Unedited Draft: WARNING: Intended for Mature audience

| Damsel's Tattooed Temptation 
CHAPTER 21: Shut Up and Drive |

“You ok baby?” James rubbed Damsel's leg a concerned look twisted his eyebrows.

She smiled meeting beautiful hazel eyes. “I'm fine.” She was  distracted by the silly conversation she had with Cammie a few minutes before getting ready for James to pick her up for the car show that evening.

“Damsel what the hell are you wearing?”

Damsel frowned and looked down at her dress. “What's wrong with what I'm wearing?”

“The fact that you have to ask just gave me an unwanted chill up my spine.” Cammie grabbed Damsel's arm and dragged her into the closet.

“Seriously? James is about to be here any minute.” Damsel whined to her friend.

“And he'll thank me even if you won't. What is this?” Cammie flicked the high collar of Damsel's black turtleneck sweater dress. “Are you going to a funeral?” She plucked the sleeves between her thumb and forefinger. “You know you live in L.A. right? It’s like seventy degrees outside right now.” Cammie was sliding through hangers in Damsel's closet. “I do wonder what you would do without me sometimes.”

“Don't you have a work event to get to? Why are you over here bashing my wardrobe selection?”

“Because I'm a good friend. You sounded nervous about the whole thing so bibbity bobbity boo your fairy fashion godmother is here to save your dignity.”

Damsel rolled her eyes, crossed her arms and leaned on the door frame while her friend scrutinized many options before settling on something. “Alright boo now we're talking!” She held the outfit up to the light then moved past Damsel and tossed it on the bed. “Well! What are you waiting for? Do I need to strip you down too?”

“Not necessary.” Damsel huffed and wiggled out of the knitted fabric. Moments later she was checking out her reflection in the mirror: short jean skirt, Lace  crop top and a black satin short sleeve shirt over, low heeled black booties with slouchy knit and satin socks bunching at the top of the boot. “A little slutty but…”

“Sexy.”

Damsel frowned. “What?”

“You meant to say a little sexy, but still has the Damsel-ian touch.” Cammie said futzing with Damsel's hair.

Definitely not what she was going to say. Damsel's phone vibrated a call from James. “Hey babe, where are you? I'm waiting outside.”

Damsel rushed over to the window to find James leaning on the driver's side door of a really mean looking sports car.

“Shittin’ on the side of the highway is that a Lamborghini.” Cammie voice came over Damsel’s left shoulder.

“I wouldn't know.” Damsel muttered too distracted by the man next to it. His leg was propped up on the door, one hand in his pocket the other holding the phone to his ear.

He looked like a magazine model, the shirt fitting tight enough to show a shadow of the muscle underneath.

“Baby?”

Damsel snapped out of her  trans at James’s laughing voice.

“I-I coming right down. How long have you been waiting?”

“I don't know.” There was a pause. “Ten, fifteen minutes maybe.”

“What? Why didn’t you honk?”

There was a blaring horn outside her window.

“That better? Now get your fine ass out here you gonna make us late.”

Damsel  tried to control the stupid smile on her face. “I'm coming.”

Damsel meet Cammie’s honey brown eyes. “You two are so stinking cute! I hate it with all my squishy, bleeding heart.” Cammie pulled her friend into a hug then released her. “Go get your man boo.” Damsel yipped when Cammie slapped her butt as she made absurd cat calls following her friend out the door.


The loud clatter of powerful engines brought Damsel to the clean black leathery interior of James’s super car. They pulled into a dusty parking lot that looked like it belonged to what might have been, had it been finished, a nuclear power plant.

There were swarms of people men and dolled up women in ridiculously short dresses, loads of makeup, and stylish hair. James pulled into an open spot next to an equally matched car in power with a superb glossy finish.

James turned to look at her. “Baby, you look perfect.” He touched under her chin and pressed a simple, yet, spine tingling kiss to her lips.

She stopped fidgeting with her outfit and hair, which she didn't even notice she’d been doing.

