A/N Happy Super Bowl Sunday! It's both an awesome day, because the game is finally here and all the fantastic food awaits, but an awful day, because football goes away and won't be back for a long time. Boo. But I'll let that bring me down another day. For today, let's party!
So, who do you have? I won't lie. I'm totally rooting for Peyton to get one last ring and ride into the sunset (or into the analyst's studio) with a win. Do I think that's actually going to happen? Sadly, no. I'm betting Carolina wins, and I'm afraid it's not going to be a close game at all, but I definitely want to be wrong. Denver D needs to play like they did last week, for sure, for it to be a game. Fingers crossed, because I hate a Super Bowl blowout.
I'm getting ready to go get my game day sub. Tradition! Do you have any special dishes you consume for the big game? Anything I should make if I ever have a SB party? Advise me.
On a personal note, I lost my job of nearly 18 years last week. I'm still trying to get over the shock of it and figure out where to go from here, but I'll find something. I tell you this because while I do have more stories to tell, I'm not going to be doing much writing until I get a job and have security again. I'll post my contest entry when I'm able, but that'll be it for a bit. If you know of anything for a decent writer with a journalism degree, let me know! I'll take any leads I can get. I'm still going to be around, even if I'm a bit quiet for a while. So don't worry if I don't post for bit!
This is the final chapter of GB, at least the final one I have planned. It's been in my head for a very long time and I'm excited to get here. I hope you love it as much as I do! Thank you all, again, for sticking with me and these characters. Your love for them always warms my heart. A quick A/N will follow below. Love you all!
GB Final Outtake
It was officially the worst day of my life. I'd been dreading this day for eighteen years, and it wasn't any better than I'd feared or imagined all this time. It was actually worse. I couldn't do it.
I turned to inform Reed Girl that I couldn't, but one look at her bittersweet smile, combined with her sad eyes, had me biting back my comment.
"So, I think you have everything you could possibly need, right?" Reed Girl asked, looking around the crappy room that, I'm sorry, did not fucking have everything she needed.
It didn't have us, for one thing, and she needed us most of all. Also, the bed was fucking tiny and lumpy, the furniture was crap, the security was subpar, and the people I'd seen lurking in the hallways weren't to be trusted. Nope. I couldn't do it.
"I think that-"
"Don't even start, Dad." Dani wagged her finger at me. "You promised."
"I just think it would be better if you took a look at the apartment I found." It was brand new, had security, off campus and far away from the frats and shit. It was perfection.
"Dad, freshmen have to live in dorms; you know that."
I knew no such thing. Dani was a fucking legacy at this school. If she wanted to live in an apartment across town, she should damn well be able to. Why the fuck were we even here if we couldn't use our name to our advantage?
"Surely I can talk to the Dean and-"
"Edward," Reed Girl said, slipping her arms around my waist. "You did promise. You promised both of us." And she arched her eyebrow at me, daring me to go back on my word to her. We both fucking knew I couldn't.
Dani flitted off to put some of her crap in the ridiculous bathroom she shared with like seven other girls. Unacceptable. How did anyone live like this?
"Was it always this crappy?" I demanded. It'd been twenty years since we'd gone to school here. You'd think they could have put some money into new dorms. I mean, what did I cut alumni checks for if not to insure my daughter's comfort?
"This is the newest dorm they have, Champ." Reed Girl shook her head. "She's not exactly slumming it at Salley Hall like I did. We paid for the best they had."
No, the best they had was off campus at the building with the doorman. Or, even better, living with Emmett and Blondie or my parents in their house. Or the house that I was trying to convince Reed Girl to let me buy. She had way better options than this shithole.
"If this is the best they have, then we need to cut them bigger checks and demand they go into dorm design and maintenance," I muttered, making her laugh.
"This is how freshmen live, Edward."
"It's not how I lived," I pointed out. Was it so wrong to want my daughter to have what I did?
"And your daughter isn't going to be living at the football dorms, which I would think you'd find more disturbing than her suite here."
Suite, my ass. Though the thought of my Dani in the football dorm was enough to shut me up, for now. Fuck, that gave me more shit to worry about. I whipped off my phone and fired off a text to Emmett.
You make damn sure that my daughter never steps foot in the football dorms. Tell your perverted team that she's off limits, and spread the word that if they see a guy talking to her, they're welcome to beat his ass.
Reed Girl sighed when she read my text, yanking my phone out of my hand and gesturing to me to grab our daughter as she toddled by. "Here, baby the daughter who's actually still a baby, why don't you?"
