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Cori was looking around, wondering if Travis would be up in the house or out on the farm with Misty. [b "Maybe I should've called first.."] she mumbled to herself.
She glanced up when she seen something move out of the corner of her eye. Her heart felt like it was about to beat out of her chest when she realized it was Travis. [b "Hi, sweetheart."] she said with a huge smile on her face. [b "How are you?"] She was about to take one step forward and wrap her arms around him, when she froze, seeing John. She glanced at Travis. He was getting "what the heck is going on" look.
[b "Oh.. Uh. Hi, John.. Ho- How've you been? It's defniielty been a long time."] she said. She looked over at Travis and smiled weakly. [b "I bought sandwiches and sweet tea from Maggie's... Are we hungry?"] She glanced over at John.
[b "So. Here's how it needs to go down. Travis and I are trying this again.. We don't want the family getting their hopes up right now. Not with everything that has happened.. No one else needs to get hurt. We're going to tell them all eventually, just haven't figured out when and how.."] she explained [b "Please, John. I don't want anyone else getting hurt this summer.."]
[#81e66b "Travis why don't you want anyone to know? You know your mama would be happy to hear that you and Cori FINALLY patched things up. We all always did figure the two of you would end up together as it was."] John said as he was working just on the otjer side of his cousin.
[b "Cori and I wanted to keep it to ourselves for now. We're not even sure how this will go but are prayin' that it will go better than the last time. Just we figured not telling anyone would be better in case it ends like the last time. No reason to be gettin' everyone's hopes up and to have them crash back down."] Travos admitted and prayed to god that his cousin would drop it. But of course it was not dropped and the man of twenty-seven had the slightly older man grilling him with all sorts of questions. Now he really wished he would have gone with his mama or sent John to work on another part of the farm. Maybe even to clean the horses' stalls. ANYTHING would have been better.
He was not sure how long it had been but soon Cori's voice rang out as she called out to him. Without much thought, the man rested the shovel he had against the fense and nearly ran to meet her. Almost did he pull her into an embrace and kiss her. BUT before he could, John was close behind.
[#81e66b "Howdy there, Cori. Been a long time since seeing you here like this."] The man said, a sly smile slipping to his lips. It was his 'I know and you better start talking' smile.
Travis sighed and gave an apologetic look to Cori. [b "He knows...and now I need your help getting him to keep his mouth shut.."]
The young woman heard her phone ding as she was walking back out to her rental car. She loaded all her bags into the trunk of the car before she pulled her phone out. Her eyes scanned the messaged and simply smiled. She didn't text back, she was planning on stopping by by Maggie's and getting a quick bite, for herself and Travis. She wasn't sure what his Mother would be up to, so she would just get a few extra sandwhiches just in case.
The next thirty minutes, the woman drove back to her little hometown. She was growing more and more anxious with her relationship with Travis. She wasn't sure how it would work out, but she was excited to see where things would go for them.
It didn't help her stess level that the other day, after she had come home from Dinner with Travis, her Mother basically interegated her. The older woman meant well, she knew that. But she didn't want anyone getting hurt if she and Travis didn't work out. She had yet to tell Travis about it.
She hummed along with the Radio as she pulled into the side street parking lot of Maggie's. She quickly placed her order and thanked the older woman at the counter. She grabbed the bag of sandwiches and the gallon of ice tea before heading back out to her car.
Soon enough, she was pulling into Travis' dirt road of a driveway, they lived a bit off the road. She seen that Mrs. Chamberlin's truck was gone, which told her that she wasn't home. [b "Travis?"] she called as she stepped out of her car.
Three weeks. It had been three weeks since he could not sleep and he had taken Cori out just like he used to in high school. None of what came to pass he had expected but it had actually been the happiest night of his life. Well aside from the first time he had asked her to be his girl and she had said yes. The two had decided to try again, which was a VERY big decision on both of their parts. They even decided the best way to go was keeping it from their parents this time around. There was no need to bring them in and have them hurt IF things didn't work out this time. It would be one hell of a heartbreak if it happened again..but it was one he would be willing to suffer because he wanted this..wanted her.
He had talked to both Cori and his mama in how they had wanted to work the rides to Idaho for his graduation since it was quickly approaching. And it turned out his mama had talked to his uncle and cousins just that week and set up riding with them. And it was decided that Cori would ride with him himself. A little nervous was what it had him, but overly Travis could admit that he was looking forward to the alone time. Though he did worry about how much longer they could keep the secret from their families. Already it was pretty clear that they were STARTING to get suspicious.
On this particular day, Travis was out working the farm with his cousin John and he stopped with the vibration in his pocket. The man was quick to pull out his phone to see the text he had been sent. And when he did, the same smile that used to slip to his lips was upon them. [i 'I know and I miss you too.. We pretty much have been..it's been nice and like the old days.. Can't wait to see you when you get back'] He texted her back and shoved the phone back into his pocket.
