When I woke up the following morning, Audrey and Declan had already gotten and ready to take on the day. Audrey in a respectable blazer with a t-shirt and jeans and Declan in a white V-neck shirt and jeans. As I entered the kitchen, I noticed that both of them were hunched over the kitchen island, quietly whispering about something. Audrey began getting worked up and Declan gestured for her to calm down.
I stood by for a few moments, watching the two interact before I cleared my throat, finally entering the kitchen. Audrey pushed herself off the island, giving me the biggest smile imaginable. “Hey. How’d you sleep after last night?”
“Do you really have to ask?” I responded, narrowing my eyes in Declan’s direction in the process. He rolled his eyes as he turned his body away from me. “Don’t worry, I’ll be out of your hair shortly. I just came to get some coffee then I have got to head into town. There’s some stuff I have to pick up in town for your wedding cake plus there are a few errands I have to run.” As I told Audrey this, I made my way over to the coffee pot and filled up a mug.
“Take Declan with you!” Audrey noticed suddenly, causing me to nearly drop the cup of coffee.
“And why would I do that?”
“Because- he’s from here! He knows his way around Nashville, so you’ll get around quicker.” Why was she pushing this so much? It was just errands. It is not like I was going out there and risking my life!
“Audrey, I don’t think it’s necessary for me- “Declan spoke up but stopped himself short when Audrey gave him a pointed glare. After a few seconds, Declan shook his head as he turned his body back towards me. “On second thought, it’s not too much trouble for me to Mags. It’ll give me a chance to get reacquainted with the area.”
“Why do you insist on not calling me by my name?”
“Because I enjoy watching you squirm. It gives me something to look forward to in my day.” A grin broke out on Declan’s face as he began approaching me. “It won’t be that bad, I promise. I’ll even do my best to not be a pain in the ass.”
“I’d take it, Margaret. It’s not often Declan tries not to be an asshole.” I drained the rest of my coffee, sighing as I set it down on the counter.”
“I’m not keen on having a babysitter but if it gets you to shut the fuck up about it then fine, you can come.” I started walking back to the bedroom. “You better be ready to go in twenty minutes.”
“Yes maim.” I didn’t have to look back to know a smirk had broken out on Declan’s face. Without looking back, I rose my middle finger in the air towards him. Both Audrey and he chuckled as I shut the door behind me.
True to my word, I was ready in twenty minutes, and Declan and I were in the car and headed off in another two minutes. As I sat in the passenger seat, I could not help but feel self-conscious as I sat next to him. I decided to throw on a worn pair of blue jeans, an old Metallica t-shirt, and then my favorite olive-green cardigan over that. I looked like an old woman ready to go to the craft store for the latest sale! How could someone look effortlessly good like him?
Nervousness caused my legs to twitch in the seat, forcing me to adjust my position. Declan glanced at me from the drivers’ seat. A single eyebrow raised in curiosity as he turned his attention back to the road. Just what I need Declan to see, me acting more like a complete spaz!
“Remind me again what the first stop was?” Declan asked, returning his full attention to the road.
“There’s a specialty bakeshop downtown that has the stencils I need for the wedding cake. Plus, I need to pick up the proper cake stands. It’s called- “
“Gourmet Cakes, it’s on Jackson street. I know the place.” Declan laughed when I turned and gave him a confused look. “What? Audrey wasn’t lying when she said I’m from Nashville.”
“Then why don’t you have the accent?”
“My family moved my brothers and me to DC when I was younger. Lived there for many years. Just uh- came back recently.” I wasn’t sure how to handle Declan right now. Not only was he being uncharacteristically nice, but he was being- open. I did not have to pry this information from him.
I continued to further push the boundaries to see how far he would go. “You have brothers?”
He briefly chuckled. as he turned down an uneven brick road. “Yes, I have four brothers to be exact. What so hard to believe about me having brothers?”
“Nothing it’s just- “I desperately bit down on my tongue, trying to stop myself from saying what came to mind. “You kind of give off the- cocky, spoiled only child vibe.”
“Nice to know what you think of me.” He bit back sarcastically, a small grin forming on his lips. “Enough about me Maggie, tell me about yourself. More specifically, why were you up so late last night?”
“Excuse me? Last time I checked; I do not have to tell you anything. More importantly, I have known you for two days? What makes you think I’m going to tell you my deepest darkest secrets?” I asked, trying not to let the anger show in my voice but failing miserably. Who does Declan think he is?
Declan replied without missing a beat. “So, you admit it’s a secret on why you were out last night?”
I groaned as my eyes drifted towards the roof of the car. “I thought you said you weren’t going to be a pain in the ass?”
“No, I said I was going to TRY not to be a pain in the ass. There’s a difference Mags.” He pointed out to me as he pulled the car to the side of the road. Looking out the window I saw that we had arrived at Gourmet Cakes.
I rushed to get out of the car, nearly leaving skid marks as I made my way up to the shop. “Jesus, would you slow down?”
I turned back towards Declan, tilting my head to the side in confusion. “What? I am just picking up two things. You can stay in the car Declan, it’s ok.”
A strange look crossed Declan’s blue eyes, turning them a shade darker than what they normally are. The mysterious look seemingly vanished as the corner of his mouth turned upwards. “And what? Make me seem like an asshole by sending the woman in by herself to pick it up? I don’t think so.”
“But Declan, it won’t make you seem like an asshole because you already are an asshole.”
“Haha, very funny. Come on, let’s just get this over with.” Declan approached me, moving to stand directly behind me. As we entered the shop, I could not help but notice his hand move to press firmly against my lower back. When I tried to shake his hand off, it would leave only to come back a few moments later.
What the hell? Since when did Declan decide to become a Nashville southern gentleman? No, that is not it. Chalk it up to my overthinking but there is something more to this. I just don’t know what.