Authors: Lexi Archer
Okay, so maybe he was sensible enough to wear a t-shirt in this hot weather, but it looked like he was still enjoying some of the traditional biker wardrobe.
He turned to me and smiled, a million watt smile that nearly knocked me on my ass. I didn’t know what to do, didn’t know what to say. I felt a flush rising in my cheeks, felt a flush moving across my chest which was thankfully hidden by my ice cream shop sweater. I also felt a flush it down between my legs, and I was very thankful that this guy couldn’t see that.
The sweater. I was standing here covered in ice cream thanks to Madison’s klutziness. This gorgeous guy was standing on the other side of the window looking at me covered in sticky chocolate and toppings. Damn it Madison!
This guy had the face of a model. Chiseled, perfectly sculpted, and by the way he was smiling and carried himself he knew it. Just a hint of cockiness that was so damned sexy.
“This guy was trying to threaten us into giving him something without paying,” I said.
My hand went to my mouth as soon as I said it. These biker types tended to stick together, and how would this amazing hottie react to me disparaging one of his brothers in their biker gang? A scowl fell across his face and I figured we were only moments away from another blowup, only moments away from those visions I had of the ice cream shack being ripped apart by bikers.
But the scowl was reserved for the guy who was trying to get the free ice cream. My rescuer spoke in a quiet voice.
“Is this true?”
The older guy’s mouth worked silently for a moment. He was trying to get words out, but nothing was coming.
“I was just having a little fun…”
“I know exactly what kind of “fun” you like to have with the businesses on the boardwalk Earl. Give this girl her money and don’t let me see you bothering them again.”
Now it was time for the old guy’s eyes to narrow, time for him to scowl at my rescuer. Only as he was scowling my rescuer casually moved his hands over his head in a seemingly innocent stretch. He yawned as he put his fists together and cracked them, a crack that sounded as loud as ice splitting a tree in the middle of winter. Or at least what I heard ice splitting a tree in the middle of winter sounded like. Growing up near the beach, we didn’t really get much ice in the trees.
The old guy went from scowling to wide-eyed again, and then he was fishing in his pocket. He threw a wad of cash on the counter and disappeared with a roar from his bike.
I looked down at the wad of cash. We didn’t even give him ice cream! I leaned out the window even though I knew he was long gone and it was useless to try.
“Sir! You didn’t even get anything!”
I felt something huge, strong, and impossibly warm wrap around my hand. Fireworks ran up and down my body as I looked up and locked eyes with my rescuer, his hand wrapped around my own. He gently pulled my fingers apart, plucked the cash out of my hand, and put it in the tip jar sitting out on the front counter just inside of the window.
“Just consider this a tip for his rude behavior ma’am,” he said.
I blushed, and I was also surprised that he would call me ma’am. He was gorgeous, he was cocky, he exuded the confidence of a much older man, but for all that he didn’t look much older than me. He wouldn’t have been out of place at a house party on campus. Except I guess in one respect he’d be a little out of place. Guys at those parties liked to act tough, liked to act like they were cock of the walk. Only they were mere puppies compared to the wolf that I saw in this man.
I blushed and looked down again, barely managing to mumble out a response.
I looked up and he was grinning, though there was something else there. Something odd. A look I’d seen plenty of times before, but it was odd seeing it coming from this delectable biker standing before me. His eyes glanced up and down, so quick that I would’ve missed it if I hadn’t been looking right at him, and I got even wetter. I was glad I’d been working on my tan before school got out, because otherwise it would’ve been painfully obvious that I was turning as red as a beet. It would’ve been a painfully obvious just how much this encounter with this wonderful man was turning me on.
Turning me on? Well, if I was going to be perfectly honest with myself then I guess that was exactly what was going on. He was gorgeous, he was a dangerous, and he did just step in and save me while everyone else in the Freeze Hut was hiding in the back refusing to deal with the bikers.
Yeah, suddenly I was thinking this biker was pretty damn sexy.
He leaned against the counter. “I’m Reno, by the way.”
I giggled. Giggled! Part of it was because of just how ridiculous that name sounded. It sounded like a name some kid would choose because they were trying to sound tough. But that wasn’t the only reason I was giggling.
What was wrong with me? This guy leans against the counter, smiles, tells me his name, and suddenly I’m giggling like I’m back in middle school with my first crush on a guy? What was this man doing to me?
“Nice to meet you Reno,” I said. “Can I help you?”
His hand was still encircling mine, large, powerful, and driving me absolutely wild. Suddenly he wasn’t holding my hand. He traced a finger along the top of my hand causing my hair to stand on end, causing a tingle to run down my spine, causing an even more delightful tingle to rise again between my legs. I took a deep gasping breath and tried to control myself.
“Oh I don’t know,” Reno said in that deliciously deep voice. “I bet you have something that I want here.”
I blushed and looked down. The intensity of his gaze, the way he was staring at me, the way his eyes ran up and down my body as he said that. It left absolutely no doubt into in my mind as to exactly what it was he wanted. Only it was so wrong. It was so forbidden.
If I even breathed a word to my parents that I found myself attracted to a biker on the beach they’d threaten to keep me at home for the rest of the summer. Which I suppose was a great way to get out of working for the summer, but that would also mean no more having fun at the beach with my friends. No more going out to the mall. Basically no more fun until I got back to school in the fall.
I had to get control of the situation. I took a deep breath, forced myself to meet his gaze even though it was making me weak in the knees.
“Is there anything on the menu I can get for you?”
Reno chuckled, a deep rumble that made me feel lightheaded as I listened to it. Damn. Just listening to the caress of his voice was nearly enough to make me cream in my pants! Who was this man and how was he able to do this to me?
