Updated: Oct 6, 2021
Yay! I'm so excited to share Jet's story. If you love mouthy women, and stubborn older veterans, you'll love Jet and Trinity's story!
I start up my truck and head off the ranch, speeding toward the little gray car in front of me. It’s a Mazda or some foreign thing that won’t be able to keep up with my Ford, though I challenge it to try. I could use a little fast paced excitement. Since I got back from overseas, it’s proven difficult to find thrill with everyday life. Each day is seemingly worse than the one before. Sorry, but waiting for my toast to pop in the morning doesn’t have the same excitement as flying a fighter jet into a war zone.
I shift gears on the old pickup truck and push down harder on the pedal, cutting off a passing sheep just as he’s about to cross the road. Damn back country traffic is bad today. This is the second animal I’ve seen wandering out of place.
A heavy cloud of dust smokes out the back of the Mazda and then it slows, steadily losing speed until it’s stopped rolling into the shoulder.
Foreign cars. Who could have guessed?
I pull over and look down inside the vehicle. A brown-haired beauty is leaning forward with her head against the wheel, her back lifting and falling as though she’s crying. She didn’t seem quite this dramatic back at camp.
I let out a sigh and turn off my engine, crunching over top the dusty, dirt road to the driver side window of the woman’s car. She looks up right away, her bright green eyes shining in the late afternoon sun as her dark hair falls onto her shoulder and into her cleavage. I’d noticed her form back at camp, but not so archaically. Though, the crocodile tears falling from her eyes remind me how manipulative women are, which keeps my hormones in check.
“Can I help you?” she says, a bite in her tone.
I lean against the car door, straightening my leather jacket before gripping my thumb into my jeans.
She’s seriously going to act like she doesn’t know why I’m chasing her down?
“I’m sorry?” I say, my eyes widening, sarcasm in my tone.
“I said, can I help you?” The bite increases.
“Actually, you can,” I say. “You left the camp back there, and I’ve been chasing you for what… five miles now?”
“You’re following me?” she gasps, trying to turn over her car again, a look of panic on her face.
I laugh. “Rebel Lake? You were just there. You talked to my friend Rex about shutting down the—”
She looks away and turns over the engine again and again until it finally starts, speeding off down the road, a plume of dust kicking up behind that fills my lungs as I’m left with the crickets and setting sun.
What the hell? Is it that big a deal that I chased her down? It was for good cause, and if she’d sat still for three seconds, I’d have told her so.
Coughing, I run to the truck and hop inside, following the smoking car down the one lane road until it stalls out again. She doesn’t make it far, maybe two hundred feet, and even that might be generous. This time I don’t bother to get out of the truck. I just lean over and roll down the passenger window.
“Doesn’t look like you made it far,” I say, a grin on my face that I should probably be hiding.
She looks up and rolls her eyes. “I’ll manage fine here. I can call my…” she reaches around on the seat as though she’s looking for her phone but comes up empty, then slaps her head onto the wheel again.
“Forget something?” I say, shaking the phone back and forth in my hand.
She eyes me sideways. “How did you get my phone?”
“You left it in the conference room at the camp. That’s part of why I’ve been chasing you down.”
“Part of why?” she says, stepping out of the car, her curved waist swaying in place with her movement as she leans into my window, hand out for her phone.
I smile, holding it back from her reach. “I said, part of why.”
She sucks in a deep breath and lets it out slowly. “If this is about funding for the camp, I have no control over the actual checks. That’s all doled out by the government. I’m just the messen—”
“Bull shit that you’re just the messenger. You’re the one that’s going to run back and write up a report on whether or not Rebel Lake has earned the graces of that precious grant. Rex told me you were on the fe—”
“This is not up for debate Mr…”
“Jet,” I say, tapping my thumb on the steering wheel.
“Jet? That’s your name? Your mother named you Jet?” The second time she says it with more punch and enough sarcasm to boil my blood. She obviously knows nothing about the military, and I bet she hasn’t spent a day at Rebel Lake.
“As far as I’m concerned, my name is Jet. And you are?”
I can’t help but laugh. “You’re going to call shit on Jet when you’re walking around with a name like Trinity?”
She rolls her eyes and reaches for her phone through the window, but I pull it away again, laughing. “No way. I demand a proper conversation about budgeting first.”
A flat look washes over her face as she opens the passenger side door and steps into the car and scrambles toward me for her phone.
“I’m not doing this today, Mr. Jet! I have too many things going on to be dealing with some entitled asshole.” Her short frame barrels on top of me, her breasts pressing against my chest, as she nearly straddles the side of my body reaching for her phone. Her scent is like lavender and some other flower I can’t identify.
I stick my hand out the driver's side window, holding the phone out as far as I can with a laugh. “You could always talk to me first. That’d be the easiest way to do this.”
She looks toward me with flaring nostrils and cold flinty eyes before she stretches her leg over top of my lap, the short sundress she’s wearing fluttering up behind her, as her ass rubs against my chest.
This is starting to feel wrong. Still though, I’m not giving up the phone.
Trinity reaches out further, her short arms stretching as far as they can, her curved frame inching further and further out the window and toward her phone like a cat on a branch.
“You should back up or you’re going to fall and hurt yourself.”
“If I fall and hurt myself, it’s your fault.”
“I’m being really clear with you. If you want your phone back, you’re going to have to talk to me first. There are a few things I think we can do to gain back the fund—”
Her chest is out the window now, the only part of her body left in the truck—her ass, which is now balancing close to my face.
She reaches out further, digging her knees into my thigh. “Just give me my damn ph—”
Her balance catches and she starts to tip, a scream leaving her lips. I reach out and grip her hips, holding her back from falling out the window, the phone tumbling to the gravel outside as I reach the other hand around her shoulders, pulling her back into the truck.
