an enduring and consuming passion.
Once the bar closed, the four of us made our way out to the parking lot. Cooper had his arm slung around my shoulders while Benjamin and Kingsley walked ahead of us with their hands intertwined. I smiled to myself as I glanced down at my feet which made Cooper squeeze my shoulder gently.
"What's on your mind, beautiful?" He asked as he brought us to a halt a couple feet away from his car. I watched as Benjamin opened the passenger door for Kingsley and she slid in with a smile on her face.
"Nothing," I said as I bit my lip and wrapped my arms around his waist. "I'm just happy."
"Good," Cooper whispered as he wrapped his arms around me and rested his forehead to mine. "That's all I can ever hope for."
I looked up into his eyes through my eyelashes and smiled but I noticed a conflicted look on his face. I pulled back slightly to get a better look at him and noticed his eyebrows were furrowed together causing some creases to form on his forehead.
"Are you okay?" I questioned quietly as I started rubbing one hand down his arm. Cooper sighed loudly as he ran a hand through his hair before stepping out of my grasp and grabbing my hand to pull me towards the car.
We stood there on the passenger side with my back pressed against the door while I stared up into his brown eyes. His hand that was on my shoulder now rested on the roof of the car as he stared at me intently. I cocked a brow and tilted my head slightly as I waited for him to speak.
"Can I ask you something?" Cooper implored as he bit his lip. I nodded as I swallowed the lump in my throat, growing slightly uncomfortable with his sudden seriousness. "Have you ever thought of being in a relationship?"
"Sometimes," I told him after I thought about it for a minute. "But not really. I just don't think I'm cut out for something like that."
"Why not?" He asked as his face fell. I sighed as I brought my arms up to wrap around his neck as he stayed bent down and I ran my hand through his hair.
"I tend to ruin every good thing in my life, Coop. The minute someone turns serious on me all I do is hurt them," I said sadly as I closed my eyes before the tears could fall.
"Do you think that could ever change? Like if the right person came along?" Cooper questioned as he moved a hand to brush some of the hair away from my face before cupping my chin to tilt my eyes back up to his.
"I don't want," I stopped and sighed in exasperation as I felt my eyes start to well up. "I don't want to hurt you."
Cooper grabbed my face between his hands and used his thumbs to brush away the tears that had fallen onto my cheeks before he pulled me firmly into his chest. I gripped his shirt tightly as he rubbed soothing circles on my back while his other hand cupped the back of my head.
"We don't have to rush anything or put a label on it," Cooper whispered into my ear. "Not until you're ready, baby."
I pulled back and looked up at him with a small smile and nodded my head softly which caused him to smile back at me. He pushed some more hair away from my face and kissed my forehead gently.
"I'm sorry," I told him quietly as he roughly shook his head and cupped my face between his hands once more.
"Don't apologize, okay? I'm not upset or angry. I understand that this goes way deeper than I may ever know so I know this will take time but we got all the time in the world, El, so don't fret. I'm not going anywhere."
I pushed myself up on the balls of my feet and crashed my lips to his before either of us could say another word. My arms looped around his neck as he deepened the kiss and ran his tongue along my bottom lip. I fisted my hands into his hair as a soft moan left his lips once I granted him access.
Suddenly we heard yelling coming from the entrance of the bar which made us abruptly pull apart. Two guys were pushing another man who was clearly drunk out of the bar and he was putting up quite the fight.
"Lets get you home," Cooper said as he placed a quick kiss to my lips before he pulled me away from the car so he could open the door. I smiled up at him before sliding in as he closed the door behind me.
We pulled up to my apartment building and Cooper parked the car in Kingsley's empty parking spot which meant she went back with Benjamin. Holding open the door for me, I smiled as I entered and walked up the three flights of stairs to my apartment.
Stopping outside the door, I turned around and faced Cooper who was giving me a gentle smile. He cupped my face in his right hand and pressed his lips to mine softly but before he could pull back, I threw my arms around his neck and kissed him deeper.
One of his hands wrapped into my hair while the other gripped my hip tightly and I pulled on his hair which caused him to release a mix of a breath and a moan into my mouth which only fueled me on. Pulling back, I looked up into his eyes deeply as I bit my lip.
"I should probably go," Cooper whispered as I fought back a laugh after noticing the conflict that flashed behind his eyes.
"Or you can stay," I told him as I rubbed my nose softly against his. "Please stay."
Rather than saying a word, Cooper quickly pushed his lips against mine as he gripped my hips. He suddenly hoisted me up and my legs instinctively wrapped around his waist. One of his hands rested under my thigh as his other reached for the doorknob while my arms stayed firmly around his neck, never breaking the kiss.
Cooper used my back to push open the door before he kicked it closed behind him. I heard him flip the lock before he sauntered down the hall, breaking apart from my lips to kiss down my neck. I moaned softly as I tilted my head to the side to give him more access.
As we entered my room, he closed the door before falling onto the bed. My back rested against my silk sheets as Cooper supported himself with his forearms that rested by my head. I reconnected our lips as my hands now trailed down his sides and gripped the bottom of his shirt, quickly pulling it off over his head.
Glancing up into Cooper's eyes, I saw just as much passion in them as I know my eyes held before I pulled him back down to my lips. As he eagerly kissed me, I felt his hand trailing down my side and I chuckled quietly.
"Sorry," I said sheepishly as he looked at me with a twinkle in his eye. "I'm slightly ticklish."
Cooper laughed softly before he grabbed my hand and pulled me up to sit before he swiftly took off my tank top, reaching to remove my sports bra. He wasted no time in tearing it off before pushing me back down to the bed and kissing me once more.
Clothes were being torn off as we explored each other's bodies with our hands and our mouths until we were both left with just our underwear. I was now straddling Cooper and slowly started to kiss his neck and made my way down his chest. Just as I reached his waistband, I felt his hand on my shoulder which caused me to look up at him.
"Come here," he said softly as he ran a hand through my hair. Raising an eyebrow in confusion, I climbed back up to his side and laid down with my head resting on his chest as he played with my hair.
"I just want to hold you," Cooper told me as he broke the silence. I felt my cheeks warm up slightly as butterflies erupted in my chest at his six simple words. Glancing up to look at him, I trailed my finger in circles on his chest as I smiled softly.
"You don't want to have sex with me?"
"Well of course I do," he said with a chuckle. "You're irresistible but I want it to be something more. I want to know it'll be more than a one time thing. So for tonight, just let me hold you."
"As long as I get to be the little spoon," I teased as I flipped over so my back was pressed against him. Cooper laughed as he rolled over on his side and wrapped his arm firmly around my waist, pulling me closer into him.
We both let out a hum of satisfaction and before I knew it, he was fast asleep and not long later I dozed off to the sound of his soft snoring and the feeling of his breath on the back of my neck.