Chapter 11: Stewart
Dale Jr.’s House – Morning Night, post Daytona July race
Tony reached the bedsroom door, hearing the scream of pain coming from inside the room, just shaking his head. There was no question that he was doing the right thing.
“You better listen to me or else,” he said as he opened the door, causing Jeff to freeze on instant of it being open. Jeff wondered who was there, haven’t turned around yet to face the doorway. He thought it was probably Lindsay, curious as to what was happening. Though with a glance over his shoulder, he was surprised that it was indeed Tony standing there, instead. What was he doing there? Hadn’t Dale told all of his friends to stay away knowing that this was “their night”?
“What is he doing here?” Jeff asked aloud as he looked back towards Dale. He then turned his glance towards Tony, trying to think of something to say to get him out of there without complaints. “What are you doing here, Tony?” Without saying a word, Tony grabbed Jeff’s by the sleeves of his shirt, pinning him right up against the closet door. Their visit together would be short and sweet and Jeff would know then and there to stay away. “Let go of me. We were just havi-”
“Don’t try your lies on me, Gordon.” Jeff then looked towards Dale, anger written across his face. How could Dale tell somebody? Weren’t the threats enough to keep him quiet?
“How could you tell him, Dale? You do realize what will happ-”
“You better watch what you’re about to say and do after leaving this room because you could be in for a rude awakening. See, you’re not the only one that is clever with their knowledge of blackmail. Once I heard what you were doing to Dale, why and the reason he was scared, I knew what I had to do.” Jeff’s anger turned to concern as he looked back towards Tony, who had yet to loosen the grip that he held.
“What are you going talking about? What have you done?” Jeff watched as a smile grew on Tony’s face, now really concerned about what Stewart had up his sleeve as everybody knew that Tony didn’t ever play fair. “Stew-”
“I haven’t done anything, yet, but I will if you don’t start listening to me. After you leave this room tonight, you are not to set foot in Dale’s house again ever nor are you to ever hurt him or his daughter or his girlfriend EVER.” Tony looked back towards the bed, eyes looking towards his best friend that he now saw there laying in pain, crying.
“Tony, I told you not to interfer-” Dale then starts as Tony shakes his head.
“You can’t live through this private hell the rest of your life, Dale,” Tony comments aloud, before turning his gaze back to Jeff. “You are also to keep all three secrets safe without revealing them. If you dare reveal any of the secrets or hurt him, Lindsay or Angelica ever, I will make your life a living hell.” Jeff then laughed, not believing the words that were coming out of Tony’s mouth. How could he do that? There was nothing that Tony could do that would equal what Jeff was doing now.
“And do you plan on doing that, tough one?” Jeff asks. “There’s nothing that you could do to sto-”
“Everybody has secrets that they wish for nobody to find out, ever.” Dale eyes then turned to shock as he watched Tony pull some pictures out of his pocket to show Jeff. The pictures contained photos of Jeff sleeping with Denny.
“How’d you get your hands on those?” Jeff couldn’t believe that Tony had those pictures as he tried to grab them, but Tony kept them far enough out of Jeff’s reach, putting them back in his pocket. Jeff remembered that night vividly, remembered the couple of weeks that he spent with Denny before Denny met his girlfriend and cut things off. How was there pictures of the event? He thought that they were private, alone! “Who gav-”
“Somebody owed me a favor – that’s all you need to know.” Tony knew some photographers who were in the business of getting star photos. He called them up, asking them if they had anything on Jeff, saying that he needed them as blackmail due to some things that had happened on-track. The one photographer called him back, sending him the photos at a small price. The price though was worth it to Tony if it meant stopping Jeff in his tracks.
“How’d they get the-”
“Ever heard of the paparazzi? That beach that you went to – exclusive sex club beach in L.A. I hear. Well, there were some photographers who managed to get their way into the club and boom, they shot photos of all the stars that were there that day. The only reason that this photographer didn’t reveal it was because he has a heart. But when I agreed to pay him three million dollars without argument for the photos, he agreed. Now, if you notice, they’re dated the fall of last year. Hm, I wonder what your wife would say if she saw these. I wonder what the world would say if they saw these printed on the internet.” Jeff then shrugged his shoulders, knowing what Tony had was pity to what he had.
