A possessed motorcycle. A nosy detective. And a serial killer on the loose. The only thing they have in common? Me.
This divorcee has always loved collecting random stuff, so owning a junkyard is a dream come true—until the robbery. My unlikely rescuer? An old motorcycle.
I repay my debt to the trashed bike by rebuilding it with sweat, blood, and cursing. Because I’m done with the tears. As a member of the don’t-give-a-damn forties club, I refuse to be a victim. With my steel wolf between my thighs, I’m taking back the night.
And who do I happen to meet on my first ride? The scum who robbed and beat me. I’ll teach them a lesson they won’t soon forget.
Unfortunately, my antics draw the attention of the detective currently investigating a string of murders. He can bite my forty-seven-year-old ass if he thinks I’m confessing to anything but an interest in what’s under his button-down shirt.
Turns out, there’s more to the killings than meets the eye. Apparently, it isn’t just cars that sometimes come to life. Impossible as it seems, my ride appears to have bloodthirsty tendencies.
But is it evil or trying to right a wrong?
I’d better figure it out—and soon—or I might be its next victim.
Tunes rocked the garage as I worked on my newest project: a 1958 Plymouth Fury. A sweet ride, most famous for being the psychotic car in Stephen King’s thriller, Christine. I’d found the rusting—yet surprisingly good-condition—vehicle strategically buried under a mound of metal scrap at the back of my junkyard. Almost as if someone had wanted to hide it without causing too much damage.READ MORE
I’d squealed louder than I ever did any Christmas morning when I uncovered it because it was mine. All mine. My divorce settlement from The Jerk—the only name suitable for my ex-husband—had bought and paid for the junkyard. Married for twenty-three years, starting right after we graduated college, where we’d dated on and off for two more. A good partnership for the most part until he hit his forties and suffered a midlife crisis that didn’t just involve buying a sports car, getting hair plugs, and waxing his chest. It also came with a young girlfriend, who wanted the wife gone.
Me being the wife.
In a sense, I should thank The Jerk for freeing me from the most mind-numbingly boring existence on Earth. I’d not realized how much I hated my life until he told me I couldn’t have it.
I celebrated by setting his shit on fire. The flames were really pretty, and I might have roasted marshmallows if the firemen hadn’t ruined my fun.
In the end, I got the last laugh. Eric, a young stud of thirty to my forties, had stayed behind on the pretext of making sure none of the embers reignited. The only thing that caught fire was my pants, which he adeptly removed before showing off his hose skills.
Good time. And the only time Eric got to show me his hose. I wasn’t looking for a full or even a part-time man. Didn’t need one. What I did like was a good, hard fuck when the mood hit, something The Jerk couldn’t manage, not without a bunch of prep and a pill.
Putting aside my grinder, I pushed up my goggles to eye the metal I’d been sanding to ensure I’d removed all the rust. Clean and smooth, or was that my aching shoulders talking?
I’d check it over tomorrow and buff any remaining spots before sending it to Danny, my custom paint guy, for a fresh, glossy look—color pending, despite the most obvious choice of red.
Did I want to be a copycat or give it a look that popped on its own merit? I’d have to decide soon.
If the parts I’d ordered arrived, I’d finish it and be able to put it up for sale within the month. Or I might keep it. After all, I didn’t hurt for cash, and it spoke to me. Drive me, Allie. You know you want to hear me roar.
Hell, yeah, I did. I’d always loved cars—even from a young age when other girls played with Barbies. I’d only stopped playing with motors when I moved to Toronto with The Jerk. Big, expensive cities like Toronto came with some sacrifice, like no room to park a car to fix at my leisure. No time either, with my job clocking fifty hours of my life a week, plus the subway commute, which I hated.
If I never rode public transit again, I’d be just fine. Happy. Ecstatic, actually. Getting puked on once by the happy hour crowd was too much. It had happened three times.
Never again. I lived outside of Ottawa now, far enough away to avoid the congestion of people. And did what I loved.
