Rebecca Hartmann was running late for school, as usual. She was a senior in high school with only a week until graduation, making it her finals week. Today was the day she was to take her last exam, or at least she was supposed to.
Looking down at the flat front tire that had left her stranded all the way across town from the school, she frowned. It was too far to walk to school for her exam, and it was too far to walk back home. Of course, nobody was at home to take her to school because they had left the house before her.
“Well, at least I’m not afraid of a bit of dirt, and I know how to change a tire,” she grumbled.
Walking to the back of her car, she opened her trunk. Pulling out the tire iron and jack, she made her way back to the flat tire and began the process of removing it.
“I am so glad I know what I’m doing right now, thank you, Dad,” Rebecca grunted as she loosened the lug nuts. “I still can’t believe I managed to run over a board in the middle of the road. A board with a nail in it no less, ugh! It would have been nice if whoever lost it could have picked it up, though, then I wouldn’t be in this predicament.”
When the tire was finally off, she went back to grab her spare tire from the open trunk. Only there wasn’t one.
Throwing up her hands in an ‘I quit’ motion, she let out a frustrated scream. Looking heavenward, as if the clouds had the answer, she yelled, “Really? Where is my spare?”
Then she stood beside the road breathing hard as she stared at the flat tire in front of her.
“Fate really has it out for me today. Okay, Becks, we can fix this, we can,” she muttered, trying to stay positive.
Rebecca looked up the road, and her mood brightened as she remembered something.
“The new place I noticed a couple of weeks ago… what was the name again...?” Not remembering, she flipped her hand in the air as she continued, “Eh, whatever it’s called, they fix tires. I can walk a city block, no sweat; it isn’t that far. I’ll call the school, tell them what happened, and they’ll let me take my test later today. Yeah, yeah, that will work!”
So quickly grabbing her phone, Rebecca called the school. They agreed to let her do her final exams later that day, and she let out a sigh of relief.
With that taken care of, Rebecca grabbed her purse from the car. She started walking down the road, rolling her flat tire the best she could. She began whistling as she went because, for some reason, she had the feeling the day was going to end much better than it started.
Fifteen minutes later, Rebecca came to a panting stop in front of Vogel Parts and Tire Repair. Wiping at the sweat on her brow, she left a black steak of tire dust. It had been more than a block to the tire place, and part of the time, Rebecca had tried to carry the tire because rolling a flat tire wasn’t easy. She’d ended up having quite the workout.
Taking a deep breath, Rebecca propped the tire against the building’s wall as she looked down at herself. Her white tee shirt now had black tire dust and red brake dust all down its side, but thankfully, her jeans were black. Her hands were even more filthy, but there was nothing she could do about it, so she just shrugged.
“Little bit of dirt never hurt anybody anyway.”
Looking up, Rebecca saw the shop doors were still closed and glanced down at her watch for the time. Eight-thirty. Straightening up, she began looking for a sign that would tell her what time they opened. She didn’t find one, though, and felt like growling.
Indeed, I didn’t come all this way to find them not open today. That would be my luck because I have no idea where to go from here.
Not ready to give up yet, she walked around the side of the building. Thankfully, the parts side of the store did seem to be open. So, with a shrug, she headed for that door.
Maybe you must get someone from here for the tire repair side.
Walking inside, she took a deep breath of the cool air and looked around. It was just like any other parts store with aisles of car accessories and an ample counter in the front. Rebecca quickly headed for the counter. She climbed onto a stool just as a young man walked out of the back.
He paused and stared.
Rebecca could do nothing except stare right back because he took her breath away.
He was tall, at least six feet two or three, with short hair that looked slightly curly, and she wondered if it would be curly if it were long or just wavy? He had beautiful green eyes along with a strong jawline. He also sported a light five o’clock shadow, as if he couldn’t be bothered to shave that morning and a deep cleft in his chin that begged to be kissed.
Rebecca shook herself slightly at that, though, and internally scolded herself to get it together. She was here to get her tire fixed, not kiss the help. Despite her internal scolding, though, she continued to give him a once-over. He was wearing a tight green polo that did little to hide the fact that he had a great body under it. His biceps were also bulging, making her think he worked out.
“Can I help you?” He inquired of her as he finally moved to stand behind the counter.
Rebecca leaned in toward the counter, trying to get closer to him, almost in a trance, as she continued to watch him, unable to take her eyes from him. No guy had ever affected her this way, not even Nick, who she had dated for all of six months last year, and she had thought he was extremely handsome. This guy was gorgeous, though.
An accent, he has an accent, but not just any accent, a German one. So, without a second thought, Rebecca decided to switch to German.
“Yep, I need a new tire, and you sure are cute. You probably know that, though. The question is, where have you been all my life?” Rebecca paused to take a breath. He didn’t say anything, so she continued. “My dad’s German. My grandmother, the old battle-ax that she was, made us learn German almost before we learned English. You have the sexiest accent. Oh, and my name is Rebecca Hartmann.” She knew she should have been embarrassed, being so forward, yet somehow, she wasn’t.
He just stared at her the whole time she was speaking, his eyebrows climbing.
Now that she was finished, she grinned at him. Then she tilted her head to the side and waited.
He replied in perfect German. “My name is Felix Vogel, and it is nice to meet you, Rebecca Hartmann. I’ll just get my brother Tobias to fix your tire for you. Where is it?”
Rebecca smirked because she noticed he ignored her sexy accent comment. She wasn’t letting him off so easy, though. So, in German, she continued, “I leaned it up against the building next to the garage door. And no comment about how you know your accent is sexy? Most guys would have at least said thank you.”
Felix gave her a slow smile that made her weak in the knees. With a twinkle in his eyes, he explained, “Ah, but I am not like most guys, beloved. I am unique, as you will find out.”
Rebecca was slightly curious as to why he had called her beloved. She’d been called sweet names before, but never that. It was different, though, and she found she liked it.
Turning his head slightly, Felix called out, “Tobias, we have someone needing a tire.” Turning back to face her and, in English, he asked, “So, Rebecca Hartmann, what are you doing for lunch today?”
Rebecca threw her head back and laughed before telling him, “You’re something else, you know that?”
Felix's reply was to give her a wink.