I know I know! I’m late again. I spent the morning working on proofs and the afternoon at Charlotte Motorspeedway at the Nascar Nationwide Race. It was hot but it was great fun. And because today is Author’s Choice, I’m going to choose something different and new that I’ve been working on and am close to finished with…
In staying with the racing theme of my weekend, I’m going to take a snippet from the follow up to Stick Shift, titled Drive Shaft…
(it is unedited so just bear with me…)
She turned on her stool to see her ‘date’ making his way back to their table, four beers clutched two by two in each of his hands, three of the bottles she didn’t recognize the labels of. She supposed those three were for him and the Bud was for her. Good. Two was too many. She only wanted one, only needed one. One she could finish rather quickly, but two… She’d have to nurse a second one to not get a light-headed rush. She liked beer and wine well enough, but it didn’t take much to get her a little tipsy.
Tipsy combined with Hot Yummy would be a bad decision. Her parents raised her to know the difference, to weigh the consequences of her choices and her decisions, the good ones against the bad ones and more than one beer with Jason would be one of the monumental bad ones. She wouldn’t be able to control the urges already flowing through her. It’s how she and Grant had ended up in bed that first time. Beers. Three of them to be exact.
“For this place being in the middle of nowhere, it sure is crowded. And it’s only Wednesday,” Jason said as he rounded the table and put the bottles in the center.
Alli reached out and pulled the Corona toward her. “The other half of the crowd will be here after church tonight.”
Jason grinned and took her bottle, placing it out of reach. He shook his head and pushed one of the unknown ones toward her instead. “Try it.”
She eyed it with uncertainty. “What is it?”
“A good ol’ Texas beer.” He lifted his bottle and touched the edge to his lips, tilting it back slightly.
Alli was mesmerized, watching his throat work, completely forgetting her own bottle in front of her. She’d pulled the lime from the opening, intent on sucking on it as she always did but as she stared at him, she inadvertently squeezed it, dripping lime juice on the table and over her fingers.
It startled her out of staring and she looked down, hoping he hadn’t caught the guilty flush. His chuckle said he hadn’t missed it. Dammit all. The man had her flustered and she just didn’t like it. She picked up a napkin to wipe it off because no way in hell was she going to lick the lime juice off with him right there. No Sirree Bob. She wasn’t going to give him any ammunition or reason to… To what she didn’t know, but she wasn’t giving it to him.
He beat her to the napkin, though instead of wiping it across her hand, he swiped his thumb through the juice. He didn’t use the napkin to clean his thumb either. No, he licked it, long and slow and she watched it, rapt and caught.
He locked gazes with her and then offered her the napkin.
“Wha-what’s this for?”
“To wipe the drool off your chin.”
He said it so seriously, with such a straight expression on his face that it took her a few seconds to realize there was a teasing glint in his eyes. And…a few seconds more to realize that she’d unconsciously lifted her hand to wipe her chin.
She narrowed her gaze at him as she felt heat creep up her neck and into her cheeks. She dropped the napkin. “You’re not funny.”
“You’re not cute.”
“I’m damn adorable.”
“You’re not sexy.”
“You haven’t seen me naked.”
“You’re not my type.”
“I’m so you’re type, but more importantly, you’re very much my type.”
He sat back and drained the rest of his beer in one long pull. She continued to watch his throat work as he swallowed, watched his hand as it curled tighter around the bottle. When he put it down, she was mesmerized again by him, stared at him as he licked his tongue across his lips.
“More drool, Alli.”
He reached out and touched the bottom of her chin with his forefinger and dragged upward until he was pressing against her bottom lip. She opened her mouth slowly and bit.
“Son of a bitch!” He yanked his hand away and glared at her. “What the hell was that for?”
“Teasing with me. Toying with me.”
“You deserve a paddling for that.”
She gave a very unladylike snort. “As if you could give me one.”
“More than if you don’t watch it.” He tilted his second beer bottle up and swallowed a healthy bit.
“Oh I’m shaking in my boots.” She followed suit with her beer, though she was still on her first bottle.
“You’re going to be shaking in a whole lot less than your boots when I’m finished.”
“You think you can get me in less than my boots? You think you can get me naked?”
“No doubt in my mind.”
“You’ve got a damn fine one.”
So did he but she wasn’t about to tell him that, wasn’t about to admit anything at all to him like that. He’d caught her staring more than once and she wasn’t going to give him any more ammunition, at least not with words. Words she couldn’t take back. Looks she could deny all she wanted and he had no proof but once the words were out there she’d never be able to lie and say she hadn’t said them.
She polished off the rest of her beer and sat back in her seat. “Who are you? Really, I mean.”
“Jake is my older brother.”
Alli knew her eyes had grown wide. “I didn’t know Jake had a brother.”
“Yeah, neither did he, until recently. He’s my half brother.”
“Same mother or father?”
“Father. After his mom passed summer of last year, he came looking for dad in the off season.”
