Copyright© 2011 by Catharina's FS
It had been a full month since they hired their new mechanic. Since then, he'd become the talk of the town and Danielle had begun to doubt the wisdom of her father's decision keeping Wolfgang around.
On two fronts.
For one, sure, Jaeger was great for business. He was a skilled mechanic and he worked extremely fast, efficient, and hard. Add to that, he was never a single minute late and he hadn't even taken a single day off since he'd started. He was the perfect employee.
He also insisted on paying rent, and although she'd told Annabella he wasn't cash-rich, it turned out she was wrong. Apparently, he was loaded. But then again, he never said he was destitute. She just assumed he was judging the Jaeger book by its cover.
For two, and the most aggravating part, Danielle discovered having a guy like Wolfgang around had a negative impact on her social and love life. Although inadvertently. Too bad it was a one-way street since his social and love life was flourishing. This was also inadvertently, because he never asked for all the attention. He just got it by being him.
And what attention!
Since word had gotten out that a tall, blond hunk was working at Davenport's Auto & Stop 'n' Shop, every single female—and not so single female—decided to bring their cars in, no matter what make, model, or condition. This, in turn, was bad for business ... for other garages in their vicinity, that is. Theirs, however, was booming as never before. They were literally swamped in work which in turn forced Danielle to work long hours in the shop which in turn put this huge dent in her social and love life.
Good for business, not so good for Danielle. Or Rob, for that matter.
Automobiles of every make and model—and she was pretty sure a few weren't even being used by their owners—were lining up around the Davenport's garage and along the street every single day. Women, and girls old enough to be interested in guys like Jaeger, purchased all their gasoline, car repair needs, even their frigging daily shopping at the Stop 'n' Shop!
It was almost a full-time job keeping the shelves stocked!
Danielle was swamped with more work and headaches than she ever had to suffer before. Three weeks into this circus, desperation was rearing its ugly head adding to her predicament since it was crystal clear there was no way her father was going to let Jaeger go now ... which was something she was actually hoping and praying for, even right from the very first day she heard her father say he was their new mechanic.
She rarely had any free time for herself anymore. She even had to work weekends and all evenings with rarely a precious moment to spare. She found herself bussing between the Bastion Burger Joint and Davenport's Auto & Stop 'n' Shop almost in an endless loop, and it was beginning to make her very cranky. Another "wonderful" side effect of having hired Jaeger was that she had to ask Rob to come to her just to spend time together. So that's where the negative impact on her love life came in.
It just wasn't fair to poor Rob. It wasn't any fun dating a girl at her father's place of business under her father's constant watchful eye. So their time together had been reduced to late evenings, sometimes after midnight, when they were both tired from work, or if they could steal a few moments to be together in the shop. But with a constant flow of suddenly dehydrated women who wanted to extend their stay at their business while catching a last eyeful of Jaeger, stealing moments with Rob was becoming increasingly rare, too.
She had to hand it to him, though. Rob was a real trouper. But even he had a limit, and at that moment it looked as if he were nearing it. He looked totally depressed, and she really felt sorry for him. And for herself.
Rob was sitting in a chair behind the counter looking more than just a little bored. He had an elbow on the armrest, resting his cheek on a fist. He looked so unhappy there, waiting for his turn with her that Danielle was feeling badly for putting him through this.
Of course she made sure he had all the soda and snacks he wanted, and she even set an extra strong pot of coffee for him, but she knew he wasn't there for free snacks and drinks. He was there for her, and he wasn't getting much of that.
She was running herself ragged between the snack shop and the gas pumps. Even her usually unlimited energy was finally reaching their limits, limits she never knew she had. But then again, they were never tested as they were tested now. She was seriously thinking about telling her father that if this continued they'd have to either hire more help or they'd have to stop being a full-service station.
That Friday afternoon, the bays were full of cars and scantily clad women. It was summer, after all, and people generally dressed a lot lighter against the humidity, but in all her years in Queens Danielle had never seen women walk around in string bikinis unless they were on their way to the Rockaway Peninsula beaches or the Fisher Pool.
The almost naked women were all giggling and asking Wolfgang all kinds of questions as he worked on their cars. Watching all of this, Danielle's lips tightened, feeling as if she were the only female around who wasn't swooning over the guy. In fact, she was probably the only sane female around who wanted him gone. What was wrong with these people?
"This isn't a boardwalk. It's a business for chrissakes," Danielle mumbled beneath her breath. She sighed and then looked down by her bare arm at her poor boyfriend.
He was listlessly sipping his sixth cup of Java looking as bored and down as she'd ever seen him. But she had to admit, he also looked handsome in his crisp, French blue dress shirt, tie, and dark slacks. He had removed his sports coat and left it in the Viper. He'd come straight to her after work in his father's office hoping to spend time with her so that's why he was dressed the way he was.
