Thanks to those who have added this story to their fave lists/alerts and written a review! Hope you enjoy this latest chapter :-)
By the end of the night TV crews were raving non-stop about Erin and her sharp driving skills beating the boys at their own game. She didn't see it as a big fuss but apparently everyone else was and it was making news. Eddie was not at all pleased with the outcome he needed to see if those other racers could not only out-do her but if they were able to extract her weaknesses but they failed to do so and it only infuriated him further. He wasn't helped with the arrival of Caleb, a man he had clashed with a lot through the years. Caleb lived far away from Olympic City and he had no business to be in the area, though Eddie didn't have the time to deal with his rival right at the moment so he got Mel to distract Caleb. Once the races were over and the TV cameras gone all the spectators and drivers moved on for the night, some would probably go back to rest in preparation for tomorrow night's racing while others might continue their own private racing and parties through to the morning. Erin had enough for the night she was tired, the racing was quite draining on her, mentally and physically even though she had racked in quite a bit of cash. Denan had to go back with the rest of Ed's team but she didn't mind she wasn't up for having anybody around at the moment with so many un-expected visitors turning up especially Jack. She wondered where he had gotten to now and if he was all right, whatever troubles he had managed to get into she just wished he'd find a solution. She drove her car into the parking lot shut off the engine and got out.
'Well hello again.'
Startled Erin whipped around quickly coming face-to-face with the man named Caleb; he had a smug smile on his face arms folded firmly across his chest leaning on his car a black jeep.
'What do you want?' she asked.
'We need to talk.' He remarked she huffed.
'No thanks. Whatever it is you have to say I'm not interested, I have no idea who you are and what it is you're doing and to be honest I don't care.' Erin said beginning to walk away.
'No even about your father?' he called out she stopped.
'What about my father?' she asked refusing to turnaround to look at him.
'He was a wanted man.'
Erin did turnaround she burrowed her eyebrows.
'A wanted man you say.'
'Yes. He wasn't as innocent as you may have thought about him. Think about it, the times he had you with him while he got people to break into banks late at night.' Caleb replied.
'How do you know about that?'
'It is irrelevant.' He said standing up straight Caleb opened the drivers' side of his jeep he glanced back at her.
'You should do a little research I think you'll find some interesting things.' He added, climbing in the door closed and the loud grunt of the jeep's engine echoed through the late night. She stared at the jeep until it finally went out of sight her head now lost in thought she remembered finding the notes sent to her parents and the crazy chase by the monster truck. She quickly hurried inside to her apartment dropping everything on the table she ran straight to her bedroom and pulled out the box tipped it over allowing all of its contents to spill to the floor. She got down on hands and knees rummaging through the pile of hand written notes and photographs stacking each one neatly, and when it was all sorted she scooped up each pile and placed it on the bed and kicking off her shoes she went back out of the bedroom to the kitchen Caleb's words kept circling around in her head she didn't know what she was going to find but his words did make her feel uneasy. After she made herself a drink and grabbed some snacks Erin returned to her room climbed onto the bed and got comfortable she looked through the photographs first; aside from the usual shots of family and friends she looked through photographs of her dad's shop and his time racing in the dessert of Las Vegas, with other racers he probably knew during his racing career. There were also shots of different shopping stores; banks, food outlets and even of the local car yards, like the one that was broken into recently and the cinema. Erin had been to all of those places with her father over the years both during the day and at night time when shopping time was over, she remembered sneaking into some of those shops bagging money and giving it to her dad, she had waited outside for him when he and other guys broke in they had ran-sacked so much money from these places; she was surprised they were still in operation. Erin moved onto the notes but before she could take a good look at them an A4-sized yellow envelope caught her attention. On the front cover the words: CONFIDENTIAL was written in black and turning it over she saw her dad's name and home address seeing no stamp on the front she assumed this had been delivered personally instead of being sent and the envelope was quite heavy she also noticed it was unsealed which she found odd for something so confidential but assumed her dad had read it a long time ago and thought nothing about it. She pulled out the thick layer of papers immediately noticing a typed letter at the front her eyes skimmed quickly over it her eyes widen. This was some sort of a informative letter sent to her father from a man named Shaun Warner, whom Erin realized was her mother's second husband, the one she had gone stayed with a few years ago in New York. Shaun never spoke much to her during her stay over there; he barely acknowledged her even though her mother had told him to try and be understanding; though Erin could remember him always intimidating her mother at times. She moved on past the first letter and flipped through the stack skim reading as she went, noting every few pages there was hand written words where some of the typed words has been crossed out and on some of the pages she noticed signed signatures' from her dad and Shaun. Erin didn't know what her step father did he had never elaborated his work whenever she was around her mother said it was important business and he was one of the best, pushing the thought aside she continued to flip through the pages it was becoming more and more obvious this had been some sort of a contract between the two men about something; she got to the last page her jaw dropped open and her eyes widen.