“Go ahead and send those out as I’m sure I can make up a good excuse for that.” As Tony caught his eyes looking back at Dale, he could see the heartbreak written on Dale’s face as Dale was probably thinking that the secrets would be revealed and life would be flipped upside down. However, to his surprise, Tony wasn’t done yet.
“There’s also a sex tape of you and Johnson together at Hendrick. It seems that you and Johnson fucked in the boss’ office one night. I wonder what Rick will say when he sees that tape lying on his desk. I wonder what the world will say to that.” Seeing as his words were having no effect on Jeff and seeing the heartbreak still written on Dale’s face, Tony knew it was time for the final straw. “Of course, there’s one final secret that I hold that could ruin your life forever. See, I never gave Kelley back the key the other night to Dale’s house. So earlier today, I came over here and checked out the bedsroom myself, knowing this is where you would bring him tonight as you have other nights.” Jeff swallowed, curious as to where Tony was taking this.
“Well, looks like Dale can get you arrested for trespassing and some other charges then.” Tony then laughed, not believing how Jeff couldn’t figure this one out.
“I set up some cameras in the bedsroom, and to your surprise, every thing that you’ve done tonight is recorded. So here’s how it’s going to work. If you keep your mouth shut and don’t hurt anybody or say any secrets, then I won’t say anything. However, the minute you cross the line, I will reveal the other secrets to those who need to see them. I also forward the record of tonight to the police, along with Dale’s confession and Lindsay’s confession of what you’ve done, plus the marks that are on Dale from what you’ve done. As a result, your life will be ruined worse than anybody’s here. You’ll be arrested on charges of abuse, rape, harassment, threats, among others and be put away in jail for years. Once word gets out for what you did, then I don’t think your fellow cellmates will play nice with you either.” A slight smile crossed Dale’s face as he watched the reaction on Jeff’s face turn to complete shock. He was glad that he had told Tony about everything now, not believing how smart Tony was in dealing with all that had happened. “I suggest you think about your decision very carefully.” Tony then gave Jeff a punch in the eye before letting him go and turning his attention to Dale. As Tony walked over to where Dale laid, tied to the bed, his heart was in pieces. He couldn’t believe that Dale had let Jeff do this to him for months. How was it humanly possible to let someone go through this for months on end?
“I guess you have a deal, bitch.” They both then watched as Jeff left the room and headed down the stairs and a smile came across Tony’s face. The plan had worked just like he’d hoped.
“Now he won’t be bugging you.”
Chapter 12: Thank You
Dale Jr.’s House – Morning Night, post Daytona July race
Tony leaned untied the final rope, freeing Dale from the tied position that Jeff had him in only moments prior. Tony couldn’t believe the tears that he saw on Dale’s face, or the ones that had continued since Jeff had left the room. He could see the pain there, more easily than other nights that he had been at the house, and it just broke him in two. Even if Jeff and Dale had some sort of past, this was isn’t fair at all.
Tony threw the rope to the side, sitting on the edge of bed, unsure what he wanted to do next. The biggest part of him wanted to cuddle up next Dale, wrap his arms around him and assure him that things would be fine. He wanted to be there to comfort his best friend. The other part of him was scared of what Dale’s reaction would be, not wanting to ruin the friendship that they had forged.
Dale looked towards Tony, before looking back down, still not believing what happened only moments earlier. He was proud of what Tony had done. He wanted to thank him and not ever stop thanking him. However, part of him was worried. What if Jeff didn’t listen? Then what would happen?
“Are you going to be okay?” Tony finally asked, breaking the silence. He couldn’t take it anymore as he wanted to do something to help. “Do you want me to go get Lindsay? I can do whatever you need.”
