Random Acts of Crazy - By Julia Kent

Chapter One

DARLA

The last everloving fucking thing I expected to see as I drove down I-76 toward my little hometown of Peters, Ohio was a buck-naked man wearing a spiked collar and a guitar.

I mean, only wearing a collar and a guitar. The man was barefoot, for goodness sake. On the highway. In May, in Oh-fucking-hi-o, where winter isn’t a season but a state of mind.

How could I not stop and offer him a ride? Seriously? Where was he hiding a weapon? OK, OK, maybe up there, but think about it for a minute – he’d have to twist quite a bit to access anything he hid up his puckered – well, there!

And he wasn’t a bit hard on the eyes, either. Kind of a Brad Pitt circa 1991 look, before he married Miss Toothpick and then left her for that wan Elvira and her weak Michelle Duggar imitation.

Anyhow…back to the naked hitchhiker. My 1986 Toyota Tercel wasn’t anything special but it, um, had a floor. And a windshield. And a place for Mr. Naked to rest his weary nuts. The vinyl might be cracked and faded and it wasn’t no Giving Tree from that Shel Silverstein book, but at least the man could give his balls a rest. Those muscles looked like they could sure use some eyes hungrily ogling them, too, for they screamed for loving attention. If I couldn’t touch, I could at least be the one to stare, right? I’m a giver like that.

Always thinking about others.

So when he got over his surprise that some chick with frizzy hair and fuzzy dice hanging from her old, faded rear view mirror had actually pulled over, he dipped his head down to the open window and flashed me a grin. We were out in the middle of no-fucking-where and there was one streetlight that glowed up the background, but even that wasn’t enough to outshine his smile. All straight teeth, nice gums, and full lips melting into a charm-you-out-of-your-pants look that made me almost drop trou and fuck him right there.

I about melted into my own seat. That wasn’t from the heater, either. My juices seemed to go from the Sahara to Niagara Falls. When he climbed in and – literally – flashed his ass and nibbly bits at me, I nearly came on the spot.

Something about him was familiar, but I knew he wasn’t from around here. Tucking away that little tease of contemplation, I studied him a bit more, a sense of specialness flowing over the moment. Extracting it and dissecting it would yield no deeper truths, though – a part of me connected with him for whatever déjà vu-like reason.

Or maybe I was just on overdrive to convince myself to pick up a nude male. Whatever.

“Hi there, Ma’am.” Shaggy, surfer blond, wavy hair four months overgrown from the cut that had screamed “preppy boy,” but now exuded that deep sense of complete abandon, of hedonism in bed. A flash of pink in his mouth displayed a tongue that (I imagined) truly loved women and wasn’t afraid to show it. Glittery blue eyes that were focused but fleeting, like Bradley Cooper’s but muted. He was high as a motherfucking kite, and that was OK, because he was pretty enough to look at just as is. He didn’t need to be a stellar conversationalist.

“I am no one’s Ma’am. That’s my grandma. Hell, my mom doesn’t even go by Ma’am, so shut down that talk right there.” No one – no woman – before the age of thirty-five wants to be called ma’am. Fastest way to shut a woman’s vagina off, like a table saw brake. Come too close with that word and crack! Power off.

“OK, then, Chippy Pete!” He adjusted his hat (where’d that come from? I didn’t see no hat at first, and he wasn’t exactly hanging on to a lot of pockets here, nude and all) and kept it on. This wasn’t no churchgoing man. Then again, the naked ones largely aren’t. The hat was cheap straw, formed like a cowboy hat, and the look – well, his fashion sense screamed Chippendales stripper on a Salvation Army budget.

“Just Pete to you.” Chippy Pete? Seriously? He could have called me Honey or Sugar or Toots or Melons or Bitch and he picked Chippy Pete? “Where you going?”

“Wherever you are.”

I looked in the rear view mirror at myself. In spite of the frizzy hair I wore makeup. A shirt. A bra. Pants. The chances we were going to the