Dance of Days Ch. 04byMcKenna©
"Thursday's child has far to go..."
Chloe Zanders cranked the volume on her Durango's stereo and rolled down the windows. Fargo-freakin'-North Dakota, she thought, and smiled a bemused smile. The air traveling in through the open window was cool while the sun beating through the windshield was hot. It was late afternoon in the month of August and Chloe Zanders of Seattle, Washington was on her way to Fargo, North Dakota.
"Where are you going?" her boss had asked when Chloe put in for vacation time.
"I don't know Bill, somewhere."
"You don't know where you're going? You're just going to hang around Seattle all week?"
Chloe ran a distracted hand through her hair. She blew a stray, auburn curl off her forehead with a frustrated sigh and asked, "Why do I need a destination? I mean, really? And so what if I stay at home!" she added, slightly annoyed at his line of questioning.
"It's just that you haven't had a vacation in two years, Chloe. God knows I've been trying to get you to take one, but you've always refused," her boss said gently as he looked at her over the rim of his out-of-date glasses. "And then you come in here out of the blue and tell me you're taking time off. Well, I think you should enjoy it. Go somewhere. Do something. Be young, Chloe," he said paternally.
Chloe sighed. Be young, he'd said, as if somehow she were acting geriatric. Okay, she conceded, he had a point. She'd been working herself hard the past five years trying to get a foothold in her profession; her hard work had gotten her a decent job with a good boss but absolutely no social life. It wasn't that she was bored, really, just ...restless. She'd been too busy working part-time and going to school for a social life in college and grad school. Once she'd started her job she'd been so focused on moving up the corporate ladder she'd completely neglected her social one. Chloe wanted to experience something new. She wanted to get away. She wanted to find herself.
Find myself, she rolled her eyes at the thought as she stared out over miles and miles of grassland. What a worn-out cliché. She smiled sardonically while she thumped her palm on the steering wheel in time to the music. She was listening to music that was popular when she'd been too young to appreciate it. Hell, she'd barely been old enough to walk! Still, she liked the driving beat and classic sounds of 70's rock.
"Slow ride," Chloe sang to the music, "Take it easy." Out of the corner of her eye she noticed in the rearview mirror an approaching motorcycle. She'd seen a lot of them on the road between here and Seattle, but hadn't yet seen one, solitary biker; they usually seemed to ride in packs. Considering the wide open spaces and less-traveled roads of the West, she could understand why riding through it on the back of a bike attracted the riders in droves. She kept her speed constant with her foot on the gas pedal and watched as the motorcycle slowly ate up the distance between her vehicle and his. As he pulled out to pass her, Chloe couldn't help but notice the sleek lines of his bike, all polished chrome and black metal paint. Sweet ride, she thought, and continued to scope the bike with her coffee-colored eyes. She couldn't help but notice the driver as well, though he came into focus slightly slower than the bike. She let her eyes trail up his boot-clad calves to his thick, leathered-covered thighs. Thick thighs. Yummy thighs, she thought, the kind a woman could ride like he's riding that bike. He wore a tight, white t-shirt and a black leather vest over a chest that was just as thick as his thighs. His arms were tanned and muscular, and she could just see the faint design of a Celtic tattoo encircling his upper arm.
As the biker pulled up beside her Chloe did something she'd normally never do: she sped up. She didn't want to lose sight of this biker just yet, she hadn't seen enough. The biker turned to look at her, his eyes covered by black sunglasses. Chloe sucked in an appreciative breath; his face was square and tanned, and from what she could see, he seemed quite attractive. He had dark hair with the faintest trace of silver threading through it and a goatee that was slightly grayer than the gray in his hair. Chloe wondered what color his eyes would be. Blue? Green? Chloe smiled at the biker and pulled her foot off the gas. In the split-second before he pulled away, he gave her the faintest, approving nod, then sped off down the road.
Mmm mmm mmm, Chloe thought. Now that would be one sweet ride and she wasn't thinking about the bike, either.
One hour and an empty gas tank later, Chloe pulled into a truck stop outside of Fargo, North Dakota. As she pulled up next to fueling kiosk, she noticed a bike parked on the opposite side.
