"I had alot of fun today and tonight." I moved from leaning on my car beside Junior my toes scrunching up in the flip-flops on my feet from the cool air.
"I did to. Am I going to see you tomorrow." He moved up beside me getting so close I could feel his body heat against me.
"If you want me to." he just nodded.
"How about you call me when you get here and we can go from there."
"Junior. I am telling you now I am still going to seat in the stands." I played with him.
"Who said I wanted you sitting on my pit box anyway." I gave him a look of hurt.
"Addie I was just playing." he quickly touched my shoulder as I gazed down at the ground.
"I know." I laughed smiling at him causing him to give me a glare then a smile.
"Smart ass." All I could do was nod.
"Junior it is 2am I really need to go you need to get some sleep. I need to get home at least before I have to leave again to come back up here."
"Call me when you get there I don't care how late it is okay."
"Junior..." he held up his hand stopping my comment.
"Addie don't even try it cause you will lose arguing with me."
"Night Junior." I wanted to hug him.More or less I wanted to kiss him. I wrapped my arms around his neck. I felt him pull me closer as his arms wrapped around me. Our eyes locked and I knew I just knew he was going to kiss me.
"Night Addie." he whispered then gently pulled away.I unlocked my car door with him standing there with his bare feet and baggy sweatshirt on.
"Call me when you get here tomorrow."
"Okay." I slammed my car door,cranked up and headed out. I waved at him as I pulled out. I watched in my mirror until he turned around and went back into his coach. All I could do was crank up my radio and wonder about how good getting a kiss from that man would be. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"Adelyn Eileen Hughes where have you been young lady." Katy yelled at me as soon as my key seemed to turn the lock.
"Yeah Addie it is 4am and you are just coming home." Crystal stated giving me a motherly eye as she laid on my couch wrapped up in a blanket.
"I was with Junior at the track." Both of them shot up into a sitting position from where they were at.
"The track when you decide to go down there." Katy asked moving over as I sat down beside her. My body just wanting to get some sleep.
"About 9 when he called the morning."
"So he asked you to come." Crystal said changing her voice around causing me and Katy to crack up.
"Yeah. He asked me last night after our date."
"You had a all day second date with each other." All I could do was nod and smile.
"Oh tomorrow when we get there he wants me to call him and we are all going to meet up."
"Looks like someone and Racer Boy are going to become a item."
"Well Racer boy is really nice so you two don't scare him away."
"He a good kisser." I stopped in my tracks as Katy's voice echoed to me at my bedroom door.
"We haven't kissed yet we almost did two times."
"Girl you better fix that I mean I know you are the virgin Mary and so are we but come on kissing didn't send anyone to hell." Crystal played up to me.
"I know but for him if it did I would go just to get a kiss from him. Night Girls."
"Night. Hey Addie you owe us the girls night out."
"I know I know." By the time I laid down in the bed it was 5am. We all had to be up at 8 to get to the track by 10 to 11.At the rate Crystal drove we would get lost then get a ticket for speeding so we had to make time. I rolled over snuggling up to my pillow falling to the dream of it being Junior.
"So June bug tell me about this new girl Addie." Pops asked as I sat down beside him having breakfast. It was a tradition we started every time we came to Talladega.
"There is not much to tell. She is really nice and stuff."
"You didn't just sleep with her and now she is gone." he gave me a fatherly look as I grabbed the mustard for my sausage biscuit.
"No Pops she ain't like that."
"She doesn't do that stuff." I nodded my head at him hoping he would pick up. When he didn't I did a little demonstration with my knife.
"I don't know Pops I know this sounds crazy but I like the fact she is innocent and stuff. It is almost a turn on.
"Junebug you like it cause you know she is living right. I mean come on the girls you bring around aren't little church goer's and I am sure Addie is."
"She is. She is good and makes me already want to be good around her."
"Well I like her already. She seemed really down to earth and nice and more importantly she is respectable. It wouldn't kill you to have some her rub off on you. Old Man." he laughed there was always something about Pops laugh that instantly made you feel better.
"I am starting to really like her to." soon the talk left Addie and went to the race. The whole time I kept checking my cell phone to see if she was calling yet.
"ICE ICE BABY." I jumped up from laying on the back seat of Crystal's mustang as her speakers hit the heavy bass beat of the old rap song.
"Well look who is finally up." Katy and Crystal laughed as I just groaned looking in the rear view mirror as she pulled into the Talladega parking lot which was a pasture.
"Hey where is my phone." I was frantically searching everywhere. I remember laying it on my stomach before I went to sleep.
"Right here and no little Racer Boy hasn't called." Katy tossed it back to me. Now she had picked up calling Junior Racer Boy. I just shook my head as I called him.
"Hey I am here." it was my turn to talk before he could answer hello back.
"Okay. When you get to the gate there is a guard there tell him all of your names and he will bring you back to the lot."
"I am still sitting in the stands."
"Yeah Yeah and did I ask for you on my pit box." he laughed.
"See you in a bit."
"So what are we doing." The girls asked as we all unloaded out of the car. I was adjusting my jeans and my black cap sleeved t-shirt it felt like my hair was stuck in the shells of my Kenny Chesney necklace which all my friends had dubbed it.
"At the gate there is going to be a security guard that is going to take us to the infield." Both of them just shrugged not really caring. I had to fight tooth and nail to get them to come with me to the race both agreeing on the bases that they were true friends and would sacrifice for my sake. As we started walking I could see on there face that they had some excitement growing.
"This isn't so bad after all." Crystal muttered only loud enough for me to hear her I just hugged her and Katy.
"Thank you guys for coming with me I promise by the end of the race y'all will be extreme race fans.
"We will see." Katy joked as we walked up to the ticket line handing them over and getting entrance into the track. As soon as we past through just like Junior said there was a guard.
"I think you are who I am looking for."
"Are you Addie Hughes."
"Then I am come with me." I looked back at Katy and Crystal as the moved behind me to follow him. We loaded up on a golf-cart and were whisked away. Whisked being the key term. I had a death grip on the bar to hold on from flying out as we pulled up to a stop in front of Junior's coach. We all exchanged thank yous. Before my foot hit the step the coach door opened.
