– 24 –
“Why are you out here?” Her instincts told her something wasn’t right when her sister wasn’t able to answer right away. She sat down beside her and peered, but her sister turned away. She heard her sniff, however. It was awkward, the situation, the walls between them, but she had to ask, “Are you crying? Why are you crying?”
“Shh…you’ll wake Yuri up.”
She didn’t see why Yuri should be sleeping when her girlfriend was out in the living room, crying all by herself. “She should be out here with you.”
“She’s tired. It was a long day at work for her.”
“But you’re crying.”
“It’s not a big deal.”
“It must be, if you’re hiding your tears from Yuri.” Her sister’s glistening eyes met hers and her heart squeezed tight at the sight of the sadness in them. “You’re really, really sad. What’s wrong?”
“They told me today that I have two weeks to get back to my training schedule or they’re gonna get a new racer for the team.”
“It’s not fair. They should give you more time.”
“It’s been many weeks. It’s too big a gamble for them to wait for me to sort out my problems. The big race is coming up and the team can’t just hang around with all this uncertainty. I’m holding up the entire team.”
“Well, they can’t just toss you out just because you can’t race right now. You helped the team to qualify for the finals.”
“Krystal, it’s a competition. Every racing team is out to win. If I can’t be with the team a hundred percent, I’m only going to drag the team down with me. Our company wants the championship. Every company wants the championship. They’ve poured in the time and money and they want results. That’s the way things are. And it’s not like we can plead for the race to be postponed, can we.”
“It’s so cruel. They’re so heartless. I’m glad I’m only doing street races. These big mega racing corporations aren’t for me.”
“It’s the survival of the fittest. Or the fastest. If i can’t make the practices and train up, I’m gonna lose for sure. Even I would kick myself out. It’d be selfish to expect to stay on when I can’t commit.”
“But you’ll get to stay if you can race in two weeks, right?”
Her sister nodded.
“Okay,” she said with a nod, “we’ll get you back on the roads in two weeks. We have fourteen days. That’s plenty.”
“Krystal, I haven’t made much progress with Doctor Seo. I’m still shaking when I’m in the driver’s seat.”
“But you’ve gotten over your fear of being in a car.”
“Yeah, Yuri helped me a lot with that.” She smiled briefly. “But that’s still a long way from becoming a racer again.”
She waggled her index finger and shook her head at her her sister. “No, no, no. Not if I help you with it.”
“You’re so sure about this.”
“Yeah.” Determination rose through her blood and her heart pulsed. “If there’s a will, there’s gonna be a way. We’ll find a way.”
Her sister smiled and hugged her tight. “Thank you, Krystal.”
A strange warmth flooded her heart just then and she found herself smiling too. “You don’t have to thank me. We’re sisters.”
Her sister’s arms tightened around her. “That’s the first time you’ve said it.”
“Sisters. We’re sisters.”
She closed her eyes and snuggled into the warm nook of her sister’s neck. “It’s a fact. Nothing can change that.”
“I’m glad you think that way.”
“Anyway, thanks for letting me stay here with you. My bad dreams have stopped for some reason, ever since I moved in. Even Doctor Seo can’t explain why.”
Her sister’s hands rubbed her back and patted it gently. “I’ll bet our parents are watching over us. They led me to you and now they’re taking all your bad dreams away too.”
She pulled away and looked deep into her sister’s eyes. “Or maybe it’s because I’m back with my sister. Maybe I’ve been having bad dreams because I wanted to find you and come back to you.”
“I’m glad you found me.”
ok(: see ya soon boo
Taeyeon blinked. This would be the 801309th Tiffany has called her ‘boo’ but she still cringed at it.
“Are you going out with Tiffany after work?”
“Mhm. Wanna come with?”
Sunny feigned a vomitting fit, stopping only when she kicked her shin. “No thanks. Sooyoung is coming back from Japan tonight so I have much better company than you two, thank you very much.”
