*Not sure why I did it, but a random thought popped into my head and I wound up writing a semi-continuation of a friend's piece, "24 Hours in a Tin Can." It's not directly-related narratively, but it's certainly thematically so. Basically, I used her piece as a prompt, and here's what happened...
"You quit smoking, eh?" It's an accusation as much as it a question, and she wants to be totally clear about it. Her mother smokes and she'll be damned if there are two smokers staying in the same house.
"Yeah, a while back." He understands. He almost explains to her that even when he did smoke, he never smoked in the house, but he doesn't. His reluctant chauffeur is gorgeous and is sublimely aware of his interest in her, and he doesn't want to risk turning her off by telling too many fish stories too early.
"And how's that going?" There's a sarcastic twinkle in her eye, but she feels confident he won't notice it behind her oversized sunglasses.
But he does. He just doesn't take the bait. "Pretty good. Tobacco-free for four months. Nicotine-free for two." He reflects for a moment how little fashion varies from place to place these days. Probably the Internet's fault. His father would've blamed it on Hollywood, but since such placement of blame is passé - combined with the fact that he actually works in Hollywood - he ignores the mental voice of a scolding parent.
"Good," she says, rather bluntly. "The house already stinks." She sees him smirk out of the corner of her eye. It's a disarming smirk - he is much cuter in person - and she allows herself to let loose a small bit of friendly humor. "My nostrils probably have cancer by now."
There's a quick laugh and she turns to check out his smile - his teeth, actually - but he's looking out his window. In reality, he's looking at her. Her reflection just strong enough to see clearly. She's beautiful and it's near impossible to take his eyes off of her.
She doesn't drive much and he can tell. He rarely gets car sick, but he can feel the onset of motion sickness creeping its way up through his abdomen. It's probably no accident that the only three drivers to ever get him car sick were all women - his sister, his ex-fiancée, and one of his best friends from college. Why should this ride be any different? Of course, he's never had butterflies in his stomach flapping as violently as they were now. Put a man purportedly unafraid of anything into a car with a beautiful woman and he's suddenly omniphobic.
He clears his throat and shifts forward. "Is there like a candy store or something on the way?" His ears don't need popping, but it's all he can think of.
"A what?" She knows what he means, but she loves fucking with Americans. Who doesn't?
"We call them lollies here, stupid." It is as endearing as an insult could possibly be. "Are you car sick?"
Beautiful... and observant. He'll wax poetic about that later, hopefully after managing not to throw up. Too many hours in a plane followed by stop and go traffic, he does not recommend.
She pulls to the curb, leaving the engine running.
"What's up?" he asks. Although he's been avoiding aviator breathing techniques as he didn't want to look "uncool," he's wisely reconsidering his priorities.
She slides her sunglasses down the bridge of her nose, laughing and sympathetic eyes peering past his. "Lollies?" She nods to the shop behind him.
He opens the door without looking and steps out. Gathering himself and trying to save some face, he leans back into the window. "You want anything?"
"Yeah. Don't spew in my fucking car."
He smirks again, hiding a wink in his sardonic smile. Candy, indeed. He can't wait to taste this one.