by Flower of Carnage
Amber noticed the car first. It was a white Mercedes convertible, done out with a bright red leather interior. No one drove a car like that in Western Helm. Amber had only ever seen things so luxurious at the county motor shows that Uncle Jimmy used to take her to, or in the pages of car magazines. The Mercedes pulled onto the oil-stained forecourt of her repair shop. She only noticed the driver when she spoke.
“Hello. There’s something wrong with it.”
Amber’s first impression was that she’d stepped out of some 1940s film. She had dark hair that fell in glossy waves, a neat silk blouse and a pair of shades that were made of dull green glass, the colour of pond water in midsummer. Their gold rims reflected tiny glints of light as she tilted her head and looked up at Amber. She wore a string of small pearls and matching drops in her ears.
“Hey,” Amber said. The woman nodded up at her, and all Amber saw was her own elongated face, reflected back at her twice. The engine died with a soft purr. “Great car. Mercedes 280SL, huh? It’s a classic.”
“It’s not running right,” the woman said, patting the door with one long, elegant hand that looked like the most work it did was to press numbers into a cell phone to take really important calls. A flat red leather attache case lay on the back seat.
“Huh. You sure? She sounds fine.”
“You can tell just from how the engine sounds?”
“Yeah. Pretty much. You work with cars long enough you get to tell all sort of things just from their voices.”
“Its voice.” The woman smiled. “I like that. So, I can assume you’ve been working with cars for a long time?”
“Since I left school.” Amber scratched her head. “So, uh. Five years.”
“Well. I’d still like you to give it a look over, please.”
“Don’t think she needs it.” Amber paused, remembering Uncle Jimmy’s advice about making customers happy. “But I will, if you want.”
“I’d be much obliged.”
Much obliged. Her voice was like honey, soft and golden, but with a hard tone to it, like she was used to getting her own way. Amber nodded a bit too much and hooked her thumbs through the empty belt loops on her dungarees, sneaking glances as the woman pushed open the door and climbed out: two long legs and glossy red high heels hitting the sun-bleached concrete. Her shoes matched the red leather perfectly. She was almost too amazing to look at.
Amber followed her into the office to sort out the paperwork and struggled not to stare at her smooth, bare calves and the way her skirt skimmed and clung and moved with the slight sway of her hips.
“You want a cup of coffee?” Amber said. “Or lemonade?”
“Lemonade would be delightful.”
“Um, and don’t lean on that counter, it’ll stain your top. Miss.”
“My name’s Helena, if you would like to call me that.”
It was the way she said it, so cool and smooth, like everything about her.
“Okay. You can call me Amber,” Amber said, and knew she was smiling goofily.
Helena’s skin was golden and flawless and her clothes were neat and pressed and expensive looking. Immaculate, Auntie Jeannie would’ve said. She’s immaculate. Amber never wore clothes made of anything but denim or cheap cotton. Things either got stained or ripped. That girly crap never suited her anyway.
“I never lean,” Helena said, like it was the most normal thing in the world.
Amber blinked. “Why not?”
“My ballet instructor used to hit me on the backs of my legs with her cane if I dared to prop up the wall.”
It was hard to imagine anyone taking a cane to Helena and her perfect legs. “She sounds like a total bitch. Oh, hey, so you’re a dancer?”
“Yes, she was, and no I’m not. My talents lie in other areas.”
She had green eyes. They were long, with thick lashes that didn’t look like they came from a tube of mascara. She was looking about at the office, now. She ran one fingertip over the counter and frowned a little.
“Sorry, I know it’s a pit,” Amber said. “It’s just me now and I don’t got the time to keep it nice and fix cars at the same time. I bet you’re used to fancier places than this, right?”
“Yes, that’s right,” Helena said.
“So, you just passing through?” Amber said, as she ducked down to rustle through greasy files. She remembered too late to wipe her hands on her clothes, and the forms she pushed across the desk to Helena had black thumbprints on them.
