Say I'm Yours (Page 44)

Wyatt has been there through it all. He’s given me more advice than he’s probably ever wanted to and wiped a lot of tears, but he never judged me. “Listen, there’s no give backs on that one. You bought him, so you have to fix whatever is defective.”

I laugh and slap his back. “Is that so?”

“Well, we’ll of course be happy to kick him around if he needs it,” Wyatt says as he looks to Zach for confirmation, which comes in the form of a nod and smile.

“Good to know.” I kiss Wyatt’s cheek and continue to talk to everyone.

It may not be a real wedding setting, but you’d never know it. Everyone talks, eats crappy hospital food, and smiles. This is one of the times I’m grateful for all the meddling and crazy small-town living. We don’t worry about the little things. It’s the people in my life that matter. They’re the foundation of the house I’m building in life. When things go bad, I know if I fall, I’ll be okay.

Chapter 24

~ Fourteen months later ~

“The rules are simple,” Wyatt stands on the table as he goes over the rules of the Rhett Hennington Annual Family Competition. “We have seven events. The family with the most points at the end, brings home the trophy.”

Trent pulls me close and clears his throat. “Grace and I got this in the bag.”

“Dream on.” Zach cracks his neck. “The boys and I are going to make you all cry like little—”

“Hey now!” Mrs. Hennington steps forward. “Your daddy would not like any trash talkin’.”

“Did you know Dad at all?” Wyatt asks. “He talked more shit than a toilet.”

“Wyatt Hennington, you do not curse around your mama!” She scolds him. “Your father prided himself on raisin’ men. Act like it.”

“Yes ma’am.” He drops his head but looks over at Angie and winks.

We’ve been spending the last six months planning and getting ready for today. It’s been one year since we said goodbye to Rhett. A year of adjusting and finding ways through life without him. Trent took it hard, but instead of running away, he leaned on his family.

After a while, Macie asked the girls to think of a way to honor Rhett that would keep the family together.

It didn’t take long for us to come up with an extended version of their yearly fishing expedition. Plus, the boys never turn away a chance to compete.

“Now,” Mama hoists Felicity in her arms, “your daughter is watchin’ you, Wyatt. She wouldn’t like it very much if her father lost, would she?”

Wyatt looks at my beautiful niece and smiles. “No, and she’ll never see it happen. Daddy’s bringin’ home that trophy.”

“Not so fast, little brother.” Trent walks forward. “Don’t go counting your chickens before they hatch.”

“Boys, boys, boys.” Presley steps in the middle. “Are we gonna stand around all day or are we going to compete? Because this family is bringing that singin’ bass home.”

“That’s right.” Zach throws his arm around his wife.

God, this is going to be a shit show.

The last two months Trent has started Operation Kick Their Ass, which has entailed training days. He’s woken me at the ass crack of dawn to go fishing, water balloon tosses, three legged races, and all kinds of other crap. I finally put my foot down the other day when he tried to get me up at five in the morning for a three-mile conditioning run.

I don’t run.

Not unless something is chasing me, and even then, I might just let it eat me.

“Cooper,” Wyatt calls, “you know the rules?”

“Yup.” He gives an evil grin. “I can’t wait. I’ll be in charge of makin’ sure none of you cheat. First event . . . shooting.”

I don’t know how this event got put on the list, but the boys demanded it. There are three teams: me and Trent, Angie and Wyatt, and Zach and Presley. Any of the offspring can compete in one event each. Since Presley and Zach are the only ones with children old enough to compete, we know they’re going to use that to their advantage. Felicity is turning a year old in two weeks so we don’t have to worry about her yet.

We walk over to the shooting area.

“All right,” Cooper claps his hands, “this event is for the girls.”

“What?” I yell. “No, that makes no sense!”

He grins and lifts the paper in the air. “It’s the rules I got here.”

Wyatt and Zach laugh. “I’m so glad we didn’t tell Trent about that rule.”

