Blowing off Steam
Frost stared at the screen of her work computer, seeing none of the words glaring back at her. Her mind was about thirty miles south of where she sat and desperate to escape this office prison. She had a decent job that more than paid all of her bills, but this place was nothing more than jail cell to her free spirit. She came in, put in her time, then left to go follow her true passion and that's where her mind was right now.
There may be a computer screen staring back at her, but it was her car that she saw in her mind's eye. She could not wait for the last thirty minutes of the day to be over with so that she could leave this place in the dust until Monday and go do what she really loves. Being an interior designer may not sound like a bad gig to most and it wasn't. She didn't hate her job by any means, but it didn't bring her any true joy either. No, she found her joy on the open road at break neck speeds when she got to put everything on the line.
Frost Winters was above all else an adrenaline junkie and her favorite form of entertainment was racing. She didn't care if it was her car or her bike. All she cared about was the roar of the engine drowning out everything except for her and the road. There's something indescribable about going so fast that a single wrong decision could end everything. maybe she was a lunatic, but she knew one thing for certain: she only ever felt truly alive when she raced.
She finally managed to drag her wandering mind back to the task at hand and used her last minutes to add some final touches to her current design. When she was satisfied that she'd accomplished all she needed, she logged off her computer and bolted for the door.
The warmth of the sun dropped in to her golden skin as she approached her car and admired it. The sapphire blue 1967 Chevelle SS was everything that she had ever wanted. It had a bored out 450 with the 411 positive traction rear end and more wrench work than she cared to admit. She had put a lot of money and time beneath the hood of this beast, but in her eyes it was all worth it.
She happily got behind the wheel, started the engine with a roar and left work. The drive home along the river side was peaceful and helped wash away her stress from work. The only sounds were the wind whipping through the windows and barely audible music coming from her speakers. After about ten minutes, she pulled into the driveway of her cozy little house and bolted inside to change, letting her wolf out of the house for a run in the process.
She pulled the pins from her hair, shimmied out of her slacks and threw her button down blouse on the floor with a sigh of relief. The thing that she hated the most about being an interior designer was pretending to be someone that she wasn't. She didn't like fancy clothes or jewelry, but she had to look the part of a fashion forward designer. If she showed up to work in her normal jeans or shorts and t-shirt, no one would take her seriously. It sucked that people cared more about what she looked like than the skills she had to offer, but that was the way of life so she faked it.
She quickly braided her long blonde locks to keep them out of her face and went to her closet in search of clothes more her style. She dragged her favorite ripped jeans over her wide hips, slipped into a black racerback tank and stuffed her feet into her favorite black Vans. She then headed back to door, retrieving Kodiac's leash in the process and grabbed her keys from the hook by the door. She clipped her handsome solid black wolf onto his leash and loaded him into the back seat of her car, then headed to the restaurant her friends had decided on.
Sharky's was a little beach front bar and grill that always had good food and was decently priced. it was a local favorite for some place to go after the stress of a long day. They also happened to have a patio out back on the sandy beach and allowed pets. That was what Frost liked the most because she didn't like making Kodiac feel left out. So the little dive had become her and her only two friends own little secret haven.
"Frost!" Stephanie squealed in excitement once the engine was cut and dragged her out into a bear hug. "It feels like forever since the three of us had a girls night!"
Frost rolled her eyes at her wonderfully dramatic friend and returned her hug. "Steph, it's literally been two weeks. It's not the end of the world."
"I love my best girls, what can I say?" she responded cheerily, leading Frost through the crowd to their table where Tori was already drinking a beer. "Tor, lookie who I found? Our favorite puppy and his mommy!"
Tori stood up to envelope Frost in a tight hug and then ruffled the fur on top of Kodiac's massive head. "Hey, buddy. You've gotta start making mommy come out of her cave more often," then looked at her with a grin. "It's not the three Amigos without you."
Frost dropped into the seat next to her and smiled at her two best friends. She couldn't fault them with wanting to spend time together and she'd been missing them as well. "Sorry, guys, things at work have been ridiculous or I would've been out more, but-"
"Frost Winters, as I live and breathe, aren't you a sight for sore eyes?"
