CRUISING SPEED

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His Libido Is In Sport Mode, But She’s Set On Cruising Speed

Selling her dead husband’s super-sized Harley is traumatic, but bike shop owner, Kia Anders, knows she needs to let go of the past. The big bike in her garage hasn’t been ridden for a couple years now. It is no more than a symbol of her loss and reminds her of her own lack of usefulness.

When the very large, very excited Mikkel Gunnarsen arrives to buy it, his pleasure in the bike makes the decision to sell to the younger man much easier than she imagined it would be. The same is also true for the decision that ends with Mikkel spending the night in her bed.

Kia knows the blissful moments with Mikkel are only momentary relief, but being with the younger man is certainly inspiring.

 

 READ AN EXCERPT

Mikkel pulled his SUV alongside the curb, dipping his head to look at the address on the mailbox. Seeing a match, he cut the engine and climbed out.

After walking up a tidy sidewalk, he rang the doorbell and waited. Moments later, the door swung open to a woman who almost looked him in the eye. He was struck speechless at both her height and her direct blue gaze meeting his matching blue one. She had to be at least six feet tall.

“Kia Anders?”

“Yes.”

“I’m Mikkel Gunnarsen. I came to see the bike you have for sale.”

After he spoke the woman nodded, but looked suddenly so sad that Mikkel felt his gut clench in sympathy.

“Meet me in the single garage, not the double. I’ll be right there,” she said.

And then she closed the door in his face, leaving him shaking his head and pondering her abruptness. He hoped it wasn’t a bad sign for negotiating.

He walked to the smaller garage door, getting there just as it opened. Inside was a giant black Harley. Excitement ran through him. It was easily big enough.

“Is this the bike for sale?” he asked, surprised to hear his voice breaking.

After a pause, she nodded.

“Yes. This is the bike,” the woman said firmly.

Since her eyes did not match the confidence of what she said, Mikkel wanted to know the reason for her hesitation. “I don’t mean to be rude, but that does not sound like a real yes. It sounds more like a maybe. Please don’t get my hopes up. I fell half in love with it on first sight.”

When she laughed at his comment, her eyes crinkled at the edges. Excitement of a different sort ran through him, not so unexpectedly given her attractiveness. He had to forcibly move his attention back to the bike.

Kia looked at the younger man filling up almost half of the garage doorway. He was a very big man—large shoulders, large hands—just large all over. He would need a bike at least this size to ride. Anything less would look like a toy under him.

“Yes. It’s definitely for sale. There is no one to ride it anymore, and that is never good for any machine,” Kia explained. “It was my husband’s bike. He died two years ago. I’ve been tuning it regularly, but it’s too big for me to ride by myself. I have my own.”

“You ride? Oh, of course you do. Michael Larsen told me you owned a shop,” Mikkel said. “What kind of bike do you ride?”

Kia smiled and thought she might as well show him. Maybe she’d talk him into becoming a customer whether he bought Troy’s bike or not.

“Step out again and I’ll let you into the other garage,” Kia directed. “My bike is next door.”

Going back to the front, she raised the double doors that hid ‘Baby’ and her still fairly new SUV. When she walked through the garage to meet him, her gaze went to the street and saw the twin of her own daily driver. It was even the same color, which made her laugh.

“You have good taste in vehicles, Mr. Gunnarsen,” Kia said.

“It’s Mikkel,” he said automatically. “And I bought the SUV because I needed a large vehicle to fit me. May I ask what you did to your bike? Is it still a Harley?”

Kia worked hard to control her urge to smirk over his reaction. “Yes, it’s a Harley. Last time I checked paint did not affect performance. If you must know, I just hate black.”

“Aren’t Harleys meant to be black and more . . . dignified?” Mikkel asked, trying to find the least offensive word he could. “If this is a joke you play on people, I’ve fallen for it. Did someone dare you to do this?”

“No. I customized my Harley to suit me. And I like blue. It matches my eyes,” Kia said sharply, laughing when Mikkel Gunnarsen raised his gaze to study hers. She could tell he was trying to soften his shocked reaction.

Mikkel studied Kia Anders’ laughing gaze and had to agree with her. The blue color did match her eyes, but what kind of woman would do such an irreverent thing to one of the most impressive bikes ever made?

Soon he realized a couple minutes had passed and that he had not responded to her comment. He cleared his throat. “Perhaps I will just say that your eyes are a flattering color and they complement your laughter,” Mikkel said finally, fascinated when she blushed over his compliment.

“Thank you, Mr. Gunnarsen. However, flattery is not going to lower the price of the bike you wish to buy,” Kia said firmly. “If you show me your motorcycle license, I’ll loan you a helmet and let you take it for a test drive around the block.”