I’d forgotten the calming pleasure of working with a beautiful vehicle. Of watching an old wreck return to the glory of its past.
A frown creased my brow as something metallic crashed outside. Probably raccoons playing in the towers of metal again. Literally towers that defied gravity. I planned to compact and sell some of it to make room and reduce the hazards, but the crusher was waiting on parts, and had been since I’d bought the place. Showing the city inspectors my many emails asking the parts company when they’d arrive was the only thing keeping the city from fining me.
But they wouldn’t be kind forever.
Jingle. Jangle. More tumbling metal. Were the raccoons fighting? I’d seen those furry, masked fiends get violent. Spats outside my bedroom window had woken me numerous times. Not the most pleasant thing since it resulted in barely any sleep as I hugged my shaking dog for the rest of the night. My fur baby didn’t like strange and scary noises.
If the raccoons were fighting in the junkyard, at least they wouldn’t be outside my house. Thinking of which, I should get to bed. I’d worked later than planned. I rolled my shoulders as I headed for the garage door. Past midnight, and my forty-seven-year-old ass would complain about it in the morning. Staying fit didn’t make me immune to the effects of aging. I’d pop a few Tylenol and ignore it.
Before exiting, I shut off the switch that controlled the power for the garage—lights, outlets—which meant the radio abruptly silenced.
Outside, the night was quiet, and the yard mostly dark as the quarter-moon did little to illuminate the place. As for the motion sensor lights? The bulbs appeared to have burned out. Again. Had to be some kind of short because in the almost-year I’d owned the place, I’d replaced them three times already.
I heard a thump as I headed for the path to my house, situated conveniently next door to the junkyard. My head swiveled to the trailer I used as an office—a blocky rectangle with a few windows and a single door. I kept most of the junkyard paperwork, an old computer, and a safe inside—nothing of real value. Most of the transactions I processed were online and went right into an accounting program that handled everything for me. Locate the part requested, invoice, pick up by the client once they paid. I’d even deliver for a little extra.
My business did okay. I would probably need to do a bit of marketing to let people know of my existence. Place a few ads on Kiji and social media.
A sudden flare of light in my office trailer, followed by some noises, halted me and changed the direction of my feet. Someone is fucking robbing me.
They’d be disappointed. The office didn’t have much to steal, but that didn’t mean I’d let them get away with it.
“Fucking asshole. I’ll teach you to fuck with my shit, you fucker,” I swore. Fuck being a curse word I used often. Verb, adjective, noun. It fit into a lot of my speech these days. Call it catching up for the years I’d kept my words clean so as not to offend my husband, the uptight yuppy. It wasn’t until after we’d split that I realized just how much I’d repressed the real me.
The real me being a beer-drinking, foul-mouthed, take-no-shit kind of girl. I am woman. Hear me fucking roar.
Whoever thought me an easy mark would get an earful before I handed them over to the cops for a proper eye-opener on their choices in life.
I pulled out my cell phone as I headed for the building but hesitated. Did I really want to call the cops? That would involve talking to someone, maybe even going down to the station to fill out a report. Getting home around dawn.
On second thought, I’d just scare the piss out of the person in my office. I had a barrel of rebar rods sitting next to the office trailer. I grabbed one of the shorter ones. If the intruder got frisky, I’d give them a few whacks, enough to show that I meant business.
Light spilled from the entrance to my office as the door stood ajar. Not even trying to hide. I stepped in to see a skinny dude with a nose ring rifling through my desk.
“What the fuck do you think you’re doing, asshole?” I pointed my weapon and waved it menacingly.
Bloodshot eyes rose from the drawer to me. The lip curled upward. “Where’s the money, bitch?”
I arched a brow. “Big words for a little man.”
“Not that little.” When he rose from his crouch, he stood taller than me, but heavy drug use had emaciated him. His features were drawn tight; his eyes streaked red and sickly looking in the fluorescent lighting. His short sleeves showed the bruised and splotched flesh where he injected his arms.
