[chapter six]

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"Shouldn't you be going to work or something?" Vrai teased as she curled up on her couch, the phone receiver pressed to her ear. Jimmie had called her that morning from Talladega, before he was due at his driver's meeting to say hello and catch up with her. They had spoken on the phone almost every day for the last three weeks.

It was considerably easier to get to know each other on the phone instead of in person, Vrai mused. She didn't get lost in his eyes, and he didn't think she was continually hexing him, she thought with a smile.

Jimmie's laugh echoed in her ear. "Probably. Chad will wig out if I'm late. I'll call you when I get back to Charlotte tonight, though."

"I'll talk to you then, Jimmie. Good luck today." Vrai said warmly before they said their goodbyes and hung up.

Vrai puttered around the house throughout the morning, the radio her only companion. She couldn't bring herself to watch a race for fear of seeing a terrible wreck - especially if it involved Jimmie's car. Before meeting Jimmie, she was an avid race fan. Now, she wasn't so sure she could stand it.

She had just sat down to thumb through a few catalogs for the shop when she felt a cold chill go through her.

Instantly, she knew what it was.

Jimmie was about to face terrible trouble at Talladega. Something horrendous was going to happen unless she did something. Unless she warned him. She could see the disaster in her mind and knew she must act.

Jumping up, Vrai briefly debated in not interfering, in letting the race take its course. But she couldn't - not if it meant Jimmie's safety. She ran to her back door and spilled out onto the porch, her eyes closing and searching for the wind. Facing the south, she extended her arms and hands, her eyes still closed.

In a clear but soft voice, Vrai called Jimmie's name as she visualized his face, his features. She repeated his name, louder this time, and a third time with considerably more force.

She stated her message as though he were in front of her - a short, but important, message.

Intently, she listened for a reply, not sure if he would, or even could, reply. This type of communication worked best with practice, or between close friends or lovers.

She wasn't sure if she and Jimmie were either one, considering the way they had been dancing around each other for weeks.

She breathed a sigh when she felt the fainting stirring in her mind - she could feel Jimmie trying to give a response.

Opening her eyes and looking once more to the south, where Jimmie was, she slowly went back inside.


Jimmie bucked in his seat as he felt Vrai's presence in his mind while he rounded the third turn. He could feel her…almost hear her…

There will be a wreck directly in front of you. You must swerve to the right, then the left, keeping to the bottom of the track. You must do this.

Jimmie's eyes narrowed as he heard her words in his mind. He tried to scream a response to her in his mind, as though willing her to hear him, when he knew full well he didn't have the power to do so. His hands gripped the steering wheel as he followed his line until Chris's voice on the radio screamed in his ear.

"Wreck in turn one! Go high and stay there!" Chris screamed.

Jimmie had a split second to decide where to go.

He knew Vrai's advice was the right advice. He could feel it in his heart.

He swerved to the right, missing Bobby Labonte's spinning car and Jeremy Mayfield's wreckage. Despite Chris's pleas, he cut the wheel to the left, dodging Jeff Green's side winding car and Rusty Wallace's whirling Dodge. Hugging the bottom line, he mashed the gas and made for turn two.

He got there without a scratch on his car.

chapter seven