Copyright © 2013 by B.D. Rowe
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This book is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to
actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is entirely coincidental.
Names, characters, businesses, organizations, places, events, and incidents
either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously.
James pushed himself against
me and slammed my back against the door. I gripped his belt with my left hand,
and his ass with my right.
“Is your car unlocked?” I asked.
He set his hands against my
hips, and kissed the bottom of my neck. “Yeah. What are you waiting for?”
I reached for the door
handle. Pressed my fingers against three different places.
“You need some help?” he
asked, with a chuckle.
“No, no. I got it.”
My fingers touched what I
thought was the handle. I tried to open it, but it wouldn’t budge.
James kissed the edge of my
shoulder, and took a step back. “Uhh, Sydney. That’s the gas tank.”
I finally turned my head. I
brought my hand to my mouth and laughed out loud. “Oh, oops.”
“I think someone's had one
too many tonight,” he said, with an exaggerated raise of his eyebrow.
“Shut up. I didn't have
much.” And it was true. I’d only
had mixed drinks. Four, maybe five. I had a slight headache, but nothing to
ruin the night over.
“Good,” James said. “I wouldn’t
want to take advantage.”
I wrapped my arms around him
and pulled him closer, deeper. I kissed his peppermint lips, then dipped my
tongue into his mouth, for one tantalizing second.
I smiled, and pushed my
forehead against his. “But I want you to.”
My fingers found the door
handle, no problems this time. I pulled it open, and dropped down against the
back seat of his Jeep Wrangler.
He was on top of me before I
had a chance to catch my breath. My hands found his chest and the soft tuft of
hair right below his belly button. He tried to look suave as he took off his
shirt—but his right arm got stuck, and he almost fell off the seat.
I laughed. “
who’s the one who had too much to
“I didn’t… I’m fine.”
Fine, my ass. I wasn’t
stupid. I saw him taking shots of that silver tequila like it was ice water.
He pulled the shirt over his
head, with way too much difficulty, and threw it on the passenger seat. He
ducked down and ran his tongue along my neck, all the way up to my right
earlobe. It was so warm and comforting. I didn't want him to stop.
When he came up for air, I scooted
out from under him and switched places. I sat on his chest, reached back, and
grabbed hold of his belt.
“What do you think you’re
doing?” he asked, with a knowing grin.
I leaned down and whispered
into his ear, “Anything I fucking want.”
I pulled the belt right off,
no hiccups, no struggles. I dangled it above his face, and dropped it to the
Was this supposed to feel
daring? James and I had made love before, but never in a car, never out in the
open. I thought I might keep darting my eyes toward the windows, or feel my
heart trying to beat its way out of my chest. Instead, as James brought his
hands to my hips, a wave of relaxation washed over me, like no harm could ever
come to us, to what we had together.
I reached back and pulled his
zipper down. He sat up, moved his hands up to my hair. He stopped, only for a
second, and looked into my eyes.
“I love you, Sydney.”
“I love you, too,” I said.
He took off my shirt and kissed
me on the mouth, hard, for a full minute. He brushed his lips against my
cheeks, and my chin, then ran his tongue down to my breasts.
I leaned my head back, stared
up at the ceiling. “Oh God,” I said. “James...”
“Does that feel good?”
“Oh God, it feels amazing...
it feels so—”
On the window.
I screamed, and James shouted
an awkward, “What the shit?”
I glanced at the window
behind me. The figure knocked on it again. A police officer.
“Oh crap,” I said. I grabbed
my shirt up off the floor and pulled it over my head.
“Open the door, please.” He
knocked a third time.
James put his shirt back on, too,
as I turned around and did as the officer said.
“Uhh, hello,” I said.
“Evening.” He looked
mid-thirties, and seemed pleasant. He wasn’t some crusty old man looking to destroy
my happy night. “What are you two doing in there?”
“We were just… talking,” I
He shined his light on the
carpet, on the belt. “Oh really?”
“That’s right,” James said.
Then he glanced at where the light was aimed.
“Will the two of you step out
of the car, please?”
I rolled my eyes. Someone who
seemed pleasant and someone who actually was were two different things. I
stepped out of the Jeep first. Tried my best not to stumble.
James and I put our backs to
the car, and the officer shined the light on our faces.
“You two been having some fun
tonight?” he asked, not like a question, but like a statement.
“No,” James said. “We don’t
believe in fun.” He laughed, for the hundredth time that night. I elbowed him
in the side. This was not the time to be stupid.
The officer stepped closer to
us, then shined the light solely on James. “How old are you?”
He bit down on his tongue and
glanced at me, like he didn't know if he was supposed to lie. “Eighteen,” he
finally said. Good. The truth.
“Yeah? You have anything to
He put on his serious face.
“No, officer. Of course not. That's against the law, as you well know.”
to be drinking anything tonight?”
