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“I’m sorry . . . for her.”

“Like I said, you don’t have to apologize for her. I do apologize to you, though, if I caused any trouble. I really don’t want to come between you two. I’m just the chef, after all.”

He narrowed his eyes and looked confused by my words, but he didn’t say anything. He nodded once and spoke again. “I’ll be in my studio. You can bring my breakfast in there.”

“Will do. Any special toppings requests?”

His lips slightly turned up into an almost smile. “Whatever you make is good enough for me.”

My heart did that skipping thing that it had done every now and again around Oliver. He was such a strange individual. He had a way of not saying much but saying so much at the very same time.

“Okay.” I shifted in my shoes as Oliver began to walk away, and without thought I called out to him, finally asking him the question that had been running across my mind each and every day since I’d begun working for him.

He raised an eyebrow, waiting for my question, so I took a deep breath and asked, “Are you okay?”

His mouth twitched slightly before he gave me his answer. “No.”



I felt as if I’d been spending the past few months existing but somehow not being fully alive. Most of the time, the only thing that I’d been able to focus on was my music, because it was my safety net. Without it, I would’ve probably drowned.

Yet now, after seeing what had gone down between Emery and Cam, I couldn’t help but wonder how much I’d been blind to over the past few months. I felt as if I’d been blind to Cam’s actions over the past few years.

Which was exactly why I needed Kelly to tell me the truth. We sat in my office for our weekly meeting to go over sponsorship deals that I had coming up, but my mind couldn’t truly focus on anything she was talking about.

I sat back in my chair and grimaced. “Is she rude to you?”

Kelly arched an eyebrow. “What?”

“Cam. Does she talk down to you? Is she rude?” The hesitation in Kelly and the flash of concern that flooded her eyes answered my question. I pinched the bridge of my nose. “Why didn’t you ever tell me?”

“I figured it wasn’t my place. She was around before you hired me. I didn’t see it as my right to speak about your relationship when I was your assistant.”

That made sense, but Kelly had since become more than my assistant. She was like family in my mind. The fact that Cam would treat family that way made my skin crawl.

“You know you’re like a sister to me, Kelly,” I said.

She frowned. “At one point, I thought that would actually be true . . . ,” she muttered, speaking of her relationship with Alex. Shit. I was making things worse. She shook off her emotions, the ones she hardly ever displayed around me, and smiled. “It’s okay. Really, Oliver. If you are happy with Cam—”

“I’m not,” I confessed. I couldn’t think of the last time I’d been happy with her. Even before Alex passed away, I felt as if Cam and I were becoming more and more like strangers. I was holding on to a Cam Jones who no longer existed.

“Then why are you still with her?”

That was the same question that I’d been asking myself over and over the past few days.

I shrugged. “Familiarity.”

“Is she truly familiar to you, Oliver? Or are you just hoping the old version of her comes back one day?”

I knitted my brows as I clasped my hands together. “I feel as if I’ve lost so much this year already.”

“Yeah, I know. I’m not here to tell you what to do. But if you’re not happy with Cam, that’s something worth exploring. You don’t have to stay where things are familiar all the time. Sometimes the best way to move forward is to leave some things behind.”

I nodded in agreement and thanked her for giving me her true opinion. We went back to discussing business, and in the conversation, Emery came up as Kelly was critiquing all the people I currently employed.

“And what are we thinking of Emery?” she asked. “I mean, I personally love her, so if you fired her, I’d be shattered. But what do you think? Do you think she’s working out?”

“Yes,” I replied, sitting back in my chair. “She’s good.”

“What do you want to talk about? I have a nail appointment in an hour, so let’s make it quick,” Cam said later that afternoon as we sat in the living room. The more I studied her, the more I realized she hardly ever looked at me. She was always attached to her phone, or she was staring toward me and ordering me around.

“Do I make you happy?” I flat-out asked.

She raised an eyebrow. “Excuse me?” I figured it was an easy enough question, yet Cam seemed baffled by it. “What do you mean do you make me happy?”

“I mean exactly that. Are you happy with me?”

“We’re fine. Once you get your new music out, I’m sure we can take our relationship back into the public eye, which could benefit both of us. Plus, if we did a song together, the media would go wild.”

How did I receive that answer to my simple question? It had nothing to do with our relationship at all. I stared her way and didn’t know the person who was in front of me anymore. Even the small pieces of the old Cam that I used to witness seemed to be nothing more than a facade.

“Cam,” I muttered, shaking my head. “Do I make you happy?”

“Why do you keep asking that?”

“Because you’re not replying. Hell, we don’t operate like a couple.”

“That’s because you’re dealing with whatever it is you’re dealing with—”

“Which brings me to my next topic . . . you never ask how I am. Which, I’m not blaming you, because I never ask you, either. We don’t talk, Cam. Hell, we don’t even sleep with one another. I don’t have any idea what we’re getting out of this relationship. If it can even be called that.”

“What are you talking about, Oliver? We’re building an empire together. We are the next Beyoncé and Jay-Z. If you would just—”

“I don’t want that.”

“Yes, I know, but I do. So, we are going to make it happen because I know how it can help us both. My career”—she paused, evidently noting her words—“our careers will take off after this, due to this relationship.”

“I can’t do it.”

“Do what?”

“This. You, me. I can’t continue in this relationship anymore, Cam. We’re not happy. We’re not in love.”

Her eyes flashed with emotions, and for a split second I saw her. I saw the girl I once knew living behind those sad eyes. Yet before I could grasp hold of that girl, rage flashed before her.

The new Cam was back in full force. “You are really going to break up with me? Because we aren’t in love?”

Uh . . . yes?

“I think that’s a good enough reason to, yes,” I agreed.

“What’s love got to do with it?” she hammered. “I mean, honestly, Oliver. This is Hollywood! No one’s in love!”

I felt sorry for her. I’d seen it happen to so many celebrities in the industry. Fame overtook them and swallowed their souls whole. I never thought it would happen to Cam, though. Years back, she used to have stars in her eyes. She used to daydream about performing for a crowd of one hundred people. She used to care about the music, about the art. Now, all she cared for was money and fame.

“I’m sorry, Cam. I truly hope you find what you’re looking for, but it can’t be with me.”

She parted her lips in shock and then shook her head. Once the surprise had faded from her stare, a hardness found her as she released a weighted sigh. “You’ll pay for it, Oliver. Just watch. You’ll regret this decision. Mark my words.”

She turned and walked out of the room, and with her went the deadweight that I hadn’t known our relationship had been pressing against my shoulders.



Cam hadn’t been back since she stormed out on Monday. I figured she was keeping her space until I left after my shifts. Oliver hadn’t brought her up, but that wasn’t shocking. Oliver didn’t bring anything up to me. He simply thanked me for my meals, then put his headphones back on and went back to his work. Sometimes I’d ask if he was okay, and he’d reply no. Other times, I’d follow up and ask if there was anything I could do to make him better, and he’d say no again. That was the depth of our conversations.

I found myself thinking about him more often than not. When I closed my eyes, I’d see his sad stare. When I opened my eyes, I’d see his cracked frowns.

“Knock, knock,” I said as I headed into Oliver’s studio.

He looked up from the notebook in his hands. “Done for the day?”