Close to You (Fusion #2) - Kristen Proby Page 0,1

parents’ house, gather my courage about me, and walk up the sidewalk to the front door, knocking with more conviction than I feel.

There isn’t any movement in the house, making me frown. It’s early enough in the day that he should be home.

I knock again, and just when I’m about to give up and leave, the door is yanked open and there he is.


Hair rumpled.

Eyes blurry.

Did I mention that he’s half freaking naked?

“What are you doing here?” he asks, his voice rough with sleep, snapping me out of my openmouthed stare.

“Were you still asleep?” I ask, squaring my shoulders and schooling my face to seem as though I see half-naked men every day.

Which I don’t. Certainly not tall, dark-haired men with ice-blue eyes and olive skin and washboard abs.


“It’s early,” he mumbles, and scrubs his hand over his face. He’s not asking me in. He doesn’t look happy to see me.

He hasn’t even hugged me, which probably isn’t a bad thing considering that he’s half-naked and I’d probably do something stupid like tackle him to the ground and molest him.

Down, girl.

“It’s not that early,” I point out, and he turns narrowed eyes on me and firms his jaw, and I realize that not only is he not thrilled that I’m here, he’s . . . irritated.

“I’m still shaking the jet lag,” he says. “What do you need, Cami?”

I take a small step back and shake my head. “I don’t need anything, Landon. I just wanted to stop by and say welcome home.”

“Thanks.” His voice is a little flat. I was not expecting this at all. Landon has always been welcoming, happy to see me. I don’t know what to do with this.

I do know one thing: I need to get out of here. I’m sorry I came.

“I’m sorry that I woke you up,” I murmur, my eyes on my feet as I turn away. “I’ll see you.”

“Cami,” he says, but I don’t stop to see what he’s about to say. My fight-or-flight reflex has kicked in, and all I can think is Get out of here.

“How embarrassing,” I mutter, fighting tears. “Why would he want to see you, Cami? You’re just his little sister’s friend.”

But it wasn’t always that way. Back in the day, we were friends. He and I always got along well, and I refuse to believe that it was just because of Mia. We had things in common, and we had conversations. And when he left for the Navy, he left a hole in my life that I tried to fill with a mistake of a marriage.

I miss him. I’ve missed him for years. And now he’s home and he doesn’t want me?

I’ll just have to learn to live with that. Besides, it’s not like I can claim that I know him well. Ten years away is a long time. He only came home once a year, and after I got married, he stopped contacting me because he said it wasn’t appropriate to continue to communicate with a married woman.

Divorced or not, why would I think that he’d suddenly be thrilled to see me and swoop me up in a tight hug, then want to share breakfast and conversation?

I sigh as I park in my driveway, kill the engine, and finally face the fact that despite our past, I don’t really know Landon anymore. I know the young man who left here long ago, and that’s not who he is anymore.

I’m not that girl anymore either.

I’ve been carrying a torch all these years for someone who doesn’t exist.

“Stupid,” I whisper, and slam my car door shut and climb the steps to my porch, unlock my door, and to my utter shock, see a gray-and-white streak run between my legs and into my house, then stop at the entrance to my kitchen, turn, and sit on its butt, as if he belongs here.

“Oh, no, you’ve got to go,” I say sternly. “Come on.” I gesture to the door, but the cat just blinks, then licks his tail twice before returning his gaze to me.

I’ve never seen this cat before in my life.

“Where did you come from?” I ask, propping my fists on my hips and giving the cat my best glare.

It doesn’t seem to bother him.

“You need to go,” I say, and march toward him. “Scoot. Outside.”

He simply runs out of my reach into the living room, watching me. “Meow.”

“No, you can’t stay,” I reply, as if I’m carrying on a conversation with the feline. “Seriously, I don’t