My team comes running toward my car as I slow to a stop. I pull the steering wheel off, tossing it aside, and I climb out of the car. I tear my helmet off as I’m being hugged and patted by all the members of my team. The cheer of the crowd roars through my ears as my eyes search out India.
The instant my eyes meet hers, a sense of ease moves through me, making me smile even wider. I push through the crowd. Reaching her, I sweep her up into my arms. Her hands pressing against my face, I kiss her.
I kiss her with every ounce of love I feel for her.
Breaking from our kiss, panting, she quickly glances at the crowd of people in the stands, all cheering my win around us.
“Are you sure you want to leave all this behind?” She gives a gentle tilt of her chin in the direction of the stands.
My eyes do a quick sweep over her shoulder. I can see the banners with my name on them, some begging me not to retire. Then, I look back to my girl. “I’m more than sure.”
She smiles wide and presses her lips to mine again, softly kissing me.
God, I fucking love her.
“Sorry to interrupt the love fest.” Carrick’s voice comes from behind me, and I feel the pat of his hand on my back. “But we have to take our places on the podium.”
I reluctantly break away from India’s lips.
“I’ll wait here,” she tells me.
Turning to Carrick, I slide my arm around India’s waist. Andi comes over to Carrick, and he wraps his arm around her shoulders.
“You mean, the podium on which I’ll be standing on first place.”
A grin spreads across Carrick’s face. “You know I totally let you win this one, right? I mean, it was the least I could do, with you retiring, and the fact that I had already won this year’s Prix on points.”
Laughing, I shake my head. “You’re a prick, you know that?”
“Yeah, Andressa tells me all the time.”
Andi slaps a hand to his stomach.
Jett comes over, standing beside me.
I drop my other arm over his shoulder. “You want to come up on the podium with me?” I ask Jett.
His face lights up bright with a smile. “For real?”
“For real.” I smile at him. “You might as well have a taste of what it’s like for when you are up there on your own one day, accepting your own trophy.”
His smile gets wider, and I feel India’s hand tighten on my waist. I remove my arm from Jett and turn my eyes to hers, seeing them filled with nothing but love and that watery look she gets in her eyes whenever I do something for Jett.
“I love you,” she whispers.
I cup her cheek, pressing a soft kiss to her lips. “Love you, too, babe.”
Releasing her, I take ahold of her hand and sling my arm back over Jett’s shoulders. “Come on then, son. Let me show you what it’s like to look down on Carrick Ryan.”
Carrick discreetly gives me the middle finger. I let out a laugh, and with India’s hand in mine and my arm around Jett, my family and I start the walk toward my last podium climb.
I’M STANDING IN THE TEAM GARAGE at Silverstone, watching Jett prepare for his first race. Leandro is with him.
My baby boy is seventeen and has signed with his first team, and he is debuting in the FIA Formula 3 European Championship. Leandro is his manager. They make quite the team.
“A little someone wanted you.”
Turning at the sound of Kit’s voice, I smile at the little girl wriggling in his arms.
“Mama!” Adriana holds her arm out to me.
“Hey, baby girl.” I take her from Kit.
Adriana has her father’s dark eyes and hair, and—of course, I’m biased—she’s the most beautiful little girl in the world. She’s just turned two. It took Leandro and me about a year to get pregnant, but we’d sure had fun trying.
“You okay with holding her?” Kit nods his chin at my pregnant belly.
I’m six months pregnant. We’re having a boy.
“I’m fine for a few minutes.” I press a kiss to Adriana’s soft hair. “She is getting heavy though.” I give her a gentle squeeze.
“She was getting fussy upstairs,” Kit tells me. “You know how she wants to be in the midst of the action.”
“Like her father, brother, and uncle.”
Kit chuckles at that.
“Petra here yet?” I ask Kit.
“She’s on her way.”
Kit is settled down and married now to Petra, Andi’s best friend. It took them a while to come together, and it was a messy long process, mostly because of my brother, but they got there in the end. They’re happy together now. I’m really glad because Petra is good for him.
I am so happy that he found his someone.
I’m just hoping they give me a niece or nephew soon.
Adriana starts to tug on the cute little pink headphones covering her delicate ears.
“No, leave those on, Addy,” I tell her.
“Did you ever think we’d be standing here, waiting for our boy to take his first step into the world of Formula racing?” Kit says from beside me.
I meet his eyes, smiling. “No. But I’m sure glad we are, if not a tad nervous.”
“Yeah, me, too—on both counts.” He exhales. “But he’s right where he was always meant to be. As are you.”
My life has changed beyond recognition since Leandro came into it. Not that it was bad before him because it wasn’t, but the moment he came into it, he brought more color into all our lives.