Still Holding On

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Chapter Fifteen

It's been two weeks since Sissy, Tanner and the kids went home. It's also been two weeks since Amelia stopped staying at my place every night. She said she can't use me as her 'crutch' forever whatever the fuck that means.
But whatever it means I would happily be it, for her.
Today is Friday and she actually has the weekend off so I'm taking her fishing, just like I promised.
The second I finished putting the horses away I run into Granny's kitchen, almost bowling her over. "What's the rush?" She laughs as I steady her. "Amelia has the weekend off. I'm takin' her fishin'." I can't help but smiling. "Poor girl." She mutters rolling her eyes. Pappy loved fishing, granny on the other hand said it was the most boring thing she's ever done.
"Are you sure you don't want these?" She asks opening a draw and holding up a box of condoms. "Granny." I groan. "I'm just sayin', I was young and in love once." She says holding her hands up. "Not in love." I mutter my lie.
"Sure and I have two heads." She snorts. "I'm going to shower." I tell her before running upstairs. Once I'm all ready I run back downstairs, kiss granny good bye and start driving to town.
I'm half way there when I see an unfamiliar car pulled to the side, hood up, smoke pouring out and two young women dressed all fancy like, looking at it.
Without thinking I pull over and jump out. "Y'all alright?" I ask walking over to them. "Our car broke down." The one with black hair snaps before turning to look at me, her blue eyes going wide.
"Yeah because someone ignored the engine light." The red head snaps rolling her eyes. "Where you headin'?" I ask looking at the engine, probably ran out of oil. "S-Sunnyridge." The black haired one stutters.
"I can take y'all into town, I'll get the mechanic to come tow y'all and fix her up in the mornin'." I tell them. "Where are we going to stay?" She asks biting her lip and sticking her chest out slightly. "There's a couple lil bed and breakfasts there." I answer not acknowledging her flirting.
"Oh. Well thanks." She replies, her shoulders slumping. I wait for them to grab their bags before throwing their bags in the bed of the truck and letting them climb in.
"I'm Jackie and this is my sister Holly." The redhead introduces. "Tag." I reply and start driving. "Tag. I like it." She says her lips twitching slightly. "Are you a real cowboy?" Holly asks looking me up and down. "There's fake cowboys?" I ask squirming under her gaze. I should've told her to sit in the back.
"Of course there are." She laughs. "Do you ride like horses and stuff?" Jackie asks from behind me. "Yes ma'am." I answer. "I've always wanted to meet a cowboy." Holly interrupts. "Plenty of 'em around these neck of the woods." I say as we reach the town sign.
"We've been driving from Seattle." She offers. "Long way from home." I state as we finally reach town. "Yeah, our friend from college is getting married and we thought we'd make a trip out of it." She says.
"We've had so much fun, seeing all the different places." She adds when I don't reply. "I'll show y'all who to talk too." I state as I pull up outside the diner and bar. I waste no time in getting out and grabbing their bags and placing them gently on the ground.
"This way." I nod towards the diner. I let them walk in front, and once I step inside behind the two ladies my eyes instantly search for Amelia. I smile widely when I see her standing next to Lucy by the register.
"Hello." I say as I walk up to them. "Hi Tag." Lucy grunts giving me the evils. "Hey." Amelia smiles, but it doesn't reach her tired looking eyes. "Rough day?" I ask frowning slightly. "No." Lucy answers coldly.
Just as I open my mouth to ask what's wrong, fucking Holly taps me on the shoulder. "Tag, this doesn't look like a bed and breakfast." I roll my eyes before I turn to face her.
"Just finding out where Connor is." I give her a fake smile. "He's next door." Lucy answers. "I'll go get him for you." Amelia says before disappearing.
"What the fuck Tag?" Lucy hisses. "What did I do?" I ask confused. "Why the hell did you bring these husseys here?" She spits out glaring at the women. "Do you have a problem?" Holly snaps. "Mind your business." She snaps back before glaring at me again. She opens her mouth to say something just as Amelia walks through the joining door followed by Connor.
"Tag, buddy! I haven't seen you in forever." He exclaims clapping me on the back. "What can I do for ya? Truck break down?" He asks with a glint in his eye.
"Nope, runs like a dream." I smile shaking my head. Connor is probably the only other person in town that loves my truck as much as me.
"These ladies car broke down on the way into town." I state nodding towards them. "Right, what happened?" He nods. "They also need a place to stay." I add as Jackie starts telling him about the car.
"Tag, I just wanted to thank you for helping us." Holly says touching my arm again. "You're welcome." I nod turning to Amelia who is looking between the two women.
"Could I buy you dinner or a drink?" She asks fluttering her eyelashes and biting her lip. "No thanks." I reply gently brushing her hand away. "You almost finished?" I ask Amelia knocking on the counter, more than ready to start our weekend away.
"What are you doin'?" Lucy asks glaring at Holly still. "We're goin' fishin'." I answer as Amelia chews her lip. "Wait, what'd you just say?" Connor says spinning around back to face me.
"We're goin' fishin'?" I repeat but it comes out as a question. "With Amelia?" He asks pointing to her. "Yeah." I nod slowly. "Just you two?" He asks moving his finger to me. "Yeah." I repeat. "This is old news Connor." Lucy huffs. "Well it's news to me." He rolls his eyes at her.
"You two are..." He trails off raising his eye brows. "Oh my god you idiot! They're obviously together. Now get these husseys out of my diner before I throw them out myself." Lucy demands making Amelia giggle.
"You ready?" I ask to Amelia who nods letting her lip go and coming around to stand by me. I grab hold of her hand and start leading us towards the door.
"Have fun!" Lucy calls out. I turn around slightly and give her a wave before holding the door open for Amelia. "Ma'am." I smile down at her giving her a wink, knowing she's going to roll her eyes at me. "You're never going to stop that are you?" She asks stepping through the door with an eye roll.
"Nope." I smile, tugging on her hand slightly, so her body bumps into mine. I wrap my arms around her and kiss the top of her head. "I missed you." I murmur against her hair. "I missed you too." She whispers against my chest.
"You look tired." I comment releasing her. "I haven't slept very well." She sighs as we begin walking to the truck. "You could just stay with me." I state matter of factly, wishing she would just say yes.
"I stayed on Tuesday." She states back sticking her tongue out as she climbs in. "I meant all the time." I say before closing her door. "I told you, I don't want you to be my crutch." Amelia sighs as I get into the truck.
"I don't even know what the means." I grumble. "It means I don't want to have to rely on you because when you get sick or bored of me I'm going to be by myself again and will have to learn to cope all over again." She explains.
"I'm not going to get bored or sick of you." I grunt starting the truck and peel out of the parking lot. "You don't know that." She mutters looking out the window.
"I do know."
We drive the rest of the way to Wills place in silence. Once I turn the engine off I start speaking again.
"The only way I'm not going to be in your life is if you tell me to leave."
I really want to tell her how much I'm in love with her but she'd probably freak out and tell me to fuck off and I selfishly want her around forever.
"You really mean that don't you?" She whispers turning to face me. "I do. I'm always going to be here, even if you want to stop sleeping with me and just be friends."
"Is that what you want? To be just friends?" She asks her face becoming unreadable. "Absolutely not." I answer immediately and her face softens. "You told Connor about us." She says with a small smile. "Is that okay?" I ask frowning. I want to tell everyone she's mine and I'm hers.
"I just thought you were going to keep me a dirty little secret until you're actually divorced." She shrugs. "Dirty, yes, secret, no." I smile waggling my eyebrows making her laughter fill the truck.
"So does that mean you'll move in with me?" I ask hopefully. "Maybe once you're divorced." She half smiles. "That could be years." I groan like a child. "Maybe, maybe not." She giggles.
"I'll just grab my bag." She says pecking my lips before jumping out. I quickly get out and follow her inside. "I'm literally just grabbing my bag." She laughs when she sees me right behind her. "I haven't seen you in ages." I pout following her closely into the house.
"You seen me two days ago." She giggles picking up a backpack which I take out of her hands. "Is this it?" I ask making her nod. "Let's go, we have an early start." I say grabbing her hand and practically dragging her back to the truck.
"How early are we talking here?" She asks skeptically. "Four." I say quickly. "What?" She gasps as I help her into the truck. "Early bird gets the fish." I wink chucking her bag down by her feet. "Four in the morning?" She asks with wide eyes. "Mhm." I hum before I kiss her quickly and shut the door.

