An antebellum fantasy trip to Atlanta.
Cathy shook her head. "Thank God for the ability to fantasize."
"So you've never acted on an impulse?"
She snorted. "What? Can you imagine what Steven would do to me?"
"If he found out."
Cathy shook her head in amusement. "Sometimes I wonder which one of us is the bad influence."
Jackson was getting his mail at the end of his driveway when I pulled up next door. My stomach did a little flip when I took in his faded jeans that hung attractively from his hips and the simple but tight black shirt he wore. His eyes met mine through the windshield and he grinned.
I rushed out of the car, embarrassed to have been caught checking him out.
"Evenin'," he called out.
"Hey. How are you?"
He flicked his fingers against the wad of envelopes he had. "Tired. Been a long day."
I noticed a motorcycle sat a few feet from him, further up the driveway. He noticed my eyes were stuck on it.
"That's mine when I don't feel like riding the truck. Hope the noise won't bother you."
"Oh, no," I said. "I'm sure it won't."
Dreams of Jackson on his bike, soaring on dark highways with my arms around his waist came unbidden to my mind. As if he could read my thoughts, he tiled his head and gave me an assessing gaze.
"Ever been on a bike before?"
I just shook my head.
He gave me a soft smile. "Maybe I'll take you out one day."
"That would be awesome," I breathed. "I've always wanted to ride one, just once."
"You have a good night, Ashley," Jackson said, lifting his chin as a sign of goodbye. I watched him walk up the driveway and forced myself to look away and do the same.
Will came home early that night. We went out for sushi and talked about work. Mostly my mind was on that motorcycle. It was as if I could already feel the vibrations beneath my thighs, that throbbing energy working up my spine, my hands pressed against Jackson's tight stomach.
I climbed out of my fantasy and came back to my husband. "Yeah?"
"You're miles away tonight."
I took his hand and squeezed. I hoped his proximity would ward off the evil thoughts my mind was conjuring up.
When we got back home I instantly spotted Jackson smoking outside with a couple of other men. My heart stopped when I realized Will would finally meet him. And of course I was like a giddy schoolgirl passing by her crush in the hallways at school.
Jackson's eyes were already on me when I got out of the car.
"Will, come meet the neighbor."
My husband followed me, not even questioning how I knew Jackson already.
He came over to us immediately. His buddies hung behind.
"Hey, Ashley." He nodded to my husband. "You must be Will."
Will put out his hand. "Yeah, nice to meet you."
"You, too." Jackson's green eyes had heat in them when they swung back to me. It was so indecent for him to be looking at me like that in front of Will. It was indecent for him to be looking at me like that, period.
Nervously I glanced at Will. He was oblivious to the whole exchange.
"Your wife is a great lady," Jackson said.
Will smiled politely. "Thanks, I think so, too."
"And adventurous. I'm gonna give her a ride on my bike one day."
I could practically hear the wheels in Will's head turn. Finally he was making the connection that I knew this guy and I hadn't mentioned it to him. His eyes shot to me and I read the confusion and uncertainty there. "Oh, really?"
My cheeks burned. "Yeah. Jackson was nice enough to offer. I thought it would be exciting so I accepted."
"I definitely can't imagine you on a motorcycle, babe," Will said.
There was an edge to his words. Jackson definitely picked up on it. His pleasant smile turned sour.
"I definitely can. Something tells me she'd be a natural."
Will's polite smile faded. "Well, you're the expert. I've never been on one of those things." He turned to me. "Should we go in?"
"Sure," I agreed quickly. This whole situation was much too awkward to take. "Goodnight, Jackson."
Will just nodded, nudging me back towards out house with his hand on my shoulder.
He was quiet whe