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Page 23 of Drive Me Crazy (Holland Springs 1)

“Oh my God is right.” Carter was covered from head to toe in oil and grease. “I’m going to kill Heath when I see him.”

“Why do you think he did,”—she pointed to the overturned containers.—“this?”

Wiping his face with a paper towel, he said, “Because he was the last one to use my tools to change his oil. Who else would think it was good idea to set an opened oil container on top of old boxes?”

Carter did have a point about his brother. Heath wasn't the most responsible college kid on the planet. “How about you go get in the shower and I’ll help Beau clean up this mess.” Kneeling in the floor, she grabbed a wad of paper towel and began blotting up the oil.

Beau watched them with round eyes as he rushed back and forth, bringing more cleaning supplies.

“Leave it, Melanie. That’s what I pay Beau to do.” Carter stalked to the door at the rear of the garage and motioned for her to follow. Once they were out of earshot, he said, “Besides, I’ll need your help in the shower.”

She soo wanted to help in the shower, but her brain won the battle over her raging lust. “No way. First, I’m still on the clock and second, there is an impressionable young man working for you.”

Carter snorted. “That kid probably gets more tail with his I’m-bad-on-the-outside-but-a-softie-on-the-inside routine than I ever did at his age.”

Gasping, she glared at him. “It’s not a routine.”

“Women,” he muttered. “Will we ruin Beau for life if you help get me out of these clothes?”

“I suppose not, but that’s all I’m doing.” She trailed behind him as he made his way upstairs to his home away from home. They entered the laundry room first and she helped him get off his boots without getting too much on her or the floor. He peeled out of his shirt, jeans and socks next, revealing his lean, muscular body.

Taking his clothes, she piled them in the deep sink and ran hot water over them.

“Sure you won’t reconsider?” he asked, his voice deep.

After adding a capful of detergent, she turned to him and almost dropped the container. “Would you put that away,” she hissed, waving at his erection.

“After you come wash all the parts I can’t reach.”

“I said no.” However, her entire body was screaming: Go for it! She replaced the cap and placed the detergent on top of the washer.

“Then how will you get the oil off of you?” He lunged for her and she just barely danced out his reach.

“Go shower, you dirty old man,” she said with a giggle.

“I’m going,” he said, walking away. She couldn’t help but ogle him. “Stop staring woman, before I decide that I don’t give a rat’s ass about Beau seeing me chasing you around.”

“Don’t forget we’re going driving again this afternoon,” he added, disappearing into his apartment.

“Can’t wait!” She raced down the stairs. Composing herself before she reentered the garage, she schooled her face and walked inside.

Beau stopped mopping up the spill. “You sure look pretty today, Miss Melanie.”

“Thank you.” Carter was completely wrong about him. That boy was nothing but sunshine--

Grey eyes dropped to her chest and she narrowed hers at him. Cotton had hard seeds at the center, nearly impossible to get out without the right equipment.

His gaze met hers again, all angel-faced. “You’re welcome.”

“I hate it when he’s right,” she muttered, stomping to the office.

“Can I get you anything, Miss Melanie?”

Turning, she stuck her head in the garage and shot him a stern look. “I’m on to you, Beau Montgomery.”

“Yes, ma’am.” Beau winked at her, then went back to cleaning.

***

Parked in the Johnson’s tobacco field, Melanie sat beside Carter, her head on his shoulder as they watched the sun begin to set. North Carolina in January had notoriously fickle weather. One minute is was freezing and the next, like today, it was seventy and sunny.

“Have you found a job to replace the one I helped you lose, yet?”

“Actually, Jack texted me while you were filling up the car. He said he forgot about Valentine’s Day next month. So, he needed to hire his best waitress back.” She’d almost told Jack no, but she needed the money. Plus, she was pretty darn sure Jack would never forget about one of his biggest money-making days. Sneaky man.

“Forgot all about Valentine’s Day. Isn’t it in three weeks or something?” Melanie’s heart came to a screeching halt. She didn’t expect him to think about spending Valentine’s Day with her. That was something people in love did. And their love was incredibly one-sided. But it hurt. God, it hurt.

“Three and a half weeks.” Once again she questioned her sanity for getting involved with him. “Just another day for me, only with better tips.”

“Glad you got your job back.” He wrapped his arm around her, pulling her close. “How about you come to Charlotte with me this weekend and meet some of my buddies?” he asked, sending her heart into overdrive. Men did not introduce casual relationship women to their buddies. Or vice versa.

“We get to drive this the entire way,” he added, as if she needed a car for an excuse to spend time with him.

“I’d love…that sounds like fun.” While she sounded like a complete idiot.

He turned to her, dark green eyes flashing with humor.“Knew you couldn’t resist the lure of driving the car.”

Dipping her head, she peered up at him though her lashes. “Might have something to do with the owner.”

Humor gave way to obvious annoyance. “Lots of women like Chase Montgomery.”

“Huh?” She had no idea why lots of women liking Chase Montgomery had anything to do their conversation.

“Don’t pretend like you don’t know.” His fully lips compressed into a thin line. “Almost every woman I’ve dated, since I’ve been in racing, wants to meet Montgomery. He’s a racing god.”

Obviously this was a very bad thing, but she had no idea why he’d think she wanted to re-meet a man she’d already met. Then it dawned on her: Carter had used the word ‘dated’. As if they were dating. Or at least that’s what she thought he meant.

Oh God, that’s what she hoped he meant.

He opened the passenger side door and slid out. “I need some air.”

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