Read Still Here: A Secret Baby Romance Online

Authors: Kaylee Song,Laura Belle Peters

Still Here: A Secret Baby Romance (8 page)

BOOK: Still Here: A Secret Baby Romance
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Chapter Six

"
T
he yellow roses
with just a hint of peach are gorgeous, what do you think?" she asked as we stared at the flower shop.

“What?” I said. I was lost in a daydream. Thinking about my last date with Wyatt.

And about that shirt he wrapped around me. I still had it in my car. And I hadn’t returned it.

If I was honest I’d admit that I had no intention of giving it back.

“Rose! You said you would come here with me and help. The roses?” she pointed to them.

She was finally choosing the colors for her wedding, and I got to the be the one who came along with her.

Joy.

"Don't yellow roses mean 'I'm sorry?'" I asked. I shouldn’t have. I shouldn’t have even thought to ask.

If only I had known how to tell the future.

It was an innocent question, but the look on her face sent me recoiling. She looked ready to spit fire.

She took a deep breath, calmed herself then said, "completely yellow roses do, sure, but these are yellow with peach accents. They are gorgeous."

"Oh, in that case, they are nice." I tried to muster up all the excitement I could fathom, but, as I was quickly learning, even good natured Jess became a little bit of a diva when it came to wedding preparations.

"What has you so down? I thought your date with Wyatt went well." She pulled out her phone and snapped a picture of the flowers then moved on to the next booth.

Billings’ wedding bazaar happened twice a year, once in the early spring and once in the middle of summer. She was planning for a fall wedding, but she'd wanted an early look at what she could purchase.

Besides, she told me, most women buy their accents a year or so before the wedding.

It just seemed like a big farce to me. A waste of money and resources. My father always said that weddings were just money pits.

My mom would touch his arm and gently remind him that their wedding was beautiful.

And he'd respond that it was because they'd done it on his father's farm. The barn made a rustic chapel as well as a fun dance hall.

They were rustic before it was cliche.

"It was okay. He wasn't an ass, and he made sure not to make any moves." I hadn't told her about our earlier tryst, and I certainly hadn't mentioned the almost kiss.

"Well, I think it's a good idea. You deserve to have a little bit of fun. Always so serious." She wiggled her fingers at me and grinned. She was threatening to tickle me right there in the middle of all those people. I just glared at her and sidestepped her advances.

"Don't you want to make it to the cake tasting?" I asked. We'd been one of fifteen through the gates first, and we were invited to an exclusive cake and desert wine tasting as a result.

I looked down at my phone. "We need to be there in five minutes."

Nice, distract her with cake.
It was the cowards way out, but I never claimed to be brave.

"Oh!" She said a she grabbed my arm and pulled me down the aisle and towards the private room. "I'm on his side, you know."

"What?" I asked as I glared at her.

"You heard me. I'm on his side. You left him high and dry. Hell, you left all of us high and dry. What was going on in your head?" she asked. She sounded so smug about it too. Jess had no idea what went on.

I'd never told anyone why I'd bailed out of there. Not Jess, not my father, no one.

It was too embarrassing. "I had it in me that I didn't need this place. That it was the one place I couldn't wait to get away from." That much was true, but it wasn't the entire truth, and we both knew it.

"He sulked around this town for weeks, you know," She whispered it as we entered the little room and took seats towards the back.

I highly doubted it. A man like Wyatt Graves probably went and sought solace in the next pretty blonde with a fake smile.

"Do you think they will have cheesecake?" I asked. It wasn’t subtle but I didn’t care. I wanted to talk about anything else.

Anything but Wyatt.

"Oh no, we aren't changing the topic. I'm team Wyatt, and you deserve to know it."

"No one says team boy anymore, Jess,” I said. I bit my tongue and kept myself from saying that it was
so
2009.

"Honey, I'm from Laurel. Be glad I'm only five years behind instead of ten." We both giggled. She had a point.

"You don't think it's... weird?" I asked as servers passed out the first little cups of wine and small plates of cake. The announcer told us what it was, but I wasn't paying attention. I was too busy thinking about Wyatt.

