Chapter 61; Post Dinner
“Thanks for coming,” Jeff comments as we head off. He then looks directly over at Candiss with a smile. “It was nice to meet you. I look forward to seeing you around the garage area a lot.” I could only smile at the comment as I hoped for the same thing, as well.
“If your friend here keeps me happy, that’ll be an easy measure,” she replies with a grin as I can only smile. I can keep you happy, Candiss. That’s not a worry on my mind.
“Be easy on him. He hasn’t had the best of luck with girls. He tends to scare them away.” I then shoot a Jeff a glare as he just shrugs his shoulders.
“It’s probably his hairy legs.” I then look over at her surprised as Jeff lets out a laugh.
“He used to keep those things shaved in high school while on the swim team. I’m surprised he hasn’t kept on his grooming.” I then give Jeff a playful punch as he just laughs, once again.
“Thanks for embarrassing me,” I comment. “I’m sure that’ll go over well in impressing her.”
We all then trade goodbyes before heading off – myself, Candiss and Dom – back to my motorcoach. As we head inside, I was personally glad that the couch was a pull out so he’d be comfortable tonight. I hadn’t expected a house guest, but I’d rather have him here and be safe than worried that someone may sneak in during the night. It just also meant that Candiss and I had to behave tonight – dang it!
“So I guess I should’ve trusted you when you said that you had a good group of friends,” Candiss comments as we get the pull-out all set up for Dom. I then glance over with a smile.
“I only hang out with the best,” I tell her as she just rolls her eyes.
“Oh yeah. Ingrid and Amy seem a little preppy on the fashion sense for me, but they both seem like great girls. Jeff and Dale were pretty cool, too. Dale’s stories from working at his dad’s dealership were quite entertaining.” I smile. It was nice to hear her give the group complements. That just meant that future weekends at the track would continue to go smoothly. However, I knew she left out a name in that list of people and that was reasonable. Considering what I knew about Kasey, I could see where things would go with the mention of his name.
“Like I said – I told you they were a good group of people. You’ll love hanging out every weekend with everyone, especially as you get to know the other drivers and their wives.” She then looks over at me, surprised. Perhaps that was too soon.
“So wait – everybody hangs out like friends?” Of course – the concept of competitors hanging out off the track was foreign to most people.
“When we’re on the track, we’re competitors and none of us treat us each like friends. Off the track, though, a bunch of us hang out with each other. Consider the garage a big dysfunctional family, if you may.” That’s the description that I always heard people use. “Besides, I think you should meet Kevin and Delana….oh, and Tony. You’d love them.” She made the comment that Amy and Ingrid were a little ‘preppy’, if you will. Delana reminds me more of her style. Delana is the type of girl that loves being around the race track and hanging with the guys – sort of like how Candiss seems to be. Tony, their love of cars will have the pair talking for days on end. Plus, a bit of Tony’s teasing would be good in getting her to loosen up more.
“If they’re as cool as you say they are, then I may take you up on the offer.” I smile. It was nice to hear that she was going to be willing to open up and talk with others in the garage. We then finish up making the pull-out before heading to our room, knowing that Dom would be out of the shower shortly. “Just out of curiosity – how much do you hang around Kasey?” And there’s the question that will bite me in the ass.
“He’s my teammate, so we spend a lot of time together sharing notes and tips on every track.” I then flop back on the bed, knowing that I owed her an explanation. It was obvious that she recognized Kasey. “Listen, he knows about my street racing and I know about his. We both ended up racing against each other one night. We talked briefly about it afterwards, but agreed to never speak of it again. He won’t say anything per the agreement so if you’re worried about him, don’t. He’ll keep his distance and mouth shut.” At least, I hope he kept his mouth shut.
“Right….just like he did tonight?” Okay, so she noticed how he was pushing the boundaries.
“He probably recognized you and tested the waters. I’ll talk to him and make sure he remembers our agreement and that it extends to you. I told you that I had your back, as you had mine, and nothing was going to come between us.” I then pull her close, kissing her lips lightly. “Do you trust me, Candiss?” She shakes her head yes as a smile crosses my face. “Then we have nothing to worry about.” Remind me to talk to Kasey sometime and soon. But not tonight as it seemed I have other plans on my mind. If we keep the door shut and things quiet, we should be fine even with the guest, right? “There’s a reason that I wanted to leave when we did….”
