Chasing Elliott

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Chapter 19

Strikhedonia (n.)
the pleasure of being able to say 'to hell with it'.

We pulled up to one of the busiest parts of the city and struggled to find a place to park. As we finally found a spot, I glanced down at my outfit and suddenly grew a little self conscious. Normally I wouldn't care about my outfit unless I was trying to hook up with someone but it was a Saturday night in the city and we were still in our clothes from the batting cages.

"Don't worry so much," Cooper said as he gave my thigh a light squeeze. "Trust me, where we're going, no one is going to care."

Before I had the opportunity to question where we were heading, he opened up his drivers side and quickly climbed out. Sighing, I reached for my handle but the door was pulled out of my hand as it was opened for me. Laughing softly, I accepted Cooper's outstretched hand and slid out of my seat.

I followed Cooper through the busy streets, weaving in and out of people as he held onto my hand tightly so as not to lose me. Stopping outside of a restaurant with tall windows and dimly lit lights illuminating from inside, he smiled down at me widely before pulling me in after him.

The inside was loud as we entered and I almost rolled my eyes at the neon light decor that covered the walls. It had a typical sports bar feel but as we walked deeper inside, I noticed a stage sitting in the back corner.

Cooper found an empty high-top table and we quickly took the seats. As soon as we sat down, a waitress walked over and handed us some menus and two glasses of water. I ordered my usual Tito Cranberry while he ordered a Jameson Coke.

"I know what I'm ordering you," he said with a smile as he set the menu down and folded his arms on the table. I raised a brow as I slowly lowered the menu and took a sip of my water.

"A girl is perfectly capable of ordering for herself," I ventured as I picked up my menu once more and started scanning it again.

"I know a girl is," Cooper teased as he wriggled his eyebrows at me. "But I want you to try this. You order me something."

I rolled my eyes but nodded my head anyway, knowing that I could have someone worse ordering a meal for me. Once the waitress came over, we both placed our orders before I noticed a couple guys setting up equipment on the stage.

"Do live bands play here or something?" I asked as I turned my attention back to Cooper. He bit his lip to suppress his smile which caused me to narrow my eyes slightly.

"Not exactly," he drawled out as I turned my attention back to the stage. Suddenly, the two television screens behind it lit up and said Karaoke Night. I slowly turned my head back to Cooper to find him smiling widely at me.

"You expect me to sing?" I asked incredulously as I laughed and folded my arms over my chest. Before he had the chance to answer me, I spotted a guy roughly grab a girls arm at the bar and I saw her struggle to get out of his grip.

As if on instinct, I quickly slid out of my chair and approached them. The guy had at least a foot on me and had quite a large build but that wasn't going to stop me. I grabbed his arm and tore it away from her before sliding myself between them.

"We don't put our hands on women in here sir," I said as I folded my arms over my chest. "Or anyone for that matter."

"This doesn't concern you," he spat out as he tried to walk around me. I followed his movement so I was still blocking his path, keeping my arms folded.

"Should I sing a song by the Backstreet Boys or something from Nirvana? I can't really decide because you see, I think my voice could really atone for something like-"

"Why are you protecting her? This is just... fuck this," he said cutting me off before storming away from us. I rolled my eyes as I felt a hand on my shoulder which caused me to turn around.

"Thank you for that," the woman said softly which caused me to smile.

"No problem," I said with a shrug. "Us girls gotta look out for each other."

I sauntered back over to where Cooper sat with a smile on his face. Our food was already sitting there waiting and I quickly grabbed a fry and plopped it in my mouth.

"God you're such a badass," Cooper told me as he rested his head in one of his hands. I chuckled quietly to myself as I took a sip of my drink before smiling.

"Why thank you. So, are we really doing karaoke? I didn't take you as the singing type," I teased as I took a bite of the chicken sandwich he had ordered me.

"What is it you told me a couple days ago? There's still a lot you have to learn about me, babe," he said as he bit back a smile.

"Okay then, mister man of many layers," I said as I wagged a fry at him before eating it. "What song are you going to sing?"

"Looks like you're about to find out," Cooper said as he looked over my shoulder. I spun around in my chair and saw his name light up the screen. Before I had the chance to say anything, he was already walking toward the stage.

He walked onto the stage like he owned it and quickly grabbed the microphone off the mic stand. Cooper did a theatrical spin and put a hand on his hip which made a couple people around me chuckle quietly.

"Alright everyone, I'm Cooper Hearst and I'm here to show this lovely lady here that I'm more than just an attentive hot baseball player."

I rolled my eyes and bit my lip as I shook my head. The music started playing and I brought a hand up to cover my mouth, trying to stifle my laughter as he started singing. Suddenly, my phone vibrating in my pocket tore my attention away as I reached for it.

Kingsley: How's your date going tonight?

"She used to be a chancer, sparkle in the rain. Told me she needed a friend. If she's going crazy, baby's on the way. Seems like a day never ends."

Cooper was dancing around the stage, twirling around in the spotlight. Everyone in the bar was cheering him on, most of the guys being the loudest. I started typing a reply as I heard him continue singing the song.

"Everybody needs some affection. Never shy, gotta try. Whenever you're going." I suddenly saw a figure standing in front of me and before I had the opportunity to look up fully, my phone was snatched from my hands.

I looked up at Cooper and saw him giving me a coy expression as he started walking back toward the stage backwards, never breaking eye contact while he held out my phone as a challenge. I narrowed my eyes but obliged anyway, following him.

A few feet from the stage, I stood with my arms folded over my chest with a smile on my face until he reached for the extra microphone and held it out to me. I started to shake my head furiously but Cooper put a hand on my cheek to stop me. He bent down and lightly kissed my forehead before forcing the microphone into my hand. I rolled my eyes as he reached for my spare hand and pulled me up on stage with him.

"Never give up on the good times, gotta believe in the love you find," I started to sing as I put the microphone back in the mic stand and looked out at the sea of people. "Never give up on the good times, living it up is a state of mind."

Once the song came to an end, Cooper reached for my hand and pulled me into his chest. Smiling, I hid my face in his shoulder as the crowd erupted into a mix of laughter and applause. Pulling back, I rested my chin on his chest and beamed proudly.

"Thank you, for making me do this," I said softly as I pulled back. "I never would've done something like this."

Without saying a word, he bent down and quickly captured my lips in his and I heard a couple people in the audience whistle. I pulled back with flushed cheeks as Cooper wrapped his hand in mine and walked us back toward our table.

"I'm glad I could get you up there with me," Cooper said with a smile as he finished off his drink. "Was sure you'd be too embarrassed to sing the Spice Girls with me."

"How do you feel about the Backstreet Boys?" I questioned with a raised brow. Cooper's face lit up as he shoved a fry in his mouth and slid out of his chair once more.

"I know just the song," he all but yelled as he ran over to the booth where the DJ was posted with the sign up sheet. I laughed and bit back a smile as I finished off my food. I saw my phone sitting on the table and reached it for it, planning to finally reply to Kingsley.

I glanced up and caught Cooper's eye. He beamed at me widely and waved in my direction before he bent down to fill out the sheet. As he came walking back over, the smile never left his face which made mine grow bigger as I looked down to type my reply.

Me: Couldn't be better.
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