In which we learn that the limited space on a motorcycle is something one should think about beforehand – or suffer the consequences.
His blue eyes did things to her, especially when they lit up like they did now. He stood there, going from apologetic to mischievous in the blink of an eye, and all Adelie could think of was that his set of broad shoulders would be perfect to cry on. He moved closer as if he’d knew where her thoughts were going. He probably did, having honed his skills of anticipating women’s desires over the course of a lot of nurses.
“You can cry on my shoulder anytime you want.” His voice was a velvety, suggestive rumble.
“How did I know that you were going to say that,” she teased him, tapping his shoulder playfully. He caught her hand and tugged her closer so that she nearly stumbled against him.
“Maybe because you want to cry on my shoulder?”
She raised her eyebrow. “Well, I don’t quite feel like crying now, although I could use something that distracts me.”
“Would a motorcycle ride distract you?”
“I thought your bike’s in shambles?”
He laughed. “It is, but luckily I know someone who has more than enough bikes. Gimme a sec.” He unclipped his InstaComm from his belt and dialled a number. “Hey, Eddy, Nate here. How’s it hanging? … Ah, that’s bloody marvellous man, I’m happy for you! Listen, I was wondering if I could borrow the Green Fairy today? … You drive a hard bargain, sir. Yeah, I’ll help you with cleaning out the second garage. … Yes, this weekend. … Thanks, man. Yeah, you too. Laters.” With a victorious smile, he turned to her. “Do you have a leather jacket?”
She couldn’t quite believe it. “Wait a minute… you doomed yourself to help to clean out an entire garage brimming with stuff so that you can take me on a motorcycle ride right now?”
He crossed his arms, grinning at her. “Because I want to cheer you up. And I have a hunch you’re going to like riding.”
An hour later Nate drove up in front of her house, sitting on a rather low bike with a voluptuously curved tank and wide handlebars. It was a brilliant candy apple green, its chrome accents gleaming in the afternoon sun. She immediately understood why he was willing to sacrifice a weekend in exchange for riding this particular machine – with or without her. The bike was a beauty.
“Hello, beautiful lady. You requested a ride?” He glanced over his sunglasses and waggled his eyebrows at her, his voice mockingly dropped even deeper than it already was. Blue jeans, white button down, a red ascot, and a totally badass looking leather jacket – he had her at hello. She smiled and stepped towards the bike.
“Where do I sit?”
“Right here. Hop aboard.” He patted a leather cushion right behind his seat.
As Adelie swung her long leg over the bike and sat down behind him, her thighs aligning with his, Nate remembered that having a guest rider was usually a touchy-feely affair. He had no chance to dwell on the consequences, as her voice right next to his ear inquired: “Is… is it okay when I wrap my arms around you?”
“Of course. And don’t be afraid to hold on tight, okay?”
He turned in his seat to check on her. “Hey, I… I don’t ride with a passenger often, and even less with female ones. I completely forgot that bikes require a certain amount of body contact. I hope you don’t mind.”
She grinned, resting her chin on his shoulder, wrapping her arms around his waist. “Not at all.” Relieved, he started the engine.
It was more natural than he’d expected. After a while, her grip around his waist got loose, and her body relaxed into the ride. The Green Fairy wasn’t the fastest bike in Eddy’s collection, but she was steady and as soft as butter. She was perfect for the leisurely stroll he had in mind. The roads behind Meadow Junction were seemingly endless lines stretching towards the horizon, cutting through the softly rolling hills. He opened the throttle and let the bike pull along them at a comfortable speed. The wind tousled their hair, and the sun warmed their backs.
“This is wonderful.” He couldn’t see her, but Adelie’s voice alone told him that she was enjoying herself. She squeezed him. “Thank you.”
“You’re welcome. Do you want to go up Bunker Hill and watch the sunset?”
“Oh yes, please.”
“Your wish is my command.”
A soft chuckle, her body vibrating against his. Sweet. “This is a dangerous thing to say to someone who’s used to people following their orders.”
He laughed. “I like the thrill.”
The road went up the hill in long sweeping curves. Reaching the top, a breathtaking view over the plains around Meadow Junction greeted them. The sun stood low over the horizon, illuminating everything dramatically. Every blade of grass had a tiny halo. Insects flitted around between them, their wings forming glowing orbs. They found a place to park and enjoy the view. Adelie let her legs dangle, leaning against his back. Instead of the burbling sound of the engine crickets’s chirping filled the warm air. Her hand had fallen on his thigh. Not even consciously thinking about it, he put his own on top of hers, and their fingers interweaved on their own accords.
“You said you don’t often take other girls riding?” A cute uncertainty laced her question.
“No, I actually only ever took one girl riding. She didn’t like it.”
Her fingers tightened around his. “What’s not to like about riding with you?”
He thought back to the woman he once loved and her distaste for anything fast and dangerous. “Well, it was a much more powerful machine… and she wasn’t cut for the speed.”
“There’s my little Spitfire speaking.”
Adelie’s laugh was like heavenly chimes, and she wrapped her free arm around his shoulder, her chin back on his other. “Your little Spitfire? Are you using possessives now?”
Heat crept over his cheeks.