5. A Liar, an Ass, & a Blast From the Past

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As he sat down, I took quick stock of his appearance. He had shocking red hair and thick red eyebrows, with deep-toned, wide brown eyes and the slightest hint of stubble growing on his chin. He wore a checkered button-down and jeans, and I couldn't help but compare his looks to Dallas's. Patrick's. Whoever he was.

He wasn't as blatantly muscular, but he was well-built, not exactly stocky, but definitely not thin.  He was very cute, but Patrick was hot. I'm not sure exactly when I made that distinction. 

The cameraman signaled once again, this time foregoing the "Action!" and merely pointing when he started rolling. Mystery Man sat down across from me, after shaking my hand. 

"Hi, I'm Lyra Kennedy." I decided to start this one off. Be confident, assured.

"Hey, Lyra, I'm Andrew." Good Lord, that was a deep voice. "Andrew Hastings," he finished. "Nice hair."

I laughed, despite myself. "You, too. I think I've finally met someone who's out-gingered me."

He laughed, too, and I could feel myself relax. "Perhaps I have even less of a soul than you do."

"Oh, my gosh. The jokes never stop," I said. "My mom and my dad are both blonde, but my sister and I are redheaded. The conspiracy theories about our double adoption were a frequent topic of our late-night elementary school conversations."

"Everyone in my family has red hair, so I'm sorry I can't relate on that one," he said, chuckling. "Luck o' the Irish."

"So, what do you do, Andrew?"

"I'm a mechanic, actually. Family business type thing. My grandfather owned this little auto shop just outside Denver, and so did his grandfather, all the way back. I just followed in their drunken footsteps."

He was funny, I'll give him that.

"A mechanic, yeah? What's the coolest car you've ever worked on? I'm a bit of a fanatic, myself." I looked up at him, suddenly interested, and I saw that he had actually pulled his phone out of his pocket and was now furiously typing. On national TV. I felt disappointment bubble up in me, leaving a bitter taste at the back of my mouth. I thought we had a connection for a second, there.

"Um..." I cleared my throat loudly. He held up a finger. He actually held up a finger in a, "hold on a second, Cindy the secretary, I'm with a client right now" sort of way.

He finished typing and put his phone back in his front pocket.

"So sorry about that, really, there was an emergency," he said, stumbling over his words. I tilted my head a bit, waiting for him to elaborate, but he didn't. 

Instead, he said, "Sorry, what were we talking about? Oh, cars! That's awesome that you're into them... I think the coolest I've ever worked on would have to be a Packard Panther. There was this cool old guy who came into the shop, like, three months back with this beautiful car, and he's like, hey, I don't know if you guys even have the parts to fix 'er up, but I need to have this car. There were only 4 of them ever made, and there are 2 left in production. He had one of them, said he bought it for $360,000 at an auction years back. My brother and I just stared at for a solid ten minutes before getting to work."

I wanted to be charmed by our similar interest, but the phone thing had really turned me off. 

"A Packard, huh? That's awesome, was that the one nicknamed "Daytona," or whatever?"

He raised his eyebrows. "Sure was," he said. "Wow, I don't think I've ever met a girl who actually knows her cars. Except my mom, that is."

The cameraman gave the wrap-up signal again, yelling "cut!" this time. 5 minutes was up, then. Andrew had almost made me forget that we were on a reality show and not in reality. Almost.

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