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Chapter 26: Rest Stop Redux

Frank was just finishing up locking up the restaurant for the night, his keys jingling on the clasp attached to a belt loop on his pants. Paul and Lydia had already left ten minutes ago, and he was tossing the last bag of trash into the dumpster when he heard the sound of a motorcycle ripping up the pavement along the highway.

Walking around his restaurant, Frank made his way to his rusted Ford truck, the headlamp of the motorcycle lighting up the roadway in front of him as it approached. Unlocking his door, Frank stopped as he heard the bike decelerate. Turning from his truck, Frank watched as a black Ducati pulled into the dusty parking lot and circled slowly closer to him. It carried two passengers, both female from their sizes, he guessed.

As it came to a stop close to him, the driver killed the engine and dropped the kick stand. Pulling the helmet off, Frank's eyes widened as he saw the same brown-haired woman who had dropped in for coffee almost a year ago on her way up to, Ohio was it? Frank couldn't remember right.

"Remember me?" the woman asked, her voice still gravelly, a small smile flashing briefly on her features.

Nodding Frank took her in, and glanced over her shoulder at the still seated passenger, who had removed her own helmet to reveal an attractive blonde woman. Looking back at the dark-haired woman, Frank noticed there was a lightness in her eyes, something that had not been there the last time he had seen her.

Frank watched as the woman pulled two one-dollar bills from her back pocket and handed them over to him, his hand lifting as if it had a mind of its own. The questioning look in his eyes must have conveyed his confusion as he first looked down at the money and then back at the woman.

"I got home. Thanks for the coffee," the woman explained, and suddenly Frank understood.

"Come back anytime," Frank replied, smiling softly, watching as the brunette walked back to her bike and slung a lean leg over the body of it.

Looking back at him, the brunette nodded, "Will do."




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