Garage Wars

London

          The motorcycle business had been slow for a few weeks now.  I don't really know why, I just know that my usual dozen bikes a week is now half that.  Right now, I'm working on my seventh bike this week and it's already Friday.

          I felt my shoulders slump and I frowned at myself.  Here I am.  Charley Davidson, ready to take on less and less motorcycles.  Two large men on a tour bike stopped in front of the garage.  I knew them both.  Tiny, who was anything but, climbed off the bike and strode over.

          "Hey Charley" Tiny said with a smile.  He looked like a leather-clad version of ZZ Top.  "Just thought I'd check on the bike."

          "I'm just about done" I said. "I just have to attach this one piece.  Then you can have it back.."

          "So how's business been?" Tiny said.  His friend rolled forward on his bike.

          "Yeah, I hear that the new place is taking in a lot of business" His friend, Ghoul, said.  I almost had the last piece bolted into place.

          "What new place?"  I asked.

          Ghoul jerked his thumb towards the right side of the building. "The one that's three blocks away.  The Second Chance Garage."

          "I don't own it" I said.  I'm sure my mouth was agape.

          "The names are so similar I thought you opened a second garage" Ghoul said.  I clenched my jaw shut.  My muscles in my jaw were tense to the point they were hurting.  Who would open a garage?  There was one person who might open one, but I hadn't seen her since high school.

          "Who runs it?" I asked.  Please don't say Becca Coldsworth.

          "Becca Coldsworth" Ghoul said.  Damn! "Know her?"

          "Unfortunately" I replied.  I stood up and wiped my hands on my work towel.  I could feel my cheeks growing hot.  She had made my high school life a living hell.  Becca had dated Jack McCyber a few months before I had.  She had been jealous and had tried her hardest to break us apart.

          "You don't look like you're happy to hear about her" Tiny said.  He held a wad of cash out to Charley.  "It's all there including a tip since you were so fast."

          "Thanks" I said.  I held onto the cash.  They left after rolling Tiny's bike out of the garage. 

          Great.  So Becca had opened a garage and people were mistaking it for a second shop that they thought I'd open.  I hadn't heard any rumors yet.  At least she hadn't taken that step like she had in high school.

          Where were the guys?  The guys, my three Martian mice friends, had rushed off earlier to stop Lawrence Limburger, a Plutarkian bad guy, from tearing up a forest.  It was four o'clock.  They had left around 10 this morning.  They weren't usually gone for this long.

          I decided to close the garage for the weekend.  Being your own boss can be nice sometimes.  I had a radio in the back of the garage that I used to contact the guys.  I turned it on.

          "Guys?  Vinnie?" I asked into the microphone.

          "Hey Charley-girl" A sexy voice cooed from the radio.  It was Throttle.  "We're almost to the garage."

          "Where have you guys been?" I asked.

          "We're a block away, babe" Throttle said.  The motorcycles could be heard even through the closed bay door.  The door started to lift up and the three bikers rode inside.

          "Hey sweetheart" Vinnie said. "Miss me?"

          "Yeah" I said crossing my arms. "Like I would a dead fish."

          "That hurts Charley-girl" Vinnie said taking his helmet off.  Throttle and Modo chuckled and headed for the kitchen.  Vinnie and Charley followed.

          "So where have you guys been?" I asked again.

          "Vinnie had some tire damage a few blocks away" Throttle said.

          "Yeah and this hot chick helped me out" Vinnie said. "She has a bike garage."

          "Yeah, the Second Chance" Modo said. "Know her, Charley-ma'am?"

          "Becca" I growled.  I was seeing red now.  First, she takes my business away and now she's helping the guys.  My guys.

          "Whoa, babe" Throttle said.  "She just pumped air into Vinnie's tire.  That's all."

          I crossed my arms and walked into the kitchen.  I usually don't get this angry.  I pulled out a mixing bowl.  I wanted hot bread.  For some reason, fresh bread with butter sounded good.

          "Uh, Charley, what are you doing?" Modo asked.

          "Baking" I said.  I heard a few comments from Vinnie, then I heard him go into the living room with Modo.

          "Want some help Charley-girl?" Throttle asked.  I had a wooden spoon in my hand.  I pointed it at him.

