This story features characters from The Belinda & Bennett Mysteries.
The most fun Belinda ever had riding around in a car was when she and Kyle drove from Rhode Island to Florida, pausing only to eat and use the bathroom. Now that would be the longest three days or so of her life, but they were in college then and so hyped up on candy and soda and eardrum-blowing music that they barely slept until they got there.
This was a close second, even though she and Bennett were stuck in traffic trying to get to the beach, which, mind you, was basically down the street from her house. But it was a hot, muggy Saturday afternoon in July and they were in the crawl of other desperate people. But in the time they’d waited, she’d learned three key things about her hunk:
One. He would sing along to the radio under certain circumstances and given the right songs. Very important and could be instrumental (ha!) in keeping their relationship on track.
Two. He chilled instead of stressing while they waited. They put down the windows and turned up the radio, and discussed the new exhibit at the Portside Art Museum they’d just viewed.
Three. Belinda liked being trapped in a car in traffic with him as much as she liked doing anything else with him. And out of all three, she felt that was most significant.
“Here,” he tipped a bag of candy toward her. “To keep up your energy while we wait.” Bennett was crunched up in the driver’s seat of her silver Mini Cooper in his trunks and a T-shirt.
She took a palm-full of the candy, smiling. “Don’t mind if I do. You’re learning how to keep me occupied.”
“I learned a while ago it was important for you to have fun. So I do my best.” Bennett popped a few candies in his mouth.
She wondered when exactly he’d hit on that…and if it was actually true. It probably was. “Well, I congratulate you on succeeding.”
“You’re having fun then?”
“More than I should be, since we haven’t even entered the beach parking lot yet.”
“We could’ve walked.”
Belinda scrunched up her nose.
“Just a suggestion,” he said, holding up his hands in surrender.
“Along with me needing to have fun?” Belinda said playfully.
“Am I wrong?”
She glanced up at the ceiling. “You rarely are.”
Bennett smiled. “I have my moments.”
True enough, but Belinda had to acknowledge this wasn’t one of them.
They finally crawled into the parking lot, and Bennett swung half their stuff over his shoulder and marched ahead while Belinda scurried to keep up carrying two things. That was seriously unfair. But at least there was fun waiting for her in the end.
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