It’s Free Story Friday again!

I thought I’d post a short novella I wrote a few years ago. There are only a few chapters but I’m going do one every Friday for the next three or four weeks to stretch it out for you a bit. Hope you enjoy it! Happy reading. ~Morganna

Annie and the Trucker

Annie sighed as she refilled yet another coffee cup. Her life was sooo boring! All she wanted was a little excitement!

Was that too much to ask?

Apparently it is if you live in a town like No Trees, Texas.

Annie had never been anywhere; she’d hardly ever even gone to out of town football games when she was in school. She was too busy working at her after school job. Which was as luck would have it in the same truck stop she worked in today.

Lucky’s Truck Stop and Café; it was your typical trucker dive. Greasy spoons included.

She’d worked here since she was sixteen. Now she was twenty-three and going no where fast.

It would have been nice if she occasionally met eligible men. No such luck.

Well, some of them were eligible, but she chose to think the ones that smelled bad didn’t count.

This got her right back to zero.

Annie wasn’t a classically pretty girl, but she had a wholesome appeal. Long brown hair framed a pixie like face complete with upturned nose and wide hazel eyes that were always ready to smile. She stood 5’1” in her stocking feet and had more curves than she would have liked.

Not that the truckers she waited on seemed to think so. She had a hard time convincing many of them that she wasn’t on the menu.

So there she was, pouring her five hundredth cup of coffee when he walked in.

Annie had to apologize and wipe the coffee off the poor man she’d been serving she’d gotten so distracted.

He was a man that drew every female eye in the room.

He stood at least 6’1” with broad shoulders and a wide chest. His hair was coal black and his dark eyes were full of secrets and promises. Promises that every woman in the café’ hoped he’d follow through on.

He sat down at one of the booths in Annie’s station. She knew in that instant that he was the one.

The one that would catch her dreams, hold them for her then chase away all the boredom. He was her ticket out of this dreary life!

Annie smiled her brightest smile and brought him coffee.

“Thank you Sunshine. I’ll also have the number five with the eggs over-easy.”

The sound of his gravely voice sent shivers down her spine.

Her mouth went dry, “Coming right up.” She turned bright red as her voice came out in a whispered squeak.

He grinned at her revealing a dimple deep in his right cheek, “Take your time Sunshine, I’m in no hurry.”

Luke grinned as he watched the pretty little waitress scurry away. Too bad he was just stopping for a quick bite to eat; he would have enjoyed getting to know her.

Oh well, it wouldn’t have worked anyway. He rarely drove through this part of the country and long distance love wasn’t his forte.

Luke enjoyed the hour he spent at the café’ with his pretty little Sunshine at his beck and call. All too soon it was time to go. He grinned as he left a hefty tip on the table.

He walked to his truck and grabbed a change of clothes before taking advantage of the truck stop’s showers.

Annie quickly grabbed her street clothes out of her employee locker; she knew she had to move fast. If he showered as fast as he ate she’d never make it.

***

Luke had been on the road for about four hours when he heard a faint feminine sneeze coming from his sleeping compartment.

“What the hell?”

He pulled over with a frown and stepped down from the driver’s seat to pull open the door to the sleeping compartment.

Annie sat straight up on the bed with a start, “Uh … hi …” She stammered out lamely.

What do you say when you’ve been caught stowing away in the sleeping compartment of someone’s big rig?

“Sunshine? What the hell are you doing in my truck?”

“I … well … you see … I kinda …” Annie struggled to find the words to explain her presence in his sleeping compartment.

There really weren’t any that formed a plausible explanation.

“I’m waiting.”

Annie blinked; his tone had hardened to match the glint of flint in his eyes.

“I just wanted out of that one horse town so badly and you seemed nice so I kinda hopped a ride in your truck.”

“What on earth possessed you to get into a strange man’s truck? Have you no sense at all?” Luke was outraged that any woman would take such a risk.

