Shifting Into Love First Gear: Meeting c

Chase had shaken Lana. She rolled his name through her mind making sure that was the right name. Yeah, Chase. The drink had made him happy like it was supposed to, so everything was right. This freaking night. She reached out to Harrigan. Hope. Hope? What hope? No answer.

Fine. She had one more table that needed drinks, and then she was shooting pool. With Chase. And then they’d go upstairs, and she’d get lost in the physical. No more tugs at her soul. No more anomalies. No more motorcycles. She didn’t even know why she still thought about the biker, but she was done.

Lana took to the pool table with a wink and a smile at Chase. He welcomed her by beating his opponent and racking the balls.

“You know how to charm a woman,” she said, grinning at him from the opposite side of the table.

“Why do you always play her?” asked one of his friends. “You know you’re gonna lose.”

“He’s hoping maybe this time he’ll get lucky,” chimed another friend.

“This time he might,” said Lana, leaning across the table for the break, hoping she’d unbuttoned her blouse enough to show a little cleavage.

He blushed. He freaking blushed like he went to church every Sunday and had never been with a woman before. His sweetness sparked a fire in Lana. She took a moment to refocus her attention to the cue ball. She couldn’t actually get attached to him. She’d be gone in the morning if not sooner.

She drew the cue back, shot it forward and broke the balls apart with a crack. At that moment a motorcycle roared into the parking lot. Her thoughts fragmented into tiny shards. A rift ran down her spine.

Harrigan broke from her.

Too dizzy to stand up on her own, she pulled herself up with her cue and clutched the edge of the table. Harrigan couldn’t leave her. Their souls were intermingled. She couldn’t conceive of living without him. As the shock of the moment faded, she realized Harrigan was still with her. He’d separated but only partially.

Chase whistled, seemingly oblivious to her state of confusion. But the whistle stilled her dizziness.

“Nice break,” he said.

She stared at the table. Miraculously, she’d sunk two balls. Glad he hadn’t noticed her sway, she gripped the cue harder and leaned down again. Outside, a motorcycle engine pulsed its sound into the bar in time with the country music. It entered her spine in the space the bar had left. A vision of the black-visored rider slid through her mind. No. It couldn’t be the same man.

Lana straightened her back without taking a shot. The bar was her home; her better half; her only love. She had no use for motorcycle riders.

“Everything okay?” asked Chase at her side.

The sound of the engine stopped. Hopefully it’d vanished like before. And there was no way it was the same motorcyclist. She’d seen him in the middle of the city. From a glimpse through a window it appeared she was now in the middle of nowhere.

“Yeah, sorry. I’ll need to get back to work soon.”

She leaned down to take her shot and try to woo Harrigan to complete her again—she knew the bar enjoyed it when her opponent never even got a turn. But right as the cue slid between her fingers, the door swung open. In stepped a man with mussed brown hair and a scratched leather jacket. His stubble was shaggy; he probably hadn’t shaved for a few days. His umber eyes scanned the room like he was looking for someone. His gaze met hers, and her cue grazed over the white ball with a sound that made Chase cringe. But her ears were too filled with her own heartbeat to notice.

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