“No, don’t leave please,” Dale answered as he slightly glanced in Tony’s direction. He was afraid and he didn’t want to be left alone. With Tony there, he felt safe and he didn’t want to lose that feeling.
“Okay – I won’t leave you; I promise.” Tony knew that he was going to live by those words, not wanting to see Dale hurt worse than he was. Tony watched as Dale grabbed a pair of his sweatpants and pulled them on, followed by a t-shirt. As they sat there, all Tony could think about was how this would continue to be covered up. Everybody in the world would look towards him, thinking that he had the perfect life and there was nothing wrong. However, behind the sunglasses, behind the eyes, there was a battle there that nobody understood.
“Thank you. Thank you for what you did. I appreciate it.” Tony smiled as he kept his eyes focused on his best friend.
“I told you that I was going to help you, one way or another.” Dale then laid back on the bed once again, pain still filling his insides and legs from the horror that he had just went through minutes earlier. How could Jeff do that to him? He had been able to deal with the arguing, the slaps, whips – but that sexual abuse? It was beyond any level he could comprehend on his mind.
“How could he do that to me? How could he fucking tie me up like that and then stick a fucking bottle up my ass?” As Tony heard the words, he just shook his head and disbelief. There was no explaining what had happened. There was no human way of comprehending those actions. If Tony didn’t care about Ingrid and the kids as much, he would have just done away with Jeff totally. But knowing that would break both Ella and Leo’s hearts, he held back, hoping that the threats he laid down would be enough.
“I don’t know.” Tony focused his eye back on Dale, not knowing how to answer. “I don’t know what to tell you.” Dale sniffed back the tears that were still forming his eyes, not wanting to cry, but not able to stop them. The pain was too much. He could handle the physical – he was used to it, but the emotional pain that he was now feeling was too much to ever hold back an ounce of the tears that were coming.
“He knew that it would hurt me and torture me to no end; he knew it from when we were together and I told him that I couldn’t handle that. I know he wanted me to feel the pain that he felt, but that was just unbearable.” Tears came to Tony’s eyes as he heard the pain in Dale’s voice, feeling hurt as he knew there was nothing that he could say that would make it go away.
“Just be glad that it’s over.” Tony then crawled closer to Dale, scared of his reaction still, but wanting to be there to comfort him. “You’re safe and he’s gone and he’s not going to hurt you ever again. The second he tries to touch you, you just tell me and I will make sure that he doesn’t see another second without pain of his own.” Dale looked towards Tony, sniffing back the tears that were still there, just wanting the pain to disappear. He knew in his heart there was only one way how, but it was taking a huge chance after everything.
“Hold me, please.” Dale looked down as he felt Tony’s arms wrap around him instantly, pulling him close in a cuddle. Dale, feeling nervous with what had happened, instantly relaxed, the safety and security that he so badly wanted coming instantly as Tony’s warm body touched his.
Tony smiled as he watched Dale get even more comfortable by the second, cuddling in more, eyes slowly closing. The tears had slowly come to a stop, the breaths had calmed down and with his eyes closed, Tony knew that Dale had fallen asleep right there in his arms.
“I love you and I’m not going anywhere,” Tony whispered as he didn’t move an inch, even when he knew Lindsay was right there standing in the doorway. If this made Dale feel safe, then he wasn’t moving. He wanted to make the pain go away, no matter what it took. “Jeff won’t be bugging you guys. I gave him my own dose of threats.”
“I know – I heard,” she replied quietly as she leaned against the door post. “Thank you.”
“You don’t need to thank me, Linds. I’d do anything for him.” Tony then looked up from Dale when a blanket was thrown his direction, wrapping it around them both as he was meant by sparkling eyes and a smile. “You sure you’re okay with this? I mean, I don’t want to mess up things for you gu-”
“I’m fine, Tony. I know you care about him and I’m okay with it. If it makes him feel safe in your arms, then I’m not going to be one to bitch. I know he loves me, but I also know that right now, you’re offering a certain special type of comfort that he needs. I’ll go sleep in the guest room and see you in the morning. Night Smoke.” Tony just smiled as he laid down quietly on the bed, arms still cuddling Dale, blanket now wrapped around them both.
