Ana swept her long brown hair up into a bun and secured it with the hair elastic she kept on her wrist around it. It was a swelteringly hot day. She wasn't sure why she'd even agreed to come to the track in the first place. It made her nervous. It made her jealous, and the jealousy made her more nervous. She hadn't anticipated missing racing, but as she wandered through the garage area that was exactly what she was doing. She missed sitting behind the wheel of her car. She missed accelerating from 0 to 200 miles per hour in mere seconds. She missed the smell of grease, motor oil and sweat. She missed it all and she really wasn't supposed to.
The garage area was alive with people. Mechanics were running around with tires and wrenches, shouting things to one another as they scurried from their trailers to their garage areas. She got a few curious looks. She'd been stopped a few times and asked for pictures or autographs, but most people were far too focused on what they were doing to care about the former racer turned movie star that was wandering around. She'd originally said she wasn't going to leave the Mach 5's pit area, but the sight of the car was almost too painful. She just couldn't look at it. She knew that it was pretty much a completely different car, but it still looked the same.
She stopped when she saw an unfamiliar yellow and black car with a 9 on the hood. The garage area was surprisingly empty, so she took a few steps in to get a closer look. The body design was very similar to her old car. The big difference was the color scheme. The Legacy was a beautiful car. It was kind of nice to see that someone had copied the body design she'd slaved over for weeks when she was fifteen. It was sleek and aerodynamic. Not to mention it was fairly pretty to look at. This version of the Legacy was far more masculine, but she could see where the inspiration had come from.
"What do you think?" a voice called out behind her, causing Ana to jump.
"It's beautiful," she said. "Reminds me of my old car."
"The Legacy was some of the inspiration behind it," Racer X said, coming to stand next to her.
"You remember my car?" she said, turning to look up at him.
"I saw you race," he said. "Quite a few times actually."
"Were you there?" she said. "I don't remember anyone in a mask."
"I wasn't wearing a mask back then," he said. "It was another lifetime."
"I know what you mean," she said, looking down at the pavement. "Speed must have told you that I was engaged to his brother."
"He mentioned that you had broken it off," he said.
"I was so mad at Rex when he told me he was going corporate," Ana said, crossing her arms over her chest. I blew up at him and called off the engagement before I even really knew what I was doing. I would take it back now, though. He died thinking that I didn't love him anymore."
"He knew," Racer X said, thankful his eyes were hidden behind the mirrored lenses of his goggles. "He knew that you loved him."
"You don't know what I said to him," she said. "I was… I would give anything to be able to go back and make it right. God, why am I telling you all of this? You could probably care less."
"It's okay," he said. "It sounds like something you've been carrying around for a while."
"Eight years," she said. "There's not a day that goes by where I don't miss him."
Racer X just hoped that she couldn't hear how hard his heart was pounding. Hearing her talk about how she still loved him, even though she didn't know who she was saying it to. It was probably his favorite dream, the one where she'd see behind the plastic surgery and tell him that she loved him not matter what. It was a recurring fantasy he had night after night, when he wasn't having nightmares about having to leave her behind at any rate.
"So why did you stop racing?" Racer X said after a pause.
"Rex died," Ana said, giving him a funny look.
"That didn't mean that you had to stop," he said.
"You try watching the love of your life crash and probably burn to death and then tell me that you don't have to stop," she said.
"Don't be," she said, brushing a lock of hair that had fallen forward out of her bun back behind her ear. "Like I said, it was another lifetime. Now I'm an actress. It's a good life."
"I've seen all of your movies," he said.
"Really?" she said, looking up at him. "You don't seem like the type to enjoy a nice cheesy chick flick."
"Maybe it's just the actress…"
"I don't date," she said. "At all. Ever."
"I wasn't asking..."
"You were flirting," she said. "And flirting generally leads to asking. Then the asking leads to me saying no. I was just skipping a couple steps."
"Rex would want you to be happy," he said after a pause.
"You throw around the name of my dead fiancée a lot for someone who never actually met him," she replied, turning on her heel and stalking out of the garage.
Racer X watched her storm off for a moment and then punched the wall and cursed. That was not how he'd imagined that conversation going. At least, that wasn't the ending he'd had planned. It was kind of nice to see that she was still as stubborn as ever. And still completely devoted to his memory. It would make it hard to get close to her again, though. He knew it was his own fault. That he should have told her what was going on when he'd left. He should have told her just why he needed to leave. But he didn't, and if she never let this new version of himself into her heart it was his own fault.
