“I’ll get Rick to drive me to rehab this afternoon.”

“Are you sure he wont mind?” Tracey asked Danny as they approached the Force 10 workshop after Danny’s morning rehab session.

“Of course he wont. Just pick me up at the hospital at 4.”

“You’re sure Dave will let him off early?” Tracey didn’t want to harp on the matter but she did want to make sure that if Danny was spending part of the day at the workshop he was going to be able to get himself to rehab. She didn’t mind picking him up early from work but he seemed to have other plans.

“If he doesn’t, he can bloody well drive me!” Danny replied.

Tracey decided to leave well enough alone. She was sure if Dave or Rick weren’t able to drive Danny she’d get a phone call and she’d make that part of the day free in case she was required.

“Okay, well I guess I’ll see you at the hospital at four thirty.” She said as she pulled into the workshop car park.

When the car stopped Danny unclipped his seat belt, leant over and kissed Tracey on the cheek and said. “It will be fine. Trust me. See you at four thirty.” He then opened his door, twisted his body, winced as a small jolt of pain shot up his leg, then pulled himself out of the car by using one hand on the roof and one of the frame of the door.

The kiss surprised Tracey somewhat but she didn’t think about it too much. “Okay, have a good day!”

As he walked across the car park and down the small footpath to the main door of the building Tracey could see he was limping and in some pain, but he was definitely getting better. The limp that still remained was more obvious to someone who knew him closely than it was to someone who didn’t know him. At the same time as Danny was stepping inside the office door Tracey put the car in reverse, backed out of her car space and began her trip home.

Although he liked the office staff, mostly, and talked to them regularly Danny didn’t particularly like entering the workshop through the main office, however without his work keys he had no other choice since both the large transporter roller door and the PA door were closed. Banging on either door might have got someone’s attention but it was the day after race day and the team were more than likely in their debrief, a debrief Danny wanted to be a part of, but not interrupt.

One upon a time, not that long back, he’d liked walking through the main office, because the girls in the office flirted with him. Nothing over the top, just harmless fun which never crossed any boundaries, until Vanessa. Nothing every actually happened with Vanessa but it that didn’t stop the excrement from hitting the oscillating air shifting device.

It was, from Danny’s perspective harmless flirting, the same as he did with Leigha and Samantha who worked at Force 10 at the same time as Vanessa, but Vanessa, despite being told by her fellow office workers, thought different and she followed Danny into the men’s room one afternoon. What came after that was Danny’s word against Vanessa’s and it became a very heated exchange of stories where Danny claimed Vanessa surprised him at the urinal, groped him, began kissing him and pushed him to have sex with her, while Vanessa claimed that Danny seduced her, invited her into the bathroom, begged her to hold him while he urinated and then had sex with her sitting beside the wash basin.

In the end nothing was proven, Vanessa agreed to a pay out from the company and she walked away but not before Danny’s reputation around the office was tarnished. Even with the majority of the office believing Danny’s story, and CCTV in the hallways backing it up to some degree the doubt was seeded into a few minds. Tracey never believed the rumours, in fact only one person in the office did and that was Leigha, Vanessa’s friend and the person who got her the job at Force 10. It was Leigha’s defence of Vanessa that made Danny feel uncomfortable when stepping through the office when she was rostered on.

To his relief Leigha wasn’t working and walking through the office was easier than his mind had built it up to be as he walked towards the office door. The greetings and chatter still weren’t as fun as they used to be but at least the tension level was down when Leigha was not working.

The chats were brief and predictably all about Danny’s injury and how he was feeling, which Danny answered politely but he was anxious to get into the racing debrief he knew would be happening in the workshop, or conference room.

“Where’s the debrief happening?” Danny asked Gerri who mostly handled reception which meant she would know which room to keep calls from ringing through to.

“Conference room. Must nearly be over by now. You’re not going in there are you?” Gerri replied.

“Yeah, why wouldn’t I?” Danny questioned in an abrupt, almost rude manner.

“Oh, sorry.” the apology was automatic, whether he was heartfelt Danny couldn’t tell. “I just assumed that you’d want to keep away from it since you weren’t racing!”

“Why would you assume that, I’m still part of the bloody team!” Danny replied, but instantly apologised. “I’m sorry that came out wrong. I am still in a bit of pain from the rehab session.” Being in some pain wasn’t a lie but it also wasn’t the reason he said what he said. What he’d said was out of frustration at the suggestion he shouldn’t be a part of the debrief.

“No worries,” said Gerri, she sounded as if she meant it. “I’m sure they’ll still be going when you get there. Hope you feel better.”

Even if Gerri’s words and her tone weren’t to be believed Danny could tell from the last sentence that the conversation was over and it was time for him to move on.

Previous Racing story here.