“I don’t know how you deal with this traffic, Court. I’d burst a blood vessel gettin’ impatient and frustrated with it every day,” Jackson says as we get to a stoplight.
I look over and see Drew shaking his head and smiling. He’s pinching his lips together, holding in the laughter that’s threatening to burst out.
“This isn’t traffic, Jackson. You’ve seen nothing yet. Trust me.”
“That’s even worse then. I haven’t seen one pickup truck yet either,” he complains.
“We’re in one right now,” I remind him. “It’s just not old, rusted, or threatening to blow up.”
“So, it’s a pretty boy pickup?” Jackson smirks, and I laugh at Drew’s side-eye glance. “No offense,” he says to Drew, but we both know he’s just messing with him. Jackson is as Southern as they come around here. I even had to persuade him to leave the cowboy hat behind before we left for dinner. We compromised on wearing the boots though.
“This ain’t too bad,” Jackson says around a mouthful of fish. “It’s not freshly-caught catfish, but I can stomach it.”
“You should try the oysters. Tell Mama you’ve found a new favorite.” I smirk.
“I wouldn’t dare. She wouldn’t blink twice about smacking me if I said that.”
Mama is an amazing cook. She prides herself on making dinner for Daddy and the boys and making sure they’re fed well. She’s mastered plenty of recipes over the years and the last thing she’d do is feed her family takeout. You don’t grow up on takeout or fast food on the Bishop ranch. If Mama can’t make it, you didn’t eat it.
Once we make it back to the house, Jackson hides in my room and calls his on-again, off-again high school sweetheart, Sophia. They’ve been together since seventh grade. She trains horses and their mutual love for animals was something they easily bonded over growing up, but after high school, she left for college and it broke Jackson’s heart. I’m not even sure where they stand right now, but even when they aren’t officially together, they talk all the time.
“Well, that was interesting,” Drew says to me as he climbs into bed next to me.
“Always is when a Bishop boy is around.” I pull the covers around me and snuggle into his side.
“Trying to picture you getting into mischief and being a Southern girl is really messing with my mind,” he admits with a smile. “You must’ve adjusted well to the city when you moved here.”
“I did. I loved it as soon as I visited. I loved the big city, the big university, the endless list of things to do, the amount of people to meet. It made for some great college experiences.”
“So, no free rides in cop cars since you’ve left home?” he inquires, one side of his lips tilted, only half-kidding.
“No, I’ve been a very proper Southern lady, thank you very much. I graduated with honors and got a high paying job.”
“Okay, but what about during college?” He arches a brow.
“Well, there was the occasional party and whatever, but nothing close to the mischief we got into as kids. You don’t understand. There is nothing to do on a ranch except haul shit, fix things, ride horses, and feed cattle. Once the chores were done, we got bored,” I say with a shrug. Really bored.
He chuckles, softly rubbing his fingers over my hand that’s resting on his chest. “Sounds like it was good for you, though. I like knowing my girl can take care of herself and still know how to have a good time.”
“I sure do!” I tilt my head and look up at him. He’s smiling as he looks up at the ceiling. “Can I ask you something?”
He looks down at me and nods. “Of course, sweetheart.”
“If the whole video thing with Mia didn’t happen and basically ruin everything, would you have ever suggested we move in together? Or was it kind of a whim?” My stomach tightens as I ask him, but I need to know the truth. I wouldn’t be able to move forward knowing he only said those things to calm me down.
“I’ve been thinking about it for quite some time actually. Even more once we got home from Vegas. It made me realize we need a fresh start. We need a place of our own to make it ours. This house has been great, but it’s been mine and Travis’, and then it was yours and mine as roommates, and now I think it’s time to move forward—find a place that is only ours.”
“That’s perfect.” I smile. “So, then does that mean you’ll still come to Texas with me this summer?” I ask. “Or has Jackson and his stories scared you off?” I tease.
“Nope. I’m looking forward to it actually. I plan to help you make new memories. Ones that will just be yours and mine and not tainted with any free police rides home or ex-boyfriends.”