Travel writer Trek stops in a small New Mexico town for gas only to have his car and dog Commando stolen while he's in the quick stop. As much as he loves his restored 1959 Plymouth Fury, he loves his rescued Pit Bull even more. As any robbed person would, he calls the cops.
The officer who shows up is gruff at first but soon reveals his kind and caring side. Commando bites the thief enough to cause him to crash before he reaches the freeway. Now without wheels, Trek has problems. And the bite creates an added one -- Commando has to be in quarantine for two weeks and cannot leave the county! Since Trek won't leave him, what happens now?
Dan is a country boy at heart, and shy when he isn't able to hide in his uniform. Dashing and urbane Trek fascinates but also scares him. Still he is moved to make the visitor's mandatory stay in Alamo Junction as pleasant as possible. Soon some benefits come with the new friendship.
Still, two weeks pass too fast putting Trek on the road again. Dan had never realized how lonely he's been. Now he does and even the sweet dog he adopts doesn't really ease the pain. Does he dare to hope that Trek may pass his way again?
With the late afternoon sun just a smidge off smack in his eyes, Trek barely saw the sign. Alamo Junction, Next Two Exits. A quick glance told him the Fury's gas gauge sat on the edge of the red. Luckily, traffic was light. He whipped over a lane and took the off ramp a little faster than the recommended speed. When he hit the brake hard for the octagonal red sign at the bottom, Commando gave a grumble of protest.
"Sorry, dude. Sometimes Daddy isn't the best driver."
From his sprawled comfort in the hammock-extended back seat, the dog nudged Trek's elbow and then settled back with a second muffled grunt. Trek followed the arrow and turned right, now keeping the prescribed speed. He knew these small towns were notorious for hidden cops with radar guns, waiting to nab a careless visitor. Not that he couldn't afford a ticket, but why risk it? A clean record kept his insurance reasonable even with a restored muscle car like the Fury.
Trek knew he should have changed the color. Red cars were ticket magnets, especially one with a speedy look and flashy fins. He just couldn't bring himself to change it, though. This had been Gramps' car when he went to Vietnam in sixty-eight, never to come home, at least alive. After that the old car sat for years in a barn on the Tennessee farm where Trek's mother had grown up.
About the time he finished college, he decided to have it restored. Although the work hadn't been cheap, he was happy with the result. He had a one-of-a-kind car that turned heads everywhere he drove it. About the only variance from authentic was the new 2010 hemi engine he used to replace the original 361 V8 when it threw a rod three years earlier. This one got better gas mileage and didn't sacrifice on power.
He pulled in to a Spee-Dee Stop that advertised American gas. Although not a real fanatic about buying US products, he figured he'd rather not support the Middle Eastern oil sheiks when he had a choice.
Commando sat up and watched while Trek got out, unlocked the gas cap, and put it with keys still inserted on the rear deck. The damned pump didn't like his card. After three tries, he stalked inside to get the stupid sucker turned on.
The blonde clerk snapped her gum and batted her lashes. He wasn't impressed, so complimented her nails, long and well decorated. It was something most men would not do, would not even notice. Did she get the idea? Hard to tell. He wasn't playing gay eye for a straight guy, anyway. He had just handed her the card when a familiar sound spun him around. That hemi should not be running, but it was. As he watched in shock, the Fury ran right out onto the street and roared away.
"Damn it. The idiot won't get far on the gas in the tank, but the bastard's got Commando! That fucker just stole my dog!"