Things were different now. Their roles were reversed. Usually she was the one who had something to say and he was the one gawking, too awestruck to open his mouth.
“Are you comfortable?” he asked.
She shook her head, but he wasn’t sure it was a no. Her whole body was shaking.
He touched her breast and felt the warmth there, the rising and falling with each fluttering breath.
“Nice,” he said.
He ran his thumb over the thin fabric of her blouse and felt the nipple harden. He wondered what it looked like. How wide and dark it was. He had been wondering for a long time now, ever since that first day when she drove her wrecked Mustang into his shop and stuck her tits in his face, flirting her way into a discount.
“Remember what you said?”
She blinked, her eyes flitting around the room, looking at anything but him.
He smiled. She had told him he could fix anything. He had proven it too. She had come into his shop half-a-dozen times in as many months and always it was something serious. A wrecked bumper. A burned-out transmission. A cracked engine block. He had fixed all of them and charged her less than half price. It was bad for business, but with that body she could have whatever she wanted.
Finally the day came when he wanted something from her. Coffee.
“Coffee?” she said, as if she’d never heard the word before.
“Yeah. Coffee. Or maybe something stronger.”
“Oh. Well, actually I have plans.”
She said it as if that should have been the end right there, as if this conversation they were having here in his office was pointless and the only relevant thing he could do was wave goodbye until the next time she came in looking for cheap repairs.
But he wasn’t discouraged. He’d been talking to her for months now. She had told him how much she needed him, how she was strapped for cash and needed a good kind-hearted man to help her out.
The least she could do was give him a date.
“Doesn’t have to be tonight,” he said. “I’m wide open.”
She tried to smile and only made it halfway. “I don’t know...”
“Sure you do. Just a quick drink.”
She looked at him for a moment and her smile turned to a frown.
“God, how do I put this?” She reached out and touched him on the shoulder. “You’re real sweet. Really. But you’re just not my type.”
The words hit him harder than he expected. He’d heard them hundreds of times before, from hundreds of women. But somehow this was different. This was almost...
“Hey,” he said trying to keep his smile. “I don’t know what type of guy you think I am, but…Look, you barely know me. We could have some coffee and maybe after we talk you’ll––”
She shook her head. “I don’t think so. Sorry. I guess, it’s just…I just like guys who are…you know…cleaner, I guess.”
“Well, I mean look at your fingernails. All that grease. I don’t…I mean, yuck. That’s not…that’s not me.”
He looked down at his fingers and saw the grease. He looked up at her and frowned. He couldn’t force himself to smile.
“I just gave you a discount. I always give you a discount. You said you need me. But we can’t…what? We can’t even have coffee like two normal people?”
She bit her lip and stepped back. “I gotta go. I’m…I’m so sorry.”
Now he was the one who was sorry. He hadn’t meant to hit her so hard. The truth was he hadn’t been planning it. It had just happened.
He looked down at her lying on the workbench and hoped the ratchet straps weren’t too tight. Her skin was so smooth. It would be a shame to rough it up.
“Don’t worry,” he said. “I’m not going to hurt you.”
He rubbed her breast to show he could be gentle. To prove his hands were good at something other than fixing engines.
He chanced pinching the nipple, but not too hard. Not too hard. She sniffled and squeezed her eyes shut. Her cheeks were wet again. Earlier there had been a river.
“It’s okay,” he said. “Everything’s going to be just fine.”
He slid the hand down her chest and over her stomach. Her muscles became rigid beneath it, trembling. He slid the hand further, down over her skirt, over the hem. He slipped it underneath and traced the soft contour of her inner thigh with a single callused finger.
No panties. He liked that.
As he slipped it inside her, she opened her eyes and let out a muffled little cry. She started to shake again, stronger now, like she was having a seizure or something.
“Don’t worry,” he said. “I scrubbed under the nails. Everything’s squeaky clean.”
He leaned over and gave her a kiss on the cheek, just above the gag.
“Next time you come into the shop, it’s on me. You can’t beat a deal like that.”
She looked at him, her eyes wide and wet and steely. There was something there, something intense and emotional. He liked to think he knew women pretty well, but he couldn’t quite place it.
It wasn’t exactly love. Not even close. But it wasn’t hate either.
Either way, it wasn’t a problem.
He was sure he could fix it. He could fix anything. Make it work.
He’d make her love him.
One finger at a time.
BIO: Dyer Wilk is a film school burnout who now spends his life trying to tell the truth while lying. He reads and writes constantly because he doesn’t know any better. He has no wife, no children, no agent and he suspects that he’s married to his stories. He can be found rambling nonsensically at his blog A Season of Dusk.