A VampWolf Wedding – Chapter 20: A Wolf’s Tradition

Dawn smiled as she took her own step forward, eyes focused on her brother and Juliette before her. She couldn’t believe that she once hated the young lady that stood beside her brother now and was the mother of her niece.

How was that possible?

Regardless, she couldn’t wait for what the future held, knowing that the pair were due for a ton of happiness in their future for what they had endured to be together. Glancing back at their daughter being four months now, she knew it’d be fun watching the first vampwolf grow more.

“Ritual beginnings, please…” the father requests as Dawn takes a deep breath.

She begins her first movement of the request, with her and Brian making the circle around the couple. She couldn’t help but glance at the sky a couple of times to make sure the moon was truly full, and even took a glance at her watch to make sure the time was right.

“Is this why we’re here so late?” Brittany Logano questions as she watches.

“The wolves tradition is midnight weddings, and vampire tradition is night time for obvious reasons,” Edward answers as she nods her head.

“Man, if you guys tried a daytime wedding, it’d be fun watching you crystallize as you marry…” Joey comments, earning a stern glance from Edward.

“You realize that we’ve come a long way from that crazy folklore and have developed skin creams and guards? You do realize that you can’t believe every movie that you watch, right?” Joey rolls his eyes as Edward takes a deep breath.

Everybody’s eyes watched as the fire in the center of the circle came to life with a big flame, thanks to the hard work of Brian and Bob. The father then takes an iron vessel that had sat at the side thus far, placing it over the fire. In the vessel, there was a pint of water – as directions specified.

“A substance of question must be added….” The father starts as Brad reaches into his pocket, pulling out a small vile. He hands it over to the father, allowing him to pour it into the vessel. “How do you become of this liquid?”

“I went to one of our religious spots of question, and requested it solely based on the act of love,” he starts, remembering that trip a week ago. “Needless to say, the reaction that I got once they learned I was marrying a vampire wasn’t that kind. However, they said the spirits could determine my fate, as we usually see fit.” Brad takes a deep breath, still remembering how chilling those words were that day. However, he didn’t feel he had anything to fear as a glance towards his daughter thus far showed how the spirits had been – fair, allowing her to grow to her own self. He smiled as he saw the ears pop out a little amongst the blond hair as Melody sat in Yolanda’s arms.

“Thank you….” The father then stirs the liquid accordingly, as Brad and Juliette glance towards each other. Juliette couldn’t help but glance down, saying an extra prayer to herself, as she hoped this wasn’t where everything failed at once. “It is at this time that we pray to the Great Spirit of the Unknowns to allow a union of such unique nature…”

Alice looks around, taking a deep breath, as she tries to read the emotions in the air, curious as to the strength and power that this spirit would bring to the table. She could only wonder with how it’d clash with Chylder.

“Come, spirit so powerful!” Father chants as he places his hands on top of the left hands of Brad and Juliette. “Come, sprit so dread. From the home of the werewolf, the home of the dead. Come, give me thy blessing! Come, lend me thine ear!” Brad closes his eyes, knowing that the moment of truth laid just beyond the horizon. If there was no blessing, then everything they had done to this point was worthless.

“Oh spirit of darkness! Oh spirit so dear! Come, mighty phantom! Come, great Unknown! Come from thy dwelling so gloomy and lone. Come, I bessch thee; depart from thy lair. And body and soul shall be thine.” Juliette remembered the tales she had heard about werewolf homes, and the darkness that clouded their vision in being stuck to who they were. She remembered the tales of how Brad and his family had overcome those. She wondered if the great unknown would give them a break, despite being different, because of that. She wondered if maybe he’d have sympathy from knowing those feelings.

“I, Father Montagee, offer to thee, Great Spirit of the Unknown, this night of July 4 my body and soul, on condition that thou grantest me, from this night to the hour of my death, the power of love. I beg, I pray, I implore thee unparrellled Phantom of Darkness, to bless thee couple.” Brad couldn’t help but keep his eyes closed, fearing the worst, as he didn’t think there could be sympathy given. How was someone so dark and evil supposed to understand what he had with Juliette?

The father then strikes the ground three times with his foot, before taking a couple of the hot simmering liquid and sprinkling it on the circle around Brad and Juliette. He repeats the process until the entire circle is sprinkled.

As if on cue, Brad and Juliette go down to their knees, glancing up, hoping everything falls together as it was supposed to.

