2007-05-08: Two Cars. Two Dates. 'Tis Fate.


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Summary: Trina and Jack go out on their second date, but this time its Jack's turn to show off.

Date It Happened: May 8, 2007

Two Cars. Two Dates. 'Tis Fate.

Brooklyn, NYC - Den of Iniquity

The Den of Inequity is aptly named. A dive bar of the highest order situated in the heart of Brooklyn, it's prominent characteristics are cheap liquor, easy women, cigarette burns, and the heavily musky, otherwise indefinable smell that permeates the atmosphere. A bar formed from the rusted, welded-together wings of retired biplanes dominates one long wall of the small, rectangular room. A sheet of thick glass sits atop it, providing a smooth surface to set drinks upon and a barrier between the metal hulks and whatever patrons may arrive that bear delicate sensibilities. The customers around it are a mix of old codgers nursing boilermakers, Irishmen drinking dark beer and whiskey, working-class men stopping for a nightcap after finishing up for the day (or a bracer on the way to the job) and the barflies that attend to all of them with too-red smiles and lifeless eyes.

Behind the three pool tables in the center of the room and the jukebox against the wall there are three doors at the rear of the pub. Men's and women's restrooms, and a door prominently marked 'PRIVATE' in white-on-red lettering. Floor-to-ceiling mirrors cover the rest of the wall on either side of the door. Hung high up are a series of signs that read things like, 'Unmarked Nuclear Warheads Travel These Roads - Keep Your Children Radiation Free,' and 'Caution - Hitchhikers May Be Escaped Inmates.'

The Den is busy this evening. Roughnecks playing darts drink next to Navy boys and girls playing pool. Greasy mechanics rub elbows with spotless fruit merchants. Regulars crowd at the bar, and a group of middle-age women are clustered around the jukebox.

Knowing that the worst of the early rush is finally over, Jack quickly shucks his apron and flees from behind the bar before one of his waitresses can wrangle him into doing something else. Today he's got on a navy t-shirt that proudly reads 'I HIGH FIVE STRANGERS' and a pair of grey denims. Both are liberally smudged down the front with coolant and oil. Looks like someone was getting ready for the big date.

Mmm. Oil and coolant. Love juices. It's not many girls that probably feel that way, but such a one is tearing out of the Lower East Side like a bat out of hell forty minutes past when she wanted to leave. Thanks to Jack's little stunt with her registration, she has the most distinctly adrenaline-spiked drive that she's had in ages. Particularly since she refuses to drive the speed limit in her pursuit of making up precious time.

Twenty minutes later than she wanted to arrive, Trina slides her car into the same alley that brought her such luck the night before. She then dashes down the sidewalk until she's about ten yards from the door, whereupon she stops in her tracks.

Two hands nervously slide down her skirt, a frayed and fitted pale denim mini that she's matched with a white ribbed tank top that's honestly seen better days. She then lets her fingertips over the seven-row bone-bead choker to make sure that its green stone, embedded in a rough shaped silver setting, is centered over her clavicle. Then Trina takes a deep breath and keeps walking.

She thinks she looks more pulled together than she actually does when she walks through the door of the Den, her slouched black knee-high boots clicking against the floor. It's a good thing that she doesn't realize how entirely uncertain she looks as she glances about the bar in search of the familiar face. She can't ask after him, after all. Because then, if he's not here, she'd be embarrassed. That's the problem with uncertainty. It lies to you, making a convincing argument that anyone actually *cares*.

Lucky for Trina, it's a matter of seconds before Jack spots her. He smiles in a crooked, familiar fashion as he throws his much-loved leather jacket around his shoulders and strides over to meet her near the door. "Hey. Here for your paperwork, I imagine?" There's a hint of mischief in his eyes as he pulls Trina's registration from an inside pocket and passes it over.

Cocking his head to the side, Jack looks his companion up and down meaningfully. "You clean up well. Sorry, but I didn't have the time." He brushes his hands disparagingly against his stained t-shirt, then waves to indicate the crowded pub.

There's a tiny sigh of relief as she hears a voice she recognizes. The dark-haired woman quickly changes faces, the anxious lip-biting giving way to a lopsided grin. Plucking the paper from Jack's hand with a playful yank, Trina then holds her arms out a little and sways herself about in a little circle to offer a better view. "I have a feeling you don't hafta rely on your clothes for tips." Once she's turned around, she takes to walking in a circle about her fellow motorhead. Partway through her stroll, she rolls up onto the balls of her feet and moves to rest her chin on his shoulder so she can talk quietly into his ear. "It just looks like you were having fun without me."

