I wake up the following morning, not sure what I’m feeling. One day Ghost was ripping me a new one after I bumped into him, and the next, he’s defending me and hauling my shit?
I toss the blankets off, heading over to the bathroom when one bag catches my eye. Oh my god! The bag has a note on it! "Interesting choice. -Ghost"
It’s the fucking bag from the lingerie boutique Lana took us to. I want to evaporate. I grab the bag and shove it under my bed, out of sight, out of mind.
I can’t even believe I let her convince me to buy anything from there. This is what I get for listening to her. I tear through the bags, looking for something to wear. Finding a cropped hoodie and leggings, I toss them on my bed and hop in the shower.
Feeling like more of a human now, I thread the hoodie on, then the leggings. I slip on a pair of sneakers and head downstairs, pulling my still-wet hair into a bun.
I nearly run over one of the club girls in my hurry to get to the kitchen for some Tylenol, “Sorry, Taylor!”
“No problem, hun. How was your night?”
“Not bad, thanks. Uh, I have a ton of clothes upstairs I need to wash. Could you help me bring them down in about thirty minutes?”
“Sure, dear. Just give me a holler when you’re ready!”
“You’re a lifesaver!” I give her a big grin.
“Any time!” She throws over her shoulder, walking over to the table. I’ve always really liked Taylor. Out of all the club girls, she’s one of the more down-to-earth girls. She and Trish are my two favorites out of the bunch!
Scrambling through the kitchen cupboards, trying to find anything to relieve the pounding in my head, but accepting defeat when I find nothing. I go to get my keys so I can just run to town and get some. Fuck... My keys... That Ghost has.
I’m not ready to face him after last night. I was drunk and probably shared a little too much. Fuck the keys.
I look around the tables from person to person. None of them would defy my dad and let me use their bike. No... I’m looking for one in particular. Going over to the bar next, I finally find Chap.
“Chap! Need a huge favor!” I flash my biggest smile.
“What’s up, dear?” He raises a brow.
“I need to borrow your bike. Please!” I put my hands together, pleading.
“Really, Cass? There are a million bikes here. Why’s it always have to be mine?” He chuckles.
“Because you’re the only one that lets me. Please! Please!”
“You’re lucky I like you.” He narrows his eyes jokingly, “Be careful, please. Prez hates that I let you take it.”
“Don’t worry about him! I’ll be back before he even knows I’m gone! Thank you, thank you!” I give him a quick hug and run upstairs to grab my bag.
I kick the stand up, about to take off when I hear my name repeatedly being called over the roar of the bike. I have no doubt it's Ghost, so I regretfully hit the kill switch. I’m not particularly wanting to talk to him right now, but I won’t be an ass and ignore him, either.
“What’s up, Ghost?” I yell over to him, putting the kickstand back down. I climb off and set the helmet back on the seat.
“Why aren’t you taking your car?”
“Oh, I couldn’t find my keys and haven’t been on a ride in a while, so here I am.” I shouldn’t lie, but I’m not about to just be like, ‘oh yeah, I’m avoiding you, sorry.’
“I can give you a ride?” He pauses for a second, “Well, I mean if you want.”
Fuck. Precisely what I was trying to avoid. I’m going to have to get over the embarrassment eventually, I guess, “Yeah, sure.” I squeak out.
“Really?” His eyes lit up with excitement.
“Well, why not?”
“Just wasn’t sure you’d want to.” He pulls at the back of his neck like he’s uncomfortable as we walk over to his bike.
“Why wouldn’t I?” I knew why I wouldn’t, but I hoped he didn’t.
“Not sure, I guess.” He throws his leg over the bike, handing me a helmet. I quickly fastened the strap and climbed on the back. Suddenly nervous, I hadn’t thought about the fact I’d have to hold on to him. Well, I guess I don’t have to, but I want to.
I’ve ridden with a few guys here at the club, but they’re all my dad’s age, and I’ve known my whole life.
