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The Two of Us (Love in Isolation #1)
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What do you do when the entire nation is on lockdown?
If you’re an heiress to a billion-dollar fashion company, then you quarantine in a glamorous cabin and finish your final semester of NYU online. The best way to focus on her upcoming valedictorian honor is away from her family, classmates, and the paparazzi. Cameron St. James is ready to get out of the big city and head Upstate for seclusion, despite her parents’ pleas to stay home.
What do you do when a pandemic is sweeping the world?
If you’re barely making ends meet, then you isolate yourself in your best friend’s mountain cabin with breathtaking views and no neighbors for miles. It’s the perfect safe place away from three roommates who don’t take the life-threatening epidemic seriously. Elijah Ross is ready to work remotely and focus on his next big promotion, assuming he’ll still have a job after this.
What happens when things don’t go as planned, and you’re stuck with the one person you dislike the most?
You improvise and do whatever it takes to avoid each other, though it proves to be impossible. The cold evenings alone turn into movie and popcorn nights together by the fireplace. Days turn into weeks, and eventually, more than just a friendship blossoms. As the unknown haunts them, they lean on one another for comfort—until someone pops their safety bubble and threatens everything.
The Two of Us is an enemies to lovers, brother’s best friend standalone romance set in the current affairs of history in the making. Though the character’s storyline is fiction, the circumstances are very real, and we’re sensitive to this topic. This is a story about hope, love, and so much more with a guaranteed happily ever after.
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“Stuck with U”
-Adriana Grande, Justin Bieber
My heart pounds as I rush around my penthouse, shoving clothes and books into my Louis Vuitton suitcases. It’s my senior year at New York University and the campus has shut down indefinitely today. Starting next week, I’ll finish the semester online.
No graduation ceremony.
No saying goodbye to my classmates I’ve seen every day for the past four years.
No final words of wisdom from my professors.
With a 4.0 grade point average, I can’t risk falling behind and losing my spot as valedictorian. Hopefully, this doesn’t interfere with graduating on time because I’ve been accepted into the Master of Business program in the fall.
While I’m upset about no longer attending classes and missing out on the last few months of my final year, I’m more concerned and devastated about what’s happening around the country and in the city I was born and raised in.
New York was recently declared a major disaster area. A dangerous viral outbreak has swept the world, and we’re being told to self-isolate to help slow the spread, but the hospitals are already overcrowded.
When the news broke, my parents begged me to come home, but I know my mother. Clara St. James can’t function without her housekeepers and personal chefs, and if she continues to let them help, she’s directly breaking the basic guidelines of being quarantined. Unless her staff moves in, my parents will still be in contact with people who are carrying germs from the outside world. I love my mom, but she’s the classic Upper East Side’s cliché of wealth and power who doesn’t follow rules because they’re below her.
My family owns a billion-dollar fashion empire, so it’s all I’ve ever known. Since I could walk, my mother has groomed me to be involved with the business. As the elite princess of the St. James estate, I’m expected and have agreed to maintain the company when they’re ready to retire. I love my family, but behind our socialite status and the media’s glamorized portrayal, we’re dysfunctional with a capital D.
My brother, Ryan, is four years older than me and graduated from medical school last year. He’s doing his residency in one of New York City’s top-ranked hospitals and will work directly with patients who have contracted the virus. It’s scary as hell to know he’ll be there, but he’s determined to do whatever it takes to help people and save lives. I’m proud of him, but I worry about his safety.
“Cameron, this is absurd,” my mother says on the phone with a long sigh. “Rodrick will pick you up and drive you home.”
“I’m staying at the cabin so I can focus on my schoolwork and stay inside.” I repeat the same words I said yesterday. I don’t tell her my boyfriend, Zane, is meeting me there in a couple of days. She’s not his biggest fan because he hasn’t proposed yet, but I’m nowhere near ready for marriage. I’m only twenty-two and want to finish school first. This year, we’re both graduating, and we plan to move in together this summer as a trial run. So for now, she’ll have to get over the idea of planning the wedding of her dreams.
I could’ve driven with him, but I was too anxious and ready to get out of the city to wait. He needed extra time to do his laundry, pack, and buy more supplies. Zane doesn’t live on campus, but he slept over at my place a lot, which is why it’s better we isolate together.
“Plus, I could’ve been exposed by someone at school. We really have no idea how many cases there are, so it’s best I stay away. That way, I don’t risk getting you or Daddy sick.”
He has high blood pressure, and my mom smokes. Though she claims she quit, I know she hasn’t.
“You two should go somewhere for a few weeks,” I suggest. “Your company employees are working remote, so there’s no reason to stay in the city. Visit the Hampton lake house or drive to the Tennessee resort.”
“And leave all my things?” She gasps. “We’ll be fine, dear. Your father and I are usually six feet apart anyway. The housekeepers will wear masks and gloves. You really should just come here so we’re together.” I roll my eyes as she continues to beg. For the past fifteen years they’ve pretended to be madly in love in front of the cameras and brush aside any rumors that my dad has a drinking problem. They want the world to think they have a picture-perfect marriage, but it’s only an act.
Denying her request again, I explain how labor-intensive my online classes will be, and as nicely as I can, I remind her I’ll need this time to focus on finishing my semester and keeping my grades up. She seems to buy it and tells me to check in with her daily. I make her promise to keep her distance from everyone because while she’s health-conscious, her smoking puts her at a higher risk, so I worry.