Grinning, Jack leans his cheek against Trina's and reaches up to run his fingers through her hair. "After the show you gave me last night, I knew I was gonna have to bring my 'A' game." He gently disentangles himself from her and tugs her toward the door by one hand. "C'mon, let's get outta here. I wanna burn up some non-renewable resources."

"Awesome." Trina doesn't need much tugging. With a quick shuffle of booted feet, she's right at his heels. And, just for show, she even makes a few coy looks of playful shock and one table of old codgers that looks their way as they race for the door. That little display out of the way, she turns her attention back to the much more visually appealing sight of Jack's backside. *Mrowr.* Okay, no, that wasn't what she was turning back around for. It was to *talk.* Right. Talking. That requires words. "Did I mention that I have been looking forward to this all day? Because I have. All. Fucking. Day."

"You and me both, beautiful." Pausing briefly, Jack glances over at Trina. "I really had a blast yesterday. I'm lookin' forward to showin' you my Julia." Then he's tugging her along again. A few spaces down, Jack has done what only the truly bold or truly stupid even consider. He's parked a classic car on the street.

Jack's 1967 Pontiac GTO has recently been rebuilt from the ground up. Julia II is everything her predecessor was and more. On the surface she looks the same, but there are a few new tricks secreted away under her hood and behind her body panels.

"She's fuckin' beautiful, ain't she?" The Irishman croons. Stepping up to the driver's side, he runs one long, spidery finger along Julia's chopped top. Anticipation builds at the base of his spine in a delicious, rippling shiver that travels up to his shoulders. Grinning, he pitches a heavy, janitor-esque set of keys across to Trina. "Go ahead."

There's an appreciative groan that escapes Trina's lips as realization dawns as to what she is beholding. "She's fucking *gorgeous*." When her hand is dropped, she goes right for the front of the car and crouches down in front of the car as if it were a sacred altar. "You know, I've never gotten to see one of these up close. Now I know why they called 'em 'The Great One.'" As the keys are tossed in her direction, her smaller hands cup together in order to catch the bulk of metal. But then she launches 'em right back. "Not yet." Those soft hands then go right to the hood of the car, gingerly caressing the chrome and glaze of paint and doing her best to not leave prints behind in the process. "I want a front row seat to the magic if you don't mind." How a man treats his car, after all, says a great deal.

Jack snags the heavy keyring out of the air and nods easily. He takes a moment to duck his head and smile modestly. "She's my girl. We've been through a lot together. I'll take the first run, but I drive real fuckin' fast and I don't use my breaks. You've been warned." Winking, he fits the key to the door and unlocks it, then pops it open with a meaty, metallic clunk that only good American steel can provide.

When he slips into the driver's seat he lets out a low moan of satisfaction. "Pleasure without measure," he whispers as he caresses the steering wheel. Breathe. Exhale. Then he unsnaps the stereo faceplate and removes it, revealing a row of red toggle switches and buttons set into a slight recess. Two of the buttons have skulls and crossbones branded across them in white, the third reads 'FUCK YOU' in tall, proud letters. "Ok, baby," he murmurs to his car. "Let's show this girl what we can do." Then he leans over and unlocks the passenger's door before belting himself into a criss-cross harness.

As she rounds the corner of the hood on her way to the car, her eyes narrow. She's drinking in the details, loving every moment of the journey. Then she opens the door and slides inside. That would be when she sees the line of controls where a stereo should be. She laughs as she sees the third button tell her exactly what it thinks of her. "Somebody's been modding," she drawls out in a sing-song voice that betrays a little of her Georgia upbringing, legs curling and rubbing against each other in anticipation. As she watches him buckle in, she decides to follow suit. Time to watch the communion of driver and car.

Julia's interior bears as much resemblance to a chopper cockpit as it does the inside of an automobile. Glowing dials and readouts that far outstrip Pontiac's standard package have been mounted in the dash, and someone (not Jack) has skillfully welded a roll cage into the roof. The passenger's seatbelt is double-wide leather, and the windows are most definitely not regular automotive glass.