'What!' She cried.
Everything in Mr. Henderson's possession will be awarded to Mr. Warner if seen fit, and dependent on the circumstances of Mr. Henderson.
'What is that supposed to mean?' she asked. It didn't make sense, because if this was supposed to be the binding contract between them then she wondered why her father's shop got trashed in the first place. Wouldn't Shaun have, after Richard died; taken over the place and perhaps kept it running? Shaun had never spoken to her about her father's garage never brought the subject up with her mother as well.
Elsewhere Caleb drove his jeep into an undercover car park no other cars were around until he turned the corner and up the ramp and rounded another corner. He stopped his car in the middle of the parking lot cut off the engine leaving the door open he glanced sideways to the car in front of his own, a white Ford Falcon with tinted windows, after several minutes the passenger door opened; and a man dressed in a black business suit stepped out he straightened his jacket then adjusted the sunglasses on his nose and then turned around.
'So, what's the verdict?' he asked.
'Everything has been on track so far. Eddie has been doing his job.' Caleb answered.
'What about this girl. What is she up to?'
'Henderson's daughter is making a fair bit of noise around the place. Nobody really knows her deal and what she is up, though I have heard a few whispers of her wanting to re-open the business.' Caleb replied the man in the business suit shook his head.
'You had better make sure that does not happen. We will not have some kid running around ruining our trade. We have spent far too much time building it up, Henderson nearly wrecked it when he was alive and there is no way this kid of his is going to do the same.' He said.
'Relax; I've got it under control. I'll be returning to Bayview tomorrow and I'll keep monitoring this place from there.' Caleb said.
'Roger, he's been able to stay close with a cop here who's friend races with Eddie's team, or did from what I've been told.'
'Fine. You make sure everything stays exactly as it is, if one thing is so much as out of line it will be your head on the block. Remember that.' The businessman growled he still didn't look at all pleased with the current situation. A lot of money had been put into the street racing business when he struck up the partnership many years ago. It had brought him and his fellow board members a massive fortune however they were all very aware of just how precarious their position is all of the time, especially with racing bosses in charge in the biggest territories across the country. None of these racing bosses could really be trusted everyone had their own side agendas and this guy knew Caleb well enough to know he was usually up to something.
'If something unfolds you and the others need to be informed of I'll make sure you get it.' Caleb added. The businessman simply grunted in reply he opened the car door and slid in the car's engine roared to life and pulled away making it's way through the underground car park. Caleb just smirked to himself as he climbed into his own vehicle, he's waited a very long time for a small window of opportunity to make his move and it has appeared, he would still need to bide a little bit more time so as to avoid drawing any form of suspicion from the head bosses. He had grown tired of running things to their decisions and them gaining all of the monetary profits, it was about time he started raking in all that cash he was going to be his own boss and nobody else.
The next morning Erin drove back to the car dealership and when she arrived construction workers were already there beginning work on replacing the broken glass and fixing up other areas inside the store.
'Hello Erin.' Royce remarked.
'You're not surprised to see me,' she said he shook his head and stepping around a half empty carton box he moved closer to her.
'Not at all.'
'Well you're very much like your father. People liked him and got on well with him. He spent plenty of time here as you did when you were much younger.' Royce answered.
'Do you know what happened to him?' she asked.
'Only what people tell me. I'm not actually surprised by what had happened.' He said Erin frowned.
