Chapter 36: Lunch
Mark another race in the bank with a good finish. A solid top-five run and we’re off to the second round of the Chase. Ron says that I can’t handle everything – yeah, right. Then how did I get to this point?
I knew that I needed to give the next round of the Chase a lot more focus than it seemed to be having in my mind right now. But….I couldn’t do that. I was still thinking about the deal with Candiss. I ahd carried the piece of paper around me with everywhere, and kept staring at it. How could this be true? Could there be some explanation? This didn’t seem like the girl that I knew at all.
I glance out of the dash of the car into the restaurant, watching as she easily goes forth in serving tables. She seemed like the innocent person, just doing her job. Was this some cover for a sick psycho plan? Or did she truly have reasons for everything that had occurred in her past.
I wished that I could just spill these questions on her and find out the answers. I didn’t want to find myself associating with someone that was bad news – I had enough of that already with Rhodes – but I didn’t want to let go easy. I wanted to know the truth, but I was scared of her reaction to a possible question. I wanted to believe that she was truly a sweet, girl, potential girlfriend material, but my eyes were back on the piece of paper.
I quickly shove the piece of paper into my pocket, getting out of the car and heading inside the diner. I was hungry so I might as well grab some food while I’m at it. Besides, perhaps I’d meet the sweet Candiss today and she’d offer some answers.
I take my seat in my usual spot as I glance over her way. I see a nod of the head, surprised that I caught her attention so quickly. It reminded me of that psycho plan thought I had on Monday night. What if she was luring me in for something? What if she was luring the Stig in not knowing that was me – in for a plan? What if she was sent as a hired killer? It seemed like she’d have the ability with how I had caught her attention so easily.
I watch as she makes her way out from behind the counter, Pepsi in hand, as she walks over to my table. Taking a deep breath, I couldn’t let think or know that iw as suspicious. Hired killers don’t like suspicious people.
“Thanks,” I say as I accept the drink from her.
“I told the cook to make your chicken and salad – he said give me about 15 minutes,” she comments as I shake my head. That was usual around here. Tyler had a busy place and the cook was also careful in making sure that the food was good. Needless to say, that’s why it was busy and why I liked coming.
“That’s fine. I’ve got time today.” I watch as she takes a seat across from me. I didn’t mean time for her, but I’ll take that as well. Too bad I wasn’t a mind reader in this situation.
“So, is your offer still on the table?” I then snap out of my thoughts as I look at her. Wait…offer? Oh yeah, the offer to take her to a race. Did I really want her to be with me at a race and possibly away from people with this going on? But wait – she’s not after me, she’d be after the Stig. She doesn’t know that I’m the Stig. Perhaps I could handle this. It’d give me time to analyze her behavior and such, too.
“I told you that the offer would always be on the table. You just needed to name the weekend.”
“This weekend. I believe you’re racing at Kansas Speedway this weekend?” It seems as though she was starting to watch some racing as she at least knew the location of the event. That, or she knew how to use Google. Now, should I accept her offer?
“That’s right. If you want to go, the offer is still open. Plane leaves on Thursday night at 10. You have to be on the plane then or you’re shit outta luck.” Let’s just say that we don’t wait around. That’s always been the policy with myself, Ron and Chad.
“I can be there. I get off work at 6 and Tyler has given me the weekend off. Anything I should know?” It was like she knew that I’d say yes, but of course she would know that. I said the offer was always open and was considered the sweet, crushing, sex-driven driver wanting a hot lady.
“Make sure you pack lightly. Bring ID so that way we can check you in so you have garage access with the team. I also need a photo so I can give it to my PR rep so she can let NASCAR know before hand.” I could always use the photo that I had on file, but I had to play this off as if I didn’t know about that piece of paper.
“Here….” She hands me a photo and I carefully place it in my pocket. Must remember to give that to the right person later today.
“Thanks. See you this weekend?” A smile crosses her face as she shakes her head yes.
“Sounds like a plan. I got orders to fill. I’ll bring yours when it’s ready.” She then walks off as I watch her carefully. She was damn fine and damn smart and daaamn…..
What had I just gotten myself into?