“Jimmie, he’s right out there.” I then kick the door shut as I keep her held close.
“Problem solved.” She then rolls her eyes as she pushes out of my grasp. What was that?
“Problem is not solved. He may want to talk after he gets out of the shower. He could walk in on us. I’d rather not. You can keep your hands to yourself for a night.” Sure, of course I could. I knew self-control. That didn’t mean it was easy.
“But I want you.” She then climbs in the bed and cuddles up close to me.
“I’m not going far, Jimmie. We can still cuddle and make out. We just have to…behave for a night. I’m sure you can do that.” She then runs her fingers down my chest as she kisses my lips. “Besides, I’ll make it up to you when we get home.”
On that note, I knew that I could behave for a night. Any time a girl says that she’s going to make it up to you, you know that it’s going to be worth it.
Chapter 62: Race Morning
I walked out on to pit road, crew following close behind. The tickets had been the charm as we easily gained access to pit road. But how we were supposed to do what we had to do in this sea of people?
Why were there so many people?
“So why are we just standing here?” Clayton questions as he looks around. “She’s probably over by the 48 car as Hilary says that she’s been there all weekend. So I say we head over there, or go to the 24 car because isn’t that the person you want?” The dummy strikes again. I swear he doesn’t think of the effect of a cause.
“Right, let’s walk right over there,” I start. “Meanwhile, she’ll recognize us right away and warn security about us being around if she doesn’t want us here. Also, while I’m not 100% on what the Stig looks like, he knows what I look like and he will spoil the beans. Think about your idea once again.” Yes, the Stig knew my identity and one of two people would rexognize me beyond Candiss. The question is which of these two.
“We could always head towards that general location and hang around,” Hilary suggests as I glance towards her. “I managed to go through the past couple of races and found some general patterns. There’s spots where drivers are normally alone on pit road and can be caught before being in a sea of people. It’s just about getting in these spots without security noticing us. If you want, we could catch Jeff or Jimmie there.” She then looks through a couple of notes. There’s a reason why I loved her. She was the queen of technology and could find any information that you wanted. “Car chief Ron Malec has a spot where he is always in the private so you could corner him there. William did not find anything to connect him to street racing in California, but perhaps some persuasive conversation could help matters.” She was a practical genius.
“What about Candiss?” Truthfully, I would take Candiss over the superstars. You steal a superstar and the world will start looking. I could deal with that – I had practice with that. However, why take the hard route and it turn out to be worth nothing? Now, Candiss wasn’t worth anything to the world so there wouldn’t be as much looking for her. I could get a hold of her, speak with her and get the details out of her, it would help the second move be planned much better.
“It seems that she’s spending a lot of time with Jimmie, Chad and Ron. I cross checked where they each would be and found a couple spots that she could end up by herself. They’re not fool proof, though, with this being her first weekend in attendance.” Again, I love this girl very much. She knew a lot of things.
“Mr. Knaus?” Jason questions as he looks over at Hilary. Truthfully, his file intrigued me. He was clean as a whistle, a simple hard working individual who spent too much bloody time working on a racecar. How does someone like that get caught up with a group of street racers? I guess we’ll call it fate. Either way, cornering him and telling him details and catching him off-guard could help matters, right? The reason why I kept Jason around. He was our problem solver.
“I found where he can be caught, as well,” Hilary states as she hands over that piece of documentation. Now the question was whether we tracked Jeff, Jimmie, Ron, Candiss or Chad. Who seemed like an easy target? Better yet, was Jeff the ‘stig’ or was Jimmie?
“Based on your findings and what we know, I have a feeling that Ron may be the best piece of puzzle,” I state as I look things over. Candiss honestly was the best target, but there was no certainty that we could catch her with so many unknowns due to first track weekend. So the next option was a crew member – might as well take the less important one. Plus, Ron supposedly has a street racing background in California. That could be of good usage when we talk to him.
“Let’s head down that way then….” I follow Hilary towards where the 48 pit box was.
According to her notes, he could be by the pit box around a certain amount of minutes before the race to get some things for Jimmie. Security was low at that point in the area as series officials and security guards focused on the drivers. That meant that it would be easy access to him. We just needed to get our hands on him, take him to a secluded area and begin our series of behavioral questions.