“Let's mingle with the masses, yeah?” He hopped out the car made his way over to her side of the car and finished opening her door then offered a hand to help her out.

“Man of the motha fuckin’  hour. How you doing James?” A fast talking Latino man dapped James and pulled him into a manly hug. “Who's your lady?”

“Damsel.” James placed his palm on the small of her back a smirk tweaked the corner of his lip.

“Beautiful. Welcome. I swear everyone came out and brought their best. How else would they beat the beast.” The man said crouching near James's car and blowing a kiss at it. “How fucking rude of me. Manuel. I helped James install some aftermarket upgrades.” He brought his attention back to the car. “She's like the child I never had.” He rubbed a smudge off James’s car with his shirt.

“Nice to meet you.” Damsel took a look back at the sleek dazzling silver paint and chrome rims. The trim was a black painted metal.

James showed her around making light conversation with others in the race. A number of people came up to him whether fans wanting autographs and pictures or racers he competed with or were new but knew him from previous events.

Sometime in the evening Damsel came to the startling conclusion that he was… well, he was kind of a celebrity in his own right.

Damsel raised her eyebrow and some scantily clad females that were straight disrespectful with their too close for comfort cheek kisses and overtly sexual embraces. James kept it cool appeasing them, but not in a way that made her uncomfortable. He always introduced her, claiming her with pride even showing her off to his peers.

In fact, it was kind of a confidence boost that she could grab him by the shirt and pull his face to her own and he would let her. He was hers no matter what these other females wanted or wore this man was only interested in what was between her legs not theirs. It was childish even to think, but she wanted to stick her tongue out at some of the women that tried so hard to get his attention.

“How do you like it so far?” James wanted to know pulling her to him by her butt cheeks.

“The cars are pretty,”

“Pretty!?” Mock distaste distorted James’s face. “You mean sexy mechanical masterpieces?”

Damsel laughed wrapping her arms around his neck. “Yeah, sure. The uh... the barely dressed women are pretty too.” Damsel found his eyes from under her lashes.

“Really?” He pressed his forehead against hers. “I hadn't noticed.”

She melted into his kiss the buzz of people and loud engines fading as she lost herself  to the slow languid caresses of their tongues.

She was far from a PDA type of person. In fact, she thought it was for high school teens, but when she was with James and he wanted to touch her, whether that was with his mouth, hands or other anatomy, she couldn't care what others thought.

“Well isn't this a pleasant surprise.” Damsel pulled away from James when she heard the familiar voice that belonged to the unsavory Roger character. “Nurse Kane, well aren't you looking well.” He tucked his thumbs in the loops of his jeans.

James frowned stepping between Roger and Damsel. “I’m not getting into it with you Roger.”

“Calm the fuck down James. I come in peace.”

James crossed his arms over his chest and squared his shoulders.

“Look, how long have we known each other?” The man smiled his well groomed appearance made him look approachable, handsome even.

Damsel placed her hand on James's arm and stood next to him. Briefly, she met James's weary gaze, his eyebrows pulled together over his eyes. “Too got damn long.”

“I'm not going to lie,” Roger said, “I was pissed about what you did with the movie score, but I got everything right with Godric. He'll be in the studio tomorrow.”

“He made his choice. He’s out.”

“Be reasonable James. You and I both know that song is made for God’s voice. Came out of your own mouth.” The two men held each other's gaze neither looking away. Damsel watched James’s handsome face his clenched jaw loosened and his head fell to his feet for a long moment. The other man crossed his arms and waited.

James found his friend's eyes. “Should be God on that track.”

The  corner of Roger’s mouth lifted. “You know he's going to kill it.”

“I swear man, if I even detect a hint of some shit with him ain't going to be no third chances.”

Roger nodded holding his hand out to James. “We cool man?”

James took a deep breath and dapped Roger before they pulled each other into a hug. Roger held James to him by the back of James’s neck. “I hate when we fight man.” They pulled away their hands going into a well practiced handshake. “You’ll always be my dude. We’ve known each other too long.”

