A Cowboy’s Chance – Chapter 95: Banquet

Emma wraps her arm around Lance, smiling as the flash bulb goes off on the camera. The pair then glance at the other cameras around, watching those bulbs flash.

“That is all,” they are told as they continue their walk down the red carpet.

“Can you believe it?” Lance questions as they reach the end of the carpet.

“Can I believe what?” Emma asks as she looks into Lance’s eyes. He then turns to face her, lacing his fingers with hers.

“Can you believe that we’re here like this with me finishing second in points?” Emma smiles in return, shaking her head yes.

“I told you that I believed in you. I told you from the first day that I saw you on track that you were full of talent and could get the job done. I told you that you’d make it in this sport with ease. Hence why I’ve been by your side right here for the past two years. I do believe it – the question is do you believe it?” Lance glances around the room, glancing at the trophies on display to be given out, before glancing into the room at the tables aligned with everybody who had already taken their seat. It was in that moment that he realized that he had truly made it in the sport, and all his hard work through the years had paid off.

“The longer I stand here and the more that I think about the season, the more I do believe it actually.” Emma watches his eyes glance away from her, keeping her eyes locked on him.

“Lance, what are you thinking?” Lance then glances back her way.

“I can’t say this enough but when I made the decision to move to North Carolina and chase after his wild dream, there was no way that I could tell that it’d come true. Now, here I am with my first full season complete having finished second in points with a contract already signed.  It’s just unbelievable, honestly.” She couldn’t help but smile in return as she squeezed his hand a little.

“So are you ready to go take your seat, Mr. Zeeko?” He then smiles, leaning in for a kiss before facing the doors.

“I am ready, and I couldn’t be more proud to do this with you by my side. I know I don’t say it enough sometimes, but I really do appreciate and love you. I appreciate you sticking by my side and handling all the issues that have come our way. I thank you for giving me a chance, and appreciate how much you care for me. I love you and I want you to know how much I love you.” She smiles as they step forward into the room.

“You don’t need to tell me – I understand, Lance, and don’t worry – I love you and am not going anywhere.” They then reach the table that they were supposed to sit at, taking their seats alongside Brad, Paige, Chad and the rest of the crew.

As the night drew on, Lance couldn’t help but think back to how the past couple of years had gone.

He could’ve never predicted this a couple years ago – he was the kid with no chance at making it. He also believed that he’d never find the girl that he could love, sick and tired of being deceived by girls.

However, everything changed with one phone call from Brad Keselowski and a trip to Brad Keselowski Racing. He got the chance of a lifetime, while meeting the girl of his dreams.

Sure, things had been rocky. He had some tough times on the track in adjusting to what he needed to do. In honesty, he still made mistakes that had cost his team dearly at times. There were also the rough times of his relationship – trust issues, the tramps, and a pesky friend.

Though sitting there that night listening to the other speeches, and finally making a speech of his own, he had no complaints. Everything was falling into place correctly. He had the chance that he dreamed of, and a girl by his side that would never steer him wrong.

“For those that say fairy tales don’t come true, I’m going to tell you that they’re wrong because right now, I’m living that fairy tale,” he finishes off his speech. “Thank you.”

As he headed off the stage, he couldn’t wait for what the future would bring.

 

THE END

 

Sequel or no sequel? Not 100% sure yet but let me know what you think.

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The Street Racing Stig – Chapters 86: Martinsville

Jimmie’s POV

“I just don’t get it…” I hear Candiss muse out loud as we climb into the car, set to return back to North Carolina.

I could honestly understand her words. I didn’t get it either. Why were we having so much bad luck lately? After last week’s issues at Talladega, I was determined to make something positive happen this week. Plus, it was Martinsville. That was always a good track.

Welp, always a good track till this year. Vibrations throughout the day put us multiple laps down – don’t ask how they started. I don’t know whether due to one loose wheel causing everything to be off, or what. That was something that Chad needed to figure out. Then, to finish off the day, I got caught up in someone else’s mess and heavy front end damage just finished the car off. Least I didn’t have to deal with anymore vibrations.

“What don’t you get?” I ask, figuring I might as well clear up any confusion that she had.

“Why the media was harping on you and Chad this weekend,” she answers as I let out a sigh. Oh right, we must add to the already down-suckish weekend. “I mean, saying that you guys may be losing chemistry? Saying that you need a change? Saying that things aren’t working out? I don’t get it.”

So to recap, the media questioned me during my media session about my relationship with Chad, and how long we expected to be working together. According to them, since our results are off, perhaps we’ve reached the end of our rope. They’re also looking at the longevity of a crew chief’s career.

I can assure you that we’re having issues -that’s no surprise. Do you think I’m happy about our recent performances? But, I can assure you that things are also fine between Chad and I. Despite the issues and disagreements, we’re getting along as well as ever. We’re also working together at solving those issues. Just because the performance isn’t there doesn’t mean it’s a chemistry issue, people. Perhaps we’ve just fallen behind the other teams. Perhaps even though we won’t admit it together, everything with Ron is affecting us. You can answer that question best as you want, but please don’t accuse my crew chief.

“Anytime there’s a performance issue on track, the media likes to try and figure out what is going on themselves,” I begin. “The immediate factor is perhaps a crew chief-driver issue since our teammates seem to be running a little bit better, or at least Jeff is. They don’t seem to want to consider that perhaps our performance is off as a whole because we got behind, or we’ve just hit a streak of bad luck.”

“We’ve also had issues in the past, so they’re thinking that they have arose again,” Chad adds as I focus on the road. Who could forget the meeting in Rick’s office with those cookies? For the record, I wouldn’t mind another meeting. Linda bakes awesome tasting cookies. “We fought a couple years ago so Rick pulled us in his office and told us if we’re going to act like kids, he’s going to treat us like kids.”

“But obviously you worked that out, right?” Candiss questions and most certainly we did. While we may have laughed at the boss’ method, we enjoyed a great conversation. I learned to perhaps give Chad a break, and he learned to lay off the hard-ass attitude a little.

“We found our issues through a good heart-to-heart discussion and ended up being better friends because of it. As Jimmie said, there’s no issues. There’s nothing to worry about with what they have to say. Do as we do – ignore and work on making things better.” If you’re the crew chief or the crew, you can do that. As the driver, though, you have to answer those questions. So you do as I did – give them reassuring answers, and move forward without a second thought. I gave Chad unwavering support in my answers, and tried to justify our lack of performance with other possible reasons, which are more logical.

“I think we’re doing fine honestly,” a new voice pipes up as I had honestly forgotten that Cody had joined us for the ride home. Of course, he wasn’t normally apart of this trip. Ron normally was sitting where Cody was. While Cody was a great guy and doing a great job filling in Ron’s position, the team honestly felt incomplete without my buddy. I hoped that he healed up fast because it just felt….different. “We’ve hit some bad luck, if you think about it. Nothing you could do about Talladega and sure, sometimes the pit crew slips up but we have an overall solid group of guys. It just sucks that it messed up the studs.”

“Wise beyond your years,” Chad comments and I couldn’t help but shake my head in agreement. Just in his 20s, Cody was the new addition to the team. He was already proving that he was worthy with his ability to pick up roles and such, as well as fill-in for Ron. But he also proved that he could be a great possible leader and smart, with the knowledge that he shared.

“That doesn’t mean that I have given up ideas on how we can improve, though. I already got some suggestions ahead of Texas to share with the fellow engineers, and then discuss with you on Tuesday.” Did I mention that he was smart?

“And that is why I hired you, young man. Glad to see that you’re planning ahead for Texas. We need to get back on track, and I feel like a pair of cowboy boots would be nice.”

“I think Jimmie would look good in a cowboy hat,” Candiss chimes in and I could tell that she was smiling. The more time we spent together, the more she wanted to flirt. I didn’t mind the thought of a cowboy hat, though, as I proved in previous years that I could rock the look. Plus, a hat meant that we were in victory lane.

“You got to get yourself a win to let him wear a hat then,” Cody comments as Candiss gives him a curious glance. “You get a hat if you win. Jimmie has declared that he never wears a cowboy hat at Texas, unless he wins.”

“Well, I’ll give him a special boot of motivation – score me a win, and maybe you can get a rodeo of your own.” I couldn’t help but smile at that thought. She definitely knew how to turn up the heat – remind me of that night in the garage – so I was all for another edition.

****************

As I walk through the front door, I hear Dom ramble off what he had to say. Given the role as babysitter to Ron, he was detailing Ron’s behavior over the weekend.

It seemed that things were good – Ron was able to get around, feeling some pain and discomfort but nothing too serious – and felt pretty good. It was all good news. It made the rough day at the track much easier to handle.

Of course, Dom also detailed the frustration that Ron shared in seeing what happened to us throughout the race. Am I surprised? Even if he can’t be at the track with us, he’s part of the team and understands the frustration. I bet he was probably wishing that he could be there to kick us all into gear.

Though as I reached his room and took a glance in with a smile, it all didn’t matter. A glance back at each other revealed the one true thing that mattered – our friendship.

As I sat down beside him to chat for awhile before heading to bed, we didn’t talk about the race. We didn’t talk about the ridiculous media behavior. We didn’t even talk about David and what had happened. Instead, it came down to the basics of our friendship. We talked about my relationship with Candiss, as well as our next project together.

We also talked about my camaro, and what we were going to do moving forward. I had to make a change – everybody in the street racing scene would recognize it. But what would I do? That car was my baby and it wasn’t easy to think about changing that.

But I had to go about the future, because I had to make the change. I couldn’t continue down this road. I couldn’t risk a repeat of what happened.

Chasing the Love – Chapter 85: Beginning to Plan

Thanks for reading and reviewing J  I managed to get all of the chapters of stories that I wanted copied over to the site. That means we’re back on schedule to get writing!!! 😀

 

Saturday 

Early that morning, Alyssa made her way over to meet up with her dad as he wanted to give her a couple quick tips ahead of the upcoming qualifying session, followed by the race. He knew that Phoenix could be tricky, so he understood some of the confusing thoughts.

As they spoke, Marie caught Chase’s eyes and simply flew a smile his way. He didn’t respond, though, focusing on his phone and a series of text messages that he was sending. Since the discussion the night before with Darrell and Shelby about a prom, he had shot the idea to Ryan and Erik to see what they thought. The pair immediately jumped on board, having both missed their proms.

“You’re quiet this morning,” Marie comments, catching Chase’s attention away from his phone. “I heard of an interesting discussion with regards to Alyssa’s prom.” Chase hadn’t heard the details of the date surrounding her prom, now wondering why she hadn’t spoken of those details. It also perked his curiosity as to why Marie had heard about it.

“Oh really?” He questions and she shakes her head yes.

“She was by talking to Dale yesterday. Something about not wanting to go without you and feeling like the fifth wheel with her friends.” Chase couldn’t help but let out a sigh as that meant that the prom was falling on a date that wouldn’t work with their schedule. It made the idea that he had with the boys so much more important.

“What if I had a solution to that?” She then gives him a curious glance as he smiles.