“Mr. Gunnarsen sounds like my father. Please call me Mikkel. Sadly I don’t have a new license yet,” Mikkel said, hating to admit it. “I meant to get a permit but haven’t taken the time. When you told me you had a big bike, I was too excited to do the right things first. I am getting it all out of order, but I am very interested in the bike.”

Kia nodded as she walked past him. “I’m glad Michael remembered me. He’s the only Larson male that doesn’t ride.”

“Michael was my roommate in college. I was a graduate student at UK working on my MBA, but living cheaply with undergraduates like Michael. Then I moved in with my girlfriend the year I finished. We got married as soon as I got my CPA license. Now I have become a divorce statistic. I only gave up riding because it worried her. I’m excited to get to do it again.”

The little flutter of awareness she felt as she brushed by flustered her for a moment. Mikkel Gunnarsen had to be at least a few inches taller than her. That was it, she decided. His height and size surprised her. Only basketball players tended to be that tall in Lexington.

But his fingers in the small of her back as he walked around her and back into the small garage caused a flutter that started low in her pelvis. It dared her to explain her awareness away as anything other than simple interest in the very virile male filling her garage.

“Can I at least sit on the bike to see how it fits?” Mikkel asked.

Kia nodded, mostly because she suddenly wanted to see him on it. He immediately swung his leg over and easily pulled the bike upright and off the kickstand. It weighed over eight hundred pounds. It was all she could do to move it around the garage, and yet Mikkel Gunnarsen had moved it like it weighed nothing.

Naked excitement was on the man’s face as he lowered himself carefully into the soft leather seat Troy had spent a small fortune putting on the bike. And just like that, Kia decided that she wanted the younger man to have it. She would be glad to know Troy’s beloved Harley was going to be ridden by someone who would enjoy it as much as he had.

“Do you have a problem with the price?” Kia asked.

Mikkel lifted his head and looked at her earnest gaze. After sitting on the bike, he would have paid more for it than she was asking, but he had arrived with intentions of trying to talk her into less. It was just his way. Looking at anxious gaze, he could do nothing but the most honorable thing with the vulnerable woman facing him. He wanted to see her smile and say it was his.

“No. Your price is very fair. I just wish I could ride it first,” he said.

“If you don’t mind being a passenger, I’ll drive you around,” Kia offered, stunned to hear the offer rolling her tongue so easily. She was more stunned when his face lit up with pleasure again.

“Seriously? You would do that for me?” Mikkel asked.

“Sure—why not? Need to lock your vehicle?” Kia asked.

“Already locked,” Mikkel said softly, watching her grow more nervous. Her spontaneous offer must have surprised her as much as it had him.

She disappeared as he sat on the bike. He heard the other garage door being lowered. Then she came back with two helmets, one solid black and the other white. She handed him the black helmet.

“This should fit you well enough for a short ride,” Kia said, handing it over.

She could handle them not wearing safety jackets, but helmets were a must for her. She pulled her own on and fastened it, stepping to the bike. Then she stopped when she saw him struggling. She took his large hands and guided them to the quick snaps.

“Oh . . .” Mikkel said, feeling dumb for needing help but also excited at her confident touch on him. He liked her lack of hesitation.

No sooner had that thought passed through his brain than he heard, “Scoot back and let me on.”

She swung her leg over and straddled the bike, standing as she started it. His gaze glued itself to her backside as the Harley rumbled to life. He allowed himself the fantasy of reaching through her legs to cup her, then her weight fell to the seat and broke his concentration. Embarrassed by his thoughts, Mikkel was glad Kia wasn’t able to see his flushing face.

When she scooted back against him, seating herself practically in his lap, Mikkel swallowed hard. It had been a long while for him, he reasoned. That explained his reaction to a stranger. But when she reached back and patted his leg, he just innately understood what she wanted. He lifted his feet to the foot pegs as they rolled out of the garage. She paused at the edge of the driveway and lifted a remote over her head. The door closed behind them as they rolled to the street.

Another knee pat and they were on their way. The lurch forward had her sliding hard against his crotch. Mikkel hoped the erection he got wasn’t too obvious to her. Like an unsure teenager trying to hide his interest, he wasn’t sure what to do with his hands, so he put them on his knees. That only made balancing on the bike more difficult.

They rolled to a stop at the end of her street. She flipped up her visor and turned to him. “You’re going to have to hug me so we can keep our balance. Lean the way I lean into the turns. This bike takes both people being in perfect sync.” The visor slammed back down with a snap as she turned her attention back to the road.

Grinning at her orders, Mikkel put both his hands on her hips instead. If he put an arm around her, it would have been way too tempting to pull her back against him. Then there would for sure be no secrets left about what he was experiencing.

 

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FAST FACTS:

SERIES: Based on Art of Love series

LENGTH: 55 pages (novella)

RELEASE DATE: Feb 25, 2014

eISBN: 978-1-939988-12-6