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Page 9

he saw the rest of her, a tall, blonde, Norwegian goddess descended from the gates of Valhalla.

The trance broke when Janet grabbed his arm and pleaded “It’s a BMW. Only a trained mechanic can work on it. Please tow me to Vegas.”

“Janet, it’s just the fan belt. They can fix it here,” Stephanie said.    

Janet shot her a “Fuck you,” look, maybe worse, then she turned her best puppy eyes on Matt, reinforcing them with a sensual squeeze.

Thirty minutes, and a lack of options brought Janet to acquiesce.

The time came to produce a credit card, and Stephanie, anticipated the drift, had turned her gaze toward the antique gas pumps, the kind with glass bubbles on the front where one could see the gas flowing, and the reflections of the people around them.

She saw Janet’s bulging head in the bubble, waiting for her to yield a credit card. She wanted to refuse, but it was the arrangement: Janet drove and took care of the gas; Stephanie paid the hotel rooms and incidentals.

“I guess incidentals includes repair of self-inflicted damage on her car,” Stephanie thought. She gave herself a moment of respite, sighed to the curious old gas pump then turned to Matt.

“We’ll use my credit card,” she said, ignoring Janet.

Matt touched Stephanie’s elbow and nodded toward the station door.

She had expected the floor to be soaked with oil, tracked in from the garage dozens of times daily. It was. The wall, as well, was painted with greasy fingerprints, and was only spared where shielded by overlapping calendars, ones sporting scantily clad, overly endowed women touting auto supplies from oil to transmissions. Even they were susceptible to black smudges over the tacks that held them up.

She gazed at the phone with reluctance, it being a key motive for greasy fingers to hurry in from the garage. Not wanting to set her purse on the desk, she balanced it on one knee and fumbled it open. Matt caught a glimpse of her firm shapely thigh then raised his eyes to peer through the window. When he turned away, she slopped one of the Modern Electronics onto the chair and sat. She raised the phone toward her head, stopping just before her ear.

“The phone numbers are taped to the desk. You want the one in

 Vegas,” Matt reminded. He pushed his hand down into

page 9

 

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