For Want of a Man
Copyright © Emmi Lawrence
All rights reserved. No part of this story may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without permission from the author.
Short Story (Approx. 4200)
Muscle didn’t even begin to describe him. He strode through the lot with confidence, maybe even a smidge of cockiness, but just a smidge. Hair shorn close to his scalp, pale enough, with a hint of orange glinting in the sunlight. Worn jeans, with the beginnings of holes in one of the knees and around his left pocket as if he kept his keys there. Boot cut, with the boots underneath to give them a rhyme and reason. His shirt was one of those five-for-ten white undershirts at the local Walmart. Probably fresh from the package.
She wanted to rev, just a little, to get his attention, but with the smarmy salesmen around and the likelihood that this particular man preferred laidback confidence and an easy ride over flashy and loud, she held down the desire.
Instead, she winked at him.
His gaze caught on her and she felt his appraisal as he scanned her burnt orange paint job and the smoothness of her body. The salesman’s expression turned predatory and the next thing she knew, Muscles was being guided over.
“Mustang GT. V8. Gorgeous car. ’98, but she’s recently undergone some work to make her practically brand new,” the salesman gushed. Muscles probably couldn’t hear the desperate edge in the guy’s voice, but she could.
They wanted her gone and gone bad, taking each and every opportunity that walked onto the lot to try and be rid of her. She always sabotaged the sales. Not this time.
The salesman ran his hand down her side as if she were some sort of high-class commodity while he rattled off the information any idiot could read on the printout in her window. She concentrated every ounce of heat into the area, feeling satisfied when his expression turned pained as he jerked his hand away.
Damn man should know better than to touch her without permission.
But when Muscles touched her, his calloused fingers almost reverent, she backed off, giving him heat and warmth, communicating mutual want.
“Let me get the keys and you can take her for a spin, Mr. Westin.”
“Oh, I’m actually looking for a replacement for my truck….” He turned too late, the salesman’s back disappearing toward the building.
She purred at him, watching his eyes go wide as he stared down. And when the salesman returned and Westin took the driver’s seat, she cushioned him, welcoming him in an embrace she’d been reserving for someone like this. Someone who would touch her like a lover, not as a chunk of metal to be ragged out until she was overused and rusting or as a precious lump to sit in a garage only brought out in the most perfect weather to enjoy life. Someone who touched her the way he now did, gliding his hands across her wheel, along her leather seats and down to circle her gearshift as he pressed in on her clutch to give her a little rev before heading out into the street. Finding pleasure in giving pleasure.
Westin handled her easy on the back roads the salesman guided him along and she behaved. Mostly. There might have been a tiny burnout. Or two. And she might have sort of steered directly into a puddle leftover from the rain two days ago. Handsome, confident Mr. Westin didn’t seem to mind. In fact, a tiny playful smile appeared upon his lips and his hands became harder on her wheel, holding her to his will.
She laughed with him, drowning out the smarmy salesman’s obnoxious voice.
And when Mr. Westin—could the salesman please mention his first name already—haggled down the price expertly, heading over to the trucks saying he needed something bigger, the salesman kept dropping that price like he thought this might be his only chance to see her taillights drive off the lot for good. And when that price dropped to a point Westin couldn’t resist, he sent one last look over his shoulder at her.
She winked again. And that was that.
Not two hours later, she was welcoming him back into her with a sigh of delight escaping both of them. She let him take the wheel on the way home, but she’d be damned if she’d let him take over the radio. She flicked on a good rock station and resisted his attempt to flick it over to country, flashing on her digital display that had he wanted a country-loving girl than he should have gone for the fire engine red Silverado sitting on the other end of the lot.
He chuckled, pulling into a development and then up to a skinny three-story townhome, the first story probably no more than the garage. He pulled her right in, past the beat-up silver truck parked in the street that he’d probably been planning on replacing today.
