(2018-09-04) Racing Heats
At the racetrack, Joseph warms up for the pending race.

There was a race coming up for Joseph. Every week had races, his week was coming up. It was hobby stock and he had a some older mustang. Home hobby, at most he had his shop logo on it and a couple other neighbors invested in his. This time of the week was a little more open, drivers doing a few laps here and there, working on cars, upgrades and just getting a feel for the dirt. It always changed, dug up, clodded, dried, re-oiled. But the temp mattered, the air mattered, so good to get a feel this week before the races. His car was out in the pit right now, he was near the stands, wearing a race suit that was pretty plain label as well and he was working on some sandwiches. A packed lunch/dinner. A message probably left with Ashlea, if she was bored, he'd be up here today. Shop closed for the afternoon and evening. A bite of sandwich taken, he chewed it and watched the track, a couple of cars out there now. He felt it when he road out there, but good to see the track too as he kept making preparations for the coming race.

A morning off after working through the night with that double shooting. Ashlea had spent lots of time at the station going over records on who had been booked in the incident while the case built, inputting some. She was only a little tired, but she stil managed to look fresh enough in her dress she wears out to the race track. Another summery thing because she knew he liked it, and that time of the year was nearing an end. Her own lunch was packed all professional like in a small tote with plastic ware and a thermos. She sits on the stands after approaching and starts opening her own, pulling out.. what is that? HOMEMADE LASAGNA! From a woman who couldn't cook? After she opens the container, the steam curls upwards in tendrils, a sign she'd just heated it before coming, and the tote had kept it hot. A smug look is given him as she dips her plastic fork inside without a word and cuts off a bite of the gooey goodness with lots of meat. After lifting the bite to her lips, she changes direction and offers it to him with a playful expression. "Hungry?'

Chewing, he turns and looks. Her, her curves, her lunch all packed nicely, to her again. Joseph chews a couple of slow chews and swallows, as if the sandwich could use more mayo or some other condiment. It works, he looks like he wants some of hers and she teases, then he nods. Just a hint of grin there, he takes the bite, chews it mostly. "Yeah, what's all this, fancy lunches thing?" He swallows again, the last bits, suspicious then. "Wasn't you, a fan? Your mother?" She did say her mother was coming, he look at the lasagna again as if he could tell who cooked it just be looking even.

"Isn't it so good? It is, isn't it?" Looking pleased with herself, Ashlea offers the container and plasticware to him and only after he takes it does she pull out her own container of it. And her own plastic fork. "The thermos has freshly squeezed lemonade, we can share that, and inside the foil in my tote here is some fresh garlic bread." He knew it wasn't her and she laughs at that because he knows her so well. "I made a new friend yesterday at Suds n Duds when I was doing my laundry." She has no appliances like that yet, and the hookups need work in the house anyway. "Katherine Stone. Owns Stone Bed and Breakfast. She brought it over for us. Isn't it incredible?"

There is a nod from Joseph, suspicious and yet he agrees, it is good. "It is," he takes the container, seeing she has another, so he forks up another bite. "You did make it then, the friend at least. Check you out Anderson, who are the people in our neighborhood?" Referencing that old Sesame Street song, maybe she recognizes it, he doesn't sing song it in the least though, regular deadpan to his voice. "That's nice of her. She needing anything from us, or she just being extra nice." He is curious about that. The bite goes in and the fork goes down while he chews, reaching to try this fresh squeezed lemonade in the thermos. Eyeing toward fresh bread as he uncaps and gets a swig, his eyes close and he nods again. That lemonade is good too, fresh as it is. "Its good, but then, a bed n breakfast, she probably has to be good with home meals."

"I really like Katherine. I don't guess I've ever had any grown women friends." Or male lately, since she was young actually. She may not recognize the song but she smiles all the same. "I thought it was nice of her. I told her she should open for lunches, restaurant style, for a few people during the day, especially when she doesn't have guests. That way there can be private lunches for some and supplemental income for her. So she was letting us sample her cooking. I might have mentioned my boyfriend was a mechanic and she may have mentioned that her mini van acts up on cold days and won't start when she needs it too." Cutting a look to him, she laughs softly. "I didn't offer your services free, I did tell her you were very good at your work and reasonable on prices."

"That does sound like a good idea, open for lunch when guests go do tourist junk," he nods, taking another bite of the lasagna and enjoying it. Slowly Joseph is nodding for her too, agreeing. "Even a private dinner if she has a nice house, if she has room for guest table and a dinning room too." He doesn't know, but if the house was old. Then he grins, "I can look at her van before it get's too cold. Does she live closer by, or …" In a better part of town, he assume the later, but leaves it as an open blank to be filled in by here.

