Maybe Just One More

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Chapter 17. Is This Illegal?

Stormie

“Stop being a wimp,” Avery teased.

“It’s so big, though,” I muttered.

“Come on. It’s not that big,” he said and laughed.

“It’s fucking huge, Avery,” I argued.

“Just get on,” he said. “It won’t hurt.”

“Until you hit a tree with it,” I muttered. I wasn’t happy about it, but I got onto the back of his motorcycle to please him.

“Remember what I told you?” he asked.

“Yes, if you lean right, I lean to the right. If you lean to the left, I should do the same,” I repeated quickly.

“And?”

“This helmet is heavy,” I grumbled. “You know if you were so confident that you weren’t going to wreck this damn thing, why do I need to wear this?” I asked. I pointed at the black helmet on my head. “Is this what you put all your dates through?”

He snorted. “What dates? You’re the only passenger I’ve ever had. That helmet is kind of like reassurance.”

“Then why don’t you wear one too?” I challenged.

He bit his lip and looked back at me. “I always wear a helmet...” he trailed off. “But that is the only one that I have.” There wasn’t a trace of humor in his eyes.

“Oh,” I breathed.

“Keep your feet up,” he said sternly.

“No problem,” I agreed. Like, I want to lose a leg at sixty miles an hour by touching my foot to the ground.

He kicked the bike to life and let his feet off the ground as the bike moved forward. He chuckled when I held onto him tighter.

Every nerve in my body woke out of a coma and shook with excitement or fear; I wasn’t sure which. Everything sped by quickly, and the wind fought against us and the bike. The motorcycle rumbled louder as Avery accelerated.

When we got into town, Avery weaved in and out of traffic.

I giggled.

He looked back at me and smiled. “Not bad, huh?”

“Watch the road,” I muttered.

He laughed and sped forward.

We started to drive out of Granbury. I wasn’t sure where we were going because he refused to tell me. It was driving me crazy.

“Babe, where are we going?” I asked.

“You’ll find out when we get there,” he said.

“You don’t even know, do you?” I teased.

“I know exactly where we’re going,” he said and chuckled.

I huffed and rested my chin on his shoulder. “I hate surprises,” I muttered.

“I know, but I love your reactions,” he said.

I rolled my eyes but smiled.

***

“It’s getting dark, Avery. You’re not taking me clear to Dallas, are you?” I asked.

“We’re almost there,” he promised.

The streets were dark, but the traffic was heavy. People that were getting off work were flooding the streets. Fort Worth was a hundred times the size of Granbury. The wind blew harder against us. I was glad that Avery talked me into wearing a coat.

We slowed down and turned into a parking lot. I looked up to see the name of the building. My eyes widened in shock.

Avery killed the bike.

I climbed off the bike and stared at the building for a moment. I turned back to Avery.

He was watching me curiously, probably waiting for my reaction. “Are we just going to stand here, or are we going to go inside?” he teased.

I opened my mouth to speak, but I couldn’t find words. My gaze flickered back to the building and back to him again. “Avery, I lost that bet. This wasn’t the deal,” I said.

“What bet?” he challenged.

The seriousness in his voice sent a shiver down my spine. I understood what he meant.

“I’d much rather do things your way,” he murmured. He gripped my chin between his thumb and finger. He pressed his lips to mine. “Come on,” he said. He grabbed my hand and pulled me to the entrance.

“It looks closed,” I said and stopped.

He turned back to me. “It is,” he said.

“Avery, oh my god. Are you insane?” I laughed. “We can’t break into a trampoline park.”

“We’re not,” he said and rolled his eyes. “I called in a favor.” Avery winked at me.

I stared at him, confused. “What?”

The door opened. My head snapped up. A man in his late twenties or early thirties appeared in the door frame. He was tall, and his brown hair was identical to Avery’s. His eyes were the same shape but brown instead of green. A realization came over me; this man looked almost identical to Cory, Avery’s dad.

“Don’t make a mess and don’t break anything,” the man said.

“Thanks,” Avery said.

“Call me when you’re done,” he said.

“Sure,” Avery agreed.

