Danny never slept great on race weekends, he got sleep but it never felt like enough. So when it came to the Sunday night after racing whether he was in his own bed or the bed of the transporter, whether he was alcohol induced or alcohol free he always slept deep after the racing was over.

The Sunday night he came home from the Sands circuit with Tracey was no different, he’s almost flopped into bed the second he got home, was asleep within minutes of his head hitting the pillow and he didn’t wake all night.

Sometimes such a solid sleep would have him wake up tired, sore and grumpy the following morning. He often thought it was his body and mind punishing him for not giving it the restful sleep it needed for the days leading up to the good sleep. Kind of like his mind was saying ‘screw you I wanted rest all week and now I’m going to make you grumpy and irritable because you finally tried to give it to me.” He was sure it was something Tracey didn’t understand, in truth he didn’t understand it himself, but Tracey always seemed to react poorly when he woke up tired and sore after a solid sleep, like she thought he was doing it for attention.

Thankfully though when he woke up on that Monday morning after the Sands race he didn’t feel tired or sore at all, in fact before he even opened his eyes properly he thought he felt really good, he felt something else too.

He woke up laying on his left hand side facing the middle of the bed he shared with Tracey. His left arm was bent at the elbow and his hand was between the pillow and his head almost as if holding his head up, but it was where his other hand was that surprised him.

Sometime during his sleep, probably not long before he woke, he’d shifted his right arm across the bed towards the middle and taken Tracey’s right hand in his. Their hands were so close to Tracey’s face that now he was aware of it he could actually feel her exhaled breath flow over his hand as she breathed.

Given the way his hand overlaid hers and his fingers curled around her palm it was clear to him, even without looking, that it was his doing that had led them to that point and not hers. As he opened his eyes properly and looked directly at his wife he could tell by the deep, relaxed breathing that she was still asleep.

His first thought was to check the time, but such a check required too much movement and movement like that would require him to move his hand, something he wasn’t sure he wanted to do. He loosened his grip ever so slightly and wriggled his fingers feeling Tracey’s skin slide against his finger tips. He did it a few times, and a few times more. He watched Tracey’s face for the slightest hint of awareness, he wasn’t sure exactly what he was feeling but he didn’t care to stop either.

When Tracey did move his awareness level peaked and he stopped all movement. She moved only slightly under the sheet shifting her hand as she did so. It was a move of only millimetres but it was enough to shift her hand under Danny’s loosened grip. He lay still for several moments listening to Tracey breath, she’d moved her head far enough that he could no longer feel her breath on his hand but he was almost certain that she was still asleep.

At the same moment Danny lay there thinking Tracey was asleep the roar of a motorbike engine starting echoed through their house, it was their neighbour, Aaron, starting his Harley before heading to work. Danny silent cursed the guy and immediately looked at Tracey’s face to see if there was any movement or acknowledgement of the sudden noise. He was relieved to see that she hadn’t even stirred.

The revving lasted a few minutes, it wasn’t as loud as it could have been and Aaron did at least try to be considerate of his neighbours. As the bike took off down the street Tracey still hadn’t moved, Danny’s hand was still resting in her open palm and he suddenly knew the time because Aaron left at the same time every day of the working week. His departure told Danny it was twenty minutes to seven, that gave him twenty minutes of time to kill before he needed to get up.

Danny lay looking, almost staring at Tracey. The longer he looked at her sleeping face the more he remembered the features he’d long ago fallen in love with. The sweet full lips, the rosy cheeks (even as she slept), the way her eye lashes curled and the way everything came together to create a face fit for a portrait.

Whilst absently thinking about all those things he didn’t realise he had begun circling her open palm with his fingers. It was only a slightly touch but his fingers were tracing the smallest and slowest of circles around her palm and fingers. He could feel her fingers moving underneath his own as they circled, the movement seemed to be involuntary.

As the seconds counted Danny became slightly braver with his movements, firstly the circles got slightly bigger, covering her entire palm and fingers, the he slowly moved his hand downwards towards her wrist.

Seconds later Danny was throwing back the sheet, climbing out of bed and headed to the bathroom.

Previous Car Racing story here.