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Motorcycle Man

By:Kristen Ashley

fe and therefore did tequila shots with them and then had hours of wild, crazy, delicious, fantastic sex with them.

That was not me at all.

I was not the kind of person who lived life like Tack did. I was thirty-five and I had lived a careful, quiet, risk-free life. I weighed decisions. I measured pros versus cons. I wrote lists. I made plans. I organized. I thought ahead. I never took one step where I wasn’t absolutely certain where my foot would land. And if I found myself in a situation that was unsure, I exited said situation, pronto.

Until two months ago when I looked at my life and the toxic people in it and I knew I had to get out.

So I got out. I didn’t plan it. I didn’t measure the pros and cons. I didn’t organize my exit strategy. I didn’t think ahead. When I’d had the epiphany and realized where I was, how dangerous it was, how unhealthy it was, I had no idea where I’d land when I jumped off the ride that was my life. I just straightened from my desk chair at work, grabbed my personal belongings, shoved them in a box and walked out. I didn’t even tell my boss I was going. I just went.

And I didn’t go back.

For the next two months I bought the paper every Wednesday and opened it to the want ads section. On each page of the want ads, I closed my eyes and pointed. If I was qualified for the job my finger touched, I applied for it.

That was the extent of my plan.

My best friend Lanie thought I was nuts. I couldn’t say she was wrong. I had no idea what I was doing, why I was doing it, where I was going and what would happen once I got there.

All I knew was that I had to do it.

So I was.

Now I was here and here was where I decided I needed to be. I’d spent all day the day before trying to figure out if I should show for my new job or not. I’d screwed everything up, literally, and I hadn’t even started the job yet. I didn’t want to see Tack. I never wanted to see him again. The very thought was so humiliating, I felt my skin burning and I had that very thought nearly constantly since I slid out of his bed, dressed and, mortified, slithered out of his room.

But I had been out of work for two months. I had a nest egg but I also had a mortgage. I had to find employment. I had to start my life again. Whatever I was supposed to be doing, I had to do it. Whatever I needed to find, I had to find it.

There was no going back now. I’d jumped out of the roller coaster at the top of the crest, just before it took the plunge and I was falling.

I had to land sometime and it was here that I was going to land.

So I’d been a slut. There were lots of sluts out there, hundreds of thousands of them. Maybe millions. They went to work every day and some of them surely went to a workplace where there were people with whom they’d had sex. They probably didn’t blink. Their skin probably didn’t burn with mortification. They probably didn’t care. They probably just found a new workmate or random guy that made their heart beat faster and their skin tingle with excitement and then they slept with him. They probably liked it. No, they probably loved it.

That was part of life, wasn’t it? That was part of living, right? You did stupid stuff because it felt good and if you screwed up, you moved on. Everyone did that. Everyone.

Now, even me.

And damn it, I’d been on a scary, freaky roller coaster for a long freaking time. That whole time, I had my eyes closed and ignored the scary, freaky stuff that was happening around me. I was too scared to open my eyes and take a risk on life.

No more of that.

So I slept with my boss. Who cared?

I sucked in a deep breath, hitched my purse on my shoulder, threw the door to my car open and got out. Then I looked around the space. It was early and clearly bikers didn’t do early. There was no one there. There was a line of bikes, five of them parked in front of the compound, which was a long, rectangular building to the side of the forecourt separating the garage from the auto supply store. There was a beat up pickup truck parked behind the auto supply store. Nothing else. No movement. No sound.

Eloise was supposed to meet me at eight to show me the ropes. I figured I was early but I walked up the steps and tried the door anyway. It was locked. I turned to face the forecourt and looked at my watch. Seven minutes to eight.

I’d wait.

I took my purse off my shoulder, dug my cell out, flipped it open, slid my purse straps back over my shoulder and texted Lanie.

I’m here.

Approximately five seconds later, Lanie texted back.

OMG! Why? Are you nuts?

I’d told my best friend about the motorcycle club party I’d attended and I’d told her about my new boss’s slam, bam, thank you ma’am. I did this in an attempt to stop my skin from burning when I thought of it because every girl knew, a problem shared with her best friend was a problem lost. Though, I’d learned a new life lesson and this was that those problems mostly were discussions of what to wear on first dates or whether or not you should invest in that fabulous wrought iron wine rack from Pottery Barn and not the fact that you’d had a one night stand with your new boss. I learned this because even after sharing with Lanie, it didn’t help.

Lanie was of a mind that I shouldn’t show at my new job and what I should do was my want ad finger pointing thing for another two months, or twelve, just as long as I never entered Tack’s breathing space again. Then again, Lanie had a really good job as an advertising executive and was living with her fiancé, Elliott. She didn’t have to worry about her nest egg depleting not only because she was talented, in great demand and therefore made a more than decent salary but also because Elliott was a genius computer programmer and made big bucks. Huge. She was spending ten thousand dollars on flowers alone for her wedding. Their catering budget sent my heart into spasm. And her dress cost more than my car.

My thumb went ac

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