          "I don't need any help" Charley said. "None at all."  I saw nothing but Becca taking the guys away.  Becoming their new favorite mechanic and friend. "Just go watch tv."

          "Yeah, okay" Throttle said.  He looked confused.  Good, let him be confused, I thought.  He didn't leave though.  I dumped in warm water, yeast and sugar, then turned to him. "What's the matter Charley?"

          "Becca.  Becca is the matter" I said.  I dumped flour into the mixture and added the other things that bread calls for.

          "We didn't even stay long" Throttle said. "Don't worry about it."

          "You don't understand" I said.  I stirred the fuck out of the mixture until I was pushing around a lump of dough.

          "Then make me understand.  You're creeping me out right now" Throttle said leaning against the counter.  I dumped the dough on the counter and started to knead it.

          "Becca is evil" I said.  That's all that should have to be said about that blonde bimbet.

          "And?" Throttle said.  He was sipping a root beer.

          "And" I said. "I don't want you guys going near her."

          "Charley, it's probably not as bad as you seem to think it is" Throttle said.  Bread didn't sound so good anymore.  If anything, I had thought Throttle would take heed of my judgment.  I threw the dough into the sink and stormed to my bedroom.  Throttle was right on my heels.  "Charley, tell me what the hell happened between you guys."

          "Just stay away from her" I said to him.  I was about to close my door but Throttle slid in. "What?"

          "Charley, you're in a rage" Throttle said leaning against the door. "I've never seen you like this."

          "She's bad news" I said.  I started to unbutton my work shirt.  Throttle turned so he was blatantly staring.  I traded the shirt in for a Fox Racing t-shirt.

          "What did she do that was so wrong?" Throttle asked.

          "How about make my life a living hell during school?" I said. "Or maybe it was how she tried to break up any and all of my relationships.  Or maybe it's just because she's the biggest --."

          "Okay, I get it" Throttle said.  He came over and took both of my hands. "Look, Charley-girl, she over charges people, okay?  They'll figure it out and come back."

          "She'll try to take you guys away from me" I said.  I leaned against Throttle and felt the tears well up in my eyes.  Throttle gave me a hug before pushing me to arms length.

          "No one's going to destroy our friendship with you babe" Throttle said.  I smiled, but his words just made the tears flow faster and harder.  "Hey, look, why don't we send Vinnie out for a movie and order some pizza?  We'll eat in and just hang out with you."

          "I'd like that" I said.  I failed at smiling, but Throttle didn't seem to care.  He hugged me again.  Throttle walked me to the living room with an arm draped around my shoulders.

          "Vincent, go grab a movie" Throttle ordered.  Vinnie looked up at him, about to disagree, until he looked at me.  He nodded and left.

          "Charley, are you okay?" Modo asked. "I didn't mean to make you cry."

          "It's not you, Modo" I said sitting next to him.  He gave me a squeeze.  Throttle left the room and could be heard ordering pizza. "Modo, don't go to the Second Chance, okay?  Promise me."

          "I promise Charley" Modo said. "I don't want to see you upset like this."

          "Pizza is on the way" Throttle said.  He jumped over the back of the couch to take a seat next to me.  "Now, we're just waiting for Vinnie."

          Vinnie burst through the door with two movies and the pizzas.  Behind him was Becca.

          "She was at the video store" Vinnie said with a smile. "I invited her over."

          "Hi there Charlene" Becca said. "Nice place."

          "Get out Becca" I said.

          "Whoa" Vinnie said. "What's up, Charley-girl?"

          "Vincent!" Throttle said.  He went over, took the pizzas from Vinnie, and gave him an icy glare.

          "I knew you'd be hiding these stud muffins" Becca said.  Becca was a leggy blonde with huge breasts.  She looked like she might fall forward if she wasn't careful with her big jugs.  I stood up and crossed my arms. "Well, you haven't changed much from high school."

          "Implants?" I asked.

          "No, they're real" Becca said with a smile.  Modo got up and stood between me and Becca.

          "Ma'am, I'm going to have to ask you to leave now" Modo said.  He was trying to use his height to intimidate her.  It wasn't working.  She touched his stomach with her finger and he started to blush.

          "You're a tall one" Becca said.  She pushed past him. "So, how's business Charlene?"