"About time. I thought you got lost." Junior laughed as he held the door open for me and the girls as we walked in.
"It took us longer to walk up here from the car." he just nodded in understatement as he sat down. The living room was littered with a few people.
"Addie this is J.R. Rhodes my manger and Mike Davis who you already met and Jade Gruss they both do my Bud Pr.
"Nice to see you again Addie." Mike spoke out to me from his paper.
"Junior you remember Crystal and Katy." I asked him as he laid down on the couch.
"Yeah. Hey." he waved up as the 3 of us stood against the counter. We just stood there as Junior zoned out. Katy and Crystal giving me funny faces as the guys all just sat there in silence with us standing there like chickens with our head cut off.
"Junior you got 5 minutes before you need to head to intros." I heard one of the guys say his name slipping my mind. I watched Junior not even moving until 5 minutes when he sat up and walked back to change. When he got in his bedroom people began to talk again.
"Wow he is so warm and friendly Addie." Crystal commented as she adjusted her expensive Louie Vutton purse.
"We need to start heading towards our seats." I said glancing at my watch noticing it was 45 minutes until the race. They both nodded.
"Alright lets go' Junior announced as he walked back out this time all decked in his red uniform. Everyone got up. Crystal and Katy bolting out of there quicker then anyone I have seen. I lagged back waiting for the rest to get and the go when I felt a hand on my shoulder.
"Hey I don't get a hug before the race." Junior was behind me holding his arms out.
"Yeah. If you want." I wrapped my arms around him.
"Good Luck I will be cheering for you."
"So when I win will you be in Victory Lane."
"You really want me there."
"Yeah. If I didn't I wouldn't have asked you."
"If I can get down there I will be."
"Ha ha see I knew you would say that. So that is why that guard from earlier is your guard for the section of seats so we can make a deal if I am leading with 20 to go you and your friends come down to the infield and we can go from there."
"And if your not."
"I will be so don't worry." I felt him hug me tight then pull away. When we got out of the couch he went his way and I went mine. We made it just in time to our seats as the engines got the command to fire. By lap 30 Katy and Crystal were hooked both listening to scanners and cheering. I kept my eye on the eight car as lap after lap he was leading. By the time it got to 30 to go. I was praying he would still lead at 20. Sure enough as soon as the lap ticker hit 20 to go the guard walked up taking us 3 back down to the infield. As we went under the tunnel you could hear the growls of the cars echo. Mike was waiting on us as the golf cart stopped at the gate in a sprint I was soon in the Bud pit area standing on some Goodyear's next to my two best friends doing the same. Before I could get use to being down there the checkered flag flew and so did I off and the tires jumping up and down.
"He Won He Won." I cheered along with the crew and my friends. Mike walked up catching my arm.
"Victory Lane" was all he said. I just nodded and grabbed the girls hands pulling them with me. I watched the crew guys assemble around us. Mike pulled me with him to go greet Junior.
I want to stay back here."
Yeah I just want to be back with the crew." he just nodded and went on.The guys hand us all a can of beer and a powerade. I looked over at Katy and Crystal as they smiled I knew those smiles they had the same idea I did. As Junior emerged we creamed each other with the contents of our drinks. All of our hair instantly curling up. Soon there was more people getting in on the action and every was wet my shirt instantly soaked and my hair beginning to tightly curl up. I played and watched as Junior smiled celebrating yelling as they began to interview him the guys started to calm down. Then the word heard around the world was said.
"Did he just say what I think he said." Katy yelled to me.
"Yeah he did." I was still smiling not thinking cause Junior had waved and caught my eye. He knew I was there. The pictures started and we moved to the side and waited for years it seemed like for it to be over and the interviews. I had my back toward victory lane when I felt my feet leave the air.
"Told you I would be in Victory Lane." I had to laugh as I got sat back down.
"I know and you are totally awesome." I jumped almost and hugged him his wet suit and my wet clothes against the other one.
"Hey Mike has his digital I want a picture of me and you."
"Mike" I looked over at the girls Katy grabbing her camera to. Mike came over and hand the trophy to Junior.
"Help me hold it." He pulled me close to him my hand next to his as we held the clunker.
"Come on Addie spice the picture up." I heard Mike yell. I looked at Junior the same as he looked at me. I pulled him over. I knew he thought he was going to get a big ol'smooch. I lightly kissed his cheek and the two camera's flashed catching Junior's smile and my kiss. I defiantly knew kissing his cheek was leading to a future.
I glanced at the picture beside my computer. Katy had just got her photos from Talladega developed and the very first one in the pack was of me and Junior smiling in Victory Lane. Now the picture was in a frame sitting beside my computer so constant eye contact was always made. I couldn't concentrate on my paper. My thought still stayed on Junior. We had talked Monday around lunch time he said he would call but I hadn't heard a word from him since then and now it was Thursday. My head kept telling me it was just a weekend thing but my heart kept saying something different. It had to be more or maybe I wishing for to much. This was Dale Jr he wasn't going to settle for just hand holding and talking. He was use to more. More things I couldn't give him then the things I could. The doorbell rang breaking me from my thoughts. I opened the door seeing the UPS man standing with a package in his hand.
"This is for you can you please sign here." I just nodded as I signed his electronic notepad. He handed over the package the return address was marked Mooresville, North Carolina. I shut the door with my foot as I went and sat down excited like a kid on Christmas with getting a huge package. I tore open the end shaking the contents out of my coffee table. A note fell out along with a track-pass.
Sorry about not calling you what can I say I have been a slacker in that. I was hoping this weekend you would come up to Kansas and celebrate with me for my birthday Sunday and maybe hopefully stay for the race. By my plans you should be getting this on the 7th so you must make a decision when you call me right after you read this so call me and tell me you are coming cause you know you want to.
See you Friday
I just sat there holding the horrible chicken scratched letter. The penmanship in all caps. He was asking me to come see him at the track. Why was I even thinking twice for this. I would be a fool not to do this. I walked out of the my front door almost forgetting to close it as I head down the little pathway to the other condo cabins arriving at Katy's nearly knocking the door down until she came.
"What Addie." she said flustered with a towel wrapped around her head obviously just stepping out of the shower.
