I pulled my hat down farther as I walked behind Martin and Josh as they talked. To say I felt a little weird walking around Auburn University's campus headed toward the freshman dorms was a understatement. Not so much weird as I was a pedophile and these people were closer to my sister Taylor's age than mine.
"Martin do you know even where you are going." It felt like we were walking in circles around the same huge oak trees.
"Yeah I think. I am going off directions that hot girl gave me last night." he had a napkin that smelled as rank as he breath did last night after we had spent time over with the guys in Troy. Martin was the one getting plastered and entertaining us all.
"Hey she is hot ask her." Josh pointed to a blonde headed girl walking with a group of other girls. All of the talking and laughing.
"Um do you know how to get here." Josh asked walking off leaving us standing behind as he wanted to show there wasn't a chance of him losing his ability throw his game. The blonde girl smiled and took out a pen writing more directions down. I watched as Josh asked her probably for her number and she just smiled and shook her head then headed back off with her group of friends. One of them looking back catching my eye. She just gave a sweet smile and turned back around picking up in the laughter of her friends.
"Get shot down." Martin quipped as Josh shoved the napkin his hand.
"So where do we go to now." I kicked the the rock around with my muddy converse shoes that looked over fifty years old.
"Sorority row." the guys both high fived.
"Hey I really don't feel like walking that far plus dude Martin the chick is a "black hole" girl." I scratched my long hair as we stood there.
"Well that means I don't have to try to hard. Plus man she is straight worth it cause of her hotness." he smiled hitting my shoulder.
"Yeah man. Dude I bet she has friends wait I know she has friends for us." Josh added his two cents in.
"Just beep me when you are done."
"Alright it might be awhile."
"Whatever Man." I laughed as I turned and headed back towards were I thought the car was. I decided to cut through a building catching the door right behind someone. Before I knew I felt someone run into me.
"Oh I am sorry." I caught the arm of the person as the quickly apologized.
"It was nothing don't worry about it." When they looked up I knew that face it was the girl from earlier. Her hair was pulled back in a ponytail and the curls that feel out were sweaty on her neck. My eyes scanned her as she looked down her long legs hanging from a pair of athletic shorts and a t-shirt that was to big for her frame. When she looked up at me I was floored by her beautiful eyes. They were a light blue almost clear near the center then deep blue towards the edges.
"Addie" She turned around looking towards the voice of the blonde girl from earlier. I watched as she held up her hand then turned back to me. It was like there was a pull between our bodies that wouldn't let either of us turn away. I reached my hand out to her as we stood there.
"Dale Earnhardt Junior." she let out a small laugh as we shook hands.
"Addie Hughes." her hand was so soft and her long nails brushed over my wrist.
"It is nice to meet you Dale. " she smiled moving the book bag on her shoulder. Before I could answer my Nextel beeped. I went to grab it when I did she waved and walked out toward her friends.
"Junior where you at man." Josh's voice boomed through phone as I started walking again.
"I am coming out of some building." I slide on my sunglasses as I walked out the door.
"Hey I see you." I looked up and saw Martin waving as he walked like a idiot. I just clicked my phone shut as they walked up.
"Crystal his eyes. I can't explain it I mean." I was sitting under one of the many huge oak tress on campus in back of the student center with a lose for words as I tried to get my brain back from being mush.
"I just can't believe you of all people met Dale Earnhardt Jr and didn't like scream or jump up and down."
"Well thanks Katy for that comment." I tossed the sweet gum ball I was playing with at her causing us all to laugh.
"Hey Addie look over your shoulder." I turned my head to see him standing with his hands in his jean pockets. I could finally check him out from the top of his FSU hat to his old worn out all-star converses.
"Go ask him and his friends to come out to eat with us." Katy suggested as I just stared off at him.
"I can't do that."
"Why not." Crystal said standing up wiping off her shorts from the grass.
"Yeah why not plus one of his friends is cute." Katy said motioning to one of his friends as they walked up to him.
"Do it Addie." with a swift push from the girls I was walking up the sidewalk as I neared he spotted me smiling making my nerves ease a little.
"Hey." he said loudly as I walked up. I had to remind myself to breath and look up and not stare at the now interesting cement.
"Hey I was just wondering if you and your friends would like to come out and eat with me and my friends." Wooo I got that out all in one breath almost all in one word. I instantly stared back down at my feet feeling my cheeks turn red as I waited for his answer it felt like a lifetime as I stood there.
"Sounds good to me." I looked up instantly at him and saw his friends nodding and answering in agreement.
"Awesome." I felt like running, jumping doing anything to get the excitement out of my body.
"Um is your hot friend coming. Oh by the way I am Josh." the slightly chunky guy asked me as we began walking toward the tree I had been camped out earlier on.
"Addie Hughes." I answered back over my shoulder as we got to my friends.
"Guys these are my friends Katy and Crystal." they all exchanged introductions.
