Title: Carson Chance, P.I., Over the Edge
Author: N.E. Brown
Publisher: Tate Publishing
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Author: N.E. Brown
Publisher: Tate Publishing
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Set against the rock and roll era of the early 1960’s, when casual sex and recreational drugs were the norm, a chance meeting on a road trip finds twenty-four year old Carson Chance smitten with a young female hitchhiker he gives a ride to. Sparks fly as the two loners reach out to each other for companionship. They are like two pages torn from the same book that fit together perfectly, only Carson doesn’t know it.
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Carson Chance was deep in thought when he first saw her. At first he thought it was a mirage or maybe his imagination, but as he got closer and slowed his Harley Davidson to a stop on the side of Highway 80, just in front of her; there was no question it was his lucky day. He stared at her as the wind blew her long auburn hair into her eyes. She swished it out of her face and it fell back around her shoulders as she smiled up at him. Mesmerized by her beautiful brown eyes, he quickly came back to reality and turned off the engine on his bike. Putting the kick stand down, he got off his bike, removed his helmet and took off his riding gloves. “Are you looking for a ride to Dallas?” he asked.
“Would I be out here on the side of the road with my arm extended out if I weren’t?”
Carson laughed. “I suppose not. Hop on.”
“What’s your first name?” Amy demanded.
“That is my first name. Carson, Carson Chance,”
“Like Johnny Carson?”
“Yeah, I guess except Carson is my first name.” Carson was fascinated by Amy’s low, sexy voice and hoped he would get a chance to have a real conversation with her before they got to Dallas.
The Harley was now cruising down Highway 80 at sixty miles an hour making it difficult to hear. Since Carson relied on both his weak hearing and lip reading, he decided he would pull off around Terrell, Texas, and get something to drink. He’d made the trip back to the VA Hospital in Shreveport, Louisiana, several times on his bike and knew there was a Dairy Queen drive-in a quarter mile off the highway so he turned off and pulled in. “Duty calls,” he said. They both got off the bike and she pulled off her helmet, shaking her hair out. Carson thought it was the sexist thing he’d ever seen, and took a closer look at her. She had deep-set brown eyes, luscious thick pink lips and her skin was flawless. Her silhouette was perfect with all the curves in the right places and she had a small waist and tight slim hips.
Carson was quite a prize himself. He was just over six feet tall, lifted weights and limited his drinking so his abs were tight and Amy thought he had a really cute butt. He had brown semi-curly hair that was combed back over his ears and a dimple in the right corner of his mouth when he smiled. His lean bronze face was well offset by his fiery, hazel eyes which had the faculty of seeing things as though he had a wide-angle lens. Preferring variety, picking up girls came easy for him, and he had no intentions of ever getting married.
They entered the Dairy Queen, ordered some food at the counter, and Carson extracted his wallet from his back pocket and paid for it. When he returned from the men’s room, he walked over taking the bench across from her. Amy put five dollars on the table in front of him. “I don’t expect you to pay my way. Carson shrugged his shoulders and picked up the cash. The restaurant was almost empty, so the waitress brought their food to their table instead of calling out their number. Amy got up to go wash her hands, and Carson waited for her to return before he picked up his hamburger. “You didn’t have to wait on me,” she said, taking a seat on the bench across from him.
“Are you always this bossy?”
Amy studied him for a minute and then picked up a french fry stuffing it into her mouth.
“Look, my bike got stolen and when I called the police, they treated me like a piece of trash. They didn’t want to believe me. The last guy that gave me a ride thought I was a prostitute and offered to pay me ten dollars for a blow job. I’m tired of taking crap off of men and the reason why I gave you money for my burger was because I didn’t want you to think I owed you something.”
“All right, I’m not the enemy here. You put yourself out there and I simply offered you a ride, nothing else.”
“Look, you seem like a nice guy and I’m sorry to take my frustrations out on you. The truth is I’m from Austin, Texas, and I dropped out of school. I went to Monroe, Louisiana, with a friend and then he met up with an old high school sweetheart and kicked me out. I should have known he was a looser. I don’t have much luck with men. They seem to always take advantage of me and I’m sick of it.”
Carson continued eating and took a sip of his root beer. “Why were you on your way to Dallas and not Austin?”
“My dad told me if I dropped out of school not to bother coming back home and I know he means it. He’s really strict and this isn’t the first time I’ve skipped out on school.
Carson was surprised by her comment, thinking she looked older. “What are your plans when you get to Dallas?” Carson asked.
“I don’t know. Try and get a job maybe. I have a couple of girlfriends that moved there after school was out last summer and I could look them up. I’ll figure something out. I always do. Enough about me. What do you do?” she asked looking at his finger for a wedding ring.
“I’m a private investigator.” He sat back in the booth and looked out the window.
“No way. Were you on a job in Louisiana?”
“No, I have to go to the VA Hospital for a check-up every so often and I was headed home.”
“VA Hospital? Were you in the military?”
“Army until I got injured in Vietnam.”
“Oh, I’m so sorry. I feel bad that I was so rude to you at first.”
“You and I have a lot in common,” he said. “Edgy on the outside but we have a few soft spots on the inside.” Amy laughed and Carson was amused by her sexy laugh. It was more like a rumble in her throat and her smile was contagious.
“Edgy? I’ve been called a lot of things, but edgy isn’t one of them.” The tension was finally gone and they were beginning to have a real conversation. Amy was animated when she spoke and used her hands in the conversation. Her nails were long with clear polish and Carson tried hard to find something he didn’t like about her. He found it difficult to take his eyes off her.
Carson looked at his watch. “It’s going to be dark in an hour and it’s difficult to see cyclists riding on the highway at night. Best we get on with it. Where do you want me to take you?”
Amy sighed and bit her lower lip. “Do you know if there is a cheap motel close to where you live? I don’t want to put you out. I took some money out of my friend’s wallet before I left.”
Carson couldn’t help but feel sorry for her. It would be late when they got to Dallas and a cheap motel wouldn’t be safe. He hesitated before he said, “Look, I was in a bad situation once myself and a good friend helped me out. I live in a two bedroom house but I only have one bed. You can have it tonight and I’ll sleep on the couch.” Carson took out his identification card and showed her his PI license. “Just so you know I’m legit.”
Amy looked at it and smiled. “Actually I didn’t think you were making it up, but thanks for showing me.”
“I’m curious,” Carson said. “Just how old are you?”
Amy let out a big sigh. “Eighteen.” He noticed she looked down not wanting to make eye contact.
Carson stood up and put a dollar tip on the table. “We better get going.”
When they took off, Amy tightened her arms around Carson’s waist and hugged his back side laying her chin on his shoulder. Carson was twenty-four years old and even though he found her utterly fascinating and extremely sexy, he knew he was too old for her. He preferred woman closer to his own age, since most girls younger than twenty-one needed too much pampering, and had too many insecurities. Amy seemed different though, and if she had any insecurities, she certainly hid them well. He was smitten with her sharp confidence and she was smart beyond her years.
Amy had hardly moved while they made their way back to Dallas. He called her name twice, and when she didn’t answer he assumed she had fallen asleep. When he pulled up in his driveway, he took each one of her hands into his and slowly swivelled around. She nuzzled her head under his neck and he could hear her easy breathing. “Amy, wake up, we’re here.” Amy raised her head up and looked around.
“Where are we?” she said yawning.
“Home. I need to get off and open the garage door. Are you awake?”
She yawned again, “I guess so,” Carson couldn’t help but smile at her.