The Valentine’s Day Special is a special chapter just for the occasion.
Chapter 43 will be back on track, continuing from where 42 left off.
“So what was the talk with your boss about?”
Jessica sighed. “I don’t wanna talk about it.”
Yuri threw her arms around Jessica and held her tight. “Oh, Sica…”
“Yuri…” Jessica hugged the woman back and hid her grin in her shoulder.
“Don’t give up. You’ll get back in eventually.”
Jessica shook her head. “No, I won’t.”
Yuri held her at arms length and stared deep into her eyes. “You will.”
“I won’t. Not when I have something else to do.”
Yuri blinked. “What?”
Unable to hold it in anymore, Jessica burst out in giggles. “I was offered the position of spokesperson. That’s what they called me in for.”
“Wait. So…you’re not upset.”
Jessica knew what that tone of Yuri’s meant and ran for it, shrieking all the way to their bedroom. But Yuri managed to catch her and they tumbled onto the bed, her ticklish sides under ruthless attack. When they finally emerged from the mess of sheets and pillows, both ladies were laughing and giggling and thoroughly breathless.
Yuri propped up on her elbow and planted a kiss on Jessica’s forehead. “So. Spokesperson, huh?”
“What does that mean, exactly?”
Jessica smiled. “I’ll tell you over dinner.”
“I’m so happy for you!” Krystal leapt from her chair and hugged her sister. “This sounds great!”
Jessica smiled from the bottom of her heart. For the first time in a long time, things seemed to be coming together; making sense.
“Your face will be everywhere. I’ll be able to tell everyone that you’re my sister.”
“And so will I.”
Krystal sighed. “I just wish I could remember those years we were together.”
“We’ll just have to be patient. In the meantime, we’ll make more memories now.”
That put the smile back on Krystal’s face. “Yes, we will.”
With the deadline drawing closer, Tiffany was on the verge of combusting into flames when Ted strolled into the office with the widest grin on his face.
“Hey, I got good news for you.”
Tiffany looked up from her laptop and smiled despite herself. “What’s the good news, Ted?”
“The car problem. It’s solved.”
“Yeah. I got a recommendation for another supplier and they’re gonna fill the rest of the order.”
“How did you find another supplier? I combed the entire list that we have.”
Ted grinned. “I have my sources.”
“Alright then.” Tiffany laughed and shook her head. “Keep your secret. I need to put in a couple hours at the track so I’ll leave it to you.”
Ted puffed his chest out and patted it. “Ted the hero will get it done.”
There was nothing like a few rounds around the circuit to relieve the stress that was making her head hurt. But running into Denise in the locker room killed the little joy that hummed in her heart immediately.
Tiffany rolled her eyes and headed for the lockers. She opened hers and took her clothes out to change.
“I suppose I should thank you.”
Tiffany tried to walk around Denise but the woman stepped in front of her, blocking her from the cubicles. “Please excuse me.”
“Is this how you treat someone who is trying to thank you?”
“Denise, I didn’t do anything to deserve your thanks.”
“Oh…so you’re not gonna help me in The Roulette?”
Tiffany sighed. “Who did you hear that from.”
“I see. Well, you don’t have to thank me. I’m doing it for the team. The company.”
“How noble of you. It’s no wonder Paul values you so much.”
“What are you trying to get at, Denise.”
Denise shrugged. “Nothing. I’m not trying to get at anything.” She paused, shifted her weight and sighed. “I just wanna say thanks.”
Tiffany blinked in surprise. Did the sun rise from the west this morning? “Er…you’re welcome.”
“Don’t get me wrong. It’s not like I like you or anything.”
Tiffany’s lips curled into a tiny smile. “Sure. Of course. I get it.”
Denise nodded and let the locker room without another word. Tiffany wasn’t entirely sure what happened but it was a refreshing change from the nasty encounters she used to have with Denise and she wasn’t about to complain about it.
“Honey, I’m home.”
“Don’t call me honey.”
Tiffany smiled. She knew Taeyeon would never admit to liking it. “So the weirdest thing happened to me today.”
Taeyeon turned the page of her car magazine. “What happened?”
