Location: City Hall Roof; Sunday
Siobhan raised an eyebrow and grinned. “Tokyo! Well that's good news! Bet they'd love you over there!!”
She scooted closer at the mention of a secret and leaned in. The excitement coming off him had her forgetting that she was keeping her distance. “Yes I can keep a secret. I have a problem with injustice and I love it when people get their just desserts for actions, you know karma. Go ahead.”
She hadn't worn any perfume, she never did anyway. She knew to many people were allergic to the stuff. Just her coffee scented shampoo and conditioner as well as her vanilla body wash. She played with her braid absentmindedly as if it were something she'd do while concentrating. She was starting to shiver occasionally and she wanted to stand up and walk around but didn't want to flash Joel.
It was funny how she felt the need to scoot closer to hear what he had to say even though there was no one else around. His brow furrowed slightly in curiosity as she scooted right up next to him. She carried clean scent of coffee
? And vanilla behind the smell of the scotch which, he would have to admit, he'd never come across before. Most of the time it was the usual flowers and fruit so he had to give her credit for uniqueness there. However,like all women, she loved the idea of getting in on a good secret. “A couple weeks before the race,” He began. “Some of the big wheels at Nissan offered me a… certain amount of money to not
participate.” He said casually looking away. His grin was very smug as he thought about his words. “I turned them down and made a counter offer.” He paused briefly only for emphasis and looked over at her, telling a good story was extremely satisfying, particularly ones where he was the winner and betting big on the streets was something he'd grown up doing. “I told them to double it plus one more thing if I won.” He said. “If I lost, I'd never race the Grand Prix again.”
Siobhan laughed out loud. “You only bet on a sure thing then. How stupid of anyone to bet against you if you had anything close to that tone or that look. I wouldn’t bet against you if either of those things were a factor. I get this vision of how The Godfather should have gone.”
She is laughing as she saying this barely able to get it out. “Marlon Brando and you glaring at each other and him taking the bet. Oh that’s rich.” She laughs a bit more and smiling broadly. “Well now is Tokyo business or pleasure?”
Joel shrugged, “I don't know if I'm that good.” He said, enjoying the sound of her laugh. He thought she might have a little too much faith in him for having only just met. “And I only got them by about a quarter of an inch, so yea....” He shook his head, “I tell ya, for that last eighth of a mile or so, I damn near pinched a hole in the seat.” He was now broadly smiling as he thought back to how close the finish had indeed been and how he’d essentially won because his front air dam was just a little longer than the the one on the GT-R. “No, Tokyo is business mostly.” He said. “Well, maybe more like fifty-fifty, I've gotta pick up the other part of my wager and ship it back over here.” He looked over at her to see that she was damn near on top of him at this point from the cold and decided to relent from withholding his jacket since she'd proved her point. “Here, I'm gonna give you this, because I don’t want you to keel over in the middle of this conversation from hypothermia.”
Siobhan laughed even harder at him describing the feeling in the last eighth of a mile tilting her head back covering her mouth with her hands laughing then catching his eye she cleared her throat as he started talking about Tokyo. As he moved to give her the jacket she smiled at him sweetly and slipped into it moaning as the warmth came in contact with her chilled skin. She’d decided that she’d let him give her the jacket but she’d be giving it back when that door opened. “Sure you don’t have some padding still left?”
She laughed softly. “Thank you Mr. Nicolosi. So more like Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa and less like Marlon Brando. I can see that. I know a few names in the Tokyo area where my paintings went or I was commissioned to paint something. Haven’t been there myself. I only got as close as Beijing.”
She moved back enough that they had some breathing room and smirked at him. “So what do you do for pleasure then?”
The cold steadily leaked through his formerly warm black shirt, but it wasn't unbearable. He had to give her credit for making it as long as she did in that tiny dress. “I've been over there a couple times, can't say I know much about the art scene though.” He said. “I actually do have a nice little painting of Mount Fuji I got over there, real simple, I guess traditional style, I like those, kinda pricey though.” He watched her scoot back slightly and was both disappointed and relieved that she had enough class to not instantly drape herself all over him in her fading inebriation. “For pleasure?” He shrugged. Not much
. He thought to himself. His hobbies were admittedly narrow. There wasn't a lot he liked to do outside of work out and tune cars. “Drink coffee and read Wikipedia mostly.” He said slyly looking back at her. “Stay up ‘til around four and get up whenever.”“There is a really nice coffee joint around the corner from my place called The Coffee Pot. I like to head out there after I get up to get a better cup of coffee than Starbucks. Read Wikipedia? You do know that is editable and that you shouldn’t believe everything you read on the...well not everything you read. For example Moby Dick. Boring. And they say everyone should read that before they die. I’ll stick with my subscription to National Geographic thank you. Would have thought you’d be the type of man to take life by the horns and shake things up. Like street racing or well hell...cause havoc and let loose the dogs of war. But stay up till four, drink coffee and read Wikipedia? You’re teasing. With a body like that? You’re...humm...rescuing damsels in distress while singing karaoke.”
She teasingly replies as she pokes him in the side. “Cause those abs under that shirt scream great control of a diaphragm.”
She laughs at her joke.