“Yes and no,” Helena said, idly opening Massive Trucks magazine and then closing it again when confronted with the breasts. “I have business out here. Important business. My employers sent me out here specifically.”
Amber wanted to ask what kind of business she could possibly have in Western Helm. There was nothing here apart from cows and wheat and a small stinky mall. There must be something though, otherwise why would someone like Helena even be here? A woman like Helena wouldn’t just turn up randomly in the sticks. She kept her mouth shut though. She was beginning to think there was something vaguely scary about Helena, beyond the hotness.
“Fill in your details here, and sign there,” Amber said. “You only got to pay if I find something wrong, okay?”
“But what about your time?”
“Nah, don’t worry about it. It’s not exactly busy round here.”
“That’s not a sensible business approach.”
“Just– It’s fine, okay?”
“If you insist.”
Helena pulled out a fat black ink pen. Her handwriting was straight and spiky and neat. Her name last name was Carter.
“It’ll be ready Friday,” Amber said, over the tick of the cheap plastic clock and the rough scratch of the pen over three sheets of flimsy paper. Today was Wednesday, so maybe Amber’d see her around town. She wished she had some nicer clothes to wear.
“I look forward to it,” Helena said, and looked up at her, direct, like they’d been having a completely different conversation. From this angle Amber could see straight down into her shirt.
Her breasts were cupped lovingly by something satiny and lacy, in some muted beige colour. They were kind of full for someone so slim and Amber could see the bump of raised nipples, and, almost, maybe, a hint of darker skin. She swallowed. It was hot in here. The blinds were all bent and sent hot shafts of light across the carpet tiles. The faint scent of Helena’s perfume was subtle and foreign against the gritty smell of ancient engine grease.
“You’ll be here when I come back?” Helena said, looking at her over her shades, maybe leaning forward even more.
“Yeah,” Amber said. “There’s no one else, not since Jimmy bought the farm. I mean. He died. We sold the farm. Not that it made shit. Uh. Sorry.”
The sign outside still read Jimmy’s Trucks ‘n’ Cars. Probably not for much longer. Stupid old fart hadn’t even been paying the lease. Helena tilted her head thoughtfully, then smiled right into Amber’s eyes. She capped her pen and put it away, then folded her copy of the contract and slid it into her tan leather bag.
“I’ll see you on Friday,” she said over her shoulder as she left.
Amber had Rex Cooper’s Toyota and then Maggie Barlow’s Ford to look at before she got round to Helena’s car, but it sat there waiting for her and she couldn’t resist. On Thursday morning, early, she steered the car into the shed and then just sat, thinking about Helena sitting right here too, driving off to wherever the fuck. Away from here. Back to the city to carry on her well ordered, non-leaning, perfect-car life.
She put both hands on the wheel, stroking the stitched leather, then dropped one palm onto the gear stick, which poked out of its black walnut panel. Every inch of the leather was clean and perfect, the wood polished and cared for, everything free of grime. It was unreal. Helena must love this thing, or she must at least pay a fortune in valeting.
She closed her eyes and ran her fingers over the leather, thinking about Helena’s body and the swell of her breasts. She shouldn’t. She really shouldn’t. She totally ignored her own good advice.
It didn’t take long to shove her dungarees down. She was already wet; hot and ready. Her fingers slipped as she stroked her clit, quick short jerks of her wrist. It was too good to go slow. She closed her eyes and saw Helena sitting right here, maybe naked, maybe wet too, rubbing against the leather, her slick, wet lips pressing down on it like a kiss… She came hard around her own fingers, seeing Helena’s silk shirt pulled apart and feeling the weight of those breasts pressing against her mouth.
There was nothing wrong with the car. Helena came by just like she’d agreed and they stood together looking at it. Amber had wiped the seat down, just in case. Guilty heat prickled across her forehead. Helena was standing kind of close.
“I’d like a test drive,” Helena said, shrugging.
“She don’t need a test drive. She’s running like a dream. I changed the oil, fixed up a worn brake shoe. That’s it.”
