Happy Hour (Racing on the Edge) (3 page)

BOOK: Happy Hour (Racing on the Edge)
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I knew that. As with any racing division, they monitored both carefully as that’s where most teams cheated. But not Jameson, he never needed to. Every team pushes boundaries just as a child does. They test the authorities to see how much they give and take but there were still some things you just didn’t mess with.

“So in other words Jameson’s in a shitty mood?”

“Not since he heard you were coming.” Spencer said relaxing into the seat.

Well then.

The traffic on I-85 towards Concord was light as we made our way to Lowes Motor Speedway. I really wanted to see Jameson before the drivers meeting knowing once the meeting was finished he had interviews, driver’s introductions, and then the race. I remembered in Daytona it was hard to get a moment alone with him on race day with all the hospitality visits he had. After hearing about the fines, I wanted to be sure he was all right. For someone who put so much of himself into his racing, he always took this sort of thing hard.

Entering the pit entrance was surreal. I’ve been around racing my entire life, watched more races that I could ever remember, but to attend my first NASCAR Coca-Cola 600 race where my best friend was starting on the pole, was a feeling I couldn’t describe. There was so much excitement swirling around me with the fans sporting his number proudly, the news reports, other driver’s, and officials
.

Jameson had made it.

To truly understand the exhilaration surrounding a race like this, you had to actually attend it. That’s the only way to truly experience it. The lights, the sounds, the smells, can’t be captured any other way than feeling it firsthand.

You see, this wasn’t some small town bullring dirt track where the pits consisted of an open field and the grandstands were wooden bleachers with missing rusty nails. This was Lowes Motor Speedway where the best racers in NASCAR battled it out.

As soon as Alley stopped the car next to Jameson’s motor coach, my door flew open but before I could escape, she grabbed my shirt tossing me back in the leather seat.

“Sway, you can’t just go run around looking for him. You need a hot pass.” She handed me a pass. “Besides, you’re small enough someone might mistake you for a lost child.”

“I thought I got a pass in the garage?”

“You already have one—Jameson got it for you.”

I knew enough from my experience with the pit lizards at Daytona to know the difference between plastic and paper. I also knew that a “plastic pass” ran around twenty five hundred dollars and was
not
transferable. The fact that Jameson purchased a “plastic pass” for me had me thinking but should I put any weight to the significance?

Glancing down at the hard pass they had made, I noticed one addition I was sure NASCAR did not add.

Under Sway Reins was
“Jameson’s Pit Lizard”
written in black sharpie. I turned sharply to glare at Alley when she shifted her eyes to the back seat towards Spencer and then back to me.

Without leading on, I placed the pass around my neck and grabbed the first thing I could think of to throw at Spencer’s head, which happened to be a front spring we picked up from the shop on the way here for Jameson’s car.

“What the fuck was that?” Spencer wailed clutching his face. “I think
...
I’m
...
bleeding
.”

Sure enough, he was bleeding, profusely, from right above his left eyebrow.

“Suck it up asshole. You deserved that and you know it.” Stomping towards the garage, my pit lizard pass flailed behind me in the breeze.

“Babe, I think I need stitches.” Alley examined his face closely before reaching in her purse to stick a spider man bandage on his forehead.

“There,” she kissed his forehead right above his eye.

“You’re fine.” I yelled over my shoulder as they trucked along behind me.

For only being five foot two and barely a hundred and five pounds, I could throw a mean front spring when needed. I grew up at a racetrack
...
I could protect myself. Sure, there were times I may need to make use of car parts to assist me in protecting myself but I
could
do it.

Since I’d been around racing my entire life, I could also smell my way to the garage just off the fumes alone. I didn’t need a damn escort. I had pit lizard instincts. I was sure I could smell a race car idling a mile away.

As I rounded the corner to the garage area, cars were scattered along the bays, revving engines and preparing for race day activities.

Just like my pit lizard instincts for racing, I had an instinct for Jameson and could pick his raspy velvet voice out like a needle in a haystack.

He was yelling over the revving, gesturing towards the rear of the car. There he stood next to his race car talking with his crew chief, Kyle Wade.

That was all it took to distract me from Spencer and his spider man bandage.

Again, I fully admitted to myself how pathetic I was. I let out a truly pitiable sigh and trailed Alley and Spencer towards Jameson’s bay.

Spencer slung an arm around my shoulder and stopped when I did. “Ah, it’s good to have you here.”

“Hands off, shithead,” I growled and he stomped back over to Alley, knowing he’d crossed the line enough for one day.

There were drivers, media, crew members, and cars strewed throughout as they prepared for the nights race.

I briefly looked around, but like the pathetic pit lizard I was, my eyes immediately found Jameson and it was as if everything else disappeared as though the world stopped.

With his hand resting on the hood, his eyes closed listening to the car as he made an adjustment under the hood.

