Prologue: Where He and I Began
“Do you...always hang out in abandoned train yards?” Naomi had only been mildly aware of his presence, but when tall, dark, and brooding sat beside her on the rusty mechanism, she couldn’t take her eyes off him. If her silence bothered him, he didn’t let it show. He pulled a cigarette from his back pocket and gave it a light. After taking a puff, he turned his smokey, hazel eyes to her and practically moaned, “Want a hit? You look like you’re looking for some excitement. I’m happy to help you out, or we can just chill in silence. Either way, I’m good baby.” His sensual voice was intoxicating, like a warlock hexing his prey. She wanted him.
“I want it...a hit I mean,” she finds herself saying. “I want to determine if the cancer is worth it.” She takes the little white stick from between his fingers and takes a long drag like she’d seen people do in the movies. She felt the toxins filling her lungs and had the urge to cough, but somehow she felt he’d like it if she held it in. She managed to blow out a nearly perfect puff, and coolly handed it back. “Interesting...but not really my speed. Thanks.”
He watched her intently, a slight smirk forming at the corners of his mouth. “You’re a naughty girl trapped in a good girl’s body.”
She laughs slightly. “Hardly. This is the most scandalous thing I’ve done in my sixteen years of life. I’m boring and mediocre. I don’t have any worthy friends, and no man has ever desired me in the slightest, so hanging out in the abandoned train yards of Boulder is about all I have to do when I’m not at school or work.”
“Bullshit.” Naomi looks at him with raised eyebrows as he takes a long drag of his cigarette. Tossing it to the ground, he finally turns his attention to her as he elaborates. “There’s no way you’re boring or even close to being mediocre. If you think no man has ever been interested in you, then you clearly haven’t been paying attention. I think there’s more to you than you even know.”
He stands up, revealing his full profile. His skinny jeans and slim-fit tank reveal the hints of a toned, well-endowed body. His varsity jacket and Converse kicks allude to his bad-boy style. His hair is messy and unkempt; yet is delicately refined. However, his most alluring quality is certainly those yummy eyes and teasing smile that he offers to her so effortlessly. She needs him.
“If you’re so sure, then prove it. Introduce me to this naughty girl you presume is inside of me. I doubt you’ll succeed though. Naomi Daniels isn’t anybody’s bad girl. She isn’t anything.”
She watches as his eyes narrow and darken with a mysterious lust for more than her body. His intense gaze seems to desire her life.
He takes her hand carefully into his and leads her along. They remain silent until they reach an off-road jeep. “Are you sure you want to do this? If I’m wrong, I fear you’ll break beyond repair.”
She can tell his words are meant to be a warning and for a moment, she thinks she’d be wise to heed it. Naomi Daniels doesn’t do such scandalous things as go home with a boy she just met. She doesn’t lust for him more with every passing second. She certainly doesn’t fantasize about him ripping off her clothes and taking her in the backseat of his truck. Naomi Daniels is a good girl that never steps out of line. She makes her mother’s proud by being a girl that no one sees at all; perfectly unknown.
So it comes as quite the surprise to she and him both when Naomi says, “I’ve never wanted anything more in my life. Besides, you can’t break something that’s already broken, so it’s all good.”
His eyes seem to flicker with excitement. With nothing more to say from either of them, he helps her climb up into his truck and hopping into the driver’s seat, he kicks it into high gear.
As they ride along the rugged road to the backdrop of Colorado’s terrain, Naomi observes him more closely. His face is narrow and defined, but there’s a fullness to it. His pale skin appears soft and his muscles toned, but not overbearing. His lips are thin but have volume and are surrounded by a light stubble, which extends along his chin and jaw as well. His charcoal hair only serves to amplify his dark features and suggests a maturity to him, yet he appears young. This observation triggers a thought.
“How old are you?” He seems amused by her sudden question.
“You’ve come this far only to just now think to ask that? To be honest, I’d expected you to ask my name first. Or were these details secondary to your main objective?” He says with a grin.
“My main objective? Please don’t make my boredom seem so scandalous. I don’t know what you’re thinking, but I’m not so loose as to give myself to the first handsome guy who gives me a little attention. I’m simply curious to see where things will go.”
He laughs out loud. “You really ought to be more honest with yourself Naomi, but well...whatever. I don’t dislike this kind of thing.” He fingers through his hair with one hand, making him that much more sexy. Naomi must stop herself from staring.
