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I climbed into the Monte Carlo, careful not to sit on the spring poking through the torn seat cover and started it up. The car shuddered violently, backfired, and belched a cloud of thick, black smoke. Oh swell. This car was a motorcycle cop’s wet dream. I put the Monte Carlo in gear. The belts squealing loudly, the car lurched down the street.
“Don’t attract attention to myself, he says, kinda hard not to in this car,” I muttered and flipped on the air-conditioning. Dirt, dust, and hot air blasted from the vents, turning the interior of the car into a mini sandstorm. By the time I managed to turn it off, I was coated in muck. Morales had a nasty sense of humor.
A big, hairy spider crawled across the dash.
“Holy shit!” I did a kamikaze cut across two lanes of traffic.
Horns honked, tires squealed, and people shouted profane curses as I zigzagged wildly around their cars. Skidding into a Safeway parking lot, I managed to stop the Monte Carlo an inch from the front bumper of a black Ford F450 truck. Whew! That had been too damn close. The demon car shuddered violently, and the engine died.
The spider hopped up on the steering wheel.
With an ear-shattering shriek, I bailed out of the car. “Oh my God. Oh my God.”
“Have you lost your fucking mind?” An angry male voice bellowed.
“Spider,” I hollered back. My actions might seem extreme to most folks, but they hadn’t been locked in a shed with hundreds of arachnids crawling over them. In the dark. For hours. Daddy dearest said it was to break me of my fear of spiders. His therapy made it worse. I grabbed a bat out of the backseat and knocked the creepy crawly out of the car.
It landed on the man’s shiny black boots.
I raised the bat.
The bat was yanked out of my hand. “Are you off your meds?”
Ignoring angry guy, I did the Cha-Cha on the spider’s hairy ass. A zillion baby spiders ran in every direction. “Shit! Shit! Shit!” I jumped on the hood of my car.
“You’re fucking nuts.” Angry guy stared down at his scuffed-up leather. “You’re paying to get my boots shined.”
“Sure. Whatever.” I watched the spiders crawl up his pants legs. “Just keep your distance.”
“And if I don’t?”
My gaze snapped to angry guy’s face. The first thing I noticed was his eerie silver blue eyes and how he towered over me. Crap, he made the General look like a midget. Shaggy black hair framed the sculptured perfection of his face. Yowzers! He was hot. I studied his hard body. Those muscles hadn’t come from a gym. Nope, he had earned them, but how? Was he a soldier? Or a bounty hunter? Or maybe a cop? He oozed authority.
In a quiet, scary voice he commanded, “Move your car, lady.”
“I can’t.” I slid off the hood, keeping out of his reach.
Angry guy gave me a smile fit for a bloodthirsty maniac. “Can’t or won’t?”
“I’m allergic to spiders.”
He took a menacing step toward me and wrinkled his nose. “Have you been dumpster diving?”
“God, no. I’m not that hungry yet.”
“Why do you smell like rotted food?”
I sighed. “It’s the car.”
The disbelief in his voice made me want to scream. “I’ll have you know; I didn’t look or smell like this ten minutes ago. That car is possessed,” I snapped.
“Possessed?” He cocked an amused eyebrow.
“Yeah. It is.” Figured. The first hot guy I meet, and he thinks I’m an escapee from the nut house.
“Move the damn car. I have an appointment in ten minutes,” angry guy growled.
“The keys are in the ignition. Move it yourself.”
“You’re a real piece of work.” Angry guy crammed himself into the driver’s seat and winced.
“Watch out for the spring,” I called about thirty seconds too late.
Angry guy bared his teeth at me.
Huh? It almost looked like he had fangs. I shook my head to clear it. I hadn’t slept in two days. Was I starting to hallucinate?
Vulgar curses filled the air.
I smothered a laugh. Angry guy’s knees were jammed under the steering wheel and no matter how hard he tried to move the seat back, it wouldn’t budge.
“Told ya. It’s possessed,” I yelled.
“When’s the last time you did any maintenance on this piece of crap?”
I shrugged. “Never. Just bought it.”
“Not too bright, are you?”
After the week from hell, I was done with arrogant males. I gave him the one fingered salute. “Fuck off. The Monte Carlo fits my budget.”
“You’d be better off taking the bus,” Angry guy said and started the engine. The minute he put the Monte Carlo in gear, the air-conditioner kicked on, and a cloud of dust whooshed out of the vents, blinding him. The engine revved like a race car. Vroom. Vroom. Vroom.
“Easy buddy. It’s an old car,” I shouted.
The vehicle suddenly zoomed forward, then veered to the left. Boom! The Chevy hit a yield sign. A geyser of steam gushed from under the hood.
I threw my hands up in the air. “Who taught you how to drive asshole?”
Angry guy climbed out of the Monte Carlo. His face was caked with dirt and his once pristine white dress shirt was a grimy mess.
I smothered a laugh. If looks could kill, I’d be dead. “Now do you believe me?”
Howdy. My name is Gail Koger and once upon a time I was a 9-1-1 dispatcher. Too many years of wild requests, screwy questions, bizarre behavior and outrageous demands have left me with a permanent twitch and an uncontrollable craving for chocolate. I took up writing science fiction romance to keep from killing people. So far, it has worked.
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