Sorry this final part has taken so long to appear. Perhaps sub-consciously I just did not want to say goodbye to our characters. Either that or I was really quite busy.
However, we must say goodbye, and here is how we’re going to do it – the results of our final vote. Melissa’s future caused quite a bit of discussion but we have a definitive answer:
Mitch sat in the garage, helmet in hand, his eyebrows furrowed. Mason crossed the garage, pulling his race suit up around his shoulders. “What’s up with you?” he asked Mitch.
“Nothing. Just thinking.”
Mason took a seat next to Mitch. “Are you thinking about how glorious the next 90 minutes will be – finally getting back in the car for a real session, kick starting the weekend?”
“Are you thinking about how hot it’s going to be on Sunday, and plotting how best to keep your fluid levels up so as to finish the race in a relatively healthy condition?”
“Are you thinking about how you’re going to do so well this year, that it’s going to be you and I fighting for the championship, rather than any of those Shuttleworth losers?”
Mitch shot him a look.
“Then I can only assume you are thinking about a quirky young journalist who will be joining our team very soon.”
Mason smiled, a glint in his eye, and got up, returning to his own side of the garage. Mitch’s race engineer signalled for him to get ready, the practice session was about to begin.
90 minutes later, Mitch climbed from his car, the very definition of hot and bothered. He pulled off his helmet, stuck it on a nearby shelf, and waited for Mason.
“You can’t say things like that seconds before a session,” Mitch said when his teammate finally extracted himself from the car.
“Anticipation makes you drive faster,” Mason laughed. He gestured for Mitch to walk ahead of them, making their way through the garage, across the paddock and into the motorhome.
Melissa was standing by the juice bar, notebook in hand. Mason beckoned her over and they went through to a private room.
“What’s going on?” Mitch asked, grabbing for a towel and draping it round his neck.
“I live to interfere,” Mason said, and left the room.
Melissa smiled. “I don’t know why you let him get away with it,” she said.
“I don’t actually know what he’s getting away with yet,” Mitch said, although he could feel the irritation draining away as each second passed.
“As it turns out,” Melissa replied, “I have taken a new job.”
“The editing thing.”
“Nope. There’s a vacancy for a team, working in the PR department. I start in a month.”
Mitch frowned. “Which team?”
Melissa smiled. “I figured if you jumped ship to work with Mason then it couldn’t be all bad.”
Realisation slowly dawned on Mitch’s face, and without giving it a second thought, he captured her in a hug. Gradually, they pulled apart, and Mitch coughed, embarrassed.
“Sorry,” he said. “I’m all gross, I know.”
“It’s hot out there,” Melissa said. “Anyway, I still have to be professional.”
“But it does mean I don’t have to be behind a stuffy desk all year.”
“Instead you get to travel the world with me?” Mitch asked.
“I get to travel the world with you,” she confirmed.
Mitch nodded. “I think that sounds like a good deal.” He smiled.
“You know what this means though,” Melissa said, making towards the door. Mitch followed her down the corridor towards the main bar.
“We’re going to have to thank Mason.”
Mitch stopped abruptly. They both groaned, and then started to laugh.
Mason looked up from his juice. “What?” he asked, innocently.