Lost In You - Chapter 10
Chapter 10 Preview: Impulsive and insecure Cooper Jackson accompanies her cousin to a wedding where she meets Sound Wave, a famous boy band.

A re-run of “I Love Lucy” was on television as the ceiling fan spun overhead.  JT’s arm hung loosely around Cooper’s neck, and his leg wrapped around her from behind.  He shoveled popcorn into his mouth as they watched TV.  The show went to a commercial, and Cooper glanced at JT’s foot dangling off the couch.

“You need a pedicure,” she commented.

JT lifted his other foot from the floor, and glanced at it.  Cooper looked back at him, and he pouted.

“Are you saying my feet are ugly?”

“They could look better if you got a pedicure,” she smiled teasingly.

“Do they turn you off?”

“Well, they don’t turn me on.”

JT laughed, and grabbed his crotch crudely.

“This turns you on.”

Cooper gasped and smacked him.

“You’re gross,” she turned away from him, and he tickled her. “Stop!” she squealed.

JT continued tickling Cooper, and she slapped the popcorn bowl by accident.  The popcorn spilled all over them, and the floor.

“Now look what you did!” JT teased, still tickling her.

Cooper shimmied onto the floor from the couch, trying to get away from JT.  He quickly got on the floor as well, and pinned her down.  They heard the popcorn crunch underneath them, and they both laughed.  JT leaned down, and pressed his lips to Cooper’s.  Once JT let go of her hands, Cooper started to pull his shirt up.  JT pulled his mouth away from hers, and helped her take his item of clothing off.

“Mmm…” Cooper smiled as JT nibbled on her collarbone.  “We’re animals.”

“Grr, baby,” he said in a British accent before kissing her again.

“We haven’t left the bed in two days.”

She ran her hands up and down JT’s back.

“That’s not true.  We’re on the floor right now,” he smiled, and she rolled her eyes.  “We were on the kitchen table last night…”

Cooper laughed before rolling him over, and pinning him down this time.

“We are getting pedicures today,” Cooper declared.

“Hell no,” JT laughed, squeezing her behind.

Cooper pulled her shirt over her head and unclasped her bra before throwing both garments to the side.  She grabbed JT’s hands and placed them on her.

“Are you sure?” she asked him with a raised brow.

JT smirked, “Fine, you win.”

Cooper grinned before she lay on top of him.

 

d

 

Fans lined up around the block anticipating meeting one of the greatest musical groups of their time.  Sound Wave paraphernalia adorned their bodies from t-shirts to hats to jewelry.  The crowd seemed to grow by the minute.  By the time the band pulled up to Virgin Records in Orlando, it was pandemonium.  Girls swarmed the van, and slammed their hands against the windows.

“Whoa…” Matt laughed.  “This is a good sign.”

“I didn’t expect this,” John stared out the window.

The van turned around the corner as a dozen girls ran after it.  The fans lost momentum a bit, and the van was able to park in the back of the store.  Quickly, Sound Wave and their crew filed out of the van and ran into the record store just moments before their devout following caught up to them.

The autograph signing was in full swing within the next hour.  The band was pleasantly surprised their fans stuck by them during their break.  Ryan glanced over at JT as he flirted with two twenty-something-year-old fans.  Ryan felt awkward around his buddy now.  He managed to hide it pretty well, but he hated the feeling in his stomach when JT spoke about Cooper, whether sexually or as someone he may turn into a girlfriend.

Ryan hated the effect JT had over women, too.  Sure, he wasn’t the best looking guy, but he was JT.  Those who knew him understood that’s all that needed to be said.  Women of all ages were charmed easily by his big smile, huge heart, individuality, and irresistible sexuality.  With just a thrust of his hips on stage, the girls screamed as if JT stripped completely naked.

Ryan never had that kind of power.  Maybe he never wanted it.  Ryan was the funny man.  He and Mike were dubbed the sweet ones.  The title was good enough, but once in a while Ryan liked to be desired the way JT was.  He didn’t always want to be the good Christian boy any grandmother would be proud of her granddaughter for marrying.

Competition between he and JT, nor any other member of the band never truly bothered Ryan before.  It was all in good fun and jest; it wasn’t to be taken seriously.  Ryan knew each member of the band received their fair share of attention, but since Cooper came into the picture, Ryan finds himself harboring feelings of jealousy and resentment toward JT.