“You’re not going to miss Kans-”

“What if we do a NASCAR themed prom and get all of us young drivers that missed our proms to go to it?” Marie looks at him with total shock, having not expected that suggestion. It seemed like the craziest idea that she had heard lately. Chase, meanwhile, was already mentally placing the date of Alyssa’s prom in his head, figuring out the weekend of the Cup race at Kansas.

“How did you come up with this idea?” Chase didn’t want to speak much about it till he had some concrete basis, but figured they were far enough along with having a small group onboard already.

“I was talking to Darrell and Shelby last night and Shelby suggested it. She hated that she missed going to prom with Darrell. Darrell hated that he missed it due to racing. I missed mine due to racing and I sympathized. Besides, I want to be there with my princess for her big night and I can’t be due to racing. I also talked to Ryan and Erik, casually, and both thought it’d be a good idea as wel-”

“So you have formed a planning committee with yourself, Shelby, Darrell, Ryan and Erik?” Chase knew that Darrell and Shelby were certainly on board for the committee, and knew they could get Ryan on-board with some begging. Erik – he wasn’t sure, yet.

“Unofficially, sure. I was even thinking of asking Dale if we could use the western town for the location, as well.” Marie couldn’t help but smile in hearing the planning that was already being discussed, as well as the reasons as to why.

“I don’t think Dale would mind as he knows that you boys would be behaved. Besides, he’d do anything to make his little girl happy and being able to go to a prom with you would put a big smile on her face. Say, if you need another perspective and help in planning, let me know. I can help with designing it up once you get a theme, date and approximate number of attendees.” Chase couldn’t help but smile. Considering that Marie was set to chop his head off a couple weeks ago, it was nice to have a common ground with her. “For now, though, you have a job to do this weekend.”

“Right.” He then smiles as Alyssa walks over, glancing between the pair as she crosses her arms.

“Everything okay?” They both shake their heads yes.

“Ready to go?” Chase asks and Alyssa shakes her head yes. They then head out of the motorcoach together, set to head to the garage. As Chase drove the golf cart, a slew of questions began to fill Alyssa’s mind.

“Please tell me that my mom wasn’t lectu-” She finally breaks the silence as he slows the kart down and glances over at her.

“Complete opposite, actually.” She then looks at him surprised as he pulls off to the side. “So, when were you going to tell your prom date?” Alyssa then lets out a sigh as she glances away from her.

“I didn’t want to disappoint you. I also didn’t know whether to go with my friends or not go at all.” She then slowly looks back over at him. “I’m sorry. It’s the same night as your race at Kansas. I graduate the night after Charlotte.” Chase was glad that she’d at least be able to make graduation, but couldn’t help but be disappointed with regards to prom. Of course, that disappointment escaped once he remembered his plan.

“I’m not upset. You can’t control our lives and our schedules, Alyssa. It’s fine. As far as whether you go to prom, that’s totally up to you and whether you want to go and be with your friends.” He then leans over and gives her a quick kiss before continuing the drive.

“So is that what you both were talking about?” Chase couldn’t help but smile even more as he thought about the idea.

“Oh no, there’s something else. I just can’t tell you what that something else is, yet. However, my dear, you don’t need to worry either way.” She could only help but glance at him curiously and wonder what was on his mind.

The rest of the top half of the day went smoothly – Chase had a solid practice, Alyssa qualified solidly in the top-10 for the race that afternoon. With everything going smoothly, it seemed that nothing that could stand in their way of happiness, despite the hiccups. Of course, there was a matter of keeping secrets, in which everybody had learned was difficult to do in their family.

“You’re such a sweet guy for what you’re planning!” Elsa lets out, catching the attention of the whole group.

“Elsa!” Marie lets out as the teenager shrugs her shoulders.

“How did you find out?” Chase questions with a glance as Elsa smiles.

“I overheard mom and dad talking, which by the way – no issue on using the western town,: Elsa reveals as Marie rolls her eyes.

“I’m sorry Chase,” Marie states as she glances over at Elsa. “And what were you told about evedropping?” Elsa then glances down with a sigh.

“I just wanted to ask if I could help plan the event and decorate.” As much as Chase wanted to be mad at her, he couldn’t help but be disappointed as he gives her a smile.

“Shelby is in charge of invitations, while you can be in charge of the decorating with your mom,” Chase tells her as a big smile forms on Elsa’s face. “Once we have the theme, we’ll let you know.”

“Thank you!” Elsa then heads off to go see someone as Marie glances back at Chase.

“That was sweet of yo-” Marie starts.

“Listen, I know the racing thing isn’t her scene,” Chase cuts her off. “It’s obvious that she isn’t the biggest fan at the track; we’ve talked about that before. However, she loves fashion and decorating and all that fun girly things. I figured if it made her happy, there was no harm in allowing her to do it. Besides, she has good fashion sense.”

“So, what are you guys planning?” Alyssa then chimes in as she squeezes her head between theirs. They both then glance at her as Marie gives Chase a glance. Chase knew that revealing the idea would be up to him by the glance.

“You’ll just have to wait and see.” He then turns to face her and wraps his arms around her. “For now, you have a race to focus on. That’s all that matters for today.” He then kisses her lips as he looks over her shoulder at Marie.

He knew that he’d have to reveal the plan to her soon as she’d get curious with everything that was going on. However, he wanted to reveal it properly – he wanted to do the proper proposal for prom and such.

He just needed to get the theme and date sorted out with the guys before he went through with that.

During the early portion of the race, he spent some time with the boys, further discussing possible dates and themes. Nobody could decide on a theme, but figured that doing the prom during the month of May while they were racing in Charlotte would be perfect. At least they had a date set.

Chase returned to the pit box for the second half of the race, taking a seat beside Dale on the pit box.

Unfortunately, the second half of the race didn’t play out as they wanted as Alyssa would run out of fuel in the closing laps, resulting in a 30th place finish.

“The strategy just didn’t work out – it happens,” she offers as she gives her crew chief a hug with a smile. “We’ll get them next week.” She then walks over to Chase and gives him a hug. “So, now that my day is complete, what have you been up to, Mr. Elliott?”

“I can’t reveal the details yet, Ms. Earnhardt,” he tells her as she looks at him surprised.

“You know I can make my sister talk no matter what, right?”

“You know that she’s worn to secretcy?”

“You know that she’s my sister?” Chase glances over at Elsa who does a zip the lips motion with a smile.

“As I was saying, she won’t reveal the plan. You’ll just have to wait and see.”

“Birthday surprise?” Chase shrugs his shoulders as they head off to the motorcoach lot together. He hadn’t even begun to tink about that yet, but knew it’d be next on the horizon. What could he do for Alyssa’s birthday in April?

 

Prom theme suggestions anyone?

Winter Love – Chapters 6 & 7

Chapter 6: Tony’s Thoughts

Dream and dreams
While I’m wide awake
The tree, the lights
Stayin’ up late
It’s true…
I’m in love with you (Oh)

Tony stands in the doorway, leaning back on the door with a smile on his face. She looked so peaceful when she was sleeping, and that was a sight to cherish after knowing what her life had been like.

He never thought that’d be the type to have a girl to call his own. He had always prided himself on being the perfect bachelor, living his life as he pleased. But here she was, someone that was able to swept him off of his feet.

He was also used to having girls and having see with them. Those nights would welcome a fun slew of action for both him and his company, and then she’d be gone in the morning. He had enjoyed himself throughout the night with them, but didn’t want to bother with their lives. So much for that happening with Willow.

For once, here was a girl that wanted to truly get to know him for who he was. She was also someone that didn’t come in with any pre-concieved notions about him, either. He got a fresh start in building those feelings. Whether he wanted to truly admit it, it was the best feeling in the world.

Making his way down the stairs, he could only smile at the sight of the tree and lights. They had done a good job decorating and it certainly completed the front room. He also couldn’t help but smile at the presents, just counting down till morning when she’d see what he got her. There was also curiosity in the presents that she’d placed under, as well.

One present hadn’t made it under the tree yet as he wasn’t sure whether it was the right time. Perhaps he should wait a couple months, or perhaps he was making the right decision.

Glancing at his phone, he dials a number that he had grown accustom to dialing.

“Hello?” He hears as he takes a deep breath.

“I think I’m in love,” he states without hesitation. It was something that he had grown accustom to saying if anyone asked because it was true.

“Tony, I think we both know that. You spend every waking moment with Willow. You brag about her to everyone and what she means to you. You welcomed her hom-”

“I bought a ring a week ago.” He could picture his best friend choking on whatever beverage was near, or fainting in shock. That wasn’t a Stewart related thought.

“Okay….Tony, I know you love her a lot and she loves you a lot. it’s no doubt that you belong together. But, are you sure about this?” Tony lets out a sigh. That was the ever important question that night.

“That’s why I’m calling you, Kevin.” Kevin Harvick was probably his closest friend, and the first person he spoke about Willow to. He trusted his friend’s advice as they had grown closer over the years. It was also a benefit to be close to Delana for a female perspective as well.

“If you’re second guessing yourself, then you need to hold off. This is a big step that you need to be ready for, Tony.” Tony lets out a sigh. That wasn’t the problem. He knew that he was ready. He knew what he loved her a lot and wanted to be with her. In his mind, all the timing was right. But is that the same across the board?

“I am ready. I want to be with her for the rest of my life. I love her so much and I’m certain I am making the right decision. I just don’t know if she’s ready for this step.” In truth, Tony was afraid of rejection, or even worse in scaring her off.

“You guys can talk about anything with ease, as you told me. Nothing has ever been a problem for you. If she’s not ready, I’m sure she will explain why and you can move forward till the time is right. Plus, you could do a long engagement.” Tony understood those points as they sounded valid. However, there was a nagging fear.

“What if she is scared and runs?”

“If that happens, go after her. But I don’t see that happening. She can’t resist spending time with you.” That wasn’t a shadow of debt as nether could resist each other.

“Thanks…”

“Only do it if it feels right, and good luck. Ill talk to you later. I have to get up early with Keelan.”

“I will let you know how it goes, and make sure to tell him I say hi. I hope he enjoys his gift.” Tony smiles as he knew Keelan would, with it being a miniature track to race all his little cars.

“Will do. Bye Smoke.”

“Bye Kevin.” He then hangs up and lets out a sigh.

Turning the box in his fingers, he knew this was a big decision that had both positives and negatives. Though after talking it out with Kevin, he knew he had his mind made up for tomorrow.

 

Chapter 7: Christmas Eve

Swept completely off my feet
This snow globe scene is turning me
This Christmas Eve
“I” became “we”
Don’t wake me please
From this winter dream, dream
Winter dream

“Willow, there are so many reasons that I could say to you right now….that doesn’t sound right,” Tony says to himself as he finds himself sitting in the chair by the tree watching the snow fall once again later that night.

He had returned to bed with Willow, only to wake up a couple hours later and return to his previous spot by the tree with the box in hand. He had pretty much made up his mind that he was going to ask her to marry him. He was prepared for whatever she may say and set to give her every reason to stay. He had worked out all the things that he wanted to say in response to her possible responses in his mind.

But how was he going to ask to begin with? That was the tough question.

Taking a deep breath, he decided to give it another shot.

