The smell of leather and cologne compelled Dany to glance up from her computer.
“Well, hello,” she smiled at the age-chiseled countenance in front of her. “Welcome to Vintage Pearl Custom. How can we help you today?”
“That’s my 1966 Shelby out front,” the stranger pointed with his thumb. “It needs a paint job—the original color is Sapphire Blue. Hard to find the service this girl’s been used to since I moved to town.”
Dany looked over the stranger’s shoulder to the vehicle parked at the door. “Wow…nice. Yeah, we can do that for you.” Her head felt a little strange, recognizing the fragrance of Aramis cologne. An old-gentleman, smoky smell that brought back instant memories she couldn’t pinpoint.
“Where you from?” Dany asked. She was mesmerized, but by the stranger or his car, she couldn’t determine.
“North Texas,” he replied, curling one side of a smile. “Uh, are you ok, ma’am? You look a little flustered.”
Dany flushed even more crimson. She felt warm all over, and embarrassingly, it showed.
“Uh yeah, I’m fine,” Dany stuttered. “Let me get Tom out to have a word with you.”
Hearing the intercom call, Tom came out to reception, wiping his hands on a blue shop towel. “Hi, I’m Tom, and hey, that’s your beauty out there?” he glanced to the car and gave a short wolf whistle.
“Hi Tom, nice to meet you, I’m Chuck. I was just telling this lovely young lady what I had in mind…for a paint job and a solid once-over.” He reached out to shake Tom’s hand.
The two walked outside to have a closer look, and Dany watched while one and then the other pointed and smiled at the features of the Shelby. Tom opened the driver’s door and slid into the leather bucket seat, reaching up to acknowledge the car’s unusual dash tachometer. One of the cool features of her dream car, she smiled to herself. God, what she would do for a car like that.
Tom and Chuck chatted as they returned to reception. Dany knew Tom loved the 60s Mustangs too, so no doubt they’d had an animated conversation.
“Dany, let’s get Chuck’s Shelby in sometime towards the end of next week,” he said to her. Turning to Chuck, he continued, “Chuck, you’ll have to leave her with us for five or six days, for the paint and the rest of the work.”
The guys shook hands again and Tom headed back to the shop.
“I’m sorry, let me formally introduce myself,” Chuck bowed slightly. “It’s so lovely to meet you. So tell me, when will I be seeing you again? Next week?”
Dany forced her eyes onto the computer screen. “Yes, it looks like next Thursday will work. You ok for leaving the car over the weekend?”
“Well, sure, as long as she gets the loving care and attention she needs,” he smiled disarmingly.
Dany already looked forward to seeing Chuck again. When Thursday afternoon arrived, she was bent over peering at an invoice item when her heart fluttered. Aramis. That earthy, musky fragrance. She glanced up to see him, dangling a key in front of her.
“Ready or not, here we go!” Chuck laughed as he handed her the key. “Don’t mind me if I’m a little nervous…she’s the only lady in my life and it’s kinda hard to let her out of my sight. I’m sensitive about who touches her when I’m not around.”
“I’ll keep an extra careful eye while it’s here in the shop,” Dany smiled. “You don’t need to worry about a thing. Just leave everything in my hands.”
Dany wanted that car in her hands…she wanted to sit behind the wheel, feeling the leather against her skin…
Suddenly she snapped to attention, the daydream over. “Oh, and thanks, Chuck. I’ll call you when it’s ready,” she waved as he walked out the front door.
Tom started prepping the Shelby for painting on Thursday afternoon, taping the windshield and door handles for protection, then gently sanding the paint surfaces. On Friday afternoon, he did a little tinkering under the hood; from Dany’s vantage point at the front desk, it appeared there wasn’t much to be done. He gently released the hood to click it shut.
“We’re all ready to paint first thing Monday morning,” Tom told Dany, a little chuckle escaping. “I’m excited. She’s like the Mona Lisa, a real enigma…and Chuck says he’s the original owner, but working on her…I just feel there’s an odd history to this one. Boy, I wouldn’t mind hanging on to her for longer, but we’d better get it back to Chuck. He’s the kinda guy we want in this shop!”
Oh yeah, reckoned Dany, we want him, alright. Chuck, and his ageless handsomeness, his Shelby, his Aramis. She squirmed in her seat when she thought of him. So unlike her, this lustful desire. The shop serviced more exquisite cars belonging to rich, powerful, good-looking men, yet she’d never felt the strange attraction she did with Chuck and his Shelby.
As dusk settled in, Tom headed out through the shop’s back door. “I’ll leave locking up to you, Dany, and I’ll see you Monday morning. Enjoy your weekend!”
“Yep, you too!” she replied. “See you Monday.”
