And thus we begin the second half of our story, and part six is here. The voting was down a little for the last section, but I am not surprised. It’s not really a difficult choice between partying and studying, is it?
Ah, it was closer than I suspected. Good stuff.
However, it is party time in Monaco, and Mitch and Bruno are ready to hit the town. Please note there is added green screen in Part 6, just for Gavin. Let’s go!
Monaco, during a grand prix week, at night, is a beast unlike any other. Drivers, journalists, celebrities and fans descend upon the bars and restaurants, whilst many of the locals lock themselves inside their flats, wishing the event would go away.
Bruno and Mitch, dressed and pressed in their Monaco finest, headed down the bustling streets towards their destination. A couple of curious fans approached them, but they were mostly left to themselves as they meandered through the principality.
“Hey look,” Bruno nudged Mitch and pointed to a van across the street. A man was folding a green screen into the back of it, whilst beside him a woman was packing up some audio equipment. “That’s Melissa, isn’t it?”
“You know, from BSN News.”
“Oh, yea, it could be.” Mitch looked at Bruno’s glistening eyes and laughed. “You like her, don’t you?”
His teammate shrugged. “Nah.”
“Go talk to her.”
“You talk to her after every race.”
“That’s different. Come on, look, we’re here.” Bruno dived quickly into the hotel, following signs to the Inco Raceproof party. Mitch followed him, laughing.
Inside, the music was loud, a handful of people were dancing, but most were standing around chatting. Mitch scanned the room and caught Bruno’s elbow.
“What’s he doing here?” he said, nodding at Mason Mortimer. His nemesis was talking to a tall, good-looking man, splashed in fake-tan. “They don’t even use Inco gloves.”
“Of course not,” Bruno said. “Everyone who uses them is here to celebrate how great the gloves are, and the people that don’t use them are here because it’s a free party. Inco don’t mind because they might be persuaded to use the gloves. No one, except us, is actually talking about gloves though.”
Bruno smiled, a “you have much to learn” smile, and headed towards the bar.
Mitch had been talking to a representative of the Inco Raceproof company, a pretty brunette who may have been a model, and a staff writer at one of the local newspapers. He hadn’t managed to get the name of any of them. He finished the remains of his drink, placing the empty glass on a nearby table. Bruno appeared beside him.
“I talked to her,” he said, eyes glossy.
Mitch looked at him. “Who?”
He nodded and Mitch noticed him swaying slightly. “Actually, she talked to me. She asked me how I thought I’d do this weekend, and we were talking about strategies and…”
“She interviewed you?”
“It wasn’t an interview,” Bruno protested. “She was really interested.”
“I bet she was. You can’t give away all our secrets before the weekend has even begun.”
“I didn’t. It’s nothing new anyway. We’ll split our strategy in qualifying, see which works best. No point risking anything major in Monaco. I’m happy to be leading the championship, and you’re happy to be helping me, and…”
“I’m not helping you,” Mitch interrupted. “We work together.”
“Yes,” Bruno drawled. “I know that’s the official line, but I’m leading. I get the best tyres,” he said, as if pronouncing something significant.
Mitch stared at him.
“What?” Bruno asked, innocently.
From across the room, Mason watched proceedings with interest. He sipped at his drink, one arm around his girlfriend, Bella.
“They’re about to fight,” he said to her.
She followed his gaze, spotting the drivers squaring up to each other. “Why?”
“My guess is that Mitch is realising something I told him a while ago.”
They watched the pair for a moment, and then Bella turned to Mason. “Don’t let them,” she said. “It’s such a nice party. Don’t let them spoil it. You can break it up.”
“No way,” he said. “This is brilliant.”
“Please Mase? It’s not fair,” she whined.
Mason rolled his eyes and handed her his glass. He strode over to the Shuttleworth teammates, a wry smile on his face. He grabbed Bruno by the arms, pulling him away from Mitch.
“As much as I love watching my favourite team disintegrate, there are ladies present,” he said, backing Bruno further and further back. “Squabbling is great, but fighting is a no no.”
“I wasn’t going to hit him,” Mitch said.
Bruno struggled against Mason’s grasp. “Because I woulda got there first!” he hissed. Mason tightened his grip on Bruno, and the pair disappeared into the crowd, leaving Mitch ready for another drink.
He was sitting on his hotel bed, leaning forward, elbows on knees. What a mess, Mitch thought. Driving was the simple part, he realised. It’s all the rest of the nonsense that comes with it. Politics, team relationships, paddock rivalries. Did he really need that kind of hassle?
There was a knock at the door.
Mitch looked up. It was late. Who would want to see him at this hour?
“Mitch?” a voice called.
Who is at the door?