DIRTY TALK BY MEGAN ERICKSON
When the one you shouldn't want is the one you can't resist...
Brent Payton works hard, plays hard, and has earned his ladies’ man reputation. But he’s more than just a good time, even though no one seems to see it. Until a gorgeous brunette with knockout curves and big, thoughtful eyes walks into his family’s garage and makes Brent want more.
Ivy Dawn and her sister are done with men, all of them. They’ve uprooted their lives too many times on account of the opposite sex, but that’s over now. The plan seems easy until a sexy, dirty-taking mechanic bursts in Ivy’s life and shakes everything up.
Brent can’t resist the one person who sees past his devil-may-care façade, and Ivy finds it harder and harder to deny how happy he makes her. But she has secrets of her own and when the truth comes out, she must decide if she’ll run again or if she’ll take a chance on forever.
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Brent’s voice rose over the sound of the traffic outside the garage.
“So this here is the oil cap. Now, you gotta wear gloves or use a rag if you do this shortly after you turn off the engine. Because this can get fu—” He paused. “Fudging hot, okay?”
Other than the cleaned-up swear word, Brent was talking in his normal tone. Ivy stepped closer, wondering who Brent was teaching.
“So you twist this here. And pull out the dipstick. I laugh every time I say dipstick. I don’t think most mechanics do that, but then I’m not most mechanics, right? Okay, anyway, so you pull this out, and see these little holes here?” He paused again. “That tells you how much oil you got. See, I wanna see the oil up to here.” Another pause. “But it’s only to here.” Longer pause. “That makes the car sad, which means the owners are sad, and so I’m sad. You get me?”
Ivy took another step until she saw Brent’s back, bent over the hood of the car. And next to him, standing on a crate was . . .Violet.
She only knew it was Violet because of the sparkly shoes peeking out from underneath an oversized T-shirt that covered her little frame down to her ankles. Her daughter also wore a motorcycle helmet with the visor rolled up. She stood, nodding as Brent talked to her like she was any other customer.
Brent leaned forward on his elbows and looked up at Violet, his face smudged with oil. He wore a pair of old jeans, boots, and a plain white T-shirt with the sleeves cut off. Ivy hated to admit that she couldn’t take her eyes off him. His hair was a little long in the front, with his bangs catching on his eyelashes when he blinked. His smile was dazzling, and most of all, he was talking to her daughter.
And her daughter was listening.
Violet was spending time with a full-grown man without shaking or crying or calling for Mommy.
She didn’t know what secret talent Brent had, but he had something.
“Ivy,” said a voice behind her, and Ivy spun around to see Jenna approaching. “Hey, I hope it’s okay that Violet is with Brent, but she wanted to work with him and got a little upset when I told her to stay in the office.”
“Mommy!” Violet called, her voice muffled through the motorcycle helmet. She tried to jump off the crate, but stumbled as her little heels got stuck.
“Whoa, princesses don’t just hop off crates without help,” Brent said, lifting her up and placing her gently on the floor. “You got servants for that, remember?”
He took the motorcycle helmet off her head before she ran to Ivy, arms outstretched, hair sticking up from static. “Hi, Mommy! I changed oil with Brent, and we talked about cars and how sometimes, they are a fudging mystery. Right, Brent?”
He grimaced as he walked toward them, brushing his hair out of his eyes. “Uh, yeah, fudging mystery.” He mouthed sorry over Violet’s head, and Ivy clapped her hand over her mouth to keep from laughing out loud.
“Did you get a lollipop?” Violet asked, tugging on Ivy’s arm.
“Did you get a lollipop? I always get lollipops when you have appointments,” Violet insisted.
“Oh no, honey, it wasn’t that type of appointment.”
“If she wants one,” Brent cut in, “Cal has some in the office. He quit smoking but still has that oral-fixation thing going on. You want me to get one for her?”
“Sure,” Ivy said.
As Brent turned around, Ivy saw he had the side of Violet’s crown tucked into the back pocket of his jeans. She bit her lips as Jenna said, “Hey, Brent?”
“Yeah?” he said over his shoulder.
“You, uh, got a tiara in your pocket.”
He paused and then widened his eyes with a laugh. He pulled it out of his pants and set it on Violet’s head, with a wink at Ivy, before walking off toward the office.
Ivy’s heart skipped.
About the Author-Megan Erickson
Megan worked as a journalist covering real-life dramas before she decided she liked writing her own endings better and switched to fiction. She lives in Pennsylvania with her husband, two kids and two cats. When she's not tapping away on her laptop, she's probably listening to the characters in her head who won't stop talking.