Lost In You - Chapter 15
Chapter 15 Preview: Impulsive and insecure Cooper Jackson accompanies her cousin to a wedding where she meets Sound Wave, a famous boy band.

The drive back from the airport was aggravating for Joyce.  She dropped Cooper and Laura off without a hitch; however, there was some sort of accident on the way back.  It reminded Joyce of her childhood in Pennsylvania, and the trips into New York City that always felt like hours due to heavy traffic.

She switched the radio on, hoping to kill the time.  Her thoughts gravitated toward Jamie.  She missed him, and planned on visiting him in Canada in a couple of weeks.  She worried about him more than she let on.  As time passes, Joyce is more confident in JT’s sobriety.  Still, he’s her son, and as any mother would, she wanted him safe and secure.

Joyce worried about Cooper in the same way.  She saw herself in the young woman from time to time.  She enjoyed watching Cooper evolve from unsure girl to a woman who knew what she wanted.  At least she did a good job of pretending she knew what she wanted, Joyce laughed to herself.

She knew Cooper loved her current situation, that, she has expressed to her.  Joyce was even sure Cooper loved Jamie and didn’t want to hurt him.  But what Joyce didn’t tell Cooper, or her son, was she knew what was inevitable.  Cooper would break Jamie’s heart, or he’d break hers.  Everyone knew JT’s had a reputation for being unfaithful.  Sure, he loved with all his heart, but for him, it was a state of mind, and not part of the physicality.

JT didn’t always stray to other women, but if he sensed his heart was about to be broken, it was his first solution.  He rather be a cheat than to let anyone hurt him.  It was some kind of defense mechanism.  Joyce was afraid of what Cooper’s visit might stir up.  Ryan was single now, and jealousy may boil over.  God bless them all, Joyce thought, as she crossed herself.

 

d

 

The plane landed in Frankfurt, Germany around lunchtime.  Laura and Cooper picked up their bags, and grabbed a taxi.  They were both groggy from the flight.

“How terrible do I look?” Laura asked, running her fingers through her bangs.

“Fine,” Cooper mumbled, not looking as she dozed in and out of sleep.

Laura sighed, and pulled out a mirror from her purse.  She popped a piece of gum in her mouth, and offered some to Cooper, who absently took a piece and stuck it in between her teeth.

“You better pep up.  You know JT’s going to be loud and excited,” Laura laughed.

“God, someone should keep coffee away from him at all times,” Cooper groaned.

The taxi pulled up to a historic looking hotel.  Gargoyles and arched doorways were popular throughout the architecture, and Cooper’s first thought was that it was haunted.  She pushed the idea out of her mind, realizing she would be staying there for the next three nights.

The girls walked into the hotel, and a bellhop had already taken their bags from the taxi.  They had to show their passports to the concierge, a security measure Sound Wave takes in case of groupies claiming to be with them.  The bellhop led them inside the elevator, which stopped at the eleventh floor.  Laura barely stepped off before Matt grabbed her.  Both girls screamed before realizing it was him.

“What the hell?” Matt laughed.

“Well, you just don’t grab someone!” Laura hit him before hugging him.

“Sorry, I wanted to surprise you.”

They kissed, and Cooper smiled before stepping past them.  The bellhop looked at Cooper expectantly.

“Oh, um…you can just leave the bags here.”

Cooper didn’t know which room was which, so she thought it would be best to wait until Matt showed them to the proper door.  The bellhop didn’t seem to understand, and motioned to a door, as if to say, “this room?”

“I don’t know which room.  Just leave the bags.”

Still, the bellhop just stared at Cooper with a stern look, as if he were becoming impatient with her.  She looked toward Matt and Laura, but they were gone.  Real nice, guys, she thought.  She looked back at the bellhop, who started spouting off sentences in German, and he sounded angry.  Cooper just stared, intimidated by the language.

“Ich habe es jetzt,” someone called out, and Cooper turned to see Ryan walking down the hall.