Joel laughed as it sounded like she was actually taking him seriously for a moment. He didn't feel the need to comment about the Pot
as the locals called it. He'd been there plenty of times. It was a tad on the hipster side and he liked going in there if for no other reason than just to look out of place. “I tell ya what,” He said with a confident chuckle. “You have that Corvette hauled to my shop and you can find out what my hobbies are.” He said reaching into the coat pocket slowly so as not to spook her and took a pen out. Though he was genuinely trying not to, his hand gently brushed against her. He scribbled a number on the back of a new card and handed it to her. “I'm flying out on Wednesday, just call that number and tell him it's for me and he’ll take care of you. We’ll get it inside before I leave.”
Siobhan shivered as his hand brushed her hip. She held her breath as he got a pen of the side pocket of the jacket making a slight hiss through her teeth as she let the breath go. Snapping her eyes up to his to see what his reaction to the ‘accidental’ brush. He didn’t make eye contact. Maybe it wasn’t on purpose. It really could have been accidental. Her lips parted unconsciously and as he wrote out the number as she got herself composed and smirked as she took the card. Siobhan looked up at him smirking and said in a slightly husky voice. “So this number doesn’t exactly have a pocket.”
She mused as she indicated her dress. “I was going for sexy rather than serviceable. Pockets didn’t rate high on the list.”
She slipped it into his inside breast pocket. “Got it covered. So you’re not fixing me up with someone else to get rid of me are you? Cause I can tell you that I’m damned persistent when I want to be Mr. Nicolosi. I know my mind and if you say you’re the best than I want you. It’s a tall order, think you’re man enough to fill it?”
She smirked at the double entendre that she wondered if he was going to roll with or comment on. [En garde. See what you do with that.[
“I'm sure you'll find a place for it,” Joel replied. “And that number is to my rollback driver.” He literally couldn't believe she was going to pay money to fix up a ‘73 Corvette. Though it wasn't normally his forte, he didn't have any doubt about his abilities. People had peculiar tastes and he was more than obliged to take their money for it. Tall order
. What a joke
“If I had a dollar for every old Chevrolet he's hauled, I probably wouldn't have needed to win the race.” He teased. He was really getting a kick out of her big talk as he knew exactly
what he was talking about. “I hope you're planning on selling a lot paintings.” He said with an air of amusement.
Siobhan could feel them falling back into a comfortable teasing conversation. She grinned at Joel. “I’ve sold more paintings than you know Mr. Nicolosi. Karen isn’t really mine. Well she is but she isn’t. It’s a story for another time. I’ll tell you when I bring her in. Or when you start to work on her. I have to be there. I promise not to get in the way but it’s non-negotiable. You won’t even know I’m there. Still think you can deliver or can’t handle a girl in your shop?”
Siobhan poked him in the shoulder lightly.
“That's pretty weird that you name your car,” Joel shot back. He couldn't help himself. “I usually let the factory do that.” He was trying not to laugh and when she poked him on the shoulder he let it all out heartily. She seemed so serious about it. Oh well
. He didn't think a female had called him ‘Mr. Nicolosi’ since he had a crazy substitute teacher back in high school and the thought of that was equally as funny. “You can hang around all you like,” He said. In truth, he did actually like the thought of it. He loved to talk while he worked and she was especially easy on the eyes. A vast improvement from the bored old men and Southside factory workers that normally stopped by to chat outside his bay door. “I wasn't kidding about the hours though,” He continued and looked over at her matter-of-factly, “I’ll work all night and sleep half the day when I feel like it. ‘Think you can handle that’?”
Siobhan laughed along with him and answered him quickly. “I’m not a baby. I’m less of a morning person and more of a night owl anyway. So yes I can handle it, very well as a matter of fact. I’ll tell you all about Karen when you meet her. I don’t want to spoil the surprise. How much are we talking? Can you give me a ballpark?”
“Wait a minute here,” Joel said in a mock protest. “Just a little while ago you were miss high and mighty big shot parents at the bar. Now you're concerned how much it's going to cost?
” He laughed some more and honestly could not remember the last time he'd laughed so much. It'd been a while for sure. “No, I can't give you a ‘ballpark’.” He said. The price game was one he'd played a thousand times. If people needed to ask, they were usually already in over their head. “It just depends what you want to do with it and then what I have to do with it to make you happy.” In his mind, he was thinking of what tools he was going to buy when he got back from Tokyo and that her little project would be a good test for some new toys. Since he was officially screening his work, he never dreamed the first client he took would be a good looking chick with a beater Corvette, but he'd managed to talk himself right into it.
He was starting to draw a picture of it in his mind, though he had no clue what she wanted. The damn things were narrow and long, the stance would have to widened and lowered to get it to handle. The old hydraulic valve assembly in the carbureted engine might as well be tossed for a simpler fuel injected setup which meant a crate engine. The figures were adding up fast when he thought he heard footsteps coming up the stairs behind them. He turned and looked at her, “I think our rescue is approaching.”
Siobhan smirked and laughed softly. “Good. That’s just the answer I wanted to hear. I was hoping you weren’t going to give an estimate so I could know if you had plans on low balling the price. I want to pay for what I’m getting at a fair price. Oh and I don’t expect it to be done super fast. I’m looking for quality. Plus that means I get damned good conversation out of it and I’m fine with that.”
Siobhan went to stand up and managed to without flashing Joel. She reached a hand down for him to help him up if needed. Siobhan takes the jacket off and puts it around Joel and just before the door opens she reaches into the inside pocket that she put the business cards in and smirking kisses him on the lips lightly. “Thank you Mr. Nicolosi. See you later.”
She waves as the door opens and brushes past the man who opened the door.