Wheels of steel book 1, p.1
Wheels of Steel, Book 1,
WHEELS OF STEEL
Girl, you amaze me! Music has no color.
© 2012 by Pepper Pace. All rights reserved. No part of this document may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without prior written permission of Pepper Pace.
This is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to persons living or dead is purely coincidental. Any reference to music is in no attempt to claim ownership. All rights belong to the musical artists. This book contains graphic depictions of sexual acts and is intended for adults only. This book is part of a series and should be read in order.
I met a young man by the name of Ho-Z. I had written some short erotic interracial stories about unlikely characters and Ho-Z sent me a message telling me how much he liked them. He asked me if I had ever thought about writing a story where the hero was in a wheelchair. You see, he was in a wheelchair and found it difficult to find love stories where people saw the heroine as sexy if he had a disability. I had never thought about it, but the idea intrigued me.
From that correspondence was the beginning of a deep friendship. We collaborated on a story that began as a short and ended as a 235 thousand word saga. To give you an idea, the average novel is only 80 thousand words.
I began posting WOS on my blog and it began to garner a very strong and loyal following. It was nominated for awards but more importantly it opened the minds of many people who had never thought that a true romance that includes a disabled person could ever be sexy. My friend Ho-Z became the influence for Top. He created music for this story—as it initially began as an interactive story on the blog. The music is still there and when you listen to this awesome mixologist, keep in mind that just like Top, my buddy Ho-Z has cerebral palsy.
Ho-Z is a digital artist, musician and many of the conversations that take place in the story are REAL conversations that Ho-Z and I engaged in. He knows more about hip hop than any Caucasian that I’ve ever met! If you want to know more about my awesome ‘musical twin’ then check out his website at Ho-Z Design.
ABOUT WHEELS OF STEEL
As I mentioned, this story is more a journey than just a book. I didn’t want to split it, however it was the size of 3 novels and therefore I really felt that it needed to be separated into 3 separate books. My intent is not to leave you with cliff-hangers, although that will probably be the case. These 3 books are NOT separate stories and should be read in chronological order. If you want to know more about WOS then refer to my blog where these characters are still living in continuing stories at: http://pepperpacefeedback.blogspot.com/
PEPPER PACE BOOKS
Love Intertwined Vol. 1
Love Intertwined Vol. 2
Urban Vampire; The Turning
Urban Vampire; Creature of the Night
Table of Contents
ABOUT WHEELS OF STEEL
PEPPER PACE BOOKS
About the Author
“That’s why people go to college. Do you think people LIKE sitting in class studying and paying good money to do it?! They do it so that they can get good paying jobs.” Mama said.
Robin bit back her response. She was twenty-one years old and her mother still spoke to her like she was three. She knew exactly why people went to college because her mother reminded her at every possible opportunity. If she asked to borrow money to float her until payday, Mama would remind her that she would be making three times as much if she had gone to college.
Robin fingered the wire to the telephone, trying to think of a polite way to discontinue the phone call, but deep down she wanted to snap at Betty. She wanted to say, ‘You ask a loaded question about how work is going, knowing that if I work drive thru at a fast food restaurant, then it’s very likely that my life pretty much suck!.’
“Ma, I need to start getting ready for work-” she lied.
“Hmph,” was the response she got. Her mother was a successful certified public accountant. She made six figures a year and she had been pushing her profession down Robin’s throat since she was fifteen years old. Great career if you could stomach math. If you hated math then it was about the worse job in the universe!
“Well I don’t want to make you late for work, Robin. And I know that I keep talking about college, but it’s never too late. That college fund is still sitting here whenever you want to use it.” Robin’s foot began to tap in annoyance. She always managed to bring up that fund that she and Daddy had sacrificed for. Whenever her parent’s told her that she could not have something because it was too expensive, she would be reminded that at least they were able to make a deposit into her college fund.
She would love to be able to dip into that fund right now, when her car payment was due, because she’d just paid rent and working at a fast food restaurant thirty hours a week meant that you never had enough money to pay all of your bills at once. But she had received a rude awakening long ago when Mama had coldly told her that the money was for college and NOT for anything else. Worse is when Daddy had died and money that was to come to her from his insurance policy had gone directly into that fund.
