Sunday, October 18, 2015

Cold Fire: Rachel And Alex's First Date


In another burst of creativity, I've finally thought of the best possible first date for Rachel and Alex, which is now an extension of Red Rain's new Chapter 24, "Beautiful Child," which I posted earlier this month. The chief inspiration, believe it or not, comes not from Teen Wolf, despite this new scene featuring yet another well-placed reference to that show. Instead, it comes from this funny Twitter feed, aptly called Brooding YA Hero. More specifically, it comes from this here tweet of his:

Aww, poor guy. Well, Alex is gonna have the chance to do what you can't, and he'll be able to speak from experience when he tells you exactly what you're missing. But first, a little mood music - in this case, an underrated gem from the year of my birth: Rush, "Cold Fire."

One last thing: Alex is aware that Rachel has a motorcycle by the time this scene takes place, so that's why, when she breaks out the helmets, it's no surprise to him. In a scene that, were I to re-enact it for reals, my parents would have a heart attack. :)

The first day back at Balthazar in January, when I see Rachel in a denim jacket I’ve never seen before (it might be a Christmas gift), I kiss her on the cheek, and she jumps into my arms to hug me back. She even leaves a yellow Post-It inside my hood, with her email and number written on it. “Should’ve given that to you before break,” she says.

“Love you too,” I say, holding her hand as we sit in the lounge’s biggest armchair.

But she’s not in a mood to sit. Almost immediately, she stands up again and opens the bigger of her two wheeled suitcases, extracting her two motorcycle helmets. “Wanna take Jace for a ride?” she asks, tossing one helmet into my lap.

“You named your bike after Jace Wayland?”

“Yep. You wanna come with or not? I haven’t gone out with him since before break - I have to leave him in a shed up here, ‘cause the movers don’t like to come up here in the winter.”

I look at my reflection in the helmet’s tinted Plexiglas visor. “You’re driving, right?”

“Mm-hmm.” Rachel takes my hand and lifts me out of the seat - holy shit, she’s strong. Either that, or I’m just in no mood to resist her. And her charms. “But hey, think of this as a learning opportunity for when you have your own motorbike too.”

I grin at her and tuck the helmet under my arm. “Scott McCall’s an amazing role model. Lead the way, Rach.”

“Yay!” Rachel chirps, tugging on my arm as she leads me downstairs and out of the building to a storage shed on the edge of the grounds. There are no less than five motorbikes inside, but there’s no mistaking Jace - he’s the leanest and meanest of the bunch. Low-slung. And when Rachel turns his engine on, the roar gives me chills.

“Helmet on and hold on,” Rachel says, wheeling him out onto the gravel path leading towards the service road.

I follow her orders to the letter, my arms wrapped tightly around her waist as she steers Jace around hairpin turns going up the mountain. A few times, I actually cry out in fear as she comes dangerously close to sending us careening over the edge of a cliff, but Rachel’s too good with her bike for that. By the time we come to a stop at the top of a hill overlooking the town below, I’m buzzing with adrenaline and grinning maniacally, and I can’t let go of her even though we’re safely stopped.

Hell, I don’t want to let go of her. I totally see the appeal of these babies now - handle them right, and you can have an experience a hundred times more exhilarating than any flight.

We take off our helmets, and I kiss her again, adding to the electric-charge feeling coursing through me. “Best. First. Date. Ever,” I whisper, our foreheads and noses touching.

“I try,” Rachel says, sounding so modest. So like she’s not in the driver’s seat, even though she is. In every which way but loose.


  1. Why don't I own a motorbike? So many missed opportunities to terrify people. My parents would probably kill me first though!

    1. Haha, that's all it's good for, yeah? XD Terrifying people and parents...

  2. I don't understand the last line, the phrase "In every which way but loose."

    1. It's just an expression that I picked up in reference to a Clint Eastwood movie (my parents are pretty big fans of his.)