The bellhop nodded and let go of the luggage cart.

“Danke,” Ryan tipped the man, who smiled finally.

“Danke,” the bellhop responded before heading back down the elevator.

Cooper looked at Ryan with her hands in her back pockets.  The discomfort eminent in both of their body language.  Ryan shifted his weight from one leg to the other.

“Thanks,” Cooper smiled uneasily.

“No problem.”

“I didn’t know you spoke German,” she laughed lightly.

Ryan missed her laugh, even if it was a nervous one.

“A little, you pick it up here and there.  I didn’t know you were so bad at communicating in foreign countries.”

“Well, Matt and Laura just left me here with Hotel Hitler.”

Now it was Ryan’s turn to laugh.  Cooper smiled with more ease.

“So, how are you?”

“Good,” Ryan’s eyes softened.  “The tour has been a big help.  It’s easy being single on the road.”

Cooper nodded, but really she wondered what he meant by that.  Easy to meet other women?  Easy because there’s no one to miss?  Or easy sleeping around?  That’s not Ryan, Cooper decided.  And she was right.  Ryan didn’t even “seal the deal”, as JT and Matt put it, with the British barmaid, though she made it extremely easy for him.

“How’s your uncle?  JT told me what happened,” Ryan looked concerned.

“He’s good.  I spoke to Dave last night, and he said Uncle Bill took a couple of steps yesterday.  He even got on the phone with me,” Cooper smiled.  “That made it easier for me coming here today.”

“I’ll bet,” Ryan nodded.

There was a good distance between them, and moments of silence, as if there was something important to be said.  Finally, not knowing where else to turn, Cooper spoke up about the one thing she knew would end the awkward moment quickly.

“Where’s JT?”

“Good question.  Did they call up?” he asked.

“Only Matt’s room, I think.”

The elevator dinged, and the doors opened.  Giggling escaped as Matt and Laura stepped off.

“There they are,” Ryan shook his head.

“Thanks for abandoning me,” Cooper huffed, crossing her arms over her chest.

“Aww, poor baby,” Matt threw his arms around her, and squeezed her.

“Can someone show me to JT’s room now?” Cooper asked, patting Matt’s back, as she feigned disgust.

He released her from the hug, and pointed to a door.  Laura and Matt grabbed her bags, and brought them into their room.

“Need some help?” Ryan asked.

“Yeah,” Cooper nodded.

Grabbing her luggage, Ryan walked to JT’s door with her.  Cooper knocked, and Ryan wanted to spare himself the “I’ve missed you” kiss about to come when JT answered.

“I’ll see you later, okay?”

Ryan brushed his hand across her shoulder deliberately, but in a friendly manner, and Cooper was surprised by the contact.  Anytime he touched her in any context, everything seemed to freeze around her.

“Okay,” she looked back at him, her stare lingering, as he began to walk away.

The door opened and before she knew what was happening, Cooper was pulled inside by two lean, but strong arms.  Ryan looked back to see JT drag Cooper into his room, and a steel weight dropped into the pit of his stomach.

JT attacked Cooper with passion, affection, and animalistic sexuality.  She allowed herself to be taken in by his need for pleasure.  After all, it had been almost two months since they’ve seen each other and she spent many nights thinking of JT, and how he’s done a good job of keeping her satisfied.  He ravaged her body with more intensity than ever, and she didn’t mind.

She wanted him just as bad, and needed the pace to be quick, to help force out the image of Ryan’s smile just moments earlier.  And though Cooper hadn’t thought about it all too much, JT’s sexual appetite, while it being something she appreciated about him, worried her.  All these weeks while JT was across the world, how does he fulfill that hunger?  How does he keep his passion minimized?  Somehow Cooper thinks their ministrations over the phone, and self-gratification wasn’t enough for him.

