Stitch

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2. Courtney

Rae flings open the door, a massive smile on her face. “Is it what I think it is?” she squeals in a whisper, pulling me into a hug.

She’s the only person who knows about Noah. I trust her to keep a secret more than pretty much anyone, and she doesn’t try to sway me one direction or the other when we talk about him.

“Yes, it is!” I reply, grinning. “Both things.”

“I would scream from happiness, but Autumn just fell asleep twenty minutes ago, and if I wake her up, Logan’s definitely going to divorce me.”

I try to keep my laugh as quiet as possible. My goddaughter never sleeps. I always thought babies needed a lot of rest for their development, but Autumn doesn’t seem to. According to Rae, her doctor said she’s fine and developing normally, especially for a preemie, but Rae and Logan are hot, exhausted messes.

“What’s up, Court?” Logan asks. “Rae started doing a happy dance when you texted us, but she wouldn’t tell me why.”

Rae lets out one of her adorable giggles. “I’m a vault.” She pauses. “Is that the saying? I don’t know. I keep secrets. You know what I mean.”

I don’t think ‘I’m a vault’ is a saying, but I appreciate the sentiment. “You’re the best,” I tell her. “Mind if I sit?”

“Shit, sorry,” Rae mumbles. “Of course. Yeah. I’m so sleep-deprived I forgot how not to be rude.”

“You’re perfect,” Logan and I reassure her at the same time, prompting another giggle.

I sink into their plush armchair while Logan and Rae snuggle up on the couch. I’ve got to hand it to them. They’re the cutest couple I’ve ever seen.

“So,” I start. I’m entirely unsure how Logan is going to react, which is stressing me the hell out. Rae will be able to set him straight if he’s upset that I didn’t tell him or that I’m probably moving, but I don’t want to start my news-sharing expedition on a bad note.

“You know how I’ve always been interested in fashion design?”

Logan nods while Rae grins.

“Well, I’ve been making handbags in my free time, and one of the executives at Dragon Brands liked the designs. I’m meeting with him Monday to talk about a contract.”

“Damn, Court. That’s incredible,” Logan exclaims quietly.

“Thank you. I can’t believe it.”

“I can,” Rae replies. “Your designs are amazing.”

“I love you,” I sigh. “There’s more.”

Logan narrows his eyes. “What aren’t you guys telling me?”

“She’s about to,” Rae points out, stifling a giggle.

He shakes his head lovingly. “So much sass, Mrs. Quincy.”

If Noah and I ever get like that, I’m going to ask Zoe to take us out back with a shotgun.

Speaking of Noah, time to rip off the Band-Aid. “I’ve kind of been talking to, um, the son of my contact at Dragon.”

“What do you mean, ‘talking to’?” Logan asks, not bothering to hide the suspicion in his voice.

“We have sort of a long distance thing going on.”

“Wait. Where’s Dragon Brands based out of?” he asks, still sounding suspicious.

“Boston.”

“If you become a Patriots fan, I’m disowning you as an honorary sister,” Logan practically snarls.

I roll my eyes. We both know that I don’t know the first thing about football, except that Tom Brady is hot, and I don’t even know if he’s still on the Patriots.

“Would you have to move out there?” He narrows his eyes again. “How long have you been talking to this guy?”

“A couple months, and I don’t know. I think it depends on what the contract is, but I can see myself with Noah down the line, so I’m considering it.”

“For a guy you’ve known a couple months?!”

“For my career,” I correct him.

“I’m happy for you. You’re really talented, Court, and this has been your dream forever,” Rae says quickly. I think her comment is more aimed at Logan than me.

I barely have time to thank her before Logan launches into one of his older-brother-ish speeches. “I’m happy for you too, Court. You deserve a career you enjoy. Hell, how long did you try to convince me to quit QV?” He lets out a short laugh before carrying on, “What about this guy, th—”

“Noah,” I interrupt.

“What about Noah? You’ve never mentioned him. Has your family even met him yet? Does your family even know about him? You’ve never met the guy in person. He could be a—”

“Logan,” Rae says softly, “I know about him.”

A hint of anger flashes on Logan’s face.

I speak up before he continues on his tirade. “I wanted to see where it went before I talked to anyone about him. No offense, Logan, but I’m not going to tell you about my phone sex.” Rae and I snort when he recoils. “It’s not like I’m moving in with him. If I do move to Boston, it’s because I’m going to have a career there. Noah’s just a perk.”

“I want to meet him,” Logan growls.

I try to suppress my smile. Logan basically just conceded.

“Alright,” I sigh. “I’ll call him now, but you have to be nice.”

Noah answers on the first ring. “Hey, beautiful. That was quick.”

I blush. He loves complimenting me. It’s the sweetest thing. “I’m still with Logan and Rae. Logan wants to meet you,” I tell him.

“Why?”