          "Stop it" I said.  Everyone calls me Charley.  She never did just because it bugged me.

          "Hey babe, maybe I should take you home" Vinnie said.  Becca smiled up at Vinnie.

          "I think that might be a good thing" Becca said.  Before being led out by Vinnie, she looked right at me. "Maybe you should think about getting implants.  You need to get laid and bigger breasts help with that."

          The door closed and I screamed.

          "I don't like her" Modo said.  I felt hot.  Becca could be the devil because I felt like I was in hell.

          "Charley, don't worry about her" Throttle said.  He handed the movies and pizza to Modo. "You don't need implants.  You're beautiful, babe."

          "Stop it!" I yelled.  Throttle took a step back.  Becca had Vinnie wrapped around her fingers.  She had made Modo blush.  If this was a horror movie, the doors would have locked and the garage would be in flames, ala Carrie style.

          "Charley?" Modo said softly. "Would you like some pizza?  Might make you feel better."

          I stormed off to the kitchen and grabbed a beer.  I stood in the corner, staring at the wall, and cried while I drank it.  When I finished, I had my head on the counter as I cried.

          "Charley?" Throttle said.  He put a hand on my back. "C'mon Charley, come watch a movie with us."

          "Why?" I asked.  Throttle took a deep breath and scooped me up.

          "We want your company" Throttle said.  He put me down on the couch and went back to the kitchen.  He came back with a six-pack of beer.  Modo set me up with two slices of pepperoni pizza.  He had put in an Adam Sandler movie.

          Around ten o'clock Throttle and Modo left the garage.  They had drank one beer.  I had had the other four.  Vinnie hadn't turned up.  I could only guess why.  The image made me sick.

          I found the bathroom and took a long hot shower.  By the time I was out, I was tired and overly sober.  I couldn't get over Becca's words.  Breast implants, no change since high school, my need to get laid, the way she was practically crawling over the guys.  I had the urge to set her garage on fire.  Maybe Limburger would bomb her garage.  Nah.  She'd probably stop him by sleeping with him.  That thought made me shudder.

          I put my robe on and wrapped a towel around my head.  I heard the garage bay door open and a single motorcycle park.

          "Charley?" Vinnie called.  I made my way to the garage. "Hey sweetheart, where are the guys?"

          "Home" I said.  There were red lipstick marks on Vinnie's white fur.  Either he didn't know or didn't care. "Have a good time?"

          "Nothing happened" Vinnie said.  I raised my eyebrows.

          "Really?" I said. "All that lipstick on you is yours then?"

          "Huh?" Vinnie said looking at himself in his mirror. "Oh man."

          "Go" I said practically growling. "Now."

          "You can't get mad at me for this" Vinnie said.  I started seething again. "It's been a few years Charley.  A mouse can't be a monk forever."

          "Get out, Vinnie" I said.  I wish my eyes glowed like Modo's.  I think I would have scared the hell out of Vinnie.  He started to look angry.

          "I'm outta here" Vinnie said. "Don't call me."

          "I'd never call you!" I yelled as he pulled away.  Great.  She really did have Vinnie wrapped around her fingers…or maybe Vinnie had her fingers wrapped around him.  The nerve those two had.  I screamed when the door closed.

          I woke up on the couch.  I had fallen asleep watching the weather channel.  It was predicted to be a rainy afternoon, the first of many for this next month.  I dragged myself into the kitchen and started a pot of coffee.  Last night hit me like a ton of bricks.  I didn't want to see Vinnie or Becca for a long time.

          The phone rang.  I answered it to find Throttle on the other end.

          "Hey babe" Throttle said. "You alright?  We just saw Vinnie."

          "Yeah" I said. "I'm fine."

          "Right" Throttle said. "Look, Modo and I are going to the lake.  Do you want to go?"

          "Is Vinnie going?" I asked.

          "No.  We're making him stay here" Throttle said.  I poured myself a cup of coffee and took a sip.

          "Yeah.  I'll go with you guys" I said. "You know it's supposed to rain this afternoon, right?"

          "Yep.  Don't worry" Throttle said. "We have it covered."

          I hung up and finished my coffee.  Might as well dress in my rain gear.