Chapter 37: ɥɔunן
Glancing at the clock, I was wondering where he was. Normally twice a week – Tuesday and Thursday, he would come for lunch. But yet, at his normal time that I saw, he wasn’t here.
Perhaps he had a sponsor appearance or something. Being a famous driver, they had those. You would always hear of them jetting across the country to go somewhere to look all prim and proper for the people. Can’t blame them as they got to do something to pay the racing bills. I could only imagine how much it costs to run a racing team.
Glancing back at my phone, I looked over the couple of jot notes that I made. If I wanted to join him this weekend, I had to show some remote interest in knowing what was going on. I had looked up the past couple of weeks to see the results, perhaps watched a bit of a race. I had looked up the schedule to know where he’d be, and how he had done there in the past. Kansas seemed to have been a good track for him in the past so if I was lucky, maybe I’d get to see a win….maybe.
I glance towards the door and see it open a smile forms on my face. He may be a couple minutes late, but he was indeed here just like clock work. Taking a deep breath, it was now or never if I was to make this happen.
Whether he was the one or not, I wanted to do this. I had actually become interested in the oval racing scene based on the bit of racing that I saw. Now being able to attend a race, perhaps that’d be the extra edge that’d captivate my interest.
Now if he was the one, it’d be even more intriguing because perhaps I could lean that extra bit to throw the hints in the right direction. While I was doing that, though, I could only hope that Dom was getting somewhere in figuring out Rhodes’ deal. I could only lie and throw them off for so long, right?
I watch as he sits in his usual spot, nodding my head. I was to be his server, no matter what today. I didn’t care if Beccy or Rose wanted to serve him, I was going to be the one. I had a plan and well, there was only one way to make that happen.
“Jimmie’s here,” I tell the cook and he simply nods his head. He knew the order without it having to be said. Per Tyler, Jimmie had been coming by here for the past six years so everybody knew the order. I grab a glance and pour some Pepsi in it, taking a deep breath.
It was now or never.
I then walk out from behind the counter, heading over to his table. Despite everything that seemed to be on the line, I had to act as natural as possible. I couldn’t give him any hints, right?
“Thanks,” he says as he accepts the drink. So far, so good.
“I told the cook to make your chicken and salad – he said give me about 15 minutes,” I tell him and he shakes his head. This was the extension of our normal conversation. This was easy.
“That’s fine. I’ve got time today.” So you’ve got time, huh? That’s perfect. That will give me enough time to accept the offer and move forward. I then take my seat, set to discuss. He had shown all the signs of having a crush and wanting to get to know me further, so there was no way that he’d say no.
“So, is your offer still on the table?” It was a simple question, but hopefully had the answer that I was looking for.
“I told you that the offer would always be on the table. You just needed to name the weekend.” He is just perfect in every way possible. I hope he means those words….
“This weekend. I believe you’re racing at Kansas Speedway this weekend?” Thank you Google.
“That’s right. If you want to go, the offer is still open. Plane leaves on Thursday night at 10. You have to be on the plane then or you’re shit outta luck.” Okay, so that is point blank center. I knew he had his own private jet, but who knew that he’d be so dead set on the deadline. Did it matter what item during the middle of the night that he landed there? As long as he was there for practice in the morning, that’s what mattered, right? My mind also wondered….if you had your own jet, would you just fly on it alone? Or would you fly with friends? I wondered whether he would be joined on the plane. Meh, I can deal with that Thursday night when I get there.
“I can be there. I get off work at 6 and Tyler has given me the weekend off. Anything I should know?” I had already asked Tyler for the weekend off, which he accepted as I had been working every day since starting here. Let’s just say that I was determined to save up that money quickly. Plus, I knew that Jimmie would say yes.
“Make sure you pack lightly. Bring ID so that way we can check you in so you have garage access with the team. I also need a photo so I can give it to my PR rep so she can let NASCAR know before hand.” That made sense. Why would I need a lot of clothes when I’m only there for a weekend? Also, I can understand the ID as being around celebrities, they’re probably very careful with things. I then reach my hand in my pocket, grabbing my wallet as I grab a photo. Yes, I had a photo carefully placed there as I had to know this request would come.
“Here….” I hand him a photo and he places it in his pocket.
