Felix Vogel had gotten up that morning in a bad mood. The night before, he had come home to find Bruno had cooked dinner and had left a mess. Bruno had left dirty cookware on the stove, in the sink, and dirty dishes on the table.
Usually, Bruno’s Geliebte, beloved, Veronica would clean it up, but she had been feeling unwell. So, Bruno had left a mess because he couldn’t be bothered to clean up.
Felix had given an annoying hiss as he stared at the mess that was their kitchen. Bruno knew how he hated messes of any kind and had most likely left it there on purpose. He probably thought it would be funny to watch Felix explode in reaction to it. As it was, Felix had barely kept from beating Bruno to a bloody pulp.
This morning Felix had found yet another mess. This one was in the laundry room where Bruno had washed a load of clothes and forgotten to put them in the dryer. The clothes were sour and would have to be rewashed, probably twice because of their sensitive noses.
Oh, and let’s not forget the mud on the back porch. Felix had wondered where that had come from since there had been no rain for days.
Felix had been ready to tear his hair out and had left the house before he pulled Bruno’s hair out instead. He had decided right then to find a home of his own. Felix had already talked to a realtor and put a down payment on the house he thought he wanted. Today though, he’d call her about seeing the house.
Even with all the “Bruno” drama, he’d somehow managed to make it get work just in time to greet the first customer of the day. He was shocked, surprised, and yet elated to find she was his Geliebte. He was the only one of the five Vogel boys who hadn’t met theirs, and now he had.
She was beautiful.
Her hair was long, down to her waist-length, and a shiny inky black. He loved it, especially since all his Bruder’s Geliebte’s had red in their hair. Although he had no problems with redheads, he much preferred the darker color.
The fates know what I like after all, he’d thought. He had to admit he was a bit worried that fate would think all the Vogel boys should have red-haired women.
Her eyes were a bright sapphire blue and had a look of intelligence about them. Her lips were full and pink, so kissable, and her complexion rosy.
She had surprised him when she had begun talking to him in German. So, surprised, in fact, that he had missed entirely how dirty her hands were until Bruno had pointed them out. For some strange reason, though, it hadn’t freaked him out like it usually would have. Looking up as he had gently cleaned Rebecca’s hands with the wipes he kept under the counter, he’d seen the shocked look on Bruno’s face.
Bruno had been expecting Felix to flip his lid over it, yet he hadn’t. Nor did Bruno get the chance to say anything about it because the bell over the door jingled, letting them know they had customers. So, Felix had taken care of them while Bruno left after giving him one last puzzled look.
An hour and a half later, Tobias walked in.
“I just unloaded the truck, and I’ve replaced your flat tire with a new one. It was pretty much threadbare, or I could have just put a patch on it,” Tobias mentioned softly. “Do you want to tell me where your car is, Miss? I can go put your tire on and bring it back if you wish.”
“Oh, you don’t have to do that,” Rebecca said as she jumped up off the stool. “I took it off, and I can put it back on.”
Felix grabbed hold of her arm gently, getting her attention. Once he had her eyes on him, he said, “Rebecca, give me a moment, and I will go with you.”
Rebecca stared at him, her eyes wide as she whispered, “But… I thought you didn’t like to get dirty?”
“I don’t, but I will, just for you. Don’t worry; I’ll wear gloves,” Felix told her. He then turned to yell at Bruno in the back, saying, “Bruno, I’m going with Rebecca for her car. Take over the front end.”
“Got it,” Bruno yelled back.
“Tobias, can you give us a ride there?” Felix asked.
Tobias nodded, and without saying a word, he turned and walked out.
As soon as Bruno returned to the front, Felix took Rebecca’s hand. He led her to the door, then outside to Tobias’ truck.
Rebecca stopped, and her jaw dropped at the sight that was before her.
Tobias’ truck was almost a monster truck with its huge wheels and chrome everywhere. It was a 1985 Chevy Silverado, painted blood red with a diesel engine that roared like a big rig.
“Oh, my, where did he get that truck, and where can I get one of my own?” Rebecca asked with a slight squeal to her voice.
Tobias paused near the front of it, keys in hand. He stared at her for a moment before he slowly grinned. “You like my truck? My Ge... wife hates it and refuses to ride in it. Very independent she is and doesn’t like being man-handled into it.”
Felix knew then that his sweet Kitten had already found her way into his Bruder’s heart through his truck. Tobias loved that truck almost as much as his Geliebte.
Rebecca gasp lightly and whispered, “Felix, you can man-handle me into a truck like this any day of the week.”
Felix hummed softly, thinking about how much fun he’d have man-handling her into a truck. Maybe he should think about getting one. “Tobias is teasing you, Kitten. His wife enjoys it when he puts his hands on her to lift her into this truck, most of the time, just not right now with the little one on the way. She’s due any day now and is extremely uncomfortable.”
“Oh...” Rebeca turned to Tobias with a smile and said, “Congratulations.”
Tobias just nodded and climbed up in his truck.
Opening the passenger door, Felix lifted Rebecca, making sure to give her waist a slight squeeze, and then got in himself. After everyone had strapped in, they were off.
“I’m parked about three blocks down, that way,” Rebecca said as she pointed.
When they pulled up next to Rebecca’s car, it was Tobias’ turn to stare in awe. Rebecca had a 1968 Chevy Impala SS convertible. It was a beautiful car.
“It was my dad’s car, and he fixed it up for me. It still needs a bit of work on the engine and interior, but it’s a good car,” Rebecca told them as she stared at the car.
Felix and Tobias turned to look at her at the same time. They saw sadness on her face.
Reaching out, Felix lay his hand on her knee as he questioned, “Rebecca?”
Rebecca turned to look at him and tried to smile, but he saw her glassy eyes. She was trying so hard not to cry. “Sorry, my dad passed last year. It’s been a bit rough for my family, but it’s better than it was. I can look at my car without wailing at the unfairness of it now. I finally had Mom get it out of storage three months ago and just started driving it. Guess I should have checked sooner to see if I had a spare, huh?” She sniffled, trying not to cry, but it wasn’t working.
So, opening the door, Felix got out. He gave Tobias a wordless nod that he returned. Felix gently helped her from the truck and walked her to the driver’s side of her car. After opening the door, he encouraged her to sit with a slight nudge and said, “Sit, I’ll be right back.”
Then he walked back to the truck. After putting on his gloves, he removed the tire from the back.
“Will she be alright?” Tobias quietly asked.
“She’ll be fine,” Felix said just as quietly. “I’ll put her tire on and take her to lunch.”
Tobias smiled and, in German, asked, “She’s your Beloved, isn’t she?”
Felix nodded slightly.
“She’s beautiful, Felix,” Tobias told him.
“And speaks perfect German,” Felix told his brother.
Tobias gave a light laugh. “Won’t be able to talk behind her back then, will you?”
"Nein,” Felix agreed as he glanced over at where Rebecca was sitting. She had her head down and was wiping at her eyes. ”Ja, she is so unbelievably beautiful. I’m only glad she isn’t a redhead.”
“What?” Tobias asked with another laugh.
Felix gave him a look as he said, “Sorry, Bruder, but four red-headed women in the family are enough. I didn’t need one too.”
“There is nothing wrong with a woman having red hair,” Tobias said as he laughed harder.
“I never said there was anything wrong with women having red hair. It just that I didn’t want one for myself,” Felix muttered, annoyed at his Bruder laughing at him.
“Oh, Felix, you always were an oddball,” Tobias said as he sobered up. “I’m happy for you just the same.”