"I can't believe you get up at this time everyday." Amelia groans rubbing her eyes as I drive the thirty minutes to the best fishing spot I know. "You get used to it." I shrug. "You can go back to sleep. I'll wake you up when we get there." I tell her placing my hand on her thigh.
"Can I tell you a secret?" She yawns. "Anything."
"I was insanely jealous of those women yesterday." She blushes. "They were awful." I shake my head. "But beautiful." She says. "Hardly." I roll my eyes. "When that one touched you I wanted to rip her hand off." She mumbles before falling asleep.
When we arrive at the lake, I debate whether or not to wake Amelia and just get the rods ready but she was pretty adamant she wanted the whole fishing experience.
"Amelia." I say quietly as I tap her knee gently. "Baby." I coo shaking her knee a little when she doesn't stir. "Hey, Amelia." I say moving my hand up to her cheek which she snuggles into. "We're here." I say as her eyelids begin to flutter. "All ready?" She asks sleepily.
I show Amelia how to set up a rod and hook the bait, her following along with her own rod before we climb into a small metal motor boat and head out into the middle of the lake.
"This is beautiful." She sighs looking at the rising sun, oranges and pinks reflecting off the water onto her face. "It is." I agree watching her look around.
I stop the boat and help her cast out her line before throwing mine out, placing them both into the built in holders. "Now what?" She asks biting her lip. "We wait." I answer simply.
"What do you do to pass the time?" She asks watching another boat slowly move past us.
"Think usually."
"What do you think about?"
"Everythin' and nothin'. Granny, Sissy, the ranch, my truck." I list off making her snort and roll her eyes. "You." I whisper. "Me?" She asks blushing. "I think about you a lot." I answer.
"What do you think about me?" She asks playfully. "I think about your laugh, your smile, your terrible jokes. " I begin and swallow as she blushes even more. "I think about how I'm in love with you and what our future would be like if you loved me back." As soon I see tears well up in her eyes I wish I just kept my feeling to myself.
"You're in love with me?" She asks, her voice breaking slightly. "I'm completely and utterly in love with you." I tell her, my cards are on the table now so I may as well tell her truth.
"Luke." She whispers wiping the falling tears off her cheeks. "You don't have to say anything." I say swiping a tear away with my thumb. My hands are shaking and heart is beating so hard am I'm hoping like fuck she doesn't push me off the boat.
"I'm in love with you too." She says making my whole body freeze. I don't think I heard her right. "What?" I breathe out. "I'm in love with you too." She repeats locking our eyes before she leans over and places her lips against mine.
This kiss is different from any other kiss we've shared, usually they're steamy and full of lust or quick passing by kisses.
This one is slower, tender, full of passion and love.
I slowly pull away and rest my forehead against hers. I keep my eyes closed and take a breathe savouring this moment. "Say it again." I say against her lips.
"I love you Luke Humphrey."
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