Two years ago…
‘Deep breaths, Vi. Inhale…exhale…inhale… exhale.’
The alpha sat on the bed in her motorhome right outside the speedway. She could hear the people talking and working on the stockcars right outside her door. Vi clenched the sheets of the bed, trembling with anxiety; it was her last race before the season was over.
A lot was riding on her win. She spent the whole time trying to place at least six on the board. This wasn't really a problem because out of the thirty-five races she had. She placed first in twenty-seven of them.
People were astounded by how many times she had won, especially at her young age. A twenty-one-year-old who had placed first twenty-five times?! The people in her small country town were proud of her, but while some people were proud of her, others were pissed.
Tons of people gamble on NASCAR. It's very similar to people betting on the ponies. With gambling comes sneaky and dirty people, and they like to cheat. Vi had to avoid them like the plague. Getting into something like that would ruin her career, and the scandal would be too big for her to ignore or brush off.
She loved what she did. It was just sometimes it seemed like if she made just one minor mess up, her whole life would turn to shambles.
A familiar voice on the TV pulled Vi from her anxiety-inducing thoughts. The alpha frowned when she saw that same perky and preppy face she spoke to yesterday. Vi was leaving a restaurant, and a bunch of newscasters came bombarding her while she was trying to get into her car.
“So! Vi, how do you feel about your last race of the season?!”
Vi snarled at the question, something she wanted to do so desperately when the woman asked it the day before.
“I’m pumped! I've been preparing to take the win in this race for months. I plan to place first in this race!”
Vi herself smiling hard in the camera, eyes shining bright like she had not a care in the world, trying her hardest to show no one just how scared she truly was.
The alpha stood up from the bed, not wanting to acknowledge the woman or herself on the tv anymore. She walked off to the bathroom while the tv continued to go off. She turned the water on in the sink, trying to help drown out her thoughts.
The pressure of the water was hitting the bowl of the sink. The alpha leaned over the counter of the sink, trying to focus on the noise and nothing else.
Deep breaths, Vi. The alpha continued to tell herself. That’s all she could really do to calm herself, yet, it felt like it wasn't working. Vi felt her felt the knots in her stomach twisting tighter and tighter. She felt like she was going to be sick.
It had been a few days since she got a good night's sleep, but she had no other choice but to push through it. Because what else could she really do?
Vi pushed off the sink and cut the sink off; she walked out of the bathroom and back to her bed. Vi saw her phone lighting up while she walked up to the bed. She leaned down to pick it up, but before she saw who was texting her, she looked back at the tv.
The alpha snarled when she saw one of her competitors on the screen talking to the same newscaster that was talking to her yesterday, except what was on the news wasn't a rerun but a live interview.
“Jayce, you and Vi are the talk of the race right now! How do you feel about people talking about Vi taking your place? Last season you won twenty races at the age of thirty-three, yet Vi has won twenty-seven!! And she’s only twenty-one!”
Vi saw the man hide an eye roll. From old interviews with him, he always hated the fact that people praised her more than him. He was older, and he felt entitled to praise, but he didn't ever work for it. The only reason he is even famous was that he had money and he could put his face on everything.
It's hard to ignore a person that sells themselves to the world.
Vi picked up the remote from the TV stand and turned the tv off. She threw the remote on the bed and looked down at her phone to see who had texted her.
Sevika: I need you for a sec. Got some forms I need you to sign before the race.
Vi closed the phone and put it in the pocket of her marron hoodie. She was about to be on the track, and she had to wear merch that represented her stock car. The alpha grabbed her grey sneakers and put them on. All she had to do was at least place in the final three. If she could do that, then everything would be fine.
The alpha took another deep breath and left her motorhome to find Sevika.
An hour before the race…
The alpha was standing outside of her stock car in her racing suit, which was marron from the chest to the legs. The sleeves a dark grey, with The Last Drop embroidered on her back and chest in white. The trimmings on the whole suit was a light teal to help the colors of the suit stand out.
She held the dark grey helmet in both her hands, which were trembling more than they were in her room. She tried so hard to calm herself, but nothing was working. Not once before had she ever been so fearful of a race, yet even when she was a tiny bit anxious, she knew how to control herself. No, she just felt out of control, and that wasn't like her at all.