“From the moment that my eyes met yours, I knew that you were special and we were meant to be,” he starts. “I knew that I had to get to know you. Then we had those first conversations and my thoughts were assured. You were the only person that I could honestly sit there and divulge everything to without holding a thing back, and understand. From your experiences combined with mine, we were meant for each other because we have an understanding. I can talk to you about anything, and you can help me through any thought.

“Love wasn’t something that I believed in. I didn’t know if I could find that person, but I have found that with you. I don’t want to spend a single second away from you. I want to be with you forever, and never have to know what it means to be apart. I just want to hold you close, cuddle you, kiss those soft lips and spend the rest of my life with you.

“Willow Salone, will you marry me?”

Willow had made her way to the steps about a half hour ago, wondering why the other side of the bed was cold, empty. She knew that Tony had gotten up and after realizing that it wasn’t a simple bathroom trip, she had grown curious. Perhaps he went for a midnight snack, perhaps he had something on his mind.

She went out of the room and heard his voice from the living room, sitting down on the steps. She didn’t want to disturb him as she could tell that he was in thought, but she was also curious. She heard as he debated his words over and over and it sounded just….perfect. She laughed at the frustration with mistakes, smiled at his reveal of how much he loved her.

She wanted to run down the stairs and cure everything away….but….she was frozen on that top step. She wasn’t sure if she was ready for marriage.

She had watched a marriage fall apart in her own childhood. She had watched what she thought was love turn into a nightmare. Her heart knew that things were awesome with Tony and not bound for that fate, but how could she convince her brain of that?

Besides, they had only known each other four months. Did they honestly know that they were ready to spend the rest of their lives together based on that small period? It seemed small in relation to the long relationships that she saw her friends in, and heard worked best. She didn’t want to dive face first into something and get her heart broken into pieces again.

She then hears him get up from his seat, knowing that he has found himself satisfied on the speech, finally. In just over three to four hours, she’d be hearing that same speech and faced with the question. It was a question that she wasn’t sure she could answer, and a question that she knew would keep her awake for the next couple of hours. How could she answer that question so easily?

“Willow?” She is snapped out of her thoughts as he stands at the bottom of the stairs, looking up at her. Letting out a sigh, she was caught in the spot and knew that she couldn’t move. With one look into his eyes, she had decided on her answer. She also knew that she couldn’t wait for the time to pass. Besides, this would give them some time to celebrate before heading to his mom’s.

“Tony, those words that you were saying….” She starts as she makes her way down the stairs.

“Wait – you heard?” She shakes her head yes as he feels his stomach flip flop. “Willow-”

“Repeat those words. Say them once again. Let me hear them. You may be surprised as to your answer.” He then looks at her in surprise, and knows by the tone of her voice that perhaps he was doing the right thing that night.

“Forget the whole speech. Let’s just move to the big question….” He then kneels down on one knee as he holds the box out. “Willow Salone, will you marry me?”

“Anthony Stewart, there’s only one answer that I could ever say to that question. Absolutely, positively, without a doubt – yes!” He then pulls her close, kissing her lips with every bit of a passion. “Woah…easy….stairs….”

“Let’s go upstairs. Much safer.” She then grins in agreement as they both head to the top of the stairs. They then head into the bedsroom, flopping on the bed besides each other. She immediately pulls him close, and kisses his lips as he wraps his arms around her. As she slips another kiss on his lips while tugging at his boxers, he slips the ring over her finger.

****************
“Can you believe this?” Tony asks as they lay in bed a couple hours later with her lying in his arms. “Merry Christmas…”

“Merry Christmas, indeed.” She then glances at her hand, checking over the ring. “Beautiful ring, by the way. It’s perfect.”

“I may have had a little help….”

“Danica or Delana?”

“Both.” She just laughs as she knew that he’d go to those two for advice on this very topic.

“Well, they did a good job helping you choose.” He then kisses her bare shoulder as he looks over the ring on her finger. The simple blue stone on the gold band certainly looked beautiful.

“I love you so much.”

“I love you, too. I wouldn’t have it any other way. If this is a dream….”

“It isn’t a dream, trust me.” She then glances back at him.

“It feels like it with how good everything has to come together. I just don’t want to wake up and be disappointed.” He then runs his hands over her shoulders.

“You’re not dreaming, and I will never, ever disappoint you or break your heart. I love you, and I promise to take care of you.” He then kisses her cheek, before kissing her shoulder once again.

“Tony…..”

“Willow…..

“If you keep this up, we will never be ready on time.” Tony then shifts them both around so he’s on top of her.

“I’m never on time. They don’t need to know about our secret.”

THE END

Be sure to read the sequel “The Demons” to continue the journey with Tony and Willow

thedemons

Winter Love – Chapters 1 Thru 5

winterlove

Chapter 1: The Limo Ride

Drawing hearts on the foggy glass
New love chase away my past
Nothing but the open road
Saddle up
Here we go…
1,2,3

Sitting in the back of the airport limo, 42-year-old Willow Salone relaxes back, counting down the seconds and minutes till she is in his arms. With his schedule and her need to see her parents, the pair hadn’t seen each other for a whole week. For Willow, that felt like an eternity. It was no wonder why her body and heart craved to be back in his arms as soon as possible, if not sooner.

“The cold must be in the air,” she muses to herself as she begins to draw a heart on the window. She hadn’t been to Indiana much in her life – having grown up in Southern Florida – but she knew that she was going to make this area of the United States home now.

In her mind, she couldn’t believe that she was going to see Tony Stewart at his house, having his arms wrapped around her with their lips crossing each other’s at certain times. However, well it felt like such a big shock, it was the best feeling in the world.

In August, she was working for a newspaper and when news broke of an incident between Tony Stewart and a young man at a local short track, she was assigned to cover the story everyway possible. The thought disgusted her as she wasn’t the type to be around racecars and egotistic men that typically drove those racecars. She was normally your basic news editor, but with nobody else available, she was chosen. Plus, she had good experience in getting the right statements that were required from the family affected by a crime, and the police.

Set to do her job to the fullest, she immediately flew up and began getting those statements, while finding everyway possible to immerse herself with the NASCAR culture. She tired to attend as many races as possible, getting as much information that she could on this Tony Stewart individual.

Based on the analysis, she learned that it wasn’t the cut throat story that her editor had pointed in a man killing a young boy clearly. This was also an individual that could be tough and had experience with anger management, but also had a sweet caring side. She was told stories by fans in the garage area, and his fellow competitors, that developed a whole new image on him. it was an image that allowed her to paint an article that pictured a man that was possibly being bullied for a simple mistake.

Though giggling to herself, she couldn’t have pictured the day that the pair crossed paths at the track. Being new to the NASCAR culture, she didn’t know where anything was or where she was allowed to be. Trying to find one of the trailer as quickly as possible due to Kevin Harvick, one of Stewart’s drivers, being available to talk, she was running around in circles in the garage trying to find where to be. Lost in her own notes and trying to get there, she wasn’t watching where she was going – causing her to bump into the one individual that has was there to watch closely.

Stumbling back on her feet, her notes go flying out of her air and scatter across the ground before them.

“Oh shit!” She lets out as she immediately bends down and begins picking them up. Tony then bends down, helping her gather some pieces of paper and handing them to her.

“You may want to watch where you’re going,” he suggests before standing back up.

“Sorry about that. I was lost and focused on what I should be doing and just wasn’t watching where I was going…” She then stands up as she brushes the pages up, cursing herself as they’d be no fun to reorder.

“As I said, watch where you’re going.” He then goes to walk by her without a care in the world, though the pair catch each other’s gaze. With his eyes locked on her hazel eyes, he was frozen, unable to move. “What’s your name?”

“Willow, Willow Salone. I’m here on behalf of the Miami Press to cover….things. I know who you are, Mr. Tony Stewart?” He shakes his head yes as he watches her closely. It wasn’t like him to date reporters – you never know when they could be using you for information – but this was one person that seemed real special.

“Off the record, how would you like to go to dinner tonight?”

She didn’t know what propelled her to say yes – whether the look in his eyes, the strange attraction that she felt to him or the curiosity that she had in reference to being a journalist.

The dinner was great, but the desert session was better. as they wanted to further their conversation, they went back to his motorcoach and well, other things took over. As they say, the rest is history as the connection continued to grow between them in the weeks to come.

She also began a big piece of his life, helping him in healing from what happened. She helped take care of him in doing the laundry, getting meals, etc. She was also his emotional rock as he told her the emotions that he was feeling, ranging from the anger in the media accusations to the sadness of the situation. There was one night that he told her that he wondered where’d be without her as she had done so much for him.

However, that feeling went both ways.

While he spilled his guts about what happened, she was busy spilling her guts about her emotions. She had a dark past of her own, filled with abuse as a child from her parents. She ran away from home at the age of 14, living on the streets and friends till she was able to get a steady job at the age of 18 to afford a rundown apartment.

In the past 28 years since running away from home, she hadn’t found a single person that she could tell the details to about what happened. There was nobody that she felt comfortable enough to describe the abuse and the triumphs that she felt in detail. However, it seemed to easily pour out with ease when her and Tony were cuddled up together. For the first time in her life, she felt free from what happened.

“This house here?” The limo driver breaks her from her thoughts as she glances out the window. She could see the large ranging property, the familiar truck she knew well and the nice house.

“This is the place please,” she states as the limo turns out the long driveway.

She looks around, her smile firmly planted on her face as she looks around. there was something special about being out in the wide-open. After being confined at a child, she loved to be out in the country and open, able to roam free and do as she pleased.

It was another reason why she knew that she could get used to Indiana as she remembered coming up in early November, and the experience then. Tony took her out on the property and showed her around, but shared one of the biggest secrets that the property held. If you watched closely enough, you could see a couple deer. She got that opportunity, spotting a pair of deer wandering the woods together. It brought a smile to her face that day, as she glanced at Tony and kissed his lips, the pair sharing how the deer reminded them of another special pair.

As the limo stops before the house, she takes a deep breath as she looks towards the house. It was finally time. It was finally time to be back in his arms and surrounded by the love that she had grown to truthfully adore and appreciate over the past couple of months.

 

Chapter 2: Christmas Promises

First winter here in your arms
Flames rising as well fall like stars

Tony could only smile as he opened the door, seeing Willow standing there before him. As her bags dropped to the ground, he immediately pulled her close, kissing her lips with as much as passion as possible.

If you would’ve asked a couple months ago, even years ago if he would’ve been standing here like this on Christmas Eve with the woman of his dreams and making passionate love, he wouldn’t had believed you. Sure, on the passionate love – but not with someone that he loved as much as Willow and could see his forever with.

However, that was just how much she had changed in his life in the span of five months since crossing paths. She had entered his life when he was at his absolute lowest point needing someone, and helped him pick up every piece along the way. In his mind, she was an angel in disguise.

“I’ve missed you so much,” she finally comments when she gets a chance to breathe as he slowly lets her go. “Let’s promise to not spend that much time apart again, please.” She then reaches down and picks up her bags, making her way inside the house as he closes the door behind her. She then slips her boots off, followed by her coat as he hangs up. Knowing that she needs to put her bags away in their room, she reaches to pick them up, though finds a pair of arms wrap around her in the process.