“He thinks he’s my protective older brother.” I roll my eyes. “Do you mind talking to him for a couple minutes?”

“Uh, sure. If you want me to.”

I hand the phone to Logan, who immediately darts downstairs, easily slipping out of Rae’s grasp on his shirt.

“And he wonders why I didn’t tell him before,” I grumble.

Rae giggles. “Want me to get him?”

I shake my head. “It’s fine. He’ll just get angrier.”

She sighs, but I can tell she’s suppressing a smile. Everything Logan does is perfect in her book. “So, what are you doing in Boston?” she asks. Then, frowning, she clarifies, “Like, fashion meetings and stuff or designing more bags?”

I don’t really know much about my Dragon Brands itinerary, but I fill Rae in on what Linda said. A piercing scream interrupts as I’m telling her about Sebastian.

“I don’t understand what she has against sleep,” Rae mutters, standing up to grab Autumn. “I’ll be back.”

Not even a second later, Logan jogs up the stairs. He drops my phone in my lap, not bothering to stop while he rushes to help Rae with their daughter.

I peek at the screen and breathe a sigh of relief. The call’s over. I decide an apology text is in order.

Me: Sorry about that!

Noah: No worries. Are you going to see your parents soon?

Me: Prob, Autumn just woke up

Noah: Hurry home.

Me: Someone’s eager

Noah: Very.

The crying stops. A minute later, Rae returns to the couch, rubbing her eyes, followed by Logan holding Autumn, who’s happily sucking away at a bottle. He settles in next to Rae, and she gazes up at him with so much love in her eyes I feel like I just walked in on them...ew.

I know Logan has a kid, which is literal evidence they’ve done the deed, but he’s basically my brother. I push the thought out of my head, but I can’t rid myself of the pang in my chest, the one telling me I want to look at someone that way.

“I should get going,” I say, standing up. “I told my parents I’d be over around eight.”

Rae’s eyes fill with tears. “Are you moving there? Will I see you again before?”

“No plans to move yet. Not any time soon,” I say quickly.

She nods. “Okay. Sorry. Hormones. Still emotional.”

“Don’t be sorry,” I reassure her. “I’ll keep you updated.”

“Wait, Rae, can you take Autumn for a minute?” Logan asks.

Rae sticks out her arms. “Hi, lovebug,” she coos, giving Autumn a tiny boop on the nose.

“I’ll walk you out, Court,” Logan says.

I eye him warily. “Alright, but no lectures.”

“Yeah, yeah.” The second the front door closes, Logan’s tone changes. “I don’t like him,” he states firmly.

“Why don’t you like him, Logan?” I groan.

“I’m serious, Court. I don’t like the way he was talking about you.”

“Is this because I told you about the phone—”

“No. I mean, that’s more than I ever needed to know, but no, that’s not why. He was talking about you as if you’ve, I don’t know, been together for years.”

I roll my eyes. “Logan, you texted me that you were going to marry Rae after your first date,” I remind him.

“It was the second, but that’s different. You haven’t even met in person.”

“Well, good thing we will in three days.” I don’t know what else to say. Noah’s always been a little forward, but I kind of like that. He makes me feel wanted, as if he might look at me the way Logan and Rae look at each other.

“That doesn’t change—”

“Is it so bad for me to see how things go with someone who lives in the city where I might finally accomplish my dreams?” I snap. “Salt Lake’s fashion scene is smaller than its pool of eligible bachelors, and that’s pretty damn small. It’s not even a pool. It’s a freaking puddle. I’m not going to stay in Utah just to work in HR and die a crazy cat lady while my friends get married and have kids and do what they like for a living.” I glare at him. “I don’t even like cats.”

Logan huffs. “Meet someone else out there, then. He gives me a bad feeling.”

“I’m an adult. I can make those decisions for myself, and I think I know him a little better than you do.”

“Yeah, alright.”

That’s the best I’ll get with Logan. “See you later,” I say, pulling him into a bro hug.

“Good luck with Brady,” he replies.

I know he’s taunting me, but I’ll need all the luck I can get when it comes to telling my brother about the sort-of relationship. Actually, come to think of it...

“Logan!” I yell.

He turns around. “Don’t even—”

“Please don’t tell him. Please, Logan. Let me see if it works out first.”

“Are you going to keep it from your parents too?” he asks, unimpressed.

“I’m just going to neglect to share that specific information.”

“No. Court, you have to tell your fu—”

“I won’t babysit until Autumn turns two,” I threaten.

He scoffs. “You love babysitting, but it’s not like you can from Boston anyway.”

“I might not be moving there. Even if I do, I’ll resist the urge when I visit. I’ll do it, Logan. You know I will.” I’m not lying. He does know that I will.

“Alright. Fine. If you promise to keep me updated, I won’t tell Brady.”

“Deal.”

We shake on it, and my best friend returns to his happy little sleep-deprived family.


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