Welcome back to Austen Promises!
I’m back with another 1,000 words of Race Book 4! I’ve repeated the last paragraph I gave you last week, because I added to it. We’re with Caro in New Orleans, in case you’ve forgotten. 🙂
This book does not have a title yet. As we go along, I’m hoping someone has a suggestion, though I do still have a couple from the last book that might work.
I’ll be writing this like I started the last book … one post at a time. The books just don’t sell well enough that I can devote an entire month to writing one and then posting multiple chapters a week. I wish they did!
Here is the master list of posts. I’ll update it weekly. I will also try to remember to link the posts at the end each week, so you all can start at post 1 and click the bottom to get to the next post, if you want.
Did you know that for a monthly pledge of as little as $1 at Patreon, you can have early access to all my blog posts, including my Thursday ones? Patrons also get a free copy of each of my books once it is complete. AND, I’m writing a Patreon-exclusive Christmas story!
The coffeepot finally hissed the last bit of brew into the carafe, and Caroline set aside the tablet in favor of pouring herself a cup. She added hefty doses of both creamer and sugar from the dish of packets that sat beside the pot. Then, she sank back down into her chair, bringing the cup to her nose, sniffing deeply, and then carefully sipping. “Well,” she said to herself, “I need to make a list and decide what to do first. I’ve made some excellent contacts in the last couple days. I need to make use of them.”
Caroline pulled the pad of hotel-branded paper and the accompanying ink pen towards her, pulled a piece off, and began her list.
Charlotte, North Carolina
Will brought the golf cart to a stop just outside the garage stall assigned to his car. He took a quick peek around, looking for Coach or Jason, but, finding neither of them, strode outside and across the parking lot to his hauler. He stepped into the open doorway in the rear of the trailer, past workbenches, rows of drawers and cabinets, and diagnostic machines, to the lounge near the back. There he found both men he had been searching for. They looked up as he entered.
“There he is.” Coach stood to make room for his son to pull a chair up to the desk. A flat-screen monitor was mounted to the wall above the desk and Will could see they were reviewing his practice session tapes and the data accompanying them.
“Morning.” Will shook Jason’s hand and accepted a back thump from Coach. He snagged a chair and pulled it around to sit between his father and crew chief.
“How’s Liz this morning?” Coach had expressed concern at his daughter-in-law’s insistence to be at the track, but when Will backed her up, grudgingly gave up the fight.
“She’s sore, but she’s nestled on the couch with a heating pad, a bunch of pillows, and a plethora of devices. She’s perfectly content, for the moment, anyway.”
“She taking anything?”
“Yup, she’s got a bottle of acetaminophen beside her and a bottle of water.”
“My wife thought she might stop by with the kids during the race, if it’s not too much for Liz.” Jason watched his driver carefully.
“Liz would love that, and so would I. The more people she has around her, the safer she’ll be. I’ll text the guards and Liz and let them know to expect her.” Will leaned forward to pull his phone out of his back pocket when he remembered that Liz had it. Leaning back, he asked Coach if he could borrow his.
Without a word, Coach handed his phone to his son. He watched while Will typed out a message and sent it, then accepted the phone when it was held out to him. “Did you and Liz talk about your morning before you left?”
“No, we didn’t. I refuse to allow her to do any PR today outside of Facebook and Twitter.”
Coach grunted. “I suspected as much. Georgie told me the other day that Liz had sent her a list of everything that’s going on. She’ll be your babysitter the rest of the weekend.” He looked at his watch. “She should be here shortly. You have a guest this weekend and she went out to the gate to get him.”
“Yeah, I invited Declan Paisley to the track. Did his hot pass come through?”
“He’s the guy who found Liz, isn’t he?” Coach had not spoken with the man but remembered him as a large, tattooed biker.
“He is. I wanted to reward him for finding her and taking such good care of her. He didn’t have to, and to be honest, to look at him you’d not think him capable of tenderness, but he treated her very well.”
Jason tilted his head. He’d not heard the entire story of Liz’s rescue. “Why wouldn’t you think him capable?”
Will glanced at his father as Coach chuckled, then answered his crew chief. “He’s a biker. Large, hairy, and covered in tattoos. Wears a black leather vest covered with patches and pins.”
“Wow.” Jason’s eyes had grown large. “Is he from one of those notorious gangs or a smaller one?”
“I didn’t see his back to know.” Darcy turned his head toward Coach. “Did you?”
“I did, but honestly, paid no attention. I don’t think I realized at first that was a biker.” Coach shrugged. “He seemed nice enough, and there were cops crawling all over the place, anyway. I was more concerned with our girl than anything else.”
They heard a female voice calling the length of the hauler. Coach rose. “That’s them now.” All three men rose.
Georgie knocked on the lounge door before she poked her head in. “Oh, good. You’re here.” She pushed the door open and stepped into the room, motioning to the person behind her.
The moment Declan began to move into the lounge, Will greeted him. “Hey, man! Glad you could make it.” He held his hand out. Declan accepted the handshake, his grip firm.
“Glad to be here. Thanks for the red-carpet treatment.”
“I wouldn’t have it any other way. You did me a great service and I always pay my debts.” Will took a step back. “I don’t know if you met my father last week.” He put his hand on Coach’s shoulder. “This is George Darcy. We call him ‘Coach’.” Will waited while the two men shook hands and greeted each other.
“On the other side of Coach is my crew chief, Jason Ragsdale. Jason, this is Declan Paisley. He saved Liz and the baby last week.”
“Good to meet you.” Jason did as his boss and driver, firmly shaking Declan’s hand. “Thanks for doing what you did. I can’t imagine Will trying to drive, much less live, without Liz nearby.”
The big biker blushed at Jason’s words, following as they did those of Will and Coach. “It was nothing. I just followed my gut, if you know what I mean.” He turned to Will. “How is the little lady?”
“She’s sore, but doing well otherwise. She’s here at the track today, in my motor home. If you like, I can run you over there later and you can say hello.”
Declan’s face lit up. “I’d love to. She’s one strong woman. Never shed a tear until she caught sight of you.”
Will grinned. It had been clear to him the day they met that the biker admired his wife. “She’s had to be strong her whole life. I’m not surprised to hear she was during her ordeal.” He paused as a crew member came in to ask Coach a question. Then, he addressed his guest again.
“Did Georgie give you your hot pass from SCRA?” When he saw Declan pull it out from behind his cut, he continued. “Good. Keep it out where it can be seen. We don’t want you getting into trouble with the race director. You’ll need to stick with one of us, and be alert at all times. It’s crazy busy out there in the garage area, and if a car or crew member hits you, it’s going to be looked at as your fault. Not that I think they will once they get a look at you.” Will winked, grinning when Declan laughed. “I’ll give you a tour of the garage first, then take you over to see Liz, and then my sister will take over. Jason will have a seat reserved for you on top of the pit box.”
“Sounds great.” Declan grinned and bounced on his toes.
“If you need anything, food, bathroom, anything, ask my daughter.” Coach was eager to make a good impression. It was his opinion that his reputation was on the line whenever his organization hosted a guest, and he made sure they were treated like honored family members.
“I will. Thanks.”
What do you think? Feel free to leave me a comment below. <3