Cooper looked up into JT’s eyes as he lowered his lips to hers.  He nibbled on her bottom lip as he entered her, and she gasped out, clutching her nails into his back.  It had been too long, and suddenly, she needed to hear him say it.  She wanted to feel loved, and though JT was showing her physically, she was feeling emotionally disconnected from him, and from herself.

“I love you,” Cooper whispered.

JT didn’t respond as he climaxed, and merely kissed her instead.  Maybe he didn’t hear me? Cooper thought.  JT rested his head on her chest as they caught their breath.  After a moment, he moved his head to the pillow.

“Are you tired?”

“Yeah.”

“Take a nap, and then we’ll go to lunch,” he offered.

Cooper turned away from him, and a second later, JT wrapped an arm around her, which offered some comfort, but very little.  They barely spoke when he first pulled her into the room.  She flew across the world for him, and though she knew sex would be top priority, she hoped he would want to talk, too.  If Cooper’s first hour of her trip was any indication, talking wasn’t high up on JT’s “To Do List”.  She felt tears come to her eyes, and she closed her heavy lids, hoping they’d stop as she fell asleep.

After lunch, Cooper felt better.  She was rejuvenated after the nap and filling her stomach.  She assumed the distance from JT had gotten to her, and was putting crazy ideas in her head.

 

d

 

On the ride over to the concert venue that night, Cooper recalled JT holding her hand as they walked through the flea markets after lunch, and the antique jewelry box he surprised her with when they got back to the hotel.  Gestures like those made Cooper forget when he digressed back to a typical sexual male.

“Why are you so quiet?” JT asked.

“Just because,” she shrugged.

Ryan glanced at her from the corner of his eye, and saw JT kiss Cooper briefly.  He sighed; he suddenly felt claustrophobic.

“Sound Wave!  Sound Wave!”

Fans chanted in the distance, and Cooper looked out the van window in amazement.

“We’re so going to get killed,” Laura said as the van approached the venue, where hoards of fans waited.

Cooper looked back at JT with a bit of fear.  This wasn’t anything like America.  The European fans were twenty times wilder, more forceful, and would do just about anything to get the band’s attention.  Just as the van came to a stop, a girl in her late teens lifted her shirt and pressed her bare breasts against the window.  All five guys laughed and cheered.  The two girls in the car were absolutely appalled.

“Oh my Lord!” JT stared.

Cooper looked back at him, and gave him a smack.

“All I said was oh my Lord,” he laughed.

Laura was desperately trying to cover Matt’s eyes as Ryan laughed hysterically.

“Go grab them, Ry.  You’re the only single one left,” JT said.  “Do it for us.”

“Ryan, don’t you dare!” Cooper yelled, again slapping JT’s arm.

“You’re not his mother,” Matt laughed.

“Um, skank is not my type,” Ryan said, uncomfortably.  “Thanks guys.”

“Pussy!” Matt and JT shouted.

Ryan was used to the taunting of his friends.  He admits he was no angel, but everyone knew he had strong religious and moral beliefs.  Ryan found their musings to be childish, and something he expected.  Maybe he even enjoyed the teasing, just to be able to say “no” to whatever wild stunt JT and Matt wanted him to perform.  Ryan’s resistance made him feel like a better person.  John and Mike just laughed at the banter.

Cooper was increasingly feeling uncomfortable.  Though she couldn’t pinpoint what freaked her out more; being in a car with five rowdy guys while some stranger flashed them, or being in car with Ryan, who was being dared to touch that stranger.  She slumped down in her spot next to JT, who quickly sensed her discomfort.

“What’s with you tonight?” JT asked.

Cooper looked at him, “What?”

The van door was pulled open and the bodyguards helped escort everyone inside.  Fans clawed at anyone they could grab onto.  Cooper and Laura were a bit taken back.

“Stay close,” Ryan told them as he shook some fans’ hands, hurrying along toward the venue.

They walked inside out of harm’s way, and Cooper laughed.  The situation was completely surreal, and she wasn’t quite sure how anyone lived their life that way.

“That’s crazy.  You go through that all the time?”

