Say I'm Yours (Page 13)
“Because I had to haul hay today,” Cooper explains, obviously expecting me to connect nonexistent dots.
“And that means no tire?”
His hands grip the side of the truck so hard his knuckles turn white, and he dips his head. “It means I was in a hurry to shower and get done. It means my dumb ass forgot to put it back in. Karma for saran wrapping Presley’s car has finally caught up to me.”
And my self-control is gone. I lose it. Completely and utterly lose it. The giggling becomes so much that tears are falling from my eyes. I clutch my stomach and try to get a hold of myself, but I can’t. I hear Cooper start to follow suit, and then we’re both hysterical.
“You,” I lean forward, trying to catch my breath, “forgot the tire!” I struggle to catch my breath as I wipe the tears. “Because that’s what would happen on our first date!”
Cooper comes around and grips my shoulders as I start to get myself under control. “I’ll call my sister.”
That sobers me. “Who will what? Have her husband come out?”
He closes his eyes. “It’s better than the alternative.”
This couldn’t be any more comical. Our choices are: call Zach, who could quite possibly be with his brothers, or call the sheriff, who is the brother we’re avoiding.
My hands rest on Cooper’s chest, and I giggle again. “You have to admit this is funny.”
“Maybe a little.”
“Or a lot.”
Cooper shakes his head. “This isn’t exactly the way I thought our first date would go.”
“Really?” I joke. “What did you think?”
He smirks. “For starters, we’d actually make it to dinner.”
“That would’ve been a good start, what else?”
His eyes warm as I try to lighten the mood. “We’d have gone for a walk.”
“Well, we may be doing that as it is if we don’t get help out here.”
He nods. “Let’s make sure that part doesn’t happen. I’ll call Pres, and then maybe we can still salvage our night.”
I’m not sure what we can save, but I appreciate that he cares. I try not to let my mind wander down the path that our blowing a tire is another sign. Considering I kissed another man tonight already, maybe the universe is trying to stop me from being a little bit of a hussy.
“All right,” I acquiesce.
Cooper squeezes my arm and then heads toward the truck. I lean against the back end and shake my head. I’m pretty sure tonight should make the top list of worst dates ever. First, Trent showed up, messed with my head from all his mixed signals, and then left with such a heavy sadness in his eyes. Then I could barely breathe when I was getting ready. And sure, Cooper brought me flowers, but then this whole tire thing is unbelievable. I’ve been hesitant about dating anyone, but I hoped that maybe, this could be different for me.
Out of those things, Trent upsets me the most. There was something about the way he looked at me that I can’t shake. It’s that in all the times we’ve had our ups and downs, I’ve not once seen his eyes so sad. It was as if he were accepting our goodbye as what it was . . . the end.
A shiver runs through me, and I start to head back to the cab, but I see a car approaching. “Coop! We might be saved!”
I turn toward the back of the truck, and my stomach drops as the silhouette of a light bar comes into view.
We’re not saved, we’re freaking screwed.
I watch as the headlights approach and a tall form exits the car. I pray it isn’t him. I’m begging God to give me Hank and not Trent.
“Everything all right here?” Trent’s deep voice rings through the silence.
No. Everything is not all right. In fact, it went from bad to worse.
“Of all the places you happen to drive past tonight, this is one of them?” I ask with a little too much hostility.
Trent hooks his thumbs into his belt and cocks his head to the side. Cooper walks back, stopping short when he sees who’s standing in front of me. Both men are silent as they measure each other and testosterone fills the air. This is going to go really bad, really fast.
“Cooper,” I step between them, “was callin’ for some assistance. Thanks for comin’ out, Sheriff, but we’re fine.”
Trent looks over at me and then back to Cooper. “It’s gettin’ dark,” Trent says. “Were you callin’ for someone to change your tire? What? Don’t want to get dirty?”
Cooper’s eyes narrow slightly. “The spare is at the farm. I left a message with Zach to bring it out.”
