Read Loving Charley Online

Authors: Casey Peeler

Tags: #romance, #dating, #college life, #new adult, #southern literatrure, #mature young adult, #teen and young adult, #pretty little liars, #teen romantic fiction, #teen 16 plus

Loving Charley (8 page)

BOOK: Loving Charley
10.68Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

Cash makes his way out the
front door, and his mama waves at me. He tosses his bag into the
back, but not before telling me he’s driving. Knowing it’s a losing
battle, I get out and sway seductively to the passenger

As I fasten my seat belt, I
can feel his eyes burning through me. Looking up, I’m met by my
knight in an F250, or maybe a Honda today. “Char-coal, don’t do
that again. Not in front of my mama, because next time, I won’t be
able to control myself.”

“Oh, really?” I ask as I
move my hand from the seat belt to his leg and slide it slowly

“Char, please be good, or
I’ll stay home.”

Crossing my arms playfully,
I smirk. “You’re no fun!”

? I’ll show you fun in about two

“Now, that’s the Cash Money
I like to hear,” I say with a wink. Cash just shakes his head, puts
the car in reverse, and we drive across town one more

Our ride to Southern is full of makin’
new memories of us together with no thoughts of Dylan, my past,
break, or worrying about my future because I’m sitting with my
future right beside me. He’s always been right beside

As we reach the exit toward
Southern, we both look at each other when the radio plays Luke
Bryan’s, “Crash My Party.” Taking his hand in mine, he begins to
rub his rough fingers across mine.

When the song vanishes from the
speakers, he looks at me. I know what he’s thinking, but he doesn’t
give me a minute to speak.

“Char-coal, I love you with
my entire being, I know you see me as your forever and I feel the
same, but I want to know. When you think about your future, what do
you see besides me?”

Not expecting this in-depth
question, I take a moment to ponder. “Cash Money, as long as I have
you, nothing else matters, but I know you want to hear my thoughts.
When I think about my future, I see Grassy Pond, a precious little
boy that looks like his daddy but acts like his mama, and if I’m
dreamin’ big, I’d still like a shot at the Olympic Trials before I
give it up.”

“Give it up? Why would you do

“Cash, honey, I can’t do
this forever. Here’s a secret. When an athlete hits a certain age,
they aren’t spring chickens anymore. Not to say that I wouldn’t
want to coach at GPAC, I just know swimming isn’t going to be my
career. I’d really like to take over the farm.”

He smiles and looks at me.
“Is it bad that I hoped that was your dream? I can’t see us
anywhere but at the farms. I’m glad you went to Southern. God has a
plan for each of us, and that was yours. I didn’t understand it to
start with, but after everything that’s happened, I know that was
His plan.”

Cash Money knows exactly
what to say and when and how to say it. I reach across the console
and kiss his cheek. “I love you more than life itself, Cash Money,
and I’m glad I had this experience as well. I’ve made friendships
that will last a lifetime and a love that was in the works since we
were little.”

Before we know it, we are
approaching campus. A few cars are back on campus. Grabbing some of
the bags, we make our way upstairs.

Caroline is standing in the
hallway. “Charley, you aren’t leavin’, are ya?”

Crinkling my nose up, I have no idea
why she would say that. “Huh?”

Pointing to Cash, she says,
“Helllooo, you brought backup with ya.”

“No, silly! He drove me
back. He can’t get enough of me, ya know?” I wink.

“Well, make sure you keep
the noise down tonight!” As I roll my eyes, we walk into my

Chapter 13

Once the car is unloaded
and we have spoken to the Kluft girls, we make ourselves at home in
my room. Cash takes a seat on my bed, and I snuggle into him. We
don’t say anything, and we wake to the sound of knocking on my

“Come in,” I say. “Hey,
Georgia! Whatcha up to?”

She totally ignores how
comfortable Cash and I are. “Oh, we were thinkin’ about going out
tonight. Since Hank’s is not open, we thought we might try that new
bar that just opened in town. I think its called The Board

“That’s fine with me, if
Cash’s good with it,” I say as I look at him.

