Lost In You - Chapter 11
Chapter 11 Preview: Impulsive and insecure Cooper Jackson accompanies her cousin to a wedding where she meets Sound Wave, a famous boy band.

“Merry Christmas!”

Ryan shouted as he opened the door to his parents’ house with gifts in hand.  He reached behind his back for Danielle.

“It’s freezing!” she cried, ignoring his hand and squeezing inside the doorway.

Danielle stomped the snow off her shoes as Ryan placed the gifts down.  He walked back out to the car and retrieved more presents.  By the time he entered the house again, his family was surrounding him.  Bobby and his father grabbed the packages from him before taking turns hugging him.

Lynda pushed the men aside, enveloping her son into the warmest hug only a mother could give.  Ryan inhaled as if he wanted to breathe in that feeling forever.

“Welcome home,” Lynda cooed, once she pulled away.

Ryan smiled at his mother before looking toward Danielle.  She was holding his three-month-old nephew, Ethan.  He never saw her look more content as she held the baby with nurturing arms.

“Wow, he got so big,” Ryan gushed.

Bobby smiled proudly as his wife, Tracy, stood near Danielle, keeping one eye on the baby while she spoke to Robert, Sr.  John was spending the holiday with his wife’s family.  They visited with Lynda and Robert the night before, though.

“Do you want to hold him?” Danielle asked.

Ryan nodded taking off his jacket.  The baby was placed in his arms, and Ryan supported Ethan’s head as he looked down at him.  He made a funny face, and Ethan smiled.

“You like Uncle Ryan, don’t you?” he cooed.  “I’m funnier than your daddy,” Ryan teased Bobby.

“Funnier looking!” Bobby shouted.

Ryan smacked his brother’s shoulder.  Danielle looked over and smiled at him.

“One day soon,” she said.

Lynda cleared her throat, and told everyone to sit down in the other room.  Ryan walked into the family room still holding Ethan.  He sat on the couch with him, and Tracy sat next to him overprotectively.  Danielle announced she was going to see if Lynda needed help in the kitchen.  Ryan was too enthralled with Ethan to process Danielle’s words.

“I wish I got to see him more,” Ryan sighed.

“Well, after the wedding you’ll have some time, right?” Tracy asked.

Ryan nodded, “Then the big tour starts in March.”

“Maybe we’ll come out and visit you and Johnny on the road,” Bobby suggested.

A look of hesitance flashed across Tracy’s face at the thought of her son on the road with a boy band, being adorned by crazy fans.  She smiled, though, and nodded.

“Bro, I can’t believe you’re getting married in two weeks,” Bobby said.

“I can’t believe it, either,” Ryan smiled.

“So, does Danielle know yet about Hawaii?” Tracy whispered.

“Nope.  I’m telling her tonight.”

“Lucky bitch gets two honeymoons practically,” she laughed.

“You always have to try and outdo me, Ry,” Bobby shook his head.

 

d

 

The oven timer went off, and Lynda grabbed the oven mitt hanging on the wall.  She slipped it on and opened the door.  After taking the crab cakes out, she placed them on a cooling rack.  She heard Danielle rummaging around in one of the drawers, and quickly turned toward her.

“What are you looking for?”

“A spatula,” Danielle sighed, rummaging some more through the drawer.

Lynda opened the drawer beside her, and pulled out a metal spatula.  She handed it to Danielle.

“Oh!  Thanks.”

Danielle slid the mini-quiches off the tray and onto a serving plate.  Lynda fixed the items in the drawer that Danielle was looking through.  She was extremely meticulous when it came to her kitchen.  Everything had a spot, and she didn’t really like other people helping her while she cooked.  Lynda firmly believed in the “Too many cooks…” expression.

“Do you believe my parents paid for all of the flowers?”  Danielle returned to speaking about the wedding.  “I mean, that was so nice of them.  They already insisted on paying for my shoes, and bag,” she said exasperated.

