Hard Working Hero (Hard Working Hero 1)

Page 2

“No, I'm good. Really, nothing hurts.” Peeling my hands off the wheel, they shake lightly. I'm not sure if it's from a rush of adrenaline from the crash or just from him.
Inhaling a deep breath, I'm struck again by his seductive and rebellious scent. Everything inside my body is fluttering and tingling, twisting and coiling. My stomach is in knots. My hands are trembling so much I have to fold them together and sit them in my lap to make them stop. My muscles are tense, and I can feel the heat begin to pool in my center.
“All right, good. I'd hate to see that pretty face of yours get all bruised up.” He gives me a little grin and a wink as he straightens his back. “It'd be a shame.”
I smile nervously, my cheeks flushing red hot. The warmth floods my face, causing me to look off out the windshield. “Thank you,” I say softly.
Is he hitting on me?
The man gives me a flirty smile, then moves his eyes back to the front of my car. “I'll need you to back up then, put it in reverse and move back a few feet.”
No, he's just being nice.
I do as he asks, backing up until I see a crumpled pile of wood between my car and his truck. The look on his face changes as the wood comes into view. His smile vanishes, his muscles go slack, and his arms dangle at his sides.
“Son of a—” He bites his knuckles and turns away before swearing. Grunting angrily, he turns back to look at the pile. “Damn it. God damn it, they're all broken.”
“I'm sorry,” I say as I climb out of my car. “I didn't see you there. I saw the gate was open and no one is usually parked right here. I just figured I could drive right in.”
“Didn't see me, huh?” Cocking his head over his shoulder, his brows arch in disbelief. “I'm not sure how you couldn't see me, considering my truck is ten times bigger than your car. How could you miss the giant green GMC?” There's an edge to his voice as he bends down and starts picking up large splinters of wood. “This isn't good. Fuck, this isn't good,” he mutters out loud, but not to me, he's speaking mostly to himself.
Guilt makes my stomach flip around. Trying to calm him down, I say, “It's not that big of a deal. I'm sure my insurance will cover any damage. Your truck looks fine except for a small dent in the middle of the rear bumper. I can barely see it.”
Arching a brow, his demeanor changes. “Insurance? Not a big deal? Is that your answer to everything?" I'm caught off guard by his shift in mood. Eyeballing his truck I finally notice the crunched up pieces of wood. Did I do more than dent his car?
“It's not the truck,” he snaps. “It's this.” He holds up a shard of wood, his expression a mixture of anger and despair. “This is what I care about.”Crossing my arms over my chest anxiously, I ask, “What is it?”
“It was cabinets. Cabinets I need for an important job I'm doing for Mr. Thayer.” His lids thin as his eyes fix on mine. “And you drove over them, destroying them.”
I can hear the obvious anger in his tone.. Heat rolls up my neck from my rising humiliation. “Well, you're in luck, Mr. Thayer is my father. I know he'll pay to replace these. It's not a big deal at all. Just tell him where you got them, and he'll buy more.”
The man stands quietly, turning to face me straight on. The corner of his lip curls down as the vein in his forehead throbs. He opens his mouth, ready to say something, when the silence is filled by someone else.
“What's going on here?” My father's voice cuts in, thick and deep. “Narissa, what the hell happened?” He stops next to the man, his gaze moving over my car and the truck. “Is anyone hurt?” he asks, glancing between us.
“We're fine," I assure him. "I just accidentally rear ended—uh. . .” Pausing, I spin a finger in the man's direction.
“Oliver,” my father says. “You rear ended Oliver Reed, the new contractor I just hired.” His eyes drop to the cabinets. “I'm guessing this is your doing, too?”Fresh, scalding heat spreads over my cheeks. I hate the way they're both staring at me. I feel terrible for what I did, I want to run and hide. “It was an accident. I didn't see him when I pulled in. I told him you could buy new ones, though.” My eyes move to my car and the buckled mess that was once my hood. “I'm really sorry about the car, Dad. Seriously, I just didn't see his truck, I swear.”