“Night Lindsay.” As she left the room, turning off the light, Tony closed his eyes slowly. It felt peaceful to lay there with Dale in his arms. It gave him a certian comfort that he knew that he had never felt before with anybody. He knew that this was exactly where he belonged.
Chapter 13: The Next Morning….
Dale Jr.’s House – Tuesday Morning, post Daytona July race
Dale walked into the kitchen, seeing that Tony was standing leaning on the counter while Lindsay was making breakfast. He wondered if they had talked about last night. He wondered what Lindsay had to say about Tony sleeping with him. He had woken up in the middle of the night, but with a quick snuggle back close to Tony, he found himself quickly back to sleep. It was odd at he could never get that comfortable that quickly with Lindsay, or even Jimmie before. He just kept thinking that it was due to circumstances and not thinking beyond that.
“Morning,” he said as he walked over to Lindsay and gave her a kiss on the cheek.
“Morning babes,” she replied as she turned and kissed his lips. Tony stood there, watching, a smile coming to his face as he was glad to see that they were in a good mood that morning. He could already see the effects of things being over taking their effect.
“And good morning to you too, Tony.” Dale walked over to where Tony stood, giving him an unexpected hug. Tony hadn’t seen it coming, but embraced it. “Thank you for what you did last night and thank you for being there for me after he left. I really appreciate it.” Lindsay then got three plates down, putting the food out as she brought the plates over to the table.
“Breakfast is served.” They all then sat down, beginning to enjoy the meal. Some may say it was odd for them to be sitting there as a group, especially with the dynamics of the relationship and the previous night. However, none of them complained as for some reason, it felt right. Lindsay felt that Tony deserved a nice well fed breakfast for taking care of Dale last night. Dale felt safe having Tony there with them, somewhat unsure of the connection beyond that, and knew that his heart belonged to Lindsay. For Tony, he knew that those feelings he felt earlier in the year were true.
“This breakfast is really good,” Tony finally broke the silence as he looked in Lindsay’s direction. “Thank you.”
“You’re welcome,” she replied as she kept eating, curious as to where the conversation would go. Before Dale had come down, Tony and Lindsay had shared some thoughts between them. They both were fine with what happened the night before, though they both had concerns for Dale. They didn’t know what the next days would hold with what happened that night and what happened the previous nights. The only thing they agreed on was both being there for him.
“So, how are you feeling this bright morning?” Tony turned his attention to Dale, curious. While he had thought about not mentioning anything, his curiosity and worry were pegged. “I mean, if you want to talk about it.”
“I’m still pretty sore but I’ll be okay,” Dale replied as he kept his eyes focused down on his plate, trying to put the thoughts of what had happened out of his mind for the time being. “I’m just glad that it’s over.” Tony smiled, slightly. He could tell that it was still hard on Dale, emotionally and maybe even physically, but the positive comment at the end gave him a sense of hope.
“That’s the spirit.” Dale then turned his focus up towards them both, knowing that the thoughts that had filled his mind since waking up that morning needed to be said. With things being done with Jeff, there was some unsettled business.
“After breakfast, I’m going over to Rick’s to talk to Angelica.” Tony set his fork down, curious by those words in what intentions Dale had.
“What about?” Lindsay also looked up from her plate, curious also, as they both weren’t expecting Dale to say that.
“She doesn’t need to know what Jef-” Lindsay started.
“I would never, ever think of telling her that,” Dale snapped back, and then took a deep breath, calming down. He knew that Lindsay probably didn’t mean to come out with it and face that strong of a comeback, but the comeback was warranted. How could he ever tell her?
“Is there any other particular reason that you’re going to see her then?” Tony then asked, somewhat quietly. He didn’t know if he wanted to touch the buttons after what Dale had just said to Lindsay. “Wait, how much does she know about Amb-”
“She knows everything,” Lindsay cut Tony off, knowing where Tony was going with his comments. “Dale explained that to her a couple years ago. As an 11 year old, she took it quite lightly, surprisingly, and understood.” Dale then took a deep breath, knowing the next 24 hours in making all of this work out right would be tough.
