Say I'm Yours (Page 15)
“No, but I don’t know how to live in a world without her.”
Losing Grace and knowing she was through with me was agonizing.
She has the purest heart, and I know she doesn’t want to hurt anyone. I get that her not wanting to be strung along anymore has forced her to push me away. But at the same time, I don’t think she will ever be done. Grace wouldn’t have kissed me like that. She wouldn’t tell me she loves me or be so worried about this. She needs to see that I won’t ever be that man again, and she’ll come back to me.
Cooper points his finger at my chest, and I see the determination in his eyes. Cooper is going to fight. “Better get used to it, my friend. I’m not givin’ up. You had your chance, now it’s mine.”
“We’re not friends,” I say simply.
Needing to calm myself, I put the car in drive and focus on not causing bodily harm. When I decided to start this conversation, my intention was to let Cooper know how this would be going down, but now the part of me that’s his friend, isn’t sure he sees the writing on the wall. He can fight for her, but he’ll lose.
I pull into his driveway on a cloud of dust and brake lights. “She won’t ever love you, Coop.” My words fall from my mouth as he opens his door. “I’m not tryin’ to be a dick, but I know her. She’s tryin’ to be strong and push me away, but you don’t know what we had, either.” I think about how when she’s happy, it can brighten the room. How her eyes would go soft right before her lips would touch mine. Grace has been hurt, but Cooper isn’t the man who will fix her. “And you can try to give her what you think she wants, but at the end of the day, it’ll be me she sees when she closes her eyes. So, enjoy what little time you’ve got now, because it won’t last.”
He doesn’t bother responding before he slams the door shut. There’s nothing either of us can say that will change anything. The person I need to convince is her, and that’s what I intend to do.
I’m dreaming. I know this because everything feels like it’s on the edge of reality, but I refuse to open my eyes. I drank two entire bottles of wine when I got home from my disastrous date. I’m a lightweight by nature, but I let the adult grape juice flow without a care in the world.
There’s something to be said about the freedom from thought. After bottle number one, I didn’t give a shit about anything. My date may have gone from awkward to absolutely comical, but I survived and even agreed to try again.
As I was on the last “glass,” which by then I was drinking straight from the bottle, I felt euphoric. I was wearing my pajamas and dancing myself senseless to angry white girl music.
Men. They ruin everything.
However, this hazy state of sleep is perfect. I plan to savor every second of it.
Right now, I’m dreaming I’m in Trent’s arms.
I curl my body deeper into his warmth and inhale. I even got the scent right. My face glides against the pillow, as I imagine the feel of his skin. My arm tightens a little bit so I can hold on as long as I can.
“I wish it was always like this,” I mumble against his body. “I wish you loved me. I wish you would come back to me the way we used to be.”
“I never left.” His deep sleepy voice rumbles through my head.
I keep myself in my happy place and relish this moment. I spent a long time waking up like this. Having him hold me, keep me safe, and make me feel like I’m everything to him. It’s this moment I cling to. Because each day that started this way was perfect. He was just Trent. No walls, no weird commitment issues, he was open, happy, and full of love. I never had to question him in the morning.
It was as the day went on when things would change.
“You always leave,” I remind him. I figure I might as well lay it all out there since this isn’t real. “You take your love away and it hurts.”
His arm squeezes me as he says all the things I want to hear. “It’s never gone, sweetheart. I just don’t want to hurt you. If I push you away, it’s because I’m protectin’ you. I’m not going to do that anymore, though.”
I love dreamy Trent. He’s sweet and is currently batting a thousand on the perfect scale.
I sigh and sink deeper. “I’m gonna hate opening my eyes.”
“Why’s that?” I feel his mirth flow through me.
“That’s not an answer, sweetheart.”
