Edwin Masters isnít a big gearhead, but he
has spent his entire life lusting after one particular caróa 1962
Alfa Romeo Spider 2600. Itís not the flashiest car, itís not the
fastest car, and itís not the most collectible car, but he loves
it. Edwin knows heíll pay any price for it. When he buys it, it
changes the entire shape and meaning of his world, but not in
the ways he might have predicted.
Cooper James, the young man who died behind
the wheel forty-seven years earlier, haunts the Spider and he
wants a life. He wants Edwin. So he reaches out, sucking Edwin
into a deepening abyss by exploiting demons from a past Edwin
canít break from. Edwin resists, struggling against the phantom
in favor of an attractive, exciting young man who wants to be
with him, Carson Heston.
Carson holds the key to Edwin's salvation,
but every time he gets close, Cooper terrorizes him. Edwin knows
heíll be lost forever if he submits to Cooperís dark promise of
release and relief, but that might be the only way to save Carsonís
In hindsight, Edwin couldnt pinpoint the exact moment
he surpassed Cathy and Blake in potables consumed. Carson just
kept buying, and Edwin kept drinking and laughing at Carsons
jokes. The oldies kept playing, one after another. A few times,
he heard Roy Orbisons voice, but by then, the beer had
clouded his brain to the point that he didnt even care.
So what if somebody in the bar liked oldies and Roy Orbison?
It was nothing to worry about.
He also couldnt pinpoint the exact moment he decided
to pass over his car keys to Carson. He seemed like the trustworthy
sort, and he was definitely more sober. Edwin shouldnt
have let a kid get him drunk. But Carson was so good to get
drunk with. He was funny. He was cute. He didnt mind paying
for the drinks. And with each beer, Edwin forgot a little bit
more. He forgot about his near-death experience. He forgot about
mysterious green eyes. He forgot about Cathys meddling.
He even forgot about the car, until Carson asked for his keys.
God, this is a nice car to drive, Carson said as
soon as he pulled out of the parking lot. I mean it. This
is really nice.
Yep, I love it.
Im going to have to get you drunk again, so I have
another excuse to drive it.
I might be up for that. Maybe. Youre being careful,
Right, Carson confirmed.
And youre not drunk, are you?
No, I stopped drinking hours ago.
Hours? Edwin looked around. Its so
Its pretty late. We were in Cherrys for a
God, I guess so. Do you know where I live?
Youre Cathys neighbor, right?
Carson gave him a sideways glance. Then I know exactly
where you live.
Youre doing okay, right? Youre driving okay?
Im driving just fine.
Edwin nodded. Good, I just wanted to be sure that youre
driving okay. Since I ordinarily wouldnt let anybody drive
Im not going to hurt your car, Carson promised.
Do I get a reward if I get you and your car home in one
Sure. What do you want?
Anything I want?
Ill have to think about it.
Edwin ran loving fingers over the dashboard. You dont
know what you want?
Oh, I know what I want. Well, Im pretty sure I
know what I want. But Im not sure if youre going
to be up to it.
Oh. Edwin waved his hand, dismissing the notion.
Im up for anything. Youll see.
I certainly hope so.
Edwin caressed the dashboard again. It felt good. Warm to the
touch. Since he bought the car, he hadnt taken the time
to appreciate it properly. This was the first time he had sat
in the passenger seat. He had never seen the world from the
passenger seat of his Spider. Of course, he was barely seeing
it now. Everything was dark, and what wasnt dark was fuzzy.
And he kept getting distracted by Carsons profile. He
had such a great nose. Not many people had truly great noses,
but Carson undoubtedly did. To go along with his truly great
He also had really long legs. Too long to fit in the backseat?
Edwin almost asked, but he hadnt completely lost control
of his mouth. There was no reason to ask if Carson could fit
in the backseat. They werent a couple of teenagers with
no space and no privacy of their own. They were both adults,
and Edwin had a perfectly fine bed.
Why didnt you buy a Mustang or a Cadillac or something?
Because I like this one. Drive carefully. This car has
already been in one accident, and once is too many.
Yeah, back in sixty-two.
Are you speaking as an eyewitness? Carson teased.
Hey, I may be old, but Im not that old.
Nah, I dont think youre old.
I could be your father.
But youre not, and never say those words again.
Edwin laughed, and Carson flashed him an amused smile. He had
a good smile. Not too toothy -- he didnt look like a shark
or anything. Edwin was still mulling over that smile when Carson
pulled into Edwins driveway as if the place belonged to
Oh. How are you going to get home?
I was hoping youd drive me. Or I could catch a
ride from Cathy.
Im pretty drunk. So is Cathy, for that matter.
You wont be tomorrow.
Youre inviting yourself to stay the night?
You did say youd reward me.
Come on in, then.