Brazil-Mantiqueira-Mountains-Pedra-do-Bau-panel-200pxDressed and slightly tidy, Fabian led Vitoria out the rear door of his office into a corridor that led to a parking bay for a few cars. He opened a door into a small garage, with helmets, clothing and a red-tanked Ducati.

“Is that a Multistrada?” asked Vitoria.

“How would you know that?”

“Dad’s a biker. Him and the boys would break your legs and a lot of other bones if they knew what you did to me!”

“What about your bones when he finds out about your secret piercings, shop-lifting, corruption of a security official …”

“Yea right!”

“… and the cheekiest smile this side of the Mantiqueira Mountains!”

“Ha ha.”

Fabian handed Vitoria a helmet and a Ducati leather jacket, taking his own helmet off the seat of the bike.

“What if I’m not a good pillion passenger?”

“We crash and burn, or you just fall off!”

“You’re very sure of yourself!”

“Have to be, with my job. And riding this.”

Fabian opened a door at the other end of the garage and pushed the bike out. He locked the door, started the bike and waited for Vitoria to climb on behind him.

Vitoria was impressed with the bike and how he handled it, using the power when opportunity arose, whipping around sweeping corners like a professional rider. They headed out of town and up into the hills, Vitoria without a clue where they were going but guessed – hoped – it would not end in serious harm to her.

An excerpt from Brian’s Red Diamond, part of the Women out of Time trilogy.

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