Book Three, Harmony Falls Series
Copyright 2020 Elizabeth Kelly
Why did it have to be him? Why couldn’t it have been anyone else? Her stomach clenched with nerves as the Harley grew closer. Maybe it wasn’t him, maybe it was some other large, tattoo-covered, motorcycle driving badass.
He slowed down as he approached and pulled the bike in just behind her car. She leaned against her car and he shut off the motorcycle. Her ears rang in the sudden silence. He put the kickstand down and swung his leg over the bike with practiced ease. He was wearing a navy-blue t-shirt with a worn leather vest and faded jeans that clung to his thick thighs.
Did his jeans have to be so tight?
He took off his helmet and scrubbed his hands through his hair. He left the helmet on the seat and ambled toward her.
“Uh, hi, Mr. Preacher.” Her voice was nervous and high-pitched, and she winced inwardly. Calling him mister seemed ridiculous after she’d had his tongue in her mouth, but it just popped out.
“Afternoon, Miss Moore,” he said.
Her breath caught in her throat when he moved closer, but he simply walked by her, popped the hood latch and lifted the hood. He bent over her car, staring at the engine.
“It was making a ticking sound and then a grinding sound, and then it died,” she said.
“Your car is a piece of shit,” he said.
“Um, yes, I know.”
She watched silently as he poked and prodded at the engine before straightening. “Your engine is shot.”
“How do you know that?”
“I’m good with cars,” he said. “You’ll probably need a whole new engine.”
“Shoot. Okay, well, thanks.”
He stared at the phone in her hands. “You call for your fiancé?”
She jerked in surprise, nearly dropping her phone on the hot pavement at her feet. He didn’t know she and Harrison had broken up. Holy crap. He didn’t know. How could he not know? Relief mixed with shame twisted through her.
She realized she didn’t want to tell him. She didn’t want him knowing that Harrison had dumped her, even if she skipped over the reason why. Telling Preacher that she’d been dumped by a man like Harrison made her feel like the biggest loser in the world.
So, instead you’ll let him think you’re the type of woman who makes out with another guy while she’s engaged to someone else?
She swallowed hard. Wrong or right, letting Preacher think she was a cheating whore somehow felt less pathetic than telling him Harrison dumped her.
“Miss Moore?” Preacher was staring at her and she realized she’d been standing there silently for nearly a minute.
Her hands sweating and her voice a bit shaky, she said, “I want to apologize for the other night, Mr. Preacher. What I did was completely inappropriate, and I am very embarrassed.”
He didn’t reply and she babbled on. “I think – I think I was just so grateful to you for saving me that I, um, took it a little too far. I hope you don’t think poorly of me.”
“Why would I?” he asked with what looked like genuine puzzlement.
“Well, because I threw myself at you when you were just trying to be nice and I…”
He stared silently at her. Any idea that he might have been attracted to her had flown out the window with the way he was acting now, and why did that make her feel like crying? It wasn’t a surprise he would regret what happened or consider it the worst mistake of his life.”
“I’m really sorry,” she blurted again. “It was a huge mistake and I -”
“Of course, it was,” he said. “Good girls like you don’t fuck men like me, do they?”
The weird bitterness in his voice made her feel even worse and her stomach churned with nausea. She backed away a couple of steps in case she just casually vomited on his damn boots.
His voice tight and guilt etched into his own face, he said, “Are you afraid of me? I wouldn’t hurt you.”
“I’m not afraid of you.” She knew without a doubt that Preacher would never hurt her. “But I feel bad about leading you on the other night, and I wouldn’t blame you for being angry with me for it.”
“I’m not angry. You were afraid and sometimes people do crazy shit when they’re afraid.” He leaned against her car and folded his arms across his wide chest. “I’ll wait with you until your fiancé gets here.”
“He’s not coming,” she said.
He scowled and his gaze dropped to her neck. Her breath caught in her throat when he stalked toward her and pulled the collar of her dress away from her throat.
