Big 4 Trucking #2
My Kind of Fashion Model
Jimmy and his Big 4 Trucking partners, were trying to find a dispatcher, and it wasn’t going well. Until Kelsey Curtis came looking for a job, and to their surprise, she turned out to be a perfect fit.
However, Kelsey had a troubled past. And Jimmy’s girlfriend Tina, was the jealous type. She wanted her out of their lives. But what Tina was digging up against Kelsey, could only unbury a monster.
Release Date: February 2018
Genre: Contemporary Romance
~ A WHITE SATIN ROMANCE ~
Jimmy, the Big 4 Trucking mechanic straddled the middle of a big rig motor, trying to loosen bolts off a valve cover with his impact wrench. He’d only gotten two screws out of the greasy engine head. When exhaustion came over him.
He leaned back against the firewall of the truck and wiped the perspiration from his brow. Seemed as though the days were never long enough. There was always an endless line of big rigs that needed repairs, and damn he was tired.
His girlfriend, Tina, wasn’t any help either with her constant need to have him right there with her, every moment he wasn’t working.
Jimmy took a deep breath. Because with her, it was always about going to the bar and doing the nasty all night long. He never thought he’d ever think bars and sex with a good looking woman would get old. But, as God as his witness, it sure the hell had.
On top of all that, there was the run every morning from her apartment to his house, where he changed and headed for work. Hell, if it wasn’t for that, he’d never have any time to himself.
Jimmy thought he was a fairly intelligent man. He even tried to be a good guy, especially with women. He ran his fingers through his short brown hair as he tried to figure this whole mess out.
Hell, he didn’t know how he got into this relationship with Tina in the first place. Then a light bulb went on in his head. He knew exactly why; it was all about the sex. Boy, was she great at it. It was like she took classes on how to please a man. Jimmy found he wasn’t willing to give that up, at least not yet. He sighed at the thought.
However, Jimmy realized he had to do something about his crazy life style. But hell, whenever he brought up the idea of taking a day or two for himself. Tina turned on the water works. Man, he hated when she cried so he ended up giving in to her. Damn it to hell, what was he going to do? This wild pace he was living was really paying a toll on him.
Again, weakness surged through his body, and he could hardly keep his eyes open. At that moment he knew he had to get some much needed sleep, or he was going to fall asleep right there on the engine. So with a deep breath, he headed for the office and a big cup of strong, black, energy—coffee.
He had just poured a large cup of coffee, when he noticed his partners were staring out the full glass office door. They seemed to be fixated on something out in the truck yard, so he went over and looked out the door too.
There he stood staring at his other partner—Trent.
Jimmy tried to get closer. He wanted to hear what he was yelling at his new wife, Candy. However, it seemed as though he couldn’t catch the gist of the whole conversation. Damn, they were too far away. So, Jimmy and his two other partners, Bobby and Benet, tried to eavesdrop.
While they stared out the window, Jimmy recalled how Candy and Trent fell in love. It was nearly two years ago. A trucker and a bar owner hit it off quickly, after Candy beat him up one night in her bar. He smiled at the thought.
The couple struggled through secrets, mystery and deceit to be together. And here a year later, they stood in the middle of the truck yard arguing. He couldn’t help but wonder what set this off.
He couldn’t imagine what was going on? The couple had only been married a year, and after a few months of training, Candy had earned her CDL License; she wanted to drive trucks. Jimmy was amused because she loved to drive and was pretty darn good at it too. She was proving to be a great asset to Big 4 Trucking. Most importantly, he thought the two of them had been getting along beautifully. Until now, that is.
There was no doubt in Jimmy’s mind they would make up. But, at this point Candy had her hands on her hips and was yelling at Trent. Not only did they have Jimmy’s full attention, there was also dead silence from Benet and Bobby. Until a smile came to Jimmy slowly. At that moment he watched as Trent pulled a crying Candy into his arms and hugged her. His wife’s head rested on his chest. Jimmy thought it was a touching scene. Boy, was he a sucker for a happy ending.
In that instant, he knew what he wanted; what Trent and Candy had. A relationship which could breach any argument, or problem. Yeah, he wanted, love. He just wasn’t sure Tina was the one, though.
