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Published 3 weeks ago

Author's Notes

"As a lover of all things oceanic, JVZ was inspired by the fictional comic book character, Arthur 'Aquaman' Curry for the design of his racing suit."

15th of November – Season 3

"Juan, where are we going?"

Juan can Zonder looked at his companion The eighteen-year-old Teresa Koek had a worried look on her face but he knew that there was an excitement building in her as he led her up the mountain. "You'll see."

"When you asked me out on a date, I didn't think it would involve hiking up a mountain. Are you always this physical?" When JVZ smiled at her question, she blushed realizing how it sounded. "I was talking about the orienteering not in bed."

"Well the answer is yes to all of the above," he said winking.

Another blush. "Is that..." She trailed off, barely able to whisper the words out. "Is that where we're going?" They momentarily stopped walking with him giving her a questioning look. "Are we going to like a cabin or something?"

JVZ smiled, trying not to make her feel like a fool. "Teresa, I'm not going to sleep with you. Not for a while at least."

Teresa's response was a strange one for a Catholic but a natural one for a young man with a crush. "Why not?"

"Because you're still young and need to know what it's like for a man to appreciate you for who you are before they take you to bed."

"Then why are we here?"

"For the same reason. Since last week, I know you've been worried about what people are saying about us. But before we worry about them, we need to focus on us."

Teresa knew what he was talking about: the pictures of them on the Formulary. While the pictures were somewhat innocent, they were still enough to start rumors which had upset Teresa all week.

Teresa was surely about to ask more questions when they reached a clearing where they could see down the mountain and the city below. In that moment, Teresa understood because she suddenly felt free of all her problems and the world's judgment. And all she could see was this man who appreciated her so much.

JVZ knew that the moment was right and pulled her in slowly and kissed her. It was a magical kiss, full of the right kind of passion. It wasn't about a forbidden love but a longing for a soul mate.

When their kiss eventually came to an end, Teresa looked at her man. "You're beautiful, you know that." She brushed her fingers over his bearded face. "Just everything about you: your wisdom your compassion."

"It's more a Zen than wisdom."

"Oh just shut up and kiss me."

 

LATER AT THE FUEL SPEEDWAY

JVZ felt all eyes on them before he saw them as he opened the door of his combi so that Teresa could step out. Teresa looked a little uncomfortable as they headed inside. "You alright?"

"Everyone's staring at us. Man, I'm going to hell."

JVZ noticed that her eyes were looking at a certain white Opel Corsa where two Colored women looked on in horror and reacted by putting his arm around his new girlfriend. "Well if that's the case, then we might as well enjoy it, right?"

Teresa had walked with him, believing they were going to the paddock but instead they headed to the staircase. "Where are we going?"

"There's three things you need to know about me if we're going to be an item one of which is that my belief in Poseidon is unquestionable."

"I'm religious myself, remember. So, you're not going to hear me making fun of you."

JVZ smiled. "The second thing is, art makes the world go round for me, not money. I'm an orphan so money has never been fond of me so I decided a long time ago not to be fond of money. All I care about more than anything in the world is my art."

"Okay, and the third thing?"

They came to a door which JVZ opened to reveal that they were now on the roof with nothing but the night stars above them. "I'm a hopeless romantic." There, on the ground in front of them was a blanket with a full-blown picnic on top.

"Wow."

LATER IN THE PADDOCK

By the time they were done with their impromptu date, the show had begun. The opening race of the night had already taken place wherein Styles had exacted some revenge by defeating the Speedway Derby winner in a match race. However, with Penny still very much in possession of her 'speeding ticket', this victory was too little, too late. Although, some racers pointed out that this was one of Penny's first defeats this season making it a big deal. Others said that she was finally becoming complacent now that she had what she wanted: a title shot. But it wasn't what the racers were saying about Penny that got JVZ's attention. It was what they were saying about him and Teresa.

Currently, Blackcat Mathunzi and Fiona were defending their titles against Longitude and Latitude. And certain racers couldn't help but draw comparisons between the Spell-Castors and them. "And I thought I'd seen enough abuse with those two," said Dime.

"Why don't you mind your business," said Teresa.

"No," said JVZ, ever Zen. "It's okay. Let him speak his piece."

"Nah, that's pretty much it," said Dime. "What more is there to say other than what you're doing taking advantage of her is disgusting."

"That's enough, Dime," said Teresa. "Juan may be willing to let you say whatever you want to him, but I won't. I won't stand for—"

"For what, someone speaking the truth?" Now it was Plain Jane Deyi, speaking her mind.

