Say You Want Me(10)

by Corinne Michaels

Wyatt’s face shows nothing. His eyes are soft, and I don’t see a hint of judgment in them. “I’m sorry,” he says with so much sorrow it breaks my heart. “I know I’m not your first pick, but I can tell you not everything you think is true. And I’m sorry you feel that this has taken your life away from you.”

“No.” I take his hand in mine. “I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have said all that. You don’t deserve it. You got robbed, too. We did this together, and I’m being selfish.”

He lets out a light chuckle. “You’re not selfish. I said close to the same shit to Trent last night. I wanted to be married and have kids with a woman who knew what a catch I am.”

I laugh.

“I’m serious.” He stands and looks at me with an overly serious expression. “I’m the most eligible bachelor here in Bell Buckle.”

“Slim pickings, huh?”

“You’re about to be a very hated woman here. You don’t know how many girls love me.”

“Your humility is truly astounding. I’ve heard all about your sexual escapades.”

He laughs. “You’ve also been one of those escapades, honey.”

I roll my eyes. He’s right. I have been. “I want us to at least be good friends. You know, like, know who the other person is. For the baby’s sake.”

Wyatt smiles and extends his hand. “Come for a walk with me.”

I place my fingers in his palm and let him pull me to my feet. “Okay.”

We start walking, and he hooks my hand into the crook of his arm. It’s sweet, and a little part of me thaws. Maybe this isn’t what I wanted, but this, right here, is nice. Wyatt doesn’t say anything, but I can feel him tense a little. It’s as if he’s preparing for something and trying to build up the courage.

“I want you to consider moving here while you’re pregnant,” he says after we break through the trees on a dirt path. “Now, I know what you’re feeling. I know you feel like you’re losing everything, but what if something happens and you’re up there? What if you need help? It would take a long time for me to get there.”

He’s going to make it damn near impossible for me to say no. “I’m not some damsel in distress.”

“No.” He stops walking. “You’re not. I don’t think you’ve ever been that, but you’re the mother of my child. It’s my job to care for you, and whether you believe it or not, I do care about you, and I have even before I knew you were pregnant.”

I’m speechless. What he said was probably the single most perfect thing to say. “That means a lot to me. Thank you, but what would I do here?”

“Anything you want. We’re not backwards here. You don’t have to work if you don’t want to, and you can take some time to yourself. Hell, write a book. You could open a cupcake place in town. You can do whatever the hell you want. I’m just asking for some time.”

The bakery is what keeps tripping me up. I’m sure that Erin could take it over for me. Since we got the manager up to speed, I don’t do very much there anyway. I was going to start focusing completely on opening another location.

This is crazy.

There’s so much to ruminate. But I can only imagine how he would feel if something happened to me or the baby while I was in Pennsylvania. I don’t know if it’s enough to make me do this, but it’s something to weigh.

I can’t even believe I’m considering this.

“What if we find out we hate each other? What if all we were was a night of unbelievable sex? Where do we go from there?”

Wyatt takes my face in his hands. “What if we don’t hate each other? Or if we do, what’s the worst that can happen? You’ll be close to Presley and your nephews. What if you realize that I’m the best man on the planet and you can’t live without me? Don’t you think we owe it to ourselves and to the baby to find out? Give this a chance.”

“What does that even mean? Us?” I ask.

His hands drop to my shoulders as he holds me in place. All I’ve ever felt for him was an intense physical attraction. He was a means to a very long dry spell. It was easy to let myself sleep with him since he lived here and I was there. Plus, there were no real emotional ties for either of us. We knew what it was and that worked fine for me.

“Us.” Wyatt’s word echoes in my head. “A real chance at us. It means we date or something. You’ll keep cookin’ my kid. I’ll take you out and show you I’m not the crap you’ve heard. I was up all night thinkin’ about this. I want you to move here and just see . . .”

I shake my head because he’s crazy, but I wonder. “I—” I stop.

I’m confused. The picture he paints is alluring. I know he’s a good guy at heart. If he weren’t, Presley would never speak so highly of him. The boys adore him and constantly talk about Uncle Wyatt. There’s a lot of unknowns.

What if he’s right? But what if he’s wrong?

“You?” He pushes.

“I-I I don’t know!” I blurt out. “This is too much.” I push back from him, needing some space to breathe. When he’s close like this, it confuses me. I want to say yes even though it’s probably the last thing I would ever do. I turn my back to him and look out at the trees, but then I feel his heat as he steps closer to me.

“It’s a lot, but I’m trying.” His deep voice vibrates through me. “Give me until you have the baby. I at least want to see my first kid born.”

He’s trying, and I should too.

“I’ll give you three months.” I spin around to face him. “I can’t promise anything more than that, but I’ll come here for the next few months, and we’ll work through this.”

“Three months?” he repeats. Wyatt crosses his arms and stares me down.

“I can’t be away for longer than that right now.”

“I don’t like it,” Wyatt admits, dropping his arms to his sides and showing me a hint of sadness. “But it’s a start.”

“Wyatt,” I warn.

He puts his hand up. “Don’t say anything, darlin’. We’ve got three months of talkin’ to do. You need to get home and pack. I’ll see you soon.” He dips his head close. “Real soon.”