AVAILABLE: Friday, January 5th
Shook has second thoughts on their way up and after a wonderfully romantic afternoon, he takes her back to Dallas and tells her to stay at his place where she will be safe.
Cameo takes matters into her own hands to resolve past relationships for good. She’s tired of hanging in limbo over Rebar, wondering if they’ll get back together or not. And Rush is off the map.
During her madcap excursion to Denver, Cameo encounters more than she ever expected, and not only does her new hot half-breed love interest have her all shook up, but a new shocking twist leaves her more than shaken, it leaves her devastated.
Shook finished fueling his bike. The gas station was their first stop on the way to Pine Ridge. While waiting for Cameo to return from the privy, his phone chimed. He glanced at the caller ID. Keeping his eyes on the restroom, he stabbed the answer button. “What’s up?”
“Hey, mate. Have you seen Halo?” Rush asked. “I called Rebar, but he said she’s not up there with him. Not sure I trust him, though. I’m sure if she’s hiding out in Denver, he’d be a happy camper.”
“Didn’t you see her earlier?” Shook asked, testing his friend’s honesty to determine the depth of Camille’s corruption.
“Yeah. She was here. I messed up bad this time,” Rush admitted with a groan. “Camille is here.”
“I told you that woman is trouble.”
“That you did. I’m stuck with her for now. I gave her my promise to help until Malika and Shade are no longer a threat.”
Rush sounded down but not devastated, which led Shook to believe someone was keeping his spirits up. Probably not the only thing she’s keeping up. He scowled.
“Aren’t you gonna ask?”
“Ask what?” Shook countered.
“How I messed up?”
“I already know. You moved Camille in with you. I don’t imagine Halo took it very well.”
“She may have, had I been able to explain. I thought maybe this would help them reconcile.”
Shook let out a short laugh of disbelief. “You might’ve stood a better chance by putting Camille in a guest room instead of in your bed. What planet are you on?”
“So you have seen her,” Rush grumbled. “She told you what happened.”
“And? How was she? Where’d she go?”
Shook saw Halo leave the ladies’ room and scoot into the convenience store. “She’s safe. Furious and sad, but safe.”
“You’re with her?” Rush’s tone rose a level.
“Dammit, Shook. What are you doing with my girl?”
“Try again,” Shook said, undaunted.
Rush let out a frustrated growl. “I hear ya. I blew it. Halo’s up for grabs now.”
“Up for grabs? That’s how you see it? Damn, Rush. That’s cold. She’s not a prize to be won or on the auction block, she’s a woman with deep emotion and a pure heart.”
“You’re gonna make a play for her, aren’t ya?”
“Nope. I told you before, when you steal someone’s gal, she may never be all yours. You moved in on her before she and Rebar broke up. Bad karma, mate.”
“Then what are you doing with her?” Rush demanded.
“Being her friend.” Shook watched Cameo exit the store carrying a plastic grocery bag. “Gotta go. I’ll tell her you called.” He tapped the end icon and stuffed his phone in a pocket.
“Was that Rush?” she asked, approaching him as he sat on his parked Harley.
“Thanks for not lying.”
He tilted his head. “I’d never lie to you.”
“I appreciate that. What did he want? Was he whining about the breakup and filled with remorse? Not like I hadn’t heard it before.” She stared back with tears glistening in her sad blue eyes. “I’m pretty much a mess these days. Made terrible choices, trusted too easily. Do you think I was too hasty in leaving Rush? Is he torn up over it?”
“He sounded angry, more than anything else.” Shook pondered her other question. “Do you want to live in his house with Camille there? Is it possible to work things out?” He added carefully, “It might bring you and your sister closer.”
Cameo shook her head vehemently. “No. I will eventually forgive them…that list is getting long. But live with him again? With them? Absolutely not. You didn’t see the bed, or their faces, or heard the way they tried to justify their actions. He never even said he was sorry.”
Shook pulled her into his arms and held her gently as she quietly wept more tears. He couldn’t for the life of him understand how Rebar and Rush chose that brazen hussy over this sweetheart of a lady. “In that case, no, I don’t think you were hasty at all in leaving.”
She eased back and wiped her eyes with both hands, then mustered a brave smile. “You know what? I’m more hurt by the lies than losing Rush. I was still trying to get over Rebar and Rush knew that. We talked about it. Maybe my sister is the woman he needs. Maybe he’s the man she needs. Maybe it was destiny that they crossed paths in Santa Fe.”
“That’s a lot of maybes,” he said with a quizzical look.
“They have much more in common. From what I understand she’s lived in Texas all her life. They’re both into restoration, and they have the same shallow self-centered mentality. Camille seems more adapted to his culture than I’ll ever be. Plus, I heard she eats anything…even crawfish.”
“But you love cars and the outdoors. Are you trying to convince yourself otherwise?”
“Not at all. Yes, I’m a muscle car fan but you’d never catch me under the hood up to my elbows in grease. That’s what mechanics are for. And I do love the outdoors, just not Texas. Besides, I found out something this morning that makes all of this an almost supernatural twist of fate.” She hesitated. “I’d rather tell you when we stop for the night, if that’s okay.”
He nodded agreeably. “Of course. You don’t have to tell me at all if you’d rather not.”
“I want to share my good news with you…just not here in a parking lot. I finally have something promising in my life.”
“Your thought process seems a bit calmer now regarding Rush,” he noted.