“Actually, I think it’s a he. I’d like one all the same,” Helena said. Her shirt must be silk again. It clung to her skin, plunging down to the shadow between her breasts. This time it was dark rich red. It matched perfectly the colour of her skirt, and her shoes and the red beads at her throat. Out on the street a school bus rumbled by. It was quiet, this backroad. Not many people came this way, and never people like Helena. Their eyes met.
“Please,” Helena said, softly.
“Okay,” Amber said. “Just let me get out of these.”
“These?” Helena said, as Amber unzipped her dungarees and pushed them down. She’d worn cut offs and a tank top under them this morning, just so she didn’t feel quite so freaky about the fact she’d come in Helena’s car. “Oh. They hide your figure very well,” said Helena.
“That’s a compliment, right?”
“If you’d like it to be,” said Helena, and her smile showed a hint of teeth this time.
They drove out to Oak Brook, which was all long straight roads and fields and woods. Amber took it slow and easy, aware of Helena’s gaze on her bare thighs and arms. She swallowed and tried not to think too hard about any of this.
The car rumbled along, deep-throated and low. From the key chain hung a small red glass heart and it swung madly to and fro as they went over bumps. The interior leather warmed as they drove, soaking up the sun, and Amber’s legs began to stick to it. Her cut-offs were riding up, and the seam was pressing against her clit. The hum of the engine wasn’t helping. The wind was blowing Helena’s shirt flat against her breasts and her dark hair clean away from her high smooth forehead. Her whole body seemed to be aware and awake.
Amber wasn’t ogling, because she had some class, and Jesus, what the hell where they even doing out here? She slid her palms over the wheel and fixed her eyes on the road. A field of brown cows slid past, noses to the grass as they cropped it.
“You can stop here,” Helena said, as they passed under a row of beeches. Woods spread off to either side and silver dappled light patterned the road in front of them.
“Stop the car,” Helena repeated, her voice soft. “Here, down this little lane and pull in under these trees.”
So she did, guiding them a little way off the road and into the crunching beech mast. Amber switched off the engine and, as she did, Helena put a hand on her bare thigh and stroked it, from knee almost to the point where her shorts stopped.
“Oh fuck,” Amber said, staring down. She drew in a deep breath and let herself lean back on the seat as Helena moved her hand back down and then up her other thigh. “Oh.”
“You’re very beautiful,” said Helena, staring at her.
“You’re kind of weird.”
“I get that fairly often.”
Helena moved her hand from Amber’s thigh, sliding her palm up over Amber’s stomach to cup her breast, just like this was the most normal thing in the world, to grope your mechanic. She pinched Amber’s nipple very lightly between her thumb and forefinger.
“Why—Oh, fuck—Why did you make me look at your car?”
“Perhaps I’m not very good at meeting people. Do you like that?” She cupped Amber’s breast a little tighter, squeezing slightly.
“Yeah. I do. Is this really your dating technique?”
“Not generally. I saw you and you seemed—Perfect.”
Amber shut her eyes briefly. There was a rustle of fabric and then Helena was in her space, leaning over the gear stick to kiss her. Amber heard herself gasp, and forgot to ask what Helena even meant by that.
Helena’s mouth was soft and slightly sticky with lipgloss. It tasted faintly bitter, but Helena tasted good and her breath hitched when Amber caught her by the shoulder and pulled her closer. Helena kissed slowly and softly, like she wanted to make it last or she was afraid of going too fast. Amber kissed her back and tugged at the buttons to her own shorts. There wasn’t any point in being shy about it now. Helena made a faint hot noise and followed Amber’s hand down there, pushing into the heat between her thighs, long fingers pressing softly over her clit.
“Oh Jesus,” Amber said. “Oh, that’s good.”
Helena pulled back. Her cheeks were flushed pink and her lips were gleaming. She looked impossibly good. A curl of dark hair tumbled into her left eye.
“I want you to take your clothes off,” she said, her voice low in Amber’s ear. She slid her hand back up over Amber’s stomach and up to her breasts, cupping each one, then trailed her hand back down, each movement slow and firm and knowing.
