Shockingly Seductive (Addicted To You, Book Seven)
Author:Covington, Lucy

Of course, this was easier said than done.


Especially since I was wearing the same clothes I had on the night before, and my face was still faintly streaked with eyeliner. I needed to shower before I met Carter, and in order to do that, I needed to grab my shower stuff from my room. Rachel was lying on her bed, listening to her iPod and reading her Humanities assignment, and she stayed silent while I gathered my things.


When I was done getting ready in the bathroom, I went back to my room.


I motioned for Rachel to pull out her ear buds.


“So I’m going to meet Carter at the clinic,” I said. “I’ll see you later?”


“Sure.” She smiled, but it was strained. “See you later.”


I waited for a second, just in case she wanted to suggest we get dinner or hang out later, but she didn’t. So I left.


The weather wasn’t that nice – it was the kind of day that straddled the line between summer and fall, and not in a good way. The air was filled with late summer humidity, but the sun wasn’t out. The trees moved frantically in the breeze, like the leaves knew their days were numbered.


Despite the crappy weather, I expected my mood to pick up when I got to the medical center. After all, science was my sanctuary, the thing I could always turn to when things weren’t going well. But for some reason, it wasn’t like that this time. This time, nothing was making me feel better.


I walked down the halls toward the clinic, telling myself that things would work themselves out. They always did, didn’t they? Not always, a voice in my head whispered. People break up. Friendships get severed. It happens all the time.


When I pushed open the door to the clinic, I expected to be greeted by Jenna, the receptionist. But she wasn’t behind the desk. The lights were on in the small waiting room, and I could see that the computer at Jenna’s desk was booted up, so obviously someone had been there.


But now the area was empty.


I didn’t know if I should just head back to the office and exam rooms --- I wasn’t sure if it was cool to just go back there without permission.


And then I heard voices.


A second later, Carter and Jenna appeared behind the glass partition of the reception desk.


“You shouldn’t have sent her back there before I got here,” Carter was saying.


He shook his head and moved over to the corner, where he started typing something into Jenna’s computer.


“She said she worked at Omega,” Jenna said. She twisted her hands in front of her. “What was I supposed to do?”


“You were supposed to wait until I got here!”


“She’s with the drug company! I couldn’t just wait for you, I didn’t even know you were coming in today.”


“You should have called me.”


Jenna bit her lip and looked down at the floor. “I know. I’m sorry.”


Carter sighed. “It’s okay.” He moved away from the computer and ran his fingers through his hair. “But next time, she’s not to go back there without me, you got it?” He sounded really stern, which was weird. He was always so laid back. Whatever Jenna did must have made him pretty upset.


“Hey,” I said, deciding it was time to speak up. I didn’t want to take the chance that I was hearing a conversation I wasn’t supposed to hear. I had enough awkwardness in my life, thank you very much.


“Oh, hey,” Carter said. If he was annoyed that I’d heard him scolding Jenna, he didn’t show it. He gave me a bright smile, then walked out of the reception area to where I was standing in the waiting room. “Sorry about that,” he said, giving me a sheepish grin. He glanced behind him to where Jenna was back at her computer, tapping away at the keys. He lowered his voice so she couldn’t hear. “Was I being too hard on her?”


I shrugged. “What’d she do?”


“We’re getting audited.”


“Audited?” I frowned. “You mean like on your taxes?”


He laughed. “No. Our study’s getting audited. By the drug company that’s funding part of it, Omega. They have the right to come to the clinic and look around, you know, check out what we’re doing. So the woman showed up this morning and Jenna let her in before I got here.”


“Oh.” I wasn’t sure what the problem was. Weren’t the people from the drug company supposed to be allowed to pretty much do whatever they wanted to make sure their study was being run correctly? But I didn’t feel comfortable pressing Carter for more information. He was already stressed enough without me bugging him.


“Anyway,” Carter said. “I figured you and I could do some filing today. The paperwork is a mess, and almost all of the data still needs to be entered into the computer.”


“Sounds fun,” I said.


He grinned. “Sarcastic much?”