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He didn't know why but in its way, this time was harder. Like he knew that he and Cori would be leaving together. Would have the other. But it was like some part of him didn't want to be going. Sure all their stuff was packed and in his jeep. But it was still like they didn't want to be going. Yeah, he had seen the faces that Cori had made and would make as they had packed. As they talked about going back to Seattle. Though he knew it was where she needed to be. And like he said, this time he intended to follow her anywhere. That she was stuck with him.
The whole day, both he and his momma had been vague. Told her the basics and the need to know but not WHAT the "get together" was really about. How big or whether it was formal or informal. Mostly informal or rather casual because of it being family and friends and people they had grown up with. But this time was different because there was a special area for just the two of them set up to. One with pictures, flowers, and even what they had deemed their song would be playing. Travis wanted it to be perfect because it was the night he was FINALLY going to ask Cori to marry him. He had already asked her daddy and momma about it.
When Cori got there with her parents, both Travis and his momma gretted them. And he did hug her and kiss her cheek. [b "Everyone else is already here. But before we join them.. want you to take a walk with me. Momma and your momma and daddy already know where and said they would keep everyone busy."] He said with a smile, his hand moving into hers.
It was the night before they were set to leave for Seattle. Their “going away party” was tonight, and she had been an emotional mess all day. She knew tomorrow was going to be so difficult, saying goodbye to her parents and Mrs. Chamberlin. But Travis would be with her this time, so she knew she would be ok. They had taken her rental car back last week, as they were just driving back in Travis’ Jeep. All their bags were packed and ready to go, but her heart wasn’t.
Travis and Mrs. Chamberlin has been very vague whenever she asked about the get together. From what she understood, the entire town was practically coming. She had no idea where it was though. The plan was she was just going to ride with her Parents, which was confusing to her. Usually Travis picked her up so the could arrive to things like this together.
She was still the Cori that he fell in love with. Sweet and so easily excitable. But had she changed TOO much he would feel awkward. Both of them had been small country kids and both had made names for themselves and gone for what they wanted to be doing. And the moment she opened the door, a bright smile came to his lips and he nodded when she asked about the daisies. [b "Thought you would like them. Though they ain't as pretty as you. Nearly everything isn't."] Came his soft words as he stepped inside.
As she admitted to her nerves, a soft chuckle did slip from him. [b "Yes I'm hungry.. And no, I don't think it's bad, Cor. Jus' means you're still the you I fell in love with. And we haven' had a day like this since we came back and told everyone we're back together."] Travis said with a smile.
Soon, his hand found her free one and gently laced their fingers. And he let her lead him into the dining room. After he was hoping for one of their stary nights and a movie being cuddled up on the couch. But it was her night and whatever she had planned he was good with.
[b "So what are the plans for tonight, darlin'?"] He asked her with a smile
Cori couldn’t help but squeal as she heard the knock on her front door. [b “Coming!”] she called. The food was finished, and the dining table was set,l. She had ran upstairs to do a touch up to her lipstick. She all but flew down the stairs, she was plum giddy. She had seen him less than seven hours ago, but they hadn’t had a night like this in a long time.
[b “Hi.”] she said as she opened the door. The sight of Travis just about took her breathe away. He was a small town country boy, but he had made a name for himself at the school, but he didn’t let it go to his head, and she was so thankful. He was still the Travis she fell in love with back when they were in high school. [b “Those for me?”] she questioned as she eyed the daisies Travis had in his hand, they were her favorite.
[b “Come in, Come in.”] she said as she stepped back. [b “Dinner is ready... I hope you’re hungry.”] she watched him walk inside and she shut the door behind him. [b “I’m nervous.. is that weird? Bad?”]
John was leaned against his shovel, smirking as he watched Travis and Cori. The older man smirked and made kissy faces and noses. But he did shut up at the glare that was tossed his way by Travis. [#81e66b "You know I was jus' teasin' y'all. And don' worry Cori I'll make sure he's good and drinks the water. He doesn't need to be missing a night with you."]
Travis rolled his eyes at John and shook his head. But then his attention was back on Cori. [b "Looks like he can't and won't change."] Came his soft words as he kissed her cheeks and then kissed her. And another smile crossed his lips. [b "You know wouldn't miss coming over to see you for the world."] He whispered and watched her go back to her horse.
Later that night, Travis wore dark jeans, his boots and a white button-up. It was simple but something semi nice too. And when he got to the house, he had flowers for her and knocked on the door and waited for her. He was thankful they would have the house and night to themselves. It felt like forever since they had had that.
[b “I think getting everyone together before we leave is a great idea. I know we want to visit... But who knows when we’ll have time to come back. Have you heard back from any of those positions you put in for yet?”] she questioned.