Teresa tried to play it off. "What, you guys don't have anything better to do?" She looked at Plain Jane. "You've been here two minutes and you think you know us well enough to judge us?"

"I know sin when I see it. Sue me for believing you would too being Catholic and all."

Ouch, that hurt. Teresa decided to try and escape the dress-down by playing the two against each other. "Jane, those two are defending their titles. Don't you think you ought to as well?" she said, looking at Dime. "Or have you forgiven the Duchess' trespasses against you?"

"Oh, I haven't forgotten anything. And come Show-Down, I'm taking my title back. But right now, I'm with her. This is sick."

"Then perhaps you should stay clear of them," said Brenda who approached alongside Doris. "You know, someone wise once said that if you don't have anything good to say to a person, rather not say anything. So perhaps you two should shut it."

Dime's eyes bulged. "You're seriously going to look at this and say that the best thing to do is keep quiet?"

"I'm eighteen," said Teresa. "Legally free to do as I please and what I please is to be left alone by the likes of you."

When Plain Jane scoffed, it was Doris who spoke up. "You know what, Brenda. I think I'm going to go talk to Glen and see if he wouldn't be interested in a little 'enemies unite' action tonight. I hope you guys enjoy relay races," she said already making her way towards Glen across the paddock. An awkward moment passed before Plain Jane and Dime followed, eager to talk her out of that.

This finally gave Teresa and JVZ a moment to breathe. "Thank you, Brenda," said JVZ.

However, Brenda was already shaking her head. "Uh-uh. No, you don't get to thank me because I didn't do that for you. I'll be doing nothing for you. They're right, you know. What you two are doing is wrong. I don't care if she's eighteen."

"Well then perhaps you should heed your own advice and shut it," said Teresa, almost absent-mindedly. She instantly regretted it as the death stare that her older sister gave her sent a chill down her spine. There was absolute silence between the three of them, enough to hear that Blackcat and Fiona retained their titles and the next race would be a two-on-three race between John Kloof & Jim Kieck and Temper Kunene, Mandla Xulu & Thawn Oberhauser. It was announced as 'Shadow of the Show-Down' which finally made Brenda speak.

"We have our own race later on tonight. It's the feature race. It's also called 'Shadow of the Show-Down'. Will you be joining us?"

"Well, that depends. Who are you facing?"

"A couple of freelancers. Why does that matter?" Brenda saw Teresa look at JVZ almost longingly and she scoffed. "You can't be seriously considering bailing on us for him."

Before Teresa could speak, JVZ intervened. "Brenda's right. You should go join your sisters. I mean, I don't even have a race so it might be better to—"

JVZ was cut off when Doris returned, out of breath. "Hey sis, you're not going to believe this but Glen's only going to sanction their race if it's against these two." Brenda's jaw instantly clenched while Teresa's rose, the question now answered. "What?" said Doris, noticing the tension...

LATER THAT NIGHT

JVZ was moments from getting in The Coaster when he noticed Teresa – sitting in her own race car, The Trinity – with a worried look on her face. He went over to her. "If you still want to go and join your sisters, there's still time."

Teresa seemed to think about it before coming to a conclusion. "Nah. There's two of them and they can handle those guys. But these you..."

"I can handle these two by myself if that's what you're worried about."

"I wasn't trying to insult you."

He smiled. "You could never insult me. As for these two insulting you, well," he said putting his helmet on, "I'm going to have to do something about that." His conviction put a smile on her face. He had opted to start the race, taking the odd-numbered laps with her taking the evens meaning he left her behind when he faced off with Plain Jane. He saw first hand why she'd won her title in her debut race. Fortunately, JVZ also picked up that she wasn't as strong on the bends.

With no clear leader after the first lap, it was still a fight for Teresa and Dime going into the second lap. As JVZ waited, he thought about the rest of the racecard including the third Formula-X Cup Nominaiton session where Mandla Xulu was awarded for his OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE AS THE HIGHEST GROSSING RACER and thus qualifying for the Cup race at Year-End Bash in December. While the idea of the award was most likely lost on those new to the franchise, JVZ couldn't help but admire Moodswing's ingenuity. The award was clearly a nod to him naming Touch and Solo the best ticket-sellers in Season One and Two respectively after Thawn had made a hissy fit both times. Now it was an official award to be won.

The rest of the race continued to be a battle but by the time the Fourth Quarter came about, JVZ and Teresa had this in the bag. It was the fact that they were on the same page and Dime and Jane weren't that ended up making the difference. So Teresa crossed that finish line first and they won, JVZ felt justified giving her a smooch, not caring what her sisters said. This was worth it.

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