“With the Jeff deal sorted out and the fact that I love her so much, I want her to come live with me,” he started. “So I’m going to go over and talk to Rick, Linda and her to express my thoughts. Rick has always said that the minute I want her to come live with me, there was no problem with it. He was only doing the living arrangements this way because of my feelings.” Tony smiled, feeling pride inside in what Dale was about to do. He never understood from the moment that Dale spoke of Angelica to him as to why things were done the way they were, no matter the thoughts on what Brenda and Kelley would think.
“That’s a pretty big step,” Tony commented and then looked down, knowing the next batch of words would once again test the waters. “What about your mom and Kelley?”
“I’m going to tell them tonight at dinner. I’m going to tell them the whole story and they can think what they want. If they want to accept things and not be angry, then that’s great. If their angry at me or about the situation then I really could care less, honestly.” Inside though, Dale knew that it would hurt a lot if Brenda and Kelley came back mad or unaccepting for some reason at all. However, it had to be done. He wanted to be close to his daughter and have her at the house, no matter what.
“Well you’re over at Rick’s, I’ll clean out the guest room somewhat so she can put her stuff in there when she gets here,” Lindsay then commented. She wasn’t sure what to think of the idea, but knew that it wasn’t her decision. Angelica was Dale’s kid and this was Dale’s decision to make as to what would happen. Lindsay had seen Angelica a couple of times and so far, they had gotten along. If they could keep things that way, then why would there be any reason to complain? “Like Tony said, though, this is a big step, but I’m proud of you.” She then gave him a slight kiss on the cheek, knowing that the rest of the day would now be an adventure.
“Oh, and as far as Wednesday, I’ve got plans,” Dale then added as they both looked at him shocked. What else did he have up his sleeve? “There’s a certain short track that I should go to. She’s been begging me to come so I think I better listen.” Tony then looked towards Lindsay, curious, and Lindsay just shook her head.
“It’s not me that’s been begging him.” Tony then looked towards Dale, full of curiousity.
“Who is it? Karsyn?” Dale shook his head no, making Tony very confused. “Then who?” Noticing the smile on Lindsay’s face, Tony had only one other person in mind. “Angelica?”
“And he figures it out! Ms. Angelica has been running the legends, if you haven’t heard. She’s been running under her mom’s last name – Jamieson. That’s why you haven’t heard much, yet. Oh, and she’s been winning, too.” There was an instant moment of shock that came over Tony as Lindsay released the details.
“Wait – Angelica Jamieson? Holy shit! Why didn’t it click a couple weeks ago when Kasey mentioned her name to me?” Dale then looked towards Tony, now curious. What had Kasey said about his daughter?
“So what did Kasey say about my daughter, Tony?” Dale asked as Tony just smiled.
“Kasey was saying that he went by the short track and he could tell that this girl, Angelica Jamieson, had killer talent and had that racer’s instinct. He was thinking of bringing her into the midgets and wanted my opinion. I told him that I hadn’t heard much about her so I couldn’t comment. But wait till he hears that she’s your daughter.” Lindsay then smiled as Dale shook his head and disbelief. He had heard that Angelica had won some races, but didn’t know that she was that good. “I’ll keep it secret till you’re ready to speak with Kasey. But he mentioned something about seeing her after Daytona so maybe it’s a good idea that you’ll be there.” Dale then smiled as he thought about what Kasey would say when Kasey found out the details.
“Wait till he hears the news.”
Chapter 14: Meet My Daughter
Oh, and this story is basically written like year 2014-ish.
Brenda’s House – Tuesday Evening, post Daytona July race
Speaking with Rick and Linda had gone great earlier that day. They were perfectly fine with Dale’s decision, fully supporting him in what he was about to do. Linda had also made him agree to making sure they stayed in close contact, which Dale couldn’t deny. There was no way he could thank Rick and Linda enough for what they’d done.
