"C'mon Martin, C'mon" I was standing yelling from the pit box as we got down to 3 to go. I had my fingers crossed praying their wouldn't be a green,white,checker. I felt someone's hand go around my thigh right above my knee. I looked down from my cheering a second to see Junior holding on to me. I just gave him a look. He moved slightly almost standing.
"I don't want you to fall." he yelled over the roar of the engines and cheers from the crew. I just nodded in thanks as I turned back to the race catching Martin cross the finish line holding off Kevin my inches. Junior shot up celebrating beside me. We both turned to each other wrapping our arms around the other.
"We won." he had his arms around me still. We both forgot for a second we were on the pit box as we just stood there looking at each other. Finally when Bono yelled to head to victory lane did the daze end.
"El you ready for your first victory lane. "
"Oh Yeah. Just don't leave me in there." I was normally comfortable in crazy situations but the victory lane at Bristol scared me especially with the guys going wild like they were.
"I ain't." He grabbed my hand as we did a quick sprint into the circle. Josh came up behind me and lift me in the air.
"You are good luck Ella. " he yelled over the crowd.
"Hahah I don't think so Martin just rocks." we were all smiles. Junior still had my hand in his as we pulled in between the crew members. Everyone patting the other on the back. I pulled back a little from Junior as the camera's came and got deep in between the crew guys. Soon the powerade and beer were flying. There was no escape from the ramped liquid. I watched as the interviewers continued there quest on Martin and Junior. I had lost sight of Josh until I felt a shower of powerade over my head. I shrieked up at the cold liquid going down my face. When I turned around there was a group of crew guys dying over laughter at the sight.
"What!!! I had to welcome you in." I just turned and went up to hug him getting him even more soaked.
"This is so much fun Josh. I mean I have always wanted to be in Victory Lane." to me the was the pentacle of working with a race team. Being with the team and getting the electricity off them was intoxicating.
"You should see it when Junior is in here. He gets it cranked. But I am sure you will be next time he wins." He gave me that look of I knowledge about my feelings I didn't even want to acknowledge.
"TEAM PICTURES." the Nascar Offical yelled. I didn't know what to do as I was making my decision I felt someone walk up and wrap there arms around me. It was Junior I knew those arms from anywhere.
"Come on you are standing beside me."
"You sure I mean..." I hesitated moving up into the camera shot.
"Shut up and smile." he said as he pulled me to his side. My arm went around his waist as we both held up a number one and smiled. My the end of the photography part my mouth hurt from smiling so much. Gradually Victory Lane began to empty out and things began to calm down. Junior had kept his promise and didn't leave me out in the open. I was with him following his footsteps like a lost puppy.
"I am heading back to the coach you ready." He took along swig out the beer in his hand.
"I am just following you."
"Aight" on our way out we stopped my Martin one last time.
"You did awesome tonight Martini." We shared a friendly hug.
"Ella you riding back with us to the hotel or staying here for awhile." Josh asked as he got the credentials from around his neck to wipe the droplets off the ends of his hair.
"Just go on with out me. I can get Jamie to drive me back."
"Alright. See you back in the Mo then" I walked behind Junior in silence as we made our way down pit road. All the guys except for Junior's crew was heading back home. I would be catching a ride with the Brew Crew tomorrow morning for the race.
"Junior man I am soaked. Look at this." I stopped and showed him the liquid that was coming out of my hair as I rung it out.
"That is Victory Lane for ya. I want you in there when I win again so you can see how it can really be." My hair had turned into curls from the dampness. I watched him gently brush one from my face.
"ELLA" I turned to find the voice that was calling me. I saw Jamie come running toward me and Junior.
"Hey." he kissed me fast on the lips as he got to us. I looked up at Junior after he did. His was was just blank.
"Well Ella I will see you tomorrow." Junior started to walk off. I excused myself from Jamie real quick.
"Hey Fathead." I said only loud enough for him to hear me. He stopped and slowly turned around.
"You going to win for me tomorrow so I can go to Victory Lane again." he just smiled
"Yeah." I gave him a quick friendly hug and walked back to Jamie.
"Honey you smell rough." he leaned in and kissed my cheek as we walked down to the coach's.
"I know I can smell myself." When we got to Jamie's coach we didn't go in instead he got his keys out and unlocked the rental car he had.
"You getting rid of me this fast" I joked as I sat down in the passenger side seat pulling up hair again.
"Who said I was leaving when we got back to the hotel." he gave me a look. I just laughed. He held my hand the whole way to the hotel. I opened the hotel room door. Thankfully the maid had came. Me and Junior had almost destroyed the room last night. The bed was all made and all the empty food cartons thrown away. I laid my purse and key down headed over to the air conditioner when I heard Jamie's voice in a tone that rocked me to my core.
"Ella what the hell is this"
"What is what." I turned around. Jamie was standing there holding Junior's hat that was laying on the bed where the maid had put it.
"Why is Junior's hat in here." my defense of mine and Junior's relationship started to come up.
"Cause he came over last night and he left it cause he would lose his head if it wasn't screwed on half the time." I got the hat out of his hand and tossed on top of my purse.
"So you and him were alone in the room together." I knew where he was getting at and I didn't like it.
"Yeah we were alone and we didn't do anything. We ate Chinese and watched a movie. Totally innocent."
"Did he sleep here." Why did he have to ask the question.
"Yeah." I wasn't going to lie to Jamie. I couldn't lie to him.
"I see. So was the sex good." I was floored by his comment I had never seen Jamie like that before. He was always so sweet and gentlemanly.
"Jamie. We didn't do anything I promise you." I knew asking for him to believe was going to be hard. He was sitting down in the chair in the room I walked over and sat down on his lap. I felt him pull me close.
