LuAnn clicked open her Prius and got behind the wheel. And then the tears came, pouring down her cheeks. Her nose stopped up and she reached for some Kleenex in her console.
She crossed her arms over the steering wheel and lowered her head onto them. Five thousand dollars down the drain, counting the Prius. Though the Prius would have died anyway. It wasn’t fair to count that. But the worst part was—she was no closer to advancing her photography skills than before.
Walmart was calling her.
Lifting her head, she swabbed at her eyes with the wadded Kleenex and blew her nose. And then she saw him, straddling his huge, black and silver Harley, under the one streetlight in downtown Pharr. Looking like the embodiment of a bad boy biker … and hot as hell.
What on earth was he doing here?
She hit the button to roll down her car window and leaned out. “Joaquin?”
“Yep, I’m here,” he called back.
He threw his leg over his monster motorcycle and fixed the kickstand or whatever contraption held it up. He sauntered over and gazed at her.
She knew she was a mess—red-rimmed eyes and matted, messed-up mascara.
“Are you okay? Is your car okay?” he asked.
“Yes, yes, I’m fine.” She dabbed at her eyes and levered her lips, barely lifting the corners. “And the car is fine.”
He nodded. “I was out of town on business and just got back. Cat told me about you getting stranded, coming to class. But the car is fixed now?”
“Yes, new battery.” She patted the dashboard. “Good as new.”
He let loose a low whistle. “Hybrid engine battery?”
“No wonder you were stranded … and pricey, too.”
“You could say that.”
He reached inside the car, and wiped away her tears with his thumb. But he didn’t say anything. Didn’t ask dumb questions.
“Okay, then you’re good to go. Right? I’ll follow behind, to make sure.”
“Joaquin.” She caught his hand. “Why did you come?”
“To check on you and know that you get home okay.” He bent down, bringing his face on a level with hers. “What else are old friends for?”
He pulled his hand free and straightened. “Come on, let’s get back to Padre. I kept the rest of that pinot noir for you. You can finish it when we get back.”
“But it’s late and—”
“Hey, last time, you were complaining it was too early in the morning. What time is a good time? Besides, you don’t want the bottle to go to waste. I’m not much of a wine drinker myself.” His gaze caught hers and snagged. “You should always finish what you start. Don’t you think?”
She gazed back at him, understanding what he was really saying, and it had nothing to do with finishing a bottle of wine. The question was whether she was ready to finish the night in his bedroom … in his arms?
Maybe … but maybe not. Depended on how dark he kept his room.