Happy Hour (Racing on the Edge) (44 page)

BOOK: Happy Hour (Racing on the Edge)
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Well, I did something even more selfish by asking her to stay with me for three weeks, and then telling her that “friends with benefits” was all I could offer her.

I
honestly
thought that’s all I could offer her and I
honestly
thought that’s what she wanted from me. I couldn’t ask her to give up everything and follow me around like the pit lizard everyone thought she was to me.

What I failed to realize was since Sway’s first sexual experience, that’s all she has ever been to men and now, I demeaned her in the worst way.

Sitting there in my car, getting ready for the Sears Point race, I couldn’t focus on anything but Sway needing me when she went home, so when I looked up, hoping Sway would come by once more prior to the race and saw Chelsea, I was shocked. I’d seen her around the track but hadn’t actually spoken to her since the day I left Elma five years ago.

“What do you want?” I seethed. We didn’t exactly part on
good
terms back then.

If there was one person I hated most on this earth, it was Chelsea
...
well Darrin too
...
and let’s not forget about Mariah. All right, so I hated a lot of people but for good fucking reason.

“Oh, Jay, don’t be like that.” She uttered skimming her fingers along the window net of my car. “I know you missed me.”

I cringed, she made my skin crawl, “Don’t call me Jay for one,” I snapped refusing to make eye contact with her. “And what the fuck do you want? Get off my race car, you’ll taint it.”

“I have some paper work to give you.” She smiled. “Tate said he needed me to give it to you, he has to fly to Nashville tonight.”

My pessimistic nature got the best of me as I glowered at her.

“All right,” I agreed with a good amount of hesitation. “I’ll meet you after the race.”

She smiled. “See you then.”

Wary of her intentions, I watched her walk away, making sure she didn’t go near Sway. The way she strutted made me choke back bile that I was ever involved with her.

Though my gut was telling me otherwise, I really hoped it wasn’t a ploy to get me alone. This had debauchedness written all over it but I needed that title transfer, and more importantly, I needed that without Sway’s knowledge of it. If she knew about the transfer then she’d know something was wrong with Charlie. For one, I promised him and two, I really didn’t want to be the one that told her.

When Chelsea was out of sight and I knew she hadn’t stopped at the pit box where Sway was, I looked away but quickly looked back when I saw a wide pair of emerald bemused eyes staring back at me.

What felt like a knife stabbing in my chest, was seeing tears streaming down her cheeks—even fifteen feet away. I was breathing heavy. I felt as though I was going to have a heart attack any second if I didn’t get out of this car right then and run to her.

Thankfully, Spencer stuck his head in the window and brought me back to reality. Wanting to comfort her, I’d already undone my belts to get out.

“You got this dude,” Spencer bumped my fist with his own. “Be smart out there.”

I didn’t say anything but motioned for him to raise the net with a flick of my wrist, the gnawing feeling deep inside began to ease.

Knowing what was on the line, I
had
to get focused. I couldn’t afford another mishap on the track after last week, let alone another DNF. As it was, I had already slipped to fourth in the standings with the dock in points.

“Jameson, it’s Aiden. Watch your temps today. Cole’s already saying his arm high. But I guess
...
well, just see how it goes
...

Here we go again. Aiden could never actually say what he needed to.

When I met Aiden Gomez, I had no idea he was borderline insane but what spotter isn’t? I also became aware very early on that he was physically incapable of deciding on anything. Simple tasks like what he might have for breakfast took him a good thirty minute some days. Drove me insane but it also provided me with entertainment when we traveled. I’d instigate it by adding fuel to his internal debates. When he’d ask what I thought, I’d answer him with a question, he hated that.

This was why he’s only twenty-three and already has an ulcer. He can’t make a decision to save his fucking life.

The bottom line was, when you’re on the road as much as we are
...
you need the entertainment where you can get it and we got it with Aiden.

In addition to my instigating, I convinced him to do things that would ordinarily piss most people off but he usually did it without question. This provided Spencer and I with ample amounts of entertainment. It’d usually start with Aiden saying something along the lines of, “I don’t want to piss anyone off.”

Then I’d say, “Let me worry about pissing people off.”

He’d smile and say. “You’re off to a great start.”

The thing with Aiden was even though he was borderline insane, had an ulcer, and couldn’t commit to so much as what kind of eggs he would like and didn’t want to piss anyone off; he was exactly what our team needed. If not because we did needed a spotter but for entertainment purposes. I wasn’t exactly thrilled he was dating my sister but regardless, they made it known that wasn’t up to me.

 

“All right bud, watch your shifts. You’re coming to the green this time by.” Kyle announced as I led the field down to the green.

