Chasing Elliott

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Chapter 12

Alexithymia (n.)
an inability to describe emotions in a verbal manner.

I awoke the next morning with the largest smile on my face. Rolling over onto my back, I grabbed the elephant that Cooper had won me the night before and hugged it tightly to my chest as I bit my lip. Taking a few minutes to bask in the recollection of the date, I finally slipped out of bed and took a quick shower.

Deciding to wear a simple pair of black leggings with a white tank and my jean jacket, I left my hair to air dry and didn't bother with any makeup. Walking out of my bedroom, I made my way into the kitchen and noticed Kingsley was nowhere to be seen. Spotting a piece of paper tapped to the fridge, I ripped it off and rolled my eyes.

El –

I ran out to get coffee since you so selfishly neglected me of my fill yesterday. Don't worry, I'll pick you up some, too.

King xx

Pulling out my phone to text her, I noticed I had a couple messages from Cooper and smiled softly.

Cooper: I had an amazing time tonight.

Cooper: Good morning, beautiful. I hope you have a great day.

Swiping over to my thread with Kingsley to thank her and ask if she was skipping class or not, I grabbed a granola bar out of the cabinet before turning my attention back to my phone. Returning to my conversation with Cooper, I hovered over my keyboard for a few moments before finally typing my reply.

Me: You must have the wrong number because I know you're not talking about me ;) I had a great time last night, too. Hope your day is as perfect as you are.

As soon as I hit send, it felt like my stomach was in my throat. I can't believe I just sent him that. I quickly started to cover my tracks, typing out an apology for coming on too strong when he replied.

Cooper: More like you hope my day is as perfect as you.

I smiled in content and locked my phone, walking over to the couch to flip on the television. As soon as I did, Kingsley came walking in the door with a bag in one hand and a carrier with two iced coffees in the other.

I groaned in enthusiasm as she handed me my coffee before she flopped down into the saucer chair. Pulling a wrapper out of the bag, she handed it to me and my eyes practically rolled into the back of my head as the smell of egg and sausage hit my nose.

"You're the best," I mumbled through a mouthful of food as she grinned at me and took a sip of her coffee. Kingsley shrugged her shoulders as if she already knew before she started eating her own breakfast burrito.

We sat in silence as we ate, each of us devouring our food. Wiping at my mouth with an already greasy napkin, I turned my attention over to her.

"So, are you not going to class today?"

"No I am, but the lecture was optional so I'm only going in for the lab. Figured I'd sleep in," she responded as she threw our wrappers into the bag and started to walk toward the kitchen. "Oh my god, I fell asleep before you got home. How'd your date go?"

"Did you know he plays baseball for the college?" Was my first simple reply. Kingsley's head quickly shot in my direction as she raised an eyebrow at me.

"You mean Cooper wears those tight ass baseball pants?"

"Hey now, you've got your man," I said with a chuckle. "But the night was amazing, honestly. He even won me a stuffed elephant."

"Ugh, that's so sweet," Kingsley said dramatically and she fell back into the chair with a sigh. "You two are seriously so cute. Are you feeling any better about it?"

"I don't know," I told her with a shrug. "The more time I spend with him, the more I really want to get to know him and be with him but I'm still nervous."

Kingsley jumped up and fell onto the couch next to me, wrapping her arms around me and hugging tightly. I laughed as she rocked me and squealed in excitement.

"Even though you're nervous, I'm so proud," she cooed happily. "My little El is growing up."

Pushing her off me, I couldn't hide the smile from my face as I got off the couch and turned to look down at her.

"Yeah, yeah, don't you have a bus to catch?" I asked, turning to walk into the kitchen to grab a bottle of water since I had finished off my coffee.

"Actually, I was going to ask you to drive me," Kingsley replied nonchalantly.

"And when were you going to do that, exactly?" I implored as I closed the fridge and looked at her with a cocked brow.


I rolled my eyes but chuckled quietly as I walked over to the door and slipped on my Toms, grabbing her car keys off the hook. Kingsley quickly jumped off the couch and ran down the hall to her bedroom, coming back with her backpack on her shoulders.

Pulling open the door, I locked the apartment door behind us and trotted down the stairs before exiting the building into the parking lot. The minute the hot air hit my skin, I quickly stripped out of my jacket and threw it into the back seat of the car before turning the key and cranking up the air conditioning.

I pulled into the parking lot and parked the car as close to the front door as possible. Walking quickly from the car to the front door, I slipped into the building and welcomed the cool air hitting my skin.

I made my way up to the third floor and stopped when I saw a figure waiting outside the door. Smiling, I closed the distance between us as I glanced down at the wicker picnic basket in his hand.

"It's a little hot for a picnic, don't you think?" I asked as I walked over to unlock the door.

"I figured we could have one in your living room," Cooper said with a shrug of his shoulders. "I didn't check the weather before I left."

Laughing, I pushed open the front door and walked into the living room. Heading straight for my bedroom, I grabbed an extra blanket I had resting on my bed and walked back into the living room to see Cooper giving me a strange look.

"Can't have a picnic without a blanket to sit on, now can we?"

Cooper helped me take two cushions off the couch and put them on the floor before we covered them with the blanket. He put the basket down as I sat cross legged and he did the same before pulling out a couple sandwiches.

"It's nothing fancy but I wanted to bring you lunch," Cooper told me as he sat down next to me. I happily took the sandwich and arched a brow at him as I saw what was on it.

"How the hell did you know I like bacon on my sandwiches?"

"I didn't," he started to say as he took a bite out of his own. "But I do so figured I'd take a stab in the dark."

I laughed and shook my head, taking a bite of the turkey, ham, cheese and bacon sandwich he had made. Nodding my head in approval, I swallowed my bite before making conversation.

"So do you not have classes today?" I asked as I took a sip of the cherry coke he brought.

"No I do, but they were earlier this morning and I don't have practice till later so I decided to come see you between my break. Kingsley told me you don't have classes on Wednesday's."

I smiled as I took another bite of my sandwich before noticing he had a weird look on his face, like he was deep in thought.

"What's on your mind?" I asked, growing slightly uncomfortable with his intense stare.

"It's nothing," Cooper mumbled, trying to dismiss it but I was having none of that.

"You can ask, Cooper. I'm an open book," I told him, putting down my sandwich. He sighed deeply and ran a hand through his thick brown hair before he looked at me again apologetically.

"I know it's not really my place to ask, especially since I don't like him, but how many times have you slept with Nick?"

"Just once," I told him with no hesitation. Cooper nodded as if he were thinking harder than before which caused me to sigh. "Look, Coop, I know I sleep around a lot and that stems back to some deep psychological issues I have and maybe one day I'll tell you about all that.

"But honestly, I haven't felt happy with the life I've been living for a while but I just feel that, without that, there's really nothing else for me. That I won't be anything because that's all people see me as. But you are starting to show me a different side of things and I think eventually I could get past all that."

Cooper smiled and reached for my hands, holding them between his own.

"I definitely get it," he informed me which caused me to breathe a sigh of relief. "I was the same way honestly so it doesn't bother me. I just want to know if you'll give me a chance to prove to you that this is worth it."

I smiled and leaned forward, planting a kiss to his cheek as I pulled back and nodded. Cooper grinned widely before he reached for his sandwich.

"If you're not busy Friday night, you should come to my baseball game."

"Only if I get to wear your spare jersey."
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