Taeyeon rolled her eyes. “Go back to your giant, you ungrateful piece of shit.”
Sunny only laughed. “Please don’t get arrested for PDA when I’m not around to bail you out.”
“We’re not that bad!”
“You two were practically eating each other’s face right in front of me two nights ago!”
“We weren’t eating each other’s face.”
“If that isn’t eating face, I don’t know what is, and I don’t wanna know either.”
“Shut up. You are going to do the same to Sooyoung tonight.”
“Well, at least we only do that when nobody else is around.”
“It was just that one time. Just once. You‘re making it sound like we do it all the time. Besides, it’s Tiffany who can’t seem to keep her hands away from me.”
“You certainly did nothing to discourage her.”
“You know, you’re my friend but sometimes I really wanna strangle you.”
“Same here.” Sunny laughed as she stood. “I gotta go now. We’ll continue discussing your disgusting PDA habits tomorrow.”
“Shut up before I tell Sooyoung how much you drank while she’s away.”
Sunny clapped her hands to her mouth and shook her head. “I’ll shut up now. I’ll shut up. Don’t tell Sooyoung.”
Taeyeon winked at Sunny and grinned. It was always good to know a friend’s weakness.
She pulled up at the entrance of the Hyundae’s main lobby and tapped her fingers to the beat of the music playing in her car.
She’s up all night ’til the sun
I’m up all night to get some
She’s up all night for good fun
I’m up all night to get lucky
We’re up all night ’til the sun
We’re up all night to get some
We’re up all night for good fun
We’re up all night to get lucky
“We’re up all night to get lucky…” she sang along, wearing a grin at the thought of actually getting lucky tonight. Agreeing to date Tiffany had turned out to be one of the best decisions she’d ever made. For one, the sex was great. Tiffany was a passionate lover and held nothing back. And somehow, knowing that she’d get to cuddle and wake up with Tiffany beside her only made the whole experience a thousand times better.
Tiffany was also not as clingy as she’d expected her to be. This was a surprise, seeing how Tiffany had persevered in her pursuit of her; how stubborn she’d been. But now that they were unofficially official, Tiffany seemed content to set her free and let her go. In short, it was crazy but dating her properly had made it seem even more casual than they’d been before. Other than the fact that they met way more often now, almost every day for dinner.
She was so engrossed in her thoughts and the music that she never heard the door open. But she felt the pair of soft, glossy lips on her cheek and heard the husky, raspy voice saying, “Hi boo.”
“Hi.” She turned and got a lip-to-lip kiss from Tiffany before turning back to her steering wheel with a smile. “Where to for dinner?”
“I’ll give you directions to the place.”
“Okay.” Taeyeon pulled away from the curb and drove down the road.
“So…get lucky, huh.”
“Uh huh,” Taeyeon replied with a wide grin. A hand squeezed her thigh and slid up a little too high to be friendly. “But not right now.”
Tiffany gasped. “Taeyeon? Did you just reject my advances? You?”
Pssh. “I’ll have you know that I’m not crazy for it all the time.”
“Is that a challenge?”
“No. I’m just stating a fact.”
“That I’d like to challenge right now.”
Taeyeon turned to Tiffany. “Somebody pissed you off at work today?”
Tiffany retracted her hand and sighed. “Organizing the car show is bringing my blood pressure all the way,” she held her hands, palm down, above her head, “up here.” She sighed again and sank further down the seat. “Invitations, specifications, logistics…”
“You’ll feel better after dinner.”
“Is that a promise?”
“It’s a promise.”
“Did we order too much?”
Taeyeon snorted. “You eat so much but where does it all end up?”
Tiffany pointed a finger at her temple. “Here.”
She shook her head. “Nah.”
“Where do you think it ends up then?”
She earned a slap on her arm but it didn’t bother her in the least. “I like your butt.”
“I don’t understand your fascination with butts. Human butts, car butts…”
“Shut up and eat your eel rice.”
“I’m planning to eat it right now.”
