A bit late today but this week has been an ass-kicker. Here we go. Day three...
Caleb drove until he hit Indiana. There had been a questionable hot dog lunch in West Virginia and a few stops along the drive but mostly it was him, the radio, and his memories. He had no intention of making this a long, sprawled out road trip. This would be get from point A to point Z and assess what would become of his life.
After thirty-odd years of rolling with the ebb and flow of life he was actually concerned. Which concerned him.
Not one to worry about how life would unfold, he found it odd and unsettling to be racing through memories of him and Jasmine together. And then following the chased memories closely with what-ifs, something he’d often given other people shit for. What-ifs were useless. What-ifs would eat you alive.
Caleb piloted the Wagoneer into a rest area. It wasn’t as nice as some and definitely not as horrible as other’s he’d seen. He faced the Jeep toward the inevitable wide swath of trees studded with picnic tables and on-the-spot grills for cooking burgers and dogs on the road. Then he cut the engine before putting his seat back a little bit. The sound of silence was nice even though it was hot. Just as hot here as back home. Traveling in August was always a lesson in humidity and heat index.
He rolled the windows down and let a meager breeze blow through the windows. He shut his eyes as the sky turned a companion pink to the morning sky he’d started his day with.
With his eyes shut and the silence, studded only by the occasional hiss on tires as someone turned into the lot, he drifted. He tried to think ahead but ahead was a questionable black hole of the unknown. So he drifted back. Back was easy to grasp onto. Easy to rifle through those memories to find one worth remembering. Like the month she’d been engaged to Harrison.
That was what her father had given her to be engaged and to put together a wedding. A month. It spoke volumes about the man. Geoffrey P. Winslow aka the devil.
Caleb heard a short, deep sound and it took a second of sleepy contemplation to realize it was his own laughter he’d heard. The brief flirtation with total awareness passed and he grasped onto a particularly vivid image of her astride him just days before she was set to take her vows.
She had fucked him like she had a debt to settle. And he realized, she had. But it wasn’t with him. It was with daddy. So she fucked him like she was punishing them all. Herself, her father, Caleb for not being the right kind of person that would allow her to be with him, and of course, the betrothed Harrison Day.
Her long dark hair hung in her eyes, hung over her small breasts, brushed his chest when she leaned forward so his cock hit the places inside her that she needed most.
Jasmine didn’t speak at first, she just moved. When he reached up to touch her, brush that curtain of hair back, she grabbed his seeking hand and slammed it back to the mattress. She swiftly wrangled the other one and held his hands above his head, wrists pinned to her high-thread-count white sheets. She snarled and he arched his hips up, thrusting into her wetness until she whispered. “Don’t move. Don’t. You. Move.”
He listened. Apparently, she needed this.
Her hips slid side to side. It almost hurt him, how far she took it, but not quite. Not enough discomfort for Caleb to speak up before she worked this out.
“Four days,” she hummed, rocking her hips back and forward now.
“Four days,” he echoed. After the marriage there would be no seeing each other. No more hook ups. No more sneaking in the kitchen door of her rented apartment. She’d be in a house, with a staff, with a security system…with Harrison.
A small sound escaped her. It sounded like a sob but when she tossed her head and her dark hair parted there were no tears wetting her cheeks. But there was an encore of that deep mournful sound that seemed to have found its way from her chest through her lips.
“Tell me you’ll miss me,” she said, changing her tempo and leaning far over him to smash her breasts and belly flat to his sweaty torso. Her breath was warm on his face, her eyes a little wild.
“Do I really have to?” he asked. Meaning, she should know he’d miss her. It was a given.
Jasmine paused, her wild eyes growing wilder and her body shuddered. “Caleb—“
“I meant of course I would, don’t do this, Jas. Don’t take your fear and your anger and that helplessness and twist my words—“
“You can’t tell me?”
“You didn’t. You said—“
She was heading down that path, that thing she did where she poured her impotent emotions into a rage that had nothing to do with what she was actually angry about. Caleb did the only thing he could think to do, he pushed his hands up hard against her restraining grip and flipped her fast and hard.