We made it to the pit box and waited around, noticing that he was standing by the car, speaking with Chad, Jimmie and Candiss. If half of these people fell off the planet, I would’ve simply marched my ass over there.
Sure enough, Ron left the group and headed our direction. He came over the pit wall and walked around to the backside of the pit box, reaching to grab something off of the cart.
Clayton is the first to walk over – don’t ask why I elected the dummy – placing an arm around Ron and another arm over the guy’s mouth. While he can be a dumbass, he is good at capturing people and being threatening – when they’re not female, though, as witnessed with his actions around Candiss. Perhaps that’s why I kept him around.
“Don’t even think of trying anything,” he states before pulling Ron away. He then shuffles him quickly away from the area on pit road to a little secluded area that we had sought out before, giving him a shove so he’s standing in the middle of a circle of us.
“So which one of you is David Rhodes and after my best friend?” He questions, causing my jaw to drop. How did he know?
Chapter 63: Caught
Glancing at the time, I knew that I had to go to the pit box and grab a few last minute things – radios, Jimmie’s in-car snack – the usual things that were part of the plan. I always waited till about this time before the invocation as if I had everything over there earlier, it had a chance of getting misplaced with the crowd of people.
I walk over to the pit box, climbing over the pit wall. I walk to the back of the pit box, knowing where the radios were stored. It was customary and protocol to keep them in the same spot for easy organization each weekend. I reached to grab the radio off of the cart where it had been placed earlier when I felt an arm wrap around me, followed by another around my mouth.
Shit. I didn’t even have to glance around to know that this guy was either David Rhodes, or one of his dirty workers. I should’ve known this was possible based on the threats. I should’ve had one of the guys come over with me, or Dom. Wait – he was busy protecting Candiss and Jimmie. Perhaps that was the best spot for him, or perhaps not. Either way, I knew I was in shit.
“Don’t even think of trying anything,” he stated as I thought about any plan to get away. Though before I could think of something, he pulled me backwards away from the pit box to a small secluded area. He then gave me a shove so I was standing in the middle of a circle of people.
I was defiantly in big shit now. They obviously planned this out real well in knowing timing to kidnap me, and knowing where they could take me. Someone in this group was really smart.
I glance around the faces, knowing that one of them had to be David Rhodes, and another had to be Clayton. Beyond that, it was your best guess as to who each person was.
There’s two ways I could play this – cowardly or smartly.
The coward would scream for help immediately. However, being away from general population, it’d take time for help to get here. Given that they were surrounding me, they’d have a chance to attack and I would find myself perhaps in deeper shit.
The smart way would be to handle this straight up by seeing what they wanted and how I could handle this. If I could keep them in a talking phase for awhile, someone would notice that I hadn’t returned with the radios and go check the pit box to see where I disappeared to. Then, when someone was a little closer, I could initiate a help sequence using whoever they sent to the pit box. Hopefully, they’d send one of the bigger guys on the crew.
Now, let’s see if I still got it in me to handle these type of people.
“So which one of you is David Rhodes and after my best friend?” I question as I glance around the circle. I notice a jaw drop and I have to smile. Bingo. Figures the bouncer looking dude would be David. He looked the type that would run one of these deals and have control over other people.
“Why does it matter to you if you know who David is or not?” I hear a female voice and glance towards the blond. Based on her question, she was the brains of the operation. She was the person that planned their attack and knew how to approach these deals. She was probably trying to read my approach, trying to read if I was going to try something. I knew I had to watch my step with her.
“I was just curious, that’s all,” I state with a small smile. That was the truth, anyway. “Plus, I might as well know who you each are if we’re going to talk about things, right?” Just buying myself time. If I could buy time, then I’d be fine and ready to go.
“My name is Clayton,” the guy who grabbed me immediately states. “She’s Hilary and this is Jas…” David then gives him a kick and I have to laugh. While Clayton was muscle, he was a little dumb. That’s an advantage. I could use him as my way out eventually.
“Let me handle this!” David yells as I cross my arms. He’s a control freak as I predicted. “So you say that I’m after your best friend, huh? So is he the Stig?” Wait – he didn’t know that Jimmie was the Stig. So why was he….oh, of course – Candiss. She lured him closer. It was hard to like her at times given the situation.
