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The ride home from the dance was the the longest of my life. Ty didn’t say a word. Every bump in the road rattled the old truck—and my peace of mind.
What had that kiss meant? Was it a friendly peck? Did a brief meeting of lips mean something different in the Texas outback than it did in New York? Had I imagined it?
Why wasn’t he saying something? Anything?!
By the time Ty pulled into the driveway at the house, every last one of my nerves was frayed to a frazzled end. When he cut the engine, I reached for the door handle immediately, intent on fleeing the truck as quickly as possible.
Ty’s words froze me in place.
While I waited for him to continue, I noticed the sounds of the world around me. Leaves rustled in the wind, bugs chirped in the crisp night air, and somewhere a lonely coyote was yipping at the moon. Funny how I’d thought this place so very quiet—too quiet—my first night here. Now I the night came alive with sound.
“Look, Ty,” I finally said when I couldn’t stand the silence anymore, “I understand. Genevieve has been… overzealous about nudging us together. If it was a mistake, it was a mistake. I won’t hold it against you.”
“It wasn’t,” he replied, turning his head to the side to look at me. “It was not a mistake. I kissed you because I wanted to, not because Genevieve did—though lord knows I’m sure she does.”
I bit back a laugh as he ran a frustrated hand over his head.
“It wasn’t a mistake,” he repeated. “But it complicates things.”
I opened my mouth to ask why, but before I could say a word he gave me a look that told me exactly what he meant.
“I’m going back to New York,” I said.
He shook his head. “And I’m not.”
Talk about an insurmountable obstacle. There was more between New York City and Rocky Gulch, Texas, than just miles. They were cultural opposites in almost every way.
I’d had friends go through long-distance relationships. Most of them failed. The ones that didn’t only survived because of frequent visits and the promise that one day soon they would be together again.
There really was no future for a life-long city girl and a die-hard country boy. It wasn’t like Ty and I were talking long term relationship here, but it was a messy thought.
“You’re right,” I finally said. “It’s complicated.” I gave him a sad smile. “Too complicated.”
I turned away from Ty and pulled on the handle.
Ty’s fingers gripped my shoulder and spun me back toward him before I could push the door open. His blue eyes burned with searing intensity.
“I didn’t say it was too complicated.” His smile popped his dimples. “Just… complicated.”
“Complicated,” I echoed.
“And as it happens,” he said as he leaned closer, “sometimes I like complicated.”
This time when our lips met, I was ready for it. I reached for it. I let the sensations take over. His mouth was strong, rough, and just soft enough to send shivers down my spine. His hand moved from my shoulder to my back, dragged me closer, across the bench seat. My arms wrapped around his neck, pulling myself the rest of the way to his side.
His mouth left mine, tracing a line of kisses along my jaw and toward my neck until—
The glare of headlights flashed through the truck cab as Genevieve’s car pulled into the driveway behind us.
Ty and I jumped apart like guilty teenagers, flushed and panting. I didn’t know how to react. We were supposed to be embarrassed? Nonchalant? What?
From across the cab, Ty grinned as he winked at me. Then he took me by the hand and pulled me back to his side as he swung his door open behind him.
He climbed out into the crisp night, and drew me out beside him.
“Well aren’t you two just adorable?” Genevieve teased over the roof of her car.
Eddie moved to lift the camera to his shoulder.
“Don’t you dare,” I warned. “We’re not filming The Dating Game.”
He lowered the camera back to his side.
“Genevieve,” Ty said with a nod that somehow only guys can manage. He gave one to Eddie too. “If y’all will excuse us.”
Then, before I could protest, he headed for the house, with my hand held firmly in his. If I hadn’t wanted to go with him, he wouldn’t have stopped me. But boy did I want to go with him.
Try It On Playlist #12: This Kiss by Faith Hill
Tune in tomorrow for the next installment.