Say You Won't Let Go (Page 13)

“Are you ready for some country music, Houston?” I ask the crowd and lose myself in the screams.

For just a second, my eyes move over to where Wade stands, and he tilts his chin in approval.

I’ve got this.

* * * *

“I miss you.” I twist my hair while lying on my bed talking to Cooper. “I think you should just come finish out the tour with me.”

“Who would make sure Wyatt doesn’t burn the farm down?”

“That is true. I’m pretty sure Angie could handle him,” I offer as another option. “Although, she ain’t exactly a farmer.”

Cooper sighs. “I wish I could, darlin’. I’d be there right now if things weren’t so crazy here.”

I understand, I just hate it. Every part of me wants him here with me.

“I know.”

“How did the show go?” He changes the subject.

“Good. I was nervous, but I made it through.”

I fill him in on some of my worries, being careful not to make him nervous as well. As much as I may say I wish Cooper were with me, I know he’s where he has to be. He’s invested a lot of money into Townsend Ranch. He bought his father out and then had Wyatt come in as a partner, but Cooper is majority shareholder. The two of them have really started making a name for themselves, and they even bought some land off the Henningtons to expand. It’s becoming more and more of a family-owned business with them combining resources.

“You should get to bed,” Cooper says through a yawn.

“Me?” I giggle. “You’re probably fallin’ asleep on me.”

“I’m beat.”

I roll over, wishing I could snuggle up next to him. “I love you, Cooper.”

“I love you, too.”

“I keep thinkin’ all this is a dream.”

He laughs. “If it is, I’d like to keep sleepin’.”

“Thank you for making sure I was safe before you left. I haven’t had anyone take care of me in a long time. Hell…maybe never.”

My life growing up didn’t have baked goods or men making sure I was set. I was lucky if my father knew I was alive. Cooper is the complete opposite of the type of guy I thought I’d end up falling for. I don’t know why, but I really thought I’d be like my mama and marry some idiot who drank too much.

“If you let me, I’ll make sure you never worry about anything. All I want is for you to be happy, Em. I’ve waited a long time for this. I’m not goin’ to let it go.”

Dear Lord, this man is freaking perfect.

“You make me very happy, Cooper Townsend. Very, very happy.”

Chapter Eleven


“Are you listening?” Presley waves her hands in my face. “Earth to Cooper.”

“I hear you. I’m just thinkin’.”

My sister’s grin spreads, and her eyes light up. I know what’s coming. My nosy-ass sister is about to ask a million questions about whatever is going on with Emily. I’ve been able to keep the new generation of busy bodies away for the most part, but it was just a matter of time. Mama has done her digging, but thankfully Emily’s family was never part of their clique.

“’Bout Emily?” Her eyes drop to her feet as she shrugs.

I’m not buying it. This has to be eating at her. Emily is part of my sister’s group of friends, so there’s no way this is just whatever for her.

“Wouldn’t you like to know?”

“I would, in fact.”

“Too bad.” I start to walk out of the office and hear her behind me.

“Cooper!” She groans. “I’m your sister. You should talk to me about girls. I can help, since I am one and all.”

I laugh while shaking my head. “You’ve never helped before.”

“Umm. Grace?”

How the hell did she help with that? All she did was push her to Trent’s arms. I’m not saying it wasn’t the right thing, but it sure as fuck didn’t give me what I wanted at that time.

“Considering Grace is married to your brother-in-law, I’m going to say you suck at helping.”

“You didn’t love Grace. You weren’t meant for her, and you know it. I helped her and you both see that.” Presley’s hands rest on her hips. “We both know I’m right.”

Damn her.

“Sure you are.”

“You can just say thank you.” Her suggestion is punctuated with a tiny tilt to her chin, which makes me laugh. She’s just like our mom.

“Thank you for what? For drivin’ me nuts?”

As kids, we fought like crazy, but she was my best friend. With both of us touring in the rodeo, we were forced together each weekend. My sister was amazing to watch, she shined when she raced. As we got older and she met Zach, our relationship became strained. Even if she doesn’t see it, I’m glad we’re past the bullshit. Having her and my nephews back in Bell Buckle has given my entire family a sense of peace. More than that, it gave me my sister back.

The ranch phone rings before she can say anything back.

“Townsend Ranch.” She looks at me, saying, “Yes, he’s here. Sure, may I ask who’s callin’?” Her brow furrows as she listens, but then the confusion lifts and she grins. “Wade Rycroft? Is that you? It’s Presley!”

I put my hand out for the phone, but she spins around and starts rambling. If Wade is calling, something’s wrong. Digging in my pockets for my phone comes up short. Shit.

“Tell me about what you’ve been up to? Are you datin’ anyone? What about your brothers? I heard you joined the Army? Was it cool?”

This conversation will last forever, and I need to know why he called. I go in search of my cell phone and finally find it in the kitchen. Sure enough, I have two missed calls. Both from him.

My sister continues talking, giving him exactly zero chances to cut in. He may be a former Green Beret and highly trained in all kinds of things, but Presley studied under my mother. He’s screwed.

I dial his phone, and I hear her agree to whatever he says.

“Jesus Christ.” Wade sighs as he comes on the line. “I swear she was interviewing me for a potential wife.”

“She’s bored and thinks everyone should be as happy as she is.” I chuckle. However, I really don’t care about Presley and his conversation. “I saw you called. Is Emily okay?”

“Of course she’s okay. I told you that nothing will happen to her.”

I breathe a sigh of relief. “Well, something happened if you’re callin’.”

“She got another bouquet of flowers.”


“I intercepted it and have my guys looking into it. We’re checking with the shop that it came from to see if we can get a description of the sender or a name. I don’t expect much since there’s been no traces before, but what made me call was that the letter was more aggressive. It talked about how they’d find a way to each other. I’m going to analyze the language more and get to the bottom of it. Thought you’d still want to know,” Wade explains.

This guy who’s after her is getting out of hand. I can’t keep sitting around here knowing someone is after her. “Does she know?”

“No. I didn’t want to rattle her. Emily is safe, but you need to know that this asshole is only going to get bolder. I didn’t tell her, but the more aware she is, the better.”

“I know. I think we keep this from her for now. No need to get her worked up until we have answers.” The selfish part of me wants to tell her and have her come here. We could spend our days together and make love all night. The other half of me knows that wouldn’t be what’s right for her.

I know what it’s like to have your choices stripped from you.

“Luke is talking about extending the tour,” Wade says. “He’s thinking of adding another two weeks on.”

“Talkin’ about it or doin’ it?” I ask as I run my hand down my face.

“No idea. I only know because one of the other security guys heard it.”

When we talked yesterday, she sounded like the girl I’ve always known. She was happy about her performance and that one of the radio hosts made an effort to talk to her. They were looking at her coming on his morning show, which is the break she’s been waiting for. So, I’m not sure that telling her about this is a good idea.

I close my eyes and lean against the counter. “If something else shows up, then I’ll tell her.”

“It’s your call, Coop.” I hear the grit in his voice. “I’ll let you know if anything else happens.”


We disconnect the call, and I grapple with my decision. Emily’s safety is first and foremost, but she was freaked out last week to the point she almost couldn’t go on stage. My gut says that Wade can handle it and if he was concerned, he would have told her right then.

Still, if anything happens to her, I’ll never forgive myself.

* * * *

They extended the tour for two more months.

Not two weeks.

Two fucking months.

“I’m sorry, Coop.” Emily’s face is full of sorrow. I hate this shit. There’s no way to hide the disappointment from my face.