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HomeDrama Stories Fuel Season 2: Episode 25 – The Lady in Gold

Fuel Season 2: Episode 25 – The Lady in Gold

Series: Stories of the Fuel Speedway

With a big time title race coming up, the Duchess of Drag goes all out to outshine her opponents...

"The highway to the Grand Prix is paved by ambition and aspirations." — Terrance 'Moodswing' Moodley

12th of April – Season 2

Penny Potgieter was not new to being the center of attention. As a teenager, she'd done some modeling with some mild success. In fact, her mother had high hopes that she could make good money from that even as a side job but Penny had passed. While she liked the idea of wearing an endless selection of clothes, she didn't like the objectification factor of modeling where instead of being treated like the beautiful human being she was, she was treated like a mannequin. Hence, she left the profession in her childhood and never looked back... until Formula-X came along.

Penny had forgotten how much she missed dressing up. She'd forgotten how good-looking sexy made her feel. Being a model while coming of age had given her a lasting impression of what sex appeal was. So, while last year's photoshoot for the big marketing campaign had the Club Committee pick out clothes for all the posters, billboards, and merchandise, Penny – using her clout as Duchess of Drag – had gotten the committee to allow her to not only pick out her own outfits but also have creative influence on how her shoot was going to go.

And just like that, she was now the most talked about racer in the series with her more sensual photos taking the credit for getting there. While she'd managed to keep it PG using strategic camera angles, the image of her climbing out of her race car, wearing a short, silk, golden cocktail dress underneath had made her an instant hit on the Formulary where she was still trending today. When she arrived at the Fuel Speedway to the sight of dozens of amateur paparazzi standing around a red carpet that led to the front entrance, she smiled at her good fortune as she planned to remain trending this week as well.

Purposefully trying to mimic her photoshoot from earlier in the week, Penny pulled right up to the red carpet in her red Shelby Cobra and stepped out to reveal herself wearing a designer golden cocktail dress. Tucking her title neatly under her arm, she didn't miss a beat and made her way down the red carpet with all eyes on her. Penny, you've done it again.

 

IN THE PADDOCK

When Penny entered the paddock, she was upset to see that while all eyes had been on her outside, in here, everyone seemed to be preoccupied with their own issues. It should not have been a shock as the month was already shaping up to be a big one with the impending Sunday Night Easter putting everyone on their toes. Across the paddock, Mandla Xulu was once again speaking to Toney Kunene about John Kloof and his situation. However unlike last week where Mandla had coldly declared that Kloof's financial issues were none of his concern, this week Mandla seemed to be open to helping him out, this time offering to team up with him. This amused Penny but not as much as seeing Touch Mkhize talking to the new Number One Claimant, Styles Sithole.

Touch, along with Dime and Brenda Koek, had become news thanks to Penny's announcement last week where she sought out a challenge. Moodswing had given her what she wanted after seeing the three of them on Touching Base and subsequently announced an epic 4-Way Drag race for her title at Sunday Night Easter. But it seemed that Touch was eager to out-trend her because the next thing she knew, Touch was shaking hands with Styles and heading her way to announce that he was facing Styles in tonight's feature race.

Dammit, thought Penny. This night is supposed to be about me, not Touch Mkhize. Penny thought quickly and rebutted by offering to be his guest on his show. "You refused last week. Care to reconsider this week?"

"Why should I reconsider?"

Penny employed her more devious methods of manipulation, coming up close to Touch. "Because you and I both know that Sunday Night Easter will come down to you and me so let's set the stage properly: you and me on your show and we see who's the favorite by night's end."

At first, Touch just looked at her as if seeing right through her but then he smiled, clearly liking the idea. "You've got a deal, Duchess. You're on my show. By the way," he said before leaving her, "nice dress."

Penny wasn't sure if his compliment was sincere, sarcastic, or perverted but before she could think more on it, she was joined by the last person she wanted to speak to. "Oh great, what are you going to complain about now, Dime?"

Dime gave her a narrow eyes. "Don't make my legitimate concern out to be like I'm just whining."

Penny looked at him to see if he was being serious. "Dime, you are always whining."

"It's not whining when I have a legitimate problem."

"And what, pray-tell, is your legitimate problem?"

This time it was Dime who looked at her as if she couldn't be serious. "You changing our title race; changing my title shot to a race I did not agree to."

Penny refrained from rolling her eyes. How did this guy not get it? The people didn't want to see yet another drag race between the two of them. They wanted to see something new. And they were on the highway to the Grand Prix for Heaven's sake... couldn't he get with the program? "This is not just about one race anymore, Dime. It's time to start thinking bigger. It's not about just being a racer at a pay-per-view, it's about being a star at a spectacle."

