So, when they’d been told they’d been matched up she was surprised. And not so surprised. He was quirky, more often than not incapable of being serious, and yet likeable all at the same time. There were times she envied him, wishing she could stop being so serious. It just wasn’t in her. Or so she thought. It made her wonder, though. What would it be like to go for a ride on his motorcycle?
Well, she was about to find out. She left the helmet she’d brought on the passenger seat. If he said no, was busy, or had another woman over then she wouldn’t look like a complete fool.
“Mr. Spencer, hi,” she said when Shawn’s dad answered the door.
“Detective,” he replied. If he was surprised to see her he didn’t show it. Of course, he was a seasoned cop with years of practicing up on his stone-cold cop face. It was something she wasn’t sure she’d ever perfect. She did try.
“Is Shawn here?”
“He is. I was just on my way out. Go on in.”
“Thanks,” she said, stepping inside once he passed her.
“Did you forget something, Dad,” Shawn called out as he stepped into view. He did not have a stone-cold cop face down pat, and his surprise at seeing her was in his eyes. “Jules.”
“Do you need help with something?”
“No, nothing like that. If you can’t tell, I’m off-duty.” She didn’t usually wear jeans and sweatshirts to the precinct. He was an observant guy, so she was sure he already knew that it was personal not business that brought her here.
“All right. Come in, sorry, I just assumed you were my dad. We’re not so formal with the invitations. Father and son.”
“Right, I get that. I saw him as he was leaving, he told me I could come in.” She didn’t want him thinking she just walked into someone’s house.
“No problem. Can I get you something? I don’t have much to offer you, but water, maybe some OJ. It’s not freshly squeezed though. In fact, it’s probably not very freshly concentrated either.”
She laughed. “No, that’s all right. I was actually thinking.”
His eyebrows arched up, but he wasn’t disinterested. That was good. Had she not noticed before that he might be interested in her? She wasn’t entirely sure, but something had led her here. Some would call it instinct.
“I’ve never been for a motorcycle ride.”
“They don’t train you on those at the academy?”
“Well, yeah, but I’ve never been for a ride. I mean, a real motorcycle ride.”
“I was thinking we could go. You just got your bike back.”
“You want to go for a bike ride with me?”
“Why not? I’ve got the day off. We could see where the bike takes us. Stop for dinner somewhere.”
“I’m always up for a mini-road trip. I don’t have an extra helmet, though.”
“I have one in the car.”
“Yeah. It’s, uh, a friend’s. I asked to borrow it.”
“Good thinking! I used to have a spare, but I’m not sure what happened to it. I think Gus may have hidden it so I wouldn’t be able to suggest he ride with me when we go out on a case.”
She chuckled. It was a very Gus-like thing to do. She’d have to ask him the next time she saw him.
"Well, okay then. Let me get changed and we'll go."
"I'll go get the helmet and meet you by your bike."
"I'll try not to keep you waiting," he said with a wink. Anyone else, she would have been offended but she knew it was just Shawn.
It was closing in on dusk by the time they pulled off the highway in some coastal town for dinner. Shawn helped her off the bike, which was nice of him. He must have realized her legs wouldn't be that steady right away after sitting for so long without being used to it.
Shawn seemed to be taking in the place the same as she was. Good to know their instincts were in tune.
"Are you sure you don't mind eating here, Jules?"
It wasn't the type of place she would have chosen ordinarily. It looked like a bar. Not a very good quality bar either. But the neon sign flashed boosting fresh all-you-can eat crab legs.
"I'm sure it'll be fine. How bad could it be?" He gave her a look. A look that said she should know better than to ask that. "Okay. It could be pretty bad, but I mean, this is a tourist town, right. We can't be the only ones going for a drive on a day like today."
He cocked his head, regarding her and nodded. "I'll give you points for that. Let's give it a whirl. I'm game."
"And since I'm the one buying."
"Say no more. She who mans the pocketbook wins."
It was a dive. Well, not really, but it was close. Yet almost every table was full and everyone seemed to be enjoying their food. They found a table for two in the bar after they each stopped in the bathroom. Motorcycle helmets did not flatter her hairstyle and there was nothing she could do to fix it.
She took a sip of her beer as he cracked open some in-shell peanuts, popping them in his mouth once he'd freed them.
"This isn't bad."
"No, it's not," she said in agreement.
Their food orders placed she felt him regard her.
"Do you want to tell me why we're here?"
"I told you."
"I know what you told me." He popped another peanut into his mouth. "I'm not buying it. You think there's something to that speed dating stuff. The fact that we were such a match."
"I do not."
"Oh, I believe that you believe what you're saying, but your body says differently. And, you've never before dropped by my house."
"So, I was curious about a motorcycle."
He smiled then. "So, you're not curious as to why we answered so similarly."
"Well, put like that… I can't deny some curiosity."
He held up his glass to hers. "Me, too," he said, clinking his glass to hers.
"What are we drinking to?"
"Exploration of those test results."
"And if we try and it doesn't work?"
"Then we chalk it up to a stupid test."
He nodded. "I don't think either of us is going to dive into anything. We're getting our feet wet, nothing more."
"Slowly, inch by inch."
"The best way to do it."
"So I've been told," he said.
"You have as much experience as I do it sounds like."
"Then I guess we'll get some together."
Story ©Susan Falk/APCKRFAN/PhantomRoses.com