One Year Later
Noah and I relax on his balcony, staring out at the Amalfi coast, blue waters glistening under the morning sun. He messes around on his computer while I appreciate the view. I welcome the melodic sound of water splashing against the rugged coast. We hang out in our pajamas, enjoying our coffee—our morning ritual while on break.
A year has passed since Noah won his fourth World Championship. Our team radio from the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix became a viral video on YouTube, fans supporting our relationship immediately. My parents welcomed Noah into our family, taking him in, no longer allowing him to spend time meant for families alone—holidays, birthdays, the works.
F1 still plays a huge part in our lives. I travel around the world with Noah, joining him at every race. My vlog remains popular amongst fans. The Formula Corporation asked me to work with the other phases like F2 and F3, but Noah claims he can’t win without his good-luck charm, threatening to hold me hostage if I skip out on his races.
Salty air hits me in the face, rustling my dark waves.
Did I say how much I love Noah’s house in Italy? Something straight out of a movie.
I scroll through my phone to check morning updates when I get a strange notification. Weird.
I look up into Noah’s blue eyes. “Did you click the wrong date for me to upload my next video? I got a notification that it just went live.”
“I don’t think so. That’s strange.” He shrugs.
My point exactly. He grabs his laptop and places it on the table. A black screen with an odd title plays in front of us, nothing like the uploaded video I had scheduled.
“That’s not it because I picked a different thumbnail. Do you think someone hacked into my account? And what does More to Come even mean? I like to be punny. I’d never come up with something like that.”
He chuckles. “I’m well aware. Before we report it, let’s watch it.”
Noah, always a thinker. Exactly why Bandini pays him the big bucks.
The video starts up with a short clip of me at Santi’s first Bandini race in Australia. Someone took a video of me giving Noah a death stare. How embarrassing, but appropriate for how I felt about him at the time.
“Oh my God. Who would even upload this? Look at how I’m staring at you. And why were you laughing behind my back?” How interesting, Noah checking me out on day one. What a player.
The scene changes before Noah gives me an answer. This time a shot of us at a press conference plays. Noah grins at me while I bob my head, making fun of one of the reporters. He barks out a laugh when I roll my eyes. Liam and Santiago glance at him while reporters look around, wondering what made Noah react the way he did.
How cute of him to look at me like that. I had no idea he checked me out that much, hanging onto whatever dumb thing I’d do next. It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy.
Next scene plays, a clip from the vlog I did with Noah and his car. He sits near the cockpit while I ask him a bunch of questions. My heart warms at the clip, enjoying how he glances at me with an enamored look on his face. Either that or he looks like he wants to take my clothes off. A true toss-up. I never looked at the video this closely, not checking for signs of Noah liking me. Noah gives me a beaming smile when I laugh and talk into the camera. He barely pays attention, his eyes remaining on me.
My stomach flutters at the clip. I feel off-balance, being hit with many emotions at once—happiness and nostalgia mixed together.
I have an idea of who created this More to Come video. The big guy next to me remains suspiciously quiet, not one peep coming from his seductive lips. But I don’t pause the video because questions would ruin the moment.
Another video starts, this time of the podium when Santiago won the Grand Prix in Spain. Noah ignores everything happening on the stage. He gazes off to the side, the camera panning off to find what he smiles at, catching me with my back turned, hugging my parents. The Spanish flag is draped over me as I jump up and down.
My heart beats rapidly, my throat closing up, unable to get any words out. Suppressed happy tears cloud my vision. Noah was always into me, even when I thought he was only interested in hooking up, but his eyes betray the way he feels. It’s a sucker punch right in the feels.
Various video clips play, including one of me whistling at Noah as he walks down the runway in Monaco. I embarrassingly yell how I’d like to take his tux off. He winks at me, but I miss it because Sophie distracts me by covering my mouth with her hands. I’d die of embarrassment if Noah didn’t squeeze my hand in a silent way of telling me he still finds me cute. Not sure how this video saw the light of day or how Noah got it in the first place. Sneaky man.
Another plays of me dancing up on the podium after the kart race Noah planned. My scream shakes the computer’s speakers as Noah sprays me with champagne like a real F1 racer, even making me chug straight from the bottle. Peer pressure is a thing. I dance around on the small step, my arms thrown up in the air. Noah laughs along with me before he winks to the camera. Ovaries, meet your master.
His thoughtfulness makes me want to cuddle up to him and never let go. Put a “do not disturb” sign on our front door, sealing us off from the public for an unforeseeable lifetime.
The camera catches him smiling wide as he carries me over his shoulder to the car. Claps for the cameraman because he conducts a perfectly executed zoom of Noah smacking my ass. A+ filmography.
Damn Noah and all his cuteness. My throat feels like I swallowed a rock, unable to say much as I watch all of our memories. Why does he have to be such a sappy yet seductive man?
Tears escape my eyes. Noah occasionally rubs them away with his thumb, my skin heating up at his touch.
He stays silent. The whole thing almost feels like too much. Almost being the keyword since I need to lap up this romantic display and enjoy every second. Duh. I’ll replay this video a hundred times—to my children, my grandchildren, my next-door neighbor. Everyone in walking distance.
A clip plays of me screaming for dear life while he drives the atrocious green Bandini car. He stares at me and laughs while one hand turns the steering wheel, our car drifting as I grip onto him like a lifeline. Must have blacked out because I don’t remember that.
A short scene of my Tequila Talks episode plays. Noah answers the question I ask about his dream girl, but he intensely gazes at me while he responds. I stare straight at the tequila bottle and pick at the label instead of meeting his eyes.
I swear my heart has never beat this fast, questioning another cardiac arrest. A swirl of emotions churns inside of me: happiness, excitement, thankfulness. A whole freaking spectrum.
The screen shows a film from a Brazilian fan based on the terrible quality and backdrop. I crack up while walking up the stairs to the Christ statue. Noah trails behind me, alternating between checking out my ass and looking up at the sky like it can answer his prayers. No such luck though because he’s stuck with me.
Sappiness leaks out of me, along with my tears. “Die a Happy Man” plays low in the background over the part where Noah twirls me around the air after winning the World Championship. Our smiles mimic each other. A beautiful mess surrounds us, with champagne splashing everywhere and confetti launchers exploding on the stage.
I love this cocky, self-assured, yet equally selfless and loving man. No other can ever replace him. I never thought it was possible to love someone like this. Unyielding passion and endless appreciation. Like he hangs the moon before dancing with me under it. Noah never letting a day go by where he doesn’t tell or show me how he loves me. A broken masterpiece no longer defined by his past.
Music cuts out to a black screen. I wipe the tears from my face and look over at Noah.
Except he isn’t in his chair anymore.
He looks up at me with the smirk I love, while he’s down on one knee, holding a ring box.
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