"I didn't mean to say what I did just then. I just El it is hard you know. I believe you but still I worry especially cause of you know what has happened." there was my Jamie back.
"I understand. I promise you nothing is going to happen again. I am not going to let it. But I can't not be his friend. We do have to work together you know." I played with the spikes in his hair. He kissed my forehead gently then reached over and turned off the light his lips landing back on mine this time in a heated kiss. Some way or another we ended up laying on the hotel bed in a heated make out session the thoughts of the night before being suppressed. I ran my fingertips up Jamie's arm as we took a breather. I felt him pull his arm away and lay it behind his head as he hand ran down my back. I just looked up at him.
"Don't you like that." I asked as I went to run my fingertips down again on his other arm.
"No if feels like something is crawling on me. Baby." Then it hit me. Junior loved it when I ran my nails and fingertips over his arm or across his skin.
"Oh." I didn't know what to do. I had just got Jamie and Junior confused together. I didn't have to think long until Jamie began our kissing session again. We continued on for a good 10 minutes then I felt his hand take the same journey Junior's did.
"What you repeating what you did last night." I whispered in between kisses as I moved over him.
"Last night." Jamie pulled me back from his lips looking at me with a questioning face. I just looked at him leaning down to kiss him again him holding me back.
"I wasn't with you last night."
"I know." the it hit me.
"I wasn't with you but I know who was." He moved away from me and turned on the light.
"Jamie what are you doing come back." I laid my arms around his shoulders as he stood up.
"What really happened last night Ella." he turned around looking at me.
"Jamie we already went through this nothing. You had my brain in mush a minute ago. I could have said last year. Now come on." I pulled him back to me and turned the light back off.
"You want to finish what we started back at your house." at that point. I wanted anything to make up for my slip up. I just nodded and moved so he was fully over me.
"I pulled the patio chair out from the table as I sat down by the hotel pool looking up at the stars. Jamie had just left. We didn't go any further than making out. I had to seriously start making decisions. I was treating Jamie horribly when all he deserved was me fully. I had to stop whatever the desire was with Junior. I sat in silence for awhile until a voice broke me from it.
"Excuse me you are Jamie McMurray's girlfriend." I had to smile that was the first time someone had asked me that.
"Yes I am. I am Ella." I reached out my hand towards her from my seat.
"Krista. I am Tony Stewart's girlfriend or whatever we are right now." she laughed as she took a seat in the chair beside me.
"I was just out here looking at the stars they are beautiful tonight."
"Yeah they are I had to get out of that stuffy room. Tony is here talking about setups. I am sure you know how interesting that can be for long periods of time."
"So what are you running from out here." she asked not knowing I was running from myself.
"I need to come out and think about somethings. Especially about how I have been a shitty girlfriend" I moved my legs under me as I played with the leaf on the table.
"I know the shitty girlfriend feeling." Krista countered as she leaned back in her chair.
"No you don't understand I have been the ultimate poster child for being a ass and I have a guy who no matter what is willing to do anything still for me." I just shook my head thinking back to all the things I had done.
"Well it can be that bad if he knows and is still around. That speaks for something."
"Yeah for him that he is a tender-hearted great romantic guy that any girl would be lucky to have not me who is torn with what she feels and for who and becoming a slut it seems like in the process just not with her boyfriend."
"You aren't cheating on him are you." She asked wide-eyed.
"No he knows everything that has happened with the other guy and stayed with me. I just don't know who I have feelings for and to what extent."
"That is a good man. I mean honestly not to be mean but would you have stayed with him if he did the same thing to you." I just shook my head.
"I know I am out of turn saying these things, but you need to make a decision because it's not fair to Jamie, he's a sweet guy and it's not fair for him to be treated this way" I just listened to her as she told me what I knew but need to hear.
"The decision is the hard part. I don't want to hurt him the other guy or myself. As selfish as that sounds I don't want to hurt myself."
"Well Jamie just finally got over the bad break up with Ceilo I don't think he can take someone else hurting him. He is a sweet guy and doesn't deserve that happening again." I leaned back against my chair soaking up her words.
"I know what I need to do." I looked at her as she smiled.
"Good. Look there is Tony." she said smiling as Tony walked up to her.
"It was nice meeting you Ella I hope everything works out for the best. I guess I will see you tomorrow."
"Yeah I will be with Jamie."
"Good see you then." I watched as they walked away I knew exactly what I was going to do.
I walked into the Ganassi hauler looking for one particular person. I didn't have to ask as the crew guys pointed me in the direction of the lounge area. Before I could open the door Jamie had me in his arms.
"Hey Good Lookin." he whisper sweetly
"Hey" I had to laugh as he laid his forehead against mine as I sat down beside him on the couch.
"You ready to walk me down pit road." he smiled standing up and walking over to the closet getting his suit out
"This our first Cup race together."
"Yeah it is." I watched as he started getting ready changing into his fire suit. I couldn't wipe the smile off my face as I watched him.
"What are you so happy about." he asked as I ran my hand through his spiky hair making it stand up more.
"Nothing it just feels good being with you." He wrapped his arm around my waist as we stood there.
"It feels good to me to." We walked out and headed to driver intros. I heard Jamie start to laugh as we walked.
"What." I looked over him through the sunglasses I was wearing which where his.
"Those heels you make me feel short." He gave me that killer smile. I just shook my head.
"Well look at least we match." I pointed in between us. I had on a black cap sleeved shirt and some white capri's with a pair of heels I had bought when I was out one day with Junior's mom. I had to stop myself that was the only though I had of him all day and it was going to be the last it was now all about me and Jamie. When we got to the stage he pulled me close.
"All I know is that you are the prettiest one out her and that you are on my arm." I kissed his nose and hit his arm as we broke apart and he walked across the stage and loaded up into the track to make the lap around. I saw Kelley standing off talking to her husband. I hated to interrupt her but I need to get my mission accomplished before it was to late.
