Corner Two – No Place to Play
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This story features my alter ego, a mid-fifties guy a with two intersecting loves, a younger woman and motor racing. It began with “Corner Two- Angela’s Revenge”, in Loving Wives and continues here. All important aspects of the original story have been incorporated into the second section of this chapter.
No Place to Play
I’m blasting toward the crest of rising pavement, unable to see what lay ahead. I need to entirely trust prior experience at this dangerous place.
The scenery is flying by so quickly that it’s little more than side-vision blur. The noise is almost deafening inside this resonating, stripped out interior- in spite of the tight confines of my new racing helmet. Which is louder: eight throbbing cylinders thundering through open headers, or my pounding heart?
Maybe I am too old for this? Perhaps my concerned ex-wife is right? Am I only doing this crazy thing to impress my new girlfriend? Ha! If she knew our age difference, it would rankle her more than she’d ever admit. But there’s no time to think about it because now I’m diving down into Corner Two. I hope that I set up right.
I’m Greg Carpenter, and I’ve been coming to watch at the track for forty years. First it was with my late father and his gearhead younger brother, then with my son and friends. My ex- came once but she didn’t like the noise, especially at Corner Two, so close to the track, though spectator safe, a couple of metres above it.
Up there, fans can see the drivers’ frenzied motions- steering, downshifting, braking. They’re seeking the right line for a downhill, off-camber bend that throws the cars to the outside, toward the protective stacks of tires along the heavy concrete retaining wall. There’s a slim margin between success and disaster here.
Now I’m flashing into the dreaded bend where I’ve witnessed many accidents over the years. This vintage class Grand Touring Camaro is more than a handful as the tire walls loom closer. Worse still, I’m not alone as an older Porsche comes up on the inside. The driver sees the diagonal yellow ‘Novice’ tape markings across the back of my car and knows I’ll give way. I let up as the distinctive Brumos Racing replica eases past me with a little “Thank You” wave.
I know that Angie is there watching this, probably holding her breath like me. But I’m too focused to even glance up to the spectators. She likes the action at the corner; in fact, this is where we first met two years ago. What took place that race weekend, both at the track and on her sofa changed my life in so many good ways- apart from potentially killing myself in this race car!
Ten laps pass in less than a half hour, including time under a yellow caution flag to clean up an accident back at the hairpin turn. Not too serious, but cruising past it is sobering enough for me to ask myself again why I’m doing this? In my late-fifties, at the peak of my graphics design career, why am I behind the wheel? Am I another late-bloomer, like actor Paul Newman who took up racing in a committed way at about the same age?
Now I pull into the pits, the Camaro smoking a bit- radiator steam. I know it looks good, painted in replica late-Sixties Penske colours, blue with some deep yellow trim, the colours of then-sponsor oil company Sunoco. Yes, the same Roger Penske who still owns cars racing at the highest levels in Europe and North America.
I’m grinning from ear-to-ear. I just finished my first race unscathed- not counting those controlled events in identically prepared cars at racing school. No, this is the real thing, and it has left me shaking with post-race excitement. Sure, I finished mid-pack at best, behind most of the other vintage GT1s and GT2s, but I’m satisfied.
And so is my love Angie. Almost before the engine comes to a shuddering halt, I’m out of the car and she’s on me, hugging while tugging at my helmet strap. I’m all tangled up in my neck-restraining HANS device so it takes some more time ’til I’m free. Angie is gushing, kissing my sweating face, making me feel like a conquering hero. Someone passes me a cold drink and I break free from her embrace.
Then my lovely lady has her arms around me again, on-lookers enviously chuckling at her enthusiasm. She pulls my head toward her and lowers her excited voice.
“I’m so proud of you, honey. You were amazing out there! Just wait ’til we get back to the camper.”
Suddenly I remember why I took up this dangerous game. I realize now that it is almost as exciting and satisfying as the private times Angie and I have together. I know that being alone with her in my camper tonight will be just as exhilarating as rocketing through Corner Two in this old racing machine. In fact, probably even more so, if I know this remarkable, mid-thirties woman when she is revved up!
But there are two more races tomorrow, so I’ll need to remember to preserve some strength to muscle this big car through twenty more laps.