“I didn’t say that, did I?” I question in return. Remember – I need to buy myself as much time as possible. “Besides, Candiss could be my best friend now.” She was slowly becoming someone that I could like. She wasn’t best friend material, but she made Jimmie happy and seemed to have good intentions.
“Well you’re going to tell me the Stig is or else I’m going to kick your ass.” Muscle and Control Freak – I should work with the CIA with how good I described him earlier. Now, I could simply tell him that Jimmie was the Stig. I mean, there was no harm in that. He had me and if he went after Jimmie, he would run into trouble with a combination of Dom and security. I could also play it off that I didn’t know, but was I willing to get my ass kicked today?
“I bet it’s Jeff Gordon!” Clayton states and a chuckle escapes my lips. Wait, he believed that Jeff Gordon was the Stig? Okay, that wasn’t far fetched as Jeff was like Jimmie in some ways. But Jeff as an illegal street racer? Yeah, that would be some plot twist.
“He chuckled so you just embarrassed yourself – congratulations,” Hilary comments and I immediately wipe the chuckle away. Guess they know the truth now, huh?
“So it is Jimmie, right?” David questions and I shake my head yes. Might as well give in. He knows. The end. Now I dare him to go after Jimmie.
“Why don’t you go see him?” I suggest. It wasn’t like I had anything to lose.
“You’d love that because we’d fall into a trap,” Hilary states and my smile fades. Damn girl. “No, I have a better plan. When a driver finishes, they go to the media center. When a driver wrecks, they go to the medical center. We’ll just wait there.” She then closes in closer on me, keeping her eyes level with me. She knew that I was trying to be at her level and stump her smartness. Problem was – I was failing. “We’re going to let you go. You’re going to be the good boy and do your job. However, you’re also going to make sure that Jimmie is alone at the opportune time or else we’ll find you Mr. Malec and we’ll kick your ass.” She then leans in and gives me a kiss on the cheek. “Now go do your job like a good little car chief.”
Without hesitation, I left the group without words, returning to the pit box and snatching up the radios.
She thinks that she has me cornered. She thinks that I’m going to play her game. That’s fine – I can live with that. Meanwhile, I’ll handle this the way that I know how.
When I make my way out to pit road, she’s going to be watching. So I’m going to just tell the guys that the radios got misplaced and go about normal business without word. If I try to warn then, Hilary will notice and I’ll be screwed.
Upon returning to the pit box for the start of the race, I will still keep my mouth quiet and not even attempt to write a text message or through notes. Once again, she’s watching me closely. If I try to warn then, she will notice and I’ll be screwed.
Instead, I will wait until Chad or an engineer on the team hands me notes. I will then make a note at that point, handing it back to the said person. To anybody on looking from afar, it will look like normal work. However, to those close, including Chad, engineer and Dom (since I will make sure he sits over my shoulder), they will see the warning and be ready for whatever is set to happen.
Chapter 64: The Note
The rest of pre-race went as planned. The team didn’t give me any headaches on being a little late with the radios. Candiss and Jimmie stood together for pre-race introductions, sharing a kiss after the national anthem. Jimmie climbed in the car and I made sure that he was bucked in accordingly, and the radio was connected as needed.
As he pulled off pit road set for the 400 miles today, I just prayed to myself that everything went accordingly – on the track and off the track. We needed a good race to start off the second round of the Chase, and we needed to keep the evil squad at bay.
I head to the pit box, giving all the guys a high-five before climbing up the steps. I see Chad has already taken his seat to the far left and I take my spot beside him. I let the engineer sit to my right, as per usual plan. We take the front row and the guests take the back row.
“Dom, you can sit behind me while Candiss sits behind Chad,” I suggest, wanting to make sure that he saw the note when I wrote it eventually.
He easily accepts, and that’s no surprise. He was going to stay close to Candiss throughout the weekend to make sure that she was kept out of trouble. His duty here was to protect both her and Jimmie. With Jimmie in the car, that left him to protect Candiss right now.
“When did you turn into pit box director?” Cody Plemmons asks and I glance over at the engineer to my right. He was always bugging, but that was fine. He tried to keep things light-hearted so Chad wouldn’t turn into a total hard ass. Most times, it didn’t work.
“This is their first race,” I start, thinking of my words carefully. I couldn’t tell him the truth. “I just figured that I’d help them out with letting them know where to sit. Is that a problem, Colby?” For some reason, I hated to call him Cody. I had started calling him Colby from the third day that I met him and it stuck. He honestly didn’t mind, thinking it was some fancy nickname. Right. The truth was I screwed up on his name.
