The Best of Us (Love in Isolation #2) by Kennedy Fox

Chapter One


Day 1

I wheel my two large suitcases down the hallway and place them by the front door. I’m equally nervous and excited about spending today and tomorrow with my best friend’s brother, Ryan. It’s not a romantic getaway in any sense, but rather the complete opposite. Cami and Eli are planning to honeymoon at the cabin, and Ryan and I have been put in charge of getting it ready. He’s on his way to pick me up now.

Not that I’ve ever admitted it out loud, but I’ve had a crush on him for as long as I can remember. Even if he’s never been able to hold a conversation with me without pissing me off, there’s always been an underlying attraction. Maybe this weekend will be different or at least that’s what I hope, but Ryan openly despises me. I’ve dealt with him over the years because Cami’s been my ride or die since we were in grade school.

Ryan treats me like a spoiled rich princess who has been given everything on a silver platter. While there’s truth in it, there’s more to me than my family’s money or the way I look. I didn’t choose my parents and didn’t ask to receive such a significant inheritance from my grandparents. Regardless, he’s dead set on judging me for things I have zero control over.

In a few weeks, Cami will marry Ryan’s best friend, Eli. Because Eli wants to make it a honeymoon to remember, he asked me to help decorate and stock the cabin with all her favorite things before they arrive. Somehow, the two of them convinced Ryan to join me so I wouldn’t have to do it alone. Considering he’s a doctor with a packed schedule, I’m shocked he found time, but I’m also not complaining.

While trying to keep busy, I go through my list to make sure I got everything Eli requested—chocolate, extra Christmas decorations, sparkling water, and enough booze to last two weeks. I just hope it all fits in Ryan’s Range Rover because I went overboard, but I’d do anything to make my best friend’s honeymoon magical.

Just as I finish double-checking my list, my phone vibrates. I see a text from Ryan, and nervous energy soars through me.

Ryan: I’ll be there in fifteen. Got stuck in some traffic.

I’m not sure what to think about him joining me. Maybe a night alone will allow me to prove that I’m more than a pretty face with money. Considering he’s a St. James, he understands what it’s like to be raised by an elite family, so he’s not impressed by the glitz and glam. He’s humble and wanted a different life, another reason he went to medical school.

Regardless of our differences, we’re going to have to find a happy medium this weekend because he’s the best man, and I’m the maid of honor. Over the next few weeks, we’re going to spend time together, even if he’s the definition of stubborn.

I’m almost tempted to drink a glass of wine before he gets here to calm me down but decide against it. Instead, I grab one of my favorite bottles of Merlot and set it next to my suitcases, then text Cami as I wait.

Kendall: Your brother’s on his way.

Cami: OMG! Hopefully, you two don’t murder each other in the cabin.

Kendall: As long as he’s on his best behavior, I think we’ll be perfectly fine.

Cami: If he’s a dickhead, let me know, and I’ll threaten his life.

I snort-laugh because Cami can be ferocious at times. As we’re texting back and forth, I hear a vehicle outside, then a hard knock on the door.

Kendall: He’s here. I’ll let you know when we make it to the cabin.

Cami: Perfect! I hope the three-hour drive isn’t too painful. Pee before you leave! Ryan hates stopping.

Kendall: Noted.

After tucking my phone in my back pocket, I swing the door open. Ryan’s wearing a heavy jacket and slacks. His hair is messy in a way that makes me want to run my fingers through it.

“Kendall,” he says my name in his gravelly tone, and my panties nearly melt off my body. I have to force myself not to step closer because he smells so damn good.

Thankfully, confidence is one of my strengths, so I act as if his presence isn’t a big deal. I smile and meet his honey-colored eyes. “Ryan. Nice to see you again. Oh, come in. I have everything stacked here that needs to go.”

I step aside, giving him space to enter. He glances around, and his eyes widen at the pile. When I told Eli I was born to decorate and plan for this honeymoon, I meant it.