“I noticed that too. Get to work, crazy girl.”
“You call me crazy? Says the guy who searched not only my apartment but also my room high and low. I think you might be the crazy one, Leo,” I joke before looking at my class assignments. I only missed yesterday. Judging by the amount of schoolwork that’s in my inbox, you would think it was a week. I’m majoring in two different studies, business technology and English. Two polar opposites. I managed to keep that a secret from my parents. My father said if I was going to college, it wasn’t going to become something that wasn’t worthy, while my mother said she wasn’t sure why I even bothered. I’d be married by the time I was twenty-one years old to a man of their choosing. I think they both have completely lost their minds.
“I think we’re going to try and drive into the night, not stop until closer to midnight. Are you okay with that?” Leo asks a few minutes into my schoolwork.
“That’s perfect, but are you going to be okay to drive that much on the little amount of sleep you got last night?” I can feel the heat coming off my cheeks thinking about why we didn’t go to sleep earlier last night.
“I’ll be good, and don’t worry, you didn’t wear me out, too much.” He takes his eyes off the road for a minute to wink at me before he focuses back to driving. My core heats at the thoughts of just how good he made me feel last night. Tonight, it will be my turn to taste him. Leo just doesn’t know it yet. I get back to my work as he continues to drive, trying to get a huge chunk knocked out so tomorrow will be an easier day.
I don’t even know how to tell Tinsley the news I got from Slade. She’s going to lose her shit, and I can’t hold her while I’m driving down the highway going eight-five miles per hour. These next two days are going to be brutal, and not just for me.
Tinsley working on her classwork is for the best. Even after the pit stops we made for gas, food, and the restroom, she went right back to it, not questioning why my eyes were glued to her the entire time or why I was stationed outside the restroom door. Tinsley went along with it.
“Hey, will you find a hotel while you’re online? I’m thinking we’ll make it to Wisconsin Rapids. It’s a bit more populated than I’d like it to be, but by tomorrow we’ll be in Virginia. It means another long day on the road. We’re getting there though.”
“You think you’ll be ready to tell me what’s going on by the time we get settled for the night?” Her voice is soft and sweet, much like Tinsley is as a whole.
“I can. It won’t help you sleep tonight though. It’s bad, Tinsley, so fucking bad. I’m not sure there’s any coming back from it with your parents.” My voice sounds ominous even to myself.
“Ugh, they’re always doing something backhanded. If I wasn’t with my granddaddy, they’d pawn me off to whoever was in the house without a care in the world. Which makes this statement hard even for me to digest, but I’d rather not know until we get to your place. I know the evil they are capable of, and I’ll more than likely break down, and cry for that matter.” My hand finds hers. There’s not much comfort I can give her at this very moment.
“I’m here for you. Drake, Slade, Bridger, Easton, and Travis, we’re all here for you. Not to mention their nosey-as-hell wives too. Giana, Drake’s wife, will nurse you back to health. Slade’s wife, Taylor, from what I’ve heard has the same obsession you do. I bet you two could give us a run for our money. Bridger’s woman, Kellie, will straight up karate chop someone who tries to hurt you. Easton’s wife, Cam, is a mother hen, it can’t be helped. Then you have Raelynn, Travis’s wife. She makes the best desserts you can sink your teeth into. We’re one big happy family. Not only that, Mom and Dad will welcome you with open arms. Mom will probably make some wisecrack comment about how I’m your problem now and she can wash her hands clean of my shenanigans.” I smirk because I know my mom real well, and this isn’t far from the truth.
“You have an amazing family and a great support system. I’m happy for you. Thank you for bringing me into the fold. I know I’ll be an outsider for them, and if things don’t work between us, I promise not to be some psycho chick. It would suck to lose you, but I can stand on my own two feet if it comes down to it,” she mumbles while placing a falling strand of hair behind her ear. I saw this all from the corner of my eye, and I didn’t like her thinking she may have to leave me. Nothing could be further from the truth. It makes me do something reckless. I shouldn’t be doing this, but I change lanes on the fly, causing Tinsley to put her laptop away.