Ever since Reggie’s garage became part of a popular reality show, business has been booming. As much as he hates playing games with the network, at least he doesn’t have to worry about his bottom line anymore.
As the show’s lowest-ranking producer, Wes is tasked with proposing a new spinoff show to Reggie. He has a hard enough time looking the sexy mechanic in the eye on a normal day, but this time, he’s holding cards he can’t show. With execs breathing down his neck, he’s there to pitch a show he knows Reggie will never agree to do, even if his refusal puts his existing show on the line.
The network is counting on Reggie refusing to sign. But they’re not counting on their messenger falling for the man they’re trying to fire...
Heat Level: 3
Length: Novella (18k words)
Read a short excerpt...
...How the guys in this garage functioned with the swarm of cameras and crew hovering around, Wes would never know. Then again, after four and a half seasons of Wrench Wars, he supposed they were used to it.
Wes didn’t like being in front of a camera—thank God he was just a producer—so he hung back and watched from the sidelines. Fortunately for him, there was a section of the shop that was off limits to the cameras. It was separated from that portion of the garage by a wall, and the windows had long since been tinted to prevent the cameras from catching anything on this side. Wes watched through the darkened glass, waiting for the shop’s owner to take a break.
“You’re gonna be waiting a while.” Kasey, one of the mechanics who never went over to the other side—to the red zone, as they call called it—stopped beside Wes and gestured at the window with a wrench. “They’ve got a good six, eight hours of work left on that thing.”
Wes glanced at his watch, then at Kasey. “It’s almost five o’clock.”
“Yeah.” Kasey nodded toward the window. “And they’ve got a good six or eight hours of work left on that thing.” He chuckled. “You might want to come by tomorrow.”
Wes pursed his lips. “They still take breaks, though, don’t they?”
Kasey responded with a snort of derision and shook his head. Without a word, he walked away.
Wes faced the window again. He didn’t have to ask about Kasey’s reaction. The shop’s collective contempt toward the network, especially the producers, was well-known. And given the tight deadlines the men worked under in order to maintain the “realistic” tension and suspense on the show, he shouldn’t have been surprised that state-mandated breaks weren’t exactly enforced.
Thanks to the tinted glass and the task he was currently focused on, Reggie couldn’t know that Wes was watching him. Even if he felt like he was being watched, he’d probably blame it on the camera that was just inches away from his head.
Wes, however, was acutely aware of Reggie’s presence. In spite of the glass and the wall, he felt him as if the man were standing right there in his face instead of arguing animatedly with Ray or whatever his name was about something relating to a muscle car’s undercarriage. His presence hummed on the ends of Wes’s nerves just like it always did. They’d only met a handful of times—when the network had pitched the show, during a few visits to assure the network things were going swimmingly, a couple of meetings via Skype—and Wes was still as off balance as he’d been the first time, when the tattooed, stubbled mechanic had caught him completely off guard. He’d expected a grizzled old dude like the ones who ran the other shops, the one they competed against in the “war” aspect of their show, but Reggie had been the polar opposite. He wasn’t more than a year or two older than Wes himself, but had that weathered edge of a man who’d spent his life doing manual labor. That edge that fucked with Wes’s ability to form a coherent thought...