"So we going to Toomer's" Crystal ask moving out of the gaze of Josh. Me and Katy both nodded. As we began walking Katy ended up talking to Martin and to much of Josh's delight Crystal and him were in a conversation. Dale and I feel into step beside each other as the wind blew gently making the large oaks drop some leaves.
"I know who you are." I just blurted out for no reason as we walked. I felt like crawling into a hole as soon as the words left my mouth. He just chuckled.
"I was pretty sure you did. Most people down here do." he smiled his white teeth gleaming.
"I just felt like I need to tell you that and that you are my favorite driver." I just needed to stop talking.
"I knew I liked you for a reason. So I am your favorite driver." all I could do was nod and find interest anywhere but looking at him. Why was I so nervous around him it was like being in middle school again. The conversation came to a stop as we walked around the corner heading into the famous local restaurant on Tommer's Corner.
"So wait you are saying that when y'all win a football game you toilet paper this whole tree and corner." I laughed at his face as we stood under the tree both holding our drinks and deli sandwich's.
"Yeah then the next day everyone comes and get a glass of the famous lemonade."
"Is that what you have." he pointed to my cup.
"Yeah try some of it." I held up my cup as he took a sip.
"I might just have to come down here for a game." We both sat down at the little patio table. The girls sitting each at different small tables around us his friends joining them both. We were close enough to talk as a group.
"You need to call me Junior." I looked up from my bag of chips as he bite into his sandwich.
"Okay." it was like he had read my mind as I struggled with what was approbate to call him since we just met. We all ate and talked laughed mostly telling weird stories on each other from the past. Junior waited on me by the corner as I was the last one to throw away my trash. I was struggling with my book bag trying to get my hooded sweatshirt out as the breeze had picked up.
"Here let me help you." Junior held my book bag in his hand as I slide on the sweatshirt. My workout clothes not serving that great in being warm.
"Thanks." as we walked in silence as the sun started to set I knew for some reason this was right meeting him almost as it was meant to be. I got to the parking lot where all of our cars were parked ironically the guys had parked one row in front of where all of us had parked. As the guys loaded up and my friends headed out both of them coming over to my apartment for a debriefing of the guys it left me and Junior standing there at my Honda Civic. This time he was the one that was staring at the ground.
"Addie can I have your number."
"My number." I stuttered out as he looked up and smiled
"Yeah. If that is okay." Was it okay. Did he even have to ask if it was okay. It was more than okay.
"It is fine." we just stood there looking at each other smiling and nodding.
"So your number." he broke the trance as I had to almost shake my head to get my brain to clear.
"My number yeah right. It is 429-1010." I read out to him as he typed it into his phone.
"Bye." I shut my car door as he walked off. When I looked up to pull out of the parking spot we shared a brief wave. The 15 minute drive to my apartment was almost as I was in a twilight zone. Thankfully I made it there. Crystal and Katy's cars already parked in front of the little cabin apartment I had on the back of campus. It was nice and cozy. With a good size's living room and kitchen,bathroom and one bedroom. I had been lucky to land it.
"Spill the beans Addie" Katy asked as soon as I walked in. I fell back against my soft fluffy sofa.
"Aww she has that dreamy look." Crystal tossed the pillow next to her at me as I just laughed at her statement.
"There is nothing to spill guys." I laughed tossing the pillow back at Crystal.
"Did you get his number." Katy asked as she bit into her apple.
"Nope he got mine."
"Woo" they both squealed high fiving each other.
"That doesn't mean he is going to call though. Plus come on it is Dale Earnhardt Jr. He could have anyone he wanted you know.
"Well he supposedly painfully shy." Crystal matter of factly stated. As she sat down on the other end of my couch.
"How do you know this." I looked at her like she had grown 3 heads. She was one of the girls that would never watch Nascar. She was more of a Cosmo girl and Sakks Fifth Avenue kind of person.
"Nascar Illustrated I read it one day when I had to wait at the mechanic's." She said haughtily as she brushed back her long blonde hair.
"Like I said I seriously doubt anything will happen out of this. I mean come on do I look like supermodel." I stood up turning around.
"Nope." they both said at the same time.
"Wow guys thanks." we all started to laugh and toss pillows at each other.
"You going to call her." Martin asked from his spot laid across my coach couch.
"I don't know. I know she is fan so I mean she could have been cool today then go psycho on me." I reached over taking the video game controllers down and tossing one to Martin and Josh.
"Ha ha true but then again she could still be cool someone to hang with when you we come back plus her friend is hot." Josh said laughingly as he propped back against the foot of the couch.
"Josh you just want her friend. Thanks for being such a friend and worrying about my safety."
"I do my best." he said seriously starting the racing game.
"I am going to call her." Both Martin and Josh just nodding as they started racing hard against each other. I grabbed my phone and walked back into the back closing the makeshift door. I scanned down my phone list Addie being second on the list I hit the send button and heard the tone of the dialing the phone ringing soon.
