Chapter Eight: Restraint? That word sounds familiar...

Author's Note: My time in Fiji is over, I am moving to France now. Parle Vous Francai? Me neither. Oh well. And by the way, if you're ever in the mood for a great vacation, Fiji is the place for you.

Chapter Eight

Llyraen whistled to herself as she got ready to leave for Fairgrove the next morning; for once almost on time. Hopping into the drivers seat in of the Porsche that was really Aodhfin, she cranked up the stereo and sped down the road, coasting along well above the speed limit; the world at large reverberating with the assistance of his bass.
Once she reached Fairgrove's driveway and personnel drag strip, she screeched to a halt, and waited patiently for the light to turn green. When that phenomenon occurred, she floored the gas and flew down the driveway, crossing the warning line in a streak of silver car and high performance engine block. She decelerated regretfully and gleefully viewed her time in the time board Keighvin had thoughtfully installed. Not her best time, but damn near close. Cruising up to the building she parked Aodhfin in the parking lot and jumped out, waving to her loyal steed. She turned a couple of cartwheels and regained control over herself, remembering that Keighvin's little tour was some time that day; she thought it might be a good idea to behave so Keighvin might let her help next time. Al was not there yet, as was to be expected of someone who (she had heard) routinely slept in until at least 11:00 in the morning, so Llyraen searched out Keighvin, whom she knew would be up, to find the schedule for the day.
The tour that Siobhan had told her about was going to be in the morning so that the smelting process could viewed without the viewers being completely fried. It was hot in there at any time of the day, but the afternoon was murderous. During the tour Llyraen was supposed to work on the design for the new car she had been delegated to design and create, (Actually, that she had begged Keighvin to let her do,) supposedly keeping her out of trouble. After that, test-driving. Llyraen decided to go for a run. She should really be working on her car designs, but she hadn't been on a run in the area for a while, and it felt like the kind of day for a good long one.
There was no one else out there, that far from town, and especially at that time of day, so Llyraen didn't come in contact with anyone. She inhaled the crisp, fresh air, feeling revitalized and balanced.
Re-entering the Fairgrove complex, she headed strait for the showers and divested herself of all the sweat and dirt she had accumulated during her run. On her way from the shower to the kitchen, Keighvin confronted her with the information that their possible customers would be arriving at 10:00. That left her a half an hour to be at a desk working on her automotive design. Twenty minutes later she was. Five minutes after that she was up again, adamantly demanding that she would have to be up and moving around to accomplish anything.
"Look Keighvin, I need to be moving around, checking my resources in order to work on this. I can't just sit there and think about it, I have to SEE my options."
Keighvin scowled. "Alright, you have free rein to move around- but ONLY RELATED TO YOUR WORK. And I want you, if the tour ever comes your way, to behave accordingly and not embarrass us. If that is too much for you to handle, please avoid contact with the tour."
Llyraen squirmed. "C',mon Keighvin, I've matured drastically- I can restrain my overwhelming wit and intelligence now!" Keighvin gave her an incredulous look.
"Really Keighvin. Give me another chance. I can avoid the overwhelming temptation to put one over them. I'd hate to become predictable, after all."
On several past occasions, Llyraen being Llyraen, she had gotten into trouble for scaring off potential customers with wild pranks, and was consequentially no longer allowed to actively participate in showing them around. That was after telling one particularly stuffy and obnoxious corporate businessman that they used the bodies of people who refused to accept Fairgrove's offer to fuel the fires in the smelting process. Keighvin had had to apologise for her and smooth a lot of ruffled feathers before that company had agreed to try Fairgrove's products. That was back when Fairgrove was still just working the smaller fish, and Keighvin did not want her scaring off bigger companies. Of course, Llyraen's main defense was that she only did that kind of thing to the worst of them, but again, restraint was an issue. But perhaps she HAD changed; and Keighvin knew that she wasn't really as irresponsible as she seemed, but still...
"Alright, I'll have Sean bring them by your drafting domain at about 11:00. If you can manage to RESTRAIN yourself this time, then maybe you can help show the next group around." The next group would actually be mechanics, and Keighvin felt that there was less of a problem there.
Llyraen grinned. "I always knew you were a wise, nice, compassionate sort of fellow."
"Don't push your luck, young'un." Keighvin warned, but he was smiling.

