Authors: Christa Lynn
“Me? What did I do?” She asks like she really doesn’t know. She really should be an actress because she’s damn good at pretending.
“Come on Sally,” he says as he wraps his fingers around her upper arm.
“Where are we going?” She asks, a little fear sparking in her eyes.
“Human Resources. This ends now, Sal. C’mon.” And he urges her towards the open hallway heading back toward the elevator, a
look on her face, and they disappear down the hall.
As I head down to the parking garage, I hope Jackson brought my car to me. Something I hadn’t even thought of til now. Ihope that he did, or I’ll be searching for ride home.
My heart is racing cause now I’m scared I’ve managed to get Sally fired. Well, it’s her own damn fault, but I hate to think of anyone being unemployed in this economy. Maybe they’ll just write her up and give her a warning. Not sure that’s what I want either. She’s made my day crazy and I’ve had enough of her. The elevator door opens and I step out, scanning the spaces for my car. I finally locate it and mosey along.
Walking a few spaces up, I unlock the car door and climb in, putting the key in the ignition. The car makes a groaning sound, sputtering and coughing like an old man. I turn the key back and give it a second, trying again. Same thing......long hard groan, sputtering and now clicking. Shit, now I’m stranded here anyway. I get out of the car, turning back to kick the tires. “Stupid car. Freaking piece of shit,” I continue to scream at my car, beating the hood with my hands. I stop kicking the tires because I jam my big toe. “Fuck!!”
“Ally?” I hear a deep voice call my name from somewhere behind me
, and I turn to see who it is.
“Chase? What are you doing here?” I ask him, anger still spewing from my body, watching his sleek masculine form stalk towards me. He’s dressed in a black tee shirt that’s fitted tightly around his chest, disappearing in to his faded blue jeans.
His badge hooked to his belt buckle and his gun in his holster on the other hip.
“Is everything okay?” He asks, a subtle smile lurking along his lips, his eyes going between me and my car.
“Damn car won’t start,” I say, as I pull my phone out to call a tow truck.
hood, let me take a look at it,” he says, as he walks to the hood of the car. I slide in and pull the lever, he reaches in tugging on the latch and lifting the hood and resting it on the metal holder thingy that lies flush under the hood. Ya know, that kick stand looking thing? Yeah, I know nothing about cars.
He fiddles for a bit and then calls out around the hood, “Turn her over.” And I turn the key, but nothing. The groaning and sputtering from before now gone, just a quiet clicking sound.
“Looks like it’s either the battery or the alternator. I’ve got cables in my car, I’ll pull it over,” he says as he wipes his hands on his jeans and fishes his keys out of his pocket. “Stay here, I’ll be right back,” he says as he walks away, like I’m really going somewhere.
A few seconds later a black Crown Vic pulls around the corner and stops hood to hood against my car, a thunk coming
from the inside and he gets out pulling up his hood. “Still undercover?” I ask him.
but not as undercover as I was,” he smirks.
“Well, that car has COP written all over it, so if you’re trying to be
inconspicuous, it ain’t working,” I tell him, while snickering just a bit. He turns back to the car, “Yep. You’re right.” And he flashes his pearly whites.
He clicks his key fob and the trunk pops open
. He strides over pulling out a set of jumper cables. He hooks them on to both cars and motions for me to try and start the car. Turning the key, we hear nothing again. I try several more times before I give up. “Looks like it’s your alternator. I know a good shop if you need one, and I can get dispatch to send a tow truck over here.”
“Thanks Chase that would be nice. Can the tow truck driver take me home?”
“No, but I will.”
“Oh, I don’t want you going out of your way, Chase. I can call a cab.”
“It’s no problem Ally, I can take you home. Where do you want your car towed to?” He asks, as I crawl in to remove my belongings. I grab a tote bag from the back seat and stuff everything in it, CD’s, my GPS and miscellaneous items.
I don’t answer right away, “You got a screwdriver?” I ask him. He raises his eyebrows at me, but reaches back in to his trunk to hand me one. I skip to the back of the car and proceed to take the license plate off of the back, stuffing it in to my tote bag. “What are you doing?”
