#4 (Part I)

#4 Romantic Hero (Part I)

     Thunder stopped the 'moto-solex' twice to make sure my helmet was on tight. This last was under a gas-lamp. It was still too early for the sun to be up. I shivered, feeling once more alone and vulnerable in this man's presence.
     He said, “Sorry about Thorn not being here to pick you up. He had an early-morning appointment at the university.”
     “Tamorace has a university?”
     He adjusted my helmet’s chinstrap once again. “Make sure you hold tight like I showed you.”
     I dropped my eyes to the worn leather gloves he wore. I lied, “I was holding tight.”
     He slid back onto what he called a bike before me. This was like no bicycle I'd ever seen. To begin you didn't push the pedals with your feet. You held onto the gear-like handles, turning them to go faster or slower. Then there was the matter of the hot air spitting from the back. In my previous life this would have fascinated my husband. I found it as uncomfortable as sitting too close to a working radiator in the summer months.
     I tried to hold myself separate from the man. It wasn’t that I didn’t like him. Thunder was what my grandmother used to call “easy on the eyes”. Though he'd pulled his curly dark hair back with a length of sinew, a few locks were unmanageable. One he pushed aside to stare at me with his amber eyes. Thunder had a thick nose, but not obscenely so. Nor were his lips the type that suggested he ate and partook spirits in excess. He had a noble chin and a noble forehead, the shoulders of a balif and the hips of a bedscorcher. Over muscled legs he'd pulled a pair of thick leather pants - the type steam workers used to protect their skin.
     By all rights I should have been licking my lips.

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