“Is this normal?” Edward questions as he looks over at Paul Wolfe, who simply nods his head. “And they call our tradition strange….”

“Don’t bash the tradition – I don’t want to take a chance of offending him,” Paul instructs, as he also had silently prayed to himself over and over that things would go smoothly.

“Do you think it’s going to go smoothly?” Joey wonders and Paul shrugs his shoulders. “What’s that supposed to mean? We should get to know if we’re in danger he-”

“We warned you so hush!” Alice instructs as she looks around the beach, trying to pull from all of the senses. “Feel thee senses….”

As if on cue, a big flame erupts from the fire, seven feet in height, with a spirit like figure forming out of it. Everybody outside of the circle takes a couple steps back, with Joey wrapping both arms around Brittany protectively.

“Ahh yess….” Paul commands as he had grown used to that in previous ceremonies. “The Unknown…” 10 seconds…20 seconds….30 seconds….and then they watch Father Montagee run off as the creature remains. “Oh no….”

“What’s wrong?” Edward questions almost instinctively.

“He’s supposed to disappear after 30 seconds, but he’s not. Instead, he’s forming a sterner shape…”

“What do we do?” Paul shrugs his shoulders.

“He’s angry, he’s frightful, he’s…..” Dawn starts as she watches the shape form more definitely.

“Angry? Frightful?” The clouded shape questions as it’s total formation come to truth.

“Did that cloud shape formed from the fire turn into something real, for real?” Joey questions and Brittany slowly nods her head, fear engulfing her as she fights the urge to scream.

“The Great Unknown,” Brad states, before forcing Juliette to bow down before it with him.  “I bow to you, and accept your presence….”

“Good, because you know my reasons….” He speaks as he circles the couple. “A wolf marrying a vampire in front of fellow wolves, vampires, and humans. Is this actually happening?”

“Yes….” The seven foot tall fury wolf stops, facing Brad directly.

“Do you realize how many rules you have broken?” Brad nods his head, swallowing the lump that had formed in his throat. “So why do you dare present this to me?”

“I love her. I want to be with her for life. I want to be one with her. We have a special connection and I wanted to make it official. Sir, I believe we can make it work together, please.” A great roar escapes in response.

“And who is that?” Brad follows the length of the long finger, swallowing another lump.

“My daughter – our daughter, Melody.” Another big roar escapes as he swirls around them in quick fashion.

“Please, have mercy and understanding….” Kay pleads as she feels all the fears that she had about this wedding coming true in that moment. The seven furry wolf then moves closer to Melody, with Danny instantly standing up and in front of it.

“Don’t you dare touch her!” He yells in response as Juliette’s jaw drops in response.

“Danny!?!” She yells as Brad looks to the binds that held him and Juliette together. He was almost set o break them for the sake of safety, though wondered if this was a test instead.

“I could never harm a child,” the furry man states before turning back to the face the couple. “The pair who formed against wishes and truth, that is another story. After all, this union comes following the killing of a wolf.” Juliette shivers as she thought back to that night.

“He was harming her, threatening the life of a friend – I had no choice,” Brad pleads, remembering how instincts kicked into gear before anything that night.

“You killed a wolf for a vampire and a human….” Brad nods his head. “That is against everything known, but now you plead to me to be happy of this union?” The furry man then walks right up to Brad, placing both hands on his shoulders. “Are you insane?”

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A VampWolf Wedding – Chapter 19: Chylder’s Approval…

As the ceremony progressed, eyes focused on the couple and the red band that never covered the band previously wrapped around their wrists.

“I like the flowers and ribbon better,” Amy whispers and Brittany nods her head in agreement.

“Flowers and ribbon symbolize wolves coming together, while red cloth is a vampire tradition,” Edward Cullen whispers over their shoulders. He had chosen to sit behind them, rather than with the usual circle of vampires and wolves, to explain any questions that they may have.

“As they tied that cloth, the waves grew larger…” Brittany observes, glancing out to the ocean underneath the moonlight.

“Aw, that’s the work of Chylder of the Blood. It’s her way of symbolizing her warth over the ceremony, which can be a good thing. While she may not fully approve according to legend to Brad being a wolf, she is at least in attendance and giving them attention. That is something to be thankful for, and wise about. It goes against the nerves of Alice.” Alice glances over at her brother, intrigued by his comment.

“You weren’t supposed to mention,” she whispers as Edwards rolls his eyes. He always believed fair warning was necessary, just to be prepared in danger. He could only imagine if something were to happen without that. Meanwhile, Alice was set on keeping their vampire and werewolf lives secret from humans due to not wanting to disrupt their world.

