I’m so sorry to have delayed the end for this long. I was wrapped up in completing my first novel, and couldn’t shift back into this story, so to speak. Thank you for hanging in there with me. I’ve left the end in a way I could come back and explore the world some more from her sister’s point of view. I’m hoping to participate in another blog hop in July, so whatever story I do will be done in a week like April Showers 🙂 Thanks so much for reading!
Samantha tightened her arms around Levi’s body and whispered, “The ocean.”
He leaned towards the seaside, and the knowledge that she’d decided where to go made her spine tingle in time to the hum of the motorcycle’s engine. The sky on the mountain route drizzled down like a water color painting left out in the rain and then vanished. The ocean disappeared as well but only because they drove behind a high hill, followed by another. The hills were perfect mounds, varying in width and height—the brown grass waving in a gentle breeze. Samantha frowned with disappointment, thinking her choice had been ripped away from her, but they drove around a hill with the landscape opening up on black sand beaches and indigo waters.
Basking in the beauty of the sunlight glistening off the water, she leaned her head against Levi’s shoulder. Humidity surrounded her and made her shirt cling to his leather jacket in a bond that seemed oddly comfortable. She couldn’t sense his emotions or desires except by gleaning from his relaxed muscles that he was content.
The heartbeat of the bar still pulsed inside her. As they drove on the winding roads between the hills and along the shore, the bonds between her and the bar loosened. Levi leaned into a turn so far that they seemed almost parallel to the highway. When he righted the bike, a tie between her and the bar snapped, whipping back from the way they’d come. Grief and happiness fought within her, severing another tie in the process.
She pressed her forehead into Levi’s back and tears from her eyes fell, turning into pearls as they hit the road. She’d never really lived her life before she’d taken over the bar, and now she was headed towards some unknown destination—but at least she’d chosen it, whatever it was. The bar pulse inside her. She heard Harrigans’ voice for the first time in her life deep inside her. Its tones were rich like mahogany wood when it said, “It’s time for you to help yourself instead of others.”
The last word slashed through the remaining chords between them. She screamed in a sweet agony that caused Levi to turn off and drive into the black sand of a beach. Moonlight had replaced the sun at some point that Samantha hadn’t noticed, and she saw a white cottage shimmer into existence before them.
She cut off the scream when they stopped. Levi pulled her off the bike and held her in his arms until laughter built up at the bottom of her belly and burst out of her mouth with bubbles flying everywhere. The bubbles popped and infected Levi with the laughter. She pulled away from him, grabbed his hand and ran to the ocean, dropping articles of clothes behind them like the tears that had flown from her face earlier.
The sand was soft like cotton but the water was chilly like a fall afternoon. Samantha didn’t care about the temperature—she was outside and free from the tie that had bound her for so long. Her clothes strewn across the beach, she allowed a wave to wash around her nude body. Levi took her hand and pulled her further into the ocean where they dove and swam and laughed until her muscles had fatigued into the happy point of a day well spent.
The moon shone on Levi, and for the first time Samantha noticed his well defined muscles and the lithe way he moved them. As she looked him over without hiding her desire, a grin broke across his face, and he pulled her to his body. She kissed him with a passion that must’ve been hiding from the presence of Harrigans because she couldn’t remember ever feeling this way about a man in the bar.
Her hunger for him made her break off the embrace abruptly and say, “Race you to the house.” Without waiting, she swam to shore and yelled, “Hey!” when he climbed onto the beach before her. A light rain washed away the sand and salt as they ran. The clouds had gathered to create a feeling of a world of their own.
Inside, they wrapped each other in fluffy towels to dry off and unwrapped the towels to make love. Their bodies entwined as if they’d always known how to fit together and yet still caused fireworks inside from the newness. Their love making shook pictures off the walls and flattened the cushions in every room. Samantha climaxed so many times that every nerve on her skin sent a charge through her body at the slightest touch. The whole house glowed from the moon shining through the windows, but Samantha knew part of the glow was powered by her sublime pleasure from Levi.
At last, the two fell onto the bed in a room at the top of the stairs. Levi gripped her hips to his and made love to her one last time in a slow rhythm that accelerated with every thrust. They drove to the finish like two motorcycles in a race that ended in a tie.
Levi nuzzled her neck and whispered something in her ear, but Samantha fell asleep before she comprehended.
She woke to sunlight blazing into the windows and the bed empty next to her. She clenched the sheets in her hand and swept her gaze around the room. Yesterday had been too amazing for him to be gone already. A niggling thought picked its way into her mind that maybe all the men she’d taken upstairs in the bar had felt the same way when she’d vanish in the middle of the night.
And then the scent of coffee hit her nose. Levi was still there.
She spied a white terri cloth robe on a chair by the door, put it on and stole down the stairs.
The front door opened at the bottom of the stairs and seemed to beckon her back into the world again. She could be free and alone for the first time in her life, or for the first time she could be connected to someone with a human body and a motorcycle as strange and magical as Harrigans.
She heard her phone ring. To her surprise, it was in the pocket of her robe. She lifted it up and held it to her ear. “Hey, Shannon.”
“Somebody at the bar told me they saw you leave with a hot, young biker.” The tone sounded accusatory, and Samantha had no response. Shannon broke the silence and said, “I’m glad you’re finally free.”
“How’s your headache?”
“It vanished as soon as I arrived. At least the work is steady here. You’d better visit even though I’ve been a crappy sister.” Her voice broke at the end.
“You’ll be okay. Just trust Harrigans for awhile. I’ll be by soon enough.”
“You better be.”
The line went dead. Samantha gave the open door one more glance and then turned towards the kitchen. Levi stood at the counter, also in a bath robe, watching her. “I wasn’t sure you were going to stay,” he said—his tone stoic.
She kept walking to him and asked, “What did you say to me last night before I fell asleep?”
He looked down at the cup of coffee in his hand and set it on the counter. When she was next to him, he drew her close and whispered in her ear, “I love you, though I hardly know you.”
Her mind and heart flipped, but when they settled her response was certain. “I love you, and want to know you.”
As they kissed, their bodies relaxed together with fluidity and the coffee remained on the counter, forgotten.