A druggie, tweaking hard—jonesing for his next hit. Needing cash and desperate for it. “Leave. Now. There’s no money.”
“Liar! Hand over the cash, and you won’t get hurt.” He came around the side of the desk, and I retreated to the door. I wanted to lure him outside to give myself more room to swing.
“Go find another place to rob.” I stood in the doorway, rod extended, debating if I should run or not.
Someone punching the back of my knee and sending me tumbling took that decision from me.
Only in that moment did I realize that the tweaker hadn’t come alone.
As I buckled and fell to the ground, a punch to the head knocked me sideways. Before I could recover, the second thief wrenched the rod from my hand.
I popped to my feet and whirled in time to take a closed fist to the face. I reeled, stumbling hard enough that I lost my balance and hit the ground again, hard, the breath knocked out of me, my brains scrambled. The intruders stood on either side of me, their shapes blurring from two to four.
“Where’s the money, cunt?” The guy who’d stolen my rod stood over me, menacing. He wore a dark hoodie and had a bit more heft to his frame than his friend.
At that point, even I knew better than to fight over cash. “Desk drawer, under the receipt tray. There’s only a bit of petty cash.”
Skinny ran back inside and then re-emerged, waving a handful of bills. “Found it!”
Hefty didn’t appear impressed. “That’s just a decoy. I’ll bet she’s got more stashed.” He jabbed my belly with the end of the rod. “Where’s the rest?”
“That’s all of it.”
“Liar!” The whack of the bar drew a sharp gasp of pain.
Before Hefty could swing again, I grabbed the metal rod. We tugged, back and forth. I lost, no match for drugged, adrenaline-fueled strength. He ripped the rod from my hands, splitting open my left palm.
The sight of the blood widened Skinny’s eyes. “We should get out of here.”
His friend didn’t agree. “Not before she coughs up the cash. Where is it?”
“I have no more money.”
“Lying cunt!” He swung.
I raised my arm in time to block the blow. Sharp pain made me wonder if he’d broken my arm. I rolled before he could strike again and popped to my feet.
“Joey. Stop. We got enough for a hit.” Skinny tried to stop his buddy.
“Says you. I think she’s got enough hidden for more than a measly pinch each.”
As they argued, I saw my chance and ran, gritting my teeth against the pain. The eye he’d punched had already swollen shut. My arm throbbed. More of me would hurt if I didn’t escape, though. Fear hastened my steps. Like any wounded prey, I looked for a spot to hide. While I’d owned the junkyard for almost a year now, I’d not gone through even a quarter of the towers of junk. I’d been taking my time dismantling the piles to unearth the treasures: old cars and appliances. If it had metal and a motor, chances were, it ended up in the junkyard. Then I tagged it, took a picture, and uploaded it to my website. Once the search engines indexed it, anyone looking could find me.
I headed for one of the untouched mounds.
I didn’t make it.
The sudden pounding of footsteps at my rear barely prepared me. I spun around. Too late. Once more, the one called Joey clobbered me.
Stunned, I couldn’t avoid the sweep of my ankles that dumped me onto the ground.
The hefty Joey, grinning and showing off his black and tartar-covered teeth, stood over me. “Either hand over the cash, or I’ll take my payment in flesh.” He leered.
I gagged. The thought of him touching me… I’d rather die.
His companion arrived and shoved him. “Joey, enough. We got the money. Let’s go.”
“Not before I get me some action.” His hands went to his pants, held up by a knotted shoestring.
“Gross, dude. Leave the old hag alone.”
Old? I took offense, even as I crawled away.
A hand grabbed me by the ankle. “Where do you think you’re going?”
Desperate, I reached out to grab hold of something, anything, to stem the drag back into the Hell Joey promised. My fingers clamped around metal, and I clung for dear life as my assailant pulled and laughed.
“Feisty, I like it,” he chortled.
