Red Hot

By: Ann B. Harrison

Chapter 1

Carrick Patrick Douglas, or Red, as he was more often called because of the bright auburn head of hair he sported, gritted his teeth and slowly pulled up the zip on his black leather bike pants. The bulge in his boxers was uncomfortable beyond reason and short of taking himself in hand, the best way to ward off an erection of major proportions like this one was on the back of his Ducati at breakneck speed. The tight twists and turns down the coast road heading toward Monterey would keep his mind off his fucked up sex life, or more to the point, lack of it.

He leaned down to pull on his boots, angling his body to cause himself the least discomfort, and clipped the fasteners up his calves on one boot, then the other.

His leather jacket was hanging neatly in his closet. Taking it from the coat hanger he glanced at his bed. The sheets were a tangled mess from his latest wet dream, the one where his laboratory assistant had him tied to the stainless steel bench naked while she used her microscope in the most inventive way. He pulled his jacket on and walked away.

He stopped at the door, a curse on his lips. Grunting deep in his throat he turned back and made the bed, fluffing up the pillows and angling them just right for effect, cursing his OCD quirks. Disgusted with himself, he stormed from the room. He had never been yelled at for not making his bed when he was a kid because he couldn't bear to see the mess left behind if he didn't. Everything had its place in his room and that was how he always left it. Try as he might, Red couldn't change the way he was.

It was in his nature to be neat and precise, something that more often than not came back to bite him in the ass in some shape or form.

The keys were on the post by the front door. He picked up his wallet, grabbed his helmet from the shelf, and walked out. To make himself feel better, he slammed the door behind him and instantly regretted the childish action. A quick glance showed he hadn't broken the antique glass his mother had prized.

The sleek red Ducati was sitting in the driveway of his San Francisco home. Tucking his hair behind his ears, he put his glasses in their case and placed them inside his jacket pocket. Red pulled down the helmet, doing up the chin-strap before swinging a leg over the seat of the powerful machine. He inserted the key and hit the ignition. The rumble of the motor sent deep pulses through his leather pants to the sensitive skin of his crotch and reminded him of the reason for his ride today. He kicked the foot peg up and turned the bike toward the road.

He looked both ways before he gunned the Ducati out onto the street. Leaning forward on the bike, he debated which way to go. The route down through town was interesting and on a Saturday morning there was bound to be plenty to see, but if he hit the direct route to the highway he would be out of town sooner. The wide open roads of the coast called to him and he headed down the motorway. He whipped across both lanes, dodging between cars and tourist buses and pushed his bike over the speed limit. The thrill of being ticketed added to his adrenalin rush.

His mind wandered as he followed the road through the salad growing area and small cropping farms. He ignored the exit signs, and gunned his bike again to take the winding ocean road. The smell of the salty air filled his lungs. He breathed deeply; glad to be out of the lab and away from the vision of his latest unfulfilled wet dream. His gorgeous assistant was soon to be married and no longer available but that didn’t stop him lusting over his Cara.

When he had first hired her he told himself he would ask her out once he got to know her better. But each time he tried, he got tongue tied and walked away. She was friendly enough and they got on well at work but that was different from taking their friendship to a personal level. By the time he had convinced himself to try again and ask her out, she was already talking about some guy she had met.

It was his own bloody fault, Red knew that. He shouldn’t have been so slow. His shyness bugged him and more often than not he missed out because he couldn’t pluck up the courage to make the first move. And to top it off, she had walked in yesterday with a glow surrounding her and proudly wriggled her fingers in front of him. The huge diamond made him sick to his stomach. He’d plastered a smile on his face when he gave her his best wishes. Disappointment fired through his gut and Red mentally kicked himself for his non-existent dating skills. She was a great assistant and he didn’t want to lose her so he pretended it didn’t matter to him.