Once the tray of food is placed in our room, Hayden tips him, then shuts the door behind him.
“Finally.” He sighs, stalking toward me.
“Well that was…weird,” I say, taking a forkful of fruit. “I thought she was here to kill me or something.” I half laugh.
Hayden grins. “I don’t even wanna know what Hunter had to do to get her here, never mind get her to apologize.”
“He’s pretty persuasive, that one,” I admit. “I have a feeling he wasn’t happy about me either.”
Biting into his pancake, he gives me a look verifying I’m right. “He’s got trust issues. Our dad kinda fucked that up for him.”
“When’s the last time you’ve spoken to your father?” I ask. Things were rough when we dated back in high school, so I can’t imagine how they’d be now.
“It’s been years.” He shrugs. “I visit my mom, but he’s never home.”
“Don’t be. It’s for the best. Not being in his life keeps the toxicness away. Unfortunately for Hunter, after I left, he still had years before he could leave. Things got pretty bad.”
“Well Hunter loves you, that much I can see. He idolizes you.” I smile as I chew. These are some of the best pancakes I’ve ever had. “I hope he finds someone right for him. I bet if he’d let himself, he could love fiercely. He has a big heart.”
Hayden nods, agreeing. “He does. His example growing up was tainted, but I think when he finds the one, he’ll do whatever it takes to keep her.”
He leans over and presses a kiss to my syrupy lips. “Mm…delicious.”
Once we finish eating, we shower together, making sure to clean every inch of each other’s bodies. He pins me to the wall, slips inside me, and repeats how much he loves me. Over and over.
“I need to stop in and say goodbye to my parents before I leave. Will you come with me? I’m sure they’d love to see you.” I ask once we’re dressed, and I’ve packed up my things. I fly out soon, and I know we still have a lot to figure out. My mom’s pep talk rings in my ears, and I know with certainty she’d be so happy to hear that Hayden and I rekindled.
“Of course.” He gives me a soft kiss. “How long has it been since you’ve seen them?”
“I saw them yesterday for a couple of hours, but before that, it’d been almost two years. They came to New York for Christmas.”
“I bet that was fun, especially during the holidays.”
“I was slammed with shows, so it was quite stressful, but I was glad to see them. They, of course, lectured me about coming back home, but once they saw me on stage and the life I had in the city, they stopped.”
Hayden peers at me with the most sincere look in his eyes. “I can’t wait to watch you on stage and hear you sing again. I already know you’re brilliant up there.”
I inhale, letting the reality of this whole thing sink in. “Are you sure about this, Hayden?”
“About seeing your parents? Of course.”
“No, not that.” I suck in my lips. “Uprooting your life, leaving your brother, your job. Everything. For me? My life is…chaotic on the best days. I have rehearsals, auditions, studying my lines, voice lessons, and performances. I feel like I’m going to let you down.”
My eyes prick with tears, and I hate how my insecurities are getting the best of me at a time like this. Hayden kneels in front of me and takes my hand, looking so damn sexy.
“Sav, I’ve waited ten years for this moment. I never knew if I’d see you again, never knew if I’d—if we’d—get a second chance. This weekend has shown me what really matters. I knew I loved you when I was sixteen years old, so I’ve never been more sure of anything in my entire life. If I didn’t think it’d scare the shit out of you, I’d get down on one knee and propose to you right now.” He flashes a smirk and wink.
His last comment has me laughing.
“You and me, baby. That’s all I need. The rest we’ll figure out. I have no doubt about that.” Hayden brings my hands to his mouth and kisses my knuckles.
I smile, his words giving me the reassurance I desperately needed.
Hayden cups my cheek. “I love you. Don’t forget it.”
I lean into his touch, then kiss his palm. “Never.”
After saying goodbye to my parents, and my mother squealing like crazy that Hayden and I were back together, it was time to go to the airport. Donny’s driving the rental car and meeting me there. I felt dread the entire way there, not knowing when Hayden would be able to move. I’d miss him for sure, but another part was scared he’d change his mind. I know I shouldn’t doubt him, but it’s just such a big commitment and change. Though, he knows what he’s doing and what he wants—me.