The stranger's voice floated down to her and a sudden shiver raced down her spine. The huskiness in the tone did strange things to her senses. The more she listened to the man speak, the more excited she became.
Mackensie leaned back and placed her wrench on the floor while taking in the conversation floating into her beneath the car. What she heard didn't set too well with her, but she kept silent and remained hidden.
“As I said before Mac Lane is a good mechanic.” Pete was definitely trying to assure the man of her ability. Another thing that was unsettling to Mackensie was how Pete used the shorter version of her name. It was apparent that Pete wanted to keep her identity a secret from the man talking to him in the office.
"I’ll take your word for it, then," the man said. "I just don’t want anyone working on my car before a big race. You remember what happened the last time."
"Yes, I remember, but it wasn't my fault,” Pete defended himself. “I've always hired good mechanics for you, Kelly. I want to assure you that Mac is the best in town, and you're worrying needlessly."
"When do I get to meet him?" An inquisitive sound punctuated his question.
Whoever he was, Mackensie decided he was persistent, if nothing else. She wondered why it was so important for this man to meet the mechanic, but she reasoned it was for his own safety. Just wait until he finds out his mechanic is a woman.
There was silence for several seconds from Pete, but eventually he answered, "The mechanic isn't around today," he said, lying to his visitor. "I'll try to make arrangements for you to meet Mac in the next day or so."
"Oh, never mind, Pete!" Impatience filled Kelly’s tone. "If you say Mac Lane is good, then I'll take your word for it. Just make sure he doesn't forget to check every detail on the car before next month."
"I'll keep on top of things,” Pete again reassured him in a placating tone.
After the voices faded, Mackensie realized she was alone in the garage. She slid from beneath the car and made her way quietly over to the window. She craned her neck to see out to the front of the garage to where they stood in the afternoon sunshine.
Pete was doing most of the talking to a man with a thick mass of dark hair that hung a little too long and swept the collar of his polo. When he turned, she caught a glimpse of his face and the air left her lungs with a gasp.
She could see him clearly now that he was facing her. His dark gaze drifted around the parking lot over to where several race cars were lined up and ready to be worked on. He glanced at the building again, but she jerked her head back before he caught a glimpse of her watching him.
She compared this handsome guy to the other drivers that frequented Pete’s garage. And to her there was no comparison. It was not only his voice, but his rugged features that caused her blood pressure to rise. She judged his height to be more than six feet, with broad shoulders and a chest that matched, narrowing down to slender hips and thighs. His muscular arms looked tanned and strong.
"Kelly's particular about who works on his car before races,” he answered, with a slight grin. "You're the best I've seen since I started in the business, but you're going to have to work with me to win his trust. I've known him for a long time and can tell you, he expects perfection."
"Who is he?" She frowned.
"Kelly O'Brien,” he told her, wiping the grease from his hands onto a shop towel.
"Not the famous driver, Kelly O'Brien," she said in wonder, remembering that she hadn't heard of him in some time. "I thought he gave up racing a few years back."
"He did for a while, after the wreck, but he's back in it now. I worked with him in the past. He’s going to expect a lot from any mechanic after he cras