The Hotel Braevout.
All the racers had arrived at the hotel that they had been assigned to just as it had dropped dark.
The hotel was a large 30-story building with a large car park and even its own gas station.
It was called The Hotel Braevout and had a huge twinkling sign above the lobby entrance.
Penny, after exiting her car, peered up at the sign and pitied the poor soul who had the rooms above it, as it was very, very bright.
The lobby jutted out and the rooms above the sign had little balconies.
Dick had already checked in by the time the other racers had even got out their car and was on his way to his room.
This time, they all had separate rooms, much to Dick's delight.
Rooms 20 to 34, the luxury suites.
Unfortunately for Penny, 4 of them were above the big red sign, her included.
The Red Max had room 23, it was one of the huge presidential suites and it had a huge emperor sized four-poster bed, and a crystal chandelier and the walls had decorative panels with blue, white and lots of gold trimmings.
The first room you came to was the bedroom and off to the right was a large lounge and then the huge bathroom.
All the rooms above the sign were very similar to the one Max was in, the only difference being the colour schemes.
Dick had one of the Presidential suites, the end room to be precise.
He was talking to Muttley, telling him about the races he had won and how he won them.
"Yeah, Rachel asked me not to cheat", he said staring at Muttley, who was sat on the edge of the bed, "Normally, I'd ignore people, but I tried it and I won! I owe her so much."
Dick thought about it for a moment and started to feel quite sad again.
Patting Muttley on his head, he walked towards the balcony doors and opened them.
Walking outside, he turned his head to the left to see a few of the other Racers out on their balconies checking it out.
Peter Perfect, Penelope Pitstop, Pat Pending and The Red Max all had balconies.
Penny noticed Dick had come outside and called over.
"Hi there Dastardly, sugar! Are you coming to the party tonight?"
Dick looked at the floor trying his hardest to seem really anti-social, but failed miserably when he peered at the from under his hat.
"I didn't know anything about a party", he exclaimed, "Isn't it a bit odd to have a party when we have an incredibly long race tomorrow?"
"That's what Rachel said…"
Pat Pending turned to Face Dick, who had the room next door, and leaned on the railings.
"Not going then?"
Dick shrugged awkwardly.
Pat tilted his head and raised an eyebrow.
"Not feeling well?"
Sighing, Dick plonked himself down on the seat that was out on the balcony.
The Red Max was seething inside and was attempting to ignore the fact that Dastardly was there.
He had decided to examine the lights on the horizon and the car park out in front of the hotel.
"You must come", said Pat, "Even I'M going."
Dick folded his arms.
"Is that supposed to make me feel better…?"
Pat looked up at the sky, shrugged and walked back into his room.
"I managed to persuade even Luke to join us", explained Penny, "So, you MUST come!"
"I might… MIGHT come… but don't go on about it, as I won't go if you do", said Dick peering over the balcony at a passing car.
Max had decided that he had had enough of Dick and so he went inside his room to get ready for the night out.
Down the hall in the ordinary, non-posh rooms, Rachel was sorting herself out.
She was exited at the fact she was going out, as she rarely went anywhere, but she was still bothered about Dick.
She had taken off her hat and coat and was busy brushing her hair.
What had she done that was so bad?
She couldn't remember calling him names, nor telling him he was a loser.
She wracked her brain to try to figure it out.
Well, she certainly didn't ignore him…
"OH NO!", she exclaimed aloud, "I know what I did now! Oh stupid, stupid Rachel… I feel so awful now."
She hastily grabbed her shirt, put it on a buttoned it up and ran out her room.
She knocked on his door, but no one answered.
Trying again, she looked up the hallway to see if he was around.
The Red Max's door was slightly open.
Hoping that Dick wasn't in his room having the fight of the century, Rachel walked up to the door, knocked lightly and pushed it open.
"Oh my word", she exclaimed gazing at the room in awe, "This is… gorgeous!"
Suddenly, Max walked round the corner in nothing but a towel drying his hair.
"OH MY GOSH! I'M SO SORRY!", shrieked Rachel covering her eyes and turning round.
Max laughed slightly and casually reached for his trousers.
"I'm sorry, I didn't hear you come in", he exclaimed slipping his black trousers on.
