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Bentley (Hawthorne Brothers Book One)(3)

By:M.L. Young



I nodded and popped my hood as he turned his car around and lined it up in front of mine. He pulled out some cables and hooked them up before he did the rest of the work and started his car back up. He came around towards me, my stomach twisting in knots, a cigarette hanging out of his mouth. I hated smoking, I really did, but there was something about him smoking a cigarette that intrigued me to no end. Maybe it was the man who was smoking that cigarette.

“How long have you been waiting here?” he asked.

“Maybe only five minutes. I’m really lucky you came along. I actually know your brother, Cash,” I said.

“Oh yeah?” he asked, perking up a little.

“Well, we went to high school together. I guess I don’t really know him, but I know of him. I did a group project with him once,” I said, feeling stupid right after I said that.

“How was he in it?” he asked.

“He pulled his weight,” I said, smiling.

“My name is Bentley, by the way,” he said.

“I’m Anna,” I replied.

“Cute name,” he said.

“Thanks,” I replied, smiling a little as I bit my lower lip.

“I took a look at your battery while I was hooking everything up. It’s in rough shape, you know,” he said.

“Yeah, I meant to get it changed a while ago but some stuff got in the way,” I said.

“I own a shop. You should bring it by and we can get you hooked up,” he said.

“I’d love to, but money is a little tight right now. I’m not sure I could afford it,” I said.

“Don’t worry about it, it’s on the house. I can’t let a friend of my brother’s drive around with their car about to break down again any minute, especially in this weather,” he said.

“That’s very generous of you, but I don’t want to take anything from you. I’d feel bad,” I said.

“Nothing to feel bad about. I want to help you out,” he said.

“Well, thank you. I do really appreciate it,” I said.

“Here’s my card, stop by tomorrow morning and I’ll see what I can do. We aren’t usually open on the weekend, but I’ll make an exception for a pretty girl like you,” he said.

I took the card and smiled before he left, disassembling the cables and making sure my car was starting and working properly. It started up just fine and the heat started blaring again before he closed our hoods and came back around to talk again.

“I better get going, my family is getting together tonight. I mean it about tomorrow morning. You better be there,” he said, walking back around to his car.

“I will,” I replied, standing outside my car.

I watched in the rearview mirror as he drove away and left me standing there outside my car. Of all the people to stop and help me tonight, it was him. Even though I knew he was a bit of a bad boy, at least back in high school, there was a part of me that couldn’t help but be excited to see him again. I knew it was just in a professional sense, but it was exciting nonetheless.

I got into my car, the heater working overtime, and strapped myself in before pulling back out onto the road and driving home. My phone buzzed as I pulled into my space, Nina telling me that they were getting dropped off and the guys ended up being player douchebags, as she called them, and she was swearing off guys forever. Of course this was Nina we were talking about, and we all knew she’d fall back in love with men tomorrow morning, but I was excited to get them home to tell them about my encounter. I knew they remembered Bentley, and I was hoping they’d even be a tad bit jealous. After all, they were never really jealous of me.

I jiggled our doorknob as I turned the key and walked inside before slipping off my shoes and taking off my coat. I turned on a few lamps and went upstairs to get changed before they got home and likely barraged me with stories about how horrible these guys were tonight, and boy did I know I’d hear all about it no matter how much I didn’t want to.

I got into my sweats and put Bentley’s card on my nightstand before mapping out the shop on my phone as I waited for them to get home. I’d passed by it many times before without even knowing he owned it or was inside. Seems like such a small world, not only that he’d helped me tonight, but that he also owned and worked at a place I’d passed so many times before. It almost seemed like fate, if you believed in that sort of thing.

I heard a car outside and looked out the stairwell window to see Nina and Maggie getting out of a car. It pulled away almost seconds after they shut their doors. They were saying something to each other as they walked inside before looking up and seeing me standing there.

“You’ll never guess how stupid they were,” Nina said.





Chapter Three



Anna



I don’t think I’d ever willingly woken up so early in my life.

I was excited, and for obvious reasons, even though I wasn’t sure that I necessarily should be. Nina thought that he was definitely into me, though Maggie wasn’t completely sure. She just thought he was being nice, since I guess he had kind of that reputation in high school according to her memory. I didn’t remember that, and neither did Nina, but her insistence on being right did worry me a bit. I didn’t want him to just be nice to me because of pity. I didn’t really know him, but I wanted to, and why wouldn’t I? He was gorgeous, tattooed, successful, and had that bad boy attitude and demeanor that every girl dreamed of.

His card said that they opened at eight on weekdays, but I had no idea if he would be there that early on a Saturday. Maybe I should get there at nine. That was still ambitious, but it also said that I could be casually late.

When the time finally came, I walked out of my room and down the stairs where Maggie was pouring a bowl of cereal with her bed head spewing in all directions. I slipped on my shoes and put on my coat before grabbing my purse and heading towards the door.

“Going to that shop?” she asked as she came back around the corner with her bowl.

“Yeah, I don’t want to be late,” I said.

“Good luck,” she said, walking past me and up the stairs.

I locked the door behind me and shuffled my feet over the slightly icy sidewalk before getting into my car and turning the key. It tried to stall before I hit the gas a little and revved up the engine just enough to keep it going. Maybe it was a good thing that he was giving me this for free. I couldn’t keep dealing with this crappy battery.

The one good thing about driving on a Saturday morning was that there was never anybody around. As I approached the shop, I saw Bentley’s car in the front parking lot. I pulled into a spot in the front and turned off the car before going inside the shop and seeing him sitting behind the counter.

“Looks like you showed up,” he said.

“What, you didn’t think I would?” I asked, flirting a little.

“Wasn’t sure if I scared you off or not,” he said.

He walked out from around the corner and asked for my keys as he looked at the car outside the shop window.

“It shouldn’t take too long to get it changed out. I noticed a lot of calcification so it might not be super fast, but I won’t take too much of your time,” he said as he put on his jacket.

“I have all the time in the world right now,” I replied before he smirked a little and walked out the door.

I watched as he turned on the car and took it around back. It didn’t act up at all, thankfully, which I was attributing to the car already being heated up. I sat down in the waiting area and picked up a women’s fitness magazine. I flipped through it even though I had no interest in the articles or pictures inside.

There was serious tension between the two of us, at least on my end, even in that brief conversation before he took my car. Why was I like a thirteen-year-old girl around him? I was one step away from getting giggly and writing his name in my notebook a hundred times.

Twenty minutes must have gone by before I heard a car behind me. I turned around and looked out the window to see my old, trusty car pulling into the same spot before Bentley turned it off and walked back inside.

“How was it?” I asked.

“Bad,” he said, walking behind the counter.

I got up and followed him, an almost sorry look on my face. I felt a little bad that he had to do so much work for free.

“That bad?” I asked.

“Yeah, but I fixed you all up. Just never let it get like that again. Batteries last years, though, so you might even have a newer car before you’d need to change that battery again. I’d also suggest some fixes soon, but they aren’t life-threatening or necessary right now or anything like that. I can write them down on the computer in case you come in again. That way we already know about the problems,” he said.

“Thank you so much for all of your help, Bentley. You’ve been so great to me,” I said.

“It’s my pleasure. I’m happy to help,” he said with a smile.

I waited a few seconds, maybe ten, as I tried to assess him and the situation to see if there was anything there. Maybe I was just imagining things and Maggie was right about all this. He was just being nice and had no interest in me whatsoever. If he did, he would surely be asking me out or flirting with me or something. He was just on his computer, completely unaware of me and what I was doing. I guess he was too good to be true.

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