Chapter 1

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Everything about the place was hot. Sand, water, air. The little metal buckle on Camila's beach bag had turned into a branding iron and the bottoms of her feet were being scorched through her flip-flops. Sand sprayed up the backs of her legs as she hurried stiltedly along the beach, head tucked low, phone pressed to her ear and gradually heating like an iron in the fire.

"Just come back, Camila." Ally implored. Again, for maybe the twelfth time. She sounded absolutely exhausted.

Camila plowed right through the sand.

"I'm done with it, Ally. With LA and New York, at least for a couple months. I want-"

"That's fine!" Ally's voice grew in pitch. She laughed a bit helplessly. "You can have a break, Camila, that's great! But you can't just drop off the map without letting anybody know!"

Camila huffed and squinted through her sunglasses, looking for somewhere to drop all of her stuff. She might need to take a detour to the water before her feet burned off.

"You didn't even tell your manager. Or your friends, Camila. You didn't tell us."

"I'm telling you now, right?" Camila reasoned, annoyed. She trudged through the sand and noted that the beach was less populated the further she went. "I need a break, Ally, so I'm taking a break. Right now."

Right now actually meant in the middle of the night last week, when Camila had woken up on the floor next to her bed at three a.m. after making probably the worst mistake of her life, hit with the epiphany that she needed to get out of the city.

Maybe if she extracted herself from the situation, it would disappear nicely.

So she booked a flight. For somewhere with no traffic or gray skies, no alarms or call times, no magazines, interviews, exes, co-stars, prying, jaded eyes.

Ally sighed. She was quiet for a moment. "Where exactly did you say you are?"

"Jupiter." Camila replied evenly.

Another planet. Where the sand scorched her feet, the sun was blinding, and the humidity curled her hair.

"Jupiter." Ally sounded unamused. "You've been in Florida for three days?"

"I didn't particularly want to leave the country." Camila reasoned. "I needed out of California and New York, and I wasn't going home, so...I thought I would appreciate the beaches."

"The beaches."

Camila shrugged her bag higher on her shoulder and breathed heavily. "Are you just going to repeat everything I say?"

"Camila Cabello..." Ally laughed, resigned. "I love you. I don't understand why you're doing this, why you're in Florida, but-"

"Why do you keep accenting Florida like that?" Camila broke in, mildly offended on the state's behalf.

"But, I'm here if you want to talk, okay?" Ally assured, ignoring her interruption. "I'll-maybe I can fend off your manager, but not for long. I just-I'm worried you're throwing something away. You didn't tell anybody, Camila."

"It was spontaneous." Camila said quietly.

Ally hummed. Camila was not known for being impulsive.

"I'm alright. I love you too." Camila assured.

"Be careful. Keep me updated. Take pictures and have some...oranges or something."

Camila chuckled. Her phone was a searing block of metal by the time she dropped it back into her bag. She glanced around at her surroundings-water to her right, small sand dunes and condos to her left-satisfied with the lesser number of people.

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