Lucy blinked at the small stone cottage on the cliff as Jon cut Minnie's engine. Sailaway, it was called. The same cottage they'd walked past so many times as kids, the one with the perfect view out over the cliffs to sea, the one she'd always joked she was going to buy and grow old in with her cats and her music.
The one Jon had just referred to as home.
"You bought it?" Her voice came out in a whisper. "My cottage?"
She'd seen the For Sale sign outside Sailaway last year—she'd always kept a close eye on the place and, besides, it was part of her day job to be aware of the local property market. She ran a holiday rental company, managing properties all along the coast around Wishcliffe for owners who wanted to make a little extra rental income from their holiday homes. She and her team had been watching and waiting to see who bought it and if they'd choose to rent it out, but there'd been nothing but crickets. The For Sale sign had come down and never even been replaced with a Sold one. And try as she might, she hadn't been able to find out who had bought it, even with all her contacts.
But now she knew. Jon had bought it. And she had no idea why, or if she was supposed to be happy or angry about it.
"I wanted a bolthole back here at home," he said, looking faintly awkward at being outed as the new owner of Sailaway, even though he was the one who'd driven them there. "And when it came up for sale, well. I couldn't resist."
And of course money had been no object. Not for superstar Jon Abbott, who'd left Wishcliffe behind to seek fame and fortune—and then come back.
Yeah, he was definitely running from something. And Lucy had every intention of finding out what before he ran again.
She unbuckled her seatbelt. "So, are you going to show me around or what? You know I've always wanted to see the inside of Sailaway."
Jon smiled. "Okay. But fair warning, I only got here forty-eight hours ago, so basically everything you see was chosen by the interior designer I hired to do up the place."
"No blaming you for aesthetic choices, then." Even if it was still barmy to think that her childhood best friend, her musical partner—not to mention her one and only one-night stand—was now the sort of person who could buy a cottage sight unseen from abroad, then pay someone else to decorate it for him. "Just as well, really. I still remember the time you painted your whole bedroom black, and your Mum pitched an absolute fit."
He laughed at the memory, and Lucy let herself relax, just a little. Yes, it was far easier to think of him as the Jon she remembered.
And maybe he'd be more likely to open up to her that way, too.
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