          That’s nothing compared to what my son paid for your dress!  Lynda thought to herself.  She had almost fallen over when she heard the ridiculous price of the wedding gown.  It was designed by some famous Parisian, but made in Belgium, and then flown to the U.S.  Lynda understood how women were concerning their wedding dress, but Danielle went beyond over the top with it.  She even sent it back once to re-vamp it.  The dress alone was worth more than most people’s entire wedding.

Danielle continued to speak of wedding details, and normally Lynda would be involved, and intrigued, but she just couldn’t stomach it anymore.  Her son was making a huge mistake.

“Danielle, can’t you talk about something else for once?” Lynda joked, though she was serious.

“I’m just so excited.”

“Well, aren’t you excited Ryan’s home?”

“Of course.  What kind of question is that?” Danielle asked.

“Then leave this to me,” Lynda took the spatula out of her hand, and started to shoo her toward the family room.  “You spend some time with your fiancée.”

It was a desperate attempt to get the kitchen to herself, but Lynda had to do it.  She couldn’t let her Christmas cooking be ruined by the “Blonde Barracuda” as she referred to Danielle on occasion; behind hers and Ryan’s back, of course.  Lynda also believed that food could easily spoil by who was around while it was cooking.  She had many superstitions, but all of them were about the kitchen, and all of them were passed down from her Irish grandmother.

 

d

 

Laughter filled the dining room of Zac Jackson’s house.  Cooper spit out her Diet Coke as Uncle Bill told some ridiculous joke.  They all laughed louder, and Marcela quickly dabbed the table cloth with a napkin along with Cooper‘s help.

Dave smiled as Cooper wiped her mouth, still laughing.  He rested his hand on Casey’s leg under the table.  She placed her hand on top of his, and they entwined fingers.  Dave was relieved Cooper was now comfortable with their relationship.  He hadn’t planned on falling in love with Casey, but he did.  By the end of the first month, it was clear to both Dave and Casey that what they had was more than just fun.  Dave even moved into Casey’s apartment a couple of weeks after Cooper moved out.

“Oh my God, JT told me about this crazy guy…” Cooper began a story.

Most of Cooper’s stories began with JT’s name lately, and it had everyone wondering if she was actually falling for him.  She appeared happy and comfortable with herself for once.  Zac couldn’t be more thrilled.  He worried Florida was just another escape, but maybe JT changed that.  Or maybe Joyce played a part in Cooper’s stability.  She talked about Joyce almost as much as she spoke about JT.

After dinner, everyone helped clear the table.  Cooper, Casey, and Zac handled the dishes while Marcela, Dave, and Uncle Bill served dessert.  Marcela loved the fact that her husband and his family all pitched in to help her.  In her family, the women always cooked and cleaned while the men sat in front of the TV.  They were old-fashioned and from another country; seeing her father treat her mother like a servant was customary for her.  She hated it.  Marcela glanced over at Zac, and realized how lucky she was to have him.

“So, are you and JT serious?” Casey asked once she and Cooper were alone.

Cooper smiled as she placed the last dish on the drying rack.  She rinsed her hands off and dried them on a dish towel.  Casey picked up the newly washed dish and began drying it as she waited for Cooper to answer.

“I don’t know…”

“You don’t know?”

“He’s really amazing,” Cooper gushed.  “When we see each other, we just laugh, and are all over each other.  It’s nice to have someone like that.”

“Is it hard with him traveling so much?”

“Sometimes, but he calls me a lot,” she explained.  “He can really brighten my day.  He has so much personality.  You’d love him.  He’s like the male version of you.  He changes his mind like me, though,” Cooper laughed.

Casey smiled brightly.

“He sounds great,” she agreed.

“Who sounds great?” Dave asked coming up behind Casey, and wrapping his arms around her.

She giggled as she put the dry dish in the cabinet.

“JT,” Casey answered.

“Yeah, he’s a funny guy,” Dave nodded.  “How’s the rest of the guys doing?”

“Good.  I got to see everyone the last time they were in town.”

“Are you still holding a grudge against Ryan?”

“Uh,” she stuttered, “No.”

