‘That’s good to hear. Then I won’t worry so much about you when you go out riding on your own.’ Ann said with a cheeky grin.
‘Miss Walker, what are you implying by that comment?’
‘Nothing, You are my friend and I would worry about you when you are riding Bertha and I am not with you.’
‘Well, to avoid that problem you will have to come with me every time I go out riding.’ Ann smiled. That’s what she had hoped Anne would say.
‘I think I may take you up on that offer. I never thought I would enjoy being on the back of a motorcycle.’
‘You didn’t. Then why were you so eager to go for a ride with me last night?’ Anne said with a smile on her face.
‘Miss Lister, if it was anyone else I wouldn’t have done what I did. Your smile and your voice gave me all the confidence I needed to get on Bertha and go riding with you.’ Anne looked shocked. She never thought she had that kind of hold over other women. It seems as though she had that hold over Miss Walker. She realised then that she had so much to learn about the woman who came home with her and seemed to want her in her life. Anne didn’t know what to say so she remained silent.
Ann looked at Anne. She could see the wheels turning in her head. ‘What’s up, dearest? You seemed to be miles away.’ Anne was pulled from her thoughts when Ann walked over to Anne and wrapped her arms around her waist.
‘What did you say, Ann? I didn’t hear it.’ Anne said.
‘That was because you seemed to be miles away. I said what’s up, dearest?’
Anne was quiet for a beat then said. ‘I was just wondering how I got to be so lucky when I found you.’ Ann smiled. She felt the same way.’I was thinking we would be good for each other. Wouldn’t we?’
‘Anne Lister, I have been calling you dearest. That should tell you how I feel.’Ann said. ‘Is it possible you feel the same way about me?’
‘Is it possible? You make me smile. You accept this bikie and more than just that. You want to go riding with me. What more could I ask for?’
‘I don’t know. I want to be with you but I wonder if you will want to be with me. You have done so much and been to so many interesting places. You zoom around on Bertha. I don’t do much with my life.’
‘Ann Walker, you are interesting. You are kind and loving. You have made me feel as though I have been seen. Thank you.’ Anne said. ‘Now, hadn’t we planned to go for a ride?’
‘I don’t remember but I would love to go for a ride. Can we do that?’
‘We certainly can. Let’s tell Aunt Anne what we are doing. If we leave and don’t tell her she will worry about us.’ They found Aunt Anne in the sitting room alone. She was watching a repeat of BGT. Anne couldn’t believe what she was seeing. ‘I didn’t think you liked watching reality tv, Aunt.’
‘This is different. They have had some good singers on the show this year. I have already seen this episode but I enjoyed it so much I am watching it again.’ Ann looked at Anne. She usually watched BGT with Aunt Anne but she didn’t tell Anne this. ‘Ann and I are going for a ride on Bertha. We should be back in time for dinner. Is that okay?’
‘Yes, just take care on the road. You can’t trust anyone these days and most drivers never look out for motorcycles, Anne. You know that.’
‘What do you mean by that, Aunt?’ Ann said with concern.
‘I think Anne needs to tell you herself. Let’s just say Bertha isn’t her first motorcycle. You have seen her tattoos. Have you? Did you see the map of Europe?’
‘Yes, I did. She told me she wanted to travel to Europe.’ Anne looked sad. She didn’t want Ann to know what happened to her because Ann would probably never get on Bertha with her.
‘It hides something. I had a feeling she wouldn’t tell you but I don’t feel I have the right to do that.’ Aunt Anne said as she looked at her niece who was holding back her tears. ‘Anne Lister, out with it. I want to know. I guess I need to know.’
‘I wasn’t just in a car accident with Mariana. After the cast was taken off my arm I went for a ride on Bertha one.’
‘So this is Bertha two.’
‘I guess you could say that. I was doing fine. I wasn’t thinking about how Mariana was in ICU in hospital. This was before I found out she was getting cosy with her doctor. I must have looked down for a second and plowed
Headlong into a huge tree. I broke my arm again. I had bruises but it would have been worse if I hadn’t been wearing leathers. I was thrown from Bertha onto the road. Bertha was a wreck. The front wheel had been pushed up into the motor. The handlebars were twisted. So, I decided to write it off and claim on insurance.’
‘You had motorcycle insurance.’ Ann said.
‘Yes, it’s more expensive than car insurance but after that happened I knew I had spent my money wisely.’ Anne said. She looked at Ann and wondering if she still wanted to go riding with her.’Hey Anne, when are we going for our ride?’ Anne smiled.
‘I didn’t think you would want to come riding with me after I told you about the accident.’
‘Anne, you were probably thinking about Mariana even though you didn’t realise it. I trust you. Let’s go.’ They both kissed Aunt on her cheek and told her they would be home in time for dinner.
They put on their leathers in the hall. Anne walked to the barn to get Bertha. Ann waited at the front door. She felt a hand on her back. ‘Ann, I hope you realise Anne would never have told you about the motorcycle accident if I haven’t promoted her.’ Aunt said. ‘She was ashamed of herself. She always talked about how alter she was when she was out riding Bertha. Please, stick with her. She is a good person underneath all that bravado.’
‘I know, Aunt. Here she is I had better get going. See you soon.’
‘Okay. See you later..’
They rode for sometime before Anne stopped. ‘I keep forgetting that the helmets have bluetooth enabled microphones.’ Anne said and she showed Ann where the volume control was.’
‘So, we can talk to each other while you ride along.’ Ann said.
‘Yes, but remember no distracting chatter.’ Anne said smiling.
‘Now, Miss Lister, would I do that?’
‘I don’t know you that well. So, who knows what you will talk about?’ After they had adjusted the volumes on their mics. They resumed their ride. Ann found it strange to talk to Anne like this but it was also fun. ‘Anne, where are we going?
‘Miss Walker, it wouldn’t be a surprise if I told you, now. Would it?’
‘I guess not.’
‘Good. So, be quiet and enjoy the ride.’ Anne said as she rolled the throttle in her hand and they sped off down the road. Ann was enjoying herself so much. As they rode along Ann was wondering how far this relationship would go. She still couldn’t believe she was on the back of Bertha with Anne. She always had a crush on Anne. Only she wasn’t game enough to tell anyone. Not even her sister, Elizabeth. She had her arms wrapped around Anne and could feel her heart racing. ‘Are you okay, Anne?’
‘Yes, I haven’t enjoyed a ride on Bertha as much as I am today. It’s great to have someone to share this experience with. I am glad you are here, Ann.’
Anne was interested in history. Especially the history of her home town, Halifax. So, she took Ann to Banksfield Museum where there was a display of historical artifacts about the local area. Ann was surprised. She had lived here all her life and didn’t know it existed. What else would Anne show her she didn’t know about? ‘Ann, are you ready to go home? Anne said as she stood next to her. ‘It’s getting close to dinner time and we told Aunt we would be home in time for dinner.’
‘Okay!! Let’s get going.’ They walked out of the museum and back to Bertha. Just before they climbed back on to Bertha Anne leaned into Ann and gave her a kiss on her cheek. Ann blushed. She wasn’t expecting that. ‘Thanks for coming with me today after what I told you earlier.’
‘Anne, I have already told you I trust you. I wish you would realise this is in everything we do together.’ She wanted to say I love you, Anne but thought it was too soon for that. ‘Let’s go home, Ann.’
‘Yes, let’s go home.’