"Kelley can I ask you something real quick." She excused herself from Jimmy and walked us over to a quieter area. I filled her in on what was going and granted me what I had asked. I was walking on air as I headed to Jamie's car.
"Ella wait up." I heard Junior's voice yell. I stopped for a brief second as he caught up.
"I haven't seen you all day what is up." he breathed out as we walked down pit-road.
"Been with Jamie all day. I need to head on to the car. Good Luck tonight." I patted his shoulder as I walked on by headed to Jamie's car. I could almost sense the look across his face. I had to be strong and think past myself and about the cute man standing beside the 42 machine. We stood with our arms inter wined together as the anthem and prayer was said. I leaned in as he got strapped in.
"Good Luck." he held my hand in his until the command. I patted his leg and kissed him fully and soundly on the lips then headed to the pit box. I couldn't;t wait for the race and then what was planned after it.
"Ella you going to tell me what is going on." Jamie asked as he walked up behind me as I repacked my suitcase.
"Nope. Just trust me on this."I looked back at his tired face. We had just landed in from Bristol. Jamie had gotten a top ten but was worn out. He was being a good sport though as I kept him from going home and getting some sleep like he wanted to while we were there as he had to repack for something he had no idea about.
"Okay. Let's Go."
"You want me to drive or you." he asked yawning.
"I will we can take my Tahoe." he just nodded as we loaded up our bags and headed out. Not 10 minutes outside of Mooresville Jamie was leaned up against the window sound asleep. The drive was about 3 hours long but we had to check in tonight. I pulled up at the little entrance office getting out leaving a sleeping Jamie. When I walked back out Jamie was standing up stretching the car still running.
"You get some good rest." I wrapped my arms around him as we stood on the sandy pavement.
"Yeah. We are near the ocean." He asked taking a deep breath of the salty air.
"Yep we are almost to where we are suppose to be." We both climbed back in the car. Driving over the long bridge to the little island where Kitty Hawk was. All you could see was darkness as we crossed the bridge.
"Look for 519" I handed Jamie the map of the area. He fed me directions as we drove up the long drive to the condo. Lights illuminated the large beach front house with a long white deck that went to the sandy beaches and large window that faced the ocean.
"Ella baby this is beautiful." Jamie just stood there sliding off his flip-flops and stepping into the sand as we gathered our bags and walked up the long deck into the magnificent house. It was decorated in side with blues and whites along with wicker furniture and soft plush couch's that would suck your body in as you sat down.
"Let's go upstairs." I shut down the lights as we walked by hand and hand our bags over the our shoulder. The master bedroom door was closed as we topped the stairs.
"Come're" Jamie sat down he bag and grabbed my picking me up and carrying me in as she opened up the door. There were to french doors that were beside the bed. Jamie sat me carefully down as he brought int he bags and laid them on the floor coming back and wrapping his strong arms around my waist. He still smelled like the track.
"How did you pull this off." I felt his soft kiss on the side of my neck as we stood looking out over the dark ocean.
"Well..I booked it on the Internet last night got you and me off work until Thursday. So it is just you me and the ocean." I turned into his arms he eye tired but still dancing.
"No appearances." he kissed me gently on the lips.
"No work." we pulled into another soft kiss. His hands resting on my back as mine went around his neck.
"No cell phones." he countered as we kissed deeper.
"No disruptions." we both nodded as the words left his mouth. I watched him yawn again.
"Baby go get your shower we can explore everything tomorrow. Sleepy Head."
"You sleeping in here to." he asked me innocently. I just nodded as he smiled and grab somethings from his suitcase. I headed downt he hall after he went into he bathroom and took a shower in the guest bathroom. When I came back in he was laying on top of the comforter in a pair of basketball shorts. I crawled in beside him.
"You smell good." I could smell the aberombie and Fitch body wash he had used as I snuggled into his bare firm chest.
"So do you. You know I have a really good feeling about us being here." his voice off in the distance.
"Baby you know something so do I." I kissed his lips as he moved to turn off the beside lamp and we feel asleep listening to the ocean.
I woke up the next morning to the bright yellow curtains blowing in the breeze as the ocean area filled the bedroom. I rolled over to wake up Jamie but he was already up and out of the bed. I climbed slowly out of the comfy king size bed and headed downstairs I saw the back door open and a outline of him sitting out on the deck in one of the famous wooden beach chairs. Grabbing a yogurt from the fridge I headed out to meet him. My bare feet picking up the sand that had blown across the white wood. When I got to him he was holding a coffee mug and looking out over the blue green water. I lightly touched his bare shoulder.
"Morning." his hand covered mine as he leaned his head back against my stomach.
"Moring baby. Come sit with me." he patted his lap. I sat down on his tan legs as he opened his mouth wanting some of the yogurt I had in my cup.
"You sleep good."
"Yeah I did especially with you cuddled next to me."
"Aw." I moved and laid my back against his chest as we watched the waves hit.
"What do you want to do." he asked after several moments of silence had passed.
"Anything you want." This was Jamie's vacation but I knew if I wasn't careful he would turn into mine. He thought for a minute then spoke up.
"I was reading on that map thing about fishing off the piers." his fingers played with mine.
"You want to do that." he just smiled and nodded as I watched him over my shoulder.
"Alright then lets get going." I went to move when he hauled me back.
"Wait I want to hold you a little while longer."
"Hmm I like that idea to." When we finally separated from just loving the feel of each other and the ocean it was 1. Jamie slide on some shorts and a t-shirt grabbing his hat as I changed into the same thing almost except opting for a tank top. We both decided to walk down the beach to the fishing location. As we walked it was like out a scene of a movie. The surf lapping up at our feet then sun high our hands holding on to the other ones. I had to laugh when arrived at Jamie's excitement as they handed him his gear. It wasn't long till he was pulling back his line with a catch. The guide beside us was telling him what do. I had the camera with me taking shots of the great adventure as he pulled up a big king mackerel.