Sick fucker. I didn’t let go, but my grip grew slippery from the blood oozing from the slice across my palm. It smeared the metal I’d chosen as my anchor, making it harder and harder to hold on.
A hard yank tore me free, and I couldn’t help but scream, “Fuck off!” as I kicked and thrashed.
As if the would-be rapist listened.
Joey flipped me over, and even in the gloom, I saw him lick his lips in anticipation. He dropped to his knees, pinning me in place. I shoved at him, but dizzy and in pain, he easily batted aside my hands. It didn’t help that his friend had changed his mind and chose to restrain my left arm.
I wanted to cry but could only pray. Please, help me.
The mountain of metal looming over us groaned and uttered a metallic squeal as it shifted.
“That didn’t sound good. Maybe we should move.” Joey’s nervous friend released my arm.
“You’re right. We should relocate. The office had a soft-looking couch,” Joey agreed a second before a hunk of metal came crashing down, knocking him aside. Before I could move, the mountain of junk fell over, knocking me out cold.
I wasn’t sure how long I lost consciousness. All I knew was that when I woke, I found myself pinned under a pile of metal, still wearing my pants and not throbbing anywhere I shouldn’t. The more pressing question, though: Had the tweakers left?
I barely dared to breathe as I listened. I certainly didn’t move. Hearing nothing, I tried to assess my situation. Dire, despite the fact that I’d escaped being raped and killed. I appeared to be under a mound of junk, a sizeable one, with no idea how to get free.
In some astonishing piece of luck, despite the mountain that’d fallen on me, it didn’t appear as if it had crushed any part of my body. However, the detritus did surround me in a cage that I didn’t dare shift, out of fear that I’d upset the precarious balance that kept me from being squashed flat like a bug.
It would be the height of irony if my midlife dream occupation ended up being the death of me. I could see the headline now: Woman found eaten by raccoons under a pile of scrap metal. Neighbors express surprise that it wasn’t cats, given she was an almost fifty-year-old divorcee.
In reality, no one would give a shit if I died. Most of my friends had drifted away over the years. Some had moved for jobs. Others because of their partners. But the majority had split off when they had babies. They’d become families who did family things.
I preferred a dog. One who would be worried when his mama didn’t come home.
While I couldn’t see anything, I could move my hands and pulled forth the phone I should have used before. I’d been brash and stupid, confronting those intruders. In my defense, this should have been a safe place. Drug crimes usually flourished in the downtown areas, not out in the boonies where I had chosen to do business.
It took some maneuvering before I could dial.
“Nine-one-one, what’s your emergency?”
“I was attacked.”
The tone turned brisk and efficient. “Where are you? Are you injured?”
“Definitely bruised. I don’t know if anything is broken. I can’t really move as I’m stuck under a pile of junk.”
“Er, what?” The surprise in the operator’s voice almost made me smile.
Only there wasn’t anything funny about the situation.
I quickly explained and gave them my location. I would have stayed on the line if my phone hadn’t died. Not really a surprise. Usually, I charged it overnight.
As I lay there, I tried not to panic, especially since a cold breeze tickled my skin. It didn’t help that I had the sense of being watched. Please, don’t let it be rats. I fucking hated those pink-tailed bastards.
It felt like an eternity before I heard the sirens. Never thought I’d be happy to see the cops. Although, the time it took to bust open the lock to the main gates tempered that happiness.
Not knowing if they could see me, I started yelling. “I’m over here.”
“Found her. I see feet,” someone yelled, flashing a light that blinded me through the crevices formed by the metal tenting over me.
“Hold on, ma’am. We’re figuring out how to extract you without destabilizing the pile.”
Being a bit of a smart ass, I quipped, “Anyone bring the jaws of life?”
I was worried when a different voice whispered, “Should we go get them?”
But it turned out they only had one real idiot in the group. The rest of the officers proved efficient, setting up lights and then playing a game of Jenga with my metal tent.
