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“Fuck. Just forget it. It was a fucking stupid idea anyway.”

“What? No, I just… this was all Preppy’s idea anyway.”

“Shut up,” he said, silencing my rant. King tugged on my hand and led me over to his bike. He handed me a helmet and straddled the seat. He turned the key and it came roaring to life. He turned and gestured to the space behind him.

I shouted over the engine, “I’m wearing a dress!”

King grabbed my hand and tugged me toward him. “I think we know by now that you know how to straddle, so get the fuck on.” I pressed my thighs together, willing the memory of the night in his truck away.

“Why can’t we just take the truck, or we can walk.” I suggested.

King stared me down. “Pup?”

“Yeah?”

“Get on the fucking bike.”

“You’re really are a fucking asshole, you know that?.” I punctuated my words by digging my pointer finger into his chest. King smiled obnoxiously. I didn’t want a smile I wanted a fight. I was beginning to think it was long overdue.

“Took you long enough.” He said, grabbing hold of my finger.

“Long enough for what?”

“To figure out I’m an asshole. Now, get on the fucking bike.”

“Fuck you,” I spat.

King got off the bike and stalked toward me. He snatched the helmet out of my hands and roughly shoved it onto my head. My hair was trapped over my eyes and I was momentarily disoriented. King took advantage of that, by picking me up and setting me on the bike.

I shrieked into my helmet, and before I could protest and jump off, we were in motion. My options were then limited to holding onto King or flying off the back of his bike.

Reluctantly, I wrapped my arms around his waist.

What I really wanted was to wrap my hands around his throat.

We drove for what seemed like only a few minutes but in reality it was more like a half of an hour. The normally stagnant and wet Florida night air blew cool all around us as the bike pressed forward into the night.

My jaw dropped, and my heart sped when the neon lights came into view.

A carnival.

King had brought me to a carnival.

The Ferris wheel overhead appeared so close I thought that if I reached my hands up into the air I might be able to touch one of the swaying carts.

When King brought the bike to a stop in the grass parking lot, my body was still humming from the vibrations of the engine. In my excitement at being at a real live carnival, I jumped off the bike quickly, grazing my calf on one of the hot pipes.

“Shit, shit, shit!” I shouted, bouncing around on one leg.

King set his helmet down and came around to where I was hopping around and wincing in pain. “Come here,” he said.

I was still angry, the twenty minute ride doing nothing to take the edge off wanting to do him physical harm. I ignored his request and bent down to inspect the damage on my leg.

King shook his head and walked over to me, picking me up under my shoulders and setting me on top of a nearby picnic table. “You need to learn to do what you’re told,” he said, lifting my leg to inspect the burn.

I huffed. “Picking me up and tossing me around is unnecessary, you know.”

King leaned down and gently blew across the burn, sending hot chills up my spine. I was all too aware that the dress I wore had ridden up my thighs when he’d picked me up. I caught him glancing at the exposed white fabric between my legs.

“Then, do what you’re fucking told the first time.” He then proceeded to inspect me thoroughly. “It’s not a bad burn,” he said, but I could barely hear him over the memory of his breath against my skin.

“I thought you didn’t do gentle,” I teased.

King helped me set my foot back on the ground and reached for my hand.

“I don’t.” He turned to the gate, roughly yanking me behind him as to prove his point.

King paid for our tickets, and we entered through a turnstile. Once inside, my inner child sprang to life, and my anger was temporarily forgotten. Neon lights, carnival music, corn dog and cotton candy stands.

It was everything I ever wanted in a first date. Well, except maybe for a date who actually wanted to be there. I yanked my hand out of King’s grip, but he grabbed me again and held my hand tighter, pulling me closer into his side.

“What do you want to do first, pup?”

“Everything. I want to do absolutely everything!” I craned my neck to get a better look at the giant Ferris wheel.

“The Ferris wheel is last,” King said, pushing me toward the row of games.

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