“Only two love letters?” Mason turned the empty little basket upside down. “Does that mean the rest of us are going home?”
“Can she do that?” Andy asked. “I thought we agreed to stay at least ten episodes.”
“I guess they have enough footage to turn this train wreck into ten weeks’ worth,” Kimball said. “None of us stood a chance anyway.”
The other guys turned to Ashton and Victor who each stood in the kitchen with their unopened letters. Ashton shrunk away from them, but Victor puffed up his chest like he was proud to hear he was chosen to be in her final two.
“It’s cool, guys,” Casey said. “She apparently knows what she wants. The rest of us can get back to our regular lives.”
“That’s very gracious of you, Casey.” Victor reached over and patted Casey on the shoulder.
Casey shrugged out from under Victor and stepped away. “I’m confident she’ll make the correct choice at the end of this process. I’m going to get packed.”
“Me too,” Kimball said.
All the other guys reluctantly followed, leaving Victor and Ashton standing alone in the kitchen. As alone as they could be with three cameramen standing in strategic locations capturing their every facial expression.
Ashton waited, wondering if Victor would apologize, and sensed that Victor was waiting for the same thing. Ashton wasn’t about to give him that satisfaction.
“I have nothing to say to you,” Ashton mumbled. He turned on his heel and walked from the room.
Too much of a gentleman, Ashton read. Is she kidding? If only she knew what Victor was really like when she wasn’t around. If only she knew how many times he’d joked about his conquests and how he can seduce any woman or that he wasn’t ready to settle down or stop sleeping with other women. If only she knew what a cocky, pretentious jerk Victor was to all the other guys.
Ashton paced the room, her letter balled into a crumpled mess. He considered ripping it up and throwing it in the trash. He considered tromping up the stairs and packing his bags like Brock had done.
If she had feelings for Victor, she’s either blind or stupid.
She was going to get her heart broken by that jerk.
Ashton collapsed onto the chaise lounge and stared down the hill toward the beach. What was he supposed to do about this? She’d never believe him if he told her the truth about Victor.
She must figure it out for herself. Which means she’s going to get her heart broken.
“Mr. Mills—” A producer stood in the door. “Ms. Simmons would like to meet your family. She’s asked that you pack to go home and prepare them to have her come visit.”
“I guess I can do that,” Ashton mumbled. He took one more longing glance toward the ocean, realizing he was heading home to Hawaii, and bringing his parents. He gulped and turned to head up the stairs.