He narrowed his eyes. “I have
to be sure. I want you to say the alphabet for me, all right?”
“Sure, no problem,” James
The officer turned off his
flashlight. “I want you to say the alphabet
James just stared at him. He
had to think on it for a moment. I tried not to freak out, but I wanted to grab
James's hand and run. “Uhh,” James started. “Z. Y. X. T. Oh wait, I mean, W—”
A loud crash erupted in the
distance. I almost screamed again, but the officer’s hand went straight for the
gun and I didn’t want him to shoot me.
“What was that?” he said. He
turned to his right. Another crash.
I looked past him. Four of
the partygoers at Tomas's house stumbled out to the front porch, laughing like
idiots, and throwing empty liquor bottles against the concrete.
“Hey!” the officer screamed.
“Hey you, over there!” He ran away from us, past the Jeep, all the way to the
front of the house. When they saw him coming, the four boys raced back inside.
“Holy shit, it's the
!” one of the boys shouted. I didn’t
recognize his voice. I didn’t have a chance to try.
James opened the driver’s
side door and screamed, “Get in! Get in now!”
“What?” I briefly hesitated.
“Before he comes back! It's
our only chance, hurry!”
I jumped into the passenger
seat and shut the door. I didn’t think twice about it. I didn’t want that cop
to come back and take us both to jail—and I didn't want James to be angry
He turned on the ignition and
took off down the neighborhood street. I put on my seat belt, crossed my arms,
tried to relax. He turned onto another street, then pulled onto Arlington. It
was a 35 MPH zone and he was going at least 50.
“Slow down,” I said.
“I can’t, not until we're far
enough away. He might have called in back-up.”
Again, I didn't want to
disagree. “Yeah, you're probably right.”
, that was close! Do you know how close that was?”
“I know it was, but… James…”
“We are so fucking lucky. We
could have gone to jail, Sydney.” He grinned at me, and reached for my hand. I
took it. “So. You wanna go back to my place?”
I glanced at the speedometer.
He’d slowed down to 40. I smiled. Everything was going to be fine. “That sounds
He kept his eyes on me,
looked at me for a moment. “You
know how much I love you, right?”
I tightened my grip on his
hand. “I do. And I…” I looked out the windshield. “James, look out!”
A Volkswagon Beetle pulled
into the intersection. I saw the little boy’s face in our headlights, seconds
before we hit. He was nine. His name was Kyle.
James shot through the windshield,
just catapulted from the car like a ball out of a cannon. The seat belt jerked
me back, and I screamed, for the last time, when the Jeep flipped onto its side
and spun off the road into a dark ravine.
I sat up in bed, and tried to
catch my breath. I turned to the window. The faintest hint of light emanated
from beyond the bluff.
I grabbed my phone. It was
5:30. I didn’t have class for three and a half hours.
I rested my head back against
the pillow but couldn’t fall asleep. It had been weeks since I dreamed of that
night; I thought I had finally put it behind me.
But I knew the truth. That
night would be with me forever.
I rolled out of bed and
tiptoed to the bathroom. I shut the door quietly. I didn’t want to wake up
My shower must have lasted
thirty minutes. Every time I closed my eyes, I pictured James, right before we
hit. He had no idea what was coming. Not a second to react before he was killed,
I couldn’t believe it had
been more than two long years since that night. So much had changed, about me,
about my life. Then again, some things were exactly the same.
I got dressed. Surfed the web
on my laptop for a bit. Read over my presentation for sociology class one more
When I left the dorm at 8:15,
Melanie was still asleep. I shook my head as I walked into the hall; that girl
could sleep for fourteen hours if she wanted to.
I stepped out of McCarthy
Hall, my sophomore dorm building that looked out over Marina Del Rey and the
Pacific Ocean, and I headed down to U-Hall, the mall-like three-story building
at Loyola Marymount University that housed classrooms, the mail room, and a
The place stretched as far as
the eye could see; a person burned a thousand calories just walking from one
side of the building to the other. I went down the escalator, checked my mail
(empty, as usual), and headed down to the food court, where I bought a plain
vanilla yogurt and a small green apple.
I normally wouldn’t have gone
to the U-Hall food court so early in the morning. I would have tried to get an
extra hour of sleep back in the dorm, and waited until after my class to enjoy
a proper meal.
But I changed up my routine
this semester because it allowed me to spend more time with
. Tall, sexy, and sadly unattainable,
he was the one I craved. He was the one I wanted to be mine.
Evan Taylor, my roommate’s
I scouted the indoor seating
area. I didn’t see him anywhere. It was pretty quiet inside, especially for a
Friday; it appeared the student body had already put a jumpstart on their
I sighed, happily, when I saw
him sitting outside, by the fountain. He had his feet up on a table, an iPad
Mini in his hands. He wore a tank-top, and swim trunks. His large sunglasses
masked too much of his face.