Love, Unwanted (Discovering Love #3)

By: Ra Chael Ohara



“Tennis shoes?” Just the mention of those two words is like nails on a chalkboard. “I don’t wear tennis shoes. Trust me, I can do anything in heels.”

“Not this. Now run along.” I squeak when he pats my bottom and gives me a gentle shove in the direction of my bedroom. “We’re on a schedule.”

What exactly did I get myself into?



***



I turn around and start heading back the down the stairs. “I changed my mind. I don’t want to do this.”

“Oh no you don’t, birdie. It’s on the list. We’re doing it,” Phoenix says while grabbing my hand and pulling me back up. I swallow hard when I look at the death trap in front of me. Out of all my wishes, riding a rollercoaster is the one he had to pick?

As if that’s not bad enough, the crazy man wants me to ride in the very front. I should be grateful. After all, he’s trying to help me, and on top of that, we show up to a closed amusement park and get in without any questions asked. I don’t know if he has connections, used his name, or paid an ungodly amount to get in, but it’s crazy to be the only two people in a place that’s usually swarming with thousands of people every day.

“Really, Phoenix, I don’t think I can do this,” I whisper. In hindsight, I maybe should have mentioned I’m terrified of heights, and, well, anything that’s out of my control before we got here, but I didn’t anticipate I would have this kind of reaction.

My palms are sweaty, my eyes are swimming in unshed tears, my heart is beating a million miles a minute, and I honestly don’t know if I’m closer to puking or passing out.

“Hey,” Phoenix says softly. I look at him and see him giving me a concerned look. “I’m here because you knew, subconsciously, this was the kind of reaction you would have. I’m not going to push you to do something that is truly scaring the shit out of you. To be honest, I don’t like that you’re crying right now. It makes me feel like shit, but I’m going to assure you this is safe, Caroline.”

He turns his attention to the beefy man running the ride. “Right, man?”

“Perfectly safe, dear,” he assures me.

“Now, we can leave here and move on to the next item or you can be completely kick ass and conquer this fear. Either option is fine with me, birdie.”

The first thing that wants to fly out of my mouth is “get me the heck out of here,” but I stop myself. He’s right. Deep down, I knew I would react this way. It’s why I’ve never tried.

I can blame my lame lifestyle on Chris hurting me. Mostly, the way he hurt me is to blame. But the other reason my life is lame is because I’m scared and petrified of the unknown. If I walk down those steps, I’m not just disappointing Phoenix. I’m letting myself down.

“I can do this,” I utter as steadily as I can.

“That’s my girl.” He smiles and turns back to the guy. “You heard the lady, fire this bitch up.” Despite the fact I feel as if I’m boarding my death, I laugh at Phoenix’s enthusiasm.

“Okay, now the thing people usually do is put their hands up, but because this is your first time, we’re taking baby steps.” My stomach flips for a whole other reason when he leans over in my personal space to double check my harness.

“You, pretty lady, are going to hold my hand.” I grab the hand he holds out to me like it’s a life line, not embarrassed at all by the fact that I’m probably squeezing the life out of it.

I’ve read books and watched television shows where people talked about the anticipation they felt when you hear the click, click, click sounds on a roller coaster as you’re slowly climbing that hill before the big drop.

My eyes are screwed shut so tightly that if I make it out of this rollercoaster alive, Phoenix is going to have to pry them open with a pair of pliers.

“Almost there, birdie. Get ready to fly.” As soon as that sentence leaves his mouth, we drop.

My stomach flips and I release the loudest scream I’ve ever heard. If there was any hope of Phoenix’s poor hand surviving this ride, it’s gone now. If I was more focused on the ride and less on the fact I was certain I was about to die, I probably would have been laughing at the way he’s hooting and hollering next to me. It’s plain to see Phoenix Castle loves excitement and adventure, which is why he’s the perfect man for this job.

Around the fifth turn, something changes. I start embracing the fear and loosen my grip on his hand. I can feel my face relax as I tilt my head to the sky. I let go of his hand completely and timidly raise my hands in the air.

The girl inside me, the one that’s been dying to come out, is set free as soon as my hands reach the air. It’s the freest I’ve felt in…well, ever, and I never want it to end. I’d do anything to feel like this the rest of my life.

I didn’t know it at the time, but it wouldn’t be long before I’d do anything to have Phoenix with me for the rest of my life.



***



“It was amazing! That feeling, this whole day, was amazing!” I say as Phoenix walks me to my front door. It’s probably the hundredth time I’ve said it, but I can’t help it. I’ve been on a high since that first ride.

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