Angelica, now 15, was excited by the news. She couldn’t wait to move in to her dad’s house. It was a moment that she had been waiting for. The relationship that she’d built with her dad over the past two years while living with Rick and Linda was incredible. She was excited about continuing to build that.
“Just relax,” Dale told Angelica as they walked up to his mom’s house with Lindsay. He was nervous about telling his mom and Kelley, but it had to be done. “It’ll work out. No matter what is said tonight, I love you.” He then gave her a quick kiss before knocking on the door. They were all surprised with Karsyn opened the door, as much as Karsyn was surprised to see Angelica.
“Hey Uncle Jr, hey Lindsay,” she said as she moved back for the three of them to come in. “Hi Angelica. How come Angelica is here?” Karsyn had met Angelica while she was at Hendrick Motorsports with Kelley the one day and as the story was, Rick simply explained her as a close friend.
“Rick and Linda went out so Dale agreed to bring her with us so she wasn’t home alone,” Lindsay pulled out the lie as she gave Dale and Angelica a wink. She knew they couldn’t spit it out that quick. They had to first tell Brenda and Kelley before moving to the nieces and nephew.
“Okay!” Everybody then trade hugs, saying hello to each other.
“Brenda, this is Angelica,” Dale introduced Angelica as the pair shared a handshake. “She lives with Rick and Linda. As I told Karsyn, they were going out and Rick asked if I’d keep her company. I accepted, before remembering family dinner is tonight. I hope you don’t mind.”
“It’s great to meet you,” Angelica commented, slightly nervous but calming rather quickly. She was meeting her grandma for the first time, not in proper fashion, but still, a special time.
“It’s nice to meet you, too,” Brenda replied as she kept her eyes focused on Angelica’s. “You have beautiful eyes, sweetie.” Dale then looked down, knowing from others that had found out – like Tony and Rick – that she had his eyes. He was curious as to what his mom was thinking, whether she was guessing what was to be said that night.
“Thank you. I can see where Da…Dale gets his looks from.” Angelica bit her tongue, having almost spit out the Dad word without thinking. It was odd to call her dad by his name.
The rest of the night continued on nicely as everybody talked about different things and enjoyed a nice dinner. After dinner, Dale looked towards Lindsay and Angelica, knowing that it was time to spit out the news.
“Mom, Kelley, can I speak to you in the other room?” He asked as he wanted to explain everything to them away from the kids and Kelley’s husband L.W. This was something he wanted to share privately, still unsure of how they would react.
“We’ll help the kids clean up and amuse them with some sort of game,” Lindsay commented as she grabbed a cloth and began wetting it, seeing how Wyatt had gotten food all over his face. He had started eating by himself not that long ago and it showed.
“Okay,” they both replied as they followed Dale out of the room. Kelley and Brenda sat on the couch as Dale stayed standing, now beginning to pace. He was beginning to remember why he had kept it a secret.
“So what is it?” Kelley finally broke the silence as she watched her brother.
“Does this deal with Lindsay?” Brenda then asked and Dale shook his head, not wanting to go down that road. Seeing as how Lindsay and Dale had been together for three years now, his mom had already taken him down the marriage road of discussion. That was a topic that Dale wanted to avoid as well, not wanting to think about what could come with marriage.
“This deals with Angelica,” he finally spoke as he stopped and turned towards the two females he trusted more than anyone else in his life. “She’s my daughter.” Seeing both of their jaws drop, he awaited the response that they would have for him. “She’s been living with Rick the past two years, as per my request.”
“Why not with you? Why haven’t we met her sooner? Who’s her mother?” Dale was taken back by his mom’s reaction and instant questions. Seeing the touch of anger in her voice, he was scared to continue, to tell her that he once ignored Angelica. How could any father do that no matter what was going on in their life?
“Mom, let Dale explain before you pounce on him,” Kelley advised as Dale took a deep breath, knowing that it meant it was his turn to continue. “Dale, I trust that there’s a good reason for this. Before we say what we have to say about it, why don’t you tell us the whole story? But no matter what you say, I will support you and your daughter.” Dale smiled, glad to see that his sister still had his back no matter what. He just hoped it stayed that way once she heard what he had done.
