Tuesday, November 20, 2012

STILL THE ONE by Wendi Zwaduk

She’ll be his salvation if he’s willing to switch.

Being stressed out sucks, especially when you’re in charge of a team. Just ask Eric Trask. The pit crew of the Fifty-Four truck team depends on him. The stress of keeping things running smoothly is wearing Eric down. What’s a guy to do to get a little relief?

Janine Walters knows exactly what Eric’s up against. She’s the public relations face of the team. Pressure is all a part of the job. Her outlet for stress just happens to be wielding a crop.

Can Eric embrace her methods for stress relief or will her suggestion tear their fragile relationship apart?


Copyright © Wendi Zwaduk, 2012
All Rights Reserved, Total-E-Ntwined Limited, T/A Total-E-Bound.

Excerpt From: Still the One

For once I’d like things to go according to plan. Eric Trask gritted his teeth. If he kept up the nervous gesture, he’d break his teeth and bite clean through his jaw. He wiped his hands on his shop towel and measured the B-post on the race truck once more. The thing should’ve fit the templates. Damn. He glanced up at the flags hanging from the ceiling. Each flag highlighted a win for Blitz racing—the racing team he loved and worked for.

His phone buzzed in his pocket. Oh, fuck. Not another thing.

He flicked on the screen and set the call to speaker. "Trask."

"I’m glad I caught you. Are you on your way to the airport? You do remember it’s Tuesday morning, don’t you?" Megan Poston, the team owner, asked from her end of the call. "You’re supposed to be here, helping to get the truck around for practice tomorrow."

On his way? Practice? Eric glanced over his shoulder at the wall clock. Eleven-forty-five a.m. Shit. He should’ve been cleaned up and at the airport fifteen minutes ago. Hell. He’d just got back from Michigan.

"I’m still at the shop. The B-post on the Atlanta truck isn’t fitting the templates right. Give me another fifteen and I’ll be out the door."

"It’s a quicker turnaround in your schedule, but this isn’t like you." Megan went silent for a long moment. "Tucker wants to talk to you."

The connection snapped and crackled as Megan handed the phone to Tucker. "Eric?"

"You called me." Eric groaned. "I’m sorry, man. What’s up?"

"That’s what I wanted to ask you." The line snapped again. "I had to get out of Megan’s earshot. She’s worried because you’re not here."

"The B-post is fucked up. I don’t know how it was fabricated wrong, but it was."

"Shit happens. Look, you’ve been freaking out about everything. You’re the calmest guy I know. Why are you chewing everyone out? I wouldn’t have nominated you for the crew chief position if I’d thought you couldn’t handle it."

"I can handle it. There’s just a lot of crap happening and this quick run of races over the weekend. I got behind but I’ll get the rest of the way caught up."


"Broken spark plugs on the backup truck. I’ve spent four hours going through the box. Half of them are screwed up. We never have that issue."

"Have Delaney work on it. He’s in the engine shop for a reason."

"I can’t figure out what the hell you stuffed in the radiator before you slammed into the wall in Pocono. It’s shit like that."

"Okay, I’m going to get a little emo on you, but tough titties. You’re my best friend and like my brother. You’re going to have to chill out. Your blood pressure has to be through the roof and, yes, before you butt in with it, I know you’re healthy as a horse. Guess what? I don’t want my best friend to kick off because of hypertension."

"Hypertension won’t kill me."

"Uh-huh. How is your blood pressure?"

"I don’t have a monitor right here to check."

"That’s what I thought. I had to talk to the powers that be today, too. Seems you’ve been swearing more than they deem necessary on the radios."


"I can swear with the best of them. You and I both know that. But I don’t want you to have to suffer the freaking crazy fines I’ve had. Okay? You need to find a means for managing the stress."

"I’m not going to an anger management class."

Tucker groaned. "Seriously? It might help. Teach you ways to centre instead of giving in to the tension."

"I’ll think about it."

"Good, and get your ass to the airport. We’ve got strategies to get done." Tucker clicked off the line, leaving Eric in the chaotic clangs of tools and chatter from the guys working in the shop. A radio somewhere across the room blared a recent country music hit.


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