“Should we be worried?” Amy questions and Edward shakes his head no.

“There’s nerves about a possible disturbance due to disapproval of ceremony and marriage for the pair,” he starts, recalling the discussion had with Brad and Alice previously. “I don’t see that as being a problem, especially if Chylder is here in spirit already.”

“So what would he be saying if it wasn’t a little windy to cause that?” Joey whispers to Paul Wolfe, who could only chuckle lightly. The chuckle earns a stern glance from the others, but they quickly overlook it as focus returns to the ceremony at hand.

“Stand now as ye will stand forever,” the father continues with a glance between the pair. “Like this crimson cloth, your hearts are tethered.” Juliette and Brad didn’t need a reminder of their hearts being together forever – their lives to this point were enough to convince them, otherwise. Besides, a marking left on her skin also represented that better than anything. She laughed when some people believed it was a tattoo. “This goblet’s wine is your blood of devotion, so sup from this dedication potion.”

“With all due respect, your honor, I am not a bloody thirsty vampire,” Juliette states as she looks at the glass. “I am a vampire that will thirst upon packets if need be for survival purposes, but mostly stays on course with a human diet. My dear husband-to-be, also sticks to the human diet and not the blood thirst of an animal chaser. It is how we blend day-to-day with the humans.” The father looks towards the glasses, before his eyes turn solely on Juliette.

“You already know how the church feels about human and vampire interaction, as well as this anti-blood deal.” Juliette nods her head, remembering the lecture received when she was a little girl at eight years old. It almost made her want to run away from the church and vampire life forever, fear of the future and what was to come. However, Father Montagee was one of the founding figures who was willing to let that fact go and give her a chance, only remaining focused on other beliefs. “To break ceremony code is also a vow against what it stands for. Therefore, to break code of ceremony, that breaks code of your marriage. Do you accept the chances you’re taking before thee great Chylder of the Blood?”

“For sake of ceremony and reasoning, I can accept a sip. I just thought honesty of myself and Brad was important before thee wise one.” The father nods his head as he picks up a glass, placing it in her right hand. “Brad, you don’t hav-”

“I respect traditions, rightfully,” he interrupts, holding out his right hand.

The pair each hold their glasses firmly, drinking their glasses fully as Brad makes a couple faces along the way. Through the stages, the tail and ears pop a little out, with animal instincts beginning to fight through. As they do, the waves on the beach become even stronger, with a wind blowing through the middle of the couple’s ceremony.

“Now do you laugh at the legend of Chylder?” Edward questions with a glance towards Joey, who immediately shakes his head no. “That’s what I thought.”

“Is she showing approval or denial?” Amy wonders, having grown more intrigued as she continued to learn more details.

“Jasper?” Jasper glances towards the group, taking a wiff of the air as she tries to read the senses that are swirling around them.

“I feel approval, happiness, acceptance,” Jasper comments. “It’s as if Chylder is approving of them and accepting them for who they are. Perhaps honesty is the best policy, as they say, for at least Juliette was honest in her ways so Chylder was not left guessing and wondering as to Brad’s existence.”

“It’s as if there’s a shift in the universe and premonition that I had a wedding fear dissipating with her warmth,” Alice adds as she glances around the area.

“Chylder thanks you for drinking your glasses in full,” the father states. “Now we shall begin the vows, in accordance to proper vampire tradition….” Juliette takes a deep breath, remembering their sessions spent with Father Montagee going over those.

“I will stand by your side, hunt at your back, and fly within your soul,” Juliette states as she stares into Brad’s eyes. Brad had no denying that she’d do any of those things, having seen her abilities to fly previously, remembering his initial shock of a reaction. “I will stand between you and all which would harm you.” Brad nods his head, having seen her ways of protecting him against those who vowed vampires and wolves should never meet. “I will shield you from the Light of Day with my flesh….well, not really, but you get the idea.” Brad chuckles, knowing she was good at helping his wolf tendencies, as well as Melody’s weird ways right now.  “I will never betray you, for you are my Heart, my Soul, and my Life.” Brad smiles, nodding his head in approval. He knew it was now his turn to say those same words.

