CHAPTER 6 | what are friends for?

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The sound of her phone ringing broke into Sydney's concentration.  Glancing around to find the offending device, a frown marred her features as she realised that it was lost somewhere under the reams of paper that were scattered across her desk.

Sydney scrambled to find the phone before it went to voicemail, hoping it was Stephen.  Finding it, she glanced at the screen.  Not who she was expecting, but a welcome distraction none the less. "Hey Grace," she said as she pressed the answer button.

"How's the weather up there?"

"Beautiful one day, perfect the next," smiled Sydney. 

The weather had been warm and sunny since her arrival on Martha's Vineyard.  Her small cottage in Edgartown, while not on the water's edge, had been a welcome respite from the chaos of the city.

"How's the writing?  I'm assuming that after two weeks solid, you're starting to get back on track?"

"Actually," she grinned, pleased with herself, "I'm ahead of schedule."

What Sydney had failed to tell Grace was that her progress had more to do with her determination to keep her mind off recent events than anything else.  Each time Sydney found herself having down time, she found her mind dwelling on her run in's with Ethan McMasters.  To make matters worse, she had found his striking and unforgettable features had managed to worm their way into her dreams. 

Determined to evict the unwanted vision of the man from her wayward slumber, she had focused on her manuscript, often working well past midnight.  By the time she fell into bed in the small hours of each day, she was too tired to undress, let alone dream.

"That's fantastic," said Grace, a hint of excitement in her tone, "because that means you will be able to spend some time with us this summer."

"We'll see." Sydney was noncommittal.  Each year, her uncle and aunt also summered on Martha's Vineyard.  They were far enough away from where Sydney stayed that she could spend days not bumping into them.

"I'm actually phoning to let you know that I'll be up this weekend," said Grace.

Sydney was confused and glanced at the calendar hanging on the wall. "All of you?"

"No," clarified Grace, "just me.  Mom and Dad will be up at the end of the month."

Sydney couldn't stop the uneasy feeling that was building from the pit of her stomach.  There was something that Grace was holding back.  And from her cousin's hesitant tone, it was news that she knew she wasn't going to like.

"What aren't you telling me?" Sydney demanded.  Her voice now held an edge of doubt.

Grace let out a nervous laugh.  "What makes you think that?"

"Seriously?" exclaimed Sydney, "You never come this early.  You never open the house up for the season.  And what's more, you're cagey about something."

"Well, Mason has rented a house at Oak Bluff..." she trailed off.

Sydney let out a little laugh. "Good Lord you have it bad," she said with a pinch of humour, "so I take it things are going well with you both?"

"We have seen a bit of each other," Grace admitted.

"But don't you think it a bit early to be holidaying with him?  You've only been seeing him for three weeks" Sydney teased, "What will people say?"

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