“Wow! You look gorgeous!” Shayne exclaimed.
“Oh-oh. What do you want?”
“Nothing!” her brother said. “Can’t I even compliment my own sister? The guys are gonna get hard-ons when they see you.”
“That is disgusting! You had to ruin it, didn’t you.”
“Sorry,” he said without meaning it.
“But if you don’t want compliments, why do you dress like that?”
“A. I like this dress. B. It’s the latest fashion, C. I should be able to wear whatever I like.”
“Oh well, the guys are gonna be falling all over themselves. When you get to the nightclub, pick one that’s got money, an expensive car, preferably a Porsche and doesn’t mind an annoying younger brother.”
Tina looked at him, then said, “The only one of those that is of any consequence to me is the last one.”
“You mean the annoying younger brother? I don’t mind the others. If they don’t like me, I’ll wear them down with my charm, and arse licking, but it’s nice of you to care.”
“God, you’re hopeless. I’m going. See you later.”
“Enjoy yourself,” he said.
Tina walked out and got into her little yellow VW bug. She was meeting her girlfriends at a restaurant for dinner before going on to the nightclub. As it turned out, she was late. A few streets away, she watched in horror as a young man was pulled out of a stationary car at the traffic lights. A tall bearded man punched him in the face. As he staggered back, the man jumped into the car and took off through the red lights, narrowly missing a car coming through. She pulled to the side of the road, got out and hurried over to him.
“Are you alright?” she asked.
“Yeah,” he said rubbing his chin, then, with a wry grin, “I’ve had worse knocks on the rugby field.”
A few other people came over.
“You right mate?” a big bluff truckie in a tank top queried.
“Thanks everyone. I’m ok. Just got to report it to the cops.”
“I’ll take you down to the police station,” Tina offered.
“Would you? Thanks, but you look as if you’re going somewhere.”
“That can wait. Let’s go.”
He wasn’t going to pass up a chance to spend time with the most beautiful girl he’d seen in a long time. Onlookers drifted away, one older man giving him a sly thumbs up. They got into her car, and she waited for the lights to change, then headed for the police station,
“I’m Cameron,” he said.
“Tina,” she replied.
“You’re sure you’re alright?”
“What about your car?”
“It’s a bit of a heap. He won’t get far in it. It sort of belongs to a friend. I just borrowed it because mine’s being serviced.”
“Won’t he be upset?”
“Oh no. He owns a used car yard. I just borrowed the oldest car he had. Anyway, you can just drop me off at the police station. I can find my own way home. You’ve obviously got somewhere else to go.”
She hesitated. He had an attractive smile and seemed quite unfazed by what had just happened. She felt reluctant to just leave him, but her friends were waiting. She pulled into the police station carpark, and then said impulsively, “I’ll ring my brother Shayne. He’s at home doing nothing. I’ll get him to pick you up and take you home.”
“Oh no. One of my mates will be ok to do it.”
“I’ll give you his number anyway, just in case,” she said.
“Ok, thanks,” he said with that attractive smile.
She rattled it off, and he put it in his phone. He got out of the car with a last lingering look, then shut the door. He watched her drive away. He walked up the steps and into the outer office. The young officer behind the desk eyed him and remarked, “People don’t normally come in here wearing a goofy smile.”
“I just got a lift from a gorgeous looking girl.”
Cameron detailed what had happened to him. When he described the man who had punched him, the officer nodded.
“We know him. We’ll pick him up eventually, but I think the car’s not going to be worth much if we get it back. He has a habit of wrecking cars he nicks. We’ll add assault and the theft of another motor vehicle to all the other charges when we get him.”
After he had done all the paperwork, Cameron walked outside. He rang Adrian from whose car yard he’d borrowed the car and left a message. Adrian wouldn’t care. Insurance would take care of it. Then he debated which of his friends he’d ring to collect him from the police station. He could also get an Uber or a taxi. He paused. Had Tina given him her brother’s number for a reason? Only one way to find out, he thought. He rang the number.
“Yep,” was the laconic greeting.
“Hi. I’m Cameron. Your sister gave me a lift to the police station, and said you might be able to give me a lift home.”
“Oh yes. You’re the guy who got hijacked.”
So she had told him about the incident.
“Yes, I am.”
“Ok mate. I’ll see you in about ten minutes. It wasn’t a Porsche or some expensive car that got hijacked was it?”
“Not really, why?”
“Just asking. See you soon.”
Shayne was gone. Cameron wondered what the reference to the Porsche was all about. He went to sit on a bench near the police station carpark. He watched as a car pulled up. A young woman got out. She staggered slightly and the car drove away. He got up and hurried over to her.
“Are you ok?” he asked.
She looked blankly at him.
“Sorry?” she said.
“Are you alright,” he repeated.
“I think so,” she said.
“Come and sit down,” he suggested and led her to the bench.
He looked at her. She was quite pretty. In fact, she reminded him of Tina, although she looked a bit younger.
“So, this is a police station. Do you need the police for any reason?”
“I don’t think so.”
“Who dropped you off?”
“Two girls. They saw me at the side of the road and gave me a lift.”
“But they must have brought you here for a reason.”
“Yes, it’s because I couldn’t remember where I was going, and they were late for an appointment, so they said they’d drop me off here.”
“So, do you remember where you want to go?”
“Do you know your name?”
“Yes. It’s Natalie. Natalie Dawkins.”
“I’m Cameron. Have you got a phone or driver’s licence?”
She fumbled in her bag, produced a phone and handed it to him. He noticed a small bruise on her forehead.
“Natalie, do you think you might have fallen over and hit your head?” he asked gently.
