***EXCERPT*** Trampled Heart
“Your room is the size of the whole top floor of my townhouse.” Kole joked. “And this view is beautiful. I bet it’s a site to see in the morning, waking up to the mountains.”
“Yeah, that was one of the reasons I bought this place.”
“Anyway we better get back to everyone else,” Kole said to the silence. They had been leaning against the banister on the balcony just enjoying the peace.
“Yeah about that… everybody called it a night.” Jayce announced.
“Uh yeah, Chelle texted from Mone’s phone to tell you she will talk to you tomorrow.” Kole was floored. What were they thinking leaving her here with…? Technically, he wasn’t a stranger but still. Nobody said bye or anything. “Oh and she threatened to cut me if I violated you in any way.” He chuckled.
“That sounds like Chelle. I can’t believe those skanks left me like that.”
“Oh come on, it’s not so bad to be left with me is it?” Jayce asked giving her a curious look the entire time. He was leaning against the railing with his massive arms crossed over his chest. Kole was curious as to how that was possible seeing how big his arms were.
“I didn’t mean it like that. I just figured we were riding out together. We do live next door to each other. It’s not like I have my car.”
“I told her that I would see you home safely but if you are ready to go…”
“Are you ready for me to go?”
“If I was I never would have told them to get out,” Jayce said.
“Nah I’m just joking. Sincerely I wanted to be alone with you.”
“I wanted to get to know you better.”
“What would your girlfriend feel about you entertaining other women?”
“I don’t have a girlfriend. What would your boyfriend think of you being entertained by me?”
“Happily single,” Kole remarked.
“Happily,” Jayce questioned in a state of confusion.
“Don’t leave out the word single.”
“Most women aren’t over the moon about being single.”
“Well, I am definitely not most women. I have seen enough and I live in the reality of my situation.”
“What exactly does that living in the reality of your situation mean?”
“…” Kole regarded Jayce a minute considering the pros and cons of explaining to him why she felt the way she did. “The reality is that most single mothers don’t always get the happily ever after. Most men aren’t looking for a ready-made family.”
“Wow, you have a kid?” Jayce asked genuinely surprised. That was the typical reaction from men. After the initial shock, then comes the letdown.
“Actually I have two.”
“Two? Really,” he questioned.
“Yep, I have two boys.”
“Where are they now?” He asked curiously.
“My mother likes to spend time with them so I took them home to Little Rock. This will be my first time without them this long though. She wants to keep them for two weeks.”
“How old are they?”
“Jason is six years old and Caiden is four years old.”
“Where’s their dad?” He asked. “If you don’t mind me asking,” he added for good measure.
“Nah it’s cool. It’s actually the typical story.” Kole explained her estranged relationship with the boy’s father. He only nodded listening without interruption. They moved inside not long after she found out everyone else left. Sitting in his living area in his bedroom, he asked questions and she responded. By the end of that brief breakdown, they sat in silence. Kole took that as he was about done.
“Are you ready to take me home now?”
“Not unless you are ready.”
“I just assumed after finding out I have kids that would conclude our meeting of the minds.” She joked.
“Dang you think that little of me. I have got to change your perception.”
“Maybe I can meet them when they come back.”
“I don’t know.”
“I’m not good enough to meet the boys.”
“No, it’s not that. It’s just that I don’t introduce them to many people. I can’t even lie, I am a little overprotective of them. Too many people in and out of their lives aren’t cute or fun for a small person.” She didn’t elaborate on how she knew that. That was one of the main reasons she didn’t date. Actually, she hadn’t dated since Justin.
“I can understand that. That is a mama bear type of behavior. Sounds like my mom.”
“She was the same way when you were coming up?”
“Yeah, she didn’t date. She put her own needs aside for me.”
“I’m glad you understand.”
“I didn’t say I understood. I always wanted my mom to be happy.”
“Who says she wasn’t?”
“Not all men are douches. Some can actually see past the façade.”
“I will take your word for it. Furthermore, it would be your opinion that anything was a façade. Am I right?”
“If that helps you sleep better at night,” Jayce smirked.
“You are so out of order.” Kole giggled.
“I still want to get to know you despite your thinking that because you have kids I am going to haul ass.”
“If you say so Jayce,” she said.
“I do say so, Kole.”
“It’s getting pretty late.” Kole looked down at her watch and almost choked at the time revealed. It was nearly four in the morning.
“Just stay.” Kole gave him a look that said, ‘I am not giving you my cookies.’ Jayce chuckled as if he read her mind. “I promise to behave if you do.”
“Yes you, I didn’t stutter.” That caused her to blush and giggle like crazy. In all of her grown up years, Kole never imagined she would get a chance to chill with this man. Here she was in his bedroom carrying on as if they have known each other for forever. “Come lay with me.”
“That is just opening the temptation door isn’t it?”
“Only if you are knocking on the opposite side will I open it.”
“You are quick with those words Mr. Cunningham.”
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