Cameron Westlake

If anyone ever asked him if he knew who Kristen Rice was, he'd say yes, because he is a guy and he did glance through that magazine with her face on the cover. It was either Maxim or FHM or one of those not-so-conservative-and-always-airbrushed magazines. He knows she's pretty, but in southern California, pretty's nothing.

He caught a glimpse of her show sometime after the initial magazine glance and he realized that not only was she pretty, but she could act, too. She's a petite little girl – woman, he amends when he realizes that she's 25 – with blonde hair and blue eyes and when he realizes that she's from San Diego and the show actually shoots there, he's a little surprised.

He's shocked to say the least when he's visiting with his agent at his office and he's glancing through all the pictures on the wall and he comes across a smiling Kristen with said agent. He voices this to his agent's secretary, and she acknowledges this and mentions that she has shown up for a few of his parties. His agent throws parties once in awhile and brings all his clients together, but really, when has he ever shown up to one of those? He is a ballplayer, and he does actually have games to play unlike others who seem to show up to every Hollywood happening or New York event when they're all playing 162 games.

When his agent finally calls him into the office, they have mindless chatter about baseball, upcoming autograph events he needs to do, and since it's with a few of his teammates, he's okay with the command rather than the invitation. His agent casually mentions a party he's having on a Sunday night, "a small get-together really" to celebrate something or other, and if this had been any other day, he would have declined politely saying there was a game (which was never a lie) he actually thinks he can make it to this one, seeing as his Sunday games were day games anyway.

His agent raises his eyebrows briefly at Cameron's forwardness, but smiles instead and says he'll see him then and Cameron smiles, shakes his hand and walks away.

Enter Kristen Rice

There aren't many things in this world that Kristen doesn't like, and while champagne is one of them, it doesn't stop her from having a seat on her agent's expensive couch, sipping from her second or third champagne glass. She's talking with someone she knows from a past movie and they're catching up over champagne and hor doeuvres. They wrap up their chit chat and he excuses himself to go talk to someone else and Kristen's left alone on the couch, sipping her champagne.

She glances around the room, looking at all the people milling about her agent's house, some famous, some not and she has an urge to go be somewhere else – somewhere normal without all the fame and all the facades. She's about to do just that when she spots a man about her age sipping on a beer, talking to what seemed to be a friend of his, and she's sure she's seen neither before. She finds it a little sad that the next thought that pops into her head is why the hell she is drinking champagne when there's beer here somewhere.

She ponders whether she should leave or stay and find beer when her agent corners her out of the blue.

"Kristen! Hey, look, I want you to meet some people."

"There's more?" Kristen says, not entirely joking, because she does seem to recognize these people from past parties, and besides the two guys drinking beer, she does believe she's met everyone in this room.

He steers her into the direction of the two guys and Kristen has a brief flash of shyness as she realizes exactly who he's turning her towards.

"Kristen Rice, I want you to meet Cameron Westlake and James McLeod, two of my prized baseball players for the San Diego Padres. Guys, this is Kristen." She holds her hand out for a handshake, and true to form, her agent finds someone else to introduce to someone else and runs out. Both Cameron and James shake her hand and once her agent is completely out of earshot, she kind of leans in conspiratorially.

"So where did you guys get the beer?"

Both Cameron and James laugh and James nods over to the kitchen. "Root around there long enough and you'll find some there."

"Great. I can't believe I've been drinking champagne all this time." She makes a step towards the kitchen area, intent on finding something real to drink but James beats her to it.

"I'll go ahead and get it."

Murmuring a thanks, Kristen turns to Cameron and takes the chance to actually study him. He's tall, somewhere north of six feet, which would normally intimidate the 5'2 girl herself, but since she's in heels, it's definitely helping her cause. He's particularly handsome, she notices, with hazel eyes, or green, she can't really tell from her vantage point.

"So, Cameron, I've never really seen you around here before," she says, gesturing around her.

Cameron smiles a shy little smile. "Yeah, well every time Tony has a party like this, it's usually at a time where I can't make it or I'm out of town."

Kristen nods in understanding. "Yeah, me too. I'm always somewhere new, it seems."

"Yeah, and it's not really my scene either," and as if on cue, he tugs on the collar of his shirt just a little, and Kristen finds it just a little bit endearing.

"I know the feeling. I was actually planning to ditch and to go home or somewhere…" she trails off, trying to find the right words, but she gives up on that, because Cameron fills it in for her.

"Normal?" he asks, and she nods. He takes a sip of his beer and he pauses just a little bit to let Kristen know he's about to say something. "My friend's having a barbecue right about now, and I don't know what actually possessed me to come here instead."

At the word barbecue, Kristen finds herself salivating at the thought of barbecue, burgers, and hot dogs. It was all just so… normal, and she's a little sad to admit that she doesn't really remember what that's like.

James comes back with a beer in hand for Kristen, and she takes it gratefully. She takes a nice sip and lets herself enjoy the bitter taste.

"I have an idea," Cameron says to both James and Kristen, and Kristen's listening attentively. "How about we ditch this and go to Troy's house? He's having that barbecue, and I don't know about you two, but I'm dying for some real food."

James nods eagerly and they both turn to Kristen, who contemplates this for a moment. She's not sure she should be going off with a bunch of strangers, but if Tony knows them, she figures she's good, so she nods her head slowly, a grin spreading on her face. She's not exactly sure what comes over her, but the next four words spills out of her mouth regardless.

"I am so down."


Author's Note: This is the first chapter of eight. It started off as a very very long one-shot that I wrote yesterday, but I divided it up into what I think works best. I will update every day with at least one chapter. It is meant to be written in present tense and the point of view will jump between Kristen and Cameron, but I think you'll know when which one's talking/thinking. Hopefully I caught all the grammar mistakes or spelling errors, but don't be afraid to tell me if you've caught one. This is my first multi-chaptered story so reviews and constructive criticism would be appreciated. :)