"Damn baby." He pulled me close as they snapped a picture for the wall in the tiny bait shop of Jamie holding up his prize.
"I am very proud of you. All I caught was a butter fish." He just laughed as we turned in our equipment and headed back down to the condo.
"I know this is our first day here but I don't want to go back." I got out the sun dress I was going to wear hanging it up on the closet door.
"Why El." he asked as we started getting ready for showers and heading into town for dinner. We spent all afternoon at the pier.
"Cause life is like it is suppose to be out here. Me and you." It was so easy to be with Jamie out here. Junior never crossed my mind. It was like second nature to let him treat me like he did. Jamie treated me like his princess anything I wanted Jamie would go to the ends of the earth to get. I wasn't going to ruin us anymore.
-Late Tuesday Night-
'I can't believe we have to go home tomorrow." I snuggled into the sand with Jamie as we sat in front of the condo after we came back from dinner at the Caribbean restaurant. I never saw Jamie come out of his shell so much. The consortia had got both of us singing with the look a like Bob Marely to "No Woman No Cry" then Jamie tried his hand at the steel drums.
"Hey think positive at least we don't have to leave to 8 tomorrow night so we got a whole day."
"Yeah..I know but we have done neither everything here and I have loved every minute of it cause I was with you."
"Aww El you are being a cheese ball now." he tickled my side as we stood up. Jamie was rolling up the bottom of his dress pants as we walked in the surf. I took the site of him. He was waring a long sleeve light blue shirt that was untucked with his sleeve rolled up. The buttons at the top were unbuttoned enough to show of alittle of his chest but not so that he looked like a bad 70's impersonator.
"You are so handsome." He looked up at me from mid-roll of his pants leg.
"Thanks baby you look good yourself." I just laughed at his comment causing him to lurch for me grabbing my legs up against his body making Mikey's height.
"I have dress on." I wailed in laughter as he spun me around in the surf the water splashing up on my bare legs and feet. I looked down at him as he looked up our eyes looking for the first time truly making a spark we had never had before.
"I really like you Ella."
"I really like you to Jamie." he slide me down his body as we kissed under the stars and in the surf of the Atlantic Ocean. His tongue slide carefully in my mouth as we kissed deeply stripping all the doubt away from the other.
"Wow" was all I could say as we broke apart.
"Yeah." I wiped the pink hint on his lips from my lipstick as we joined hands and began walking.
"I can't believe me and you stuck under a fence into that Jack Johnson concert." I laughed thinking about me and Jamie both scurrying under the fence with other fans at the concert Monday night.
"We were peered pressured." he responded as we turned and walked back to the condo.
"You know I can't wait till we get the pictures developed so I can make Jimmie choke when he sees we met Jack."
"I can almost see him now."
"I don't know if I like knowing you are picturing Johnson in your head."
"Hahah funny."We crawled into bed that night both thinking about the next day and going home to our life's. Mine I knew was going to be a test. But first we had to tackle the market shopping on the beach.
11pm Wednesday Night
"Home Sweet Home" I took a deep breath as I stood in my foyer. Jamie carrying in the bags from shopping earlier at the beach. I had gotten some sun which man me red not tan on my legs.
"Ella what is in the is bag." He held up the bright green bag in his left hand as he kicked in my duffel bag.
"Gifts." I answered as I read the note on the counter from Junior's mom.
"For who." he asked shutting the door as grabbing a powerade from the fridge to take on the road with him.
"Ms.Brenda, Kelley and Junior along with some family gifts I am mailing."
"What you get Junior." he asked looking through the bag.
"That tiki stuff for his basement." I closed the bag from his eyes. He wrapped his arms around my waist as we walked to the door wrapped around each other.
"I will see you Monday after Cali race."
"Yeah. Good Luck this weekend. I had fun with you."
"I did to you are going to make me miss waking up to you every morning."
"I am going to miss that to."
"Bye good lookin."
"Bye baby." we shared a quick kiss and he was on his way back to his Durango headed home and then to California the next day for the race. I was no back to the place I was weak.I hadn't talked to Junior in 4 days I knew as soon as I plugged in my cellphone the temptation of him would be back but this time could I withstand it.
"So how did you and Jamie's vacation go." Kelley asked as we both stepped up on treadmill's beside each other down in the work out room for the crews.
"It was awesome. We need it."
"Well I could see that smile on your face for a mile away this morning when you walked in. "
"I can't explain it Kelley it was like life was so much easier out there. You know with no temptation or struggles it was just me and Jamie."
I know exactly that feeling before me and Jimmy got married we had some rough times it took us going away together to see we really did have that undying love."
"I don't think me and Jamie are to that stage yet but I know he is very cute in the mornings when he wakes up." we both laughed as our minds wondered. Kelley gave me a look as we sped up the walking pace on our individual machines.
"No we haven't you know." I answered her next question before she even started to ask.
"There goes my next question." I had to laugh at her "aw shucks" face. We continued chatting as we walked. By the time we got down with our 30 minute work-out done I was sweating buckets.
"Man it is hot" I waved my hand in front of my face as I stood in front of the floor fan.
"Yeah it is but we do this for ourselves right." Kelley stated as she joined me.
"Yeah and for the Krispy Kreme dough-nut that went straight to my hips this morning."
"Amen to that one." we both shook our heads in agreement as we headed back out to the offices grabbing powerades from the lounge fridge.
"You know my brother has been stalking me to tell him where you went."
"Really." I was surprised then not at her revelation of Junior's actions.