“I’m not having this puppy towed without keeping my tag, Chase.”
“But....” He pauses, a confused look on his face. “Ummm...” He stutters.
“Have them take it to the tow yard, I’m done with this piece of shit,” I say, as I kick the tire one last time for good measure.
“The tow yard? Why?” He asked.
“Cause it’s a piece of shit and it’s time for it to go to the graveyard. Can you drop me by the Nissan dealer on the way to my apartment? It’s just a few miles down the road,” I smile back at him.
“You’re going to buy a new car? Just like that?”
“Yep, I got that promotion on Monday, so it’s time. I’ve waited for this for so long, just hoping Roberta would make it until then. Her timing is impeccable.”
“Congratulations, Ally,” h
e says, as he pulls me in to a hug. “So proud of you, that’s awesome. Just goes to show you hard work does make a difference, huh?” I nod in agreement, a cheesy smile spreads across my face. I had planned to wait until the weekend to take this plunge, but now is as good a time as ever.
“Roberta?” He asks, but I just nod, pointing at the broken down piece of shit.
“Ahhh, I see. Well come on let’s go. I’ll call dispatch from the car. You sure you don’t want to trade it in?”
“Really? How much do you think I’ll get for a ten year old beater with a blown alternator?”
“Right. Point taken, let’s go.”
As we traveled up the interstate, my phone dings.
H - Where u at girl?
A - Going to buy car
H - What? By urself?
A - Chase is with me
H - WTF!
And before I can reply the phone rings. “Heather, what’s up?” I say when I answer.
“You tell me girl, Chase? I thought you and Bentley were together?”
“Yeah, I guess we are. My piece of shit died in the parking garage, Chase w
as here and is giving me a ride,” I tell her.
“What was Chase doing there?” She asks, and I think for a minute. I have no idea why he was there. I asked, but I don’t believe he gave me an answer. “Erm, not sure. I’ll find out though. What are you doing?” The conversation turning with her telling me about her day and I filled her in on the Sally situation.
“Damn, that girl needs to get a grip! She’s gonna stick her nose in to the wrong person’s ass one day and pay for it dearly.”
“I’m afraid she already has, Tim pulled her to HR after our little altercation in the bathroom. Guess I’ll find out tomorrow what happened. Or not, since the
gossip queen won’t say anything,” I laugh.
“Yeah, well have fun. Text me when you get home
, so I can come see that new ride of yours.”
I press the end button and glance at Chase’s profile. Strong jaw covered in a bit of stubble, whiskey colored eyes and straight nose. He really is fine, but he’s not Jackson. “You never told me why you were in my parking garage?” I ask.
“No, I gues
I didn’t. I came to see you actually, but you made it down before I got upstairs.”
“Why were you coming to see me?”
“I figured you were back at work and just wanted to check on you, see how you were making out. Did the police psychologist come see you?” He asks.
“Yeah, we had a few conversations. She helped a lot, but I was going stir crazy at home
, so I decided it was time to get back to the grindstone,” he nods, keeping his eyes on the road. I can’t see his whole upper body through the large computer mounted between us, but his strong arms are flexing as he turns the wheel.
Maybe I should.....oh no, never mind. The last time someone got involved with someone else’s love life, it was almost a disaster, and I will not ever pretend to be Cupid
We finally reach our exit and travel the few miles to the Nissan dealer, parking and heading towards the Maxima’s parked along the curb. “Maxima huh? You sure you don’t want a sports car or something, Al?”
“Me? In a sports car? Haha, you are a funny one, Detective Rowland. Do I look like sports car material?” I slug him in the arm, my knuckles feeling the hard impact.
“Hmmmm, I could actually see you driving an SUV with a car seat.......” he drops off, “Never mind.” He smiles, pointing towards the row of Maxima’s. Before we could even make it, a sales man pounces, like they are known to do. I’m actually glad I have Chase with me, so I don’t get taken advantage of.
“How are you guys doing this evening?” The salesman asks as he reaches to shake Chase’s hand, peering down at his gun filled holster. I snicker because now I know I’m going to get a good deal. This salesman seems to be extremely nervous all of a sudden, so I don’t think he’ll try to take advantage of me.
