“Even though you returned your cup of coffee because it was bitter, is there any chance you’d take it back and love my coffee again?” I whisper, setting my own cup down and taking a step toward him.

I hold my breath until he slowly pulls his hands back out of his pockets and takes his own step to me until we’re toe-to-toe.

“I never stopped loving your coffee, I was just mad at it for burning me,” he replies, his eyes staring deeply into mine.

“I’m so sorry it hurt you. My coffee sometimes does things without thinking and then regrets everything immediately,” I admit with a choked voice filled with emotion as my eyes cloud with tears.

Leo points to my coffee cup that I set down on the table.

“Do you really love Bald Knob?”

I smile up at him through my tears and nod my head.

“I think I fell in love with Bald Knob the first day I came back. It just took me a while to realize it and not be so afraid of loving it,” I explain.

“I always thought coffee and Bald Knob made a great pair, but it really sucked when some people didn’t agree. How can I be sure you won’t change your mind and stop loving Bald Knob?” he asks softly.

Bringing my hands up between us, I place my palms on his chest, one resting right over his heart and I can feel it thumping rapidly, just as fast as my own.

“The same way I can be sure that you won’t change your mind about loving coffee. Because I trust you. And my coffee is fucking delicious,” I state with a smile.

He finally laughs deeply and aside from just the sound of his voice, it’s the best thing in the entire world to hear. Shaking his head at me, he slides his hands around my hips and finally touches me, clasping his hands at my lower back and pulling me against his chest.

“Most delicious thing I’ve ever had in my mouth,” he whispers with a cocky wink as I push up on my toes and he lowers his head, pressing his forehead against mine. “I really, really love your coffee.”

Sliding my hands up his chest, I press them to either side of his face.

“Good, because my coffee loves you more than anything, and would like to stay here in Bald Knob forever and ever, live on this farm, and someday make little cups of baby coffees with you,” I inform him.

“Sweet mother of pearl, will you two kiss already? All this coffee talk is confusing, and I need to get home and take my arthritis pills.”

Leo and I look back to see Starla standing on the other side of the table, surrounded by half the town, looking at us expectantly.

“Yeah, can we hurry this up? I need some coffee,” Mo Wesley complains, getting a smack in the arm from Andrea Maynard.

“That coffee is Leo’s, weren’t you paying attention? He’ll kick your ass if you touch his coffee,” she reminds Mo.

“What a waste of perfectly good battery life,” Bettie mutters, pressing a button on her phone to stop recording and tossing it onto the table in irritation. “You could have at least put up a fight or thrown a few ears of corn at her.”

“Alright, everyone, who wants coffee and pie?!” Emma Jo asks loudly, turning the attention away from Leo and I as everyone starts shouting and moving closer to the table.

Leo takes that opportunity to walk us backward until we’re out of the tent and away from the crowd of people scrambling to get a piece of Emma Jo’s pies and a cup of my coffee.

“One last question before I kiss you. I know it was ruled an accident, but we both know that’s not true. Are you ever going to tell me what you know about Jed?” Leo asks, his arms still wrapped tightly around me and no trace of anger in his words.

Twining my arms around his neck, I hold onto the back of his head and pull him down closer to me.

“I promise, I will never, ever keep anything from you again, but this isn’t my secret to tell.”

Leo looks into my eyes for a few seconds, moving them away from me to look back over my shoulder when Emma Jo laughs loudly at something someone said.

“Son of a bitch…” he mutters under his breath, which makes me start to panic just a little bit.

“She’s happy, Leo. For the first time in her life, she’s happy and she’s free. I know it’s your job and I know-”

He cuts me off mid-sentence, quickly dipping his head and pressing his lips to mine. I immediately open for him, moaning into his mouth when his tongue touches mine, wondering how I managed to survive for a week without his kisses, let alone my entire life before I came back to Bald Knob.

Leo ends the kiss much too soon, but considering we’re out in his yard in front of half the town and we’re both panting heavily just from that one, short kiss, it’s probably for the best that he stopped before we went too far and gave the town an X-rated show along with their corn, coffee, and pie.

“If Emma Jo is happy, you’re happy, right?” he asks, bringing his hand up to tuck a strand of hair behind my ear.

“Yes,” I reply quickly, nodding my head.

“Then that’s good enough for me.”

I smile so big that I’m afraid my face might crack, launching myself against him and tightening my arms around his neck. His arms band around my body as he lifts me up until my toes leave the ground.

“My coffee really, really wants to pour itself all over your body,” I declare happily.

“Jesus, get a room, you two, before I puke from all this happiness!” Bettie shouts over to us.

Leo kisses me with a laugh. He lifts me up higher into his arms, and turns to head toward the house, doing exactly what Bettie demanded – getting us a room, in a big white house, on a sweet corn farm, in Bald Knob, Kentucky…my home.

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