Jack licks his lips as he fits key to ignition and fires up the engine. The V8 roars to life, then settles to a rumbling idle. "I find my needs outstrip those of the average driver," he chuckles. "Wanna go to Jersey? I know where there's a fantastic set of straight stretches that ought to be deserted at this hour. Twenty minutes, tops."

"I'm just riding co-pilot," Trina replies with a wide grin. "As long as my baby's safe where she is, I'll ride as long as you'll have me." Double entendre fully intended, she waggles her sculpted eyebrows and then settles into her seat. Her eyes look about the car, and then her hand moves back to feel the edge of the artful welding work along the column. "Beautiful seam. Yours?" Then a pause and her eyes open wide as she turns her attention back to the seemingly horsepower-drunk Jack. "Wait. Did you say *twenty*?" She knows how far it is to Jersey. It should be well over twenty minutes. Her hand quickly drops down to the belt across her. Without a steering column to stabilize her, she has a feeling she's gonna need it.

"OutSTANDing!" Jack punches it, and the GTO takes off smoothly. The automobile is his most valued possession and it shows. The ride to Jersey /should/ take considerably more than twenty minutes. Jack makes it in just under eighteen, owing mostly to his lead foot and preternatural ability to locate speedtraps.

"Here we are," he murmurs as they round a final corner and pull out of a suburb. The stretch of road ahead winds around and through a mall construction site before cutting straight for almost a mile. Jack's favorite romping ground is as deserted as promised.

Every so often along the way, Katrina punctuates a turn with a giddy shout of amusement. It is every bit the ride that Jack promised. It's fast. Rough. Exhilarating. Blue eyes watch the driver for a moment, and then turn back to the road. "How'd you juice the motor to fly like that with the extra weight she's hauling?" Then she turns her head to look the auto aficionado once more, her head tilting to the side "I mean, you did mod the engine, right?"

Jack lifts a finger to his lips briefly. "Maybe on the third date, pretty." That's right, there's going to be a third date if he's got anything to say about it. "You're right, though. Julia's much heavier than stock, and she's been tuned by the finest in the biz. Now hold on."

After flipping all three toggle switches, he upshifts and floors it, taking off toward the construction site at Patently Unsafe Speeds. The first turn is shallow. The second is much harder, and the Pontiac's wide tires squeal in protest as it regains traction. Rather than take a third turn and swing around the site, Jack pulls off onto a smaller road, spraying gravel and dust as he speeds toward the half-finished structure. Then he gives the wheel a sharp jerk, taking the car up a short ramp and onto a long concrete walkway that's overhung by an awning draped with heavy plastic and supported by scaffold. It borders the length of the mall, and a similar ramp dumps them out on the other side of the site.

During all his swerving and speeding, Jack's face remains calm and focused, his eyes unblinkingly locked on the road (walkway) ahead. And then comes the straight stretch. With a joyous whoop, he reaches out and presses both skull and crossbone buttons simultaneously. In response, a double dose of nitrous oxide is sprayed over Julia's intake, and she leaps forward like a coursing hound let loose for the chase. The speedometer's needle strains to exceed its maximum of 140 as the Pontiac devours pavement a quarter mile at a time.

As Jack tears through his obstacle course, Trina just breathes deep. Julia may not handle like her baby waiting at home, but there is definitely a proud aire to the way her engine takes to opening wide. It's like a mystery… and we all know that women were not built for mysteries. It's already eating at her. She wants to know every bit of what he did to the pistons and belts firing and pulling underneath Julia's pretty painted hood. Her grin grows mischievous, teasing as she replies. "Third date, huh? Who says…" Oh, wait. Moving. As her head falls back into its place on the seat, Trina is gasping for breath. She wants to close her eyes and savor the raw vibration that's pounding the hidden truth of its glorious power like a secret lover's language into the frame. Unfortunately, that language is adulterated by the seat, and entirely lost by the time it reaches her.

That means there's no use in closing her eyes. No, this is a ride meant to be enjoyed with eyes wide open. Once Julia falls into her smooth stride, Trina's fingers stretch tautly over the edge of the seat, clearly demonstrating her appreciation. Good gracious, she's so hot for this car. "That's right," she coos to that amazing construct of man's intellect. "Tell the earth what it was fucking made for." To be traveled upon and consumed by pieces of art such as this.

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