Andy pushed the ignition button. The sedan purred to life, ready to serve, its dashboard touchscreen displaying a high-tech menu. While settling into the driver’s seat, he inhaled a heady bouquet of sumptuous leather and Suzanne’s spicy perfume.
His lips still tingled from her kiss. He wondered what detours he might engineer for today’s expedition. Gran’s house would be unoccupied for an hour or so, with her and the rest off having lunch…
A condom or two in the wallet at all times, yes?
Oh yes, Dad.
“Where are we going?” Suzanne flashed a dazzling smile at him.
Dazzling and trusting.
Ya feckin’, schemin’ yobo!
He had the girl to himself for the afternoon, had nearly danced a jig when she’d agreed to the jaunt. Wasn’t this what he’d wanted? A tour in the car would have to do for now. The home-field advantage was his, after all, and he knew a few bends in the road.
Stop that! Clear cached images and reboot!
He managed to ground himself in the conversation. “I thought we’d do a loop from Westport. Head west, drive south, and come back by a different route. My father’s a better tour guide, but he gave me a few good tips, and I have some ideas of my own.”
Her mouth twisted into a half-smile. “I’ll bet you do, Andy Connigan.”
Had she guessed his thoughts? Or was she thinking along the same lines? It wasn’t a ghost who’d kissed him before they got into the car, after all…
The memory of her lips on his caused his hand to slip. The windshield wipers came on.
A flick of his wrist corrected the error. “I know a few craft shops you might find interesting,” he said, pretending he’d missed her innuendo. “Even if they don’t, the scenery along this part of the earth’s crust is well worth a look, so sit back and relax.”
“Sounds wonderful. Thanks for doing this, Andy.”
“My pleasure.” More than you know, Viking lady.
She extended her long and lovely denim-clad legs into the carpeted space before her. “Do you have a map I can follow?”
“As it happens, I do.” From the pocket in the driver’s door, he retrieved a map of Westport, the town on one side, all of County Mayo on the other. She unfolded it, and he leaned over to point out their current location. She smelled so enticing, so fine. “Turn it over. I’ll show you where we’re headed.”
The paper fluttered in her hands. She flattened it across her lap, setting the section depicting Andy’s intended route over a tantalizing thigh. Her placement of the map resurrected the rogue in him. As he traced the red line marking the R335, he pressed his finger against the page in hopes of tickling her.
“An interesting route,” she said, slyly acknowledging his geographical mischief. Or so he thought until she said, “The road we’re taking is near Croagh Patrick. Will we drive close to it?”
Malfunction. Reconfigure firewall.