Sometimes us silly girls fantasize about things that never come to be. I had expectations after college—expectations to run off with Jake Larson and start our life together in a little Pennsylvania farm town. I had my happiness mapped out inside my head.
I didn’t expect to run into a strange, alluring man with a beard and dark hair stacked up on top of his head. I didn’t expect to be attracted to someone so—different. He was everything I didn’t know existed. He could make me feel things I’d never felt before. It didn’t seem possible that we could be together. We both had obligations. The world told us no, but we couldn’t stay away from one another, couldn’t deny that we were drawn together. He was so beautiful—so beautiful rugged. I was going to make him mine.
“Want something to drink? Some Mountain Dew maybe?” She held up her green can of soda and took a sip.
“Yeah. You know, a little sugar, a little caffeine.” She eyed me closely for a moment. “You’ve never had Mountain Dew before, have you, Gideon?”
I chuckled, the anger slowly seeping out of me. “No.”
“Come on, just try a sip. See what you think. This is so much fun. It’s like teaching a foreigner all kinds of new things and getting to experience it through their eyes.”
I arched a brow her way and shoved a bite of chocolate in my mouth. “Could you make me feel any more like a freak?”
Evanna burst out laughing. “Gideon Beckensheim, did you just say the word freak?”
I smirked but didn’t reply.
She shoved her can of soda under my nose. “Taste it.”
“Please. I want to see what you think.”
I sighed. “You’re a little pest.”
“I won’t be if you just taste it.”
I looked at her smiling face and laughed, taking the can out of her hand and narrowing my eyes at her before placing the can up to my lips. I could taste something on the can where Evanna’s mouth had been. Was that watermelon maybe? She had something glossy all over her lips. I drank back the carbonated liquid and shook my head.
“Well?” she asked anxiously.
“It’s too sickening sweet,” I replied, feeling the tingle in the back of my throat from the carbonation. I took another bite of candy bar.
“It’s delicious, that’s what it is.” She ignored my remark and took another swig herself. “What about Pepsi? Have you had Pepsi?”
“You said you’d leave me alone if I tried your Mountain Dew,” I reminded her.
Evanna laughed. “I have another question.”
“Go figure.” I looked at her out of the corner of my eye. “Is it going to make me feel like a freak again?”
At least she was honest. I pretended to be irritated, but really I was amused. “I may or may not answer it then.”
“Okay.” She leaned back in her chair and looked around the room. “Have you ever driven a car?”
“That’s easy. No.”
She leaned forward quickly and turned her head to look into my eyes. “Never?”
“That’s what I said, isn’t it?”
“But why? What’s the reasoning behind it? And don’t say it’s custom.”
“Gideon!” She elbowed me in the arm. “Be serious.”
Sara V. Zook is an author who likes to touch on a variety of genres including paranormal, fantasy, contemporary romance, and organized crime. Her books include The Strange in Skin Trilogy, The Sempiternal Series, Clipped, A Magic Within Series, The Pull, The Push, Six Guns, and Beautiful Rugged. She lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and three small children.