* * *
Seven miles away, Kelsey Curtis stood in front of her bedroom mirror. Big, bright green eyes sparkled back at her, and she couldn’t help but smile.
Today she was happy. Seemed as though she hadn’t felt this good in years. She attributed her good spirits to the little town she had just moved to. There was something different about Port Austin. It had her thinking this was finally the time to build a life for herself, right here in this quaint little place.
Maybe she’d even find a man? Her hands traced over her feminine curves. She wondered where that came from? No sooner had the thought crossed her mind and she understood.
It had been an awfully long time since she’d been with a man, been held, kissed, or even touched. Suddenly a particular man crossed her mind. He was a guy who came into one of the bars she worked at.
The truth was, she took a liking to him; he took a liking to her. They were like ships passing in the night. They found comfort in each other’s arms for the evening, and then he’d leave.
Kelsey took a deep breath, leaned in close to the mirror and looked right into her own eyes. Heaven help her, the memory of his caress was warm and inviting and the thought sent a lonely shiver through her body.
With closed eyes she remembered him. Guess she would always have a soft spot for her first. Yes, he was the one who’d made her heart tremble and her body ache for the first time in her life. Although, that was all there was between them, and she wanted so much more.
A deep breath escaped her lungs as she stood straight up. Seemed as though she was always so busy protecting herself from being found, men became off limits for her.
However, now things were different. She’d been running for nearly six years. Yes, six years of fear and worry was finally behind her. Only a bright future lay before her. Kelsey was positive Port Austin would be her fresh new start, and maybe, just maybe she’d find a nice man too. The idea of letting down her guard, meeting a man and building a new life sounded a bit scary, but wonderful all at the same time.
Kelsey took a black tube of mascara off the dresser under the mirror, and began brushing her eyelashes in the mirror, as she thought about a family and children. Heaven help her, she couldn’t believe she was even thinking about kids. Oh my God, little ones were always considered taboo in her mind. Kelsey wouldn’t allow herself to go there, because the idea of being on the run and never having them, broke her heart. So she always put it out of mind. It was less painful that way.
She placed the mascara back on the dresser, picked up a tube of lipstick, and slid it over her lips as she wondered why this town made her happy, and gave her new hope? Kelsey rubbed her lips together to blend in the color, and smiled into the mirror.
It had to be because it was time. It had been six long, worried years since she’d seen the monster. She believed he’d forgotten her, or at least didn’t know where she was. Either way, she was free; free to start a life of her own.
Kelsey placed her hands on her hips. Grinned at her own special look in the mirror and said, “Now’s the time to start your new life.”
She lifted the classified newspaper off her freshly made bed and showed it to herself in the mirror. “Okay, Kelsey, all you need is to find a job, and make a life for yourself, so get going.”
* * *
Back at Big 4 Trucking, Jimmy was still looking out the door with his partners. The argument between Trent and Candy was over, and he was glad they seemed to have made up.
“Well, whatever it was they fought about seems to be patched up now,” Jimmy announced to his partners.
He saw his partners nod. Truth was he knew they were all glad the matter was straightened out. Because Trent and Candy meant a lot to all of them.
“Hey Bobby, have you found us a new dispatcher yet?” Benet asked in his deep baritone voice.
“Man, I must have interviewed a hundred people; men and women. Not a one of them would fit the job, or the money isn’t good enough. Even Jimmy here seems to be a problem.” Bobby took a deep breath.
Jimmy jumped to his own defense. “Hey, what do you mean by that, Bobby?”
“Let’s face it, once you’re under the hood of a truck, you’re oblivious to the rest of the world.”
“Oh, c’mon, I said hi to the last woman you introduced me to.”
“No, Jimmy, you grunted, big difference!” Bobby shook his head at the youngest partner.
“What do you want from me? I’m not Mr. Personality like you are. I have so much work, I should be four people.”
Clearly, the expression on Benet’s face changed, right before Jimmy’s eyes. There was no doubt he was holding something back. He knew Benet was always a good humored guy. Hell, he also remembered Benet even grinned when he punched someone in the mouth. Yet today it looked as though something was eating away at his big partner. His great disposition seemed to have soured. Jimmy sure didn’t understand it.
