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The Most Eligible Bachelor Bella Winters 2022/7/22 14:15:34

“But your hair is still wet…” His words trail off as I grab hold of my hat. The cowgirl hat that I know he loves. “Okay, fair enough. Let’s get going.”

As we leave my cottage, I actually grow excited about this trip. I can still tell after all this time, Brandon doesn’t see the positives to the town, he still likes the city so much better and while I don’t think I can change that, I can make him see why I do like it here… even if I feel like I’m in a rut. I want to leave, but I also don’t want to leave.

“So, this is the famous dump I was telling you about,” I start as I point to a few discarded car and truck tires. “Where we used to buy some foreign, cheap brand beer and drink it until we were sick. Yes, before you ask, even me. I was a bit wild at times.”

“This isn’t a dump,” Brandon declares with a laugh as he squeezes my hand in his. “But I can picture you as the wild child, leading others into all sorts of trouble.”

I was for a while, until Mom got sick, but I don’t want to bring all of the serious stuff back up again. This is supposed to be fun. I need to forget for just a while.

“Well, to bring back some memories, I brought a couple of cans with us so we can have a drink.” He pulls some tiny tins out of his pockets and squints at the label. “Although I think it might be cider, not beer. Will that work? Sorry, I just grabbed whatever.”

I giggle and take one from him before I move over to the tire where I always used to sit. A lot of the time it was next to Rory, but I don’t want to think about him now. I want to create some new memories with another man who won’t be around forever. “That’s fine.”

Brandon sits opposite me and we drink in silence for a moment. I watch the sun setting behind the trees behind him, giving him an awesome twinkle that manages to make him even more handsome. If I could come back to the teenage version of me and show me the man that would actually be interested in me, at least for a while, I don’t think I would’ve believed it. Mind you, I definitely thought that Rory was the one so maybe I wouldn’t have cared.

“So where did you drink?” I ask, changing the subject quickly.

“The park near my house. Me and my buddy, Landon. We used to think that we were wasted off of two cans. Silly really, looking back. We did think that we knew it all, but we were just foolish. I suppose all it was about then was impressing the girls.”

“I guess you’ve changed so much,” I tease with an eye roll. “Now you’re so much more mature. How about Landon? Is he still the same?”

“I don’t know, actually,” he says wistfully. “Somehow, even with the world of social media, we managed to lose touch.”

I nod slowly, knowing that feeling well. But then again, I’ve purposely lost touch with people because I don’t want to see what they’re doing. I don’t want them to know what I’m doing either. “Yeah, I see.” I screw up my nose and put the can down. “So is there anything else you’d like to see? There’s much more to this place than just the dump.”

“I suppose I’d like to see your old school, if that’s okay? And anywhere else that’s important to you.”

“Hmmm, well the school has moved building now, so there isn’t much I can show you there…” I tap my finger thoughtfully on my chin as I try to work out what might be suitable right now. “But what about the lake?”

“Damn right, there’s a lake. It’s awesome too. I can’t believe you haven’t seen it yet. Come on, let’s go.”

I grab his hand excitedly and tug him along with me. The lake is a beautiful, incredible place, it’s impossible not to like this town once you’ve seen the lake. This is perfect, Brandon will absolutely love it, I cannot wait for him to grow as excited as me…

“Oh,” I say in shock as we stand by the lake. “I guess I haven’t been here for a long time. It used to be so much nicer. There used to be flowers, and… other stuff.”

“It’s nice,” Brandon lies as he wraps his arms around me from behind. “Or at least, I can see that it used to be. Did you use to hang out here a lot?”

“I remember feeding the ducks here with my mom,” I reply softly, forgetting all about keeping the serious stuff at bay for a day. There’s just something about Brandon that makes it far too easy for me to open up to him. “It was so lovely then.”

Brandon’s lips move over my neck, making me shudder slightly. Butterflies flapped all over me. “And I’m sure it will be again someday.”

“Yeah… maybe.” I don’t want to hold out too much hope because aside from Brandon’s little project which isn’t improving the town it’s changing it, no one seems to care about here anymore. “We’ll see.”

Brandon spins me around to look at him with a cheeky glint in his eyes. “You know what we should do?” he gushes excitedly. “We should go swimming in it.”

“Are you serious?” I laugh. “It’s probably freezing! And the water looks quite dirty. And also we have no swimming stuff. There’s no way we can go swimming in there.”

“No, I know that, we could skinny dip…” But his words trail off as he looks at the water, finally seeing what I see. “Oh, maybe not. You’r

e right. It does look a bit grim. Maybe we should just sit beside it instead. Drink in the atmosphere, and not die from probably radiation poisoning… although maybe we would end up with super powers.”

“Yeah okay. Let’s do that instead. I think all the powers are gone.”

Brandon sits down and I perch on his lap with my arms around his neck. I glance down at him before dipping my head in to kiss him gently. Despite the dirty water and the tainting of my memories, it’s actually a perfect moment. The sun is dipping down, giving the world an orangey glow, and I’m here with the most amazing man I’ve ever met in my life.

I could fall for this man, I think with his lips against mine. I honestly could fall in love with him.