I already miss him.
Finally my phone beeps, and my heart jumps into my throat, hoping and praying that it’s a message from Josh.
Jill: Hey! How does it feel to be home?
I take a sip of my tea and lean my head back against the cushion just as another text comes through.
Josh: Being in my bed without you just feels wrong.
I grin and set my mug aside, settling in to text him back, although I can’t help but be a little peeved that he’s texting and not calling.
Although everything he does right now pisses me off because he didn’t ask me to stay, and even that is ridiculous because I know it’s too soon and I’m being an idiot.
Me: I miss you too.
Josh: I love you.
I want to text back with Then call me! Come see me! but I just set my phone aside and lean my head back again with a deep breath.
Yes, it’s irrational to want Josh to ask me to move in with him, and it is too soon, but I love him and I enjoy being with him.
God, I’m needy.
I’m dozing in my chair when the doorbell rings, startling me. Maybe Josh is surprising me?
I hurry to the door and fling it open with a big grin on my face, then feel my shoulders fall.
“Oh, it’s you.”
“Gee, it’s great to see you too,” Ty mutters with a chuckle.
“Sorry, come on in.” I stand back and let him inside before shutting and locking the door. “Have a seat.”
“Thanks, I will.” He flashes me his cocky grin and plops down on my couch, crosses his ankles on my ottoman, and makes himself comfortable.
He’s still in his black slacks and white button-down from work today, but his sleeves are rolled up, showing off the bright colors of his ink.
“No suit today?” I reclaim my chair.
“Naw, no court today.”
I nod and take a sip of my tea.
“Why are you here?” I ask with a raise of my brow.
“Saw your light on.” He shrugs and leans his head back on the cushion of the couch, looking at the ceiling. “Thought I’d come by and see how you are, since it’s your first night home and all.”
“I’m good.” I shrug and take another sip of tea. “It’s good to be home.”
“Why do you look like someone just killed your puppy?” He turns his head on the cushion so he can look at me.
“I’m tired. I’m helping Mrs. Baker get ready for the Huckleberry Festival this weekend.”
“I loved her in school. Did you have her?” he asks with a grin.
“I did. She hasn’t changed a bit.”
“Are you serving the ice cream again this year?”
“Yes. I’ll give you two scoops, just like every year.”
“You’re so good to me,” he mutters with a sleepy smile. “If Josh hadn’t snatched you up, I might have tried to lure you in.”
I frown at the mention of Josh’s name and take another sip of tea.
“I knew that he’s why you’re unhappy,” he murmurs.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
“Come on, tell Uncle Ty all about it.” He smiles again as I throw my head back and laugh.
“You are anything but my uncle, Ty.”
“Big brother, then.” He blinks sleepily, his blue eyes tired and lined with stress, but he’s here for me, and he’s absolutely right.
He’s the only brother I’ve ever had.
“Probably.” He links his fingers on his flat stomach. “Tell me anyway.”
“He didn’t ask me to stay.” My voice is soft, and I just stare down at my empty mug, avoiding Ty’s stare.
“Seriously? Did you tell him you wanted to stay?”
Ty laughs and scrubs his face with his hands. “So, he didn’t ask you to stay, as in, move in with him?”
“Yeah,” I whisper. “I know it’s too soon.”
“Have you done the ‘I love you’ thing yet?”
I can’t help but meet his eyes and grin.
“I take that as a yes.” He smirks and watches me for a long minute, blinking sleepily, but not breaking eye contact. “I’m not surprised, you know.”
“Why?” I ask, taken aback.
“He’s always had a soft spot for you. Not to mention, you’re hot.”
“Shut up.” I wave him off as he smirks.
“You are, Cara. It doesn’t surprise me that he’s finally noticed.”
“He’s a good guy,” I whisper, and close my eyes.
“One of the best. So you didn’t tell him you wanted to stay?”
“Of course not.”
“Cara.” Ty pinches the bridge of his nose between his finger and thumb and shakes his head ruefully.
“Why would I say that? It’s like inviting yourself to someone’s party or something. It’s his house, he should say it first.”
“Says the girl who has clearly never been in a relationship.”
Ouch. “Eff off, Ty.”
“I’m sorry, hon, but how is he supposed to know that you want to stay if you don’t tell him? Josh has many talents, but being psychic isn’t one of them.”
“You’re psychotic,” I mutter, and glare at him, making him laugh.
“You need to communicate if you want it to work, you know. That’s just Relationships 101.”
“Are you a lawyer or a couples counselor?”
“A little of both.” He smiles softly, his blue eyes full of humor.
“I have to pee. I’ll be right back.” I jump up and head for the bathroom, needing a minute to gather my thoughts.
Could it be that simple?
Is that why Josh looked so torn yesterday when he watched me pack? Maybe he wanted to ask me to stay, but didn’t think I wanted to.
Yep, I’m an idiot.
I wash my hands and walk back to the living room, surprised to see Ty with my phone pressed to his ear.
“Dude, seriously? Don’t be an ass. Cara’s back. Here she is.” He hands the phone to me, his face sober.
“What the fuck is Ty doing at your house this late in the evening?” Josh’s voice is deceptively quiet.
“He came over to say hi. My lights were on.”
“How long has he been there?”
“I’m just asking a question, Cara.”
“Long enough for us to get naked and have wild and crazy sex in every room of my house. Is that what you want to hear?”