The Faet Within

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Chapter 9

Austin

Austin sighs as he stares up at the ceiling above his bed. Sleep hadn't come to him after his fight with Isobel, not that he deserved it. He had taken a cold shower right after to cool down and it had given him the opportunity to take in what he had seen without the anger and, if he was honest with himself, fear. As soon as he had realized that he had fucked up he wanted to apologize, but he wasn't sure if she would be willing to listen to his apology.

He rubs his face, hoping she hadn't snuck out and he would be able to follow through with that apology. He climbs out of bed, knowing he would need the coffee. Walking into the kitchen, he's surprised when Isobel is nursing her own coffee. She's still here...

Austin swallows hard, "Morning..."

Isobel looks up, her eyes still puffy and red from crying. His heart pangs at the sight, feeling even more guilt for what he had said and done.

"About last night... I'm sorry. I shouldn't have reacted that way. What I did was cruel, and you didn't deserve it. Will you please let me explain?"

Isobel blinks at him before gesturing to the chair next to her. Austin grabs his own coffee before sitting down.

Austin takes a deep breath, staring into his coffee, knowing he needed to get it out before he lost his nerve. "I didn't used to always dislike humans. I used to be fascinated by them. When I was 19, I met this human girl named Sarah. She was fun and exciting and wasn't scared of my magic. I fell, hard. We were together for 2 and a half years. I had every intention of marrying her. One night I came home from a royal function and saw my brother's car sitting outside our flat. When I found them..." He clears his throat, "when I found them, they were in the throes of passion. I found out that she had been fucking him behind my back for a year. She was the only person I've ever loved, and she betrayed me. When I got home and saw his car here, I panicked. When I saw his arms around you, I saw red. All I could think about was Sarah and her betrayal. In that moment all I thought was that maybe humans and Fae aren't so different after all. It took physically cooling down for me to remember that you're nothing like Sarah. I treated you abhorrently and I apologize."

Austin nervously looks at Isobel who had been taking everything in. Her shoulders rise and fall as she takes a deep breath.

"I understand and accept your apology. I understand what it is to be betrayed by someone you love. If it makes you feel any better, I was thoroughly uncomfortable with how your brother was acting and I hope to never be in that position with him again. If your other brothers are like him, I hope you'll understand if I don't want you to leave me alone with them." The smile she gives him warms his heart, giving him the urge to kiss her.

He returns the smile, "That actually does make me feel better. And I promise that I won't." Finishing his coffee, he feels lighter than he had in a while. Maybe this whole arrangement wouldn't be so bad.

"Isobel... Would you like to visit the track with me this weekend?"

"The track? You mean where you race your cars?"

Austin nods.

"Sure, I'd love to. I've never been to a race track. It was never an appropriate hobby and being the only child, I couldn't get away with insubordination."

The giggle that leaves her mouth makes Austin grin, "Well then I will gladly show you the benefits of being third in line."

Isobel's eyebrow arches, "Third? I thought you said you have four older brothers?"

"I do. One was adopted. His father was the head of our royal guard and he died protecting my mum. His mum got sick shortly thereafter and made my parents promise to take him in. They did, and when he turned 18, he left to do his own thing. He still visits and sends post cards when he can, but he isn't home very often. I hear from him the most because we were close in age and as such spent most of our time together."

Isobel nods, smiling softly. "Well I hope I get to meet him at some point."

Austin smiles, "I hope so too, he's my best friend."

The rest of the week goes by quickly as Austin looks forward to taking Isobel to the track. Being able to share his passion with her would make spending the rest of his life with her a breeze.

Saturday morning arrives with a perfect day, clear skies and warm winds. Austin and Isobel eat breakfast in a comfortable silence, only talking to express their excitement.

After he cleans up, Austin walks her to his car and opens the door for her. "I hope you're okay with the top being down, it's too beautiful of a day to have it up."

Isobel's face lights up as she sits down, "I'm beyond okay. I love feeling the wind in my hair."

Austin grins, "I'm glad." He climbs in on his side, the engine coming to life as the car seems to vibrate from the power.

He pulls out and speeds off to the motorway, glancing over at Isobel as they level out at 85 mph. The grin on Isobel's face says it all and makes Austin grin just as widely. Every once in a while, he catches her biting her lip and wonders if the speeds are a turn on for her.

Austin pulls off the motorway and turns into the large car park for the track, gliding into his spot towards the door of the offices. He gets out and walks around the car, opening the door for her.

Lorna is waiting at the entrance, "Hey Aussy! Isobel! Glad to see you haven't killed each other. Boss, it's on the track and waiting for your approval."

Austin gently places his hand on Isobel's lower back as they walk towards Lorna, "Thanks Lorna." He turns to Isobel, "Are you okay with me doing a test run while we're here?"

Isobel smiles, shaking her head. "Of course, by all means."

Austin grins, leading her towards the track. When they get to the edge, he starts pulling on the protective gear before climbing into the seat. The engine comes to life and he gives Isobel a smirk before peeling off. With the new specifications, it handles like a dream as he races around the track. He comes to a stop in front of them after a few laps, grinning widely. "Great job Lorna, that was brilliant."

Lorna smirks, "Of course it was, Aussy. Remember who you're talking to."

Austin rolls his eyes as he looks at Isobel, "Are you ready for your tour?"

Isobel nods, smiling brightly. "I can see why you love it so much."

He grins, taking her hand as he shows her around the track. They talk as he shows her around, talking about what all goes into Formula 1 racing and about her travels.

Once he's shown her the whole place, Austin walks her back to the car. "What do you say to getting some takeaway and heading back to the flat?"

Isobel nods, "Sounds brilliant."

Austin shuts her door before climbing in and pulling back out to head to the motorway to get home.

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