I cuddled Alex into my arms. She was just as gorgeous as her sister was, with the same green eyes but darker hair. She'd likely have Reed Girl's pretty hair when she got older.
"You're never going to grow up and leave Daddy, are you, angel?"
"Daddy," she whispered, resting her head against my shoulder. Poor kid was tired. She'd had a big couple of days, flying down with us and getting her sister all moved into the dorms. She pretty much had no idea what was going on, but we'd had to bring her along. I wasn't trusting Ethan with her, even if he was a good big brother at sixteen.
"That's right, Angel. You stay with Daddy. Always."
I watched as Dani laughed with one of her new suitemates. They were already fast friends, excited as hell to start their college adventure away from their parents, who did nothing but love and protect them. This sucked, hard.
Reed Girl straightened the garnet comforter they'd selected. I swear the fucking bed was smaller than Alex's crib, but I was kinda glad about that. No way was some random guy going to fit into bed with her. They'd have to go to his- Fuck. That was another thought I didn't need to have.
Reed Girl handed me back my phone. I pulled up the message she'd sent, ordering Emmett to ignore the overprotective ass of a father. Rude. He got it, though. The twins were sixteen and catching the eye of every male in their high school and beyond. Em was totally losing his hair. It was fantastic.
"She's all set," Reed Girl said, reaching up to stroke Alex's soft hair. She was sleeping on my shoulder, fitting perfectly just like Dani once had. Why the fuck did my kids have to grow up?
"There's still time to move her into NYU." It was so much closer. I could get to her quickly in case of emergency.
My wife smiled and moved her hand up to my cheek. "I know it's killing you. It's the hardest thing we have to do as parents, to let them go. She's here because she wants to be like you, Champ. She wants to be the next great Cullen athlete at FSU. You know you want this for her."
Well, of course I did. My girl got an athletic scholarship to our alma mater. We hadn't taken it, electing to have another kid that needed it more use it, but she'd earned that shit. It was awesome. And it was an honor that she wanted to be at the same school and have the Cullen name mean something here again. It was just so fucking far away.
"Maybe I should retire this year."
Reed Girl laughed. "That's another thing you aren't ready for, Champ. We agreed that you were going to see how you felt after this season. And even if you did retire right now, are you saying we'd uproot the boys to move down here?"
Yes. No. Damn it. They had lives and friends they wouldn't want to give up either. Teams and teachers, girls, games and concerts; life was busy and good. I couldn't ask them to move just so I could hold on to Dani for a little longer. I knew that. It just sucked.
"Fine. But I don't see why we can't buy that house, just for when we visit and shit. I don't want to stay with Emmett or my parents."
She laughed. "We'll talk about it. Later. For now, say good-bye to your daughter. We need to let her get to it."
No. No way, no how. "I thought we'd take a walk down to the student union, buy her some things, and maybe get her some lunch first."
"You thought you'd stroll the campus with her, showing everyone who her dad is and warning them away with your eyes."
Damn the woman for knowing me so well. "I don't see why people shouldn't know who her dad is. She's got our last name, after all."
"And it'll be up to her to tell them that her dad is the Edward Cullen, if she wants to. She gets to make a name for herself here, Edward. Without you."
Fuck. "Damn it, Bella."
"I know." She stepped into me, resting her head on the shoulder Alex wasn't using. "She'll always have us. And your brother and parents are less than fifteen minutes away. She's got support here, Champ."
Yes, my parents had randomly decided to return to Florida several months early, rather than stay up north for what may be my final football season. I was honestly thrilled about it. I'd have to buy them a good present, because I knew they wanted to be nearby for Dani.
"We're going to take off, honey," Reed Girl called.
Dani stopped chatting with her friend, finally remembering that her parents were here and that we'd be leaving and not seeing her for months on end. Okay, I planned on stopping down when we played Atlanta next month. And on my bye week. And she'd come up for Thanksgiving and Christmas. But still. Weeks away from her were too long.
Our daughter came over to us, pushing her long hair back from her stunning face. Fuck. I really wanted to take that walk with her and stake my claim because the guys were going to be all over her the minute we left.
"Thanks for everything, Mom." She wrapped her arms around Reed Girl. The two of them together always made me smile. Dani was so much taller than her mother, but they looked a lot alike, more like sisters than mother and daughter.
"You call me at least once a week," Reed Girl ordered, wiping away some tears as she pulled back. At least I wasn't the only one who fucking felt like crying.
