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The Coincidence of Callie & Kayden, Page 21

Jessica Sorensen

Page 21


  “Maybe…” I slant my neck back, tipping my head up at the ride. “But it goes so high up. ”

  Pink and yellow lights dance across his face as he glances at the ride and then looks me in the eyes. “How about we share a cage?”

  “I don’t think that’s such a good idea,” I say. “In fact, I think it’s a very bad idea. ”

  “What’s that supposed to mean?” The corners of his lips quirk as his gaze darkens. “Don’t you trust me?”

  “Yes, I trust you,” I say. “But I don’t want to end up throwing up on you. ”

  “You’ll be okay,” he assures me, nudging his shoulder into mine and then he winks at me. There’s something different about him tonight; he’s freer and I think he might be flirting with me. “I promise I won’t let anything happen to you. In fact, you can hold my hand the entire time. ”

  Where was he during my twelfth birthday? Probably playing hide-and-seek with the rest of the kids.

  “Alright, I’ll ride with you,” I say with hesitance. “But don’t say I didn’t warn you. ”

  “Warning taken and rejected. ” He interlocks his fingers through mine as he jerks me forward with the moving line.

  “I’m sitting this one out,” Luke calls out as he drifts over to the bench with his attention on his phone. “I got some stuff I got to take care of. ”

  “Where’s Seth?” I ask, glancing around at the booths, the games, and the trailers with food, trying not to make a big deal that Kayden’s holding my hand.

  But it’s all I notice.

  “He went to meet up with someone. ” Kayden steps forward and I move my feet with him. “He said to tell you that he would catch up with us in a little bit and to relax and have fun. ”

  I scrunch my nose at the ride. “And this qualifies as fun?”

  “Oh yeah. ” He tugs me toward the guy running the ride, who’s dressed in a blue polo shirt, old jeans, and a trucker’s hat. “You’ll have a blast. ”

  I show the guy the stamp on my hand and then Kayden puts his arm in front of me to show him the stamp on his. As he pulls back, his hand unintentionally grazes my boob and I blink at the tingling sensation it elicits.

  The ticket guy unlocks the gate for us and we walk up the ramp. Kayden lets go of my hand so I can hop into the cage. Once I’m in the seat with my feet planted firmly on the bottom, he joins me. Without any preparation, the ticket guy slams the door shut and locks the cage from the outside. There are padded bars on the inside that push against my shoulders and secure me back into the seat. It’s a tight fit and Kayden’s leg is pressed against mine; scorching hot through my clothes.

  He angles forward, meeting my eyes and a slow smile spreads across his face. “It’s snug in here. ”

  I nod my head and it bumps against the back of the seat. “Too snug. If it flings off the hinges, it’ll be crushed into a ball when it hits the ground and smash us right along with it. ”

  “Stop psyching yourself out,” he says in a carefree tone, then jerks his shoulders forward and rocks the cage.

  “Don’t,” I beg, my fingers tightening around the bars. “Pretty please. Can’t we just stay stationary?”

  He shakes his head as the ride progresses forward and halts so the cage in front of us lines up with the ramp. “Now what would be the fun in that?”

  “It would be fun because I would be able to hold in all that candy corn I ate,” I say innocently.

  He stops rocking the cage. “Oh, come on, Callie. It won’t be fun if we don’t rock it. In fact, the more we rock it, the better it’ll feel. ” His voice drops to a deep whisper. “We can rock it nice and slow or really, really fast. ”

  His words make my cheeks flush, but luckily it’s dark. “And what if I get scared? Or my gag reflex gets a little too excited?”

  “I’ll tell you what. ” He maneuvers his hand around the bar and squeezes my knee with his fingers, sending a shot of warmth between my legs. “If you feel like you’re going to throw up and you get freaked out of your mind, yell, Kayden is the sexiest man alive and I’ll stop. ”

  The cage jerks backward and I grip the bars as we begin to ascend to the top. “That is seriously what you want me to yell?”

  “Absolutely. ” He pauses as our cage reaches the highest point and the ride comes to a standstill, swaying in the breeze. “Do I have your permission to rock away and give you the ride of your life?”

  Why does it feel like he’s secretly talking dirty to me? “Yeah, go ahead, rock it nice and hard,” I say without thinking, then bite down on my lip as the dirty section of my brain catches up with me. Honestly, I didn’t even know that side existed.

  “Wow. ” He releases a slow breath with wide eyes and then shakes his head. “Okay, are you ready?”

  I intensify my grip around the bars and press the tips of my shoes to the floor. “Yep… I think. ”

  He flings his body forward as the ride takes off. Our cage starts to spin gradually at first, but the more weight he puts into his rocks the faster it goes. The lights from outside flash all around and the music picks up. I hear the roar of other rides; people laughing, screaming. The wind blows against my cheeks and the air smells like salt and cotton candy.

  The faster it goes, the more I lose sight of what’s up and what’s down as we go around and around. The hinges squeak and I hear Kayden laugh as I let out a little squeal. Surprisingly, I don’t freak out, nor does Kayden get a lap full of candy corn. I’m having fun, even though it feels like my face is being sucked back into my skull and my brain is rattling around.

