The Mechanic

Free The Mechanic by Trinity Marlow

Book: The Mechanic by Trinity Marlow Read Free Book Online
Authors: Trinity Marlow
Chapter 1

    Alyssa used one hand to shield her eyes from the late afternoon sun. "Finally," she murmured, relieved to see buildings just a little further up the road. Without thinking, she wiped her brow with the sleeve of her white linen jacket. Lowering her arm, she swore at the dark beige smear of makeup left behind.
    "Dammit! What else can possibly go wrong?"
    She adjusted her purse on her shoulder, and kept walking, her feet stinging in the expensive, white peep-toe heels she'd bought just for the interview in Billings. Not that it mattered now. The HR director at the marketing firm had been very clear that punctuality and overtime weren't optional. Between sleeping through the hotel alarm that morning and her car breaking down in the middle of nowhere, she didn't have a chance of being on time.
    Heat radiated up from the asphalt in waves, and if it wasn't for the stupid shoes, she'd leave the road and hike across the scrubby terrain. The buildings were getting closer, but her heart sank as she realized there were only three. Not a town then. Or not anymore, at least. Hopefully it wasn't abandoned. Her cell phone had no coverage on this ridiculously isolated stretch of road, and it would be dark soon. Just the thought of being stranded by herself at night had her picking up the pace.
    It was another fifteen minutes before she reached the main structure, a gas station that had clearly seen better days. Newer model cars were parked around the sides, and the other two buildings looked well-kept, if old. She peered in the front window, the sight of a pop machine and a computer on the counter bringing a slight smile to her lips. Clearly someone still worked there, and she hurried to the front door, nearly tripping on the threshold as she stepped into the office. A bell jingled behind her as the door shut, but the blast of cool air she was hoping for never came. Two fans moved the air around a little, but it was just as stifling inside as it was out.
    Letting out a sigh, she looked around the deserted office. There was a phone on the desk, but she'd seen a tow truck outside. Maybe whoever worked here could haul her car in and fix it. That would be faster than having anyone else come out.
    The faint sound of metal striking metal came from somewhere to her left, and she saw a door that must lead to the garage bays she'd noted out front. Heels clicking on the laminate floor she followed the sound, stopping suddenly when she reached the source. A tall, muscular man stood bent over the engine of a car, the tan skin of one muscular arm a sharp contrast to the white tank he wore. Dark hair cropped short, it was his familiar profile that arrested her. It couldn't really be Mike Galway, could it? What would he be doing way out here, in Montana no less? She’d been two years behind him in school - last time she'd seen him had been at his high school graduation. After giving him her virginity the night before, she'd stupidly thought it meant something.
    Stop it , she mentally scolded. It's not him. You're hallucinating . Suddenly feeling ill, she leaned against the door frame. She'd ask for help, and then get some water from the machine out front.
    "I'm sorry to bother you, but I was wondering if you could help me?" He turned toward her, and her pulse started pounding under her skin. It was him, and judging from the look on his face, he was not happy to see her. This day couldn't possibly get any worse.
    * * *
    Mike considered pretending not to recognize the half-wilted woman in his doorway, but one look at her crimson face told him she wouldn't fall for it. Just as she hadn't twelve years ago when he'd tried to ignore her at graduation. She'd been pretty homely back then with her braces, stringy unkempt hair and grubby clothes with the non-designer holes slashed in them. But he'd won a couple hundred bucks in a bet with his buddies who dared him to sleep with the grossest girl in school, and at the time it had been a matter of

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