Tiffany reached for her hand and took it as they walked out of the restaurant. She was satisfied with the meal and conversation with Tiffany had been smooth but if there was anything bad about dating Tiffany, it would be the amount of money it cost her. That meal did not come cheap. Especially with Tiffany ordering way more dishes than she was used to.
A main course. A soup. A side dish. An appetizer. And dessert. All by herself.
Nobody had warned her about the financial burden of dating Tiffany.
“How about we cook dinner and stay in the next time?”
Taeyeon heaved a sigh of relief. “It’s set then. We’ll cook dinner.”
“What do you want to do now?”
“I wanna get the new issue of Top Speed.”
“Okay. Let’s go.”
Taeyeon drove them to the book store in town. It was the best place to go to for car magazines. There was a wide collection from various countries and she could get the magazines she wanted. They walked in hand-in-hand and she led Tiffany to the car magazine section.
“Racer, Top Speed, The Kit, On The Street, Hot Bodies…”
“Don’t buy this one,” said Tiffany as she returned Hot Bodies to the shelf.
“It’s not that informative.”
“It’s actually quite good.”
“But it has too many pictures.”
“But the pictures are nice.”
“Of course you’d think they’re nice.”
“Well, they’re nice, aren’t they?”
“Yeah. Nice breasts. Nice butts. Hot bodies alright.”
Taeyeon couldn’t understand the fuss Tiffany was kicking up over a silly magazine. She added it back to the pile, resolute in her decision to buy it but Tiffany took it away again. “Fucking hell, Tiffany. What is this about.”
“There are more pictures of models than cars in it. That’s the fucking problem.”
Her jaw dropped. What in the freaking Tiffany world. “Are you seriously bothered by that?”
“You can look at me if you want to see a hot body.”
“Now you’re just being stupid. I’m not gonna drool over those models.”
“I just don’t want you to buy that magazine. You can get all the rest.”
“This is really stupid. Really, really stupid.”
“It’s not that important right? You don’t have to buy it.”
“Are you PMSing or something. You’re acting really weird today.”
“Yes. Yes I’m PMSing and I don’t want you to buy the damn magazine.”
“Fine. I’m not buying it. Happy now?”
Tiffany’s smile returned and she slipped her arms around hers. “Yes.”
“Oh my God. Women.”
“You’re one too.”
She dumped the magazines onto her bed and flung herself across, on top of them. She then rolled onto her back and grabbed one to read. Top Speed. It was a favourite of hers. It went into great detail about the fastest cars and she loved fast cars the most.
Deeply engrossed, it wasn’t until Tiffany, fresh from a shower, bounced on the bed beside her that she looked away from her magazine.
“You smell great.”
“I’ll shower after reading this.”
Tiffany had a different idea, it seemed. Her hand had started on a journey up her body, under her camisole, towards her breasts. “It’s a good thing you have two of these. Perfect for my two hands.”
“Leave them alone. I want to finish this article.”
But Tiffany wasn’t in the mood to co-operate, it seemed. She pushed up the loose top and camisole so that her bra-clad breasts were revealed. “Did you wear this pink bra especially for me?”
“It was right on top of the pile so I grabbed it.”
Tiffany pouted. “You’re not romantic at all.”
It was no good. She threw down her magazine and grabbed Tiffany instead. She kissed her hard, diving deep into her mouth to explore the limitless possibilities in there. They’d kissed numerous times by now but each time felt as novel as the first. It was never exactly the same. The way Tiffany leaned in, the way their tongues danced, the way they sighed from their very core. It was always new, something to behold in wonder. Or lust.
But just as she reached for Tiffany’s butt, the woman broke the kiss and rolled away.
“Get yourself into the shower and clean yourself for me.”
“You’re pure evil.”
“How else did I make you mine?”
“You’re gonna regret everything once I get out from the shower.”
“I’ll be ready for you.”