"He wants me to come to Kansas tomorrow and stay till Sunday." I blurted out as I held the package in my hand.
"Who wants you .. Junior." she grabbed my hand yanking me into her place.
"Let me get dressed hold on." with in 3 minutes she was back out looking at the package and note.
"I want to."
"Then do it. I mean it is not like there is not a massive invitation here." she waved the envelope up in the air. Looking at me as I was the biggest fool in the world for even doubting going.
"I have to work." I thought about my kids that I coached and worked with in the after school program.
"Come on you don't think me and Crystal can't cover for you." I just looked at her.
"You and Crystal coaching softball the two most not athletic and sports people in the world."
"Hey I use to run cross-country so shut up." she flapped the envelope on my head.
"That relates to softball what way." we both laughed as she sat down beside me.
"Go Addie if you don't you will regret it."
"Gosh if I go there is so much I have to get done before 5." I looked at the clock it was now just hitting 1 o'clock.
"Well then lets go what do we need." she stood up grabbing her purse and phone.
"Airplane tickets, hotel reservations, a rental car, to pack, get off work." As we walked back to my place after locking hers up the list seem to carry on and on.
"I am calling Crystal to help between the three of us we will get this done." I nodded as I grabbed my things and locked up heading towards the library to get everything started. Crystal met us at the door smiling.
"So you are going to see little Racer Boy." she joked then got quite as we walked in. We all three sat in a line logging on.
"Okay I will do plane tickets, Katy you get the rental car, and Crystal you want to get a hotel reservation." I whispered to them as they both nodded and started working.
"You got everything." Katy asked as we stood at the entrance of the airport in Birmingham.
"Yeah. I have my airline ticket, my race tickets, the hotel reservation code and my car ticket." I answered as I thumbed through my paper-clipped items and sliding them back in my day planner.
"I think that is everything." Crystal laughed as we stood there.
"Very" I adjusted my purse on my shoulder and the straps to my book bag.
"Well you better go get on that plane so you can see your Racer Boy." all I could do was nodded.
"Call us when you land okay so we know you are okay. Then at the hotel so we know you go there okay." Katy reached to hug me as she spoke.
"Alright Mom." I played at her as she hugged me.
"Shut up. Oh yeah don't forget Wednesday you have mid-terms." Katy sternly said pointing her finger.
"Yeah you and Junior can study together instead of having a hot date." Crystal scoffed playfully as she hugged me also.
"Bye." I waved as I walked into the doors both waving goodbye. I had one connected in Memphis then I was on my way to Kansas embarking on something that was going to change my life. I just knew it.
"Welcome to Kansas City International." The airport intercom sounded as I walked down the long terminal corridor. I had finally made it. After a lay over in Memphis it had been a 3 hour trip. I had yet to call Junior to even tell him I was coming. His picture caught my eye as I walked down to the car rental place. His was on the cover of a magazine the blue eyes that he had were so deadly as the showed against the background of the photo. Stopping and buying it was the only thing I could do. As I purchased the magazine the teenage guy behind the counter smiled.
"You a Dale Junior fan."
"You could say that." I smiled as I slided the magazine in my book bag between my school items. Of course the car rental place was all the way at Terminal A as I was between Termnail B and C. I grabbed my phone looking at the clock seeing it was 4pm. I dialed Junior's number soon the other end picked up.
"About time you called." he answered cheerfully.
"Hey." I couldn't help but smile as I walked. The people I past probably thinking I was mental unstable from the goofy grin.
"That all you can say is Hey." he played back. I could tell he was in a good mood.
"I need to tell you something." wow it sounded like I was going to tell him his dog had died.
"Okay. Everything okay." he voiced changed to a serious tone.
"I am in Kansas City in the airport walking to the rental car place." there was instant silence on his end. That kind of silence that scared you. I just stopped was I going to be heading right back home.
"I like that kind of news. It is a nice surprise." Instant comfort came over me as I walked into the rental area.
"Well I am at the rental car place now." I stood in line behind a huge family that had a littler of kids just enjoying hearing Junior's thick southern accent.
"Where are you staying." he asked the cheery tone back.
"The Best Western Seville Plaza." I yawned from being in classes at 8 this morning then flying for 3 hours.
"Nice. Just call me back when you check in. I might be qualifying my car then but Mike or Jade will answer it."
"Okay Good Luck."
"Well I got you here so my luck is going pretty good already.Talk to you soon."
"Okay." when we hung up I was at the counter. Getting my nice little economy car or the cheapest thing on the lot. Everything seemed to be taking for ever as I finally got the car keys in my hand after they double checked my age for the hundredth time. I had been waiting for almost 2 hours. They handed me a map with the way to my hotel highlighted another 30 minute drive ahead of me. All I wanted was sleep and to talk to Junior again.
"Addie call yet." I walked back into the hauler where I had Mike on phone duty.
"No but you did very well with the interview today with Speed." he patted me on the back as I sat down popping open the bottle of water.
"What time is it." I moved around the top of my fire suit and took of the nomex that was like wearing a quilt changing into a t-shirt.
"6:35" he said looking at his watch and up from the laptop he was still struggling to use.
"Man she should have called already." I muttered.
"Why you worried." he laughed
"Nah just ready to see her honestly." I had to admit it she was something I was defiantly looking forward to this weekend. We kept talking until the rest of the crew walked in with the garages closing and the team did our annual run down.
"Mike time check." I yelled from getting some food that Rick made.
"6:55 five minutes since the last time you asked." before I could respond I heard my phone start ringing. I flew almost over Mike as he grinned and went to answer it grabbing it in mid air. I just flicked him off as he started to object.
"Hey. Sorry it took me so long I was at the rental place for almost 2 hours." I heard how tired Addie's voice was.
"You sound tired."
"I am but I want to see you." Her words made me smile as the easily floated out of her mouth. I heard her line get quiet I knew she was wondering what my response would be.
"I want to see you to. How about I come out to the hotel."
"It is 20 minutes away." she told me tiredly
"Okay so." I laughed as she did at my answer
"That would be nice." she finally answered with a yawn.
"Okay I will see you in awhile what is your room number."
"I will be there in a bit. Take a nap."
