Authors: Marissa Knight
This is a work of fiction. Any names, characters, places, and incidents are products of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously and are not to be construed as real. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, organizations, or persons--living or dead--is entirely coincidental.
BURNING DOWN THE HOUSE copyright @ 2015 by MARISSA KNIGHT. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission except in the case of brief quotations embedded in critical articles or reviews.
Burning Down the House
Well, Jake was gone – again. After six years of marriage, Melanie Craven was tired of her husband going to Afghanistan. He was a civil servant, for God’s sake; he didn’t
to go over there. But he took off every chance he got to go help train soldiers on the equipment. It was old now. She was worn out from worrying about him for months on end. She was lonely most nights, especially now that she was living in a motel. Maybe it would be easier once she had her own home to care for while he was gone.
Melanie glanced over at the house in progress set on eight acres of land in the middle of nowhere. Theirs was the first house to be built in this subdivision, and there wasn’t another building for about a half a mile. The exterior walls had just been installed when all work had come to a screeching halt.
was the only question she’d had for the builder. His answer: His mother was gravely ill, and it would be at least two weeks before they could continue on the job. Well, she really couldn’t deny him taking time off because she herself was moving to be closer to her mother.
Now, as she stood there watching his newer model truck leave a cloud of dust on the dirt road, she heard a rumbling sound that grew louder until a gang of motorcyclists soared by on the highway about a half-mile away.
Her mind wandered down the road with the bikers. If only she could just pick up and leave like Jake did, like the bikers did. But she had commitments – like her job and visiting her mother in the nursing home in town. If there was nothing else people could say about her, they always admitted that she kept her commitments. And, of course, she had Jake. Loyalty meant everything to her; it wasn’t just a word in her vocabulary. Still, just once, she would like to abandon everything and have an adventure, even if it was just a short adventure. She was desperately tired of being the “good girl.”
Melanie sank onto a temporary wooden step leading to the front porch.
, she thought,
at least two extra weeks in a motel.
She would go absolutely stir-crazy. Yes, she had her part-time job and her mother, but the rest of the time would be torturous on her sanity.
Two motorcycles roared past on their way into town, and Melanie absently wondered if they were from the gang who had just gone by in the other direction. Maybe somebody had forgotten something. Maybe they had changed their minds about where they were headed. Or maybe they were just two cyclists out for a Friday ride, possibly starting the weekend early.
Melanie rose and wandered toward her old, nearly worn-out Jeep Wrangler that she used only to go to and from the building site. Starting it, she pulled out of the long driveway onto the dirt road which led to the main highway. On the way into town, the Jeep began to sputter so she shifted into a different gear. Then the engine cut off altogether. Glad that she didn’t have an automatic transmission, she guided the disabled vehicle to the shoulder of the two-lane highway.
Without hesitating, Melanie called the American Automobile Association for a tow into town. She knew nothing about cars, so there was no use in even trying to check under the hood. Instead, she leaned back the driver’s seat and closed her eyes to rest until the tow truck got there.
A few minutes later the sound of motorcycles approaching again blazed into her ears. She absently wondered why, all of a sudden, there were motorcycles all over the road when there rarely were before. Maybe it was just because the weather was warming now that spring had arrived. Damn! The engines of the motorcycles stopped. That could only mean one thing: they wanted to see if they could help her. If she ignored them and pretended to be asleep, maybe they would go away.
“Excuse me, miss.” The man’s voice was deep and silky and almost made Melanie open her eyes. “Miss? Are you okay?”
Still she remained silent. Hopefully, they would think she was sleeping. To her dismay, a strong, masculine hand grasped her shoulder and shook her gently.
“Miss! Answer me.”
He shook her harder but didn’t hurt her. Then his voice became frantic, and he yanked open the passenger door. Obviously, ignoring him wasn’t going to send him on his way. It was only going make him stay longer, so she opened her eyes. The man’s face was right in front of hers, and she started with surprise. For a moment, she saw a bright smile come to his lips, but then her gaze moved to his eyes – bright blue eyes that shone with merriment.
“I’m sorry,” he said, “but you scared the hell out of me when you didn’t respond. I thought you were unconscious at the very least.”
Melanie smiled up at him. “I’m fine.” His face was so close to hers that she could smell the peppermint on his breath, mixed with the cologne he wore. Blond hair hung in those bewitching eyes that forced her to stare into them as though they held her by force. His closeness sent her mind reeling with unexpected desire. She didn’t want him to move away because he was probably the best looking man she’d ever seen in her life – at least in person.
Struggling to regain her composure, she shifted in her seat. If he wanted to, all he had to do was kiss her, and she would probably turn to mush. She needed to discourage him because her husband would return, and her guilt at having kissed another man would consume her. She’d never done anything considered a great sin – or even a minor one. But oh, how she wanted this man to kiss her! And what if Jake found out? He would be devastated.
“You look a bit dazed,” he said in concern.
Dazed by your good looks
, she thought. But aloud she said, “I’m fine. Would you mind backing up so I have some space?”
To her dismay, he did as she requested, his face reddening in embarrassment. “Sorry.”
Melanie pulled the switch to bring the back of her seat forward and smiled at him. What an odd thing to see, a man with a scraggly blond beard in a biker jacket blushing. It made him seem less threatening.