Cooper shook her head and turned quickly.  She started busying herself with items on the spice rack.  Casey kissed Dave’s cheek before excusing herself to the bathroom.  Dave stared at Cooper, knowing she had to turn around and face him again at some point.

“You still like Ryan, don’t you?” he asked impatiently.

“Dave…” Cooper sighed, facing him finally.

“You do.”

“It’s complicated.”

“Does JT know about this complication?”

“Of course not.  Nothing is going on between Ryan and me.  He’s getting married in two weeks, and I’m going to the wedding on JT’s arm.”

“I would love to believe that, but I happen to know you better than anyone.”

Cooper just glared at him.

“That’s all I’m saying,” he said, holding his hands up in surrender.

“Okay,” she nodded.

She went to walk out of the kitchen, but Dave spoke again.

“I just hope no one gets burned.”

“I thought that’s all you were saying?” She scowled.

“I’m done now.”

Dave smiled, and walked out of the kitchen.  Cooper sighed, and rolled her eyes.  She was trying her hardest to forget about Ryan, and she was pretty successful.  Occasionally, she found herself fantasizing about some dramatic scene happening at the wedding; the typical movie scenario where the priest asks if anyone objects, and Ryan raises his hand.  He then announces his love for Cooper and runs over to her, kissing her madly.  JT is, of course, accepting of this, and steps aside.

Cooper’s realistic side reigned over her, though, knowing Ryan would rekindle the flame with Danielle, and she would watch them exchange vows, all the while holding JT’s hand adoringly.  Soon after, she and JT would fall in love, and everyone will live happily ever after.

Once everyone was seated for dessert, Zac and Marcela stood up.

“We have something to tell you all,” Zac said.

The couple was glowing, both with huge smiles, and holding each other closely.

“We’re having a baby!” Marcela cheered.

Everyone in the room roared with excitement.  Cooper was the first out of her seat, and hugged her brother.

“I’m so happy for you!”

Cooper hugged Marcela next, squeezing her tightly.  Marcela smiled at Cooper, noticing the tears of happiness in her sister-in-law’s eyes.  She was relieved she could see that joy in Cooper.  Of all the years she’s known her, there were few moments of unbridled happiness.  Marcela knew how much Zac worried about his sister.  Like everyone else, she hoped things were changing for Cooper.

 

d

 

The smell of gingerbread filled the room, and though it was merely from a lit candle; it reminded JT of his grandmother’s famous cookies.  He sipped his coffee, and stared up at the tree.  He glanced over at the window sill, where the stockings hung, and read the names to himself.  Tommy, Joyce, Jamie, Cooper, Brownie, Toby.  JT had bought the dogs stockings last year.  After all, the pugs were a gift he gave his mother; they were her babies and they deserved stockings.

JT didn’t notice Cooper’s stocking until that moment.  A smile spread across his face, and he stood up.  He placed his coffee down on the coaster Joyce set out for him.  JT walked over to the stockings.  He ran his fingers over the glittered lettering of his stocking, and noticed his fingernails.  The black nail polish was chipping.  JT then glanced down at his toes.  I need a pedicure, he thought before laughing to himself.  What have you done to me?  JT looked over at Cooper’s stocking, and realized how much he missed her.

The house phone rang snapping JT out of his thoughts.  He heard his mother coming into the room, speaking loudly and happily.  Joyce spoke with ease as if she’d known whomever she was talking to for years.

“He’s right here, honey.”

She handed the phone to JT, and he wasn’t sure who to expect on the line.  He put the phone up to his ear.  His mother smiled and winked at him.

“Hello?”

“Merry Christmas!”

“Coop!  Merry Christmas!”

JT broke out into a grin upon hearing Cooper’s voice.  Joyce smiled again before walking out of the room.

“I miss you,” Cooper said honestly.

She couldn’t believe how much she did actually miss him, and the fact that she was allowing herself to miss him.

“I miss you too, baby.”

“Speaking of babies…” Cooper began.  “My brother’s having one!”

“Oh!  My heart stopped for a second,” JT laughed.