"Sounds like a plan." as I hung up Jade walked in.
"Jade where is the Best Western Seville Plaza" he just looked at me then Mike mouthed Addie and he shook his head and began telling me.
There was a heavy knock on my door. I rolled over on the hotel bed taking the comforter with me. I didn't even bother to brush my hair back I grabbed my classes and adjusted my t-shirt. I was already in my pj pants as I padded across the carpeted floor. I was half-asleep as I opened the door.
"About time food is getting cold." Junior stood there smiling in his bud hat holding up a bag. I moved out of the way as he walked in closing and locking the door. He had already sat down the bag on the table and met me as I walked back. Before I could move he pulled me into a hug. His arms felt right as he held me close not to long but not to short.
"Glad you came Addie." He spoke softly as I looked into his eyes noticing the bruising around one of them.
"What happened to your eye." I touched his cheek softly. I watched as the shock ran through us both as we stood there in the room.
"Boxing. I didn't win." he grinned as I pulled back still looking at him.
"That is kind of apparent." My stomach growled before he could counter me. He just smiled and motion toward the table as I sat down stretching my body.
"You better like Chinese." I watched as he unload the little box's of food and a diet coke and coke.
"Good thing I do." I grabbed a plastic fork and some honey chicken moving to the couch in the small hotel room. He sat down beside me as we talked and began watching the game a little with the Cardinals. I laid my box down on the table and slide back down beside him on the couch his empty boxes on the floor already. I took in his form the baggy jeans and t-shirt his sock feet propped up on the coffee table and his black eye that made him even more sexy. As the commercial on the televising came on I felt him wrap his arm around my shoulders bringing my closer to his body. Instinctively my head went to his shoulder.
"I am glad I am here this weekend with you." after I said those words I looked up at him as he smiled and laced our fingers together as our hands moved to to rest on his leg.
As the game ended I glanced down at Addie. I had to smile as she was sound asleep. Her breathing even and a slight smile on her face. Her long dark eyelashes brushing her cheeks. For some reason I didn't want to move. I wanted to stay just like. A girl I hadn't even kissed was sound asleep peacefully as she was when she was awake. I gently moved my hand to touch her soft brown hair that hand fallen out of her ponytail. She took my breath away just innocently being there in my arms. I didn't want to wake her but I had to head back to the track now or I would never leave.
"Addie." I softly whispered to her as she just moved her head gently against my shoulder her hand still in mine.
"Addie." My fingertips danced up her arm as she finally started to wake up not moving off my shoulder.
"You awake sleepy." when she heard my voice she jumped up off me. I had to laugh at her as she sat there looking at me her eyes heavy but still bright blue.
"I didn't mean to fall asleep on you. I didn't do anything weird did I ?" it was almost to easy to joke right then with her but she would take me seriously. I brushed back a strand of hair that had fallen in her face her cheek was warm from where she was asleep on me.
"You can fall asleep on me whenever." she smiled
"You still didn't answer me if I did anything weird." I watched as she brushed her fingers through her soft hair and pulled it back revealing her neck and a sliver chain that went underneath her shirt.
"You were find no drool, not weird comments."
"Good." I had to laugh as she looked relieved.
"What time is it." she asked standing up and walking over to see what the digital clock said. I reached for my shoes knowing it was late and I had to go back to the track.
"2:30" I called out as she walked to the bathroom leaving me tieing up my shoes and standing stretching from sitting down and not moving my arm for a few hours. I was standing up when she came back out. I didn't hear the bathroom door open but I knew her presents when her hand went across the top of my back across my shoulders. I turned around to face her as we stood much like we did at the beginning of the night.
"You coming to the track tomorrow."
"Yeah I will be there I better call for a wake up call." she laughed
"I will be your wake up call." she kept laughing shaking her head.
"Okay. Just not at the crack of dawn."
"Come on do I look like I would get up that early in the first place."
"True." she smiled back at me touching her hand against mine as we looked at each other.
"Addie can I ask you something." I moved my fingers in between hers as she had to move closer to me.
"You can ask me anything." my mind was turning what could he want to know.
"Come back to Mooresville with me after the race Sunday and stay until you have to go back to Auburn." he looked dead at me his eyes staring into mine.
"Okay but I have to be back in Auburn Wednesday by 8." my words came out without even going through my brain for review.
"You will be. I promise. Now give me a hug so I can go and get some sleep." I wrapped my arms around his neck as he pulled me close. When we broke apart I gently kissed his cheek.
"Night Addie." I held his hand until I had to close the door to my hotel room. I crawled into the hotel bed and snuggled up to my pillow hoping dreams of Junior would come and his wake up call.
"No..No..No" I muttered to myself as I stood in the Target card section. Junior had called around 9 when he was on his way to the morning practice. I saw the Target as I was driving to the track I had to get him at least something for his birthday. I didn't want anything to girlfriendish but I didn't want anything that was just Happy Birthday. I adjusted the cupcakes I had in my hand as I reached for another card. My cell phone started vibrating inside of my purse.
"Addie Hughes you better not be standing me up." I heard Junior voice echo as he talked into the phone.
"Nah. I am at Target I needed to get something that I forgot back at home."
"You almost done."
"Yeah nosy I am almost done. You want anything."
"Yeah I want a toy for my birthday." I just laughed at his comment as I found the perfect card for him. One with a sexy girl on the front but when you open it a big fat one is on the inside jumping out of a cake.
"Okay I will be at the track in like 15 minutes." I had to get him a toy just for his smart comment.
"You better be." I grabbed the superman stuffed action figure that some little boy was holding trying to convince his mom to buy and headed out to the check out line. 20 minutes later I was pulling up beside Junior's coach. I grabbed my book bag and purse along with the gift bag with his present. Before I could knock on the door I saw Mike open it and help carry in the items in my hand.
"Junior had to go on to the garage for Happy Hour so he said and I quote. "Make her stay in the coach."
"Okay. Thanks for helping me carry this in." he just nodded and waved as he hopped on the golf cart and drove off in the direction of the garages. I sat my items down on the table and looked around. When I saw the picture of us much like the one I had by my computer laying on the counter with a frame under it. This one was different it was when I had kissed his cheek. There were other pictures behind it. Most of what I could gather where he family and cousins I hide the cupcakes in the fridge and put his gift on the couch. I didn't know how long it would be until I saw him so I grabbed my history book and started studying losing focus with the outside world.