"Then when I said no he just started moping and has been for the past few days you have been gone."
"I should have told him but it was so last minute. Plus at the moment he wasn't on my mind." I felt like dodging the lighting headed out of the clouds towards me after my comment.
"But your his best friend Ella." She said wrapping her sweat arm around me.
"I know and it is a full time job."
"What is a full time job." I heard Junior's voice boom as he popped his head out of my office.
"Watching you and keeping you out of trouble." his sister countered as he went up and messed up already falling hair. He just smiled and nodded. I stood there watching there reaction and picturing me and Jamie together like we had been at the beach as I looked at Junior trying to numb that surge that had been missing since Sunday.
"Ella thanks alot for the frame it is going in my office as soon as my brother detaches himself from me." Kelley laughed as her and Junior swapped arm hits.
"Oh it was nothing when me and Jamie were walking in the market I saw it and it called your name." I walked up to my door frame of the office as she walked to hers finally getting away from Junior leaving him standing in the middle of us. Watching our exchange like a fan would a tennis match.
"You bought Kelley something and not me." he said giving me the said puppy dog look and covering his heart. I just turned around and headed into my well air conditioned wonderland. Junior plopping down like usual in his normal seat on my office couch stretching his legs out over the arm.
"So what did you get me your best friend of all best friends." he stated holding up his arms in victory.
"Who said I got you anything." I countered watching shoot me the Earnhardt glare.
"I would have gotten you something." he leaned up long enough to make his statement then slide back down in his spot.
"Yeah I am sure I would have crossed you mind when you were on vacation with you girlfriend." I bent down to get the back I had bought his things in.
"You would have." I looked up at him as the words left his mouth. His eye fixated on the back of his hat as he held in his hands.
"Here Fathead." I tossed the bag over my desk at him. Hoping he would catch it our some of it would be in pieces. He caught it and laid back laying the bag on his stomach and gently started opening up the pieces. As he unwrapped them a smile began to creep across his face.
"Where did you find these at they are going to rock in my basement." he held up his little tiki's that served different purposes behind and for the bar.
"Actually Jamie spotted them at this little hut and when I walked over there I thought of you and Castaway then the basement."
"I like it. They are cool look at this one." he held up some random one.
"So you like 'em" he just nodded as he stood and walked behind my desk.
"Thanks" he bent down and wrapped his arms around me in a strong hug. Think of Jamie I repeated think of Jamie.
"So what time do you have to fly out." I rolled my chair away and turned back so he had to move back towards the couch to carry on our conversation.
"In 2 hours. So you and Jamie went on a vacation." I knew his nosiness would come out.
"Yeah we went to the outer banks and stayed in the nice condo in Kitty Hawk." I smiled thinking back to the nights on the beach.
"You have fun."
"I had a blast. It was what me and Jamie needed. We are a whole lot better now." For some reason Junior didn't share the same enthusiasm as Kelley did when I told her me and Jamie had a great time.
"I guess that is good." he mumbled
"Yeah Junior it is good. I had to make some decisions..." I stopped myself before going to deep. But Junior wasn't on that wavelength.
"So what did you decide." I hated when he did that. He knew he could use that charming little smile and make me tell him everything he wanted to know.
"That if I am with Jamie me and you can't. Well we have to just be friends Junior like we were before we slipped up that day. It is not right and I don't want to keep doing that cause we are so comfortable together. You know and no more sleeping in the same bed that adds on to it to cause you can't control what you did when you are sleep we have proved that point all to well." I flash of waking up in his arms sent shivers down me. He just looked at me as I unloaded.
"I want you to be happy for me and Jamie." I watched his reaction as he took in my last words.
"Ella I am happy if you are happy but if he does anything to you I don't like I am going to make my presence be known. You deserve someone that is going to treat you right." There was that Junior that I had befriended and got so close to coming out and shining.
"I don't want to lose you as my best friend." I looked into his deep baby blue eyes.
"You not I promise. You'll never lose me I am like a..."
"Disease.... Roach..." I countered trying to lightened the mood.
"Ha ha funny." he smirked. We just sat there in silence for a minute then he spoke up.
"Can we still go to lunch and dinner together. Do what we normally do."
"Yeah just no kisses no cuddles and sleep overs unless it is in the guest room pre planned. Deal." I held out my hand over my desk. He stood up laying his gifts on the leather cushion.
"I guess so Deal" we both shook on it.
"Well I need to go back and shower before heading to California to beat your boyfriend in the race. My need to get some tissue to wipe his tears." he taunted as he turned and picked up his gift bag.
"Very funny. I will be waiting for you when you come in with your dreams shattered after he beats you. With a box of tissue for those tears." He just flicked me off as he walked out the door. I buzzed his nextel before he got to far.
"On the gesture you just gave me the answer is No." then I blocked him before he could radio me back. I heard him yelled back down the hallway.
"You know you want it." then he left for good his music thumping as he pulled out of the drive.
I peeled out of the parking lot heading home. I had missed Ella so bad and today when I finally saw her Tahoe back in the parking lot I had to go and see her. She had no idea I heard her whole conversation with Kelley about her and Jamie. For some reason I knew I was the temptation she was talking about and hell did it make me smile and feel good. I glanced over in the passenger seat at the little tiki's she had gotten me at least I knew I crossed her mind. I thought about our deal as I pulled into the garage. There was always loop holes in deals it was just a matter of time before I found one in ours.
"Come on Ugly." I yelled back into Ella's bedroom as I stood at the door. I watched as she tossed a towel at my head as she walked over to her bed zipping up her duffel bag.
"I can't believe you sister agreed to this along with me having to be your guard." she mumbled as I got her in a headlock.
"Ahhhh. Junior." she squealed as I missed up her wet hair from the recent shower she had.
