As I pulled into the parking lot of the auto shop, I saw Brad working in the garage. I grinned and let myself into the lobby, pouring a cup of coffee and admiring my paintings on the wall. Brad insisted on buying them for the shop and the apartment. I tried to give them to him for free, but he refused. I loved seeing them hanging on the walls of this shop, the place we first met.
I walked around the counter and let myself into the garage. Brad saw me and stood up straight, grinning widely and opening his arms for a greasy hug. I hugged him tightly and leaned up to press my lips to his. I sighed against his lips, melting into his chest. No matter how many times I kissed him, I never got used to it.
When we pulled away, I saw a woman standing just outside the garage. She was glaring at me with earnest. I just grinned at her and waved, making her storm off in a huff. Rolling my eyes, I turned back to Brad.
“Still hanging around, huh?” I asked, gesturing toward where the woman disappeared.
“I didn’t even notice,” Brad said, shrugging.
“Which is why I love you,” I said.
It wasn’t anything new, these women hanging around Brad. They’d always done so, and now that we were together, they were even more persistent. They hated me for taking him off the market, but I didn’t care. Brad was mine, and I loved him for it.
“I love you too.” He grinned and kissed me again.
“So,” I said. “I got an interesting phone call from my mother today.”
Brad’s face fell for a split second. He flashed me a guilty smile, and I just laughed, taking his hand and pulling him into the office. We each fell into a chair so we could talk freely.
“I can’t believe you called her,” I said.
“Are you mad?” he asked, worry crossing his face.
“No,” I said. “I’m just surprised. Why did you do it?”
“I thought she should know how you’re doing,” he said, shrugging. “She’s your mother. I know your parents have been terrible to you, but I don’t know. I just wanted them to know they made a mistake. I wanted them to know that your talent is undeniable.”
I smiled and sighed. “Well, she was nice about it.”
“She was?” He raised his eyebrows in surprise.
“Yup,” I said. “She even said she was sorry for everything. She congratulated me on opening the gallery. I honestly don’t think I’ve ever been so surprised. I didn’t know what to say. It was crazy.”
“That’s amazing!” Brad said. “She finally sees the mistake she made.”
I nodded. “She wants me to come home for a visit,” I said. “She said I should bring you along with me. I guess she wants to meet you.”
“She does?” Brad asked. “Wow, I thought for sure she would hate me after I called her out of the blue like that.”
“Nope, I think she actually kind of likes you already,” I said.
Brad laughed, making my stomach fill with butterflies. I could never get used to being with him. From his cobalt eyes to his big belly laughs to his soft kisses. He was everything I always dreamed of and more. I never imagine the sexy, bad boy mechanic I met on my first day in town would become the love of my life. Now I couldn’t imagine my life without him.
“I think we should do it,” Brad said firmly. “We should go to New York.”
“You do?” I asked, surprised. Brad always talked about New York like it was hell on earth.
“I do,” he said. “I mean, I don’t want to live there. God no. Never. But a visit wouldn’t hurt.”
“No.” I smiled. “It wouldn’t.”
“Especially now that your parents are being nice,” Brad said, shrugging. “Maybe you guys can finally have a good relationship, you know?”
“I hope so,” I said.
Brad smiled and pulled me into his lap. He kissed me softly, wrapping his arms around my waist. Whatever happened with my parents, I knew it didn’t matter. As long as I had Brad, I’d have everything I need.