First Time Lucky(8)

By: Chance Carter

“Sure thing.” I grinned, elation bubbling in my chest. I couldn’t believe that after all this time, I was getting to spend some legitimate quality time with Dallas. I wanted to go somewhere where there would be no distractions. No Wes. No anything.

Just me, my perfect girl, and the woods.

Chapter 4


Sunlight trickled from branch to branch like an endless stream of holy water. The wind whistled past my ears. And I was flying.

I couldn’t tell what made the feeling of danger so distant this time around, whether it was just that enough time had passed since my last ride, or the fact that I was snuggled securely against Shane’s muscular back, or maybe I just took that fear and manipulated it into something more exquisite but equally exhilarating. Whatever the case, there wasn’t a worry in my head that could keep pace with us as we zoomed down the winding wooded highway.

Shane manipulated each corner with practiced ease. He made it look effortless, and for the first time, I understood why someone would want to drive one of these things. I still didn’t know if I’d ever feel comfortable riding one on my own, but hell if it felt even half this good, it was worth a try.

Shane drove us further and further away from town, finally pulling over on an inconspicuous stretch of the road. I couldn’t tell why he’d stopped here. It was no different than anywhere else along the highway. Tall cedar trees reached up toward the sky, where fluffy clouds dotted the azure ceiling and drifted along in the breeze. The maze of trees spread out far beyond, bracken and moss growing at their roots. It was still, and the mid afternoon sun had left the area warm and fragrant with the smell of pine and cedar.

Shane killed the engine and pulled off his helmet. I followed his lead.

“Where are we?” I asked, running a hand through my hair to untangle it.

I jumped off the bike and Shane followed, setting our helmets on the handlebars.

“I want to show you something,” he said. “Something I’ve never shown anyone.”

I laughed. “Is that the line you use on all the girls you bring here?”

He turned to me, and there was an intensity in his gaze I’d never seen before. It gave me pause. Shane’s hair was ruffled from the helmet, and he made no attempt to smooth it. The smoldering look in his eyes was pure devil, and I curled my toes in anticipation.

“I mean it, Dallas. I’ve never brought anyone here.”

His voice was gravelly, deep. I found myself nodding, unable to form any verbal reply.

The moment broke. Shane’s mouth widened into a grin. “Come on. You’re going to like this.”

He turned toward the small embankment leading down into the woods, picking expertly through the underbrush and then angling around to extend a hand toward me. I took it, even though I would have had no problem navigating the terrain by myself. I was missing the touch of his back against my chest, and this small ounce of intimacy was the next best thing.

Shane didn’t drop my hand when I reached flat ground. I didn’t drop his either. I wondered what Sasha would think if she could see us now. She’d probably make some snarky comment about how Shane was trash or something else entirely uncalled for, while secretly wishing she could be the one holding his hand. I didn’t know when she had become so bitter. Was it even bitterness? She’d grown up even humbler than I had, so I could only suspect that her superiority complex was her way of making up for a lifetime of mediocrity. I worried about her sometimes. She wasn’t the same girl who used to dress up in fairy costumes that we made out of bedsheets and glitter. I wasn’t that same person either, I supposed, but at least I could still recognize myself. I hated the thought that I might one day turn into a version of myself so perverted that somebody who knew me wouldn’t be able to recognize me.

“What are you thinking about?” Shane asked, leading me between trees and over stumps.

The ground was well-worn, though there wasn’t a path per se. I could at least tell that there was a rhyme and reason to the direction we were heading and that we weren’t lost. Then again, I trusted Shane. If he were to lead me through here blindfolded, I would still trust him. I’d known him my whole life, and though we hadn’t spent much time together in recent years, that feeling of trust remained. Plus, my dad certainly thought he was trustworthy. Then again my dad’s judgment wasn’t its best these days.

“All sorts of things I shouldn’t be thinking about,” I replied.

Shane looked down at me with a questioning expression. “What kinds of things shouldn’t you be thinking about?”