The late model Miata in front of Diego Ramos crossed the centerline for the second time in the span of as many minutes before swerving into the left-hand turn lane without using a blinker.
Typical. Probably drunk, he thought. Diego had just come from towing a BMW to the city impound lot—the driver had been issued a DUI and hauled off to jail. It was a weeknight, but the owner of the BMW had stopped off after work for a nightcap that had turned into three or four. Maybe the driver of the little red sports car ahead of him had too.
Now I’ve seen everything. Or rather, despite his headlights cutting through the murky darkness, he could see nothing in the car ahead of him. Not even the driver’s head. Oh. There she is. He assumed she was a she because she drove a total chick car in a color that probably matched her fingernails—red. She must have had her head between her legs, kissing her ass goodbye. Excellent use of time, judging by her driving skills.
A hip-hop beat thrummed from her car, carrying all the way to the cab of his tow-truck. Diego watched her head bob to the music as they waited for the light in the turn lane to change. What is she doing? Applying lipstick, as near as he could tell. When the arrow glowed green, he waited a few beats before tapping his horn. Nothing.
She gunned her car through the intersection as the arrow turned yellow. Diego threw his hands in the air, but stopped his truck just short of the crosswalk. He didn’t need another ticket on his record. He beat his fingers against the steering wheel while he waited. When the light changed to green again he eased through the intersection and turned into the parking lot of the grocery store, as the sports car had.
She whipped her car into a prime compact spot close to the front doors as he cruised the lot for something roomier that would accommodate his large vehicle. Diego backed his tow-truck into a space alongside the building adjacent the grocery store, where he could enjoy his dinner in solitude later. But he could still clearly see her sports car. Not by accident or circumstance. Diego was drawn to trouble as a nail is drawn to a magnet. Being a wise man with a fair amount of common sense, he should head across town to a different store. She struck him as dangerous in the best possible way.
And sexy, he decided when the driver opened her car door and planted one lethally high-heeled pump on the pavement. What followed did not disappoint. Good thing he was done with curvy, conceited women with mile-high legs. He was on the lookout for a round little chica with big, brown eyes who could cook like his mother.
No harm in watching the driving-school-dropout from a distance though. So he did. Auburn curls bounced around her head and shoulders as she hurried into the store. Diego sauntered along behind her, which was a real treat for him. She wore white thigh-high stockings that stopped a couple of inches short of her flirty, pleated plaid skirt. Bows accented her stockings a few inches below the hem. On top she wore a plain, white cotton dress shirt, probably so as not to distract from the assets she had going on below the waist.
He needed a closer look and something to eat. Dinner and a show.
Little Miss Wild-Behind-The-Wheel bent at the waist to pluck a hand basket from the stack by the store’s automatic sliding doors. As she bowed, her skirt stopped just shy of her panties…if she wore panties.
Diego bit his tongue to stop himself from hollering, “Nice!”
Following her to the produce department, like your garden-variety pervert, he plucked an orange from the display and sniffed it for no other reason than to look as if he weren’t following her. He gave the orange a firm squeeze to decide whether it was a keeper. The orange was. She wasn’t. But that didn’t stop him from watching her. Hell, a city-wide blackout wouldn’t have stopped him from watching her.
She placed a head of lettuce in her basket. As she leaned in and reached for a long, thick cucumber, her foot came off the ground and bent at the knee. The sight reminded Diego of one of those 1940s black-and-white movies where the gal does the flamingo stance while getting kissed. Even her shoes looked like reproduction 40s footwear—on stilts. Or steroids. They were dangerously high. No wonder she’d been all over the road—she’d been driving with a disability.
Upon closer inspection, she didn’t seem drunk. The woman could probably walk a straight line if pressed by the cops. She deserved credit for walking at all on heels that high. The rest of her apparel appeared sort of Catholic schoolgirl gone bad. Very bad. She needed detention.
And a spanking.
His mind went off to a dark place as he imagined turning Naughty Dotty there over his knee to smack his open hand on the naked, milky flesh of her thighs. Right there in the sweet spot between her hem and her stockings. Desire sizzled all the way down his spine like a burning fuse. Diego mentally stamped out the flames before he exploded, imploded or needed to hide his erection behind a shopping cart.
He’d come in for a salad. Nothing more. I’m working, for Christ’s sake. Diego did not need the kind of trouble that came wrapped in a package like hers. His “type” was earthy, sweet and natural—starting now. The girl next door, not the whore next door. He’d had enough of bad girls. I’m thirty, for crying out loud. It was time to settle down and stop getting his heart tramp-stamped like a passport to sin. Don’t even get me started on the ding to my pocketbook. He’d been conned and outright robbed by the naughty-next-door type. He’d decided he must have a “kick me” sign on his back, visible only to hot chicks with very high heels, short skirts and low morals.
He weaved a path to the salad bar to feed his cravings with a chef’s salad—extra ham, egg and cheese. He needed protein to muster the strength to stay clear of the danger zone. Along with the healthy salad, he loaded his to-go container with some bad choices. Heavy pastas, bread and half a dozen butter pats. He’d pay dearly at the checkout, but better to feed his desire with food than a mistake.
Diego groaned a few minutes later when he found that the checkout lane was backed up with late night shoppers. Spotting his wet-dream-come-to-life in the shorter express line, he decided to brave the traffic jam of carts to avoid her.
“Sir…” A floor manager attempted to usher him to the more logical express line.
Diego raised his hand in protest. “I’m fine here.” An overflowing cart with a fussy toddler and a stressed-out mother pulled up behind him, making him feel guilty for holding up the line because he was too chicken to get within twenty yards of the hottie in high heels.
The manager tilted her head. “We have less wait time in the express line.”
He patted his back pocket, where he’d stuffed his checkbook. “I’m paying by check.” The express line clearly stated cash only. Diego played by the rules. Not always, but starting recently.
She waved him along. “Not a problem.”
The mother of the toddler flashed him a glare that might kill under certain circumstances. Her kid wailed, leaking tears and snot that threatened to ruin his appetite.
“Sure.” Diego followed the manager along to the express line. Stopping way short, he left a good four or five feet between him and the sex kitten.
Her white shirt was gathered up and tied in a knot near her navel, giving the impression that perhaps she was wearing her lover’s dress shirt after an evening of romping. She had her basket on the conveyer belt directly behind some guy purchasing a case of beer, a carton of smokes and a smutty magazine—the trifecta of debauchery. The woman ahead of him was twitching as she bought her weight in lottery tickets. Diego decided to count ceiling tiles. One, two, three…