          The lake was gloomy looking.  Hopefully it wasn't my mood.  Modo had brought a cooler.  The mice had found a covered picnic area that was close to the water.  Modo and Throttle were lounging on blankets that they had brought.  There were bike trails all over the place.  The foliage was greener then usual.  I suppose most foliage looks like that when it's about to rain.

          Around noon, Modo started grilling the hotdogs that he had brought.  The mice were good company.  I still had Becca and Vinnie on my mind, but I pushed them aside for the time being.  After we ate, the rain started up.

          We headed back to the garage.  Throttle and Modo were completely soaked when we got into the garage.  I changed into my pajama pants and they put on their spare pants that they kept in the guest bedroom.  We gathered on the couch and spent the rest of the afternoon watching tv.  It was good until we heard the sounds of Vinnie's bike.  The garage door didn't open.  The bike just idled out in the rain.

          "Should we let him come in?" Modo asked.

          "No" I said. "I don't want to speak with him right now."

          "Charley, you're going to have to talk with him at some point" Throttle said.  Modo and Throttle pretty much had me squashed in between them.  Throttle's arm was on the back of the couch and Modo had a protective hand on my leg.

          "At some point" I repeated. "Just not this point."

          Three days past in the same sort of way.  Vinnie would pass by the garage when it was closed.  I'd spend the days with Throttle and Modo.  On Tuesday, no one had brought their bikes in.  There were no tow jobs or auto jobs.

          I picked up the phone and called the local biker bar in the area.

          "Hey, it's Charley Davidson" I said.  I was talking to Red, the bar owner and friend.

          "Hey Charley" Red said. "What's up?"

          "Red, have you heard anything about the Second Chance Garage?" I asked.

          "Yeah" Red said. "That's your new place right?"

          "No" I said. "It's not my place at all.  Who said I owned it?"

          "Well the blonde with the torpedoes said that you guys were really close friends" Red said. "Said you two partnered up."

          "Partnered up?" I repeated. "Red, she's a liar.  I never partnered up with her.  Is that where most of my regulars have been going?"

          "Probably" Red said. "Hey look Charley.  I gotta go.  I'll spread the word that you guys aren't partners.  Later."

          He hung up before I could say good-bye.  I felt sick.  Physically sick.  I pushed the phone away and started staggering over to the trashcan.  The sudden nausea washed over me and I fell to my knees.  The sound of a motorcycle was coming closer and I hoped that no one would see me puking on the floor.

          Out of the corner of my eye, I caught a flash of red.  My lunch decided to come up faster.  I tried to suck down air.  My eyes felt watery.

          "Charley?" Vinnie asked. "Charley, you okay?"  I shook my head no started to dry heave.  "Look, I want to talk with you.  Go inside and get cleaned up.  I'll get the hose and clean out here."

          I felt confused over Vinnie suddenly showing up and helping, but I allowed it.  I allowed it because I really could do anything else right now.  In the bathroom, I brushed my teeth and pulled my work shirt off.  I put on my pink robe that hung from the back of the bathroom door and went to see why Vinnie had decided to venture back.

          After a half hour of listening to Vinnie talk about how sorry he was and how he thought that Becca and I should learn to get along, he brought out the big guns.  "You know, I've heard all about you two.  You could at least apologize for all the things you did to her in high school, Charley."

          "All the things I did?" I said.  I had tried to avoid her in high school. "Like what things?"

          "What things do you think I'm talking about?" Vinnie snapped. "Look, all I want to do is try to patch things up between you two."

          "Well maybe you should get your story straight" I said. "I spent high school avoiding her until she tried taking Jack away."

          "She said you took him away from her" Vinnie said.  He tail had started twitching.

          "Well" I said crossing my arms. "Then I suppose you'll have to call him to find out."

          "I'm not calling McCyber" Vinnie said.

          "Afraid blondie will be wrong?" I said.  Vinnie scowled. "Look, when you take your head out of her breasts long enough do some real thinking, I'll be right here waiting for your apology.  Until then, I think you'd better leave."

          "Your just jealous" Vinnie said moving to mount his bike. "Your jealous because you haven't had a date in years and I have one."

          "Jealous?!  HA!" I said with a hint of hysteria in my voice. "I've had a lot of offers since you guys got here.  I just haven't taken them."

