Lost In You - Chapter 5
Chapter 4 Preview: The morning after the wedding, Cooper finds out a secret about Ryan that changes her mind about him.

The morning after the wedding, Dave knocked on Cooper’s door repeatedly. It was just past ten and he was curious to hear about Cooper’s trip to the hospital.


“Come in,” she grumbled, tossing her head back and forth against her pillow.


Dave opened the door and Cooper looked up at him pouting.


“How are you feeling, cuz?”
“I don’t know what hurts more: my ankle or my head,” she groaned as she sat up slowly.
“Sorry you had a bad night,” he said, sitting on her bed.


“Who said anything about a bad night?” Cooper asked, allowing a smirk to form.
Dave raised an eyebrow, “You mean your emergency room experience with a pop star wasn’t all bad?”
“Ryan is like…” Cooper said looking at the ceiling, “heavenly.”


He laughed, “You did not just say that. You?  Talk about heaven?”
“I believe in heaven, Dave,” she sighed.
“Whatever. So is this like innocent love at first sight or did you two…do something last night?” Dave asked worriedly.
“David!” Cooper laughed, “We kissed, kinda.”
“Well, he was shy about it, and it was really just a peck,” Cooper shrugged. “It was cute.”
“And what about JT?” Dave wondered.


Cooper shrugged again.


“He was asking a lot about you when he came to Kelly’s sister’s late last night.”


Cooper smiled, “He’s a cool guy, but I don’t know…Ryan’s just so…I can’t explain it.”
“Well, since I have to go back home on Saturday and this hotel will cost you a fortune, JT offered you a place to stay for the next couple of weeks,” Dave said nonchalantly.
“What?” Cooper gasped, sitting up again.
“Yeah, at his mom’s house.”


“And what did you say to that?”
“I told him thank you?” He said, looking at her like she was crazy.  “What was I supposed to say?”
“This is so weird,” she shook her head to herself.
“Why is it weird?”
“I came here for moral support for you, not to be hooked up.”
“Whoa, I do not need moral support. I’ve been over Kelly for how long now?” Dave asked, rolling his eyes.
“Still, it had to hurt seeing her walk down the aisle with someone rich and famous,” Cooper teased.


Dave grabbed a pillow and hit her with it hard.
“Bitch,” he said before jumping off the bed. “Come and get me!”


He laughed and stuck his tongue out at her, relishing in the fact that she couldn’t chase him.

“Jerk,” Cooper huffed. “Get me breakfast,” she ordered.
“Say please.”
“Please,” she grinned at him.


Cooper’s cell phone began ringing and she glanced around the room for it. Dave picked her purse up from the floor where the sound was coming from.  Cooper nodded her approval and he grabbed the phone out of the purse.  He glanced at the caller I.D.

“It’s lover boy.”


Dave raised an eyebrow and tossed the phone in her lap. Cooper clicked the “talk” button and put the phone up to her ear.  Dave stood there ready to listen in on her phone conversation.


“Go,” she whispered, shooing him with her hand.
“Where we goin’ darlin’?” Ryan chuckled through the phone.
“Ryan, hi. I was talking to someone else,” Cooper said embarrassed as she shooed Dave away once again.


He rolled his eyes and walked out of the room.

“Is this a bad time?”
“No. What’s up?”


She felt butterflies in her stomach as if she were a silly teenager all over again.


“I’m just checking up on my favorite klutz.”
“Shut up,” Cooper laughed.


“How ya feelin’?” He asked in a more serious tone.
“The ankle hurts. My head hurts,” she groaned. “I’m going to take some Advil and my prescription¾”
“About that…” Ryan interrupted. “You can’t take your prescription.”


“Why not Doctor…” Cooper said trying to be witty, but realized she didn’t even know his last name. “Dr. Ryan,” she concluded.
Ryan laughed, “Latham. My last name is Latham. And you can’t take your prescription because you don’t have it. It’s in the rental car, which I have to bring back to you anyway.”


“Oh, so I guess you have to see me again whether you want to or not,” Cooper teased.
“I guess so,” Ryan said, purposely sounding annoyed. “I thought I was making a clean getaway, too.”


“What time should I expect you?”
“Give me about thirty minutes,” he said.


Cooper grimaced to herself.


