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Home > Who I Am with You (Unexpected Heroes #1.5)(14)

Who I Am with You (Unexpected Heroes #1.5)(14)
Author: Melody Anne

“If we combine the contents of the two glasses, Taylor, we have a full cup.”

“Ugh. See what I mean, Travis. You’re always making comments like that, but do you really believe them?”

“Yes. I actually do.”

She stared at him for several moments before blowing out another frustrated sigh. “Our entire relationship has been built on a bed of sand, Travis. There’s nothing solid about it.” He’d surely drop the conversation now, wouldn’t he? No, no such luck.

“Really? You’re forgetting an important fact.”

When he said nothing else, just stared at her, she grew even more annoyed. “What?”

“Just so you know, sand makes up about ninety-five percent of concrete. Add water and a bit of love and you have something that can never be washed away.”

Several heartbeats passed before the knot in her throat eased and she could speak again. “Why do you have to say stuff like that? You know that what you just said is full of crap. Sand never makes up more than a third of the dry volume in concrete, and having less sand makes the concrete stronger. Hell, if you had concrete with ninety-five percent sand, it would just crumble. And even the strongest concrete degrades in time like anything else, especially under the powerful force of water. Are you just a hustler? Is this all just a game to you?” Taylor was breathless after that long rant.

He laughed ruefully. “I guess I was trying too hard. But no, Taylor, it’s not a game at all. This is important to me. You’re more than just another woman. Your family is my family, and I don’t let go of family.”

“If I mean so much to you, then why did you walk away from me?”

Why couldn’t she let this topic go? What would it help to know why he hadn’t wanted her six years earlier? They had no chance at making a life together, so how would dwelling on what might have been help?

He cast his eyes downward. “It wasn’t easy to walk away, but I felt guilty, and like I was betraying my best friend. Our timing just wasn’t right.”

“And it’s not right now. Maybe I was ready then, but I’m no longer available.” How that rejection had hurt!

“I think you’re more than ready, and when you feel brave enough to tell me, we’ll make magic together.”

“What does that even mean, Travis? Is it let’s-string-together-bad-pickup-lines-and-old-clichés day in Montana?”

Before he was able to reply, they heard a vehicle pull up outside. Taylor tensed, wondering who in the world it could be. No one, no matter how lost, would end up way out in the middle of nowhere.

“Wait here,” Travis said, standing up and moving toward the front door, grabbing the sidearm he always kept handy. A shiver passed through Taylor as she eyed the deadly weapon.

She was grateful he had it, especially out in the woods, but she’d never been interested in guns. Sure, her brothers hunted, but she’d never been into killing animals for sport. When Travis peeked out the window and then his shoulders relaxed, Taylor released the breath she hadn’t even realized she’d been holding.

“It’s your parents,” he said before laughing. “And your brothers, and they don’t look too pleased. I’m thinking they finally figured out the two of us are here together.”

Before he could say anything further, the door flew open. Hawk strode in, looking as if he expected to find the two of them in a steamy embrace.

“Travis,” Hawk said in greeting, but it seemed to be more of a warning than a hello.

As much as her overbearing family drove her nuts sometimes, she loved them dearly, and loved how protective they were of her. If only she could choose what they were protective about, and what they left her alone to live her life for . . .

“Hawk!” she said as she stood up and rushed toward him. It had only been a week since she’d seen him, but time seemed to stand still in this little cabin in the woods.

“Taylor.” He met her halfway and pulled her against him for a hug before drawing back and assessing her. “How are you feeling? Have you had any problems? Are you ready to come back home?” He was firing the questions off too fast for her to answer, so she waited for him to finish.

“I’m feeling fine, Hawk, and no, I haven’t had problems, and I assure you that you will know immediately when I’m ready to come back to town.” She emphasized the last word, because when she did come back from the woods, she doubted she’d be going back to her parents’ home. She was more than ready to have her own place again if she was to be stuck in Montana for any length of time.

“Baby girl, I’ve been trying to give you your space, but your father and I figured you’d be running low on supplies, so we wanted to surprise you,” Maggie said as she hugged Taylor next before passing her to her father.

“You were thinking right. I just ate the last chocolate bar last night,” Taylor said. That was a true emergency, after all.

“I was thinking more real food, but I did include chocolate,” Maggie said with a laugh.

“So what in the hell are you doing shacking up with my baby sister?”

The room went silent and everyone froze as Taylor turned to find her brother—Travis’s best friend—facing off with him.

“I’m not shacking up with your sister, Bryson—though I suppose you could say I’m cabining up with her, if not in the way you mean. And it’s great to see you, too,” Travis said, not even slightly ruffled.

“I thought you wanted peace and quiet,” Bryson growled.

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