El Pinto Mexican food restaurant is the fucking bomb. A combination of gorgeous, sprawling hacienda-style ambiance, delicious authentic New Mexico cuisine, mouth-watering pitchers of house fresh margaritas, and a fun-loving, exuberant group of people sitting with me around a patio table. My cheeks hurt from the permanent smile that’s been stamped across my face since the moment we stepped under the vine-covered arch and through the glass double doors. After several big O’s on the trek down here, and then this phenomenal meal, I’d have to say my impromptu summer road trip has started out a tremendous success.
“So you seriously know nothing about motocross or dirt bikes? You’ve never seen anything on TV like X-Games? Red Bull X-Fighters? Metal Mulisha? You don’t have any brothers into this stuff?” Gunner gawks at me in utter disbelief while the four of us finish our last drinks at the restaurant before heading back to Sandia Motocross Park, where the bus is parked.
Tapping my chin, I pretend to think for a moment then shake my head. “I mean I’m familiar with what the X-Games are. I do live in Colorado, the winter action sports mecca, but I don’t know anything specifically about motocross other than you ride a motorcycle on a dirt track stupidly fast and do crazy-ass stunts while flying through the air.”
Emilia bursts out laughing at my oversimplified explanation of what her husband and Levi do for a living, but the two guys are still in shock at my revelation. It’s like they’ve never met anyone else who isn’t up to date on all their lingo and shit. I should’ve never asked why people made that braaappp noise at the wedding…
“Oh, and I do have one brother,” I add, “but he’s eight and likes to snowboard in the winter and fish in the summer. If any of my sisters were into dirt bikes, it’d be Juno. She’s the athletic one—but softball and volleyball are more her thing.”
Another peculiar look from Gunner. “How many sisters do you have?”
“Five. There are seven of us total. All from the same parents, who yes, are still married.” I answer the questions I know are coming before he even asks. Everyone is always intrigued by the size of my family, especially in this day and age. “My family is a little…unconventional.”
“A little?” Emilia scoffs. “You call your parents by their first names, and you grew up on a weed farm! You’ve got the coolest fucking family ever. Plus, you all look like Barbie dolls! When I used to dream about running away from home, I either wanted to be a trapeze artist in the circus or a Shavell sister.”
Snickering, I wrap my lips around my straw and suck in the chilled, tangy strawberry margarita. “Either way, you would’ve been joining a circus. There’s never a dull moment in a house with ten people in it.”
“Sunshine,” Levi leans over to me, resting his hand on the inside of my thigh, right below the frayed hem of my shorts, “I promise I want to learn all about your family. They sound cool as fuck—especially the part about the weed farm—but can we get back to where you said motocross is driving fast and doing stupid, crazy-ass stunts while flying through the air? ’Cause if you’re gonna be my girl on this trip, we need to give you a crash course tonight in all things motocross, so you can truly appreciate my awesomeness when you see me in action.”
I blink hard. His girl? Did he already dip his grubby hand into Grams’ special cookies?
“Hulk,” I lift my hand up to cradle his chin, bringing my face close to his, “I’ve already appreciated your awesomeness in action earlier today, and it had nothing to do with dirt bikes. So unless you want to show me how you can eat dessert on one, I’ll pass on the crash course and embrace my lingo ignorance.”
His eyes grow wide at my suggestion, and suddenly, the space between my mouth and his is gone, obliterated by a searing, possessive kiss. My lips part on a quick inhale of surprise, and he takes full advantage of my momentary vulnerability, sliding his tongue into my mouth to tangle with mine.
Everyone and everything around us fades away while his hypnotic lips move over mine. The world could come crashing down all around us right now, and the only thing I’d be concerned about is how to prolong the mind-boggling way he makes me feel each time he kisses me. It’s like the first time every time. Pounding heart. Trembling hands. Fluttering belly. Sizzling core.
Erin Noelle is a Texas native, where she lives with her husband and two young daughters. While earning her degree in History at the University of Houston, she rediscovered her love for reading that was first instilled by her grandmother when she was a young child.
A lover of happily-ever-afters, both historical and current, Erin is an avid reader of all romance novels. Her titles published include the Book Boyfriend Series, the Dusk ‘Til Dawn Series, Translucent, Conspire — co-authored with SE Hall, Surviving Us, MILF: Wrong Kind of Love and Spark.
Her books have been a part of the USA Today Bestselling list and the Amazon and Barnes & Noble overall Top 100.