"I-I-I-I I knocked! I, er, I just… assumed you were… were… you were… decent, with the door being open. Cough."
He laughed again, this time reaching out and placing a hand on her shoulder.
"You're ok now, I'm wearing something", he grinned.
Rachel removed her hands from her eyes and slowly turned round.
He was wearing a pair of ordinary looking black suit trousers, but he still had nothing on his top half.
Not that Rachel really minded, although she'd never admit it.
His hair was still damp and was partially trailing over his eyes and the towel he had used for his hair was draped over both shoulders.
His eyes were calm, not embarrassed in the slightest and he had a rather playful looking smile across his face.
Rachel grinned and blushed.
"I'm sorry I burst in… It was rude of me."
"I just wanted to know if you had seen Dick about, as he didn't come to the door when I knocked, so I figured he was out", she explained in a rather flustered way.
Max shook his head and growled inwardly at the fact Dick's name had appeared AGAIN and at such an intimate time, yet his face kept its calm appearance.
Max, who still had his hand on her shoulder, ran it down the side of her arm, admiring every inch of it.
Rachel's head darted to face him in an alarmed yet un-phased manner.
Max suddenly snapped out of it and shook his head.
"Wha-what did you mean by… Door open...", he asked in rather puzzled manner.
Rachel pointed to the door.
"It was partially open when I came in… why?"
Max walked over to it and examined the surrounding area.
"Some person or other decided to steal my watch that I left on the cupboard by the door. I took it off before showering", he explained rubbing his forehead with frustration.
"You gotta report it then", exclaimed Rachel walking up to him.
"Nah, it's ok… I'll just get another."
Rachel shrugged and walked out the door.
"I best finish getting ready", she said, "See you later!"
Max smiled and waved.
She walked away and Max stared at her in wonder.
In room 33, Pat Pending was busy practicing his dance steps, as he hadn't danced in years.
Penny had just popped out onto her balcony to have a rest from putting her make-up on and could see into Pat's room.
She sniggered as she watched him do some strange John Travolta-style moves… Totally fake and terribly timed and executed too.
Suddenly, she heard a knock at her door.
She walked up to it and turned the doorknob.
There stood Dick with his back to her.
"Oh! Dastardly! Er…", she exclaimed stepping back to give him room to enter.
Dick turned round in haste when he heard her voice and raised his eyebrows.
"Come on in then, don't just stand there like a big ol' silly stick", exclaimed Penny poking him on the arm.
Dick looked around to see if anyone was watching and nervously, but quickly entered Penny's room.
What he didn't realise, was that Pat pending was watching his every move from the room next door.
Pat frowned, grinned, frowned again and disappeared into the shadows.
Next door, Penny walked up to her bed and tossed the item of clothing that was residing on it to one side.
"There you are! Take a seat", she said urging Dick to sit down, as he was swaying nervously in the doorway.
He staggered to the bed and plonked himself down.
"So…", exclaimed Penny pulling up a seat and sitting down in front of him.
Dick grunted nervously and shuffled around.
"OH, Silly me! Where are my manners? Would you like a drink? Tea perhaps", said Penny darting up getting ready to go pour a drink.
Dick silently raised his finger to indicate that he did.
Penny smiled, giggled and did a cute little bounce before heading to where the teapot was.
She was used to the way Dick acted and had no trouble working out what he wanted, or didn't want.
She could tell if he was happy or sad or even if he was in pain.
Dick, who now had his head resting on his right hand, lifted his left hand up and indicated he wanted 2 sugars.
After she had stirred it up, she brought his tea over and he took it giving a little smile to say thank you.
Penny grabbed her tea that she had made for herself earlier and plonked herself back down on her chair.
Dick raised his head from his cup and made eye contact, which was a very rare thing, unless he was trying to scare you.
Penny knew he was about to speak, so she leaned closer, almost falling off her chair with anticipation.
"I… Have a problem", he exclaimed after much silence.
He started to laugh, which in turn made Penny spray her tea out her mouth, as she found his exclamation hilarious.
They both laughed long and hard.
"So", said Penny urging him to explain, "Why not tell me what the problem is?"
Dick put the, now empty, cup on the floor and leaned back smiling.
This pleased Penny, as he was relaxing, which meant he would open up more.