“You too?” Amber said.
Helena laid the length of her index finger over Amber’s clit, pressing down with just the right amount of force. The tip of her finger pushed between the lips of Amber’s cunt, tracing tiny circles in the wet there.
“I want to spread you out on the hood and press my face between your legs.”
Amber tipped her head back against the seat and let Helena touch her and kiss her and suck at her neck. With unsteady hands she got her shorts down over her hips, wriggling them off until her bare ass hit leather. Helena didn’t waste time, but helped pushed them down over her knees to her ankles, then eased Amber’s thighs apart with a soft, happy-sounding sigh. She raised Amber’s tank top up over her breasts and left it there, then leaned back, apparently to better take in the view. Behind them the road was silent: no cars, no people, only the breeze rattling through the beeches. Amber felt her face get hot as Helena stroked one palm down the inside of her thigh, pushing her legs further apart until one knee was pressed tight against the upholstered leather door.
“What if someone comes?” she said.
Helena braced one hand on her thigh and leaned down to kiss her stomach, lips grazing the soft curve below her belly button. “Haven’t you ever taken a risk?”
“Yeah, but… Yeah.”
Helena flicked her tongue over her clit. She was twisted almost face down, her dark head buried in Amber’s lap. Her breath, soft and warm and damp, blew over Amber’s thighs as her tongue slid in a slow unsteady track down to where she could begin to lap inside. Amber touched her hair and arched her hips up, heard Helena’s soft appreciative noise, felt her tongue burrow deeper and a finger slide in alongside.
“Are you– ” Amber swallowed and slid her hands down Helena’s back, pulling at her shirt. It slid free of her waistband, revealing the faint bumps of her spine and the curve of her waist. Her skin had a few small brown freckles there. “Are you serious?”
Helena pulled away and leaned back. Her mouth and chin were wet and she licked her lips as Amber watched.
“Me. On the hood.”
Helena kicked off her shoes and unbuttoned her blouse, just as Amber had pictured it. The red stones at her throat glinted as she slipped her shirt off her over shoulders. Her breasts were bare, and her nipples were dark pink. She pulled her skirt up in front and touched herself as Amber watched. Her fingers dipped inside herself with small wet sounds, running through neat trimmed dark hair.
“Perhaps. Although I do like the idea of you staining my upholstery.”
They watched each other.
“I made myself come right here in this seat.”
Helena’s hand began to move quicker. She laid her head back on the seat, and her eyes closed.
Amber watched her for a moment longer, then opened the door and stepped out. The mast prickled her feet as she walked around to the hood. It was nearly perfect skin temperature as she hitched herself up and lay back on it, feet planted wide apart. The breeze played over her skin like hands and she’d never done anything this crazy. The metal gave a very slight groan. It seemed the longest time before she felt the slight rock as Helena got out. Her shadow fell over Amber, and then her beautiful face appeared, leaning down. She wrapped one hand around Amber’s left ankle and stroked up over her calf. She was as naked as Amber, now.
“Do you like to be penetrated?”
Before she could do more than nod, Helena was covering her, pressing her mouth to Amber’s and pushing her tongue between Amber’s lips. Her breasts rubbed against Amber’s, firm and full. When Amber got both her hands on them, Helena made a faint noise into her mouth and slid two fingers into her, working them, pressing in hard and rubbing until Amber was spreading her legs as wide as they could go. She wanted more, something. She ached. She needed to come. Her muscles were tight, and it was hard not to start to plead. Somewhere, a long way off, came the unmistakable sound of a car
“Helena,” she whispered, as Helena licked at her mouth and pressed her down harder to the hood.
Her heart was beating so fast that it rumbled in her ears and in her temples. She got a hand on Helena’s shoulder and pushed her away and down, and Helena went with a soft small moan. She didn’t take her fingers away, just licked around them.
The first strong suck on her clit made Amber arch up off the car and jam a hand over her mouth. Helena reached up and caught her wrist, pulling her hand away. She guided it to Amber’s own breast and pressed.
