23 Feb Excerpt – The Trouble With Love
“So you don’t understand the meaning of the word discreet? Your eager tail is gonna get us caught.” Cameron kept her voice low, being careful not to draw any unnecessary attention. She was glad that the gorgeous summer weather allowed them to sit outside of the restaurant as they had lunch. It gave her a good reason to keep her oversized sunglasses plastered to her face, camouflaging her eyes as she people-watched against the backdrop of busy midday traffic.
Jai rolled her eyes, but stopped craning her neck, making it obvious that they were sneaking glances at the handsome trio of men a few tables away. “Whatever Cam. You were the one talking about ‘Girl look over there,’ so I looked!” She shrugged as she pulled her locs over her shoulder.
“I didn’t expect you to be so conspicuous though! Now the one with braids is looking over here-coming over here, Jai. With braids. Do you see what you got us into?”
Jai covered her mouth to stifle her laugh. “That’s so mean, Cam! He’s actually cute.”
Cameron lowered her voice, leaning low across the table to speak. “I’m mean? This grown ass man is sauntering over here with braids in 2014. That, my dear, is mean. It’s a damn shame too. His face is good, but those braids…honey, no.”
She clamped her mouth closed as he approached the table with his eyes focused directly on Jai. He stopped at the edge and smiled, showcasing a set of…
“I’m sorry, are those… gold fronts? I don’t understa-” she yelped as Jai kicked her under the table.
“Ooops!” Jai said, giving her pointed stare as she turned toward Mr. GoldFronts with a polite smile.
Cameron’s phone rang in her lap, flashing a smiling picture of Kyle on the screen. She grinned as she jumped up from the table with a wink at Jai. When she had found a quiet spot, she slid her finger across the screen to answer the call.
“Kyle,” she sang into the speaker, pushing her hand into her short hair.
“Hey baby.” Cameron sighed as his warm baritone traveled through the line, leaving a pleasant sensation in her chest. “How is my beautiful fiance doing today?”
“Didn’t I just see you this morning?”
“Nah, that wasn’t me.”
Cameron had to suppress a giggle. “You need me to remind you?”
“Please do. Give me all the details.” Kyle cleared his throat, and Cameron imagined him sitting back in his office chair, loosening his tie.
She laughed, pressing her back into the wall behind her. “Not now babe, I’m at Honeybee with Jai. But as soon as we get done, I could come by afterwards…”
“I can’t, beautiful. I have a client meeting in ten minutes.”
Cameron pouted for a second before remembering that he couldn’t see her expression through the phone. “How about a quick visit after your meeting? Could we do that?”
“Thank you, baby,” she purred happily, fighting the urge to clap. “Well, I left Jai with some guy that had the nerve to have gold teeth in his mouth, so I should probably get back to her.”
“Gold teeth? In 2014?”
“Exactly. I’ll see you later babe.”
“I love you.”
Cameron smiled. “I love you too.”
When she returned to the table, there was no mistaking Jai’s quiet annoyance.
“Why did you leave me alone with him,” she hissed through clenched teeth as Cameron reclaimed her seat. “I should kick your ass.”
Cameron raised a hand to her mouth to stifle her laughter. “What? You said he was cute, so I thought you might be interested.”
“I’m not! I’m serious, I thought maybe you were finally going to try to move on from Elliott, live a little. And if living a little involves a guy who looks like an extra from a ‘90s rap video, how is that any business of mine?”
It had been nearly a month since Jai’s breakup with Elliott, and Cameron was eager for her to get back into dating. She hated knowing that her sister was lonely, and that there was nothing she could do about it.
“I can manage to figure out my own love life just fine,” Jai said, breaking into Cameron’s drifting thoughts.”
“I know that, sis. I just want to see you happy, like Kyle and I.”
Jai sat back in her chair and rolled her eyes. “Ohhh, here you go. That must have been him on the phone?”
“Here I go? What is that supposed to be mean?”
“Cam, I’ve already gotten you together about this once, haven’t I? You found your Prince Charming, so you’ve made it your personal mission to find mine too. Give it a rest!”
“I’m sorry, Jai, it’s just that-”
“It’s just nothing. Talk about something else, please. How are things at the magazine?”