“Only if you give me about forty-five.”
“On top of my thirty?” he asked with a laugh.
“Hey, I’m practically crippled. I’ll be moving slowly.”
“Why do you need over an hour?”
“Nosey much. Maybe because I just woke up and I’m sure there is make-up dried up on my face.”
“Eh, I like the living dead look. It’s sexy,” Ryan teased. “I rather you not be in pain.”
“I can deal with it for a little while. At least I carry aspirin in my purse,” Cooper assured him.


“Why do girls do that?”
“Um, you don’t want to know.”
“Being a woman sucks that much, huh?” Ryan chuckled.
“Basically, yeah.”


After hanging up with Ryan, Cooper pulled the blanket back and slithered out of the bed. She grabbed her crutches and wondered how she’d manage to get ready.


“Dave?” she called out, but he was nowhere to be found.


She figured he took her advice and went to get breakfast. She made her way into the bathroom and hobbled to the toilet before washing her face in the sink. She then took a quick shower, being extra careful not to injure her ankle any further. By the time Cooper was dressed, Dave was back with breakfast. She fussed with her hair and make-up as he kept calling to her. She limped over to the table and started eating.


“Being on crutches is so not fun,” she sighed.


Dave nodded before taking a bite out of his pancakes.


“So what are you doing today?”
“What do you want to do?” Cooper wondered.
“Well, I kind of have plans already.”
“Just ditch me, why don’t ya?” Cooper gasped.
“I’m not saying you can’t come. Your ankle might not be cut out for a boat trip though,” Dave laughed.


“Boat trip? You rented a boat?”
“No. I’m going to Miami for the day with Matt.”
“Matt?” Cooper questioned.
“Yeah, as in Matt Porter. The tall, blond heartthrob one as you put it?”
“I remember who Matt is, thanks,” she said sarcastically.


“He invited me, John and Carmella to his dad’s place. He’s got like five boats or some shit,” Dave explained.
“I wish I could go,” Cooper pouted.  “But you’re right — a boat trip isn’t exactly following the doctor’s orders.”
“Don’t worry; you’ll have all day with lover boy now.”
“Do not say things like that in front of Ryan, please,” Cooper rolled her eyes.


Music notes


Just as Ryan got off the elevator his cell phone rang. He sighed and answered it.


“Bro, where are ya?” John asked.
“Are you keepin’ tabs on me?” Ryan asked, shaking his head to himself.
“I knocked on your door five minutes ago to see if you want to chill with me and Matt in Miami.”
“Nah, it’s okay.”


“Well, what are ya doin’?”
“I’m dropping off Dave and Cooper’s rental car at their hotel.”
“John, I’m not doing anything wrong,” he said, clenching his jaw.


“You sure ’bout that?”

“Yep, pretty sure. So can you mind your business now?”
“Bye,” John said hanging up abruptly.


Ryan put the phone in his pocket and proceeded down the hall.  He let out a deep breath before knocking on the door. A few seconds later, Dave opened the door. The two men shook hands before Dave welcomed Ryan inside the room.


“Good morning,” Cooper said with a bright smile from where she now sat on the couch.


Ryan returned the smile and it just seemed to make Cooper smile more. He held up the paper bag with the prescription in it.


“In desperate need of these yet?”
“Almost desperate,” Cooper nodded.
“I should get going,” Dave announced.
“Wait, how are you meeting Matt?”
“He’s supposed to pick me up here in like ten minutes. You guys have fun.”


Dave grabbed his wallet and key.  He left the room, leaving Cooper and Ryan in a slightly awkward silence.


“Can I have my medication, please?” Cooper asked with her hand out.
“What do I get for it?” Ryan teased.
“Come here and find out,” she smiled.


Despite his teasing, Ryan handed her the medication without any fight.  She wanted him to kiss her, since she left the opportunity open, but he turned away from her quickly.  He pretended to be interested in a framed painting on the wall.


“JT wants me to bring you to his mom’s place.”
“Well, we figured it’s better we get you set up there now, so you don’t have to worry about it at the end of the week,” Ryan explained, meeting her eyes.


“I have to pack then.”

“Alright, I’ll help,” Ryan smiled.  “Where’s your underwear?” he asked.

“Why?  You want to try them on?”

Ryan laughed, “I will if you will.”


He immediately regretted what he said.  He kept reminding himself to stop flirting with Cooper.


“I’d love to see you in women’s underwear.  It’s really attractive,” she said sarcastically.


Ryan helped Cooper gather her things and took her suitcases down to the car for her.  He came back up to the room to help Cooper into the elevator.


