He doesn answer, but as he passes by me, I get a whiff of his fragrance and I nearly roll my eyes to the back of my head. I don know what hes wearing, but mixed with his sweat—that probably sounds gross but I heard perfumes or colognes fragrances come out when you sweat, leaving a lasting impression. And thats what he has now. Its a sweet, woodsy, intensely seductive aroma. He smells expensive and sexy. Its like a potent drug and Im overdosing, yet I want another sniff.

I catch myself again and clear my throat, looking anywhere else but him as he opens the rear of the car where the engine is and tinkers with it for a minute. While still checking, he asks, ”How long have you been driving this thing? ”

”Um… A long time? Its my moms old car. ”

”Its definitely old alright, ” he mutters under his breath. ”Can you start it? ”

I get in and turn the ignition. It sputters and theres that gas smell again. I hear him tut and he tells me to turn it off. I do, and then I go to join him behind the car where hes still checking. ”Theres also something weird about the brakes when I drove it today. It requires more pumping than it used to… ” my voice trails off when he scowls and then shoots me a glare.

”How could you drive this trash in that condition? You
e lucky you didn get into an accident on the way here. ”

I flinch at the harshness of his tone. My instant reaction is to raise my voice in return. ”Well, we
e not all rich people like you driving around in expensive cars now, are we? I can afford a new one. I don even think I can afford to have this repaired! ”

The crease between his brows disappears and his voice softens. ”Im just saying. Its dangerous. ”

”Whats wrong with it? How much do you think will it cost? ”

He sighs as he closes the car. ”Whats wrong with it? Too many. ” He starts speaking cars, a language I clearly did not learn in school. I don understand what hes talking about until he says, ”I don know how much that will cost you, but I can pay you to toss this crap in the junkyard. ”

I flinch again, gasping. ”Excuse me? ” My hand reaches for the top of the car on instinct as if Im its protective mother. ”Im not tossing Bee! How dare you even suggest that! ”

”Bee? ”

”His name is Bee! ”

A sexy smirk ghosts on his lips and he folds his thick arms across his very naked chest. ”First of all, cars are female. Second, are you calling her Bee because its a Beetle? How original. ”

My jaw drops. What the hell is wrong with this man?

I take a step forward. ”First of all, wipe that smug look on your face. Second, its my car. Im calling it HE, HIM as I see fit. You
e not the boss of me! ”

He mutters something unintelligible, the smirk—that grew wider—still on his stupid face.

”Whatever. Doesn matter. Its still dangerous to drive this thing anywhere. You could get into an accident anytime and endanger others on the road. Lastly, its an eyesore. ”

If my jaw dropped to the floor earlier, now its six feet under the ground. His initial statement, I can accept, but calling my Bee an eye sore? Who does he think he is? Hes such a hateful… I look down at his form. His wet, lean—no! Im not going to be tempted by his body. Hes a hateful asshole.

”Don listen to him, Bee. You
e not an eyesore. ” I grind my teeth, my hands balled into fists at my sides.

”Also, ” I add, ”My mom gave it to me. I can just throw it. Its been with us for years. ”

”Honey, your mother already handed it to you. Its your responsibility now, ” he says with a little more grit in his tone.

Honey? I grind my molars hard, Im slightly concerned they will crack. ”Ill pay for it and have it repaired to tip-top shape— ”

”Its your funeral. ”

”—assuming Id even have the money to pay for it. Argh! ” I check my watch at the reminder of money, realizing Ive spent a longer time here than I shouldve. ”Im already late for my interview. Damn it! ”

”Where are you headed? ”

”Just a few blocks down. ” I tell him the street address and he nods.

”Im also heading there. I can give you a ride. ”

”But… Isn your car also broken? ” I tip my chin toward the Chevy behind us.

He walks as he talks, tidying up the tools on the floor that he was working with earlier. ”I have another one parked outside. ”

Oh… So he owns the Land Rover. Rich asshole.

”Okay. What about my car key? I can just leave it anywhere. ” I look around, trying to spot where I can leave it securely.

He barks out a laugh and I shoot him a glare. What now?

I don have to ask. He tells me, ”Trust me. No one will attempt to steal your car. Even if theres someone brave enough to move that junk, it won get past the corner. That wouldn be so wise of the thief, would it? Especially if my Veronica is right here. ” He tips his head to the side where the Chevy is parked.

I feel hot. Im pretty sure its the rage Im feeling. He just can stop being an ass.

Though… I can argue with him on that. No sane person would choose to steal my car if the rest of the cars in this garage are at least three times the price of mine. Even so, I love Bee. He got us through Chicago to New York, moving from state to state in between for more than fourteen years. I press my lips into a thin line.

He takes pity on me and sighs, holding his hand out to me. ”Give me your key. Well leave it in the office. ”

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