Alex was by in a matter of minutes to grill me about the meeting with Dermott, seeming shocked that I’d been chosen for this all-so-important responsibility. When he left, I reoriented myself with what I was working on. I smiled as a different kind of energy surged through me. I hated to get my hopes up, but maybe between work, Cameron, and this new health kick, I was getting my life together after what felt like years of simply living and getting by.
I texted Cameron that we’d have to miss our workout tonight. I registered a pang of regret that I’d miss seeing him, but we could probably use the space. Things had become too heated last night, and I needed some time to figure out how I was going to handle all of this tension between us.
The next evening, Dermott let us leave early, for no other reason than he had plans on a Friday night.
I poked my head into the gym’s small office in the back. I was dressed, energized, and oddly eager to start tonight’s torture session. I’d gone almost forty-eight hours without seeing Cameron and he was nowhere in sight.
Darren looked up from the computer screen. Around him, the desk was overflowing with stacks of paper. “He had to take care of something back at the house. He said I could work with you tonight.”
“Why didn’t he just call me?”
“I think he probably thought you’d skip your workout.”
I rolled my eyes. “Jerk.”
He laughed. “He might be back before we’re done. You can tell him yourself.”
“You don’t have to babysit me, Darren. I think I can probably figure things out for myself today. Thanks though.”
I turned to leave when Darren stopped me. “Hey, what’s the plan for this weekend? Cam said you guys were going out.”
“Oh.” I hesitated. “Yeah.”
He stared blankly ahead, apparently waiting for more details.
“We usually hit up Muse. We can meet you guys for drinks across the street before we head over.”
“You want us to pick you up?”
“No, I have to coordinate with Vanessa and Eli anyway. We’ll probably be there around ten.”
“Who’s Vanessa?” He cocked an eyebrow, a gesture that instantly worried me.
“A friend. You’ll meet her.”
He nodded and turned back to his work. “Cool. I’ll see you out there in a bit. I need to finish up this schedule.”
I walked back toward the free weights. I rested my hands on my hips, noting a new sense of empowerment. Day five and though sore, I was a pro, or so I told myself. Who needs a personal trainer?
I silently commended myself for moving up a weight class in my admittedly very low-weight division. I was up to 15-pound dumbbells and pretty damn pleased with myself as I lifted them easily. Small triumphs. I caught Raina’s reflection in the mirror as she approached me. She was dressed for one of her yoga classes.
“Hey, Maya. How’s it going?”
“Going great, you?”
“It’s been busy. Mind if I join you?”
“Of course not. Go for it.” My self-esteem took an immediate hit when she grabbed a heavier set and went through her motions with perfect form.
“So Darren tells me you’re Cameron’s ex. Is that right?”
I set my weights down for a break. “Yeah, something like that.” I hated being called Cameron’s ex. The term seemed too negative when we were trying to rekindle something positive—a friendship, or something that my body definitely wanted to be more than friendship.
“He’s never mentioned you, that’s all.”
What the hell does that mean?
I reached for the weights again, hoping to mask my irritation with another set. I pretended to ignore her, but I followed her movements through the rest of my workout, hating her impressively toned body with every minute that passed. Cameron and she could be the perfect couple on the cover of some fitness magazine. My energy waned at the thought.
Why would she say something like that unless she and Cameron had history of their own? He didn’t strike me as the type to talk relationships with just anyone, but maybe she wasn’t just anyone.
Before my thoughts could run away any further, Darren returned.
“Hey, sorry about that.”
“No worries. Raina and I were just catching up,” I said with an unmistakable hint of sarcasm. Was I posturing over their yoga instructor?
“Want to do some shoulder work?”
“Sure.” I didn’t care as long as it brought me closer to the end of the workout and hopefully farther away from Raina.