Out of her peripheral, she saw the crew chief-Sevika-hopping the wall and walking over to her. The older alpha placed her hand on Vi’s back. “Hey, you okay? You look a little pale.”
Sevika looked over her face, worried. Vi snapped out of her funk, shaking her head, trying to get back in focus. The pink-haired alpha cleared her throat. “I’m fine… just a bit nervous, is all.”
Sevika smiled down at her. “You’ll do great, Vi. I believe in you. I know you’ll do amazing!”
Vi gave Sevika a tight smile and nodded. “Yeah, thanks.”
Vi was on her fiftieth lap, and Sevika was talking to her through the radio in her helmet. “You doing good, kid?”
Vi turned the corner of the track, trying her hardest to avoid the car next to her. They were neck and neck for third place. “Ummm! Yeah! Just trying to stay ahead of number seventeen!”
They had been competing for third for about four laps, and Vi was getting irritated. She gripped the steering wheel, growling out to herself. Vi then noticed the car moving next to her, really, really close to her. The alpha got a glance to her right and saw another car moving next to her.
The alpha didn't know what was going on, but it seemed like the racers were working together to do something. Vi could either slow down to get out from between them or speed up, but she was already going at the max speed. She was just going to have to hope she could get away from them at the next curve.
If she slowed down, she would risk losing her place. And even if she wanted to risk that, she couldn’t. Vi saw from her rearview mirror someone getting behind her, trying to box her in with the cars next to her.
“Vi, what the hell is going on out there!?”
Vi was trying her hardest not to slam the car into the other. “How the hell am I supposed to know! I'm just as confused as you are!”
The next curve was coming up, and Vi hoped that the cars would have to break apart to turn it in, at least enough to let her get out from between them. Her eyes shot open when the person in second risked everything and got in front of Vi.
“Holy shit! Kid, you need to slow down!”
Vi snarled. “I can’t! I'm going one hundred and ninety-three fucking miles per hour. If I slow down, the car behind me will slam into me, then I and all the cars around me will wreck! With me in the middle!”
“Fuck!” Sevika cursed through the radio. All five cars managed to get around the curve without wrecking, which confused Vi. What confused her even more was the fact the cars next to her started to move away from her.
She didn't think much of it, just seeing it as her moment to get away, but as soon as she tried to move over to the side, still going one hundred and ninety-three miles, the car that was in front of her stopped suddenly. The corner of Vi’s car hit the back corner of the car in front of her; her stock car started spinning out of control, but the more she tried to stop herself from spinning erratically she lost control of the steering wheel.
She couldn't see what was going on in front or behind her. “KID!” That was all she heard before she crashed into the wall of one of the curves of the track. Her vision was hazy. She could see the blurry silhouette of smoke and fire coming from her engine. She tried her hardest to keep her eyes open but was failing. Her legs stuck between her seat and the car dash.
She could feel something dripping from her head when she lifted her hand and touched it. She flinched. She looked down at her and saw blood dribble down her fingers. The alpha looked out of the shattered windshield and saw a stock car coming at her at its max speed.
Then everything went… black.
Vi rolled over to the other side of the bed, groaning and wailing. The alpha lifted her head up about an inch before it slammed back down on the pillow when her head started to pound. She closed her eyes and threw her hand on the nightstand, blindly searching for her pain meds.
When she located the medicine bottle, the alpha grabbed it, then proceeded to open it and got two of the pills out. Without water or any other liquid, she took the pills dry, wincing when the tiny things dryly fell down her throat.
Two years. It had been two years since her accident, and she had walked away from the life she loved so much. After some rehab and getting treated, the alpha left her home town Stalkton-a small country town outside the city. While healing, she left the city and stayed with her best friend Sevika and her wife, but she felt stuck. When she got better, she ran away after people went to sleep. Not telling anyone why she left or where she was going.
To be honest with herself, she didn't even know where she was going to go. She knew she didn't want to go back to the city. Going back to where people would recognize her seemed like an anxiety-inducing situation. The alpha didn't want to explain her accident to anyone anymore.
Talking about the accident did nothing but make her relive it, and that was just traumatic. For the past two years, she had countless nightmares of the accident, forcing her to wake up in a cold sweat or wake up mid panic attack.
For a few months, she kind of jumped around from old and decrepit hotels that were in towns and cities no one even knew about. But that was getting old. She wanted somewhere permanent to reside. Somewhere no one would find her or harass her.