“You can worry about those later Willow,” he tells her as he places a kiss on her cheek. “Right now, I want to make up for that lost time.” He then spins her around and holds her close to him as he leads her to the couch.

“I don’t have any objections to that.” She then sits down on the couch as he sits beside her, keeping her held close to him. He then cups her cheeks in hands, bringing her face close to his before sharing another kiss.

“How was your latest search for great journalism?” She then laughs it off as she wraps an arm around his neck.

“Not as good as this right here, right now. How was your fun with the boys?” He then wipes a strand hair out of her eyes, wanting to glance right into her.

“It was fun, but I was missing you the whole time. There’s nothing that can replace our time together, Willow.” She then smiles as she lays back on the couch, bringing him down with her.

“Then why are we still clothed, Mr. Stewart? I thought I was supposed to be doing some investigating of my own this Christmas eve.” He then smiles as he reaches for the edge of sweater.

“Anything that makes you happy, Ms. Salone. I told you that I’d make this Christmas special.” He then slowly runs his fingers up underneath her shirt as he kisses her lips with every bit of passion along the way.

For him, it was fine. He could spend every moment making love to her, if that made her happy. That was part of the promise that he gave her the last time that they were together.

Knowing that they each had planned, they were set to span their separate ways. It was that final night that he made her promise to come see him and spend Christmas Eve with him. It was a special holiday, and he wanted to make it special for her with a gift of his own.

Of course, he didn’t expect that promise to turn into another emotional night of discussion between the pair.

“I don’t know, Tony,” she comments as she lies in his arms. “I’ll have to see.”

“What do you mean you’ll have to see?” He questions as he runs his fingers through her hair.

“Christmas…I don’t know…” He could tell by her words that she was holding something back, unable to spill the details to him.

“Talk to me, Willow…” She lets out a sigh as she sits up, thinking back to previous years.

“Growing up, every kid looks forward to Christmas. I wasn’t any different as a little girl as that was the one day that my parents were actually nice and gentle. They wanted me to have that, at least I guess, so I wouldn’t blab to those at school, but instead share the stories like theirs of getting gifts from Santa. I couldn’t wait for that day as it not only brought a break, but it also was a day that I got something. One year it was a doll, the next year it was a book that I wanted. I wouldn’t get much – one or two things – but it at least gave me a chance to feel special.” He rubs her shoulders as he thinks back to other nights in how she told him about the abuse that she went through.

“That sounds like a good memory, Willow. That’s something that you can at least cherish from your childhood.” She knew that he was right in saying that, as she did. It was at least one moment that she could say that things were great between her and her parents, that she had a positive with them.

“When I chose to run away, I knew that I had to get away. That first year, Christmas came and I was homeless at the time, in between houses. I stayed at a shelter with some other people like myself, just thankful to have a roof over my head in the cold. While it felt great to be away from them, that was probably the loneliest day of my life. For the first time, I never got a present for Christmas. For the first time, I had nobody to share the most loved holiday with. For the first time, I felt like I was on an island, unloved, not cared about, unwanted – all my emotions came clashing down in the span of hours. I spent the whole day hiding in the shelter bathroom, crying. I’d stop when someone came in not wanting to be found, but other than that – I just cried, Tony.” He felt tears coming to his eyes as she recounted the tale, and even more brokenhearted in realizing that she was 14 at the time.

“But you are loved, Willow. Lots of people love and care about you. your friends at work love and care about you. Most importantly, I love you dearly and can’t imagine my life without you now. You’ve done so much for me, Willow, that I just want to hold you forever and let you know over and over that I love you.” She shook her head, expecting that type of comment to be displayed in the tale of her story to date.

“I know, Tony, and I am thankful each day that I have the friends that I do, and even more thankful that we crossed paths that day in the garage. I don’t need to be told that…” She then takes a deep breath, wanting to get to her point in telling the tale that day. “Christmas has never felt the same since. Each day, it brings up memories of being lonely. I don’t want to ruin your Christmas with your sister and your mom by being there and having thoughts back to my loneliness. I don’t want to spoil your happiness because I’m thinking of how lonely I was those years, and feeling sorry for myself. I’ve spent these past Christmases alone, and I don’t see this year being any different.” Tony wasn’t going to let her spend this year alone, or go through those feelings again. He wanted to be there for her, just like she was there for him.

“It would ruin my Christmas more knowing that you were unhappy and lonely. It would ruin my Christmas more not seeing your pretty face on Christmas Day.” He then takes a deep breath as he looks down into her eyes. “Come to Indiana and spend Christmas with me. Let me rekindle the Christmas spirit for you and show you how happy it can be. Let me make this Christmas special for you, and one to remember.”

As they laid there on the couch, clothes tossed all around the room with their arms wrapped around each other, enjoying the relaxing heat and crackling of the fire in the background, she was right – Christmas was certainly sweeter being there in his arms, in Indiana. He was certainly doing right in his promise of making her Christmas special and one to remember for a long time.

She just didn’t know how special he was going to make it in the hours to come.

 

Chapter 3: Playing in the Snow

Making angels in the snow

“Alright, enough cuddling – we can do that later,” Tony starts, catching her attention as she looks back at him. “Let’s go outside and play in the snow.”

“Are you serious?” She questions and he shakes his head yes as she slowly gets up off of him, with him following.

“If you’re going to spend Christmas here with me, then you need to have some fun in the snow. It’ll be fun.” Willow then looks at him surprising as he heads towards the door.

“It’s cold out there – freezing. Are you crazy?” He then laughs as he holds out his hand, grabbing hers and pulling her close to him.

“That’s why you dress really warm in a heavy coat, hat and mitts. You’ll be fine, trust me. You’ll be having so much fun that you’ll forget about the cold.” He then slips his boots and coat on, before returning his eyes to her. She continued to stand there with shock written on her face in disbelief. “Well, are you coming?”

“Do I have a choice?” He then giggles and shakes his head no as she lets out a sigh. “Fine – as long as I get to wear your sweater underneath my coat.”

“So you need me to stay warm?” She then walks right up to him and wraps her arms his neck, pulling him down to her level.

“I’m always my warmest when my Smokey bear is around.” She then kisses his lips, carefully holding the edge of his lip in her mouth for a tick longer before releasing him. “Now why can’t we just stay in here where it’s warm and continue to do that?”

“We have all that night for that, and we can use that to warm us back up afterwards.” He then throws her a sweater as she slips it on before grabbing her coat. “I promise you’ll have fun. Remember – I told you that I’d make this Christmas special for both of us.” She then lets out a sigh as she puts her coat on.

“You better make going outside worthwhile mister.” She then finishes getting ready, following him outside into the bitter cold. She could only hope that he had a good plan in mind.

Once they were outside, Tony took her for a walk across the property into the trees. While she was stubborn about coming out originally, she had to admit – it was very beautiful in seeing how the snow had sat nicely on the trees. She had heard people talk about how beautiful the winter scenery could be, but she never had seen it’s beauty for herself. Now seeing it and with the man that she loved, it certainly was almost a bit romantic in her eyes.

She had no clue as to what Tony had planned, as he wasn’t normally planning surprises like this. Their relationship, so far to date, has consisted of just finding the time to spend together, even if they weren’t doing much. He invited her to the banquet but beyond that, no events stood out in her mind. For them, it was all about cuddles and good conversation.

She heard some of her fellow girls at work commenting how they’d go on dates, or how their significant other would be doing this and that for them. She didn’t need all that, and she assured the others of that. For her, this was perfect. She had loathed to find that one person who would understand her and help her with her thoughts, and now having that she wasn’t about to screw things up.

“So what do you want to do?” He questions, catching her off-guard as she snaps out of her thoughts with a glance his way.

“Aren’t you the one that dragged my ass out here?” She asks in response with a bit of snarkiness. She was over the cold and what she had said inside in the scenery, but that didn’t mean she had to tell him that.

“Right…Well, the choice is up to you. We can either build a snowman, or a snow fort, or I have some AT-”

“What if we make snow angels?” Tony was then caught off-guard by her request as he had thought of everything possible to do in the snow, but that. It seemed like an odd request considering the options and the fact that she didn’t want to come out originally due to the cold.

“Snow angels?” She shakes her head yes as she crosses her arms. She had more than one reason for asking for a snow angel. For one, she couldn’t wait for him to lie down before her in the snow and make it – then the fun of getting up afterwards. Though beyond that, she also had her own personal reasons.

“Is there a proble-”

“Well, if it’s snow angels that you want, then it’s snow angels that you’re going to get.” He then sits down in th snow, laying back. He then begins to wave his legs and arms, forming the angel, though stops as he glances at her. “You better get down here and make one as well.”

“I’m surprised that you accepted.” She then lies down beside him and begins to follow the same motions, smiling as she does so. The entire time, she was being reminded of one of her most cherished childhood memories.

Before her parents broke into their evil ways – for their own reasons, they were the most caring and loving people. she remembered the hugs and stories that they shared, as well as the fun times in the yard. One of those memorable times – making a family squad of snow angels across the front lawn so everybody knew who lived there.

It was a simple memory, but something that they did every year for the first six years of her life. While she hated her parents for what had happened between her and them, she also knew that they were good people underneath everything and that was one of her reminders of that fact. It was also a reminder to herself that she had good in her, and it was her choice whether to keep being good.

“Willow, don’t ever let yourself think that you’re evil, bad or anything less than perfect, beautiful, kind, awesome and the most darling woman that I have ever met,” Tony tells her after she finishes telling her story, before leaning in to lightly kiss her lips.

“You’re going to mess up your angel!” She yells at him, pushing him backwards back into his form.

“Did I just hear that, right? Did you just deny a kiss from me?” A grin then forms on her face as she looks over at him.

“That never happens, does it?” Tony shakes his head no as he looks into her eyes.

“And I’m not letting it happen, either.” He then goes over to her, tackling her as he starts placing kisses all over her face while she laughs beneath him.

“Tony…Tony…you’re running your…Tony…” She couldn’t stop the giggles that was coming out of her as he continued to place kisses all over her. He finally stopped, released her a little as he looked into her eyes.

“I better stop before I start taking off your coat.”

“And I was worried about getting cold.” They both then laugh as she pushes him back. “Now we have to redo our angels!” Tony then stands up first, seeing how messy they now look as he holds out his hand, helping her up.

“Does that mean more tackling and kisses?” She just shakes her head as she walks away from him.

“Oh Tony, you’re ridiculous. But for messing up my snow angel….” She then reaches down into the snow, forming a snowball in her hands. “It’s war!” She then chucks the snowball at him, hitting him straight in the chest as he looks at her surprised.

“Oh really? Do you know who you’re messing with?”

“Bring it on.”

 

Chapter 4: Cuddling By The Fire

Warm, fuzzies, frozen toes…
Is this a dream?

After a fun snow fight, followed by building a snowpig (to match Pork Chop), the pair headed inside to get warm. Getting changed in some warm pajamas and Tony making some hot chocolate, the pair curled up together on the couch in front of the fire.

“I think my toes are still frozen,” Willow comments as she wiggles her toes a little underneath the blanket.

“What about the rest of you?” Tony questions as he rubs her shoulders.