“Oh my God!  Matt, you’re so hot!” A crazed fan yelled as she approached him.

Matt looked over at Ryan and laughed.  He was always labeled “the cute one”, since day one of Sound Wave.  It may have bothered JT back then since he and Matt were only two years apart in age.  In fact, they came to fists a few times as kids over the spotlight or girls.  John always broke it up and brought both boys’ egos back down.  Now, JT and the rest of the guys teased Matt about their fans’ giddiness toward the blonde haired, blue eyed heartthrob.

“Thank you!” Matt smiled.  “You’re hot, too.”

He kissed the girl’s cheek and she grabbed onto him, hugging the life out of him.  After not letting go for a few minutes, a bodyguard stepped over and pried the girl off Matt.  He wasn’t even fazed by it.  This was normal.

 

d

 

After a day filled of promotional appearances, it was time for Sound Wave to unwind.  The band went their separate ways for a couple of hours to take naps and freshen up.  By seven pm, they were getting ready to head over to Mike and Kelly’s house.  Kelly had invited everyone in Florida that she and Mike knew.

“Baby, the caterer is here!” Mike yelled.

Kelly hurried down the stairs in her heels.  She loved to throw parties, and was extremely organized and detailed with them.  Mike knew to stand back and let her do it her way.  He helped when she asked him to.  For their wedding, Kelly enjoyed every moment of the planning process, and included Mike to make sure it was what they both wanted.

“The dining room is right over here,” Kelly led the caterer’s staff into another room.

As they waited for everyone to arrive, Kelly and Mike sat on the couch enjoying being in each other’s arms for one more night.  The band was flying out the next afternoon.

“Ryan’s wedding is next month,” Kelly said in slight disbelief.

“I know.  It’s weird.”

“Why?  They’ve been together for a while.”

“Well, for someone who wanted to get married so badly, Ryan hasn’t spoke much about the wedding in the past few months.”

“Maybe he thinks it’s bad luck.”

“Maybe,” Mike shrugged.  “Do you like Danielle?”

“She’s nice,” Kelly paused, “to me anyway.”

Mike laughed, “Matt can’t stand her.”

“She’s a little too uptight for him.”

“Yeah, for Ryan, too.”

“What?” Kelly wondered what he meant.

“Danielle’s always so serious.  Ryan is always making jokes.  They‘re not exactly a perfect match.”

“I guess opposites attract?” She suggested.

“I guess.”

Mike often thought about if he were a woman, he’d be like Kelly.  They both shared the same values, likes, dislikes, and love of a good home.  There were quite a few differences between them as well.  Kelly was more outgoing and straightforward with people while Mike held back some of his personality, especially around new people.

Ryan and Danielle were a different couple altogether.  Danielle was too forthcoming for Ryan.  He was easygoing while she was high-strung.  Ryan loved sports and Danielle didn’t want anything to do with them.  She often gave Ryan a hard time about watching basketball on TV, even though there were two other televisions in their home.  Mike didn’t want to say Ryan and Danielle weren’t compatible, but they were definitely not a match made in heaven either.

The doorbell rang and Kelly jumped up with excitement.  Mike laughed, and grabbed her hand before she ran off.  He stood up as well and pulled Kelly into him.  After kissing her, he whispered in her ear something about staying up late after everyone left.  Kelly nodded and kissed him again.  They both lost themselves a bit and the doorbell rang again.  Kelly pulled Mike along with her to greet their guests.

 

d

 

The modern, over-sized condo was crowded with friends and family.  Mike mingled, but never kept Kelly too far from his side, wanting to make the most of his time with her.

Ryan watched how Kelly and Mike were together.  They were perfectly balanced, and that fit Mike’s personality.  He was happy Mike found someone like Kelly, and thought about his own relationship with Danielle.

Ryan couldn’t quite get a good picture of her in his mind.  Sure, he could remember the color of her eyes and hair as well as the tiny scar on her chin; those things were embedded into his memory.  Danielle’s smile after they would kiss was vague; the way her eyes looked when she was happy wasn’t anywhere in his mind anymore.  That bothered him.  She was his fiancée, and there was a time that he looked at her the way Mike was looking at Kelly.