“What the hell is your problem?” she barks, straightening her dress and her hair. “First, you’re chasing me down the road, then you’re holding my phone away from me like a child, and now you are feeling me up? What is wrong with you?”
“Feeling you up? I helped you back into the truck. You were going to fall.”
“I was going to fall because you were holding my phone back from me, which, as you know, is the only chance I have of getting away from you!”
“Sorry to say it, but again, the only chance you have of getting away from me, is a conversation.”
She glares toward me, a tightness in her eyes. “You have no idea how bad my week has been. I’m done playing with people, Jet. Give me my phone.”
She must not have seen it fall to the ground.
“Look, let’s come to a compromise. You spend one day at the camp and I’ll—”
Her eyes narrow and her jaw drops. “No. This isn’t a negotiation. I’m not doing anything so you can—”
A loud rap song begins to play outside. I know immediately it’s coming from the phone and reach outside the door for it before Trinity has a chance to circle the truck.
“Mom’s calling,” I say, now standing outside the truck with a Cheshire grin that’s forcing a tightness to her jaw.
Her eyes close and she lets out a long sigh.
“Should we answer it?” I say with a smile. “Mom’s hate to worry. We should let her know everything is okay.”
Trinity narrows her eyes. “Answer it. I’ll tell her you’ve kidnapped me and she’ll send every cop in Colorado out to search.”
I call her bluff and tap the phone to answer. “Hello.”
“Trinity? Who’s this? I think I have the wrong—”
“No. This is Trinity’s phone. I’m her friend, Jet.”
Her mother clears her throat. “Jet? Are you the boyfriend Trinity has been so vague about?”
I look toward Trinity, her hands pressed together as though she’s praying, her head shaking back and forth. It’s a scene of some sort, but I’m not sure what to make of it, and I’m wondering why she hasn’t screamed out for the help she was planning to call for yet.
“That’s me,” I say, glancing back at Trinity, to gauge whether or not that what she was begging me for. Her face is now buried in her hand, so I’m guessing not.
“Oh!” her mother perks. “Well, it’s so nice to talk to you. We were all starting to think Trinity had made you up.” She laughs, and a swirl of guilt rubs against my insides. Had I known there was a family dispute on the other end, I’d never have picked up the phone. Mostly, I was just fucking around.
“You’re coming to the wedding then, aren’t you, darling? It’s tomorrow night. We’re expecting a huge turnout. Trinity said you wouldn’t be able to make it, but I’m sure you understand how important it is for her to have a partner there.” Her mother pauses, and I glance toward Trinity, her eyes wide as she mouths the word ‘no’ over and over.
“Well, I do have that thing I needed to take care of. I’m not sure I can—”
“Oh dear. Well, things are more important than your girlfriend’s sister’s wedding, I suppose.” There’s sarcasm in her tone that I don’t much care for. If I were her daughter’s boyfriend, I’d find the whole thing pretty damn insulting. Maybe my ‘thing’ is important. How does she know? “Anyway, no one will think much of it. Trinity usually shows up to these things alone.”
I can’t explain the bubble that crawls up my throat. It’s a combination of shock, frustration, impatience, and annoyance. I’ve known mothers like Trinity’s mom. They’re toxic.
“You know what?” I say, glancing up to Trinity to gauge her reaction as I either make things better or worse. “I’ll be there.”
Trinity buries her face back in her hands, but her mother nearly shouts with pleasure.
“Oh, I’m so glad dear! I’ll make sure and tell everyone you’re coming. Just tell Trinity to wear that sweater I sent her.”
“See you then,” I say, hanging up the phone as I wonder why she’d want Trinity to wear a sweater to a wedding. It’s September, but the weather hasn’t dropped much yet.
“What are you doing?” Trinity barks. “You’ve lost your mind!”
“You could’ve stopped me at any point. What happened to hollering for help? I thought you wanted me to say something.”
Her eyes narrow and her jaw drops. “Why would I want you to make things a hundred times more complicated? Now I have to deal with the endless questioning on why my boyfriend didn’t show up to the wedding he promised he was attending a day before.”
“Who said I’m not going? I said I’d go. I’ll go.”
She hops from my truck and stalks toward me, ripping her phone from my hand before heading back to her car. “You’re not going to my sister’s wedding. We both know that. I don’t even know you. And what I do know, I don’t much like.”
Fuck, I feel kinda bad now. “Look, I was only trying to nail you down for a conversation about the camp. This probably went too far. I just—”
“You just what?” she asks, scrolling through her phone for what looks like the number to a tow company.
“I fucked up and I’m sorry. But I’ll stay good on my promise and go to the wedding. Unless you had another date. I mean, your mom said you had a boyfriend. I should’ve asked you. I’m sorry.”
Trinity’s eyes close and open slowly as she presses the number to call for a tow. A heavy sigh leaves her lips before she rattles off trajectory info to the tow company, then hangs up with a groan.
“They can’t get out here until tomorrow.”
“So what now?” I ask. “You have a wedding to get to tomorrow.”
She rolls her eyes upward, her nostrils flaring again as that pretty brown hair tangles around her arm. I owe her an apology.
“There’s a large possibility that I took the budget thing a little far,” I say, opening her car door. “But I’d like to make it up to you.”
“And how’s that?” she asks. “Would you please show up at my sister’s wedding and cause a scene? Maybe you can also draw even more attention to what a screw up I am?”
“Screw up? Aren’t you head of budgeting for veteran funding? I’d think you should be pretty proud of that.”
She rolls her eyes and glances up at me with disdain. “Just get me back into town and we’ll call it even.”
I nod and help her with her bags and up into my truck. Thinking over how ‘even’ is a very subjective word.
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