If she wants kids, I’ll be the man to give them to her. Anything she wants from here on out, she’ll look to me for it. I’ll be the one to give her everything.
“You okay?” she asks, her hand moving up to rub my shoulder. I curse under my breath. I meant to hide my shoulder problems from her—for as long as I could, at least.
“I’m good,” I lie.
“Cooper, my uncle told me you’re having issues with your shoulder.”
“Coach needs to keep his mouth shut,” I grumble.
“He’s worried you aren’t going to be able to fight.”
“Let it go, Jo.”
“Cooper, I’m worried—”
“I’ll take care of Coach’s obligations, Jo. He won’t lose the gym,” I assure her. I’m not sure of much right now, but I know I can promise that to her.
Her mouth drops open and shock runs over her face. She takes a step away from me, her gaze moving over my face.
“Wow,” she whispers.
“I wasn’t worried about the gym, you big dummy,” she growls, shock now replaced by anger.
“I’m just saying there’s no reason for you and Coach to worry about shit. I’ve got this.”
“Fine,” she mutters, her expression closing down.
She turns away from me, and I don’t like the look on her face. I reach out and encircle her arm with my hand, pulling her back around.
“What’s wrong with you?” I grumble, not about to let her pull away from me.
Not now. That’s just not happening.
“Nothing,” she says, her voice clipped.
“Don’t pull that shit, Jo. You get pissed, you tell me why.”
“Gee, does everything have to go Cooper’s way?” she sasses.
“In this, yeah.”
“Not this time,” she says, pulling her arm free.
“Jo, you don’t get to—”
“You don’t get to tell me what to I can or can’t do, Cooper.”
“We’re in a relationship—”
“We are not. We’re not—”
“You weren’t saying that when my head was buried between your legs, sunshine.”
“I can’t believe you just said that!”
“But then again, you weren’t saying anything, were you, babe? You were too busy moaning and coming all over my face.”
She slaps her hand over my mouth, deeply blushing.
“Stop that!” she hisses, sounding scandalized. She looks so put out that I laugh, and the sound rumbles out against her fingers. “You’re such an asshole.”
“You ashamed of what happened between us, Jo?” I ask, my voice gruff. I don’t like that she might be ashamed of what we did.
“What? Oh my God, you’re such an idiot.”
“I’m not ashamed of it, but I don’t exactly want my personal life crudely announced in this gym where anyone could hear you, Cooper.”
I frown. I’m not sure how I feel about that answer. She better believe that there won’t be a fucking man here that doesn’t know who she belongs to. She doesn’t know it yet, but I’m about to announce it far and wide that Jo is mine. I push those thoughts aside for now, however. Instead, I turn the conversation back to the original problem.
“Why are you pissed, then?”
She’s about to tell me to go to hell. I can see it in her eyes and I even hope she does. If she tries it, I’ll throw her over the desk, bare her ass and spank it red. Just the thought of doing that makes my cock stretch against the fabric of my gym shorts.
She lets out a large breath and looks up at me, her face softening.
“I was upset because you thought I was worried about this damn gym over your well-being. If you truly believe that’s what I was worried about, then you don’t know me at all.”
I take her words in and they settle deep inside of me, winding themselves around the bone and muscle, cementing themselves with a feeling of rightness.
“I’m at your house tonight. I’ll be there around six.”
“I thought I was coming to your apartment?”
For the last week we’ve spent almost every evening together either at my place or hers. I’ve been going slow, because Jo is important—too important to rush. But now—now I need her. If she’s going to sink herself inside of me in ways that I know she’s going to be there permanently … damn it … I’m going to do the same.
“I like your house better,” I tell her honestly, not letting her know how deep my thoughts are going—not yet.
“You do?” she asks softly, her voice surprised, and I hear the pleasure in it. She likes that I prefer her house.
“It feels like a home, not just a place to kill time.”
Her lips bloom with a smile so big that it makes her eyes light up.
“I’ll make dinner.”
“Good, baby,” I whisper, moving close to her. Her gaze is trained on my lips and I give her the kiss we both want. “I can’t wait,” I tell her as I leave.
Her softly spoken “Me either” follows me out the door.