Losing to the Heat 50

– 50 –

Sunny.”

Yeah?”

What will you do if I quit?”

Hire someone else.”

Taeyeon snorted. “Am I that easy to replace?”

No. But I’ll have to settle for the next best thing.”

Taeyeon grinned. “Fair enough.”

Sunny kicked her chair. “Planning to quit?”

Taeyeon shrugged. “Maybe.”

As expected. It’s the seven year itch.”

Seven years? I’ve been here for seven years?”

If you count the part time years…yes.”

I didn’t realize it’s been that long.”

I’m surprised you are only thinking of quitting now.”

Why?”

I always thought you’d eventually get into racing. Proper. Like a professional.”

You know I’d never wanted to be a professional racer.”

Do you, now?”

Taeyeon shook her head. “I have no interest in racing on a circuit. You know that.”

Sunny grinned. “It doesn’t always have to be a circuit, does it?”

What do you mean?”

You’re telling me you didn’t ask Yoona for that position to change the design of circuits?”

I did. But a circuit is a circuit.”

Get creative, Taeyeon. Change things to suit yourself. Bring the race to the streets.”

Bring the race to the streets?” Taeyeon laughed. “What are you talking about.”

Sunny clucked with impatience as she stood up. “Figure it out, stupid.” She rapped Taeyeon’s head with her knuckles. “And you need to help me to find someone good enough to take up your position before you leave.”

Taeyeon grinned. “Yes, boss!”

Yuri followed Jessica into the bedroom. “I don’t think you should.”

I need to get my dose of racing.”

But what if they find out?”

They won’t.”

What if they do?”

There’s no point in asking ‘what if’ when it’s not gonna happen.”

Yuri huffed. “It’s too risky.”

It’s my risk to take.”

Are you sure you’re ready to race again?”

I wouldn’t know unless I try.”

Race me. You don’t have to join a real race to try.”

I wanna know how I’d fair in a real race. I wanna get back on the horse. You can’t keep me away forever.”

Yuri threw her arms around Jessica and held her tight. “I don’t care. You’re not going tonight. Not tonight.”

Jessica struggled and tried to get out of the arm hold. “Let me go. I need this.”

Don’t be stubborn.”

I should be saying that to you.”

You can race on the circuit if you want. Krystal can race you.”

They won’t let me back on the circuit yet.”

That’s because you’re not ready to get back on it. Listen to the professionals!”

Don’t yell at me!”

I’m not yelling at you!”

You are!”

So are you!”

Jessica stopped struggling and hung limp in her arms. Yuri held on, however. She was determined to keep Jessica home tonight.

Let. Me. Go.”

No.”

I’m not going to get out of this slump if I listen to the psychiatrist and take it slow. We’re in the middle of The Roulette and it’ll be over before we know it. Then, the next season will be next. I have to be ready for the new season. I have to.”

It’s not gonna work if you force yourself to race. And it’s dangerous. You might get into another accident and you’ll be back at square one.”

Yuri, I am at square one.”

Yuri pulled back to look into Jessica’s eyes. She gave her girlfriend a big smile and planted a kiss on her forehead. “You’re at square two. And a half. You’ve come so far; don’t discredit yourself.”

Jessica sniffed. “Yuri…I wanna race again…”

Yuri hugged her tight again and said with utter conviction, “You will. You definitely will.”

I don’t want it to be ten years later. I want to race as soon as possible.”

Some things can’t be rushed.”

Jessica pushed Yuri away and the surprising force made Yuri step back. “This needs to be rushed.”

Just then, Yuri heard the door opening and yelled, “KRYSTAL!”

Jessica launched herself at her and tried to stop her but it was too late; Krystal had come running. “Unnie. Yuri unnie. What’s up?” she asked, eyeing the tangled mess that was Yuri and Jessica.

Yuri dodged Jessica’s hands. “Your sister wants to race at Hongdae tonight but I won’t let her.”

Krystal’s eyes grew wide as Jessica screamed at Yuri, “YURI! I’M NEVER SPEAKING TO YOU AGAIN!”

Unnie…Yuri is right to stop you.”

Soojung!”

I don’t want you to do anything dangerous.”

It’s not dangerous. I just wanna try racing. I never said I’m gonna try to try to win it.”

But you will want to and you’re gonna go fast even if you’re not ready to.”

Oh my God. Not you too.”

Unnie, please. Don’t go.”

Jessica sighed. “Okay, okay. I won’t go tonight.”

Krystal smiled and hugged them both. “What do you say to some ice cream tonight instead?”

The sound of the door opening raised Taeyeon’s head. Her eyes left the car magazine in her hands and looked towards the source of the sound, connecting with the figure at the door.

Honey, I’m home,” said the figure.

Taeyeon didn’t need to hear the voice to know who it was. Her heart had leapt at the sight of her silhouette and she had known, simply from the outline, who it was. It irritated her at times; the intensity of her feelings for this woman were unprecedented. Never in her life had she ever felt emotions this strong and deep. They ran in powerful currents that had the power to sway her judgement and they were the reason she was still seeing this woman. They were also the reason she was even considering her options for the future.