“He mad because of this?” His callused fingers brushed against the pearls around her throat before he touched the hickey he had branded her with. Goosebumps skittered to life on her skin despite the cloying heat.
“He hasn’t noticed it,” she whispered.
An odd look crossed his face. “His woman’s got another man’s mark on her and he hasn’t noticed?”
She didn’t know what to say to that, so she just clutched her phone and said, “I called Wade for a tow, but he’s got a few other calls, so he’ll be a couple hours. He said I could leave the keys in the glove box, but, uh, I think I’ll wait until he gets here. Just to keep an eye on the car.”
“No one’s gonna do anything to your junk car. C’mon, I’ll give you a ride home. You can text Wade and tell him to take this piece of shit straight to the junkyard.”
“Oh no, that’s okay,” she said immediately. “I don’t mind waiting.”
“You’re in the middle of nowhere,” he said. “It’s not safe for a little thing like you to be out here all alone.”
“It’s fine,” she said. “This is Harmony Falls, nothing bad ever happens here.”
“We both know that isn’t true.”
She flushed and stared at her phone for a moment. “Okay. If you’re sure you don’t mind?”
“I don’t,” he said.
“Okay, well, uh, thank you, Mr. Preacher.”
* * *
Deciding to take a ride this afternoon was turning out to be the best fucking decision of his life. Finding the little schoolteacher stranded on the side of the road wearing a pretty green dress that showed off her delectable thighs and clung to her perfect tits shouldn’t have made him as fucking happy as it did, but here they were.
Preacher studied her smooth thighs, immediately transported back to Friday night and the way they’d felt clamped around his waist. What he wouldn’t fucking give to be between those pretty thighs again.
Cool it, asshole. She’s engaged.
“Mr. Preacher?” Addison was tugging at the pearls around her neck and that image in his head, the one that always seemed to be lurking in his brain, popped up to say hello.
He’d never actually seen Addison naked but goddamn, it was easy to imagine it. Easy to imagine what she’d look like on her knees on his bed wearing nothing but those pearls around her neck. Her firm tits bouncing, her voice moaning his name, those pearls tangled around his fingers as he fucked her tight pussy from behind. He’d jacked off so many times to that fantasy, it was a surprise his dick wasn’t raw. He was going through goddamn lube like a thirteen year old boy who’d just discovered internet porn.
“Mr. Preacher?” Addison repeated. She sounded nervous and despite her earlier reassurance, he hated even the idea that she might be afraid of him.
“It’s just Preacher,” he said and stood next to his bike. “You ready?”
The little schoolteacher drifted closer – Christ, she smelled so fucking good. How did a woman smell that good in this heat? - and he wasn’t at all surprised when she said, “I’ve never ridden on a motorcycle before.”
She slipped her purse over her head, newsboy style. He unstrapped his extra helmet from the bike and said, “C’mere.”
“You know what,” she said with another look at his bike. “I think I’ll just wait for Wade.”
“It’s perfectly safe,” he said.
“Did you know that a motorcyclist’s risk of a fatal crash is thirty-five times higher than a passenger car?” Her usual low voice had gone up a couple of octaves.
He couldn’t help but laugh. “Nah, I didn’t know that.”
“It’s true,” she said.
“I’m a very safe driver,” he said.
“Are you?” She bit at her bottom lip.
“Yes, Sunshine,” he said.
Her face flushed at the nickname and she didn’t object when he slipped the helmet over her head and buckled it under her chin. He kept his movements brisk and detached but even grazing his knuckles against her throat gave him half a goddamn stiffy. He put on his helmet and turned on the intercom system in his helmet and hers. He sat down and patted the spot behind him.
“Swing your leg over and put your feet on the pegs.”
She did what he asked, pulling at the hem of her dress when it rode up even higher on her thighs. He reached behind him, grabbed her legs just above her knees, and pulled her up snug against him. Her crotch was pressed against his lower back and her thighs rested against his hips. He had an overwhelming urge to rest his hand on her thigh, to show the world that she was his woman. Which was stupid because a woman like her would never be with a man like him.
