Tonya had car problems last week. She's depending on Lynne to drop her off at her car, but she has a big surprise waiting for her. The prompt is ring.
“Hurry up. I have a book club meeting tonight. I need to get refreshments.”
Tonya stumbled into a table in the dim room before she found her purse. “I’m not sure why you have to be that way. If you don’t want to take me home just say so. Besides you have a chef for a husband, why do you worry about refreshments?”
Lynne clapped her hands together briskly. “Hurry.” They walked down the hallway noting the closed doors and the dark offices. Unlike Tonya, most people didn’t stay long hours. They put in their eight and headed out, possibly to job interviews.
“Why can’t Marc whip up something?” Her friend grimaced at her question.
“Yeah, yeah, that’s what everyone thinks in my book club. I imagine some of them are even excited about coming to my house because of the superior refreshments.” Their heels clicked in tandem as they descended the stairs. They made the turn hitting the ghost of stale smoke.
“I wish Jon would smoke outside like the other smokers. He’s not fooling anyone. Oh, I imagine the snacks are the highlight of the book group considering the gloomy books you guys pick.”
A door slammed in the distance. The building turned creepy once everyone left. She knew since often she was one of the last to leave.
Lynne playfully hip checked her as they reached the ground floor. “Picky, picky. True. The book we were reading when you visited was on the dark side, but they all aren’t.”
“Tonight’s book. Is there a happy ending, a satisfied feeling that several hours haven’t been wasted throwing the reader into a deeper funk than when she started the novel.” Her friend didn’t speak immediately, which was answer enough.
“Well, the narrator is dying from some incurable disease and reflects back on her life with the highlight being the day she got to ring the church bell.”
They both opened the exterior doors at the same time stepping out into the daylight. Tucked away in the copier room, she forgot a few hours of daylight remained. Lucky her, she could use them to get her car hauled somewhere if Marc couldn’t get it started.
“Hmm, sounds like a feel good story. I appreciate Marc looking at my car too. It’s no wonder you have to make refreshments.” Her friend’s laughter puzzled her. They headed toward the blue sedan, one of the few cars left in the parking lot.
“Me bake? No way. I’m heading over to the gourmet bakery on the south side.”
An electronic chirp unlocked the car allowing them both to slide into the sun-warmed interior. A twist of the key brought the car to life complete with a jangly commercial and heat blasting out of the vents. Lynne adjusted the dials until the air conditioning kicked on. “It was cold this morning.”
It wasn’t, but Tonya didn’t feel like debating it. There was too much to do. Messing with a contrary vehicle had no place in her timetable. Laundry topped the list unless she wanted to reuse underwear. Nope, rather go commando than sink that low. If things went well, maybe she’d hear from Will. A text would be welcome considering her rotten day. Nothing where she’d have to look decent, especially since she was as far from that as possible.
The drugstore came into view and Lynne clicked on her turn signal. Her undependable vehicle sat with hood up and the bottom half of a male body extruding from it. Something poked at the back of her mind. Not right, not right, the words kept lighting up in big red letters similar to the symbolism in subtitled movies. Having her car break down wasn’t right.
Her eyes focused on the tight ass and long legs attired in dress pants. Nice. She couldn’t say she spent much time ogling Lynne’s husband rear view, but she knew the superb butt wasn't Marc's. “Lynne. That isn’t your husband?”
“Oh, I didn’t mention that there’s some melt down at Marc’s restaurant?”
“No.” Her hand slid over her hair feeling the disarray of escaped tendrils. It probably resembled a bird’s nest. “Who’s under my hood?” The question sounded strangely provocative.
“Have a breath mint.” Her friend shoved an open roll at her. She chewed one vigorously well aware of the need.
“Thanks.” She growled her appreciation aware disaster day had a few more jolts left. Will backed out from the hood and waved at them. His tie tucked into his shirt, his sleeves cuffed, and a few sizable grease spots decorated the front of his blue dress shirt. Damn, he looked good, even dirty.
Tonya’s hand depressed the door handle wondering how she could delay the encounter when Lynn spoke. “Get out there. He’s waiting on you and I have to get the bakery before it closes. I preordered napoleons and éclairs.”
“I’ll remember you forgot to tell me Will was my road service crew and you bragged about the yummy desserts I won’t get.” She hoped her words might make Lynne feel a little guilt.
“I’ll save you an éclair.”
“You better or else,” she mock threatened, while smiling at Will heading her way.
Her friend drove off with a spritely beep and a wave for both of them. Coward. Although, it would be a hard drive to reach the bakery in time. A less caring friend would have had her take a taxi.
Will grinned at her, while offering her a greasy hand in greeting, then pulling it back. “I’m dirtier than I realized. I do have good news, though.”
“What’s that?” She rooted through her purse until she found the plastic wrapped tissues and handed them to Will.
He struggled to extract the tissues from their plastic sheath without success. Tonya grabbed the package back. “Here, let me do it.” Their fingers touched sending a hormonal alert through her body. Tiny little hormone suited up in yellow slickers and raced through her body screaming something about blast off. Okay, her fifth grader teacher was right about her overactive imagination. The chemistry was still there. Did he feel the same?