Runaway Highway

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Chapteer 14 - The Kiss

Johanna's POV

We stood in silence for a couple of seconds.

“I’m sorry Johanna. I’m so sorry. I don’t know what else to say. This was insane. Sure I had had troubles in the past with the other racers and their families, but we never ever did anything like this to each other.”

I turned to him, using my phone’s light to examine his hand an look for the bullet which had shattered the window. “How can you be sure it was any of the other guys? Couldn’t this have been a robbery?”

He hit the steering wheel with his fists “Are you fucking serious right now? Do you really think it was some random robbery?! The last time I checked, robbers don’t shoot the house-owners from a window like target practice when they are fleeing the scene! Besides, they were literally asking for me! This was no robbery, this was an attack.”

Sam wiped a tear that was falling down his cheek. I said nothing, knowing that his reaction was the adrenaline and the fear pumping through him.

He sighed “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to shout.”

“It’s fine, I understand.” As I said those words I pulled the bullet from dashboard. It had landed right in the middle of our heads and was lodged in a perfect round circle created at impact “Here it is. Those bastards.”

Without warning, Sam wrapped his right arm around my neck, pulling me to him. His other arm reached for my shoulder, caressing it.

“I’m so glad we’re okay. If anything had happened to you I just... I wouldn’t be able to forgive myself.”

I was taken aback by his sudden action, but welcomed it. “Sam, this wasn’t your fault.”

“It was, you and I both know that it was. I shouldn’t have let you come to my house. I shouldn’t have let you hang out with me outside work. I shouldn’t have dragged you down this path. We aren’t like you, we are all just a bunch of losers who can’t do anything else rather than race these stupid cars and get into trouble. You almost died because of me goddamnit!”

“Sam don’t say that, you know it was also my decision to get close to you.”

He didn’t hear a single word I said and continued his distressful ramble.

“I’m gonna take you home and pay everything I owe you to the very last cent and we’re not going to see each other anymore. That’s it. I cannot bear it to think that you could get hurt because of me, that’s where I draw the line.”

I pushed his arms away from me, my face in shock as if I had seen a ghost. I looked straight at him, not believing what he was saying.

“Do you really mean that? You never want to see me again?” My voice was trembling. With determination, I gritted my teeth and spoke. “Sam, I’m gonna say this only once so listen carefully. I know we started out as business partners and in the beginning I honestly didn’t like you very much but now you are the person I want to see everyday and talk to everyday and go on car rides and listen to music with. Don’t shut me out like that because you got scared. This isn’t something the Sam I know would do.”

He looked straight ahead, licking his lips before speaking, frustration clear in his features “Just friends then. That’s what we are, just friends. All of this bullshit and we’re just friends...” Before I was able to reply, he cut me off, shaking his head in disbelief “You really don’t get it, do you? Let me paint you a picture. They came after me because today Stark found out you were working for me. They saw how much better I had become with your coaching and your knowledge. They know I’m gonna win, and it’s all because of you.”

He huffed in frustration and continued “Today we didn’t just fight, we really got on each other’s nerves. They were talking shit about you and I was just sick of it. Now they know I have feelings for you and they don’t like it. They don’t like the fact that you agreed to work exclusively for me, they don’t like the fact that I’m winning, that I have you!”

I leaned back into my seat, petrified. Did he really have feelings for me like I had for him? Why hadn’t he ever told me he felt this way?

He bowed his head in defeat, his voice much softer now, almost whispering “You can’t begin to imagine how much it hurts me to make this decision, but I can’t see you get hurt. I just can’t. Shit Johanna, they were saying they’d teach me a lesson, but I never thought they’d try to fucking kill me. Even if you don’t have feelings for me, I just can’t put you in danger.” I shivered, the cold wind of the night gushing through Sam’s window (or what was left of it).

I didn’t know how to react, so I stayed silent.

He chuckled sadly, as if he had reached a disappointing conclusion “Can you believe it I thought you had feelings for me too? Damn, I know I’m dumb but I didn’t know I was this stupid.”

“Don’t say that, you’re not stupid.” I interjected, starting to panic. I had feelings for him, I just had to say it. I just had to find it in me to admit it.

He continued as if I hadn’t spoken. “First I get addicted to the fucking races, I spend thousand and thousands of dollars into this shitty car which now has a broken window and god knows what else, then I get mixed up with the wrong crowd, then those cocksuckers try to kill me in my own home. And the worst, the absolute worst is that I’m a nobody. I’m so dumb I never made anything of myself. My dad is always telling me to do something with myself, to be more like him, and I want to, but I’m too fucking weak to man up! I just spend my days driving this car, wasting my life away with people and things that don’t fucking matter-”

I couldn’t take it any longer. I sat at the edge of my seat and leaned closer to Sam, turning his face to me.

“Shut up Sam, you’re not dumb, you’re not wasting your life away.” My hands were cupping his cheeks tightly. Sam was clearly taken by surprise as his eyes widened.

I took in his handsome face, looked into his eyes. His body relaxed as his cheeks melted into my hands. His hands then moves on top of mine, placing them there tenderly.

“I’m sorry I didn’t tell you sooner, but I was scared.” I whispered, my forehead resting on his. I don’t know what came over me, but it felt so natural to be close to him in that way.

“Tell me what?” He asked, not breaking away from my gaze.