Ana wasn't sure why she was so angry. She knew that Racer X was just trying to help or be friendly or something. People just didn't understand. They didn't know what it was like to watch your whole world come crashing down around your shoulders. Everyone thought that it was supposed to be so easy to just pick up the pieces and move on with your life after something like that. The truth was there was no moving on. Or maybe she was just bad at it. It didn't matter to her either way.
She stared down at her sandaled feet as she wandered through the crowds. There was just something so unsettling about the masked man. Maybe it was because she couldn't really see his face so it was hard to use his body language to gauge what he really meant when he said things. Ana was so caught up in her thoughts that she didn't even realize she was about to walk into someone until she was pressed against the lapels of a brilliantly white suit jacket.
"I am so sorry," she said, backing away from the person. "I completely wasn't paying attention to where I was going."
"It is quite alright," a thickly accented voice said. "Why, what have we here? I should know those lovely lavender eyes anywhere. Miss Ana Larson, am I correct?"
Ana looked up into the darkest pair of eyes that she'd ever seen. The irises were such a deep shade of brown they almost looked black, like her coffee before she added the creamer. They were set in a narrow, rather angular face with a larger nose and full lips. She supposed that most people would call him handsome, but there was something about his mouth that she just didn't like.
"That would be me," she said, blushing faintly.
"Your movies are quite wonderful," the man said. "I've seen them all multiple times, and used to watch you race as well. It was such a shame when you retired."
"Thank you," Ana said. "Now, you know my name but I don't know yours."
"Ah," he said. "Please pardon my rudeness. I am Prince Daveen of Aljeristan. My country is hosting the Desert Sands 1000 race in a month."
"Oh," she said, her eyes widening. "Your.. highness…"
"Please," he said, raising his hand. "None of that. We are all friends here. Why don't you join me in my private box to enjoy today's festivities?"
Ana fiddled with the plain silver band that she wore on her right hand for a moment before answering. He certainly was polite. There was just something about him that made her feel uneasy. She didn't know what it was, but the wide smile on his face made her uncomfortable. Still, he was hosting a race in a month and her ties to the Racer family were well known. She didn't want any trouble to come to Speed because some guy gave her the creeps.
"That would be lovely," she said with a smile. "Lead the way."
Prince Daveen offered her his arm and Ana let her hand come to rest at the crook of his elbow. Suddenly it felt like a million eyes were on her. She was fairly used to people watching her. She was used to people covertly snapping pictures of her. She was even used to all-out gawking when she walked past. But, the whispers of the people around her were a little unnerving. She had a feeling Prince Daveen would have introduced himself no matter what, but she really wished she hadn't run into him. She had a feeling he was as scaly as the snakeskin boots he was wearing.
"So, Miss Larson," he said. "When can we be expecting another movie from you?"
"I'm not sure," she said, reaching up to fiddle with the silver locket around her neck. She'd put it on that morning on a whim. Rex had given it to her for her 16th birthday. She didn't wear it often, but something about being in him room made her want to. "I'm kind of in between projects at the moment. I have a few scripts to look at, but I'm not really thinking about it right now."
"Maybe you are thinking about returning to racing instead?" he said as a door was whisked open for them and Ana was hit with a cool blast of air conditioning.
"No," she said. "No, I'm not going back to racing."
"But you were so talented," he said, leading her over to a row of large leather chairs in front of a glass wall that looked down on the track.
"That part of my life is over," she said, taking a seat.
"Still," he said, snapping his fingers and a man immediately came over to give him an envelope. "It's a shame to let such a gift go to waste. When my country hosts the Desert Sands I would be honored if you would consider racing. This is an official royal invitation for the race. It will allow you to participate without having to qualify."
"Thank you," she said. "That's very kind of you. But like I said…"
"I know what you said, Miss Larson," he said with a cool smile, handing her the envelope. "But I also know that you are very close to the Racer family. I should hate for something to happen to Speed because there was no one on the track to protect him."
"Are you threatening me?" she said.
"Of course not," he said. "It was just a suggestion. Look, there's Speed on the track now. He certainly is talented. So much like his brother."
