#4 (Part III)

#4 Romantic Hero (Part III)

     Thunder kept up a steady conversation.  I didn’t answer a one of his questions.  Towards the end, when he turned the nose of the machine up a long elegant drive to a ivy covered house, his questions were higher.  It was a sign of worry or stress.  The gas lamp over the garage door flicked on.  I could only assume someone from within the house had hurried to give us illumination. 
     The moment the bike stopped I slid off, tore at the straps to the helmet.
     “I’ve never had a woman hate me like that before.”  Thunder’s tone was conversational.  He tore his helmet off, pulled the sinew free and ran a hand through his curly dark hair.  His amber eyes caught the low light.  “Is it because I own a gym?  Usually women do the opposite and think it’s a free ticket to grope.”
     I'd hurt him!  I searched for an explanation, some way to kindly explain why I didn't want him between my legs, even if it was to just deliver me to his brother.  “My husband is . . . my husband is gone.”
     He tilted his head.  At once his features were hidden by shadows; his brow, his cheeks, his chin, the edge of his nose were the only parts one saw skin.  He seemed fiercer somehow.  Animalistic.  “I didn’t know you were mated.  I’m sorry.  It’s such a loss.”  He retrieved the helmet from me.  “And, it explains a lot.” 
     This earned me another slanted look.  This time assessing.  I saw him swallow words.  He had the picking-and-choosing expression I’d come to associate with others discovering I’m a widow.  “Soul Mated.”  He finally said, but softly and kindly. 

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