          "Yeah right" Vinnie said putting his helmet on. "Maybe you'll have relaxed some when I see you next."

          He pulled out the garage and sped towards the Second Chance.  I could feel angry tears starting to fall down my cheeks.  I turned and kicked a bucket.  How could Vinnie be so cruel?  I wasn't jealous of his relationship, I was jealous over his friendship with her.  Those realizations made me start to cry.

          "Charley?" Throttle called from the garage.  I was curled up on my couch watching some sappy romantic movie and still crying. "Hey Charley."  He sat down before noticing my tears. "What are you watching?  Oh, hey, are you alright, babe?"

          "Yeah, I'm fine" I said.  I wiped at my eyes.  I don't think Throttle believed me.

          "What happened?" Throttle asked.

          "Well, she just found this guy who—" I said pointing to the tv.

          "No" Throttle said. "You don't cry over movies.  Was it Vinnie or Becca?"

          "Vinnie" I said.  Throttle looked like he was considering bashing Vinnie's brains in.  Instead, he pulled my legs over his lap and stretched his neck.

          "I'm sorry Charley-girl" He said.  He moved his glasses slightly and rubbed the bridge of his nose. "He's asking for it, big time.  Modo's out to kick his butt."

          I felt cold all of the sudden.  I sat up and got the blanket off the back of the couch.  Throttle snaked an arm around my waist and pulled the blanket so it covered both of us.

          "Mind if I ask what he said?" Throttle asked in a soft voice.  I had my head on his shoulder.

          "He believes her lies" I said. "And he thinks I'm jealous cause I haven't gone on a date in a long time."

          "Charley" Throttle said running a hand down my hair. "You're just going to have to ignore him.  He's being a bigger asshole then he usually is.  He'll come around when she's through with him."

          "Think we could ask Limburger to buy up her place?" I asked.  I felt comfortable with Throttle's arms around me.  The idea of Becca losing her place made me smile.  Throttle just chuckled.

          "You know what?" Throttle said. "He probably thinks that the Second Chance is yours.  Just like everyone else."

          "Maybe we should leak the information about it not being mine to Greasepit" I said.  Throttle rubbed my back.

          "I'll see what I can do" Throttle said.  We watched a little more of the movie until Throttle became twitchy.  I changed the channel until I found an old detective movie.  Throttle had a thing for detective movies. "You know what I like, Charley."

          I didn't feel like watching a movie.  I felt like being held.  I wanted to let my mind wander until I felt better.  So, I moved to straddle Throttle's lap and rested my head on his left shoulder.  He wrapped his arms around me and let me stay that way.

I was pleased that he didn't take it as a sexual situation like most guys would.  I could still hear Vinnie commenting, on not dating, in my mind and my thoughts turned to the years of missed sex.  I never thought I'd turn into an old maid, but here I was.

I felt a few tears start to well up when I pictured my mother yelling at me for turning into an old maid.  Never getting married; Never having kids; Never doing anything in her mind.  Then my mind took a leap and I was imagining Throttle taking advantage of my state.  I tried to shake it out of my head, but it only helped by making him appear only in jeans.

I buried my face in his neck and forced the images from my mind.  Baseball, think baseball, I told myself.

"Charley, are you really okay?" Throttle asked. "Do you want me to get you anything?"

"I'm fine" I said.  I felt him jerk a little when I talked.  My face was still buried in his neck.  I must have just startled him. "Can we just stay like this?  Do you mind?"

"No.  No I don't mind" Throttle said.  He sounded a little huskier, but then again he always had that husky tone to his voice.  I spent awhile listening to the detective movie and watching the light bounce off the wall behind the couch.  I fell asleep after hearing the leads starting to be romantic with each other.

I woke up in my bed.  Last I remember, I was with Throttle on the couch.  I started rolling out of bed and didn't think anything of the slight tingle in my knee.  I stood up, tried taking a step, and fell face first onto the floor.  My knee was asleep.  How did that happen?  I pulled myself to sit and shed my jeans.  My knee was skinned and was starting to bleed.

"Damn" I whispered to myself.  It stung.  I rubbed it and pulled on a pair of sweatpants from the chair next to the nightstand.  I could hear the clatter of a pot on the stove.  I had the sudden image of my kitchen plastered in a mess.