I heard him holler over the rumble of the engine. “I was tight coming out of turn three yesterday during
...
” was all I could make out before another engine in the distance revved drowning him out.

After a brief second to allow myself to swoon at his car talk, I focused on my surroundings. Only problem, I
couldn’t
focus, not with the dirty thoughts in my mind listening to Jameson talk car.

No standard dirty talking for me, I like a man who talks car. The first time I heard Jameson say camshaft, I wanted to rip my clothes off and ride his camshaft reverse cowgirl style.

My eyes shifted back to him, wanting another look.

Squinting into the sun, I took in the rest of his appearance.

He looked
...
good
, dressed in a black t-shirt and jeans that were met with his usual worn black
Puma’s
. His rusty hair that seemed darker than usual was all over the place, nothing new, but it had always suited him with the way it looped out at the ends. I sighed and shook my head when I noticed the shadow along his sharp jaw, loving the scruff he was sporting. He was hot, like greasy mechanic hot. I had a thing for a man who knew his way around an engine.

I distracted myself for a moment thinking of Jameson getting to know his way around my internal combustion engine and more importantly, my crankcase. And if you don’t know what a crankcase is, it’s a metal casing in the engine that houses the camshaft, crankshaft, and a few other parts in reciprocating engine. This is why I called my vagina a crankcase. It made perfect sense to me.

After all, I wouldn’t mind housing Jameson’s camshaft. And the camshaft, well, it’s a long shaft inserted into the crankcase that rotates. Naturally, I would refer to this as a penis.

“Sway?” I jumped when I heard someone yell my name.

Jameson had stopped his adjustment under the hood but hadn’t looked up yet. His head remained bent forward peering down at the car, one hand rested on the hood over his head.

My eyes searched for who called my name. It was his spotter, also Emma’s eye candy, Aiden Gomez, who had called my name and was jogging towards us.

Trying to hide behind Spencer didn’t do any good. I was heaved into a massive hug from Aiden as he swung me around.

Aiden Gomez was a tall lanky guy with blonde curly hair that stuck out from under his hat. He was a cowboy straight up from the deep south of Pickard Alabama. I’ll spare you my stereotypical thoughts of folks that come from Alabama because let’s face it, in NASCAR—I was surrounded by the mullet madness from the southern states.

Aiden was cool though, for a spotter. I had my own feelings on spotters. They were good people—but crazy if you ask me. Anyone that could stand hundreds of feet up in the air and hang over a railing was certifiable insane in my book.

Jameson met Aiden last year while he was racing in the Busch Series and when Jameson got the opportunity to race in the Winston Cup Series, he asked Aiden to come with him as his spotter. Emma was the most excited because it meant she has to be around him more. They had a secret love for each other that hadn’t been revealed to the big brothers, if you know what I mean.

“Careful, Aiden—she feisty today,” Spencer warned rubbing his forehead. “She nearly took my head off.”

“It barely grazed your eye.” Aiden finally set me down. “Where’s Emma?”

“Uh,” Aiden gave me a tentative smile. “She said something about getting you something to wear for tonight and left for the mall. She took Lane with her.”

Emma
...
oh Emma
...
she took every opportunity she could to make me her dress up Sway-doll. The last time I let her dress me in Daytona, I looked like the 4th of July exploded on me.

I loved Emma like a sister but sometimes I wanted to kill her.

Actually, most of the time I wanted to kill her. She had this ridiculous obsessive-compulsive disorder that seemed to be heightened by her need to control other people and lather herself with lotion.

I wished she’d just leave me alone and go back to counting, applying ungodly amounts of lotion and sanitizing everything she saw but no, what would be the fun in that for a deeply troubled sadistic shopaholic like her? The answer, it wouldn’t be. Just like her brothers, they lived to annoy me in ways I found beguiling. They were my family.

“Well
...
she’s wasting her time.” I huffed. “I’m not wearing anything she picks for me.” I crossed my arms like a spoiled child.

I wasn’t lying either—I refused to play dress up tonight.

I had
other
plans. My plan exactly, convincing Jameson he loved me too and letting his camshaft meet my crankcase and test out my bearing alignment (a process to make sure all bearings are aligned so when the camshaft is run through, no binding occurs). Or, maybe we could do some thrust bearing (a type of bearing that’s designed to support high axial load while rotating). Or if things really go my way, I could do some micro polishing (a procedure that cleans the camshaft with high speed polishing belts)
...
I could go on for days like this. I had a name for anything sexual and it wasn’t what it was commonly referred to.

To me, the inner workings of an engine bared little resemblance to the actually function and instead, bared a strong resemblance in a sexual nature.

When you think about it,
really
think about the way an engine operates, you’d be absolutely baffled at how closely it resembled sex. I’m not very mature, as I’m sure you’ve guessed by now.

Spencer and Aiden were grumbling about the fine issued by NASCAR when they stopped and smiled over my shoulder.

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