Go to college was the inevitable answer. Except her mother was a dictator and Robin was through being a slave to her whims. She loved her mother; a strong black woman that never took shit off of anyone. But her mother could not understand that loving someone and controlling their actions was not synonymous.
And there were other reasons that college was out of the question, things that her mother had no idea about; like her crippling shyness, the twisting and knotting in the pit of her stomach, and worse—the fact that things just did not come to her as easily as it did the other kids. And Mama just refused to see that her bad grades had nothing to do with lack of motivation. Robin truly felt that there were things that smart and outgoing people did; like go to college, and that description just did not fit her.
“Well, I’ll see you Sunday.” Robin said after exhaling a long, but quiet breath.
“Uh hmm. Bye Robin.” Mama had no right to seem annoyed but she did. She hung up and Robin held onto the receiver until the recorded message demanded someone to hang up or make a call.
She scooped up the newspaper and checked the want ads. Over the years she had tried it all; telemarketing, janitorial, restaurants, but she still had a hard time making her car and insurance payment and juggling rent. Maybe she should just look into having a roommate. But even as she thought this, she knew that wasn’t going to happen. Robin’s shyness made bein
Besides, she valued her space and solitude. Some people liked being in crowds or partying, Robin liked listening to music and reading a good book. Others might think of it as boring, but to her it was satisfying.
The want ads were a bust; the same jobs that promised great pay but only made the company owners rich. Again she considered college. But no one understood how much she had struggled in school. Math was hard, English was hard, being social was hard; nothing came easy to her except American Lit.
She became the characters in the books. Did she know anything about conjugating verbs? No, she just enjoyed the fantasy of being someone else.
She sat quietly just contemplating how to find an enjoyable career if one didn’t go to college. She supposed that she would have to find something that she enjoyed doing. And what did she like doing? She liked reading; maybe she could become a writer or journalist. She liked art but couldn’t see herself doing anything artistic every day all day. She liked cooking but that didn’t mean she wanted to make a career of it.
Frustrated she came to her feet and tossed the paper into the trash. Hell, a job was a job! There was nothing that she liked doing that would pay her good money. With a sigh she opened her laptop, navigating through YouTube until she got to one of her music playlists. Later she would be working night shift until closing, which meant that she had several hours to kill. So she did the thing that she loved best; chilling out to her music.
She selected a playlist that included a little Jaheim and Sade as well as some other singers that put her in a relaxed mood. There was some Erykah Badu and some old D’Angelo from his Voodoo and Brown Sugar albums. Then she opened up the Kim Harrison novel that she had just began, and curled up in her old comfy armchair that had once belonged to her Dad. And then Robin proceeded to zone out.
When the playlist ended and she dragged herself out of the story of witch’s and vampires, Robin was alarmed to see that she only had about half an hour before work. Cursing, she jumped up and rushed into her small bedroom and quickly stripped out of her jeans and shirt.
She pulled on a clean work shirt and found a semi-clean pair of polyester work pants that had been tossed carelessly onto her bedroom chair. Robin’s hair was already pulled back into a neat ponytail and she checked it in the mirror seeing a dark brown face with slightly rounded cheeks and dark brown hair tamed by hair gel. She wasn’t short, she wasn’t tall; a bit stocky but nothing one less scoop of ice cream at desert wouldn’t solve.
People always took a double look at Robin, not because she was any great beauty, but because of her eyes. Her eyes were a strange mixture of green, brown and grey. And it wasn’t just the color. She had permanently half hooded eyes; bedroom eyes beneath long dark lashes. She either looked mentally retarded, sleepy or horny; depending on who you asked. She knew she was a confusing mixture; a dark brown girl with the last name Mathena and eyes that could almost be Asian. Her hair was not silky and smooth and she wasn’t Hispanic. As far she knew she was just black, despite having eyes that indicated otherwise.
