“Daryl?” she murmured, looking up at the motorcycle hunk that she had quickly fallen head over heels for while on her family trip to the island of Aruba.
“Sup?” he asked, looking at her from the corner of his eye. He had his arm swung over her shoulders, holding her close as the two of them watched the people stroll by on the beach. This was his favourite spot to people watch.
“Do you think we could go for a ride on your bike?” Beth asked, batting her lashes at him innocently. She held her breath slightly, hoping that he would say yes.
Daryl cracked a grin, but laughed, shaking his head. “You know, Beth, your dad would kill me if I took you on my bike.”
“He already wants to kill you,” she muttered under her breath, shaking her head. She knew her father meant well, but his meddling was really putting a damper on her vacation.
“Heard that,” he said, nudging her. “But I don’t blame him. I mean, I’m far too old for ya, Beth.”
“And I told you that I don’t care,” Beth insisted, looking at him firmly. “I know we just met, Daryl, but I don’t know… Something about this just feels right.”
Daryl stood, clearing his throat as he often did when he felt uncomfortable. He shoved his hands in his pockets and looked at her. “Told ya, kid, when your trip is over, you’ll go home, meet some farmboy, and forget all about me.”
“And I told you that you’re not so easily replaceable,” Beth countered. “And don’t call me kid… I’m twenty-one.” It had been a week and a half since she had arrived on the island for vacation. She had met Daryl that day, when he had nearly drove his motorcycle right into her… Or rather, she had nearly walked into him as she wasn’t paying attention.
The attraction was instantaneous. She had fallen for the grungy biker immediately. He was older, covered in tattoos, and smoked. All qualities that her father hated, but she loved. She offered to buy him dinner in an attempt to apologise for nearly causing him to crash.
Fast forward a few days and she was smitten. And Beth knew that Daryl felt something for her, but she also knew that he wouldn’t admit it. He was too stubborn to face what was right in front of him.
“Please,” she murmured, batting her lashes at him once more.
“Fine,” he grumbled. “Let’s go.” He headed towards his bike, trying to hide his smile at Beth’s shriek of excitement.
She scrambled after him, climbing up onto the motorcycle after him. She made herself comfortable on the back of his bike, holding onto his hips tightly.
“Just a little ride around the island, one of my favourite scenic routes.”
Beth nodded. “Okay,” she said, wriggling her hips in excitement.
“Don’t rock the bike,” Daryl snapped, looking at her over his shoulder. He took a deep breath. “We’re going slow and easy.”
“Okay,” she said again, this time remaining perfectly still. Daryl started the bike and she trembled as her legs shook from the vibrations. She pressed herself against Daryl’s back, holding tightly. “I’m ready!” she shouted.
Grinning, Daryl took off. True to his word, he carefully worked his way through the traffic towards the highway. Holding on, Beth watched as the colors of their surroundings whirled by as they travelled.
Her heart was light as they travelled, and she leant her cheek against Daryl’s back. Was it possible to fall in love with someone after only a few days? Previously, she didn’t think so, but after getting to know Daryl better, she was starting to think it was true.
She watched as the beauty of the island unfolded around her, but suddenly, grey clouds appeared. She didn’t think rain was in the forecast, but it seemed like the weather had a mind of its own in this area.
Within moments, small pellets of rain were splattering down on them before a large clap of thunder broke out. Lightning illuminated the suddenly dark sky, and Daryl quickly pulled into the parking lot of a small building.
"We'll have to camp out here until it clears up," Daryl shouted, hopping off the bike. He helped Beth get down and pulled her into the small coffee shoppe. "Sorry you're soaked."
Beth smiled and shrugged. "It was worth it," she told him grinning. "The view of the island is beautiful."
"So, tell me about your life back home in Georgia," Daryl said, taking a seat. He dug into his pocket and pulled out a crumpled twenty. "After you get two coffees, actually."
Beth took the money and headed to the counter. She ordered two hot coffees and a pastry to split. Once she paid, she took her items back to the table where Daryl was waiting. "Here we are," she announced, sitting across from him.
"So, are you going to tell me about Georgia?" Daryl asked after taking a sip of his hot coffee.
"Are you going to tell me how you ended up here in Aruba?" Beth countered, teasing him. Try as she might, Daryl wouldn't tell her anything about his past.
"It's not a pretty story, Beth, so no," Daryl said gruffly.
Beth pouted, but nodded. "Well, I'm attending our local community college, and when I'm not there or doing homework, I'm helping my dad out on the farm."
"That's nice of you."
"Mmmm, it's hard, but the farm has been in our family for generations."
"And it'll be yours next?"
"Nah, it'll go to my sister Maggie. I'll be free to go and live wherever I want…" She paused. "Even some place like here."
Daryl scoffed. "Get that idea out of your pretty little head, girl, it ain't happening."
"You're not the boss of me, Daryl."
"Let's just enjoy the time we have, yeah?" He said, clearly wanting to divert the conversation.
"Okay," Beth said quietly, sipping at her coffee. Reaching out, she took Daryl's hand, smiling when he squeezed it tightly. Looking out the window, she watched as the rain poured down.
She loved him… And she knew he loved her back.
From the corner of her eye, she watched him.
She'd convince him to admit it yet.