“Assholes,” Trent grumbles. “It’s okay, sweetheart. I’m a cop, I’m highly trained on weapons and you’re my wife . . . you got this.”

“How does your being trained on guns mean I’ve got this?”

I don’t like shooting. I’d only gone once with my father, and I never agreed to go again. I’m not sure what he thinks he’s going to teach me in a few minutes. But the way that Angie and Presley are grinning, it seems they’ve done a lot of practice.

I glare at them both. “I thought we were family! What happened to all that solidarity crap y’all were spewing?”

“We are family and all that, but Zach promised me a trip if we win.” She shrugs.

Angie gives an apologetic smile. “And Wyatt bribed me with a full month of getting up with Felicity.”

I shake my head at them both. “Traitors.”

“Wait a minute,” Angie says, leaning in close. “You have been off in honeymoon world while Pres and I have been babysitting.”


Presley nods. “Yeah, Mama has practically moved into Angie’s. I mean, you haven’t had a kid yet, so we’ve been watching her.”

They’re insane. I get Mama two days a week. “She’s at my house just as much as yours,” I whisper. “She reorganized my closet the other day because I wasn’t utilizing my space appropriately. I don’t need a kid to have her stoppin’ by.”

I love my mother-in-law. I love her so much, but since Rhett passed away, she’s been—bored. Very bored.

Angie has gotten the most attention since Felicity was born two weeks after he passed. “Oh no.” Angie shakes her head. “I definitely win.”

Presley waves her hand in the air to stop Angie. “She walked in the house when Zach and I were . . . you know . . .”

My hand flies to my mouth and Angie laughs. “That’s awkward.”

“Tell me about it.”

“I’m sure she’ll be around us more soon enough.” I smile.

“Enough talkin’ girls!” Wyatt claps his hands. “Time to show which of the Hennington brothers is the master of the universe.”

I roll my eyes, but Angie and Presley laugh at Wyatt. “I swear.”

Presley goes first and manages to hit the outer ring of the bull’s-eye. Zach, of course, lets her know that she’s going to have to step up her game if she wants the trip. Then Angie goes. She’s actually good at this. She gets two shots on the paper, and Wyatt lays a fat one on her before slapping her ass.

Now, it’s my turn.

Trent goes over a few things on the gun, and I pray that I can at least hit the target. Not that I care if I win, I wasn’t thinking far enough ahead to make a wager. I could’ve gotten the house painted or something good.

“Okay, you hold it like this.” Trent lifts the shotgun and tucks it into my armpit.

“Like this?” I ask as I start to spin, but he stops me.

“Okay, what was rule number one, Gracie?” he asks again.

“Down the way or something.”

“Keep the muzzle downrange. Downrange means not at me!” Trent holds my shoulders and points at the targets again.

I nod and try to remember I’m holding a loaded gun.

I don’t understand why he thinks this is a good idea.

“I don’t want to shoot it,” I complain.

“Sweetheart, you have to shoot it and hit the middle. We need to win this one since you didn’t train for the run.”

“Train for the run,” I mutter. He’s insane. This is a family competition, and they’re making it seem as if we’re going out for the Olympics.

I frown and try to remember what he said about my feet. Close together or apart? I think it was close together.

I adjust my feet and pull the trigger.

The gun goes off and pushes so hard against my shoulder I almost drop it. Shit that hurt. “Ouch!” I yell as he takes it from my hand. I rub the spot where it tried to take my shoulder off.

Trent laughs as he puts it on the shelf in front of us. “It has a nice kickback.”

“I’m going to kick you! And your stupid brothers.”

He moves closer and puckers his lips. “Is my sweet wife hurt?”

“Yes,” I grumble.

“Do you want me to rub it? We could sneak off now . . .”

I swear, we got married and he became a teenager again. I’m lucky I can walk right now. All he wants to do is have sex. All the time. Three times a day. Sometimes more.

Little does he know that’s all going to change soon.

“Aren’t you getting old and that part is supposed to stop working?” I say playfully but also a little curious. Those guys on the commercials don’t look much older than him.