Don't...
should return the favour.”
    “You think you do us a favour?” shouted one of the guys from under the bonnet of a car. Aid, I thought, but he stayed buried, mainly to keep out of Sam’s line of sight.
    “Fine coming from you, Aid, you’re always on about your kids.”
    “Once. I mentioned them fucking once.” That was followed by “bollocks” and the clattering of a tool. Nobody wanted to be in Sam’s spotlight.
    “Get back to work, Sam,” said Steve. “You’re putting everyone off their game today.” He came over as Sam sulked away. “Bloody cheeky sod,” said Steve. He’d only
just
figured that out? My coffee went on my worktable, and I grabbed my spanner off the floor, frowned, then ran it under a bottle of water I kept on my work station before setting back to work.
    “How’s it going with the Strachan deal?”
    I glanced at him. “Eager to get your own office, huh?”
    He waggled his eyebrows. “So long as it’s bigger than yours.”
    So I hid a smile there remembering Jan’s point on stereotypical mechanics and tools. “It’s getting there,” I said, keeping my voice down. “I just need time on the proposal over the coming week or so.”
    “No problem; just let me know and I’ll arrange someone to cover your work load.”
    If by a small miracle I pinched this deal from under my old man’s nose, I would miss Steve being here with me. But he worked damn hard and was more than ready to run his own place. The Strachan deal was right up his street.
    “So,” whispered Steve, and I felt the car shift as it took his weight. “It not go well last night with that Breakdown package?”
    “Fucking bollocks.” I caught my knuckles again and the spanner hit the floor, this time through temper. I glared at Steve.
    “What?” He raised his hands in defence, but he had that playful shine in his eyes. “Just asking.”
    “Well don’t,” I snapped. Giving a “pfft,” Steve picked the spanner up. “You really need to get laid, Jack.” He went and washed it under my bottled water and handed it over. “Maybe then you’ll see you need a 2ml spanner instead of that little shit there.”
    I looked hard at the spanner in his hand. Bollocks. Where Sam missed every clue about me not being straight, me and Steve shared too much history for him not to. Still leaning into the engine, I gave a frustrated sigh and wiped my forehead on my coverall sleeve. I got a pat on my back. “Yep, laid.”
    “What is it with you two wanting to know about my sex life? You not watching enough porn for your fix?” I flicked a look at anyone else interested in our conversation, and Aid quickly pulled Mike back under the bonnet of the car like they were chuckling girls gossiping behind the bike sheds.
    “Just thought that guy yesterday would be more than enough to get you going.”
    What? I looked at Steve, and then the personal issues reminded me about something else. “
Sam.

    “Yo, boss?” came from the reception.
    “You give out any private shit about my personal life again to a customer, I’ll pull off your gearstick and leave you a few ball bearings short of a load. We clear?”
    “Hm.” That was strained and more than a little high. “Crystal, boss.”
    “’Cause you know how fast I strip a car, right?”
    “Yeah, boss.”
    “And you’re really pissing me off.”
    “Yeah, boss.” Glorious silence. “Boss?”
    Fuck. “What?”
    “I got my mate’s number for you here, okay?”
    A few scoffs of laughter hit the air, but bodies seemed to disappear in bonnets, behind doors, or in pits out of sight. “Little fucking shit,” I mumbled under my breath, and I went over and grabbed a 2ml from my toolbox.
    “He just wants to see you in a relationship so you—”
    “What?” I said looking back at Steve.
    “Chill,” said Steve, and it annoyed the hell out of me that he’d pinched my coffee and stood there sipping at it. I took it back with a
get your bloody own
stare. Sam didn’t actually make

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