I needed a few days for this one to come to fruition, but we’re getting there. Now we are on part seven and beyond, I know where I’m going with each outcome. We have some end goals in sight, people.
Here are the results for the last vote:
I thought it might be closer than that, but interesting voting, nonetheless. Now for part 7:
“I’m not going to race you, Bruno,” Mitch said, and his voice had a definite edge that couldn’t be ignored.
Bruno glared at him for a moment, then shrugged. “I win by default then,” he said, and put his foot down. The car zoomed down the layby and returned to the carriageway. Mitch gave him a moment to get some space, then raised the window and continued on his own way.
The sun was strong, and the dust was everywhere. Everything was sandy coloured - even if it had been painted something else before, the atmosphere soon saw to that.
Even so, the beginning of a brand new season could not be ignored, and there was a genuine feeling of glorious excitement. A bubble of anticipation waiting for the right time to burst into action. The teams were setting up their flyaway motorhomes for the first time, examining new liveries, concealing new designs.
The drivers had a chance to catch up, particularly those who had not been at testing. Comparing off-season notes, telling tales of training woes, good-natured banter across the paddock walls.
Melissa arrived in the country on Tuesday, but it wasn’t until the following evening that she was officially on duty. Mortimer GP were hosting an event, where they were rumoured to be announcing a new partnership. Melissa didn’t think it would be particularly exciting but she was obligated to go. Plus, she wanted to go.
It was the usual affair. Melissa sat in the middle of a couple of rows of journalists and interested parties, making notes throughout. Mason’s uncle stood and explained their new partnership - how they were sorry to leave their current glove provider, but excited to get innovating with Inco Raceproof.
“How innovative can gloves be?” she muttered to herself, scribbling down some of the statistics the CEO of Inco was now offering.
Mason himself then talked for a few minutes about how good it was for a driver to know he was safe from harm, to not have to worry about little things like gloves. He looked tanned and relaxed, fresh from his honeymoon, Melissa thought.
Afterwards, there was a chance to mingle, and she found herself talking to the CEO for a few minutes, getting some good quotes. They shook hands and he moved on, leaving Melissa to circulate. She greeted a few familiar faces, and then paused.
“That’s what I heard,” the person beside her was saying.
“Theresa said it was the only time she’s ever known Bruno turn up for a flight early.”
“Because of a race?”
The person sighed. “I don’t know all the details. We’ll find Theresa later and ask her, yea?”
They moved on and Melissa took just a few steps before she was confronted with a smiling Mitch.
“Hello stranger,” he said.
“Ah, just the person,” she said, pulling the lid off her pen and poising it above her notepad. “Ralph tells me that Inco are planning a new range of gloves, designed for the up and coming racer with input from both Mason and your good self. What kind of fantastic things do you have planned for our glove enthusiast readers back home?”
Mitch stared at her for a moment, then pulled a face. “I just stand here and look pretty,” he said, and they both laughed.
“There I was thinking you were going to move into fashion, be the next David Beckham,” Melissa said.
“There’s no way you’re gonna see me plastered over some billboard with no clothes on.”
There was a pause. Awkward. Melissa moved quickly to break it. “So, are you ready for the season?” she asked.
“Yea,” Mitch said, turning serious. “I’ve got a lot to prove this year. I can’t let Bruno defend his championship.”
“It’s gonna be a great battle. I know we’re looking forward to it at BSN.” She glanced around, and then said quietly, “Talking of Bruno, I thought I just heard some people mention my name. Something about Bruno, and a flight?”
“Has something happened I should know about? Because I haven’t seen Bruno since… since, Silverstone.”
“No, me neither.”
Melissa nodded. “So you don’t know anything?”
Mitch swallowed. There was no reason to keep Bruno’s dimwitted race schemes a secret, he thought, but girls can be unusually sensitive about things like this. Then again, maybe that would just make sure he really does have no chance.
Does Mitch tell Melissa what happened?