Say You Won't Let Go (Page 22)

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He can’t move fast enough.

“Don’t make me wait,” I plead.

“Never.”

Cooper’s tongue licks around the peak of my nipple, and my head falls back. I grip the back of his head as he sucks and then his teeth bite down while he slips a finger in my pussy. I nearly buck off the bed, but Cooper keeps me where he wants me.

“Tell me you’re mine,” Cooper demands as he pushes another finger in.

“Only yours!”

He pumps in and out, and I climb higher. I don’t know if it’s the remaining adrenaline that lingers, but I’m on fire. He ignites the flame, causing me to burn from the inside out. I need him—all of him.

“Cooper,” I cry out as my orgasm teeters. “I need you! Now!”

He removes his pants and climbs back into place. Our eyes meet as he slowly enters me.

Bliss. It’s complete and total bliss.

I’m filled in every possible way. My heart is full of love for this man. Everything in my world makes sense this very instant. I never want to lose this. I’ll do everything I can to hold on to what we have.

Cooper completes the missing piece of my heart.

“I love you. I love you. I love you so much.” I can’t hold in my feelings. If I try, they will shred me from the inside just to get out.

He slows his pace, kisses my lips, and smiles. “I love you. Don’t ever try to leave me again.”

My fingers dig into his back, keeping him as close as possible. “You never have to worry about that.”

We make love. Losing ourselves and all understanding of time. I don’t think about anything other than us while we’re in each other’s arms. I’m able to breathe when he’s around.

After, when we’re both sated and panting softly, I lie on his chest, listening to the steady thrum of his heart. My finger makes random patterns on his stomach, and his hand rests on my hip.

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“Why didn’t you just tell me?” he asks after a long while of comfortable silence.

I turn my head to face him. “I was scared he’d kill you. I was willing to end our relationship if it meant that you were safe.”

He releases a heavy sigh. “God willing there’s never a next time, but if there is, just talk to me. We would’ve figured something out.”

Hurting Cooper was the last thing I wanted to do. I hated every second of knowing he was upset. “I’m sorry I lied. I’m even more sorry I made you think there was another man.”

It was the worst thing I could’ve said. Cooper has been someone’s second choice each time he’s given a girl a chance. Both of us have had shit luck until we finally found our way together. I believe we had to drudge ourselves through the mucky water to find our way to the clear springs.

“I’ve been waiting my whole life to feel the way I feel with you. I’m crazy about you, and there’s no way I was going to lose you.”

I smile, bring the tip of my finger to his cheek, and run it against his stubble. “Who would’ve thought two kids from the opposite side of the tracks would fall in love all these years later?”

His hand wraps around my fingers. “Especially since you were right under my nose the whole time.”

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“I was just waitin’ for you to finally ask me out.”

That isn’t completely true, but Cooper was definitely someone I considered. I wasn’t really sure of what my feelings were for him, so I sank into music instead of finding out. He is a friend and a good man—he always has been, yet my goal had always been to get out of Bell Buckle.

Here I am now wanting to go home…to Cooper.

“Well, you have me now.”

I grin. “I sure do, and you’re stuck with me.”

“Yeah? Is that so?” Cooper’s hands grip my arms, and he lifts me so we’re nose to nose.

“Yup.”

His lips touch mine, and I melt. “For how long?”

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“How long do you want me?” I ask playfully.

“Marry me.”

I gasp, looking down at him with wide eyes. “What?”

Cooper sits up, taking me with him. “Marry me. I want you to marry me.”

My mouth opens and closes like a fish. “Are you… It’s so soon… And we just went through all that. Are you sure? Do you really want this?”

He cups my face in his hands, eyes dancing back and forth between mine as I watch without blinking. “I love you. I’ll be good to you. And I’ll make you happy. There’s nothing I want more, and I’m completely sure. Will you be my wife?”

My heart races as I try to find the words that have escaped me. It’s crazy, impulsive, and I love him. I know there is no one else in the world I want to be with, and every excuse that rolls around my head seems trivial.

