Which raises a couple of questions.
First, is driving sexier than voting? I mean, what guy hasn’t seen a pair of appealing legs below the curtain of a tolling booth and wondered about the top half?
Second, do the Saudi academics have a point? The article I saw had no details about the study—and commentary on geopolitics would not be part of ManWAR’s mission statement if ManWAR had one—but a scene in Fast Lane seems to support the Saudi scholars.
A favorite among readers, the scene takes place on a salt flat in Southern California just after Clay invites Lara to drive his $300,000 Lexus LFA supercar at 200 mph. Lara’s exhilarated. Clay kisses her.
Clay’s lips were firm. He had not shaved, and Lara enjoyed the bristly feel on her cheeks. Clay tasted somewhat salty, too, a reminder of where they were at the moment.
But was it THE moment?
It seemed they were heading toward it. This is a good thing. This is the plan. Still, Lara found herself looking down when their lips parted. Not to be demure. She was straining to stay cool. To avoid revealing what was going on in her head—and other parts of her body.
Clay broke the silence. “Well.”
Clay’s hand dropped from Lara’s face to her thigh, warming her leg as he stroked it through the thin cotton.
“This is getting to be a much more exciting day than I had originally planned,” Clay said.
“What was your original plan?” Lara could feel his gaze, but still averted her eyes.
“Pick up a car. Drive around.”
He kissed her neck. Right below the ear. Ahhh, yes. Lara closed her eyes and tilted her head back to make it easier for him. She felt herself sinking. Willingly. Into the car seat’s embrace. Into a spell. Into the dark corners of her mind. Clay moved his hand along the curve of her hip to her waist.
Lara exhaled and sank even deeper. “What's your plan now?”
Clay tugged on the seat belt and grunted. “Tight fit in here,” he said.
Watching as Clay’s elbow bumped first the shifter, then the steering wheel, then the head rest, Lara could see things weren’t likely to go much further in this setting.
Maybe the hood…
“I think we need a little space,” she said.
Clay nodded and extricated himself from the cabin. Lara watched from her side of the car as he stretched out a Charlie horse in his shoulder.
“So, are you coming over here, or do I have to come over there?” he said with a sneaky smile.
“We could meet halfway,” Lara responded, mimicking his look.
She nonchalantly moved forward to rest her arms on the foxy rake of the LFA’s roof. But the blazing sun had cooked the steel there as hot as a stovetop, making Lara’s next maneuver—a spastic recoil accompanied by a pitiful yelp—anything but nonchalant.
She rubbed her arms where they’d been scorched by the searing metal.
Clay zipped to her aid. “Are you okay?”
“Oh, geez, it’s just a little—”
She couldn’t even finish the sentence before Clay grunted.
Clay rubbed a spot under his arm.
He pushed gingerly between two ribs. “It’s stupid. I wasn’t paying attention and banged into the door.”
“Does it hurt?”
“Forget it. Let me have a look here.” Clay lifted Lara’s arms so he could see the underside of her wrists. “Doesn’t look so bad.”
“Oh, now you’re a doctor?”
“No. And I don’t play one on TV,” Clay said. “But this much I know: Scientific studies show that simply touching any part of a woman is good for a man’s health. Elevates his heart rate.”
“Fascinating. But who’s the patient?”
“Good question.” Clay kissed Lara on one wrist, then the other. Then he continued kissing her arm all the way to her shoulder.
Feeling better already.
Lara took a deep breath. Clay moved closer until his body pressed against hers. And then pressed her body against the gutter that ran along the roofline above the car door, giving Lara a clear notion of what it must feel like to be branded. She jerked forward, ramming Clay’s nose with her shoulder.
“Omigod! I’m so sorry!”
Clay’s lips moved, but his face was clenched so tightly that no words came out.
“Are you bleeding?”
“No. Just a little bump.” Clay opened his eyes as far as he could in an attempt to illustrate his point. “See? Good as—”
Lara yelped again.
“That was suave.” Clay daubed Lara’s cheek with his sleeve. “I’ll have to add that to the Pit Stop Blog: ‘How not to blow it by sneezing on your date.’”
Lara burst out laughing. “It is a fun car, but it’s got its drawbacks.”
Clay sneered. “I’ll use that line in my review.”
Lara stopped laughing when she saw a dime-size spot of blood on Clay’s shirt. “You are hurt.”
The sight of the crimson circle made Clay only laugh harder. “I’ve been going through a lot of shirts since I met you.”
Lara gave him a playful push. “So I guess it doesn’t hurt?”
“Pain’s all in the head,” Clay said. “And right now, I’m focused on other things.”
He put his hands on Lara’s hips and drew her to him. She put her hands on his shoulders and turned her head to accommodate his kiss. But just as she closed her eyes, her upper arm grazed that damned branding iron of a gutter.
And she swore. Again.
Clay looked stunned. Lara turned red.
“Oh, my,” Lara said. “Another F-bomb. Not particularly ladylike.”
“What is the ladylike reaction to being burned by a car roof?” Clay checked out Lara’s elbow. “Looks red. Maybe we—”
Lara interrupted. “Should go somewhere else?”
“Good idea,” Clay said. “I know a place.”