Ana looked down at the track and watched as Speed completed his warm-up lap. His driving style certainly was a lot like Rex's. Then again, Rex was the one who taught Speed to drive at the ripe old age of eight. It wasn't the surprising. She could feel the eyes of the man sitting next to her on her instead of what was happening on the track. Her eyes followed the Mach 5's progress around the track, but her mind was racing. She contemplated the weight of the envelope in her hands and everything it meant. She knew that rejecting the invitation would mean insulting the prince, and Prince Daveen did not seem like the kind of man who would take an insult well. And he could take it out on Speed. She couldn't bear it if the family she loved so much lost another son when she could prevent it.
"So will we have the pleasure of your attendance at the Desert Sands?" he asked after a long moment of silence.
"I'll think about it," she said and then took a deep breath.
"I look forward to it," he said, smiling. "And while you're there, maybe we will have the chance to get to know each other a little better."
"Speed, have you seen Ana?" Racer X asked, walking into the Mach 5's garage area.
The garage was mostly empty. The Mach 5 and the spare tires were all gone. Speed was standing with his back to the opening as he put tools away in the tool chests against the wall. Pops hated leaving anything behind in the garage. Everything but the tool chests always went back into the trailer before they left. It was a pain, but after everything Speed seen and experienced in the last year, he knew Pop's paranoia wasn't entirely unfounded.
"She took off a while ago," Speed said, turning around and wiping the sweat off his forehead. "She's probably around here somewhere. Why?"
"We just…" Racer X began, wishing he wasn't wearing the mask so he could run his fingers through his hair. "I just… I don't think I'm making a very good impression."
"Ana's a little hard to get to know," Speed said. "She's pretty guarded."
"I noticed," Racer X said. "She really hasn't dated anyone since your brother?"
"Not that I know of," Speed said.
"I don't think Rex is really gone for Ana," Speed said, grabbing a towel to wipe the grease off his hands. "She told Mom that she still has a lot of nightmares about it. I'm pretty sure she had one last night. She came downstairs at two in the morning looking like she'd just seen a ghost or something."
"All these years later?" Racer X said.
"Listen, Racer X," Speed said, running his fingers through his hair. "If you're going to chase after Ana, you're wasting your time. She's just…"
"Is it almost time to go, Speed?" Ana said, walking into the garage.
Racer X felt his mouth go dry at the sight of her. She'd looked gorgeous in her evening gown the night before, but her shorts were showing off her long toned legs and he could remember just how soft and smooth her skin was. He could remember all those nights he would pick her up when her parents were fighting and how in the morning they would wake up with tangled limbs and her head resting on his chest. The memory made his arms ache to hold her.
"Pops and Sparky are loading the Mach 5 on the trailer now," Speed said. "Where have you been all day?"
"I, um, was being entertained by a prince," she said, looking down at the cement floor.
"What?" Speed and Racer X said simultaneously.
"Yes," she said, looking up and her eyes darting back and forth between the two of them. "I met Prince Daveen of Aljeristan. He asked me to join him to watch the qualifying."
"And you said yes?" Racer X said.
"Well, I could hardly say no," she said. "He's a prince. And Aljeristan is hosting a race next month."
"How do you know that?" he said.
"I'm not completely out of the racing loop," she said, shooting him a dark look. "And he invited me to participate."
She held out the envelope to Speed. Racer X came over to stand next to him and looked curiously over Speed's shoulder as he lifted the envelope flap. Speed carefully removed the embossed piece of parchment paper and the two looked it over. Ana was right. It was an official royal invitation to participate in the Desert Sands 1000.
"Are you going to accept it?" Speed said.
"I don't want to," Ana said, crossing her arms over her chest.
"Why not?" Speed said.
"I don't race anymore, Speed," she said. "I haven't in a long time. I'm probably not any good at it anymore."
"You don't lose talent like that," Racer X said.
"I don't want to," she said again.
"But you haven't said that you won't," Speed said.
"Speed…" she said and then bit her lip. "Speed he… Prince Daveen insinuated that something would happen to you if I didn't."
"Ana," he said. "I don't want you to do anything you don't want to because of me."
"I'll think about it," she said after a pause. "It's not like I have to make a decision tomorrow or anything."
"Ana, you don't have to do this," Speed said.
"I said I would think about it," she replied.
"I think you should," Racer X said.
"What?" Speed said, giving him a puzzled look.
"The prince obviously wants Ana in the race for some reason," Racer X said. "And Inspector Detector and I have been following his actions closely over the last few years. We think he's involved with a slave trade that has been developing in the Middle East. Ana can gather information from him."
