Maya gasped and her smile widened, while she set down her glass and leaned forward. “That is so crazy. You know, I love old cars and just tinkering with them. Oh, I’m nowhere close to being able to restore anything. And guess what?”
Alain’s light blue eyes were twinkling at her animation. “What? Tell me.”
“I actually live right over this old garage. Since the landlord took it over he’s been saying something about redoing the space or renting it out, but for now it’s empty.”
“Would have been nice to get to see it.”
“What, a dusty old garage?” huffed Maya, while feeling her heart pound at the sexy tilt in his teasing smile. If he was fishing for an invite back to her place, then he really was more of a bad boy than she’d guessed. Not wanting to be tempted by that possibility, Maya instead steered the topic to safer angles. Like how awesome the food was, and Alain’s great taste in picking the restaurant.
It was then he told her he that though he was born in France he’d been raised in America. And after impressing the head of Mele Motors as a teen, he was invited to work directly with the owner of the company. Now he was twenty eight, he was grateful for the knowledge and experience he’d gained, that now helped him earn his career as an entrepreneur in his own right, and even working on his own patents.
Maya was impressed by his success story, and how easy it seemed for him to open up to her. In turn, she told him a bit about herself. “Growing up in rural Kansas, all I wanted to do was be in the hustle and bustle of the city,” she confessed with a smile. “I’ve made it, but after years of living in the crowds, I’m not sure what’s next for me. The city doesn’t call to me the way it used to, but I can’t imagine moving back home either.” First she sighed and shook her head, then she let out a wry laugh.
Alain settled his eyes steadily on hers, an answering smile playing on his lips. “It’s like you’re waiting for something…someone, to happen.”
Maya looked up at him with dawning comprehension. Was that it? Maybe she really was waiting, yearning for the unknown – and staring deep into Alain’s eyes, she wondered if by any slim chance, there was anything there. A true spark, a promise that was more than just this thrilling attraction between them.
Maya told herself he had to feel the same pull she did. She saw how he looked at her when he first saw her tonight, in her comely attire and mysterious evening makeup to complement her look. As they talked and ate, he never said or did anything out of place, or touched her inappropriately. Yet beneath the surface, and within the glint in his eyes and the husky heat of his voice, lay a spicy temptation. Telling Maya that it was up to her, to give in to it or shy away out of fear or self-preservation. Of course, she didn’t want to get hurt. Yet, neither did she want a golden opportunity to pass her by.
When something felt so natural, it was easy to simply let instinct take over. By the end of their dinner, Maya already knew she wanted this to go beyond tonight. Though how far was she willing to go, she couldn’t as yet ascertain.
Maybe she wouldn’t need to. Because there would be sometimes that everything would just align, and nature would simply take its course. Maya liked that Alain was confident, yet not brashly cocky. That he exuded control and dominance, without being arrogant or overbearing. He just had the whole package, making it easy for Maya to feel safe with him. Safe enough, to invite him in, by the end of the evening he’d brought her home.
Her reason was she wanted to see what he would think about the collection of cars stored in the garage, which had an entryway leading up to her apartment. The space was built to accommodate several cars but now held three. Though Maya had sometimes used it as a mudroom she’d mostly kept it free of clutter.
There were lockers and a workbench system, as well as various shelves, hook and racks affixed to the wall, which held the tools while keeping much of the checkerboard PVC tile free.
“The place is in pretty good shape,” Alain noted.
“I thought you’d be more interested in what shape the cars were in. Being a car nut and all,” she teased, and Alain turned to her with a small smile.
“Why do I have the nagging feeling you think I lied about being a mechanic. Am I right?”
Maya laughed at that. “Of course not. I believed everything you told me.”
Her bright smile slowly faded as Alain’s eyes gleamed at her breathy, artless words. The moment suddenly felt charged, and Maya was all the more conscious that she was alone with Alain in the dimly lit garage.
To her relief, he then broke the atmosphere by turning away and suggesting they look over the cars. Two were classic models, and really caught Alain’s attention as he gave a cursory look over them. Words like chassis, fabrication, painting and prep and other technical automotive terms mostly went over Maya’s head as Alain spoke about the work the cars needed done. But she did like his enthusiasm and his depth of knowledge about cars and engines.