“Thanks. See you this weekend?” A smile crosses my face immediately as I shake my head yes. This was just perfect. Now to get back to work….
“Sounds like a plan. I got orders to fill. I’ll bring yours when it’s ready.” I then stand up and walk off, going back over to the counter.
Whether he was the Stig or not, I was in for a fun weekend.
Chapter 38: Race Night
Thankfully, without issues, I was able to set up Candiss for the weekend. She would be joining us as a VIP of the No. 48 team.
I had told everybody that she was simply a close friend. Some of the guys had already picked up on it, even bugging me that I had a secret girlfriend and they wanted to know details. I wished it was that simple, and I wished I could say that she was my girlfriend. I just prayed for continued mercy from them in not hearing much right now.
But I couldn’t dwell on that any longer as I was sitting behind the wheel of the Camaro, set to go for race night. It was going to be another fun night of racing as I knew the challenges would be there. No doubt with the losses last week, everybody wanted to get their claws into me this week. Though with the work that I had put in, along with some midnight testing last night – sssh – I think I have everything where it needs to be.
I’m ready to claim my streets once again.
I pull into my usual spot, replacing back in the seat as I wait for the interested parties to come see me. I knew that a certain lady would stop by at some time, but I wondered as to who else. There had to be other people that would want to face me.
“I wish I could see you as I always wonder if you’re jacking off at the sight of me,” I hear a familiar voice, which immediately catches my attention. I knew that voice from a mile away. Hello beautiful. As to her question, that was no as I had to remain focused. I couldn’t let my mind wander to her beauty….her eyes…..No, Jimmie. You can’t do that. You must focus on the task at hand. You already screwed up last week.
“You wish that was the case, but I’m just focused on beating you,” I reply in response, trying as hard as I can to keep my game face on. No messing up tonight.
“Righ…because that went so well for you last week. Just keep in mind, darling, that well you may be getting distracted by this….” She then lowers the zipper on her leather coat a little, revealing her breasts. They were defiantly nicely sized, nicely shaped…and hot damn, they were real. Can I please caress those in my hands? Damn it! Why was it so hard to focus? Must focus! “I’m not distracted at all because I have no damn clue what you look like. You could be a nerd for all I know.” I wondered what she thought of me. oh wait, she had seen me and obviously somewhat liked me because she wanted to go away for a weekend with me. Curse the secret identity.
“A true driver doesn’t let themselves get distracted by anything. A true driver focuses on their goal at hand, and that is all.” Those words were words that I lived by with Chad. They also played true to the streets as I had to focus on what I was here to do. I had to focus on winning. I had to focus on the arm drop. I had to focus on shifting through the gears with ease. I had to focus on getting to maximum speed, and keeping in a straight line without any mistakes.
“You just keep telling yourself that, darling. So, are you ready to face me? Or did I scare ya too much last week?” I think the answer is obvious here. I had a lot of questions to answer.
“I’m ready for a rematch. I want to kick your ass and show you who’s boss. Remember, you got lucky.” I couldn’t let the win go to her head. She was already full of herself and those beautiful, soft, round breas…..shake my head, and get that thought out of there. Focus!
“Keep telling yourself that. I’ll see you at the starting line, babes.” She then walks away to go back to her car as I sit back. She just called me babes. She just basically flat out admitted that she likes….wait, could be playing that card to distract me.
Putting my hand on the key, turning it over and letting the rumbling Chevrolet big block motor come to life, I drown all of those thoughts out of my mind. I had a job to do that night. I had a race to run and a race to win. Nothing else could enter the frame of mine.
As we cross the finish line at the end of the track, I wanted to kick myself in the ass as hard as I could. This couldn’t be happening. This couldn’t have in anyway happened. I had gone over everything. I had found any potential issues and erased them. I had to focused as hard as I could. I had got the perfect launch off of the line right as his shoulders shifted.
How did she beat me, again?
I then go to turn around and head back to my spot, when she blocks the path with her car. I watch her get out as she comes over. Every thought about her criminal record comes to mind. Every thought about her past and what she is capable of flashes before me. Was I really safe with this lady?
