Locked up with the Badboy.

I take a seat on the floor in front of him, "What?"

He combs a hand through his dark hair and sighs, "This is a maximum security prison, the people here have killed babies, shot up schools , killed multiple partners and run crime rings and you, are saying that I'm mean? "


18. Like Love?



My bike purrs quietly behind Ben’s, as he pulls to the side of the road, the bike shop is still in sight. “Hey Clara?” He asks taking his pink helmet off to reveal messed up hair, “Should we keep going- Drive all night?”

Breathless at how good he looks I can only nod. He kicks down his stand and walks over to my bike, straddling it so we’re facing eachother, “It’s just a perfect night,” he says, “No clouds, just stars and a moon. I’ve been a caged animal for so long, I feel free now.” His arms find my sides, their natural resting place.

I nod again, I can’t help myself staring in wonder at his face, Is it possible for a human to be so authentic? So handsome? Almost in a trance I lean forward my lips brush his, popping candy fizzes between us as he grips my leather and pulls me into him.

Our lips connect and like us don’t leave as we search each other. The moon swallows us in her light and we starve for oxygen, but I don’t pull away because Ben is oxygen and he’s helium and he’s explosive and he’s fuelling my desire and he’s recreating me on the inside.

We don’t pull apart but our lips unstick and our eyes lock. I can see my everything in his green. He’s startled, and he’s awake. My heart pounds as my lips move,

“I love you,” I whisper, the words not coming from me but somehow coming from me at the same time. I drop my head to his chest.

He jolts, and his hand slowly lifts my chin up until I’m looking into his eyes again, they’re harder now, more questioning. Gently he kisses my cheek and leaps from my motorcycle. “We’re going to ride until the night gives out Clara, we’re going to race the moon across the sky.”

I stuff my helmet on so that he can’t see the way my face burns, Where did that come from? Why did I say I loved him? Kicking up my stand I swing ahead of Ben and full throttle my way down the road leaving him behind.

Unfortunately my thoughts aren’t so slow, Why didn’t he say it back? Finally appears before me, and I try not to cry, I try not to cry so very hard. Instead I flick up through the gears, gaining speed, gaining momentum. Trying to run away from this thing that so suddenly appears to confuse everything.

My headlight catches a car drifting into the wrong lane, I swerve to avoid it skidding onto shingle but somehow managing to keep the bike moving forward. The car corrects and I tilt myself back onto the road. Throttle back, I increase my speed, finally allowing myself to cry as I realise that I have something legitimate to weep about. My vison begins to fog up.

I flick the visor of my helmet open. Allowing the swift air to flick my hair about and dry the tears from my face. “It’s stupid!” I shout into the wind, “Just stupid, and you’re not going to cry about it again okay?”

The best thing about yelling into the wind is it never argues back.

Cresting the exit of a valley, a sky of stars spreads out in front of me. I remember the stars that we painted on the ceiling of our cell and laugh. A small bug on a suicide mission flies down my throat and I start laughing and chocking and crying at the same time.

I spit then close my visor, the taste of the wind still in my mouth.

Somewhere in the night Ben catches up to me, first following my tail and then speeding along beside me. Our bikes make a good pair, I think as we both test the inbuilt speed limits of our purchases, at one point we detour along a long-haul shortcut with potholes that jitter us to our bones, I’m just glad for a cushy seat and the fact my bum will still have skin left on it tomorrow.

We cross from New Mexico to the heart of Texas to Oklahoma. Passing Amarillo and Beaver river and journeying the Wichita mountains

Almost at a crawl golden rays reflect across the sky, and I decide that I don’t care about yesterday. We left yesterday back in Texas and the realisation is enough for me to slow my pink passion into the forecourt of a gas station. Standing up gingerly I give my legs a test; yes they’re a little jelly but my butt doesn’t hurt and I don’t walk like a cow-boy. “Thanks Kim,” I whisper into the air.

“Hey Clara,” Ben says as he rips his helmet off and begins goose-stepping his way across the forecourt. Despite a lack of sleep, no-moonlight and his hair pulled into a puffball he still looks as dreamy as last night. “Guess what? My butt is fine.” He says, doing a cute little wiggle.

“Yeah, there’s no-way a Harley would have survived those New Mexico bumps.”

He grins, “I thought you’d never stop.”

We both laugh, but it’s cut short just a little by last night. The awkwardness that reaches across time and strangles us a little.

“Hey Ben,” I say, twisting a leather glove off my hand and try to pull the other, it doesn’t budge. “I’m sorry about last night, I didn’t mean to say it and I’m really sorry and-“

“It’s nothing to be sorry for,” he says touching my face with his glove, “And I like you, I like you a lot. It’s just not love. I don’t even know what love is.”

I take his hand from my face, “Do you think maybe one day…”

“One day?”

I bite my lip, “Nah forget it, I’m not in love. It was just something dumb I said.” I give my glove a tug, but it sticks to me. I continue the struggle until with soft hands he takes my wrist and peels the leather away from my skin. He hands it to me with a soft smirk; “You’ve fallen for the Bad Boy Clara.”

“Shut up and buy me breakfast,” I say as I turn around to fill up the bike and hide my blush.

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