Cori simply beamed when Travis told her not to worry, he would be there. She was just so happy that they didn’t have to sneak around anymore. It was like a weight had been lifted off her shoulders, she was sure that Travis felt the same way though. [b “Alright, I really got to go. I’ll see you tonight babe.”] she said, she leaned up and planted kisses on his cheek before she turned around and walked back toward her horse. [b “Yall boys make sure you drink that water. I don’t want to hear that you’re dehydrated.”] she called.
Later that night, she was working on cooking dinner. Travis loved fried chicken, but she also knew that he loved steak. She could never perfecte her Mother’s Famous Chicken, so she had went with a steak recipe. They were going to have steak, baked potatoes, some shrimp and asparagus. She had the radio playing on the local country channel.
He had asked if she was up to one last event before they left. When he asked her, he hadn't exactly thought it out. Just was wanting something special since he knew it would be a while before they came back home again. And this time..well he was planning to ask Cori to be his wife. So asking his momma for help in planning was probably his best bet because he was SO terrible with planning.
[b "Somethin' like that, darlin'. Just was wantin' to have everyone together in one place one last time."] He said, chuckling when she kissed his cheek multiple times. And he did kiss her forehead and then her lips, getting a gag sound to come from his cousin and the comment of "getting a room".
Travis did grudgingly let Cori go and smiled to her. [b "Don' worry, baby girl. I'll be there. And then we have all night."] He said with a wink, earning yet another round of gags from his cousin.
In truth, part of Cori was actually sad that their summer in their little home town was almost over... But with her job, she always had breaks, and surely Lawyers could make their own schudule, so they would deffinitly be coming back more often than not, if she had anything to say about it. She was sure that Travis wouldn't disagree though.
She grinned when Travis was soon walking over to her with his arms open, she had no sooner dismounted Shadow before she was in his arms. [b "Well. I won't stay long. I just wanted to make sure y'all stopped and ate, instead of skipping lunch like y'all have before."] she said.
She cocked her head just slightly when Travis asked her if she felt up for one more town event before they left. She quickly nodded, it would be a good opporunity for them to say their goodbyes. [b "I think thats a great idea. What kind of event? Just like some going away party?"]
She leaned forward and places a few kisses on his cheek. [b "I've got to get back. Don't make plans for tonight, Momma and Daddy are going to his brothers for that big horse auction for a few days, so I'm cooking dinner for you tonight. Seven o'clock."]
They had come out and told the whole town basically that they were back together and things didn't seem like they could get any better. There was no more need to hide the relationship and they didn't have to worry about watching the other getting flirted with. It was as good as it could get and felt like it had back when they had been in high school. Even the sneaking out and to ride the old trails at night like they used to. So somethings never did change. Or they went right back to.
But as all good things do, the summer was coming to an end. Cori would have to return home and to work. And this time, Travis had promised he would go with her. Promised that he would follow her anywhere. And he did mean it. Those years apart had driven him crazy and had been hell. But there was ONE thing he wanted to do before going to Seattle.
The man of twenty-seven was working with his cousin to help his momma fix the fencing around the farm. It was A LOT and seemed more than he remembered. But why should he complain? He had been gone and so probably had forgotten. He had been talking to his cousin and even his momma about having one more town get together. A surprise party for Cori's birthday...and he planned to propose to her. Just he wasn't going to tell that to her.
A nudge came to his shoulder and then he turned to see Cori on Shadow and in his old football shirt and jeans and her boots. It had been years since he had seen her looking like she did now, but god she did she take his breath away. It took him a moment, but a smile came to his lips and he went to her, hugging her tight. [b "It's comin'. Should be done tomorrow afternoon if we actually work and don' doddle."] He said and then gave a thoughtful look. [b "Feel like one more town event before goin' back to Seattle? Mean won' be here again for a while and means we can say goodbye to everyone."] He was at least giving her the out.
Since Travis and Cori had finally came clean to their parents, and pretty much the entire town, as both their mothers just had to go and tell EVERYONE, their lives had been pretty easy. They didn’t have to sneak around anymore. It was now a tradition that Travis would sneak over to her house after everyone had went to bed though. They would go riding on their old trails, just like high school.
Summer break was coming to a close end, which meant she had to start getting ready to go back to Seattle. Travis said he would follow her anywhere this time, and she was so thankful for that. But she had enjoyed this small town life again. No one really got in a hurry for anything, and it was just peaceful. Seattle was not.
Since the plan was that they would be leaving their small town in two and a half weeks, Travis and his cousin had been working at the Chamberlin Farm. There was lot of fences that needed repairing according to Travis. She had a feeling that some part of Travis didn’t want to leave either.
