I thought the world knew everything about me.
Maybe not her.
The knowledge relaxes me a little, and from out of nowhere, I find myself wanting to tell this woman everything.
My biggest fears. My regrets. The self-loathing I feel at my own weaknesses.
“Yes.” I take a deep breath. “Both my legs were broken. My wrist was shattered. I had numerous broken ribs. But those injuries were the easy part.” I give a sardonic smile. “The worst were…a burst fracture in my lower vertebrae and a subdural hematoma.” I tap a finger to my head where the scar lies hidden beneath my overgrown hair. “I was on the operating table with my head wide open when my heart stopped beating.” I take a deep breath. “I was technically dead for about a minute.”
“And how does that feel, knowing that you died?”
I lift a shoulder in a half shrug, like it doesn’t matter. It does matter.
“I don’t know. But I do know how it doesn’t make me feel.”
“And how is that?”
“Alive. I know that it should make me feel more alive now than ever. But I don’t.”
“Because I can’t race. Without racing, I’m nothing.”
“Are you sure that’s true?”
“If I wasn’t, I wouldn’t be here.”
Eyes leaving me, she stares at the words she’s written. “You haven’t raced since the accident?”
“Are you physically able to drive a car? Your injuries haven’t hindered that?”
“No, they haven’t. I spent a year going through rehabilitation, making sure I could get back in a car.” And now, I can’t because I’m a fucking coward.
“So, it’s not your body keeping you from racing. It’s your mind.”
“I wouldn’t fucking be here if it wasn’t.” I don’t mean to curse or snap at her, but I can’t help it. And I won’t apologize for it either, because I’m an asshole.
Her eyes meet with mine, her gaze steady. “How about traveling as a passenger in a car? How do you find that?”
“I manage.” Just.
“The same level of anxiety as when you’ve attempted to drive?”
“No. Slightly less. Not as bad.”
“Do you suffer from anxiety attacks?”
I frown. “Only when I try to drive a car,” I mutter quietly.
Admitting that I have anxiety attacks is not easy for me.
She scribbles on the paper again. The scratch of the pen is driving me to distraction. That, and her fucking legs and her tits, which are rising up and down with each breath she takes.
I don’t want to talk anymore. I just want to fuck her and not think about any of my shit. Bury myself so deep inside her body until she’s all I can think about and feel and see.
“Now that you’re no longer racing, how do you spend your time?”
I let out a hard laugh. “You want the glossy version or the real version?”
“The truth. I only ever want you to tell me the truth here. If you don’t feel you can do that right now, that’s fine. But no lies. I can’t help you if you lie to me.”
“Okay.” I blow out a breath. “How do I spend my days? Regretting the day before, missing my life from before the accident, and nursing a hangover. Then, I go out to a bar, get drunk, and hook up with a woman. Take her to a hotel, her place, an alleyway, bar restroom—anywhere really, and I fuck her. Then, I do the exact same the next day and the day after.”
That’s the first time I’ve laid my life bare like that to anyone.
And she doesn’t flinch. I suppose she must hear all kinds of shit.
“Still think you can help me?” I give her a challenging look.
“Yes.” She gives me a steady stare. “You drink to cover the way you’re feeling. I’m sure you don’t need me to tell you that it’s a bad idea. The alcohol—are you addicted?”
“Straight to the point.” I laugh, but it’s hollow, even to my own ears.
It’s been so long since I laughed for real that I can’t remember the sound.
She uncrosses her legs. My attention is immediately brought to them. She has great fucking legs. And she’s wearing panty hose. I wonder if there’s a garter belt under that skirt.
“I’m sorry if that offends you, but it’s how I do things. I might ask you things that make you uncomfortable. You don’t have to answer, but it will help me help you if you do.”
“I’m sure. I’m not a drunk.”
“The thought of not drinking again—how does that make you feel?”
I think about it for a moment. “It doesn’t make me feel anything.” Not that anything makes me feel anymore.
“Still, I’d recommend seeing someone about the drinking. I know a great group that deals with substance—”
“I’m not an alcoholic,” I bite. “I might have problems, but that’s not one of them.”
She carefully eyes me.
“Okay. We’ll shelf that…for now.” She puts her pen down on the paper on her lap and looks at me.
Her red lips are slightly parted, and all I can think of doing is smearing that lipstick all over her mouth as I kiss it.
“Our time is nearly up. The first session is always short. The next time, we’ll have a full hour to talk.”
I know what I’d rather do in sixty minutes with her, and it doesn’t involve a lot of talking.