She still couldn’t shake the previous night’s dream. It started with her phone ringing. She answered it and he said ‘Lissy, I love you.’
That was the same thing he said every time she had that dream. She used to have the dream about once a week… but she’d dreamt it for three nights straight now… probably because she’d spent the last three days on the road with him.
Melissa Franklin was a publicist for one of NASCAR’s most popular young drivers. She’d known Brandon Hartman since kindergarten, and had a crush on him since junior high. They’d been neighbors and had gone all through school together. He had always raced as a youngster and when he made the jump to NASCAR, he’d needed a publicist he could trust. Melissa leaped at the job…she didn’t want anyone else managing Brandon’s time, and neither did he.
On one hand, it was torture working by his side, having to conceal her secret crush. But on the other hand, she wouldn’t be anywhere else. She never lost hope that someday he’d feel the same way about her.
This weekend, NASCAR was racing in California. There were only two weeks left in the season and Brandon was sitting third in points. There was a good chance he could win the championship this year.
The team’s race hauler not only hauled the racecars to and from each race, it was set up inside as a mobile office, workshop and dressing room for the driver. There was a couch and table inside, and that’s where Melissa sat, busily clicking away on her laptop, trying to get that dream out of her head while she answered Brandon’s email.
The sliding door opened a crack, and Brandon stuck his head inside. “Hey darlin’!”
She looked up from her computer. “Hey yourself, big guy. Is practice over?”
“It is for us.” He stepped inside. “Car was so good, we didn’t see any reason to keep wearin’ out the engine.”
“That’s smart. It’s a long race tomorrow and you don’t need to have an engine blow up twenty laps from the end.”
“That’s a 10-4.” He sighed as he sat down on the couch beside her. “What time is my personal appearance tonight?”
“Seven sharp at the Speedway Club. I suggest you get a bite to eat first.”
“We.” He said, a smile creeping across his face. His emerald green eyes were mesmerizing.
She was melting, he was so handsome. “We?”
“Yeah! Please come with me, ‘Liss. I hate it when you don’t come with me.”
She sighed. She loved going with him to appearances, until female fans showed up scantily clad and flashing their silicon implants in his face. He, of course, being a typical guy, loved the attention. So, he would flirt with them or buy them a drink… then ask Melissa what she though of them as they drove back to the racetrack. Thank goodness he never brought any of them back to his motor home afterwards.
She sighed. “Okay, I’ll go.”
“You don’t sound too excited.” he said, looking slightly hurt. She recognized his expression and knew it was a ploy to make her want to go.
“Oh, I’m excited.” She said, managing a fake smile. “I have a new pair of jeans I can wear. It’ll be cool.” She closed her laptop and stood up to leave.
“Good! Any emails I need to worry about?” he said, standing to follow her.
“Just NASCAR’s event department wanting to know if you’ll be bringing a date to the awards banquet. They’re trying to get the seating arranged.”
“Who should I take with me?” he asked with a sheepish grin on his face.
“I don’t know! Is there anyone you have a crush on?” She couldn’t believe she’d asked him that!
“Yeah, but I don’t know if she feels the same about me.”
Melissa was devastated! He liked someone? It was all she could do to speak. “Well… call her, and see if she’ll go.” She turned quickly to get out the door to avoid any further embarrassment. She was sure she was turning beet red.
“What if she says no? I’ll be crushed.”
“You won’t know until you try, will you? I have to go.”
That was all she heard as the door slid shut behind her. She wiped a tear away before anyone saw. She got two steps away when her cell phone rang.
“Hello?” she said as she fumbled to get it to her ear.
“Lissy, I love you.”
Her head swam as her reoccurring dream became reality. “Brandon?”
“Am I gonna be crushed, darlin’?” he whispered. She realized he was standing behind her.
“No.” She said, turning around to face him. “I love you too!”
He smiled. “‘Bout time!”