Peter took a table near the back of the café and sat with his back to the other customers. If he could keep a low profile for as long as he had to remain in Los Angeles, maybe he could just slip through the cracks and avoid much publicity. It wasn’t a very realistic plan, but he was going to stick to it as long as possible.
He was also frustrated at himself for being here. He had told himself he wouldn’t do this. He told himself it was better that way. And yet he had picked up the phone and called.
There were footsteps behind him and then the chair across from him was being pulled out and Evelyn was sitting down. She beamed at him.
“Peter, you look good. Ireland seems to have agreed with you.”
“I enjoyed my time there.”
“I’m surprised to see you back so soon. You said something about being here to film a movie?”
“A sequel I’m contractually obligated to appear in. Not my idea. I’ll be gone again as soon as I can.”
“You’re not interested in rebuilding your career? I’m sure half of Hollywood would be falling over themselves to put you in things and create projects around you. Just think of the free PR for them not to mention the chance to salve their consciences.”
“Neither of which I want any part of,” said Peter. The waitress interrupted them to take their orders, and Peter waited until she had left again to continue. “They’ve already brought Henry on board to appear in this film with me.”
“Henry and you are going to act together again?” asked Evelyn horrified. “My deepest sympathies for the rest of the cast and crew. Although,” she added, “chances are he’s only in the film as an effort to reconcile so I suppose it might not be quite as horrible as the last time the two of you costarred.”
“If that’s the case he’s wasting his time,” said Peter darkly.
“Don’t you think maybe it would be nice to see if you two could resume some kind of friendship? You were awfully close once-”
“Yes we were. And he then betrayed all of that so forgive me for not wanting to trust him again.”
“I can understand why it hurt so much to have him believe you were guilty but Peter-”
“I really didn’t come here to discuss Henry,” cut in Peter.
“Of course. And while I was so pleased you called to let me know you were in town I know it wasn’t for the sake of seeing me that you asked to see me.” She smiled as Peter scratched at small stain on the table, not meeting her eye. “I believe,” she added helpfully, “I know why you did ask.”
He glanced up at her. “I’m sorry.”
Evelyn shrugged it away. “I completely understand. Holly is doing alright,” said Evelyn. Peter frowned.
“Her fiancé, well ex-fiancé I suppose at this point, is in jail for murder and it’s only been a few months. You of all people know what that kind of betrayal can do to a person.”
“How is she handling it?”
“I’m not sure,” admitted Evelyn. “She never wants to talk about it. I see why, but it does make it hard to know where her head’s at. She’s been spending time with some new friends I admit I’m not very comfortable about and she’s been going out quite a bit.”
“What do you mean ‘going out’?”
“Partying, clubs. Pictures are beginning to show up in the tabloids.”
“I trust Holly.”
“Yes, well that’s the difference between loving someone and being in love with them. The former has perspective.”
He frowned but decided to ignore the comment. “But she’s doing better? Better then when I saw her last?”
“I think so. You know I could mention to her that you’re in town. Now that she’s had some time, I’m sure she’d love to see you again.”
“Has she said that?”
“No,” Evelyn admitted. “But-”
“I don’t think it’s a good idea. Thank you Evelyn but I think it’s best for Holly this way.”
“Best for Holly or best for you?”
There was a pause as the waitress brought their coffee and when she’d left and conversation resumed, Peter abruptly changed the subject to Evelyn’s work. She sighed inwardly and reluctantly it go.