However, a moment later he found out exactly what was on his partner's mind. Because next he watched Benet leaf through his mail as he said nonchalantly, “If you weren’t out all night, every night, with that little Hoochi Mamma of yours, you’d have a little energy for your job.”
Jimmy stood completely still for a split second while what Benet said sunk in. Then he took what he thought was a threatening step toward his partner with anger in his eyes. And when Benet grinned at him, steam seemed to come out of Jimmy’s ears. But, before he could start a fight with Benet, Bobby jumped in between the two of them.
Jimmy’s face went bright red with rage. All Benet did was grin at him. However, Bobby never let loose of his grip on Jimmy’s shoulders.
“Do you really want to come to blows with Benet? Look at the man. He’s a damn mountain for crissakes. You want to risk your life for a woman?” Bobby warned.
“Yeah, Jimmy, do you?” Benet said, just to egg on his youngest partner.
Now Jimmy knew, Benet was the biggest of all four partners. Six foot, eight and two hundred and seventy five pounds of pure muscle. Curly brown hair filled his head and spilled over onto his forehead. Deep brown eyes and a broad smile made him a heart breaker to all the women.
However, their mechanic also understood men knew by Benet’s size alone, he could break you in half if he had the inclination, yet he bent over backward to end things peacefully. Still, Jimmy realized early on, he wasn’t a guy to tangle with.
Yet, when Jimmy watched the mountain of a man found the situation humorous, he tried to get to Benet. He knew he should be worried, but damn, he was tired as hell, and just plain pissed. So thank God Bobby stepped between them again at that moment.
“Don’t even think about fighting with Benet. Just go back into the garage and take it out on a motor, or something,” Bobby suggested.
Jimmy gave Benet a dirty look because the wide aggravating grin was still on his face. So he stormed out of the office and into the garage with a slam of the door.
* * *
Benet couldn’t hold back his big booming laugh at the thought of Jimmy trying to pick a fight with him. The whole thing was ridiculous.
“Why in the hell did you have to say that crap to Jimmy? You made a rule in the very beginning, remember, Benet? The rule was not to let women get between partners. Our women are our own personal problem, and now you go and say something like that Hoochi Mamma remark to the kid,” Bobby said as he shook his head at his partner.
Benet sat on the edge of Bobby’s desk, his mail still in his hand. The truth was he couldn’t hold back the nagging worry he had about their youngest partner, who he liked to call the Kid.
He was remembering the night Jimmy met his girlfriend. He happened to be with him at the bar and grill. She hung on the kid, wouldn’t let him out of her sight. However, when Jimmy went to the rest room, she turned her attention to him. Benet shook his head, because she had propositioned him right there at the bar.
Man, that woman had loose morals. He walked away that night, but Jimmy didn’t. And now the kid was tangled in her web. So he had to spill out what he thought was a fact. “She is a Hoochi Mamma,” Benet insisted.
“Will you stop calling her that?”
“Well, she is, and Jimmy’s not a kid anymore. You know as well as I do, Bobby, the girl has her claws in him deep. And he’s eating up all the sex she’s giving him with a spoon.”
“So what if it’s true, Benet? We have no right sticking our nose in his business.”
“It is our business when Jimmy’s too tired to get his work done. Because if he’s not exhausted from doing her all night he’s waiting for her to call like a love sick puppy dog, and I haven’t even gotten to the age difference.”
How much older do you think she is?” Bobby’s curiosity was peaked.
Hell, ten years, if not more.
Benet watched Bobby as he slowly leaned back on the counter across from him. He could tell by the expression on his partner’s face, he was shocked by the age difference.
“Whether we like it or not, Benet, it happens,” Bobby admitted with a shrug.
“Maybe so, but do you think Jimmy’s up for what she can put him through? Not me. The woman will have everything he’s got in less than six months, and we’ll be scraping poor Jimmy off the floor. And, give this some thought, Bobby. Do you want the bitch as a partner? Because if she gets him to marry her, she can get half of everything in the divorce. That means she’ll have half of his share in Big 4 Trucking.”
One look at Bobby still deep in thought and Benet knew he’d made his point. He finally put his worry out there. The kid was playing with fire and at this point Benet was worried sick, it could start a fire that could take all of them with him.
So with that in mind, Benet said, “I’ve got to make this delivery, I’ll be back later.”