“Huh?  Oh!  Sorry,” Cooper realized.  “Yeah, no…let’s leave the baby making to other people for now.”

“Good idea.”

JT laughed and listened to Cooper talk about her family.  He wished he could have been with her for Christmas.  It was too soon, though.  She wanted to visit her family, and he wanted to stay with his.  They were spending New Year’s Eve together, however, and they were both pleased with that.

 

d

 

Mount Kilauea streamed lava along its sides.  The orange-red glow garnished the deep, blue sky just right.  Tourists stood watching in amazement.  Ryan knew Hawaii was the perfect location for igniting a new fire for him and Danielle.  The volcano erupting seemed symbolic of that.

Ryan wrapped his arms around Danielle from behind.  She laid her head into him, and he kissed the back of it.  She reached up and wrapped her hands around his arms.  Danielle’s pearly-white veneers appeared luminescent in the night, and Ryan was happy to see her smile so brightly.  He kissed her cheek, and she turned her head to kiss his lips.  Ryan hugged her tighter.

“Let’s go back to the hotel,” she whispered.

Ryan nodded as he let go of her.  She took his hand and they walked away from the crowd.  They had spent four days in Hawaii so far, and everything was beautiful.  Danielle still seemed concerned with the wedding, but Ryan didn’t mind too much.  After all, she had a right to be, considering the wedding was a little over a week away.

“Let’s walk along the beach on the way back,” Ryan suggested.

The couple walked hand in hand through the sand.  Ryan looked out at the water, and at Danielle’s dress billowing in the breeze.  They were secluded at this point.  He stopped walking, and smiled at Danielle.

“What?”

“Let’s go swimming.”

“What?” she laughed.

“Come on…” he took his shirt off.

“What am I supposed to swim in?”

“Nothing,” Ryan smirked.  Danielle looked terrified of the idea. “…Or your underwear.”

“Then I have to walk back to the hotel with wet underwear?”

“So what?” Ryan shrugged.

He moved in and began kissing her, hoping to awaken her passion and sense of adventure.  Danielle wrapped her arms around Ryan, caressing his back.  He ran his fingers up and down her shoulders, and slowly pulled down the straps of her sundress.  Just as he began to let her dress fall, Danielle stopped him.

“What if someone sees us?”

“That’s a chance I’m willing to take,” he winked.

“I’m not.”

“Dani…”

“Ryan, let’s just go back to the hotel.  Swimming at night, naked, on a public beach is not romantic to me.”

Ryan reluctantly gave in.  He understood the logic, but for once, he wished love and passion could replace that logic.  Granted, he was no wild rebel, but Ryan liked to shake things up just a bit once in a while.  He couldn’t remember a single thing Danielle did that wasn’t planned at least a week in advance, except for the trip to Hawaii, of course.  He originally liked Danielle’s dependability and predictability.  He never had to worry about birthdays or parties.  Danielle kept track of all those things, and would just tell him when and where.

Danielle was the type of girl to be up at seven every Sunday morning, make pancakes, iron her clothes, and still make it to ten am mass on time.  She rarely slept in, and seldom stayed up past one in the morning.  To Matt or JT, she may seem boring, Ryan presumed, but she shared his values, and wasn’t that all that mattered in the long-run?  At least he always thought so.

“Wow, it’s getting late…” Danielle yawned.

The couple had just stepped into their hotel room, and she was already kicking her shoes off, looking as if she wanted to head straight to bed¾for sleep purposes only.  Ryan groaned, not hiding his disappointment.

“It’s only ten-thirty, Dani.”

“Well, if we’re going to make it for that boat ride tomorrow morning…”

Ryan cut his fiancée off with a kiss.  She smiled in response, and gave in easily.  Danielle noticed Ryan’s frustration with her lately.  She figured it was all the wedding planning that has him so stressed.  She couldn’t say she didn’t feel the stress either.  Most days, Danielle almost felt like marriage was a business venture, and she was working on the merger instead of a celebration.

