Thursday, January 01, 2009

rottnest romance #27

Happy New Year! Two years ago we enjoyed a NY on Rotto: it was sublime. As a 2009 treat, enjoy the next 500 words of the only Bills and Moon novel set on the beautiful island, Rottnest Romance. Larissa's bike is buggered, but beastly businessman Nick is browbeating her to do...what? Free Minties for all who make it through to the end of this (third)chapter of what is turning out to be a fiction that rivals Cloudstreet, Upsurge and To The Islands.

“I’ll tow you back. I’ll just fetch my bike.”

She was dumbstruck. Tow her – all the way back? It was out of the question.

“Really, Nick, that’s not necessary. I’d rather wait…”

But he wasn’t listening. He was looking around, and then strode over to the edge of the road and picked something up. It was a longish piece of rope.

Aghast, she took in his busy activity, as he tied one end of the rope to her handlebars. When he began to fix the other end to hi seat she realised he was serious. She began to protest again.

“Look, Nick, you can’t tow me all the way back.”

“Why not?” he asked as he tested the rope.

“Well…it’s too far. And I’m too heavy.”

He flicked a quick glance up and down her body. “I wouldn’t agree with that,” he remarked with a twinkle in his eye.

“It’s ridiculous…it’s too much to ask.”

“No-one’s asking anyone: I’m just doing it.” He straightened up, ready to get on his bike. “I only have to pull you up the hills. Don’t you think I’m capable of doing it?”

She glared at him. “That’s not the point – it’s not as if it’s some sort of endurance test…”

“Oh, do stop gabbling , Larissa. Now remember: if I brake, that means you brake as well. I don’t want you cannoning into me. On you get.”

Stung by his curt instructions, she got on her bike. He began pedaling, the rope between them tensed and with a start she was in motion.

Their rather unusual mode of departure aroused some merriment, she noted rather sourly. Ducking her head, she decided not to return the stares and pointing of several amused onlookers making their way up from the beach.

After a few moments they were thankfully out of sight. As they coasted down the first hill she called out at his broad back. “What were you going to use if you hadn’t found the rope?”

“Our belts,” he shouted back without turning around.

How resourceful, she reflected.

It was a rather peculiar sensation, being in motion on a bike without having to use any effort to propel it. Rather agreeable, actually, she realised. She supposed she should just sit back and enjoy the passing view.

They came to the first incline. As they started to go uphill he began to pedal energetically. He stood up as his legs moved up and down, driving more energy into his wheels. She suddenly lost interest in the gully of wildflowers on her left, and instead looked at his muscular legs as they pumped the pedals. Watching them, she couldn’t actually decide if they were muscular. No: they were both lean and muscular. She could certainly see some muscles – they flashed into prominence as his legs bent and straightened, bent and straightened…

Her gaze moved upward, to his faded, weather-beaten blue shorts. They weren’t moving as much – they just seemed to be sort of moving from side to side, ever so slightly. His rear seemed to be as lean and well-shaped as his legs…

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous10:36 AM

    Never mind his legs. Can we have a description of hers?