[#81e66b "So gonna tell me who it was? You only EVER smiled like that when... Wait are you and Cori?"] John asked with a sly smile as he looked at Travis.
[b "I swear to god John.. you say ANYTHING I'll kill you. Just you can 't say a word."] He grumbled. He would have to pull John and Cori both aside later and talk to them. More like get Cori's help in getting John to keep his mouth shut.
How had it already been three weeks since that night? The night that she decided to take the biggest chance of her entire life? She and Travis had been a 'thing' now for three weeks. They had tried to keep it hidden from there parents as much as they possibly could, that part was her own idea. She wasn't sure what would happen, and she didn't want to give their parents false hope, not that their relationship was doomed or anything like that. She just wanted to make sure this was one hundred percent more than likely going to work before they told everyone. She didn't want anyone else getting hurt with their business. Their parents thought they were just really good friends at this point.
It had been decided that Mrs. Chamberlin would ride down to Idaho for Travis' graduation with his uncle, aunt and cousins. They said none of them were going to miss their boy graduating from Law School. Cori would be riding down with Travis, himself. She was actually kind of nervous about the entire thing.. Would they be able to keep their relationship a secret for much longer?
While Travis was out working on his farm, Cori had decided to drive over to the next town, the one that had a mall. She needed a new dress. It wasn't every day that your boyfriend graduated from Law. She was so proud of him. [I "I miss you.. Feels weird. We've practically been inseparable these last few weeks."] she texted Travis.
A while later, she was satisfied with her shopping trip. She got a few new outfits to take with her on the trip, plus two dresses because she couldn't decide.
Oh her knew the young woman better than anyone. Or he had at a time that was. So he knew that she had not meant what she said the way it had sounded. Did that stop it from stinging? Nope, but she had been being honest. And givem it all, the man truly could not fault her. [b "No need. We were both sayin' things and in a way clearing the air. So it"s okay, really."] He said quietly as he knew Cori felt guilty for what she had said and how she had.
Travis had believed in fate or destiny for all his life. To him there was always reason behind why things happened. Nothing truly was left to chance or coincidencd. It was just the way he saw things. So..maybe his father dying was his father's last attempt at bringing them together again? Kind of funny but he would not put it past gis farher as he had ALWAYS wanted for Cori and Travis to be together. So even in death, it seemed the man was trying to help them out.
[b "You know.. It's been the same way for me. Since we were in high school no one could compare to you.. You stole my heart and well haven't given it back since... Kind of makes me think of the Ed Sheeran song 'Perfect'.."] He admitted with a faint colouring to his cheeks. The last words to that sentence he had NOT meant to say but they had slipped anyway..
It felt like her heart was shattering when she realized what she had said. She had just admitted that she had tried so hard to get over him, but she couldn't. Nothing worked. She went out with her girl friends, went on dates with other men, but none were Travis. [b "I- I'm sorry..."] she said softly. [b "I shouldn't have said it like that."]
She truly believed that everything happened for a reason, as bad as it was, maybe something great would come from Mr. Chamberlins death. Maybe he was even he was even behind this, behind herself and Travis trying again.
Cori couldn't help but grin up at Travis. [b "It's always been you. You stole my heart at seventeen, and I never got it back."] she whispered. [b "Travis.. It's you. I've always wanted you.."]
Had hearing her words hurt? Of course they had. Who in their right mind wanted to hear that the one they loved had tried to move on and tried damn hard at it? But he could not help a slight feeling of smugness when she had admitted that they weren't him and a cowboy in Seattle was nearly a no go.
[b "We both had tried and failed in that regard.. each girl I dated after you didn't last more than two weeks. They were just not you. You are the one I wanted..still do."] Oh god he again couldn't seem to keep his words locked in his head. Some of them he wished to hell he could.
Her last words were what really caught his attention and he gave her a small smile. Could this end badly? Absoultely..but was it worth the try? One hundred percent yes
[b "I was hoping you might agree.."] Travis finally whispered.
Cori searched Travis' eyes and face, trying to figure out what he was thinking. She wasn't sure what was going on, but she had suddenly just became very nervous. She sighed as she had almost given up in defeat, her head falling along with everything else.
[b "I never moved on. I sure as hell tried, Travis.. But they weren't you."] she whispered [b "I just wanted you. Only you... Damn near impossible to find a cowboy in Seattle..."] Her head shot up, when she heard Travis' words.
[b "A do over?"] she asked. Her mind was racing a mile a minute.. She was finished with College, and Travis was about to graduate, that would be one less thing that they would have to face. Would it actually work for them this time? She had no idea. Would she die trying? Absolutely. [b “I... I think I’d like that, Travis.
