There is such a thing as “too much togetherness” and lovers aren’t excluded from this rule. Read on to see the sparks between Latharn and Nessa from BEYOND A HIGHLAND WHISPER when modern day Nessa attempts to teach a Scot from the 1400’s how to drive.
Nessa teaches Latharn to drive:
Nessa gnawed at her lower lip as she gripped the edges of the seat. She had her fingers clenched so deep in the cushions she knew her nails were going to shred the upholstery.
“Latharn, don’t you think it would be better if Brodie taught you how to drive?”
“’Tis no’ a matter of being taught, Nessa. I but need ye to tell me the basic functions of the gadgets and knobs. I assure ye, I am not some foolish young pup who has to practice until he gets it right.” Latharn sat in the driver’s seat of the car, his brow creased with a frown as he examined the gauges and knobs. He twisted to peer down around the wheel, studying the pedals she’d pointed out at his feet.
Nessa inhaled a deep, nerve calming breath, attempting to swallow her rising anxiety. She closed her eyes and searched for something positive about Latharn trying to learn to drive. At least this thing is an automatic. I’d end up with whiplash trying to teach him to use a clutch.
Latharn sat bolt upright in the seat and swiveled to fix her with an icy glare. “My love, I’d like to remind ye I have been reading your mind since ye were but a lass of eighteen years of age. I am now trying to withdraw and give ye your privacy. But when ye find yourself feeling particularly sarcastic, your thoughts are much louder than your words.”
Nessa’s cheeks heated up with this latest revelation. She narrowed her eyes and returned his glare. Her temper flared as she arched one brow and boldly spoke her mind. “Can you hear what I am thinking now, my love?”
His eyes widened. Latharn cocked his head and smirked. “Now why would I want to do that to myself when it’s much more satisfying to do it with you?”
Her teeth clenched, Nessa pointed to the keys. “Just start the car.”
Latharn stomped the gas pedal to the floor, turned the keys as far as the ignition would allow—and held them there. His face locked into a mask of concentration, he stared at the road ahead. The starter whined in painful protest as the engine roared with the fury of the wide-open gas.
“Now let them go! As soon as you hear the engine start, you’re supposed to let go of the keys.” Nessa slapped at his hand and tapped at his right knee currently locked in the straight position, the gas pedal pushed to the floorboard. “Let up on the pedal! You’re giving it too much gas. You’re going to burn up all the fuel before you even put it into gear.”
“Stop scolding me as though I’m an empty-headed bairn! Ye didna tell me that part when ye went through what each of these damn things do.” Latharn white-knuckled the steering wheel until it almost bent between his hands as he shifted in the seat.
Flattening her hands on the dashboard, Nessa tried to swallow her frustration. “I’m sorry, I’m sorry! I didn’t mean to yell. I told you it would be better if Brodie did this. Now put your foot on the brake and ease the gearshift into drive. Right, the one with the D.” Scrubbing her face with her hands, Nessa glanced at the street, thankful that it appeared to be deserted. “Now before you pull out…”
The car squealed out of the parking lot. He kept his right leg locked at the knee. His massive hands swallowed the tiny tubing of the steering wheel, sawing it back and forth. Thanks to Nessa’s adamant refusal to teach him unless they were on a deserted stretch of road, all he had to do was keep the car between the ditches as he barreled down the lane.
“Latharn, slow down!” Nessa squeezed his right leg to get him to relax off the gas pedal at least a notch or two. Latharn appeared to have only two speeds: dead stop or screaming wide-ass open.
Latharn glared at the road and his leg began to relax. As the car slowed down from its breakneck speed, his hands unclenched from the wheel. “Ye see, Nessa? I told ye ’twould be no chore at all. Ye must learn to trust in what I say.”
“Just because you’re able to drive down a deserted stretch of road doesn’t mean you’ve mastered this thing just yet.” As she snugged her seat belt across her body, Nessa pointed up the roadway a bit. “Why don’t you turn here and take us back to Brodie’s and we’ll see if you can park this thing.”
Latharn took the corner so fast the car almost skidded on two wheels. He fixed Nessa with a chilling glare when she bellowed for him to slow the damn thing down.
He growled. “I’m not deaf, Nessa. Just because I can hear your thoughts doesn’t mean I can’t hear you speak.”
As they neared the graveled drive, Nessa pointed to a spot beneath an ancient oak. “Why don’t you just pull up to that tree? I think it best if we stay away from the building.”
Tearing his gaze away from the road, Latharn reprimanded her with a jerk of his head. “I will thank ye to keep the jests to yourself and might I also add I have never met a woman with such a broad knowledge of profanity in my life.” He wasn’t sure what some of those words meant, but others…he knew them all too well.
“I haven’t cursed you a single time,” Nessa retorted. “At least not out loud…much.”
“Aye. Well, ye have done a verra fine job of it in your head.” He returned his attention to the targeted spot in front of the tree. As he lifted his foot from the gas pedal, he stomped on the brake and threw them both forward into their locking seat belts.
“Ow! Didn’t I tell you not to stomp on the pedals? You’re supposed to lightly step on them...roll onto them with the ball of your foot.” Nessa twisted her body and rubbed her shoulder where the seat belt had tried to behead her.
Latharn threw the gearshift into park, shut off the engine, and yanked the keys from the ignition. He exploded from the vehicle and threw the keys to the ground. He didn’t even acknowledge Trish as she walked across the drive when he stormed off across the field.
Trish bent, peered into the car, and raised her brows at Nessa’s enraged face. “First driving lesson went well, I see.”
BEYOND A HIGHLAND WHISPER (ISBN: 1-60154-879-6)
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About the author:
Maeve Greyson writes paranormal romances with a Celtic twist from her cozy little home not too far from Kentucky Lake. Tucked away in the middle of nowhere, she pours her daydreams into the keyboard while her husband of over thirty-one years and Jasper the dog keep the household running.
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