Danielle and Ryan made love for a long while; the longest they’ve been in physical contact in several months.  Sure, they had sex when Ryan was home, but there never seemed like there was enough time to truly enjoy it.  Even when there was, their love-making was so used to being tossed aside, Danielle didn’t respond too much to Ryan’s subtle hints.  He had to flat out ask her, or make it painfully obvious in his attempts to seduce her.  They were both finally able to release their tension with one another’s body.

 

d

 

“Happy New Year!”

The crowd shouted the tradition at the stroke of midnight while the TV played “Auld Lang Syne”.  JT tossed his hat in the air before pulling Cooper into his body.  Instead of kissing her right away, he just stared into her eyes.  Cooper looked back at him, and felt as if he could see into her soul.  She never had anyone look at her the way he did.  It made her feel bare and comfortable all in one.

JT caressed the base of Cooper’s neck, and her lips formed a smile as she pulled him closer.  Their lips hovered over each other’s before finally crashing into one.  Cooper fully wrapped her arms around JT, and he picked her up, still kissing her.

Joyce broke from kissing Tommy, and went over to her son.  Seeing he was still busy, she waited a moment before clearing her throat.  JT and Cooper broke apart.

“Happy New Year, Mom!” JT cooed throwing his arms around Joyce.  She hugged him before hugging Cooper.  Matt was having his own moment with Laura before he kissed Cooper’s cheek, and hugged JT.

“Nice shade of lipstick,” JT teased Matt.

Matt laughed, and wiped his mouth before smirking at Laura.  She blushed and giggled.  Everyone at Joyce’s house exchanged kisses and hugs for the next ten minutes.  Noisemakers rang, streamers were everywhere, and hats were constantly falling off drunken guests’ heads.

Tommy announced John was on the phone to JT and Matt.  JT made his way toward the phone as Matt scoffed.

“You’re not going to talk to him?” Laura asked.

“I’m still pissed.”

“Why are you mad at John?” Cooper joined the conversation.

“Because he warned me against this jerk,” Laura giggled, wrapping her arms around Matt’s stomach.  He looked at her, and the ease came back into his face as he wrapped his arms around her as well.

“Oh, JT told me about that,” Cooper laughed.  “I’m sure John was just looking out for the good of us women.”

“Oh shut up, Coop,” Matt cackled.  “He was trying to cock-block me.”

“Ugh!” Laura smacked Matt hard, and Cooper laughed.

“He was!  Guys just don’t do that to other guys.”

“Well, maybe I should have listened to him…” Laura glared at him before going to walk away.  She wasn’t seriously mad, but a little ticked off.

“Wait…you know I love you,” Matt blurted, grabbing her hand.

Laura met Matt’s eyes, and he looked lost.  He knew it was soon, but he couldn’t help the feeling building inside of him.

“You didn’t mean that, right?” Laura asked.

“And if I did?” Matt smirked.

Laura didn’t say a word; instead she moved in quickly and hugged him tightly.  Matt hugged her back, even tighter.  Cooper smiled as if she were watching one of her chick flicks.  Matt and Laura kissed deeply.

“I love you,” Matt repeated softly.

“I love you, too,” Laura smiled.

Cooper began to cry, still staring.  Laura and Cooper had become fast friends while the band was traveling.  They hung out together along with Kelly once a week.  Both Kelly and Laura had told their life stories over drinks, lunches, dinners and coffee while Cooper remained private.  JT walked over.  He glanced at Matt and Laura making out before turning to Cooper watching and tearing up.

“Uh, baby?”

Cooper looked over at JT, and threw her arms around him.  JT held her back.

“What did you guys do to my girlfriend?”

Matt looked over at JT and smiled.  Cooper pulled away from JT, and looked up at him surprised by the title he gave her.  No one said a word, and Cooper just kissed JT instead.

“This is the best chick flick I’ve ever seen,” Cooper cried after breaking away from JT’s lips.

“Why are you so emotional?” JT laughed.

“Matt and Laura love each other.  I have a boyfriend.  I love my job.  I’m going to be an aunt…” Cooper gushed.

