Say I'm Yours (Page 18)

“You’re not going to pressure me into this. I won’t let you.”

“And I won’t watch you with another man. I can’t even think about him touching you like I just did.”

Then, I understand why he finally gave me the one thing I’ve wanted for so long. He doesn’t love me. He doesn’t want things to change between us. He only cares that I’m not with Cooper. I look at him with hurt and frustration.

“For you to say that to me—”

Knock, knock, knock.

My eyes snap to the door, and Trent stares at me.

“Expectin’ someone?” he asks.


“Grace!” Cooper’s deep voice calls from the other side.

“Well.” Trent grins. “I guess you should answer that.”

Chapter 9

There’s no way this is going to be good. Not one single scenario I’ve run through will yield a positive outcome, so I’m going to suck it up. I can’t change it, might as well face it. I throw on clothes and walk back out to the hall where Trent is leaning against the wall.

“If you want to finish this conversation, you won’t be a jerk,” I warn as I walk by him, but he just watches me. When I open the door, Cooper stands there wearing a pair of jeans and worn T-shirt.

“Hey.” Cooper smiles.

“Hi,” I say as regret floods through me. I hate myself for this. I know he’ll play it cool, but I ended our date and then slept with my ex-boyfriend. I’m a horrible bitch. I deserve to die a lonely cow. “Listen, Coop,” I say as I put my hand on his arm and push us both outside. “Trent is here.”

I close the door so Trent won’t hear my conversation with Cooper. It’s bad enough they’re both here. The least I can do is try to make this less uncomfortable.

Cooper nods. “I saw his car.”

Right. Okay, and he still stopped by? I’m so confused, and the alcohol fog mixed with regret isn’t helping.

Cooper steps forward and puts his hand to my cheek. “You don’t look so good, you feelin’ okay? Are you sick?”

Does mentally unstable fall under that category? If so, I’m most definitely sick.

“No, I’m not feelin’ okay.”

“I can get you some medicine if you need it.”

Why does he have to be so sweet? Why can’t he call me a slut or worse and tell me he hates me? It would be no less than I deserve. I slept with Trent, and now he’s here because he’s a good guy. Not because he wants to take advantage of me, but because he cares.

What is wrong with me?

I shake my head and drop my arm. I hate myself right now. I’m so confused, and I don’t know what is real anymore. In this moment, I don’t trust myself at all.

All I know is that Cooper doesn’t deserve this. And I don’t deserve him or his friendship.

“I’m not sick—not in the physical way, at least. And you’re so sweet to offer to take care of me. I’m . . .” I pause, trying to think of the right words to say, “I’m . . . I’m so sorry, Coop.” I touch his arm and pray he hears the sincerity in my voice. “I’m awful. I’m so awful and I’m so sorry. I swear, I never meant for any of this to happen. I hate myself right now.”

“Grace.” Cooper lets out a heavy sigh and pinches the bridge of his nose. “I don’t like it, but I’m not your boyfriend. You don’t owe me an explanation. I basically had to twist your arm to get you to go on a date with me. It really wouldn’t be fair of me to give you shit about somethin’ I have no right to be upset about. It just means I’m going to have to step up my game so you call me the next time you need someone.”

I stand completely immobilized by his words.

Did he seriously say that? Any of it? I would be ripping some girl’s hair out if the roles were reversed.

The door opens behind me and Trent walks out. “Good morning, Cooper.”

“Trent,” Cooper replies and then blows a long breath from his nose, seemingly in an attempt to keep calm.

“Have a good night, Coop? I sure did.”

I’m going to kill him.

Cooper shifts his body weight forward, and I intervene. “What time is your fishing thing today? Don’t you need to be going?”

“Would you give us minute? We were in the middle of talkin’, and I’d like to finish.” Trent says to Cooper.

I truly don’t know what is happening. There’s no way this is my life—but it is.

I turn to Cooper and touch his arm. “If you want to wait for me inside, I won’t be long.”

