Welcome to the Spot Writers. Today’s contribution comes from RC Bonitz, author of the new book, DANGEROUS DECISIONS, which was just released on Amazon. The prompt for this month involves the use of three of the following words in a story. Leaned, adjusted, clustered, entitled, smirk.
The Fruits of Victory
Kate leaned her bike against her hip and adjusted her number bib. Twenty-six, did that mean she was the twenty sixth person to enter the race? Who knew, it didn’t matter as long as she came first at the finish line.
She glanced over at the men clustered like a herd of sheep near the starting line. This year men were entered for the first time and there were no big names among them. One dark haired guy looked over and caught her eye. He grinned and gave the thumbs up sign. Another, a blond dude, visually undressed her with a smirk on his face. Him she could do without.
“Hey Sis, you’ve got some real competition this year,” a familiar voice said behind her.
Kate turned with a smile. “We’ll see, Pris. They don’t look like much.”
Her sister shook her head. “You think you’re going to beat the men?”
“You’re hopeless. Guys hate losing to a woman, you know.”
Kate shrugged. “That’s old news. They’re all either macho or needy and some of them are both.”
“Yeah I know, and that drives a woman crazy.”
“You got it. I have to go. See you at the finish line.”
The twenty or so men lined up right on the start line as if they were entitled to lead the race from start to finish. Kate pushed her way in between Thumbs Up and Blondie, giving each of them a smirk of satisfaction. She’d won this race three times when the competitors were exclusively female. A bunch of pushy over=sexed male racers were not going to squeeze her out. The gun went off.
The first three miles of the race were relatively flat and Kate had no trouble with the pace. She soon found herself alone at the front with Blondie and Thumbs Up. They reached the two-mile uphill section and the pace slowed noticeably. In the lead, Blondie kept glancing over his shoulder to see where she was. He and Thumbs Up began to stretch out a slight lead. Kate smiled to herself. They were wearing themselves out worrying about her.
They cleared the crest of the hill and started down the long winding slope toward the finish with Kate about thirty feet behind Thumbs Up. With its tight turns and steep slopes this was a hill to take under tight control. Not this time for Kate. She threw caution aside and poured on the speed. Within a hundred yards she’d taken the lead, her eyes watering in the tearing wind. The first sweeping turns she took easily, but ahead lay danger. She dared not look back to see where the men were, she needed total concentration on the road.
The tightest turn came up almost before she was ready for it. The bike swung into the turn with a mind of its own and headed for the guardrail at the edge of the cliff. Kate hung on and prayed. Her outside pedal struck the guardrail, just dinged it, but it was all she could do to keep control. Heart pounding, she continued on, pedaling fiercely, determined not to be caught.
She flashed across the finish line to the cheers of the onlookers and finally dared a look behind her. Blondie was a good hundred yards behind, Thumbs Up a close third behind him. As they finished the scowl on Blondie’s face was something to behold. She could not suppress a small laugh. The macho type, he clearly hated losing to a woman.
Thumbs Up pulled up next to her, a grin on his face. “That was an amazing downhill you did.”
“Oh? You think so?”
He nodded. “I thought you were going to get killed when you hit that guardrail.”
She nodded, unwilling to admit how terrified she’d been.
“Congratulations,” he said.
“Thanks. Same to you. You took third, right?”
He laughed. “You know very well I did.”
Heat rushed to her cheeks. Dissembling was not normally her style, but she did not know what to say at the moment.
He offered his right hand and she shook it. A firm warm hand it was too.
“Do you have a date tonight?” he asked.
“Well, uh, yes,” she lied.
“No,” her darling sister said behind her.
“Got plans for dinner?” he continued.
“Not a one,” Priscilla murmured oh so sweetly.
His eyes twinkled. “You play hard to get.”
“Darn right,” Priscilla said before Kate could respond.
“Pick you up at seven?”
Kate slapped a hand over her sister’s mouth and studied the man in front of her. One good looking guy, not macho, apparently not needy. Hmm. Why not? “I don’t even know you.”
“The name’s Steve.”
Kate smiled. “I’m at the Wiston Hotel. Kate Morrison. Seven you said?”
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