Not to mention she has a man, you dickhead.
Right. It was strange how easy it was for him to forget that fucking detail about her.
She was trying to wiggle back, and he used that as an excuse to reach back and slide his hand around her thigh, holding her in place. “Nope, sit nice and close, Sunshine. You don’t want to fall off, do you?”
Her legs tightened around his hips at his words and he tried not to groan. What he wouldn’t give to have her legs tighten like that while he was fucking her. “What’s your address?
She recited her address and he said, “Hands around my waist. Hold on tight.”
“Will you drive slowly?” She put her arms around him and linked her fingers together across his flat abdomen.
God, she felt way too good pressed up against his back with her arms around him. He started the motorcycle and she jumped. Her thighs squeezed his hips even tighter and her voice through the intercom turned high pitched. “Preacher, will you drive slowly?”
“I’ll drive carefully,” he said before lifting the kickstand. With a quick twist of the throttle, he had the bike flying down the road. The little schoolteacher squealed and clung to him like the world’s sexiest piggyback ride. He could feel her helmet pressing against his back and he reached down and patted her hand.
“Both hands on the wheel!” she said hysterically, and he laughed before gunning the engine.
She squealed again but this time he thought he might have detected a little bit of excitement mixed in with the fear. She lifted her head from his back, and thanks to the intercom, he could hear her soft and weirdly sexy gasps in his ear.
“You okay?” he said after about five minutes.
“Yes,” she said the excitement palpable in her voice. “Yes, this is… lovely! Can you go faster?”
He grinned. “Yes, Sunshine, I can.”
* * *
The ride to her house was over far too quickly. Addison’s terror had turned first to excitement and then to pure delight in the time it took Preacher to get her home. As he slowed to a stop and put the kickstand down before shutting off the bike, she tried to ignore her disappointment at the ending of the ride.
She was ashamed to admit that it wasn’t only the ride she was enjoying. Pushed up against Preacher’s back, feeling the hard muscles of his abdomen under her hands and the vibration of the bike between her thighs had made her horny as hell. She was half-fantasizing that Preacher was driving her to some secluded part of town so he could make love to her, when he turned onto her street.
She was still sitting on the bike, still clinging to Preacher’s back like a monkey, and with a flush of embarrassment she climbed off the bike. Preacher stood and unbuckled her helmet, removing it and letting it dangle from two fingers as she self-consciously fluffed her hair.
She knew she had a huge grin on her face as she stared up at him. “That was so much fun! Thank you, Preacher.”
“You’re welcome, Sunshine.”
She cleared her throat and patted her hair again. “Do I look funny with helmet hair?”
He shook his head. “You look good. Real good.”
She flushed. “I look wind-blown, I’m sure.”
“I like it,” he said. “The only time a woman looks better than after her first motorcycle ride is after her first orga -”
He cut the sentence short as his tanned skin went a little red. She hid her smile as he turned and strapped the helmet to the back of his bike.
She studied the friendship bracelet she’d given him that was still tied around one tanned wrist as he studied her apartment building.
“This is a nice area,” he said.
“It is,” she said. “I like that it’s kind of close to downtown. Sometimes I’ll walk from my place to downtown just for, um, exercise. You know.”
Lord, she sounded like such an idiot.
Her nerves were getting the best of her. She couldn’t stop talking. “I really like the building. It’s quiet and my neighbours are friendly. I live in apartment 427.”
He stared at her and oh my God, why did she say that?
“Anyway, thank you again,” she said. “I really appreciate your help.”
He nodded and she hesitated a moment longer before saying, “Well, I’ll see you around, okay?”
“Okay, bye,” she said.
Cursing herself for being an idiot, she turned and walked up the pathway to her apartment building, pulling her keys out of her purse. Before opening the door, she looked behind her. Preacher was back on his bike, but he hadn’t started it yet.
She waved, he nodded, and she shoved the key in the lock and opened the door. She peeked again at Preacher. He was still sitting on his bike and staring at her. Ignoring her urge to return to him, she shut the door and headed for the stairs.