A good man falls seven times,
But I’m far from a good man.
I’ve got my own set of rules,
And I never stray from them.
I live by a simple set of guidelines and they’re easy to follow.
But when Chelsea Robinson walked into my garage,
The rules went out the door.
Suddenly, I was falling.
No, that’s not right.
It was more like a crash-landing,
Because I sure as hell couldn’t stop myself.
And now, I’m still falling,
For a woman I shouldn’t even want.
But when love steps in, you have no option but to break your own rules.
August 5, 2011
I’m a simple man. I prefer chicken over seafood, horror movies to action ones, and although I’ll never admit this out loud, I’ll drop everything if a family member needs me. Well, maybe not right away if I’m in the middle of getting some pussy. But after I nut, I’m dropping everything!
Like I said: simple. On top of that, I have a job that doesn’t make me want to jump off the Whitestone Bridge, a condo that’s all mine, a sweet ride I rebuilt myself, and pussy on speed dial. Yup, my life is the shit. Especially now, I’m finally finished with this Jaguar.
I slam the hood of the car, sick to death of it. I’ve been working on this vehicle for the last three weeks and only a few hours ago, figured the faulty micro switch was causing the gearbox to select the wrong gears. Finding out what was wrong took longer than solving the damn problem. I’m so glad to be getting rid of this car. Don’t get me wrong, I have no problem with the machine; that’s my specialty. It’s the owner’s wife who’s a royal pain in my ass.
I fell between her legs a few times and now she’s riding my cock, and not even in a way I like. She’s possessive, staking her claim like I’m some undiscovered land. I was upfront with what I wanted, and she expressed the same, but now she’s calling the shop with imaginary car troubles. Exhaling, I remind myself to ask our receptionist to get someone to pick up the vehicle. We made good money servicing Mr. Browne’s car, but his wife wasn’t worth the headache.
The rag I keep in my back pocket helps with the grease staining my palms. Glancing at hands, my lips tilt at one side with pride at the grime deep underneath my nails.
‘Hands of a hard day’s work,’ Chuck would tell me.
“Right this way, ladies. He should be around here somewhere.”
I curse under my breath at my brother’s voice and the hurried footsteps headed my way. JC’s low, gruff tone is different from his twin’s, EC, whose tone is more of a heavy bass. I tease them both that with voices like theirs, they should bag more women than me, their youngest brother by a year, which they don’t. But, that’s another story for a different time.
“Just a few more steps,” he says. I spin around at the sound of JC’s voice.
“Here he is,” he says, clearing the corner.
My brother, a blond Rastafarian with thick dreads down to the middle of his back, dwarfs a curly red-head with a bronzed complexion who’s wearing the hell out of a pair of khaki shorts and a yellow silky-looking top. She’s wholesome-looking. The girl-next-door type; with freckles sprinkling over most of her face. I can tell right away, she’s the kind who’ll want to be introduced to the family and expects a ring soon after a fuck. She’s cute but doesn’t hold my interest. Not like the other woman partially hidden behind JC.
The first thing I do is check out those shapely legs of hers. God bless those denim shorts! They give me prime access to the tan from the summer sun she’s obviously been relaxing under. My cock stirs, and it’s almost as if I can taste her skin on my tongue. I move on, and swallow a moan at the sight of her luscious hips. Thank fuck for the flowy, see-through white shirt with the cheetah-print swimsuit top covering her tits. Looking further up, I can’t see her face real good because it’s turned away from me, but I stop when I see it.
The most unattractive feature—her hair color.
Granted, its curls give it an unusual bounce and the braid on one side tells me she’s not some suburban beauty queen. But, I don’t do brunettes. What a waste of a good few seconds of my life. Still, I have to force myself to look away from her and over to JC. I steal another glance at her before giving up when JC walks toward me with one of his hand out at me.
“Brother,” he says all smiles. Whenever he starts out like this, EC and I know the deal: the asshole wants something.
“Jackson Charles.” I snicker at JC’s instant glower. He hates being called by his full name and I hate when I know I’m about to be used, so we’re even-steven in my book. “What do you want?” My question is aimed at him but for the life of me, I can’t stop checking out the woman behind him.
“Ahem.” Regretfully, I look away from her and back to JC and his stupid grin that I read instantly. The fucker’s on to me and knows I’m attracted to the woman near him. “If I didn’t know better, I’d think you were trying to embarrass me, brother,” he says.
