I breathe a little sigh of relief.
“It’s not all wheatgrass and dry chicken breast either,” he warns me. “I told you last night that I like to eat, so…” he trails off, taking another big bite.
He urges me with a jut of his chiseled jaw as he chews, so I rush to catch up.
“Oh my god, this is amazing,” I exclaim, wiping my chin with my hand before Trent fishes for some napkins.
“Same place down the street, they really are the best at pretty much everything. When I can’t or won’t cook, they’re my go-to,” he explains.
Again, I can’t help wondering how much something like this would cost, but I know better now than to quibble with Trent about money or eating. Or anything for that matter.
We eat in silence for a while, with Trent on the edge of his bed next to me, noting with interest every time I glance at my phone.
He finishes his food, and I can tell he could go for another of the same but he contents himself with bundling up his paper sack and wrapper, moving out to the kitchen.
I know he’s giving me some privacy so I can check my phone, which I reach for urgently.
With a half-eaten gourmet burger in one hand and my phone in the other, I sit up in Trent’s huge bed, suddenly worried all over again.
As if all of last night was just a dream and now I’m gonna have to pay the price.
I expect the missed calls and messages to be from an angry dad, and there’s a ton of messages from him.
But they all sound so vague.
He doesn’t seem angry at all. In fact, I could almost swear they’re from someone else.
I’ll take the free pass though, and enjoy the rest of my food and coffee until Trent reappears, I feel like just maybe I could get away with this after all.
“Everything okay?” Trent asks, taking my wrappers and leaning over to kiss me.
I nod eagerly, making a little sound when he does kiss me.
A Trent kisses always cancels out everything else, even first thing in the morning before I’ve brushed my teeth breath.
He doesn’t mind, and I can tell his only real concern is how happy I am. Am I full enough? Did I sleep well?
It’s all about me, which isn’t what I’m used to but Trent’s so easygoing and natural about it how could I let it bother me?
“Did you hear from your dad?” he asks, just as casually, and I nod. There is a little knot of anxiety there every time I think about it, but Trent has as much reason to know as I do.
“I should head home,” I hear myself saying. “I don’t want dad to worry.”
Trent frowns, thinking. He looks like he’s about to say something a couple of times, but he thinks better of it.
“You could just call him,” he remarks, and I make a face.
I don’t want to call my dad, and the truth is, I really don’t want to go home to face him either.
“Okay,” he eventually says quietly, smiling and stroking my hair back.
“Okay?” I ask him, trying not to sound upset but failing.
Trent slowly takes his hand back, maybe worried I’ll bite now. But he keeps a small smile on his lips.
“Sure,” he adds calmly. “I can drive you home if you want, whenever you’re ready,” he tells me.
I should feel relieved. I should be calm too. I should be glad it’s not a big deal for him to take me home.
Then why am I so mad all of a sudden?
“Do you want me to go, is that it?” I ask him, surprising myself but he doesn’t seem outwardly bothered at all.
“I didn’t say that, Brooke,” he explains. “If I had my way, you’d stay here with me, forever,” he adds, and I can tell he means that.
Not in a creepy, locked-in-the-basement kind of way, but in the way, things have been with us both so far.
Hanging out, talking, and eating comfortably. Having him eat me.
I growl with frustration, and I realize I’m not mad at Trent or even my dad.
I’m mad at myself.
“Whatever you decide you want, Brooke. I’ll be here for you,” Trent says with intensity.
I can see he has a ton of things he could say, maybe more than he wants to say, but he’s being diplomatic as well as mature.
He’s Trent Latham. Not some hysterical college graduate.
Unlike me who’s acting like a spoilt child all of a sudden.
I want both. I want Trent, like this in his house with all his wonders, but I also want my dad.
The safety and security of home. The normal life I’ve told myself I hated so much and couldn’t wait to get away from.
“I’ll tell him, Trent. I will tell my dad,” I announce suddenly.
His expression shifts, a look of understanding I don’t think I’ve ever had from anyone in my life before.