“We should play basketball later in the week,” Ryan said, knowing it was an odd request to ask a girl.  He wanted to make plans with Cooper, but he wasn’t sure how to ask her.  Basketball seemed safe and not at all like a date.  Cooper looked up at him and laughed.



“Do you like sports?” he asked.

“I do love basketball.”

“Good,” Ryan smiled.

“Um, question… How do you expect me to play?”

“Wheelchair basketball,” he shrugged.


“We don‘t have wheelchairs,” Cooper pouted.

“I’ll find a couple,” he assured her.

She laughed and nodded, “Deal.”


Silence filled the car as Ryan drove.  Cooper glanced out the window at the passing palm trees.


“I could definitely see myself living out here.”

Ryan looked over at her, “Well, maybe you’ll get me to visit here more often then.”


Cooper smiled bashfully.


“Oh really?”

“Maybe.  If you’re nice to me,” Ryan shrugged.

“Oh, don’t do me any favors.  Just because you’re in Sound Wave doesn’t mean I’m drooling over here,” she rolled her eyes.


Ryan laughed and was a bit surprised.


“Do you think my ego is as big as Matt’s?”

“I don’t know.  I don’t really know him or you, for that matter,” Cooper reasoned.  “For all I know you can be an arrogant Hollywood snob,” she shrugged.

“And last night didn’t prove that wrong to you?”

“Hmm…” Cooper thought for a second.  “No.”


Ryan gasped, “Are you serious right now?”


Cooper shrugged and Ryan suddenly pulled the car over.


“What are you doing?”

“I thought I was a perfect gentleman last night.”

“Ryan, don’t you know when a girl is teasing you?” Cooper laughed.

“Well, I don’t really know you,” Ryan shot back at her, like she had done to him.

“You’re not the only one with a sense of humor,” Cooper said proudly.


Ryan smiled at her and she studied his features.  He did the same to her.  He wanted nothing more than to kiss her, even more so than he did last night.  Instead, he reached down to switch gears, but Cooper put her hand over his.


Cooper had never made the first move on a guy.  Sure, she’s flirted quite a bit, but never has she been the first to kiss a man or ask someone out.  For some reason though, Ryan made her feel bold and secure.  Plus, she couldn’t resist him any longer and thought his shy manner in their flirtations was adorable.


Ryan froze as Cooper’s hand covered his.  John was right; he was playing a dangerous game.  Ryan swallowed a lump in his throat as Cooper’s eyes burned into his.  He glanced at her lips and he wanted to pull them against his, but he just couldn’t.  That didn’t seem to matter, though, because Cooper was leaving him with no place to go.  Part of him was grateful for that, but another part of him knew he should push her away.  He didn’t; for some reason he couldn’t.


Cooper’s lips softly pressed against Ryan’s at first.  As if on cue, they both parted their lips and before they knew it, their tongues were meeting each other for the first time.  Ryan fell deeper into the kiss than he had anticipated.  His inhibitions were gone as he ran his left hand through Cooper’s wavy hair.  He slid his other hand along her waist, feeling the curve that was there before pulling her closer.  Their seatbelts held them back from getting any closer as the bands dug into their chests; straining against them.


The longer the kiss lasted, the more it felt right.  Nothing either of them had ever experienced felt quite like this pure kiss they were stuck in.  As they separated, Ryan opened his eyes slowly and looked into Cooper’s once more.  Suddenly, reality crashed down around him.  He quickly turned toward the road again.  He peeled back out onto the highway.  Ryan seemed as though something was wrong.  Cooper wondered why.  Her only thought was the kiss.  How could something so perfect for me be wrong for him?  She thought.  As the butterflies in her stomach scattered, an awkward discomfort replaced them.  She felt stupid for kissing Ryan now, as if she’d been making a fool of herself since last night.


Ryan didn’t utter a word.  He was robotic as he drove, and Cooper was too ashamed to even bother to make small talk or attempt to kill the silence with the radio.  She just stared out the window with her hand over her forehead.  The yellow lines along the road seemed to be endless and were almost hypnotizing.  Cooper felt her eyes fall into a daze and she was grateful for that.  She just wished her mind would drop out as well.


“We’re here,” Ryan announced after he turned the car off.


Cooper snapped out of the fog she was in.


“Thank God,” she said with a purposeful attitude.