“How about a vanilla cone and your phone number?”
I was going through the motions of ringing him up at the cash register before everything he said finally sank in and registered in my brain. I blinked and looked up to him, not quite trusting myself that I’d actually heard him say what I thought I heard him say.
“I said I’d like a vanilla cone and your phone number. I didn’t think that would be too much to ask.”
Oh my God. It was definitely a good thing that I was wearing a long-sleeved shirt here in the Freeze Hut. If I was in a tank top or one of my swimsuits then he’d be able to see me turning bright red from top to bottom. It didn’t matter how tan I was. The blush was just that intense. The dizzying mix of feelings coursing through my body were that incredible.
“But you don’t even know my name!”
Damn it. Smooth. Real smooth. An incredibly sexy biker asks me for my phone number and the best thing I can think of is that he doesn’t know my name? It was oblivious behavior like that, smooth comebacks like that, that made me miss out on dates with some of the hottest guys in school back in high school, and it appeared that a year of college hadn’t done anything for me despite all the practice I got while I was away at school.
“So what’s your name?”
“Kylie,” I said.
He grinned, a grin that melted my heart and set my body on fire.
“Nice to meet you Kylie,” he said. “Now how about that ice cream and that phone number?”
My mouth worked silently. I tried to think of something smooth to say, but nothing came out. Part of me was surprised that this incredibly sexy man would be interested in my phone number in the first place. Another part of me was thinking about how my parents would kill me if they knew I’d given a biker my phone number. And I had no doubt in my mind that they’d find out soon enough thanks to Mr. Reynolds standing behind me watching. One of the problems of going to work for an old family friend.
I hated myself for doing it, but there was no way I was giving this man my phone number.
“You can have the ice cream,” I said. “Hold the digits.”
His face slipped for a moment but then the smile was back. I had to admit he was good. Not that I expected anything less from a smooth operator like this who could casually walk up and threaten one of his fellow bikers in one breath and then ask for my phone number in the next. I had a feeling there were hidden depths to this man, hidden depths that I wouldn’t have minded exploring if it was another time. Another place. If he was anything but what he was.
I was about to ring him up, about to go get his ice cream, when to my surprise Mr. Reynolds appeared at the register.
“I’ll take over from here Kylie,” Mr. Reynolds said. “I need you to go to the back and help with the stock.”
I glanced between Reno and Mr. Reynolds. A part of me didn’t want to leave. A part of me very much wanted to extend my interaction with this gorgeous creature for as long as possible. If I wasn’t going to give him my phone number, if I wasn’t going to get to see him again, then at the very least I wanted to spend as much time as possible at this window basking in his presence.
With a sigh and one last quick smile for Reno I turned and made my way towards the back. The girls were all waiting and they started shrieking as I made my way into the stockroom.
“Oh my God Kylie!” Madison said. “Did you see that guy?”
I tried to play it off casual. Tried to act like I didn’t really care. The last thing I wanted was for the girls at the Freeze Hut to think I was interested in that biker stud. It just wasn’t appropriate.
“Yeah, he was okay,” I said.
“Okay?” Madison asked. “That had to be the most gorgeous man I’ve ever seen. What was he like?”
I shrugged. “I don’t know. He was nice enough.”
“So did he say anything to you?” Courtney asked.
Again I decided to play it casual. Decided to act like it was no big deal even though my heart was still beating fast, even though my breath was still coming in quick gasps, even though I could still feel the heat of my blush and the heat of something so much naughtier than a simple blush between my legs.
“Oh he didn’t have much to say. He just wanted my phone number,” I said.
More shrieking, to the point that I was seriously worried I was going to go deaf if they did that many more times. The Freeze Hut wasn’t that big, and the storeroom in the back was positively cramped compared to the rest of the place. Those shrieks created an echo that was downright earsplitting. I put a finger to my ear and twisted it just to make sure everything was still working correctly.
“You slut!” Madison said.
“So did you give him your number?” Courtney asked.
Madison rolled her eyes and turned to face Courtney with hands on her hips. “Of course goody-two-shoes here didn’t give him her number! He’s hot, but he’s with those bikers.”
I bit back the smart comment that came to mind. Madison had no idea, but the last thing I needed was to get in an argument with her in the stockroom.
“I don’t know,” Courtney said. “Maybe he could take you for a ride!”
My mouth dropped open. That was the last thing I would’ve expected from Courtney.
“Courtney! That’s not appropriate!”
“So if that hunk was up there trying to hit on you then what are you doing back here?” Madison asked.
I glanced over my shoulder. “I think Mr. Reynolds picked up on that biker hitting on me and didn’t like it so he sent me back here,” I said.
Madison sighed a wistful sigh and it was clear her mind was somewhere else. Probably at the front of the store where that hunky biker had been, imagining what it would’ve been like if she was the one up there having him ask for her phone number. She probably would have given her digits over, but she didn’t have my dad to contend with.
“Well whatever,” I said. “If Mr. Reynolds is going to hold down the fort up front while the bikers are out there then we might as well get some work done back here.”
“You always were a party pooper Kylie,” Courtney said.
I tried to concentrate on work. I tried to concentrate on restocking the shelves. Only it was difficult to concentrate on anything. The walls in the Freeze Hut were notoriously thin, Mr. Reynolds apparently didn’t believe in insulation even though it’d probably save him a fortune since he spent so much on air conditioning and freezers, so I heard every rumble of a bike’s engine as they went past on the boardwalk outside.
And every time a bike rumbled past, shaking the walls, we all looked up. I could think of nothing but Reno, how incredibly hot he’d been. How he’d ask me for my number and I’d just casually shot him down.