“I’m surprised you didn’t clock him with the torque wrench!” murmured Steven, standing at a safe distance behind the bike. Thalia tried not to grin, but couldn’t stop her lip from curling into a smile. “If I were a lady, I’d have punched him a while back,” he added.
“If I were a lady, he’d still be waiting for it…thankfully, I’m not a lady!” Thalia raised a wry eyebrow. “You don’t need to wait around, I’m almost done.” She flashed him a glance and tightened up a nut.
He shrugged. “Actually that’s not true, when Danny gave you your marching orders this afternoon and you refused to go…he left it to me to see you off site.”
Thalia glowered beneath a layer of engine grease, her cheeks reddening despite the smears of oil. “I said I’d go when I was ready, he doesn’t get to order me about!”
Steven shrugged again. “He’s the boss’s son, and he did fire you…”
“Small detail,” she seethed. “Okay if you’re waiting, slide the tool box closer will you?”
The metal box grated across the concrete floor, echoing throughout the hangar as Steven pushed it with the toe of his boot. Thalia glanced up, her eyes flitting about, but he was right, everyone had gone.
Thalia stood and arched her back, stretching and working out the crick in her neck.
“I won’t offer to help,” Steven grinned remembering the crack Danny had received as he’d touched Thalia’s shoulders unbidden. She shook her arms and caught his eye, for a moment energy crackled and Thalia’s defences caved. She laughed.
Steven reached down for an oily rag and searched for a clean edge. He began to rub the motorbike’s engine, polishing it, rubbing in circles and Thalia looked on with feelings brewing inside she wasn’t entirely sure of.
She picked up her chamois, and watched him polish, his eyes intent on the metal and his tongue poking out of the corner of his mouth as he concentrated. The setting sun threw orange blazes across the hangar and set his thick blonde hair on fire. He glanced up, and squinted, blinded by the sudden sun. She blocked the light and cast her shapely shadow across the bike.
“It’s okay, I’m not going to hit you for polishing my bike,” she spoke softly and handed him her chamois. His fingers brushed hers as he took it and she inhaled deeply, unconsciously allowing his grimy, gritty sweat to permeate her mind.
“You’ve turned this heap of junk into something quite spectacular,” he said as the soft leather stroked the customised Indian Bobber.
She watched again as the engine began to shine beneath his deft fingers.
“You know we could take it out…” she began.
“It’s not yours…” He grinned as her eyes sparkled even in the gloom of shadow.
“I know, but I’m sacked and I’m not coming back, are you coming back tomorrow?”
His heart raced. If she left, there’d be nothing left to come back for.
She grabbed her leather jacket and pulled it tight across her breast, buckling it up and watching his face as she shook out her dark hair. His Adam’s apple bobbled unconsciously in his dry throat and then he was zipping up his own jacket. She threw him a pair of goggles and slid hers over her head and over her eyes. Her boots clipped on the concrete and she swung her leg over the low-slung bike.
It came to life between her thighs and growled, its voice snarling through the empty hangar.
Thalia glanced at Steven and pulled on her soft, fitted gloves as it purred beneath her. She curled a finger at him and smiled.
Her teeth shone in the evening glare and Steven knew he’s been snared.
He climbed upon the back of the rumbling bike and closed his legs around her rear. His arms, hesitated for a moment, then stretched around her waist and she squeezed the throttle.
Moments later they were gone, headed up the vast, open freeway, with only memories left behind.