“That is all warm and cozy, but I wouldn’t know why or how.” He then looks down on her, kissing her lips softly with a smile.

“I wouldn’t know that either. Is my hotness rubbing off on you?” She then rolls her eyes with a laugh.

“More like cuddling up to a Sasquatch would warm anybody up.” Tony then looks at her, surprised.

“Hey! I thought we agreed to leave my hair alone.” Willow chuckles, remembering one of their first times together and the thoughts that she had on his hair.

She had never been able to get close to someone with lots of body hair – it tickled her and made her feel uncomfortable. In any previous intimate experience, she had to make sure that her boyfriend was cleanly shaved on all fronts. Another thing that surprised her about them being together.

However, that changed upon her first time with him as while the hair still tickled her belly and other parts during intimacy, she actually enjoyed it. It was a good tickle that made the moment even that much more special with a couple giggles. Tony also wasn’t scared away by her giggling noises either, joining in the laughs in surprise. Of course, it was a good break in the hot and heavy parts as no doubt they had a real strong core connection.

“Atleast I’m not trying to make you shave or pull it out,” Willow comments as she turns to face him slightly, running her fingers up underneath his shirt. “Perhaps I should get you a wax.” Tony then looks at her in horror, causing her to laugh even harder.

“Been there done that out of a dare and never doing that again,” Tony proclaims, still wanting to kill Kevin over that incident. He then lays back as she wraps her arms around him. “You just love having your hands all over my body.”

“What can I say? I want to get warm and know that fuzzy will do that for me.” Tony shakes his head in disbelief.

“It’s not that. You honestly can’t keep your hands away from me. You’re so attracted that you have to be touching me at all times…”

That statement was no lie as it seemed each time they got together, nine times out of 10 resulted in all clothes removed with full body contact. It went without any doubt that they had a strong physical relationship, stronger than either could’ve had with previous partners.

Willow had been in a couple dating relationships, but nothing like this or this strong. While they got to slip it in the hole, they didn’t have the right amount of understanding for her to be truly comforted by them.

For Tony, he’d certainly had his way with the ladies in the past. But nothing felt as pure and wonderful as when he and Willow had sex for the first time. He always proclaimed to his friends that he’d never fall in love, but that turned out to be a big fat lie.

“Is it wrong to be so physically attracted to a man that you feel lonely and lost without him by your side?” She questions before softly kissing his lips as she wraps her arms around his back to hold herself close to him.

“Not at all, as long as it is okay for that man to want to hold that woman close to him all night long without letting an inch of separation happen,” Tony answers as he returns the kiss.

“That’s not a problem at all…”

“Please come spend the whole season with me. Don’t let me have a weekend without you.” It was a surprise request as Willow had not been expecting Tony to bring up work during their cuddle discussion. However, the request made sense.

Being an investigative journalist, her job took her cross the country to whatever assignment her editor felt like giving her. as a result, she missed the last couple races of the previous year. It was a feeling that neither wanted to feel again in being apart as it drove them both nuts. Beyond that, her worry for something happened increased majorly as she couldn’t be there watching firsthand, seeing that things were fine.

It was those feelings that brought on for her to put a request into her boss, and even more surprising to hear her boss accept the request. It was that meeting that had created one of the reasons for their separation the past week.

“You won’t have to feel that feeling again, trust me,” she assures him. “You’re looking at the new lead NASCAR journalist for the paper. So as long as you teach me what I am missing, I can follow you all year long reporting on you and your fellow mates.” He then smiles as that was the best news to hear, ever. He knew that things were falling together more perfectly than possible – almost too perfect. Perhaps the plans for the night weren’t totally out of the question, but rather fitting for the relationship they had.

“Are you sure that you won’t get distracted by your teacher?” He questions as she simply smiles.

“Not at all because when you start teaching, I won’t be able to take my eyes off of the lecture,” she answers with a smile. He then slips out from under her, walking over to the movie cupboard. His plans for that Christmas Eve were simple – spend time cuddling with her and talking. The plan for tomorrow was to meet up with his mom and sister.

“Since we’re going to Daytona in February, you have to watch this movie.” He then holds up Days of Thunder with a smile on his face before slipping it in the DVD player. “Consider this the start of your education.” He then cuddles back up with her on the couch as the movie starts.

 

Chapter 5: Post Movie Cuddles

Build a fire to escape the cold
Bing Crosby on the stereo
Tracing letters on my skin
Slowly starts sinkin’ in…
You love me

“Okay, so that was the cheesiest movie of all time,” Willow comments after Days of Thunder is over, as Tony lets out a laugh.

“But you have to admit that it’s a good movie?” He questions as she shrugs her shoulders.

“I’d take my Hunger Games over it, but it’s not that bad.”

“Just wait till I pull out Stroker Ace and Speedway. Then you’ll be happy.” She then watches him curiously as he goes and shuts off the movie, now in the credits.

“Oh, so I don’t get Talladega Nights?” He then glances back at her.

“Really?” She ten shrugs her shoulders.

“I find it entertaining and funny when I was forced to watch it by Stephanie when I stayed at her place.” He then walks back over to the couch, sitting back beside her.

“Fine – we can watch that movie the week before Talladega.” She smiles accepting, as she pulls him closer to her.

“Can we also vote on a Fast and Furious marathon?” He immediately shakes his head no.

“You’re not allowed to drool all over Vin and Paul.” She then laughs as a smirk forms on her face.

“Oh Tony, you’re forgetting something. Everything that I need is right here before me.” She then leans in and kisses his lips, lightly, slowly pulling back as she keeps her eyes locked on his. There was no doubt that every inch of her craved him every single second of the day. How could one man be so captivating? “You know, there was one scene that I thought we could study further…”

“What is that?” She had a perfect plan in her mind to result in more close contact with him. She had watched carefully, understanding what Cole was saying in the film. Though she could only imagine how much more understanding and knowledgeable it’d be hearing it from Tony.

“The sugar packet scene in learning about drafting. How the second car is supposed to slip behind the other car, and then slip out to make the pass.” Tony smiles as he knew that would be along her mind, and he wasn’t about to contest the discussion one bit.

“I could help you out with that. Come on…” He then leads her to his bedsroom, both of them laying on the bed together as she keeps her eyes locked on his. He then grabs two ‘sour keys’ packages, placing them down on the bed.

“You’re doing it wron-”

“I have no sugar packets!” She then laughs as she shakes her head no, laying flat on to her back and spreading her legs out.

“I meant you’re doing it in the wrong spot, Tony.” He then grins with a head shake.

“I knew you were doing this for the wrong reasons…” He then places the pair of packages on her leg, lined up straight.

“Not at all. I’m very innocent, Tony, I swear. I want to learn about drafting. Now, teach me, sir.” He then lets out a small laugh, before slowly moving the packages up her leg.

“Daytona is all about drafting. Due to restrictor plates – metal flat plates placed on the carb – we are stricted to running in packs with the air dictating what we do, hence drafting. Drafting is following that perfect slip of air to gain speed.” She then shakes her head as she looks down at the pair of packages.

“So, at Daytona, it’s quicker to be lined up like that rather than separate?” Tony shakes his head yes.

“Now, as for what you saw in the movie…” He then slowly moves the one package out from behind the first package and to the side, slowly and gently, as if to give her a slight tickle in the process. “To make a pass, once you have enough air to your car and feel a pick up in horsepower, then you swing out and try to go by.”

“Called a slingshot?” He shakes his head yes.

“You’re doing very well, Ms. Willow.” He then leans in and kisses her. “That’s your prize for behaving.”

“What do I get if I pass the whole class?” He then sits back and glances into her eyes.

“I thought you said that you were being innocent about this?” She then lets out her own little laugh, as they both knew that wasn’t true. Neither one of them had been innocent sine the day they met. Sexual activity made up a good half of the relationship; having heart-to-heart talks made up the second half. The pair knew how to balance the two, in respect toe ach other, and that was something neither could find with someone else. “Of course, I saw right through your plan immediately.”

“So, what does the good student receive?” He then moves the packet up her leg further, closing in on her opening.

“Perhaps there is a treat for you at the end of the tunnel.” She then pulls him close to her, kissing his lips with every bit of passion laced inside of her.

“Tony….you want it….” He then snatches one of the packets up off of her leg and opens it, sticking one of the sour keys in his mouth.

“I thought you’d never let me.” She then shakes her head as she removes the packet from his hand and places it aside. “Bu…”

“That’s not what we both know you want.” She then gently grabs his hand and brings it to her opening, putting it over her crotch. “Face it, Smokey. There was a reason why you brought me up here.”

“We needed more room to teach. That’s why I offered the bed….and it’s getting late. We need to sleep so that way we both get up tomorrow nice and early for Christmas.” She then lets out a sigh as she flops back. He was playing hard to get and it drove her nuts. It seemed every time she wanted him badly, he would keep playing around with those feelings. Though the want would grow, and eventually he would give in.

That want was slowly increasing with Tony this time once again, and had been growing since the teaching started. Seeing her legs bare before him, working his fingers up the toned muscles as he got closer to butt with the packets before, to feeling the top with his hand – it was the perfect mess to draw him in closer.

Eventually, he couldn’t resist anymore as he brought his lips to hers, kissing them softly and slowly, before building into harder and more passionate kisses as he worked his body closer to hers.

As he brought his body on top of hers, she wrapped her arms around his shoulders, holding him close as she didn’t want to be separated. If he was willing to fill her need, then she was going to fully make sure that it happened.

Her fingers ended up coming across the tattoo that covered his back, as she remembered the first time that she saw it.

It had surprised her in their first night together, stopping the instant path that they were headed across that night. She had taken a closer glance, questioning the meaning and analyzing the detail. She hadn’t seen a tattoo of this size that covered the majority of his upper back, nor with as much care in the design as this seemed to have.

It brought forth a side of admiration, and while she wasn’t for guys with tattoo, she couldn’t pull herself away from him so they had continued with the process that night.

Now fast forwarding to the current night that they were under, she wasn’t letting her distract her or pull her away as she just wanted everything that her Smoke had to offer.

The Street Racing Stig – Chapters 81 Thru 83

thestreetracingstig

Chapter 81: Pain and Panic….

Ron’s POV – Monday – 12pm EST (Remember kidnapping happened Sunday post-race)

Why was it so hard to open my eyes? Why did they feel like they weighed 200 pounds? I could hear the voices around me.

I could hear the tears that my mom was sniffling beside me. I could hear my father talking about Jimmie and everything that he had learned, since Jimmie had so kindly told my parents the entire truth. You could tell that it didn’t go over well with my father, and I could almost guarantee a lecture at some point. But for now, I wanted to open my darn eyes and look at my mom. I wanted to assure her that I’d be okay.

I also wanted to assure Jimmie that I’d be okay. I heard him earlier – you could say an hour ago. He had muttered some words to Candiss about feeling sorry for everything that had happened, the regret that he felt, his response to my father’s obvious anger, and it broke my heart. I just wanted to open my eyes and assure him that it’d be okay.

Why was it so hard to open my eyes?