Trent’s smile widens. “Well, Zach is headin’ out with Presley to get a new horse, and they won’t be back for a few hours.”
My head falls back as I look to the heavens for support. “This can’t be happening.”
“Let me guess,” Cooper adds. “Wyatt is busy, too?”
“Yup,” Trent confirms. Bastard is a little too happy about this. “But listen, we can call a tow truck, and then I’ll drive you both back home.”
“Just take me back to my car, and I’ll bring the spare out,” I suggest.
Cooper sighs and shakes his head. “Your trunk isn’t big enough.”
Yes, because boys and their big ridiculous wheels. “Right.”
Trent smirks and touches my shoulder. “I’m happy to give you a ride back to town.”
Sure, nothing like an awkward car ride with Trent and Cooper in the cop car.
“No,” Cooper says without any room for discussion.
“So, you’d rather stand out here or walk back to town?”
I would rather lightning come and strike me dead so I didn’t have to be the monkey in the middle of this, but it seems I’m not going to have a choice. Trent and Cooper both keep making small movements, and my space is shrinking. All I want to do right now is go home and eat a pint of ice cream.
Rocky road has never let a girl down.
I turn slightly and place my hand on Cooper’s chest. “I know we didn’t expect this to happen, but I’m not really wearin’ the shoes to walk back.”
He looks at my strappy heels and sighs. I hate this as much as he does, but short of waiting for someone else to show up, there aren’t any other choices.
“We’d appreciate a ride back, Trent.” Cooper says through gritted teeth.
Trent nods and attempts to smother his delight. But I see it.
“I’ll grab your stuff from the truck,” Cooper says before walking away.
I stand face to face with Trent and fight the urge to slap the smug grin off his face. “Good time on your date?”
“Shut up. You could at least pretend not to look so happy about this.” I huff. He seems to be enjoying every second of this.
He starts to chuckle but stops when he gets a look at my face. “Oh, please. If the roles were reversed right now, you can’t say you wouldn’t be the same.”
“What happened to the ‘be happy, Gracie’?” I say in my best impression of his.
Trent steps closer. “I want you to be happy. I just want it to be . . .”
Cooper steps behind me. “Ready.”
“Great.” Trent smiles. “Happy to help a resident in need.”
We walk over to the car, and Trent opens the back of the cop car. “Grace can ride in front.”
“I’ll get—” I start to say.
“In the front,” Trent ends my sentence. “Cooper wouldn’t want you to be uncomfortable back there, would he?”
Way to back him into a corner on that one, Trent.
I fight back the urge to roll my eyes.
“Of course not,” Cooper replies through his teeth as he slides into the cruiser. “You should ride up front.”
“Problem solved.” Trent slams the door closed a bit harder than he needs to.
We walk around the back of the car, and I warn him. “Don’t be a jerk, Trent. I’m begging you. This is awkward for all of us.”
“Not for me.” He grins as he opens my door. “Get in, sweetheart. I’ll have you home in no time.”
Instead of arguing with him, I do as he says.
“Sorry about this, Coop,” Trent says over my shoulder and then saunters around the car with a little extra pep in his step. I glare at him.
“Sure you are,” Cooper mutters under his breath.
This has to be some cruel joke. My ex-boyfriend is driving my current date home in the back of a squad car. Because . . . why the hell not?
“I’ll drop you off first, Gracie. That way I can take Cooper back out with his spare.”
“Or you can take us both to Cooper’s so we can get his spare.”
“Grace,” Cooper says from behind the glass. “It’s fine, darlin’. We can do this another night.”
Trent snorts, and I slap his leg. “Are you sure? I don’t mind comin’ back out so you’re not alone.”
“What kind of sheriff would I be if I left him stranded out there?”
“The jealous ex-boyfriend type,” I mutter, seeing straight through his act.
“Don’t worry, Townsend. I won’t let anything hurt you out there.”
I slap him again. “Can you be nice?”