Unfortunately, having bedroom eyes did not equate to the experience that those eyes tended to suggest. She was a virgin but not an unwilling one. Unlike most of her friends she wasn’t in a rush to have sex. It wasn’t that she thought a woman had to save herself for marriage…she didn’t even know if she would ever get married. She certainly enjoyed the explosion that happened between her legs when she touched herself in just the right way, so she was not a prude.
Still, the fact remained that Robin had never had a boyfriend--ever. For a girl who is shy around new people, dating had always been a disaster. She had once had a panic attack because a friend had told a guy that she had a crush on that she liked him. He came over to talk to her and she’d had to hide in the bathroom until he walked away. She referred to these panic attacks as her ‘nervousness’ and they occurred whenever she was placed in awkward situations with people she didn’t know.
If she could be friends with a guy first, then maybe it would happen, but blind dates were a no-no. And therefore, making male friends just never happened.
She hurried to her Volvo and tried not to break any laws getting to work on time. She loved her car. Her parents had bought it for her when she graduated from high school. But then when she had revealed that she wasn’t going on to college, they had taken it back. She’d quickly promised to make the payments herself. And that seemed to mark the period when everything began to go downhill. Her Dad had been diagnosed with cancer about a year later and after he died, living with mama had become intolerable and she’d had to move out.
Despite the financial struggle, the idea of giving up the car had been too much. She remembered when Daddy had been so sick, but still insisted on doing the oil changes himself. He and Robin would sit for hours while he tinkered away under the hood on some non-existent problem. They talked about everything; almost like he was trying to make up for the shortened time that he had on earth. So yes, there were times when it would have been better to just give up the car but it was her connection to the good times with her Daddy and she would keep it at all costs.
Robin saw that it was six o’clock on the dot when she finally pulled into a parking lot at the restaurant. It was five after when she finally got clocked in and still Linda rolled her eyes at her. She mouthed an apology to the older, tired looking woman. Linda couldn’t leave until her replacement showed up.
“I gotta get to my second job,” Linda explained as she counted up her register. “They’re shorthanded and I have to give the old man his medicine before he can go to bed.”
“You’re a nurse?” Robin asked. Linda took a moment to jot down a figure before answering. “No, home health care aid.” There was an order coming through at the drive through window and Robin took it quickly.
“They’re hiring.” Linda spoke absently as she jotted down another figure.
“Oh? Well I don’t know anything about administering medicine or anything.” She quickly put together the order. Linda paused in adding up each figure to look at her.
“You don’t have to know anything. Hell, I go there just to get some sleep. After I give the old man his medicine I put him to bed and I’m getting paid while he sleeps. I give him his medicine once in the middle of the night and then again when he wakes up.” Linda hurried to the back office with her envelope of cash, but before she disappeared she said over her shoulder. “I make way more there then here and I hardly do anything.”
Robin paused. She had never thought about having a second job. She didn’t want to live to work, but if she could read a book and listen to music while she took care of some old person then maybe she should look closely at the idea.
When she saw Linda hurrying out the door she called after her, “I’m interested. Tell me more when you get a chance!” Linda gave her a backward wave and disappeared out the door. Robin turned her attention back to the task at hand and taking a deep breath, dove into her work.
“Robin, phone.” Robin pulled herself out of the small booth at the back of the restaurant, closing her finger over her place in the book. The first thing she thought of was her mother. Who else would be calling her at work? She hurried to the phone.
“Robin.” It was Linda.
“Hey, how’s it going? I’m sorry I made you late.”
“No worry, I got here on time. Guess what I’m doing?”
“Um, changing an old man’s diaper?”
Linda laughed. “No! I’m watching this guy’s big screen TV, and eating Chinese food. And guess what else? I’m getting paid to do it.”
Robin raised an eyebrow. “Okay, so I’m interested, tell me more.”
Linda gave her the name and phone number of her supervisor and told her to call him the next morning. The next day Robin did just that. After a brief phone conversation, the su
She lightly rapped on the door, dressed in a skirt that she had only worn to church and a simple sweater. PINNACLE HEALTHCARE PROVIDERS was stenciled across the glass of the door. She nervously wiped the palms of her hands down her skirt. She had never been comfortable with interviews.