“Kelley, she’s a teenager,” Brenda then started. “You’d think my son would want me to meet his daugh-”
“I was scared of how you would react so I kept it a damn secret!” Dale cut her off, growing frustrated already. He then looked up at his mom, seeing the shocked expression on her face by his anger. He had never, ever, yelled at his mom like that for any reason at all. “Her mom is Amber. She called in February after I broke up with her and told me that she was four months pregnant with our kid. I ignored her, not wanting the responsibility.”
“How could you even think of doing that, Dale?!? Nobody, ever, no matter what abandons their own child. How could you tell Amber that no matter how you thought of her? I thought you were different than that!” Dale took a deep breath, keeping his eyes back focused on the ground, knowing this reaction was expected.
“I was young, having the time of my life then. I didn’t want the responsibility of a kid on my shoulders. Fuck – I still felt like a kid myself. That’s why I brushed it away, not thinking of it. I know that was wrong now that I’ve grown up and learned responsibility. I regret doing that to her because of how much I love her. I’m just glad that I have her in my life now. I know I can’t go back in time and fix that, but I can make sure that it never happens again.” He then looked away, tears forming in his eyes, as the heartbreak of what he did came to him. For years, he had put those emotions away, not wanting to face them after he came to realization of what he did. Though bringing it out and telling his mom and Kelley, it was enough to make him cry as the pain was all he could think of.
“Okay, whatever, you’re right – we can’t go back in time. So how did she end up with you?” Dale then wiped the last bit of tears that were forming, knowing he had to tell the rest of the story.
“End of 2004, I called Amber and told that I wanted a relationship with my daughter. We set up times to meet up and times to spend together and it was wonderful. A couple of years ago, Amber came to me and told me that she didn’t want Angelica anymore; she said Angelica was in the way of her becoming a dancing superstar. She was going to put Angelica up for adoption. Not wanting to face you guys and tell everybody, wanting to keep it as my own secret, I told Rick the whole story and he agreed to help keep it under the wraps.” Dale then looked up at both his mom and sister, curious of their reaction. He didn’t want them to be angry. He didn’t want it to change what he had with them. That would just cause more heartbreak. “After some careful thought lately, I decided that I wanted her to come live with me so I told Rick and now I am telling you the truth.”
“Why did you keep it a secret for so long? You know that even though we’d be mad at you partly, we’d be there for you because of the fact that you have now done the right thing. I’m proud of you for stepping up and being part of her life and forming a relationship with her.” Dale smiled as they traded hugs, glad that things had gone decently then planned. While there was some anger and frustration to start, at least things were calmed down. His eyes then lied down on his sister, curious as to what she had to say.
“I don’t know what to say except that I am proud to be an aunt and look forward to getting to know my niece,” Kelley said as she stood up to face her brother. “But don’t ever keep a secret like that away from us again.” They all then smiled as they walked back into the kitchen with the rest of the gang, seeing how they were wrapped up in a game of Kennedy’s favourite – Candyland.
The news was shortly revealed after that, filled with more shocked faces, but happy ones at that.
Lindsay caught herself watching Dale with his nieces and Angelica, seeing that crystal sparkle form in his eyes and a true genuine smile. It was probably the first true moment since everything that had happened with Jeff. While she wanted to be happy herself, there was a small pit of worry in her stomach What if Jeff failed to listen to Tony’s careful instructions? Then what would happen to their family?
Chapter 15: Revenge is Sweet
Indianapolis – Mid July
The week following at New Hampshire, there was still anger on Tony’s mind over what Jeff had done. Even though he had stopped things, it wasn’t enough. He wanted Jeff to pay in his own way for what he had done. It was only at that point would he consider them to be somewhat even. So when Tony found himself behind Jeff 100 laps into the race, there was only one option – turn him. The resulting contact had Jeff ending up in the outside wall, going down multiple laps before pairs.