“Wow. I don’t know what to say. That had to have been hard on both of you.”
“It was. Of course, dad knew who Jake was, had followed Jake’s career, but he’d never tried to capitalize on Jake’s name. He’d given up his parental rights to Jake a long time ago.”
Alli just nodded and kept quiet. She’d grown up in a fully functioning family. Her parents hadn’t divorced until she was grown and gone and she was still close with both of them. She didn’t know what it would be like to grow up knowing you had a parent out there that willingly gave up all rights to you.
But then she asked, “Did your dad put you in racing?”
“No. That was all my doing. I mean, I used to sit and watch races with him but I asked about getting into it. I wanted to do it. I thought it looked cool going two hundred miles an hour in a car.”
As he talked and shared more about himself and his life, Alli found herself increasingly curious about and interested in him. She didn’t want that. She had enough to concentrate and focus on. She didn’t need the distraction of a guy, especially one like him. Young, hot, cowboy race car driver. Damn, she didn’t think it could get any better than that.
“What are you thinking?”
“Huh?” Alli shook her head and picked up her other beer. This was definitely gonna be a two beer night. And likely more than two, but not before she had it out with Grant about why setting her up with Jason was such a bad idea. “What? Nothing why?”
Jason smirked and shook his head. “You don’t lie very well.”
“I’m not lying about anything.”
“Then tell me what you were thinking.”
“Why do you care?”
“I can’t get to know you unless I know what’s going on in that pretty head of yours. I’m a lot of things, but a mind reader isn’t one of them.”
“It’s not as if we’re getting involved. This is just one date.”
“Oh we’re getting involved all right. This isn’t just one date. This is the first date.”
Jason grinned and took a swallow of his beer. “Confident. We’ve been over these traits.”
“We haven’t been over the trait of asshole.”
“No, because I’m not one.” He put his bottle down. “What are you studying?”
“I’m taking some marketing and business classes.”
“For your new business?”
“What is it?”
“I’d rather not say.”
“I’d rather you did say. Look, Alli I really do want to know about you. I liked you even before we met and really like you now that we have. I want to know about you from you. Grant has told me all this, but I really would like to hear it from you. Please.”
“Just the first date?”
“Yes. I’d like to see you again.”
“Neither one of us has the time.”
“There’s always time.”
“You’re too young to be that wise.”
“It’s not wise. It’s…determination. If somethin’s worth it, you make the time. I’ll make the time for you.”
She considered him as she toyed with the bottle in front of her. She picked at the yellow label and turned the bottle around. Shiner Bock. She’d never heard of it before. She wasn’t even sure she’d tasted it as it went down. It had been smooth, heady, much more so than the normal, everyday beers she drank.
As she got a corner of the label between her fingernails, lowered her gaze as she peeled the paper from the dark brown bottle. He was watching her, waiting for an answer. He wanted to date her. They’d just met. It was crazy. They didn’t know one another. How could he want to date her? How could she want to crawl up his body and ride him until they were both so worn out…? How could he offer her a spanking? How could she not give him a chance?
“Am I gonna start seein’ smoke comin’ out your ears? You’re thinkin’ real hard, Alli.”
She peeked at him. Wasn’t he too young for her to take seriously? Wasn’t he too young to be talking so much older and wiser than his years? And what in the hell was she thinking? The drivers and crew members liked to have just as much fun as the next person, but they also had a maturity that men twice their age sometimes didn’t have. They’d have to though. They had a dangerous job. A cool job, but dangerous. It was part of the reason she was drawn to the sport, but also why she kept things cool and casual.
She wasn’t sure cool and casual would fit in with Jason’s ideas of dating. “How do you know I’m worth it?”
He laughed. “Need compliments that bad?” He shook his head and took the beer bottle from her, sliding her beloved Corona in front of her. She grabbed at it like it was a life jacket. “I don’t know it, but I’m willing to try anyway. You have some good people in your corner. I tend to trust their judgment and they say you’re worth it.”
And they should know, she thought. They’d been around her long enough to see her good and bad sides. “Casual?”
“As casual as you want?” he offered.
His eyes widened and she had to admit to a feeling of pride at having caught him off guard with that question. He’d kept her on her toes for the last hour or so. It was time for the tables to turn just a bit.
“If you want.”
He spoke around the mouth of the bottle before tilting enough for the amber colored liquid to flow between his lips. She didn’t know who she was kidding with the sex talk. She’d do him right there on the floor if she could get away with it.
“I might not.” She was full of crap. She only hoped he couldn’t see through her to know that.
I’m sure you’ve already read snippets from the other participating authors, but just in case…
Megan Hart:Read in bed!
Mandy M Roth
Have a wonderful holiday weekend! I’ll be racin’ it tomorrow again with the Nascar Coca-Cola 600.
And by the way, Say Anything is one of my favorite movies. Ever. Lloyd Dobler Rules!