They removed pieces one by one, being careful not to shift the weight of the pile on me. It took forever, and only as they got to the last layer covering me did I see what had kept me from being crushed—an old motorcycle frame. The thick handlebars on the front dug into the ground and angled the body, allowing it to hold everything else off me. As the first responders heaved the last bits from me, I emerged like a broken butterfly from her metal cocoon to rapid-fire questions. The cops’ faces were a blur, as were the EMTs’ surrounding me.
“Are you okay?”
“Can you tell us what happened?”
“Where does it hurt?”
I gave them the condensed version of my attack while an EMT placed a blanket around my shoulders. I’d not realized just how cold I’d gotten lying there. The same EMT tried to get me on a stretcher, but I waved her off.
“I’m fine,” I protested as I tottered for the flashing lights in the main part of my yard. It might have been more convincing if I hadn’t passed out.
I woke in a hospital bed, which, depending on your purview, wasn’t necessarily better than the pile of junk. I’d always hated hospitals. The smell. The noise. I’d spent too much time inside one as my mom battled cancer—two years of watching the woman who loved me waste away. At least my dad had gone quickly. A heart attack that’d dropped him instantly.
A quick assessment showed an IV in my arm, most likely fluids so I didn’t dehydrate. Too many bandages adorned my body, including one around my temple and over one eye. Judging by my pain level, they’d definitely not drugged me heavily enough. The slightest movement brought a gasp to my lips. Still, determined, I heaved myself into a sitting position.
My one good eye closed to fight the spinning in my head, which meant I didn’t realize that I wasn’t alone until a man spoke.
“Mrs. Collins-Harris, are you awake?”
The old name brought a curl to my lips. “Actually, it’s Ms. Collins. I’m divorced.” Sadly, not all my identification showed it yet. Funny how the government had no problem changing my name to add The Jerk’s surname, but when taking it off, they dragged their bureaucratic feet.
It shouldn’t be that difficult. After all, I’d existed before I married The Jerk. I’d brought in just as much as he did to the household. But, apparently, that didn’t count for shit. Citing delays from a pandemic long over, I’d yet to receive my updated health card and driver’s license.
“Ms. Collins, I am sorry to intrude, but I was hoping you might be feeling well enough to answer some questions.”
“Do I look like someone in the mood to chat?” I replied sourly. My pasty mouth felt as if something had crawled in and died. My one unbandaged eye remained closed and gummy. Pretty girl. Not. “If you’re looking for a news story, bug someone else.” Damned reporters, always trying to make a buck off someone’s misery.
“Actually, I’m Detective Walker with the Ontario Provincial Police.”
“Lucky me, rating a visit from the OPP,” I drawled as I squinted open my one good eye, immediately wishing I’d kept it closed.
I would, of course, look like shit—that had been stomped flat, baked in the sun, then scraped off the sidewalk—when confronted by a hunk of a detective—blond-haired, blue-eyed, with a chiseled jaw. And I’d bet those shoulders were naturally broad. As for the laugh lines at the corners of his eyes, indicating a fellow in his forties, at least? Only made him sexier.
“Given your property borders Highway 7, criminal offenses fall under our jurisdiction.”
“If you say so. Don’t really care.” I really didn’t. What I wanted was for the pounding in my head to go away. “Grab a nurse on your way out, would you? And tell them to bring me some Tylenol.”
“A moment.” He moved to the door and stuck his head out, the deep murmur showing that he spoke to someone. When he turned around, he offered me a smile. “A nurse is checking with the doctor to see if it’s okay first. Says she’ll be a few minutes. Enough time for us to chat.”
“Not in the mood,” I grouched.
“I realize that. And I’m sorry to be disturbing you, given your obvious trauma. However, I’d like to catch those responsible for the attack before they hurt anyone else.”
Ah, the good ol’ guilt trip. I sighed. “Meaning, you haven’t nabbed the fuckers already.”
“Usually, we need a name or a description before we arrest folks.”
I snorted. “As if that will make a difference. You guys tend to be bleeding hearts where tweakers are concerned.”
