When Isabelle heard Melody say “Hi, CJ,” it’d taken all of her willpower to remain still in her seat. Although she’d wanted to turn and look, she forced herself to keep her eyes focused on the wall while praying that Melody was calling out to someone else she knew. After all, Cameron wasn’t the only person in the world who went by that nickname, and Isabelle certainly didn’t know everyone living on Sanborn Island.
Then she’d heard his voice.
In the blink of an eye, she remembered him promising to call and then all the nights she’d waited around her dorm room hoping to hear from him. As if it’d happened yesterday instead of sixteen years ago, a hand closed around her heart and squeezed.
After reminding herself it was ancient history, she pushed the unpleasant memories away, then half listened to the conversation around her while she focused on her more immediate problem—the fact that Cameron was sitting with them.
She didn’t mind spontaneity, but when it came to her first meeting with Cameron, she wanted to be prepared. And not just mentally.
When she’d gotten dressed this morning, her only priority had been comfort. Her denim shorts and New England Rebels T-shirt accomplished that goal. However, the outfit wouldn’t help her catch Cameron’s or anyone else’s attention. And forget about her hair. The wind on the ferry ride over had destroyed her bun. Rather than fix it, she’d pulled it into a ponytail in the ladies’ room when they stopped for lunch.
Say something. She couldn’t continue to sit at the same table and ignore Cameron, especially since the other three people around her were carrying on a conversation.
Well, perhaps it was more like try to ignore him. In reality, Isabelle knew every time he took a bite of his sandwich or a sip of his coffee. Whatever the truth, if she didn’t speak to Cameron, Bryson would call her out later. As far as he knew, when they’d parted ways the summer after high school, they’d still been nothing more than childhood friends. All her life, she’d shared a lot with her twin, but never her feelings for his best friend.
Isabelle took one more bite of her brownie for added courage. Okay, she was stalling, but so what?
For the first time since Cameron sat down, she turned her full attention his way, and she wished she had one of those portable fans handy. The man looked gorgeous on the big screen and in photos, but in person, he defined the term “eye candy.” It was no surprise he had a different beautiful woman on his arm every other week.
“I thought you’d get in later in the week, CJ.” His nickname felt awkward on her tongue. Although she used it while talking about him and his movies with others, she couldn’t remember ever using it to address him.
As he finished chewing, Cameron’s eyes locked with hers, and she caught a flash of sadness in them.
It’s just the lighting. The man had nothing to be sad about. He’d achieved the goal he’d set for himself years ago and now was one of Hollywood’s leading men. He never lacked companionship and could afford to travel wherever he wanted and buy anything that caught his attention. Yep, the man had it all. The only time sadness probably struck him was when he couldn’t find his favorite ice-cream flavor.
“There were a few things I wanted to do before Bryson’s wedding, so I decided to come sooner.”
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