“My friend here is interested in the Maxima.” He tells the salesman, arrogantly stomping my buzz, so I step in.
“Yes, a 2013 or 2014, whichever you have.”
“Of course ma’am, come with me,
” And we follow him deeper in to the lot to a row of shiny cars, my heels clicking on the pavement.
We stroll up and down the aisles and
a black one catches my eye. I stroll over and peer at the sticker on the window. Ouch, I never realized they were so expensive and I step back a little. “Umm, maybe I should look at the Altima?” I smirk, but the salesman doesn’t budge. Launching in to his sales speech, trying to talk me in to it.
“Let’s take it for a drive first, let you get a feel of it.” And he walks off to get the keys from inside.
“Hold on a sec, Mr......”
“Okay, Arthur. This is a little over my price range, so I think I need to look at something else.”
“We can get you in to any vehicle you want, and I can see in your eyes you want this one. Just let me get the keys so y
ou can climb in and take a look,” he says,as he walks off. He walks th
off! And that is exactly what I want to tell him, to ‘fuck off’.....but I stand there quietly, holding my tongue and watching him go inside.
“Geez, did he not even listen to me?” I ask Chase
, as he peeks in to the windows of the sleek black Maxima.
“Chase!” I nudge him on the arm again. Damn, I need to quit doing that because his hard muscles are going to bruise my knuckles.
“What?” He says as he pulls his head away from the window.
“Like it huh? Are we shopping for you or me? Cause this one is way out of my price range,” I ask, but he doesn’t answer, he’s too lost in the car.
“Here ya go.” The salesman says as he returns with the keys.
“Um, Arthur.....as I tried to tell you before you walked away, this car is way over my price range. I need to move on to something else.”
“No, no. I want to look at it,
” Chase says, as the salesman opens the door, and Chase folds his large body in to the driver’s seat. “Nice.” Is all he says, his hands on the steering wheel. His eye flickers over the controls and smiling like a kid in a candy store.
wo go ahead, I’ll be over there,” I say as I stalk off towards the Altima’s. “Yes, this is better.” I say to myself as I peer at the sticker on the window. But I’ve lost my salesman to Chase, who is now in deep conversation over the car. “Great, guess I’m on my own.”
“Alexandra?” I hear a deep, familiar voice echo through the parking lot so I look up to see who it is. Jackson. How in the hell did he know I was here?
“Jackson? What are you doing here?” I ask as he pulls me in to a hug.
“I could ask you the same thing,” h
e smiles that bright smile, looking down on me.
“My car died in the parking garage, so I came here to buy a new one.”
“By yourself? Don’t you know these guys are like vultures with pretty women?”
Laughing, “I’m not alone Jackson. Ch....”
“Jackson Bentley, how are ya man?” Chase says as he approaches, holding his hand out for a shake. I look at Jackson and the fire in his eyes has turned to smoke, but he takes his hand and from what I can tell, squeezes Chase’s hand a bit harder than he needed to.
“Rowland, what are you doing here?” Jackson asks, his eyes darting back and forth between Chase and I.
“Helping Ally here with her new purchase, though I got a little sidetracked on the Maxima over there,” he looks at me, “See anything you like?”
can handle it from here Rowland,” Jackson says as wraps his arms around me in a protective way, like he’s claiming me as his own. Chase’s brows rise and his lips curl up. “Sure Jackson, she was stranded in the parking garage and I brought her here since she didn’t have another ride,” he says sarcastically like he’s some sort of hero or something.
Uh oh, I feel a pissing contest coming, but I’m too stunned to say anything, so I step back a
nd let these two go at it. Before I can turn back to look at the car, Jackson rears back like he’s ready to punch Chase. “Careful Bentley, I’m a cop remember? Don’t make me have to arrest you.”
I feel Jackson tense up, his fist,
still balled up, but he stands down, staring at him. Bailing Jackson out of jail is the last thing on my to do list today. “Guys, calm down! Jackson, he was in the parking garage and tried to jump me off, but the alternator is fried, so he gave me a ride here.”