“Did it work?” I know damned well he doesn’t shame easily. I keep telling myself to keep my eyes on JC and off the beauty with sun-kissed skin because she’s not my fucking type. But, I can’t help but steal another peek, a long one.
“Is that how you greet your favorite brother?”
He still hasn’t fessed up to the reason he’s here. I’m just about to tell him that I’m tired and that whatever he’s here to beg me to do can wait ‘til tomorrow. But again, she’s distracting me. She’s inspecting the garage and, in doing so, moves from behind JC.
Looking at her profile, with its dips and curves, makes my fingers itch for my sketching pad. That’s when it hits me: I’m not so bothered by her hair color as much. Fuck as much... I’m not bothered at all. She’s curvaceous, and if I had to guess, I’d say she is about a size eight. I can imagine her toned legs wrapped around me as I stroke her smooth calves and palm her tits. Now, those are 36Cs. I don’t need to guess at that shit. When I grab ahold of her succulent ass and press my face in—
“Earth to Dyllan. Hello?”
“I was saying, I picked up the girls from the side of—”
Hookers! Probably wanted to get an early start over at Hunt’s Point. I’m not fooled by either the red head or brunette’s innocent features. JC’s hands go up in the air like he can read my thoughts but there’s no erasing what he’s just said.
“It’s not like that. They were having car trouble. Broke down on their way to Orchard Beach.” He looks back at the one in the yellow top who giggles, so I assume he’s done some JC macho shit like wink her way. “I had their car towed here. Told them we’d fix it for them,” he finishes up telling me the sob story.
We wouldn’t be fixing shit, because he knows zilch about the mechanics of cars. I have to give it to my brother; he’s smart and instantly recognizes my ‘I’m not buying your bullshit’ expression. He changes his tune really quickly after that.
“I mean, you. I told them you’d fix it for them.” He chuckles, rubbing the back of his neck, that I’ll be wringing later, as if he’s embarrassed to admit that in front of them. The fucker.
I step toward him. I know my brother. He’ll win no humanitarian award, and his knight’s shiny armor has long since rusted from that one incident we never speak about. The way the brunette still hedges close to him tightens my gut with something I haven’t felt in ages: envy. I need to know which one he’s after. ‘Cause if it’s the brunette ...
“Jazzy’s told us so much about your work,” the one in the khaki shorts gushes, grabbing my brother’s hand.
Jazzy? I smirk at my grinning brother who seem like he couldn’t care less that I’m silently questioning this newfound nickname of his. Instead of telling me to fuck off, which I more than expect, he does the strangest thing; ‘Jazzy’ raises her hand up to his lips before giving it a tender peck. Oh brother. I roll my eyes, wanting to hurry this shindig along, even though I’m fucking ecstatic he’s made it clear who he’s gunning for.
JC pulls her closer to him, eyes on her the entire time while throwing out his request. “Dyllan, Emma really needs her car. Can you take a look at it?”
I grunt out my response. Rather than answer his question, I’d like to ask one of my own: the brunette’s name. I shouldn’t even care, and I tell that to myself while my brother and this Emma chick stare at each other as if there aren’t two other people standing inside the garage. My eyes finally connect with the brunette’s. To some, she wouldn’t stop traffic. But to me... there’s no denying that she’s unique. Her oval face, with its high, rounded cheeks, and dark brown eyes. She’s beautiful. And those lips, generous and plump. I like them. A lot.
“Hi,” she says, knocking me back a step with her hesitant smile and one-handed wave.
Her wave reduces me to a mute and all I can do is wave back. Frustrated that I’m tongue-tied like a damn preteen meeting my first crush, I jut out my chin her way, grunting out, “Show me this fucking car.”
Her smile vanishes. “Asshole,” she mutters under her breath, but I hear her, because she didn’t say that shit low enough.
She’s lippy. I can’t decide if I like it or not. Just as I tell myself I don’t care for her tone or what came from her mouth, she glides by me. Her hips swing from one side to the other, tempting me to reach for them. That’s it. She can be as lippy as she fucking wants. Just as long as she’s always walking in front of me.
Still watching her, mesmerized, I untuck my shirt tail, letting it hang over my pants. I can hear the lovebirds follow behind me, whispering and laughing. She’s hypnotizing me... until we get to where the tow guy left the car I’m supposed to fix. What the hell is JC thinking? Parked in the front of Sterling’s Auto Center is a Ford Focus, and it’s seen better days.