"Absolutely not," Speed said. "No. That's not happening."
"Speed," Ana said.
"No, Ana," he said. "You're not doing it. It's too dangerous."
"Speed, stop," she said. "I will think about it. I know it's dangerous. I just… I'll think about it. I'll give you both an answer at the end of the week."
"You could do a lot of good, Ana," Racer X said. "It could do you a lot of good."
"Stop talking to me like you know me," she said, glaring at him. "I'm going to go see if Pops and Sparky are ready to go."
"I think you were right," Speed said after Ana stormed off. "I don't think she likes you very much."
"You were with her again today," Minx said as he walked in the door.
"She was at the track today," Racer X said, stripping off his mask. "And she found me. I didn't seek her out."
The first thing he noticed was that the TV was on and one of the celebrity gossip shows was playing. The volume was off, but pictures of himself and Ana were being displayed on the screen. The cartoon hearts showed what the announcer was saying. Minx was sitting on the dark brown leather couch with her legs stretched out and feet resting on the coffee table. Her back was to him and he could see that she was angry by stiff way she was holding her shoulders and the bottle of wine sitting on the coffee table near her feet. Minx never drank. Only when she was angry. Usually only when she was angry with him.
"You know that you need to stay away from her," she said, taking a sip from the wine glass in her hand.
"I probably don't have a choice," he said, making his way back towards the bedroom to take off his fire suit. "Prince Daveen showed some interest in her today. He wants her in the Desert Sands next month."
"So you're going to be with her all the time," she said.
"Minx…" he said. "We've been trying to take down Daveen and his slave trade for years. This could be the opportunity."
"It could also be your opportunity to get back together with your old girlfriend," she said, taking another sip.
"She doesn't even know who I am," he said. "My face is different. My voice is different. She never has to know."
"She's a smart girl, X," she said. "She'll figure it out. All you'll have to do is touch her and she'll know. I saw the look on her face when you shook her hand last night."
"She's just another part of my past," he said.
"And now she's part of your present too."
He opened the bedroom door and stopped dead in his tracks. A large suitcase sat waiting on the bed. Her suitcase. She was leaving him. He couldn't blame her. He'd found Ana again only the night before and already he felt like his world had been turned upside down. He didn't want her to go. They'd been friends long before they'd ever considered being lovers. But he couldn't blame her.
"I'm gonna go," she said, leaning against the door frame behind him.
"I always knew there was someone else, X," she said. "I always knew she existed. I knew that you couldn't stay away from her. It was really just a matter of time."
"I didn't mean for this to happen," he said.
"You never mean for anything to happen," Minx said with a faint smile. "But I can't live like this anymore. Truth is, I'm in love with a man who never existed."
"What?" Racer X said.
"You play Racer X very well," she said, moving past him to lift the suitcase down off the bed. "So well I could fool myself sometimes and pretend that's who you really are. But you're not. I always knew that in your heart, you would never be anyone other than Rex Racer. And Rex Racer will never love anyone other than Ana Larson."
"You know I'm right, Rex," she said.
"I do love you," he said.
"But not like you love her," Minx said. "You'll never love anyone like you love her."
"You don't have to go," he said after a pause, running his fingers through his hair.
"We both know I do," she replied. "If I stick around I'm never going to get over you. I'll still help you and Inspector Detector. If you need me in Aljeristan I'll be there. But I can't be here. Not anymore."
"I'm sorry," Racer X said.
"I know," she said, patting his cheek softly. "My cab will be here any minute. I'm going to head down stairs. Take care of yourself, X."
He didn't try to stop her. He knew it was pointless. He knew she was right. He did still love Ana. He was never really going to love anyone but Ana. There was just something about her. Something he couldn't explain. Something he couldn't forget no matter how hard he tried. He listened to the click of her heels and the noise of the wheels on the suitcase as she rolled it down the hallway. He listened to the noise the door made when it shut firmly behind her. She was gone. She was really gone.
Somewhere inside of him, he knew that he should try to stop her. He should go after her and tell her that Ana was just a part of his past. But they would both know that it wasn't true. She would come back inside, maybe stay for a couple of days, but it would be obvious that his mind and heart were somewhere else. Instead he continued to strip off his fire suit and made his way into the bathroom. A long hot shower would help clear his head and make it a little easier to think straight.
He stood under the streaming water until longer after it ran cold. It hadn't provided any of the clarity that he was hoping for.