Jeff knew exactly why Tony had done it, but bit his lip. He knew with what Tony had told him that he had no option but to take the abuse. The minute he made a move, the minute Tony would scream. Why did Tony have to get himself involved in this?
The following week it was one of the biggest race of the year – the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis. It was a race that meant a lot to both Tony and Jeff as they had both grew up wanting to win at Indy. Both had won there in the past, but they wanted to win again to savor that moment again.
In dramatic fashion, the race came down to the pair running first and second, Jeff leading Tony around the oval. Jeff had managed to find his way out front with some strategy, but it was Tony that had the quickest car all day long.
Going into the final two laps, Tony had caught Jeff and was determined to get the win no matter what. He knew how much the race meant to Jeff and knew that it’d be sweet to steal that away in good fashion. Tony rode Jeff’s bumper through turns one and two, giving the four-time champ a couple small taps. Tony knew that once they got to the other end of the track, it’d be over.
Tony drove it into turn three, going for the look underneath, before Jeff threw the block. Down in turn four, Jeff tried the same thing – except this time it didn’t work. Their bumpers caught and around went Jeff while Tony went on to claim the victory. As Tony crossed the finish line, a big smiled appeared on his face at not only winning on his favourite track, but also taking the win that Jeff wanted most from him.
“What’s Tony problem with you?” Alan asked as Jeff climbed from the car in the garage. In the end, Jeff was credited with a 15th place finish, to go with finishing 37th a week ago. Jeff bit his tongue before even attempting to respond to his crew chief, knowing that he couldn’t tell him the truth. There was no one in the world that he could tell that would probably agree with what he’d done.
“I don’t know,” Jeff lied to Alan as he threw his helmet and HANS back in his car, shaking his head in disgust. He wondered how long Tony would keep this up for, or whether this was the hand that he was dealt. If that was the case, then why bother keeping the promise? It wasn’t like he had a shot at winning with Tony’s games and he was just hurting his team. They had put so much hard work into both cars. They didn’t deserve this no matter what Jeff had done.
“You’ll get them next week,” Jeff heard, turning to see Rick was standing there behind him. ”I don’t know what you did to piss Tony off, but you don’t deserve that two weeks in a row.”
After talking with the media and once again explaining his displeasure with Tony, he knew there was one place that he needed to go. If there was a chance of making this stop, he had to confront Tony and tell him how he felt. So that’s what Jeff set his heart on doing as he made his way to victory lane.
Once he was there, he went up to Tony, pulling him away from everyone else. He wanted to have this conversation in private, knowing that nobody else could hear what they were to discuss.
“Is there a problem?” Tony asked, causing Jeff’s frustration to grow. “You blocked me twice. I don’t like when I get blocked.” For Tony, that was only worth about 2% of the reason as to why he had turned Jeff. The anger and pain that filled him from seeing the look on Dale’s face two weeks ago, from seeing what he had to go through, filled the other 98% of his reasoning. “You knew that you had it coming, Gordon.” Jeff then lifted his fist, frustration continuing to grow, and connected it with Tony’s cheek, delivering a punch that was full of his bottled up anger. He then went to lay another one before Tony grabbed his wrist. “I wouldn’t do that if I was you.”
“And why’s that?” Jeff asked as he kept his eye locked on Tony’s, ignoring the group that had gathered around them. Tony then let go of Jeff’s wrist and quickly delivered a punch to Jeff’s jaw line. “Fine – you got me, twice now. Can’t you lay off for the guys on my team?” Tony shook his head, knowing that wasn’t an option as this was his way to dish back his fair share of revenge.
“No because maybe you should explain to your team why you’re such an ass.”
“You told me if I stopped, it’d be over. This doesn’t look like it.” Jeff then turned around and left victory lane as Tony then smiled.
“It’s called you had to feel what he felt.” As Jeff heard those words, part of him wanted to spin around and spit he anger that he held inside from getting his heartbroken. However, that’d be just a waste of time. There were other things that he could do to get back at him.