Corbin met several residents on his walk: Mrs. McCovey who was mostly blind and kept asking him if he was sure he wasn’t Cary Grant, Quincy Lauder who seemed a little too interested in his widowered status, and Venia Varner, a very astute woman who he knew was one of Brent’s good friends. All three had been friendly without being overly so and by the time he reached the dome that housed the Corbin’s Bend Community Center, he felt more relaxed than he had in ages.
When he heard a scream, the relaxation fled and he settled back into the mode he was more familiar with. Silence. His head darted around, looking for the woman who had made that utterance and when another scream came, he darted in the direction of it. As he rounded the corner of Spanking Loop, he spotted her. A woman with long red hair and an abundant curvy figure was wailing at a car. A car. At first he wondered if someone was trying to steal it. Until he actually looked at the vehicle. A 1978 Pontiac with steam pouring around the hood. The damned thing looked like it should be in the scrap heap.
“You beastly, hideous, piece of—”
Fighting a laugh that was trying to bubble up his chest at the fury in her voice, Corbin stepped forward. “Is there anything I can help you with, Miss…?”
The redhead turned sharply in his direction, bright green eyes staring into his while pink tinged her cheeks. As her eyes darted around and finally settled on his shoes, she shrugged and sighed. “My new car was supposed to be delivered two weeks ago. With the weather it hasn’t been possible. Since I have to go to Denver today, I pulled the beast back out and the damned thing just died.” Her voice was filled with righteous anger until the end where it curved into a whine. And what an amazing voice it was, too. Soft, stirring, and with incredible depth. Unfortunately the whine made her sound like a teenager.
The laughter bubbled up further and he coughed to try and hide it. “The beast seems like a name that fits. Maybe you should shoot it.”
Gasping, she stared at him for a moment with wide eyes before a loud peal of laughter left her lips. “If you’ve got a gun, I’m game,” she teased when the laughter stopped. Her laughter made him smile and the laugh that had bubbled in his throat burst forth. It felt strange as he couldn’t actually remember the last time he had laughed like that. It was nice all the same.
“I think that even if you got it running again that it wouldn’t make it to Denver and back,” he said kindly, not wanting to upset her again. “Maybe with the good weather today, they will bring your car up.”
Sighing, she nodded. “Actually my thought was to drive down and get it, fill my new car with food and come back. One would think that since it’s mostly downhill that I could make it to Denver.”
Amused and rather impressed with her ability to spring back from annoyance to humor quickly, he shook his head as he watched her. A delightful dry sense of humor and wonderful curves. Damn, they didn’t make women like her in New York. “Can I give you a lift? I actually need to make a run down to Denver myself and you’re welcome to ride along. I could drop you off at the car dealer, if you’d like. The name’s Corbin Nelson,” he said, holding out his hand.