I remembered all the details of the room. I remembered Hilary grabbing me and stuffing me in her car. I remembered waking up in her torture chamber. I remember the discussions of the injections that she was going to give me. I remember feeling the pain of the leather belt against my body. I remember feeling a needle go in, numbing the pain that I had felt. I remembered the panic and screams that set in with Dom and Jimmie’s entrance in the room. Somehow, I could even picture a second injection, but don’t quote me on that.

Everything brought forth two thoughts – pain and panic. There was pain that I knew I’d be feeling, probably along my legs and waist where I felt the leather smack against the cloth of my uniform. I also knew there’d probably be pain along my wrists and ankles, where she had bound me down to the table. There was panic – panic in whether I’d be okay, panic from my friends and family out of their own worry for me.

Taking a deep breath – or so I thought it felt like one, feeling a bit of confusion in feeling something pressed against my face, I knew that I couldn’t hide within my own world any longer. They deserved to know that I was alright, and I had to face what was out there.

I slowly let my eyes open, taking in the sights that surround me.

I could see Jimmie leaning against the wall with Candiss by his side. I’m thankful that he has Candiss to keep him strong while he worried and went through his emotions. I may have been skeptical bout her at the beginning, but she was earning her chops. I could see my parents sitting beside me out of the corner of my eye, glancing back with shock on their faces, perhaps happy tears, in knowing that their baby was awake and going to be okay.

Though, as predicted, I felt a pain immediately engulf me, feeling pain along my wrists, ankles and legs. Yep, that was obviously going to happen. If you combine that with an odd pain in the side of my stomach from something, I felt the need to scream upon entering the world. Perhaps I should’ve stayed where I was a little longer. I also felt an odd pain in my chest – perhaps being caused by the second injection that I thought I remembered. Something potassium like that was supposed to stop my heart, I think.

“Easy Ron,” my mom states as she grabs my hand, rubbing it. I tried to move, though found that hard to do with all the tubes that I thought I felt around me.

I went to talk, say something in return – ask questions, assure them that I was okay – though found that moving my mouth wasn’t something that I could do. What was going on?

I felt my heartbreak begin to quicken as panic and worry set in with the foreign objects that I felt, and inability to do things. Why couldn’t I move much? Why couldn’t I speak? What was against my face? What was going? I was rescued, right? I’m in the hospital. This looks like a hospital. Oh my….

“Easy Mr. Malec,” I hear a doctor say as he flashes a bright light in my eyes. Too bright, too bright – close immediately. Why did I open my eyes to begin with? “Good reaction time. Now, Mr. Malec, I need you to calm down please…” I wanted to do as he requested, but yet so many questions entered my mind. I needed to know what was going on.

“Easy Ron….” My mother states once again, continuing to rub my hand. I wished that it’d calm me down, but it didn’t seem to be helping.

“You have a tube down your throat helping you breathe. You were injected with potassium chloride. It’s meant to stop your heart, but we were able to counteract before it did damage and you should make it out with issues. The tube is there while your chest and body heals from the injection. I need to remain relaxed. If we see signs of continued improvement, perhaps we can work at removing the tube tomorrow or Wednesday.” That explained why I couldn’t talk. That explained why my chest felt like it was on fire. That explained why there was thing pushing against my face. Reasonably so that was fine as I understood what the doctor was saying. As long as I was going to be okay, that’s what mattered. I just hoped that he continued to assure my parents and Jimmie of that fact.

“See babes, you’re going to be okay…” Okay, so my parents were getting the message. I guess being awake that’d help them feel better too, right? I mean, it’s always nice when you can somewhat communicate.

“Now, I don’t want you moving much as there’s a tube in your stomach. We had to flush out your system due to the amount of drugs and looking to save you. Before we remove the vent, we will be knocking you out and removing that, and stitching as required.” Great. I have a hole in the side of my stomach because of that bitch. Isn’t that pleasant? No wonder I am in pain! Deep breathes, Ron, deep breathes. You’re going to be okay. Just be thankful that you’re going to be okay.

“How long will that take to heal?” I hear Jimmie’s voice, barely. I could tell that he was worried by how quiet he was. I wanted to simply wrap my arms around him and tell him it wasn’t his fault. I wanted to tell my father to lay off of him, too. I just wanted everything perfect, if you will.

“It will take 2-3 weeks for the wound to heal, Mr. Johnson,” the doctor states and I immediately roll my eyes. That meant 2-3 weeks of barely any movement and pain. Excuse me while I scream now. “Also, be careful with your IV as we have fluids working our way through. Given the strain on your face, I’ll increase your dosage of morphine to help you there.” Finally! Thank you! If he hadn’t done that, I was tempted to just fall back into my own world of peace. I almost did – but they stopped me. I couldn’t leave Jimmie and my parents worrying. “I’ll come back to check on you later. For now, focus on resting and getting better….” With that, the doctor left the room.

Okay, what else am I supposed to do? I can’t move off of this bed. I can’t talk due to this stupid tube down my throat. I can’t even try and move because of another stupid tube stuck in the side of my stomach. So answer me – what else am I supposed to do except rest and focus on getting better?

I knew there was one thing that I could do, though. I had to do this as I had to ease some of Jimmie’s worry. I may not be able to ease his heart and worry totally, but I had to give him some comfort. He was my best friend and he didn’t deserve to shoulder the blame.

I lift my free arm – right arm – off of the bed slowly and point his direction, motioning for him to come closer.

“You want to see me?” He asks quietly and I shake my head yes, slowly and not very much obviously. I watch as he slowly walks over, timidly. I swear I could kick his ass right now for how he was acting and feeling.

As soon as he reaches the bed, I wrap my arm around him, pulling him into a hug. I couldn’t say the words. I couldn’t explain my thought. However, I could only hope that hug would be enough of a message for the next 24 hours till I could tell him how I felt.

“I love you too buddy,” he replies as I finally release him from the hug. “Focus on getting better. It’s going to be okay.” I then watch as he slowly returns to his spot. My hug did enough in getting through – for now – as I could see his mood lighten a little. However, certainly more was needed. I also could see the hesitation around my parent, and that was getting cleared up tomorrow as well.

I didn’t care what Jimmie thought. I didn’t care what my parents thought. There was only one thing that mattered, and that was the fact that I was going to be okay and it wasn’t his fault.

 

Chapter 82: Apologies and Explainations

Jimmie’s POV – Tuesday – 5pm EST

My heart ached. It pained me to see him laying there in pain with tubes here and there and everywhere, doing various things. I swore I was going to cry harder than I ever thought possible when I walked in here and saw him Sunday night, knocked out with tubes everywhere.

That ache has eased with seeing him awake and seeing truth to the doctor’s words that he would be okay. The breathing tube had been removed, along with the tube that they had inserted in his stomach. They still were giving him oxygen – something about making it easy as possible to breathe while his chest healed – and the IV with pain meds and fluids. But, he was going to be okay and that was the main thing.

It was also hard at times to stand in the room. I had done the honest and what I believed the right thing to do in telling his parents the whole truth. I told them everything from when we started our troubles as teens to now. They deserved to know the truth with having seen Ron’s condition. I apologized numerous times along the way also.

Those apologies had gone unnoticed by his father, though. It still felt like he wanted to strangle me. He kept giving me a death stare, and looked to barely tolerating my appearance in the room. I wasn’t leaving the room, though, as I cared about my best friend and was going to be here for him. I got him stuck in this mess, and I was going to for sure help him.

“How are you feeling?” I finally squeak out. After leaving the room to have the stomach tube removed and stitches put in, he had returned about an hour later. They then waited for him wake up, removing the tube and requesting a period of quiet time. The doctor had just checked in, clearing everything, so he was set to rock ‘n’ roll with talking as normal.

“Sore,” he replies with a glance over my way. It was evident by the look on his face. “My chest feels like its on fire, my side is just unbearable pain it seems, and I can barely move. But – it’s okay. I’m going to be okay and everything will heal. The pain pills will start doing what they need to do. I’m okay, Jimmie. You can stop worrying.” Was it that obvious that I was worried? I didn’t try to make it obvious, standing in the background and allowing his parents to take front stage. I mean, I did cause this mess, right?

“I’m sorry, man. I’m sorry….” I couldn’t hold back apologizing. Candiss, Chad and Dom each have tried to convince me that it wasn’t my fault, however let’s face it – they didn’t know the truth. They didn’t know that Ron had tried to chase me away from these people and I had failed to listen.

“It’s not your faul-” Are we really going to do this?

“It is my fault!” I then take a deep breath, calming myself back down. It wasn’t fair to yell here. “I didn’t listen to you. You warned me that something would happen. You warned me that I would regret it later on. I didn’t listen to you and look where we are.”

“Right, but it’s not your fault. It’s not your fault that David, Clayton and Hilary did what they did to me. It’s not your fault that they made those decisions after what happened. Besides, it was both of us who decided to get wrapped up in this in the beginning.” I wanted to believe him. I wanted to let the guilt go, but it was so hard to do that.

“If he would’ve listened, then he never would’ve met this David guy and there never would’ve been any issue,” Ron’s dad then fumes, filling in my exact thoughts.

“But that’s not what happened,” Ron starts as he looks over at his dad. Great – now I’ve started issues with his parents. Kick the guilt meter up another notch, please. “It was his decision. I didn’t get stuck in it due to not listening. I got stuck in it because Hilary wanted to kidnap someone on the team to send a messa-”

“Because he got invov-”

“Dad, it was both our decision to get involved when we were younger! Heck, Jimmie didn’t want to go street racing originally. I was the one that wanted to go, but knew he was the better driver. If you’re going to blame anyone, blame me for getting him involved originally! No – better yet, blame the people who actually did this to me!” I found my guilt disappearing in hearing his explanation as perhaps I was being too hard on myself. Everybody makes their own decisions, and it was Hilary who decided to inject Ron with those needles.

“Ron, you’re not getting what we’re say-”

“I get what you’re saying, Dad!” I watch as Ron places his hand on his chest, taking a deep breath. Maybe this was a bad time for this at all. “About 98% percent of the people that you meet there are good people that are just looking for a fun time. They are just people wanting to test the limits of themselves and their cars and show-off. They’re just general car guys who want to discuss why they love their cars, and enjoy the thrill. Hence why it was a lot of fun back then. Of course, there’s always that small group that ruins it for everybody. Can you honestly put all that blame on Jimmie’s shoulders? No!” He had a point. That was the truth back then and in every group, there’s always someone that ruins it or perhaps causes a problem. Deep breath Jimmie, deep breath. Remember – it wasn’t your fault.

“Ron, I still feel bad though as David was originally after me,” I tell him, which was the truth. Remember –the bounty was on my head. “You weren’t ever supposed to be involved.”

“But I got involved and this happened,” he says. “Can we change that now? No. Can we look back and have regrets? Sure, but that’s both of our fault for doing what we did then. Jimmie, things are not going to change moving forward. You’re still my best friend and I still love you like a brother. We’re still going to be close as ever, working on racecars and muscle cars together.”

“Ron….” I hear his mom and know what she’s thinking already.

