Chasing Perfect

Chasing Perfect by Susan Mallery Page A

Book: Chasing Perfect by Susan Mallery Read Free Book Online
Authors: Susan Mallery
de France” and that was it.
    â€œNot this year. I’m still retired.”
    Mark, a plumber in town, punched him in the arm. “You’re too young to retire, but not too rich. Am I right?”
    Josh nodded and smiled, then wondered why he’d bothered to come into the bar.
    He wasn’t interested in winning another race. At this point, he simply wanted the ability to compete. To do what he did before. What he took for granted.
    â€œMy kid’s pretty good,” Mark said when Jo handed him a beer. “Fast on his bike. He wants to race. You know, like you did. We’re thinking of sending him to one of those schools. He’s begging me every day.”
    â€œThere are a couple of good places. How old is he?”
    â€œFourteen.”
    â€œThat’s kind of young.”
    â€œThat’s what his mom and I say. He’s too young to be on his own. But he won’t leave it alone. Weren’t you going to open a racing school here, in town?”
    That had been the plan—back before the accident. Josh had several bids on construction, most of the money and his eye on a piece of property. But to do that, to commit himself to being a part of the school, meant riding again. Not a humiliation he was willing to take on right now.
    â€œI’ve thought about it,” he admitted, then wished he hadn’t.
    â€œYou should do it. Solve our problem. You’re famous, man. Lots of people would come to ride with you. I bet they’d do a story about you on CNN.”
    That’s what he was afraid of, Josh thought grimly.
    â€œSomething to think about,” he said and drained his beer. He dropped a few bills on the counter, then stood. “See you, Mark.”
    â€œYeah. Think about it. The racing school. It could be great.”
    It could, Josh thought as he left the bar and headed back to the hotel. It could be a damned miracle. Because that’s what it would take.
    Â 
    W EDNESDAY NIGHT C HARITY followed the directions Pia had given her, walking to the west part of town where the houses were older and larger, seated majestically on huge lots with mature trees. She saw the well-lit two story on the corner and walked up to the front door.
    Pia opened it before she could knock. “You came. Welcome.” Pia giggled. “Okay, I brought tequila and margarita mix and I’ve been sampling. What the hell. We’re all walking, so let’s have fun.”
    Tequila? “I just brought a couple of bottles of wine,” Charity said, wondering what she’d gotten herself into. Girls’ night out had sounded like fun, but she couldn’t afford to get really drunk. She had meetings in the morning.
    â€œWine is great,” Pia said, swaying slightly, then grabbing the door frame for support. “Maybe I’ll have some.”
    A tall, pretty brunette appeared behind Pia and wrapped an arm around her waist. “You need to lie down, kid.”
    â€œI’m fine,” Pia said. “Don’t I look fine to you? I feel fine.”
    The woman smiled at Charity. “Don’t be frightened. Every now and then Pia feels the need to live up to the party image. It’s not a big deal.”
    â€œI can respect that,” Charity said.
    â€œMe, too. I’m Jo, your hostess for this month’s girls’ night. Come on in.”
    â€œI’m Charity.”
    â€œI figured that. We’re glad to have you.” Jo maneuvered Pia away from the door.
    Charity followed the two of them into the house.
    It was one of those great old places, with hardwood floors and plenty of built-ins. She suspected what had once been a lot of little rooms had been remodeled into several larger rooms. A fireplace large enough to hold an entire cow dominated the far wall. There were several sofas, comfy-looking chairs and a group of women looking at her curiously.
    A thin blonde stood and reached for Pia. “You sit by me,” she said.

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