I see it explode in his eyes at exactly the same time it does in mine—memories of Barcelona. Me in his arms…him inside me.
He takes some steps down, bringing him closer to me. He holds my stare the whole time. My stomach is flipping like an acrobat.
He stops a step away from me.
My heart starts to beat out of my chest.
“I miss you.” His voice is so low, so filled with meaning, that it grabs a tight hold of me.
I part my lips on a breath to speak—
I blanch at the sound of Sienna’s voice.
Carrick’s eyes lift to the ceiling, and he lets out a sound of annoyance.
The moment is broken.
I take a step down away from him. “I should let you go. And I need to get back and let Robbie know that he still has a job.”
Carrick stares at me for the longest second and then gives a sharp nod. He turns, taking the stairs up two at a time.
“There you are,” Sienna’s voice says. “I was getting lonely without you.”
I stop listening and jog down the rest of the stairs, my heart racing the whole time.
“I miss you.”
When I get back to the garage, Robbie is still there, still looking shell-shocked. A few pairs of eyes lift to me, Robbie’s included.
I walk over to him. “You’re good. You still have your job.”
He blows out a relieved breath. “Shit…thanks, Andi.” He drags a hand through his hair. “Look…I’m real sorry about what I said.”
“Don’t worry about it.” I wave him off. “I’m sorry, too. I shouldn’t have said what I did about Petra.” I’m going to owe her an apology, too.
“Well, whatever. You saved my arse, so first drink is on me tonight, okay?” He holds his fist out to me.
“Okay,” I say, giving him a fist bump.
The race is fraught with tension for me, especially when Carrick blows a tire and comes into the pit. The guys quickly get it changed and have him back out on the track.
But after that, I can’t take my eyes from the screens. My heart is in my mouth for the rest of the race.
Petra gets a little time off from the kitchen and comes down to watch the race with me. I should take a break, I even need the restroom, but I’m too afraid to move in case anything happens.
Then, I start to feel sick, wishing that I had told Carrick that I miss him, too. Wishing that we were okay, back to how we used to be before Barcelona. Then, all of these terrible scenarios begin to play out in my mind, and in each one of those scenarios, I lose him permanently.
I suddenly feel hot, and the room spins.
“Hey, you okay?” Petra touches my arm.
I turn my face to her.
One look at me, and she’s saying, “Come on. Let’s get you out of here.” Then, she’s leading me out of the garage with her arm threaded through mine.
Instead of taking me to the restroom, she takes me up to Carrick’s private room. Oddly, being surrounded by his stuff, I start to feel a little better.
She sits me down and gets me a drink of water.
“Thanks.” I curl my fingers around the plastic cup and take a sip of the chilled water. “I don’t know what happened. I just felt a bit weird.”
I don’t go into the fact that memories of my father’s crash were bleeding into a vision of Carrick dying in exactly the same way.
There’s a knock at the door, and it pushes open, revealing Uncle John.
His eyes go to Petra and then back to me. “I saw you dipping out. You okay?”
“Yeah. I’m good.” I smile to reassure him.
His eyes flick to Petra again. I know he’s cautious to say anything in front of her.
“Petra knows…about my dad, Uncle John. I told her this morning.”
“Good.” He nods. “About time someone else around here knew.” He gives me a smile. “I can’t stay though. I have to get back. I just wanted to check and make sure you were okay.”
“Thanks, Uncle John.”
I stop him just as he’s opened the door. “How’s Carrick doing out there?”
He turns back to me. “Real good.” He smiles big. “He’s still leading.”
That brings a smile to my lips.
I stay with Petra in Carrick’s room for a few more minutes until I feel like myself again, and then we go back down to watch the rest of the race.
It’s still tense for me. But at least I don’t freak out again.
Carrick finishes first.
The relief I feel at seeing him pull into the garage is immense. And the knowledge that he won here in Monaco and how great that will feel for him turns my relief into elation.
When he pulls off his helmet and fireproof balaclava, he climbs out of his car, and his hair is all stuck to his head. He has the biggest smile on his face. He just looks so goddamn beautiful that it makes my heart swell.
He meets my eyes across the garage, grinning at me.
Congratulations, I mouth to him through the crowd of our team as they all jump on him, cheering and celebrating.
But his eyes never leave mine, and when he starts to make his way over to me, pushing past the guys, my heart starts to beat faster, butterflies swarming into my stomach.
Then, I hear an almighty screeching sound, and my head jerks around to see Sienna running across the garage. She launches herself at Carrick, jumping up, and she wraps her long legs around his waist. Her arms around his neck, she plants a full-on kiss on his mouth.