Dani laughed. "More than that, Mom. You know I will."
"I hope so," she murmured.
Dani leaned over and kissed her sleeping sister's cheek. "You be a good girl, Alex. Keep Dad in line."
Reed Girl laughed as she dug a Kleenex out of her purse. "Lord knows I need all the help I can get with that."
"Hey! I'm not so bad."
"If you could, you'd wrap both of us up in bubble wrap and lock us in that tower Mom wouldn't let you build," Dani reminded me, wrapping her arms around my waist and leaning against me just like Reed Girl had.
I pulled her to me with my free arm and held on to her as tightly as I dared. "I just want you both with me, safe and sound."
"I will be, Daddy. I'll call so much that you won't even realize I'm not there."
Right. I let out a half-laugh, half-sob kind of sound. "I'll notice, kid."
"I know. I'll miss you. But I'm going to make you proud of me."
Fuck. I took a deep breath and held her close. "I am so proud of you, baby. I couldn't be prouder. You're going to kick volleyball ass and make everybody forget about that other Cullen who used to play a sport here."
She laughed, smiling up at me through teary eyes. "I think your name and jersey hanging in the stadium will ensure that isn't the case, but I'll make sure they don't forget either one of us."
"That's my girl."
She burrowed into me even closer. "Always, Daddy."
I kissed the top of her head, and she brushed my cheek with her lips.
"Thanks for everything, Daddy. I'm ready."
"I know you are. I'm not, but you are. Kick some ass here, kid."
She hugged her mom and me again. Reed Girl took my hand and tugged me gently toward the doorway.
"Call if you need anything. You have the credit card in case of emergencies, which doesn't constitute not having any beer in that mini-fridge."
Dani laughed at my ass. "I know, Dad. I won't buy any beer." She smiled at her mom. "Besides, guys will do that for me."
Reed Girl hugged her again. "That's right, baby. You make the boys buy the alcohol."
"And drink none of it!" I ordered.
"Sure, Dad. Just like you didn't."
Damn it all to hell. "I didn't drink during the season." Much.
I was leveled with the same disbelieving stare from both of my girls. "What? Conditioning is important."
"I'm conditioned, Daddy."
I didn't want to think about that. "Just be good."
"I will be. I love you. Tell Ethan and AJ I'll call them soon."
I got one more hug and kiss, and then Reed Girl dragged me out the door. Somehow I managed to hold my shit together until we got Alex settled in her car seat. I took one look at my wife's sad face, and I just collapsed into her, holding her while she cried, and yeah, I let out a tear or two of my own. Leaving my daughter, even if it was to start her life, was just too much for me.
"She'll do great," Reed Girl said eventually. "We've raised a smart, strong, self-sufficient girl. She's going to have fun and be incredible on that court."
"I know. I just wish she didn't have to be so far away."
"It's only a few hours by plane. We'll see her a lot."
"Not enough." Never enough for me.
"I know." Reed Girl released me and dried her eyes. "Come on, Champ. We've got a plane to catch and boys to get back to. Our house is far from empty, thankfully."
I was grateful for that. I didn't know what I'd do in sixteen years when Alex was ready to start college. It didn't bear thinking about. We still had a full house, just a little less full than I liked it.
"Let's go home."
Home. Yes, we had to go home, even if a big part of it was missing. My Dani was going to do great here, but I wasn't going to be great without her. I missed her already. Kids growing up sucked.
I started the car, glancing at my youngest daughter sleeping her car seat. "Never grow up, angel."
I pulled out of the parking lot, my eyes on Alex and the building where Dani remained.
"Maybe we should have another baby."
That got me a smack on the arm. "Don't you go getting empty-nest syndrome already, Cullen. We can't replace Dani with another kid."
"I'm not trying to do that, exactly. I just-"
"I know," she said, twining her fingers in mine. "But even if we had another, that one would grow up and leave us, too. We can't hold on to them forever."
But I wanted to. "It sucks."
"It does. But you have me, Champ. You're stuck with me for good."
I raised her hand to my lips and kissed it. "I'm grateful for that every day."
"This place brought us together. It'll bring great things for our daughter as well."
I hoped so. Dani deserved what we had. Maybe when she was a senior she could meet her Reed Girl. Or in grad school. Yeah, that was better. She had plenty of time.
"Do you need any help with that?"
