Entice:The Evolve Series, Book Three(8)By: S.E. Hall
“I gotta go.” I duck my head and start to move past her, feeling hands pulling me from behind.
“Wait! Don’t you want my number?” Mariah calls out desperately.
I turn around but continue my steps to the track backwards. “I’ll um…I’ll catch ya around later, okay?” I sling my thumb over my shoulder. “I gotta hurry. Race time.”
She’s out there, somewhere in the crowd, watching the race. I can feel the grit in my eyes and between my teeth, the balmy heat and the motor’s vibration coursing through me, but I don’t feel her eyes on me. I know it, as sure as the sun will rise in the east and set in the west, that if her eyes were on me, I would feel it.
As we line up, I steal a quick glance to the crowd, trying one last time to pick her out—nothing. The place is packed with hordes of college guys seeking the rush and even more college girls seeking those guys; it’s a big ass meat market. There are more female heads of dark hair than not and exactly how many people are wearing a yellow fucking shirt?
Know who I do see? Laney Jo Walker.
When you climb onto the bleacher rail and wave your hands in the air, people tend to pick you out in a crowd.
I give her, and Dane, who’s standing beside her shaking his head and laughing, a wave. I’m surprised that he’s here at all. What happened to the whole “stop with the destructive behavior” speech?
I turn my attention back to the flag, the familiar surge of exhilaration taking over. When the flag drops, the flight of ten bikes takes off, slinging up dirt and clouds of dust. It only takes me three laps to gain a huge lead, so I use it to my advantage. I will get her attention.
I’m having a fucking blast, taking the hills a tad faster now that I’m out of the pack and adding some kick twists when I’m airborne. Purposely allowing some fishtailing, flying sideways around the corners, I keep my eyes on the track, despite the need to check the stands. Thoughts of her race through my head as fast as the testosterone through my veins. Is she watching yet?
The last foothill before the finish line, I go all out and turn out a flip…easily landing it and crossing for the win. The horn blares and I rip off my helmet, lines of sweat dripping down the sides of my face. A flip. She had to have noticed that, right?
I don’t know how or when Daney, my clever combination of their names a nod to the single person they’ve fused into, make it across the track, but here they are beside me. That had to be like a real life game of Frogger, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he carried her across the traffic.
“You won!” Laney screams. “The shenanigans at the end scared me a little,” she slaps my arm, “but you won!” She’s gushing, literally bouncing up and down. See—the electricity of a race is contagious, ‘cause Laney Jo Walker doesn’t bounce.
“Nice job, man,” Dane chimes in, holding up his fist for a bump.
“Thanks.” I flick my eyes to him for acknowledgement, but just as quickly back to the stands. Get a pattern, one row at a time, left to right… It’s the best way to make sure I don’t miss her. Back and forth I scan as quickly as possible, getting disoriented every time a group moves. “Damn it!” I yell, throwing my helmet on the ground.
Laney gasps. “What? Are you okay?”
I sigh, running a hand down my face. “Nothing. It’s nothing. Come on, let’s get the hell out of here.” I lean over to pick the helmet back up, still unable to stop my eyes from wandering around hopefully.
“Don’t you have the finals?” Dane asks, curious arch of his brow.
He’s right, I had advanced to the big race, but I couldn’t care less about it at the moment. Add racing to the list; one more thing getting the fun sucked right out of it. Sucked out of it. Damn. I shake my head at the ironic pun that peaked my misery in the first place.
“Fuck the finals. I suddenly don’t give a shit,” I grumble, fiddling with the snaps on my helmet.
“You want to go out or—”
I cut Dane off, tired and frustrated. “I’ll meet you guys at home later. I’ve got some shit to do.”
“You sure? I have at least one beer in me,” he offers.
“Nah, man,” I pull Laney into me and kiss the top of her head, “but thanks for coming. I thought you hated me racing.”
“Yeah, well, your roommate can be pretty persuasive.” He chuckles, pulling his woman from my arms to his own.
“Saw, what’s wrong?” Laney asks, her brows dipped with a worried frown.
“Not a thing, Gidge. I’ll see you later, okay?”