Grace let herself be dragged halfway across the store before she came back to her senses. Digging in her heels, she said, “Hold up.”
Lucky ignored her as he moved for the mall entrance. Clasping her hand firmly in his, he didn’t give her any other option but to follow. Grace marveled at the feel of his hand. It was rough, calloused, as if he worked with them quite a bit. Hitting the brakes on the dreamy tone her thoughts were taking, she wanted to smack herself. What was she thinking? She had a date with Truman tonight. Shouldn’t she be over the moon on that and not thinking about the guy pulling her through the music store?
Putting more of herself into it, Grace dug in and said louder, “Dude, wait. Hold up.”
Sighing, Lucky got her clear of the store before he stopped. Turning those ice blue eyes on her, Grace found herself thinking she could just stand there and look at them all day. “Listen, I get it. You and Harper are tight. But, O has been trying to get her attention for what seems like months now. So, let’s give them a little space okay?”
For once, Grace had nothing to say. Owen had a thing for Harper? Okay, she kind of thought so, but after everything that happened, she didn’t see Harper and Owen becoming a couple. In fact, in the bright light of day, what she had been seeing shamed her. All she had been able to see since this started was Harper. Harper, as a victim.
Yeah, yeah, nothing happened. She knew the stanza on the song that Harper kept singing and she still didn’t believe her. In fact, that was why she had come over here. She wanted to tell Owen what happened at the restaurant before she had been broadsided by the, oh so charming Lucky. Again.
Lucky watched the play of emotions move swiftly across her face. He didn’t actually want to admit it, even to himself, but he was intrigued. When she came by the house last night looking for his brother, there was a moment where Lucky thought this might be the elusive Harper Owen rhapsodized about. It had seriously pissed him off.
The brothers had never shown any inclination of having the same taste in girls, something Lucky never noticed, until last night. When she smiled and introduced herself, there was this sweet relief he didn’t understand. Or maybe he did and just wanted to ignore it.
He tried pumping Owen when he got home, but O was in a mood and didn’t want to talk about the hot blond in the pink VW. He only wanted to talk about Harper. Since the brothers didn’t have secrets, Lucky had gotten the whole sordid tale.
Now standing this close to her, he was suddenly nervous. Crazy, right? Girls didn’t make Lucky Lancaster nervous. Ever. He liked girls and they liked him right back. It was baffling; this one seemed to put him on edge.
She turned those bright blue eyes up to his and asked “Owen has a thing for Harper?” Was that disappointment he heard in her voice? She couldn’t have a thing for his brother. Right?
Grace pivoted on her heel and walked toward the benches that were strategically placed for husbands and boyfriends who were recruited to shop. Plopping down on the hard wrought iron surface, she propped her elbow on the bench arm and rested her chin in her hand. “This is just freaking great.” Her tone said it was anything but.
Lucky sat down beside her and asked in a tentative voice, “You don’t think it’s great that Owen has the hots for your friend?”
Looking over, Lucky could see the anger stamped on her face, “No, I don’t think it’s great. Why did it have to happen now? Don’t get me wrong it should be great. Or it would have been if she wasn’t dealing with all this bullshit with Mr.-. “ Realizing she had almost said too much, she stopped.
Lucky felt the punch of immediate relief that her anger stemmed from what she and Owen believed happened to Harper and then realized his little brother had an uphill battle. He couldn’t help but wonder if it was worth it. Maybe that was small of him, but Lucky didn’t know Harper. Remembering how she had flinched when he got close to her in the music store, he couldn’t help but think that there might be some truth in what Owen suspected.
Looking up, he caught view of his brother and Harper standing at the register in the store. Owen was standing protectively over the girl in the baggy clothes, listening intently to what she was saying, smiling and laughing with her. Yeah, he had it bad. Okay, he didn’t get Owen’s fascination, but maybe he could help.
“Do you have your car?” he asked.
She turned her blues his way again and something melted in his chest. Disgusted with himself, he almost cursed. Now, he sounded like a chick.
“Yeah, of course. How do you think we got here today?”
“Good. Here’s an idea. Why don’t we let Owen give Harper a ride home, you know, give him a chance on the field.”
Grace looked toward the store, and Lucky was positive that she wanted to say no, but for whatever reason decided not to. “Okay, yeah. I need a really good reason though. I would never dump her at the mall.”
Pulling her up from the bench and heading back to the store, Lucky smiled and said, “Well isn’t it a good thing I’m here? Leave it to me.”
Grace was content to trail behind him and let him handle it, which was a new feeling for her, one she kind of liked. Lucky made his way toward Harper and Owen at the register all the while never once letting go of her hand, and Grace realized they were moving through the store as if they were a couple.
She wasn’t sure if pushing Harper at Owen was a good idea or not. But when she looked up and saw Owen standing next to her best friend with that protective look on his face she knew the choice was Harper’s to make. Grace wasn’t going to victimize her best friend, Mr. Haas had already done that for her. But it was going to be up to Harper to decide if she stayed a victim, and that was something Grace could and would help her with, starting right now.
Now it's Karla's turn...what did you think?