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Hard For My Best Friend's Sister(22)

By:Ava Jackson

I tapped my fingers on the table. What he was saying made a lot of sense. It also meant the blame for creating this upset rested squarely with George and the underhanded actions of the senior partners. If Cameron had nothing to do with it, that meant my fling with him wasn’t to blame. That was a positive development.

“I don’t want you trying to help me do my job,” I said.

“I know. I would never dare. Trust me, I know you. You’d kill me if you thought I was trying to help you.”

That got a little smile out of me. I’d always been too independent for my own good. I wanted to take care of everyone else, and I never let anyone take care of me. It was why it had been so easy for me to give up what I wanted in order to look after my mom.

“I’m sorry for jumping to conclusions, then,” I said. “I’ll try to do it less often.” I’d drawn a lot of unjust conclusions about Cameron. I’d thought he was the same kid he was when we were younger, but now I could see that he’d actually grown up.

I no longer felt like I needed to get revenge against him. Hurting Cameron wouldn’t be satisfying. I suspected I might even hurt myself in the attempt.

“I understand why you thought that way,” Cameron said. “I panicked when George said he wanted you. I was sure you’d hate me over it. Here I was, trying to prove how much I changed and it looked like I was trying to trade you favors for sex.” Cameron sighed and rolled his eyes. “I wanted to tackle George to the ground and make him stop talking. Very professional, right?” He flashed a smile at me that made my heart melt. “Thanks for believing me. I don’t know what I’d do if you stopped talking to me for another ten years.”

“I could never do that.” I scrunched the napkin up in my hand. The truth was, I didn’t want to leave tomorrow and lose Cameron. But there wasn’t another choice. Was there?

The waiter brought our drinks and food. I sipped at my water and couldn’t manage to eat much.

“I was happy when they told me I was staying another day. I’m glad I got to spend more time with you,” I admitted. I liked being around Cameron. He was warm and funny and I wished desperately that he could be around all the time, just like when we were kids. Only, a grown up version without the Barbies and G.I. Joes and more sex.

“I didn’t get to see you watch an infomercial last night,” Cameron said.

I froze. He was inviting me back to his place. I’d told myself I couldn’t but temptation pulled at every cell of my being. “No, I guess you didn’t. It wouldn’t have been very exciting anyway. I don’t cry anymore.”

“I’m not sure I believe you.”

He shouldn’t believe me. I was lying. I’d cried over children without shoes just last week. If I told him that, he’d tell me to come back to his place and…

“Why don’t you come back to my place and prove it,” Cameron said. “It’ll be an infomercial challenge.”

My hand tightened into a fist. I wanted to say no, but he’d challenged me. I couldn’t resist a challenge. “All right. We watch the infomercial, and then I leave tear free. Our fling is over, and we part friends.”

“We’ll see.”

I shivered. I knew I couldn’t resist him, but I walked straight back into temptation anyway with my eyes wide open. One of these days I was going to learn my lesson. But not tonight.

* * *

Cameron’s apartment looked exactly as it had the previous night. It was silly that I’d somehow magically expected it to change or something because it seemed that everything else had changed. I no longer had a clue what I really wanted to happen. We sat on the couch, but we weren’t touching like last night. I was trying to keep my distance from him, even if I didn’t believe I was going to succeed.

Cameron turned on the T.V. and started flipping channels.

“You’re not going to find one,” I said. I crossed my arms, feeling confident. “This is prime time TV. They show those ads late at night to catch the weak willed when they’re tired.”

“I’ll find one,” Cameron said.

He sounded so sure that I began to worry. He flipped to his DVR and pulled up a recording. He’d been planning this, the bastard.

“That’s cheating!” I said.

“No, it’s not. This is a real one that aired just last night.”

“You recorded this last night? You didn’t even know I’d be coming over. I was supposed to be back in Dallas by now.”

He kept his gaze trained on the TV. “I wanted to be prepared.”

I didn’t say anything, but his tone made the small hairs on my arms stand on end. He had no reason to think I would ever come back, but he’d hoped I would, and he’d planned for it. Why would he do that?