Tiffany deposited her bag in its usual spot on the desk and flopped on the bed beside Taeyeon. “Denise happened.”
That got Taeyeon’s attention. She closed the magazine and put it aside. “What about Denise. What did she do to you this time.”
“That’s the weird part.” Tiffany scooted closer to Taeyeon and ran her fingers across the woman’s arm. “Nothing. She did nothing.”
“You’re not making any sense.”
“Exactly. It doesn’t make any sense that she actually thanked me today, does it?”
Taeyeon sat up, her eyebrows rising in accord. “She thanked you? What for?”
“Paul told her about our arrangement and she said thanks. I was in the locker room after practice and she was in there. Now that I think about it, she might have been waiting for me to come in, but I find it hard to believe she would do that.”
“She’s probably up to something.”
“Well, it was weird but she did say that it doesn’t mean she likes me or anything. So it was some sort of midway acknowledgement of my help?”
“My point exactly.”
“I suppose there are weirder things happening around us.” Taeyeon shrugged as she picked up her magazine again. “Maybe she grew a conscience.”
“How was practice? Ready to burn the track with your blazing wheels and stun the audience?”
“Ready?” Tiffany rolled her eyes and flexed her arm muscles. “I was born ready, Taeyeon.”
Taeyeon laughed. “Don’t do cheesy lines, please. They don’t suit you.”
“So what kind of lines suit me?”
“Why did I even ask.”
“Do you really wanna know? Or should I spare you from the truth.”
“Hmm?” The woman was met with a pillow to the head. She rolled over and grabbed a pillow immediately. “You—”
Tiffany threw a cushion at Taeyeon again but that left her out of ammunition so she turned and ran for it.
The days passed and before they knew it, it was time was the first race of The Roulette. Taeyeon kissed Tiffany good luck before leaving the changing room to find her seat in the grandstand. Tiffany had offered her entry to the VIP room but she had declined, preferring the grandstand to the enclosed room. There was no fun if she couldn’t hear the roar of the engines and feel the buzz in the air, she had explained. And that was exactly how she felt. Sitting at the grandstand and feeling the tension in the air was the more genuine experience. It was almost like foreplay to her, the humming of the engines tickling her like Tiffany’s feather-light touches did, and she couldn’t wait for the action to begin.
“Taeyeon! Over here!”
Taeyeon spotted the smiling beauty and returned a smile of her own. “Hey, Yoona.” She paused, finding Yoona’s companion familiar, smiling when her memory rose to the occasion. “Hi, Doctor Seo. What a surprise.”
“I asked Daddy for an extra ticket and invited her to come along. I hope you don’t mind,” said Yoona.
“I don’t mind. Why would I?” Taeyeon smiled. “Doctor Seo took good care of me when I had that accident. I just didn’t expect you two to know each other.”
“I know” Yoon grinned like an imp up to no good. “I was just being polite when I said that.”
“You know? How would you—” Enlightenment dawned on Taeyeon. “Right. Doctor Seo was at the race too, wasn’t she.” She took her seat. “Is that how the two of you met?”
“No. We didn’t meet at the race. She was my doctor.”
Taeyeon raised a brow. “Oh…”
“But she’s not my doctor anymore.”
“I’m not judging the two of you. Don’t worry.”
“My father sent me to see her because I was having trouble with sleep. I went to her expecting to be sent home with a slew of pills but she talked to me instead and sent me home with another appointment and no pills. Imagine my surprise when I actually began to sleep better after the second visit.”
“I can imagine. Doctor Seo is a very good doctor.”
Yoona smiled and squeezed Doctor Seo’s hand, a detail that Taeyeon noticed. “Five appointments was all it took. That’s how good Seohyun is.”
“Seohyun. So that’s your name.”
Doctor Seo smiled and nodded. “You can call me that too. In fact, I would prefer it.”
“So, Seohyun. I suppose you know how Yoona and I met.”
Doctor Seo nodded. “I know the details.”
Taeyeon gave her a little smile. “How do you feel about your girlfriend’s new step-family?”
Yoona’s eyes widened to extremes. “I’m not her girlfriend. She’s not my girlfriend either.”