“I will stand by your side, hunt at your back, and fly within your Soul,” he begins as she smiles. She knew his hunting instincts were strong, remembering the night that Jason had attacked. “I will stand between you and all which would harm you.” She knew that was true, seeing his protective skills on full display that night. “I will shield you from the Light of Day with my flesh.” She smiles, knowing he was good at helping her follow proper skin rituals. “I will never betray you, for you are my Heart, my Soul, and my Life.”

Father Montagee then picks up the goblet, pouring the drops that remained between the pair on the stone altar. Juliette knew the ceremony was finding a close, and hoped the blessings of Chylder remained.

“Above you are the stars, below you are the stones,” the father begins. Brad couldn’t help but look up and smile as the clouds had cleared from earlier that evening, forming a beautiful sky full of bright sparkling stars.

“As time passes, remember, like the star should your love burn brightly, like the stone should your love be firm. Be close, yet not so close that you restrict one another.” Juliette chuckles, knowing that could never happen as they’d always let each other follow their dreams. She also knew that she could never grow old of spending time with him, still unable to forgive herself for the time they lost apart.

“Possess one another, yet grant each other the freedom to grow. Be understanding and compassionate, and have patience with each other, for storms may come, but they will quickly pass.” Brad nods his head in acceptance, having seen that already, through the incident with Jason and Juliette’s pregnancy. A quick smile trade with Melody, and he could only wonder what was to come as she grew more.

“Be free in giving affection and warmth. Fear not, lest the ways or words of the unenlightened give you unease. For the Lady and Lord are with you, now, and always.” Juliette nods her head, silently saying thank you a couple times as she continued to feel the warmth around her, proud that Chylder had been more accepting than she could’ve originally believed possible.

“With Chylder in approval, it is with our deed that we plead to the Gods of the Wolves, and make sure they are as equally accepting of Ms. Juliette Daniels as the Chylder and the bloods have been of Mr. Brad Keselowski. May the present wolves take a step forward, as we begin the midnight moonlight plea of love.” Brad takes a deep breath, saying his own prayers as he knew they were only halfway there. He just hoped that everything went off smoothly.

A Vampwolf Wedding – Chapter 2: Las Vegas

AVampWolfWedding

Juliette sat on the pit box, tapping her feet with nerves of anticipation. She couldn’t believe that Paul Wolfe had chosen to stay out while everybody else, except for two others, pitted. She found herself looking at the crew chief throughout the caution period, wanting to question his reasoning.

Though, she couldn’t blame him.

They were caught behind the eight ball with the pit road penalty, and weather was in the area as it had been a crazy day thus far in Las Vegas. Perhaps there was something to Paul’s decision. Maybe that’s why he got paid to make these types of calls.

The nerves continued to build as she sat on the pit box with Melody clutched close to her, counting down the laps as she watched the restart. Sure enough, as she predicted, the call didn’t work out to their favor, with Kyle Busch taking the lead on the restart.

“Let’s just have a solid finish out of this….” She told herself, though jumped a little as she saw the caution flag fly once again, this time for an incident between Matt Kenseth and Chase Elliott.

She watched the series of next laps, watching Keselowski run solidly in third. It wasn’t that bad of a deal as it was a solid finish and quite awesome considering where their day was headed before. Though, a glance at the scoring monitor, she saw his lap times grow quicker than Busch’s and the gap between the pair begin to shrink.

“Come on Brad…”

She watched as with eight laps to go, he made his way by Joey Logano to move up to second. She kept a keen eye on the gap, watching it continue to shrink ever so slowly. Her eyes found their way back to the track as she watched Brad close the gap, making his way by Kyle to take the lead.

The last three laps then seemed to take forever as she waited for them to be over, with a win in hand. As he crossed the checkered flag, she immediately let out a small woohoo as she high-fived Paul. She may have doubted the call, but it had worked out wonderfully.

“Can you believe it sweetheart?” She says as she looks down at their daughter. “You’re going to victory lane with Daddy!”

“Maybe she’ll be our good luck charm this year,” Paul comments with a smile.

The crew then help the pair down off of the pit box, before heading to victory lane together.

Juliette stays back as she watches Brad climb out, with the crew celebrating with every beverage in sight. After jumping off of the car, though, he immediately motions for the pair to come over to him.

She immediately makes her way over, wrapping an arm around him and kissing his lips.

“I’m so proud of you,” she comments as he takes Melody from her hands.

“I love you so much,” he replies with a kiss, before turning his attention to the pit reporter. “I love this rule package,” said Keselowski. “The cars can be really fast at the start of a run, and at the end of a run, and we had speed at the end of a run. At the end, we got that big long run and it wouldn’t get going. I thought the 48 (Jimmie Johnson) was going to get by me, but it got going and I was able to catch the 18 (Busch) and pass him there.”

