Say I'm Yours (Page 12)
I stand like a statue as he turns and walks away. Tears continue to fall and blur my vision as I watch Trent Hennington back out of my driveway and drive down the road. Minutes pass before I move.
He’s really gone.
That really happened.
How the hell am I supposed to go on a date now?
After I spent a good twenty minutes crying out all my emotions and eating half a bag of licorice, I decided to pick myself up and get myself together. The past is in the past, which includes him. There isn’t anything saying Cooper will be my future, but there isn’t anything saying he won’t, either.
Unfortunately, my composure is harder to keep than I thought, and I keep having to take deep breaths and little breaks to get myself under control.
It’s crazy how nervous I am. It isn’t like a blind date where I don’t already know the man. Hell, I’ve even seen his penis. Granted, it was when I was sixteen and solely due to a dare, but still.
My cheeks heat in the mirror as I remember in detail what it looked like. Dammit, now I’m going to end up embarrassing myself.
My mind continues down this very stupid road, and I wonder what he kisses like. What if he’s heavy on the tongue or our teeth clash? What if we are so incompatible that we sit in awkward silence? What if we like each other, and I somehow screw this up? These are all the reasons I thought this was a bad idea.
If I keep going at this rate, I’ll never be able to make it through tonight. I decide to lock my errant thoughts away and focus on getting ready.
Once I’m content with how I look, I head out to the living room. He should be here in a few minutes. I grab my phone and see a message from Presley.
Presley: Have fun tonight! I love you both and can’t wait to hear how it went.
Me: Love you! I’m sure we’ll talk tomorrow.
Knock, knock, knock.
Shit. Here we go.
Please, God, don’t let this be Trent.
I open the door to find Cooper standing there with a bouquet of flowers. His dark hair is spiked in the front going in no real style, his deep green eyes shimmer with warmth, and the way he fills out that tight gray T-shirt leaves very little to the imagination. Jesus. He gets better and better each time I see him.
“Hey.” I smile.
Cooper’s grin brightens. “These are for you.” He hands me the white daisies. “You look beautiful.”
“Thank you.” I step back and swing my arm to the side so he can enter. I love that he brought me flowers. “This was really sweet. Let me go put them in water.”
I head back to the kitchen to place them in a vase, and I hear Cooper. “Your place looks great. I haven’t seen it since I carried the couch in.”
I laugh. “It’s been a long time, Coop. I’ve been living here for almost seven years.”
“Been that long, huh?”
“It has.” I come out with the flowers and place them on the table.
“Well, you’ve done a lot with the place.”
My house is perfect for me. I like working on projects and this place was the ultimate one. I’ve redone each room to be exactly like I wanted. A lot of tender love and care went into making it a home.
“Thank you. Do you want a tour?” I ask.
I take Cooper through each room, showing him all the work I’ve done. “This was the original flooring,” I explain.
“I could’ve used your help when I was fixin’ up the farmhouse.”
I duck my head at the compliment before looking back up. “I think you did a great job.”
He takes my hand and gives it a gentle squeeze. “I don’t mind doing the work, it was all the other crap I hated.” Cooper steps closer and pushes the hair out of my eyes with his other hand. “If I had help, though, maybe it wouldn’t have been so bad.”
“I’ll make you a deal. If you remodel a house again, I’ll be happy to dictate what you should do.”
He moves in closer. My breathing is shallow as I feel the heat from his body so close to mine. Cooper’s eyes are warm and open and his hand rubs against my arm, leaving goose bumps in its wake. I dig my nails into my palm, hoping I can get my heart to slow.
Before I can move, Cooper takes a step back and I can breathe again. “You all right?” he asks.
“Yup. Totally fine. I’m good. I mean, I’m great. Perfect even.” I start to ramble and want to punch myself in the face.
Cooper’s lips turn up into a small smile. “Glad to hear it.”
I need to save myself from going down the rabbit hole of mortification.