I saw Addie's rental car as I walked up to my coach door still talking to Jamie. When I walked in I was greeted by a smiling Addie.
"Hey How was practice." she smiled up from her seat at the table where she had her books laid out.
"Could have been better but not a totally lose." My eyes landed on a bag sitting on the couch.
"What is that." I pointed as she stood up beside me.
"That is for you but first you have to close your eyes and sit at the table." I just looked at her as I slided off my sunglasses and tossed them on the counter.
"Come on Junior." she persuade me giving me a look that made her sexier than hell.
"Before you surprise me let me get undressed and clean then I am yours."
"Okay but hurry." she yelled at me as I walked down the room getting my things. I could hear her moving around as I got dressed after my shower walking into the front of the coach.
"Can I get my surprise now."
"Yep. But you have to close you eyes and sit at the table."
"They are closed." I told her from the table. I heard something slide across the top then the other noise of the cushion as she sat down beside me.
"Okay open them." when I did I couldn't help but smile as there where 2 cupcakes in front of me one with a 3 and the other with 0.
"Happy Early Birthday Junior. Make a wish" she smiled. I looked at her and made my wish as I blew out my candles.
"So what you wish for." she asked reaching behind her and setting the gift bag in front of me.
"Like I am going to tell you so I don't get it." I reached down into the tissue paper and brought out a stuffed superman and a card.
"You got me a toy." I couldn't help but laugh as she got want I had asked her to.
"Yeah if you squeeze him he talks." she covered my hand with hers and squeezed the stomach. The superman echoed out as we sat watching it.
"Thank you." I leaned over and gently kissed her cheek as she sat there beside me.
My cheek tingled from his soft lips. I was speechless just from a gently kiss on the cheek. I couldn't help but smile from the kiss and from his constant pressing of the superman.
You ready for the Busch Race." he asked as I moved the plate away with the eaten cupcakes.
"Yeah." I grabbed my books and walked over to the where he was.
"You going to study and watch it." he asked as I sat back down beside him as he laid out on the couch his head almost resting against my leg. I just nodded as he looked up from his position and kissed my hand as I opened my book. There was that tingle again. I was so engrossed in my index card making until I heard Junior yell.
"Shit what the hell was he thinking." I looked up at the screen as Martin's car was slowly making its way down pit road. Junior immediately turned and looked at me after his outburst.Not saying anything.
"You can cuss in front of me. Junior don't worry." I ran my hand in his curly hair as he laid back down. I ended up scratching his head as I wrote with the other. When I got all my index cards made there was about 10 laps left. I stopped scratching his head as I moved to set my books down.
"That felt good why you stop." he never took his focus off the cars as Tony led.
"I had to set my books down."
"Yeah." he slide up from his spot and pulled me to him and laying back down my body sliding beside his down on the couch.
"Can I do this." he asked sincerely.
"Yeah you can." he wrapped his arms around me as we began watching Chance 2 unravel. With 2 laps to go I felt him move and whisper to me.
"Addie can I ki..."
"OH TONY STEWART WRECKS." he never finished as both of us turned to the screen as the annocuers yelled.
"Shit." Junior muttered as he raised up beside me. My hand went straight to his back as I rubbed it and sat up beside him.
"You need to go to the garage?" I asked as he looked stunned at me from touching him. It was almost like a instinct to.
"Probably" he sighed as he moved to sit leaning his back up against the couch taking my feet in his lap.
"Junior can I tell you something." what was going on was I about to experience another wonderful case of word vomit.
"Yeah." he looked at me as I moved my eyes from his face and glanced at his hand wrapped around my jean clad leg.
"Don't ever worry about who you are around me and what you say and in what words you say it in. I kind of like that bad boy that comes out. Of course the black eye is sexy."
"So my black eye is sexy." I leaned up beside him as we finally locked eyes. I just nodded as he moved closer much like the way he did back at Talladega. His soft hand touching my cheek. I couldn't help but turn into his hand. I moved mine to his shoulder as his face got inches from mine his lips only centimeters away. I could already almost taste the kiss.
"Junior get in the Busch garage NOW." he just pulled away shaking his head and laughing as he stood up and beeped back on his Nextel phone to the voice that was yelling for him.
"I am on my way." he answered moving to slide on his flip-flops that were by the end of the couch.
"You..you want me to." I stuttered out almost in shock.
"Well I asked didn't I." I stood up sliding on my own flip-flops and walked out behind him. The rest of the night was spent picking up the pieces of Chance 2 and controlling Tony. When we got back to the coach I headed back to the hotel to get ready for tomorrow and heading back with Junior.
When I got to the hauler Addie was already there sitting eating breakfast with Tony Jr. and some more crew guys. She didn't hear me or see me as I walked up. Tony catching my movements right off. I laid my hand on her shoulders as I kissed the top of her head as she sat there. Hoover began to laugh as I sat down beside her. Her cheeks red from blushing.
"Morning you got here quick."
"What can I say I am ready for the race."
"At least someone is. You going to bring me good luck." I asked her touching her arm as it laid beside mine on the table.
"You are good Junior you don't need luck." she whispered to me trying not to let the rest of the crew hear. Her words instantly making me smile.
"Yeah he does." Jeff Clark answered back from his spot across from us.
"Funny butt nut." I heard Addie start to crack up beside me. Her laugher was a sweet sound. Just being around it a short time made me smile instantly.
"You almost done eating."
"Yeah. I am done actually." she crumbled up the paper towel with crumbs on it and tossed it ringing the trash can. Causing the guys eyes to get wide at her shot.
"You ready then." she smiled and stood up. I instantly took her hand. I saw her move and look at me with her blue eyes.
"Where are we going." she asked as we walked.
"Back to the coach. I need to change into my suit and finish packing up to go home."
"Plus I wanted to spend sometime with you before I have to become a ass before the race." I opened the door to my coach for her as she walked in. I finally got a good look at her as she wore a pair of dark jeans and black boots with a light yellow sweater that was v-neck and a fur corduroy jacket. She was so casual but put together at the same time.