I rolled my eyes as I was interrupted for the twentieth time since I'd gotten to the gym an hour ago. It was ridiculous. I'd always heard that Strozier Library was the place to meet members of the opposite sex, but clearly that wasn't the only one. On a normal day, I'd probably be pretty excited over the attention, but not when I was here sweating and trying to get into shape. I was so sick of it.
"Do I look like I need help?" I asked, raising my eyebrow in an imitation of my mom's best bitch-brow.
"You look like you could use a hand. I have two, just waiting for you." He held them up, as if the sight of them would make me want to attack him in the middle of the gym.
I laughed. "Does that line really work for you?" I had to admit, he was kind of cute in a typical frat-boy way. Blond hair, blue eyes, obligatory backwards hat, basketball shorts, muscle T. If he'd waited to hit on me after I'd finished my reps, I might have given him a shot.
"Most of the time." He shot me a blinding white smile. "I'm Jim."
"And I'm working out. Try your line on that girl over there. She looks like she could use some help." The girl was struggling to figure out how to change the weight for some leg lifts. And from the looks of her outfit, she wasn't here to work out, unless we were talking naked. Who in the hell could exercise with shorts riding up their butt and their boobs hanging out of their sports bra?
"Your loss, baby. But thanks for the tip." And he was off, to go chat up Ms. Inappropriate Attire.
And now I was glad that I hadn't bothered to give him my name. I wasn't going to be some girl he forgot the next day. Dad had given me a lot of advice over the years, and I thought that was the best he'd ever told me. I'd waited to give myself to David, my boyfriend for most of senior year. I'd loved him. Maybe not the forever love that Mom and Dad had, but I'd loved him and it had been worth the wait. I might not have to be in love with the next guy that I slept with, but I'd have to be more than the next willing body in the gym. No thank you.
I finished my workout with about five more interruptions, and I'd had it by the time I was done. I needed to keep in shape for volleyball, and being disturbed every few minutes from horny frat boys wasn't going to cut it.
Uncle Emmett, would it be possible for me to use the football gym? I can go in really early so I don't mess with the players' time.
I took my shower, and my phone had a message waiting when I was done.
What's wrong with the student gym?
Nothing was wrong with it, if I was looking to gain an STD instead of some core muscle.
I get hit on every few minutes, which makes working out a little difficult. Please, Uncle Em? I'll be out before the guys get there.
I got my gym bag and headed back to the dorm. My roommate, Bree, was going to meet me back there for dinner after she got done with class.
Hahaha Your father is having a fit right now. He's going to have an aneurysm, I swear.
I shook my head. Of course Uncle Emmett told him. My phone started ringing immediately.
"What's this about you getting hit on at the gym? I'm going to call whoever's in charge and ask their policy on sexual harassment."
My father was as reliable as the sun. I switched him to speaker when I got into my room.
"Nobody was harassing me, Dad. There's a difference between being hit on and being harassed. If I was harassed, I'd kick their ass myself."
He let out a long breath. "I think I should hire a bodyguard for you."
And that was also predictable. I'd only been here for two weeks, and Dad had already tried to hire me a bodyguard slash book-carrier three times.
"I don't need a bodyguard, Dad. I just need a place to work out in peace. That's why I asked Uncle Em if I could use the football facility. I'll go in early, so I can exercise alone."
Thanks a lot, Uncle Em. Dad's trying to hire me a bodyguard because a guy talked to me. Can I use your gym or not?
"Alone? I don't think so. Emmett can meet you there in the morning, make sure you're safe."
I'd expected nothing less. And Uncle Em went to work early anyway, to study game tape. It should be fine.
I'm in my office by five. Stop by, and I'll let you in.
"He just said he'd be there and let me in himself. You have nothing to worry about, Daddy." Yes, I threw in the daddy because I knew it made him do my bidding. I'd learned quite a bit over the years.
"Like hell I don't. So, what have you been up to? How are classes?"
I laughed and settled down on my bed, telling him about my classes and the friends I'd made. I'd gone to two parties, and they'd been fun, but getting hammered wasn't really my thing. Still, I had to have some fun with my worrywart dad.
"I have to go get ready for this frat party we're going to tonight. I'll call you in a few days." I waited for it.
"Frat party? On a Tuesday night? Shouldn't you be studying? You have to be up early to work out, right?"
His voice was getting progressively higher. It cracked me up.
"Oh, I probably won't go to bed, Dad. I'll stop drinking by two, sober up, hit the gym, and then come home and sleep. Class isn't that important."