Trent hates one-word answers. Apparently, even dreamy Trent has the same issues. I don’t know how to answer him, though. Because when I wake, this will all be gone. I’ll be alone and even more confused. My heart will be torn between this possibility that my mind allows me to have and the reality of the man who doesn’t actually love me. He doesn’t push me away because he’s protecting me, he pushes me away to protect himself.
Even knowing this isn’t real, I don’t want to say it. The words are only thoughts, and they’re mine. Admitting them aloud makes them impossible to take back. And if dreamy Trent leaves because I say something that hurts him, I’ll lose all that I have.
God, I sound pathetic.
“Because I want you to stay, baby. I want to have this every day, but when I open my eyes, you’ll be gone, and I’ll be without you again. I don’t want to be without you.”
Trent’s fingers make patterns on my back as he stays quiet.
I let the silence settle around us and debate opening my sleepy eyes. Minutes pass, and I move my head against his chest.
“Open your eyes, Gracie.” Trent commands as his hands stop.
“No,” I refuse. I’m going to stay in this freaking hallucination forever if I can.
The arm that’s around me pulls me up and he rolls me on my back. Oh, sexy time with dreamy Trent. This is good. I can work with this. His body is braced over me as his lips touch mine.
Jesus this feels so real.
“Grace.” The heat of his skin warms me. “Do you want me to kiss you, sweetheart?”
“Yes,” I plead.
He doesn’t hesitate. His mouth is against mine, and my legs and arms wrap around him. I press against him, eliminating any space between us. Passion explodes between us as his hard body covers mine, and my skin tingles where we touch. Still refusing to open my eyes, I kiss him as if I’ve never kissed him before.
I don’t know if it’s because of all that’s happening. The confusion and change that has me desperate for him, but I don’t care. Trent is mine for this minute. I’m going to take full advantage.
You don’t love a man for this long and not yearn for him.
His tongue moves against mine as his hands roam my body. He pulls back, and I whimper. “Open your eyes.”
“Please don’t make me. I don’t want to wake up.” I move my head, trying to find him again.
“You’re not dreamin’, sweetheart.”
My eyes flash open and panic floods me. I let out a loud scream as I yank the blanket over my body. This is real? No, no, no. He can’t be here. We broke up. I was dreaming, which was why . . .
Oh, God. My heart races and he cups my face.
I clench my eyes tighter. “This is a dream! You can’t be here! This isn’t real!”
His thumb rubs my cheek. “You know it’s real.”
This is what I get for drinking my weight in wine. I note that I have a bra and underwear on, so that’s a good sign. The other thing I observe is he most definitely isn’t wearing a shirt or pants. Shit. I try to retrace any memories of last night. I know I was singing, dancing around, I’m pretty sure I texted Emily. No, I called her. I told her about the date or, more accurately, that there was no date, and how Trent was the one who came to get us.
She told me to tell Trent to get lost.
And then it hits me.
I freaking called him. My foolish, drunk ass called him.
I slowly open my eyes, and sure enough, his blue eyes and unshaven face are all I see.
“This never should’ve happened,” I tell him.
“Oh, but it did.” His eyes gleam.
“Did we? I mean, we didn’t, right? Because . . .”
He moves his hand lower and cups my neck. “You’d remember. Drunk or not, you’d remember.”
I push him off and groan. “You had to know I didn’t actually want you to come over!”
Trent flops back on the bed with his arm behind his head. I sit, taking the sheet with me to cover myself. It isn’t as if he hasn’t seen it before, but still. His bare chest is now on display, and I fight myself to look away. He lies there as if he belongs here. I don’t know when he arrived or how he found his way into my bed. Honestly, I don’t remember much about last night.
I think I sat on the couch and then . . .
His knowing grin surges my anger and I snap.
“Trent, this ain’t funny!” My head starts to pound as I press my palm to my temple. “How did we end up in bed?”
He gets on his elbows and inches closer. “When you didn’t answer the door, I used my key. Then—”
“I’m going to need that back.” I cut him off.
“Whatever. You were passed out on the couch. I carried you in here.”