Carnie and Lou, the secondary characters from Groom aren't having it.
So, I give you, my loyal readers, a sneak peek into book two...
Cold beer, hot night, fireflies dancing over the pond and his girl by his side.
Lou figured there weren’t many nights as perfect as this one.
Splashing and laughter from the water followed by silence told him his best buddy, Braxton, was getting some tonight. With his wedding just a week away, Braxton was dewy eyed over Abby constantly these days.
Lou got it. Rolling over on the blanket on the dock, he met Carnie’s eyes. Carnie left him a little dewy eyed himself lately. “You want another beer?”
Wearing an itty bitty bikini and a pair of denim shorts that just barely covered her sweet little behind, she rolled towards him, illuminated by headlights and starlight. His breath caught in his chest.
Right then he knew she was gonna be his wife. Their whole lives stretched out in front of him, like in a country song, and he could picture getting old with her, holding her through life’s little storms and loving her through a thousand nights.
He would swear, for years later, his heart stopped dead in his chest in that moment.
“No. I’m good.”
Fumbling a little, he went up on one knee above her. “Marry me, Carnie.”
Scuttling away from him, she practically fell off the dock. “What the hell?”
“You’re drunk. Be serious, Lou.”
He knew Carnie. Seemed he spent a good chunk of the years since she moved to Jefferson watching her. Right then, she was panicked.
And that was okay. She could panic. He’d calm her down. He might have to spend awhile to warm her up to the idea but he knew now how things were gonna work out.
“I’m not drunk. Well, I’m a little drunk. Doesn’t change the fact I’m a man who knows what he wants.”
She snorted, an inelegant sound from a woman still slick from her old city home. “You want laid. So do I. Get your hillbilly butt over here and stop talking nonsense.”
Rolling her under him and back onto the blanket, he began to nuzzle the flesh he’d claimed as his own in his mind. “S’not nonsense. It’s the God’s honest truth, Carnie. I’m gonna make you my bride.”
Smacking his chest, she shoved away from him. “The hell if you will.”
“Don’t you ‘baby’ me, you backwoods barbarian. I have no plans on settling for being barefoot and pregnant and bringing you pie and beer for the rest of my life. I have plans. They don’t include marriage to you.”
Standing, she grabbed her towel and began to stalk up the dock toward the trucks. “Carnie, where did you think this was headed, exactly? A woman doesn’t run off when a man offers to spend his life with her.”
Stopping, she spun, silhouetted by the headlights. “If she has a brain in her gourd, she runs. I thought we were having a good time,Lou. If you want Betty Crocker, look elsewhere.”
Laying back, he decided to let her cool off a bit. Once she thought it through,she’d see reason. He loved her. She’d admitted she loved him. If she wanted to pretend she didn’t know that ended in a double ring ceremony, fine. It wasn’t like she was going anywhere.
The only vehicles out here were his and Brax’s trucks. And Carnie wasn’t the type of woman to walk anywhere she could ride.
The sound of his truck firing up had him rolling to his feet and almost falling into the water.
As it roared away, he heard Any Man of Mine blasting from his speakers.
Damned Shania Twain strikes again.