“Lucky my ass,” she comments as she leans back against the front of her car, keeping her eyes locked on me. “I’m going to ask you your question down here without anybody around because I don’t want anybody to learn the details of our conversation.” Okay, so maybe this was a good idea. It’s not like I wanted to play clue with everyone.
“Deal. What is your question?” I could see a grin form on her face and it scared me. It honestly scared me worst than anything else in my life. It was like she knew who I was, and that couldn’t be good.
“Your initials, please.” By her grin, I knew upon revealing the initials she would be able to spit out my name. I didn’t know how she had found out, but I just had that feeling by the look in her eyes. I knew more than ever that I shouldn’t have accepted that offer yesterday now, nor should had I agreed to play clue with her.
“J…J….” I watch as her grin widens. Yep, I’m screwed. She knows my identity. She knows everything about me. Given the bounty, she could go to Rhodes and get a huge payday, and Rhodes would ruin my career in a flash. I should’ve listened to Ron all of those years ago.
“Well, it’s nice to see you out having some fun, Mr. Johnson. I can imagine with the pressures of racing that you need some escape. Listen, I’ll keep quiet tonight. Once we’re done, I’ll follow you out and we can talk…face to face…” I couldn’t turn down her offer. She had my career in my hands. I had to see what she had to say, and what she could possibly want. Maybe I could make her a deal.
Chapter 39: Known Identity
Running my hand down the side of the car, I couldn’t wait for the night to get started. Every night at the strip was a pure adrenaline rush, but this night just felt more special.
His identity was becoming more clear by the passing day and with the recent clues, I had my exact suspicions as to who it was. I knew the question that I would ask if I beat him because they would answer the question.
If it was him, I just hoped that he was honest.
Making sure that I was his first race of the night, I made my way down the short walk to his car. All I had to do was set up another race – but that didn’t mean that I couldn’t play games in the process. The mind is just one of the keys in this business. It’s a combination of mind, car and ability. If I could throw off of those, it was an advantage. Being a female, that was an easy thing to throw off.
“I wish I could see you as I always wonder if you’re jacking off at the sight of me,” I comment. I didn’t know what it was he was doing. I didn’t care what he was doing. The only thing that mattered was me was the sexual card would get him thinking. After all, eh admitted to having a slight crush.
“You wish that was the case, but I’m just focused on beating you,” he replies in response and I can only chuckle. That’s what every good boy would say as they’d never admit to jacking off to a girl, right? However, I did believe him as I bet he was probably still fuming about last week.
“Right…because that went so well for you last week. Just keep in mind, darling, that well you may be getting distracted by this….” As I said, being female, I was going to use every card that I could use. Besides, if he was who I thought it was, this was going to be wroth it. I hated to admit it but I was falling for that sweet café visitor. I then lower the zipper on my leather coat slightly, just revealing enough skin. A glimpse would be all that he could get – enough to tease, enough to get him thinking. “I’m not distracted at all because I have no damn clue what you look like. You could be a nerd for all I know.” But, if he was who I thought he was, then he was a sweet California turned Carolina boy that had those dashing eyes…
“A true driver doesn’t let themselves get distracted by anything. A true driver focuses on their goal at hand, and that is all.” Of course, those words were the truth as that is what it came down to when racing. I wasn’t about to get distracted – I just was going to get him distracted.
“You just keep telling yourself that, darling. So, are you ready to face me? Or did I scare ya too much last week?” Got to play it cool, mess with his head.
“I’m ready for a rematch. I want to kick your ass and show you who’s boss. Remember, you got lucky.” I could laugh. Luck was only for horseshoes, buddy. If he’s who I think he is, he better not be thinking that when he gets beat on Sundays.
“Keep telling yourself that. I’ll see you at the starting line, babes.” I then walk away, having said enough. If all went according to plan, I would be headed down a path of recognizing.
As we cross the finish line at the end of the track, a smile burst across my face. Partially I couldn’t believe that this happened again, but it had.
I had beaten the Stig twice in a row. Now who was the Queen of the streets?
Of course, I can’t relish in my victory. I have to use it to my advantage.
Seeing as how they’re on my tail and potentially having the factor of possibly knowing who he was, we couldn’t mingle where we would normally. Besides, I didn’t need everybody hearing that conversation.