Taeyeon could only chuckle. “I said I’m not judging, alright? It’s perfectly fine.” She shrugged. “Besides, she’s not your doctor anymore. There’s nothing wrong with what you’re doing.”
Yoona was about to say something but Doctor Seo interjected her, “Yoona’s father doesn’t know about us yet. He thinks we’re just friends.”
“Ah, I see. So, that’s the problem.”
“Daddy is bound to think the worst of Seohyun if he finds out. And he might cost Seohyun her doctor’s license.”
“Are you afraid he will object to you having a girlfriend or you dating your ex-doctor?”
“Both.” Yoona sighed. “Daddy is overprotective and when I say overprotective, I mean overprotective. In every sense of the word.”
“What if Doctor Seo were a man? Would he object as much?”
“Daddy is liberal when it comes to that.” Yoona combed her fingers through her hair. “But I’m not too sure about how well he’ll take it when he finds out his own daughter isn’t into men.”
“That makes two of us.”
“Your mom doesn’t know about you and Tiffany either?”
“How did you know—”
“Am I not supposed to know?”
Taeyeon blinked. “Not—really…” She rolled her hand in the air, trying to find the right words to say. “But how did you know?”
Yoona gave her the are-you-that-dense look. “I would think most of the people in the racing circle know about it. I mean, you weren’t exactly hiding it, were you.”
“We don’t go out of our way to hide it but we’ve never announced it either. And we don’t even talk to each other at races.”
“That’s not true,” Doctor Seo interjected. “It started from the time Tiffany got into your car after a race. That got people talking. Then, there was the time Tiffany was all flustered, looking for you on the night of the accident. People were wondering why she was so worked up over you so it’s only natural that they put two and two together.”
“And how did you know all that?”
Doctor Seo smiled. “I went to a few races and got to know a few people there.”
“You’re a regular?”
“Ever since Yoona told me about her ambition to race.”
Yoona smiled and hugged Doctor Seo’s arm. “Seohyun is the one who picked you to be my coach. She said it has to be you. That’s why I approached you.”
“I see…” Taeyeon rubbed her chin, fascinated by the extent of love this pair demonstrated for each other. “The two of you are amazing together. You shouldn’t be hiding it from your father.”
Yoona bit her lip and looked down at her lap. “Maybe. Maybe we’ll tell him. One day. Sometime in the future.”
“Don’t forget, I’ll be there for you when you tell him. And I’ll rally up Hayeon too. You’ll have a little army backing you up.”
Yoona’s emerging smile was beautiful as a rainbow blossoming after the rain. “Thanks, Taeyeon. It means a lot to me.”
Taeyeon patted Yoona’s shoulder and gave her a big smile. “Just doing my part as a big sister. Even though we’re only sisters by marriage.”
Yoona released Doctor Seo’s arm and hugged Taeyeon. “By marriage or by blood, you’re the best sister in the world.”
“I am honoured to be here today to speak on behalf of women’s racing. Women’s racing is a growing sport and every year, more and more female racers join the scene carrying great aspirations to achieve excellence in racing. As a sport, racing is a demanding one. Precision and absolute mastery of skills in driving are only the tip of the iceberg if a racer wishes to emerge the champion in a race.”
Jessica paused to smile at the camera before continuing.
“As women, we are no less committed to this sport than any other. And my gruelling journey back to the driver’s seat after an accident earlier this year has convinced me of what I had not believed as much previously: Love and determination can overcome all obstacles. All the racers here today embody both love for the sport as well as determination to achieve the extraordinary.”
A pause and another megawatt smile later, Jessica read on.
“Women’s racing has come a long way from the beginning and it was made possible by all the lovely, determined racers we have seen. It is also made possible by you. As such, all of us in the world of women’s racing would like to thank you for your support, for being here and we hope you will continue to support our growing sport. Thank you.”
The cameras panned to the chairman of the Women’s Racing Association and with a smile, he pressed the button that turned the traffic lights green.
“I declare The Roulette open.”
Taeyeon smiled at Yoona and Doctor Seo, then she turned back to the circuit and focused on car number eighteen. This was the first race of The Roulette and she had no doubt that car number eighteen was going to win it.