So, Dick started to explain about Rachel, how he felt and what had happened.
Julie was busy with her hair, as most of the female racers seemed to be.
She was thinking about Pat Pending and how irritating he had been.
Images of his demise floated around her head making her laugh out loud.
"Oh… Ewww!", she exclaimed raising her foot up and glaring at it.
She had dropped a tube of hand cream on the floor and it had splurged out covering her foot.
She hopped off towards her bathroom and uncomfortably sat on the toilet so she could wipe off the hand cream.
After sorting it out, she shuffled her way towards her bed and looked at the items of clothing that she had just ironed with a cynical look.
"I hope this skirt goes with this top after all this", she muttered, "Ah well, sod it if it doesn't.'
She picked up her top and put it on.
It smelled like washing powder and hot nylon and it was very warm to the touch.
In the room next door, Ryan was having difficulty with his contact lenses.
He always liked to wear them when he went out and was never seen not wearing at least one.
They were white and it made him look like the living dead.
He stared into the bathroom mirror, leaned closer and brought his finger, which had one of the contact lenses on, closer to his face.
He blinked, trying to ready his eye, aimed and slipped, ending up poking his eye and dropping the lens on the floor.
"Arrrgh", he shouted bending down to pick it back up, "If I get an infection, I get one…"
He aimed and put it in, blinking to centre it.
He adjusted his wristbands and walked out his room, heading for the lobby down stairs.
Dick had finished explaining everything to Penny and was coughing nervously.
Penny had a beaming smile across her face.
"I don't get it", moaned Dastardly clutching his head, "Why do I feel like this? Every time I see her my stomach feels as if it is about to leap out and bite my freakin' face off, when she speaks to me I feel as if I could listen to her forever and when Max butts in, I feel like he's going to take her away from me."
Penny giggled and brushed her hair back.
"Well, well, well", she tittered, "I do know what that sounds like to me."
Dick raised an eyebrow.
"What? Tell me!"
"It sounds like your falling in love, sugar. Couldn't it be any more simple?"
Dastardly jerked forwards and nearly heaved.
"Y-y-y-you gotta be shittin' me!"
"Ha ha ha ha", laughed Penelope, amused by his reaction, "Don't be so scared! It's not the end of the world!"
Dastardly calmed down and twiddled his thumbs nervously, his face burning a crimson colour.
Placing a comforting hand on his shoulder, Penny leaned forwards and winked.
"Aw come on, honey. Surely you can't say you haven't imagined her holding your hand…"
"…or holding you tight…"
"…or kissing your lips…"
"Or… becoming your wife…?"
"See! It's nothing to be ashamed of! I think it's such a beautiful thing to happen to you", smiled Penny.
Dick was sweating nervously.
He wasn't used to all this confessing malarkey.
"Are you going to tell her?"
"Well… I, er…", muttered Dick.
"Don't chicken out! You must tell her! Besides… That Red Max is sniffin' awful close. You don't wanna lose her do you?"
"…no… of course not."
"Well, then. Tell her tonight at the party… you are coming right?"
Dick nodded in agreement.
Dastardly stood up and walked towards the door.
Turning round, he swallowed loudly.
"Tonight… Tonight I shall tell her."
Penny smiled and nodded.
He opened the door and slowly poked his head round the corner.
Seeing no one was around, he walked off down the stairs and into the bar at the end of the lobby.
Pat Pending had the same idea.
He was slyly watching Dick through a crack in his door and waited for him to disappear before heading towards Julie's room.
"Oh, sod it!", roared Julie noticing the smallest stain imaginable on her skirt.
She licked a handkerchief and tried to wipe it off.
Suddenly, there was a knock at her door.
Muttering something about 'Stupid Bolognese', she opened the door.
There stood Pat Pending.
Upon seeing him stood there with his hands haughtily behind his back, Julie inwardly cursed and swore.
Pat gave her the once over, which made her cringe.
"My, my! You do look lovely", he said smiling.
"I was just wondering if you would like to join me for a drink at the hotel bar before we all went out", exclaimed Pat scratching his head nervously.
Julie nearly went through the floor.
"Er… I dunno", she said cringing again, "Only for a bit then."
She thought that she had better be polite.
One drink wouldn't hurt.
So she followed him down stairs into the bar.