A few weeks went by before she found a place to reside, and what she did find was exactly what she needed. Turford-a quaint little town miles away from any city. The population was less than about one thousand people. It was deep in the mountains, with waterfalls not even ten to twenty miles away from any of the homes.
Vi started renting out a small cabin near one of the rivers. The renters of the cabin, while not knowing who she really was, were sympathetic to her injuries.
The alpha had a tiny limp. The accident hurt her body in more ways than one; she would have been grateful if all she had to recover from was menstrual traumatic stress. She had a huge scar on her left calf, reaching from the top of the calf to right at the ankle. The alpha had a huge scar on her abdomen that reached from her belly button to her side.
After being away from anyone or anything she knew for a few years, depression started to rain over her life. She left because she thought it would fix her feelings, but in the end, it just made it worse.
For a while, it was what she needed, but she felt as if she had been away for too long. The alpha didn't think going back home was even an option. She spent some of the time she was away on social media looking at what Sevika and her family had been up to.
Some part of her knew that if she just called Sevika would welcome her back, but fear made her hesitant.
Vi looked back over at the nightstand. Her phone sitting there, just waiting for her to make the first move. The alpha took a deep breath and leaned over to grab it. She went to her contacts and found Sevika's number. Vi had changed her number years ago, but she still had her friend's number just in case. The major thing was that Vi hoped Sevika’s number was still the same.
The alpha clicked the contact name and put the phone to her ear; with each ring of the phone, her heart sank. And then… a click.
‘Hello?’ A hard breath escaped the alpha’s lips when she heard the comforting, familiar voice. Tears began to well in her eyes. ‘Hello?’ Sevika asked again.
Vi swallowed hard. “H-hi.” Vi heard something fall over in the background of the call.
‘V-Vi!’ She heard a small chuckle over the phone. ‘Where have you been, kid? It's been a few years.’
Vi clenched her eyes shut, tears pouring down her cheek. “Y-yeah, I know.” the alpha laughed. “I, Ummm. I missed you guys… I w-want to come home?”
She didn't mean for it to come out as a question. But she didn't want to get her hopes up and be rejected and told she couldn't come back. Or that no one ever wanted to see her.
‘You know you are more than welcome to come back to the Ranch. The pups and Mel have been missing you like crazy.’
Vi bit her lip, trying to keep from Sevika herding her sob. “I miss them too…” the alpha sniffled. “I can be there in about a day or two….”
Sevika huffed out a laugh. ‘When you get here, you’ll be welcomed back with open arms and a warm meal.’
But open arms from who, though? Vi thought to herself.
If she went back, she didn't want anyone to know she was back. She didn't want to see anyone who knew who she was when she was a racer. If they saw her, they would pester her about where she had been, and that’s not what she needed.
“I kind of want to stay under the radar when I get back. I don't want anyone to know I'm back home. Just you and your family.”
‘Anything you need, kid.’
“Thank you.” Vi didn’t want to stay on the phone any longer. She didn't want to risk having Sevika ask her any questions. She wasn’t ready to answer just yet. She hung up the phone and dropped it on the bed next to her. She stared up at the ceiling, watching the ceiling fan go around and around and around.
From the corner of her eye, she saw her hair. It had gotten a bit longer because she stopped cutting it. Pink hair. She knew the minute she got off the plane, anyone who was interested in NASCAR would know who she was. The alpha knew she had to make some changes.
Caitlyn was sitting at her office looking over some notes she took in a recent interview. Her computer going off in the background of the interviewee on a talk show. The omega was trying to connect some things that the actress was saying during the talk show to the things she told her in a private meeting.
She dropped the notepad when her office phone started ringing. She looked at the caller ID and saw her boss’s name. She quickly answered the phone before the ringing stopped. “Go for Caitlyn.”
“Meet me in my off, now.” her boss immediately hung up the phone. Caitlyn closed her eyes and banged the phone on her head before hanging it up. She stood up from her desk and made her way to her boss’s office. From the five years she had worked at GXK-a news station, she quickly gathered that it was not wise to keep the producer-her boss waiting.
She had been working as a journalist for four of those five years, and after an internship, she quickly made her way to the top. So much so that she was on a first-name basis with her boss.
