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The fuel I need

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There was no denying things were hard for her - they were. Iris West was just 18 when she lost her father in a fatal accident and had to take her young brother under her wing all on her own as well as cope with keeping a roof over their heads and food in their bellies. The only way she could escape the stress that was forced on her was through racing. Yes, it wasn’t legal but it’s the only way she can actually be given the chance to unload; her foot on the gas pedal and hand on the steering wheel, it seemed to be the only thing that gave her a strong sense of control.

 

She hid her hobby from her brother; although it made her feel strong, winning practically every race, she always saw it as a weakness - not being able to find anything else that’s lawful to help her get through how she felt. Iris didn’t want Wally growing up thinking it’s okay to break the law if it means your problems will go away for a few minutes or hours or however long it lasts - but it’s never forever. That’s what annoyed iris the most: no matter how much she raced, once it’s all over her problems were still there. 

 

Luckily Wally had asked to sleep over at a friends tonight which meant one less person to feed and she won’t have to lie to him about where she’d been when she gets back from her meet.

 

Iris worked two jobs, one as a barista in Jitters and the other was the racing (Okay not technically a job) but she won money when she won which was basically all the time.

She crashed into her apartment that was far from luxurious. The plain, dull brown wall paper brought lack of comfort. Then there was the constant blasting of the neighbors music which disturbed both hers and Wally’s sleep when they first moved here but now it had just become white noise. All the furniture was in goodish shape though; they’d taken it with them when they had to sell their old home. It had a nice vintage to it which was sort of comforting. Apart from that though, the place was falling to pieces - no place to raise a teenage boy, but she couldn’t lose him and she’d refused to put him in care. After all he’d gone through with Francine and now losing Joe, he couldn’t lose Iris as well and then have to settle in with strangers- then there was his temperament, it would take forever for them to find him a decent home. She couldn’t do that to him - she won’t.

 

Iris had considered using the money they got for selling the house on doing the place up and making it feel more like a home or even moving into a nicer apartment block in a better part of the city, but she was too scared to spend it in case something was to ever happen and she couldn’t pay what she needed. That money was there for back-up.

It wouldn’t be long and she would be able to afford to do that. Go somewhere better for her and Wally. She’d been saving for years to give him a better life and with the income from the racing, she was definitely not far from reaching her safe budget she’d spend. And the only way to do that is to keep racing - that’s where she got most of her money - so that’s what she did.

 

Iris went to her closet and picked out an outfit suitable for the event. She quickly showered and slid on a tight pair of high-waisted denim shorts along with a low cut shirt that tied just under her bust, and a leather jacket. She let her hair fall in its natural curls and braided the right side so it all fell neatly to the left. She did her makeup and texted Wally to check on how he was doing - she was always very protective of him. Also she knew how much love he needed after losing both parents. Without that love she feared how he’d turn out so she was always certain to give him extra that he didn’t always appreciate so much.

on many occasions she’d try her best to embarrass him in front of his friends but most of them just seemed to admire her rather than laugh at the fact she was ‘embarrassing’.

 

She got into her car and drove to the abandoned car park round the back of the old warehouse that was no longer in occupation which was where the event took place. She cranked up her radio as she drove up to the crowd of people who all moved out the way for her. Iris was very well known at these meets - you did NOT mess with the West unless you were crazy. The only person brave enough to challenge her were the new ones, but they soon learnt the woman always wins.

 

She got out of her car and of course there were whistles and everyone starred at the stunning figure making her entrance. They all moved out the way as she confidently walked through the crowd to get to where her friends were.

”Well if it isn’t West?!” A wealthy, blonde looking guy said holding out his hand which she slapped as some sort of handshake.

”Wouldn’t look too happy to see me Jason, you’re about to get your ass kicked... again.” Iris smugly told him before turning to give a dark haired, tall woman a hug.

”Wattup Caitlin” She wore black jeans along with a tight fitting beige tee with a leather jacket and a chocker accessorizing her neck.

”Good to see you Iris.” Caitlin responded to her friend.

”Louis, Max, Makayla hey.” Iris plainly greeted the others leaning against Jason’s Mercedes.

 

Iris didn’t drive a fancy car, but she didn’t need to. She had speed and tactic, no fancy engine required. Racing was mainly about skill and passion.

 

”so who’s going first?” Jason asked, over the loud music filling the atmosphere.

”I’ll go.” Iris offered herself.

No one responded. Jason went over to the speakers and picked up a microphone - these events were very organized.

”anyone wanna challenge West?” He yelled through it.

The crowd cheered but no one volunteered.

”Oh, no one wanna give it a shot? I’ll go soft on you?” Iris sarcastically bragged, knowing it was because of her mass of raw talent they were afraid of.

