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Bentley (Hawthorne Brothers Book One)(34)

By:M.L. Young



I had two classes between now and my meeting with Bentley, and neither one of them was going to get much of my attention. It was already hard enough to pay attention in some of these, but now I was essentially just a body sitting there without a mind. I thought of how he would react, how I would react, and how this decision would impact my life. I guess sometimes you just need to follow your heart and your gut, even if others wouldn’t necessarily agree with it, and even if you hurt someone.

I scribbled in my notebook, something I only did when I was stressed out, drawing little cartoon characters and a bunch of shapes. I’d drawn a perfect circle once, though I hadn’t ever done it since. Too bad I couldn’t put that on my resume.

•••

“So, are you ready for this?” Nina asked as I sat on the edge of my bed.

“Yeah, I am,” I said.

“And you know what you’re going to do?” she asked.

“Yeah, I know,” I said.

“When are you meeting him?” she asked.

“In about twenty. I actually have to leave in a minute,” I said, taking a sip of water that was on my nightstand.

“Well, I’m here for you if you need me. I’m always a phone call away,” she said.

“Thank you, Nina. I do really appreciate everything you do for me,” I said.

“Be careful,” she said before walking away.

Taking a deep breath, I stood up and went downstairs before putting on my shoes and coat. The weather was getting warmer by the day, almost to the point where I’d only need a light jacket, though that time wasn’t here quite yet. I grabbed my keys and purse and went outside, where my trusty car was waiting for me. I stopped and looked at it, really looked at it, as I thought of how this entire roller coaster with Bentley was started by her, my car.

Had I not gone to that frat party that night, this never would’ve happened. I never would’ve met him, never would’ve had those fun experiences, and never would’ve had the heartbreak, either. I would’ve been safe, but then again I never would’ve had those great experiences that some could say helped me live instead of just existing.

This car got me into all of this, and I knew she was going to see me through. I unlocked the door, got inside, and started her up. She didn’t stutter, unlike the day Bentley and I met, and as I pulled out of the lot and onto the main road, I felt a rush of nerves and butterflies overcome me at once, like they were fighting for my attention. Things were going to be okay, I knew it. They had to be.

I pulled up to a little café, one Bentley and I once talked about going to someday. As I pulled into my spot I saw him already sitting inside, sipping on a coffee. He didn’t see me, and I sat there for a minute just staring at him, watching what he did, before I finally turned off my car and unlocked the door.

I looked for guidance within myself one last time, hoping some tidbit of wisdom would come out, even though I already knew what I was going to do. Maybe I just needed that last bit of reassurance, I didn’t know, but this was it. I was making the right decision for him, myself, and my life. I was.

I locked my car and walked up to the door as I caught him noticing me, perking up, as I walked in and turned the corner to approach him. This was it.





Chapter Thirty



Anna



Three Months Later



Going on dates always made me a bit nervous, no matter if it was my first or fiftieth. I had butterflies in my stomach as I walked into the restaurant and up to the host stand. I knew my date wasn’t here, so I got us a table for two.

“How many?” the man asked.

“Two, please. He’s on his way here now,” I said.

“Certainly. Follow me, please,” he said, grabbing two menus.

I followed him to a two-person booth and sat down, my purse sitting in the seat next to me. A busboy came and filled up two glasses of ice water, and I thanked him before he walked to the next table. I pulled out my phone, looking at the time, before setting it back down in my purse and waiting.

“Hello, I’m Grace, and I’ll be your waitress this evening. I see there’s another menu here, are you waiting for somebody?” she asked.

“Yes, my date is on his way,” I said.

“Excellent. Well, would you like to start off with a drink?” she asked.

“Yeah, I think we’ll both take a glass of white, please,” I said.

“I’ll be right back with that. Please feel free to look over the menu while I do,” she said, walking away.

Ten more minutes passed as I saw him enter the restaurant while I sipped on my wine. He noticed me in the booth, the host pointing me out, before smiling and walking my way. I felt butterflies course through my body as he grew near. I stood up, greeting him, before sitting back down and looking him in the eyes.

“I’m sorry I’m late,” he said.

“It’s no problem at all. I haven’t been here long. I ordered you wine, so I hope that’s okay,” I said.

“It looks great,” he said, taking a sip.

“Hello, I’m Grace, nice to meet you. Would you guys like to start off with any appetizers? Our loaded potato bites are a big hit,” she said.

“That actually sounds pretty good. How do you feel about it?” he asked.

“Those sound great,” I said, smiling.

“Awesome, I’ll get that order in for you while you look over the menu,” Grace said, walking away.

“How was school?” he asked.

“It went well, about as well as it can. I have finals next week, so I probably won’t be as available to see you,” I said.

“That’s okay, I know how important it is. Plus, we’ll have plenty of time afterwards,” he said.

“How was work?” I asked.

“That new shop is kicking my ass, Anna. I knew our business was booming, but I didn’t think it was this much. Both shops are completely full, and we can’t even take on anybody else. Thank you for pushing me to open it,” he said.

“Well, I knew you could do it. You’re like the rock-star mechanic around here, Bentley. Everybody comes to you and your dad,” I said, smiling.

“It’s even easier when you have such a beautiful, amazing woman by your side. I love you,” he said, reaching across the table to hold my hand.

“I love you too,” I said, as I held his hand and smiled at him lovingly.

I might never be able to go back in time to that wedding, but I believed Bentley, and I knew he’d never do anything to hurt me. I knew I made the right decision, even if it wasn’t the easiest one to make.

Things could only get better from here.




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