"Hahah well thanks for thinking of me." she hit me in the arm as I walked by her.
"I do my best." I could hear her laugh as I pulled on my driver suit and walked back out with the top down.
"That looks so hot. But I rather you be hot then get burned." she touched the Nomex fabric as I sat down beside her.
"So you ready to go to Mooresville." I asked her as I we both leaned back against the cushions.
"Oh yeah I have never been to North Carolina before."
"Really well you are in for it. I will have to show you everything and let you meet all the locals."
"Promise." she cut her eyes over at me.
"Yep." I wanted to kiss her. Hell I have wanted to kiss her since the ARCA race at Dega. Before I could even make a move this time Jade and Mike where at the door knocking and telling me it was time to start up the asshole persona and get prepared for the race. As I laid down on the couch focusing my attention I looked at Addie on the other one as she started to focus on her on thoughts.
"Thank You Mr. Eury for letting me stay on the pit box."
"It is Pops Addie or Uncle Tony." he laughed reminding me of Santa Claus as his jolly laugh made you smile.
"Now what are you going to call me." he questioned smiling.
"That is my girl no more stuffy Mr. Eury stuff. I don't want the boys to start making me feel older than I am."
"Yes Sir." I laughed as I followed him into the Bud Hauler waiting for Junior to come in to head home.
"Addie. You might see a side of Junior you haven't seen so I am just for warning you."
"Okay" I sat on the leather couch watching post race interviews as I heard Junior come barreling into the lounge his driver suit half way on and half way off.
"I will be ready to go in 5 minutes tell DJ that." he yelled back as he dropped the top half of the suit down. When he looked and saw me sitting there he just smiled.
"You going to be ready in 5 we are catching a ride back with Dale Jarrett he is cool you will get along find." he said all in one breath as he got down to his boxers. I looked down at my lap causing him to laugh as he reached for his jeans. I couldn't help but glance up checking his body out as he slide on his jeans and a t-shirt.
"Addie can you toss me that shirt beside you." I picked up the orange polo shirt beside me and tossed it to him. I watched as he slide it on and grabbed his hat again.
"Yeah." He wrapped his arm around my waist as we walked out. The NBC camera crew stopping as Junior sat down on the golf cart. He held up his hand as Mike held his arm up stopping me from walking out.
"Junior wants you to wait until after the interview to go out." Mike told me as we stood there Junior giving smart looks to the camera as the interview dragged on. When it was over I walked quickly and sat down beside him the cart taking off.
"DJ I want you to meet Addie. Addie Dale Jarrett."
"It is nice to meet you Addie." he stretched out his hand over the backseat of the cart.
"Nice to meet you to." after the brief introduction he turned back around beginning to talk on his cell phone.
"You did good today getting a top ten at the place." He smiled and wrapped his arm around my shoulder pulling my close to him. I laid my head gently on his shoulder as the cart drove on to the airstrip.
"I did good cause I had you for good luck. I am glad you are coming back home with me."
"I am glad to." As we got to the airstrip I felt his hand on my back as we walked up the steps to the plane. Both of us plopping down in the seats in the back. I laid my head back on his shoulder as he pulled down his hat over his eyes.
"Happy Birthday Junior." I kissed his cheek gently as I closed my eyes and he pulled me closer to him. Both of us napping before we landed in his hometown and the journey began.
Monday Morning - Addie's POV
"It's the man of steel it is Superman" I heard a animated voice scream it sounded like into my ear as I rolled over in the warm bed pulling the covers closer. "Faster than a speeding bullet." I swung my arm up trying to knock away what ever the sound was when it was caught by a strong hand. I opened my eyes to see Junior standing there with his Superman in his hand. I reached up and yanked it from his other hand as he still had mine and threw it hitting it against the wall at just the right spot making it say another phrase.
"You are evil." I yawn smiling as he stood there.
"Yeah I know." he laughed sitting down on the side of the bed as I moved up against the pillows. I could only imagine what I looked like I almost could feel my hair sticking up everywhere.
"I guess I need to get up. What time is it." I sat up beside him leaning my body on his.
"10" he slowly stood up walking and picking up his superman.
"You are up this early ?" he just nodded pulling me up beside him.
"Yeah I had to go to the store. There was no food in the house. I didn't want to starve you just yet cause I want you to come back." he pulled me in a hug and tossed the item on the bed.
"Morning Addie." he had smirk on his face as he pulled me close to his body. Dropping his face towards mine but only gently kissing my cheek. When he pulled back his hands brushed my hair behind my ears. I just looked at him my brain mush.
"Morning Junior." he just laughed as it took me awhile to get that out.
"You ready to eat something cause you are helping me unloaded the groceries." I headed down the steps behind him into the kitchen where Killer laid eating a bone toy. I walked over and started taking things out of sacks not paying attention to anything around me. I got turned quickly against the counter the eggs still in my hand. I watched as they mysteriously got sat down on the counter. Soft lips gently touched mine. It was happening I was finally getting my kiss. My hands moved from holding the counter to his shoulders as he moved closer. I could feel his tongue trace my closed lips and almost instantly and gently slide into my mouth. My mind was spinning not a clear thought could be formed. As I felt his hand rub the back of my head then it was over. I opened my eyes again to find blue ones staring back at mine.
"I have been wanting to do that since the Arca race at Dega." he whispered. I just started at his lips. I couldn't speak I was breathless, speechless, anything that had less in it I was.
"I have never been kissed like that before." I finally whispered out. He just smiled. As I couldn't help but touch the tingle in my lips still.
"Maybe I can do it again sometime." he played back smiling still holding me close.
"Let me think about it and I will get back to you."
"Ass." he said under his breath playing.
"What." I pushed his shoulder as he moved back getting some bread and started making what was now brunch.
"Come're" I motioned Addie towards me as she held a go-cart helmet in her hand. I couldn't help but laugh as she walked up to me holding it like it was from outer space.
"Can I put it on Junior." her voice sounded like a little kid asking for permission.
"Under one condition." she looked up at me from the shadow of her hair.
"Okay." I leaned down and kissed her lips quickly then pulled back and caught her hand.