“So, where are we goin’?”
It’s very out of character that I didn’t ask before, but I think I was trying not to think about it. I’m a planner, and I need to have everything in order. I don’t like feeling the way I have been all afternoon—out of control and very unstable. However, this is probably normal for a new . . . whatever this is.
“I figured maybe we’d head out of town for dinner? Or we can head to the café?” he offers.
“No!” The one word comes out too quickly and too loudly, and I press my lips together in embarrassment. “I mean, I think goin’ out of town is a good idea, don’t you?”
Could I be any more awkward?
Cooper nods. “I agree. I figure you’re probably feelin’ anxious enough, maybe being away from pryin’ eyes is a good thing.”
“I couldn’t agree more.”
The less chances we have of running into everyone we know—the better. Especially any of the Hennington brothers. There’s no doubt Trent has already told his brothers what happened here earlier, and knowing their little posse, it isn’t good for me.
My next thought is: do I tell Cooper about Trent today? I don’t really need to? This is only a first date. However, nothing stays quiet in this damn town, so if Trent tells anyone, Cooper will find out. But does Cooper have a right to be upset? We’re not together. This is a friend date. That’s it.
I’m so screwed.
“Ready?” Cooper asks, bringing my attention back to him.
“For our friend date,” I remind him.
“For our date, date.”
I grab my sweater and mumble under my breath. “Whatever you need to tell yourself, buddy.”
He laughs from behind me and places his hand on my back. I lock the door and then Cooper helps me into his truck. This is the reason I don’t wear dresses. All the boys have these giant ass trucks, which require them to hoist you into the cab. I swear it’s a conscious thing.
“Okay,” he says as he gets in the cab. “No backing out now.”
I shake my head and smirk. “Drive, Cooper.”
“If you insist.”
We head down the road and make small talk. He tells me about the herd that he needs to move tomorrow and how the farm is doing. I talk a little about how excited I am for next year. After teaching third grade for the last eight years I’m finally moving to teaching fifth grade. I’m actually looking forward to school starting because this will be fun. I get to see some of the kids I had a few years ago and teach a new curriculum.
“It sounds like you’re happy,” he notes.
“I really am. I’ve been stuck in the same lesson plans and grading scale for a long time. I love the kids, that hasn’t ever been the issue, but I don’t know . . .” I trail off. “I’m bored a little. Getting to find a new way to teach something excites me.”
He smiles and takes my hand. “I’m glad we’re doin’ this. I’m glad you agreed.”
“I was somewhat coerced.”
“Same difference.” He shrugs. “Even if I get my ass kicked,” Cooper adds under his breath.
“What does that mean?”
He cracks his neck but keeps his eyes on the road. “Just that I’m sure I’ll have a visit to my house pretty soon. There’s no way Trent is happy about me takin’ you out.”
I groan. “No. He isn’t.”
Cooper’s eyes meet mine for a second. “How do you know that?”
Shit. Now, I’ve kind of screwed myself into telling him. I take a few seconds to think about what exactly I want to say. “Well, he stopped by my house today.”
“And?” Cooper presses.
“And he said as much.” I think back to what my mother always says: less is more. I’m going to stick to the facts and leave out the whole business of my letting him maul me on the couch.
“Oh,” Cooper says as his head turns back to the road. And a moment later, a loud bang sounds. The truck shifts, but Cooper gets it over to the side of the road safely. “Dammit!” he bellows. “I’ll be right back.”
He exits the truck, and I try to think of how to take back the admission of Trent coming over. I hear Cooper cuss a few times as he drops the tailgate and then slams it closed again.
This can’t be good.
I get out and head back toward him as he continues to mumble.
“Everything okay?” I ask.
“Blew a tire.”
“Oh, well, just change it and we can be on our way.”
He huffs. “Don’t have a spare.”
“Why?” I’m trying really hard to hold back my amusement at the situation.