“What are you doing taking a nap on the side of the road?”
“Waiting for a tow truck. Stupid old junk heap here broke down not a mile from the new house.”
“Want me to take a look at it?”
“No, thank you. I’ll probably just junk it, anyway. I just didn’t want to drive my good car back and forth to a construction zone.”
“Makes sense,” he said. “Well, I guess I’ll get back on the road. I have some people to meet up with.”
It was then that Melanie noticed there was only one motorcycle this time. Was he going to meet the gang who had gone by a while ago? Would he take her along so she could have her adventure if she asked him to?
Somehow she managed to respond to his statement, but it was difficult getting out the words. “Thank you for your concern. I’m sorry to have held you up. Have a good trip.”
With a smile, the man nodded and headed toward his motorcycle as he donned his helmet. The back of his leather jacket had words sprawled across it in a half-circle: Skull Crackers. Below that was a logo of a skull with two fists hitting to it. A shiver rushed through her. The message was ominous, despite how kind he had been to her.
He stopped and came back to the Jeep, opening the passenger door and getting in without her permission.
“Thought I should stay and wait with you,” he said with a grin. “You shouldn’t be waiting out here alone.”
Suddenly, her nerves shouted for her to be careful. Her mind shouted for her to think of Jake. But she didn’t want to. She wanted to see what would happen if they spent any time together. “I’ll be fine.”
He doffed his shiny dark blue helmet and tossed it into the back seat. The action revealed a tousled mass of blond waves that came to just below his ears. She couldn’t believe how such an unkempt mop could heighten her attraction to him, but it did. Her gaze went to his full lips. Man, she would love to run a fingertip across them.
“Like what you see?” he taunted.
She cleared her throat and stared down at her hands. How could she possibly respond to such a question?
Laying his fingers under her chin, he lifted her head and turned it toward him. “Wanna take them for a test run?”
Melanie was shocked, but at the same time she was intrigued. This man was offering to kiss her without even knowing her name. Although, it
be an adventure. In the grand scheme of things, kissing a man other than her husband wasn’t much of a sin. Was it?
Forcing herself to speak, she said, “You don’t even know my name. And I don’t know yours.”
“No names. What do you want to do to my lips?”
“Just touch them,” she replied numbly.
He took her hand and laid a finger on his soft lips. She sighed. This was a sensual, not sexual act. She slid her finger from corner to corner. There wasn’t a bit of dryness on them. His finger followed suit on her lips, languidly sliding from one side of her mouth to the other.
His head inched toward hers, he gave her a gentle kiss, and she inhaled sharply at the sensations that coursed through her. With that simple moment, her body nearly burst with lust. He cupped the back of her head with his hand and drew her closer as he shifted in the passenger seat. His lips met hers again, inflaming her loins even further. How could this be possible? Even Jake didn’t excite her like this. Maybe it was just because it was dangerous to be doing this on the side of the road in broad daylight.
When she gave in to the feelings, his kiss changed. Now his lips devoured hers as though he would never get to taste them again. His hand slid under her knit shirt and to her bra. His fingers followed the fabric to the back and unhooked her brassiere. Now her breasts were freed, and he embraced her right mound, gently pinching the nipple.
Oh, the feelings of excitement this stranger created in her!
His right hand moved, spreading her legs and gliding up her denim-covered left thigh. It didn’t come to a rest until he wedged his hand between her buttocks and the car seat. The heel of his hand stopped against her clothed womanhood. The pressure made her yearn for more. She couldn’t
grind against it. The sensations increased. This man was doing everything for her. She needed to do something for him.
Melanie reached for him and searched with her hand until she found the bulge in his jeans. She rubbed him, and he groaned into her mouth. She rubbed a little harder.
His lips ground such heat into her that she succumbed to his will and let him do whatever he wanted, which included unzipping her jeans and working his hand into them. He rubbed her through her panties for several seconds, eventually inserting his fingers between them and her naked flesh.
She writhed on the seat. His finger slipped into her hot, moist womanhood. When he withdrew it, he located her clitoris and rubbed it lightly, drawing forth more sensations than she thought she had. Then it happened; her body couldn’t take the excitement anymore. She let her orgasm flow over her with a slight groan of pleasure.
With a start, Melanie opened her eyes. The motorcycle was no longer in sight, but a tow truck was coming down the highway. In a way, she was disappointed that it had just been a dream.
After a quick chef’s salad at a nearby restaurant, Melanie walked back to the motel. On the way, motorcycles roared past her again. The bikers had the same emblem on the backs of their jackets as the biker from earlier that day. Was that man among them?
Several motorcycles pulled into the motel where she was staying.
Rounding the corner to her room, she noticed that two motorcycles were parked beside her Lexus. Maybe if she pretended to be searching for something in her car, she could get a better look at one of the bikes without being detected by the bikers. She wandered over to her vehicle and opened the door. The car beeped twice to indicate that it had unlocked.
Melanie scrounged around in the pile of clothes on the back seat while she peered under her arm to get a better look at the machine. She wondered what type of motorcycle it was. The only kind she knew was Harley Davidson, and she only knew that because a relative worked for them. Hogs, Dave said they called Harleys. This sleek, black vehicle made her all the more eager for a ride.