Then he let her idle, running his rough hands all along her again, giving her a seducing massage, the kind that said he wanted to fuck her later and needed her in the mood. He needn’t have bothered, she’d been in the mood since he’d walked onto the lot, but hell if she was going to turn it down. She dropped the music level and purred happily.
“Shit,” he muttered, fiddling with her knobs. “No wonder they were so eager to sell her so cheap, she’s faulty.”
She revved up, angry and horny, letting her ire reverberate off the garage walls. Then she shifted the station back to rock and flicked the volume high to slam home her point.
“O—kay.” He cleared his throat. “Mind if I make a phone call?”
She politely turned down the volume and idled back her ire.
Westin just sat there unblinking, cell in hand. Then, with a disbelieving shake of his head, he dialed. She overrode his signal and patched the call right through her system, letting it ring through her brand-new speakers.
“Jake, man, what’s up?”
Jake Westin. She liked it.
“I think I might be having a mid-life crisis.”
There was a loaded silence, then a short laugh. “How much did you spend?”
“That…isn’t exactly a problem. They practically gave her away. But I’m thinking they took my sanity as trade for the crisis I drove home.”
Crisis he drove home, huh? She liked that too.
* * *
She waited until the sun was heading down. The last dredges of light ceased glowing through the cracks of the garage door, turning the workbench and tools to her right into a mass of shadows.
Shaking her hair out, burnt orange like her paint job, she gave a groan of happy relief at finally being able to do this without prying eyes who would have nabbed her for their own without so much as a how-do-you-do or what-would-you-like. She stretched, then clicked her way over to the steps into the house, square-toed pumps that matched her hair changing her roll. Boot cut jeans, almost a match to Jake’s, and a pale orange tank sans bra finished her paint job—outfit—in this form.
The door swung open, unlocked. The kitchen beyond was neat, though not entirely clean. The oven looked used and half the sink sat full. Beer bottle caps had been pressed into a design under a thick sheet of Plexiglas on the island, screaming out Jake’s brand and flavor favorites, Sam Adams making a consistent appearance. She smiled to herself at the sight.
A soft thud came from upstairs.
She found the staircase tucked between the kitchen and living room, opposite the bathroom. Her heels sunk into the thick gray-blue carpet that covered the steps and continued on down the short hall. No pictures on the walls, but a black sign on the open weight room door proclaimed “It Doesn’t Count Until It Hurts” in bright white letters.
She hesitated there, touching the sign carefully. She knew what he meant by it. However, she also knew what it meant to her.
A bathroom flushed nearby.
Steeling herself, she stepped into the doorway of the master bedroom, taking in the scratched up fake-wood dresser, the striped comforter—blue, dark blue and even darker blue—and the cheap blinds in the two windows, both shut for the night. The doorjamb pressed into her skin as she leaned against it, waiting for the bathroom to open.
He came out, running a hand over the barely-there hair on his head, and did a double-take at seeing her lounging in the doorway.
“Nice place,” she said softly.
“Who the fuck are you?”
She blinked, a little surprised at his vehemence. Even more surprised when his eyes flicked to the further side of the bed where she was pretty sure she’d seen a gun case. Really? He thought he needed a gun against her? Wait, no. There went the crossed arms and the narrowed eyes, the confidence back now that his initial shock had faded.
It was Goddamned sexy.
“My name is Crisis and you drove me here, Jake. Don’t you remember?”
Jake didn’t move, all that power still as his eyes gave her a thorough once over, only a small flicker of uncertainty to give any indication that he might be disturbed by the reality of what she’d said.
“I remember,” he said slowly. “You wouldn’t let me change the damn station.”
She grinned apologetically and shrugged a shoulder.
“So I bought a car who turns into a woman? That’s not crazy at all.” He scrubbed a hand down his face, turning so he was absently glancing back into his bathroom.
“You bought a piece of paper. You didn’t buy me.”
Jake’s head snapped back. “Oh?” His voice had dropped dangerously. Low enough, Crisis thought turning on her heel might be a good idea. She’d been here before, felt the graze of rejection like a dent in her body.