Cooper is right, Ryan thought.  He had to find the reason he loved Danielle, and make it work.  Just then, JT and Cooper walked through the door.  Various guests made a big deal over JT—he was usually the life of any party.  Mike’s sister hugged JT, and she was re-introduced to Cooper.  Ryan sighed.  They looked happy together.  He noticed their hands entwined, and his heart wrenched.  Let her go, he reminded himself.  If he didn’t do it for Danielle’s sake, or his own, or even for Cooper, he had to do it for JT.

Though JT had been playing the field for some time now, Ryan could tell when he was falling for someone.  JT was pretty obvious about it, and the signs were definitely there.  He would slip Cooper’s name into almost every conversation he had, and he talked about quitting smoking again.  Ryan worried about Cooper and JT hurting each other.  JT had a bad history and Cooper¾she was kissing him a few nights ago.  Ryan studied Cooper as she smiled while meeting new people.  Every once in a while, she turned toward JT, and her smile brightened.  Again, Ryan’s heart lurched.  Cooper was gone.

“Hey Rizz!” Matt yelled.

Matt made his way over to Ryan, pulling Laura’s hand with him so he didn’t lose her in the crowd.

“Hey,” Ryan smiled, and kissed Laura’s cheek.

“This is a small party?” Laura asked with a laugh.

“No party is small with Kelly,” Matt assured her.

“I don’t think I’m going to stay long,” Ryan announced.  “I’m tired, and we have to fly out tomorrow…”

Matt sighed, “Ry…”

Ryan gave Matt a look of warning as if to say, “Not in front of Laura”.  Matt asked Laura if she could give them a minute, and she happily obliged.

“You’re going to have to get used to this.”

“I know, Matt,” Ryan sighed.  “I’m just messed up.”

“What are you going to do?”

“I’m taking Danielle away the day after Christmas,” Ryan said.  “I asked Kelly to book us a flight.”

“Do you think a vacation is going to solve your problems?”

“I don’t know.  I have to try,” Ryan sighed.

JT and Cooper came over to them, and Ryan turned more uncomfortable.  Cooper felt JT’s arm wrap around her waist, and she welcomed it by pressing herself closer to him.  She was subconsciously telling Ryan she was moving on.  He received the message loud and clear.  Cooper made a conscious decision that she wouldn’t go against her morals.  She would not be a cheat like her father.  Most of all, she did not want to hurt JT; he has done too much for her.

“Did you bring anyone tonight?” JT asked Matt.

Matt smiled childishly and nodded.

“Was it any of our fans from the meet and greet?  That one girl latched onto you, and I thought she’d hug you to death,” JT laughed.

Cooper giggled, and glanced over at Ryan.  She could tell he wasn’t in the conversation.  She didn’t want him to feel uncomfortable, but she needed to allow him to let go of her.  She looked back at JT as he and Matt spoke.

“No way.  No psychos for me, thanks,” Matt chuckled.  “I’m with Laura.”

“Oh, the chick from the other day?”

“Yeah.”

“I’m impressed, Porter.”

“Why?”

“She’s a fan.  You don’t usually date them on a regular basis,” JT explained.  “Unless this is another Shelly, Jen, and Amanda situation.”

“Who are they?” Cooper asked.

“These chicks that lived in different areas.  Every time Matt came to their town, they’d hook up.  They were like booty calls in different states.  Big time groupies,” JT said.

Matt laughed, “I don’t consider Laura a groupie or a booty call.”

“Yeah, right,” JT laughed.

“Actually, we didn’t even sleep together yet,” Matt informed him.

“Whoa,” JT laughed.  “Can’t close the deal?” he teased.

Cooper smacked JT’s stomach, and he laughed again.

“It’s not that…” Matt started.  “I don’t want her to think¾I’m not using her,” he stammered, obviously uncomfortable with the situation.

Cooper smiled, “Aww, you really like her.”

“She’s cool,” Matt shrugged.

“Where’d Ryan go?” JT interrupted.

“I don’t know,” Matt said.  “Where’s Laura?” he asked, looking around as well.

 

d

 

Laura poured herself some wine from the bar, and she glanced around the house.  She couldn’t believe she was there.  The past few days with Matt were amazing.  She was impressed with how much time he was spending with her.  They went to the beach together during the day and spent the nights having nice dinners and dancing—it was all surreal.

