“Good.” He smiles winningly.
“Carrick? You ready to go?”
My eyes swing to the voice calling his name, and I see a group of guys and girls all by the main door, looking like they’re about to leave. I notice that Amy and Ben are with them. Amy is looking at me less than favorably. A definite frown is on her face. I get the impression the frown is because Carrick is talking to me, and she likes Carrick, which isn’t surprising.
In this moment, I find myself comparing my looks to hers, not something I usually do. She’s pretty, womanly. She has definite hips and a bum and plenty going on up top. Me…well, my figure’s more boyish. I’m slender with no hips and very little arse. My cup size is generous but not too generous. I know my face is nice because people always tell me how much I look like my mother, and she is beautiful. And I have nice dark-brown hair—long, thick, and with a natural wave. I don’t wear it down often though as it’s always tied up because of work.
“I’ll be there in a sec,” Carrick says to the group.
“Well, the cabs are here, so hurry up,” someone calls out.
I watch as they pile out the doors before I bring my eyes back to Carrick, who’s already looking at me.
“We’re going clubbing. Do you want to come?” he asks with a tilt of his head.
“No, but thanks for asking. I’m tired. The jet lag is catching up with me. I’m gonna head home soon.”
He stares at me for a long moment, before he starts backing away. “Okay…cool. Sleep well, and I’ll see you soon, friend.”
He gives a cheeky grin, one that I can’t help but return in the form of a soft smile.
“Good night, Carrick.”
One last dazzling smile, then, he’s gone, and for a split second, I regret not going with him even though I know that I did the right thing. Nothing good could have come of me going clubbing with Carrick.
That becomes even more apparent in the morning when I go out to get some food from the local shop and see the newspapers in the stands. They are filled with pictures of Carrick leaving a club, looking the worse for wear, with a couple of girls hanging off of him, and I recognize one as Amy, the front-of-house girl.
I’m guessing Carrick hasn’t learned his lesson about sleeping with coworkers.
Seeing this picture and going by the icky feeling in my stomach at the knowledge that Carrick quite possibly had sex with both of those girls, probably at the same time, I’m starting to think that it’s maybe not a good idea for me to be friends with him.
Because, if after a day of knowing him, I feel icky over a picture, then it can only go downhill from there.
I’M IN MELBOURNE for the start of the season.
It’s my first time in Australia. We’ve been busy since we arrived, preparing for the first race of the season at Albert Park, so I haven’t seen a lot of the sights, but what I have seen is amazing.
What, or I should say whom, I haven’t seen is Carrick—for two weeks now.
The last time I saw him was the morning after his birthday. He came into the garage, wearing sunglasses and a ball cap pulled low.
When he saw me, he stopped and stared at me in a way I couldn’t decipher, but I felt that look all the way down to my bones. Then his eyes cleared, he lifted a hand in a wave, and was gone.
I felt rattled for the whole day after that, but then I quickly sorted myself out.
Carrick is a player. And a driver.
Drivers equal bad.
And my little whatever it was—my-body-wants-his-body crush—is gone. Done with. Finito. It has to be because the racing season runs from March to November, and Carrick and I will be seeing a lot of each other. Nothing good could come of this my-body-wanting-to-jump-his-body thing for the next eight-plus months.
Carrick is due to arrive in Australia today. We’re a few days out before practice sessions start, but Carrick needs to be here early to acclimatize to the weather.
Nico’s also arriving. I have yet to meet him, not that I’ll have a lot of interaction with him as he has his own mechanics, but I’m still looking forward to it.
From what I can tell of Nico from the press, he’s the complete opposite of Carrick. Very focused and dedicated, he’s never seen out partying, and he is very much a family man, married with children.
I wonder how he and Carrick get along—if they get along at all. It’s not unusual for teammates not to like one another. Drivers might be paired under the same banner, but it’s a solitary sport and incredibly competitive.
It’s coming up to dinnertime, and I’m in my hotel room, the room I’m gonna be sharing with one of the hospitality girls, Petra. She’ll be getting in soon. I haven’t seen her since I met her on Carrick’s birthday.
To be honest, I’m surprised to be sharing a room with her. I thought she would have been sharing a room with the other front-of-house girl, Amy, the one who was photographed leaving that club with Carrick. I expected to be rooming alone. But it’s not a problem. I’m sure it’ll be fine. I guess it’ll be strange at first, sharing a room with someone I barely know, but I’m sure we’ll get on no problem,
I don’t have a problem getting along with women. I just tend to get along better with men. I guess my interests, cars, aren’t that of a usual woman.
I’m sprawled out on my bed, deciding what to do for dinner, while watching TV when I hear the door open. Petra comes in, dragging a suitcase behind her, sounding out of breath.