusal of the refrigerator told her she would have to go to the grocery store if she wanted to eat. Since she was too tired to even do that, she opted for a slice of bread before heading to her room for a quick shower and then off to bed she would go.

~ * ~ * ~ * ~

Two weeks later, Sierra found herself riding on a high thanks to having landed a promising job with one of the two appointments she had gone on. She had also been hired by the Dallas lawyer, Susan, for a job that she anticipated would take at least three months.

The Monday after she came back from Vegas, she had immediately gotten on the phone with those potential clients and confirmed the meeting times. Her persistence had paid off, and she landed her first clients.

Immersing herself into work was the only thing that remotely kept her mind off of Luke and Cole. Not that she had heard from either of them since she got back from Vegas. Not hearing from Luke wasn’t surprising, but not hearing from Cole… she was almost speechless. Not that she would know what to say to them anyway. Especially Luke. And now, the distance she and Cole put between them would only make a reunion awkward.

Initially hope bloomed, but that was doused rather quickly after the first day when she never heard from him. She’d secretly willed her phone to ring, only to be disappointed time after time until finally she gave up completely. Sierra never was the type to pine after a man. Or two.

Once again her cell phone rang, interrupting her from her thoughts. She lurched for the phone, half hoping that fate, or karma, had heard her silent pleas and her random thoughts hadn’t been for nothing. Glancing at the phone, she didn’t recognize the number, and doubt settled in. Figuring it wasn’t Luke or Cole, she realized it could be one of her potential clients.

“Sierra Sellers.” She answered, trying her best to sound cheerful and professional.

“We’re having a little get together at the house and wanted you to come.” The female voice on the other end of the line stated. “Sorry, this is Sam, in case you didn’t recognize my voice.”

Sierra was a little taken aback by the sudden request, but she laughed despite herself at Sam’s quick talking. “Wow, that’s one way to say hello.”

Sam laughed. “Sorry, I’ve been so busy today and then I realized I hadn’t actually invited anyone yet. Work has been a little hectic, with Dylan officially onboard and Alex being all wrapped up in Dylan’s sister.”

“Oh, that’s right.” Sierra remembered their last conversation when Sam had given some rather interesting bits of gossip. “Didn’t you say Ashleigh, I think that’s her name, was moving back to Dallas?”

“Yes. She came back for the XTX Christmas party, and from what Logan told me, she is officially supposed to move back in the next week.”

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