“Jesus. We have to– Oh fuck. There’s a car.”
Helena was watching her, eyes dark and heavy lidded. Her lips were pouting around Amber’s clit as she sucked, softly, licking over it with her tongue just like she was blowing some guy. She had a hand between her own legs, moving steadily.
Amber shook. The frigging car was coming closer. This could be so bad, so amazingly bad. She half sat up, struggling, and then Helena pulled away and caught her arm, dragged her off the hood and down behind the car. They fell onto the ground together. Amber sat down hard and shards of beech twig and leaf dug into her bare ass.
“Oh my god,” Amber gasped, clinging to Helena’s shoulders, shaking her. Helena’s mouth was all wet and so was her chin. She smelled of sex and she was smiling, her eyes crinkling. There was a leaf in her hair. She didn’t look so cool and calm any more. “You crazy— Damn. I thought you were gonna expose me to the farm boys.”
It was a truck, with bales in the back and a sorry looking sheep. Two guys were driving, and they only glanced once at the car.
“It’s okay. I have a gun,” Helena said,
“You are nuts.”
“No, just careful.”
Helena kissed her hard, pushing her tongue into Amber’s mouth so that they both moaned. Helena’s skin was so smooth and warm. Amber ran her hands down over her back and her hips, feeling the shape of each curve and line.
“These twigs are really uncomfortable,” she said, after a while.
They lay down in the back seat. Helena slid her fingers back inside, deep, and licked and sucked at her clit until Amber clamped her thighs tight and bucked up, hearing her own soft breathy cries.
She came again a little while later, watching Helena fingerfuck herself, her legs spread wide so Amber could see.
No other cars came by. The back seat was surprisingly comfortable and the air was warm. They lay pressed together, front to front, and Amber couldn’t help noticing that Helena looked a lot less cool and perfect, and more like an actual real person now. Her stomach had a beautiful softness that gave under the slight pressure of Amber’s oil-grimed and long bitten nails.
“It would be nice to see you again,” Helena said. They were staring into each other’s eyes. All Amber could think about was how beautiful and clear Helena’s were, like she could see everything, right down to Amber’s thoughts.
“Yeah,” Amber said, then forced her gaze over Helena’s left shoulder to the perfectly stitched leather upholstery. “It would. So, you finished your business in town?”
“In a manner of speaking,” Helena said. “In a sense.”
“I suppose you’ll be leaving today, then.”
“Possibly not. I quite like it here.”
“Got anywhere to stay?”
“I usually sleep in motels.”
Amber pictured Helena driving about in her beautiful automobile, doing whatever business it was she did. Maybe this happened to her all the time, but maybe not. Amber didn’t think she was imagining the faint crease and worry in Helena’s brow. Amber pushed lightly at it with a fingertip.
“You wanna stay at my place?”
“Yes,” Helena said, with no fraction of hesitation.
“What about your job and stuff?”
“I don’t have any deadlines,” Helena said, stretching against her a little. “At all.”
“You don’t?” Amber chewed her lip for a few seconds. There was something odd in Helena’s voice. “You… Have you actually got a job?”
Helena’s mascara had smudged on her lower eyelid. It made her look even more debauched than the leaves and the nakedness did, somehow. “Not exactly.”
“Oh.” Amber’s stomach took that moment to gurgle very loudly. It was past lunchtime. “Oh. Well.” The light flickered down through the leaves and cast a small golden beam of light onto Helena’s lower lip, like a touch of lipgloss. She wanted to ask what ‘not exactly’ meant but held back. “There’s always room for an extra pair of hands at the garage. I mean. If you need the cash. I know it’s not what you’re used to.” Whatever that was.
“We don’t even know each other. It might not be wise.”
“Right. No.” Amber was thinking roughly the same thing, but it didn’t feel like the right moment to be wise. It felt like the right time to be reckless, like having sex on a car in broad daylight. Yeah. Helena was gazing at her from up close, her breasts pushing against Amber’s skin. “Stay anyway?”