Welcome back,” she replied, not entirely comfortable with the awkward situation they were in.

Welcome back?” Tiffany giggled. “Is this a hotel?”

Taeyeon shrugged. “Maybe.”

Tiffany grinned and sidled up to her. “Is this a love motel?”

No.”

Darn. I’ve come to the wrong place then.”

That’s right. You’re in the wrong place.”

Hey, what’s wrong?” Tiffany stroked her hair and tucked some behind her ear. “You, okay?”

Taeyeon bit her lip. She wasn’t okay and there was no point in lying to Tiffany since she obviously knew but admitting it didn’t sit down well with her.

Tiffany slid smooth fingertips across the top her ear. “Tell me what’s wrong.”

I’m thinking of quitting.”

Quitting? What?” Tiffany glared at her. “I won’t let you. I won’t let you quit something you love so much.”

I’m not talking about racing.”

Oh? What are you talking about then?”

My day job.”

Are you serious?”

Taeyeon shrugged again. “I have a few options to consider. It might be time to make some changes to my life.”

You really don’t have to do it for me. Please don’t do it for me.”

It’s not just you. It’s Hayeon. It’s me.”

Hayeon?”

I want a different life for Hayeon. I want her to come and live with me. I want to take care of her.”

And to do that, you’re thinking of getting another job?”

Taeyeon nodded. “I can’t do street races forever.”

Are you sure about this? Are you sure you’ll be able to give up street racing one day?”

Taeyeon shook her head. “I can’t bear to give up street racing. I feel like I might just die if I don’t race.”

It will be a tragedy if you’re not racing somewhere. You’re too good to drive like a normal person.”

Tiffany.”

Mmm?”

I…I need to tell you something.”

Tiffany shifted closer; her legs pressing up against Taeyeon’s as she curled them under. Her fingers continued to wander through Taeyeon’s soft curls as she said, “I’m listening.”

It’s about Yoona.”

Is it good news or bad news? You’re scaring me a little, Taeyeon.”

Taeyeon looked at their clasped hands and sighed. “You may not like what I’m about to tell you, but you can’t tell anyone about it. You have to promise me you won’t say a word to anybody else.”

I promise.”

That includes Paul.”

I promise.”

Taeyeon took a deep breath. “My mother wants to see me.”

Really?”

Taeyeon nodded.

That’s…good…right?”

I don’t know. I don’t know if I should.”

Why shouldn’t you.”

Taeyeon shot Tiffany a pointed look. “You know.”

Actually, I don’t.” Tiffany squeezed her hand. “’i don’t know what it’s like to hate your mother so much. I mean, I miss my mother so much that I can’t imagine what it might feel like to hate her.”

Taeyeon pressed her lips on Tiffany’s, giving her a peck before saying, “Don’t. I don’t like the way I feel. It’s not a good thing.”

Tiffany wrapped her arms around Taeyeon’s neck. “Don’t be too hard on yourself. You have every reason to feel what you feel, even if it’s not a good feeling.” She paused. “When did your mother contact you? Today?”

She…didn’t.”

But—”

Mr Im, he told me about it.”

Mr Im? Ssamyoong’s Mr Im?”

Taeyeon nodded.

Wait. None of this makes sense.” Tiffany paused. “What has Mr Im got to do with your mother?”

Mr Im is going to marry my mother.”

Tiffany’s jaw dropped. “What?!”

Taeyeon couldn’t help giggling at Tiffany’s look of astonishment. “They’re going to get married after The Roulette.”

I can’t believe this. This is—this is crazy.”

I know, right. I thought the same thing when I was told.”

If this is true, that means Yoona…”

Is going to be my stepsister.”

How long have you known this?”

Taeyeon broke their gaze and stared at her thighs as she answered, “I knew before The Roulette started.”

Tiffany hit her hard with her fists without warning. “Why didn’t you tell me earlier? You made me make a fool of myself in front of Yoona!”

I couldn’t tell you back then. Mr Im wanted to keep it quiet. He didn’t want the news to be leaked.”

But still!” Tiffany lowered her forehead onto Taeyeon’s shoulder. “I can’t believe your mother is going to marry and become Mrs Ssamyoong.” At that, her head snapped up. “You. You’re going to be Miss Ssamyoong.” She pushed away from Taeyeon and sat an arm’s length apart. “Is this why you’re quitting your sales job?”

Partly.”

Does Sunny know?”

Taeyeon shook her head. “No. I can’t tell her yet.”

So why are you telling me about it now?”

Taeyeon looked straight at her in that moment and closed the gap between them. She took Tiffany’s hands and held them like she was afraid of losing them. “Mr Im…he wants to meet you.”

5 thoughts on “Losing to the Heat 50

  1. Hohoho~ Tiffany finally mite finally haf her wish come true~ to meet Her future father in law~ wooohoooo~ hahahah~ it’s kinda cute to get dat kind of reaction frm Tiffany. Hehehe~ manz~ I so lookin forward. Taeyeon changing her racer lifestyle and partly doin it for Tiffany and Hayeon.

    Thanks for dis update~ got me geared up for future updates~ 😃✌️

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