Town of Chance: Sweet Caroline(7)

By: Dixie Lynn Dwyer

Cameron looked up at him with bloodshot eyes. He knew that expression. When Cameron had it, anyone in his path was done for.

“You’re supposed to be my friend, my brother, and now even you’re turning on me?”

Curtis ran his fingers through his hair.

“Come on, man. I’m your friend and I’m telling you that this isn’t right. You’re going about this all wrong and you’re going to lose your job and wind up in jail. Just take some time and give her some space. Then try to work things out.”

Cameron was breathing heavy and looking so far gone and angry that even Curtis wondered just what his friend was capable of. He’d never seen him this obsessed before. It made Curtis wonder why Cameron hurt Caroline and how he was even capable when she was so beautiful and sweet. Any of the guys would have loved to have her as their woman, hell, their wife even. She was that perfect and kind.

“I need to find her. If I know where she is and that she’s safe then I can get my shit together and give her some space then ask for her forgiveness.” He reached out his hand and covered Curtis’s shoulder as he stood in front of him. Cameron was a big guy—six foot three, dark blond hair, big muscles, and a badass through and through. “Help me find her, Curtis. Help me to make things right.”

Curtis took a deep breath and looked away a moment. Cameron squeezed his shoulder.

“Come on, man. I’ve been there for you. I need the favor now. Please,” he begged and Curtis nodded his head. Cameron had been there for him when he fucked up one night and took some pills. He woke up in bed with some woman he met and her boyfriend showed up ready to fight him and things got out of hand. Curtis beat the guy so badly but somehow Cameron got him not to press charges and to forget it ever happened. Curtis didn’t know how he did it, but he saved his ass.

“After this, I don’t owe you anything else. It’s behind us and we’re friends who have one another’s backs.”

Cameron nodded his head.

“Always, brother. Always.” He drew him in for a hug and a back slap then pulled back.

“Let me get you home. You can’t be stumbling into roll call intoxicated,” Curtis told him and then started walking.

“One more beer, brother, to seal the deal,” he said and smiled.

“One more beer,” one of their friends yelled out and everyone started roaring. Curtis couldn’t help but to smirk and shake his head as beers were immediately handed to him and Cameron. It was going to be a long fucking night. He should be happy because these were good friends and good times. Curtis wasn’t. He felt guilty and he just didn’t feel right about finding Caroline, but Cameron was his friend and he owed him. He just hoped when he found Caroline and told Cameron that his buddy didn’t immediately go after her. Hopefully she was smart enough to take precautions and disappear to a place where no one would ever find her again.

* * * *

“Why didn’t you tell me about the arm?” Shelby asked Caroline as she started making breakfast. She couldn’t stop thinking about it last night. As soon as she saw her sister and that black cast, she wanted answers, but Caroline just seemed to need her hugs and her confirmation that Chance was a safe haven for her.

“I didn’t want you to worry more and then to drive or fly up north to meet me.”

“Why not?” Shelby asked as she took the last piece of bacon out of the frying pan and placed it onto a plate.

“Because of the plan. I couldn’t take the chance of someone seeing you and me together. You’ve hid out for so long. I wouldn’t let you risk everything just to be there for me to lean on. Besides, I needed to do this, and see it through.”

“But does Cameron know I exist?”

“He thinks we’re estranged, and hasn’t a clue where you live.”

“Well that was believable because you kept blowing me off over him.”

“Like I need that shoved in my face now, Shelby?”

She walked over to the table and placed the plate of eggs and bacon in front of Caroline and then went back for her plate.

“I’m sorry. I didn’t mean it to sound that way. I was so worried.”

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