Throwing his arm over his eyes, he attempted to shut out the blinding light and to hold his brains inside of his head. Whiskey was not his friend in the morning that was for damn sure.

Despite the throb behind his eyes, Luke’s mind immediately drifted to the night before. And it didn’t have anything to do with the fifth of whiskey he and his brother had downed. He couldn’t get his mind off of Sierra. Or Cole. And the way he’d successfully managed to push the two of them away. Likely for good this time.

Fucking idiot.

What the hell was Luke supposed to do now?

When the answers didn’t just spring forth, not that he really expected them to, Luke pushed himself to the edge of the bed. He knew of one thing. He had to get his ass out of bed and attempt to salvage the two things that actually meant something to him.

He just didn’t know exactly how he was supposed to do that.

Chapter Twenty Six

“Yes, ma’am.” Sierra rolled her eyes as she managed to remember her manners. The woman deserved to be called a few choice other things, but at the moment, Sierra knew her reputation was on the line. Not that she should care. She was going back to Nashville, right? At least that was the plan she had drafted in her mind the night before. It had sounded so finite when she had shared the news with Sam.

“No, ma’am.” Once again Sierra let the woman drone on and on while she tossed in the expected answer where necessary. “Yes, of course I can be there this afternoon. I’ll see you then.”

Gritting her teeth as she pressed the end button on her cell phone, Sierra resigned herself to the fact that her shitty day had just gotten shittier. At least she had a few hours to build up the nerve required to spend another afternoon sitting in a room with Susan Toulmin while the woman proceeded to tell her in no uncertain terms what a terrible designer she was. The thought that this was the last time she had to see the woman was the only thing that would get her through the afternoon.

She needed caffeine in a bad way. And maybe some aspirin. A bottle of aspirin. After the night she had, most of it spent pathetically sobbing her eyes out as she curled into a ball on her bed, Sierra wasn’t surprised by the furious pounding behind her eyes. Pushing her weary body up from the couch, she ventured into the kitchen. Coffee would go a long way toward ridding her brain of the fuzz left over from the night before. Maybe.

After she had rushed out of Club Destiny, almost plowing right over Cole, Sierra had managed to make it to her car just in time to realize she was in no shape to drive. Thankfully Sam must have known because the woman came to her rescue and offered to drive her home.

Well, not home exactly.

Her original intention was to take Sierra to Luke’s, but she managed to tell her friend that under no circumstance would she be caught dead at Luke’s house. She was done with the man.

Finished. Through. Kaput.

Damn him.

Through a haze of tears, Sierra made her way to the coffee pot. She’d be damned if she would shed one more tear for that rat bastard. Let him have Susan Toulmin… the bitch. They deserved each other.

At least that’s what she tried to tell herself as she filled the carafe with water and tossed coffee grounds into the flimsy paper filter. Her brain was fully onboard with her plan to banish Luke McCoy from all conscious thought. Her heart not so much.

Standing barefoot in the kitchen, waiting for the coffee to brew, Sierra choked down two aspirin and then took the time to look around. Her little rental hadn’t become much of a home in the last few months. Which meant she had very little to pack up and take with her. Mostly her clothes and a couple of pieces of furniture.

The thought of going back to Nashville was bittersweet. She hadn’t yet gotten comfortable with Dallas. Big fat liar. Truth be told, when Sierra had been with Luke and Cole, she’d felt more at home than any one place she had ever lived. Her heart sank right into her stomach at the thought. None of it mattered. He’d made his choice, and clearly it hadn’t been her.

To top it all off, Sierra received a call from Cole just before dawn. She’d answered the phone, still groggy from sleep, secretly hoping it was Luke on the other end of the line, calling to grovel at her feet and profess his undying love.

So not the case.

However, the sound of Cole’s deep, familiar voice had her nerves settling and a spark of hope igniting in her chest. Whatever for, she had no idea. After she assured him that yes, she was alright, and yes, she did get home in one piece, they said their goodbyes. Little did Cole know that Sierra’s goodbye had been more final than he might have thought. She was going back to Nashville and Dallas would be just a little blip on the roadmap of her life.