The guy turned around and left.

“Is this illegal?” I asked.

Avery laughed. “No, of course not. I’m an angel. I would never–”

“Avery,” I said sternly.

He chuckled. “I definitely would.”

“I know,” I said.

“Relax, baby. This isn’t, I promise. That was my uncle, Rob,” Avery said. “He owns this trampoline park. I know you said something about going to Dallas, but I figured you would rather come to where we could be alone than have a bunch of people around. This place gets busy as hell, trust me.”

“He’s your dad’s younger brother, isn’t he?” I asked.

“Yeah,” Avery said. Avery turned around and headed toward the counter. He turned on all the lights and turned on the music.

“Do you get along with him pretty good?” I asked.

“I got us in here alone, didn’t I?” Avery raised a brow.

I pursed my lips and nodded. “You just haven’t mentioned him before.”

“He reminds me of my dad the most. It’s hard to see him most of the time,” he said. “It’s getting easier.” He smiled. “Come on.”

We kicked our shoes off and climbed onto a big trampoline. We jumped from one side to the other, laughing as we went. Avery did a front flip and beat me to the end.

“Show off,” I muttered.

He laughed and sat down.

“What are you doing? You’re not tired already, are you?” I teased.

“That flip was rough,” he yawned.

“Whatever.” I nudged his foot with mine and laughed. “Get up.”

“Let me smoke this first.”

“You brought weed?” I gasped. “What if there is a camera?”

“Rob smokes too,” he said and chuckled. “Want some of my weed?” he wiggled his eyebrows.

“You’re such a goofball,” I told him and sat down. I took the blunt from him.

“Hey,” he whined.

I reached over and snatched the lighter. “Thanks,” I said and smiled.

“Only you could get away with snatching my blunt and lighter like that,” he said and chuckled. “I don’t usually share my weed. Your brother doesn’t even get free weed.”

I exhaled and fell over laughing. “See, now that part would be what would really piss him off if he knew,” I said.

“Yeah, let’s like leave that part out,” Avery said thoughtfully.

“What is it like to jump on a trampoline when you’re high?” I wondered.

“It’s scary as fuck,” Avery said and chuckled.

“Really?” I asked worriedly.

“Definitely,” he said.

“Have you tried it?” I asked.

“Yeah,” he said and chuckled. “How else would I know? I think you need to give me that blunt back.”

I laughed and handed him the blunt back. We shared it and laughed and talked about ridiculous things, which is what we usually did when we were high.

“Ew, you ate it,” I said.

“Well, I can’t throw it away. It’s just a roach. I’ve eaten them before. You can eat weed,” he said and shrugged.

“Interesting,” I murmured.

He crawled toward me with an expression I recognized.

“Does that weed go straight to your dick?” I teased.

He laughed. “I just kind of wonder what it would be like to have sex in a trampoline park.”

I arched my head back and laughed.

“Come on, strip for me,” he teased. “This is a way better idea than skinny dipping.” Avery placed himself between my legs and hovered over me.

“I still have rug burn on my knees from four days ago,” I reminded him. “I don’t need it on my back too. Besides, I’m pretty sure that nobody believed me about how I got rug burn on my knees. Thanks very much.”

He gave me a devious smile and pressed his lips to mine. “You didn’t even notice that rug burn until the next day,” he teased.

“Mm,” I hummed. “I might have been a little distracted.”

“A little?” he smirked.

“A lot, okay? Stop bragging,” I said and chuckled.

He kissed up my jaw and down my neck. “You think I’m distracting?” he whispered. “Imagine things the other way around. I can’t even throw a damn football the right way when you’re watching.”

“You play good all the time,” I said and rolled my eyes.

“Right, except for when you’re angry at me. That never happens except with you,” he said and looked into my eyes.

“Are you saying I mess your head up?” I arched a brow.

“Definitely,” he agreed.

“Why the hell would you want to be with me then?” I asked. All joking was gone between us. I propped myself up on my elbows and stared into his eyes. My nose was nearly touching his. Both our breathing was erratic.