"See what happens smart ass." I smirked back at her she just stuck her tongue at me and shoved her pillow which was filled with a sheet and blanket in the pillow case as she got her bag off her bed and led the way out of her bedroom.
"Junior this is a shit-wagon." Ella laughed as I past her heading toward the RV. Which was a 1979 Airstream.
"Yeah that is why this is going to be fun." She just stood in her drive looking at the old RV me and the boys had got.
"Why did I agree to this." she poked her head in the door and looked around and began shaking it.
"Because you love us and I make your paycheck." I pulled her into the RV. Martin and Josh already in there putting together the TV and old play station we had for the trip. We had decided to take a RV to Richmond stopping along the way for sponsor appearance but other than that is was a s*** RV road trip. My plan had worked as I watched Ella sit in the front seat as I cranked up the wagon. The beads we hung up shaking as it idled.
"You guys ready." I heard all h*** Yeah's as we pulled out of the driveway and headed with map in hand towards our first stop in Tennessee. I looked over at Ella. When I did she caught my eyes and smiled sliding her sunglasses up. Josh and Martin already cranking up the play station and arguing about the game they were playing.
"El you sure Jamie is cool with you doing this." I had to break the silence between us. We hadn't be the same since she came back from her trip with Jamie. It was like she had her wall up and I was the one trying to break it down again.
"What me coming with you for the next what 3 or so days." I just nodded she laughed at she stole my hat off my head and plopped it down on hers brushing the lose strains behind her ears.
"What else are you doing scandalous." She just hit me in the arm and laughed.
"Nothing. He was not really enthused with the idea but I mean.. I don't know we were arguing before I told him and still were arguing before you guys came." she was fiddling with her jeans as she talked.Soon laying her bare feet on the dash.
"June I am not ready to talk about why we were fighting yet." she said before I could ask her.
"When you are I will be listening."
"I will be to" Martin said popping his head in between the two seats. Ella thumped him in the forehead causing him and Josh to start to wrestle around causing the RV to move more as we drove down the interstate. This was going to be a trip that would change us.
"I am sorry Mrs Jackson I am fo-real." I was have a hard time breathing in between my laughter as Josh sang out the old Outkast. He had already down 7 beers since we had been parked in the local truck stop. The guys idea of course to use truck stops as our night locations. Junior and Martin both had a appearance Nashville which went smoothly other than someone trying to kiss Junior and grabbing Martin's booty. Josh was being the bodyguard and I was just shooting looks at the girls as they grabbed at the guys. Now were were somewhere in Kentucky about a hour away from the speedway there where Junior would have a test session and Martin would have a appearance in Burlington.
"Come on." Josh yelled as Junior busted out laughing laying his head on my shoulder as we both were sitting on the 1970 fabricated couch. Josh walked up to Martin who was sitting in front of me and Junior and danced his butt into his face sending everyone into laughter as Martin played it up along with him.
"Your friends are sick." Junior was nearly rolling off the couch from laughing. As both the guys where now standing dancing. Martin with a head nod and his arms in the air and Josh just doing a mix between booty dancing and break dancing. He just nodded at my statement as we both settled down again watching the show. Soon me and him where up with them singing to the COPS theme. Junior had gotten out his video camera in the process as he began filming. The test of us coordinated with the head bob. I was praying the video would never get out. It was 3 a.m. before any of us began to calm down. Josh crashing out on the one of the back beds then Martin taking the one beside him in the other twin bed. Leaving me and Junior the couch bed in the front since the back in the day camper only slept four.
"You sure you are cool with this I mean I can sleep on the floor somewhere or make dumb and dumber share a bed." I turned looking at a sleepy Junior as he stood there letting the few beers he had catch up with his tiredness.
"It is fine long as we you know."
"Keep it platonic." he countered yawing.
"Yeah." I moved the empty beer bottles into the small sink as Junior began sliding out the old grunge couch. I went back and grabbed my pillow out from under Martin's legs and got Junior's along with some clothes to sleep in. I tossed the pillows and things at Junior as he stood there looking at the sheet he had as if it was magical going to get on the bed. I came back out to him muttering under his breath trying to get the sheet over the corner. I just stood watching him as he finally got it all done and tossed our pillows down at the far end.
"Nice Job." I clapped as he just shoot me a look at slide his shirt off.
"The bed is a twin so we are going to be on top of each other nearly." I could see the little glint in his eye. I looked at the bed it was small.
"Then you better go brush your teeth."
"Hahah funny." He walked back into the small bathroom and got his nightly rituals done. I laid down on the clean white sheet trying to save as much room for him as possible. When he came out he tossed his jeans which were in his hand on the chair and climbed in dodging everything since we had no leg room.
"Okay we are going to have to do something." Both of us laying our our back very uncomfortably.
"Yeah my ass is hanging off." he said trying to push me over into the wall.
"If we both turn on our sides we will make more room. So what way are we facing." I sat up at little looking down at him the street light shinning in on his pale skin.
"Go my way since then you will to snuggle on me." he stated all authoritic.
"My dream come true." I moved up behind him as she turned over. We both finally got comfortable until I felt something on my hand that was resting on his back. There was no other place for my arms to go but around him.
"Eww what is that." I wiped my hand against his arm.
"Sweat. I am burning up." his voice in a pissy tone.
"Then bump up the air." He crawled out of the the tight space and hit the air up not looking at the temp and laid back down. I turned and but my back to his as the air began to cool the front off. I snuggled into my pillow noticing a different smell. I was sleeping on Junior's and he gotten my mine. By the time I fell asleep it was a freezer in side the wagon of love as we began to call it.
