The Last Laps: Season’s End

Here I am, coming to you late, and for that I apologize.  I’ll get to that at the end.  First–novel.

 

Chapter Thirty-One is finished.  So is, by extension, Part Nine.  There wasn’t much to the part–it clocked in at just over eighteen thousand words–but Act Three is just about three thousand words from one hundred thousand words, and the novel is about six hundred words from three hundred thousand.  It’s come along a lot better than I have ever imagined.

And the end really is near now.

And the end really is near now.

How did that someone Kerry questioned think he did?  How do you think they thought?

 

(All excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Two: B For Bewitching, copyright 2015, 2016 by Cassidy Frazee)

Annie fell into his arms and accepted the hug before giving Kerry a long kiss. “I’m proud of you. Fifth place is better than my father did his first year: he only managed a seventh.”

“Yeah, well—” Kerry smiled while a touch of blush filled in his cheeks. “Let’s keep that quiet for now.”

Some of this may be due to Kerry not wanting to brag, and some of it may be due to Kerry being slight afraid of Annie’s father and not want any more strange stares from him.  Changes are pretty good that, at some point someone in the Kiralovi Household will ask how the coven did for the season, and that will lead to, “Oh, Annie, how did Kerry do with racing?” and Annie will have to answer.  You ain’t gonna stay secret forever, dude.

 

“I will.” They walked slowly towards the entrances leading to the area under and behind the grandstands. “You’ll want to rest tonight.”

“During the Madness?” He shook his head. “Not a chance. Hot chocolate and banitsa for us. And I promise not to spend the evening talking about the race.” Kerry turned and lightly brushed his nose against Annie’s cheek. “I’m all for you.”

“Um hum.” She waited until they were in the tunnel and mostly alone before she spoke in a soft, questioning tone. “May I ask something?”

Kerry had expected this question since about a minute after he crossed the Start/Finished line. “You may—and no, I didn’t.”

There was a quizzical look in Annie’s eyes. “You didn’t what?”

“I didn’t let Emma beat me.” He looked around before speaking in the same soft tone. “I knew as soon as she crossed the line before me I was gonna get asked about this.”

Annie smiled. “And you knew I would.”

“I figured you might.”

“Does that mean you also know what I think about that question?”

Kerry nodded. “I do. You know I wouldn’t just let her beat me.”

She leaned against his arm. “I do know you wouldn’t let her beat you. The way I saw it, once you both caught Alex, it was a battle to see whom was going to finish were. I saw Alex shake Emma’s hand after the race, too.”

“Yeah. She told her it was a good race and that she look forward to racing with her next season.”

Annie gave a slight sigh. “Looks as if she learned her lesson.”

“Oh, I think she did.” Kerry chuckled. “At least until next season. I may have to remind her to chill again at some point.”

 

It sounds like a tough, clean fight for the fourth, fifth, and sixth position of that last race, and it turns out the finish was Alex, Emma, and Kerry.  And he is telling the truth:  he wouldn’t let anyone win, so it must have been a tough fight coming through Diamond Chicane.  And everyone got out alive.  It would also appear that Alex and Emma have made up, too.  At least until next season.

And speaking of that–

 

“I’m certain you will.” They stopped before the lift leading to the team ready rooms on the upper levels. “Tonight’s the sort of evening I wish we could get away to somewhere private.” She slipped around so she was facing him. “Or even go into Salem for dinner.”

Kerry gave a half-hearted shrug. “I would say ask Helena and Erywin if they’re going into town, but as the school is making a big deal of the end of the season at dinner—”

“Your birthday is two Fridays from now.” Annie tugged at the collar of Kerry’s racing uniform. “Maybe we can do something special for that.”

With everything happening over the last month Kerry hadn’t given any thought to the fact he was going to turn thirteen in just under two weeks. “I would like that.”

“So would I.” The lift opened and they stepped in, waiting a few seconds to see if anyone else was getting in with them. The doors closed without without anyone else entering. “I remember at the beginning of the school year you were unsure if you wanted to race—”

The lift began to ascend slowly. Kerry brushed hair from his forehead. “I remember that.”

Annie watched him closely, noticing how he was trying to act nonchalant while at the same time managing the slightest of smiles. “Do you still feel that way?”

The left corner of Kerry’s mouth curled upward while he watched the numbers above the door. “You know what I think?”

Annie returned the smile, knowing his wasn’t thinking about the insecurities he felt last October. “What?”

Kerry glanced to his left and raised his eyebrows as the lift doors opened. “I can’t wait for next year.”

 

Yes, Kerry kept saying at the start of the novel he didn’t know if he was going out for the team, and then it was like, I don’t know if I can do a good job.  Well, he did a good job, and because of that the expectations for next season will be high.  Do I know what is going to happen?  Yeah.  Racing.  And other stuff.  You gotta trust me on that.

Now, for the reason I’m late–well, if you wanna read beyond the point you can.  If not.  You can split. Continue reading