"Who's that?" Rex asked, watching the petite brunette with the pale lavender eyes walk down the crowded school hallway.
"That's Ana Larson," his friend Brian said. "She's new. I heard her parents have a ton of money. Her dad just got transferred here for work."
"She's hot," Rex said.
"She knows it," Brian replied. "Seriously, man, she's nothing but trouble."
"Have you even talked to her?"
"Jack did," Brian said. "He tried to get her to go to the movies with him and she shot him down before he could even get the words out of his mouth."
"Jack's an ass," Rex said. "And he probably tried to use on of his lame pickup lines."
He watched as she went over to her locker and quickly spun in the combination. Mary Beth Carson was leaning against the locker next to hers just chattering away. Rex could plainly see the boredom on her face. Mary Beth had to be one of the shallowest gossips that Rex had ever known. She'd been in his class since kindergarten and he'd never been able to stand her. He liked that the new girl, Ana, didn't seem to like her either.
"I'm gonna try to talk to her," he said, watching her grab her books and then slam her locker shut.
"It's your funeral," Brian shrugged. "She's walking away. Are you going to try now?"
"No," Rex said. "Not now. Today though. Maybe after school. She usually has to wait around for a while for her ride. I'll talk to her then."
"Do you like this girl or are you stalking her?" Brian asked.
"I'm not stalking her," Rex said. "She's just kind of hard not to notice."
"With an ass like that, I would say so," Brian said, watching as Ana walked farther away from them.
"No," Rex said, shooting his friend a dark look. "Her eyes. They're like, purple or something."
"I hadn't noticed," Brian shrugged.
Rex kept an eye out for Ana all day, but didn't see her again until that afternoon after school was over. She was sitting on the edge of one of the large brick planters outside of the school with a book open on her lap. He watched her for a couple of minutes. It looked like she was a quick reader. She turned the pages far more often than he would. He took a couple of deep breaths before finally going over to talk to her.
"Hi," he said, willing his voice not to crack. "I'm Rex. Rex Racer."
She sighed a little to herself, and he was afraid for a moment that she was going to ignore him. Slowly though she folded down the corner of the page she was on and shut her book. She looked up at him and he got a closer look at her eyes. They really were stunning. Probably the most beautiful pair of eyes that he'd ever seen.
"Ana," she said after a long pause. "Ana Larson."
"You're new, right?"
"I'm pretty sure you already know that," she said. "I saw you and your friend talking in the hallways earlier."
"You noticed me," he said, grinning.
"Your friend was kind of loud," she said, slipping her finger into her book.
"Sorry about that," he said, his face coloring as he looked down at the ground and rubbed the back of his neck.
"I'm kind of used to it by now," Ana said. "I take it that you don't get a lot of new kids around here."
"Not really," Rex said. "Not like you anyway."
"What's that supposed to mean?" she said.
"Why are you so defensive?" he asked.
"Don't you know that it's rude to answer a question with a question?"
"You did it too," he said.
"Rex!" a young voice called. "Come on! Mom made cookies!"
"That's my ride," Rex said, turning to look at the car where his dark haired younger brother was practically hanging out the window and his mother was scolding him from the front seat. "Do you see your ride coming?"
"No one will be here for a while," she said, reopening her book.
"Would you like a ride?"
"Do you want a ride home?" he repeated.
"Would your mom mind?"
"What did you just say about answering questions with questions?" he teased.
"I don't want to be any trouble," she said, her eyes shifting between the car and him.
"I have a feeling you're nothing but trouble, Ana Larson," he said, grinning and holding out his hand to help her down off the planter. "But come on. My mom will love you. She won't mind at all."
Ana slipped the book in her bag and then put her hand in his. He helped her down off the planter, but didn't let go of her hand as he lead her towards the car. He could feel her eyes on the side of his face. She was probably wondering what the heck he wanted from her. But if the way his palm was tingling was any indication, all he wanted to do was hold her hand. And maybe get his mom to take her home every day. At least until he got his license at any rate.
"I thought I might find you here," Racer X said and watched as Ana turned around to glare at him. "I know. I know. Stop talking like I know you."
She was sitting on the low white brick wall that bordered the pit area. Her hair was pulled back in a French braid like she always did if she took a shower right before bed. She'd obviously snuck out of the Racer house and had come to Go Team's practice track on her own. She hadn't even changed out of her pajamas. She had on a pair of black and white plaid pajama pants and a hoodie that she'd stolen from him years before. He'd always thought it looked better on her. That hadn't changed over the years.