“Whatever you want,

“I take that as a yes, so Charley,
let’s be ready around seven to grab a bite to eat.”

“Sounds good.” Georgia
leaves, and I relax a little longer in Cash’s arms.

Realizing that we probably
need to do something besides be laid up on each other, I roll and
face him. “I think we need to get ready,” I say as I press my lips
to his. As I back away, he grabs the loops of my jeans and pulls me
back to him. I smile on the inside and outside as we take a few
minutes to get lost in each other.

As things begin to heat up,
I feel Cash start to pull away. “Cash Money, please don’t pull away
from me.” He takes it upon himself to kiss me with loving force. I
know why he let up, but it’s not easy on a girl to say the

He pushes my hand to the
side of my face. “Char-coal, I’d never pull away from you, but I
told you before that we’re waiting.”

“But, it’s over with Dylan.
It’s done.”

Cash pushes himself up on
one arm. “Charley, it’s not over. You know we have to go to court
over this. Regardless, I told you I’m waiting for our wedding

“Well, damn, I just keep
thinkin’ one day you’re gonna give in to me.”

“I will one day, and that one day will
involve a wedding dress that I’m gonna be ready to rip to

“Promise me you won’t do
that because I’m afraid to even think about the price tag on one of
those! How about let’s get ready to find something to eat? I heard
that place has food, too. Maybe everyone will just want to eat

“I’m just along for the
ride,” he says as gets up and kisses my lips. “Let’s go see what
the plan is.”

He helps me up, and we walk
to Tori’s room. Everyone is in there as usual.

Bout damn time!” Tori

“What?” I ask.

“Oh, ya know! Y’all come
in, and the next thing we know, you’re MIA for hours!” she says
with a smirk.

“Whatever, y’all! It’s not
like that… right, Cash Money?”

“You got that right,
Char-coal, but ain’t nothin’ like holdin’ you in my

And the entire room goes

Shaking my head, I reply,
“So, I was thinkin’...”

“Oh, shit! She’s thinkin’
again!” Hayden says. I shoot her an
you kiddin’ me
look. “What Charley? The
last time you started thinking we ended up seeing Cash and his fine
ass beating that mofo to a pulp!”

Swallowing really hard, I try my best
not to react, not to let my emotions get in the way. As I start to
speak, Cash Money takes control, and I can’t thank him enough, or
maybe I can later!

“Y’all, Char-coal did what
she thought was right. Yeah, it got a little messed up, but
anything involving Douchebag Dylan is goin’ to be jacked up. I’m
just glad we were all there,” he says as he places his hand around
my waist, and I let my head meet his shoulder.

“Anyways!” Anna says. “Let’s get our
party on! What’s the game plan?”

“That’s why we came in
here. We wanted to see if y’all wanted to make a night there. I
heard they have some kick ass shrimp and grits!”

Both Hayden and Anna have a
disgusted look on their face. “Hey, don’t knock it till ya try it!”
I reply. “Y’all wanna be ready to roll around seven?”

“Hell to the yeah! There
isn’t going to be anything bored there tonight!” Tori

Hayden starts to laugh, and
we all know where this is going. “I can think of a few things that
might be stiff as a board!” We all shake our heads and go our
separate ways to get ready.

Once we are back in my
room, I stare at my closet. I have no clue what I want to wear. As
if he’s reading my mind, Cash walks up behind me, grabs a pair of
Rock N Roll Cowgirl jeans that are completely worn in all the right
places and a one-sleeved coral shirt. He pairs it with my new

“Here ya go,” he says.
“This is what I want to see you in, and I’m all that

Acting like I’m going to
take the clothes from him, I go to grab them, but instead, I push
him onto my bed. It’s time to leave Cash like he’s been leaving me.
I slowly crawl on top of him and kiss his neck and then give a
little nibble on his earlobe. When a low moan escapes his lips, I
know I’m on the right track. He goes to place his hands underneath
my shirt, and I get chills as his tough hands touch my skin. I
realize this might not have been the best idea. I slow my
movements, but Cash has other ideas.