“You get used to it,” Ryan chuckled.

“I don’t see how.”

“This is your first SW concert, isn’t it?” Mike asked.

“Yeah, I’m excited.”

“Ooh, Sound Wave virgin,” Ryan teased with a wink.

Cooper smiled, and continued to walk with Ryan and Mike.  She had lost sight of JT at some point from the van to the venue.  Suddenly, she heard his voice.

“Coop!”

She looked up, and he waved her over to him.  Cooper looked back at Ryan before jogging to catch up to JT.  He immediately put his arm around her.

“Are you going to tell me what’s wrong?”

“Nothing’s wrong, JT.”

He sighed loudly.

“I would think you could open up to me by now.”

He dropped his arm from around her, and they walked with a decent amount of space between them to the dressing rooms.

 

d

 

After the concert, everyone decided to grab a late dinner.  The restaurant they chose was quiet and empty, which was welcomed after being around thousands of screaming girls for two hours.  Cooper and JT sat across from each other, but didn’t offer much conversation or acknowledgement toward one another.

Everyone at the table picked up on the coldness between the couple, especially Ryan.  He wondered what happened.  Cooper looked on the verge of tears, and JT looked ready to fight.  Ryan couldn’t help but wonder if their conflict had anything to do with him, and he also couldn’t help but have the slightest bit of hope that it had everything to do with him.

Ryan was dying to connect with Cooper on any level.  He wanted to kiss her, or touch her in some way, but most of all, he just wanted to be able to talk to her freely, and not feel like it was wrong.  He glanced at JT, who was tapping his fork against the table cloth.

“That’s a little annoying, JT,” Mike told him.

“I don’t care.”

“What’s with you?” John asked.

“Ask her,” JT mumbled.

Cooper looked up at JT.

“Don’t be a baby,” Mike sighed.

Ryan wanted to speak up as well, but he thought better of it.

“I’m not the one who can’t tell my boyfriend why I’m being a bitch.”

“JT!” Everyone at the table yelled.

Cooper stood up from the table, and walked off toward the bathroom.

“Go after her, Rizz.  I know you want to,” JT said bitterly.

“Shut up, JT,” Ryan sighed, glancing toward where Cooper went.

JT was right, of course.  Ryan wanted nothing more than to comfort Cooper.  He also imagined himself returning JT’s punch from a couple of months ago right about then.

“What is your problem?” Matt asked.

“I have no clue,” JT relented, knowing he was out of line.

He wanted Cooper to trust him with her emotions and her thoughts.  He wanted to take their relationship to a deeper level, but felt her pull back every time.  He heard her say she loved him while they were having sex.  He wanted to say it back like he always did, but he was having a hard time believing her words.  Ever since Ryan’s wedding day disaster, JT has been feeling a tad insecure, with good reason.

Finally, JT stood up and waited for Cooper outside of the bathroom.  The hallway near the bathrooms were dimly lit, which made him feel like some sexual predator.  He waited five minutes, then ten; finally, Cooper opened the door.  JT grabbed her hand as she walked by.  Cooper jumped before yanking her hand away from his.

“I’m sorry.”

Even with the bad lighting, Cooper could see JT’s big brown eyes pleading her forgiveness.  He pulled her into a hug, and she didn’t fight him.

“I love you.”

Cooper’s tears fell onto his shirt, and he squeezed her tighter.

“Okay?” he asked, wanting her to believe his words.  “I love you.”

“Okay.”

Cooper cried as if she were a child, and as if her father was telling her he loved her after beating her; which happened to be the only vivid memories she had left of him.

“Want to go for a walk?” JT asked.

“I don’t know…” she pulled away, and JT wiped her tears.

He looked at her, and she pressed her lips against his.  The kiss turned them both on, and before JT knew what was happening, Cooper pulled him into the women’s bathroom.

“I want you,” Cooper shivered against the cool countertop, as she pulled herself onto it.

“This is crazy,” he laughed before his body crashed into hers.

