Authors: Jasinda Wilder
Biker Billionaire #1: A Wild Ride
Copyright © 2012 Jasinda Wilder
All rights reserved.
A Wild Ride
“Leo, I’m sorry,” John said.
I rolled my eyes and huffed. “Whatever, John. You say that, and then what? Okay, you’re sorry. I forgive you. But what does that fix? Nothing. Just leave me alone. Take me home.”
“Please, baby. I can do better. I’ll change.”
“Yeah. Heard that, too. Just last week, in fact.” I stared out the window of John’s VW Golf, watching the suburban side streets flicker past, rain-drenched and gray and dull.
Like my life.
“Well, what the hell do you want me to do? I said I’ll do better, I said I’d change. And I will. I promise. Haven’t I always fixed things before?”
I didn’t want to answer that question, so I didn’t. I toyed with the half-carat ring on my finger, placed there a month ago. Four long, painful weeks, in which we’d argued more than we’d kissed, fucked in anger more than we’d made love, ignored each other more than we’d gone on dates.
“Come on, baby. Please, talk to me.” John put his hand on my leg, and I brushed it off.
“What is there to say? We’ve gone in circles, John. Yes, you’re right. We fight about something, and I tell you the problem, and you fix it, as best you can. I recognize that, and it’s great. The problem is, there’s always problems. If it’s not one thing, it’s another.”
“People have problems, Leo,” John said. “Couples have problems. We can work it out.”
Again, I didn’t want to answer. The only response was one that would lead to more arguing, more breakups. We’d broken up four times in the three years we’d been together, the last time less than a week before John proposed. He’d proposed as an apology, and it
been pretty romantic, and had led to some pretty spectacular sex. By spectacular, I mean he’d fingered me first, so I’d actually had an orgasm, and he hadn’t fallen asleep right away afterward. We’d actually gone a second time, which we hadn’t in months.
It was that second time that had me worried.
I was late. Yeah...Aunt Flow was running a few days behind, and I was like clockwork usually, so I was in a bit of panic. I hadn’t taken a test yet, and I certainly hadn’t told John. Kids were a hot button with him; he didn’t want a kid for a few years after we’d been married, he maintained. I wanted them sooner...or at least I had thought I did. Now, with the way things were going with John, the idea of actually having a baby with him scared the ever-loving shit out of me. I was not ready to be tied to John forever, and I wasn’t ready to be a mother yet. I wasn’t sure which of those two was the more imperative
Now the words were bubbling on my tongue. I owed it to John to tell him. I was cranky and touchy about everything since I’d first realized I was late, and I was taking it out on him. It wasn’t exactly fair, even though he had been a royal dick earlier, leading to our current argument. We’d been out on a nice date, all dressed up with reservations to my favorite restaurant, a bottle of not-the-cheapest-kind wine, some good conversation in which I’d been briefly reminded of why I loved John. He’d been charming and funny, and he
pretty hot, in a boy-next-door way—which was how I’d met him. He was my next-door neighbor at my downtown condo. He was, literally, the almost-sexy boy next door.
But then, in the midst of an inane section of conversation, I’d mentioned my latest diet and exercise regimen, and he’d made some stupid, snarky comment about how it was “actually working this time.”
What did that mean? A natural question to ask, of course, right? Oh...oh, baby, I’m sorry, that just came out wrong, I just meant you were looking thinner and fitter recently is all...
His comment helped
of course. So much I’d slapped him and walked out.
Now, don’t get me wrong: I’m not a petite, pixie little thing, size zero with A-cups that seem like Bs next to a toothpick frame. I’m a woman with a body. I’m five eight and half, size never-you-mind but not a zero. I’ve got an ass that wants to absorb more of my food than I’d like, and a pair of tits that tend to draw attention even when I wear loose clothing. John always said this was what he loved about me, that I’m a real woman, not a model-thin girl with no assets. But then that comment drew into question all those claims.