The masculine voice that she never wanted to hear again, grated against her nerves and made her contemplate jail time. She glanced up to see her ex with the bimbo he had cheated on her with and her blood boiled. She could have gone the rest of her life without seeing this bastard and his wanna be barbie, but apparently that was too much to ask for. "How about you go drown yourself and let me enjoy my dinner?" Anyone could hear the venom dripping from her sweet voice.
Hail had been watching the trio since the knockout blonde had pulled up in a car enthusiast's wet dream and stepped out with a wolf. f**k, but she was stunning, even in her worn out attire. Her hair was in a haphazard braid that fell to her waist, she had this tiny waist and wide hips, a perky ass and t**s. Her eyes were what drew him in though. Even at this distance he could make out the ocean color of them and was even more enthralled when a man strolled up with a scantily clad woman and they flashed pure fire at the pair.
Hail downed his liquor in a quick motion, then sauntered closer to investigate and found himself utterly enraptured by the dainty spitfire. He was close enough to hear her tell him to go drown himself in an angelic tone and had to bite back a laugh. It was obvious that the man was an ex and things had not ended on the best of terms. He decided to pretend to be the woman's boyfriend for the excuse to talk to her and waltzed right over. He confidently dropped into the chair beside her, draped an arm around her shoulders, noting the Maori tribal peeking around her shoulder and dropped a kiss on her hair. "Sorry I'm late, darlin', traffic was a b***h. Who's the wannabe with the plastic wrapped around his arm?"
Frost was shocked by the unknown man's sudden appearance, but quickly hid it and played along. She leaned into his muscular embrace, placing a soft kiss on his stubbled cheek and smiled up adoringly. "I told you about Zander and his little model months ago, baby. I told you he said I wasn't as exciting as a runway girl and that I didn't dress up enough.... What I think he meant was that I wouldn't run around naked for the world to see," she said conspiratorially and loud enough for both to hear.
Hail was shocked that she played along so easily and his heart hammered with excitement as he brushed a kiss along her knuckles. "Well, his loss and my gain. I prefer a woman that keeps things a little more hidden and only allows me to see her true beauty. You're much too stunning to share with the world."
Zander and his little eye candy both turned red with rage, but, when faced with Hail's bulk, neither dared say a word. Zander looked as though he wanted to say more for a moment before he stormed away, saving Frost the inconvenience of drowning him herself. She turned to her rescuer with a grin as Tori and Steph burst into giggles and held her hand out. "Thanks for the unexpected rescue, Mr.-?"
He was shocked that she didn't seem to recognize him from the tabloids, but that only made her more interesting. He took her hand, once more brushing his lips across her knuckles and smiled winningly. "Hail Winston, at your service "
Frost looked over her unexpected savior and wanted nothing more than to devour him. He was easily a full foot taller than her own 5'5" with tawny skin and muscles in all the right places. He had wavy dark brown hair with sun kissed streaks pulled into a low ponytail and eyes the color of amber, streaked with emeralds and sapphires. His chiseled jawline and incredibly high cheekbones gave him an exotic look and she was curious to know this man. "Frost. Frost Winters."
He raised an eyebrow at her response and looked at her curiously. "Is that your real name? It's very unusual."
"Well, the same could be said of you, Mr. Hail Winston," Tori replied casually, watching her friend with the stranger.
He looked to her friends for the first time since his arrival and smiled handsomely. "Touché," he replied, retrieving a business card that displayed his name. "It isn't a license, but if it will make you feel better." Frost leaned forward, pulling a business card of her own from her back and held it out. He glanced down at it curiously and looked back to the stunning woman beside him with askance. "You don't look like any interior designer that I've ever met."
She laughed at his words, the sound as pleasant as wind chimes in the evening and tipped her head at me. "Well, it pays the bills so I can do what I really love. You don't look like the playboy billionaire you're made out to be either."
He glanced at her in shock. He hadn't thought that she had recognized him, but now he was even more curious. She didn't seem like the type to care about money or status and teasing him about it only piqued his interest. "Well, it pays the bills," he tossed back at her and was rewarded with her laughter. "How about you show me what it is you really love?"
She leaned closer, her voice dropping to a whisper and challenge sparkled in her eyes which he was drowning in. Upon closer inspection, he noted that the aqua orbs were streaked with a myriad of blue hues and the ruddy tint to her golden skin cast even more colors into them. "Do you think you can keep up, playboy? I'm not sure you can."
