Book review

Book 4 of 5.

Being in a long-distance relationship is hard. Janelle has almost got used to being apart from Greg during the week, but it's not exactly doing wonders for their communication.
She's looking forward to a romantic weekend with him. Especially when he tells her to get ready for a surprise. But when she arrives, it doesn't take long for them to fall into the same old argument they've been having for months.
An emotional bombshell makes them stop and decide what they really want from life. Just as Janelle truly begins to open her heart, fate steps in for a second time...
This short story is roughly 9,300 words long and is not intended for readers under the age of eighteen.

EXCERPT
We rode on for a while longer and I leaned against his back, holding on tight as he wove us through the traffic and leaned into the corners. I have absolutely no desire to learn how to ride a motorcycle myself, but nothing makes me feel more alive than riding behind my man, knowing he has everything under control. Well, there's one other way he makes me feel like that, but you can probably guess what I'm talking about there.

I love all the smells when I ride pillion - his tangy aftershave, his aged leather jacket, even the fumes. Whenever I hear the low bass rattle of a motorbike exhaust, my mind goes straight to Greg and how it feels to wrap my arms around him while we race through the city streets.

I meant to ask him where we were when he pulled up outside a school, but instead I heard myself asking, "Can we go for a ride tonight? After dinner?" I like it best when it's dark and all the neon lights are on.

"Sure." He seemed surprised. I suppose I'd never asked to go out on his bike before. "Don't you want to know why I've brought you out here?"

"That was my next question." I didn't recognise the neighbourhood. It looked nice enough - well-kept front gardens and tree-lined streets. The school-building was a pretty big clue, but there was no point making any assumptions.

"I've got a job here. As long as I pass my training, I can start here in September." His smile was hesitant.

"Of course you'll pass." I slung my arms around his neck and gave him a kiss before he could see the panic on my face. He wanted to stay here in Harchington. What about me?

"Congratulations." With the kiss over, I put on my best happy face. But then he looked at me and I wanted to cry.

"I told them I'd have to discuss it with you first."

"But that's why you came here - to be a teacher. What's there to discuss?"

"Don't be like that. You know what I'm talking about." He let go of me and took a step back. I could see him working hard not to lose his temper. "This is the same thing we went through when I got offered a place up here." He pushed his hair back off his face and walked away.

"I don't want you to turn this job down because of me."

"So move up here. There's low-cost housing that goes with the job."

We both stopped, locked in the same old argument we'd been having for the best part of our relationship. He knew all my reasons and I knew all his. So where did that leave us? "It's not that simple. I thought you'd be coming back when you qualified."

He shook his head. "Really? Did you really never consider this might happen?"

"I..." Of course I'd thought about it. But I'd pushed it to the back of my mind. He was the first man I'd let inside my fantasy of marriage and kids. The longer we stayed together, the more sure I got about him. But my dream-husband didn't live in Harchington.

Her Midnight Ride 4: Shocks and Surprises by Neneh J. Gordon

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Neneh J. Gordon
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