I’d catch him looking, of course. Men look at the women around them; they’re visual creatures. I get that and allow him some leeway, as long as he’s not ogling and doing double takes. But that comment: “It’s actually working this time,” God, it just made me think. My brain whirred on overdrive all the way home, clicking through memories of the girls he tended to look at when we were out. They were thin,
, he’d call them. Little nubbin tits and no booty. Expensive clothes, platinum-blonde hair, blingy jewelry, all that.
I’m not that girl. Curly blonde hair that doesn’t like to cooperate, and I don’t like a lot of bling. A tasteful necklace to offset my outfit, which isn’t expensive since I’m not exactly rolling in money working as an ER nurse, and neither is John, managing a bank.
So, yeah, I was questioning his attraction to me, and thus my own value as an object of attraction. Plus, it was just a dick remark.
John pulled the car to a stop at a red light, and I felt the words bubbling up. I tried to stop them, but they came out anyway.
“I think I might be pregnant.”
John was silent, but I watched his knuckles tighten on the steering wheel, and the corners of his mouth flatten out and turn down. His pale blue eyes narrowed, and he sighed, almost imperceptibly, but not quite.
“You think?” His voice was carefully neutral.
Which only pissed me off. Okay, yeah, I didn’t want to be pregnant, but where did he get off being mad about it? This was how John got mad: quiet, carefully neutral, always in control, just the narrow eyes and tight knuckles
and subtle frown.
“I’m almost a week late. Not for sure, but it’s possible. I haven’t taken a test or anything, but I’m never late.”
He didn’t look at me, didn’t respond, just carefully accelerated through the green light, a practical man driving a practical car carefully.
“Well, should we take a test, then? Just make sure?” John pulled the gear shifter into second, still looking straight ahead.
“I guess,” I said. “We can stop at CVS on the way home.”
He just nodded. And that was when I lost it.
“That’s it? No reaction?” I wasn’t yelling yet, but I was winding up to it. “You’re just gonna be all practical? Calm? Say something, damn it!”
John looked at me, a raised eyebrow his only expression of surprise. “What do you want me to say? You are or you aren’t. We don’t know yet, so there’s no sense panicking.”
“Would you panic, if I was?”
He shrugged; yes, that was his reaction. A shrug.
“You wouldn’t, would you?” Definitely yelling now; my voice was filling the tiny car. “You would just carry on, practical and calm and...
, so fucking boring! You wouldn’t be happy about it, you wouldn’t be mad. You’d just deal with it and move on. God, I’m so sick of your motherfucking practicality! Be extreme about something! React, for once!”
“Leo, you know how I feel about you swearing so much,” he said, as calm and unflappable as ever.
I wanted him to be flappable, just once. My mouth opened to swear, or curse, and then something inside me just stopped. Time went gloopy, and I saw us five years from now. We’d have a little girl, pleasant-looking and nice, and John would come home from the bank, and we’d be pleasant, and we’d have our pleasant house, and our pleasant flat-screen TV, not too big, and our little dog, not too big, not too yappy, just right. Then, in ten years...the girl would be older, joined by one more, a boy, just as nice and well-behaved, and the TV would be new, but the same. And the dog would be the same, nice and calm and practical, and John, too, through it all, would be nice, and calm, and pleasant, and he’d have his hair, thinning maybe, gray maybe, and he’d be still trim and slim and we’d have sex every Saturday, maybe Sunday morning every once in a while.
I nearly vomited.
John carefully pulled the car to a stop at a red light, and I was shaking, my stomach in my throat, and I couldn’t help seeing John as he’d been in ten years, in my mind: the same, just older. And me, the same, just older. Unexcited. And our life: predictable and pleasant.
I pulled the ring off my finger and tossed it on the dash, grabbed my clutch purse, my precious Coach bag, the one nice thing I own, and I got out of the car, in the pouring, sluicing rain. In my heels. I ran out into traffic as the light turned green, and cars honked, and John yelled calmly for me to come back.
