All publicly recognized characters are the sole and separate property of their respective owners and franchises.

This, however, is all my ridiculous doings.

Thank you EJ Santry for your incredible beta skills and friendship - She was the vessel which helped carry me across the river from the land of non-writer to the shores of verbal enlightenment.

Kick the Tires and Light the Fires


Colorful kaleidoscopes of race-cars blew by the rabid racing fans at maddening speeds. The massive throngs in the stands could feel the chest-caving thunder, and hear the drum-splitting screams of the engines as we all rounded the turns in the track.

What they could feel and hear was nothing compared to what I did with 358 cubic-inches of monster engine in front of me. My heightened senses registered the hellacious sounds of the hungry engine as well as the fanatical cheers of the crowd. I wore noise-canceling earplugs to try and tone them all out. The fans wore them as well, or listened in with their headphones to the radio conversations between the drivers and the pit crews with their Track Scanners. They could listen to all but ours.

We kept our radio frequency off the radar because our conversations were bizarre to say the least. Even though I could read Alice's thoughts, I still had to keep in touch with Jasper, my pit chief. We couldn't have the crowds listening to me give Jasper warnings about oncoming accidents, or how I knew exactly when or where I was going to pass the next car. Alice was my spotter for all intents and purposes. She could 'see' ahead in her visions to give me the advantage I needed to stay out of collisions with the drivers. The less attention I drew to us, the better.

Being that we were vampires more than 100 years old, this was one of the biggest thrills for us in our existence. My Dad, Mom, and four siblings decided to take up racing a few years ago. We had been following the sport since 1949 and decided we were ready to try it out. Now we were addicts.

We didn't do it for the glory. We did it for the thrill of the chase. Our kind couldn't afford to draw too much attention to ourselves. Since we didn't hunt humans, this was the closest thing we could get to feeling it. It helped to ease the demon by chasing them in circles. Racing was just a full-on sensory overload with the speed and the pursuit.

Right now the inside cab of the car was a balmy 140 degrees adding more to the senses. It didn't make me uncomfortable. In fact the overwhelming warmth for most humans only warmed up my snowy body temperature and I reveled in it. It's not like I could break a sweat.

A alarm sounded and I did a swift check of my now low fuel gauge. "I need to come in, Jasper"

"Yeah, I can see that," Jasper agreed. "Bring her in low and watch your speed."

"Yeah, get your skinny ass over here so I can get my change on." Emmett's laughing voice boomed into my helmet-com.

It was all perfect timing because, the caution flag went up, which, thanks to Alice, I knew was coming before I drove in.

Slowing down to fifty-five mph, I entered 'pit row' and pulled up between the yellow lines marking our changing area. We were easy to spot with the 'Masen Racing' boom sign hanging down, signaling for me to stop. I waited while Jasper, Emmett, Rosalie, and Carlisle changed out the tires, fueled me up, and confirmed all the safety checkpoints.

Rosalie was the only female of the crew who came out onto the asphalt area. She wanted her report on my car.

"How's my precious doing out there?"

"Hey, thanks for asking. I'm in 10th place, but I think I could take the lead if the car was running a little better. Feels a bit loose." I patted the steering wheel and smirked at her.

"Huh, You're a funny guy. My car is not loose, and if I didn't love this baby so much, I'd go home." She allowed her thoughts to show a broken neck was very possible.

Rose had no trouble fueling the car and worked with a smile on her face. Her stock car handled like a dream and she knew it. I do mean 'her' car. She designed it from the ground up and kept the car's engine race-legal while being on the absolute razor's edge of technology.

They all had to move a little slower so they didn't appear unnaturally fast. Wrestling the seventy-five pound tires on and off was no problem for Emmett. He usually grumbled about using the pneumatic socket gun because his fingers were quicker, but it was necessary though. We had to keep up appearances.

Jasper worked efficiently and silently from the other side of the car. Carlisle swiftly checked the fluids and gave me some words of encouragement before jumping back over the wall on the safe side. The car bounced one last time as Emmett and Jasper let it down simultaneously.

"Let's kick the tires and light the fires, big daddy!" Emmett yelled out. He watched entirely too many movies.

Jasper ran back to his perch behind the wall and announced, "Go, Go, Go!"

I accelerated out of the pits to get back in line with the other drivers jockeying behind the pace car. We did one lap around, and we all jumped as the leader exited the track before speeding up to heart pounding velocities of up to 180 mph. It was then when I got behind Wolf Racing's new car. It had a yellow stripe across the back signaling a rookie driver. I heard it was a woman by listening into the other crew teams. They mentioned the name of the new driver was Isabella Swan. They also fantasized about bending her in lewd ways. Apparently she was 'fine as hell', but was also one hell of a driver who worked hard to earn her spot on the racing circuit.

It was intriguing how the sport had grown since I was a child all those years ago to embrace female drivers. My protective nature was to think a woman shouldn't engage in this kind of dangerous activities, that this was a man's sport. Of course the females in my life were the exception, they were unbreakable. I made a mental note to watch out for her. She could potentially cause one hell of a wreck.

The checkered flag waved gustily as I crossed the finish line at a modest eleventh and noticed the newbie female came in at a fair fourteenth place. Again, we weren't in it for the glory.

Pulling into the pits, I pulled down the protective net, climbed out of my car, and helped roll it back to our garage bay. Everyone busied his or her selves with checking for damages. Rosalie hooked the car's engine computer to a machine to check for error codes. The electronic numbers would read her the engine performance, as well as any potential changes which may be needed to be made.

While this was being done, I was hopefully going to catch a glimpse of the new driver. It was easy to sift through the minds of nearby people until I found my target.