She opened the car door and got out quickly, completely forgetting about her ankle.


“Shit!” Cooper yelled, almost falling, but grabbing onto the roof of the car as she winced in pain.


Ryan quickly got out of the car to help her.


“Are you okay?” he asked.

Cooper didn’t answer him as Ryan sat her back down into the car.  Tears of pain were in her eyes.  Ryan pulled the crutches out of the backseat and helped her up.  He started to walk with Cooper up the path to the house.  There was such an awkward silence that neither of them knew how to break.  I should apologize, Ryan thought.  I’m such an ass. He shook his head as he looked over at Cooper, who stared at the ground.


Ryan rang the doorbell and a short, middle-aged woman opened the door a few moments later.  JT has her eyes, Cooper realized immediately.


“Ryan!” she shouted.



Ryan returned her greeting and hugged the small woman tightly.  Cooper decided to put on her “happy” face.  She didn’t want to let Ryan know he got to her and she certainly didn’t want to make a scene.


“You must be Cooper,” the woman turned to her suddenly.

“Hi, it’s nice to meet you,” Cooper smiled and stuck her hand out.

“I’m Joyce, Jamie’s mother,” she said shaking Cooper’s hand.

“Jamie?” Cooper questioned.  “Oh, JT,” she realized, feeling a bit stupid.

“He’ll always be Jamie to me,” Joyce smiled with a wink.


Cooper felt warmth in her presence.  There was some kind of familiarity when she looked at Joyce’s face.


“Thank you so much for letting me stay here,” Cooper said as Joyce welcomed her and Ryan inside her home.

“Oh sweetie, don’t even mention it,” Joyce patted her shoulder.


Cooper glanced around the condo.  There was a ton of open space, and ceiling fans in every room.  Joyce seemed to favor Asian styled furniture and placement.


“Does your son always push off strangers on you?” Cooper laughed.

“He’s the one who’s strange,” Ryan chuckled.


Joyce nodded along with him.


“Cooper!” JT yelled, trotting past his mother.


He kissed Cooper’s cheek before taking her hands in his.  He kissed each hand as well.  Ryan rolled his eyes at JT’s actions.


“How’s the ankle?”

“Hurts,” Cooper shrugged.


She wasn’t even supposed to be on the crutches at all for a few days.  The doctor wanted her to stay in bed, but Cooper was willing to risk making her ankle worse to spend time with Ryan—who just rejected her!  She felt like such an airhead!


“While I’m here, I’m your personal slave,” JT winked with a smirk.


Cooper raised an eyebrow.


“Oh Jamie, cut the charm,” Joyce laughed.  “He lays it on thick, huh?”

Cooper laughed, “Yeah, but it’s a nice change.”


She looked back toward Ryan briefly.  JT caught the awkward look, but ignored it.


“Where are your things?”

“I got it,” Ryan announced protectively.

“Rizz, it’s okay–”

“I said I got it, JT,” he said tensely.


He walked out of the house hastily.  JT looked at Cooper.


“What’s with him?”

“I wish I knew,” Cooper sighed.

“Did something happen?”

Cooper laughed, “You could say that.  But more like something didn’t happen.”


Joyce and JT looked at each other.


“Don’t worry about it,” Cooper waved her hand at them.  “Are you sure it’s okay that I stay here?”


She still felt a bit strange about the arrangement.


“Hey, a friend of my son’s is always welcome here,” Joyce said.


Just then, the phone rang.  Joyce excused herself to answer it.


“Does she know we just met last night?” Cooper asked in a whisper.

“Not a clue,” JT grinned.  “So, would you like the tour?”

“JT…” Cooper whined.  “I don’t feel right about this.”


“Coop, it’s no big deal.  I just don’t want my mom thinking I picked you up off the street,” he explained.  “Come on, I’ll show you around.”


Ryan walked back into the house a moment later with the suitcases.  No one was in sight.  Joyce came out from the kitchen and smiled at him.


“Where should I put them?” he asked pointing to the luggage.

“The guesthouse.”


Joyce led the way out the side door off the kitchen.  Once they walked inside the guesthouse, Joyce turned toward Ryan.


“What’s the deal with this girl?”

“What do you mean?”


Was it that obvious?  He wondered.


“Well, there’s some tension between you and my son.  I thought maybe Cooper had something to do with it,” Joyce explained.

“JT definitely has a thing for her,” Ryan confessed.

