Welcome back to Austen Promises!
Here is the beginning of Chapter 6. We’ve got a little racing action going on, and a bit of Caroline Bingley madness.
For those who missed the first post, you can find it here.
The second post is here.
Post #3 is here.
Post 4 is here.
Post #5 is here.
Post #6 is here.
Post #7 is here.
Post #8 is here.
Post #9 is here.
Post #10 is here.
Post #11 is here.
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The weekend’s race was held at a short, narrow, half-mile track. The weather was cool, being a spring race, and was delayed twice by rain.
“This is where we could use rain tires,” Will complained to Jason as he sat on the pit box during a rain delay. The race had been red-flagged, and the cars brought down pit road and parked. The crews had covered the machines, and the drivers took the opportunity to use the porta potties if they needed to, get a drink or snack, and speak to family and crew chiefs.
“I agree,” Jason said, “all these little showers wouldn’t stop us if we had treads.”
“But it wouldn’t be SCRA if we raced in the rain,” Liz pointed out. “If I wanted to watch y’all race in the rain, I’d watch F1.” Liz’s companions on the war wagon laughed. She grinned, enjoying the camaraderie.
Two hours later, the rain had stopped and the jet dryers had removed the moisture. The race official assigned to Will’s team climbed up the box to let them all know that race control had called the drivers to their cars.
With a nod of thanks to the SCRA representative, Will leaned over and kissed Liz, then climbed down off the box. A couple minutes later, he was being strapped in again, with one of the tire carriers hooking his safety equipment back up.
Race Day, Will and Liz’s House
Caroline Bingley pulled her car to a stop along the road next to a long driveway. She checked the browser on her tablet, where she had the county auditor’s website pulled up to show Will Darcy’s new house. The address matched the mailbox she was looking at.
“Where’s the house? I can’t believe he’d live way out here in the boonies. This must be her influence.” Caroline put her Mini Cooper in Park and got out to examine the area, looking for cameras. Finding none, she got back in the car and drove carefully down the driveway.
Just inside the treeline, Caroline came to a cattle gate that blocked the drive. “That’s where the cameras are,” she murmured. Backing the Cooper up just a bit, she parked it again and got out. Stepping off the drive and onto the grass, she began to walk the edge of the trees, a few feet away, looking for more cameras. When she found a spot that contained a large gap between one recording device and the next, she entered the woods.
Caroline spent the next hour snooping around Will and Liz’s property. She made mental notes about the layout of the buildings and their purposes. She walked all the way around the pond and up on the porch.
“I should go in and check out the inside, see how the twit has decorated.” Caroline tried the door, but it was locked. She knew Will well enough to know that he probably had alarms on all the doors and windows, so she decided against picking the lock. After a quick second look around the property, she walked back out the way she came in.
Once inside her car, Caroline sat and thought for a while. I need to get rid of that ugly little usurper, she thought, scare her off. But how? After a little more thought, some ideas began to percolate through her mind, and she finally put the Mini Cooper in gear, turned it around, and drove away.
Race Day, the track
Once the rain had cleared and the race got underway again, it was clear that Will was having difficulty with his car. Liz listened on the scanner as he radioed Jason.
“This thing is all over the place; too loose turn in and too tight turn out. It’s just plowing from the center of the turn to the straight stretch.”
“Ten-four. We’ll be asking you to pit in about ten laps. Can you hang onto it until then?”
“Not like I have much of a choice. I’ll do my best but I can’t maintain a decent position this way.” Will’s frustration was clear in his voice.
Jason did his best to soothe his driver. “There’s still plenty of time left. We’ll make an adjustment and see what happens.”
Digger’s voice interrupted. “Car spinning in three, going down to the apron. Caution’s out, back it down, back it down. Go high, go high. That’s the way. Good driving, bud!”
“I thought for sure I was going to get caught up in that one. Close call!”
Liz thought to herself, Yeah, I thought you’d bought the farm that time! She had leaped to her feet when she saw the cars in front of her husband’s begin to scatter and spin. Now that she knew he had not gotten wrecked, she sat back down, her heart pounding. Whew, she thought. That was intense!
Jason and the crew took advantage of the open pit road during the caution period to bring Will down and make some adjustments to his car. The rear tire carrier stuck the wedge wrench into the hole in the back window designed for it and made a half-turn, then snatched the wrench out, grabbed the old tire that the changer had removed, and ran it back to the wall. Once the jack fell, Will took off and was soon lined up with the rest of the cars.
The adjustments the crew made were just what Will needed, and he was soon passing the other competitors. In the end, it was he and Bingley in the front. Try as he might, he could not get past his friend, whose car was clearly superior.
“Checkered flag. P2. Not bad.” Digger had been talking almost non-stop the last hour, guiding his driver through traffic.
“Good work, everyone,” Will said into his mic as he followed the pace car on the cool-down lap. “We did our best, but Bingley clearly has his game on today.”
Jason chimed in. “Yes, we did. I’m happily impressed with the unity this team demonstrated today. We were a well-oiled machine and made no mistakes. Good job, guys.”
As the crew began packing up the pit box and Jason and the car chief closed their laptops, Liz took her headset off and gathered up her purse and cell phone, and Will’s phone, and climbed down the ladder, heading to the garage area. She would wait for Will there.
A few minutes later, the car came to a smooth stop in the garage stall.
What do you think? Feel free to leave me a comment below. <3