“Oh, what the Hell!” I smile to myself, because with my Angie, güvenilir bahis there’s just no holding back.
We met two years back at this same season-opening regional club racing event. She was with her husband Rocco, watching the cars speeding into Corner Two. I was nearby and quickly noticed this striking beauty: tall and slim in tight blue jeans and a fitted black leather jacket that highlighted her willowy shape. Gorgeous!
I was drawn to Angela, especially since I lived alone, divorced from my wife for several years. Now in my mid-fifties, my life was filled by my career in graphic design, an intense fitness regime, and race spectating with friends. Tall and in good shape, my male drive still craved satisfaction. But, I’m finished with the phony bar scene and silly young women.
Her husband mostly ignored Angie, and left her trapesing along behind him, trying to navigate the sloping terrain in her stylish leather half-boots. We exchanged smiles and I spoke briefly to both of them before he abruptly started out again. She shrugged her shoulders and followed, a lovely, obedient pet with those big, sad eyes.
Later that night, Angela frantically knocked on my trailer door, then burst inside with a bloody split lip. Rocco had smacked her with the back of his hand, jealous that she’d spoken to me. Her teeth had opened a bad gash, so we made a midnight run to the hospital south of the track. The ER doctor photographed and documented the wound, aware that it was spousal abuse.
I didn’t want Angie to go back for more, so we continued west for an hour to their city apartment. I expected to just drop her off and return to the track for some sleep, but Angie had other plans. This beautiful younger woman surprised me with her thanks as we ‘made out’ like teenagers on her sofa before I finally tore myself away.
Her passion was intense as mine. Angie’s relief at escaping from her abusive husband, and her long unfulfilled desires bubbled over into something that I’d been without for some time myself. Furious with Rocco and happy with her rescuer, Angie let it all out! I knew that I had to have more of this very expressive, sexual woman.
Early next morning, I’d had only a few hours of sleep when Rocco banged on my camper looking for his wife. He didn’t find her, though the bloody cloth I’d used to clean up her split lip alerted his suspicions. However, he made no reply when I asked why the blood made him think Angie had been with me. I was taller and bigger than Rocco but remained polite, in case he returned with his buddies or a weapon.
In the following months we developed a secret relationship after she moved in with a girlfriend. I learned that Angela was a much-in-demand fashion model, married ten years to her agent. However, by now she was less runway queen and more catalogue cutie, usually appearing as a mother or aunt. She wasn’t Rocco’s meal ticket any more, so he turned his attention to younger women.
Divorce doesn’t come easily or quickly here, every effort made for counselling to preserve the marriage. But after sixteen months or so, and plenty of legal expenses, Angie was free of him. ‘No fault’ is the law, though documentation of the split lip likely helped move things along more quickly. All their marital assets were divided evenly, my lady awarded half of all savings and investments, possessions, and pension funds- the works.
Rocco was angry about how it went down, but Angie and I were very pleased, despite the legal fees. She gave up an expensive car in exchange for her favourite contemporary art pieces, which he hated anyway. Now our modest apartment looked like a small gallery, with large canvases hung everywhere.
There had been a turning point about four months before the divorce was finalized. As we stood along the fence at Corner Two a few metres from her husband, Angie vented her rage at their failed ten-year marriage. She leaned across me and roundly cursed him out, calling him a “despicable rat” and worse.
Some might call it childish, but they don’t understand the depth of hurt Angie felt. A man might have cut loose with fists or worse, but sometimes nothing is sharper than a woman’s tongue. Rocco was afraid of me and slunk away defeated. It marked the bitter end, and he no longer resisted the divorce proceedings.
The night of that incident, we were making love in the camper when Angie asked me something totally unexpected. One simple question set in motion a series of events leading up to the present day.
“Honey, have you ever thought about getting behind the wheel instead of just standing along the fence?”
Angie was still naked with me in our double sleeping bag, so I didn’t say anything at first, intent instead on more kisses and caresses with my sensuous partner. She gently pushed me away.
“Look at me. It’s a serious question. What do you think?” she grinned.
“About what?” I mumbled, lowering my head to kiss her neck.
“Stop it, Greg, and pay attention,” she güvenilir bahis siteleri gently admonished. “Would you like to go racing?”