Ten dates. Fifty-thousand dollars. What did I have to lose?

"I think he's crazy, but it's his money. And he deserves the closure. Or a second chance." She took a picture of the piece of cake then had a taste. "Besides, he is the perfect piece of man candy. If you don't touch at least appreciate being able to look for extended periods of time."

That was the problem, though. I wasn't sure if I couldn't touch.

It was a temptation that might just get the best of me.

"
S
o what are
you thinking about for the next date?" Luke asked. "I mean, since you are paying such a high price for them you want them to be perfect, don't you?"

"I was planning on offering her mother the money anyway, this is just a little bit of a fun." I wasn't going to let him goad me.

"Oh, is that what it is, a game? Terribly high stakes." Luke hit his target into the pocket and pulled up his pool stick. "Kind of like this game. Four, corner pocket."

I rolled my eyes and watched as he missed then took my shot. "Game's not over yet, Luke. And the other one is just beginning."

"I saw your dad in town yesterday when I was getting coffee at Maggie's. He staying for a while?” he asked.

"I hope to hell not," I admitted. He'd been digging through the files, the finances, getting everyone and everything riled up. “But I have a feeling he isn’t planning on leaving. If I know him he’ll be here for a while. He’s a stubborn old man.”

I just wanted him to leave.

"How did you get that shiner anyway? Was it your father or Rose?"

I chuckled. "I'll have you know I earned it saving a tiny damsel in distress."

"Should I see the other guy?" he asked.

I sunk the next ball in. I just had one more, then the eight ball. I was so close.

"Something like that." I hit the cue ball, it slammed against the eight ball rather than my next target and sunk it and the cueball right into the left corner pocket. “Though I wish no one would. He was a fucking dick.”

Dammit.

"I hope you have better luck with your lady than you do at pool," Luke said as he held his hand out. I stuck a twenty in it.

"Fine, but winner goes and buys a round of beer." I grabbed the pool cube and racked them up for the next game.

I had to think of my next move.

"
Y
ou want to go where
?" I asked Jess as I looked at her. We were both stuffed to the brim with cake, and she was a little tipsy. I'd opted for cake only and mainlined water instead.

One of us had to be sober to get us home.

"I want to stop by the pool hall, show Brandon all the things I like." Brandon worked part-time at his father's bar, must've been his shift.

"Seriously?" I asked.

"Yeah, we have to discuss this stuff sometime. Why not now? He's always working, I'm always working."

I rolled my eyes. "As you wish, princess."

It was an hour drive from Billings to the pool hall in Laurel, but that little bar was a staple. It was open to families until nine and then after that, it was strictly twenty-one and up. Everyone went there in high school.

Hell, it was even my main hangout in high school.

I hopped out of the car and followed her in as she ran up the steps and into the hall.

"Honey, I saw so many things I want to show you," she said as she spotted her fiancée bartender and started towards him. I'd say it was the wine talking, but every time she saw him in high school she got the same look on her face, and the same tone of voice.

“You let her into the wine, didn’t you?” he asked.

I just smiled. “It’s not my wedding.”

He was her soul mate. I was sure of it. I grinned at him as I walked up to the bar.

"Did you have a good time?" he asked me while glancing at her phone. She'd taken so many pictures that I knew they'd be there for a good long while.

"It was educational,” I answered.

"Did you find our wedding colors?" a voice said from behind me.

I knew it the instant I heard it. I closed my eyes and swore before turning.

Wyatt.

"Our wedding colors?" I asked. "I don't think so."

"We'll decide them together, then." Wyatt's sense of humor wouldn't work on me. Not today.

“Oh wait, I remember. I did. They were ‘never’ and a coordinating color of ‘not going to happen.’ It’ll make a cute set.” I was all tongue in cheek.

Jess just laughed.

"Did you know he would be here?" I asked Jess.

"A little birdy told me," she admitted, grinning.

Team Wyatt, right. Was anyone team Rose?

There was nowhere I could go that people weren't rooting for this man. No one except me.

