Now that Garret’s decided he’s no longer following the rules of his wealthy family, he can finally develop a closer relationship with Jade. Things are going well, but Jade still worries that being with Garret is only temporary. And because of that, she’s not sure how much of herself and her past she’s willing to let him see. Garret does all he can to assure Jade that the two of them can last, but convincing her of that is difficult when she’s never trusted anyone. So he has to show her, by being there when she needs him the most, even when she tries to keep him away. The mysterious letter from Jade’s mom still haunts her and now she’s getting threatening phone calls. Someone from Jade’s past will stop at nothing to keep his secrets from getting out. And his number one secret is Jade.
“I don’t know what I was thinking letting you plan our date," Garret says. "You probably would’ve picked that taco stand for dinner if I let you.”
“Nah. Probably the burger joint by the dry cleaners.”
“That place is just as disgusting. Well, that confirms it. I’ll be planning the dates from here on out.”
“I still haven’t agreed to go out with you again.”
He nudges my foot under the table and smiles. “You will.”
Our food arrives. Just as we start to eat, a mariachi band stops by our table singing some type of love song. It makes me laugh, not just because of the song but because they’re not very good. The main singer is way off key. I try to hide my laughter because the guy is really trying hard.
Garret sees me struggling. He sets his fork down, then reaches over and holds the hand I’m not eating with and gazes into my eyes. The mariachi guys notice and assume their music has caused Garret’s romantic gesture. The bad singer nods at Garret and gets a huge grin on his face, singing even louder.
I’m practically in tears trying to keep from laughing. I give Garret a look to cut it out, but he’s enjoying this way too much. He picks my hand up and kisses it.
Finally, the song ends. Garret takes some money from his wallet and gives it the guy.
“Muchas gracias,” the singer says. He points to me. “Beautiful girl. You two are a lovely couple.”
“We are, aren’t we?” Garret says, smiling at me, then back at the singer.
“You two get married some day. I sing at your wedding.” He reaches in his pocket and pulls out a business card.
“Thank you.” Garret takes the card, then looks at me. “Jade, he could sing at our wedding. Wouldn’t that be great?”
I kick his foot under the table. “Um, yeah. Great.” I turn to the singer. “Thanks again. It was very nice music.”
The guy nods and moves on to another table. Garret releases my hand and goes back to eating like the whole scene didn’t even happen.
“Did you have to do that?” I ask him. “You knew I was dying over here. They would’ve left if you hadn’t started that hand holding crap.”
He shrugs. “I didn’t want them to leave. I was enjoying it.”
“They were horrible! That guy was way off key.” I take a bite of my taco.
“He did better than I would do. I didn’t think he was that bad. And you must’ve liked him at least a little. You agreed to let him sing at our wedding.”
I almost choke when he says it. I take a big gulp of my soda. He continues to eat as if his wedding comment is perfectly normal and expected. “We’re on a first date here, Garret. I think it’s a little early to plan a wedding.”
“I guess. Then maybe he could sing at our graduation party.”
“Four years from now, I don’t think he’ll still be employed as a singer.”
I hear the guy belting out a new song at a table on the other side of the restaurant. He’s so horrible. Now that they’re gone, I’m finally able to laugh.
Garret shakes his head, but he’s laughing, too. “You’re so mean. At least he’s trying.”
“I’m sorry. I can’t help it. He’s just so bad.”
For the rest of dinner, I keep thinking about Garret’s wedding comment. He couldn’t possibly be even the tiniest bit serious. We’ve only known each other a few months and we technically weren’t even dating during those months.
He was probably just making a joke. But still, hearing Garret even mention the idea of marrying me makes those annoying butterflies that have now taken up permanent residence in my stomach flutter with happiness. Which only makes me wonder what this boy is doing to me.
I’m Jade, the sarcastic, independent, smart ass who has no interest in marriage or weddings or rings or any of that stuff.
And yet my stupid heart skips a stupid beat when that stupid boy tosses out the idea that someday he might marry me.
Allie Everhart writes about dating, love, and romance. She’s also a freelance writer for magazines and websites. Before freelancing, she was a book editor for a publishing company where she worked on several NYT bestselling nonfiction books. She loves to read as much as she loves to write. And when she’s not reading or writing, she’s outside running, which is when she gets her best book ideas.
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