"Okay the western movement." I sighed out as I laid across my living room floor cramming for a history exam.
"Where people moved west." Katy stated
"You think" Crystal fired back jokingly
"I need more pizza." I rolled off the floor laughing. I was just sliding a piece on to my plate as my cell phone started ringing.
"Hey who is that." I yelled on my way into the room.
"The id says unknown." Katy handed me the phone as I sat my pizza down on the coffee table and flipped open my phone answering the unclaimed number.
"Can I speak to Addie."
"This is she."
"Hey this is Junior." my eyes nearly rolled into the back of my head as I heard the mystery man with the southern accent identify himself.
"Oh Hey. How are you."
"Good...Good. I was just wondering tomorrow night would you like to go out." OH MY GOD. I instantly stood up at his question causing Katy and Crystal to look at me both mouthing what. I had to pull it back before I screamed yes into the phone.
"That sounds nice."
"Good then it is plan. Say about 7 I can come and get you."
"Yeah sounds good." I couldn't contain my happy dance as I started to dance around the room still on the phone with him.
"Okay then I guess I will see you tomorrow then." his voice brought me back to the phone call.
"Yeah." was all I could say.
"Oh Yeah I need directions on how to get to you."
"Oh directions okay..." My mind went blank as I struggled for what seemed like minutes but was only a few seconds.
"Wait just give me your address and I can get them."
"Okay it is 1825 Wire Road." that wasn't to hard to remember.
"Okay I will see you at 7 tomorrow."
"OH MY GOD THAT WAS HIM." I started to yell as I danced around again this time going crazier.
"Him who." Crystal asked as I stopped giving her a look of who else would I get excited about.
"JUNIOR. DALE EARNHARDT JUNIOR."
"No way." Katy stuttered back.
"Way" I nodded at her
"What did he want." Crystal said beginning to jump up and down with me as I grabbed her hand.
"I have a date with him tomorrow at 7." my voice was sing-songy as the girls jumped up and down with me.
"HOLY CRAP." Katy yelled as we all stopped in the middle of my living room.
"Dude does he know how to get here." Crystal asked as her and Katy sat down on the couch.
"He said he could find out. I guess by map quest. I wonder how long the trip is?" I sat down the excitement tiring me out.
"Well lets look." Katy opened up her laptop and started looking up things. I headed in to the he kitchen getting a drink before I could finish my forgotten pizza.
"Addie he is coming almost 3 hours down here." Katy said loudly back as I popped open a can of Diet Coke.
"No way it doesn't take that long to get from Talladega." I bit into my cold pizza looking over here shoulder to see where she saw the time.
"Look right here." I looked at the estimated time that was given 3 hours and 23 minutes.
"Looks like our Addie is pretty important for Racer Boy to come all this way to take her out." Crystal said patting me on the shoulder.
"Don't we have history to study." I tried to change the subject but failing miserably as both of the girls looked at me and shook there heads.
"Girl we have to figure out what you are going to wear for your hot date with Racer Boy." I just followed the Crystal and Katie into my room as they attacked my closet finding a outfit in a couple minutes.
"A skirt." I whined from my spot on the bed.
"Yes a skirt." the hung my black skirt up and adding a new shirt I had yet to wear by it.
"You don't think this is to much." I looked at the ensemble as it hung on my closet door. They both shook there heads. What was I getting into tomorrow. I mean this was a date with Dale Junior.
"So how many hours until the Junior countdown." Katy asked as I sat down with my government book trying to catch up on the reading for next week.
"About 3 hours." My attention totally off the government book and on qualifying as Speed Channel played loudly in the living room.
"You nervous." she laughed over the phone at her own question.
"Yeah terrified. I mean I can just see myself doing something dorky." I played with the ends of the pages as I watched Elliott Sadler get interviewed.
"Yeah knowing you." she scuffed back.
"God Katy I feel the support."
"Well I called to tell you don't forget your pedicure at 5:30 okay."
"I will be there." As I hung up Junior came out on the track taking a lap. I glanced at the clock there was no way he could leave and make it down here by 7 no way. My doubts started coming as my excitement and nervousness grew. I slided on some basketball shorts and a t-shirt heading to the gym to try to relieve some stress before I popped a artier.
I was annoying my own self as I kept watching the clock on the mantle as the second-handed ticked away. It was now 6:55 five seconds since I looked last. I brushed at the hem of my skirt as I sat down on the couch. There was nothing I could do to keep myself occupied. I made it to the gym just to walk in then back out it wasn't where I wanted to be the nail salon wasn't where I wanted to be either. I mean come one if the date goes to talking about my feet then it is already shot. Music that is what I needed music. I flipped through the stack of Cd's on my entertainment center. I slided in Warren Haynes thick bluesy CD as my favorite song began to play there was a knock at the door. I glanced back at the clock 6:58. I had to breath or I was going to fall straight out into the floor. My hand touched the cool knob to my front door as I twisted it open. The glass door was the only layer left between me and my date.