"And you are going to be a while, aren't you?" I asked.

They both nodded. "You too, Brandon?" I asked.

"Hey, she's my fiancee. What do you want from me? I support what she supports."

I sighed. I was trapped with them and him. Wyatt.

"What are you so smug about?" I asked Wyatt. He was grinning from ear to ear.

"Besides seeing you? I just kicked Luke's ass at pool."

"Of course, you did."

"Do you want to play a game?" he asked.

The pool hall might've been my hangout. Where I went with Jess to do homework at the bar or watch the guys play pool, but I'd never learned how.

"I might as well watch a game," I said honestly. It sure has hell beat listening to Jess go on and one about the different cakes we tried.

"No, not watch. Play." Wyatt had a way of honing in on the things I was trying to avoid and teasing them out.

It was annoying as all get out.

"I don't know how to play," I finally admitted.

"Really?" he asked.

I nodded.

"Well, then, let me teach you." He pulled me towards the table, his hand on the small of my back.

Dammit, he had a way of touching me that sent chills up and down my spine. Every time. I tried to ignore it, but a heat started at the place of contact and spread up and down my body.

"Luke you want to wager a bet? Me and her against you,” Wyatt said.

"That hardly seems fair, but if you want to just give me your money we can skip the game," Luke was waiting next to the pool table up against a wall.

I hadn't seen him in years. Anyone who knew Wyatt knew Luke. They'd been best friends since they were kids and they'd always stuck together.

I knew them both vaguely growing up, enough to be told to stay away from them.

Both of them were troublemakers and players. Father's warned their daughters about men like Wyatt and Luke.

For good reason too.

Luke broke the balls, sending them flying all over the table, spread out.

"Okay, so you hold the pool stick like this," he placed it in my hands, positioning my figures so that I was holding it similarly to a pen or pencil, but looser, but honestly, I couldn't remember how to hold it if you paid me. I was so focused on his arms around me, his body up against mine that I forgot there was even a pool table there.

"Good, now pull back, and then push forward."

I did what he told me and hit the white ball. It smacked another ball, and that one hit a third which went into a pocket. I'd watched enough pool to know the basic mechanics of it. I probably didn't really need his help at all, but that electric touch was addictive.

I wanted more of it. I leaned back into him and let my body rest against his as we took Luke on.

The more I trusted him, the better we did. I wasn't really learning. I wasn't really playing. I was just hanging on to him and the pool stick.

"So, we're going just to give you our money, huh?" I asked as I looked up at Luke, grinning.

We had two balls left of the felt, and he had four. We were in a better position than him, and it was our turn.

"Don't get cocky now, honey. I can still win this game." Luke gave me his trademark smile. The one that usually made the girls go wild. He knew how powerful it was.

But I just rolled my eyes.

I hadn't had fun like this in forever. My life in Denver was always so stark, so serious. Hell, I was always so serious. But here, with Jess and these guys I was more at ease than I'd been in years.

They were the most dangerous playboys in town, though. The ones I probably should have kept my guard up for.

"Lemonade?" Jess asked a she carted over a tray of them. She was scheming. I could tell by the look in her eyes.

"I could use a nice cold lemonade," I said as I left Wyatt's side. Jess was just the reprieve I needed.

"Getting cozy, aren't you?" she asked, waggling her eyebrows at me.

I ignored it.

"So, I was thinking, maybe we could go on a double date?" she blurted out to Wyatt. "You know, the four of us, somewhere really nice. Give us a chance to get to know each other better.

I glared at her. Then I smiled. One date where I didn't have to be alone with Wyatt. Where I didn't have to worry about succumbing to his charms.

It was a no-brainer.

"That sounds like a good idea. Date number two a double date." I smiled at him then her.

He crinkled his brow and then looked at me. "If that's what you want, that's fine by me."

It was. At least, Jess was finally coming around. She understood what I wanted.

One less date I had to worry about. One step closer to fifty-thousand dollars for my mom.

BOOK: Still Here: A Secret Baby Romance
8.69Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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