This was a dangerous game and he knew he was tempting the gods, fate, or whatever was out there. But he had spoken and she deserved to know where his mind was going. Probably it would have been better to sit down and think this all over, but it appeared emotion had gripped him and taken over his logic. This only EVER happened when he was around Cori. Why she was both his heaven and his own personal hell.
It took him a moment or two to form the words or the thought properly before he could speak. He needed to have some logic and wit about him or this could go up in flames. [b "What I mean is.. seems we never really moved on and there are still feelings on both ends.. Maybe.. if you're willing we could try again. Like starting over?"] Travis stated slowly and quietly as his dark gaze was locked upon her.
He'd spoken and put it out there. Now the ball was in her court. He only wondered what she would choose to do.
Cori couldn't help but chuckle. Travis' had never been the type of person that was so open about himself with others. [b "I should've known better.. I guess I just thought that College had changed you, made you more open with people. I don't know, Travis."] She titled her face, looking him straight in the eye. [b "Travis, we were together most of high school, three years.. Of course we'd have a history that was hard to forget.. We were with each other every single day.."]
She let her head fall when she heard Travis apologize... She didn't understand why he was apologizing. She had been the one to start the fight, basically. She had begged him to move to Seattle with her. Why didn't she just swallow her pride and move to Idaho with him? Oh, because she had never set foot out of Montana, and she wanted city lights, not more small towns and corn fields.
Her head snapped up when she heard what Travis had to say next. [b "Tr-..."] she whispered [b "You can't mess with me like that... What does that mean? What're you trying to say?"]
[b "When do you know me to ever show what I really feel around people? Only those closest to me do I let in, Cori.. Them.. The new frieunds and all you saw was me trying to move forward and convince myself I could be happy. But I really wasn't. Never really could be happy without you. We've had such a long history and not one I could easily forget or move on from."] He whispered, needing her to know that for some reason. It appeared they both were trying to clear the air.
[b "I had been just as bad back then and I'm sorry too."] And he was. He remembered how excited both of them had been. They had gotten into the schools they had wanted but neither could swallow their pride and it had turned into one hell of a fight. One that they had not been able to work out and so the break-up had stayed. Looking back he wished it could have been different. But the past was the past.
[b "Maybe it's not too late..."] The words slipped before he could even seem to stop them.
Cori back at Travis as she listened to him. [b "You always felt like home to me... I hated Seatlle when I first moved there. I was so home sick. Cried to sleep everynight, begged Momma to come stay with me.."] she muttered. She had been a different person back then.
[b "You seemed so happy.. I thought you had moved on from me."] she explained. [b "I know it was so long ago... But I'm sorry. Travis, I was so mean to you that night. I'm to stubborn and hard headed for my own good at times. I should've just went with you.."]
She remembered that night like it was yesterday. She had gotten her acceptance letter from Washington State University that afternoon, she couldn't wait to tell Travis, but he had gotten his acceptance from Idaho. He wanted her to go with him, and she wanted him to go with her. It was childish on her part, starting the fight with him. But what could she do about it now?
He had have seemed happy on the putside, laughing and talking with new friends that he had made but he had always been torn on the inside. His mind would constantly wander to Cori and their high school years..what they had been and what they could have been. Yeah he had a few relationships after everything happened but NONE had lasted long because face it..none of the girls were her. It was her words..her answer that even made him think about all of that. And it was hell because they were thoughts he had tried to bury and to not revisit. But it seemed in this that could not be helped.
[b "It may have looked that way.. But I wasn't. Not really. The only thing..one that ever made me happy was bein' with you. You had been my home and sanity for so long and without you I was lost. I wanted to call or to talk. Maybe even get to try and set us right.. But I had been a damn fool and figured you would have moved on. So I just tried to move on with my life and let you move on with yours. God I wish I would have known all of this back then."] He said quietly as he stood at her side and gazed up at the moon. It was all out there now and he wondered what she might think of what he had just said.
[b "That last time, I visited... Daddy wanted to take a ride, so I borrowed one of Momma's horses and went with him, then I realized where he was leading towards, I don't know if he understood what happened when I took the horse to a full on run back to Momma, I'm not sure.. I tihnk somehow he knew, he never asked me about it, to this day..."] she said softly.
She held onto Travis' shoulders as she went to slide off Misty. She listened to his answer, and practically stared off into space as she heard his own question next. [b "I have.. Especially at first. I figured out what University you had finally decided on about a year after I left, I wanted to swallow my pride, drive down and beg you to take me back... I actually did.. I was on campus, but I seen you, seen the group of friends you had made... And I decided that you were better off without me..."] she said.
[b "You just seemed so happy with all of them.. Who was I to tear up that life that you had built there?"] she asked. [b "I couldn't mess that experience up for you.."]
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