Since her father, Klaus, and Wolfgang were all busy working on new projects, and the women had parked themselves in front of the third bay where Wolfgang was, Danielle hadn't seen many customers in the shop, and she suddenly got an idea.
She quickly came from behind the counter with an impish twinkle in her eyes. Out of all the women on the property, she felt like a nun dressed the way she was. She was the only one who was decently dressed! And she looked pretty rather than sexy in her colorful yellow, orange, and red summer dress with spaghetti string straps.
On silent yellow tennis shoes, she rushed to the connecting door and locked it just when Wolfgang looked up from the engine of an old blue Rabbit. She smiled and wiggled fingers at him before she turned the shop sign around to show "Back in 15 minutes" and she flicked a finger against the sign with a clever smile. Then she went to the main shop door to lock it, too, but at that moment, a young woman in a white string bikini, high heels, and bouncing red curls stepped to the door to enter, but Danielle stopped her.
She put fingers against the girl's chest and gave her a contrite look. "Sorry. We'll open again in fifteen minutes," she said and gently but insistently pushed the girl back with a smile before she closed the door and locked it, ignoring how the girl's jaw dropped, aghast at being refused entry into the snack shop.
Danielle gave her a "what can I do" look before she took the ring of the roman blinds and pulled it down, shutting out prying eyes.
"What are you doing, Dani?" she heard Rob ask behind her.
She spun around to face him with sparkling eyes, catching her lower lip between teeth before she rushed behind the counter as he looked totally confused, but that confusion vanished the moment she pushed him to drop back into the chair. He looked stunned as she slipped herself into his lap making him immediately smile.
"So, this is what you were up to," he chuckled.
She slipped slender arms around his neck. "Hello handsome. Do I know you?"
He grinned. "I don't know. You look familiar." He played along.
She slowly smiled while she brought her lips to his, her lashes falling softly. "Let me refresh your memory," she whispered sultry. "And mine," she added before she kissed him and felt his arm tighten around her waist. His other hand swept up her hip to rest on her waist as they kissed with growing vigor.
"Sorry to interrupt—"
"Ah!" she cried and promptly lost her balance. She and fell off Rob's lap landing on the floor bruising her behind. "Wolfgang!" she cried angrily as Rob immediately helped her up while she blasted the blond intruder with golden fire. "How did you get in??"
He wasn't the least impressed.
"The back door," he said, watching her lips pull into a near perfect line. "Dan asked me to get a stack of work order forms. We're out."
Rob sent Wolfgang a withering glare as he held Danielle close with a possessive arm. He watched as the tall blond's blue eyes lowered to that act before they slowly rose to look him unflinchingly in the eye.
"They're on the shelf by the window," she told him; mentally counting off the minutes from the paltry fifteen she'd planned for them.
"That's where I looked first. They're not there."
"Yes, they are! I put them there three days ago!"
He heard her make an angry sound before she marched passed him into the office as his gaze followed before he returned his attention to Rob. Her boyfriend arched a challenging eyebrow at him, but he turned before he followed her in, hearing her boyfriend curse beneath his breath.
Danielle stalked behind the desk to the shelves and looked up and down moving other pads of forms but it appeared Wolfgang was right. They weren't there!
"What?? They were there! I swear I put them—" then she abruptly quieted.
Something wedged between two small credenzas caught her eye. There was a small, opened box on the floor and her eyebrows shot up before they dropped when she frowned, confused. She hadn't unpacked them? That's unusual. Then again it had been unusually busy that it was perfectly possible she'd forgotten to. She rounded the desk and stepped to the box between the credenzas before she bent and opened the flaps of the box to find the work order forms still neatly packed.
"Oh, here they are!" She took out the vacuum packed forms and turned with them as she rose to her feet, finding Wolfgang at the end of the desk, but before she could say another word, her gaze went from him to something behind him.
He saw it and arched a brow as he turned his head to see her boyfriend moving from behind the counter.
"Wait!" Danielle called. "What are you doing, Rob?" she asked, alarmed.
"I'm going," he said, disgruntled.
Danielle looked guilt-ridden and quickly rushed to him, dropping the stack of work orders in Wolfgang's hands in passing.
Hearing her, Rob turned and saw she'd quickly caught up with him, taking his arm as she looked at his grim face.
"I said wait, silly," she said.
"Look, Dani," he said, "it's clear you're busy as hell here, and I'm just getting in your way. I'll call you later, okay?"
"I'm so sorry, Rob," she said softly as she looked up into his handsome face. "I know this hasn't been any fun for you—" A knock on the glass of the connecting door made Danielle snap her head around with a face set to storm. "Can't you read??" she snapped.
A sleek redhead with colorful tube top immediately stopped knocking, seeing the vicious look on Danielle's face, and she put up palms with a "what's up with this" look. But Danielle ignored her and the grim look on her pretty face vanished when she looked up at Rob.