He was so fierce and striking, almost a mirage as the heat swirled around him, and something pulled her to him, almost as it pushed her away. Fire, flame and heat and it was all consuming and not enough at the same time. She dragged her arm up and pushed her hair back off her neck. Gosh I’m hot! Is the entire fricking sky the sun? It’s relentless. “Um.” She smiled because for some reason her body whispered ancient words, You know him.
She wanted to run her hands all over him. See if he felt as beautiful as he looked. Oh my God. She smacked her hand over her eyes. She was having a conversation with herself and she wasn’t sure how many selves were involved. Her brain was trying to talk her down from the cliff of ridiculousness, but her soul was electrified for the first time ever. Or was it woozy, icky and hot? I don’t feel so good.
“It’s hot out.” Wow, she was such a stellar linguist. But she didn’t dwell on how stupid she sounded, because his eyes blazed over her, like he wanted to devour her, but would hate every second of it. He is angry. The veil was back from the other night, and not a hint of a smile graced his beautiful face…more like scorn. His weird demeanor was one more thing she could add to the crazy list of things happening at the moment. She liked lists. Car in ruins, check. Feel like I might faint, check. Sweating like pig, check. Beautiful mystery man I can’t stop dreaming about from the bar Friday night glaring at me, check. She unstuck herself from her car and tried to communicate even while her thoughts tornadoed together.
“I need a mechanic,” she said, taking a step toward him. She wanted to be closer. “My uh…” She gestured to her van. “I think my starter’s having a tantrum again.” She wiped the sweat off her forehead. Not one single muscle moved in his body. He waited, his arms tight across his chest. She couldn’t even tell if he’d heard her. “Can you, uh, are you… Do you work for Matt?”
“Nope.” That one word, again. She wasn’t sure whether to feel lucky, relieved or insulted. Why did she feel such burning around him? And why did he glare at her like he hated her?
“Did I, um, do something?” she asked. Lordy her tongue was like sludge.
He pulled a water bottle out of his back pocket and guzzled some down. Oh, cold water. “We’re booked up. You’ll have to take your infidelity and your piece-of-shit car somewhere else.” And with his final punch thrown, he tossed the empty water bottle in the dumpster, turned and walked away.
“What?” she whispered. Standing there boiling under the sweltering day on asphalt so hot it even smelled like fresh tar, with sweat sticking her curls to her cheek and forehead, his words hit her like a lance. A hidden thorn from the most beautiful rosebush. Unexpected pain.