I limped to the kitchen since my knee was stinging.  Throttle had a pot of soup cooking and he was making grilled cheese sandwiches.  He had changed into his black lounge pants that I made them all keep in the spare bedroom.

"I was going to wake you up" Throttle said. "Grilled cheese and tomato soup sound good?"

"Yeah" I said sitting down. "Sounds really good."

He turned off the stove and poured the soup into two bowls.  On a plate he had a stack of sandwiches.  He brought them over and we started to eat.

"Thanks for making food" I said.  Throttle smiled.

"Well, you've taken care of us" He said. "We can take care of you."

"We?  Is Modo here?" I asked.

"He wanted to spend the day patrolling" Throttle said. "This would be a hell of a time for Limburger to strike."

I had barely thought of Limburger, except for those thoughts of him destroying Becca's garage.  I dipped my sandwich in the soup and smiled.  Soup and sandwich sure beat hot dogs.

"So what happened?  I heard a thump from your room" Throttle said.

"My knee fell asleep" I said. "I skinned it a little."

He smiled. "How do you get your knee to fall asleep?"

"I don't know" I replied.  I glanced up from my soup and tried not to stare at Throttle's chest.  I wasn't used to seeing it entirely.  He usually kept his vest on at all times.  I wanted to comment, but I decided against it.

The phone rang and I got up to answer it.  "Hello?"

"Davidson, were you yelling at Vinnie today?" Becca yelled from the other end.

"Huh?" I said startled. "Yes.  Why would you care, Becca?"

"You're such a bitch, you know that?" Becca said.  There was someone moving around in the background.  It must be Vinnie. "All I ever tried to do was be your friend."

"No you haven't" I said.  "Is that Vinnie in the background?  Are you doing this to impress him?!"

"I have to go now" Becca said starting to have a tear-filled voice. "Maybe you'll reconsider a friendship between us."

Click.  I stared at the phone for a second and then hung it up.  When I turned around Throttle was watching me.  Waiting to see my reaction.

"She called just for Vinnie's benefit" I said.

"You mean she teased you because he wanted her to?" Throttle asked.

"No" I said taking my seat. "She said she wants to be friends and that she's always tried to be my friend.  She wasn't even listening to what I had to say."

"You don't think she wants to be friends" Throttle stated.

"I could hear Vinnie in the background.  She was talking just loud enough that he probably overheard her" I said. "She's messing with his mind."

"Don't worry, Charley-girl" Throttle said leaning back in his chair. "We'll take care of it."

Throttle and I spent the next two hours discussing possible ways to 'take care of it'.  Getting Limburger's goons to 'accidentally' trash her garage, setting fires, and just using explosives to blow up the Second Chance came to mind.  By the end of the two hours, they hadn't come up with anything except for the destructively violent options.

I stretched my neck and took a seat on the couch.  The best idea we had was to set up a hidden camera, deal the set up to Becca, and record her giving away a life story or something that would depict how evil Becca could really be.  It might work.  We could take it down to the bar and show it there.

"I can't think of anything else, babe" Throttle said sitting on the couch.  He moved to lie down with his head resting on my leg.  I rested my hand on his shoulder and turned the tv to the news.

"I think our hidden camera idea will work" I said.  The news was showing a video clip of Limburger getting an outstanding citizens award for funding the schools.

"Sometimes I really hate the news" Throttle said.  He snagged the remote and changed the channel to cartoons.  "Better.  I don't want to look at that stink fish's face."  I mindlessly played with the fur on his shoulder.  He reached up and clamped his hand around mine. "Tickles."

I smiled and said nothing.  The idea of Throttle being ticklish was amusing in itself.  He moved my hand, lacing his fingers through mine.  I felt my stomach clench in that excited, yet slightly nervous sort of way.  Throttle would never want to become involved, I told myself.  I tried watching cartoons to take the focus off of our hands.

Throttle moved his head and squeezed my hand in the process.  I touched the top of his head with my right hand as a reaction to his movement.  He looked at me and smiled.  I smiled back.  Throttle pulled my hand up his mouth.  I watched wide-eyed.  He kissed my palm.  My fingertips brushed his jaw and the air between us instantly turned thick.