"Hey." so much for a in depth conversation.
"Come on in. I just need to get my purse." I held open the door as he walked. As he walked by I could smell his cologne and noticed his shaggy hair was tamed to the best of its ability. He had on dark jeans and a long sleeve shirt that was buttoned up with the sleeves rolled up.
"Nice place you got." he stood in the middle of my living room looking around hands shoved in his pockets.
"Thanks. I really like it alot. It is nice and quite out here plus the fireplace." I motioned over to it as I turned off the stereo system and walked up beside him.
"You ready." He asked gently smiling. The nervousness left as he smiled it was like instant comfort.
"Yeah." I walked out behind him locking up and turning the small porch light on. When I walked down the 2 little steps to the sidewalk all I saw was my Honda sitting out there.
"I guess we are taking my car." I laughed as I heard him let out a nervous chuckle.
"Yeah my Pr guy flew down with me and took the rental we had. I told him it wasn't going to fly having a shadow on the first date." I just smiled and tossed my car keys at him catching him off guard as he caught them close to his chest. I saw the front headlights blink as he hit the unlock button and opened the passenger side door for me.
"Thank You." He just nodded and got into the driver side. Of all the times of having to take my car it was tonight. With gym shoes in the back all my stuff for classes. The rolling closet in the backseat everything was loaded into it.
"Sorry about the mess. I am always going all the time. I have my life in here." I could feel myself start to go into a babble of mindless information.
"It is not a problem." I watched him pull out of my driveway and head past the college and into downtown Auburn. It was like he knew directly where he was going. I just watched as the scenes went by as we rode in silence. I clicked the radio on to avoid some of the uncomfortableness. As the radio chimed in there station identification I glanced over at Junior as he did the same us both catching the other's eye. I felt my cheeks warm up he knew I was looking at him.
"I like this song." we both said at the same time causing the tension to break again as we both laughed. I watched his strong hand bump up the volume dial then look over to see if I would object instead I bumped it up a little louder as Keith Urban's voice filled the small Civic. I tapped my fingers along to the tune as he drummed his along the steering wheel lightly. As the song ended we both reached at the same time to turn down the volume. Our hands brushing lightly. Before we could do anything else we were at the restaurant.
"I have never been here before." I looked out the windshield as he turn off the ignition.
"Well it is suppose to be the best." The fancy sign covered in ivy said the Terra Cotta Cafe'. He opened the car door for me then then the resturant door as we walked. I heard him talk and say his name for reservations soon we were lead back into the candle lit restaurant with soft live piano music playing. The vibe was very romantic and soft.
"How did you do all this." I was amazed he had found something this nice and got reservations. I was amazed at just him at the moment.
"The Internet is a wonderful thing." he said smiling as or waiter laid down menu's in front of us. We both were silent scanning the menu and deciding on what to eat. After we place our order's all that was left was for us to talk.
"Addie." I nearly melted into the fancy chair as he said my name after taking a drink of his tea. I looked up meeting his eyes. The pretty blue eyes that set off his reddish hair.
"Tell me about you." he smiled sitting back against his chair. I took a deep breath and looked at him almost hoping someone with cue cards would appear from behind him reading off my life and what was worth telling.
"Let see. I am from a Waverly, Alabama which is a stoplight and maybe a dollar store. I went to Troy State for a year then came over here. You have already met my best friends Crystal and Katy. I have a older brother Tyler who is also my best friend and my sport watching buddy." that caused him to chuckle.
"You are really close to your brother." he asked his tamed shaggy hair starting to become wild.
"Yeah my dad left when I was young and Tyler was from another relationship but at that time he was the only one who understood anything I felt so we both got instantly close and he is someone I will always trust and respect."
"Sounds like me and my sister. I would do anything for her." he smiled as talked about his sister.
"Same here." the waiter sat down our salads. I just looked down at the cur-ton filled bowl. I couldn't pick them off. I looked over at Junior as he started pushing around his salad.
"I hate cucumbers." he mumbled as he looked down looking for a way to not get salad dressing on them.
"I love cucumbers but hate cur-tons."
"I will take you cur-tons if you take my cucumbers"
"Deal" we traded our respected food items with the other. Both satisfied with end result.
"Now it is your turn. I want to know about you. The real you." I asked as I poured dressing over my salad and pinched a piece of bread off.
"The Real Me."
"Yep the real you." I smiled back at him.
"The real me. I rather stay at home then go out a lot of the time. I eat dinner with my mom at least twice a week. My sister Kelley probably is the one person I know that I can always go to. I like cartoons and I have a dog. That is pretty much me in a nutshell." I had to laugh as he nodded his head as if he was making sure it was right with himself.
"Okay so it is my turn again." He smirked as I braced for his next question.
"What do you want to do with the rest of your life. Career wise."