"WAKE UP!!!!!!!!!!!!" I heard a yell. I went to roll over some how Junior managed to get on his stomach sound asleep taking up most of the room that was left and I was mangled with his legs as I was curled up against the wall. When I finally got into a sitting position Junior was laying half on the bed and half off his head covered my my pillow. I was wiping the sleepy out of my eye when a flying ball of paper towel hit me. I glared in the direction of it a hung over Josh barely smiling.
"Wake up you slacker." I hit Junior lightly as he tried his back to act dead.
"I am up." He sat up with his hair going crazy causing me and the guys to laugh.
"We are heading into the truck stop to get a table." Martin said as Josh and him left.
"I need a shower." I stated as I got up and grabbed my glasses and sliding on some flip-flops as I tried to tame my hair enough to go eat breakfast. I watched as Junior just stood there zoned out like he always is in the morning.
"You wearing that."
"Yeah. Why you have a problem with it." I walked up picking on his thumping at his back.
"Ugly stop I just got up ." he groaned as he looked for his shoes and slide on his shirt us both walking down the one step and headed into the truck stop. Breakfast was more like eating with zombie's. None of the guys where talking all of them were shoveling in the food. Junior was beside me as we kept hitting elbows he finally laced his left arm withing my right and started eating solving the problem. We all loaded up quick and headed out dropping Junior off at the Kentucky Speedway the driving up to Burlington for Martin's appearance. The afternoon was a blur and soon I were back on the love wagon headed to get Junior and head up to Richmond.
"Damn Josh man." I braced my self on the floor as I laid across the couch talking to the guys. When they had got me at the track Ella had went back to the back beds and laid down she had been asleep since I got back on. Josh was now driving us to Richmond letting me and Martin take a break.
"What Junior there was a pot hole." Josh had the RV going about 90 and was hitting small animals and potholes left and right on the old country road. I was leaned back talking when I felt a touch on my arm behind my head when I looked up a half asleep Ella was standing. I moved over more against the wall she fell almost into the bed as Josh hit something else causing me to grab her. Bam as soon as I grabbed her still letting her land on met he same desire and look in her that had been missing was back as she just started into my eyes and rolled a little more over propping up mimicking me. I never noticed Martin watching us as we joked back and forth hitting each other. When we pulled into the truck stop of the night we all decided to grab showers. I hung back with Ella I didn't want her walking in there by herself. The guys went on in front of me as I made sure she got into the women's bathroom then headed in my own.
"Junior man don't even tell me you don't want that girl." Josh said to me as we waited on Ella to get down from her shower sitting in the booth near the door.
"Oh you are shitting me. Junior you are so damn lost in Ella it is not even funny anymore. If you to grow some balls I am going to go after her." Josh laughed then got into a serious tone.
"You even look at Ella like that man and I will..."
"See Martin what I tell ya."
"Yeah. I will pay you 10 bucks in the RV." Martin responded.
"Okay so what yeah I like her yeah I wish she was mine and yes I am falling for her."
"What was that last part man. I thought I heard you say you are falling for her." I looked at him.
"shit man he is in love look at that." Martin hit Josh in the arm as my eyes glued to Ella's body as she walked to us carrying a towel and her cosmetic bag.
"Our little boy has grown up." Josh gave a fake sniffle as we all stood up. I ignored them totally as I was focus on the blue eyed beauty walking up to me.
"You smell better." I wrapped my arm around her shoulder as we walked farther she just laughed and walked closer to my side I could hear the guys start to crack up behind us.
"Junior you know you friends are so weird."
"Yeah I know." she stopped as we walked toward the back of the RV looking at the ladder coming down the back.
"Hey Jun. We haven't had one of our talks in awhile you know." I just nodded as she went on.
"I am ready for one." she turned and looked at me then followed her eyes on to the ladder.
"So you are saying lets talk up on top of the RV."
"Yeah. Why not." She smiled knowing it would break me.
"Cause this thing is shitty and we might fall through."
"If it is rusted we will come down." I just agreed as she walked in putting her stuff down.
"Junior man tell her." Josh said as Martin walked in with her.
"Tell her." I restated.
"Dude tell her." was all he said smiling as he followed in behind them leaving me outside looking at the stars. Ella came back out with a blanket and a vinyl table cloth for us to sit on. I walked up behind her she laid out the table cloth and sat down. Soon both of us were sitting up there under the same blanket. It was one of those scenes that you only share with the person you loved. I watched her as she laid back looking up at the stars. The moonlight coming across her.
"I need to tell you something." It was no our never. I laid down beside her keeping the distance still she had asked for.
"Jamie wants me to quite working at J.R. motor sports." she stated before I could get my own words out.
"He what." I couldn't help my instant angry it came across in my tone. She didn't turn and look at my just kept staring off.
"He wants me to go work with him at Ganassi. He thinks it is the best thing for us."
"Are you." I watched as she moved her head on to my shoulder closing up the distance. All I wanted to do was hear her answer and kiss her under the stars making her forget everything about Jamie and the world and it finally just be me and her.
"There is no way in he..." leaving J.R. Motorsports and Jr I could never do. My heart could never take that.
"Ella I love you. Damn I love you so much. " Junior yelled stopping me before I could answer. I jumped up from laying beside him and looked at him as he raised up beside me.
"You love me." I asked staring at him like he had three heads.
"Uh Yeah." he said in a tone like you got be kidding me.
"Marry Me." those were the only words my brain would produce and let come out.
"What are you smoking something. I think I am suppose to be the one to ask that." he said laughing looking into my eyes.
"Junior I am serious. Marry Me."
"You aren't shitting me are you." it finally hit him that I was dead serious. He touched my leg as I sat Indian style.
"No." I said to him as he looked down for a minute then locked his blue eyes with mine.
"Okay then lets get married." I sprung up and wrapped my arms around him.
"You are serious." I still had my arms around his next as I leaned back enough to see his face and his smile that was brighter than that mine.