“Just...” I took in a deep breath, my stomach turning into knots. Now or never Johanna, you can so it. “I was afraid that I was being an innocent stupid girl catching feelings for a guy way out of her league.”

He moved his eyes downward, them back to me. He took a deep breath, pondering his next words. “Tell me you’re not saying that just to make me happy. Don’t lie to me.”

I had ran out of things to say. I pulled his face to mine, sealing the gap between our lips. Instantly, Sam’s hand moved away from top of mine and cupped my cheeks. At first he was soft, but then he pulled me tighter, as if he didn’t want us to break the kiss. I didn’t want to either.

I hadn’t envisioned our first kiss being like this, on a night like this one. Maybe the traumatic event made us want each other even more, with more urgency. Sam was desperate to deepen the kiss, and I let him gladly. His hands moved to my back and to my neck, hugging me in a sensual way. He squeezed my back delicately as if wanting to make sure I was real, to make sure this moment was real.

“Johanna,” he whispered as he came up for air, his lips savouring my name. He dove into my neck, kissing me tenderly. I searched for his hand and intertwined my fingers through his. I brought his wounded hand to my lips and kissed it.

“You’re saying you don’t want to hurt me, but as I see it, you saved me tonight.” I whispered as he continued to kiss my neck. “You kept me safe. You drove us out here to safety. You kept me safe. I feel safe with you, I always have.”

He stopped kissing me and looking me in the eyes, our faces inches apart.

“Oh god, what took us this long?”

He kissed me again with the same passion. I tugged at his hair while our tongues moved in sync, savouring the moment. He let out a moan of pleasure as I pulled his hair a little harder. I could feel him smile in embarrassment at his reaction through our kiss which made me smile too.

“What?” I asked.

“If you do that again I’ll have to lower this car seat right now.” I blushed, knowing what he meant by “lowering the car seat”.

We broke the kiss, breathless, and looked at each other.

“Now what?” I asked.

Sam pondered his answer. “I’ll call Mia to come pick you up and take you home. I’ll drive to Dave’s house. I’ll be safe there. Thankfully my dad wasn’t home. I’ll call him to tell him what happened and try to figure out what happened to George.”

“No way, I’m not leaving you.”

Sam sighed “We both know it’s better for you to go home. Besides, you’re safer there than with me, at least tonight.”

I sulked. He was right. It was better if we stayed low and undetected.

He nudged my arm with his elbow “Hey, don’t be sad. I’ll Facetime you the whole night to make sure you’re alright.”

I smiled. It was evident he cared about me. I leaned over and planted a kiss on his cheek.

“Thank you.”

Mia arrived 15 minutes later. Using our GPS location, she found us straight away and parked her car next to Sam’s.

“What the hell happened? Are you guys okay?” She asked in a panic. It was obvious we had woken her up mid sleep. Poor girl.

“I’ll explain everything in the car. Let’s get moving.” Mia was positively shocked as she tried to read Sam’s facial expressions.

“And where are you going? Are you staying here?”

“I’m going to my cousin’s house, I’ll be safe there.”

“If you want I can drop you off there. Your car doesn’t look like it’s in good shape.”

“Nah, it’ll be fine. Thanks anyway.”

Mia walked to her car, starting the engine. I was already walking towards her when I turned around and leaned on the passenger’s windowsill of Sam’s car.

“So, to be clear, definitely more than friends.” I grinned, earning a chuckle from him.

“Yeah,” he simply replied, his cheeks growing red “I’ll call you when I get to Dave’s.”

And with that we parted our ways. I explained to Mia what had happened on our way home. She was completely bewildered.

“Are you SURE it was any of the gangs?” She asked, gripping her steering wheel.

“Sam swears he’s sure it was Stark and his gang. They fought today at Berkley and apparently it got heated.”

Mia got silent, very silent. She seemed to be deep in thought.

“Hey, what’s that face?” I asked her.

“Oh, nothing. I’m just surprised the Starks would do something like this.”

“Are you really? I’ve literally never met a gang as violent and irrational as them. They just broke into someone’s house GTA style, like this is some sort of PlayStation game. They disgust me.”

She was quiet again. She seemed nervous for whatever reason.

“Maybe you’re right. Maybe it was Stark amd his guys.” She said. “But maybe it was someone else. You just told me you didn’t see the people who broke in. You should do some digging girl. I’ve heard Gazelle Industries isn’t what it seems. Maybe Sam has gotten himself into problems he’s doesn’t want you to know about.”

I puffed. If that was true he would have to be the best actor in the world to make up such an elaborate lie. But she was right, I couldn’t discard all possibilities.

“Alright, I’ll look into it.” I said, wanting to end the conversation there.

Mia’s POV

After I dropped Jo home, I went back to Stark’s house. I was 100% sure Andre and his cousins weren’t behind the attack because I was with him the entire night, but of course I couldn’t tell her this. Andre did tell me about the fight he had with Gazelle that day at Berkley, but according to him it wasn't that big of a deal.

I had no idea who might have done this. If it wasn't Stark maybe it was Lickety, but why would he do it? Something was telling me there was something more going on, something none of us knew about.

How was I gonna pretend to both Stark and Johanna that I was loyal to them when I had to lie to both of them?

--

The plot thickens *evil laugh*! How are you find the story so far?

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