Wes. The name alone sent a jolt through my body. Wes Jennings had been seventeen when he and his father moved next door to us. He had shoulder-length brown hair, brown eyes and sported the beginnings of a mustache and facial hair. Throw in that he rode a motorcycle, and it only added to the reason he was my first crush at the tender age of thirteen. After that, I imagined he probably starred in many young girls’ fantasies besides just mine. But he never once showed any interest toward me other than as the young girl who lived next door. Oh, if he saw me outside, he would walk over and speak to me, but if anything, he’d treated me like a little sister.
When I was sixteen, I caught him watching me with a strange look in his eyes, then it disappeared just as quickly, and he’d smiled and winked. Wes moved out of his dad’s house not long after. I’d been heartbroken the day he left as if he was leaving me behind.
I pulled my mom’s old car, which she’d given to me when she bought a new one, into the driveway. I saw Wes stuffing things into his saddlebags while his friends and brothers, as he called them, Bruiser and Raze, sat on their bikes waiting for him to finish.
I knew they were in a motorcycle club; the Merciless Few MC was on their cuts along with a rocker under it that said Alabama Chapter. Wes had been wearing the cut for around a year. For a while, he had Prospect on it, which I learned was like a trainee of sorts, then one day not too long ago, I noticed his cut patches had changed, and Nightmare had been added on the front. I asked what that meant, but Wes only said it was the name the club had given him. I never understood why because Wes was anything but a nightmare to me, but he wouldn’t share the reason behind it.
I parked, grabbed my bookbag, and got out of the car. Bruiser and Razeglanced in my direction and gave a chin lift. I gave a small wave in return, then Bruiser glanced at Wes, said something I couldn’t hear, but it made Wes glance up. He smiled and gave a chin lift, too, but the smile seemed almost forced. Before I thought about anything, I started to walk across the yard, and Wes closed his saddlebag and stood, then met me halfway.
“You guys going on a trip?”
“No, I’m moving out.”
I looked toward his bike, then back at him. “Why?”
“Because it’s time. Actually, I should have moved to the clubhouse a while ago.”
“Oh,” was all I could say. I felt my eyes fill just thinking of him not living next door anymore.
Wes cupped my face and used his thumbs to wipe the couple of tears that escaped and slid down my cheeks. “Lily, why are you crying?”
“Because you are moving, and I’m not going to see you anymore,” I whined, which was irrational and a little embarrassing. He chuckled, which didn’t help with how I was feeling. “It’s not funny.” No way would I tell him I would miss him; it would sound more pathetic than how I was acting, and then he and his friends would probably burst out laughing.
“I’m not moving out of the country. I’ll be approximately thirty minutes away. I’ll stop in and check on my dad, too.”
“Yeah, I guess,” I said and nodded.
Wes stared down at me, and his eyebrows pushed together. His eyes got that same strange look in them that I’d seen before. He bent his head, and my heartbeat sped up, and I closed my eyes.
His lips touched my forehead, then he dropped his hands from my face and stepped away. I opened my eyes and watched him run a hand down his face, then across the back of his neck. “Yeah, it’s definitely past time for me to go.”
Bruiser yelled across the yard, “Yo, Nightmare, I think it’s time to ride.”
I stood, planted in the same spot, confused, as Wes looked over his shoulder and answered, “I know, brother.” Then he looked back at me. “See you around, Lily.” He walked to his motorcycle, got on, then started it as Bruiser and Raze did the same with theirs. None of them glanced in my direction as they rode down the driveway, then turned onto the street. I watched Wes ride away until I no longer could see him or the others before I turned and walked back to my house, where I spent the rest of the day and night crying.
It was the last day I had spoken to Wes. If I was outside when he stopped by to see his dad, he would get off his bike, barely acknowledge me with a chin lift, then go inside. I wanted to walk over and ask what his problem was, but I never gained the courage.
A couple months later, I turned seventeen and met Jake Morris while at the movie theatre in the mall. Jake had been nineteen to my seventeen, a freshman in college, and I’d fallen for him. At least I had thought so then. But, looking back, I wondered if I used the attention he gave me to get over my infatuation with Wes. Maybe it was why I overlooked the signs of Jake’s personality changing or the red flags when he always wanted to know where I was or what I was doing when I wasn’t with him, which wasn’t often. That alone should have been a massive warning of what was to come.
©copyright 2022 Carson Mackenzie
Carson lives in the South with a Great Dane and two adopted shelter dogs that keep the household in line. Books have always been a part of her life. There is nothing better to her than curling up and relaxing with a good story and losing herself in someone else’s world for a few hours.
She enjoys writing romance with a real feel to the stories. Writing with the belief not every man is a jerk and not every woman needs saving.
Writing and growing as an author with each book is her goal. She wants to reach the level where a reader knows when they see her name, they can trust there will be a good story as they flip through the pages.
Carson’s been on her writing journey for a few years. As she’s finally starting to settle in, her only regret is she hadn’t started sooner.
**ALL EXCERPTS ARE SHARED WITH WRITTEN PERMISSION FROM THE AUTHOR. MY BLISSFUL BOOKS MAKES NO CLAIM ON COPYRIGHTS. THIS WIP MAY NOT HAVE BEEN EDITED**