Cooper could be turned on just as easily as JT, and he loved that about her.  He loved how one minute, she was insecure and modest, and the next she was wild and free, knowing the effect she had on him.  He related to Cooper in just about every way.  He knew her pain, though she never told him; he has felt the same pain before.  He understood her need for love and reassurance; he needed it just as much.

“Let’s finish dinner,” Cooper said pulling her shirt down her stomach a little while later.  “I’m starved.”

She fixed her make-up, and JT wrapped his arms around her from behind.

“You’re the most beautiful girl I’ve ever known,” JT kissed her shoulder.

“I bet you said that to the last girl you had sex with.”

“The last girl I had sex with was you.”

“Oh really?” Cooper asked.

JT’s arms dropped from around her.  Her mouth said she was joking, but Cooper’s eyes told another story.

“You think I’m sleeping around on you?”

“No…” Cooper shook her head.

JT just rolled his eyes, and held the bathroom door open for her.  They made their way back to the table, and again, everyone stared at them.

“Is the bathroom safe to go into now?” Laura asked.

The entire table erupted into laughter, including Cooper and JT.  Ryan didn’t find it funny, and John caught his look of discomfort.

 

d

 

The last night in Germany was a restless one for Cooper.  She lie awake in the dark with only the moonlight illuminating the room, casting shadows along the walls.  She closed her eyes, feeling unsettled as her mind played tricks on her.  She thought she saw something move in the darkness, but kept telling herself it was just her imagination.

JT slept soundly beside her.  She wanted to wake him up.  Instead, she mustered up the courage to reach out and turn on the lamp beside the bed.  JT wasn’t fazed by the new light in the room.

Cooper watched him for a moment.  It was hard to believe that it had been almost six months since they met.  She could barely remember her life before.  Cooper was a stranger, even to herself.  Or maybe she is still a stranger.

She almost felt like her relationship with JT wasn’t real; like they were two children playing house.  She was scared to lose him, though.  She liked the stranger she was now.  She is still unsure who she is, or what’s in her future, but it was easier being the stranger who had a boyfriend, family, and a steady life.  The person who changed her life constantly drove her insane and was always alone.

The feelings that came along with being JT Madden’s girlfriend were new and exciting.  He, she knew, had a great deal of respect for women.  She also knew, like her, JT came with his own fears and hang-ups.  He was flawed, and she related to him in many ways.  Maybe that’s why she was drawn to him.  He is his own mystery, which might have been what attracted him to her as well.

Unfortunately, after the initial thrill of a relationship like JT and Cooper’s wears off, reality begins to set in.  In many ways, they are still very much strangers to one another.  Cooper didn’t know all of JT’s favorite memories yet, or who his first love was, or which pair of his hundreds of sneakers were his “lucky” ones.  Nor did JT know about Cooper’s favorite ice cream flavor, or how she still has nightmares about her brother since he tried to commit suicide, or that she had never been in love, or even loved until him.

Cooper knew she wasn’t in love with JT; she knew it more so at that moment lying next to him than ever before.  She does love him, though.  She hated the way they acted the first night she arrived.  Obviously JT was just as insecure as she was.

Still unable to sleep, Cooper felt her stomach grumble.  She slid out of bed, careful not to wake JT.  She put her nightgown on, and pulled on a pair of leggings underneath.  She grabbed a sweat jacket and zipped it over the silk material of the nightgown.  Lastly, she put her slippers on.  She put her hair up in a clip, grabbed her purse, and headed out of the room.

 

d

 

Squirt lifted his leg on a tree outside of the hotel.  The small dog sniffed the ground immediately after.  Ryan tugged on his leash.

“Alright, come on, boy.”

Ryan could see his own breath as he spoke.  His nose was red from the cold, and he was getting antsy.  The dachshund woke Ryan up out of a sound sleep by pressing his wet nose against his cheek.  Squirt finally listened and trotted alongside Ryan back into the hotel.  He was thankful no fans were camped outside like they had been the nights before.