And she was. Taeyeon’s jaw clenched and her heart pumped twice as fast at the sight of Tiffany lying on her bed without a stitch of clothing on. Just a never ending expanse of bare skin.
She wasn’t to be outdone. She dropped her towel and walked towards Tiffany in her birthday suit. The woman’s eyes burned just as her heart did and her erogenous zones were tingling as she got onto the bed.
“Are you ready for my revenge?” she asked, hands gliding up Tiffany’s calves, over her knees, stopping mid-thigh.
“I’ve been waiting for this moment all my life.”
Taeyeon grinned. “So have I.”
“Have you ever thought about joining a pro-team?”
Taeyeon shook her head, her cheek rubbing against Tiffany’s skin. They were both a little sweaty after an extended period of loving, but it didn’t bother her.
“Mmm, if you were to join one…which company would it be?”
“Any company but yours.”
“I’ll never race for Paul.”
“But I’ll be in the company. With you.”
“Not gonna race for Paul.”
“Even with me on the team?”
Taeyeon raised her head and looked at Tiffany. “No.”
Tiffany frowned. “You hate him more than you like me.”
“Nah. That’s not how you do the math. I don’t have to join your team to get you in bed but I’ll definitely have to see him if I join your company so there’s no real benefit in joining your company.”
“Well, if you put it that way…”
“But I’m not gonna join any pro-team so this question is invalid anyway.”
“Don’t you ever think about winning the official title and have people all over the country recognize you as the champion?”
“I like racing on the streets. Circuits are boring. The turns are the same, the curves are the same. There’s nothing to look forward to but the end. But street racing is different. You never know what’s gonna happen next. The police might just appear. The road may be blocked. You rely on quick reactions, quick thinking. Now that’s a race.”
“I know what you mean. I used to think this way too. Until I joined Hyundae.”
Taeyeon traced random curvy lines and circles around Tiffany’s chest as she spoke and grinned when goose pimples rose from her light touches. “So why did you join Hyundae,” she asked, brushing her thumb over the sensitive nub on Tiffany’s right.
Tiffany’s voice trembled a little. “I joined Hyundae to get a chance to come here and race with you.”
Taeyeon realized just then that Sunny’s information had been correct. “Really?”
“You’re the best.”
“That’s it?” Tiffany bit her lip. She reached for it immediately, pulling the bottom lip out from her teeth. “Don’t bite your lips. Only I get to bite them.” She pressed a kiss on her lips and smiled. “You came all the way here just to race with me?”
“There’s magic in the way you drive. Until I saw you drive, I’d never thought of it as an art. I raced to get my mind off certain things. For me, it was something bad. Something that my dad would hate. I didn’t race for good reasons but all that changed after I saw your videos.”
Taeyeon tucked the stray strands of hair behind Tiffany’s ear and leaned closer. “What were you trying to forget?”
Tiffany wrapped her arms and legs around her, every inch of their bodies pressed together, before replying, “Mom.”
Taeyeon could feel the extra heavy breath hitting her skin and knew that Tiffany was sighing. She patted her back and kissed her shoulder. “Sounds like you love your mother a lot.”
“I love her. She’s my best friend. When she died, I fell apart.” She sighed again. “I shouldn’t have but I did. And nobody could help me to put things back together again. Until I got into racing. There’s no time to think of anything during a race and my heart is pumping so fast that I can actually feel it in my chest. That’s how I know that I’m still alive. That’s why I’m here today. And tomorrow. ‘Cos my heart is still beating.”
Taeyeon was silent for a long time and so was Tiffany. They remained in each other’s arms, sharing warmth, sharing pain. Then, before she realized what she was bringing out into the open, she said, “You know, you’re lucky to have a mother to love even if she’s not here anymore. I have a mother that I can’t love. That’s so much worse.”
“Shh. Don’t say anything. It’s time to sleep.”
She was thankful that Tiffany didn’t press the issue. Instead, the woman hugged her head to her bosom and together, they drifted to sleep in the quiet of her room.