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I’m a boss with my hands.
Right about now is when I mention how big my… wrench is.
It speaks for itself.
My story is simple: Michelle comes to my body shop and can’t pay for the repairs.
I give them for free. I guess that’s a turn on.
We crash against my desk both wanting it like fucking animals.
Then, poof, she’s gone.
6 months later, I punch a crooked cop, and Michelle is assigned as my court-appointed lawyer.
The crooked cop in question will do anything to have her.
Fuck that. She’s mine.
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I’m Not This Kind of Girl
My mother always used to say that I snap under pressure. Stack a ballet recital on top of a math test, and I’d pee my pants. So, what happens when your whole life is in boxes, traveling from Ohio to Texas, and then your Volvo’s heater pops–in January?
You take it to the shop, naturally.
I hadn’t done anything mind-numbingly reckless yet. But I was about to.
My eyes tracked the mechanic from behind my box-framed glasses. I sat cross-legged in the waiting room, an open magazine on my lap, but there was this broad window peering directly into the garage. And the mechanic was dangling some metallic coil into the engine of my shabby wagon. It must have been heavy. His abdomen flattened and hardened from the strain. A band of muscle running from his back to his hips stood out beneath his skin.
I knew because he was shirtless.
With the bay doors wide open, like a maniac.
The mechanic shoved at my fender with his hips, forcing the hood down with a thrust.
The sound of Stone Temple Pilots’ “Half the Man” seeped through the window.
His mid-length hair was the color of pepper and void of any rhyme or reason. No comb, no product. It stayed wherever it landed. He moved around the garage as if the entire place was an extension of his body. Juicy biceps—
“You aren’t wearing sunglasses, you know.” The teenaged receptionist interrupted my moment with a joyless grin.
I tore my attention from the glass and cleared my suddenly tightened throat. “I was—looking at my reflection.”
“Yeah, a lot of women do,” the girl replied with a smirk, returning to the task of texting someone.
I focused on my dim reflection in the glass, critiquing the sloppy bun at the nape of my neck, overflowing with thick, dark hair. I’d been forced to wear clothes I wouldn’t normally wear: a white blouse a few touches too tight, a black pencil skirt with a small rip along the hem, wool stockings, a green plaid parka, and Converse sneakers. Boxes still lined the halls of my new place, and it was hard to find my good panties, much less a matching pair of heels.
My first day as a public defender for Pelham County Court loomed over me. This heater was going to run me an extra $200 when my budget was already spread as thin as the frost on my damn windshield. And this teenager thought I was drooling over her boss? Please! I have much bigger—
“Blown heater?” a gravelly baritone called with a thick twang.
I adjusted my glasses and forced myself to a stand. He swaggered across the waiting room, flipping a black t-shirt over his forearm as he joined the teenager at the desk. Even though I was making eye contact with his nipples, I was the one who felt naked. I can’t believe I’m in here wearing sneakers. What would my mother say?
As I crossed the room, I could see the details I’d missed. His shrewd gray eyes were dappled with hints of green, and his jaw was almost imperceptibly wider than his forehead and overgrown with stubble, giving him a near barbaric countenance. This wasn’t tempered by the fact that he couldn’t seem to summon a smile for me, even when our eyes met. I swallowed as I reached the counter, wondering if he might yell at me for mistreating the engine or something.
“I’m the blown heater,” I announced meekly. Maybe he’d tear open my blouse and my bra and say, “I’m gonna teach you a lesson about cranking that coil too hard—”
“You’re all set.” He gave me a perfunctory nod, clapped his secretary on the back, and retreated into the smaller, windowless office behind the front desk.
I talked my nipples back down. “Yeah, a lot of women do,” the receptionist’s bored voice echoed in my head.
She collected my bill from a DOS-era printer and passed it for my review.
My eyes ogled the final number, tallying the itemized expenses, certain that labor couldn’t possibly be that expensive.
This was almost nine hundred dollars, and I hadn’t even gotten my first paycheck yet.
I swallowed the ball in my throat. “This was only supposed to be a couple hundred dollars,” I assured her with a little shake to my voice. “I made sure before I came here. I Googled it.”
That teenybopper receptionist actually scoffed at me. “You should have requested an estimate,” she reminded me, like I was an idiot.
I am an idiot. I should have requested the estimate. I thought it had been the blower, but it was the damn coil… Fuck. I was fucked.
I pressed my palm to my forehead and gazed down at the floor, trying to do the mental math on survival. Technically, I had 918 dollars in my checking account. And that was about it. First month’s rent had already been paid, but there were no groceries in the fridge or anything. Fuck!