A Tragic Wreck
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Olivia reached over and grabbed his hand as he shifted into fourth. “Me, too.”
A few minutes later, Cam pulled up in front of an old Victorian-style home just a few blocks from the downtown area of Fernandina Beach. The wrap-around deck boasted several lounge chairs as well as a porch swing, complete with nautical themed pillows. Olivia made a mental note to use that swing sooner rather than later. It looked so peaceful.
Cam led her up the steps and into his house, giving her a tour of the lower level.
“Did you decorate this?” Olivia asked, astonished at the décor throughout the bottom floor. To the right of the entryway sat a large living room, the walls painted a light shade of yellow with a rather comfortable-looking sofa and love seat against the walls. Natural light shined through the entire house. Cam nodded as he led Olivia past a staircase and down a narrow hallway leading to a gourmet kitchen, the large windows overlooking a rather nicely manicured backyard complete with in-ground pool and hot tub.
“Swing set?” Olivia asked, raising her eyebrows at Cam, eyeing the large wooden play set in his backyard.
“I have nieces and nephews who like to come visit. Don’t worry. No kids, or at least none that I know of,” he replied, lightening the mood, happy to put a smile on her face.
She looked at the crystal clear water in the pool, wishing she had packed her bathing suit. Oh well. Maybe next time, she thought. She surprised herself, thinking about a next time at Cam's. It felt refreshing, as if maybe she would survive life after Alexander.
“Come, Libby. I’ll show you the rest of the house.” He led the way upstairs where there were two guest bedrooms complete with bathrooms, and an even larger master bedroom. Everything was decorated in light yellows, greens, and blues. The house definitely belonged in a beach community, that much was clear.
After Cam left her, Olivia ran the water in the master bathroom, hopping in the shower and savoring the feeling of the warm water on her skin. Her eyes began to droop slightly, the long drive finally catching up with her. For the past few hours, she had been running on pure adrenaline. Now that she had reached her destination, the lack of sleep over the past several days came rushing forward. She just needed to get through the shower and lunch, and then she could collapse.
“Feel better?” Cam asked when Olivia walked into the kitchen, the smell of garlic making her stomach growl.
“Yes. Slightly exhausted, but I’ll be okay.” She grabbed the glass of wine Cam held out to her.
“Do you like salmon?” He raised his glass to his lips and swirled the wine around in his mouth.
Olivia stared at his gorgeous face as he savored the taste of the wine, the liquid dancing across his tongue. Stop it, Olivia! she screamed in her head. She couldn’t help it, though. It had been far too long since she had sex and, for lack of a better word, she was horny. And Cam was hot.
“Libby?” he asked, smirking as he watched her stare at him with heat in her eyes. “Everything okay?”
“Yes,” she replied, still openly gawking at the little tufts of hair that were visible beneath his V-neck t-shirt, wondering when he had changed out of his wetsuit.
“So, do you?”
Her eyes met his. “Do I what?” she asked breathlessly.
He took a step closer, their bodies almost touching. Olivia could feel the electricity coming off his body. “Like salmon?” he asked, his voice husky.
“Yes,” she whispered.
Desire flooded through her body as she continued to gaze into Cam's eyes. But he looked troubled.
Slowly shaking his head, he turned away. “Sorry, Libby, I just…”
Olivia looked away, embarrassed. “No. It’s okay. You have nothing to apologize for,” she spat out, downing her glass of wine, needing to feel the burn of the liquid, her face turning a shade of red similar to that of the wine.
“Libby, don’t be like this. Please. I just…”
“What, Cam? Spit it out already.”
Taking a deep breath, he gazed at her. “I was fucking heartbroken when you left back in January, but I know I sent you away. It was for your own good. You had to do it, but there was this part of me that didn’t want you to go, that wanted to keep you for myself. And now that you’re back, I just don’t know how to act around you. I love you, Olivia. I know you don’t feel the same way. I don’t want to be your rebound. I want something so much more from you, but I know you’re not ready for that. So until you are, please, let’s just be friends. It hurts too much otherwise.”
Olivia opened her mouth to respond, unsure of what to say. Cam loves me? She was shocked.
“Please. Don’t say anything. Let’s just go back to how things were five minutes ago. Wine?” He winked.
Olivia nodded, still reeling from his admission. “Yes, please.”
After enjoying a filling lunch of salmon with mango salsa, exhaustion caught up with her as she lay on the sofa, Cam rubbing her feet. On the TV, The Dude kept shouting that he wasn’t Mr. Lebowksi as Olivia slipped into unconsciousness. Cam gingerly raised himself off the couch, not wanting to wake her up, watching her chest rise and fall in an even pattern. He grabbed a blanket and draped it over her shrunken frame. Placing a gentle kiss on her temple, he whispered, “Sleep well, angel. I love you.”
His heart stopped when Olivia shifted. “I love you, too, Alex.”
Cam shook his head, knowing deep down that Olivia would never get over Alexander enough to pursue any sort of relationship with him, even though his heart yearned for it.
Olivia slept all day and into the night. Cam thought about waking her up so she could eat dinner, but she looked so tired. She had barely stirred all afternoon as she rested on his couch. And, for once, she didn’t wake up screaming every few hours because of the nightmares. No, he’d let her sleep.
When the clock struck midnight and she still hadn’t awoken, Cam gingerly wrapped her in his arms and carried her upstairs to his bedroom, laying her down gently before crawling in next to her. He knew it wasn’t the smartest idea, but he desperately wanted to feel her body in his arms. He wrapped himself around her and fell asleep dreaming about what life would be like if Olivia had never met Alexander.
THE FOLLOWING MORNING, CAM woke up as the sun shined brightly through his bedroom windows. Looking over at Olivia, he smiled as she continued to sleep. He quietly slipped out of the bed, seeing that it was practically noon. He wondered if Olivia was ever going to wake up. Then he thought about her cat. He wasn’t sure how long Olivia would sleep, and he wanted to make sure Nepenthe didn’t starve as she rested in his bed. He secretly loved the sound of that. He found her keys and headed over to her house so he could check on her cat.