“This is exciting enough for me, Ang. Why would I do that?”
“Because you might enjoy it more than you can imagine. You’ve been on the sidelines forty years. Think about tearing around the track, feeling the speed, not just seeing or hearing it. Think of the thrill!”
“This is thrilling here with you, baby. How could anything be more exciting than times like this?” And I moved in on her inviting lips, still intent on more love with this sexy woman.
“Oh alright,” she gave in. “But first tell me you’ll think about it. When the divorce is settled, there will be more money. Rocco and I had plenty and I get half. You’ll be sixty in a few more years, so it’s now or never, right?”
“Now or never, eh. That’s how I feel about being here with you, twenty-five years younger than me,” I quipped.
She brought her arms around me and came in close, pressing that glorious female flesh against mine, entangling my legs with her long limbs.
“No reason you can’t do both, Greg. Tell me you’ll at least give it some serious thought, OK?” Angie whispered, her lips close to mine.
“I will, I promise,” I heard myself pledging like some eager young lover because there was no resisting Angie, especially not now.
By the time Angie was free from Rocco I was already enrolled in Driving School, taking classroom and in-car instruction at our favourite track. The lessons and all the necessary safety gear were expensive- there seemed to be no end to the purchases. But Angie never blinked an eye and came with me to every session as I progressed to my racing license. We were in this together, me the driver and Angie my biggest fan.
This all seemed so right. By summer’s end, I had my competition papers and membership in one of the region’s long-standing racing clubs. Everything was in place now except something to drive.
Basically, there are three possible routes: drive for an established racing team- if you’re top level; rent a ride; or else, buy a car. Option One was not a rookie possibility, and neither of the other two came cheap. However, like Angie expected, the financial tap opened when the court released her marital assets.
There were certain trade-offs. We could move into a bigger, more luxurious place, more in line with Angela’s former lifestyle. Her modelling career was reactivating now with a new agent after Rocco had blocked all her attempts to land contracts. We could afford a better home. But Angie was firm about her racing decision.
“We already have a good life together, Greg. This place is fine for now, and decorated with my favourite artwork, it looks like home to me. Live the dream while you can. Get a car and go racing. After all, the track is where we met in the first place, right?”
So, I dove right in. There was a decent late-Sixties Camaro for sale, with a long, documented Grand Touring racing history. It was a roller- no engine or transmission- but otherwise up to current specs, with a fuel cell, roll cage, and all the right suspension parts. It caught my fancy.
Immediately, I visualized it as one of the V8 warriors from the popular Trans-Am series, where cars representing four major American automakers, and some Japanese and European brands in lower classes, fought it out. “Race on Sunday. Sell on Monday” was the theory among the manufacturers of the day.
Angie wrote the cheque, and that autumn I helped a skilled friend from the club drop a fresh motor and four-speed unit into it. A local shop handled the paint work, with the throwback Penske number and lettering. The bills kept pouring in! We had enough invested in Driving School, racing gear, club membership fees, and the Camaro that we could have bought ourselves a brand-new luxury vehicle, with plenty of change left over.
The day we first admired the sparkling finished product, Angie made a succinct comment.
“For god’s sake Greg, don’t wreck it. I don’t want to lose either of you now!”
What I did wreck for a time was our close relationship. Sometimes I have this problem with running my mouth. What started out as some bantering about Angela with my boss ended up causing me big trouble and plenty of anxiety.
“What’s your gorgeous girlfriend going to wear to the company Christmas party this year, Greg? That sexy red number again, I hope. No wonder you don’t get the amount of work done you used to. Too many distractions!”
He was at me again about job performance, never failing to connect it to Angie. Roderick Grantham was about my age, and although he was neither handsome nor in decent shape, he had a roving eye for the women. He’d practically devoured Angela last Christmas, so I shot it right back at him.
“Hey! That racing machine we’re building takes a lot of time.”
“Not leaving that hot woman unattended, are you?”
“She’s more than just a distraction to iddaa siteleri me, Rod.”
“Yeah, I’ll bet. Anything you’d like to tell me about? That red dress was cut halfway down her boobs and slit right up to…. “
“Easy there. That’s my lady you’re talking about.”