“Not a problem sir. I just hope you concentrate on winning this race as much as you’re concentrating on the guests.” And as always, he’s sticking a jab or two at me.
“You just do your job and calculate what you need to calculate. Remember – behave or else I take away the calculator.” He loves his calculator. He’s the type of crazy engineer that loves to calculate everything and re-calculate it to make sure that’s perfect. He’s a perfectionist. I think that’s why Chad wanted him our team as head race engineer when Greg left.
“You just keep your filthy paws to yourself. I know your dirty little secret.” I then glance over at him, confused. That just sounded wrong. Besides, I didn’t have any secrets that he knew….I then glance at Chad, eyes glaring as Chad shrugs his shoulders. Of course. Mr. Knaus couldn’t keep his mouth shut. He can keep his race secrets shut, but nothing else.
“It sort of slipped out,” Chad admits. “Just a touch of it. He just knows that you did a little bit – that’s all. Carry on like nothing happened.” Oh of course because it’s no big deal that it slipped. Remind me to kick his ass later. “Besides, we have a race to win, remember?” A race to win, and a life to keep out of trouble.
“Of course boss,” I state, focusing my set of notes.
We had a good car for today. We were good in practice and decent in qualifying. If you combine that together with the fact that Jimmie is awesome on intermediate tracks, this should be a great day.
Those thoughts played true as we got into the race as Jimmie raced near the front of the field, keeping himself in contention for the win as he ran in the top-five. He wasn’t leading laps or challenging for the lead, but we had a long way to go. This race was just over 250 laps, after all.
I focused on making notes on his comments about what the car was doing over the course of the run, and comparing them to notes in practice. I also glanced at changes that we had made when we had previous similar problems and whether they worked or not. Combine that with glances at the trends of the race as learned from yesterday’s Nationwide event, you could say that I was busy focusing on my notes.
Even though I had another whole deal on my plate, I had to focus on my job. I had to make it look as though nothing happened earlier.
I knew that the note passing would start soon, though. It seemed as we got closer to pit stops, Cody would start working out the fuel strategy window and hand that over for both Chad and I to view. I would then add to the paper some ideas on adjustments based on Jimmie’s comments and the trends. It was Chad’s job then to combine that together and determine the best course of action for the first pit stop.
“Ron…” Cody says as he hands me a piece of paper. It was 35 laps into the event. That meant that we were set to start talking pit stop with that being in the next 10-15 laps, or so.
I take the piece of paper, reading over his fuel window note, before looking over my own notes. I had to condense down everything that I had noted for Chad, as well as the additional note.
Before I started writing, I glanced over my shoulder back at Dom and Candiss, giving Candiss a slight tap on the leg. If anybody glanced, it was done by accident. However, it was purpose. She needed to take her eyes off of the track and focus on the paper. Dom would then focus, as well, curious as to why I hit her.
I watch as their eyes go downward behind me as I start writing on the blank piece of paper.
I then quickly hand the note over to Chad, keeping my eyes focused forward on the notes that laid before me.
I could feel the heated eyes on my shoulder obviously seeing the content. No doubt they had gotten the message. No doubt that they’d be ready post-race to handle whatever may be happening.
I could see the shock on Chad’s face at what happened as he tried to compose himself and focus on the actual race notes that were on the page before him. Come on Chad – focus like you’re known for.
Then there was poor Colby. That guy was so confused as he was wondering who David was and what was going to happen. Perhaps we should’ve briefed the whole team pre-race, but that may be too many guys knowing. Then again, they could’ve been our own mini army.
I then hear my phone buzz, taking it out of my pocket. I look at the ID, seeing that it is Candiss. Good girl – already handling this as I would hope.
We’ve got this handled from our perspective. Dom says we’ll go to where Jimmie will be before he is there. Well played and dealt with. No wonder Jimmie recruited you
I then chuckle a little at her comment and smile. Even though I hadn’t dealt with any street racing or any type of drama for awhile, I still knew the tricks and knew the game very well. Besides, I was right when I warned Jimmie to get out of there sooner.
Long as u keep J safe, that matters. You both go. I stay back with Chad to look part.