But she lifted her chin and stood her ground, no matter how she thought her chassis must be shaking. “Oh.”
He broke first, the tug at the corner of his lips almost a smile. “Crisis, huh?”
She shrugged her shoulder again. “I liked it. I like you. Wouldn’t have let you touch me otherwise.” She took a step into the room, feeling the loss of the doorframe and resisting the urge to lean against the dresser for support.
“You let the salesman touch you.”
“I guess you didn’t notice how much he moved around trying to get comfortable. Or how scratched up and red his hands were when he was going over your paperwork.”
She smiled. “I like that you paid me more mind than him.”
The tug at the corner of his mouth turned into a half-smile. “You were more interesting.”
Another step forward. “Am I still interesting?”
“In a I-might-be-going-out-of-my-mind sort of way, yes.”
If she stretched, she’d be able to touch him, so she took another step forward. “Don’t go out of your mind just yet.”
“What do you want?” The sudden sharp edge to his voice stopped her short.
The urge to swallow had the spit pooling in the back of her throat. The hair that had fallen forward over her chest shivered in the wind of the fan above her head, the gentle hum loud in the silence.
Her heels gave her a few inches, but she still stood shorter than Jake, looking up into pale green eyes, the color reminding her of the underside of the leaves during her last storm drive. The drive that had left her without her partner and sent her into an average repair shop to get tampered with until she was doing more than limping along. She’d found it easier to let herself get hauled off to a used lot than attempt to find a job in human form without any sort of credentials.
So what did she want now?
Peace and quiet? No more running spelled weapons and drugs between black market dealers and shady crafters. No more chasing someone else’s power dreams, smelling someone else’s exhaust fumes, simply for the grands that got dumped in her and her partner’s lap.
Kenny had been younger than Jake. With bright blue eyes that sought the dangerous ground wherever they went. And in her younger days, that had been what she’d sought too.
But when they’d driven through that storm, when Kenny had jerked the wheel one way and she had struggled to do the opposite, her lack of trust and his inability to control had tossed them over the guardrail, Kenny’s unwillingness to wear a seatbelt sending him flying against the roof before he crashed right out of her front windshield.
When that had happened, she’d had plenty to mourn over, plenty to think about as she’d been put back together, handed back and forth between people until she’d ended up on a used lot and she’d come to the conclusion that she didn’t want to watch that happen again.
So she wanted peace and quiet, but not too much peace and quiet. Thus, Jake Westin.
“You seem like the sort of guy who remembers how to race, but who has the wisdom to make smart decisions instead of rash ones. You seem like the sort of guy who I’d enjoy letting ride me.” She paused, took another step forward, coercing down the hesitancy that came from being too long off the roads, and leaned close enough her nipples brushed his chest, their shirts doing little to counteract the electrical zing that shot through her. “In all the ways you can imagine,” she breathed.
Jake uncrossed his arms. Hands settled on her hips. “What was your name before?”
“I didn’t have one. I’ve been called darling and sweet ride and girl and chica, but never given a name.”
“You didn’t think to give yourself one?”
Crisis laughed softly. “That only I would call me? It doesn’t mean anything unless someone who cares gives it to you. At least that’s how we think.”
Those fingers tightened on her hips in much the same way they’d tightened on her wheel earlier. But when he tightened his grip, she didn’t feel an overt lack of trust stemming from a youngster who still had problems with his self-esteem. She felt pure confidence, as if Jake knew he could handle her no matter the crisis. That he wouldn’t jerk or second-guess himself. That he would steer her right and true and guide them both safely until the storm passed.
She swallowed this time as she nodded, feeling swamped with desire, wanting to feel those calloused hands all over her body once more, this time with a different end in view. “The others like me. Born of a garage and a metal spellcrafter.”
“How many of you are there?”
She shrugged, then lifted her hands until she could slide them around Jake’s neck. “I have no idea. We don’t exactly have conventions. And the last thing we want is for the government to get wind of us.”
“So instead you, what? Find men to fuck with?”