“Only until they prove themselves to be a menace.”
“Is that why I rated a detective? Because they escalated from petty crime to trying to murder me?”
“Did they try to kill you?”
“Does it matter? Fact is, they beat the shit out of me and planned to rape me. The only reason we’re talking now is because I got buried under some junk instead of being tortured to death.”
“I saw the photos from the scene. It’s a miracle you survived. You’re a very lucky woman.”
That made me laugh, which hurt. My ribs let me know I’d not escaped unscathed. “Not feeling so lucky right now.”
“Let’s fix that. Help me find the perpetrators.”
“Listen, Detective, while I appreciate you coming here to see me in the hospital, there’s not much I can actually tell you. The guys jumped me when I went to check on my office because I saw a light and heard some noise.”
“Can you describe them?”
“Yeah.” He took notes as I detailed what I remembered, including the name: Joey.
“Do you recall anything else? Tattoos? Scars? Birthmarks?”
“Other than the skinny one’s nose ring, nothing else. Everything happened so fast.”
“You said you saw and heard them. You live on the premises?”
I nodded. “Next door. But I wasn’t actually in my house. I was working late on a project in the garage.”
“You own the junkyard?” He checked his notebook. “Bits and Bolts?”
“Yup.” I’d bought it when I needed a fresh start. A divorce hadn’t been enough. When my husband dropped his bombshell, I’d needed to go somewhere new. Do something different.
“I want kids.” A declaration The Jerk had made out of the blue after we’d always stated that we would never have any.
“I don’t.” Never saw the appeal. Snotty, whiny little critters, constantly demanding attention. Let other people have them. I was perfectly happy with our dog.
“Come on, wouldn’t you like a kid to pass on your legacy?”
At the time, I had to snort. I was working as a receptionist for a car dealership. “What legacy? And where is this coming from? We agreed we didn’t want any.” For going on twenty years.
“I changed my mind.”
“Well, I haven’t.” And at my age, I really wasn’t interested. I’d thought that was the end of it.
It was the end, just not the one I’d expected. He hit me with divorce papers and the news that his much younger girlfriend was pregnant.
In retrospect, I might not have handled things well. After I set his shit on fire, I’d had his BMW towed to a chop shop for parts. Bad of me, I know. Yet the judge forgave me when the bastard had the balls to show up in court with his super-pregnant girlfriend.
Despite The Jerk’s wishes, the judge split everything down the middle—as was fair. We’d both made pretty much the same salary, so The Jerk could shove his snotty attitude.
I got half of all our assets, which meant a nice chunk of cash, given that our house sold during the pandemic for way over asking price. The housing market had blown up in Southern Ontario as people sought more space.
Needing a fresh start, I’d moved out of the Golden Horseshoe area in Ontario to just outside a small town, a good four hours away from my old life. Carleton Place. With the divorce proceeds, I’d bought myself a derelict business formerly called Steel Deals—a junkyard abandoned when the owner disappeared more than a decade earlier. Rumor claimed he’d run from the cops. I didn’t care. The town had taken ownership due to unpaid taxes, and I’d picked it up for a song at auction. Even better, it’d come with a house attached to the property.
A home that required some major renovation to truly make it livable, but I didn’t mind. Adrift and alone for the first time in forever, I’d needed to keep busy. And keep busy I did: painting, redoing floors, cleaning up the plumbing, and testing the electrical. I’d always been a handy girl—blame my father, who’d wanted a boy. Dad might have died of a heart attack when I was twenty-two, but I remembered everything he taught me. I found peace in getting my hands dirty.
I expected the detective to make some sexist remark. Most men did once they found out I owned a junkyard.
Instead, he said, “Have you had any problems since you took ownership?”
“Nope. Usually pretty quiet, day and night.” I’d not yet seen much traffic, probably because I’d not really advertised the reopening.
“Do you know how much money was in your office?”
