Culver:A Motorcycle Club Romance NovelBy: Meg Jackson
A Cold Steel MC Novel
~ 1 ~
I can’t tell him. I can’t. He’ll kill me – or worse. Oh my God, what have I done?
~ 2 ~
It was the summer after senior year of high school, and I was 18. I loved riding with the top down, Aunt Annie’s pretzels, and my grandma. I had four Miss. Teen Missoula ribbons. I had a cow named Betty, and a flock of chickens that I just called “the girls”. I had a high school degree, a Honda Civic, my two best friends, and we were headed to Las Vegas. It was a thirteen hour trip, and between the three of us we could afford to drive straight through the night, right into Sin City.
“I spy with my little eye something….boring,” Alicia said, sarcasm dripping from her voice like a melting ice-cream cone.
“Um, is it a cow pasture?” I asked in a dopey voice.
“Try again,” Alicia replied, eyes out the window.
“Is it a horse pasture?” Becky suggested from the back seat. I stifled a laugh, wanting to play along with the charade.
“Nope,” Alicia said, suppressing a smile herself.
“Well…is it a barn?” I suggested, feigning weariness.
“Oh, wait, no! I know! It’s a barn!” Becky blurted out right after me, leaning forward in the backseat.
“Nope, you’re both wrong, it’s not a barn. It’s a silo!” Alicia said, finally getting tired of the joke. This was one of our millions of inside jokes and comedy routines: you really have to make your own fun when you live in a rural area, even if you’re right outside of the bustling, never-sleep city of Missoula, Montana. And, by the way, the “bustling, never-sleep” part was a joke, too. Sin City was going to be our first taste of a real city, and boy were we hungry.
Of course, we weren’t planning anything too sinful. Or, at least, not seriously sinful. Our parents had okayed the trip at the beginning of the year, had even pooled their money to reserve us a nice hotel room as a graduation gift. Becky, Alicia, and I have been best friends since third grade, so we tend to do everything together, and we were such good kids that our parents really didn’t have much to worry about.
But each of us did have our own agenda for going: Alicia wanted to smoke weed for the first time. Becky wanted to gamble. I wanted to make out with a stranger. Those were our ideas of sin: we’d all drank before, and at least kissed a boy, and disobeyed our parents more times than they knew (thank goodness for that), but overall we were pretty tame.
It’s going to sound cliché to you, it always does, but we had a sort of idyllic time growing up. We were all cheerleaders, Becky ran for class president every year (and usually won), I was in drama, Alicia was on the newspaper. When we dated, it was usually good-looking jocks who were easy to bring home to meet the parents. We went to the post-game bonfires, drank beer out of red cups (never too much, though), and then went home to eat popcorn and giggle over Cosmo articles.
Kind of sad, right? I mean, just the blandness of that. Not to say it wasn’t some of the best times of my life: I will always remember how happy I was, how much I felt like a part of my community, how willfully innocent I was. But there’s something sad about it, too. Never really doing anything wrong your whole life is…well, it kind of seems like you’re living half a life, doesn’t it?
I guess some of that comes from being a sheriff’s daughter. I was always a touch more rebellious than Becky or Alicia, and I think that’s why. I love my dad, don’t get me wrong, but I guess it makes me a little more…curious, maybe that’s the word. Wanting to know what’s on the other side of the curtain. I’ve always been interested in why criminals commit crime – and why they continue to commit crime even after they’ve been caught. Always seemed to me that something would have to feel pretty damn good to make it worth risking your freedom and good name time and again.