“Man! You are one lucky bastard! I’d be distracted too if she was in my bed every night.”
“Dream on. Now about this year’s dress, all she said was that I would love it.”
“Then I will too. How about the four of us share a table?”
“Sure, Rod. Marian would probably like to meet her. Be on your best behaviour,” I teased.
“How did a schmuck like you ever land that doll anyway?”
“Long story short: I’m her Knight in Shining Armor.”
“Maybe she’ll tell us the rest of that story at the party?”
“No, the divorce is behind her now and she won’t bring it up.”
Then I said too much.
“OK, I took her to the hospital when her husband smacked her hard enough to split her lip.”
“What! A babe like that. What a goddam ass!”
“You were a Boy Scout too, Rod. Remember the motto: ‘Do a good deed every day’? Well, it really paid off. But I already told you too much, so don’t look for anymore.”
Yes, Angie blew Rod’s mind at the party, and a lot of other guys too. Her black dress was ultra short, though she wore opaque stockings to hide everything. The dress hugged her fine body, demure enough from the front, but the back was a different matter. Little more than two wide straps, it scooped as low as the law would allow, revealing acres of flawless toned skin. Spiked red heels and earrings were her only nod to Christmas.
As they danced after dinner, Rod couldn’t resist running his hands across her back. I was taking my turn with Marian, and she was livid. It was funny to hear her ream him out, but what happened later wasn’t. A couple of young, single guys held Angie too close and fondled her bare skin almost down to her butt. I watched, simmering as she chatted and swayed while the office lads felt her body. She just smiled over at me, seemingly pleased with their attentions.
I found out why on the way home. While dancing with her, tipsy Rod had expressed amazement that her ex-husband had been abusive. On the way home, Angie ripped a strip off me for talking about her private past. She railed and it dawned on me why she let the office guys be free with her while dancing. The freeze continued the following week too. I’d seen her boil over with anger at Rocco, so I shouldn’t have been surprised.
Not long afterwards, she announced that her new agent had a shoot for her down in the islands, a welcome break from winter. She seemed to delight in telling me she’d be modelling sportswear and swimsuits.
“I’ll probably be wearing little bikinis too. Wouldn’t you like to be there, but at least there’ll be plenty of people on the camera crew to appreciate me,” she teased.
“Angie, never think that I don’t appreciate you….”
“Enough to keep my past life private?” she interrupted.
“Oh Hell! Are you on that again? I can’t ‘un-tell’ Rod, though I wish I could.”
“Well, so do I!”
“And in the meantime, you’ll keep me groveling and jealous about the tropical shoot. Just like you did with those guys at the party.”
“If you choose to be jealous because the camera men will see me half-naked, that’s not my fault. I told you from the first that I’m a fashion model. It’s all part of the business.”
“Alright, alright. That’s what you do. I just don’t want to hear anything more about it!”
But I already knew that I’d be wondering about it the whole time she was away. I was learning the downside of having a beautiful and charming woman. It’s great for the ego, but possessive jealousy can rear its ugly head. I’m tall and fit, but no fashion model.
Before I knew it, I was driving Angie to the airport. She was smiling, happy to be back into the swing of her international modelling days again. A few little kisses, a hug, and then she was gone, leaving me four days to tamp down my anxiety about this trip taken in anger. It would be a real test for our relationship.
I pictured her surrounded by young men, clamouring for the sexiest shots of her lovely body in tiny string bikinis. To make matters worse, she either had her phone off most of the time and was too busy to text with me. We had only a few quick exchanges the whole time she was away. Based on what she told me later, it was probably just as well.
Angie was gushing when I picked her up, and she had a new tan. The trip had been wonderful: fantastic weather, beautiful clothes, and such nice people. There were parties and clubs every night- so much fun laughing and dancing that all she wanted to do was sleep for the next two days!
“Tell me more about all those nice people,” I commented warily.
“Oh, there were five other girls. And the crew, a half dozen including makeup and a woman doing the fittings.”
“And the crew… were they, uh, respectful with you, Angie?” I asked, barely disguising my concern.
“Look Greg, I’m used to photographers always trying to get me to show more skin. A couple of the guys were real hunks, and one seemed to be close by every time I turned around….”
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