She roared at him, angry, until he knocked her legs wide and then his hands were pinning her wrists. His body was smashed flat to hers. His breath was in her face and he drove into her hard enough to steal her breath and cut off her tangent before it gained any steam.
“Caleb, you fucker—“But she said it on a sigh.
“You know it.” He grinned at her, realizing in just a few short days he wouldn’t be able to. He didn’t feel so much sad as much as a shift in the trajectory of his life. It was a change—a big one to someone like him—but not nearly big enough to make him think he was in love. He was in something, but not love.
He took her exactly where she needed to go, thrusting deep as she hooked her long tan legs behind his hips and drew him in. Her mouth was still going but not with a rant, now it was soft words, good words, encouraging words. Then kisses. He kept that mouth busy and then the third time she came, flexing hard and hot around him, he came with her. His whole body shaking with the force and his heart doing that weird, fish-flip thing it did from time to time.
“I don’t want to think about you with other girls,” she said, rolling to her side. “It makes me jealous.”
“Imaginary women make you jealous?” he asked, stealing one of her cigarettes from the bedside table. Jasmine only stooped to smoking after sex. He tried to do the same. “You’re the one getting married. You’re the one taking off.”
“Yeah,” she said, staring him down. Her mascara was smeared around her gem-bright, green eyes.
“But I don’t want to…Sir—“
He blinked at her, knowing instinctively that something wasn’t right.
“Sir—“she said again and then a weird tapping sound filled his head. Her eyes narrowed, her mouth drew down into a fine line and she looked annoyed. “Sir—“
Caleb opened his eyes to the crisp, no bullshit sight of a uniformed State Trooper tapping a Maglite softly against his windshield. “Sir, there’s no sleeping in the rest stops.”
“It is called a rest stop, isn’t it?” Caleb asked, sitting up and blinking.
The trooper heaved a mighty sigh as if he’d heard this more than once. He leaned against the open window and said slowly, “Look, sir, being a smart ass is the first step to having a problem with me. You are welcome to rest in our nation’s rest stops. But not sleep. It goes from resting—as in a break from the road—to loitering. There’s a difference.”
Caleb wasn’t sure he believed the guy. Wouldn’t be the first cop to roust people because he just didn’t want them hanging out on his turf, but Caleb wasn’t a fool. Pissing off a cop wasn’t the best plan. “Got it,” he said. “I guess I was a bit more tired than I anticipated.”
“There’s a nice no frills motel down the road aways. Second exit after you leave here. Just two miles on that main road if you make a right off the exit. Bar next door if you’re thirsty and want some not too bad food.”
Caleb laughed. “Not too bad food. That’s a glowing recommendation.”
The trooper laughed, won over by Caleb’s winning charm, no doubt. “It’s an honest statement. The place is called Toby’s. The motel is A-1. Don’t ask me why. Everything okay, by the way?”
“Yep, just traveling across country. Been a long day.”
“California.” Caleb had no doubt the guy was running his plates as they chatted.
“California’s a big state.”
“Somewhere near Santa Barbara,” Caleb clarified.
The trooper—D.R. Eden by his name tag—nodded once, held up a finger. “Hold on.”
After a minute he came back, touched his hat brim and said, “You go on now. Get your food, get your rest so you can get where you’re going.”
Caleb nodded. “Will do. Thanks, Officer Eden.” He started the Jeep and pulled out slowly, scanning the darkening sky as he went. Not so bad food and a lumpy motel bed sounded pretty decent right about now. Hopefully it was a cheap place, he wanted to make his money stretch. He had no idea how long it would last him. Or how long he’d need it to last…
*Authors note MAY 9, 2016: I stopped this story at day 39 in 2014 at nearly 50,000 words because my husband was undergoing chemo for pancreatic cancer and was not doing well. October 27, 2014 he passed away. I have since picked the book up as of April 2016 and am finishing it as a complete novel to be released in the near future. I have left installments 1, 2, and 3 up for a taste and to update readers that the book is back underway :) xoxo S
photo credit: Thomas Hawk via photopin cc