“It’s gotta be a pretty special win having your daughter here…” the pit reporter says as Brad looks down at his daughter, before looking back up at the reporter.

“It’s truly amazing…more than amazing actually.” He then glances over the pit reporter’s shoulder at Juliette. “There’s nothing that can replace the joy of being with the love of your life, and having a child together. It’s just special standing here all together as a family, especially everything that we went through with Melody. These guys did a great job. I have to thank the entire Team Penske Miller Lite team for their hard work today.”

“That’s Brad Keselowski, your race winner…” The reporter then leaves the area as Juliette walks back over to Brad. Holding on to Melody tightly in one arm, he wraps an arm around her and pulls her close, kissing her lips once again.

“I meant what I said. Having you both here makes this feel even more special. I’d go through everything that we went through to get to this moment all over again.”

“The west coast swing is the hardest part of the season, but I would go through this all over again to be with you out here,” Juliette says with a smile on her face. “I would’ve missed this chance to let Melody experience victory lane for the first time.”

“On that note, why don’t you guys bring her up here on stage so she can get in some photos?” Paul interrupts with the pair with a grin.

The Mysterious Puppies – Chapter 61: Daytona 500

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“That….sucked,” Brad comments as he climbs out of the car post-race. He then looked over at Paul, who simply shook his head in disgust.

It was clear – neither was happy about finishing 20th in the season opening Daytona 500.

“We worked so hard on perfecting the car in the draft that I never thought about handling,” Paul comments as he walks over. “It just stumped me with how loose you got.” Brad could only stand there and agree with the crew chief. They had started off the race real strong, leading laps in the early going. However, through the second half of the event, he faded as they could never get a handle on it.

“It’s not your fault – you weren’t the only one stumped,” Brad states. “We just know what to work on for the next time that we come here.”

“You’re right. It just….sucks.”

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Yolanda twisted the door knob after unlocking the front door, opening the front door wide open, moving outta the way. Juliette then entered the house with Melody in her arms, as Brad followed with the assortment of bags. The pair had gone baby shopping in buying diapers, a diaper bag, blankets, onesies and other things that they hadn’t remembered to buy prior to her being born.

“Does it still feel like home?” Yolanda asks as she watches Brad set everything down while Juliette carefully sits in the lazy boy, cuddling Melody against her.

“It feels even better now with having both my ladies here,” Brad answers as he gives Juliette a kiss. Yolanda couldn’t help but smile as she watched the three of them together. She always wondered whether they’d find happiness – her, Danny and Juliette – and it was nice to see that Juliette had truly found someone for her.

“If you want my opinion, it just looks right in seeing you guys back here again. However, it doesn’t mean that I won’t miss having you all day.” Juliette looked over at Yolanda with a smile. It had been nice to rekindle the spirits from when they grew up, but she also knew that her and Brad needed their own space. Besides, this would give Yolanda some extra space to perhaps convince Danny that they should take the next step after all these years.

“You know that you can visit anytime,” Juliette tells her. “But I think that you’ll be busy in your own ways.” Brad looks over at Juliette with a puzzled look as Juliette simply gives him a wink.

“Don’t worry – I won’t be passing that offer as I want to watch this little one grow.” She then watches as Brad pushes a box into the room, opening it, placing pieces all over the floor. “I was going to leave, but are you sure you don’t need a hand?” Brad shakes his head no.

“I can handle putting together a crib, followed by a change table, a swing and a highchair,” Brad tells her, knowing the list needed to accomplished. He was already kicking himself in the ass for not doing it sooner.

“Are you sure about that?” Juliette questions, knowing Brad with his ways sometimes as he looks over at her.

“I can handle it. Besides, if I get stuck, I can always call Joey.” Juliette looks on shocked and shakes her head no immediately. She could just imagine the pair getting into trouble together in trying to build it.

“I think Paul or your engineers would be a better suggestion.”

“Isn’t that why you have a pit crew?” Yolanda questions as Brad silently kicks himself in the ass. He could’ve gotten the guys to help put stuff together to surprise Juliette with a completed nursery. Then again, he was still arguing with himself on a color scheme for the room.

In his mind, he wanted everything to just perfect for his girls.