JT laughed, “I’ve never seen you like this.  You never told me you could turn into a sobbing mess this easily.”

“All girls can turn into sobbing messes easily,” Laura explained.

“This is a fact,” Matt agreed, nudging Laura playfully.

Cooper’s cell phone rang, and she glanced at the number.  She debated on answering it before excusing herself.  Cooper walked into another room as she picked up the call.

“Happy New Year, Ry,” she answered softly, trying to keep her voice down.

“Hey, Happy New Year,” Ryan replied, smiling to himself.

“How was Hawaii?”

“Incredible,” he announced.

Cooper was happy for Ryan, but at the same time, a little disappointed.  Though, she was relieved.  She wanted to give herself completely to JT, and she couldn’t do that with Ryan as even a possibility in her mind.

“I take it there’s still a wedding?”

“Yeah, and I take it you’ll still be there?”

“I can’t wait,” Cooper laughed.

“JT’s a lucky guy.  He deserves a girl like you.”

“Thank you,” she blushed, even though Ryan couldn’t see her.  “I should get back to him, though.”

“Yeah.  Good night.”

“Night.”

Cooper hung up the phone, and turned around to see Matt watching her.  He didn’t like what was happening.  Sure, he didn’t want Ryan to marry Danielle, but this is not how he wanted things to change.  If Ryan was having doubts, he should call off the wedding, but he should not be calling Cooper, and having special moments with her.

The only reason Matt hasn’t given Ryan grief in the past was simply because he didn’t think his feelings were serious nor did he think Cooper and JT would last.

After all, Cooper was JT’s girl now.  Though he knew JT still had a friendship with Anna and may even harbor feelings for her, Matt knew Cooper and Ryan were playing with fire, even if nothing physically happened between them.  Matt didn’t want anyone to get hurt, especially his two best friends.

Cooper smiled and went to walk past Matt.  She didn’t like the way he was looking at her.

“How’s Ryan doing?”

Cooper turned around and looked at Matt.

“He’s fine.”

“You know, if you’re going to call yourself JT’s girlfriend, you might want to start acting like it.”

“Matt,” she sighed.  “Nothing is going on between Ryan and me.”

Matt laughed, “Oh no?”

“It ended that night at Laura’s.”

“Then why is he still calling you?” Matt gritted.

“To assure me he’s getting married,” Cooper gulped.

Matt ran his hand over his face.

“That wasn’t assured yet?  The wedding is a week away!”

“Look, Ryan is going through a rough time…”

“Fine, but who are you, Cooper?”

“What do mean?”

“Who the fuck are you?  You’re just a girl at a wedding, who JT fell for, and who’s making Ryan act like someone he’s not!”

Matt looked up to Ryan.  He was practically a higher power in his eyes.  Ryan could do no wrong.  He certainly would never have impure thoughts about another woman; definitely not his best friend’s girlfriend.

Cooper stared at her shoes, and she felt the tears start to brim her eyes.  She didn’t know how she became involved in this mess, but she wished she could get out of it.  She wished she never met Ryan, but then she wouldn’t have met JT or Joyce either.  She needed someone to talk to, and the only person she wanted was her mother.  Cooper cried harder, and by the time Matt was calling her name, her make-up was starting to run.

“I’m sorry…” he said rubbing her arm.

She shook her head.

“You’re right.  Ryan’s not the only one acting like someone he’s not.”

Cooper turned and walked out of the room.  Matt sighed to himself, and didn’t know what to do.  He had thought about telling JT that Cooper and Ryan had feelings for each other, but that was a mess he didn’t want to get into.  He was put in a position where he could lose either friend or both.

“There you are!” Laura said, wrapping her arms around him.

“Hey,” Matt smiled at her, and kissed her head.

He was relieved things were so simple between him and Laura.  They loved each other and no one else was in their way…except for John.  Matt was still angry with him.

 

d

 

Cooper sat on the back porch, wiping tears.  It was pretty breezy out, and she wrapped her hands around her arms, trying to warm them up.  She looked up at the sky and saw several stars.