'If people liked him as you said then why would somebody want to have harmed him?'
'Richard did get a long with a lot of people, yes and I had heard nothing but god comments about him from my own customers. But, when you're in this type of business you won't always please the masses. There are some crude people out there Erin, and you can never tell the good from the bad. One minute they might seem like they are on your side and the next they turn on you when it suits them. The fact is your father came from a rally-racing background to some people that is the poor side of racing at least when compared to what is done on the streets.'
'He was a laughing stock to the racing folks around here but to his credit he never let what others thought, effect him and he worked extremely hard to earn their praise and respect. As I said it is difficult to please the masses and from what he told me years and years ago there was a group who never liked him. They always went to his place and demanded he pay them back, or pay somebody back he never elaborated this to me. Just said he had made some wrong decisions, and when he was struggling to get his business up and running as well as fight his way to fulltime track racing he needed to finance it. So he did I don't know who he met at the time or what the deal was but it worked in his favor.' Royce explained.
'So he was borrowing money from someone else and didn't pay them back?'
'I don't think so.'
'That doesn't make any sense though because he and some friends, or whoever they were, used to break in and rob the banks and shops around here. I assume the reason he was doing that was to pay back the money,' she answered.
'All he told me about those break-ins is it had to do with some elaborate plan he thought up. I didn't ask and he never spoke of the plan just said he hoped it would work and buy him more time.' Royce replied.
'By the way when the police came around to remove the tape they asked me about you.' He added Erin burrowed her eyebrows.
'What did they want?'
'Said they wanted to speak to you about street racing.' He added, one of the construction workers' called out to Royce he excused himself and went to deal with the worker. Erin rubbed her face she wasn't any closer to figuring things out it just got more and more confusing.
'Erin.' Royce called out she wandered over towards him stood near the front of the store.
'Think it's best for you to get a move on.'
She peered out around the corner seeing two police cars parked on the curb side she definitely didn't see them there before; one of the four police officers was circling around her car taking a close inspection while two officers spoke to passersby on the street and the fourth was talking to…. she couldn't believe it, Chad and Kurt were there as well, they appeared to be doing all the talking while the cop just nodded his head and made notes on a small notepad.
'Great.' Erin said Royce didn't say a word he motioned for her to follow him quickly they walked through the store past Royce's office to a side door no one would ever take notice off unless they looked for it. He removed the padlock pushed the door open a stair class lead down to the underground basement and when he switched on the lights Erin saw three Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution's in silver gray, metallic orange and red.
'They belong to my nephew he's still new to street racing, these cars are his favorite and were built especially for him but he has yet to use them in any race.' Royce explained he put his hand in his pants pocket fishing out one set of car keys dangling it in front of her.
'Oh. No, no I can't possibly take one of his cars'.' She answered.
'It is fine; he's not here at the moment anyway. When he realized just how serious the scene was here he knew he'd need to get practice in somewhere, where it is isn't quite as tense so he could hone his skills. I don't expect him to be back for another two or three weeks at least.'
Erin allowed him to place the keys in her hands he moved to the opposite wall and pressed a red button allowing the roller doors to operate.
'Best you get a move on then,' he said.
'Thanks. I'll make sure the car comes back before your nephew even notices it missing.' She said; she looked again at the three cars she opted to take the silver gray one, unlocking it she quickly jumped in didn't even take a moment to inspect the interior of the car and started up the engine. It sounded beautiful she held back a big grin and put the car into drive inching it forwards giving her enough space to turn it around and drive outside. She paused at the entrance of the basement rolling down the windows Royce leaned against the car.
'if you head down this road and at the end turn right you won't pass the front of the store so they won't see you.'
'You take care now and stay out of trouble.'
Royce stepped back and Erin drove own the side alley following his instructions; he closed the roller doors and made his way back upstairs, locking up the door leading there in time when the four police officers walked in.
'Mr. Major we'd like a word if you don't mind.' One officer said.
'Sure, if you please step into my office.' He said leading the way. Erin made the right turn onto the main road and joined up with the traffic; she didn't even notice a loan navy blue ford falcon parked on the curb two men dressed down in ordinary clothing sitting inside and had watched her drive past them.