"Oh that is easy. Be a high school history teacher. Not to exciting but I have always wanted to be a teacher. Plus I love kids at any age."
"I hated school. Thought more about girl and cars then what I needed to learn." he laughed.
"So my turn." he nodded as the waiter brought our main course.
"What do you want to do with rest of your life."
"Honestly I have no idea. I could race forever or be a car owner. But some days being a bum sounds really nice."
"Being a bum has some good benefits."
"That is does and after a long week the idea gets better and better." The conversation continued strong as we ate. Laughter filling most of it as the comfort level grew. We both ordered desert not wanting the conversation to end.
"Is there anything in your life that your regret." He asked me as I pushed around my key-lime pie to full to eat it.
"I don't regret anything I have done in my life. I think there are situations I could have handled myself better in but I try to live my life right and keep my head on straight and my faith strong." There it wasn't so hard to say that word faith.
"Your faith." of course then again he had to press the issue.
"Yeah." I answered sheepishly
"So tell me about your faith your beliefs what makes Addie Hughes tick in her brain."
"You sure." he nodded as he took a bit of his pie.
"Well lets see. I believe in the basic baptist ideal's. I don't do alot of what normal college kids do. I don't drink, smoke things of that nature. I hold real high morals for myself and things I know I only want to share with one other person. I always want to be able to walk around with my head high and my reputation clean. I try to surround myself with good people and think I have. Living right causes a whole lot less drama and unhappiness." I didn't want to look at him to see his reaction. When I did look up he just smiled. I couldn't gage his face or his thoughts. It felt like hours before he spoke again. I was waiting for that "Well I need to go" speech or the other blow off words.
"You look scared." I just turned my head at him then got what he meant.
"Most people get scared off right after I tell them what I just told you." he just laughed again.
"I don't get scared easily." All I could do was blush at how genuine his words sounded and were. Through our exchange he had paid for dinner and was now standing up.
"So you ready for a movie." He asked as I stood up beside him as he lead me out of the restaurant.
"A movie." I looked over my shoulder at him.
"Yeah the night is young." he opened the car door again and we drove listening to the radio to the theater.
"So what do you want to see." He asked as he stood behind me as we looked at the digital screen into lobby.
"You pick. I can watch anything." we stood in silence a moment. When I felt his hand on my shoulder as he reached over and got two tickets. I totally missed any words in the exchange as I felt his touch for the first time.
"The Forgotten is to your left D-10" I heard Junior exchange a thank you then led the way to the theater. We had made it just in time before the lights dimmed gathering 2 seats in the middle section of the stadium seats. Our arms brushing as the movie began with us sharing a arm rest. I was caught up in the movie when I felt Junior move beside me. I glanced over to see him focused on the screen. When I turned back I felt his arm move. Then his fingertips brushing my palm and his hand sliding into mine his fingers intertwining with mine moments later. I looked back over at him meeting his smile with mine. When the move end we both walked out holding the other's hand as we entered the car I laid my hands back on my lap with the short 15 minute drive back to my house. Junior excused himself to make a phone call. By the time we got home there was another car parked on the side of my street. Junior waved as he pulled into my driveway walking me up to my door. The small porch light flickering with our movements.
"I had a really great time." I looked up at his now tired blue eyes.
"I did to. What are you doing tomorrow." Was he asking me out again. Please god let that be.
"Nothing other than watching the Auburn Tennessee game." I slide my foot out of the heeled sandals I had on my bare feet standing on the cool concert.
"You a football fan." he asked questioningly.
"Yeah huge." I held my hands out to exaggerate my point.
"How about you come to the track tomorrow and we can watch the game and we can hang out some more."
"That sounds really nice."
"Yeah. You know how to get to the track." I just nodded as he asked.
"How about I will call you tomorrow or later on today and tell you what to do when you get to the track." he joked as he looked at his watch.
"Okay." We just stood there his hands in his pockets mine in my own jacket pockets.
"Talk to you tomorrow."
"Yep. Talk to you tomorrow." how were we going to end this.
"Goodnight." I unlocked my front door as he walked back to the car waiting on him as the door. I instantly started floating on Cloud 8 not Cloud 9
"Hello" I threw the comforter over my head as I squint my eyes open enough to see the clock reading 9 o'clock.
"Hey Did I wake you." I couldn't help the yawn that came before I could answer.
"Yeah. But I will survive." I heard laughter on there other end. I closed my eyes again snuggling up to my pillow.
"I was wondering if you were ready to come to the track." My eyes shot open. He wanted me to come to the track this early.
"Yeah I am." That didn't sound the least bit desperate now did it.
"Well good some am I." I wish he could have seen my smile that he brought on my face from those simple words.
"I just need to get a shower then I can head on up."
"Awesome call me when you get to the gate and I will get you in okay."
"Okay. Good luck in practice."
"See you in a couple hours right." he questioned me almost.
