Excerpt: Stealing Home
The night was dark, but the sky was clear. Stars littered the heavens, and part of a moon played hide and seek with the Jeep between the branches of the trees crowding the edge of the road. The highway wound uphill through the forest. Tripp turned on the radio to some sports talk station. Hey, he was driving. His choice.
I thought about Caitlin, Foggy, and going to work later that morning. I was so engrossed in my misery, I wasn't paying attention to Tripp or the road until we mowed down a strip of weeds and briars growing next to a deep ditch.
"Tripp!" I screamed and shoved the steering wheel as far to the left as I could.
His head jerked up. "Whoa," he said. He took control of the wheel before we hit the ditch on the opposite side of the road. "What are you doing?"
"Keeping us out of the ditch!" I kept my hand on the steering wheel. Insurance. "Did you fall asleep?"
He pulled to the side of the road and stopped. "I might have nodded off for a second," he admitted.
Oh God, if we'd been on the Thruway doing 65 or 70 miles per hour, we'd have been killed.
"We're swapping places," I announced. "Get out."
"You're going to get us both killed. You could barely keep your eyes opened when you came to get me."
"You can't drive with a sprained ankle."
"It's my left foot, I can drive just fine." I unbuckled my seat belt, then reached for his. I can be very stubborn.
He thrust my hands toward my lap. "This is a stick. A manual transmission. Even if you know how to drive one, you can't use the clutch with that ankle of yours."
Well, nuts. He had me there. But only partly. "I know how to drive a standard. My grandmother didn't raise any stupid granddaughters."
"That's debatable," he muttered.
"I heard that," I said. "Now let me drive. I had a long nap, you've been working all day, and you probably had a drink or two with your cronies. Doing business, of course, but you didn't get much sleep last night, and -"
He shut me up the only way he could. He kissed me. I mean, really kissed me. I tried to crawl over the console so I could plant myself on his lap, but banged my knee on the gear shift. He lifted me until I straddled him, my skirt hiked up to my waist.
"Jesus, Chelsea," he said a minute or ten later. "I haven't done it in a car since I was seventeen. I don't have any protection."
I rested my forehead against his. Breathing was really difficult. I thought about telling him I was on the pill, but that was a lie, and then there were STDs. Not from me, but . . .
"Let me drive," I said.
"I'm okay now," Tripp said. His voice trembled. "Especially if we just go back to Cooperstown. It's your call, but if we go back to Cooperstown, we're making love."
I needed to go work in the morning. My cat needed feeding. My cell phone was dead. I had banking issues that required immediate attention. I had the most beautiful man in the world wanting to bang my brains out.
Brain banging won.
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