I don't remember my mouth being open, but I snapped it shut.  Surprised?  Yes.  Wanting more?  Yes.  I kept my fingers on his jaw, brushing his cheek with my fingertips and then tracing them down his neck.  I could feel him swallow and tense up for only a part of a second.

With quick gestures, he grabbed the front of my robe and pulled me down so our noses touched.  We both waited to see what would happen next, who'd make the first move.  He pushed my hair behind my ear and let his hand stay on the side of my neck.

I moved my thumb against the base of his neck and he closed the space between us.  My heart felt like it was going to leap out of my chest.  Throttle moved his hand from my robe to the back of my head.  When our tongues met up with each other we both pulled closer to each other.

Throttle didn't break the kiss, but moved so he was sitting up and facing me.  Automatically, I snaked my arms around his neck.  He made a low sound that was choked with emotion.  He moved a hand to my waist and pulled me closer to him.

We came up for air and pressed our foreheads together.

"Is this alright?" Throttle whispered.

"Yeah" I said. "I think so."

I bent my head feeling a bit awkward.  I had the sudden urge to run my hands along Throttle's chest.  I let my hands rest on his shoulders and then fall to his chest.  I let my fingers trace his pecs and abs.  All the while, I felt his grip tighten around me.

"We don't have to do this" Throttle barely whispered.  I looked up at him and he stopped talking.

          "Do you want to stop?" I asked in the same level of whisper he had used.

          "No" Throttle said.  He kissed me again.  He let himself go, putting a lustful force behind the kiss.  He pulled me to him, as if I weighed nothing, and I sat with a leg on either side of him.  I think that if I could purr, I would have.

          I emerged from the shower a while later and put my pajamas back on.  Throttle and I had taken to sharing ourselves with each other.  He had taken the first shower and was sitting the couch in his pants.  I came out and was silently invited to cuddle up next to him.

          I felt…good.  I suppose there were a lot of words I could use, but nothing really seemed right.

          "You look a little flushed" Throttle said.  I smiled.

          "I'm tired now" I said with a smile. "Are you tired?"

          "I don't know yet" Throttle said.  I had an arm around his waist and let the tips of my fingers slide under his waistband onto his hip.  He smiled and kissed my forehead. "I'll tell you what.  You get into bed.  If you don't mind me joining you, then I'll be in after checking in with Modo."

          "Okay" I said. "Don't talk too long.  I might not be as tired as I think I am."

          He opened his mouth to say something, but he stuttered and ended up making a sound. "I'll be quick."

          I smiled and kissed him.  I left him to go radio Modo.  Hopefully nothing had happened on his patrol. 

          I woke up with Throttle wrapped protectively around me.  I couldn't remember when I had last woken up like this.  The clock said seven-thirty in the morning.  I didn't want to get up.  I was warm, I was still sleepy, and I had Throttle wrapped around me.  I forced myself out of bed, waking up Throttle in the process, and pulled my robe on.

          "Good morning" He said with a smile.  He glanced at the clock and his smile drooped. "Oh, Charley, do you really have to get up now?"

          "I have a garage to open" I said with a smile. "You don't have to get up."

          "I should though" He said.  He retrieved his glasses from the nightstand and put them on. "I don't feel like sleeping alone right now."

          We heard the garage bay door open and a motorcycle pull in.  We looked from the door to each other before letting out a collective 'uh-oh'.

          "Modo" I said.  I pulled on a pair of sweats under my robe.  Some of the days, Modo would come over and make breakfast.  I didn't think this would one of those mornings.  Throttle crawled out of the bed and pulled his pants on.  He kissed me on his way out of the bedroom.  I pulled on a t-shirt, put my robe back on, and went out to say hi.

          Throttle and Modo had started getting out breakfast stuff.  Throttle was making coffee and Modo was stirring something in a bowl.

          "Morning" I said.

          "Hi Charley" Modo said.  He stopped when he saw me and furled his brow. "You do something?"

          "I haven't brushed my hair yet" I said.  He turned back to his mixing.

          "Maybe that's it" Modo said.  Throttle, who was standing behind him, looked over at me with a hungry smile.  I returned it.

          "So what are we having today Modo?" I asked.

          "Special pancakes" Modo said. "You guys figure out what to do about Vinnie?"

          "More like what we're going to do to Becca" I said.