Jake pulled her closer still, her breasts pressing into him, her nipples so hard they actually ached. Her insides were revving, ready to go, her body held still, yet screaming, as if Jake had slammed down on the gas, but refused to let her move.
“Find partners,” she whispered, her eyes caught on his pale green ones. “People who’ll want us how we are.”
Jake leaned closer, those eyes never losing their intensity. “And what makes you think I fit that bill?” His voice had gone lower as well, husky. One hand reached to get a grip on her ass, pushing her tight against his groin, his length rubbing just off center of her vagina.
Their lips were so close. Crisis could see the day’s growth above his lip, the orange she’d seen out in the sun not so obvious here in the muted light of his bedroom.
“Because you came when I winked at you. Because you stroked me like a lover would and only smiled and held me steadier when I pulled away from your control.” Lips touching with every word she uttered. “Because you let me control the radio…without too much complaint.”
It was all just conjecture though. She didn’t really know him except through impressions and hope. But she grinned up at him anyway and started the kiss that had been hovering between them, banking on that hope and deciding that if she ended up wrong, then she could always hop on the highway and take her chances farther south.
After, though. Because it’d been too long since she’d had someone hold her like this.
She might have started the kiss, but Jake led it, taking over, one hand gripping her scalp hard as he licked right into her mouth. His triceps pressed against her, the heat from his skin burning into her like the sun’s rays on a nice hot day. Jake tasted like beer and day old pizza, a hint of mint attempting to mask his dinner, but none of it truly hiding away the distinct taste of him.
Eyes closed, she fell into him, letting him bear her weight as she fumbled her heels off, the carpet soft under her bare feet as she dropped those couple of inches. Jake bent with her, one hand pulling up her ass and settling her against the dresser where he propped her up with his body.
He moved against her the same as he’d done in the driver’s seat. Fingers stroking her lovingly, making her feel desired. His grip strong and sure whenever he thought she might be pulling away. His movements losing any sort of cockiness she thought she might have first seen, the expression on his face intense and wanting.
She bucked against him, moaning as he found the sensitive areas of her neck. But when she hooked her ankles behind him, Jake pulled back enough to see her.
“What?” she whispered.
“You’re not going to turn back into a car if you lose control, right?”
Relief threatened to buckle her. Crisis laughed, letting her head lean back. “No, you have nothing to worry about there.”
Jake caught her scalp in a hard grip and pulled her into another kiss, his demanding tongue swirling around all the pent-up desire that had been festering in her frame for a year. He dragged her off the dresser and walked her over to the bed, her feet never touching the ground. There he deposited her against his comforter and pressed his weight down to keep her there.
She welcomed his presence. He held none of the nerves of a worried man and none of the desperation of a younger man. He moved strong and sure, but never selfishly, his lips finding sweet spots on her neck and his fingers setting her nerves on fire as he dragged the bottom of her tank up. He didn’t let his limbs dig into her painfully or rest against her lungs so she couldn’t breathe. He was kind without being overly gentlemanly.
Crisis shivered as Jake lifted the orange tank over her breasts, paused, then pull it off her head, his eyes filled with a dark lust.
“You’re sure?” he asked, with suspicion still etched on his face in the way his eyebrow cocked and his mouth twisted.
She swallowed. “The last thing I want is to be my other self right now.”
“Good, because I don’t want to find myself buried in your exhaust.” As he bent his head, he added, “That would probably scar me for life.”
She laughed again, the sound cutting off when Jake wrapped his lips about her nipple. With a groan, she slipped her fingers under the edges of his t-shirt and massaged his shoulders, digging into the muscle there as he suckled at her, his tongue doing wicked, wicked things that made her insides rev in wanting.
Jake rose, arching up as he pulled off his shirt in one fluid move, revealing a toned body with a sprinkling of light hair around his nipples, between his pecs and flowing down from his bellybutton. Crisis ran her hands eagerly down his body, feeling him flex under her palms. His abdomen turned hard as he caressed her hand before slowly easing her south and having her cup the length of his erection.