Trent huffs. “Or you can leave.”

He’s freaking dead. Gone. Dead. Killed. I don’t feel bad about having to explain to his mama why I killed him either.

Cooper moves around behind me, his hand touches the small of my back, and Trent’s eyes don’t miss it. “I’ll wait.” Cooper kisses my cheek before entering the house.

My stomach drops as I watch Trent’s face morph from smug to hurt, but he doesn’t give me a second to think. “So, you’re going to talk to him? After everything that I said?”

“I’m not doin’ this now.”

“If you don’t tell me to stay right now, you’re making your choice.”

“Don’t threaten me.” I glare at him. “I need time. I think you can give me that.”

Trent shakes his head. “Time is the only thing we’ve ever had, and we’ve wasted enough of it. I need to know if you love me. I need to know if everything we had is gone. I need to know if you’re going to go back in there with him or if you’re going to choose me.”

He has no right to stand here today and make demands. He’s the one who threw me away time and time again. He’s sweet to me one time and he thinks that it erases decades of suffering—as if I was the one at fault for wasting all those years?

“If you want an answer today, then you won’t like it. You had twenty years to make this right. Twenty years to tell me everything you dumped on me in a single morning.” I throw my hands in the air. “It’s too much. It’s not fair. You can’t expect to say all the right things and then”—I snap my fingers—“I forgive you, just like that. I’m asking for space. I’m asking for a chance to get a grip on what I’m feeling.”

Trent’s hands shake as he touches my cheek. “I love you! I fucking love you.”

I close my eyes and try to find my lungs. It hurts to breathe. “I’ve waited so long to hear that.” I release a heavy sigh. “But that doesn’t mean you can use that as a way to make me stay. I need time, and if you can’t give that to me, then you don’t love me.”

“So, you’re askin’ me to go?”

“I guess I am.”

I’m not asking him to leave. I’m asking him for time, but he doesn’t seem to hear that. I owe Cooper an explanation. I owe myself a chance to wrap my mind around everything. I have a pattern of falling back into the same situation when it comes to Trent. I don’t think I’m asking for too much.

“You made your choice, Gracie. It’s clear that even after laying it all out there, you’re going to choose him.”

“I’m choosing me!”

Trent’s phone rings and he groans. “I have to go.”

“I’ll call you in a few days.”

He steps forward and grabs my face. “Don’t choose him. Just don’t choose him.”

He crushes his lips to mine swift, hard, and desperate before turning and walking away, leaving me a dumbfounded mess.

I know he’s angry, but so am I. I didn’t mean for that to happen. I didn’t intend to ever sleep with him again, yet I did. I can try to blame the alcohol and what not. I can form a million excuses as to why it happened, and all of them will be bullshit. I did it because I love him. I did it because I need him. I did it because I’m a fool.

“Grace?” Cooper’s voice breaks the silence as I step back in the house.

I turn to face him, unsure of exactly what I’m feeling. “I don’t know what to say, Coop. I feel awful, and I really don’t know why you’re still here. You should be yellin’ at me or tellin’ me how much you hate me. You should make this hard on me.”

He shifts his weight and runs his hand down his face. “I don’t want to make this hard for you. I can see you’re already broken up about it.” Cooper starts to pace. “I’m not happy that he was here. I know you and Trent have history. But I like you, Grace.” He stops in front of me and takes my hands. “I like you, and I have for a while. I’d like us to go on a date, a real date, so I can show you there’s more than Trent. There’s more than what he’s given you all these years.”

My mouth falls slightly agape. “Even after this?”

It’s hard to believe he isn’t angry. Instead, Cooper is fighting for another chance. Why does this have to be so damn hard? It would be different if Cooper was like Trent, but he isn’t. He is everything I want in a man.

Cooper wiggles my hands and grins. “I’ve waited a really long time. I’m asking for you to give me one night to show you that what you had with him, isn’t what you need.”