Until We Break(4)

By: Jamie Howard

Sitting down on the bumper, I stretch my legs out in front of me and close my eyes. I don’t have to wait long before a car approaches. I stand and raise my hand in a wave, but it blows right past me, the shiny red of the Maserati blurring as it kicks up a cloud of dust.

“Asshole,” I grumble, kicking a stone in its direction for good measure.

I’m returning to my perch when I hear the sound of brakes and tires crunching against the road. As the car swings a U-turn and pulls up behind me, I mutter another curse under my breath.

Of course it’s her. It’s like the universe is giving me one giant middle finger this morning.

I straighten as she hops out of the car, shoving her sunglasses onto the top of her head into her blond hair. She’s traded the yoga pants this morning for a pair of jean shorts and a turquoise T-shirt. Neither of which are showing off enough tits or ass for my liking.

“Car trouble?” she asks, stopping several feet away from me, as though standing too close might contaminate her.

“Seems that way.”

“You want me to take a look?” She lifts an eyebrow at me.

Well, that’s unexpected. “Be my guest.”

She saunters past, giving me a great view as I follow behind her. Popping the hood, she waves a hand at the steam that hisses out into her face. With one foot propped on the push bar, she levers herself up so that she can peer in. The way her ass is sticking out as she bends over demands every ounce of my shredded concentration this morning.

A minute ticks by before I step closer, lean on my forearms, and survey the damage with her. Her hair brushes against my arm, and my nose fills with the scent of her coconut shampoo.

She lifts a finger and points. “I think this is your problem, right here.” She taps it.

It probably makes me less of a man that I have no idea what she’s pointing to, but I doubt I’ll be winning any points with her anyway. “And what is that, exactly?”

Her shoulder lifts in a half shrug. “Hell if I know.”

I stare at her and then back at the engine compartment. “Do you even know what you’re looking at?”

She levels a smile at me that’s brighter than the damn sun. “Nope, not a clue.”

“Then why did you offer to look?” I ask her, as she hops back down to the ground and brushes her hands together.

She frowns at the grease stain on her hand before giving in and wiping it down her thigh. “Seemed like the appropriate thing to do.” Still frowning, she keeps wiping at the grease on her thigh. I’m not sure what she’s hoping to accomplish other than smearing it even more. Finally, she sighs and looks up at me. It’s the first time I really notice her eyes, and I’m fairly certain if I hadn’t been scoping out her assets, it would have been the first thing I noticed. They’re blue, but not that typical run-of-the-mill blue. They look like tropical waters, and I’m sure if I let myself, I could drown in them.

Where the fuck did that thought come from?

She’s looking at me expectantly, and I realize I’ve missed whatever she said. “Huh?”

Now she’s looking at me like I’m a moron. Great.

“I’m Sloane,” she says, drawing the words out so that they go on forever.

I take her proffered hand and shake it, dimly realizing that my hand completely swallows hers.


“Nice to officially meet you, Luke.” Reaching up, she tucks a strand of hair behind her ear. “So, how can I help? You need a phone? A ride?”

I’d like a ride, but I’m pretty sure that’s not the kind she’s offering. “A phone would be great, thanks. I seem to have lost mine.”

Whatever she wants to say is on the tip of her tongue, but she swallows it down. Her nostrils do that pinching thing again. What’s that all about?

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