"That does sound like a good idea, open for lunch when guests go do tourist junk," he nods, taking another bite of the lasagna and enjoying it. Slowly Joseph is nodding for her too, agreeing. "Even a private dinner if she has a nice house, if she has room for guest table and a dinning room too." He doesn't know, but if the house was old. Then he grins, "I can look at her van before it get's too cold. Does she live closer by, or …" In a better part of town, he assume the later, but leaves it as an open blank to be filled in by here.

"She lives in a another part of town, but she brought the food by the house. I told her where your house and garage were." Ashlea doesn't seem to mind living in the awful part. It's home. He's nearby. "She's considering it. Then she told me I should visit the winery that sometimes she gifts guest with inexpensive bottles. I mentioned she could get gift baskets donated from business for her guests, to advertise the businesses and also to welcome her guests. Win, win." After eating a few bites, she shrugs a little. "I'm a cop though, what do I know?"

"Savvy entrepreneur cop, if you ever want out, you could do that life coaching thing," he's serious, but at the same time, Joseph gives a little huff too. Life coaching is goofy, he can't believe people pay for it, but as the coach, if someone's gonna pay, it can't hurt to take the money either maybe. "I've never been to the winery there. There's a good orchard up that way, been there for some fresh pie on a weekend ride." He puts his nearly eaten lasagna container down. "I'd offer to go up there, the winery, but eating for two isn't drinking for two." A little grin from him, "And I'm not gonna pick it up in your place. No way I'm drinking for two. You and me Anderson, all the right stuff."

"Tempting, tempting," Ashlea teases, "But I don't even know what a life coach is or does. I better stick to what I know and what I'm trained in and offer advice to friends who don't know better yet." Amusement is in her eyes as she lifts them to meet his. "Thanks for the faith in me though." Another few bites of her own food and she places the container to the side as well then reaches for the thermos for a drink. "You know," she teases after a drink. "You're getting pretty demanding." Totally she's joking and she takes hold of his shirt front, just lightly, and tugs him in for a brief kiss. "I kind of like it," she whispers with a wink.

"They tell people what to do to help them out, like that cross advertising thing for you friend Katherine," returns Joseph, "See you got a knack for it, just need to find people willing to pay." Not that he thinks that's too likely in Calaveras, by the way he's saying it. Even more stoic than usual, likes it incredulous, this life coaching thing. "Yeah," he says, as she tugs him over and he nips her bottom lip once during that brief kiss. "Kind of, maybe get used to it Anderson. I got some demands for later." Teasing perhaps, threatening, maybe promising even.

"I don't think I want to get paid for telling people what to do. It's a great suggestion though. Maybe in another life." With a soft laugh, Ashlea places the thermos down from her to focus better on him. "Oh I'll never get used to it. I'll enjoy each and every time." Her brows waggle. There's a whistle from the pits and she murmurs against his lips. "Do I get to watch you race? I want to see how you do."

"If your day job gets stale," he offers as a compromise, "Probably won't, plenty to do around Willow Heights or Ash over there." West side of the river, including Slims. Enough to keep busy, "Just shut them first," his way of saying don't get shot, he wants her just the way she is it seems. Then he grins and nods, "Yeah, stick around, you can see me get it out today." He'll reach for the lemonade and take a swig, "A little preview before the big race and all." Pushing off on a knee, he stands, then turns to face her rather directly, "And a preview for later," cause standing right in front of her on those benches is a good height. He bends over, "Plant one on my for good luck Anderson." Like he doesn't kiss, but offers his lips for her to kiss him for that good luck.

"Plenty to keep me busy now and.. later there'll be plenty more for the same." Ashlea takes the advice for what it is and gives a more solemn nod. "I'll do my best. The vest is always worn when I'm out of the department." Just for reassurance. Lightening the subject, somewhat, she nods out to the track. "Just be careful out there. I'm going to need someone around to teach me on this whole parenting thing. Someone with experience." Her lips curve and she leans up and presses her lips to his, a hand even lifting to touch the back of his neck as she deepens the kiss momentarily. With great reluctance, she pulls back. "Good luck, Morris."

<FS3> Joseph rolls Vehicles: Great Success. (8 8 7 2 8 5 3 7 6)

"Good," he concurs on her safety, reassured as he is now. "I follow the rules," he says, "Out there." All the safety rules, that driving he takes serious. She knows his street driving, they opened up that truck on that road when they first went out. Probably a few times even just for fun. Fast driving on dirt roads and all, but out there was faster. He doesn't say more, he takes the kiss she gives, sucking more as she gives more. Then he stands up when she pulls back. "Thanks," he nods and turns. He jumps over safety barricades and heads out to his car. He gives a little hustle to not keep her and gets on the track when its clear. He opens up, boy can drive. Dirt flies, he runs that stock car like there was no tomorrow. For a few laps, doesn't quite show off, but there is a little spin at the end. Like he's going to far to get back in the pit, but over turns and spins until he's lined up to roll on in, which he does.
He'll come back with some dirt on his face now, if she's still there. "Yep, your lips are good luck, I'm going to need them tonight Anderson." He jumps over to be nearer her again.