"Was that my condition." she asked handing me the helmet as she pulled her hair in a ponytail.
"Yeah that was it. You are free to play with the go-carts now." she just smiled. I handed her the helmet I watched as she gently slide in on. It was one of my old race helmets. She moved her head around laughing as she did.
"I feel like a space man." her muffled voice came through as we walked to the go-carts.
"You look like one let me lace the strap up." she walked closer and my hands touched her soft skin under her chin.
"You are going to go easy on me right." she asked as I helped her buckle in and start up her cart. It was just me and her out there.
"For a couple laps." she just shook her head as I grabbed my own helmet and got ready. I motion for her to go in front of me. I laughed to myself as she was afraid to really mash the gas pedal. I tap her a little as I passed her. I was almost about to pass her again when I heard the engine key up and her zoom off into the corner before I knew it I felt a tap on my own bummer. It was on as we both started racing each other back and forth. We kept racing until my cart started to slow down. I watched her keep zooming by finally my cart died. I heard her kill the engine and walk up she was standing beside me as I stood up taking of my helmet as did she.
"I say it was a tie" she smiled shaking her hair waiting for me in agreement. I handed her my helmet and went to look at my new engine that died.
"Yeah okay. I will beat you in a minute when I fix this." Addie helped push the go-cart into the shop. I was totally focused on looking for the tools to work on the engine when I felt her hand on my shoulder.
"It is 5:30 I am going to go make something for us to eat." I turned around and gave her a look she walked back closer to me and kissed me quickly on the lips. We had hadn't exchange anything deeper than a light peak since this morning but right now that was fine with me but tonight it was going to change. I had a plan before the boys came later on.
I heard the door creak open from my spot on the counter where I was waiting on the rice to get done. The oven clock just displayed 7:00pm. When I turned my head a greasy Junior walked in his hands black from the oil of the engine he had been working on.
"Dinner is almost done. I just need your help with one thing."
"Okay let me wash my hands." I watched as he slide off his shoes at the door struggling not to touch the sides of the walls. I couldn't help but look him up and down as he washed his hands. His jeans fitting better than normal showing off his back end. His familiar t-shit and wild curls coming from the back of his hat and his cute socked feet curled up on top of the other one.
"What are you doing." he asked me as he dried off his hands catching me zoned out on looking at him. I blushed at knowing he knew my previous actions.
"You were checking me out." he laughed walking up and putting his now dry hands on my jean covered knee.
"So what do you need me to do." I looked down at his hands resting on my knees. I covered his with mine.
"Put the steaks on. I can't grill" I whispered out as I knew that look in his eyes. I let my hand go to his hair as our lips met again. There was something about this kitchen and our kisses as he moved his tongue next to mine. This time I responded as we began to play tongue tag. Breaking the kiss a couple minutes later. If I thought the first kiss screwed my brain this one made my brain shut down.
"I need to get out these clothes then I will finish up dinner." he smiled then lightly peeked my lips patting my knee then taking his shirt off as he walked to the stairs. I glanced down at Killer.
"Your daddy sure knows how to mess a girl up."
I stood wrapped in Junior's sweatshirt after he tossed it to me while climbing into the go-carts all of his boys were finally arriving after our dinner and long make out session on the swing. My lips still felt numb from his long kisses and brain was just finally starting to recover and become clear again. I smiled as Junior waved slightly as he warmed up to zoom by competing with the others. I just smiled and waved back. As the boys went around and around I tried my best to hold in my cheers for Junior as he moved up in the back. I only recognized to of his friends from meeting them earlier. When they came across the line Junior was in the lead Martin right behind him. I started to laugh as he got out rejoicing as if it was a Cup win. The other guys drove there carts back into the garage as Junior walked over to where I was now sitting in on the lawn chairs.
"You are going to help me race my RC car ?" he smiled pulling me up and sitting down in the chair then grabbing me back on his lap a couple of his friends setting down around us.
"Yeah." I reached in my jean pocket fishing out my chap-stick and started putting it on the bubble-gum scent of it causing Junior to laugh and reach for it.
"You want some." I asked him holding it up to his lips. He just shook his head yes the pulled me close getting it off my on lips on to his. I just looked at him when he pulled back moving his lips together.
"Taste pretty good." he licked his lips again tasting the chopstick.
"You are such a dork." I moved on his lap so my back was against his chest and my head resting on his shoulders. I watched his hands wrap around my stomach holding me close as the idea of racing the remote control cars was far forgotten as everyone began to sit around and start talking.
"I might be a dork but I know one thing."
"What is that." I turned to see where the laughter was when I heard his whisper in my ear sending chill bumps up.
"That you are beautiful."
"You think I am beautiful." I just looked at Addie as she asked me a question I thought she knew the answer to out of the blue.
"That is random." I touched her hair as we stood in front of the guest room door. She spent almost the whole night sitting on my lap as me and the guys chilled. I didn't want her anywhere else.
"I have been thinking about since you told me. You think I am." she had so much innocence in her that it scared me but then again it was what I wanted.
"Addie I am never going to ask you or tell you something I don't mean." I pulled her close. I could smell her soft perfume as I nuzzled her neck.
"You are beautiful." I whispered in her ear. She pulled back laying her hands on my upper arms.
"You are too." she looked dead at me. For the first time she had said something another girl had never. I could see that look in her eye it was changing by the minute. I knew that look and I hadn't stop running from since high school.
"I have to go test tomorrow in Martinsville." I hated to see her face lose it happiness but then again it made me feel so good knowing she want to be with me.
"Well I am sure I can catch a flight back home tomorrow." I didn't want her to leave. I wanted her to stay be at the house when I came home tomorrow night.
"You want me to st...." I cut her off and laughed as I laid my finger over her lips.
"Addie what did I just tell you when I say something to you I mean it you don't have to re ask me." I moved my finger from her lips. The soft skin on them made me want to kiss her. I couldn't erase her kiss from my memory. It was like my new drug. I leaned down and touched her lips again with mine. 5 minute later we finally broke apart. My hand held hers tight by her leg as I kissed her forehead. She just looked at me and smiled.