The omega walked into her boss’s office, quickly spotting her near the window, looking over a tablet. She cleared her throat to get the alpha's attention. “Grayson. You wanted to see me.”
Grayson turned and looked at Caitlyn. She gave the omega a stiff nod and pointed to the chair in front of her desk. “Yes, please sit.” Caitlyn did as she was told and walked over to the chair, and sat down. Grayson sat in her own chair, setting the tablet down on the desk.
“I have a new story I want to take over.” the alpha slid the tablet over to Caitlyn. On the screen was an article on an old NASCAR driver and their terrible traumatic accident.
“Violet Whitlock. She was in an accident in a race. It's pretty set and stoned. Why am I interviewing her?” The omega looked up from the tablet and frowned at her boss. “It also says she hasn't been seen anywhere for the past two years.” She added.
Grayson just smiled. “There were theories, years ago, that her accident wasn't so ‘accidental’. She was spotted at the airport just yesterday by one of my sources. I told them to keep a low profile on her, not wanting any other agencies to find out about her. I want to be the first.”
Caitlyn looked back down at the screen. “For this job, you’re gonna have to travel, don't worry, everything will be paid for by the company.”
The omega shook her head. “That really wasn’t my biggest concern.”
“I don't get it. She probably just left because she was embarrassed. I mean, she was a young driver whose career was turned to shit within seconds.” Caitlyn reminded as she read over the old article.
“Trust me. The story should be interesting. I trust you will get the job done?” Caitlyn closed the tablet and nodded her head. “Good, you have four mouths to get me something.”
The omega stood up. “Why is the story so important?”
“Her disappearing out of nowhere is suspicious. People want to know why she left and where she went. I know you can get that information.” Grayson said plainly. “Good luck.”
Caitlyn gave her boss a tight smile and walked back to her office. The first step was to figure out where this ‘Vi’ was even going.
Vi stepped out of the taxi after paying the driver. So far, since she got off the plane, no one had recognized her. That would probably be due to her dying her hair black and her cutting it short again, with the back of her hair buzzed off.
Without her noticeable pink hair, she hoped people had just kind of forgotten what she looked like entirely. The only way she figured people would recognize her was if they searched her up.
The alpha put both straps of her backpack on and picked up her duffle bag from the ground. She made the taxi drop her off at the bottom of the long driveway to Sevika’s ranch home.
She started walking to the house, smiling when she saw the cows on the field on her way up the driveway. It was so weird to come back home after all these years, especially to a place that she ran away from after it reminded her of a person she knew she could never be again.
It took a few minutes, mainly because Vi was trying to prolong the reunion with her best friend and her wife.
Finally, she saw the ranch house. A small smile spread across her face when she saw Mel sitting on the stairs of the deck with her pups. The alpha spotted Vi. Vi saw her eye shoot open.
“Sevika!” Mel screamed into the house. Sevika came running out of the house. Vi saw her eyes shoot open when she saw her too. Vi walked up to the deck and just stared at the pair of them.
Sevika stepped down the deck stairs slowly. When she got to the bottom, she just stared at the alpha. “You dyed your hair black.”
Vi smiled. “Wanted to stay under the radar while back home.”
Sevika pulled the shorter alpha in for a tight hug. Vi welcomed it and wrapped her arms around Sevika’s waist. “I missed you, kid.”
Vi heard Mel run off the deck stairs and walk behind her hugging her too. After a few seconds, the couple pulled away from the hug and stared at Vi. Vi looked behind the couple and saw their two pups frowning at Vi. Sevika and Mel had a twelve-year-old girl named Olivia and another girl who was ten years old named Aurora.
She would spend a lot of time with them before she left. For some reason, Mel and Sevika’s pups brought her a bunch of happiness before she left. It just wasn't enough to pull her from her pool of depression.
Olivia huffed out and folded her arms over her chest. “You left! We missed you!” Vi looked over at Aurora, who was shaking her head in agreement. The alpha smiled at the siblings.
“I missed you guys too. How about to make it up to you two, we go or a ride on the horses like before?” Vi offered. She saw a smile spread across their faces.
“Yeah!” They yelled in unison.
The pups ran into the house, leaving Vi with Sevika and Mel. Sevika threw her hand around the alpha’s neck. “Let’s get you settled.” they all made their way up the stairs to the house.