Opening my car door, I slide into the driver’s seat, turn to put the key in the ignition and—
“Ahh!” Jumping back, I thwack my open palm against the gigantic body of pure muscle seated in the passenger seat. “Dammit, Jack! You scared me!”
“Good morning.” He grins.
“What are you doing in my car?” I snap, throwing him some serious stink eye.
“I’m going with you to Louisiana.” He nods to a large duffle bag in the backseat.
I blink. “Uh, no you’re not.”
“Uh, yes I am.”
He crinkles his brow. “I’ve never understood that phrase. But okay. I’ll go with you ‘like hell,’ whatever that means.”
“Get out of my car.” I point to the door.
“Oh, Jenna.” He clucks his tongue. “This will be good for both of us. Listen.” He casually leans against the passenger window and pierces me with his gray eyes. “For reasons beyond my control, I need to go back home. And for reasons beyond your control, so do you. And since our ‘homes’ are right next door to one another, I figured we’d carpool to Louisiana and you can just drop me off at Little Vail on your way to New Orleans.”
He gives me that little-boy smile of his and it’s all I can do not to lean forward and soak it in. I hate me.
“I don’t see how that’s good for me,” I say. “At all.”
He shrugs. “You get some company on the road.”
I nod with a clenched jaw. “And you get a free ride.”
His smile grows and I instantly realize that was the wrong thing to say.
“Precisely,” he says.
I can’t afford to spend any excessive time with Jack. Not just because we fight, but because of what happened last year. It was one crazy night when we were both drunk, and we never spoke of it after the fact, but our “friendship” has been tense ever since.
“Well, I don’t need any company,” I say, shaking my head.
“Sure you do,” he says easily. “Everyone needs company.”
“Not me. So get out.”
He grins. “No.”
God I hate him. But not really.
God I hate that I don’t hate him.
I jut my chin and stare him over. “Fine. If you won’t remove yourself…” Exiting the car, I stomp around the hood to his door, yank it open, and wrap my hands around his bicep. Then I start pulling.
He doesn’t budge. Like, he literally doesn’t move an inch as I tug at his oversized arm and grunt like I’m trying to move a massive piece of hardwood furniture and not a human being.
His eyes dance as he watches my struggle. “What’s your plan here, Jenna? Haul me out of the car and leave me in the street?”
“Sounds good to me.”
“Well, that doesn’t sound friendly at all,” he says, flicking the lever to recline to seat a bit so he looks even more relaxed than before.
“I wasn’t trying to be friendly,” I grit out.
I try pulling him out again, to no avail. He’s giant and solid, and honestly, just touching him is turning me on.
I drop my hands and glower at him. “You can’t just tell me that you’re coming along on my road trip.”
He cocks his head. “Would you feel better if I asked?”
“Jenna.” He leans forward and his gaze bores through me, down into the deepest parts of my being. “Will you please let me join you on your trip to Louisiana?”
For a moment, I’m lost in his eyes, debating with myself. I don’t trust myself around Jack. Not at all. But I did spend half the night tossing in my sleep with nightmares about traveling alone so maybe having Jack tag along might not be so bad after all. Maybe.
Pulling back, I straighten my shoulders and relent, like usual when it comes to Jack.
“Fine,” I huff out as I stomp back to my side of the car in climb in. “But no talking,” I say, hoping I haven’t just made a huge mistake.
He grins and I turn away.
Surely I can manage to keep my panties on around Jack for a few days…right?
About Chelsea Fine:
Chelsea lives in Phoenix, Arizona, where she spends most of her time writing stories, painting murals, and avoiding housework at all costs. She's ridiculously bad at doing dishes and claims to be allergic to laundry. Her obsessions include: superheroes, coffee, sleeping-in, and crazy socks. She lives with her husband and two children, who graciously tolerate her inability to resist teenage drama on TV and her complete lack of skill in the kitchen.
5 signed copies of Right Kind of Wrong