"Oh please. That's a bunch of bull and you know it." This time it was Dime who came close to Penny, invading her personal space. "You may be fooling everyone else by dressing in that skanky outfit but you're not fooling me. This isn't about spectacles or fame or star power, this is about you wanting to keep a stranglehold on that title against all cost even it means having so many opponents that they'd inevitably start fighting amongst each other than with you."

Before Penny could tell Dime that he was wrong, they were joined by Glen who noticed how close they were. "Ah, glad to see you two are getting along because you're going to be teaming up tonight."

"What!?" they both said in unison.

Glen nodded smiling despite the clear shock expressed by the duo. "That's right. We're billing it as 'Enemies Unite', well at least for you two. Since you're going to be facing Brenda Koek and her sister Doris, it's also a neat way for us to tease Sunday Night Easter." Glen looked at the big screen in the paddock to see the race that had just started: Jim Kieck vs. Temper Kunene. "Right, so Stevie and Thawn are on after this and then," he said pointing, "it's you guys." Glen then left leaving Penny and Dime who were besides themselves with fury.

 

HALF AN HOUR LATER

By the time it was their turn to take to the asphalt, Penny and Dime had long since put aside their serious, serious differences and worked out a strategy that had her take the evens and Dime take the odds. This, Penny found, worked out better because that meant she would get the distinction of taking the twentieth and final lap for the victory. However before they'd even gotten onto the racetrack, Penny found her mission to be the top trending topic of the night in danger when Temper decided to make an open challenge to any racer on the roster for Sunday Night Easter. This wouldn't have been a big deal except for the fact that in the following race, Stevie entered the Winner's Circle and called out the new guy, asking just who he thought he was, and emphatically accepted his challenge.

All this only added pressure for her and Dime to win. Dime did well enough to take the lead in the first lap against Brenda allowing Penny to enter the race with an advantage against Doris. The race continued this way until Lap 7 when Brenda finally managed to overtake Dime which royally pissed Penny off. Well at least if we lose, everyone will know it was him. But Penny couldn't afford to lose. Losers didn't trend on the Formulary.

Penny worked hard to recover the lead and closed the gap little by little with each lap. But judging from how long it took, it was clear that Dime was making no progress in his laps. Fortunately, after 10 laps, Penny was finally neck and neck with Doris. With three more laps left, it was desperation time as it wasn't enough for her simply to overtake Doris. Penny also had to make sure they held onto that lead. Luckily, it seemed that Dime had finally gotten with the program, and by the time Penny took the lead, Dime was back to the form he was in at the beginning of the race and Penny managed to secure the win!

 

LATER THAT NIGHT

Despite both of them finding it immensely satisfying to not only overcome one of their PPV rivals but also getting one over on the former Relay Baronesses, Penny and Dime made a point not to celebrate their victory... at least not together. Besides, Penny had a talk show to prepare for and a feature race to watch. As she watched Touch give Styles a run for his money in the early going, she was surprised to be joined by the Formula-X King himself.

"I didn't think I'd find someone who seemed to have more of a vested interest in this race than me," said King Solo. "I guess I should have known you wouldn't take anything for granted. Not for the next seven weeks. Nice dress."

Penny could tell he was being sincere from his warm smile. Of course, since he was also dressed in a sharp black-on-black suit, he understood the importance of the times. "You clean up nice yourself."

Not caring for any more small talk, the King spoke his mind. "So I saw your race just now. I was surprised to find that you and Dime still make one hell of a team."

What the hell am I supposed to say to that? "It was a one-time thing so we figured we'd give it our all."

"That's too bad because I wanted to make you an offer, the both of you. An offer I think you'd like."

Not interested. That was what Penny wanted to say but something told her that since Solo understood the importance of being continuously trending at a time like this, his offer would somehow give her what she wanted. "What kind of offer?"

"I wanna go to Moodswing with an idea for a big-time 3-on-3 race for next week's feature race with me, you, and Dime in one corner and Styles, Touch, and Brenda in the other corner. You interested?"

At that exact moment, the race came to an end with Styles coming out victorious. Internally, Penny was ecstatic. Losers don't trend. Not only did she have something to throw in Touch's face later on his show, but now she was being afforded an opportunity to trend for a third straight week. She looked at the King. "Count me in."

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Copyright © All stories are Copyright © 2016-2020 by S.T. Kubheka (also known by the pseudonym Bernard "Beesting" Bayede). ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. This story or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express written permission of the publisher except for the use of brief quotations in a book review.

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