Say I'm Yours (Page 37)
He nods. “Yeah, Grace. You chose him. You love him, but you have to love all of him. You have to accept him for who is, and that means knowin’ when he gets like this . . . he’s going to shut down. But you’re the only one who can reach him. I think you know that, which is what’s eatin’ you up inside.”
I suck in a deep breath. “No, I’m hurt. I’m angry that he hasn’t called me back or anything. I left him close to a hundred messages.”
“Yeah, you’re angry. Yeah, it sucks and it’s wrong, but he’s your guy. We’re dumb. We screw up like it’s our job. So, you can sit here waitin’ for him to come back when we both know that ain’t happenin’, or you can go find him.”
I lean back in the seat and let what Cooper says penetrate. Trent has told me time and time again he needs me to not let him fail. He’s asked me to step in and help. I just don’t know how.
“He needs you, Grace. If you love him, then do what he needs you to do.”
“I don’t even know where he is,” I say frustrated.
“I can’t believe I’m helpin’ his dumb ass,” Cooper complains. “Think about where you’d go to get away from life.”
Where would he go? My mind reels with the possibilities. I’ve already checked most, but . . . maybe I just missed him. Cooper is right, though, I need to find a place he’d go to escape.
“Thank you, Coop.”
I give him a hug and make my way out the door.
“I saw you guys a week ago,” Cooper calls out.
I stop and turn around. “You did?”
I haven’t seen Cooper since the night I almost set my house on fire. I thought about dropping by, but I wasn’t sure what to say or how he’d feel about it. Presley told me he’s fine and to stop being an idiot, but I didn’t want to make him uncomfortable.
“You looked happy.” Just a day ago, I was extremely happy. “He makes you smile, Grace. You don’t see other people when you’re with him. I see that now. Go get him before he regrets this more than he already will,” he moves close to me.
“You’re a good friend, to me and to him.”
He chuckles. “Until I tried to steal his girl.”
I smile and touch his arm. “I’ll remind him of this moment.”
I turn and rush out of the hospital. I need to do what I promised to do and pull him back. He isn’t drifting, he’s floating away. I hope I’m strong enough to carry him back to shore.
There are only so many places he can go without his truck. I check the lake where his father collapsed, his farm again, and my family’s store. I didn’t think he’d be at the last one, but I’m trying not to leave any stone unturned.
I sit in my car and drum my thumbs against the steering wheel, talking to myself. “Where would you go?”
A smile forms across my face as it hits me, and I berate myself for not thinking of it sooner. I throw the car in reverse and head off to get my horse.
He better have the excuse of a lifetime when I find him. He can run, and turn off his phone, and try to shut the world out, but there’s no way I’m going to quit on him.
Not this time.
I get to my parents’ house and head to the barn.
When I get inside, I’m so focused on what I need to do to get to my and Trent’s spot, that I almost miss the amber light shining from the stable where my old horse used to sleep. I never could let Lightning in there. It felt wrong.
I open the door, confused about who was in here and why they left a light on, but then I see his body on the ground. Anger boils over as I realize he’s been here the whole time. Hiding at my parents’ house instead of coming home.
“Trent?” I ask as he gets to his feet.
The disappointment I was feeling fades away the second his eyes find mine. This isn’t Trent. This isn’t an angry man who ran away because he was afraid of losing his father.
This man is shattered.
His eyes are red rimmed from crying, he reeks of alcohol, and he’s destroyed. I can see the pain and hurt splayed across his face.
“Trent,” I say softly as I step closer. “What are you doin’ here?”
My need to comfort him is instant.
“How? How the hell did you find me? Just go home.”
“This is my home. Why are you here?”
He steps back and grips the side of his head. “Fuck! This is why I didn’t want to be found.”
“Do you know how worried I’ve been? How sick your mama is over this?”
The skin around his eyes tightens. He goes from broken to irate in a second. “Good.”
“Good?” I ask incredulously. “Good? How is this good? Your daddy is sick, and he’s havin’ a hard time with the transfusion and you’re hidin’ at my barn?”
“I can’t . . .” He looks away.
“Why are you here? Why did you leave?”
When his gaze meets mine, the pain is so clear I can feel it. It billows off him in waves.
“Because I was far enough away from you that you wouldn’t push me, but close enough I could feel you.”
My chest tightens and tears fill my eyes. He’s always pulled away, but this time he tried not to. However, something has him on the verge.
What I have to do is rein him in. He’s going to push me hard. I know this. “Why did you leave?”
He drops his eyes before turning away from me, but I don’t back off. “Let me in, Trent. I’m not going to let you drift away, not now, not ever. I love you. Talk to me. Tell me what happened. Please.” My words are soft as I step toward him and touch my fingertips against his back.
He shakes his head but doesn’t pull away from me. “I’m too fucking tired to fight you, but I’m not doin’ this.”
I watch him head to the other side of the stable. My lips part as I take in everything scattered around the floor—the lantern, beer cans, the shirt he was wearing yesterday. What stops my eyes are the pillows and blankets that are in the same spot he held me the night my horse died.
“Trent, tell me what’s going on.”
“Not a damn thing,” he spits out.
It seems this is going to be harder than I thought. “Honey, what are you doin’ here?”
He grabs another beer and cracks it open. “Where should I be?”
I walk toward him and rip the can from his hand. “With your father! Remember? The man who is in the hospital, sick, and needs his family. The man you were so worried about not even twenty-four hours ago!”
“Oh, you mean the guy who is not my fucking father!” he screams in my face and takes his drink back.
He’s drunk and ridiculous. “Are you insane?” I slap his chest with both hands, shoving him back. “Your father is dyin’, Trent, and you’re out here, in my barn, gettin’ drunk!”
“He’s not my fucking father!” Trent screams again, and his eyes fill with tears. “He’s a liar and so is my mother!”
“Jesus Christ! Are you deaf?” Trent’s eyes flame and then his head falls. “Leave, Grace! Let me be alone. You don’t get it. No one gets it, and I’m not going to explain it.”
My heart races as I watch this man fall apart. I don’t leave, but I do have to hold my own emotions at bay because I have never seen him this distraught. “You’re not makin’ any sense.”
He turns his back on me. “I don’t know how to be any clearer. I’m fucking done. I’m done with everyone in this fucking town and all their lies. I’m leaving as soon as I’m sober enough to get the fuck out of here.”
“So, you’re done with me?” I ask. Trent spins back around but doesn’t say a word. We stand here, neither of us blinking, and a tear leaks from my eye. “Is that what you’re saying? You’re done with everyone in this town, which includes me? Huh? Have I lied to you? I don’t even know what happened!”
“I don’t know, Grace, have you lied? Did you know that I’m a bastard? Did you keep the secret just like everyone else?”
“The secret that you’re not Rhett’s? Do you hear yourself?”
A tear falls down his face and his body sinks to the ground. “Go the fuck home, Grace.”
“No.” He’s going to have to drag me out and drive me if he wants me gone.
I try to think about what could’ve caused this. He was upset, but not like this before going back to talk to Rhett. It has to be because of something when he was there.
“What happened in the hospital?”
“I can’t deal with this!”
“What happened in the hospital?” I repeat. “Why do you think he’s not your dad?”
“I don’t think . . . I fucking know!”
I’ve known his family my entire life, and this is crazy talk. Whatever he thinks he knows . . . he’s wrong. Rhett needs him, and he’s being crazy.
“God! It’s like no one listens.”
“I’ll listen when you explain yourself!”
“I overheard my mother talkin’ to the doctor and my father. He said somethin’ about the blood test and that I wasn’t a match.”