We’ll get through this final race, and then when we go home to England, I’m going to start seeing someone, a therapist, to help with my issues over his racing.
If I want to be with him, I have to learn to deal.
Seeing a therapist was Carrick’s idea, and I agreed with him. He said that he’ll come with me to the sessions. He said if he understands my worries better, then he’ll know how to handle me, if or when I flip out again.
I’m not sure how I feel about being handled, but I suppose I can’t complain if Carrick is doing the handling.
One thing I do feel, oddly enough, is a sense of relief. I’m relieved that he knows how bad it got for me back then and why I left him. I just wish that I’d told him back then, so we wouldn’t have lost those two months together. Hindsight is a great thing.
But it’s all in the past now, and we’re in a good place—a great place. We’ve talked a lot.
And spent a lot of time in bed.
That’s definitely been fun, the making-up part.
Carrick got to meet my mum while we were still in Brazil, and they got along brilliantly. We all had dinner together—me, Carrick, my mum, Uncle John, and Owen. It was a great night. Owen is actually being much nicer to me these days, which is a good thing. He finally trusts me with Carrick, and that means something. Underneath the hard exterior is a good man who loves his son, as any father should.
I hear the announcements start to come up for today’s race. It’s not long before it’s time for Carrick to go out there.
My heart starts to beat a little faster, so I take a calming deep breath.
Formula 1 is missing a man off today’s announcement—Leandro. Thankfully, he survived his crash, but it was touch and go for a while. There was a lot of damage to his body, internal bleeding, but he managed to pull through, and now, he’s on the mend. I’m not sure if he’ll ever race again. For his sake, I hope he does.
Carrick and I went to visit him while he was in the hospital. Leandro didn’t seem like his normal self, but he was still making jokes, so I took that as a positive sign.
Carrick’s on the other side of the garage, talking with Ben, and I’m watching him. Well, I’m staring at his arse. It’s a really nice arse.
Turning, Carrick catches me staring. A smirks spreads across his face, making my cheeks redden. But I up my game and give him a cocky look.
Leaving Ben, Carrick comes over to me. “You checking out the goods?” He places his hands on my waist.
“Maybe. They are good goods.”
He gives me an offended look. “Only good?”
“Okay, the best goods—ever. That better?”
“Much.” He smiles. Brushing my hair from my face, he says in a quieter voice, “You doing okay?”
“I’m a little scared. Announcements freaked me out a bit, but I’m coping,” I answer truthfully.
I made a promise to him that I would always be honest with him, no matter what, and I intend to keep that promise.
“You remember what we talked about?”
“If I start to panic, sit down, take slow calming breaths, and drink some water. No running. Stay put, and wait until you’re back.”
His lips lift as he squeezes my waist. “Petra’s staying with you, right?”
“Yep, she’s my bodyguard.”
I give him a look, and he sighs.
Carrick asked Petra to stay with me while he races. I got a bit pissy with him about it, not that I don’t love being with Petra because I do, but I don’t need Carrick getting me a babysitter either.
“I just didn’t want you to be alone.”
“I know. It’s okay. I get it.” I rest my hand against his chest. “I appreciate you looking out for me. It’s good that she’s here, so I won’t be alone.”
His brow furrows. “You’re never alone, babe. You need to hear my voice, go sit with John and my da, and you can put an earpiece in. Okay?”
“Okay.” I smile.
He returns my smile before kissing me.
I can taste his pre-race chocolate on his lips. Delicious.
“You taste good,” I murmur into his mouth. “Chocolate…yummy.”
“Carrick’s chocolate kisses.” He kisses me again, giving me another taste.
“Hmm…I like that.”
“And I like you. A lot.”
“Seriously, dudes. Enough with the kissing!”
I break away from Carrick to see Petra standing there.
“Jealous?” I smirk.
“Yeah. Totally. I really need a man.” She lets out a faux-dramatic sigh. “Now, you, shoo,” she says to Carrick. “I want some time with my girl. You have her enough as it is.”
I stare back into Carrick’s eyes, touching a hand to his face. “Good luck.”
“Thanks, but you I don’t need it, babe. Carrick Ryan, god of the tracks, remember?” He gives me a cheeky wink. “See you soon, babe.”
One final kiss, and he’s gone.
Sitting on the chairs with Petra, I watch as he pulls on his helmet and gets into the cockpit. Ben straps him in. Then, Carrick is pulling out onto the track, and I feel my heart start to race.
I reach for Petra’s hand.
“He’s just warming up. He’s gonna be fine, Andi,” she says softly. “He’s gonna win this race, and then you guys will go back to the hotel and have a marathon sex session.”
That makes me laugh. I turn to look at her, and she’s grinning at me.