"I will be here when you get home tomorrow." I felt her play with the curls in my hair at my neck her fingers brushing the spot she had yet to fine that would make me hers forever.
"Promise." she leaned up and kissed me for the first time taking charge.
"Night Junior." she whispered as she gradually pulled away from still holding on to my hand. I pulled her for another kiss that lasted another couple minutes until we had to break for air.
"Night Addie." I heard her wonderful laugh at our actions both lingering near the other until we finally had to let our hands go and head to our prospective bedrooms. I didn't close my door for the first time in years as I crawled into my bed looking at the clock knowing a in a few hours I would be headed to Martinsville.
I gently walked into the guest room with a huge smile spreading across my face. Addie was curled up and in her arms was the superman and a blanket with my race car on it. Her long brown hair was spread across the pillow and she still had that angelic glow asleep that she did when she was awake.
"Addie I am leaving for Martinsville." she just moved a little toward my voice. I kissed her gently when her eyes lazily opened. Still full of sleepy.
"Hey." her voice had never been sexier to my ears as it was husky whisper from barely waking up.
"Hey. I am heading out." I leaned down my arm outstretched on the soft pillow.
"Okay. I will be thinking about you." I smiled looking at her still cuddled up in the blankets.
"See you later on." I kissed her cheek then touched the soft skin.
"Yeah." she rolled back over as I walked out of the room. My hand had just hit the knob when I heard her voice.
"Junior..Wait" I looked behind me and saw her come storming down the stairs her bare feet pounding the hardwood. She through her arms around my neck and almost swung her body in front of mine as my hand caught her around the waist.
"I forgot to give you something before you left." she smiled still not fully awake.
"Okay." she leaned up slamming her lips on mine her tongue instantly invading my mouth and dancing around as if she was counting how many teeth I had. I couldn't be over powered by her. I grabbed the back of her head and made the kiss deeper mimicking her same actions.
"Damn." I looked at her as she smiled knowing she had got me.
"Have fun today." she kissed me again gently then headed back up stairs catching her eyes back with mine as she looked back down. I just shook my head smiling as I locked up and drove over to DEI. I guess the smile was on my face still as I walked into the shop cause Pops and Tony Jr. both instantly saw it.
"Look at you grinning like a possum."
"What can't I just be in a good mood." I walked into his office grabbing a dough nut still thinking about my lips tingling.
I looked at the clock from my spot in the guest room packing up my rolling suitcase and my back-pack. Killer was laying with his tennis ball in his mouth watching me. I scratched his head as I laid out my massive pile of index cards still not feeling comfortable with my test tomorrow. My flight left at 4am the next morning landing back in Birmingham around 5:45 enough time to be back in Auburn and at my 8 o'clock class. I zipped up my luggage and grabbed the superman toy that was Junior's and headed toward his bedroom. It was like uncharted territory as I slowly walked in the door frame. His room was a mess the comforter all wadded up clothes on the floor but it was totally 100% Junior. I tossed the superman on his bed and started to leave but the curiosity made me turn back and glance one last time. He defiantly need a woman to take care of him even if he wouldn't admit it. Killer nuzzled my hand still with is ball in his mouth.
"I guess I could play with you." I walked down the steps Killer following me jumping around as I grabbed the jacket laying on the back of the couch and headed towards the back door.As I slide it on a strong scent of Junior filled me. I could only snuggle deeper in his jacket as I threw the ball out and Killer ran hard after it. I went throw the ball again when I felt two arms wrap around me. I couldn't help but smile.
"I didn't hear you pull up." I leaned back against Junior's chest as he stood behind me still holding me not talking yet.
"You smell like me." he kissed my cheek as he took the ball and threw it to a now whimpering Killer at our feet.
"Hope you don't mine but I had to borrow your jacket." I held up my arms as the sleeves were a little longer and covered my hand.
"I don't care." I turned around as he tossed the ball again.
"Have a good test."
"Yeah. Glad to be back home though." We walked in leaving Killer running around outside. I was standing against the counter when Junior walked up laying his hands on the counter moving his body in against mine.
"You ready to go eat." he kissed my lips softly.
"You taking me out on the big town."
"Yeah I got to show you off." he turned off the kitchen lights and tossed me my purse.
"Where are we going" I asked as we held hands on our drive both of our arms resting on the truck console.
"A place on Lake Norman." he said smiling as I reached for the radio turning up the new Rascal Flatt song.
"I want to get there new cd." I babbled as we drove Junior just letting me go nodding his head or shaking it when I asked him something pointless. We pulled up in this hole in the wall restaurant on the lake the building look like it was going to be sucked into the lake. I looked up at the neon sign blinking Big Daddy's. I held on tight to Junior's hand as she reached it out to me as we walked up. I walked under his arm as he held open the door. The dinning room was huge with a lot of noise from locals eating dinner.
"I like this place." I said as I turned back to Junior waving at someone and resting his hand on my shoulder.
"Over there that use to be my English teacher she was hot back when I was 17." he whispered causing me to laugh at the older lady with graying blonde hair. We had a small table towards the back. Both automatically talking of what we wanted.
"Hot..Hot." Junior had his head thrown back laughing loudly at me as I bit into the jalapeno popper.
"You butt you told me it wasn't to hot." I got out after chugging down half my sweet tea.
"Well it is not." he was laughing still as he popped the popper in his mouth the spiciness not even phasing him. Soon we had a exchange going I would eat the fried outside and cheese and he would get the pepper.
"What time is your flight out tomorrow." He asked in between bites of his seafood platter.
"4am" I struggled to get the ketchup out as he reached over a hit the side of sending a rush of ketchup.
"Damn Addie that is at the crack of dawn." I just tossed a french fry at him for his comment.
"Well I wanted to spend the most time with you then only leave when I had to so I would get back for classes." He laid his hand over mine on the table the soft cool lien cloth against my palm.
"You coming up Friday for the weekend aren't you since we are racing here."
"You better believe you have me hooked now watching the race on tv is nothing to it live."
"Good. Hey Addie."
"I am going to miss you. I have gotten use to you being around." I looked up from plate.
"I am going to miss you to. I am going to miss you alot." We finished up dinner both sharing a Mississippi Mudd Pie. Leaving was going to be harder than I thought.