Benet walked out of the office, jumped into his truck and took off with his load. Leaving Bobby to consider all the ramifications of Jimmy’s relationship.
* * *
An hour later, Bobby sat at his desk leafing through a stack of applications for dispatchers. He was preparing for some interviews in the afternoon.
However, he was having a heck of a time concentrating. It seemed as though he couldn’t get what Benet said, out of his mind. Bobby tried not to get involved in his partner’s personal life. But hell, Jimmy’s romance with this woman could cause a huge problem for Big 4.
A moment later, Bobby was pulled from his thoughts because Trent walked in and sat down in the chair right in front of his desk. Bobby hoped the smile on his face, was a clue the couple had made up. So he grinned back at him.
“We all saw you and Candy arguing. Do you want to talk?” Bobby asked.
“No, it’s just pretty cut and dry. Candy’s pregnant,” Trent said as a matter of fact.
The smile on Bobby’s face grew quickly, and he came around the desk and gave his partner a one armed hug. “Congrats, Trent,” he said as he leaned back against the desk, his arms folded across his chest. “You a father, yeah, I can see that. Although, I’m sure the kid will be making his own bed at age three, seeing you’re such a neat nick. Bobby chuckled. “So, what were you two arguing about?”
“The baby,” Trent answered the question.
“I don’t understand.”
“Look, Bobby, when we were first married we agreed to wait two years for children. It has only been a year and we’re only just starting to see a nice profit here at Big 4. It’s just bad timing.”
“You don’t still feel that way, do you?” Bobby was taken aback.
“Do I still think its bad timing? Yes. Do I want our baby? Hell, yeah! Just never the easy way.”
“Yeah, Trent, I know.”
“Oh, I didn’t get a chance to talk to you earlier. How’s the hunt for a dispatcher going?”
“Not good, I’m beginning to think it would be easier to find another trucker, or salesman, than a dispatcher. And I just had to defuse a problem earlier between Jimmy and Benet.” Bobby shook his head.
“What the hell happened? “Trent seemed surprised.
“Benet’s a little ticked off about Jimmy’s work lately. Although I think the real reason is, he hates his girlfriend. He’s worried about Jimmy and what this woman could do to him. And, if she did get Jimmy to marry her, it wouldn’t be long before they would be divorced, which would leave her with a big share in Big 4. Hey, what is a Hoochi Mamma?” Bobby switched topics quickly.
“Why?” Trent chuckled.
“Because Benet called Jimmy’s girlfriend a Hoochi Mamma. You know Benet, he’s so blasé about everything, it’s hard to say. But, on a scale from one to ten, I would say he was an eleven.”
“Well, Bobby, I don’t think we’ve heard the end of this. When Benet gets something in his craw, he hangs on like a bulldog.” Trent shrugged. “It’s a woman with no morals, one who dresses and looks just like a bit of a floozy, to say it nicely.”
Bobby gave him a strange look.
“That’s what a Hoochi Mamma is,” Trent explained.
All Bobby did was laugh.
* * *
Seven miles away, Kelsey stood sipping a cup of coffee. She was blowing on it to cool it down. It wasn’t long before her java was just right.
With another sip of the caramel colored liquid, she looked out over her new lower flat. Thank God the place was furnished because now she was staring at eight cardboard boxes stacked in the middle of the living room. Only a portable sewing machine sat next to the pile of cartons.
Here she was, twenty four years old and her entire life could fit into those cardboard squares, and her used sewing machine was her only cherished item. Yet she still had a warm feeling in her chest about this place. Even now it felt like home.
A deep breath escaped her lungs. She was healthy, happy and in charge of her own life. At this point she was glad to finally feel safe.
Port Austin was a sweet, little, old fashioned town—just the kind of place she’d been looking for. She was done running. Her heart swelled with hope and excitement that this place would be her new forever home.
She drank down the very last drop of coffee and placed her empty coffee cup in the sink. Then she took her black blazer off the chair and slid her arms into the sleeves. Smoothed down the collar, and fluffed her hair up just a little.
And with a smile on her face, she said, “Okay, Kelsey, it’s time to find your destiny.”
She slung her sack purse over her shoulder. And with the classified section of the newspaper under her arm, she headed out into the world.