Today, I thought I'd tease you with a look at my new series, Body Shop Bad Boys, which arrives in bookstores in June 2016. The first book is tentatively titled, TEST DRIVE. Enjoy the mechanics of Webster's Garage, and forgive a swear word or two. They do work in a garage, after all. (Note: these guys first appeared in What to Do With a Bad Boy)
“Hey, princess, turn up the volume,” Sam growled, probably at Lou since the radio was closest to his station.
The stench of oil, sweat and grease warmed the interior of Johnny Devlin’s favorite place in the world. Classic rock drowned out Lou’s response, which must have been a doozy because Foley laughed his ass off while Sam yelled something back at Lou.
Just another day at the office. Or in his case, at Webster’s Garage.
Seattle’s unseasonably warm autumn temps continued to be a pleasant surprise this year, and they kept the garage doors open to let the air cool off the stickiness. Even at nine thirty in the morning, Johnny had worked himself into a lather.
He turned a wrench and scowled down at a stubborn pump assembly that refused to cooperate. He loosened it, got to the fan belt, then glared down at the problematic power steering pump. After looking over his shoulders, paranoid about his anal retentive boss, he muttered, “Shitty Cadillac.” The woman had a hard-on for swearwords lately. As if the shop going clean would prevent her from slipping up at her wedding.
He imagined her dolled up in a white gown, tats, piercings, and her hair all done up in some funky twist, looking like a million bucks. She’d be glowing at her behemoth of a fiancé before letting loose with an “I fucking do.” With a snort, he buried himself back under the hood of the bastard of a car and did his best to calm his frustration. He never had anything pleasant to say before ten a.m. anyway. God knew he needed a jolt of caffeine, and soon, before he took a tire iron to the gray piece of crap he just knew was laughing at him.
He cursed under his breath again when he scraped his knuckles on the pump. But the sounds of coins clinking against glass had him tense. Attuned to ROP—the Rattle of Oppression, as the guys called it—he heard it again, even under the blast of ACDC.
“Seriously, guys?” Del growled.
Sam and Foley bitched about the new no-swear policy even as he heard them drop change into the jar. Johnny knew better. Dubbed the smart one of the crew, he kept his nose out of trouble and everyone else on the straight and narrow. Mostly.
He heard her coming near, grazed his already sore knuckle against the frame as he removed the assembly, and let it rip. “Fudge.”
A grunt. “See?” Del yelled to be heard above a grown man on the radio screeching about shaking all night long. “At least someone can keep his friggin’ mouth clean.” She patted him on the shoulder, and he did his best not to flinch. Woman had hands like rocks. “Thanks, Johnny.”
He kept his head down and continued to tinker, listening as her footsteps faded over the cement floor. Then an office door closed, and he found it safe to look up.
“You are such a kissass.” Sam frowned.
Next to him, Foley crossed massive arms over a broad chest. A glance across the garage showed Lou shaking his head, looking disappointed.
“What?” Johnny threw up his hands. “Am I the only one smart enough to know you catch more bees with honey?” He smirked at the plethora of middle fingers shot his way.
“Thought so. Dumbasses.”
Of the four of them currently in the shop, Sam was the one whose temper could turn on a dime. He’d gotten better over the years, but Sam in a mad bore avoiding. Only Foley could talk him down, the pair closer than most brothers. Lou had a sense of humor like Johnny’s, but without the quick wit. Or so Johnny liked to constantly tell him.
Keeping on Sam’s good side would be the smart thing to do.
So of course, Johnny had to prod him. “Hey, McSteroid, you and your boyfriend got plans for tonight?”
Foley sighed. Lou grinned.
Sam’s frown darkened. “Why? You got a death wish, stick boy?”
Johnny flexed a greasy arm. “Seriously? Stick boy? Man, I’m ripped. And it’s all natural.” He raised a brow at Sam and pushed his bicep up from the back, trying to appear bigger.
Sam tried not to grin but couldn’t withstand the Devlin charm. “Whatever. No, I don’t have plans. And Foley—not my boyfriend, dickhead—has his own life.”
“So.” Lou looked Foley up and down. “No plans for you then.”
“Suck it.” Foley made a hand gesture at Lou Johnny wasn’t familiar with.
But Lou grinned. “Back at you, hombre.”
“I thought we’d hang at Ray’s if you losers have nothing better to do. Darts rematch?” Johnny offered.
The others agreed.
“You’re on.” Lou looked eager. The only one of the group who gave Johnny a serious run for his money at the game.
“Cool.” Johnny gave them a thumbs up. “Winner doesn’t pay for drinks. So make sure you idiots bring your wallets.”
“Dream on, motherfu—”
“Foley,” Del snarled from the office door. “What the hell did I say about swearing?” The ROP had returned.
Johnny buried his head back in the car. He was pretty sure the others did the same. Survival of the fittest only worked if you let the weaker ones, like Foley, take one for the team.