"Hell Yeah" I just smiled and headed to lean into a kiss when Josh came storming out from under us in the RV.
"ELLA PHONE IT IS JAMIE."
"You better get that and tell him." Junior said looking at me as I pulled back.
"I know. You going to be waiting when I get back."
"Maybe." he said giving me a goose as I stood up heading down the side ladder. Junior followed me down heading into the RV.
"Don't tell them yet." I whispered as I got the phone from Josh pulling Junior back down by his shirt as he entered into he door frame. He just nodded and smiled mouthing I love you to me.
"Hello." I walked into the area inside the truck stop where the truckers could make phone calls sitting down inside a cubicle in the nice office chair.
"Hey El. Um we need to talk." I could tell by Jamie's voice it was important.
"I have something I need to tell you to." I countered gently reclining back in the chair.
"I think we should end this thing between us." he said in a low voice.
"You do." I was shocked for a moment but then thankful that I didn't have to say the same thing to him.
"Ella I know and so do you that we are better as friends then boyfriend and girlfriend. Plus I know I will never be top rank in your heart someone else holds that place."
" I am sorry for all the things I have done to you Jamie. I never meant to hurt you. You have always treated me with respect."
"Ella you are a good person I just hope you realize who you love because you will never find happiness until you do."
"Are we still going to be friends after this." I wanted to keep Jamie in my life he was to great of a person to let get away.
"I want to if you do." his voice had risen back to his normal tone.
"I want to be friends with you still." the honest coming from my heart.
"Well I will see you at the track tomorrow I guess."
"Yeah see you then." as we hung up. I felt like running to the RV and seeing the person I knew I loved. I opened up the the RV door finding the guys all sitting there playing cards. I just smiled at Junior as he looked up and laid his cards down.
"Guys I need to borrow Junior for a minute there is something I want to show him inside the store thing." I tapped my nails on the door frame as Junior stood up and walked up to me. The guys just nodded and dealed out again. As soon as the door closed he had his lips on mine. We stood in the parking lot kissing both enjoying the tongue battle finally pulling away from the other one as we both needed air. I ran my hands through his curls coming out of the back of his redskin hat.
"I love you Junior. I have loved you for along time. I just was afraid to." he pulled me closer to his body the warm heat coming off him was intoxicating.
"I want to get married right now." I didn't want to wait to marry him. He was the man I loved and wanted to love for the rest of my life.
"Then we need to do something things."
"Like what." I laughed as he nuzzled my neck with is scruffy cheek.
"You will see come on." he grabbed my hand as we walked lacing our fingers together and randomly dropping kisses on my forehead as we walked. We walked into the entrance of the truck stop and stopped at the rack of gum ball machines and toy machines. Junior was fishing in his pockets for some quarters. I just stood there wrapping my arms around his waist leaning on him as he looked for what machine he wanted to use. He squatted down pulling out of my arms I laid my hands on his shoulder as he twisted the nob and got the prize then moved over to the other machine beside it repeating the action standing back up with 3 little plastic bubble containers.
"What do you have." he slided them into his pocket not answering me as we went back and sat in a booth. Both ordering a piece of pie as the waitress sat down the plates and left he began to move getting one of the plastic bubble containers out and put my hands in his.
"I know that smirk Earnhardt what do you have up your sleeve."
"Close your eyes and don't open them until I tell you to."
"Ella do it and shut up." he said sternly. I closed my eyes and felt him release my hand then slide something on to my left ring finger. As I sat there I felt him gently kiss my closed eyes.
"Okay open them now." I looked down on my finger was ring from one of the machines. I held up my hand looking at the silver plastic band and fake blue stone that was sitting on it.
"See now you got a engagement ring. I will get you a better one later but I wanted you to have one now."
"I don't want a better one. I love this." I said smiling down at my hand as the ring sat there. I got up and moved over beside Junior on his side of the booth as he began to pick up his fork.
"This is the most romantic thing you could have ever done for me." I kissed his cheek as we started to eat our pie.
"Here taste mine." I held up the piece of key-lime pie on my fork.
"Don't put it on my face." Junior said as he moved his head back as I held up the fork to his face.
"I am not just taste it." He leaned in taking a bite getting some of the whipped cream on his face.
"You got some whipped cream on your mouth." I pointed laughing as he made a face not liking the taste.
"I know come're" he leaned down kissing me making sure he got some one my face then kissed it off. We both laid our foreheads against each others.
"I love you." the words came out in a whisper voice as I let them flow.
"I love you too." he popped his lips then pulled me to his side as we both finished up our pieces and headed back to Martin and Josh.
"We going to tell the guys." I asked as we were about to walk in.
"Whatever you want to do." he said massaging my shoulders as I stood facing him. I just nodded and turned and walked into the the RV. Martin and Josh both already in the back.
"They already go to sleep." Junior asked as he walked up behind me his voice echoing.
"Junior shut up man I am trying to sleep." Martin yelled back. I heard Josh busted out laughing causing me to begin to laugh.
"You to have fun." Josh yelled.
"Yeah it was a blast."
"All of you shut it." Martin yelled out again. I looked over at Junior as he moved to pull out our bed for the night. I went and changed into my night clothes when I came back out Junior went in to do the same. I waited looking out the window before turning the light off when I felt him kiss the side of my neck.
"You ready for bed it is nearly 2am." I just nodded as we both crawled in. His arms going around me instantly. His hands laying over mine as I felt his finger go over the ring.
"While you were talking to Jamie I called some people." I rolled over so I was facing him.
"Me and you have some plans made before my appearance and before we drop Martin off at the track with Josh." he said smiling wrapping his self more around me. I just nodded as I snuggled into his t-shirt chest falling asleep to his heart beat.
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