Damsel didn't get the relationship James had with Roger, but it was something rooted deep. The fact that Damsel didn’t particularly like the man was of no consequence. She had to figure out a way of making peace that Roger was going to be around. She wondered what James saw in the man. Damsel knew that there was a dark side to James. She rather enjoyed the mystery of that unknown, but the sensible part of her was terrified of that side. Terrified that it would bite her in the ass, and not in a way that she’d like.

“I'm happy we're cool and all, but all this brotherly love isn't going to keep you from eating my dust, boy.” Roger said rubbing his hands together. “Come see my wild horse man!” Roger led the way talking back and forth with James. James's cool smooth voice retorted a disagreement with Roger. Roger and James were discussing passionately while pointing at different items under the hood of Roger’s car.

For some reason, Damsel's attention was brought to a seething brunette. She was leaning on an apple green mustang with her arms crossed over the round mounds of her pushed up breasts that landed near to her chin. Her friend was flirting with the driver of the mustang, but she didn’t seem to even acknowledge that they were making out right next to her.

Damsel tapped James on the shoulder when the woman grabbed her friend’s arm and dragged her toward Roger’s car.  The woman didn't take her eyes off James and Roger.

“What is it baby?” James’s smiling eyes met hers.

“Do you...uh... know them?”

Both Roger and James looked over their shoulders. One man smiled the other frowned.

James rolled his eyes and pulled his fingers through his well manicured hair. Damsel raise an  eyebrow having a feeling he knew this woman... intimately. One of a few in his past she was sure. She didn’t want to imagine but it was difficult to see a young, single James enjoying the spoils of being that guy.

“Melody!” Roger exclaimed pulling her into an overtly sexual hug. She hugged him back, but her focus was on James. When Roger released her she faced James.

“James.” She started.

James nodded at her his arms crossed. “Melody.”

“You remember Emily, right?”

“M & Em! Don't think I could ever forget.” Roger said pulling the giggling friend to him by her butt. “I remember you two being virtually inseparable.” Roger stuck out his tongue his eyes twinkling with lust. The woman in his arms laughed.

“This is my woman, Damsel.” James said.

The silly woman that Roger was now making out with pulled her smiling face away long enough to acknowledge Damsel.

Damsel cleared her throat. The brunette, Melody, was still starring James down. “You uh, know James.” Damsel honestly had no idea what say, what to do. When she ran into ex's of Doctor Greggs everyone pretended the world was made up of cotton candy lollipops and cozy teddy bears. Damsel could tell this woman felt… something. Slighted? Rejected? But was still attracted to James. He seemed particularly put out which made Damsel wonder.

She finally looked at Damsel with a smirk, crossed her arms, leaned on the corner of Roger’s car, and nodded. “We’re well acquainted. There are some parts,” her gaze fell to James pants. “I'm more acquainted with than others.” She popped her tongue on the roof of her mouth with a snicker when her friend shoved her. “Don't believe the lies this pretty boy spits a mad game. But he's just like all the other dicks, in it for the pussy.”

“Fuck  these bitter ass bitches.” Roger said slapping the other woman on the ass. “You’ve got a race to lose dude.”

James smirked, dapped Roger and pulled Damsel to his side as they walked back to his car. Over drivers were going to their cars too. He opened the passenger side door and closed it once Damsel was inside, then took his place behind the wheel.

The mechanical monster rumbled to life under them. James took her hand in his and kissed her knuckles.

“That chick.” She looked over finding his eyes. “There’s history, right? I mean…”

“She's not sitting next to me never has which means I don't owe her shit. You're my baby. If you want to know I'll tell you, but first…” James released her hand a big smile spread across his face. He pulled out of his spot in a processional of growling vehicles.

They rode out of the parking lot, down a few streets before some of the cars pulled off in 45 degree angle from the road and the racers passed them taking their place next to one another on the deserted street. The parked driver's got out of their cars, the crowd building back up music bumping from several sound systems. Damsel was surprised how well planned everything was even though it was just a street race. She wondered who was behind the curtain getting the mass of people to move in a timely manner.