“The name’s Adam, Adam McKinnis. I just made 18 last week as it were, and I’ll be headed to Denver U come the Fall. Not to brag or anything, but I’ve been offered a full ride to play for their baseball team. Pretty sweet deal honestly, and it helps my mom.”
“Wow, that’s impressive. The most I’ve ever accomplished is winning a music competition by naming the songs of famous producers and their artists. Even then, it’s not like it was that impressive, since I kind of had an advantage with my mom being a legit music producer. That’s not interesting though, I’m sorry.”
“It’s remarkably interesting Naomi, tell me more. What’s your dad do?”
“It’s really not though, but ok. Uhm...I wouldn’t know what my dad does though, I don’t have one.” She notices his puzzled look. “What I mean is...my dad is unknown to me. It’s only ever been my mom and my mother. My mother is kind of the same as a dad might be as far as discipline and heading the household go, but she’s still very much a woman. She’s...tough and overbearing most of the time, but I can’t help but admire her. She started as a freelance graphic artist, and now she’s the head of a big-name graphic design company she started from the ground up and has even published a series of graphic novels of her own making.”
“That’s pretty sweet. Definitely more interesting than baseball.”
“I guess but having two successful parents can be...difficult. They expect so much of me and it’s stressful. I must wonder if anything I do might reflect badly on them somehow or become a burden. They love me I know, but they don’t have time to waste on me or my messes. Therefore, I’m always expected to be on my best behavior and maintain a level of discretion. Essentially, I can be seen, but not heard. I must be perfect.”
“Sounds like a tough life. It must be stifling to deal with that.”
“It’s not so bad, really. I mean, I have everything I could want and need. I share in their prosperity and already have a successful future laid out for me. I can’t complain. Others have it worse.”
His eyes appear to darken slightly, but he keeps his smile. “Cool.”
Naomi feels that maybe she shouldn’t pry but takes a chance. “So tell me a bit about your life then. You mentioned your full ride making things easier on your mom, should I take that to mean it’s just you and her at home? Do you not have a dad either?”
He’s quiet for a moment, but finally responds. “Yea, it’s been my mom and I since I was about five. My dad died in an unfortunate accident and it forced my mom to have to go out and work to support us. I’ve watched her struggle working three jobs just to make ends meet and provide for me. She even saved up enough for my first year of college, but I couldn’t let her do everything. I took advantage of her willingness to pay for my baseball practice and became the best on my team. A recruiter took notice in my final game before graduation and that was it. I was offered a full ride and I insisted that my mom use my tuition money she’d saved for herself. Now she only works one job and has a more relaxing life. That’s worth more than any of that other stuff.”
“Wow, it sounds like you have a great mom. She obviously loves you very much.” The conversation dies naturally, and there’s a silence between them until the car finally comes to a stop. Looking outside the window, Naomi notices that they are not at a residence as she was expecting, but rather a local dive. “Uhm....”
“What, were you expecting something else? You naughty girl.”
He smirks in amusement and her cheeks become red, though it looks more like a pink rose considering her tanned complexion. “I wasn’t expecting anything. I told you, I’m just tagging along.”
Adam looks at the young girl before him. Her body is petite, but curvaceous; her jeans and cami giving him a satisfactory glimpse. Her auburn curls are twisted into tight braids along her scalp and transition into thick coils below her neckline. Her luscious lips are plump and inviting, second only to her calm mocha eyes. He wanted her, but he knew that her current beauty only scratched the surface of what she’d become. He silently decides that he will savor her mind and nourish her soul for now. Her body will surely be worth the wait. When that day comes, he will make her his.
“So... what are we doing here?” She sounds more annoyed than she intended. Though she’s also relieved. She needs to slow down.
“What young girls like yourself should be doing, having fun. I thought it might be good for you to get a taste of the city.”
“I appreciate the thought, but I didn’t bring any money.”
“Not a problem. I can’t very well ask the girl to put out on the first date. What kind of man would I be? I’ll pay for our day; you can just pay me with your time. I want to know more about you Nai.”
She blushes again, this time at his casual use of the nickname only her mom ever uses. “Fine, I suppose I could give you a little time, but I have to be back by eight, or mother will give me hell.”
“Don’t worry baby, I’ll make sure you get home safe and sound. Don’t worry about a thing. Despite how I may seem, I’m a very responsible and respectable guy. I’m sure they’d love me.”
He takes her hand again and she allows him to drag her along. She’s not sure where this is going, but she found herself wanting to know more about Adam McKinnis.