“Gute Nacht,” he waved to the doorman, picking Squirt up into his arms.

“Oooh, stupid slippers…”

Ryan heard a female voice that seemed to be embedded into his memory.  Searching the voice out, he looked toward the elevator and saw Cooper sliding her foot back into her slipper.  The warmth went back into his body, and suddenly, he wasn’t as tired as he thought.

“Cooper, hey…” Ryan walked toward her, taking her by surprise.

“What are you doing up?” she asked, meeting him halfway.

“Someone had to go to the bathroom,” he sighed.

Cooper glanced at Squirt and reached out to scratch his head.

“You didn’t have a bathroom in your room?  You had to go outside like some bohemian,”

Cooper sucked her teeth and shaking her head; teasing him.

Ryan chuckled and she smiled happily.  He noted the way she looked at that moment: hair piled on top of her head, no make-up, mismatched clothes.  She was never prettier.

“What are you doing up?  You had to walk JT?” Ryan chided her.

“Ha-ha,” she rolled her eyes playfully.  “He’s dead asleep while I…well, I can’t seem to find that comfort in this hotel.”

“Cooper…” Ryan looked at her.  “Do you still think this place is haunted?”

“I didn’t say that.”

She looked at him knowing she was busted.

“Okay, yes.  Happy?”

“You need me to protect you from Hitler’s ghost?”

“Do you think it could be him?” Cooper asked.

“No,” Ryan shook his head incredulously.

“Well, I’m kind of hungry.  You want to go into the café with me?”

“Why not?  I won’t be able to fall back asleep,” Ryan agreed.

Cooper and Ryan walked toward the left wing of the hotel and entered the small all night café.  A woman sat in the corner with a large cup of coffee and a notebook.  Other than her, they were the only customers in the place.  The young man behind the counter smiled at them as they approached him.

“How can I help you?”

“Thank God you speak English,” Cooper laughed.

His accent wasn’t too thick either.  Cooper and Ryan ordered, and he insisted on paying.  They sat down in the corner of the café in overstuffed chairs.  Ryan allowed Squirt to snuggle into his lap.

“He’s cute.  I guess you got custody?” Cooper wondered.

“Custody?” Ryan questioned.  “Oh, no, Squirt was mine all along.  Danielle just had to deal with him,” he laughed.  “She wasn’t really a dog person.”

“Why am I not surprised?” Cooper giggled.

“Alright, let’s not bash Dani.”

Ryan took a sip of his latte as he glanced around.

“I’m not bashing her.  I just can’t believe it took you so long to realize she was not the one.”

Cooper looked into Ryan’s eyes, and he almost smiled at her.

“I loved her.  That’s how,” Ryan shrugged.

“Oh, like you thought you loved me?”

Cooper wasn’t sure why she made that comment.  Maybe the lack of sleep was getting to her, or maybe she just wanted to hear Ryan’s answer.  He was taken back by Cooper’s forward statement.  Ryan was also a bit embarrassed.

“Or like you think you love JT?”

Ryan turned the tables on Cooper, and she glared at him.

“I do love JT,” she defended herself.

“Maybe, but you’re not in love.”

Was he reading my mind? Cooper wondered.

“That’s okay.  He’s not in love with you, either,”

The words weren’t meant to hurt Cooper, but despite her own feelings, they cut deeply.  At that moment, she realized she may never fall in love.  She might go through life like her mother, always getting her heart broken, or always running away.

Cooper looked down at her cup of coffee.  She didn’t cry or feel the need to, but she was hurt.  She debated on walking out of the café, and made a mental note not to speak to Ryan ever again, though she knew she would.  It seemed most times they spoke, one of them offended the other, and she wasn’t quite sure why.  Bitterness, maybe.

“I’m not trying to hurt you,” Ryan said softly.  “I just¾” he cut himself off.  “This is impossible,” he picked Squirt up and stood suddenly.  “I’m going to bed.”