As Brad glanced up from the instructions towards Juliette and Melody in the chair, he could only smile. Everything else in his mind vanished completely. The thoughts surrounding the disappointment of the team. The thoughts surrounding the concerns over the rest of the race season. The thoughts of concern surrounding his youngsters in the truck series.

He knew no matter what happened this year and beyond, he would always be happy with a smile on his face as he knew that he’d have his girls to keep him happy.

 

The End

 

Stay tuned for the next story in the series, “A VampWolf Wedding”, which will focus on planning the wedding, the 2016 race season, and their daughter Melody.

 

The Mysterious Puppies – Chapter 60: Can-Am Duels

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February 18, 2016

“I know you stare at your phone a lot, but you’re staring at your phone more than normal tonight,” Paul Wolfe comments as he walks up behind his driver on the grid before the start of the Can-Am Duels.

“Can you blame me?” Brad questions as he shows Paul his phone, displaying his latest video call with Juliette.

Juliette had originally planned to be in Daytona for both Can-Am Duel race day and Daytona 500 race day, however she had changed those plans with Melody being born. She had decided that she’d rather stay back with their daughter and spend time with her.

Brad had hoped that he’d be able to stay with them as much as possible, and was trying to make it work. He came for practice the day before, but had returned back to the cabin at night. He stayed there till around 3p before making his way back to the track, set for his Can-Am Duel appearance that night.

“She’s certainly adorable,” Paul comments as he looks at the video feed. He found himself a little awe stricken by the ears and bit of fur, but had grown to be used to those kinds of things. “So it’s a week before she can appear before humans?”

“I don’t know how to explain it by a week in, everything goes to normal appearance – except when the full moon is out,” Brad says as Paul shakes his head understanding. “I wish I could just stay with her and Juliette all the time. She’s so adorable, and I want to be there for her. I don’t want to miss anything.” Paul pats his driver on the shoulder, simply shedding a smile.

“That’s the effect of fatherhood. But, we also have jobs to do – so it’s time to say goodbye and do what you do best.” Brad lets out a sigh.

“Yes boss.”

~*~*~*~*~*~*~

“Ugh….” Juliette lets out as she watches Brad drop further in line, and looking to have no way to get back up there to challenge for the lead against Dale, Denny and Joey.

“Can I just bargain to say that Brad went too soon?” Yolanda questions from her spot watching with Juliette, which earns a questionable glance from her friend.

“You’re learning….but that is incorrect. He had timed the move right if his bloody stupid freaking teammate would actually go with him, rather than staying with Dale. If they would’ve all went together, it would’ve worked. But no, nobody wants to do that as they’re afraid of being freight trained.”

“Do you always get this uptight when it comes to restrictor plate racing?” Danny wonders from his spot just outside of the room, having heard the frustration expressed from Juliette.

“You don’t want to see me when I’m at the track,” she offers. “I’m worse.” She then glances down at her daughter, though, and lets out a sigh. “But perhaps someone is here to put it in perspective and remind me that it’s not everything that happens is the end of the world. Besides, this is just a qualifier. He is learning for Sunday where it matters, and will do what he needs to do then.”

“…and someone is already having an effect on their mother.” He then walks over, rubbing the back off Melody’s ears a little. “It’s so strange seeing ears on a baby, and yet being so comfortable with it.”

“Welcome to our world, bro.”

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

“Learned a lot – that’s all I will say,” Brad comments as he climbs from the car after the race. “Dale has a good car and it’s going to take some careful drafting to beat him. I shouldn’t had ducked out earlier when I did.”

“Live and learn,” Paul states. “Least you learned it tonight and not on Sunday. We’ll be fine.” Brad shakes his head in agreement.

Sunday was a whole different ball game. It was 500 miles, versus a short sprint; you had to plan your moves over a period of time. He knew that he could plan the right moves, given his previous restrictor plate success.

Now it was just about making the right moves when he needed to on Sunday.

The Mysterious Puppies – Chapter 58: Daytona Dreaming

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Brad couldn’t help but smile as he talked with Paul about the upcoming season. It seemed that the crew chief had everything in place for a successful start to the season in Daytona. The team knew that they had a solid restrictor plate package, given by Joey’s victory a year ago.

Now it was just all about Brad putting the pieces together.

Brad knew how to draft well, as a previous winner at Talladega. He just hadn’t been able to put himself in the right spot when it came to Daytona. Though working on improving the cars, and talking with Joey, he felt that he had the right package together.