“Yes!” The word flies from my lips as I wrap my arms around him.

Only Cooper could take the darkest day and turn it bright. He chases away the clouds, keeps the storms at bay, and allows me to dance in his rays.

Epilogue

Cooper

~Three Years Later~

“Emily!” I call for my wife from the music studio I had installed right after the wedding.

“Coming, honey! I’m just finishing this song.”

We’re going to be late, but I know better than to push her out of there. She’ll spend an hour fretting that she’ll forget the word or note, then another hour repeating it so she doesn’t forget, and then God knows how long telling me how she isn’t sure she remembered it.

It’s a process, and I’ve learned to let her have it.

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Sure enough, it takes her ten more minutes to emerge.

“Sorry!” She lifts her shoulders and gives me an impish smile.

“It’s fine.” I kiss the side of her head. “We have a half hour.”

“What?” Emily squeaks and slaps my chest. “I have more time?”

I shake my head. “No. We have to go sign the papers.”

Emily sighs and tears fill her blue eyes. “What if—”

“No.” I stop her right there. I know where she’s going with this, and I won’t let her go down this road again. The last three years have been filled with a lot of changes, most good, but this has been the scariest.

Emily and I immediately tried for a family. She wanted a child, but I couldn’t give her one. After three failed pregnancies, we decided to adopt.

I look down at our newborn baby girl in her car seat, and my heart swells. Today, Mia officially becomes our daughter.

“I need to prepare, Cooper. I can’t lose her.” Emily squats and runs gentle fingertips over our daughter’s tiny hand.

“We’re not losing her, darlin’.” I will the words to be true. It’s been five days that we’ve had her, and there’s no way to explain the love I have for this little girl.

She owns me.

Emily looks up with wet lashes. “I love her so much.”

“I love both my girls, and I’m not letting go of either.”

Her eyes go back to Mia and she kisses her chubby cheek. “Did you hear that, princess? Your daddy loves us.”

I crouch down, placing my hand on Emily’s back. “Let’s go make her ours.”

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Emily’s lip trembles slightly, but she nods and looks away.

The ride to the courthouse is quiet. I may seem sure of myself, but it’s only for Emily. Inside, I’m terrified. The mere idea of someone taking her away from us makes me want to fall apart. Mia became mine the minute they placed her in my arms. I thought I fell in love with my wife instantly, but it was nothing like holding my little girl.

“Did your mama say she was comin’ by today?” Emily asks.

“Presley and Mama said they’d be there when we got home,” I say as I glance over at her.

“I think Grace and Angie, too.”

I nod. I know no matter which way this goes, we will want our family and friends. She has no idea, but there will be a lot more people than she thinks. Papa always said to prepare for the outcome you want, so I did. When we get home, there will be a big group waiting to celebrate the official adoption of Mia Ryann Townsend.

I take her hand in mine and squeeze. “It’ll be fine, darlin’.”

Emily drops her head to my shoulder. “I just want this over with so I can breathe again.”

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There’s nothing either of us can say to ease the other. Instead of trying to sway her, I’m just here with her. I take comfort from her touch and feel her tense when we park.

“No matter what, we’ll fight for her, okay?” I look at Emily and promise to do what I can.

“Okay.”

We grab the baby from the backseat and walk inside. Our lawyer leads us to the bench in the hallway and explains the process again. I don’t hear much that he says. My mind starts to play various possibilities, all of which make my stomach clench.

Emily wraps her arm around mine, and we both stare down at Mia. I can feel the nerves rolling off her and hear her sniff. If I could take this from her, I would. My heart pounds against my chest as I see our lawyer emerge from the conference room where we’ll hopefully sign the papers.

“Come on back,” he says stoically.

The fear in my wife’s eyes stirs my protectiveness. “Coop?”

I grab my lawyer’s arm as he’s walking away. “Russ? Is she going to sign?”

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