"So." Uncomfortable and abandoned in Toby's foyer, Josh fished for a conversation starter. "The pardon. Great news."

From the kitchen, a ceramic clank, then Toby's voice, reached Josh's ears. "It'll be hard to find someone who's willing to hire a felon, pardoned or not."

"Might not be as-"

"Would you do it? Would you hire me?"

Josh stared at the back of Toby's head, his jaw clenched and his unspoken answer loud in his head.

"That's what I thought."

Josh summoned his self-control not to slam the door when he walked out on a lost cause. For the last time.