Pull up some chocolate and sit a spell. If this is your first time reading the story, please check out Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3. Thank you so much for all the comments! Please enjoy the next part and let me know which way Samantha should go.
Shifting into Love Part 4
by Evelyn Aster
The wind blew into the bar, carrying the scent of spanish broom—more intoxicating to Samantha than the spirits Harrigans offered. It brought memories of springs past with sex below an open window and cries of love mingling with the patter of rain. All her desires had been quelled by running the bar, but the scent reawakened them—Levi’s hand in hers reawakened them.His dark eyes waited patiently for her answer.
The door swung in the breeze as if to invite her to the outside. If Harrigans didn’t want her to leave, it wouldn’t be open—the thought burst in her head and struck her dumb. Even as her stomach churned in fear over heading outside, her lips opened enough for a slight smile. “I’m not sure you should try to start that bike. It looks ancient from here.”
His grip tightened on her hand and he brought his other hand up to his chest. “You might as well rip my heart out and show it to me if you’re gonna insult my bike. But I won’t return the insult with a comment about the outside of your bar for fear you’ll shove a cue stick up my ass.”
Samantha’s smile widened. “Well, now that we’re clear on who can kick whose butt, I’ll go outside with you and see your precious bike.”
He held her hand as she walked around the bar. Samantha could feel the red headed mechanic smoldering in the booth as they strolled by, but she ignored it and concentrated on her own emotions for a change. Anxiety and fear blended with intrigue and excitement, but the hope of romance with Levi pumped through her veins the strongest. Usually she just wanted a tumble in her bedroom at the top of the stairs, but this man seemed to have a lot more to offer.
The sound of his leather jacket crinkling as he moved and the scent of the spanish broom mixing with his musk made her insides clench in anticipation of sitting behind him on the bike—of course, it would have to start for that to happen.
She stopped and placed her hand on the door jam. The bar breathed in as if it too needed a breath of fresh air. Her palm tingled, and she knew a part of the bar would remain with her, even outside. Levi had taken a step over the threshold and turned back to her. With his lopsided grin he said, “I haven’t even offered you a ride yet. I think you’ll be safe just right outside the bar.”
She swept her gaze over the highway and what looked like a desert beyond. Clouds hung above—heavy with raindrops ready to fall. It was time to get out into the world, even if the bar were only offering her an afternoon off, she’d take it. Finally, she looked at the motorcycle—shiny black leather, scarlet trim and polished metal. She felt akin to the bike right away. It drew her to it, and she stepped past the threshold and out into the world for the first time in years.
Samantha placed her fingers on the handle bars. A purr arose from the engine as it started. Levi dropped her hand and encircled her waist. He placed his lips next to her ear and said, “I knew my bike stopped for you. But you seemed closed off at first, and I thought maybe I had misunderstood.”
Samantha turned her head to Levi. His lips were so close to hers as she spoke that she thought he might kiss her at any moment. “You were the closed off one. I can read anyone’s soul who comes intoHarrigan’s, but I couldn’t read yours.”
“I’m glad. If you knew everything there was to know about me, and I you, we’d have no time of discovery.”
Samantha had no response for him at first. The desire to slip her hands beneath his leather jacket and kiss him until they were out of breath was powerful, but she resisted. She finally gave her slight smile and said, “You don’t talk like a typical biker, and I’ve seen plenty of those.”
“I’ll take that as a compliment. Ready for a ride?”
To go outside of the bar was one thing, but to actually leave it behind made her heart pound. The part of Harrigan’s still inside her seemed to encourage her rather than protest. Before she’d sorted her thoughts out, Levi pulled her to him and kissed her breath away—just as she’d wanted. Her hands slid all the way around to his back, feeling the hardened muscles along the way. When he ended the kiss, she stuttered out, “I haven’t driven away from here in I don’t know how long. Maybe you want to come up to my room instead.”
He shook his head and gripped her tighter, “’There are only two mistakes one can make along the road of truth; not going all the way, and not starting.‘ Or so Buddha would say. It’s time for you to leave—that is the one thing I know about you.”
His words sounded so permanent, but she could always come back. Like her sister, she knew the path to take. She stared into his eyes that looked black without lighting to highlight the browns and nodded her head.
Levi let her go and climbed onto the Triumph Motorcycle. Samantha slid behind him, wrapping her arms around him and pressing her chest against his back. Exhilaration made her want to shout or sing at the world.
Levi backed out and turned towards the exit, but the landscape had shifted. Instead of a desert, the highway split in two. One path went along an ocean with high cliffs and large boulders being pounded by the surf. The other path wound through a mountain filled with trees and streams. “Where do you want to go?” he called over his shoulder.
Oh my god. She’d never been given a choice before: the bar always picked where they landed. Her eyes flicked back and forth between the two places and all she could do for a moment was grin.
Which path should she take? Along the shore or through the mountains?