Chasing Elliott

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Chapter 24

ELLIOTT STEVENS
Quaintrelle - (n.)
a woman who emphasizes a life of passion, expressed through personal style, leisurely pastimes, charm and cultivation of life's pleasures.


I quietly slipped out of bed, careful not to wake Cooper as I tiptoed my way toward the door. Dipping into the hallway, I flipped up the hood on my onesie and walked down the hall into the kitchen. I poured some fresh coffee into a mug before turning around and spotting Kingsley sitting in front of the television.

"Hey honey," I said as I fell into the recliner. "How was the rest of your night?"

"Pretty good," she told me as she bit her lip and her cheeks heated up. My eyes widened as I set my mug down on the table and rested my elbows on my knees.

"Oh my, did you?" I questioned excitedly, trying to keep my voice somewhat quiet since the boys were still sleeping. Kingsley frantically nodded her head and I squealed as I launched forward and wrapped my arms around her.

"It was amazing," Kingsley informed me as I pulled back to sit back down. "He's definitely not selfish, I'll tell you that."

I chuckled as I shook my head and took another sip of my coffee as she went on to talk about her night. I smiled and nodded to let her know I was listening but my mind wandered. It wandered to the other night when Cooper stopped anything from happening and how badly I wished he hadn't. If I made a move, would he stop it again? And why had he really stopped it in the first place?

"So what are your plans today?" She asked once she had stopped talking about her and Benjamin.

"I have to be at the shelter in an hour," I answered as I climbed off the couch to put my mug in the sink. "How about you?"

"I was going to meet up with my lab group to finish our project," Kingsley started to say before she sighed. "But I rather hang out here with you or Benjamin."

"Well, I should be back around two so we can do something then. But I have to go get ready."

"Are you going to bring Cooper with you?" She questioned as she leaned her head against the back of the couch to look at me. Stopping in the hallway, a small smile graced my lips as I nodded my head.

"You know what? I think I just might."

I sauntered down the hallway with a grin on my face as I pushed open my bedroom door. Cooper was still fast asleep, his hair sticking up in random directions as he hugged my pillow to his chest. I shook my head at how cute he was before grabbing my phone and quickly snapping a picture.

Walking over to the bed, I rested a knee on it and put a hand on his shoulder before placing a kiss on his neck. He stirred slightly underneath me but his eyes remained closed. Rolling my eyes, I had to try and suppress a laugh as I grabbed a pillow I had on the floor and whacked him with it.

"Hey," Cooper groaned as he clutched onto my pillow tighter and buried himself deeper into my blankets. "I could've thought of a lot nicer, more enjoyable way for you to wake me up."

"Yeah, but this option seemed a little more fun," I teased as I walked over to my closet. "Now get up and get dressed, we're going out."

I grabbed a plain, white v neck short sleeve top and a pair of dark washed skinny jeans before walking back into the bedroom. Cooper was sitting on the bed, slipping his socks back on as I walked by. Before I could make it to the dresser, his hand wrapped around my wrist and yanked me toward him which caused me to fall in his lap.

"Good morning, beautiful," he whispered as he started to kiss my neck. I sighed as I tilted my head before I quickly snapped out of it and put a hand on his chest to stop him. I placed a slow kiss to his lips before attempting to slide off his lap but both of his arms wrapped around my waist and kept me there.

"Come on, Coop," I laughed as I tried to pry his hands off me. "We're going to be late."

"Late for what?" He questioned as he finally let me go. I walked over to my dresser and grabbed my hair spray, trying to tame some of the loose hairs that fell out of my messy bun in my sleep. Throwing on a coat of mascara, I saw Cooper staring at me in the mirror.

"It's a surprise," I told him as I watched him continue to stare at me. "Why are you looking at me like that?"

Cooper shook his head as a tint came to his cheeks before he quickly climbed off the bed and left my bedroom. I stood there with my eyebrows furrowed in confusion before I grabbed my TOMS and followed him.

He was standing by the door waiting for me when I approached. Cooper smiled widely as he reached for my hand and pulled me into his chest before he placed a quick kiss to my lips.

"I can't wait to see what you have in store for us."



We pulled up to the animal shelter and I beamed widely as I turned off the car and quickly climbed out. Waiting for Cooper, I watched intently as he raised an eyebrow in my direction.

"An animal shelter?" He questioned as he came up to me and we walked toward the entrance.

"I volunteer here walking dogs once a week," I told him as we walked into the shelter. "It's been really hard for me not having a dog around but this helps me a little bit."

Cooper nodded as I led us through the lobby and toward the back near the kennels. Grabbing two leashes that sat near the door, I handed one to him before we entered.

"So is there a specific order you're supposed to walk them?" Cooper asked as we walked past countless cages filled with dogs.

"I usually start with the older dogs but it doesn't really matter," I told him as I stopped outside one of the kennels. I smiled sadly as I bent down to unlatch the door as the husky inside walked slowly toward me.

I softly pet her head as she nuzzled into me before I connected the leash to her collar. Cooper grabbed the bulldog that was next door and smiled at me as we exited the building into the vast greenery behind the building.

"What's wrong?" He questioned as we found the path and walked in the beautiful weather.

"She's been here for over a year," I said as I reached down and patted her on the head. "It just kills me to see dogs in here that are over five years old cause it's so hard for them to get adopted."

We stopped near a clearing and I sat down in the tall grass as the husky, Mia, laid down and rested her head in my lap. I smiled sadly as I brushed my fingers through her soft fur as Cooper sat down near me.

"Why haven't you gotten a dog for yourself?" Cooper questioned as the bulldog laid down next to him.

"Kingsley isn't the biggest fan of dogs so I just never thought to ask her if she'd be okay with it. I didn't want to make her feel cornered," I told him with a shrug. Cooper nodded softly as he looked at Mia intently. Looking up at me, he gave me a small smile before he sighed.

"Thank you for bringing me with you," he said softly as he started to run his fingers through Mia's long coat. "I love that you feel comfortable enough to let me see all these different sides of you."

"I guess I may just kind of like you," I teased as I pushed his shoulder lightly. Cooper chuckled as he laid down in the grass and folded his arms behind his head.

We stayed there in silence for awhile before the alarm on my phone went off to let me know that it was time to go back and walk the next dog. I sighed as I reluctantly got to my feet and walked back toward the shelter.

Walking back inside, I lead Mia toward her kennel and opened the door but she stayed by my side, looking up at me expectantly. I sighed as I bent down so we were at eye level and pet her ears.

"I'm sorry, girl," I whispered as I pressed my forehead to hers. "But I'll be back in a couple days, I promise."

It took me walking into the kennel with her for her to finally enter and my heart clenched as I already knew what was going to happen next. I wrapped my arms around her neck as a tear escaped my eye before I quickly slipped out of the kennel and latched it behind me.

The minute the lock clicked, Mia started howling and crying as she watched me walk away. I brought the back of my hand up to wipe away the tears that had slipped from my eyes as I fast walked out of the kennel area and over to another one.

Once I finally stopped walking, Cooper reached for me and pulled me into his chest as I fisted his shirt and let the tears silently fall. He cupped the back of my head while the other rubbed slow circles on my back before he kissed the top of my head gently.

"You must think I'm crazy," I mumbled as I forced out a laugh.

"Not at all," Cooper said quickly as he pulled back to look at me. "Especially not since I know about Wyatt and how much he meant to you. I totally get it. Now come on, lets go play with some puppies to cheer you up."
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