“Hey, wanna go for beer and wings?”
Lily looked up at the older gentleman who had walked up. Cam pulled her into the crook of his arm and turned to the man. “Ronnie, this is Lily. Lily, this is Ronnie, my crew chief.”
Ronnie’s face lit up and he pulled her into his arms for a hug that squeezed the breath right out of her. “So you’re the gal? Damn, it’s nice to meet you.”
“Hi.” Lily wasn’t sure what else to say. The gal? Ronnie let go of her and just beamed from ear to ear. What had Cam told him?
“So you gonna come sit with me on Sunday?”
“Uh yeah, I think so. Is that all right? We don’t want to be in the way or be a distraction.”
“You’ll be fine, darlin’. Don’t worry. We have plenty of room, and it’ll make Cam here real happy.”
“Okay then, if you’re sure.”
“Very. So,” he said, smacking his hands and rubbing the palms together, “wanna go for beer and wings with us?”
Cam looked down at her, and she looked up at him. She didn’t mind one way or the other; she simply wanted to be with him. Time was short, and every moment would have to last years for her. Despite everything he’d said, things would come to an end when the month was over. She’d have to go home, back to her own life.
The question though, was why?
“Sure, we’ll come for a little while.”
“Great. We’ll be at Billy’s.” Ronnie jogged off, leaving Cam and Lily alone by the car. Track workers hovered on the other side of the pit wall, but well out of earshot.
“You don’t mind, do you?”
“You sure? You’re not saying much.”
“What did you tell him about me?” She really hadn’t meant to ask, but curiosity got the best of her.
Cam laughed and took hold of her hand, walking with her toward the garage area where he’d parked his truck earlier. “Nothing. Honest. I only told him I’d met you and liked you and…”
She stopped short, causing him to have to stop as well. He turned and looked at her, and that’s when she noticed the redness of his cheeks. “Oh my God. You told him that we…” Her voice dropped to a whisper. “That we…spent the night together?”
“No, I didn’t tell him. He figured it out.”
“Not really. I don’t care that they know. Why should you? I want you. I can barely keep my hands off you. Being with everyone tonight will be a lesson in restraint that I don’t want. Seeing you on Sunday will take every ounce of willpower I’ve got not to put you over the hood of the car and fuck you in front of the world, making sure everyone knows that you’re mine.”
He’d stepped closer with every word he spoke until he was pressed tight against her body. He held her around the waist and she felt every inch of his cock through their clothes. His eyes, uncommonly devoid of sunglasses at the moment, had darkened to a near-midnight blue. The lust she read on his face matched the lust his words had brought to life in her body.
“I know you have doubts about me, about this. I’m not letting you go. You should probably start figuring out how to say yes at the end of the month.”
“Yes? To what?”
He didn’t answer her, just kissed her lips in the sweetest way and started leading her to the truck again. What was he up to? What was he planning? Did he really believe he wasn’t going to let her go?
He opened the door to the truck cab for her, and when she was inside, he walked around to the driver’s side and climbed up behind the wheel. “You like wings? Beer?”
“Yeah. What’s Billy’s?”
Cam pulled out of the garage lot and wound his way around the infield to the tunnel that would take them out to the main highway.
“It’s a little bar that one of the guys’ brothers’ owns. We go there a lot, at least once a week before we head out of town. I usually end up buying him a new pool table each season because one of us inevitably ruins one of them.”
“We do get rowdy; we do get drunk. Not many women hang out there either, so that’s a very good thing. No telling what I’d have to end up buying Billy if women were around.”
“Oh my.” She didn’t know what say. And oddly enough, she was looking forward to being around them all.
“Maybe I should call Alli and see what she’s up to.”
“The one from the autograph line?”
“No. They’ll have her on the pool table. My crew has the most young, single guys of any of the other crews. It wasn’t planned that way, but that’s how it happened. It works for us. We’re all young. Ronnie is the oldest of us and is like a big brother or father figure. We look up to him, and he looks out for us.”
“Sounds like a family almost.”
“It is. It’s a lot like a family, and that’s the only way it will work. We have to be as close as brothers.”
Lily smiled at the thought. She knew he was far away from home living on the East Coast and his family being on the West Coast, and she liked the idea that he had a surrogate family. Even if they were all guys, they took care of one another. It was how she, Alli, and Candi had always been. As close as sisters without actually being blood, though all three of them had sworn they’d been separated at birth at one time or another over the years.
Cam pulled into the dirt parking lot of a small wooden building. At least from the front it looked small, and she wasn’t sure how all the people from all the cars out front would fit inside such a tiny place if it wasn’t larger toward the back. He helped her down from the cab and locked up the truck. She was nervous to meet the other members of his crew. If Ronnie knew they had slept together, didn’t that mean everyone else likely did as well?
“C’mon. They won’t bite. Not like I do at least.”
He grinned at her with a mischievous gleam in his eyes, and she wanted to kick him in the shin. “No, they don’t. Though if you don’t wipe that blush off your cheeks, they’re going to know something’s up.”
“Is that so?”
“Then you should do something about the bulge in your pants.” Lily slapped her hands over her mouth, and her eyes widened. She couldn’t believe she’d just said that. What the hell was wrong with her? Around Cam, she was a completely different person. Flirting and smart-mouthed comments and sex on the first date were things that Alli did, things that Alli could get away with, but…
“How do you suggest we take care of it?”
“Cat got your tongue, woman?”
Lily shook her head, afraid to speak, afraid of what might come out of her mouth. Cam just grinned at her and ushered her inside the bar.
It was going to be a long night.