Guys and Cars: Chapter 3
Summary: Adrenaline, fast cars, and freedom.
Nesta Archeron doesn’t take anyone’s shit. She loves few things in life besides her candy apple red 1969 Charger, racing, and the ocean. When a stranger in a sparkly new Audi rolls into the picture, she discovers just how quickly that can change.
She took them down California Route 1, the road hugging the coast, air filled with a salty breeze of the sea. Neither she nor Cassian spoke- the silence broken only by the roar of the engine as she turned onto Mullholland Drive and flicked on her brights.
It was a road she had traveled many times before. The hairpin turns were as familiar to her as the comforting feel of the soft, supple black leather of the Charger’s interior. Her headlights cut wide swaths of white in the inky night, illuminating the sheer drop offs looming around each bend.
Rubber squealed softly on pavement as she swung around another turn, taking them higher up the ridge. Should she have slowed down? Probably. Would she? Hell no.
Speed equaled adrenaline. Adrenaline emptied her mind of anything that wasn’t here and now.
Cassian breached the silence. “I don’t think I’ve ever been out here before.” His voice was low, not wanting to puncture the fragile calm they had constructed. He must not have lived here long then. Every California native she knew had traveled this legendary road, made famous by Hollywood movies and stars.
“I come out here when I need to clear my head.” She inched off the gas so she could be heard over the engine. “The city can be so loud, sometimes I can’t think. But out here…” Gravel crunched beneath the tires as she pulled off, parking at a scenic overlook. She was acutely aware of Cassian’s gaze pinned on her, waiting to hear the rest.
“There’s nothing but peace.” She jerked her chin to the valley stretched out below them. He turned, gazing down at the bustling metropolis. It was a bowl that was the Los Angeles Basin was filled to the brim with light, evidence of the always-moving populous that inhabited it.
Nesta opened her door and stepped out into the cool night. She clamored onto Bertha’s still warm hood, leaning back against the windshield. Cassian joined her moments later, pillowing his arm under his head. His eyes slid shut and he sighed, the perfect picture of contentment.
There weren’t any stars here; they were still too close for the city for that. But the moon hung low and full in the sky, bathing Cassian in it’s soft, white light. She studied his face, noting the scar that cut through his left eyebrow and the prominent Cupid’s bow above his lip. Sometime on the way here, he’d pulled his hair back into a messy bun, a few stray curls framing his tanned face.
He turned to her as if sensing her stare, hazel eyes alight with intensity. Those eyes brought forth a million questions in her mind.
Why had he stopped that day on the highway? Why hadn’t he called her? Why did he save her tonight?
Gazes still locked, he whispered, “Beautiful.”
She didn’t know if he was taking about her or the view.
She wasn’t sure she wanted to find out.