Home > Collision Course (Body Shop Bad Boys #4)(9)

Collision Course (Body Shop Bad Boys #4)(9)
Author: Marie Harte

   Heller had emigrated from Germany a few years after his birth. Then his parents had moved back to Stuttgart for some work, traveled around Bavaria, and managed to come back to the States seventeen years ago. Teenage Heller had been so in love with all things German, he’d refused to speak English for months.

   Until his father had beaten sense into him. The elder Heller wasn’t a nice guy. But he’d created a man in his own image, if not sensibility.

   Six-foot-six, built like a tank, and with the chiseled jaw and blond features of an Aryan poster child, Heller looked every bit as dangerous as he was. When Lou had first come to work for the guy, he’d worried he was being jerked around by a white power gangbanger. Turned out Heller had just had a bad haircut. Having grown his hair back, he kept it slightly long, so as not to be confused with a skinhead.

   The guy said little, but over the years spent working with him, Lou had come to appreciate Heller’s dry sense of humor—buried way deep beneath muscles that made even Sam jealous.

   None of the guys at Webster’s were small. Like Lou, they all worked out, mostly because they knew what it was like to be on the wrong end of a fist. But Heller put them all to shame.

   “We’re going to Ray’s this Friday, actually,” Lou said, conscious of the dark-blue eyes regarding him without malice or pleasure. Predatory wolf eyes—something Heller and Del had in common. “Sam said to invite you and that the first beer was on him.”

   Shockingly, Heller’s lips curled into a grin. It transformed the guy’s face from serial-killer savage to almost handsome. “Ja? I’ll be there.” He paused, coughed, and glanced down at Lou’s drawing, trying to act casual. “So who else is coming?”

   Lou totally knew where Heller was going with the question, but he’d make the guy work for answers. Just because. “Well, me and Sam. Johnny and Foley too, but not the girls unless Lara is working.” Johnny and Foley were the other two mouthy mechanics he worked with at Webster’s. Lara and Johnny were dating, and she still pulled shifts at the bar to support her nursing school tuition. Sam’s and Foley’s girls were too sweet for a dive bar like Ray’s. Lou didn’t think either would be there.

   But that wasn’t who Heller wanted to know about.

   “That’s good. The gang.” Heller grunted but didn’t move. He slowly looked back at Lou.

   Damn impressive how the guy could look so intimidating without trying.

   Heller waited.

   Lou waited.

   “And?” Heller growled.

   “Oh, well, I think Sue might be working. Maybe Earl, Big J…” Lou laughed. “Oh relax, man. Rena will be on shift, I’m sure.” Rena was Del’s cousin and a sweetheart everyone loved. Some—he gave Heller a look—more than others.

   Heller smiled. Again. Twice in one day. “Good. Now get to work. After the death painting”—he pointed to Lou’s sketch—“you have two jobs needing your attention. See if they’ll work, ja?”

   “Yes, yes. Now leave me alone. Your big-ass body is scaring away all my creativity.”

   Heller muttered something in German that Lou just knew wasn’t complimentary, so he responded in Spanish about Heller’s inability to reason and small dick size.

   The big German just laughed as he walked away, a study in black. The guy wore yet another black T-shirt and jeans and those steel-toed tanks he called boots. Hallmark Heller.

   Lou glanced at himself in comparison. Jeans, black boots, and a white tee. Maybe I need to start expanding my wardrobe. He leaned over the table, studying his drawing, and felt his phone vibrate in his back pocket. Which reminded him of a certain text.

   Yeah, I need to look good. Especially because I have a hot date at noon.

   Lou didn’t understand this sense of excitement, but he hadn’t felt it for a woman in so long, he knew Joey was special in a way he didn’t yet comprehend. Why else would he pressure the girl so hard into a date?

   He should have felt bad about it. Though he had given her an out, after all, telling her she could always cancel if something came up. But she hadn’t. Now if she just didn’t change her mind until he had her in his clutches. Er, at a table with him while he subtly worked to put her under his spell.

   He shifted in his seat, dismayed to find himself aroused at thoughts of her. To a man who prized control, lived and breathed it, this situation with Joey demanded exploration.

   Fuck, that smile. Those full lips and big brown eyes that warmed when she was happy. When he thought about her, her eyes and smile were the first things to come to mind. Then his dick took over, and he imagined her nipples in his mouth, her breasts weighting his hands, her taut belly beckoning a kiss before he turned her over and took a bite out of her ass…

   He lowered his forehead to the table and groaned.

   Once he stopped daydreaming, he finished sketching, then ran some timelines on prep and workability for the next two projects they hoped to secure. He dropped the sketches at Heller’s desk before heading out.

   At Webster’s, he’d have walked next door. But from Heller’s place, he had to drive a few blocks. No biggie, but he wanted to be there so he could grab a seat and wait for his lovely lady to join him.

   To his bemusement, he felt nervous.

   He walked in and saw Cyn, Foley’s woman, behind the counter. Smart, stacked, and a freakin’ hot-as-hell redhead, Cyn Nichols co-owned Nichols Caffè Bar with her brother and sister-in-law.

   When she saw him, she beamed. “Hey there, handsome. ¿Qué pasa?”

   She’d been learning small bits of Spanish, so he said back in the same language, “Ah, Cyn. The things I would do to you if Foley hadn’t found you first.”

   She frowned. “I haven’t gotten that far yet, but knowing you, whatever you said would not make Foley happy.”

   He chuckled. “Probably not.” He looked at the pastry case. “I need two coffees and a bear claw.”

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