Women always threw themselves at him because of who he was and he couldn't help but be fascinated by this woman who could seem to care less. He had never been one to turn down a good challenge and his blood sizzled at the prospect of getting to know her better. "Oh, I can more than keep up, gorgeous."
Steph snickered at his cocky words, knowing her friend and finished the last of her margarita. "How about we put that to the test?" she questioned sweetly.
Frost was more than happy to blow off some steam after the run in with her ex and mischief began to glimmer in her eyes. "Wanna follow us somewhere and do something that will make you come alive?"
He had something in mind that would make them come alive, but he was interested in what had her so wound up. Joy sparkled in her glorious eyes as she stood up and held her hand out to him. He had never been interested in anything more than meaningless s*x, but he found himself wanting to know what made this woman tick so he took her hand. "Lead the way, gorgeous girl." Frost stood and, as she did so, a massive animal unfurled from her feet and drew his attention. "Who's this handsome fella?"
She patted his giant head affectionately, bending to give him a kiss on the snout and smiled proudly. "This is my sidekick, Kodiac. His mom didn't make it when he was a pup and I rescued him... I'll tell you more about the two of our adventures if you're worthy."
Tori threw her head back and laughed as she dropped bills on the table for their drinks and a tip. "Frost, quit toying with the man and lets just get this show on the road."
She turned to her friend with a playful pout before gathering her keys and heading to the parking lot. "Spoil sport." When they got to the parking lot, she walked towards a jacked up red Jeep and pulled her friend to the side. "I don't want him knowing what he's in for, you mind trading cars for the drive?"
Tori's eyes lit up with anticipation and she snatched her best friend's keys dangling from her fingers. "Have fun with Waylon! I'm gonna go warm this baby up!"
"Don't scratch my baby," Frost muttered as she turned to face Hail. "Follow me and I'll show you the time of your life, handsome." With that, she climbed into the Jeep and waited for his fancy sports car to fall in line. She let Tori lead the way to their destination, already teeming with cars and people ready for a race. When they arrived she switched back keys with Tori and found her way over to Hail. "You into a bit of friendly competition? My friend loves a good race and I love watching people their first time."
Hail was a damn good driver and had been racing since the night he got his license so he preened at the challenge. "Do I get a chance at that pretty little muscle car she was driving?"
"Oh, baby, if you can catch it, you can have it, but do you think you're fast enough?" she challenged once more.
"I'm more than fast enough, gorgeous girl. I'll eat that car for supper."
Her body tingled with adrenaline at the prospect and she clenched her keys in her hand. "Well, go line up. I'll be cheering for you," she murmured seductively and disappeared into the crowd. She wound her way back.through the throngs of people to her car and climbed in, rolling the blacked out windows up. The engine roared to life with the twist of a key and she eased her way up to the starting line. People recognized the car with the mysterious driver and began cheering in anticipation.
She glanced at his handsome features, knowing that he couldn't see her and then turned her focus back to the task at hand. The engine revved as the flagger held their arms up, the vibrations tingling through her fingertips on the wheel and her heart soared. The flaggers arms dropped and she rocketed off the line, engine roaring and the front tires lifting from the ground. The car came down with subtle bounce, tires catching more traction and squealing as it launched forward.
Frost knew this stretch of road like the back of her hand and instincts took over as she pressed the accelerator. The rumble of the engine, the signs blurring past as she crept towards 150mph and she was free. She expertly grabbed the e-brake, letting off the gas then hammering down again to maneuver a curve and the rear end kicked into the drift perfectly. Adrenaline poured through her veins like a raging river as she downshifted into the next curve and the RPMs ramped up to launch her forward.
She saw the ocean whipping past through the blur of palm trees and she was home. The finish line loomed before her and for the next few seconds she was utterly free. Nothing else mattered in those few moments except for her and her car, not the mortgage, not her job, not her pitiful excuse of a romantic life. The only thing in the world for her right then was that stretch of road and it was complete magic.
Her tires crossed the finish line and she grabbed the e-brake sliding to a stop at the end of the race. His fancy black Audi crossing moments behind her and for the first time ever, she rolled her window down to face her competition.