I walk around the eyesore. Why he’d bring this piece of shit here? We only work on high-end models, mainly European and Asian brands. What I’m looking at is something Chuck, our father, would’ve taken on when he first started out and was struggling to make a go at it. This damn brother of mine.
I whistle at JC who hurries over to me. “We don’t do cars like this,” I tell him just in case he’s forgotten. He knows this already as the head of our marketing and IT departments but it bears reminding. All I’m left to believe is that the chase of a new woman has obviously blinded him and made him forget a few vital facts.
He puts his hand on my shoulder, commenting, “But, you can work wonders.”
I shrug off his hand being in no mood to be his wingman just so he can look like a hero and get some ass. I circle the monstrosity again. “Pop the hood.”
“Emma, let me get your keys,” he shouts out then uses the key—the fucking shit doesn’t even have a keyfob to open it—and the door creaks like the old rust bucket that it is before he starts the car. As soon as the key hits the ignition, the engine struggles to turn over, and when it finally does, it sounds asthmatic.
Raking my hand through my hair, I slam the hood down. “Turn it off.” This is going to be a long damn fix. When I look back, Emma is wringing her hands while her friend rubs her back, maybe to calm her down. I walk over to the duo, stopping short. “I hate to tell you this, but you need a new engine, and it sounds like there are some other issues. I won’t know until I take a closer look.”
“How much do you think it’ll cost to fix?”
Finally, she speaks. And her voice is soft, like a calming wind with a hint of huskiness that draws me a step closer. I know I should answer, but all I can do is stare at her. Then a door slams, breaking whatever spell she’s cast over me. The swift crunch of gravel crushed by heavy soles pulls my head toward JC, who hands the key to its owner. My tongue loosens up when the brass metal knocks against each other. “Cost? That could be anywhere from seven hundred bucks to—”
“Seven hundred what? American dollars?” the one who’s robbing me of any kind of straight-forward thought screeches out.
“Well...” Rubbing the back of my neck gives me just enough time that I can get my shit together. She’s really pulling some hoodoo/voodoo-kind of mess over me. “Well, more in the ballpark of fifteen hundred dollars.” I shave off a few hundred bucks from the quote. I don’t even know why, but if she asks for more discount, I’ll do that too. The realization I’d give it to her plunks down into the pit of my stomach, leaving me squirmy and wanting to get this over.
“Oh, jeez,” she—the one I still don’t know the name of—stammers. My eyes drink in everything about her: the way the breeze plays with her dark hair and brings some of it into her face, the way her lips curl at the corner, and the slight sheen on her forehead. “Um, I’m not sure. That’s, ah... well, that’s expensive.” She flickers her bewildered gaze at me.
“Don’t you worry ‘bout nothin’. We’ll take care of ya’ll,” JC drawls as if he’s from the south, when the motherfucker was born right here in the Bronx.
“Whoa— ” I can’t even get the rest out before JC cuts me off.
“Hell, we’ll even give you a loaner ‘til my brother fixes your car.”
Now it’s clear he’s long-gone, off his rocker, and I need to get him a bed for a long stay at Gracie Square, one of New York’s private psychiatric hospitals. What the hell is he even talking about?
“Oh, Jazzy, you’re the best.” Emma throws her hands around my brother’s shoulders, pulling him toward her for a kiss.
Not thirty seconds later, I feel her tiny hands and warm body as she hugs the life out of me. “You’ll really give me another car to drive while you fix mine?”
I grunt at the contact but don’t respond. Over her head, determination is in JC’s blue eyes, daring me to go against what he’s just stated. My sight veers to his left, to the woman who looks concerned about my answer. “Sure.” I even going so far to nod at him to tell him he’s won this round. But the real reason I gave in is to see Emma’s friend who’s now wearing a satisfied look.
“Thank you. Thank you so much.” She runs back over, squealing and throwing her arms around the brunette. “Isn’t Dyllan amazing, Sissy?”
I grin, finally learning her name and it gets broader when I watch her slowly approaching me. She doesn’t press her body against me as some other women would’ve; she stands at a distance but is still close enough that I can smell the fragrance she used this morning on her skin. I want nothing more than to pull her closer, have my fingertips finally feel her skin.
“This’ll make tonight even better.”
“Tonight?” I ask, mind still in a cloud by her nearness.
“You know? The double date we’re all going on.”
The grin’s wiped from my lips. I don’t fucking date!
Nook and Kobo links coming as soon as possible.