As we turn around to head back, I purposely move the Camaro in front of his path, shutting it off. He knew better than to try and get by as if he scratched my baby, there’d be no mercy. I then get out and walk towards the front of my baby, set to go about the plan that I had in my mind for tonight.
“Lucky my ass,” I tell him as I lean back against the front of my car, keeping my eyes locked on him. “I’m going to ask you your question down here without anybody around because I don’t want anybody to learn the details of our conversation.” I figured if I gave him the reason that I was doing this, he’ll keep things nice and cool with me – as he has from the beginning. Besides, that wasn’t a lie.
“Deal. What is your question?” I let a slow grin cross my face as I think about it. I knew the perfect question to have with the information that I knew. Our agreement disallowed me asking for his name, but it didn’t say anything beyond that. Everything else was fair game.
“Your initials, please.” If he was who I thought he was, he would tell me two letters and we’d be done this whole 21 questions game. If he wasn’t who I thought he was, it’d give me a damn good idea anyway because let’s face it – I supposedly knew this person.
“J…J….” Immediately, the grin on my face widens. Just as I suspected. Sweet six time champion isn’t the perfect vanilla boy that he has been made out to be. Just like everybody, he has a dark secret. I could only smile. Now to play this correctly.
“Well, it’s nice to see you out having some fun, Mr. Johnson. I can imagine with the pressures of racing that you need some escape. Listen, I’ll keep quiet tonight. Once we’re done, I’ll follow you out and we can talk…face to face…” Now that we knew each other, it only seemed fair that we talked about things together. The conversation would give us the opportunity to see where he each other stood and also help decide what to do moving forward. After all, I had a couple options with the information that I had obtained….
“Deal.” That’s a good boy.
Chapter 40: The Meeting
Following the last event of the night, I was to lead Candiss to a private meeting spot. If something were to happen in getting lost along the way, she had my cell phone number already due to tomorrow’s meeting. However, if I was being careful, watching out the mirror to make sure I saw her head lights behind me the whole way.
I led her back to my new hide-out, driving the car into the storage area as she parked her car outside of the doors. I watched as she climbed out, making her way into the small storage area as I closed the doors.
I then leaned against the front of my Camaro, eyes locked on hers. No doubt this was going to be an interesting discussion. I could only hope for a happy ending.
“You were a mystery, but it was easy to piece together everything once I had enough clues,” she starts as I keep my eyes locked on her.
“I didn’t think I gave you enough evidence,” I comment, and really, I hadn’t told her much yet. The only thing was that she knew me from around here and I wasn’t a high-end criminal. How did that lead her to me immediately? Okay, so maybe the initials did it – but recall the grin I saw before answering.
“I took the evidence that you gave me and it narrowed my list to about five or six people. But then I received another list of clues that connected the dots. California dude, racecar driver with potential of being potential with brown hair.” I could feel my blood immediately go cold. I also knew who had that stack of clues in this game.
“Rhodes?” She shakes her head yes as that was the last straw. The blood was officially draining down to my feet. I was done.
“By the way, the blue eyes wasn’t enough to fool me. Except the fact that I thought about going after your teammate for a bit.” I could only imagine the shock on Jeff’s face if she had done that. Maybe that would’ve been a good idea with what could happen now. She would’ve been locked up anyway, right?
“10 points for effort. So, what happens now? Do you go running to Rhodes with this information? Do you go to the public? The ball is in your court as you have all the evidence that you need.” And dear, if you have any mercy, please share it now because I’m going to need something to get out of this jam. “Maybe we can work out a dea-”
“You can let down your worries as I’m not going to Rhodes. I don’t feel that is fair for this situation.” Okay….that was odd. So where was she going with this information? If she went to the public, then Rhodes would know and I’d still be dead. Unless….she did like me….
“I’m still waiting, and I also want to know how you got the clues from Rhodes.” Then can you explain your criminal record, please?
“I went to Rhodes’ agent and asked if we could partner up. I told him that I was getting close on knowing your identity and rather than paying out money to every person on the street, just work with one and save your dough. He then told me the clues and wanted to see whether they’d match up with my thoughts. For what he knows, it’s narrowed down the process but I don’t have a match.” Great. She was working with Rhodes. I had gone and told all the information to someone that was working for the Bounty Hunter. Could I have done any worse?
