Thunderstruck Chapter 1

by Torden Dar

            Josi put one leg and then the other out the window.  It had come to this.  She was climbing out the bathroom window rather than make another lame excuse to end another lame date with another lame guy.  Tonight, he had gone too far, and she didn’t have the energy to be diplomatic.  Josi was out of patience with him, out of patience with her dating life, and out of patience with the world.  She needed to get out, now.

            Inside her purse, Josi’s cell phone played a happy jingle.  Great timing.  Josi sucked in a breath and answered.  “I’m a little busy at the moment, Rafe.”

            Her friend’s deep voice responded, “Ah, things are going well.  You don’t need your escape call.  I’ll let you get back to getting busy.”

            Josi grimaced.  “It is so not going well.  You won’t believe what he said to me.  I don’t need an escape call because I am already escaping.  Out the bathroom window.”

            Rafe sighed.  “You punched him, didn’t you?”

            Josi snorted.  “He certainly deserved it, but it’s better just to make a quick escape.”

            “Punching him is better.”

            “I’m not going to punch him.”  Josi sighed.  “He’s an ass, but I’m too tired to fight and too tired to say goodnight like a lady.  I just wanted a human connection, not a leering troll.  Is that too much to ask?”  The words came tumbling out.  “All he wanted was a plaything with an empty head.  The only opinion he wanted me to have was how amazing he was.  I’m tired of stroking men’s egos and holding back who I really am.  I’m tired of men who are threatened when I have an opinion.”  Her eyes filled with tears.  “I can’t keep going out on dates, getting my hopes up, only to end up back home burying my sorrows in ice cream.  I can’t keep kissing frogs looking for a prince, because it’s just been too many frogs.”  Her voice cracked.  “I can’t take it anymore.  I just want a guy who thinks I’m wonderful, but what I got was him.”

            “It will get better.  Just get home safely.  Maybe use the door instead of a window.”

            “I’m going out the window.  I have to.”

            “You’re a spitfire, Josi, but you’re not immortal.  Be careful, and call me when you’re home.”

            Thunder rumbled outside the window.  “Thanks.  I gotta get a move on.”  Josi ended the call and popped the phone in her purse.  The mist in the air mixed with the mist in her eyes, and the breeze cooled her face as she steadied her breathing.

            Josi turned and climbed out the window.

            Her plan was working at first, but as she eased herself down, her dress snagged on something, pulling the hem of her skirt up, leaving her indecently exposed.

            Josi groaned.  Just great.  She paused to try and free the snag.

            The mist turned to drizzle.  Even better.

            Josi clung to the wall with her dress pulled up and her underwear on display.  She had picked out her favorite pair of panties.  They were the kind of underwear that spiced up a hot date.  Or brightened up a bad one.  She hadn’t planned on anyone seeing them.  Josi swallowed hard.  At least it was clean underwear.  Somewhere, her mother was laughing.

            Thunder boomed overhead, and the drizzle turned to rain.  She was going to get soaked.  Josi didn’t want to call for help, because someone might find her like this.  She would need to explain her situation to whoever found her, explain how her dating life was in such a slump that leaving by the window had seemed the best option.  Josi couldn’t handle that embarrassment.  She just wanted to get out of there and go home.

            “You look like you need a hand.”  It was a deep male voice.  Josi couldn’t bear to look.  He had to be a cop.  His voice was too authoritative.  That meant paperwork and reports.  There would be legal evidence of how badly her date had gone.   Josi stared at the window ledge in front of her face, trying not to wallow in despair.

            Finally, she glanced around.  In her distraction, she only half-registered what she saw.  Long blond hair brushed against his broad shoulders that filled a black motorcycle jacket.  He was solid muscle, and he was grinning at her predicament.  Josi wanted to kick him.  This is not funny.

            He clearly wasn’t a cop — probably a serial killer.  Who else would be hanging around in a dark alley outside the restaurant?  She felt a grim resignation rather than any fear.  She had seen enough news stories to know what happened in dark alleys.  At least he was a good looking serial killer.

            “Need some help?”

             “I’m fine.  I don’t need to be rescued.  Go away.  There are plenty of people inside who are ready to help me.”

            He chuckled.  “I doubt it.  I’ve started enough trouble to know what it means when you climb out the back window.”

            “It’s nothing like that.  Go away.”

            The man rolled his eyes.  Josi tried to hate him for that.  He moved closer, and his gaze lingered on her exposed panties.  “How could I leave a woman dangling helplessly in her underwear?”

            A chill went down Josi’s spine along with an embarrassing flash of heat.  “Go away.”

              He pulled over a wooden crate and climbed on it behind Josi.  The wood groaned under his weight, and the warmth of his body radiated against her back.  He slipped a strong arm around her waist.  Josi was deeply aware of his presence behind her, forgetting about the dress she was wearing until he leaned closer to free it, pressing against her as he moved.

            “What kind of trouble are you in?”  His voice resonated in his chest into her body.

             “I’m fine.  Bad date.  It’s a long story.”  Snapping to her senses, she added, “My friends will be meeting me in a moment.”

            His body twitched with a suppressed laugh.  “I’m not going to hurt you.  Why would I rescue you if I wanted to harm you?”

            “You’re a man, so I know you can’t be trusted.  And you can put me down now.”

            Why did she say that?

            He leaned over and lowered her to the ground, then leapt off the crate with powerful grace.  Standing next to her, he still towered over her.