She squeezed him as he undid his button and unzipped his fly. Then he stood to pull his pants over his erection, letting it bob, red and swollen, as he leaned over her to undo her own jeans and slide them down her body. His fingers trailed over her skin and tickled the soles of her feet before he let the jeans fall in a heap at the foot of the bed.
The breeze from the fan lifted goose bumps off her flesh as Jake trailed his fingers back up her legs. His thumb flicked over her opening, teasing her clit, before he gripped her hips and dragged her ass to the edge of the bed. Then he leaned back over her, his cock rubbing against her vagina and his bare chest pressing against her aching breasts.
Warmth suffused her, ridding her of the chill that had settled upon her skin. She fell despite being already prone. In his grasp, she felt as if she could close her eyes and coast. The road safe because he held her steady.
He entered her slowly, a wonderful burn as she stretched around him, sucking him down, squeezing him wetly. It’d been so long since she’d had a partner. Too long. She lifted her hips to meet him as he sank all the way into her, sighing with delight as his balls grazed her flesh.
Those first thrusts were nothing but an introduction. Hellos and how-are-yous and this is what we like and this is how we like it.
Jake stayed upright, his hands hefting her legs, pushing them up so that she opened to him fully. His eyes were lidded as he dragged against her inner walls. His muscles flexed deliciously as he shoved inside. His motions became quicker, his hands keeping her steady as he pumped in and out of her.
She stroked his stomach and angled her hips so that he would scrub against her insides in the best possible way. His pale green eyes burned, reminding her of the forest in the midst of that storm. Her motor kicked up, shifting into high gear as she raced for an orgasm that had been a long time coming.
As sweat created a sheen on Jake’s face and dampened her neck, he leaned over her, bending her practically in half. His cock began to slide in perfect harmony within her, rocking over her nerves without once letting up.
She lay there, trusting him to take the wheel and steer them both in the right direction. Luxuriating in him. And when he leaned even further, letting one of her legs slip sideways to allow the stretch in her muscles to relax, she opened her mouth to another bruising kiss. He fucked her hard and fast as his tongue swept her up and demanded her entirely.
She shuddered in his grasp, feeling as if her transmission had suddenly disengaged, leaving her floating. Then she slammed down, pleasure spiking as the pressure exploded. Her vaginal walls milked Jake’s cock as she clutched at his head. She gave a long moan, then gasped out more as her orgasm held her in an extended thrall before finally releasing her from its hold.
As she came down, Jake sped up, his movements becoming frenzied. He pressed the side of his face against hers as he stiffened and came, all those smooth muscles locking tight against her, squeezing the breath from her lungs.
He collapsed after, slightly leaning to the side so she didn’t bear the brunt of his weight. They lay there gasping, fingers playing through sweaty hair and blood pounding out a bass line. The light breeze from the fan ghosted over their flesh, drying sweat and cooling the heat from their bodies.
Jake spoke first, his voice lethargic enough he did not shatter the silence, more like murmured into it. “So, this is going to redefine what it means to give my car tender, loving care.”
Crisis continued to run the pads of her fingers against his back. “I’ll be yours as long as you do,” she said quietly, swallowing immediately as fear simmered in her engine, threatening to boil over.
He chuckled, the expelled breath heating her skin and releasing the tension in her mind. Then he bit her lightly. “I’m game if you are.”
It wasn’t a game. Not to her. She didn’t want to be left adrift again. Didn’t want to feel the crunch of her fender or the cracking of her glass and she definitely didn’t want to hear the sickeningly sound of vertebrae snapping or see the once bright life in her partner’s eyes dim.
Crisis squeezed her legs around Jake’s middle, his slicked up cock flopping free from her body when she shifted. “I’ve been searching…”
Jake kissed her shoulder. Dragged his lips to her ear and said, “I’ll even let you pick the station if you let me drive.”
“I like it when you drive,” she whispered back, feeling the truth of it sink into her frame.