I felt my jaw drop.
Raphael stepped out of the gleaming car, pulling off the black visored helmet and shaking his head to free his hair, holding it under his arm as he walked to me.
Call me an idiot, but I hadn’t thought he could possibly get any more attractive. But in that black and red auto racing suit, with his eyes focused on me...damn.
“I’ve taken both cars for a spin, and they’re in perfect condition. You ready to admit defeat?”
“Oh, please.” I replied, tucking my ponytail into my own, white racing suit, “I could beat you with my eyes closed.”
He smirked, and we shook our gloved hands before parting ways.
I climbed into the silver car nearest to me, pulling on my seatbelt and turning the key in the ignition. I looked over at Raphael and gave him the thumbs up, before flipping down the visor on my helmet.
I revved the engine, letting my fingers play on the gear shift. As soon as I heard the beep that signalled the race had begun I roared forwards, my adrenaline increasing with the speed.
The stretch of track zoomed by, and I let out a whoop as I turned, being thrown sideways in my seat. If you’ve ever heard about the thrill of being in a fast car, let me tell you it is very real.
When I finally finished the lap I slowed down, stopping at the start line again.
I stepped out of the Hennessy Venom GT slowly, still giddy and somewhat noodle-limbed.
Raphael met me outside, pointing to a screen. Within a few seconds our names appeared on it, and beneath them...the exact same time.
“Did you rig this?” I asked skeptically, having pulled off my helmet.
“Believe me, I would have had no qualms with winning.” He replied, “Maybe I’ve just found myself a worthy opponent.”
“You’ve got that right, at least.” I chuckled, yelping as he picked me up again.
“Care to tell me again what I’ve got right?” he asked mischievously, “There’s a barrel of oil here somewhere I could toss you in.”
“Don’t you dare.” I laughed, wrestling out of his grip and running off.
I didn’t have to look back to tell that he was following, and had just gotten onto a grassy bank when he tackled me, turning me over only to start tickling me. I didn’t know how he managed to do it through the suit, but I was too busy laughing maniacally to care.
“Stop!” I managed, “You...evil!”
“Evil is my middle name.” He said seriously, “Raphael Evil Sutton. I thought everyone knew that.”
I glared at him while laughing, gathering my composure enough to attempt to tickle him back.
To my surprise, it worked and he collapsed onto the ground beside me, laughing. I took advantage of his momentary incapacitation to move so that I was on top of him instead, grinning gleefully as I exacted my revenge.
I realized suddenly that I loved the way he laughed. I was stunned momentarily by the thought and lost my control of the situation, finding myself on the defensive again.
I’d thought I would distract him with a kiss, but ended up distracting myself too.
When we broke apart, grinning breathlessly, I didn’t fight back as Raphael picked me up again.
I didn’t know what was going on in my head, but I had to say it felt amazing.