I swear to fucking god, John is the only man capable of yelling
I just gave him the finger, thumb out, Detroit-style. I kept running, made it to the sidewalk, and kept going, running blind through the cold, pelting rain. Something snapped beneath my feet, and I stumbled, tripped, and fell to the ground, slapping the rough concrete with my hands, ripping my dress. I whimpered and sat down on my butt, splashing into a puddle. I looked at my hands and saw that I’d cut up the heels of my hands on the sidewalk, and my knees were bleeding. My heel had snapped, causing to me to trip. My Coach purse, my two-hundred-and-fifty-dollar Coach purse, was lying submerged in a puddle on the grass next to the sidewalk, a muddy bog. Rain beat down on my head, my hands and knees throbbed, and my left wrist started to ache, and my purse was ruined and all my things in it wet, which meant my cell phone was ruined, my uninsured, one-year-old iPhone. I heard a car pull up next to me and a window hum open a few inches.
Leo,” John said. “You’re hurt and wet. Get in, and I’ll take you home. I don’t know what got into you. You’ll catch pneumonia.”
I stood up, expecting John to be next to me, helping me. Was he? Nope. He was sitting in the car, rummaging in the back seat for a towel to lay down on his leather upholstery. He had shoved the door open from the inside.
I stared, open-mouthed. He couldn’t even get out of the car to help me? Nice.
“What are you waiting for?” John asked. “Get in! My leather is getting wet.”
I laughed, shaking my head. “You are unbelievable.”
I kicked off my heels and left them in the puddle. I bent down to pick up my purse, slipped in the mud, and fell again, splashing mud all over my face and the rest of my dress, which was now completely soaked and sticking to my skin. I choked back a sob as I stood up, wobbling, clutching my purse under an arm and holding my now-throbbing wrist.
“Leona, don’t be an idiot. Get in.”
I started walking, refusing to let the tears burning my eyes fall. Not in front of John. He’d just hand me a tissue and wait for me stop crying, like he always did.
“Fuck off, John. We’re done.”
“Where are you going to go? We’re five miles from home, it’s raining, you’re hurt, and you’re walking in the wrong direction.” John wasn’t pleading, or getting out to beg me, or force me to do the sensible thing; he trundled next to me in his little VW Golf and spoke to me, calmly, through the cracked window. Cracked, so rain wouldn’t ruin his leather.
I turned to him, not stopping my barefoot slapping across the sidewalk. “What do you care? Go away and leave me
the fuck alone
“You don’t need to curse at me, Leona. Fine, then. Have it your way.”
Did I mention I thought I might be pregnant? And he just drove away, leaving me there.
I stomped through the puddles and the mud, getting wetter and wetter, my curly hair flattened against my scalp, slicked to my cheeks and my forehead. When John was out of sight, I let myself cry. It was a long, sobbing, eye-burning, and vision-blurring bawl, chest heaving, sobs ripping from me. I kept walking, though.
I didn’t pay any attention as a gut-rumbling Harley drifted slowly past me, except to wonder what kind of a lunatic would be riding a Harley in this weather. I didn’t pay any attention, just kept stomping, sobbing, staring at my feet and cursing all men, John in particular. Therefore, I also didn’t notice when the Harley pulled into the apron of a driveway and stopped. I didn’t notice as the rider got off and stood in front of his bike, waiting.
I walked right into him.
He was huge, solid, and sopping wet. He smelled of wet leather, a smell that seemed to have a tangy taste on the tip of my tongue. I stumbled backward, and he caught me, powerful hands catching my arms and holding me steady. I looked up and nearly gasped as the brightest pair of gray-green eyes I’d ever seen bored into me, full of sympathy and concern and something awfully like lust. It couldn’t be lust, though, or at least not for me. Not sopping wet, bleeding, sobbing, and angry.