Yay for the return of Mitch and Friends. If anyone wants a quick catchup on everything that has happened so far, or wants a reminder of which character was which, I created a Life in the Fast Lane page with all you need to know.
Now, the results of the vote for Part 1:
I am glad that everyone on the list got some votes, I thought it might be a one horse race as only one of the characters is known to us so far. I’m also glad Uncle Mortimer retains some mystery. He has not yet had a speaking part!
Anyway, enough babble, onto part two.
“Hi Melissa,” Bruno said, sipping from a glass of champagne.
“What are you doing here?” she asked, aware of how rude the question sounded. “I wouldn’t have thought a Mortimer GP party was your kind of thing.”
Bruno smiled tightly. “Mason likes to have his fun. Sends out invites to all the people most likely to refuse. Rex was not impressed. But, I figured I could use the free drink. Especially if it’s on his tab.”
“Ah,” Melissa said. “Not to celebrate the romance of the whole thing then.”
Bruno frowned at her for a moment, then laughed. She smiled.
“I’ve got an idea,” he said, gathering his courage. “Why don’t we go out for dinner?”
Melissa raised an eyebrow. “That’s your pickup line?” she asked gently. “To just blurt it out like that?”
Bruno blushed. “I mean, you know, it was just…”
“I’m not really supposed to mix business and pleasure,” she interrupted.
“You went out with Mitch.”
“That was research,” Melissa said, curious why she felt the need to defend herself. “For a story.”
Bruno clicked his fingers as an idea came to him. “What if you write about me? An exclusive chat with the World Champion.”
“Maybe,” she said. “I’d have to check with the editor. Look, I’d better go and…”
She didn’t finish the sentence but turned and hurried into the crowd.
Bruno rolled his eyes, irritated with himself. “Useless,” he said.
Melissa left the party soon after that.
She didn’t mention it to her editor, Steve. In fact she only told her friend and fellow journalist Pippa, who urged her to go. Pippa even offered to attend in her place.
“Dinner with the champion,” she had said, winking at Melissa.
It didn’t matter though. Melissa was too busy to think about going out for dinner with anyone. She’d been assigned the testing coverage for BSN News. They’d even managed to hook in a sponsor for a dedicated sub-section of their website. Four days of testing at the less than glamorous Silverstone track, in February. Fabulous.
The first day was sunny though, a blessing. Melissa still chose the scarf and coat option as she stood at one corner of the track, ready to snap some photos. They had a sponsor, alright, but that didn’t extend to a photographer as well.
Her mobile rang, and she fumbled off a glove so she could answer it.
“How’s it going?”
“Cold, but good. They’re about to get going.”
“How was the hotel?”
Steve laughed. It was a running joke between them that journalists never got the five star option. “I’m sure the breakfast was fine. Anyway, a little birdie tells me that you are up for an exclusive interview with Cannelli.”
“Er…” Melissa paused, mentally promising herself never to tell Pippa anything again.
“That is brilliant news. When’s it happening?”
“Well, it wasn’t definite,” she stalled.
“Get it definite!” Steve said, snappy with excitement. “If this is genuinely an exclusive, then we need it.”
“Are you sure?”
“Melissa, get it sorted. You’re on the ground, you can see the guys. March into that garage and tell Cannelli you’re going to chat with him now.”
“They’re about to start testing now.”
“You know what I mean. Get me something for tomorrow.” Steve said, and he hung up.
The first engine fired up in the pit lane, and a moment later, Melissa could hear the first car racing towards her. She readied her camera and put the conversation to the back of her mind.
During the lunch break, Melissa found herself wandering through the paddock. She was meandering towards the Shuttleworth hospitality, hoping to catch someone who could organise an interview with Bruno. Far better to go through official channels than to see him face to face.
Suddenly, a hand reached out from between two transporters and grabbed her, pulling her out of the main walkway. Melissa gasped, and readied to scream, but stopped when she saw it was Mitch.
“You grab girls off the street now?” she asked, breathlessly.
“Just wanted to catch you before I have lunch.”
“Well, you definitely caught me,” she said, shaking off his grasp on her arm. “What’s up?”
Mitch knew he had scared her and felt guilty. “Maybe we can hang out later,” he said. Melissa looked at him enquiringly. “You know, a bar, a restaurant, a cinema. Anything we can find to pass the time out here in the sticks.”
“Well, I, um…”
“Do you have other plans?”
What should Melissa do?