“Oh Mom…” she sobbed, “Why is this all happening?”

The sliding door opened, and Cooper quickly wiped her tears.

“Baby, it’s freezing!” JT shouted.

He plopped down next to her, and wrapped his arm around her.

“Your arms are ice cold.”

Cooper enveloped herself into his body, and he welcomed her.  She kissed him, and when he pulled away, he noticed she had been crying.

“What’s wrong?” he asked wiping her eyes delicately.

“Nothing,” she forced a smile.

“Coop, please tell me.”

JT hated that she didn’t open up to him often.  He’s told her just about everything about himself, and though he knows the many places she’s lived, and the different jobs she’s had, he feels like she keeps an important part of herself hidden.

Anna had been the same way before they started dating.  He knew he was in love with her a month before she accepted his offer on a date.  She had played hard to get for a little while.  Once Anna opened up, JT fell in love even more.  He shook the memories of Anna from his mind and tried to focus back on Cooper.

“I just miss my mom,” she shrugged.  “She would be so happy I found someone as sweet as you.”

JT smiled at her, and wove his hand through her hair.

“I just wish she could be here to meet you.”

“She is,” JT assured her.

Cooper smiled, and he pulled her into a kiss before just hugging her tightly.  Cooper placed her head on JT’s shoulder, and vowed at that point that she just couldn’t hurt JT.  She was happy with him, and Ryan was happy with Danielle.

 

d

 

Joyce watched as JT and Cooper sat on her back porch embracing.  They looked like a couple in love to any outsider, but Joyce knew something was off.  JT was giving his all to this girl, and Joyce gave him credit for that.  He always loved hard, but sometimes too hard, too soon, and often to the wrong girl.

Joyce couldn’t help but think he was making the same mistakes with Cooper.  She loved the girl herself, which was a change.  JT didn’t always pick the most down-to-earth women, and though Anna seemed nice enough, Joyce wasn’t approving since JT proposed to her right before he entered rehab.  She didn’t know what to think of JT’s decisions then.  She avoided getting close to Anna, knowing JT wasn’t ready for marriage just then.

Even now, Joyce just didn’t see Cooper and JT being forever.  She knew there was something more behind Cooper’s eyes; Joyce saw doubt and pain.  Matt stepped next to Joyce as they watched the romantic scene outside.  Joyce looked at Matt and patted his arm.  He smiled at her faintly, and she knew him well enough to notice there was something bothering him.

“You don’t like Cooper?” Joyce wondered.

“I love her.  Do you?”

“Like my own daughter,” she smiled and he nodded solemnly.  “Matthew…”

“What?”

“You know something about Cooper that my son and I don’t.”

“You’re looking at the wrong guy,” Matt sighed.

Joyce cocked her head at him.

“Ryan knows something about Cooper we all don’t.”

Joyce’s eyes widened.  Matt took a sip of his drink, glancing back at JT and Cooper before walking away.

 

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*Legal Disclaimer: This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, or persons, living or dead, is coincidental.

Copyright © 2009 by Sandy Lo.
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About the Author

Sandy Lo ()

Sandy Lo’s personal story is inspiring. She started, StarShine Magazine, an online publication in 2001, at the age of 18. She wrote her first novel in 2009, “Lost In You,” followed by the “Dream Catchers” Series. She was the first person ever to professionally interview Taylor Swift and has received personal endorsements for her books from members of boy bands Backstreet Boys and 98 Degrees. Recently, she has been seeing some tremendous momentum in book sales on Kindle. She has been included on the “50 Writers You Should Be Reading” list by The Authors Show, and “Dream Catchers”, “Breaking The Moon” and “Indigo Waters” reached the Top 100 Best Selling Coming of Age novels in Amazon’s Kindle Store. What makes this even more unique, is that Sandy relocated from NY to Nashville in order to write “The Watch Dog,” which is set in a fictional town outside of Music City. “The Watch Dog” reached the Top 10 Ghost Stories on Amazon. Aside from her writing projects, Sandy is also a freelance digital strategist.

Website: http://sandylo.com

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