What impressed Laura most was every night when Matt walked her to her door, he didn’t ask to come inside, nor did he push for her to come back to his hotel.  He left her with a passionate kiss every night, leaving her wanting more.  Laura has been absolutely giddy over Matt, and she hoped it didn’t make her look stupid.  She wondered if tonight would be it for them; if their fling ended the minute Matt’s plane took off.  She had a good feeling about him, but tried to stay grounded, and not get her hopes up.  John approached Laura as he poured himself a glass of wine.  Laura smiled at him.

“Hey.”

“Hi John,” she said, a bit shyly.

“Having fun?”

“Yeah.  This house is beautiful,” Laura nodded, taking a sip of her wine.  “Thank you guys for being so nice to me.”

“Why wouldn’t we be nice?” John laughed.

“I don’t know,” Laura shrugged.  “I’m sure you guys think your fans can be annoying.”

“People in general are annoying.  Not all our fans are,” John winked.

Laura laughed.

“Has Matt been treating you well?”

“Oh yeah,” Laura beamed.  “He’s amazing.  I’m going to miss seeing him.  I guess I kind of got used to him the past few days.”

“The kid has that kind of affect on girls,” he said.

Laura looked at him oddly.

“You’re a nice girl.  You can meet a ton of guys who can give you what you need.”

“What do you mean?”

“Matt is not the greatest guy to look for something serious with.  I just want to be straight with you.”

John couldn’t stop the words coming from his mouth.  He felt the need to tell Laura what he thinks of Matt, and he knew he shouldn’t, but it just came out.

“Are you saying Matt is playing me?” Laura asked, hurt and confused.

“I don’t know.  I’m just going by Matt’s previous experience.  I don’t want you to wind up with a broken heart.  You seem like a really great girl, ” John put his hand on her shoulder, and she nodded sadly.

“Thanks.”

John walked away, and he couldn’t help feeling badly.  He never even thought he could be wrong about Matt this time.  He knew he was jealous of Matt in a way.  He was younger, single, and knew how to get what he wanted.  John was tired of seeing Matt use girls.

 

d

 

“There you are!”

Matt pulled Laura into his arms and kissed her cheek playfully.  She looked over at him, and couldn’t hide the expression in her eyes.

“What’s wrong?”

“Nothing,” Laura shook her head.

She pulled herself out of Matt’s arms, and he looked at her glass of wine on the bar.

“How much did you have to drink?” he laughed.

“One glass of wine,” she didn’t look at him.  “Can we go?”

“Uh, sure.  If you want.”

On the drive back to Laura’s house, Matt kept glancing over at her as he drove.  He kept asking her if anything was wrong, but she just said the wine got to her.  They pulled up to her house, and Matt got out of the car.  He jogged around to Laura’s side and opened the door for her.  She walked up to the house, and he followed.

“Is it okay if I come in?” Matt asked timidly.

It was still early, and he wanted to spend more time with her.  Laura just shrugged, and walked into the house.  Matt followed her and shut the door behind him.

“Hey,” Matt grabbed her hand.  “Are you sure you’re okay?”

Laura looked at Matt, and pulled him toward her.  She kissed him eagerly, surprising him.  She led him toward her room, and pushed him down on the bed.  Laura climbed on top of Matt, and he looked at her not sure of what brought her aggression on.  He knew something wasn’t right, but he didn’t know what to do.  Laura stared at him, unsure what she saw in his eyes.  Matt wanted her badly.  However, he didn’t want quick, meaningless sex; not with Laura.

“I can’t…” Laura said.  “I can’t give you what you want.”

“What is it that you think I want?” Matt asked, confused.

He saw her big, blue eyes fill with tears.  She climbed off of him, and sat at the edge of her bed.  Matt sat up, and scooted next to her.

“Sex.”

“Laura, I can get that anywhere…” Matt said, and she looked at him disgusted.  “I mean, I don’t need to do what we’ve been doing to get that,” he sighed.

“John said…” Laura started, as she let the tears fall.

“John?” Matt asked clenching his teeth.

“He didn’t want me to get my hopes up.”

“That son of a bitch!” Matt yelled, startling Laura. “John doesn’t know what he’s talking about.”

“Why would he tell me that?”

“I’ll admit my intentions haven’t always been the best.  And I don’t feel something for every girl I sleep with…”

“Well, I figured that,” she laughed, dabbing at her eyes.

“But with you…” Matt began, his voice softening.

He turned her toward him, and wiped her cheeks gently with his fingers, “I really like you.  I’d like to see where this takes us.”

