He stares at me for a long moment, before he starts backing away. “Okay…cool. Sleep well, and I’ll see you soon, friend.”
He gives a cheeky grin, one that I can’t help but return in the form of a soft smile.
“Good night, Carrick.”
One last dazzling smile, then, he’s gone, and for a split second, I regret not going with him even though I know that I did the right thing. Nothing good could have come of me going clubbing with Carrick.
That becomes even more apparent in the morning when I go out to get some food from the local shop and see the newspapers in the stands. They are filled with pictures of Carrick leaving a club, looking the worse for wear, with a couple of girls hanging off of him, and I recognize one as Amy, the front-of-house girl.
I’m guessing Carrick hasn’t learned his lesson about sleeping with coworkers.
Seeing this picture and going by the icky feeling in my stomach at the knowledge that Carrick quite possibly had sex with both of those girls, probably at the same time, I’m starting to think that it’s maybe not a good idea for me to be friends with him.
Because, if after a day of knowing him, I feel icky over a picture, then it can only go downhill from there.
I’M IN MELBOURNE for the start of the season.
It’s my first time in Australia. We’ve been busy since we arrived, preparing for the first race of the season at Albert Park, so I haven’t seen a lot of the sights, but what I have seen is amazing.
What, or I should say whom, I haven’t seen is Carrick—for two weeks now.
The last time I saw him was the morning after his birthday. He came into the garage, wearing sunglasses and a ball cap pulled low.
When he saw me, he stopped and stared at me in a way I couldn’t decipher, but I felt that look all the way down to my bones. Then his eyes cleared, he lifted a hand in a wave, and was gone.
I felt rattled for the whole day after that, but then I quickly sorted myself out.
Carrick is a player. And a driver.
Drivers equal bad.
And my little whatever it was—my-body-wants-his-body crush—is gone. Done with. Finito. It has to be because the racing season runs from March to November, and Carrick and I will be seeing a lot of each other. Nothing good could come of this my-body-wanting-to-jump-his-body thing for the next eight-plus months.
Carrick is due to arrive in Australia today. We’re a few days out before practice sessions start, but Carrick needs to be here early to acclimatize to the weather.
Nico’s also arriving. I have yet to meet him, not that I’ll have a lot of interaction with him as he has his own mechanics, but I’m still looking forward to it.
From what I can tell of Nico from the press, he’s the complete opposite of Carrick. Very focused and dedicated, he’s never seen out partying, and he is very much a family man, married with children.
I wonder how he and Carrick get along—if they get along at all. It’s not unusual for teammates not to like one another. Drivers might be paired under the same banner, but it’s a solitary sport and incredibly competitive.
It’s coming up to dinnertime, and I’m in my hotel room, the room I’m gonna be sharing with one of the hospitality girls, Petra. She’ll be getting in soon. I haven’t seen her since I met her on Carrick’s birthday.
To be honest, I’m surprised to be sharing a room with her. I thought she would have been sharing a room with the other front-of-house girl, Amy, the one who was photographed leaving that club with Carrick. I expected to be rooming alone. But it’s not a problem. I’m sure it’ll be fine. I guess it’ll be strange at first, sharing a room with someone I barely know, but I’m sure we’ll get on no problem,
I don’t have a problem getting along with women. I just tend to get along better with men. I guess my interests, cars, aren’t that of a usual woman.
I’m sprawled out on my bed, deciding what to do for dinner, while watching TV when I hear the door open. Petra comes in, dragging a suitcase behind her, sounding out of breath.
“Hi.” I sit up, turning the volume down on the TV.
She closes the door and props her suitcase up against the dresser. “Hey. Andi, right? We met at Carrick’s birthday?”
“Hi. Yes, we did.”
“Sorry. I was a bit drunk that night. My memory sucks when I’ve had a drink. So, we’re gonna be roomies for the next eight-plus months.” She drops down on the other bed, her bed.
“I guess we are.” I slide my hands under my thighs, sitting on them.
“Well, I don’t snore apparently. And it doesn’t matter if you do. I’m a heavy sleeper.” She shrugs.
“Okay. Erm…well, I don’t think I snore. I mean, I’ve never had anyone tell me that I do.”
“Awesome. So, what’s the plan tonight?”
“Are the guys going out?”
“Um, I think so.” I shrug. “Ben said something about going out for a beer later.”
“Cool. We’ll text them and see what the plan is. Have you eaten? ’Cause I’m starving.”
“No. I was just thinking about dinner.”
“Fabulous. We’ll get something to eat, either here or out. Then, we can meet up with the guys for a drink.”
“Sounds great.” I cross my legs on the bed, so I’m sitting Indian-style. “Are you not tired?” I ask her.
I was zonked when I first got here. I’m still trying to adjust to the time zone now. I’d only just got used to being in England.
“Nah. I had a good sleep on the plane, and I’m used to all the traveling around. Been doing this for years. I’m easily adaptable.” She kicks her flip-flops off. “And anyway, who needs sleep?”