She touched her head, and said, “Oh, there is a bruise there. Maybe I did. I don’t remember.”
He opened the phone folder. Her driver’s licence was in one of the pockets.
He drew it out and showed it to her.
“Do you remember your address?”
“It’s not far from here. Maybe I should get you a taxi to take to you home.”
As he spoke, a dark coloured Ford pulled into the carpark. A young man got out and strode over to him.
“Hi, I’m Shayne. If you’re Cameron, I’m your ride.”
Cameron shook his hand.
“This is Natalie. I think she might need a ride too.”
She looked at him timidly, and said, “I don’t want to impose.”
“Impose away,” he said cheerfully.
“In fact,” he added, “ You can definitely impose on me anytime you like. So, hop in. I’ll take you wherever you want to go.”
Cameron gave her back her phone. They walked with Shayne back to his car. After they got in, he said, “Alright, where are we going?”
Cameron explained what he surmised had happened to Natalie. Shayne
immediately got out of the car and got in the back with her. He turned on the interior light, and said, “I’m a trainee paramedic, let’s have a quick look.”
Natalie submitted without complaint.
“Yes, you’ve definitely got quite a bump. I’d say you’ve fallen and hit your head. That’ll explain the slight amnesia. Your memory will come back soon,” he said reassuringly. ‘I hope,’ he said silently to himself.
He took her arms and gently turned them over,
“There’s a scrape on your right arm too. Hang on a minute.”
He got out, opened the boot and came back with a first aid kit.
Soon after his ministration, he said, “There you go, the best you’ll ever get from a trainee paramedic.”
Natalie smiled her thanks.
Cameron had been impressed by the younger man’s quiet efficiency.
Shayne got back into the driver’s seat.
“So, where to first?”
“I think maybe take Natalie home first?” Cameron suggested.
Cameron relayed it as he recalled it from her driver’s licence.
“It’s not far from here,” Shayne said as he drove off.
“So,” he said to Cameron, “What do you think of my sister?”
“She’s lovely,” Cameron said cautiously.
“Yep. She’s gone out with some girlfriends. Told her to pick up a guy with a Porsche.”
Cameron smiled wryly.
“That rules me out then.”
“I think I’ve got a Porsche,” Natalie said unexpectedly.
Shayne almost drove off the road.
“You have? How come?”
“If I’m remembering this right, It’s an old one. It belonged to my grandad. He gave it to me on my twenty-first birthday last year.”
“Wow, it’ll be a classic then.”
“I guess so. He said it was. I’ll show it to you when we get to my place.”
“Great. Can’t wait.”
To Cameron, he said, “You’re off the hook. You can date my sister now.”
“Thanks for your permission,” Cameron said sarcastically.
“But I suspect that’ll be up to her.”
“Yes, she might come home with a guy who’s got a Ferrari, so’s you’ll have no chance.”
“Oh, I’ve got one of those,” Cameron said nonchalantly.
Once again, Shayne almost went off the road.
“Holy cow! You’ve got a Ferrari?”
“Yes, not a new one.”
“Don’t care. I’ll get Tina to give whoever she comes home with, the flick.”
“Is that likely?”
“It’s never happened before,” he admitted, “But tonight might be the night.”
“So you don’t want to see my Porsche now?” Natalie asked teasingly.
“Of course I do. But now I’m conflicted. What to do?”
At that moment, his phone rang. He pulled to the side of the road and stopped.
“Don’t have Bluetooth,” he said.
“Hi Sis. What?”
He listened, then said, “Where are you?”
He listened some more, then said, “I’m on my way.”
He turned off the phone.
“That was Tina. A truck backed into her car. The engine’s in the back, so it’s not going anywhere.”
“Is she alright?” Cameron said anxiously.
“Yeah, she wasn’t in it when it happened. You don’t mind if I go and get her? She’s still at the restaurant. Her girlfriends have gone,” he asked Natalie.
“Oh no. I’d like to meet her. I feel like I know her quite well from your conversation.”
“This is turning out to be quite some night,” Cameron remarked.
“Why?” Natalie asked.
“You tell her,” Shayne said.
So Cameron started to relay the events of the evening, starting with his hijacking.
“You got hijacked?” Natalie interrupted.
“Yes,” and continued his tale.
When he finished, she was silent for a moment, then said, “You know, I think I remember what happened to me. It just came back to me. I booked an Uber. I went outside to wait. This car came along. I thought it was my ride because the man stopped. Stupidly, I didn’t check the app. I got in. I was going to a girlfriend’s place. I gave him the address. He said he knew where it was, and drove off. But I started to feel uneasy, and he wasn’t going in the right direction. So I asked him for his ID. He said he didn’t need to show me, so I asked him to stop. He wouldn’t, so I threatened to spray him. I told him I had a pepper sprayer in my bag. I pulled out a perfume sprayer. He stopped, I got out and he took off before I was completely out of the car. I fell and hit my head. I think I must have been groggy. I got up and I was walking along when two girls came along and gave me a lift to the police station.”
“Wow. You’re lucky. That could have been very nasty. I’m glad you recovered your memory,” Shayne said.
“Oh, I don’t know,” Natalie said musingly, “I might not have met you guys if that hadn’t happened to me.”
Shayne glanced at her in the rearview mirror. She gave him a cheeky grin. There was obviously more to this girl than first met the eye. He was looking forward to getting to know her better. Of course, the Porsche was the major attraction, he told himself. He gave Cameron a sidelong glance. Tina was definitely interested in him, else why give him his number. And the man had a Ferrari! Everything was working out quite nicely, despite the traumatic way it all started. He couldn’t wait to see what would happen next in the evening’s chain of events.