Just forty minutes after Llyraen's admittance, Sean sheparded the last stragglers of his group out of the forge observaries with barely concealed contempt and disgust. It seemed that the corporates just got worse as they got higher up. And he had to smile and answer their stupid and condescending questions nicely. The worst part was that they somehow felt that they knew more about Fairgrove's engines than the people who had created them, and did not hesitate to show it.
He sighed and glanced at his schedule, expecting his next stop to be the track, where some drivers were waiting to drive a couple of times around the track to impress the suits. (He found himself thinking of them in Llyraen's terms, a couple of the milder ones being 'suits' and 'fisheads', for the way they never closed their mouths.) But did a double take at what was there.
Funny he had just been thinking about Llyraen's attitudes towards corporates, she was next on the schedule, as 'The design and manufacture of automobiles.'
"Gentlemen." They all turned toward him, glasses perched at the bridge of their enormous collective nose, immaculate and doubtless rock hard hair not even moving in the stiff morning breeze. "It would appear that I was mistaken, we will not be going directly to the track from here, if you will take a look at your schedules, you will note that our next step is not listed there." Sean paused and waited as each of them checked for themselves.
"If you will follow me this way." He gestured towards Llyraen's workshop and started off, feeding them unimportant details about Llyraen's project. Sean was worried; if HE was having a hard time being pleasant to the touring suits, he dreaded to think what irritations Llyraen could drag up. And he wondered what Keighvin had been thinking when he let her participate.


Llyraen herself was, at the moment, bent over her drafting table, a ferocious frown of concentration frozen on her features. She looked up as someone knocked on the door and glanced at her wristwatch- it was probably Sean.
Sean walked in, followed by an immaculately groomed group of slightly portly, more than slightly greasy buisnessmen. Sean's expression, before he smoothed it out into a pleasant smile, told her all she needed to know about this group.
It was really too bad, she reflected behind her pleasant mask, that the car racing business employed assholes who knew no more about a car than how to drive it- sort of. And yet they thought they knew everything there was to know on the subject.
At least the suits were just an upfront, first impressions deal, but what got Llyraen was that they could easily have been bypassed, they were only there because they were sure that if they didn't see everything with their own eyes, someone would screw up monumentally and cast them into eternal car racing shame. Or something along those lines. After them came the engineers and mechanics, the people who really knew what to look for, and the people that Llyraen actually liked.
"Gentlemen, this is Lily Raen, one of our drivers and mechanics. She is currently working on a design project, and has graciously allowed us to see what it takes to design a racecar." Sean beamed at them and sent Llyraen a tight thought coil. :They have their heads so far up their asses they might not notice if you exclude some of the more specific stuff. Just cover what we want in a car: He watched her face for any betraying action.
:No problem: She sent back with the mental equivalent of a grin.
"All right Gentlemen," She started out loud, gesturing for them to step closer to her precious drawings. "As you can see here, we have an aluminum block engine complex..."
Half an hour later, Llyraen grinned and massaged her face, which was still sore from the effort of not laughing in the faces of all the sweaty, uncomfortable suits. She allowed herself a moment of congratulation, before turning back to her work. Even though Keighvin had let her be a part of the tour, he had not been kidding when he said he wanted some progress on the designs either.
She had just finished calculating the aerodynamics of three different outer models, when Al walked through the door.
"Hey Lily." He hailed, her, grinning as she turned around.
"Hey Al. Keighvin told me you were around somewhere." A hesitant silence.
"So, did you get my note?" Al asked, slightly nervously. Llyraen doubted from his tone that he had done this kind of thing often, at least recently.
"Yes, I did." She grinned reassuringly at him. "And I would love to go with you." He relaxed.
"Could I see what you're working on?" He gestured towards the table where Llyraen's drawings and calculations lay scattered.
"Oh, those. Sure." They moved toward the table. "Keighvin wanted me to try my hand at designing a car, so this is the beginnings of one."
Al raised his eyebrows. "It's an ambitious design."
"Yeah, well, I'm of the school of thought that decrees that through ambition lies change." She gave him a crooked smile. "Of course, that means that there will be more problems to work out, but the end result should be fantastic." She paused as he raised his eyebrows again. "And I wanted to let the racing world know that Lily Raen is back in town." She admitted, shrugging and grinning in a 'What can I say? I'm conceited.' way.
Al Smiled back. "Of course. Anyway, Keighvin caught me on my way here, and I'm supposed to remind you that you get the track in-" He checked his wristwatch. "Half an hour."
"Why thank you." Llyraen grabbed her jacket. "I almost forgot."


A/N: How was that? I thought I'd try to work Joe in in one of the upcoming chapters, thanks to James W.'s suggestion. So... Any more constructive criticisms, ideas, suggestions, advice etc. is welcome in reviews, since my e-mail has completely deteriorated. As in, doesn't work. Thanks y'all! Aurevoir (sp?)

E/N: Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

A/N: Pay no mind to the noble editor, she is entering into a time of severe scholastic stress.