“I realize that, but that seems to disturb you.”

“It doesn’t,” he lied.


Joyce decided to drop the topic for the moment.


“How’s the planning going?”

“Slow,” Ryan sighed.  “And now with the next album coming out so soon, I don’t know what we’re going to do.”


“It’ll work out,” Joyce assured him, with a motherly pat on the shoulder.


JT showed Cooper every inch of the house and saved the guesthouse for last.


“Coop?” he asked, looking over at her as he stood close in case she needed help walking.


“Will you go out with me tonight?”


Cooper looked at him only slightly surprised.  He was straight to the point, and Cooper appreciated that.




She smiled and JT laughed before kissing her cheek.  Cooper did want to go out with JT, but she still felt not only horrible about what happened with Ryan, but awkward.  She wondered what Ryan’s issue was.  He seemed like such an amazing guy.  Too good to be true, Cooper realized to herself.


She’ll just have to get over it.  She was already angry she let herself get caught up in Ryan in just one day.  In a way, Cooper was grateful for the way things turned out.  She knew she wasn’t in control last night or this morning, and that scared her.


When Cooper and JT made it into the guesthouse, Ryan was on the phone as Joyce straightened up a few things.  Ryan was speaking in a hushed tone that sounded annoyed.


“Is that Danielle?” JT shouted and Ryan waved his hand at him to be quiet.  “Tell her that her fiancé is PMSing today,” he snickered to himself.


Cooper looked at JT unsure of what to make of that comment.

“Who’s Danielle?” she asked, not caring that she was being nosy.

“Ryan’s fiancée,” he said casually as if it were no big deal.


However, to Cooper it was a huge deal that explained a lot.  Her throat went dry as she spoke.


“Ryan’s engaged?”

“Yeah,” JT nodded as he looked at her strangely.  “He didn’t tell you?”


Cooper shook her head slowly and looked at Ryan.  He had just hung up the phone and turned toward them.  Just from the way Cooper was looking at him, Ryan could tell she knew.  She had a mixed expression of anger and pain on her face.  He felt worse now than he did before.


“I think I’m going to get going,” he announced.  “Can I talk to Cooper alone for a minute?”


Cooper was surprised by Ryan’s request.  She assumed he’d make a quick getaway from any confrontation with her.  Joyce and JT walked into the bedroom, both curious to know what was going on.  JT had an idea of what might have happened, but poor Joyce was confused as ever.  Who was this mystery woman?


The sun shone through the blinds in the living room, highlighting Ryan’s already golden hair.  Cooper looked up into his eyes for the first time since they kissed.


“Cooper, I’m sorry –” he started.

“You’re getting married?”

“Yeah,” he nodded.

“That just slipped your mind last night and this morning?”

Ryan sighed, “I don’t know why I didn’t tell you.”


“Well, maybe you should ask yourself that question then.”

“Maybe I should,” he agreed.  “Look, I’m not going to lie and say I’m not attracted to you.”


“So it wasn’t my kissing?” Cooper asked sarcastically.  “You almost gave me a complex, but now I realize you’re just an asshole,” she said bitterly.


Ryan hung his head down and nodded; again, not being able to disagree.


“I really wanted to get to know you.”

“Why?  What good would it do?” she asked in a high pitched tone.

“Because… you’re interesting and seem like someone I want to be friends with.”


She laughed, “Just friends, Ryan?”

“Yes,” he said, knowing that he was definitely thinking of more than friends when they kissed.

“Fine, we can be friends or whatever,” Cooper said not believing she’d ever see him again after this week.


Ryan smiled and hugged Cooper.  He did want to get to know her, but he didn’t know why.  An engaged man does not befriend a mysterious, attractive woman he meets at a wedding without ulterior motives.  Ryan knew what he was doing was wrong, but he just couldn’t fight the feeling that he needs to know Cooper.  She wasn’t like any girl he had met before.


Cooper was definitely pretty, but not typically.  She wasn’t some blonde bombshell that makes men fall at her feet.  She was cute at first sight, with soft features, and an easy smile, but once she starts talking, there’s a way about her—a flirtatious banter that suddenly grabs a man’s attention.


Her personality was far from typical as well.  She constantly contradicted herself and shifted moods easily.  One second she’ll blow a situation off and the next she’s over-analyzing it down to the tiniest detail.  Ryan found all of this information out about Cooper last night and he was sure there was so much more he would be fascinated about.



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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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