Cooper glanced up at Ryan.

“Why is JT with me?”

He turned toward her.

“Is that a serious question?”

She nodded with a gulp.  Ryan stared into her eyes.

“Because you’re you.”

It seemed like a bogus answer, but the way Ryan said it, with such conviction, and tenderness, Cooper smiled.  Ryan walked back toward her.  He placed Squirt down in the seat before kneeling in front of Cooper.

“Don’t stay with someone you’re not in love with.  Somehow you’ll still break his heart, and you’ll be miserable trying to make yourself feel more than you do.”

“Ryan?”

Cooper’s eyes didn’t break from his.

“What?”

“Nothing,” she closed her eyes.

“Cooper, talk to me.”

He reached out and placed his hand on the side of her neck.  Cooper leaned into his touch.

“I ruin everything.”

“Don’t say that.”

“It’s true,” she sighed.  “I pushed away everything good in my life.  I’m doing it to JT, and I did it to you.”

“I’m still here,” Ryan smiled.  “JT is still here.”

He looked away for a second, dropping his hand.

“He’s a good guy.  He can be a great boyfriend, but trust me; he can be an even better friend,” Ryan stood up, grabbed Squirt, and looked back at Cooper.  “I’m here, no matter what.”

 

d

 

The streets of Paris bustled with shoppers.  Mike hurried into a jewelry store with JT following closely behind.  He walked right up to one of the jewelry cases, and pointed something out.

“That’s it.  What do you think?”

JT took a peek at a diamond bracelet that was absolutely gorgeous.  An admirer of jewelry himself, he was impressed.

“Wow, that’s beautiful.  Kelly will love it.”

“I think so.  She’s been so stressed at work,” Mike explained, as JT glanced around.  “I can tell she really needs me to be there, to ease that tension.  I just feel terrible.”

Mike continued, and JT nodded as he stepped over to the ring section.

“I know jewelry doesn’t make up for that, but I hope it cheers her up.”

“I’m sure it will, B.”

JT stared down at a collection of engagement rings.  Mike spoke to the jeweler for a moment, and he asked him to ship the bracelet to Orlando before paying for it.  He looked back toward JT, who was still staring intently at the jewelry case.  Mike walked over and followed where his eyes were looking.  Confused, Mike stared at him.

“JT, what are you doing?”

He sighed, and looked up at Mike.

“Just looking.”

“Are you thinking of proposing?”

Mike hoped JT wouldn’t rush into marriage, especially not after Ryan backed out of his.

“No,” JT glanced back at the rings, and then at Mike.  “Not in this lifetime.”

“Are you okay?”

Mike was concerned.  JT had been upbeat since meeting Cooper, until recently that is.  Cooper hasn’t exactly been the poster girl for happiness either.

“I don’t know,” JT looked at him, deep in thought.  “You know, I just keep pushing this love thing, and I move so damn fast, and I get past the gaga phase, and it just falls apart right before my eyes,” JT said sullenly.  “Is it me?”

“JT, what’s going on with you and Cooper?”

“Nothing.  Absolutely nothing.”

JT walked out of the store, and Mike followed.

“Maybe you should talk to her.”

“I’m through talking.  I’m just done, man.”

Mike tried to keep up with JT’s speed.  He was worried about him.  Mike knew JT for most of his life, and he knew when he was about to do something stupid.  When JT was hurt, he was destructive, and Mike wished he would see that after all these years.

Mike sat by and watched JT nearly drink himself to death, helplessly.  He sat by and watched him ruin his relationship with Anna, too.  He had introduced Anna to JT, thinking they would hit it off, and he was right.  Anna was the head of a charity Mike and Kelly continuously worked with.  She was a good person, and she loved JT with all she had, but he was afraid and broke her heart in the end.

 

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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.
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any electronic or mechanical means, including information storage and retrieval systems, without permission in writing from the author, except by a reviewer who may quote brief passages in a review.

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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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