What I saw next was something that brought my world down to a complete crawl. My breath stole from my lungs like Emmett had just whacked me on the back like he tends to do.

The woman pulled her slim body out of her car window once she pulled the netting away. After drawing off her helmet and cowl, she shook out the most glorious tresses I had ever seen. Her hair flowed out in a liquid waterfall of dark brown, and as she combed her fingers through her hair to get the tangles out, her smell hit me like a blazing fireball. Even with just her face and hand showing, her plush skin looked sinful enough to nibble.

She was sweaty of course and it served only to intensify her scent. It was cinnamon, exhaust, and used up fuel. I blocked out the rest of the garage and dragged it in. I could feel my nostrils sting and flare as I closed my eyes while it washed over me. My eyes practically rolled back in my head as languid rushes of blood sang through her veins. It pulled me toward her as if my feet weren't even touching the ground.

Flames licked my throat, searing it as I unconsciously walked straight toward her. Venom poured waterfalls down my throat, and my belly clenched as I felt my dick lengthen in anticipation and anticipation of female prey. So engrossed in the moment, I didn't take notice of Emmett behind me. He slapped a huge maw on my shoulder, startling me, and I growled deeply at my brother, recognizing him as a possible threat.

"What are you doing…"? Emmett stilled suddenly and dragged in a deep breath as his head snapped in the direction I had been walking. "Holy shit, can you smell that?"

Snapping out of the trance I was in, I shook my head to clear the cobwebs out. He let out a low whistle as he ogled her with appreciation. I don't know where it came from, but I actually snarled at Emmett again, which surprised me.

"Yeah . . . I noticed" I said. "That's Isabella Swan..." I felt a dizzying wave of possession hit me.

Emmett smiled apologetically at me and put his hands up. "Dude, you know I'm a man right? Ain't nothin' but Rosie for me, but, man, does she smell goo-ood, and she's a beaut."

I quickly dismissed Emmett realizing it was a waste of energy to get so riled up. His thoughts were as innocent as Emmett's could be. Which meant, perversion to the enth degree.

Slowly his lips turned up in a huge grin as his gaze slid from me to her and back again. With one last meaningful glance in Isabella's direction, he put his hand back on my shoulder and quietly said "Edward, don't stare too long. It's creepy." And he quietly walked off, muttering something about 'not losing control' and left me standing there still staring.

As I continued to watch her, my pain became excruciating as the venom continued to pour down the back of my throat. I swallowed thickly, willing it to stop.

Isabella turned as if sensing something and looked straight in my direction while she talked with one of her crew members. Her eyes were dark, and they widened slightly before she flushed and looked back at whom she was talking to.

God, she noticed me. Her eyes told me. I listened in on their conversation as she talked excitedly to 'Jake'. Odd; I could hear his thoughts, but not hers. This was my talent and my curse. I tried to block out everything so I could concentrate solely on her, but nothing echoed, not vacuous, just infinite silence.

Jake, I could hear loud and clear. He was grilling her about the race and how the car handled. I didn't like how close he was to her, big fucker that he was, but it quickly became apparent his closeness was due to the loudness coming from Victory Lane. At least, it was what I hoped.

When Jake was done, she then had a ton of reporters and photographers grappling to get her attention. She was the shiny new sensation. She didn't, however, look to be pleased with all the people giving her so much notice. There was a strain around her gorgeous eyes, and she smiled with a barely masked exhaustion.

Wanting to get closer to her was not an option while I still had things to take care of back at my garage. So, with one last hungry look, I headed back to my waiting family. We had more race details to go over and the car to dismantle for cleaning and tuning up.

Emmett grinned at me as I walked back up. He must have said something to Alice because she was smiling too. Only, hers was a dreamier smile. She was blocking me from her true thoughts by projecting how good Jasper was going to look doing a little strip show in his pit uniform later on.

"Jesus, Alice. Can't you keep your thoughts to yourself?" Gross. Nice for Jazz, disturbing to think about. She was definitely hiding something.

Moving on to listen to my dad Carlisle and Rosalie discussing how the car was handling was more challenging, intellectually. I answered their questions and listened while Rosalie purred over how her car handled. Emmett picked right up on Rosalie's less than subtle queues. Nothing got her more revved up than the glory of how well her car performed, and Em used this to his advantage, scenes playing out about what he was going to do to her tonight.

Once again I realized how alone I had been feeling. They all were basically living out my addiction with me, just for the sake of company. I'd begun to feel like their pet project, a pet rock. I was never more grateful, because the alternative was unthinkable.

After we were done, we loaded up our equipment and the racecar into the back of the carrier. We left everything locked up and ready for the next day. Our racing logo was painted on the sides of the semi trailer. We were very proud of it. It was our Cullen family crest Carlisle had designed years ago.

My family headed back over to our hotel where we would regroup and go for a hunt several miles away in a preserve. Emmett was all jacked up and ready to be alone with Rosalie, his thoughts projected loud and clear. Jasper was looking especially antsy from being around all the sweaty humans, and with the waves of lust I was sure Emmett was giving off, he was in overdrive.

We all left our rooms and met up in the lobby before heading out. I hunted with Alice and Jasper, quickly took down a few of the local deer and disposed of the bodies.

Alice came up to me after having glutted herself. "You can go now Edward. It's safe, you won't hurt her."

Shaking my head at her I said, "I hope you're right, Alice." Knowing that I could trust in her visions helped me a great deal.

I should have known the little riddler would already know that, since I had already made up my mind to go in search of Isabella Swan. I needed to find out who this mysterious woman was who had the silkiest skin I'd ever seen, the most alluring eyes, and the sweetest blood I had ever smelled. Blood my demon wanted to murder her for.