"Yeah I will call you as soon as I get there."
"You better. I need to go the crew is motioning."
"Okay see you in awhile."I hung up excited cause he sounded excited. Maybe he was just happy cause of being in Talladega maybe he was happy cause he got a prize in his cereal box I didn't know. But if I didn't get out of this bed it would take me longer to get to him.
I turned down my music as I pulled into the little driveway just for the infield people. My little Honda contrasting to the other expensive cars in the long entrance line. I brushed off the parts of the granola bar that had fallen on my jeans as I reached from my cell phone hitting redial the numbers making a sound as it connect to Juniors. Before the first ring was over his end of the line picked up.
"Hey you made it in good time." I laughed as he just started talking in no time for me to say hello.
"Yeah. What can I say." I played back as the line moved a little more forward. It was now just hitting 12:30. I had made good time leaving my house at 10 probably because I went 90 the whole time.
"Where are you now." he asked I could her the door to something close then some guys talking.
"I am in line behind some Lexus for the entrance to the infield." I played with my key chains as the line had once stalled again.
"Okay when you get to the teller box. Tell them your name and they are going to hand you a packet of stuff. When you get to the coach lot I am on the 4th row 3rd coach. I don't know if I will be there yet so the there is a key stuck under my yard gnome." I heard a can open over his line as he talked.
"Your yard gnome."
"Yeah I will tell you the story in awhile."
"That should be interesting."
"Oh it is. Addie I have a team meeting so just make yourself at home at the coach. Then we can decide what to do when I get there."
"Sounds good." I finally made it to to the teller box a big old fat man was sitting behind it with sweat pouring off him.
"Name" he asked in a gruff voice. Intimidating.
"Addie Hughes." I was barely able to squeak it out as he looked down into my half way down tinted window. "Hughes..Hughes.." he muttered as he looked down the list.
"I don't see you."
"Um.I am suppose to go see Dale Earnhardt Jr. I just talked to him on the phone."
"Right sweety and so are a million of these girls in the lot." he went to close his teller window and motion for security.
"Sir please can you look again." he looked down at me as I gave my best help me look which wasn't to far from a act. He just sighed as he reached for another clipboard a huge manila folder sat on top of it.
"Addie Hughes." he asked me like he forgot.
"Yes Sir." he shoved the manila envelope down to me and then a pass.
"Hang this on your mirror don't lose it our you will be towed out." he lifted the lever and I drove through the looming tunnel of Talladega Super Speedway. I was still behind the Lexus. From my reasoning it had to be going to the couch lot. Sure enough they turned into the gate area stopping once again for another security check.
"I need to see your information." the now grandfather looking gentleman asked me in his all white uniform with Nextel Cup logo's
"I am not sure what I have but I got this at the gate back there." he just chuckled as he opened up my manila folder pulling out what he needed handing me another pass to hang on my mirror.
"Have a nice weekend Miss Hughes."
"Thank you. You too." he hit his button and the gate swung open leading into a little make shift village of homes away from homes. I repeat the directions Junior told me. 4th row 3rd coach. I counted the rows out loud. I made a sharp turn on the 4th one counting till I got the third on sure enough there was a yard gnome sitting by the steps. I turned off my car grabbing the big envelope. I moved the gnome and grabbed the key from under it as I held it my minded started to turn. I barely knew Junior and here I was standing with his coach key in my hand. I slide it back under the gnome noticing the lawn chairs beside his door under the canopy. I just didn't feel right with sitting in some guys coach even with the guy being Junior.
"So we set on the plan for Sunday." both Kenny and Micheal nodded as we all headed out of the Budweiser hauler. Mike was waiting on me with the golf-cart. I didn't have any appearance for the afternoon. It had been along time since I didn't have anything. I knew Addie had probably thought I forgot about her.
"Who is the girl." Mike asked bringing me back from my day dream. I looked over at where his voice was diverted.
"Addie." I said her name out loud as I looked at her sitting Indian style in the lawn chair focusing on whatever was in her lap. Her hair back in a ponytail and sunglasses covering her eyes.
"Who is Addie..Oh that chick you went out with last night." I looked at Mike as he answered his on question.
"Let me out here." He drove by the where I pointed earning him a glare from behind my sunglasses.
"What I don't get to me the girl. This is sad Junior. I mean you want me to drop you off 2 coaches away like parents have to do with there kids cause they are embarrassed of them. That hurts me." he laughed pulling up beside her black car. It had to be alteast a 96 by the make. Why was I checking out her car and not her. Mike made it to her before me.
"Hey I am Mike Davis." I watched as she closed her book and stood up shaking his hand.
"Addie Hughes. It is nice to meet you." I watched how she easily introduced herself smiling warmly.
"Okay Mike you can go now." I walked up behind him unzipping my fire suit. I watched as Addie laughed at our exchange.