There was a long pause before he laughed. "You had me going until you told me you'd skip class. I was a student athlete myself, baby. I know that missing class equals missing games, which neither of us can stand."
That was true. I was a lot like him when it came to my work ethic. I wanted to be the best. If I had to miss a few parties so I could be sharp for practice, then so be it. I'd party after the season was done.
"You got me, Dad. I'm going to dinner with Bree, then coming back to finish off a paper and get to bed. I have to meet Uncle Em bright and early."
"That's more like it, baby girl." He sighed. "I have to go back to practice. You be good."
"I will, Daddy. I love you."
"I love you, too. I miss you."
I felt my eyes sting with tears. I loved college; I really did. But I missed my family. "Miss you, too."
"You'd better. I'll be down in a couple of weeks."
I laughed. "I can't wait." It was true. I couldn't wait to see him.
"Me either. Talk to you soon, kid."
This was more like it. The equipment was even more top-of-the-line than what was in the student gym. Not that that was a surprising thing. The football team got everything. But now, so did I, thanks to Uncle Emmett.
I made my way through my squats before moving over to do some pull-ups. I went back to legs, doing dumbbell lunges, and then back to arms, doing my bench press. I did some delt work and then grabbed a jump rope. I always finished my workouts this way, jumping rope for at least ten minutes. Then I'd jump stairs when I got back to the dorm, working on my vertical and my balance.
I was about five minutes into my jumping, music blasting through my earbuds, when I sensed something behind me. I turned, jumping rope the whole time, and tripped when my eyes landed on the person in the gym with me. Holy shit.
Tanner Hunt, starting quarterback for the Florida State Seminoles. He was a junior, and he had us undefeated three games into the season. He had quite an arm. Dad thought he might just win a Heisman, and Dad should know.
He was also hot. Like, epically, uber hot.
He was leaning against the wall, his light-brown hair falling down over his bright-blue eyes. He wore a black muscle shirt and red FSU shorts, and his tan, fit body was just gorgeous. I'd admired him more than once when Dad had the games on. He was even better in person.
He was saying something, but of course I couldn't hear him. I turned off my music and took the buds out of my ears.
"I'm sorry, what?"
He smirked. "I said, this is a first."
Well, yeah. He probably didn't find a lot of females in this gym. "Uh yes, well I needed-"
"I have to say, quite a few girls have gone out of their way to meet me, but you went all out, didn't you?"
What? He thought I was here because I wanted him? "You think I'm here because of you?"
His smirk got even more pronounced. Had I found him attractive a minute ago? Clearly my eyesight was off.
"Why else would you be here?" He folded his…yes, damn it, still sexy arms. "I have to admit, you got my attention." His eyes moved over my body, and I felt a little pull low in my belly.
Damn it, what was wrong with me? Yes, he was hot, but he was also an egotistical jerk. I was not going to let him effect me.
"Lucky me. Too bad I wasn't looking for it."
He smiled, pushing off the wall and walking over to me. "Come on, baby. You can admit it. I won't tell that you broke in here to get to me. Like I said, I'm flattered."
Sure he was. He totally thought I was some desperate football groupie who stalked the gym for him. As if I had to lower myself to chasing after some jock. Still, I could play with him a little. Not the way he wanted me to. Not the way a small part of me wanted to. He wasn't worthy.
"Are you?" I asked softly, reaching out to run my fingers along his forearm. The muscles bunched a little under my touch, and I felt that pull and sort of forgot what I was doing, until I saw the triumphant look on his face.
"Sure. I'd even be willing to help you sneak out without getting caught, so long as you let me take you somewhere private, where we can get to know one another a little better."
I bit back a chuckle. We both knew that if he got me alone, the last thing he'd want to do was learn about me, unless it was what I looked like naked.
"That sounds awfully tempting, but I have one question."
"Shoot, baby." He moved his fingers over my hand on his arm. I tingled a bit at his touch, but I was ignoring that for now.
"Who are you? I mean, am I supposed to know? Because I came here to work out."
His face fell comically, and he took a step back, watching me intently. "You know who I am."
"No. I really don't." I kept my face perfectly straight. The gall of this guy, thinking that every girl on campus knew who he was and wanted him. I mean, I did, but I sure as hell wasn't telling him that.
"I'm Tanner. Tanner Hunt."
I bit my lip and gave him a little shrug.
"Oh. You play football?" I made myself sound like an airhead, even twirling my hair around my finger. "That's cool, I guess."