With his hands on my skin,
he rolls me to where this is now his game… and I like it. We spend
the next twenty minutes exploring each other, but never crossing
the line. If this is that good, I can only imagine what having him
completely will be like.

We realize we need to get
ready, but we hold each other for as long as we can. I give him a
brief kiss before pulling away to take a quick shower. When I
return, Cash is dressed and ready to go. Hot damn. He’s standing
there in a pair of jeans that hug his ass just right and a worn
pearl snap, and I’m instantly rethinking this going out

“See somethin’ ya like?”

“Maybe?” I smirk as I walk
to my desk, turn on Cole Swindell’s new album and start to put on
my makeup. Cash begins to sing, and when he’s right behind me, he
bends down, sweeps my hair to the side, and places one tender kiss
on my neck. Every nerve in my body is on alert, and chill bumps
react on my skin. “What was that for?”

“Is that answer still
maybe?” I shrug my shoulders and grin. “Well, let’s just see

After I finish getting
ready, we load up the Love Machine and make our way to The Board
Room. Our ride to The Board Room is nothing out of the ordinary.
Hayden is her crazy self. We laugh and enjoy being back together.
We don’t talk about what happened that night, and I’m glad. I’m
ready for some good food with great friends and dancing with the
man of my dreams.

Chapter 14

We arrive downtown on two wheels, giggling, and
starting the night off right. What’s even better is that there has
been little alcohol consumed by anyone, and we are still our crazy

Cash guides me out of the
Love Machine and takes my hand as we walk up the street to The
Board Room. When we enter, the smell of Southern comfort food
tickles my nose. The lighting is dim, and people stare at us as we
walk inside.

“Um…y’all, is this place
supposed to be fancy or something?” Georgia asks.

“Nah, they just aren’t
prepared for us. That’s all,” Hayden states confidently as she
makes her way to the hostess.

After waiting for a booth
to be cleared, we are taken to a back corner in the restaurant.
It’s hidden away, but we can still see everything around us. There
is a DJ setting up not too far from us, families eating a quiet
supper, and several couples on dates.

We each take a moment to
look over the menu. They have anything from burgers to filet
mignon. I know that shrimp and grits are what I will enjoy tonight,
and a ribeye is in Cash’s future. The waitress approaches and takes
our drink order and brings out a basket of bread. Everyone grabs a

Once our order is taken, we
sit back, relax, and enjoy being together. Hayden gives us a
play-by-play of her crazy adventures while at home on break. I
swear, I’d love to have been a fly on the wall when she was little.
I bet she stayed in trouble.

The food arrives, and we
dig in. It’s fantastic. As we all finish, we sit and watch as
families leave, and the young crowd begins to arrive at the bar. By
nine, the place is crawling with people. Most are young, but there
are a few men and women that undoubtedly are single and looking for
a good time.

Knowing that this might be
our last night out with the swim season being at its peak, we are
going to let loose, and I’m glad that they only guy I’ll be dancing
with is my Cash Money. When the music begins to play, we try to
refrain from being the first ones on the dance floor, but that’s a
lost cause. As soon as the first beat drops, Hayden is out there
acting a fool for the entire bar to see.

“Ya know, I’d never have
picked Hayden as one of your friends,” Cash whispers.

Laughing, I answer, “I
know, but I wouldn’t trade her crazy ass for the world!”

About that time, I see
someone approaching us. It’s Joe. Cash extends his hand, they
shake, and he takes a seat with us.

“Hey, Joe. Whatcha up to?”
I ask.

“Nothing much. The lacrosse
guys just figured we’d go out, and when I saw the Love Machine
outside, I knew we were in for a fun night.”

“You know us too well! Have
you talked to Piper?”

BOOK: Loving Charley
10.68Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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