            Josi already missed being in his arms.  She gazed up at him, transfixed by his ice-blue eyes.  Get it together.  Thunder rumbled overhead, but Josi was focused on him.  “I don’t even know your name.”  She was trying to play it cool, but she could hear her voice catch.

             He winked.  “I’ve been called many things.  You can call me Thor.”

            Josi let out a breath.  “How appropriate.  Like the god of thunder.”

            He laughed.  “Something like that.”  Josi tingled as Thor’s eyes swept over her body.  “I can’t leave you here alone.  Come with me.”  He stepped back from her, and suddenly she felt alone in the alley, alone in the world.  Get it together.  Thunder crashed nearby, and lightning danced in the clouds.

            Josi straightened her dress and hesitated.  Her body wanted to stay with him, but her brain was cautious.

            “I’ll take you somewhere dry before the storm hits.  You can tell me why you were dangling from the window, Miss…”

            “Josi.  Just Josi.  I wasn’t dangling.  I was climbing.  And I was doing just fine.”

            Thor nodded silently, only half hiding his amusement.

            “Hey, Sugartits!”  Josi’s head spun around toward the voice.  “Where the hell do you think you’re going?” 

            Shit.  Her date was stalking down the alley.  Really bad timing.  This was what she was trying to avoid.  Josi’s mouth went dry as she glanced around the alley, instinctively looking for a quick escape.  Her date looked angry.  Even more angry than he had at dinner.  His face belonged on a poster somewhere.  A wanted poster.  A poster warning about guys who had serious anger issues.  If you see this man, climb out the nearest window.

            A clap of thunder stopped her date in his tracks, and his jaw dropped when lightning illuminated Thor, who filled the alleyway.  Josi looked at her date and then at Thor.  Thor’s face darkened like the storm clouds, and he put a hand on Josi’s shoulder, sliding her behind him.  “Want me to punch him in the nose?”

            Yes.  “No.”  Yes.

            Josi’s date stood frozen to the ground.  Thor stepped toward him with a threatening scowl.  Josi’s date stood his ground, his face red with rage.  “This is between me and her.  It’s none of your business.”

            “I’m making it my business.”

            “She’s my date.  Get lost.”

            The two men stared at each other.  Menace flowed between them.  Thor set his as he reached back to make sure Josi was safely behind him.  She mostly saw Thor’s broad back wrapped in black leather.  A loud thunderclap jolted Josi, but Thor didn’t flinch.  The men were ready to fight over her.  This frightened Josi.  She had snuck out the window to avoid making a scene.  Yet, for some reason Josi wanted to egg on Thor, wanted to tell Thor to punch him in the nose.  Get it together.  This was dangerous.  She needed a way to end this safely.  Josi touched Thor’s back.

            Thor broke his stare and turned to Josi.  He lowered his lips to hers, taking her breath away as they kissed.  He drew her against him, claiming her.  Her breasts pressed against his hard body.  It had been so long since Josi had been kissed.  It had been so long since she had wanted to be kissed.  Thor wanted to kiss her.  She could feel it in his firm lips, feel it in the way his body stiffened against hers.  Josi closed her eyes and returned the kiss.

            Thor’s hand curved around the back of her waist.  She was so small in his grasp.  His mouth roughly rubbed against hers.  Josi opened her lids and stared defiantly into his eyes, pressing her lips back against his.  He was a predator, but she would not be easy prey.  Thor growled deep in his chest.  His body tensed, holding back.  Or preparing to pounce.  He pressed his tongue against her lips.  The rumble of his growl mixed with the rumbling of thunder.  The air smelled of a thunderstorm, and a storm was raging in Josi’s head.

            Get it together.  She wasn’t supposed to kiss him like this.  She wanted to resist, to pretend that he wasn’t affecting herShe had just met him, yet his kiss sent waves of heat through Josi.  His muscles flexed and bulged as he moved against her, adding to the heat.  The warmth of his body and his raw desire fanned the flames.  Josi melted against him, giving herself to him.  Parting her lips for him.

            Thor’s tongue entered Josi’s mouth triumphantly.  Their tongues intertwined.  Electricity flowed through Josi, filling her body with need.  She clenched her thighs together, reveling in his power as he held her against his solid body.

            Thor ended the kiss, sending a jolt of emptiness through Josi.  He turned back to her date.  “She’s mine, pal.”  Thor’s large fingers curled into fists.  She needed to stop this now.  Josi touched Thor’s back again.  His arms relaxed slightly, but his fists remained balled.  Josi whispered, “Fine.  I’ll go with you.”

            Lightning flashed, and Thor’s voice boomed.  “You heard her.  She’s going with me.  If you try to stop her, you’ll feel my full fury.”

            Josi’s date sputtered but didn’t move.

            Thor rolled a motorcycle from behind a dumpster and straddled it, a giant man on a large bike.  Josi climbed awkwardly over the seat behind him, putting her arms around Thor’s waist.   The bike roared to life between her thighs.  Josi’s heart pounded.  Being wrapped around Thor distracted her from the rain and from her date and from everything else.  She felt safe.  More than safe.  She was burning with heat.  As the bike rolled forward, Josi slid her hands up to Thor’s chest.  She turned to watch her dumbfounded date standing mutely, his mouth gaping open.  She felt Thor’s pecs flexing as he steered the bike out of the alley.  The engine howled as he accelerated down the road, his body protecting her from the rain.  Josi pressed herself against Thor and held him tight.  She might never let go.

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