“Don’t worry Mrs. Malec, we both promise to behave and stick to racing on the track, right Ronnie?” I question and Ron shakes his head yes with a smile. I couldn’t help but smile in return. It felt nice to hear him say that things wouldn’t change and that he was willing to let this go. With a glance over at his dad, I just hoped that he’d feel the same way at some point.

“I’m glad to hear that Jimmie. Just make sure you take care of my boy.” I smile and shake my head, agreeing. She didn’t have to worry. I’m sure Chad and I will be keeping a close eye on him.

“You have nothing to worry about ma’am. I just hope that we can square things away.” That last comment was meant for his father as my eyes found his. It seemed that his anger was softening so perhaps we were having an effect.

“Just make sure you win this weekend for me, okay?” I shake my head in agreement. We had to win. We had to win so we could move on to the next round in the championship. It was going to be about putting everything on the line at Talladega this coming weekend.

“Buddy, I’m going to be trying extra hard just for you.” If I ever needed a further push to try harder, the combination of championship dreams and a win for a friend was the perfect ticket to that.

It was time to go win in Talladega.

 

Chapter 83: Talladega

Jimmie’s POV – Friday

I hated leaving the hospital. I wanted to stay there and be with him and help him through the recovery. However, I couldn’t stay there. I had to go to Talladega and finish what we started this year. I had to win the race and advance us in the Chase for the Sprint Cup, and win the championship for Ron. It was simple as that.

There was some ease when I left the hospital.

I had called Rick and gave him a big thank you in allowing me to stay in Kansas with Ron, versus traveling back to North Carolina and doing other commitments that us drivers normally have. I thanked him for his patience, acceptance of everything involved, and clearing my schedule.

I also thanked the crew guys – Chad, Cody, the rest of them – for patience in not seeing me for the week. That apology wasn’t needed as they were more concerned with how Ron was doing.

Ron was also showing signs of improvement. He was breathing more and more on his own with the amount of oxygen they were giving him decreasing each day. He still had some pain, but it was becoming manageable. He was also talking more and starting to even move a bit. They even hinted that they could possibly allow him to head home next week. I told him to take it easy cheering for us this weekend.

Returning to the track, I was set to focus on driving the car – running the pair of Friday practices and getting the car to handle as best as I could in our single car runs. I wanted to make sure that we had the best car possible to win the race and accomplish our goal.

However, in between those practices, there was something else that took my schedule – time with the media. It was supposed to be my time to go discuss our chances, how badly we need to win to move forward and the frustration of the past couple of weeks. Obviously, you could imagine how quickly that went off course because they had something else to talk about.

I answered the questions, easily, explaining that Ron was doing better but had a long road to recovery. They didn’t need specifics – HMS had released that – but it was nice and comforting to hear from my perspective that he would be okay. They asked about his recovery time and how long he wouldn’t be at the track – I told them I wasn’t sure. They asked about his replacement, in which I explained that Cody and the other engineers were stepping up for the time being. Who knew Cody was such a cool dude.

The questions then stemmed back to the racing, in which I answered with ease. What was my strategy? Go out, run up front all day, lead the most laps and win. Was I confident? I believed that we had a good car. How do I feel about Talladega being an elimination race? That wasn’t such a cut clear answer as there’s good and bad to that.

The next 20 minute went by smoothly without any issues. It surprised me, honestly, as I was waiting for someone to bring up Ron’s deal once again. It was going to be just a matter of time before they tried to play connections in how this guy had found us, whether through me or Ron. It was just a matter of time before I put together a series of lies for those questions. However, I never had the opportunity as they kept quiet. Perhaps they’re waiting for Ron’s return – no clue.

With the media availability complete, I returned to the hauler to discuss more with Chad about our plan for the second practice. It was simple – run by ourselves to avoid trouble while working on the handling. The discussion just stemmed around discussing things that we wanted to try.

“Media go smoothly?” Chad asks as I walk into the hauler and take my seat on the couch. I simply shake my head yes.

“They asked a couple questions as to how he was but nothing else,” I answer, knowing what Chad was wondering. He still hadn’t come to accepting my street racing past – I could tell it still stemmed an evil cord with him. However, he was willing to look past it if I didn’t go back down that road.

“Do you do those question sessions every week?” I hear a male voice and glance over to see Dom there. Considering that we were predicting the seas to a little rough, he had come along. Besides, I think he was starting to enjoy being at the track after last weekend.

“Yep. They’re a way for the media to talk to us to get quotes so they can write stories. We help them by answering questions so they help us by promoting the sport.” Hence why I play the part of a media darling, even when I want to kill them.

“Anybody heard from Ron?” Chad then questions and I put my hand up. There was a reason why my phone was glued to my hand. He had been texting me throughout the day already, checking in to see how things were going.

“Is he doing okay?” Candiss asks and I shake my head yes. That had been the least of the discussion as Ron was more concerned about the car, as usual.

“Sore, but pain killers are working,” I answer, remembering his response from earlier. “And Chad, he says he’s watching practice and keeping an eye on you so you better behave.” I watch as the crew chief chuckles with a quick thumbs up as he goes through his notes. “Oh, and he says we should hurry up and win the race quickly to give him a break from his parents.” Let’s just say that they can be over-bearing, concerning at times and turn into being annoying. At least they had stopped giving me the evil eye and agreed to move forward without any regrets. It certainly helped me feel better.

“Tell him it will be worth it once he’s holding the trophy,” Chad offers with a smile as I type that back to Ron in a response.

The more we talked about winning, the more I wanted to win the race and take him back a trophy. But, this is Talladega – and we know anything is possible at Talladega.

The Street Racing Stig – Chapters 78 Thu 80

thestreetracingstig

Chapter 78: Seeing Thru The Plan

Hilary’s POV

I hear a knock at the door. I knew who it was supposed to be. Given the notice that I had received that they were going to accept the plan, they would be here at this time. Taking a deep breath, I knew this was the moment that we had been waiting for.

I open the door and glance at the crowd of people, immediately placing their names.

Jimmie Johnson – our original target for David’s random reasons and hatred of being beaten on the streets. I didn’t get why we had to go after the precious ‘Stig’ as he was just some street racer who seemed to be quick on that avenue. Why weren’t we focusing on other plans? Didn’t we have that plan to blow up that building? However, when David sets his mind on something I might as well help. The quicker he gets done with that plan, the quicker we could focus on other avenues.

Candiss Vanders – the girl that had quickly found a connection with Johnson and was supposed to help us get closer to him through our evil doings, thanks to discussions and payment. So much for that panning out as easy as we thought.

Dominic Toretto – the street racer bad ass turned friendly cop helper now. It’s surprising, considering his rap sheet and everything that he did, that the man has found a conscious now, and the fact that the cops are okay with them helping them in this day and age. It seemed odder than anything that I could place in this group.

Finally, my eyes lay on David and indeed, he surprisingly walks as a free man. There was no hand-cuffs or nothing to hold him back as he could walk straight up to me and hug me without bounds.

“Who’s there?” I hear my hostage let out and immediately watch as Jimmie darts over without hesitation. That shouldn’t be a surprise as given things, he didn’t care about myself or David, but rather his best friend. There was a reason why I didn’t mind having the car chief off of the team. Research showed that Jimmie and Ron had been friends for a long time. It was the perfect method to lure him.

“We’re here,” Jimmie tells him. “We’re going to get you out of here. Everything is going to work out. You’re going to be okay.” I could only hope that Jimmie’s words played true But that’d simply play on the actions of Dominic and how he handled David’s release.

“How do you know?” Good question hostage, good question.

“We have a plan. It’s going to work. I promise. I got you stuck in this mess and I’m getting you out.” I almost froze at those words. The fact that he said that he had a plan. Why would they need a plan? Weren’t they just handing over David and working an equal trade?

As if on cue, discussion begins between Dominic and David about terms of the trade and how things were going to forth continue. My eyes simply locked on them as I watched the pair argue back and forth, each passing second getting more heated than the previous.

I felt my body freeze as I watched Dominic grab David and pull his arm back, holding him in a hold. I knew the next move….Candiss. You could just see it in her eyes. The pair of them read off of each other and it was like she knew that she had to grab me next.

Well, that’s not happening.

“That wasn’t part of the plan!” I instantly yell as Dom gives David a shove forward, pushing him face first to the ground, knocking him out. I immediately break away without hesitation. There was no way in hell that blond bitch was touching me. If she was, there was something that I was going to do first.

“We lied,” I hear Dom say behind me, followed by a pair of feet. I could tell that they were coming my way but I had a plan of my own first.

I immediately headed Jimmie’s direction, giving him a shove away from Ron, watching as he lands flat back against the wall. I didn’t need to look up and see him slide down the wall as the force and sound that I heard told me that he was probably in for a shock – either knocked out, or at least startled.

I then reach for the table that I had perfectly sitting beside Ron, picking up the needle that was set to go at any moment. I knew there was risk of the plan screwing up. I knew that they’d have a plan of their own. No government lets go a federal fugitive with ease.

I stick the needle immediately into the skin, pushing the plunger down as the liquid goes into the subject below me. I continue to push the plunger as I feel arms wrap around my shoulders, pulling me back away, clutching me tightly. I could only laugh. I knew I was going to jail. That was given as soon as we got stuck in this mess. But, that didn’t mean I was going to go easily and without a fight.

“Good luck with your friend,” I say as Dom pulls my wrists forcefully and I feel cold metal clamp around them, unable to move them from behind my back.

I watch a scurry of people run in the room, with an officer taking my grasp. I easily let them pull me back out of the room, watching as Candiss attends to her precious boyfriend, and Dom and some other individual – Chad, I think – go by Ron’s side with the paramedics. I could only laugh at the sight before me.

Perhaps next time they’ll follow their plans perfectly. Lesson learned, bitches!

 

Chapter 79: Ron….

Jimmie’s POV

Pain. All that I feel is pain as it fills my back, from my shoulders all the way to my butt. Opening my eyes, I can only lay there in a daze and think – why am I in so much pain?

Wait….Ron….the needle….Hilary….the push….David. Holy shit!

“Ron!” I let out in a panic, sitting up in an instant, not caring about the pain anymore. I could deal with that later. All that mattered to me right now was my best friend and whether he was okay. I just hope Hilary didn’t get to him.

“Easy Jimmie….” I hear as Candiss brushes my arm. I glance over into her eyes, seeing a fury of worry. That never makes me feel good. Something happened once I was passed out.

“Ron….” I then go to stand up, but immediately a hand presses against my body, forcing me to stay in the same pot and lay back. “Ro-” Don’t they understand that I need to get to my friend?

“Sir, you need to calm down,” I hear a voice tell me. Who is that? “You were just knocked out and have back pain. Pre precautionary measures, you aren’t supposed to move.” Yeah, he obviously doesn’t get the scenario at hand. Listen buddy, I’m fine. Just let me get to my friend.

“Let me get to Ro-” I start, determined to ignore him.

“Sir, you need to remain still.” I could care less about your recommendations.

“Jimmie, there’s nothing that you can do right now,” Candiss start, and immediately my heart feels like breaking. Normally when you hear those words, that means the end is here. He was right before me, and he was awake. We were going to make it out. Why did I have to let Hilary throw me off my game? “The medics have him and our addressing things accordingly, with prompt transportation to the local hospital to make sure he will be okay. Jimmie, he’s going to be fine. Just please co-operate, please.” So perhaps I was wrong with my thoughts. Either way, I guarantee that my heart was going through the mot bit of worry that I had ever gone through in my life.

