To a degree, this whole baby-steps shit is frustrating because I want nothing more than to be able to drive a car. But I trust her, and it’s clearly working as I don’t feel like I’m going to lose my shit in this taxi right now or panic like a little bitch when I sit behind the wheel of a car, like I would have done before she started helping me.
“Just checking that you didn’t forget.” Carrick chuckles.
“Like I would.”
“Yeah, sure. Just like you didn’t forget the last time.”
“I’m never going to live that down, am I?”
I forgot because I was drunk and holed up in some chick’s apartment, fucking the night away. I’d met her at the supermarket where I was buying a bottle of whiskey. We’d ended up taking it back to her place, drinking it, and—well, you know the rest.
I felt like a complete shit because I’d let my friends down.
“No, because Andressa had to explain to the date she brought for you that you hadn’t stood her up.”
“Because I hadn’t known she was bringing a date for me.”
Even if I’d known she brought me a date, it probably wouldn’t have changed the way that day and night went. Dates want more than one night.
Then, it dawns on me why he’s actually ringing.
“Please tell me that Andi hasn’t brought another date for me tonight?”
And his silence speaks volumes.
“Oh god,” I groan. “She has, hasn’t she?” I groan. “There’s no way you’d be checking up on me like a woman if she hadn’t. Andi made you call me, right?”
“God, you’re so pussy-whipped.”
“There’s a lot to be said for being whipped.”
“You’re a dick. And if I didn’t platonically love your wife, then I’d be calling her a pain in my ass right now.”
“She just wants you to be happy.”
“Jesus, why didn’t she learn from the first time she set me up? Dates and me don’t go together.”
The first dinner we had together when I moved back to London, Andi brought along a date for me. Her hairdresser. Granted, the date didn’t go too badly because I ended up taking the hairdresser back to her place and fucking her. Problem was, that was all it was—a fuck. Sadly, she wanted more and didn’t take my rejection too well. Andi had to find a new hairdresser.
So, God knows why she’s insistent on constantly trying to set me up with people she knows.
“You really need to get your woman under control.”
Carrick laughs. “Ha! If it were possible, I’d have done it ages ago. So, can I tell Andressa that you’ll be here soon and that you’re over the fucking moon that she’s brought you a date?”
“Is the date hot?”
“If you like that type.”
“They’re seriously bendy, right? Then, yeah, tell Andi I’m over the fucking moon, and I’m skipping over fucking rainbows that she’s brought along a yoga instructor as a date for me. I’ll see you in ten, dickface.” Then, I hang up the phone.
Resting my head back on the seat, I blow out a breath, rubbing my clean-shaven chin.
I got rid of the beard. I even had my hair cut.
I thought it was about time. And it will show India that I am really trying to clean myself up.
Okay, so pep talk, Silva…
I will not have sex with the bendy yoga instructor—unless she is absolutely clear on the fact that it is a one-time thing. Then, fucking her will be fine.
Unless she’s dog ugly, of course.
And I will not get drunk. I’ll fuck the bendy yoga instructor because I actually want to, because there’s chemistry, and not because I am wasted or want to forget myself in her body.
If only India could hear me now, she’d be so proud. She’d be proud that I’m not going to screw somebody.
I laugh in my head at that thought.
Since India started treating me, my drinking has slowed down to a stop, and the random hook-ups are also nonexistent. I haven’t had sex since that night with those two women that caused me to run late for my appointment with India the next day.
It’s not been easy, but working on my issues with India is giving me purpose, something I didn’t have before. My goal is to work toward getting back in a car, driving it, and then eventually racing.
One step at a time, no matter how long it takes.
Well, aside from being about to enter the last year of my contract. That kind of puts a time cap on it.
The taxi pulls up outside the restaurant. I pay the driver and climb out.
It’s started to rain, so I quickly make my way inside. The maître d’ approaches me. She instantly recognizes me. I’ve gotten very familiar with the look people get in their eyes when they recognize who I am.
“My friends are already here. I’m joining Carrick Ryan.”
If she recognizes me, then she definitely knows who Carrick is.
“I’ll take you to your table.” She gives me a coquettish smile.
It’s impossible for me not to return it. I’m a flirty bastard by nature.
As I follow behind the maître d’, I check out her ass.
Nice. Curvy. An ass you could grab ahold of while you fucked her.
But it’s nowhere near as good an ass as India’s.