Nah, can't be, she thought, though she studied the bike intently. She put the SUV into park and got out and stretched muscles that were sore from sitting too long. She studied the bike from the corner of her eye, but without the accompanying rider present she couldn't be certain if it was the same bike she'd seen earlier out on the highway. Too bad, Chloe thought. She had a sweet tooth when it came to eye candy, and he was definitely sweet.
She turned her back to the bike and bent over the driver's seat to rummage around in the cab for her wallet. It must have slid under the seat, she thought, when she couldn't find it anywhere else. She stretched out over the seat and reached under the passenger side stool, her bottom wiggling in the air for all and sundry to see. "Aha!" she mumbled when her fingers ticked against the soft, leather casing. She extricated it -and herself- from the vehicle and turned towards the pump.
Chloe stopped dead in her tracks. It was him! Her cheeks warmed tellingly as she was flooded with guilt and embarrassment for behavior out on the highway. She cleared her throat and glanced away from his knowing gaze. So they're silver, she thought, thinking of his eyes as she pushed her wind-blown hair off her forehead. It just figures everything about this man would be black and gray, an amused smile lifted the corners of her mouth.
She turned to him then with a sheepish grin, "Hi there."
He smiled, and she realized his eyes were lit with recognition and humor, and something else ...appreciation? Chloe admonished herself not to preen. Down girl, down! she thought. He started fiddling with the laces on his saddle bags so Chloe turned to her truck and started filling up her tank with gas.
Dayum! she thought, That has got to be one of the most purely masculine men I've ever seen! Chloe bit her lip and studied him from beneath her lashes. She didn't know what it was, but this man exuded a kind of raw sex appeal that set her very feminine nerves on fire just from watching him. He moved deliberately and gracefully, the tendons in his forearms flexing and relaxing as he checked over his bike. The waning light of late afternoon caught each nuance of muscle and sinew, as well as the silvery highlights in his hair. Although he was older than Chloe, it was hard for her to determine his age. He's like Sean Connery, she thought, this guy's going to be sexy 'till the day he dies!
Just then the man looked up and caught Chloe staring. Before her glance skittered away, she saw him smile again, flashing his white teeth and a pair of deep dimples in either cheek. Good Lord, Chloe thought. Get a grip already, woman! 'Getting a grip' was not about to happen, however, as just then the man bent over his bike to check something on the opposite side and Chloe's mouth dropped open in blatant feminine appreciation. His ass was perfect. His jeans pulled snugly over a rear that was tight, a rear that was muscled and well-defined, a rear with enough meat on it that a woman could really grab hold when the thrusting got intense.
The click from the pump signaling the tank was full snapped Chloe out of her reverie. She turned, reluctantly, and tended to her vehicle. She could still hear him fiddling around with his bike and felt loathe to see him go. When she turned around she was surprised to find the handsome stranger's eyes following the movement of her body. Her nipples pulled tight under her tank top at his perusal and Chloe stumbled inadvertently. His eyes shot to hers and he grinned. Chloe blushed. Christ, I might as well tattoo ´Fuck Me' on my forehead! she thought, embarrassed at her adolescent-like slip up.
This is silly, she ranted in her head, I'm a grown woman. Educated. If not sophisticated then certainly house-trained. What the hell is my problem? One look from a sexy stranger and I get tongue tied. "Where're you headed?" she surprised herself by asking suddenly.
The man leaned back against his bike as if he had all the time in the world to answer her question and folded his arms across his expansive chest. "Sturgis," he replied.
A flicker of recognition spread over Chloe's features. "Oh, the bike rally thing?" she asked.
"Yeah," he let his gaze drip down over her body like a slow-melting ice cube. Drip. Drip. Drip. Chloe fought the urge to squirm. Instead she pushed her palms into the back pockets of her faded jeans. The muscles lining the man's throat work tellingly as his eyes fastened on Chloe's ample breasts and curvy hips. Chloe smiled with satisfaction.
"Your Harley's a beauty" she opined, nodding towards his bike.
"Yeah, it's a smooth ride. It's a Road King, set up for long rides." Chloe warmed to the note of pride in his voice. He obviously liked his bike, but he spoke of it in a way that was neither arrogant nor showy. "So 've you got far to go?" he asked with a glance to her out-of-state plates.