The sun was setting now, a beautiful marbling of reds, oranges and purples set on the horizon as the party raged on behind them.

Damsel caught James’s profile and her insides heated as she watched his focused expression. His hand was poised on the stick shift, his long legs hiding behind the ornate dashboard. He pressed the gas pedal the metal beast growling under them. She could feel the sheer power vibrating around her, through her and it was…. Was invigorating!

A leggy redhead with shorts that showed her petite butt, and a neon colored crop top strolled in front of the cars a flag in her long manicured fingers. She raised her slender arms in the air getting a roar of cheers from the crowd.

James’s seductive gaze found Damsel’s wide eyed stare.

“You ready baby?”

The red head dropped her arms and the vehicles screeched away from the start line.

Damsel pushed back in her chair not ready for the rush she felt when the supercar sprinted from stop to over sixty miles any hours in seconds.

James smashed the break and the car drifted into a turn leaving Damsel's heart and chest cavity miles back. The cars fought for position ahead of them but James held his sixth place position.

Damsel's mouth feel open when two cars ahead of them spun each other out. James maneuvered around them easily taking fourth. The cars ahead of them pulled onto the highway third and second fighting.

“Is that Roger in first?”

James laughed. “Not for long.”

James slid post second and third on a curve as they weren't paying any attention to him.
A beeping sound came from the dash board. “Just as I suspected.” His voice was calm measured as he shifted gears weaving between regular cars that honked at them.

“What?” Damsel was on the edge of her seat figuratively anyway. Physically she was strapped into her chair with the substantial seat belt wrapped around her body.

“Traffic. Hold on baby.” James slammed his brakes shifting into third and cutting three lanes to take an exit. He made his way through the streets. Taking the turns hot, weaving in and out of traffic. Some of the other racers followed him to the city streets and were not too far behind.

They continued to weave between cars, run stop lights, took wicked sharp turns around buildings. They even cut through a train yard and an adjacent empty warehouse.

Damsel gasped when she saw a car behind them get slammed into a dumpster, sending the dumpster flying into a building. “Oh god!” That could have been them! That could have been James! What the hell were they doing? This was the very definition of insanity!

In the distance she saw a woman, a blonde this time, waving a flag.

James down shifted swerving his car back and forth keeping the car on his trail behind him until the zoomed past the blonde.

James let out a loud shout as he celebrated his first place victory.

“Did we just win!” Damsel shouted. Her heart flew to her throat when she saw flashing red and blue lights behind them. “Oh my god James are those cop cars?”

James was clicking a number of buttons on his dash. “Sure are.” He said calmly.

Dear God she couldn't imagine how huge the ticket would be. Forget about the ticket he'll probably jail time.

James's took a sharp turn down another road, then another. The flashing lights kept appearing in his rear view. “Oh they want to play cat and mouse. How cute.” A mischievous smirk pulled the corner of his lips. He took a sharp turn onto the highway.

“J-James aren't you going to pull over?” Her heart was beating fast, racing almost as fast as his car was going. Her hands were sweating.

“Nope.”

She looked over at James her mouth open. She never even got a speeding ticket before could she get arrested? Guilty by association? Was this man crazy? Damsel’s throat cloged when she saw an endless sea of red lights. “There’s traffic!” She gasped.

“Not for us.” He moved onto the  shoulder passing the backed up traffic the police right behind him. “Hold on baby.” He down shifted and pressed the gas the powerful engine booming to life as they leaped forward.”

“B-but it's the police.” Damsel watched the police cars’ lights quickly fade behind them almost as if they didn’t even exist. Irrelevant. She felt… somehow… above the law… they didn’t have the power to stop him, to exert their rules on him… on them. It was… an unexpected god-like moment.

He looked at her his handsome features distorted by the failing light and the sinister, devilish look echoing in those hazel eyes. “Fuck the police.”
Continue to Part 22...