“Maybe thirty or forty bucks.” I shrugged and fought a wince. “Most people pay by credit card or debit. Bigger purchases, they transfer the funds via email money transfer.”
“You were alone when it happened?”
“Why, Detective, are you trying to find out if I’m single?” I drawled.
Given I likely looked like a truck had run me over, I doubted he was flirting. Despite the lack of a ring on his finger, a good-looking guy like him probably had a partner.
Not that it mattered. Even if he were available, I didn’t date. Since the divorce, I’d stuck to one-night-stand fucking. Being single didn’t mean I wanted a vibrator taking care of me all the time when the mood hit. I think that was what’d killed me about my ex. Up until the day before he announced the divorce, we were still having sex. For fuck’s sake, he’d had his face between my legs that very morning. He might not have a reliable penis, but the man worked his tongue.
“I live alone. Which reminds me, did anybody go inside my house? I’ve got a dog, and he’s scared of strangers.” I’d adopted Blade at a shelter years ago—some kind of mixed breed with black fur. At one hundred and forty pounds, he looked like a vicious bastard, who might be part wolf. In reality? He was the world’s biggest pussy. It wasn’t just people that frightened him. The dark sent him hiding. Thunderstorms. Fireworks. Using the blender usually had him tucked under the kitchen table, shaking.
While Blade didn’t mind the junkyard in the daytime, he hated it at night. The first time I’d taken him there after dark, he’d gotten so scared, he’d bolted into the towers of metal. Took forever to coax him out, and even longer before he stopped shaking. Out of concern for his safety—and because rocking a massive dog for two hours in my lap cut into my sleep—I now left him home when I worked late, and installed a doggy door that led into a secure dog run for him to do his business.
“Your dog should be secure. Since the crime occurred in your office and outside, there was no need to enter the premises.”
“Good.” The last time I’d had a stranger in the house to hook up my cable, Blade had hidden under my bed. Which would have been fine if he’d not gotten stuck. I’d had to jack my frame to get him out.
“Since we’re on the topic of your home, would you mind if I visited you, perhaps tomorrow, to show you some mug shots?” The detective had yet to pull out a notebook and take any notes.
“You think they’re repeat offenders?”
“I’d say it’s a distinct possibility, given it’s a known pattern with petty crime.”
“Because Ontario’s soft on criminals,” I grumbled. “And I wouldn’t call what they did to me petty.”
“I agree. Hence why we should locate them, given the gravity of their attempt. “
“And if you find them? Then what? They spend a few months in jail and get dumped back on the streets.”
His lips thinned. “Possibly. I’m afraid we’re at the mercy of the laws and the judges.”
“The laws suck.” Because they allowed scum to keep victimizing.
“So, what?” I snapped.
“May I visit you to show you those pictures?”
“Yeah. I guess.” Maybe I’d get lucky, and they’d actually find the fuckers. But I wouldn’t hold my breath, or I’d most likely die. “If I’m not at the house, you’ll probably find me in the garage, working on a wreck.”
“You rebuild cars?”
“I do now.” I’d worked night and day on my first—a restored Trans Am with the famous Firebird on the hood—and sold it faster than expected. The Plymouth would be my third.
“Odd profession for a woman.”
Aha, he finally showed his true colors. I pounced. “Kind of a sexist thing to say in this day and age.”
“I agree, but in my defense, I’ve never met a woman mechanic.”
“We’re the same as guys, only without dicks.”
His lips quirked. “I’d say there’s more to you than that.”
“What can I say? I’m a woman of many surprises.”
“Speaking of surprises, have you thought of adding security to avoid unexpected visitors?”
“No. Didn’t think I had to.” But the attack had made it clear I’d have to do something.
“I can refer you to someone if you need a hand with that.”
“Not going to volunteer yourself?” Yup, I definitely flirted that time. And got shot down as he stood.
“Thank you for your time, Ms. Collins. I’ll be in touch.”
I knew what I’d like him to touch once the rest of me stopped hurting.COLLAPSE