Chloe's heart thumped hard in her chest. What would he do if she told him she was on her way to Sturgis, too? Nah, I can't do that. Chloe thought, though she eyed him hungrily. She schooled her features and shrugged in what she hoped was a nonchalant manner. "Not far." She licked her lips slowly and met his stare directly. "It all depends on the destination."
A slow, lazy smile crept up over the man's features and his eyes sparkled dangerously. Chloe's insides somersaulted at his expression. He jerked his chin towards his bike and asked, "You wanna ride?"
Chloe smiled. HELL YES! her mind screamed, but she answered Mr. Harley with a simple, husky "Yeah." It was far past the time for Chloe live a little, sew a wild oat or two, be young for Christ's sake. Why the hell not?! she mused.
"Let's go then." His voice sent delicious quivers of anticipation down Chloe's spine. Chloe finished her credit card transaction at the pump while her handsome stranger mounted his bike. She nearly tripped again while ogling the way his jeans pulled tightly over his thighs as he adjusted himself on the seat of the bike. Drool! Chloe thought.
She parked her SUV on the far side of the lot near the semi-trucks and grabbed her jacket before stepping out of the vehicle. The loud, throbbing noise of the Harley nearly deafened her at the same time its vibrations tickled her toes on the pavement. "Get on," he spoke above the noise of the engine. Chloe didn't need a second invitation. She slipped her arms into her jacket and straddled the machine with all the finesse of an expert. Thank God I didn't trip again, she thought, as the man slowly pulled out of the parking lot.
Once out on the highway he gunned the engine, making the bike shoot off down the highway with alarming speed. Chloe screamed, a little startled at the unexpected throttle, and instinctively wrapped her arms around the man's waist. She felt his chest rumble with laughter, laughter which she echoed. Chloe had no idea where they were going, and for the first time in her life she didn't care. All she cared about was the way the wind whipped through her hair and stung her cheeks, and the way this man's warm, undeniably masculine body felt pressed up against her own, feminine one. The sun dipped low on the horizon as the pair continued down the deserted two-lane highway. Chloe marveled at the gloaming time of night, at the way the sun kissed everything in its path and gilded it with warm, soft color. She inhaled deeply, filling her nostrils with the scent of the grasslands they rode through and the leather from the clothing the man in front of her wore.
The bike felt like a living thing between her thighs. The vibrations of the motor traveled up her calves and thighs to her inner femininity, reminding her that she was indeed a sexual creature, and she was embarking on something dangerous and fun. He could be taking me out to the hills to rape me, she thought, then grinned. Well, it wouldn't be rape, exactly... She leaned her cheek onto his shoulder blade and scooted a little closer to him on the bike. She was surprised when he seemed to push back into her, bumping her practically exposed clitoris with his buttocks. Chloe tensed, startled. She relaxed when she felt the rumble of a chuckle in his chest again, which caused her cheeks warm. He'd done it on purpose!
Two can play that game, Chloe thought. She loosed her hands from around his waist and let them slide slowly down the tops of his thighs while she pushed the plump mounds of her breasts into his back. She was rewarded with a quickly indrawn breath, but wasn't given a chance to gloat for long: He grabbed one of her hands that was skimming his thigh and dragged it towards the apex of his thighs. Chloe gasped and tugged her hand free before she'd come into contact with the bulge she was well aware lay nestled there. This time she heard him laugh out loud above the roar of the bike. He took her hand again, and tucked it firmly around his waist, giving it a "good girl" pat when she held tightly and refrained from letting her hands wander again.
After another twenty minutes of open road the man slowed the bike to make a sharp, right-hand turn. Chloe noticed a small bluff of sandstone and guessed that would be their destination. Her heart accelerated exponentially as the bike decelerated. By the time they pulled up to the bluff, Chloe was breathless. She could barely take in the tumbled boulders or the grassy knoll leading up to the small cliff.
"You first," he said, after killing the engine. Chloe was hesitant. Would he dump her here in the middle of nowhere and take off like a bat out of hell? Don't be silly, she admonished herself, and then realized he wanted her to get off first so he could hold the bike steady. He'd even scooted up on the gas tank more to give her room.
