by Christiane France
by Christiane France
When Cal and Rob first met, they were star-struck, wet-behind-the-ears teenagers who thought all it took to make it in Hollywood was a great body and good looks. Cal eventually gave up the dream and became a reporter for an entertainment magazine, while Rob went on to become a major motion picture star.
Over the next few years, they broke up and got back together a dozen or more times. Then Rob hit a bad patch when Cal caught him with another man and kicked him out. Now, almost two years have passed without a word. Cal has no idea if Rob is even dead or alive, until Rob calls Cal’s boss out of the blue and offers to do an interview—on condition that Cal flies to England where Rob is living so they can talk face-to-face.
In view of their history, Cal knows he’s the best person to interview Rob, and so does his boss. But Cal is still in love with Rob and he knows the trip to London is likely to result in even more heartbreak.Excerpt:
…I noticed the tight, humorless smile on Rob’s face. The smile that said hell would freeze over before anything happened between us.
Then I remembered this was business. I was here in my professional capacity and at his insistence. If he’d brought me here for any reason other than the interview, it would be up to him to make the first move. And that showed no sign of happening any time soon.
My joy at seeing him again and every emotion I’d felt dissipated, fast. I should have expected something like this. It was almost two years since we’d split for good, and life moved on. His certainly had. He was back in England, living what appeared to be a very nice life in a better than average house. At a guess, I’d say he’d found someone new. He’d never liked living alone. But whatever! His personal life was no longer my concern.
I watched as he trailed a finger along the edge of the library table and wondered what he was thinking.
“So, when did you arrive? I expected you this morning.” His tone was cool, polite, and slightly chiding, like a doctor or a teacher letting you know you’d failed them in some way.
I explained about the unexpected length of the stopover in New York and then sleeping in until noon. I didn’t feel like apologizing, so I didn’t. None of it was my fault.
“Well, at least you’re here now.”
Rob hesitated, as if he didn’t know what to say next. Our final parting had been far from amicable. Things had been said that weren’t easily forgotten. In spite of that and the fact I was here on assignment and not as a friend, a brief hug would have cleared the air a little. But the moment had passed, and it was too late for that now.
“It’s nice to see you, Cal. I appreciate you coming over. How have you been? Well, I trust.”
I took a mental and then a physical step back. I hadn’t expected this to be easy. I knew meeting again was bound to feel a little awkward, maybe even downright difficult. If Rob thought we could avoid all that by keeping things formal, I wasn’t about to argue. Going by our history it was probably for the best.
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