when we met. m/mechanic.
“I’ll tow you to the repair shop in town. I know the guys. They’ll take care of you. Hop in.”
I stared hopelessly at Joe, the tow truck driver. “Okay. Thank you.” It wasn’t as though I had any other choice. When my car started hesitating and making strange sounds, I knew something was wrong. I was lucky I was able to pull over before it died.
We pulled into Falconi’s Garage, and I stepped out of the truck to call my sister. I was definitely not visiting this weekend as planned. I was only forty-five minutes from home—I wasn’t going to make it the other ninety to her house.
As I was saying goodbye to my sister, Joe approached. I dropped my phone into my bag.
“You’re all set. I’m not sure if Gio or his son is inside, but head right into the garage, okay?”
“Yeah.” I guess my anxiety was apparent because the next thing he said was an attempt to calm me.
“Hey, don’t look so worried. I’ve known the Falconis for years. It’ll be okay.”
I walked into the garage bay in search of the mechanic. I could just barely see a man underneath an old Alfa Romeo.
“Hello?” I called out.
A deep voice floated up from under the car. “I’ll be right with you.”
“Okay,” I said nervously. God, I really hated having car problems.
A moment later, Mr. Falconi rolled out from under the car. I had to assume it was not Gio. No doubt it was his son. And I was fucking speechless—staring and speechless.
When he stood, it was like he was moving in slow motion. Like I was in some cheesy movie where the hero strolls in and everything slows down. And what a hero he was. Shirtless. Tanned. Ripped. He ran a hand through his messy hair, and a smile grew on his slightly-bearded face. Jesus Christ.
“Hi,” he said, wiping his hands on a rag before extending one to me. “I’m Enzo. What can I do for you, love?” And he has an accent. A sexy Italian one. Damn.
I shook his hand and immediately felt like I was under some sort of spell. I had to take a deep breath before I could remember why I was there. “Hi. My car seems to have died. Joe towed it here. He told me you could help?”
“I will do everything I can. What happened?”
“It started hesitating and shaking a little. And it smelled like something was burning.”
“Could be your transmission.”
“That’s bad, isn’t it?” My worry was showing again.
Enzo reached out and wrapped his hand around my upper arm in an effort to comfort me. “Don’t worry. I’ll take a look first thing tomorrow. I’ll know more once I get it up on the lift.”
He really needs to stop touching me if he doesn’t want me to climb him like a tree.
“Thank you.” I sighed softly. I wasn’t sure what to do next. I was kind of stuck there.
“Do you need a ride somewhere, love?” Could he read my mind?
“It’s okay. I’ll call a friend.”
“Not necessary. I’m about to lock up for the evening. Give me five minutes and I’ll take you wherever you need to go.”
“That’s very sweet of you.” I was most definitely not having sweet thoughts. “But I’m almost an hour from home.”
“I haven’t got any plans.”
“You really don’t have to do this.”
“I know. But I want to.” God, his fucking smile. “I am going to need you to do something for me, though.”
“Anything.” Oh God. Did I say that out loud?
With a devilish smile on his face, he reached for his phone and handed it to me. “Enter your name and number for me? I’ll be right back.”
I did as he asked, and before I could even out my breathing, he returned. Unfortunately, he was no longer shirtless. I handed him his phone, and he looked at my contact information. With a smile on his gorgeous face, he sent me a text.
“Now you have my number, too. Gemma DeLuca.”
The way he spoke my name—the way he smiled—I was a mess.
I wanted this man.
p.s. — When I came up with the name for my mechanic, I loved it, but it sounded oddly familiar. Then I remembered that it was the exact name (first and last) of a character in one of my favorite books. Must have been subconscious. Anyway, I changed his last name because I felt that it would be wrong to use the exact same name. But he still had to be Italian.
p.p.s. — Full disclosure: I found the picture first and couldn’t stop looking at it. The story pretty much wrote itself.
p.p.p.s. — Yeah, I had to leave the picture full-size. Actually, on my laptop, it’s bigger than that. I’d like life-sized, though. And real, not a picture.
Hot guy: Italian model Simone Bredariol (Yes—again. *dreamy sigh*)