“Glad you’re here, Pet.” I give her hand a squeeze.
“Yeah, me, too.”
“He’s set to do it. The reigning champion is on the home stretch, set to take the gold home…”
I’m on my feet at the sound of the announcer’s voice. My heart is beating faster, knowing that Carrick is almost there on the home stretch, so close to crossing that finishing line.
Come on, baby. You can do it. Come back to me safe.
It’s been a tough hour for me, not that Carrick’s racing hasn’t been seamless because it has. But now, I’m watching him closing in the gap to the checkered flag, and my heart is in my throat, excited for him, but still nervous, and just needing him back here with me.
The flag is down.
The whole team is on their feet, cheering and hugging each other. Petra and I are jumping up and down, screaming.
But I won’t relax, not fully, until he’s here with me and I’m in his arms.
My eyes are glued to the pit, waiting for his return. The moment I see his car pulling in, I’m running out of the garage to him. He’s only just climbed out of the car when I’m jumping into his arms.
He hasn’t even gotten his helmet off, but I just need to hold him. Need to remind myself that he’s real. That he’s here, and he’s mine.
Tipping my head back, I press a kiss to the visor of his helmet.
I feel his chuckle rumble deep through his chest.
Freeing a hand from around me, he undoes the strap and pulls his helmet off. I remove his balaclava for him.
His hair’s all stuck to his head. And he’s never looked more beautiful to me than he does in this moment.
I run my fingers through his hair, ruffling it up. His eyes are bright with his win.
“You’re here,” he says on a smile.
I tilt my head to the side. “Did you doubt I would be?”
“Nah, not for a minute.”
“Good.” I smile. “Because I’ll always be here, Carrick, waiting for you.”
“And I’ll always come back to you, babe,” he says softly.
I touch my fingers to his mouth, tracing the curve of his lips. “So, you won.”
“Podium time soon. Trophy. Champagne spraying.”
He loves that shit.
“Meh.” He shrugs.
“Meh?” I look at him, surprised.
“Yeah, meh.” He presses his nose to mine. “The podium can wait because I already have the greatest win of my life right here in my arms.”
Then, he’s kissing me, and I never, ever want him to stop.
I OPEN THE DOOR TO THE GARAGE and walk inside to see Andressa bent over her car, head under the hood, gorgeous arse stuck up in the air.
Sexiest fucking sight ever.
And this is exactly how I saw her a year ago today in the garage at Rybell. I knew right then, when she turned around and gave me all that sass, that my life was about to change, and I wasn’t wrong.
Andressa is everything I never knew I wanted, and now, I wouldn’t know how to live without her.
Soul mates—or whatever the fuck you want to call it—she’s mine.
After we got back from Abu Dhabi, Andressa moved in here with me a few weeks later. People might think it was quick, but I don’t give a shit. Life is too short to waste, and after not having her for two months, I knew I couldn’t be without her ever again. I’d asked her to move in, and she’d said yes. It made sense, her moving in here anyway. She was never at her place, mainly because I wouldn’t let her out of my bed.
Come on. Look at her. What man in his right mind would?
Living with Andressa is everything I knew it would be. We’re not perfect by a long shot. We still have some stuff to work through—her fears about my racing and my issues with rejection—but we’re getting there together.
When the press found out who Andressa was, that she’s William’s daughter, things got a little intense there for a while. Paparazzi were camped outside of the house for days, following us around and that kind of thing. I worried how she’d deal, but she was fine. But we did mostly stay home during that time. I didn’t want her to be asked any questions about her father that could stir up painful memories for her.
I want her to be happy. And she is, but I’m not sure for how long.
Racing season will be starting up in a few weeks. We’ll be flying out to Melbourne soon.
Andressa is back in her job at Rybell. She wouldn’t have it any other way, and neither would I. There isn’t anyone I trust more with my car than her.
But I know she’s getting anxious in the run-up because she’s told me. She always tells me. And I’m doing everything I can to reassure and help her.
She’s seeing a therapist. She has been since we got back from Abu Dhabi. I’ve been attending sessions with her. She does one on her own and one with me, alternating weeks. I think it’s helping. She says it is. I guess we’ll find out how well in a few weeks, but no matter what, she’s going nowhere.
I’m now confident in the fact that she won’t ever leave me again because she’s spent the last few months reassuring me of that. We’re solid, but I was bruised up from the time we spent apart. We’re giving each other the reassurances we need, and we’re getting stronger every day.
Things can only go up from here. Well, at least that’s what I’m hoping after tonight.