“Rain. Never a good thing,” Anna heard a voice say.
Her head buried under the hood of her car, she continued making last-minute adjustments and ignored the voice. When he continued talking, she had no choice but to address him. Slamming the hood of her car closed, she put her hands on her hips and glared up at the smug face of the man in front of her.
“What do you want, Jaxon?”
“I was just commenting on the rain,” he said.
Anna rolled her eyes at the cool tone his voice had taken. “I can drive in the rain.”
“Oh, I’m sure you can!” Jaxon held his hands up in front of him. “I just worry about your safety. That’s all.”
“Mmm hmmm.” Anna crossed her arms across her chest and glared at him. “I think you’re just worried I will beat you again.”
“We could race for some real money tonight if you’re game.” Anna raised her eyebrows and didn’t miss the slight flash of fear she saw in Jaxon’s eyes. “$1500. Each.”
“You got that kind of money on you?”
Anna pulled a roll of money out of her pocket and held it between her thumb and forefinger.
“I guess you do,” Jaxon said and whistled. “Fine. If you want to hand all that over to me just because you have an ego, that’s fine with me.”
Anna laughed. “Ego? Dude, this is all the money I’ve taken from you over the past three weeks. I’m just giving you a chance to win it all back. You won’t, and I’ll double my take.”
“Just get in your car,” Jaxon said.
Anna smiled, knowing she’d gotten under his skin. Jaxon glared at her and they both got in their cars, ignoring the rain as it fell on them as they walked. Anna flipped on her windshield wipers and ensured she sat in just the right position for the race before pulling her car up to the starting line.
The race organizer looked at Anna and rolled his eyes but signaled for the race to begin. Anna glanced over at Jaxon, who glared back at her, before turning her attention back to the road in front of her. She revved her engine a few times waiting for her queue, never taking her eyes off the flag the organizer held in his hand.
The moment he dropped the flag, Anna’s foot hit the gas, and she jumped in front of the other car. Her tires splashed through the rain, throwing streams of water behind her. Slipping her wheel to the left, she slid through the first turn and straightened her car out again before sliding through the next.
Her grip tight on the wheel, she didn’t dare look in her rearview mirror behind her as she circled around a cone in a parking lot and prepared to make the return trek back to the finish line. Just as her car rounded the turn, her phone started ringing.
Cursing under her breath, Anna saw her boyfriend’s name light up on the dashboard of her car. Still maintaining her focus, she clicked the button on her steering wheel and put a smile on her face and hoped it reflected in her voice.
“Hi, honey!” she said.
“Anna? What’s all that noise? What are you doing?”
“Oh, Alex. I’m sorry. I’m watching a movie.”
“You’re at home?”
Anna cringed at the doubt she heard in his voice. For a second she didn’t answer as she slid through the pair of curves she’d splashed through on her first trip through the race area. After traversing the tricky turns, she returned a bit of her attention back to Alex.
“When do you get off work?” she asked, hoping she had deflected his question.
“Here in about 30 minutes,” he replied. “I was thinking about coming over when I got off. I don’t have to work tomorrow, and I thought we could spend the day together.”
Anna smiled as she finished the race a good two car lengths in front of Jaxon’s car. “That sounds like the best plan ever.”
“Great! I’ll see you when I get off then.”
“Love you!” Anna said before hanging up the line and rolling her window down.
“Please tell me you weren’t on the phone through all that?” the race organizer said as he held a roll of money out to her.
Anna plucked it out of his hand and smiled. “Only through the second half.”
She rolled down the passenger window and smiled at Jaxon before yelling, “Pleasure doing business with you.”
She laughed and pulled away as he flipped her off.
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