Chloe inched her way off the bike. It wasn't exactly a graceful dismount, but he didn't seem to notice. Chloe waited uncertainly while he swung his leg over the bike and put down the kick stand. She watched as he scanned his bike quickly, then turned those silver-gray eyes on her. Chloe squirmed. She blushed and looked away, then looked back and bit her lip uncertainly. His lips twitched in a predatory smile.
He started walking towards her then, purposeful strides, as if he were stalking her. Chloe gulped and fought the urge to step back. Instead she held her ground, hands shoved into the back pockets of her jeans like earlier. He stopped in front of her, mere inches away, definitely invading her personal comfort zone. Chloe gulped and tilted her head up to meet his gaze.
"What's your name, girl?" his tone was quiet and deep, his eyes searching hers.
"Is it important?" Chloe asked softly.
"I'm Patri" Chloe cut him off by placing the pad of her index finger against his lips. The physical contact of her flesh to his sent a jolt through her arm and down her body. Her nipples tightened painfully in awareness while a steady stream of warmth pooled in the pit of her stomach. "Shhh," she shushed him. Then lifted her lips to his, removed her finger and closed her eyes.
Chloe may have been the initiator of the kiss, but she was definitely not the one who took control. That fact became crystal clear as the man she could only surmise was named "Patrick" molded his lips to hers. His kiss was fierce and demanding. His lips slid over hers in a manner Chloe could only describe as possessive. It sent a secret little thrill of pleasure straight to the apex of her thighs and made her groan, audibly.
Patrick threaded his fingers through Chloe's hair and tugged her closer, melding his body to hers while he plundered the sweet, soft lips she'd willingly proffered him. Chloe trembled as she strove to meet him kiss for kiss. She gasped when he thrust his hips into her body and she felt the proof of his arousal. She broke away from his kiss, startled, only to look up and see that same mixture of humor and arousal in his silver-gray eyes she'd noticed earlier. When his mouth quirked up in a slow, sexy grin, and his eyebrow lifted in challenge, Chloe did the only thing she could think of: She reached out with the palm of her small hand and caressed the leather-encased bulge at his groin.
The man groaned and momentarily closed his eyes. Chloe grinned in feminine triumph. It was a game of chase, and Chloe had just tagged him "it". She hadn't long to wait for retribution; when Patrick opened his eyes they seemed darker, more dangerous, lit from within by an eternal, primitive desire. He grabbed Chloe's hand and pressed it tighter to his arousal while grinding against her palm. Chloe sucked a startled breath and watched, mesmerized, at the way his hips thrust wantonly as his cock swelled beneath the leather. Oh Lord, she thought, imagining that cock thrusting between her legs. She bit her lip tellingly and pressed her hand harder against him. She was rewarded with sexy little chuckle, then his hands threaded through her hair again and he drew her face upwards for his kiss.
This time the kiss was no less intense, but slightly softer. He nibbled at her lips until she opened them, then plunged his tongue in to mate with hers. Chloe felt her knees weaken at the double assault of his sensuous mouth sliding over hers and his leather-clad cock bumping against her palm. When he slid his lips from hers and trailed damp, heated kisses across her jaw, Chloe waited expectantly; she was not disappointed when his lips found the sensitive spot on the side of her neck that always made her horny as hell. She moaned softly into the quiet, prairie air and forgot, momentarily, about anything other than this man's lips seductively plundering her inhibitions.
Her skin felt oversensitive as she turned her head to the side, allowing him greater access to the long, pale column of her throat. She was rewarded with a little nip and a playful suckle; Chloe found herself sliding her palms up to grasp his arms, hanging on for support lest she fall down from his sensual onslaught.
The man pulled his lips away from her neck long enough to ask with a note of challenge in his voice, "You're not going to let me win so easily, are you little one?"
Chloe chuckled and rose to the bait; she slipped her hands under the flaps of his vest and pushed it off over his broad shoulders. She watched her hands smooth over his hard, muscular frame until the vest fell with a plop onto the ground. Then, biting her lip in concentration while not quite meeting his eyes with her own, she slid her hands up under his t-shirt. She smiled at the pleasing sensation of his warm, firm flesh beneath her fingertips. She slid her palms up over his abdomen, over the hard, defined lines of his chest, she pushed his t-shirt up until she could push it up no more because of his height. She looked at him then, asking him for help with her eyes. He smiled in understanding and grabbed the hem of his shirt and tugged it off over his head.