My dad? Well, who the hell knew what he was thinking. He was always hard for me to understand motive-wise.

Speaking of…

My father snorted. “Y’all go back to the house. Let the dog out, and we’ll go get lunch. This place takes a fuckin’ hour to get the shit ready, but their steaks are the best. It’ll give you an hour to calm her down.”

I snorted.

I’d need it.

“Thanks, Dad.”

Chapter 9

Pineapple goes on pizza like tongues go into assholes. It’s not for everyone, but who are you to judge?

-Text from Wade to Landry


“My mom wants me to go let her new puppy out,” I murmured, trying not to let my eyes linger too long on Landry’s shorts. Shorts that were so short that I wouldn’t even consider them shorts as much as long underwear. “Do you mind if we go do that first?”

Landry shrugged. “What happened to Boscoe?”

Boscoe had been my mother’s Jack Russel Terrier who had been older than dirt. He’d died last year of a heart attack while my parents had been asleep.

“Dead,” I said simply.

Her breath inhaled deeply. “Your mom loved him.”

She had.

“She did,” I confirmed. “And she’s still trying to get over it, to be honest. Dad brought her this dog to hopefully help her get out of her funk. He’d have brought her one earlier if she could’ve decided what breed she wanted. Eventually, we decided to find her a rescue.”

I saw Landry melt a little bit.

“I almost got one from your rescue,” I admitted. “But I didn’t want her to get attached to another dog and have that one die on her, too. I felt it was kind of the wrong thing to do in that situation.”

She smiled at me sadly. “Not all of the ones I’m getting lately are old, though. Some of them are just so broken and or unwanted that they have nowhere else to go. Sure, the majority of the ones that I’m getting are older, but we’re branching out into some battered souls with missing body parts.”

I grinned as I pushed open the door. “Watch out, he’s rather feisty.”

I hadn’t actually seen him in a while, but what I remembered of him had me bracing my legs and hoping that the dog wouldn’t barrel into me like a freight train like he had the last time.

Luckily, Rover didn’t come barreling out.

He came at us quietly and softly, almost as if he’d realized that we were both hurt.

“Awww,” Landry said as she dropped down to her knees.

I stopped her before she could make it all the way down.

“Pet him outside. Mom says he pees when he’s excited,” I ordered. “I don’t want to be cleaning up pee.”

She snorted but did as I asked, walking farther into the house and closing the door.

Instead of stopping to pet the puppy, who was looking at us and wagging his tail, we both shuffled past him to the back door and walked outside.

Rover followed us outside, did his business, and immediately came to Landry who was once again crouched on the ground waiting for him.

“Is he a pure bloodhound?” she asked.

I shrugged and walked to the swing and took a seat, groaning audibly when the pressure on my leg finally diminished.

“I don’t think so,” I admitted. “He might be, but we don’t really know.”

She hummed and petted the dog’s ears for a few long minutes before the dog finally broke away from her and started to explore.

“Mom says that if he finds a scent, he’s occupied for hours.” He paused. “Which is why he was at the shelter to begin with. He wanders. Doesn’t do cages well. Dad said that they let him out sometimes in the morning, and he doesn’t come back until the sun is going down.”

“Coonhounds are notorious for that,” she murmured. “They’re easily distracted by scents and will follow it all the way back to its source if they’re interested enough.”

“Guess we’re just lucky that they live off in the middle of a hundred acres,” I admitted, shifting slightly on the seat when I saw she was looking to sit down, too.

Once there was enough room, she took her seat next to me and started to gently push the swing with her toes.

And although it was causing me pain, I let her do it because I knew that she loved to rock.

We sat in silence like that for about five minutes before she said, “This is bad.”

And suddenly I got angry.

So. Fucking. Angry.

“It’s not bad,” I snapped. “It’s the best thing that’s ever happened.”

It gives me a fighting chance to show her that I was no longer the dumb, useless piece of shit that I was to her when I found out about her sister.

I just needed time!

She looked at me like I’d lost my mind. “You don’t think that being back together is going to blow up in our faces?”

Do Not Sell My Personal Information