"Have a lot on your mind?" he asked, walking towards her.
"You could say that," she said, fiddling with the end of her braid.
"Want to talk about it?" he said.
"With you?" she said as he took a seat on the wall next to her. "Not particularly."
"Who would you rather talk to?" he said.
"Rex," she replied with a heavy sigh. "But we both know that's impossible."
"What would you say if he was here?" he asked.
"I'd ask him what I should do," Ana said, looking over at Racer X as she brought her knees up to her chest and rested her chin on them. "I stood over his grave and I promised him that I would stop racing. That I would never sit behind the wheel of a race car ever again. Because he couldn't anymore. And racing just wasn't the same without him. But now Speed is going to be in danger if I don't race. And Rex would do anything to keep Speed safe. Even if it meant breaking a promise."
"Sounds like you've made your decision," Racer X said.
"I knew what I was going to do the minute Prince Daveen said something," she said. "It doesn't mean I want to. I just could never put Speed in danger. He's like my kid brother. And I could never let Mom and Pops lose another son. Not when I could do something about it. They both mean too much to me."
"You know," he said after a pause. "He probably never would have wanted you to quit in the first place… I know. Stop talking like I know you. Or like I knew him."
"You're probably right," she said, looking out over the dark, quiet track. "He would have killed me for quitting. And I wasn't going to right away. I was going to keep racing. Make all of both of our dreams come true. Then I got behind the wheel of my car for the first time after his accident. I went to flip the ignition switch and I just couldn't do it. I had this massive panic attack and was actually hospitalized for a couple of days… What is it about you that makes me spill my guts every time we talk without even thinking about it?"
"Maybe I remind you of someone," he said, and then immediately started to mentally kick himself. She couldn't know who he really was. It could ruin everything.
"Maybe," she said.
"Your car is here, right?" Racer X said after a pause, standing up.
"Yeah," she said. "Garage three. It's been there for eight years."
"Do you have the key with you?" he said, helping her to her feet.
"Yeah," Ana said, reaching down under her sweatshirt and pulling a tattered pale lavender ribbon over her head. "I usually have it on me. It was just such a habit before… Well… You know…"
"Come on," he said, wrapping his hand around hers and pulling her towards the garage area.
"What are you doing?" she said, trying to tug away from his grip.
"Getting you back behind the wheel of a race car," he said, grinning at her.
"Right now?" she said. "Can't it wait till morning?"
"There's no time like the present," he said.
Ana gave him a dubious look as they stopped in front of the garage her car was parked in. It had been eight years since the last time she'd seen The Legacy. She toyed with the garage key in her hand for a moment before bending down and sticking it in the lock. Unconsciously she held her breath as she slowly raised the garage door and looked inside.
Everything looked exactly as it had eight years before when she'd locked the door for the last time. Plus dust. Plus a lot of dust. She choked as she stepped inside and reached for the light switch. At least the dust cover was on The Legacy and the car itself wouldn't be coated in the stuff. She watched as Racer X went over to it and yanked the black cover off. And there it was. Her car. She went over to it and let her fingers trail slowly over the hood. The car hadn't aged a day. It still looked exactly like it had the day she'd locked the door of the garage, for what she'd thought would be forever.
"You want to take her for a spin?" Racer X said.
"She probably doesn't even run anymore," Ana said.
"You really think Pops didn't take care of her over the years?"
"Look at this place," she said. "It's kind of obvious no one's been in here. Look at all of the dust."
"I said he took care of the car," he said. "Not the housekeeping. And you'll never know if you don't try."
"I can't do this," she said, shaking her head and backing away. "I just can't. Please don't make me."
He could hear the tears in her voice and immediately made his way over to her. She went willingly into his arms. Her head tucked perfectly under her chin just like it had all those years ago. He couldn't feel her tears through the material of his racing suit, but he knew she was crying from the quiet gasps and sniffles. He rubbed her back soothingly as she cried, her palms open against his chest. He could feel the heat of her touch through the leather, but tried more to focus on comforting her. Getting her to race again was going to be a lot harder than he'd originally anticipated.
A/N: I'm sorry that it took so long for me to post the next chapter. Ending this one was kind of hard for some reason. I don't think this is going to be a very long story. But it's definitely fun to write. I hope you all enjoy it and review. I, like most authors, enjoy reviews. They help me write faster.