Say I'm Yours (Page 8)

And there it is. The reason there’s no such thing as a secret in this town. Cooper told his mother, who told my mother, who told Macie, who probably told Trent, and we go down the list. I’m pretty sure the mayor two towns over knows.

“As friends,” I inform her.

“I always thought Cooper grew into a fine man. I didn’t know you two had feelings for each other.”

My mother and her crew are brilliant at finding out what they want. They’re able to twist you up so you say whatever you didn’t realize you were holding in. I’ve learned, as have all the children of their group, to offer nothing. I don’t know what Cooper and I are, which is technically nothing since I haven’t even been on a date with him yet. The only thing I know is that if I do tell her, we’ll be talking for eight hours and I’ll never be ready for tomorrow.

“It’s new, Mama.”

She looks at me with a grin. “Vivienne said he’s had thoughts about you for a while now but didn’t want to cause a stir.”

“Mrs. Townsend said that?” I ask.

“She sure did.”

Great. My mother and Presley’s mother are thick as thieves. If these two are scheming, I’m in so much trouble. It’s not like I haven’t fallen victim to my mother and her posse before. Plenty of times, Presley or I would get caught in the middle. I hoped to avoid it, but it seems clear the town busy bodies are going to be in the epicenter of my relationship. I need to move the topic along.

“Mama?” I draw her attention. “Why do you think Trent and I couldn’t ever make it work?” Macie Hennington tells my mother everything. If there is something, maybe she will finally tell me. “Because I want to not love him anymore. I want to find a way through all this hurt and be happy. I’m not sayin’ it’s with Cooper.” I look her in the eyes. “I thought I’d be settled by now. I’m tired of the back and forth with Trent. So, if you know something . . .” I pause and drop my gaze to the counter. “I’m beggin’ you to tell me.”

She walks around the counter and touches my cheek. “There are some things love can’t fix. Trent is a good man. He has a good heart and a kind soul. You know I think nothing but the best of him.”

I nod. “I do.”

“I also think it’s time you let him go, baby. I think you’ve loved him for a long time, and if he loves you like I think he does . . .”

“You think he loves me?” I ask with a twinge of unwelcome hope.

Her hand drops from my face and her fingers twine with mine. “I think you know he does, which is what keeps you hangin’ on. I also think you know that he ain’t ever going to change his ways. You have options, sugar. Choose wisely.”

Chapter 4


“The fuck she is!” I scream at my brother.

“Relax!” Zach pushes against my chest as I try to get out the door. “You need to calm the hell down.”

“Relax?” I huff and move his hand. “You’re telling me to relax? I didn’t see you calming the hell down when Presley returned to town. I don’t think you’d be sayin’ anything close to that if she were dating someone else!”

It’s only been a few weeks, and she’s already going out with another guy? I just saw her in the damn store, and she failed to mention it. Bullshit. It’s total fucking bullshit.

On top of that, it’s not just any guy. No, it has to be someone I grew up with. One of my friends. Unreal. And what the fuck is Cooper thinking? He knows my and Grace’s history. He knows that Grace is mine. “I’m going to kick his fucking ass!”

This is how it’s always been with us. We break up because I’m being an idiot and then I win her back. Never has she dated someone else. And neither have I. There is no way I’m going to stand idly by and allow this shit to happen.

“Trent.” Zach tries again to break through my internal rage. “You can’t expect her to wait around for you. You fucked this up too many times. We all tried to tell you to get your head out of your ass. She has a right to be happy.”

“Are you tryin’ to help me or piss me off?”

“Neither. I’m being honest.” He grabs his beer and takes a swig. I hope he chokes on it.

“Take your honesty and get the hell out of my house.”

I swear to Christ. My brothers may be my best friends, but they’re also assholes. Whatever happened to brothers being on each other’s sides? When did we decide that we were going to take the enemy’s side? Mama didn’t mess around when we were kids. She taught us to always have each other’s backs. No one messed with the three of us. I always felt being a Hennington was the greatest gift I received, but right now, I want to strangle my brother.

“I’m fine right here.” He leans back farther. “I think you need to hear it. You’ve been stringing that girl along since she was in high school.”

We may not be together right now, but Grace is the only girl I’ve ever cared about. She’s the only one who gets me. I can’t lose her, and I sure as fuck can’t watch her date another man—not in my town where they will be in my face every day.

I grunt and move around the room. “How can she date Cooper of all people? My fucking friend? They both had to know this would be way over the line.”

“It’s good to see you care so much.”

“What the hell does that mean?”

“It means you had your chance, and you blew it. It means that you don’t get a say in who she moves on with. If you wanted a say, you should’ve listened to her. I’m surprised that you’re so surprised.”

He’s right. I know that, but it doesn’t help me at all. I know she thinks it was all a game to me, but it never was. I loved her the minute I kissed her. Grace saw my demons and never looked away. She wanted me to let her in. She begged me to try, but I couldn’t. I still can’t. There’s something deep inside me that doesn’t allow me to go forward. I tried to move past it. I even thought about marrying her and raisin’ a family, but each time I got close . . . I couldn’t.

I talked to Wyatt about it once, and he understood. Back then, he never saw himself ever getting married. He was happy sleeping around and being free. Zach was the complete opposite. He met Presley when they were kids and swore he’d marry her. Hell, I don’t think he ever loved another woman. Not even when he dated the skank, Felicia. It was always Presley.

I am stuck somewhere between the two of them. I don’t want to get married, but I also don’t want anyone other than Grace.

“What are you thinkin’?” Zach asks.

“About a hundred different things and none of them make sense.”

My brother stands and runs his hand down his face. “I hate it for you, man. I really do. I think in all your layers of bullshit you love her.”

“I know what I feel.”

“Do you?” he says, pushing back. “Have you ever told her?”

“Mind your own business, Zach. I wasn’t sitting at your house running my mouth when you were making stupid decisions.”

“So, you admit it’s stupid?” Zach grins.

I could kill him. “Don’t you have something important to be doin’?”

Zach walks around, places his bottle down, and smirks. “I’m helping my brother out. What could be more important than that?”

“Could you let me know when you’re actually going to start helping?”

Zach has always been my best friend. Wyatt is great, but he was a clown when we were kids, plus there’s more of an age gap with us, but Zach and I are alike in a lot of ways. All of us are similar in how we view family. Mama and Pa didn’t love one of us more than the other. They were always fair—for the most part. They also gave us what we needed and taught us to work hard for what we wanted. I wish I had listened when Mama told me to stop letting my fears rule my life.

“What are you going to do?” Zach asks.

“What choice do I have?”

He shakes his head. “This has always been your issue, Trent. You feel like the world owes you something, but let me tell you, it doesn’t. You want Grace? You love her? You lay your bullshit aside and go get her. Man the fuck up. Stop actin’ like you’re the only man that’s ever lost a woman. Hell, you’re the only one left who hasn’t learned that lesson. You seem to be the only idiot left standing.”

“And that doesn’t make me a dick for preventing her happiness? Because I swear you said something like that a few minutes ago.” I throw his words back at him.

There’s no winning in this. If I fight my way back into Grace’s world, who’s to say I won’t hurt her again? Because that’s what I do to her. It isn’t fair, but God, I can’t stop myself. I know I love her, but I won’t allow myself to give in to it.

Zach rubs the back of his neck as he leans against the wall. “Maybe. I don’t know. I thought you should know they’re going out so you’re not blindsided.”


“I’ve gotta get back to Presley and the boys, but let me know if you want Wyatt and me to come over for cards this weekend.”