"That's the best place to follow them. When they really matter." He seemed more the rebel sort but Ashlea was smitten with her bad boy. She puts the lunch away and focuses completely on him once he gets out there. There's no waving from her, not wanting to distract him, but the way he takes the curves looks both incredibly scary and equally exciting. By the time he rejoins her, she's settled down some from the cheering him on, even though it was practice, and she offers a wink. "Nothing could keep me from coming tonight." Lifting a hand, she touches a finger to the dirt there. "You dirty old man." Laughing, she leans forward anyway and steals another kiss.

As she touches dirt, he will take her into an embrace, sharing the dirty part there. Then he nods, "Damn right I am." A dirty old man, he meets her kiss, still muttering, "With hot young things like you running around, I'm never gonna stop being one either." Then he kisses more, or lets her steal some. "At some point, I'll meet your new friend, see about fixing up her van too." Putting the ball in her court there, not to intrude or start demanding other time, and besides, Joseph isn't a highly sociable sort, he's content with just Ashlea and himself a lot of the times.

"Young, that's subjective." Ashlea gives a playful roll of her eyes. She does take turn giving and stealing kisses, but eventually, they must separate. They are in a public place after all. Seating herself again she laughs. "I'd like for you to meet her and I'm sure she'd love to check out your van. She's got younger sisters and her parents passed away in a crash with a drunk driver. She's had it rough it seems, trying to keep things together for her sisters. All while trying to get the older of the two through college. Very admirable."

"That sounds like a hero," he admits as they part kissing and move to sit again. He wipes his face too finally, smudging a little dirt and not knowing or caring (or both). "That's what I want," he says, watching the track. If there is one seat lower than her, he takes it, leaning back near where she sits, resting elbows and watching other drivers. "To be that good for the kid. Making it all work despite whatever stupid I might do in life. I've made mistakes and all, but if I can give something better to someone out of it, maybe I did some right somewhere too." He looks over at her, half grins, "The poet in me." As if he's said enough on that, but he chuckles too, he could say more.

As soon as he comes to sit in front of her, Ashlea lifts her hands to his shoulders and starts rubbing them, a kiss pressed gently to the top of his head. "I have no doubts about your parenting abilities. Your daughter, I'm very sure, is taken care of. I know you send videos too. You can invite her here for a visit if you would like, I'd like to meet her." She nuzzles her cheek to his head, his hair. "I like this part of you. So rarely seen and directed mostly towards your kids."

He'll move a hand, loop it about one of her calves as she kisses his forehead and rubs his shoulders. "Well, I could do better." His own thoughts, but no fight in him to disagree completely with her either. "I'll do that, I'll see if her mom would let her come down for a visit. I'm sure she'd have fun, wouldn't just be seeing it in videos either. Not sure if she remembers much time down here." He's comfortable and looks back up at here, "You bring this out of me. Like I said, about them broken roads, maybe a little something of meant to bump into you, you know." Turning back towards the track even, "You make me better."

Ashlea leans her cheek against his head a moment before sitting back up, smiling at the casual intimacy between them. "I really hope so. We could take her around town and show her the things you've shown on tape. Maybe even to the orchard so that she can pick some fruit or something too. Then the western town." She seems comfortable also, and very content. There's another kiss to his forehead. "I'm beginning to think you're right about that. Those broken roads."

"I'll ask," he affirms related to his daughter, nodding and accepting her affection as they sit and watch cars go around the track, or whatever occupies their thoughts. "We'll plan something from that." He lifts his other hand reaching behind him to rub her hair, or his fingers through it. "Maybe, I'm not the church going sort, but maybe there is some plan to it all up there." Heaven, beyond, he doesn't know, but he's on for the ride it would seem. "This makes us all like serious, you're my girl now, I can pin your picture up at work now?" Maybe a tease, but not so much in his voice, it has a serious quality to it as he asks that.

Feeling his fingers in her hair, Ashlea closes her eyes and mmms softly, a smile on her features as she just listens. "Maybe there is. I've no regrets in life now that this is where it has led." Her eyes open again and she remains there in this comfortable position. "Mhm, in your work, your race car, anywhere." Even if he's teasing, she gives him the go ahead. "I am forever calling you my boyfriend, so it's all official now." This time it may be her teasing, even if it is true.

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