Needless to say, with all her smarts, cooking just isn’t something she can do.
“How are you doing with things?” she asks, breaking the silence.
“I’m okay, Lila. I really am. I know I got a little over the top when he first left and I’m sorry for that. It wasn’t right for me to do that and not be there for you and Lyn. It’s just—I can’t even describe it. We’ve known each other forever. Been solidly on that ‘just friends’ line that I never imagined how different it would be to finally have him. Even if it was just for a few hours. Those hours . . .” I pause, remembering every second of my night in Cohen’s arms. “When I was with him, it was like everything was right in the world.”
“You sound like a cheesy Hallmark card,” she giggles.
I laugh. “You’re right. God, I’m pathetic.”
“No, you aren’t. I understand what you’re saying, even if it is gross to think about it being with my brother.”
“Do you think its crazy? This instant connection between us?” I don’t think it’s crazy, but I know how others might see the swiftness of our relationship. I’ve been lusting after him for so long that I’m sure I look pathetic to most. I know I never dreamt that he would return my feelings.
Lila studies my face for a beat, her expression giving nothing away, before she speaks. I don’t know why, but between her and Lyn, I have always thought that Lila didn’t exactly want Cohen and me to get together.
“I don’t think it’s crazy, Dani. But I’m worried about you. He’s my brother, but you have always been like a sister to Lyn and me. I’m worried that things might get . . . sticky.”
“Meaning?” I push hesitantly.
“What’s going to happen when he comes home?” she asks, not answering my question.
“The same thing that would have happened if he were still here. We’re going to tell everyone together and then, hopefully with their blessing, continue to see where our relationship goes.”
“Okay. Well, what’s keeping you from telling everyone now? I’ll be honest, I don’t agree with your wanting to keep a lid on it.”
I’m trying to keep my temper in check. I know she’s just trying to think logically, but that doesn’t mean I’m not allowed to get frustrated with her lack of faith.
“You’re afraid he’s going to change his mind, aren’t you?” she asks when I don’t say anything,
“Never,” I spit venomously. “Look, I don’t want to fight with you, Lila, but I have faith in your brother that he never would have even opened this can of worms if he didn’t mean it. But I will admit that I can see where you’re coming from. It might be easier for me to say something now and deal with calming my dad down while Cohen is home. I know one thing for sure: when he comes home, I want to be able to focus on us becoming us without having to worry about hiding and being scared of what others might think. So I guess I’m not going to keep this to myself.” I sigh and try to suck down the small panic I have from knowing what kind of chat that will be with my dad. “I’ll tell my parents about it next weekend at dinner.” I nod a few times before stopping. God, I must look like a bobblehead.
Her eyes widen. “You’re going to tell your father—the same father that locked you in the house when Toby Gilbert tried to take you to the movies when you were seventeen and chased the kid out of the house with a chainsaw—that you and Cohen are together?”
“Hey—the chainsaw wasn’t on,” I laugh, remembering how embarrassed I was.
“Dani . . . he still chased a man down with a freaking chainsaw and all Toby wanted was to take you to a movie. We’re talking about telling your father that you and Cohen are together together, and I’m pretty sure no one is going to believe that you two have something that doesn’t involve touching.”
“I know, I know,” I sigh. “But I figure it would be better to tell him now and give him a while to get used to it before Cohen comes home.”
“Oh, God. He’s going to kill him. You know that, right?”
“He wouldn’t kill him knowing it would hurt me. Hey! What’s with the back-and-forth crap here? Five minutes ago, you were questioning my logic on not saying anything. Now, you don’t think I should.”
“I think that’s before I realized what telling Axel you’re dating his best friend’s son would do to said best friend’s son.”