Taken By Storm
February 1, 2014
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Jessica doesn't like to take risks, but when she's almost run over by a red hot rock musician named Storm on his motorcycle, she realizes that some risks are worth taking.
"Oh, no, no. NO. Don't do this to me!" Jessica groaned, stomping on the gas pedal in vain.
But heedless of her words, as she reached the bottom of the hill, the car simply coasted, losing speed rapidly. She steered to the shoulder of the dark, country road and stopped the car. She turned off the ignition, then tried to start the car again, but nothing happened. She pulled the hood release and got out of the vehicle, then lifted the hood and stared at the engine. There were no streetlights this far out of town, and she could barely make out the engine in the light of the half moon.
She grabbed a flashlight from the glove compartment and shone it under the hood.
Not that she knew what to look for. She bit her lip. There was nothing smoking and no obvious broken things. And even if there had been, she wouldn't have known what to do about it. She got back in the car and grabbed her cell phone from her purse.
Damn, no service. Most places in and around her small hometown of Brookfield had excellent cell reception, but there were still pockets where the signal was just too weak.
And I'm lucky enough to break down in one of them!
Now what would she do? She glanced around at the isolated road lined with bushy trees, the sound of the crickets almost deafening. She shivered and wrapped her arms around herself, not entirely because of the coolness of the summer night and the fact she was wearing a halter dress.
She reached into the back of the car and grabbed her shawl, then wrapped it around herself.
It was at least a five mile hike back to town. She could manage the walk if she had to, but in high heels walking along a sandy shoulder it would be dicey, and walking on the paved road would be downright dangerous, especially at night.
Alternately, she could sit here in the car and hope someone would drive by and help her. But what if no one came? Or worse, what if someone scary passed by and saw her in this vulnerable position? At least if she was walking, she could dodge into the bushes if she heard a vehicle approaching.
Maybe she was being overly cautious. Accepting a ride from a stranger didn't have to end in tragedy, but why take the chance? A long walk never hurt anyone.
Except for her feet, which would certainly wind up covered in blisters. She should have listened to Mom's sage advice to never drive in high heels.
She sighed. She didn't want to wait around here. Better to take her fate into her own hands.
She pushed herself from the car, grabbed her purse and started to walk. She stepped off the pavement onto the sandy roadside. It was difficult walking on the uneven surface, especially since she'd chosen to wear her really high, spike heels to Sally's engagement party.
Sally was her cousin, and her boss. She owned her own website development business and employed Jessica as office manager, and several technical people to do the actual development. Sally handled the artistic side of things.
The eerie sound of scuttling in the bushes sent shivers down her spine. She walked a little faster. She thought she heard an engine in the distance, and glanced back, but couldn't see any lights. Of course, the slope of the hill and the trees would block her view of any vehicle until it was fairly close. The sound seemed to be getting louder, though.
She was wearing a white dress, making her fairly visible, which was great for not getting hit, but not so good for trying to stay out of sight. She walked to the far side of the shoulder, looking for a place where the ditch wasn't too deep so she could scurry in behind the brush. She glanced back and saw the glow of headlights from the other side of the hill. The approaching vehicle seemed to be moving pretty fast. She stepped carefully down the slight incline of the ditch, watching her footing on the grassy surface.
A crackle caught her off guard, then the bushes rustled. A sharp screech escaped her throat as something leaped toward her. She jumped back, then twisted around and lurched toward the road, her heart thundering in her chest. A light flashed in her eyes-a single headlight-as her heel caught on the pavement and she tumbled forward. The animal bound across the road and tires screeched, then the approaching motorcycle swerved and spun around, barely missing her as her hands hit the ground.
The driver gained control of his bike, then leaped off it.
"Shit! What the fuck, lady? Are you fucking insane?"
She shivered as she stared up at the tall, muscular man in jeans and a black leather jacket, silhouetted by the light of the single headlight behind him.
He offered his hand and she reached for it, then he lifted her to her feet, none too gently.
"I could have been killed. You could have been killed.
What the fuck are you doing walking around in the dark?"
She just stared at him, adrenaline pumping through her, as he pulled off his helmet, revealing dark spiky hair.
Oh, God, when she'd feared someone scary would come driving by, this is exactly what she'd had in mind. Only this was worse.
What would he do once he calmed down and realized she was out here all alone. She shuddered.
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