Dany watched Tom pull around the front of the shop and exit the driveway. She smiled as the ’58 Chevy truck receded into the twilight. He called her Merle, a strange name for a bright red stunner. “Good night, Merle,” she whispered as she turned off the OPEN sign and double-locked the door.
Tucking her purse under her arm, she reached for and clicked off the front office light. Walking into the back of the shop, she switched on the night lighting and adjusted her eyes to the dimness. One more look at that dream car, she thought. Maybe I will dream myself a Shelby tonight, she laughed to herself.
Dany placed her hand on the driver’s side door, and ran her palm along the smooth, cool metal. She slowly circled the Shelby, closing her eyes to better memorize its curves and breathing in every inch. Returning to the driver’s side, she reached for the handle and opened it. She’d have to ensure she replaced the tape covering it just so, or else Tom would wonder what she’d been up to. But she simply wanted to sit in the driver’s seat.
Her right foot propelled her as she slipped into the driver’s seat, and the smell of leather and cologne enveloped her in an embrace. She fit perfectly into the bucket seat, like it had been hers all along. Squirming a bit to settle in, her skirt bunched up and the bare backs of her thighs were against the soft-worn animal skin. When she realized how good it felt, she wiggled a little more to increase the skin to skin contact. She relaxed her head against the headrest, and placed her right palm on the gearshift. Left hand, gripping the cool steering wheel. This was her ultimate desire, unleashing the power of a Cobra high-performance V8.
Dany felt possessed, full of urges she couldn’t control. The Shelby’s power over her was beginning to overwhelm, and her entire body began to throb. Her right hand found its way from the gearshift to the inside of her burning thighs. She caressed the ribbed leather beneath her, and brought her fingers back to her wetness. Squeezing her eyes tight, she rocked in rhythm, drinking in as much of the musky car-and-cologne as she could.
Suddenly, Dany heard a metallic click, and snapped open her eyes to a blinding bright. Someone turned on the lights! She gasped, trying to catch her breath and freezing motionless. Who was here? Her eyes shifted in the direction of the slowly advancing clip-clip-clip footsteps. If she remained still enough, whoever it was might overlook her.
The footsteps halted. Somewhere near the back of the Shelby. Had she been seen? Dany held her breath.
The intruder popped open the trunk latch and rattled around inside. Another metallic clunk, and then, silence. She stifled a gasp.
Clip, clip…Dany’s glance shifted to the window, where she set her eyes on a waist, belt buckle, denim jeans. A glimpse of torso, bending in half to frame a face. Chuck.
“Well now, Dany, what might you be up to in my treasured baby?” His voice rang with a surprised humor but he wasn’t smiling.
Dany froze, feeling as awkward as a child who’d been caught doing something unbearably naughty.
“Now, Dany, don’t be embarrassed,” Chuck reassured her. “This isn’t the first time this has happened…not at all. You’re not the first woman I’ve come across quenching her lustful desires in my Shelby. I told you I’m sensitive about who touches her when I’m not around. This…is why.”
Dany smiled weakly, still unable to speak.
“I’ve been in 29 states already, and it’s happened every time I take her in for care.”
Breathing an embarrassed sigh of relief, Dany brightened and started to speak. Chuck stopped her.
“Why do you think we’ve come all the way from North Texas, young lady?” he asked. “Every time, some little trollop takes it upon herself to sully my true love. Goddamn it, I know she’s irresistible, but…come on, pull yourself together and we’ll just pretend this never happened.”
Chuck opened the door and gallantly reached for Dany’s hand to help her out of the car. “There you go, miss. You can be on your way now.”
Dany bent down to grab her purse, glancing at the tell-tale wet spot on the driver’s seat as she did so. Ugh, I hope he doesn’t tell Tom, she thought. She just couldn’t face the shame, and anyway, she’d probably be fired. Maybe she’d just offer up her resignation before the shit hit the fan.
Turning to walk away, she could feel Chuck’s eyes burning into the back of her head. She twisted slightly towards him, to apologize.
“Oh Chuck, I’m so sorr—“
Chuck raised the tire iron above his head. Clunk. Whacked Dany square on the back of the skull. A sickening crack, before she knew what hit her.
Dany crumpled to the floor and dark crimson began to puddle around her head.
After 29 states and almost 60 years, he was drained. The routine repeated itself—first, the sacrilege, the cleansing, then fire and brimstone. Another carnal disgrace he’d have to take care of.
“Damn,” Chuck shook his head, muttering to himself. “So unbecoming, this depraved lust. You’d think they’d learn to show some respect.”
About the Creator
I live with a broken brain and PTSD--but that doesn't stop me! I'm an author, artist, and qualified mediator who loves life's detours.
I co-authored NOT CANCELLED: Canadian Kindness in the Face of COVID-19. I also publish horror stories.
Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!