“It’s hard to explain,” he murmured. “Maybe, I like that you mess my head up. You make me feel a way that nobody else does. With you, it’s like this constant adrenaline rush, and you’re so unpredictable. I never know if what I say or do will make you laugh or make you mad.”

“People say that opposites don’t usually work out,” I said. Sadness seeped into my voice.

“I don’t believe that,” he argued. “You balance me out. We don’t always agree, and that keeps it interesting. You hate it when I don’t take things seriously, and I’ve gotten better at being serious. When I’m angry, you make me laugh, which is hard because I got a bad temper.”

“I know,” I chuckled.

“You’re not easily amused, so I’m always trying to think of ways to keep you amused,” he said and looked around.

I threw my head back and laughed. “So, all this to keep me interested?”

He shrugged. “If it wasn’t interesting, what reason would you or I have to stick around? It’s the boring couples that don’t work out,” he said and smiled. “I love chasing you.”

“You’re crazy,” I murmured. I tangled my fingers in his hair and pressed my lips to his.

***

“Get me a Pepsi,” Mason said.

“Get it yourself, lazy ass,” I said and threw a pillow at my brother. I kept my phone up to my nose and continued to read. I had kindle and used it often to read books.

“Are you reading again?” Mason scoffed. “Is it fun for you?”

“You know if you weren’t such a dumb big jock and tried it sometime instead of making fun of people for reading, you might actually realize it’s fun, okay? Okay,” I snapped and rolled my eyes.

“What got into you?” Mason asked.

My imagination ran wild when he asked me that question. I considered what he would do or say if I told him Avery was what got into me. I chuckled and shook my head at the thought.

“You’re a little weirdo,” Mason said and shook his head.

There was a knock on the door. Neither of us moved.

“Are you going to get that?” Mason asked.

“Of course, why not? God knows you’re not walking five feet to the damn door!” I jumped up and stomped over to the door. I threw it open, and my eyes widened. “What are you doing here?” I murmured.

He took a deep breath and stepped inside. “I need a favor,” he said.

“Hey,” Mason said to Avery.

Avery didn’t look at Mason as he spoke. “Hey,” he paused. “I need you to watch Austin for me.” Avery’s eyes swept over my body.

I bit my lip and took a step back. I was surprised by how he was acting. “Uh, oh, okay?” I stuttered.

“What’s going on?” Mason asked.

Avery finally broke our stare and looked over at Mason. “Mom had to work a double shift, and I didn’t know. I have to go to Dallas tonight. I’m completely out, and people need more by tomorrow.”

“Do you want me to come?” Mason offered.

“No, man, that’s fine. I have to help my uncle package some of it. It’s not ready,” he explained. “I might not even be back tonight.” Avery looked back down at me. “You might have to stay.”

“Sure,” I said and shrugged. “Just let me grab an extra set of clothes.”

“Sure,” he said.

When I came back downstairs, Avery was gone. “Where did he go?” I asked Mason.

“Probably in the truck waiting for you. He walked out when you went upstairs. Do you know what is up with him lately?” Mason asked.

Me–I thought to myself, but there was no way I would say that out loud. I knew I had to think quickly, and I had to have the correct reaction, or it would make Mason more suspicious. I scoffed, “Shouldn’t it be your job to know what crawls up Avery’s ass? He’s your friend. How the hell should I know?” I rolled my eyes. “I guess I’ll see you tomorrow.”

“Whatever, see ya,” Mason said and shrugged.

It wasn’t unusual for me to watch Austin. It was unusual for Avery to brush my brother off like that. It was unusual for Avery to ask me to watch Austin instead of Rachel. I climbed up into the truck and stared at Avery in disbelief.

“What?” he asked.

“Have you hit your head too many times playing football? What the fuck was that?” I asked. My eyes searched his for the answer.

He shrugged. “I don’t know what you mean,” he said, confused.

“Just drive,” I muttered and leaned back in the seat.

Avery sighed and threw the truck in reverse. He drove up to the house and put it into park. “I really have to go. I’ll see you later,” he said.

“Fine,” I said. I jumped out of the truck and shut the door harder than necessary. Maybe there really was something up with Avery.


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