4:00 a.m. – continued
In response, though, she just lifted a shoulder, trying to appear as casual and nonchalant as possible. “I guess I’ve just been too busy for that. Anyways, where are you from?”
They learned they were actually from the same suburb, having grown up just a few streets away from each other. They’d also gone to the same high school and may have even run into each other a few times, but didn’t remember each other. It also turned out that his younger sister and her next youngest sister were in the same grade.
“I wonder if they know each other,” Valentine mused. “I can’t believe we’ve never met before. It’s crazy how small the world can be sometimes, isn’t it?”
She wasn’t going to mention that, at first look, she hadn’t thought she’d see him again after this train ride. Really, there was no point in divulging that fact. Besides, now that she’d spent some time talking to him, he really was turning out to be a nice guy.
Cooper grinned. “Maybe it was fate. I always did like a red headed girl. Never could say no to them.”
Valentine raised an eyebrow. He quickly shook his head.
“Don’t ask,” he muttered. “I don’t think you would like me much if you knew my history. But since this is the end of the world, how about if we spend some time together? I mean, we’re practically neighbors, aren’t we?”
“Well,” she hedged. “I do have some family obligations…”
“Oh, me too,” he said quickly, giving her a face that told her he wanted to do anything but visit with family. “But I heard that there’s some big party tonight at Perkins Stadium. I was just thinking that maybe we could meet up or something.” He gave her a wolfish grin. “Maybe I can even give you that first kiss.”
Valentine laughed and tried to hide her blush. Despite how dirty this guy looked, he was actually pretty nice. Nicer than a lot of the other guys she’d met. And he didn’t seem like he was the kind of guy to use a girl to satisfy some carnal needs. She supposed she could do worse, or better. But this guy’s eyes were freaking gorgeous. She could definitely do worse.
“Well?” he asked expectantly. “How about it?”
She was doing it again, taking too long to answer the guy. “Okay,” she finally said. “Sure. Why not? Let’s meet up.”
He stuck out his hand. “I’ll shake to that.”
She smiled and shook his hand, oddly relieved that she wouldn’t be alone, or stuck with her family, at the end of the world. That and she was going to get her first, and last, kiss from this guy.
“Don’t worry,” he said as he dropped his hand. “I’ll shower and clean up. The last couple of days have just been…different. I don’t normally look like this.”
“I’m sure,” she said with a reassuring smile. “The past few days haven’t been easy for anyone. It’s hard to figure out just whom you want to spend the last few hours with. A loved one? A significant other? Your best friend? Who?”
Cooper nodded. “Yeah. Yeah, I hear you. I spent the last two days trying to figure out if I should go home or not. Now I’m glad I did decide to go home. It’s great to finally meet you, Valentine.”
“You, too, Cooper.”
“So, about that nap,” he said. “Do you want to take it now or should I keep entertaining you?”
She smiled, a genuine, bright smile. She was actually coming to really like this guy. “Entertain me. I think I’d rather spend as much time as possible awake and soaking up life. After midnight, there won’t be anything left. May as well enjoy it now.”
He grinned and repeated, “May as well.”