"Well you kids have fun and don't stay up to late." he winked walking back to the golf cart as he drove away I looked back at Addie as she stood there in a t-shirt flip-flops and a pair of jeans.
"Why didn't you go on inside." I reached under the gnome getting the key out unlocking the door.
"I know it sound silly but I felt weird doing that. Like I was doing something wrong. Plus it was really pretty outside." she smiled nervously.
"Well you ready to go in now." she nodded and walked up the steps as I motioned her up in front of me.
"You hungry." She stood there holding on to her purse strap tightly that her knuckles were turning white.
"Addie relax I don't bite I promise." she met me with a weak smile. Sitting her purse and book down on the table.
I looked up at his sweaty hair and nomexed upper body as he stood his arm outstretched on the counter. It felt like the coach side where closing in on me. I didn't know what to say or do.
"I am kind of hungry." wow the first words back out my mouth were not my most intelligent.
"Well at least I finally got you to talk again." Great now he knew I had to be weird. I watched as he scratched his stomach looking at me.
"Why don't I make us lunch and you get a shower." I walked beside him as he opened up a cabinet peering in.
"You saying I stink." He held up his arm as I turned my head playing up the non-smelling scent he gave off.
"Maybe." He pulled my ponytail laughing as he wrapped his arm around my neck bringing my head to rest under it in a headlock.
"So how does that smell." I couldn't stop laughing as I struggled to break out of his grasp.
"Like plastic." his nomex top itching the side of my face as I wiggled.
"Plastic." he laughed starting to mess up my hair that he had taken out of the pony-tail.
"Yeah." I moved my hand enough and started tickling his side. He let go of me instantly laughing and trying to get away. I had to put that back in my memory book for future use on how to get him.
"So stinky what do you want to eat." I asked him as I pulled my hair back up.
"A lunchable." he said as he walked by closing the door to the hallway. I opened up the fridge. It was loaded down with typical single male food that you either ate it the way it was or microwaved it. By the time he came back out I had found some Little Debbie cake and some chips.
"Addie which one do you want. The pizza or ham and cheese." he examined the packets as he asked me while I sat down beside him. His long hair curling cause of the wetness from the shower.
"Ham and Cheese." I popped open my plastic as he did his.
"Got any idea's of what you want to do today." He asked as I loaded up my crackers with ham and cheese.
I watched her almost laughing as she concentrated so hard on making her little sandwich.
"Can you show me your race car." Did she just ask to see my race car.
"Yeah if you sure that is what you want." she nodded as she took a bite then went to ask me again.
"Well actually can you teach me about your race car. I only know what I learned from Fox and DW." she blushed. Every time she blushed she had a little girl cuteness about her that was now becoming a sexy part I was beginning to like. Today was definitely going to be getting better and better.
"You ready." He asked standing there clad in jeans and a t-shirt with his all familiar Budweiser hat the sun giving him almost a glow.
"Yeah." I answered him as he waited at the bottom of the steps with his hand outstretched helping me walk out. My hand slide into his bigger one for being a proclaimed mechanic his hands were soft and gently to the touch there was nothing tough to the surface of the man in front of me he had a gentleness that I could see so clearly.
"I forgot my passes." I went to go back when he held my hand tighter laughing as he started walking and I followed.
"You are with me. So I am your pass." As we walked our arms where beside the others. Touching ever so often. When we turned to see the garage area. I felt his hand slide in my much like last night at the movies.
"I like that." he looked at me and smiled bring up our hands.
"This." he question knowing the answer. I just nodded smiling as we stop a brief moment he lean in. I had to remind myself to breath. Was he going to kiss me right here at the entrance of the garages.
"I like it to." he whispered then started walking again. I saw a huge sign hanging on the wall with no flip-flops in bold print.
"Um Junior. I don't think I can go in here."
"Why." he asked sliding on his sunglasses.
"What did I tell you before. You are with me."
"I know." I felt his thumb graze across my hand. The garage was still busy with a few crews who weren't happy with there cars. We walked around hand and hand Junior explaining as we went about what each member was doing from shocks to driver comfort. When we got to the end of the passage way to turn around I took my hand from his. He gave me a look moving his sunglasses.
"Thank You for showing me the garage." I reached up and hugged him quickly before it got to intense. Cause even with this man a hug would be intense and earth shattering.
"You ready to see my race car." he smiled proudly like a proud father talking about his baby.
I couldn't stop looking at Addie as we walked to the entrance of the Bud hauler the light breeze blowing the lose strands of hair that had fallen from her ponytail. Her hand was gently resting in mine. I could hear the crew mulling around in the lounge along with Addie's flip-flops making a noise as we walked.
"This is so cool." she stopped looking up at the clear ceiling where the back car could be seen above us. She smiled back at me as I watched her look around bright eyed.
"Aren't those shocks." she asked questioningly touching the items on the counter.
"Yeah." I had to laugh as she just smirked.
When your good your good." She laughed with me.