“Paul, I can’t take tell you how much it would mean to win in Daytona this year,” Brad offers as they talk about things on the phone. “I know Juliette and I have haven’t been engaged for long, but it already feels amazing and perfect. If you combine that with Melody and how she continues to get better and better, I can’t wait for the season and I can’t wait for the first win.”

“In other words, family life is having a very big effect on you?” Paul questions and the answer to that question was easy for Brad. Short and to the point, it had seemly changed him as a person and his viewpoints on many things.

“I can’t describe it, Paul. It’s just a very magical, special sense that I get as soon as I think about both Juliette and Melody. I want to be able to celebrate with my family in victory lane soon, hopefully in February.” The comments brought forth curiosity in Paul, wondering just how well Melody was doing with her improvement. He hadn’t heard much since Brad told him about her originally in December.

“Am I going to get to meet your daughter then?” The question allowed the smile to simply remain on his face. Melissa had informed them that Melody was progressing quicker than normal, and could possibly get out of the incubator earlier than expected. With that in mind, it seemed quite possible that she’d easily be able to show up during Speedweeks.

“How would you like to meet her later this month? She is going to get out of the incubator soon, and then after a week, it’s fair game.” Paul felt excitement and anticipation in meeting the little bundle of joy. He loved little ones, and it seemed this one had already placed a special effect on his driver.

“That’s great to hear that she’ll be released soon. I can’t wait to meet her….and life to return to normal, if you will.” Brad had to chuckle at the comment. There was no way that their lives would ever turn back to normal as humans seemed to imagine. There were always elements at play in whom they were.

“I can’t promise normalcy, Paul. That’s something that we discussed a long time ago when you accepted the job. However, I can promise regular shop visits and spending time at home once again.” That was all that the crew chief required. He had to admit that they were making this unique arrangement work without too many people getting curious, but it would easy if they could do things like anybody else. Besides, it was hard to always understand what Brad meant on something related to the car via conversations at a distance.

“That’s what I mean by normalcy – normalcy in the job. I know that you’ll never be normal.” Brad rolls his eyes as he watches Juliette walk into the room. She sits down beside him, peaking into the web cam of the computer with a wave at the crew chief. “How’s my favourite vampire?”

“Quenching at the chance to taste your lovely blood,” Juliette says in a quiet, low voice as Paul’s jaw drops in shock immediately. Juliette and Brad both break out into laughter immediately as Paul rolls his eyes. “I’m doing great, thank you.”

“Why do I have a feeling that there could be an evil April Fool’s prank with this out in the open?” Paul questions, causing Brad to look over at Juliette with intrigue. They knew that they couldn’t pull anything on Dale and Amy as things had gone too far there, but that didn’t mean that Joey and Brittany were off limits. “Please don’t make me the victim. This is already enough right now.”

“Don’t worry – Joey deserves a good prank in the near future for his latest escapades,” Brad comments as he thought about some of the pranks that Joey had managed to pull through the years. It’d certainly be nice to get him back for once.

“Joey is also very skirmish. Do you really want to cause that to grow?” Brad shrugs his shoulders. That just meant that the reaction would be that much more entertaining.

“Do you see what I have to deal with, Paul?” Juliette questions as Paul simply laughs.

“No, try working with him while also having Joey and Todd to deal with in competition meetings,” Paul compares as Juliette shrugs her shoulders. Perhaps it wasn’t easy for either of them.

“Thanks for the love guys….” Brad shares as he glances over his latest twitter notifications.

The Mysterious Puppies – Chapter 46: Post-Banquet Party

themysteriouspuppies

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Throughout the week in Las Vegas, things had gone smoothly. Brad had attended each of the events that he was required to attend, having fun along the way might we add, but always making it back in due time to be with Juliette and Melody. It seemed that they’d found a balance, and having his friends in his corner helped with those escapes.

 

Everything came together, though, as it wasn’t long before Brad’s Las Vegas week looked to be coming to a close, climaxing with the banquet. The dinner was nice, and conversation with the crew throughout was solid. The entertainment quite entertaining, even with some good jokes thrown in by Drew Carrey. Looking around the room, Brad had to admit – he was impressed by how well it was put together.

 

He also couldn’t hide that there was some emotions on the table, couple tears in the eyes in watching Jeff Gordon say his final speech as a driver. While they certainly had their moment together, there was still a level of respect there and Brad hated to see him leave the fold as a full-time series competitor. Things certainly wouldn’t be the same moving forward.

