Home > Collision Course (Body Shop Bad Boys #4)(4)

Collision Course (Body Shop Bad Boys #4)(4)
Author: Marie Harte

   “Ah, there’s my girl.” Liam hefted a beefy arm over her shoulder and squeezed until she squeaked.

   Lou grinned. Del really was a cute Amazon. “You two taking off?” The time had reached five already.

   Only two more hours until he got to visit his own princesa.

   “Yep. Time for this old man and his daughter to go home. I’m eating at the McCauleys’ tonight.” Liam beamed.

   Must be a great thing to see his daughter married to a decent guy and into a hella nice family. Lou constantly struggled to keep his sisters in line and his cousins from going off the deep end when it came to men and bad choices.

   “Oh?” Lou wiped his hands on a dirty rag to stanch the bleeding.

   “God, Lou. Stop.” Del marched off and returned with a clean rag and bandage. “Use these.”

   Lou used the rag to take care of the excess blood, then slapped the bandage on his throbbing knuckle. “Check that, Liam. Your baby girl is all domesticated. Want to kiss it and make it better, Del?”

   She flipped him off, and they laughed. “Don’t work too hard, Lou.” Del shook her head and darted a sly look his way. “Wouldn’t want to be too late when you pick up those flowers for your sister.”

   “How the hell do you know that?”

   She shrugged. “I know all and see all, Cortez. Remember that.” She huffed. “And make sure to tell Heller to stop hogging all your time when you see him tomorrow. I need you in here too, you know.”

   “Yeah, yeah.” Lou worked for Del mostly, but his paint work he did through Heller’s shop. Heller’s Paint and Body—which had read Heller’s Paint and Auto Body before the Auto fell off the sign—specialized in high-end paint jobs, and Lou got a real kick out of creating works of art with wheels.

   “I’m not kidding. I don’t care how big or mean Heller thinks he is. You belong to me.” She scowled, then turned on her heel and stalked back to the office.

   Liam shook his head. “Be nice when you tell him that.”

   “Oh, I will.” Only a man courting death mouthed off to Heller.

   Liam followed his daughter out of the garage.

   “Tell Heller what to do? I don’t think so.” Lou snorted, heard Sam’s mumble of agreement, and got back to work.

   Heller had first been his boss, but now Lou considered the guy a friend. A lot like the jack-holes working in Webster’s, Heller had size, muscles, and a toughness brought about by a hard life. He also had a stare that could shrivel a guy in seconds. In addition to his fierce physique, the guy had a brain like a computer. Heller didn’t say much, but when he did, people listened. He was fucking smart and lethal.

   He also looked like an angry Nordic god, and his scowls sent most people running in the opposite direction. Lou didn’t mind and liked the guy just fine.

   “Del said you’re working at Heller’s tomorrow?” Sam asked.

   “Yeah.” Lou went back to finishing the Chrysler. He had to get started on that next oil change. They didn’t make any money off the routine jobs, but they kept clients happy and coming back because they did everything for the car. Easy stuff, but Lou also had another to finish before he could leave to get to Joey’s flower shop on time.

   “He’s not a bad guy.” Sam didn’t say any more.

   Done with his project, Lou drove the Chrysler outside, took the Grand Am into the bay, and readied it for an oil change.

   “Helped me out with Senior a while back,” Sam continued, his deep voice like the growl of an angry bear. And that was Sam in a good mood. The guy had huge arms tatted from his wrists to his shoulders and up his neck. His scruffy cheeks showed him regrowing a beard and ’stache. Sam didn’t laugh much, but he smiled more since dating Ivy than he had in the three years Lou had known him.

   Sam didn’t like many people. The gang at the garage, Ivy, and J.T.—Del’s brother. And now…Heller? “Heller helped you out?”

   Like Sam, Heller could be particular about those he called friend. Lou drained the oil, waiting for Sam to continue.

   Sam told him about a fight at a popular bar they frequented and about how Heller had stepped in to keep things mostly fair. Meaning Sam kicked the asses of four douchebags while Heller made sure no one brought a gun to the fight.

   Sam looked away from the engine he was working on. “Make sure to tell him the next beer at Ray’s is on me. The plan is to head there Friday night.”

   “Nobody told me.” Lou scowled.

   “I’m telling you now, Romeo. Try to get a life and show up. Or is your mom still keeping you in on curfew?”

   Lou cursed him in Spanish, getting an honest-to-God laugh out of Sam. Freaky. “Are you on drugs? What’s with all the cheer, man?”

   “It’s called love, Lou. You ought to give it a try. With just one woman, I mean.”

   “Funny.” Lou changed out the filter, then took the oil pan and dumped it in the drum in the back. He returned, put on the new filter, cleaned up the undercarriage, then finished refilling the oil and putting the vehicle to rights.

   Sam, being Sam, refused to let it go. “Of course, since you’re still panting after Del’s flower chick, maybe you’re actually gonna follow my advice, huh? Doing your best to find some love, Casanova? Except the chick is smart and sees right through all that charming shit that normally works.” Sam smiled. Again.

   “You got a point to make, Mr. Mouth?”

   “Nope. I’m done. Heading home to Ivy for dinner.” Sam sounded more than satisfied, and Lou couldn’t blame him. He liked Ivy, the sweet thing. Though he still had no idea what a cutie like her was doing with a thug like Sam.

   Sam left the bay to hang up his coveralls and grab his jacket. He returned to the bay, then parted with, “Hey, Lou, you ever find a date, we’ll double. How about that?”

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