"I didn't know we had an audience back there," she said.
I kissed her again, needing to feel her against me. As soon as I touched her, I was hard again, and for a minute I was convinced she was going to think I was some kind of sex obsessed pervert. But she arched her back, and I could feel her pressing into my hardness, instead of pulling away.
I can't f**king believe someone like her wants me.
Then she pulled back. I could taste her lips on mine, even after she pulled away. "We should probably get out of here before we have an even bigger audience," she whispered.
I cleared my throat again, reached behind her for the car door handle, purposely not moving away from her. My hand was against her ass, and the movement pulled her toward me. "Still sure you want to come with me?" I asked. The question immediately made me think of sex, and I could imagine being inside her.
Come with me.
When she answered, her voice was breathy. "Yes."
Elias put the top up on the convertible. It made it cozier than before, when we were riding with the top down and the wind blowing.
It was more intimate somehow. There was less space between us, and it was quiet. Still, for a little while, neither of us made any attempt at small talk.
It sounded silly, but I was still reeling from that kiss. All I could think about was the way I felt when he kissed me, my heart racing, my body on edge. I knew I should be sad about my relationship. I should be sad I wasn’t getting married.
Except instead, I felt this huge sense of relief, the weight of a burden lifted from my shoulders.
I felt positively giddy.
I giggled, the sound erupting out of nowhere, this weird release of the tension and stress of the past twenty-four hours. Elias had to think I was a crazy person.
"What?" he asked. "Is it that couple? They were a f**king trip, huh? You think they went in the bathroom and got it on?"
I let out a louder laugh, covering my mouth. Calm your shit down, River. "Yes." I nodded. "Definitely."
"I'll still be like that when I'm eighty," Elias said. "With a f**king hard on for my old lady."
I laughed at his bluntness. Elias just seemed to have no problem saying whatever popped into his head. He was the first person I'd hung out with in years who didn't seem to have an agenda, wasn't working an angle to get something from me.
"That's funny?" he asked.
"No," I said. "It's cute how they were all over each other. I hope I still have the hots for someone when I'm older."
"You'll be a hot old lady," he said. "No doubt."
"Well, in Hollywood terms, that's like ten years away."
"I don't get that bullshit," Elias said.
"Which part?" I asked. "The obsession with staying young?"
"All that crazy shit in general," he said. "It seems like it would f**k with your head. I mean - no offense, you seem pretty normal and all. For an actress, I mean."
I laughed. "Give it a while," I said. "I'll impress you with my brand of crazy."
"Hah." He paused, tapping his fingers on the steering wheel as he drove. "Go for it."
"Go for what?"
"Impress me," he said. "What's your brand of crazy?"
I was silent for a minute. My crazy was too much for someone like Elias - someone who seemed like a normal guy, if there was such a thing - to deal with. "Well, I can't give away all my secrets," I said. "But this is probably already on the internet anyway, so I might as well say it here. I took a baseball bat to all of Viper's shit, all his memorabilia and stuff."
"Yeah?" he asked. "So you smashed the shit out of a bunch of his collectibles, because he was f**king your sister? That's like, nothing."
"It was some really priceless stuff," I said, sheepishly. "Like a Heisman Trophy he acquired. And the bat was Mickey Mantle's."
"The ass**le deserved it, didn't he?" he asked. "He's lucky you didn't take the bat to his ass. I'm only slightly impressed by the fact that you destroyed a bunch of collectibles."
"Only slightly?" I asked. "I'm not sure if I should be disappointed or scared that you don't think that's crazy."
"Eh," he said. "I wouldn't call it crazy. More like redneck justice."
"Redneck justice, huh?" I asked, my face coloring. All this time and effort trying to get away from my past and my behavior always betrayed me.
Elias looked over at me and winked. "Don't worry, darlin'," he said. "It's a compliment, not an insult. Where I come from, it means you've got some balls."
I felt tears begin to well up in my eyes, and I turned to look out the window, trying furiously to blink them away. Not now. Not here, in front of him, this guy I just met. I was not going to cry. I didn't even know why I was upset.
"Shit," Elias said. "I didn't mean anything by it."
I didn't know why I was crying, just that I felt like I'd been running on an adrenaline high for the last twenty-four hours and now I was crashing hard. I wiped a tear from my cheek.