The ride in the ambulance was the longest ride that I could have ever experienced. The entire time while they kept plastering me with questions, I could only think about Ron. I could only wonder how long it took for them to get to him. I could only wonder what happened after I was knocked out. I could only wonder how he was doing. Why weren’t I getting any updates sooner?

Those questions never got answered once I got to the hospital, either. They immediately took me down for x-rays and a CAT scan – you know, the mandatory normal crap. I simply co-operated, but could care less. All that mattered at that point was an update about my best friend.

Now returned to my current room for the time being, I could look around and wonder. Candiss sat by the bed, quietly, holding my hand as if to offer comfort. Trust me – didn’t help. I had asked her to leave and get me an update, but she told me that they wouldn’t say anything to her or Chad. That was always scary thing. When doctors don’t want to give an update that usually means that things are messy. I could only pray at this point, I suppose.

“Where’s Dom?” I wondered, breaking the silence in the room as Candiss sat in her usual spot, while Chad had taken up the right side of the bed. Supposedly, he wasn’t allowed to be around Ron either for the time being. That cared me more than anything as normally when they clear out a room, ya….fill in the blanks.

“He went to the police station with Hilary and David,” she offers, which was understandable. He was one of the investigative workers so he’d have to fill out the paperwork and such that was required.

I watched as the curtain got pulled back, watching a doctor appear before us. I could see that he had a chart in hand, probably containing the results of my x-ray and such. I could care less. I would be okay. Nothing felt broken and there wasn’t much of a headache. Just tell me the details on Ron and we can move forward.

“Mr. Johnson, correct?” He asks and I simply shake my head yes without a word. “I’m Dr. Shepherd. How are you feeling?” Is that really necessary, doc?

“Just worried about my friend,” I offer, not really caring to answer for myself as he probably originally intended.

“I’d presume you’re speaking of Mr. Malec, correct?” I shake my head yes, hoping that he’d just dive right into Ron’s file and be done with mine. “I have an update for you as you are the emergency contact, along with a Mr. Hendrick when the family isn’t here.” Thank you! “First, though, I would like to give you your results.”

“If you must.” Like I said, I could care less what they said.

“The x-ray came back clean as a whistle so any lingering pain that you’re experiencing is simply due to bruising from the incident. Simple pain killers will help ease the pain as it heals, which I could prescribe if you require.” Again, I could care less. I told you that I’d be fine. “The CAT scan came back clean with no signs of lingering effects, despite being knocked out. With that said, we do have to keep you overnight for observation.” I wasn’t planning on leaving the hospital any time soon if he was curious about that. I had someone to see and take care of.

“Okay.” As long as you let me visit my friend during my stay overnight, I will not kill you sir.

“Now, Mr. Malec…” I watch as he flips over to Ron’s file, feeling my stomach tie up into a series of knots immediately. “Ms. Evans certainly had her way with him and there’s no doubt that his condition is currently serious. For starters, he was injected with a muscle relaxor – pancuronium. That was followed by an injection of potassium chloride.” I felt my heart stop at hearing details of the second injection. That was the injection that was supposed to stop his heart….

“He’s going to be okay though, right?” That’s all that mattered right now.

“Like I said, his condition is currently serious, as he’s currently listed as critical and is in the Intensive Care Unit, under the direction of our most detailed department.” Again, this isn’t comforting. “Since we caught the second injection early, we should be able to counteract it before the effects take over and cause serious problems, such as death. However, I will tell you that the first 24 hours will be critical.” Once again, this wasn’t comforting one bit.

“He’s going to be okay,” Candiss offers, continuing to squeeze my hand for comfort. I hoped that she was right.

“He’s a fighter,” Chad adds. “He’ll get through this.” I knew that Chad was right in those words. I just hoped that he put on the best fight he could as he had to make it through this.

“He’s currently on a vent to help him breathe while we work at removing the drug from his system,” the doctor continued. “Once the drugs are removed and his system starts turning around, he should wake up and we will go from there in removing the vent and returning to normal. The drug are currently being removed via a stomach tube, as we’re basically simply flushing out his entire system as that’s the easiest way to handle this.” I honestly wanted to puke as I heard these details. He shouldn’t be going through this. It was my fault. Why didn’t I listen to him?

“It’s going to be okay….” Candiss offers once again, obviously sensing my nerves with the situation at hand. Do you honestly blame me?

“He’s currently has an IV in him, giving him pain medicine and fluids. The pain medicine will be critical when he wakes up so that way he isn’t too much pain, as there are many marks across his body from being hit with a belt.” Yeah, you don’t need to tell me that one. I saw the video evidence myself. “We also are performing dialysis as the injections have caused hyperkalemia, which is an excessive amount of potassium in the blood. Basically, dialysis is the act of flushing the blood through a system to clean it before replenishing it back in the body. So between the vent, stomach tube, IV and dialysis – like I said, things are on a serious note right now.” He didn’t need to emphasis that as it was pretty clear. When they start mentioning word that you don’t understand, and things to help you breath, you know it’s serious. “Now, has the family been contac-”

“I called his parents and Rick, our boss, is arranging flight transportation,” Chad cut him off before he had continued. Good job crew chief because I had no idea how I was explaining this one.

“Okay. When they arrive, please have them come see me.”

“Will do.”

“Is there anyway that I can go see him?” I ask, just taking a chance in the dark. Sometimes they let you, sometimes they don’t. Perhaps seeing him would ease my worries…..perhaps.

“I can let you go see him for a couple of hours, but you need to be back in your room here by 9pm per hospital rules,” the doctor tells me. My friend, that’s good enough for me.

 

Chapter 80: Visiting

Jimmie’s POV

I knew I had to go see him. I knew I had to go see how he was doing. I knew that I had to watch over him and make sure that he was okay. I knew that I had to help him once he got out of the hospital with whatever he needed with.

I just wasn’t sure if I was prepared to see him laid up in the bed from what she had done to him. The simple thought of hearing the details, from needles to belts, it just made me want to puke. It wasn’t fair.

Taking a deep breath, I continue moving my feet slowly, watching as Chad opens the door to his room before me. I simply walk in, pushing all fear aside and go over to the bed.

I was a little sore, but not that bad considering that I had been slammed into a brick wall. However, compared to what Ron had gone through, it felt like nothing.

My eyes finally laid on my best friend, immediately following the tube that was inserted in his mouth. Closing my eyes, reminding myself to remain calm, I reopened them with a deep breath. The doctor had said that he was on a breathing vent till he woke up and they knew that he’d be okay breathing on his own. It was part of the healing process due to the second injection. He was going to be okay.

I notice the other tubes in other place – the IV with the fluids, the blood pump machine thingy (I think they called that dialysis) and the stomach tube to clear out his stomach. I could only shake my head, and silently continuing saying to myself that he was going to be okay and make it through this.

He was going to wake up soon. He was going to be fine breathing on his own. He was going to be able to walk out of here without any trace of what happened, able to live his life like he had been doing before. The doctor said that everything would work out. Okay, he said things were critical and we wouldn’t know for sure but bare with me. I was going with the words that everything would work out as I couldn’t bare to think otherwise.

“We have about two hours before visiting hours are over and you have to go back to your room for the night,” Chad offers as I take a seat in the chair beside his bed.

There was a pair of chairs. He didn’t have a girlfriend – I teased him about that at times, but Ms. Right hadn’t entered his life yet. The next best thing to occupy these chairs would be his parents, but they hadn’t arrived yet. I could only imagine the disbelief on their faces when they heard the details of how he was doing and what happened. I knew that I had to face them and tell them the truth to everything as they deserved to know with what their son had gone through. However, how could you bring yourself to tell his parents what happened? It was my fault. I don’t think they’d ever be able to forgive easily.

“The doctor wants to see his parents when they get here,” I recalled, remembering his words. I wondered why the doctor wanted to talk to them directly. Perhaps simply to answer any direct questions that they had, or perhaps to sign off on the paperwork. “I want to talk to them, too.”

“Are you sure about that?” Chad asks as he sits down in the chair beside me.

“They need to hear the truth from me. They deserve to hear the truth, Chad.” The blame and heartbreak must’ve been evident in my voice as the crew chief wrapped an arm around me to pull me a little closer.

“Jimmie, you can’t blame yourself. Sure, it dealt with you getting involved with this street racing thing. Sure, Ron had tried to convince you otherwise. However, it wasn’t your fault. This all goes on the shoulders of David, Hilary and their crew for being as nut as they were.” Logically, the man was right as it was their actions and choices. However, how do you tell your heart that when your heart keeps reminding you of previous conversations? The heart sometimes even has as a good argument as it keeps telling me that my choices placed me in that situation. “Ron isn’t going to be mad at you, but whether the people who caused this. His parents may have a bit of frustration, but in the end, they know how much you guys care about each other and will see how bad you feel. You need to let it go, buddy.”

“I’m trying….” That’s all I could say. It was the sole truth as there was no ways of making this disappear over night. Perhaps as he got better it’d feel easier, I don’t know.

“I know you are. That’s a start. It’ll get easier over time.”

“You can’t live in regret as you won’t live your life like you need to,” a new voice chimes in as I glance up and watch Dom walk in the room. “You can’t think back to the mistakes that you made. You need to focus on doing the right thing moving forward, and doing what’s right for you and your family. By taking a step to walk away from this world, you’re doing that, and that’s all we can ask.” It was interesting to hear a different side of Dom, a quiet caring advice side. That didn’t bode well with the tough badass that he seemed to form in my perception thus far. However, I could see what he was saying. But how do those words make me move forward?

“And what if I would’ve done that sooner?” I offer, as that was the truth. If I had of listened to Ron one of those nights before I met David, we wouldn’t be here.

“You may have avoided what is happening right now, but everything happens for a reason. This happened to teach you a lesson that you will carry with you moving forward. This happened to teach Ron a lesson that he will carry forward. As you move forward, you’ll know what that lesson was and it will help you.” I wish I knew that lesson was now so make my heart feel a little easier.

“Plus, we wouldn’t have met each other like we did,” Candiss offers and I can only roll my eyes. That’s a lie. Doesn’t she remember the diner?

“We were already flirting at the din-” I start, recalling those fun times.

“It wouldn’t have been the same. I never would’ve accepted your ass that way, Johnson, and you know that. As Dom said, things happen for a reason. One of those reasons was for us to meet and move forward in life together. Another reason is perhaps to how you everything that you should be thankful for, and why the people that love you are trying to convince you so much to give that up.” She’s good….real good.

Honestly, her words made sense. Before my life was put in danger and some guy was after me, I thought I was invincible and couldn’t be touched in my street racing persona. Perhaps this is meant to simply ground me and give me the final real strong reason to give up what I thought was right.

Though a glance back at Ron, and I couldn’t decide in my heart if that was the true meaning and if that was strong enough to have my best friend lying here before me like he was. Besides, what lesson would he carry with him moving forward out of this?