"Come on there are some people I want you to met."
"Okay." she said weakly.
"Hey guys." The crew guys all looked up. I felt Addie move behind me almost trying to block herself being seen. I looked at her over my shoulder her eyes pleading with me that she wanted just to blend in.
"Guys this is Addie. Addie these are the guys."
"Nice to meet you all." she said smiling nervously all the guys exchange intros then went on with there business.
"Y'all know where Pops is and Jr."
"Right here." I heard Pops answer from behind me.
"Pops I want you to meet Addie Hughes."
"It is very nice to meet you Addie. How did this thing persuade a pretty girl like you to come see him." I watched her blush horribly as she shook Pops hand. Her blushing caused Pops to get a good laugh.
"Well that is all I want was to introduce y'all to Addie and show her the hauler. So we are off."
"It was nice meeting y'all" she called back as we walked back out of the hauler.
"So since you are a proclaimed race fan you want to catch some of the ARCA race.
"Sure. Are we going to be in the stands." she asked as she stood there her arms crossed smiling. Every time I ever had a girl with me she always wanted all the stops. She never wanted just to me normal and under the radar. Addie was different she was asking to be just like everyone else.
"Yeah if you want. Just protect me."
"I will. I won't let anyone steal you." She touched my shoulder then let her hand slide into mine as we walked to the tunnel at to the stand entrance.
"I felt the wind blow more as the breeze picked up and as the car pasts. I had never seen a ARCA race. Junior was standing beside me intent on watching just as much as I was. As the cars when out of sight on to the back stretched he leaned in.
"You like funnel cakes."
"Oh yeah." he just smiled at my answer
"Be right back." he touched my arm as he walked up the steps holding his head down a little none of the fans took a second look at him as we walked to our seats and walked around he was just another person. I was caught in watching the cars and didn't notice when he came back until he touched my leg from sitting in the the stadium seat a huge funnel cake in his lap. I sat down beside him our bodies close together cause of the seat I propped my feet up on the chair in front of us Junior doing the same leaning back chewing on a piece of cake already.
"You want a piece." he held up a powder piece in his finger tips. I took it from him and struggled with keeping the loads of powder sugar off me.
"Oh that is good." my hand fell into his again as I leaned over picking up another piece.
"Addie I haven't had this much fun with someone in awhile." he said as he moved around the pieces on the plate.
"I haven't either not with someone other than my friends. Wait that came out wrong." I stumbled over my words trying to find the right ones to say to him.
"Addie I..." his hand touched my cheek as he leaned closer. I got lost in his blue eyes as he kept moving closer and closer. My mind was mush all I could see was his eyes and lips and all I could think of was how bad I really wanted to kiss him. He was temptation of the worse kind. I turned into his touch as I started moving to meet him. As our lips were almost touching.
"BAM" both of us jumped back from the other at the sound of the a car hitting the wall down from us and skidding to a stop. Smoke filling up our part of the stands. When the commotion stopped we both sat back against the chairs not touching zoned forward. Our hands both reaching for the funnel cake and touching again. When I looked at him I had to smile.
"Yeah." he answered fast and a little excited.
"You have sugar on your mouth." I reached up and wiped the powder sugar off his lips.
"Thanks." he mumbled. We both got back to watching the race. Not really talking other than slight comments.
"You ready to head back to the coach we can watch the end on TV."
"Sounds good. I think I am getting sunburned." I held out my arms in front of me as we walked taking this time the VIP way and getting back to the coach faster. We both sat down on the couch ending up in one of those mindless conversation about nothing with meaning but because you were talking to that one person it meant everything. I let a little yawn out as we head outside the coach greeted with alot of Junior's peers who would be watching the game.
I watched from the grill as Addie talked to Krista about something both of them laughing and talking with there hands. She had a bright smile on her face the whole time and waved shyly at me as she caught my eyes watching her.
"Your new girl is nice man." Tony popped up beside me along with Matt.
"Dude she isn't my new girl. Our first date was last night."
"Well I like her. " Matt stated patting me on the back as he started messing with the burgers.
"And that is all that matter right." Tony picked back at Matt for his comment.
"She is nothing like any girl I have ever dated. I mean nothing like them." I kept watching her as more of the wives and other girlfriends joined around her and Krista. When the food was done. I sat down beside her as we ate. When the game started it was time to make my move. Our hands found the others as the game progressed. I loved watching her seeing her get into the football game as much as she was into the Arca race earlier by the end of the night I had my arm around her and she was almost snuggled up into my side as the game ended and we began watching the truck race ending up on my couch in the coach. As the trucks went around under a late caution I finally got up enough nerve to ask her my question.
"Yeah." she turned back at me from watching the TV.
"Tomorrow what are you doing." she smiled.
"I am going to be in the Gadsen tower watching the race." I just looked at her and laughed.
"You mean you have tickets for tomorrow." she just nodded. I knew tomorrow was going to be a good day.