  When the ride stops, we’re at the top and the breeze sneaks in between the holes in the door.

  Kayden opens his eyes and a confused look rises on his face. “I thought you passed out or something with how quiet you were. ”

  “I was just enjoying the ride,” I say breathlessly. “It was actually pretty fun. ”

  “Well, I’m glad I’m that good,” he says, resting back in the seat.

  I turn my head away to hide the smile on my face, because he’s just having fun and I’m enjoying it way too much. He has a girlfriend. A very pretty girlfriend, who isn’t up to her neck in problems. One that he can touch and rock away with or whatever.

  We don’t speak until our cage reaches the ramp. When the ticket guy opens the door, Kayden hops out and I follow, stumbling over my own feet as the world sways from my dizziness. My shoulder slams into his broad chest. He laughs at me as his fingers grip my waist and he guides me closer to his side. Between the rush of adrenaline and the feel of his hands holding me, it seems like it’s going to be a good night.

  And I’ve been looking for one of those for a while.

  Chapter 8

  #17 Let Something Amazing Happen, Without Question or Hesitation


  I know what I’m doing is wrong, but I can’t seem to stop. I’m flirting with her, looking for excuses to touch her and make her laugh. I’ve never laid it on this thick before with anyone, including Daisy. Daisy was easy. All I had to do was say something nice about her and life was good. Not with Callie. With her I have to earn it.

  “No one ever wins these games, especially the top shelf prizes,” Seth declares as we roam along the row of booths. He’s got his arm around Callie and they keep whispering to each other. I want to exchange places with him, but don’t know the right way to go about it.

  “It’s a trick, I tell you, to steal all your money. ” He makes an evil villain mixed with a pirate laugh and Callie buries her face into his chest, her shoulders heaving as she laughs hysterically.

  “Did he seriously just say that?” Luke asks as he maneuvers around an older man handing out flyers.

  I nod, my gaze tracking the booths. “I think he did. ”

  Luke’s neck cranes to the left as he checks out a tall brunette, wearing tight jeans and a shirt that covers half her stomach. “I think you might have to prove him wrong. ”

Are you trying to tell me that you can win that?” Seth points at a booth where darts have to be thrown at balloons. Then, he aims his finger toward the ceiling where there are massive teddy bears hanging by strings. “And I’m not talking about those silly little prizes on the bottom row. I want one of those big ones up there. ”

  I crack my knuckles and my neck. “Okay, first off when I win one, it’s not going to be for you. It’s going to be for that beautiful girl right there. ” I point at Callie, then want to take it back, even though it’s true.

  Callie glances up at me through her eyelashes, trying to hold back a blush and Seth clears his throat. “Alright, manly man,” he says. “Go prove that you’re a man. ”

  I slip my wallet out of my back pocket, while Luke ambles off toward the rides, lighting up a cigarette.

  “You do realize he’s the quarterback, right?” Callie says to Seth as they walk behind me and it makes me smile for some stupid reason. “He practices hitting a target every day. ”

  “So what?” Seth argues. “I’m still calling his bull shit. These games are unwinnable. ”

  Callie stands to the side of me as I hand the guy in the booth some money in exchange for five darts. He lays them down on the counter and backs into the corner, returning his attention to his dinner.

  I pick one up, raise it over my shoulder, and squint at a balloon. Callie crosses her arms, studying me, and I lower the dart, but keep my eyes on the balloon. “Are you trying to make me nervous?”

  “No, why? Am I?” she asks uneasily.

  “Kind of,” I admit, looking at her. “I can feel your intense gaze burning through the side of my head. ”

  “Sorry, I’ll stop,” she sputters and begins to turn away.

  I catch the bottom of her white t-shirt and my knuckles graze her soft skin. “No, keep looking at me like that. It makes it more challenging. ”

  She glances down at my hand and then her gaze glides up me. “Okay. ”

  I tear my eyes off her, lift the dart back up as she focuses on me, and fling it at a red balloon on the top row. It pops and Callie flinches. “One down, four to go. ” I grin at her, but note that she’s growing nervous.

  I pick up another dart and throw it, then repeat the same move. Each one pops a balloon and when I’m done, the top row is nothing but deflated pieces of latex. The guy behind the counter comes over with a frown on his face.

  “Congratulations,” he says in a monotone voice and points his finger at a row of teddy bears dangling from the ceiling. “You get your choose from one of those lovely prizes up there. ”

  I glance at Callie who’s staring at the balloons with a frown on her lips. “I said if I won, it was for you. ”

  Callie sighs, her shoulders slumping as she fixes her eyes up at the bears. “They seem so big. I think my roommate would be pissed if I brought it back to our tiny room. ”

  “We have to take the prize,” Seth says with a serious expression on his face as he puts his hands on the counter and tilts his head up to look at all the prizes. “You don’t turn down a top shelf prize. ”