I got such a rush of adrenaline behind the wheel; it really was an indescribable feeling. And it’s not a feeling I’ve felt anywhere other than in a race car. For me, there was just something about being behind the wheel of an eight hundred horsepower car that gave me power. A power I had nowhere else but behind the wheel. It was addicting to say the least.

About forty laps into the race, the track was changing fast. I had no front grip and was currently using Cole through the curves not to hit the wall or slide into the sand pits. His car was fast and I doubted he wanted to be in battling for third with me but Cole was the best teammate a driver could ask for.

“I’m slippin’ all over the place, I can’t keep it straight.” I told at Kyle. “We need to make a change.”

“Other than the slipping, do you feel anything else?” Kyle asked. “Any adjustments you want made?”

“I don’t know what’s going to help. It’s hot out here, the tires just slip. There’s no grip anywhere.” I was sweating like a motherfucker in the car and all I could think about was Sway and the
way
she looked at me when she saw Chelsea walking away from my car.

How many more times am I going to break that woman’s heart?

My distractions engulfed me as I went into turn two around the half way mark.

I tried to correct it but ended up fishtailing and slammed into the outside wall coming out of two.

“Goddamn it, son of a bitch! Let’s just add one more fucking thing to add to my already
fucked
up
day!” I hollered.

“Heavy damage to right rear quarter panel,” Aiden announced.

Limping my way back around to the pits, the guys assessed everything. “Something broke on the rear.” I told them.

“Sway bar,” Mason said. “Gentry, grab a new link. Shane, check out the lower control arm.”

“Uppers bent into the header.” Shane said. “Lower broke off completely.”

 “Take it to the truck.” Kyle said brusquely. “There’s no time to fix it.”

He caught an untold amount of heat from Jimi
and
Simplex when we didn’t finish well.

I can’t wait for tomorrow to explain this one.

Every Monday, we had a team meeting to discuss the race with management (my dad and uncle Randy). It wasn’t exactly the highlight of my week when we didn’t place well, nor was it for Kyle.

Loosening my belts, I started throwing shit around the inside of the car, ripping hoses away, anything to make me feel better and let’s face it, when I was pissed I threw things, I never grew out of the terrible two’s.

I was fucking livid by the time I pulled the car in front of the truck. Most of the crew was already there with the same dejected look they always had when we didn’t finish well

How much worse can one day get, really?

I didn’t make eye contact with anyone when I got out. I was vaguely aware of the fact that Sway was leaned against the side of the hauler as I slammed the door shut.

Reaching for anything I could get my hands on and throwing it against the wall. Not only had I single handedly wrecked a race car that could have been salvaged with a few minor adjustments. I got news, that Charlie only has around six months to live, and I will soon be the owner of a racetrack. But the motherfucking cake topper of it all—I told Sway I loved her and then broke her heart, on purpose.

You deserve a metal for the biggest Jackass of the year.

Sliding back against the wall, I was ready to vomit any second when Sway stepped inside.

“Jameson?” her shaky voice was timid.

“You shouldn’t be in here right now, Sway.” I warned. And though I’d never hurt her physically, I didn’t want her to see me like this. As it was, she’d bared the burden of my temper enough.

Of course, she didn’t listen, why would she? Sway does what she wants, and when it comes to me, she’ll do anything, I knew that.

Sitting there in silence beside her, I was moments away from telling her that I couldn’t do any of this without her and I needed to be there when Charlie talked to her. I would literally walk away from all this just for her. But would that really be what she wanted, or needed?

“Jameson?”

I looked up to see Chelsea standing at the door.

She smiled at me and the bile returned. “Are you ready?”

Oh god, what if Sway thinks I’m going with her because I want her?

I couldn’t tell her why I was going with her. If she knew about the transfer, she’d know something was wrong with Charlie.

“I’ll be
...
there in a minute.” I quickly said to avoid telling Sway anything.

My eyes focused on Sway’s, wide with pain. I looked away unnerved by the fact that I’d once again broke another piece of her heart.

Would there be anything left soon?

Throwing the piston in my hand at Chelsea was moments away from happening as I tossed the cool metal back in forth. It was tempting.

“I’ll be waiting.” Her voice was like nails on a chalkboard.

“I’ll let you get to
...
that.” Sway choked out when the door shut.

And the heart attack feeling returned once again. I swallowed over the lump in my throat, trying not to vomit. My entire body was now shaking
...
I was a fucking mess over this woman.

My heart broke when I saw tears in her eyes. I held my breath waiting for her response, hoping it wouldn’t be full of the hate I really deserved.

Sway started to get up—unconsciously I reached for her hand.

“Sway,” my voice was failing me. “Don’t go,
please
.” I begged. I wanted her to look at me, maybe then she’d see that I didn’t want Chelsea but she refused, making a vital effort not to see me.

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