Laura smiled, “You must think I’m a total mess.”

“Not at all.  I’m the mess,” he laughed.  “You have your hands full with me.”

“I’ll bet.”

Laura leaned in and kissed him.  She wrapped her arms around him, and pulled him on top of her.  Matt pulled away and looked into her eyes.

“We’re not doing this tonight.”

“Kissing?” Laura asked.

Matt laughed, “No, we can do that.”

“What if I wanted to sleep with you?”

Matt shook his head, “You’re just going to have to wait.”

“Until when?”

“The next time we see each other,” he winked.  “I’m going to prove to you that I’m not all about sex.”

“Hmm… Should I be offended that you’re turning me down?” Laura asked.

Matt caressed her cheek with his hand.

“I’m not turning you down.  I’m holding out for more.”

“It’ll be worth the wait,” she assured him, leaning up and kissing him tantalizingly.

 

d

 

Back at the party, Kelly, Cooper, and Joyce were in a conversation.  They discussed their jobs, and Cooper gave her two weeks notice, though Kelly was already aware of her plans.  Cooper glanced around the party.  JT was across the room talking to a bunch of people.  JT made eye contact with Cooper, and nodded toward her.  She smiled and he returned it.  Joyce followed her gaze, and nudged her.

“What?”

“You and my son.”

“What about us?” Cooper laughed.

“It’s cute.”

“You guys are cute,” Kelly agreed.

“Well, thanks.  We have fun,” she smiled.

Cooper realized how much she’d miss JT once he leaves.  She took another glance around the party, and noticed someone sitting on the front steps through the glass doors.  Cooper excused herself, and walked outside.  She sat down next to Ryan.

“Hey,” he said.

“Hi.”

“Having fun?”

“Yeah.  How come you’re not?”

“I don’t know.  Thinking too much, I guess,” he shrugged.

“What are you thinking about?” Cooper prodded.

“Danielle.  I’m taking your advice.  We’re going to Hawaii after Christmas.”

“That’s great,” Cooper smiled, and Ryan appreciated the sincerity in the gesture.

Her eyes looked extremely green at that moment, and he decided to look away.

“Everything is going to work out.”

She rubbed his shoulder, and the contact was a mistake.  Her fingers on him were too much for either of them to think about.  Cooper quickly pulled her hand away.

“Hey, you found him,” JT smiled stepping out of the house.

“Yeah,” Cooper stood up, and wrapped her arms around JT’s waist.

“You okay, Ry?”

JT sounded truly concerned, and Ryan felt guiltier for feeling the way he did.  Ryan stood up and looked at the two, who appeared to be more like a couple with each passing glance.

“I’m just missing my fiancée,” he smiled.

“Aww…” JT let go of Cooper to pat his friend on the back.  “You’re going to be the best husband ever,” he teased him, and Ryan felt more guilt.

 

d

 

Cooper and JT lay upside down on the couch.  The blood was rushing to their heads.  Every once in a while, JT would do something to distract Cooper.  He’d kick her foot, or touch her inappropriately.

“Stop it!” Cooper whined as JT started to tickle her stomach. “That’s cheating!”

“It is not,” he protested.

They were trying to see who could lay upside down longer than the other.  Cooper loved the fact that she could be a child again with JT.  It was a nice change of pace.

“Do you think this could be dangerous?” Cooper asked.

“Well, if you want to give up, I understand.”

“Nice try,” she laughed.

JT reached over and tickled her armpit.

“Ugh!  I’m warning you!” Cooper yelled.

She lifted his shirt, and drew light circles around his bellybutton.  JT began to laugh and squirm before his body slid off the couch.

“Dammit!” he yelled.

Cooper flipped over and fixed her hair as she laughed.

“I win!  You owe me a foot rub!”

“Fine,” JT sighed and pulled himself off the floor. “Whoa, dizzy,” he laughed.

They sat on the couch together, and Cooper happily placed her bare feet in JT’s lap.  He began massaging her feet, and she closed her eyes, leaning her head back against the couch.  JT watched her peaceful expression.  He leaned over and kissed her.  She opened her eyes and smiled.

“I’m going to miss you,” he said sincerely.

Cooper reached out and touched his face.

“I’ll miss you, too,” she moved in and they kissed once again, momentarily forgetting about the foot rub.

 

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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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