This feels utterly different. It’s so different, to me at least. I’m sure he’s had plenty of girls on the back of his bike.
“You alright back there?” Ghost calls over the engine.
“Uh, yep. Sorry.” I shake the thoughts from my head and wrap my arms around him, my nerves washing away instantly. Guess I didn’t realize I was sitting here frozen while my mind went through an unnecessary frenzy.
“Where are we going, anyway?”
“Town, I need something for my head.”
“Got it.” He says, taking off out of the lot.
It probably isn’t the best idea to go for a ride with my head pounding as hard as it is. This is what I get for trying to avoid shit. Just fuck myself over more.
I can feel all of my worries melting away as we speed down the highway’s twists and turns. It’s been too long since I’ve gone for a ride.
The ride feels like it went by too fast when Ghost pulls into the grocery store parking lot, cutting the engine off.
“I’ve missed that. Thanks for bringing me.” I throw my leg over, climbing off.
“Anytime. There’s nothing better than being on a bike if you ask me.” He grins.
“Won’t argue that.” I say, placing the helmet on the seat, “I’ll be right back.”
“I’m coming.” He tells me, kicking the stand down and climbing off. “I need some shit.”
We walk through the sliding doors, and I instantly feel everyone’s eyes on us. I can tell Ghost notices, too, by the way his body stiffens.
“I’m going to go find something for my head. I’ll meet you back at your bike.”
“Works for me.” He sighs, lightly shaking his head.
I pass aisle after aisle until I finally find the pain reliever section. I take the box off the shelf and make my way toward the self-check-out lane. Throwing the box and receipt in the bag, I rush back to Ghost’s bike.
He isn’t back yet, so I pull my phone out, scrolling for Caden’s name. Pressing call, I listen to the line ring, again and again.
“Cass? What’s up?”
“Hey Cade, I was just checking on you guys. Dad said you were going to be home this morning?”
“Sorry, Cass. It’s looking more like late tonight, early morning.”
“No problem, just making sure you guys are alright.”
“All is good, sis. See you soon.” He says and disconnects.
I turn around to see Ghost strolling back to his bike, “Hey, you ready to go?” He says in a rush.
“Um, yeah. Are you in a hurry? I would have just come myself if you are.”
“Not really, no. I just can’t stand the way people were gawking at us like we had two fucking heads.”
“Yeah, you kind of get used to it, eventually. I remember the way people looked at me when I was little, shopping with my dad. They just have nothing better to do in this town.”
“Well, maybe they need to take up a fucking hobby instead.”
“Preaching to the choir, man,” I say, shaking my head, “So, are we going or just going to keep discussing the fine town folk?”
“Let’s go. Before I have to give them a reason to gawk.”
Ghost is going nearly twice the speed limit. I tap his shoulder a couple of times, motioning my hand to slow down, but he comes to a complete stop on a scenic pull-off.
“What’s wrong?” I pull my helmet off.
“Cass, I’m so sorry. I got lost in thought and completely forgot you were on the back.” He says sheepishly.
“Oh, it’s not a big deal. I just didn’t want you to get a ticket. There’s a cop that likes to sit up around the bend.”
“Either way, I shouldn’t have been going that fast with you. That was so stupid and reckless. One wrong move and I could have killed you!”
“Seriously, Ghost. It’s okay. I’ve done the same on this road plenty of times. That’s how I found out about the sneaky cop.” I let out a small laugh.
“I don’t know what the fuck it is about you, but suddenly, the logical side of me takes a vacation when you’re around. It’s frustrating.”
“I’m sorry... I didn’t know.” I whisper.
“I mean, it’s not your fault. I just don’t understand why you have this effect on me.”
“Let’s just go, please.”
“Damn it. I didn’t mean to upset you.” He sighs, bowing his head.
“I’m alright. My head is just killing me.” I lie, but I’m not about to have this type of conversation already with a guy I just met.