The mirage shimmered and flickered in front of my eyes like the desert ocean I surrounded myself with.

"The car's broke, Steve."

I turned and took her in. The short, scratty orange hair. The bright blue eyeliner and faded pink slacks. Her ass was nice, and her stance was defensive.

She turned me on.

I looked away and tried so hard to stop the words from coming to the tip of my tongue. They didn't. Instead, I said

"What do you mean, the damn car's broke? Cars don't break, Trisha."

Hearts do. And minds. Families, pets, and TV remotes.

So hell, why not cars, too?

Trisha turned away and I reminded myself once again of what an asshole I was. She deserves much better than you.

"Steve. Steve!" she came back, brokenly, knuckles clasped tight, white, bright bits of bone begging for salvation. For redemption.

For release.

"What?" I was busy lifting the spare wheel out of the trunk, my big, manly muscles on full view as I grunted and perspired in the desert heat.


"What?" this time I turned to look at her, wiping an oily hand across my sweaty forehead.

Three hours later, I reached Las Vegas. Alone.