She and her mother had spent the first part of their morning going through clothes and such that they could donate. Cori was plum giddy when she found an old football t shirt of Travis’s. [b “This is staying with me.”] they had fixed lunch, including her mother’s famous chicken salad sandwich and sweet tea. Since Mrs. Chamberlin was out of town for the day, she was going to ride over and take them lunch. She had been on the back of a horse by herself in so long, she was slightly nervous, but she knew Shadow would take good care of her.
She couldn’t help but grin as she rode up on the two men. Travis was covered in sweat and dirt, and she had never seen so handsome. [b “Hi boys.”] she said. [b “I come bearing lunch.”] She was wearing Travis’s football shirt with jeans and her boots. [b “How’s it coming?”]
Maybe he should have warned Cori first in what he was going to do and not just stood and cleared the throat. But he had learned the more time she had to think about something, the more nervous she was. And the news had been weighing on him all afternoon because he was the one who actually had to tell them. So he had figured that he might as well just go for it and get it over with.
Cori added her words after he had spoken his. And it was silent for a few moments as their parents stared at them and happened to be taking it in. Hell was he nervous, but at least it was out there. It wasn't like they coulen't be told NOT to be together because they were adults and could make their own decisions. The silence was just a killer because they had been SO worried all thie time what would be said. Worried how the news would be taken.
A smile soon came to both their mommas' lips and they squealed, getting up to hug both Cori and Travis. "That's great y'all. We had been HOPING the two of you would realise it." Of course it had been his momma to speak. But hey, at least they weren't mad.
Cori just grinned as she listened to Travis comment back about how guys were always watching her. [b “Well. Once we announce that we’re back together, I highly doubt anything will look at me when I’m holding hands with you. Or at least I hope not.”] she said with a small laugh.
[b “I miss just being us in public.”] she said. She heard Travis sign when his mother called them over to help do something. [b “It’s okay. Just think here in a little bit, we won’t have time hide, no more sneaking off. We can just be us.”]
Cori was taking a bite of her hot dog when she realized Travis was standing up and then he cleared his throat. Her eyes went wide as she realized very quickly, what he was about to do. And boy was she so nervous now. She looked around at their parents faces when it finally set with what he had just said. [b “We realized very quickly that maybe Our story wasn’t over just yet.”]
He chuckled when she mentioned the girls that always seemed to give their googley eyes when they were in public. [b "You know the guys are no better when it comes to you, darlin'. But god it'll be nice to actually be a couple and to not have to hide it. I miss being able to be public."] The man muttered before he kissed her.
His arms stayed around her and he couldn't help the chuckle that slipped from him when she had pulled away from their kiss. [b "Me either, baby girl. Me either."] He said and sighed when he heard his momma. She wanted their help with something and his hand had moved into hers.
[b "Yeah, I'll be the one to tell them. But gonna at least need you to be there with me. You know how they can 'bite..'] Travis teased as they went to help his momma.
A few hours later, everyone had their food and he, Cori, her parents and his momma were sitting around one of the multiple fire pits. [b "So, Cori and I wanted to tell y'all something.. We're back together and decided we wanted to give us another shot."] Quick and HOPEFULLY painless. Now all they had to do was see what happened next.
Cori just grinned when Travis stopped what he was doing as soon as he seen her. Her anxiety had been acting up all day long, as she knew tonight their parents, and the entire town, would find out that they were back together again. She didn’t think their parents would be upset or anything, they would be excited, but then again, they might have something to say if they found out just exactly how long she and Travis had been sneaking around.
[b “I can’t wait to just be able to be us in public. You know, especially when we go out and I see all those little girls giving you the googly eyes.”] she said with a grin. Her arms were wrapped tightly around him. [b “They’re going to take it well, right?”]
She could’ve swooned when Travis kissed her. He still gave her butterflies every time they were together. [b “I can’t wait to be able to do that without worrying if anyone seen.”] She quickly pulled away when she heard Travis’ mother call for the two of them. [b “You’re going to be the one that actually tells them, right? Please?”]
A week and a half since grduation and having been "caught" by Crri's father. The man had FINALLY let them off the hook. But only because he got the full story and their promise to tell their mommas when his family's annual summer get together. Both he and Corri said they would tell everyone at once.
Now here the big day was. Half the town had showed up, but not the one face he had been wanting to see. All morning he and his cousin had been helping his momma get things set and Cori's parents had gotten there by noon. Only when he heard the jeep did he stop what he had been doing and look to his girl with a smile.
Without thinking, Travis hugged her when she jogged up to him. [b "Yeah, ready if you are. Think it's 'bout time that we came clean. I'm tired of not being able to hold you in public."] He whispered and kissed her since it was only the two of them for that moment. But soon, his momma was calling him and Cori in to help get things put out back for the guests to start eating.
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