'Is that the one?' the man in the driver's side asked his hands rested firmly on the steering wheel. His companion looked down at a small handful of black 'n' white photographs inspecting the images carefully, the car looked different but the person looked right.
'That is the one.' He confirmed. The man in the driver's seat started up the engine easing the car into the merged traffic.
'How do you expect to keep up with her?'
'I'm not there's another place I think we need to check out first.' The driver replied.
'The word I'm getting this, Henderson's daughter wants to re-open her father's business, something about continuing the work he started while she was a child. That is something we can't let happen.'
'Because he can't, he owned money a lot of money. After he got whatever it is he wanted in starting up that business he never paid a cent back he even set up some kind of scheme to avoid his debt. His business, being as successful as it was caused problems, other companies had no business he was taking all of it.' The driver explained.
'I know about Henderson and how he was a threat to the boss you know I'm not that stupid.'
'Then don't ask stupid questions.'
'I just fail to see how his daughter has anything to do with it. Her father' is dead so his debt no longer counts she should do whatever the she wants.'
'Look you just stick to doing what you do and don't bother getting involved in something you clearly do not understand.'
Denan was waiting for Erin in the parking lot at her apartment by the time she returned. He was leaned against his car arms folded his expression grim.
'What's wrong?' she asked, climbing out of the car he raised his eyebrows at her for a moment.
'Who did you wreck to get it?' he asked.
'Ha, funny and I didn't wreck anyone.' She said.
'You sure about that?'
'Yes. Now what is up you look worried.' She remarked.
'I don't know if you're aware of what has been going on these past few days but we've had the place scooped out by the local PD, there is talk of under cops lurking around as well, and I heard some racers talk about the possibility of FBI getting involved.' He said.
'And you think it has got something to do with me as always.' She answered too folding her arms.
'Well no but none of this has ever happened here until you arrived so what else am I going to think?' he asked she grunted.
'Well then isn't this just fantastic you come along and pretend to be all nice to me and now you think I'm hiding stuff and not telling you things because of some hidden agenda.' She replied Denan quickly put his hand up.
'Hang on I didn't-'
She interrupted him.
'You don't have to say it, I can tell from the way you speak to me and avoid me now and again and only coming to see me at a certain time. I'm not a total dud I'm aware of what is going. But it doesn't mean I know anything about it, I came here for a reason and that was for my dad's business so whatever else has conspired since I got here is out of my hands including my history.' She snapped giving him a glared look she strode quickly away from him towards the lift. Denan for a split second remained unmoved, that wasn't the way he had hoped for this conversation.
'Erin wait!' he called she ignored him pressed the button for the lift and even though she heard his footsteps getting closer she still refused to turnaround.
'Erin listen to me.' He said grabbing hold on her arm she pulled away.
'Don't bother all right your actions have said enough for you.' She added he went to speak again only to get interrupted by the loud blaring sirens of police cars and with hardly any time to react Erin and Denan found themselves cornered in. Three police cars drove into the parking lot their doors flung open with officers jumping out and edging their way over to the pair.
'Don't move!' one officer yelled.
'Hold up, hold up. You want to tell me what this is about?' Denan asked.
'Just keep your hands where I can see them.' The same officer said.
'We haven't done anything,' Erin added.
'You need to come with us.' The officer replied she frowned.
'Everything will be explained.' He added she didn't like the sound of it her past experiences with cops were never god even if no harm generally came to her.
'Look here I'm not going anywhere with you until someone tells me what is going on and why you're here. You guys were hardly any help to me when my father died aside from sending me off to live with my mother's new family.' She said.
'That is what we need to talk to you about Miss.' the officer answered Erin glanced at Denan he looked just as clueless.
'My mother's other family?'
'No. You and your father,' He said.
'We will if you come with us.'
She was hesitant to do so, part of her wanted to know what else she may have missed but at the same time the more she was finding out the more she wondered if her own life was just a lie.
'Fine.' She agreed reluctantly all of the police officers appeared to relax a little bit getting back into their cars and turning off the siren lights Erin and Denan followed the officer to his own vehicle climbing into the back seat with the door closed firmly Erin felt uneasy.