          "Yeah" Throttle said. "We're going to film a fight."

          "I'll have to find a way to get Becca over here" I said. "I figure, if we film us fighting, we'll have proof of how Becca really is."

          Modo didn't say much, just kind of mulled it over.  His special pancakes had peach pieces in them.  Throttle told Modo the more detailed version of our plan while we ate while letting his tail poke me.  Modo didn't seem to notice until I gasped, sputtered coffee, and batted Throttle's tail away.

          "Hey, are you two alright?" Modo asked.  He sat back with his arms crossed and looked at the two of us.

          "We're fine" I said. "As long as one of us can keep his tail to himself."

          Modo's mouth dropped open.  Maybe it was the smile that I gave him, or the 'please-don't-notice' look Throttle had on his face, or maybe it was just the way our hair had been messed up.

          "You two – ?" Modo started to say. "No.  But, but….Oh mama."

          "Chill, bro" Throttle said.  Modo picked up his plate and went to put it into the sink.  He looked rather calm. "Modo?"

          "It's cool, bro" Modo said. "I just didn't expect it."

          There were a few minutes of silence before I spoke. "I have to open the garage.  There should be a video camera and extra tape in the hall closet."

          The guys said they'd get the equipment set up while I opened shop.  I got dressed and opened the garage bay doors to a sunny day.

          Getting the scene on tape wasn't hard.  After telling Becca that I definitely had something of hers and that I wanted to talk, she rushed over and had started chewing me out before she was off her bike.

          I didn't cry this time either.  I was going to get her back in a bad way.  I had called Red earlier and made arrangements to have a small showing of the tape.  He wasn't sure if anyone would pay attention since most people in his bar didn't pay much attention to the two small tvs in the bar.  But, he'd show it.

          I dressed in tight blue jeans, a leather vest, a red tank top, and leather boots.  I waited for Throttle and Modo to come back from their evening patrol.  No one had come into the garage again.  We couldn't get hold of Vinnie and Becca didn't answer her phone.  The best we could do was to leave a message for her to go to Red's bar around eight o'clock.

          Throttle and Modo pulled up around seven-thirty.  I climbed onto Throttle's bike and we headed for the bar.  The ride only took ten minutes.  We were greeted by people who used to bring their bikes in to me.  Most of my clientele hung out here at Red's.

          I handed the tape over to Red and ordered a round of beer for Modo, Throttle, and myself.

          We didn't have to wait long for Vinnie and Becca to show up.  Becca had more greetings.  One more log for the fire, right?  After getting drinks, they made their way over to our table.

          "So what's this about?" Becca asked.  Vinnie had an arm on the back of her chair.  He didn't say anything.  He wasn't even smiling.

          "You'll see" I said.  After a minute or two the tvs flickered on.  Modo turned to look and Vinnie followed his gaze.

          "What's this?" Vinnie asked.  Becca turned to look at the tv.  Her jaw dropped.

          "Turn this off" Becca shrieked.  She made to slap me, but I caught her wrist. "Let go of me."

          "Don't ruin the show for everyone" I said.  I let her go and she stood up.  People had turned the tvs up so they could hear the yelling.  After fifteen minutes of listening to the tape, it flickered off and turned to a blue screen.  Becca had disappeared into the bathroom.

          Vinnie turned around and put his head down onto the table.

          "You alright, Vin?" Modo asked.  Throttle put his hand on the small of my back.

          "I feel sick" Vinnie said.  He lifted his head and looked at me. "I'm sorry Charley.  I didn't know."

          "Maybe next time you'll listen to me" I said. "But, it's okay."

          "So, we're still friends?" Vinnie asked.  His ears had drooped.

          "Yeah, we're still friends" I said.  I felt better knowing that Vinnie would be around again.  Somehow the Martian trio wasn't right with one of them not there.  I put my hand out and the guys reached out for it. "We're all friends again, okay?"

          "Okay" They answered.

          Throttle leaned in close to me and said "Babe, you're awesome."

          I gave him a little kiss and smiled. "Just trying to do the right thing."

          "What's going on?" Vinnie asked.

          "They hooked up" Modo said.  Vinnie's head sunk back to the table.

          "Now I'm really going to be sick" Vinnie said.

End