She stood staring at the gray metal beast in front of her. Her eyes roved its surface and found it wanting.
“This is your car?”
Drake did not even flinch. “Yeah, she’s my baby. We’ve been together longer than I’ve known you existed. So if your wondering where my loyalties lie, don’t.”
Marian blew out a breath. “Well, I guess it’ll be alright until I can drive my car again.”
“You don’t have a car. It’s New York. You walk, take the train.”
“You have a car.”
Drake smiled, “Yes, because I grew up in upstate NY where every 16 year old with a job has a car.”
“Yeah, well, I grew up on Long Island.”
“No, you didn’t. You grew up in a two family house on 71st St. in Jackson Heights.”
“Queens is connected to Long Island,” she muttered.
“Oh, that’s what you meant. Come on, just get in; she’s safe.” He held her door open.
Marian snickered. “I’m sure she was in ’93 when you bought her.” She flopped inside.
Drake came around and entered through the driver’s side. Turning on the car with his right and rubbing the dashboard with his left he whispered, “Don’t listen to her baby. She’s just jealous.” He raised his voice, “95!”
“Oh, two years off. I apologize.”
Drake pulled the keys from the ignition. Slowly, he craned his head to face her.
“Did you just say…..?”
Marian rolled her eyes. “Come on, take me home.”
He continued. “You’ve never even said ‘I was wrong’ before, but this, this is….almost as good as….” He winked at her before drawling, “You keep sweet talking me like that I might just buy you a car.”
He turned on the car and pulled out of the space.
“I don’t need you to buy me anything.”
That superior smile from the Hospital room made a reappearance. “Well, actually you do. You don’t have any income.”
She rolled her eyes. “No matter what kind of crazy I was to get shackled to you, I wouldn’t have ever given up my independence nor my career. Nice try you manipulative, cocky….”
“Oh, you work, in fact you are the boss. My boss actually.”
“You don’t say. Well, that explains this farce of a marriage.”
His eyes narrowed. “What do you mean by that.” His tone had grown heavier.
“Although, I never was the dominatrix type, I must have changed.”
“Trust me you’re no dominatrix. Domineering, arrogant, demanding, all of the above. But it’s never sexy.”
“Then why don’t you cut your losses and go your own way?” Her voice lifted to the texture of confectioners sugar, earning a smile from Drake.
“Darling, I would never give you that satisfaction. Besides you need me.”
“Oh, sure, especially since I have no income, right?”
“You pay me enough for us to get by modestly, in Manhattan.”
“And where does my salary end up?” Probably into a Cayman Islands account with your name on it.
“Back into your, our research.” He calmly replied while swerving to avoid a man pulling a hotdog cart through the intersection.
He made a quick right and pulled into a parking garage.
“And how much does this put us out a month?” She growled.
“$250.00. It’s the cheapest place in the city.” He smiled at the attendant who let them in immediately.
Marian turned to glimpse out the rear window.
“Two Hundred and Fifty Dollars! We’re not even close to the apartment.” Drake drove onto the ramp, as an elevator door enclosed them inside.
When it opened, he drove out turned left and finally parked in spot 837.
“About ten blocks.”
“Ten! Are we near the lab?” She begged him to speak the monosyllabic three letter word.
“No, we take the subway uptown. We operate out of Columbia, remember?” He climbed out of the car giving her the “come on get out” head nod over his right shoulder.
She nodded the affirmative slamming the car door behind her.
“What I don’t remember is why we pay money to store a car we don’t use.”
“And that is why you don’t own a car.” He smiled and grabbed her bag before heading to the stairwell leading out of the garage. He didn’t bother to stop once he reached the main level.
She trudged after him more determined than ever to wipe the smirk off his face.