 

After sharing a couple compliments post-banquet via twitter, he made his way into the post banquet party. He knew that he’d be cutting loose soon, but wanted to at least make an appearance as he felt it’d be wrong to bust out without at least doing that.

 

“You came to the afterparty?” He hears a couple minutes into his appearance, glancing over his shoulder to see Paul standing there.

 

“It’d look pretty bad if I didn’t attend,” he admitted, in which Paul couldn’t help but agree to.

 

“So, how long are you sticking around?” Brad hadn’t totally decided on that, just the fact that it wouldn’t be that long.

 

“10…20 minutes, probably,” he states as he takes a sip of his beer. Paul simply patted the driver’s shoulder.

 

“Totally understandable. Just don’t get into too much trouble before you go, okay?” Brad looks over at him surprised as Paul lets out a sigh, gesturing to the bottle. “We know how things go with you guys in Vegas.” He then walks away as Brad simply rolls his eyes.

 

“What’s wrong with having a single beer?”

 

The short stay soon turned into a long stay as he found himself buried in the jokes from his fellow drivers, as well as bets and more drinks. It wasn’t long till he had a couple more than a few beers, and was starting to feel the effects.

 

“Weren’t you supposed to leave early?” Joey asks partway through, earning a curious glance from Brad.

 

“Dude, I haven’t been here that long,” Brad answers as Joey pulls out his phone, showing his teammate the time.

 

“You’ve been here an hour and a half.” Brad’s jaw immediately drops as he looks at Joey shocked.

 

“Seriously?” Joey shakes his head as Brad looks around with a sigh. “Time flies when you’re having fun. I better bust outta here.”

 

“Hope she wasn’t expecting you early.” Brad shakes his head as he weaves his way through the crowd, leaving the hotel. He walks around to the side, as originally discussed with Yolanda, to see her standing there with her arms crossed.

 

“You’re late,” she states, not budging from her position.

 

“I didn’t know that I had a curfew,” he comments as she rolls her eyes. She didn’t mind doing a favor or two, but she had some standards.

 

“You don’t have a curfew, but there’s such bloody thing called courtesy. You could’ve texted me or something that you were going to be a little longer than planned.” Brad just shakes his head as he glances towards his phone, before returning his eyes back to her.

 

“It was hard to get service in ther-”

 

“How about you spill the truth that you simply forgot amongst your partying? I can smell the alcohol, Keselowski.” Brad crosses his arms as he looks around.

 

“What gives you the audacity to call me out like this?” She then closes the gap between them.

 

“I offer to do you a favor and help you out with your situation. You could at least give me some common courtesy, a thank you and some appreciation. Perhaps next time when you need some help, I won’t help you.” Brad glances towards the ground, her words starting to hit home as he returns his eyes back up to meet hers.

 

“I’m sorry. I should’ve been more respectful. I lost track of time, and forgot till Joey reminded me. I’m sorry, Yolanda.” A small smile forms on her face as she holds her hand out.

 

“We better get you home then before you’re even later.”

 

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

 

Brad walks into the room, smiling as he sees Juliette curled up under the covers. He slips into pajamas quickly, before climbing into the big bed. He then slowly climbs up behind her, wrapping an arm around her as he lightly kisses her cheek.

 

“I’m sorry that I came home late,” he whispers. “I lost track of time and forgot. I’m sorry. I love you.” He then gives her another kiss, though freezes when she moves a little, rolling over to look up at him.

 

“Apology accepted, but not required,” she tells him. “You’re a big boy, a man. You can make your own decisions and do your own thing. Things are fine here with myself and Melody and I can handle some extra time without you here with us. You could spend some time with your boys partying if you want. You deserve it after a great, solid season.” He then smiles as he reaches down to steal yet another kiss.

 

“Nah, I’ll save that partying till the end of next season as we’ll have a true reason to celebrate.” She then looks at him slightly confused as he smiles more. “Didn’t you hear? I’m going to win the Sprint Cup Series Championship in 2016.”

 

“Oh really?” He shakes his head yes as she wraps her arms around him. “Are you sure that you got enough to beat Dale?” He then looks on surprised as she pulls him down, kissing his lips.

 

“I got enough to beat him, as well as everybody else dear.” She then slips her hands underneath the bottom of his pajama top, sliding it up slowly.

 

“I don’t doubt that. I believe in you, Paul and that whole team. But right now, I have something else in mind…” She then slips the top further up while placing more kisses on his lips.