Giles spared Buffy one glance, then snapped his eyes back on the road spanning toward them. Sweeping left-hander; clear view all the way around it. Cake. “Really? You’ve never driven faster than the ton?”
“The ton? I’m talking about one-zero-zero, three digits. Speed.”
“So am I. The ton. The century. One hundred miles an hour.”
“Oh. No. Never had this kind of car.”
Giles let himself grin the way he wanted to. “Not many have.”
Buffy made an appreciative noise. Her hand was warm on his thigh. Giles ignored it. Straightaway for a bit meant opportunity. He let their speed drift up and hover around ninety for a few seconds, a few seconds more. He let his foot hit the brake, earlier than he had to. Buffy said something that Giles lost in a tricky heel and toe maneuver. Gratuitous, but then, what was not gratuitous about this drive? Besides, he needed the practice. When he came out of the curve again, Buffy was laughing at him.
“You are totally not paying attention to me. I think I need to be jealous.”
“It’s gorgeous, isn’t it.”
Buffy snorted. “It’s the most uncomfortable car I’ve ever sat in. I feel the road in my butt.”
“The Lotus is pure sportscar. No weight wasted on nonsense like power windows. Steers like a go-cart. Accelerates like a motorcycle.”
Not at the moment, however. Giles eased off the accelerator and settled in behind a Volvo estate with three dogs milling about in the back. Sunday driver.
“You and motorcycles. Are you sure this isn’t a mid-life crisis?”
Giles laughed. “Quite sure it is. By fiat. It’s a legacy from my uncle. He was a bit of a character, bloody eccentric, really. But I was his favorite nephew, and when he died a couple of years ago he left me quite a nice bit of money as well as the house.”
“I’m sorry to hear about your uncle.”
Giles made a vague noise. Uncle Charles had died in the explosion that took out the Council. He’d yet to tell Buffy that story, because it was going to be ungodly painful when he did. Now was not the time. “Yes. Well. His will had a bit of a condition on it. Or more advice than condition, really. Was too busy for a long time to fulfill it, but I think this year I would have made the old boy proud.”
“What was the condition?”
“That I indulge myself with fast cars and pretty girls. Doing rather well for myself, yes?”
Buffy giggled. Roundabout ahead, and his opportunity to get round the bloody Volvo. Down to second, slipping the clutch a little, ham-footed idiot.
“You’re going to have to let me drive it some day.”
“Not bloody likely, woman.”
Giles put the hammer down and passed the Volvo on the inside. He spun through the roundabout and let it fling them out upon the south-bound road, on a heading away from civilization and toward the moors. He stayed in second gear and let the engine wind out. It hit 6000 RPMs and the cam timing shift. The engine howled. Giles felt the seat press against his back. Redline, upshift, let it wind again. Oh, that kick in the arse. Brilliant.
He grinned again and glanced down at the needle. There they were. The ton. And somewhere out there, Uncle Charles was happy.