I’m scared as to how he’s going to react with me being here. Especially with what’s just happened out there, I might be the last person he wants to see right now.
My heart is in my hands, ready to give itself to him. I’m hoping he doesn’t throw it away…throw me away. Because after the way I’ve treated him, I know I deserve nothing less.
I watch as Ben removes his steering wheel, unbuckling him. Then, Carrick is climbing out of the cockpit, and I’m pretty sure I’m going to throw up. My stomach is rioting. Hands shaking, I flex them at my sides.
Carrick’s back is to me. He hasn’t seen me yet. I can’t move. I’m frozen to the spot.
He pulls his helmet off and then his balaclava, and he runs his hand through his damp hair, tousling it up. It makes me ache to touch him.
Then, he turns, and his eyes collide with mine. I see the shock reverberate through them.
I wait for what seems like forever—in reality, it’s only seconds—to see what his reaction will be.
And I get nothing.
After his initial shock fades, his eyes clear and give me nothing. He just stands there, staring at me, waiting.
This is it. Here I go.
As I start to move toward him, everything and everyone disappears, and there is only him.
There has only ever been him. From the moment I saw him at Rybell, he’s always been in my sight and on my mind.
Keeping his eyes on me, he puts his helmet down on the car.
I don’t stop moving until there is less than a foot of space between us. And now I’m here, standing before him. My nerves are floundering, shaking and shredding my body and mind like I’m inside a blender.
“Hi.” My voice is small, and seeing him like this, being so close to him yet still so far, makes my emotions crash down on me. My eyes fill with tears. I blink, and one runs from the corner of my eye. I quickly brush it away with my fingers.
I see his eyes follow the movement before coming back to mine, but he doesn’t say anything.
He’s just watching me with guarded eyes. But then, among that guard, I see the tiniest spark, and it makes what I have to say just that little bit easier.
Taking a fortifying breath, I part my dry lips. “Are you okay?” I want to make sure he’s feeling okay after what just happened on the tracks with Leandro. That first, and then him and me.
“I’m not sure.”
“Because I don’t know why you’re here.”
I blow out a breath, readying myself. “I’m here because…I wanted—no, I needed to see you…because I…” I’m stumbling, faltering. I’m ruining this.
Drawing my eyes away from him, I take another deep breath, and then I look back to him, trying to portray everything I feel for him through my eyes. “I came because I needed to tell you that…I love you. And I’m sorry. And I love you.”
His expression gives away nothing. “You’re sorry for what? Loving me?”
“No!” I rush to say. “I’m sorry for everything, for leaving you. I could never be sorry for loving you. You’re the best thing that’s ever happened to me.”
His eyes and face are still giving me nothing, and I know it’s not enough, what I’m saying. I need to give him more, say more. I just don’t know what to say.
Why am I so bad at this?
My throat thickens as my desperation gets the better of me, and I burst into tears. I don’t care that people are around us right now. I just care that I’m ruining my last chance with him. “I’m screwing this up,” I whisper through my tears.
“I think you’re doing just fine.”
I barely get the chance to register what he said before my face is in his hands, and he’s kissing me, stealing the breath I’m beyond willing to give him. My arms instantly wrap around his neck as he takes my mouth hard and deep, pulling my body against his. The feel of his lips, his body against mine, breaks me and then puts me back together, more whole than I ever was.
“I love you,” I sob against his lips. “I’m sorry I left. I just…love you so much, Carrick.”
Cradling my face in his hands, he brushes my tears away with his thumbs. “I love you, too, babe.”
That only makes me cry harder.
Staring into my eyes, he says, “You wanna get out of here?”
I’m instantly reminded of Barcelona and the first time we slept together.
Swallowing a hiccup, I give him a watery smile. “Is that a trick question?”
“There’s my girl.”
Then, he smiles so beautifully that it makes my stomach launch a thousand butterflies.
Giving me one more kiss, he takes my hand and leads me through the garage, not saying a word to anyone.
When we’re out the door and near the stairs to the driver’s room, he says, “Wait right there. Don’t move.”
After a swift kiss to my lips, I watch him jog up the stairs, taking them two at a time.
Then, before I know it, he’s coming back down. “Room key.” He holds it up, shoving it into the pocket of his overalls, along with his wallet and phone. Then, he pulls on the ball cap that was in his other hand.
He takes my hand again, and we’re walking out through another door. When we’re outside, we quickly move across the paddock toward the main exit.
“You got a car?” he asks.
“My mum’s.” I dig the key from my pocket, holding it up.