Page 75 of Revved (Revved #1)

Andi, his mechanic…well, she just barely exists.

At the track, he barks orders at her when he has to and ignores her the rest of the time.

I’m pretty sure it’s obvious to everyone, but they’re saying nothing, and I appreciate it. I’m guessing that’s due to Petra putting a gag order on them. Uncle John did notice Carrick being shitty to me the other day, and I got the raised eyebrow, which means his questioning will come sometime soon. I’m not looking forward to when it does.

I know people will draw their own conclusions as to why Carrick hates me. They’ll probably have the right conclusions. But for now, I just choose to live in my state of denial that everything is okay when it couldn’t be further from it.

In the first week while we were in Canada, Carrick was barely around, but when he was…it was horrific.

The first time I saw him after that night in Monaco, he looked at me like he hated me. It was painful. Actually, that’s putting it mildly. It was excruciating.

I have no one to blame but myself, but that doesn’t make it hurt any less.

I miss him with a physical ache. He was the best friend I ever had. That’s gone now, and I don’t know how to deal.

But I do know, feeling as badly as I do at the moment, how much worse it would have been if I had taken that step forward with Carrick and then lost him in the future.

I know I made the right decision—for him and me.

So, for now, I’m just living in a perpetual state of agony, waiting for things to get better.

Only…they don’t seem to be getting better.

If anything, it’s gotten worse—well, for me anyway. This past week in Austria, Carrick’s gone from being angry with me to nothing.

It was like the flip of a switch.

So, instead of being mad with me all the time, he just seems indifferent, like he no longer cares enough to be angry.

Now, when he’s forced to acknowledge me, I don’t get hate stares. I get apathetic looks.

And they’re heartbreaking.

At least when he was angry with me, I knew it was because a part of him still cared, and I had that to hold on to. Even though I don’t deserve anything, I had that, and I clung to it to get me by.

But now, that’s gone, and I’m just left empty, waiting for the hurt to subside.

I can’t tell you how many times the words have been on the tip of my tongue, standing there before Uncle John, wanting to hand in my notice. But the cruel, sadistic side of me won’t let me because I can’t bear to leave Carrick.

Yes, I know how screwed up that is, but it is what it is, and I’m stuck with it until either Carrick fires me or I have a nervous breakdown, the latter looking quite likely at the moment.

If neither of those things happen, then, I’m doomed to ride the misery train I’ve created until the season is over in five months, and I’m forced to leave him behind, unless I decided to torture myself further and come back for the next season.

I’m sad, pathetic, and weak. I do know that. I just can’t seem to change who I am or the way I feel at the moment.

I know Petra is getting frustrated with me over the Carrick-and-me thing—or the lack thereof, as the case may be. She doesn’t understand why I won’t be with him. She’s still being the same awesome friend, supporting me, but I can see it in her eyes that she doesn’t get it. For her, it’s simple—you care about someone, then you’re with that person.

I know she tried to understand me and my situation, but she can’t fully grasp the reality of what I feel unless she’s lived through what I have. So, with her, I now put on the full act that I’m okay with everything, that I’m past everything. And I leave my tears for those moments alone when I’m in the shower, and it’s all just gotten a little too much for me to contend with.

When I got back to my room that night after Carrick and I had sex, Petra was awake, waiting on me. I took one look at her and burst into tears. After she let me cry on her shoulder, she said she thought that I should tell him, about everything—my dad, how I feel, and why I won’t be with him.

But I can’t. Because if I do, I know he’ll talk me around. And it’d be great for a while…but it’d only be a matter of time before something happened out on the track while I watched him race. That would set me off. I’d freak out and only end up hurting him worse than I have now. I know, in the long run, I’m not strong enough to stay.

I am a coward. Just like he said.

That is one of the reasons I’m where I am right now. Well, only a small part of the reason, the main being that I can’t miss the chance to be close to him again—and when I say him, I mean, my dad.

I heard about a vintage car show here, hosted by some rich guy, and my dad’s car will be at the show with a bunch of other vintage racing cars and cars of dead celebrities.

It worked well as an excuse to get me out of going to a dinner tonight. Uncle John asked me to attend as his plus-one, but I know Carrick is going also. He wouldn’t want me there, and I’m trying to make things as easy as possible on him.

I wonder who Carrick’s plus-one will be.

There’s been no more Sienna. I did see she’d sold her story to one of the dailies about her heartbreak over Carrick dumping her. But since her—or I should say, me—I haven’t heard of him being with anyone else. Doesn’t mean he hasn’t. From past experience, I know that nothing keeps Carrick down for long.

So, here I am, wandering through the big glass doors of the showing. I hand my ticket to the woman at the entryway. She gives me a pamphlet that details the layout of the show, and I make my way inside.