I stepped up on a rock, snapping some shots of the ocean. The flat, treeless landscape stretched for miles. I inhaled the pungent aroma of algae, lost in the emotional turmoil of my current situation.
My life was much simpler before I embarked on this damn trip. The only person I had to worry about was myself. Cheyenne changed everything. Despite my resolve to maintain my bachelor status, I found myself wanting things I’d never wanted before. A wife and kids. The whole nine yards. A life. With the woman I loved.
The job offer in Las Vegas came out of left field. I didn’t even know she’d applied for an internship out there. What the fuck was I gonna do? I couldn’t envision being in New York if she wasn’t there. I didn’t even want that job anymore. But why did it seem like Cheyenne didn’t want me to go with her? I thought we were in love. We had something special. She was the one. And I knew she felt the same way about us.
I plucked my cell phone out of my pocket, scrolling through the contacts. “Could I speak with Mr. Charleston, please?” I asked when the receptionist picked up.
“May I ask who is calling?”
After a few minutes, Mr. Charleston came to the phone. “Abraham,” he said with a dry chuckle. “Mr. Social Media. How the heck are ya?”
“I’m good, thanks.”
“I checked out your website a few times. You’ve done a fabulous job with that ad campaign. Top notch. I happen to know for a fact, that Twenty-First Century Park’s top brass is damned impressed with the response.”
“Thanks, Mr. Charleston.”
“Listen, I heard rumours that they want to offer you a permanent job. That isn’t why you’re calling, is it? To tell me you don’t want to work here anymore?”
“Actually, that is why I’m calling,” I replied. “While I really appreciate the offer, I’ve decided that your company isn’t the right fit for me right now.”
“So those slippery bastards did poach you!”
“No, sir. They didn’t make me an offer.”
“So, what’s the deal, son?”
“I’m just not sure I want to work in an ad agency.”
“I’m really sorry to hear that, Abraham. But I understand. You’re young. Follow your heart. Do what makes you happy. If you change your mind, give me a call.”
“Will do. Thanks again for the opportunity.”
I tucked the phone in my pocket and sat down on the rock. The wind picked up, the waves crashing violently against the rocks as dark clouds moved in. I decided to head back to the camp before it started pouring.
I hustled along the path at a brisk pace, a ripple of apprehension rolling up my spine. What if Cheyenne didn’t want me to come to Vegas? Then what? She said she loved me. She agreed to come to New York with me before she got that job offer. Hell, that girl had been pining for me since she was fifteen-years-old. Why the hell was my stomach in knots?
The park was quiet, with a lot of campsites vacant. Probably because it was the middle of the week. The owners said they were fully booked every weekend, but not so much on weeknights.
The first raindrops fell as I headed down the path to the back of the park, where our campsite backed onto the woods. I jogged the rest of the way, darting under the retractable awning a split-second before the torrential downpour.
“I’m back, babe,” I called out, opening the screen door. She didn’t reply. I glanced at the counter where two steaks were resting on a platter. “Do you want me to light the grill?”
I wandered down the hallway to the bedroom. “Cheyenne?” I ducked my head into the open bathroom doorway. Where the fuck did she go?
I walked back out to the kitchen, my eyes landing on her cell phone. A nauseating sense of dread spread through my gut. She would never leave the RV unlocked after all the mysterious happenings. And she certainly wouldn’t leave meat out on the counter, or go for a walk without her phone.
Something happened to her. There was no doubt in my mind. I should have never left her alone. Not after the incident at Cavendish Beach. What was I thinking? If anything bad happened to Cheyenne, I would never forgive myself. And the Carson brothers would kick my ass.
Think, Abe. Don’t panic. Think.
Her Fit Watch!
I grabbed her phone, opening the app that would track the watch. I held my breath, waiting for the little icon to stop spinning and pinpoint her location.
She was in the woods? Not very far, according to the map. I shoved her phone in my pocket and stormed out the door, dialing 911 as I headed into the thick brush.