Episode 2 by Chanta Rand
Jenna Winters. Yeah, he thought that was her. Graduation was twelve years ago, but she hadn’t changed one bit. Same alluring hazel eyes. Same shampoo-model auburn locks. Same athletic-slim shape. It was too dark to see if she still had the same sun-kissed skin and sprinkling of freckles on her nose. For a year, he’d sat catty-corner from her in chemistry class. Instead of memorizing the periodic table, he’d stared at her profile and fantasized about her nubile body sprawled naked beneath him.
Time had been good to her.
Devin wished he could say the same for himself.
He stared out the window just in time to see an electric whip of lightning crack the night sky. A storm was coming. Anyone else might have been fascinated by the bold display of neon patterns zigzagging in the dark. Some might even find the intensity of each wicked streak, and its thundering companion, beautiful. He’d stopped seeing the beauty of nature long ago.
Right now, he had bigger problems.
“You’re lucky I saw you,” Jenna said, as she tugged on the stick shift of the battered pickup truck. “If I’d gotten off work at my normal time—three hours ago—I would be tucked in bed by now.”
His gaze landed on a koozie emblazoned with a silhouette of a man on a bucking horse. Some of the peeling white lettering hung for dear life from the foam sleeve, but he could still make out the words. ‘Find Action and Satisfaction at the Lonesome Cowboy.’
He couldn’t picture her stripping for a living. Not that she didn’t have the body for it. He still remembered how she looked in her cheerleading outfit. The short skirt barely covered her assets. Many nights he’d lain in bed stroking himself and thinking about how it would feel to fondle her palm-sized breasts or have her slender calves wrapped around him.
But she wasn’t that type of girl. And his family would’ve had a shit fit if he’d brought home anyone who wasn’t in their social stratosphere. So, he’d kept his distance.
“You work there?” he asked, pointing at the koozie.
She nodded. “I wait tables.”
Relief oozed into every pore of his body. He wasn’t sure why it mattered, but he was pleased she hadn’t stooped that low. On the other hand, how had she gone from small-town cheerleader to waitress? With her looks and can-do attitude, she could have escaped this podunk town and made something spectacular of herself.
He rubbed the day-old stubble on his jaw. Shit, I’m one to talk.
He’d gotten away for a while, but then he’d fucked up and had to come crawling back in defeat. After what he’d done, it was a wonder anybody in this town spoke to him, much less cared enough to give him a ride home.
Jenna reminded him of a simpler time in his life. A time when he hadn’t let greed and ego smash his moral compass.
Another flash of lightning struck, illuminating the worn interior of the truck. A miniature stuffed giraffe peeked from the crevice between her seat and the gearshift.
“Do you have a kid?” he asked.
Was she married? He glanced at her slender fingers gripping the wheel. No wedding ring. Irony was a sadistic son-of-a-bitch. She wasn’t good enough for him in high school. He wasn’t good enough for her now. Talk about a modern day Heathcliff and Catherine.
She slid him a sideways glance. “You’re in my truck, buddy. I’ll ask the questions. Now, are you going to tell me what you were doing on that bridge?”