His gorgeous eyes narrowed at me. "You guess? Sweetheart, don't pretend that you aren't impressed. I'm the best quarterback this school has ever seen."
Like hell he was. I snorted at that. "I'm quite certain that isn't true."
"Well, it is. None of the others are fit to hold my jock."
Now I was fuming. "Ward, Weinke, Winston, and Cullen all won Heismans for this school. Cullen won two. Have you won any?"
"If you know who they are, how do you not know who I am?" he demanded.
Whoops. I'd let my temper get the best of me. "I make it a point to know who the real winners are. I'll learn your name when and if you join them, though I doubt you can." He couldn't come close to being as good as my dad was.
"As if you know anything about football."
I wanted to laugh at that. I'd been raised on football. I probably knew how to break down tape better than he did.
"I know enough to know you stared down your receiver, which is why you threw that pick six in the second quarter last week."
His glare could have melted an iceberg. "Who are you?"
I shrugged. "Nobody important."
He laughed. "That's right. Remember that. I'm the important one on this campus. You're nobody."
Ugh! He was infuriating. "I'll have you know that I'm-"
"Hunt! What in the hell are you doing here so early? Get away from my niece."
We both turned, and somehow we'd been standing so close that my hair brushed against his shoulder. I hadn't realized we were standing so near one another.
"Your niece?" he asked, cutting his eyes back to mine.
"Yes, my niece. The newest, most kickass member of the volleyball team. And I'll have to kick your ass if you don't step away from her. My brother tasked me with making sure that none of you asshats put a hand on her, since he's in Jersey playing football and can't be here, and I'm going to keep my promise. From now on, you don't step foot in this place until after seven. Got it?"
"Your dad is Edward Cullen?" he asked, his jaw dropping open as he realized who he'd been talking to.
"Yes. And you can only hope to be a tenth as good a player as he is someday."
I picked up my iPod and grabbed my gym bag.
"Thanks, Uncle Em. I appreciated the quiet."
He glanced between Tanner and me. "He didn't upset you, did he?"
I laughed. "Oh, no. He came in just as I was finishing up. I barely even noticed him." I glanced Tanner's way with a smirk of my own. "He's nobody important."
Uncle Emmett looked between us before shrugging. "Okay. I'm going back to my office. Are you heading home?"
"Yeah. I'll be out in a second. Thanks for hooking me up with the gym, Uncle Em."
"Anything you need, Monkey." He ruffled my hair and then glanced at Tanner. "Get to work, Hunt."
Uncle Emmett left, and I started to follow behind him but stopped when I felt a hand on my arm. I tried to ignore the tingles I still felt at his touch. He was an asshole. I was not attracted to him, no matter how good-looking he was.
"Edward Cullen is your dad," he said again.
"Yes." I smiled at him. "So your supposed football prowess doesn't impress me. My dad's the best."
He ran a hand through his hair. "I didn't mean to insult him or whatever. I was just-"
I raised a brow. "I know what you were doing. Don't sweat it. I have to get going." I had a class in an hour.
"What's your name?" he asked as I walked away.
I shot a grin over my shoulder. "If it's important enough for you to know it, you'll figure it out."
He winced a bit at my use of the word important, just like I'd hoped he would. "I will."
"Then I'll see you later, maybe."
And I left without another word. I could feel his eyes on me as I walked away, and it gave me a little thrill. As soon as I got out of the gym, I hit speed dial on my phone.
"Mom. I have to tell you about this jerk I just met. He's got an ego the size of Texas, I swear!"
Her warm laugh filled the line. "Sounds familiar. Tell me about him."
So I did. Her laughs and exclamations made me grin as I told her about his ego, his hotness, and everything.
"I couldn't decide if I wanted to hit him or if I wanted to kiss him."
She laughed again. "I've been there, honey. He sounds just like your father twenty years ago."
No way. "Daddy couldn't have been that much of a jerk."
"Oh yes, he could. You've heard part of the story, but now you're old enough to hear the non-edited version. Let me tell you about when we met…"
A/N You know how I love my symmetry! Seems that Dani has found her own Cockyback! Will she tame him just like her mother did all those years ago? Probably, but who knows? Their story continues, as it always does, even if I don't write it all out. I'm sure her mother and father can guide her if she decides to go gunning for Tanner.
Thanks to Jenrar for her awesome beta skills, and Mary for pre-reading and cheering me on! Thanks again, to all of you, who read, review, rec, and all that good stuff. I'll be back! Can't say when, but I will :) Until then, take care, be happy, and keep reading!