Chapter 65: The Plan
I know I made my comments before this weekend about how this racing thing wasn’t that ‘interesting’, but umm…..can I take those comments back? It’s so much more fun in person! Hearing and feeling the rumble of cars, watching them hit the small patch of pavement right below you with a halting stop, followed by the artistic work of seven men changing tires and adding fuel within seconds.
I could get used to this seat each week.
On top of that, Jimmie had a good car today. He had been running up near the front for the time being. Sure, he wasn’t leading or dominating yet – but he was still running in the top-five. Plus, it wasn’t like the race was set to end anytime soon.
I was so concentrated on the race that I barely noticed a small hit of my leg, before locking my eyes on the source. Why was Ron smacking me? Was he wanting to point something out to me that I hadn’t noticed? Was there something of interest thus far?
My eyes then go down to his pen and paper, and I watch the note that he writes. My jaw starts to drop immediately. That’s why Cody was making the comment that he was running a little late and perhaps to go look for him. That’s why Ron quickly shrugged it off as if being unable to find the radios.
The rest of this race didn’t matter to me. All that mattered to me was the safety of the man behind the wheel of the No. 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet that was screaming by us at a high rate of speed right now. It was all I could do to keep my eyes on him, and also glance around to figure out where the medical center and other important key post-race places would be.
Plus, there was also a tinge of fear. How the hell did they get on track property? I thought we were safe here as this was a place that couldn’t get. Okay, then again, Rhodes knew people and I guess he found a way. But STILL. That’s just creepy!
I take my phone out, quickly texting Ron a short message of reassurance. A glance at Dom already told me that we had a plan in place for whatever happened. It was just about making that happen as quickly as possible.
My eyes stay focused on the race as I watch the series of pit stops, series of caution flags, all the while keeping my eye on the 48 car. If anything, and when anything happened – race’s end, or something before then – I was going to be ready.
In truth, I was set on him winning the race. A trip to victory lane would solve every issue that we had right now as he’d be surrounded by a sea of people and there’d be no way to touch him.
….so that above, yeah that was my pipe dream during the race. Forget that I said that. it seems Jimmie’s stupid pathetic Goodyear tires decided to throw a wrench into our problems.
As he entered turn three on the 180th lap of the event, the right front tire blows up, causing the blue car to slide up the track and make heavy contact with the wall. A shiver leaves my body – combination of shock and fear of how he is – as it happens.
“Jimmie, are you okay?” Chad questions immediately on the radio, as per normal protocol. I had learned that during the few races that I watched that crew chiefs quickly checked on their drivers. Given my tour in the garage, I also knew that the car was safe. There was a reason for the roll cages, seats, safety devices – all those things that you wonder about.
“I’m fine,” he tells Chad and even though I was certain he was okay, a relief still escapes me upon hearing his voice. “I can’t drive it back. The right front is tore up bad.”
“10-4. I’ll meet you back in the garage and we’ll see if we can get back you out.” Chad then takes off his headset as he picks up his clipboard, immediately heading for the stairs. You could just tell that he wasn’t happy by what happened.
However, I was surprised more so at how quick his movements were. Did he normally move this quickly? Did he want to be back in the garage because of the note? Or was he just moving his normal pace because, well, we knew that they were watching from some point?
“I’ll meet you back in garage,” Ron states with a small wink as he gathers up the rest of the notes. “You should go ahead before me.” I watch as a small piece of paper slips off of the table and I pick it up.
I debated whether to glance at it, but figured that I might as well since there may be a reason it fell into my hands.
Care Center. No drive back he go there.
“Ron, you dropped this,” I state as I hand it back to him, returning the wink. I then grab Dom’s shirt, pulling him my direction and hurry down the stairs.
We then head towards the pit area. I was determined to make it look as though I was headed to the garage area, per the proper behavior in not being suspicious, but also noted where the care center was and how I could get there quickly.
“Where are we going?” Dom questions as he follows me through the traffic of people.
“Care center,” I answer as I hurry through the crowd, making sure that he stays tight behind me. I watch as Jimmie’s PR girl Amanda follows us.
“You can go in upon arriving, Claire, as you’re girlfriend,” she tells us as we reach the place. “You can’t go in, though.”
“That’s fine,” Dom firmly states. I knew what he was thinking as well. He’d scout the area and make sure none of David’s crew were around while I saw Jimmie and advised him of the situation.