Judith B. Glad, Writer & Botanist
Real men don't watch birds. Real women don't ride big, mean motorcycles.
When loner Jake Borglund comes to Burns, Oregon, all he wants is a home for his son and the solitude to do his snowy plover mating behavior studies. He reckons without Delilah Grey, a contradictory, independent woman who is a combination of Earth Mother and Motorcycle Mama. She is totally involved with everyday life in the isolated small town, but she's lonely, since her last child left their big, comfortable house that's now too empty. So she offers Jake a room and the warmth of family life, something he's never really experienced. Jake's son, Matthew, takes to Delilah immediately. Jake's feelings are more ambivalent--he desires her but he also fears being drawn into the town's social life, for he's never really learned to relate well to people. Unable to resist the strong sexual pull that proximity brings, they become lovers--for a while. At Christmas, Jake finds himself overwhelmed with family, with too much closeness, with too many demands on his emotional reserves. He retreats from intimacy, nearly breaking Delilah's heart. For several months they co-exist politely, cautiously. Jake departs for the field in the spring, leaving Matthew with her, but takingher heart. Now only time will tell if he can recognize what he walked away from. And only time will show Delilah whether her love for Jake is worth fighting for.
He sighed and mounted the motorcycle. This time he slipped his arms around her waist. Immediately he regretted it, for his hands, of their own accord, wanted to creep upwards, under the edge of the tight black leather jacket. They wanted to seek the slim midriff and count their way up ribs to the luscious breasts he'd seen gleaming white against the water--was that only two nights ago?
Part of him, the secret, uncontrolled part, wanted to demand that she stop their headlong rush along this deserted road. They would spread her groundcloth in the shade of a tall sagebrush. He would peel away the sleek leathers, reveal her ivory richness, and feast his eyes and his hands upon her body. She would loose the elastic band that held her long hair in its practical braid, and he would drape its shining brown wealth across her shoulders, half conceal her breasts with silky strands, and let it flow through his fingers like liquid satin. He would....
Jake jerked his hands into his lap, reared back until the rear carrier stopped his retreat. He was not going to get mixed up with this woman. She might be the nicest, sweetest lady since Grandma Moses, but she threatened him, nonetheless. She represented risks and consequences that he wasn't ready to accept.
He inhaled deeply, in an effort to resist the temptation sitting just inches away. The hot wind carried an elusive scent, roses and musk, that he knew was hers.
Consequences be damned. Sometimes being a loner got to be more than he could bear. He needed the touch of another human being. Leaning forward, he slipped his arms around her.