“Of course I have sense,” Annie snapped as she made to climb out of the truck. “I was hoping you’d be a little more open to my company when you found me. Apparently I was mistaken.”

Annie turned intending to start walking. A firm hand halted her progress.

“Where do you think you’re going?”

“I am vacating the area since you apparently don’t want my company.”

Annie jerked her arm free and then started walking again; only to realize that she’d left her uniform on the trucks small bed.

“Dammit!” She turned and walked back to Luke’s side.

“There is no call for such language.”

Annie glared up at him, furious that he wasn’t going to be the one to make her dreams come true, “I’ll talk anyway I damn well please Mr. … Mr. … Mr. …”

“It’s about time it occurred to you that you don’t even know my name.”

“Well now I don’t care to Mr. Truck Driver Man! If you’ll just hand me my dress out of the sleeping compartment I’ll be on my way.”

“On your way where?”

“On my way … well … that way!” Annie finely just pointed in the direction she’d been walking since she had no earthly idea of where they were.

“You really don’t have a lick of sense!” Luke exclaimed in exasperation.

“I do too! Now hand me my clothes!”

“You’d best check that tone young lady,” his voice dropped an octave in warning.

A warning Annie chose not to heed.

“Give me my Fucking clothes and you won’t have to worry about my tone!” Annie didn’t normally talk that way, but she’d managed to pick a few choice words up from the trucker’s in the café.

“Young Lady I’ll not warn you again about the language or the tone.”

“My language and my tone are none of your concern!”

“You made them my concern when you decided to stow away in my truck! I’m responsible for you until I find someplace safe to leave you.”

“I’m responsible for myself! Fine if you won’t give me my clothes I’ll leave without them!”

He caught her before she took two steps. Turning her and delivering three sharp swats to the seat of her jeans.

“The only place you’re going is into the cab of the truck with me.”

Annie gasped with shock and rubbed the sting in her backside, “How dare you!”

“I’ll dare a lot more Sunshine if you don’t get that cute fanny into that truck.”

Annie eyed him warily and decided not to call his bluff for the moment. She climbed up into the cab of his truck muttering under her breath about bossy men.

Luke shook his head, this one didn’t learn very fast. He decided to let the small show of further disrespect slide. Luke climbed into the driver’s seat and glanced over at his sulky passenger.

“Well since we’ll be traveling together for a little while I guess we should introduce ourselves. I’m Luke.”

Annie stared sullenly out the window refusing to acknowledge his gesture. She still couldn’t believe he’d swatted her on the behind!

“Sunshine, I’ve put up with all the attitude I’m willing to for the moment. What’s your name?”

Annie heaved a sigh of great sufferance, “Annie … Annie Southerland.”

“Well Annie Southerland, we’d better get you to a phone so you can let your family know you’re okay.”

“I don’t have any family. My Aunt raised me; she died three years ago. When I saw my opportunity to get out of No Trees I quit and climbed into your truck.”

Luke took a deep breath. He could not believe how foolish this girl was. Not only had she stowed away with a complete stranger, NOW she was telling him no one would miss her! She wasn’t safe to be allowed to cross the street by herself!

He glared across the small space between them.

Annie sat up a little straighter, “What?”

“Are you really that stupid?”

“What do you mean stupid?”

“What if I’d been someone with rape and murder on his mind?”

“Well you’re not are you?”

“No but that’s not the point Annie. I could have been and you just told me no one on earth would miss you if you disappeared.”

Annie paled a little, “I never really thought…”

“That much is glaringly obvious. It’s clear to me that you didn’t spend much time thinking about anything. I intend to make damn sure you think before you try a fool stunt like this again though.”

Annie’s throat went dry, “What do you mean?”

“You’ll find out soon enough. Relax and enjoy sitting on that pretty behind of yours while you can.”

Luke grimly started the truck and pulled back on to the road. He’d let his little Sunshine chew on his last words for a while. If he remembered correctly the next truck stop ahead sold those little souvenir paddles, which were exactly what he needed to make his point with his foolish little traveling companion.

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