“So now that the information is known, you’ll go tell Rhodes and get a big payda-”
“Hey now, remember what I said?” Ah yes, that I don’t have to be worried. But how could I not worry when I had an agent of Rhodes standing before me that has a big criminal record? “I had no intentions ever of telling him Rhodes who you were. I only did that to get his ass off of your back. Consider that a protection offer, Mr. Johnson.” Plot twist! Did anybody see that coming? I mean, that’s just….do you really expect that out of a criminal? See, I said something was wrong with that record and I bet there’s a story. But wait – she’s protecting me? Can I kiss her lips already?
“Why?” I had a right to know, right? She might as well tell me that she likes me so we can get on with it. It could easily make this weekend at Kansas more interesting – that’s if she’s still coming. She better as that wasn’t easy to get the passes.
“Do you remember the 1971 Dodge Charger?” How could I forget the crazy muscle dude that beat me?
“Continue…” This sounded like a mystery novel at this point.
“His name is Dominic Toretto. He is a badass street racer and has committed his fair share of crimes. However, he’s turned things around and brought forth a lot of positive to his life. He is working as an undercover agent for the FBI in conjunction with Agent Hobbs’ investigation into David Rhodes’ terrorist behavior.” And next the director will yell cut because this is your movie happening right now….but yet, this is not a movie. This is reality – this is my life. Holy shit! How does this even happen? So she’s friends with the guys and the guy wants to arrest the guy that is after me, but yet she goes and throws the guy off of my trial to protect my ass? I hope I got this story right.
“So because your buddy Dom revealed that about Rhodes, you decided to throw Rhodes off my ass?” Admit it lady, you love me. You have had a crush on me since I walked into the diner, and my street racing just adds the extra edge of mystery for fun.
“He’s a terrorist that just hasn’t been caught. He knows how to do hard crimes. Given that you were the innocent street racer, even before I knew that it was you, I didn’t want to see you get caught up in the shit for whatever game you were playing on the streets. So I figured that I’d get close to Rhodes, throw him off of his game and keep him back till Dom figured out what he needed. That’s just the type of good hearted person that I am.” So maybe I should just give her a big kiss and thank her and everything. I mean, let’s face it – she is saving my ass. Of course, this sounds like a movie and good hearted person doesn’t match up with the piece of paper in my pocket. In other words…..
“How do I know that you’re standing here telling me the truth? I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt, but…” Anybody can make up a damn good story, especially someone that is a hardass criminal and knows how to manipulate people.
“I can Dom down here to back up my story if you want.” Of course, because I should believe a guy that I don’t even know. We know how this goes….
“What if you guys are in a conspira-”
“I can get him to bring the FBI case file that he has on Rhodes with him. I can also get Agent Hobbs to get his ass down here and show you his FBI Badge. Jimmie, I am telling you the truth so I suggest you just face it and realize what’s going on.” Scratch that. I am living in a movie based reality world where everything has gone crazy. Damn, Ron’s words are coming back to haunt me.
“Fine – I believe you. So, what happens now?” I might as well see what she is going to do.
“We keep quiet. I won’t tell him that I know who you are, spewing off a dummy clue and answer when his agent comes to see me. You keep your mouth shut as well and keep playing the game that you’re playing. I’ll also make sure that next week I let you win so that way there’s no more clues. But, known how Dom works, there won’t be a next week.” She has to like me to be doing all this for me. There has to be motive beyond being the nice natured person. Also, let me win? Was she serious? Is that what this had come down to? I seriously wanted to have a yelling match with the car in why she let me down and had me hearing these words. “Oh, and by the way, when you put something in your pocket, keep a better eye on it. I thought I told you that if you wanted to know something about me to ask.” I then put my hand in my pocket, realizing the piece of paper is missing – but yet instead by the toe of her shoes on the floor. Ah shit!
“So, want to tell me about your past? If I’m going to move forward working with you and traveling with you this weekend, I might as well know how you got that criminal record of yours.” And depending on her story will depend whether she gets on the plane or not. I can always say that NASCAR declined it as she doesn’t know that it has been approved yet.