 

”Well we need a race!” Jason tried persuading them.

Before anyone could answer a different song was being played over the one coming from the speakers - one from someone else’s car. In no time, a Jaguar came within view, slowly driving through the gap the crowd have made for them to pass through. Everyone was staring at them waiting for someone to get out.

A tall, handsome, sharply dressed man got out of the car, his eyes covered with ray-ban sunglasses probably used to make himself look ‘cool’. He stood with his shoulders back and chest puffed out a bit. His black shirt was ironed and matched his black blazer with black pants - he looked like some sort of agent or something but still in some way attractive.

 

”I’ll race her.” He called from the distance between them.

Iris scoffed, “of course, we have ourselves a newby.” She muttered to her gang of friends who laughed at her comment. “Alright then. You might wanna get your tissues out at the ready if you’re a sour loser like this donk,” Iris cockily tells him, pointing at Jason.

”shut up. You’ve beat me once.” He says, brushing off her criticism.

”Yeah I’ve only raced you once.” Iris corrected him.

”just go get ready for your race will you?!” He says, shooing her off to save his embarrassment.

 

Iris gave the new guy an intimidating stare as she brushed past him to prep her car but he just stood there and watched her as she strutted over to the run down vehicle. She was definitely attractive in his eye.

They both prepared themselves and their cars and the crowd lined up either sides of what they called their track even though it wasn’t a track at all. Iris was the first to line up at the starting point and then the new dude caught her eye, slowly rolling up beside her in his jaguar, staring at her through his wound down window.

Iris began to rev her engine and squinted her eyes at the stranger. “You’re about to get your ass handed to you boy. Just remember I told you so.” She warned him. 

“Yeah, I wouldn’t be so sure about that,” he answered back.

”you know it would be kind of embarrassing to get beaten on your first race here but I guess that’s your problem not mine,” Iris scoffed, taking her eyes off him and looking out at the road ahead.

”And it would be pretty cool to win my first race against a far too over confident hot chick,” he said also looking out at the ‘track’ now.

”hot?” Iris quoted him. “Please, you have no chance,” she smirked, actually feeling a stir in her stomach at his compliment.

Caitlin walked out on the track with a flag and held it up and the crowd cheered. As soon as she lowered the flags they were off. Iris was instantly in the lead but new guy wasn’t far behind. She could see him in the corner of her eye, the lights of his fancy car reflecting in her mirror - he was smart. He was trying to distract her. Iris quickly made a sharp turn making him break heavily but she derived him and began drivin back up the track. She heard his tires shreak against the concrete as she sped up and then could hear his almost over powering her. To her surprise he passed her gaze and passed the finish line a split second before her. 

Some of the crowd cheered and iris just sat in her car in shock. No one had ever beaten her before. Who even was this guy and who gave him permission to be so damn rude? 

He got out of his car and took of those ridiculous sunglasses of his only used to make a statement. He raised his hands up in the air out of ‘victory’. 

“Aww is lil Iris sad she got beat?” He frowned sarcastically into her window.

”I’ll get you next time newby.” She fired back.

”whatever floats your boat.” He said smiling before going off into the crowd that all began fussing him.

Iris got out of her car in annoyance and went over to her friends.

”Iris what the hell happened?” Max asked.

”that prick. Look at him with his all smart ass clothes and fancy car. Who even is he anyway?!” Iris complained. Her frustration was visible but she mainly felt embarrassed and guilty. Now she had to pay her bit - she’d actually lost money - Wally’s money.

”it’s alright Iris, you’ll get em next time. Maybe you’re just having a bad day or something.” Caitlin assured her.

”Yeah.” Iris bluntly responded, too busy focusing her attention on this guy that just merely beat her in envy.

****

It was late and the event was pretty much over and people were leaving.

Iris decided she should get going now as she’d promised Wally she’ll call him later and pick him up tomorrow afternoon.

The guy she’d raced earlier approached her but she paid no attention to it. She went to open her car door when his voice stopped her.

”Good race.” He said. Was he trying to piss her off? Because that really wouldn’t be smart.

”Yeah you could say so.” Iris said turning round at him trying to hide her disappointment.

”what can I say but ‘I told you so’” he smugly said.

iris squinted her eyes at him and screwed up her face.

”you do know why no one wanted to race me tonight right?” Iris folded her arms to show she’s not bothered by him.

”I’m just kidding” he laughed at her reaction. “No, you are a good racer, I’m aware.” He says with a smile.

”I know.” Iris replies as if it’s obvious.

”I’m Barry by the way.” He says walking closer to her and offering out a hand.

”Iris.” She said, shaking his hand.

”you gonna be here tomorrow?” He asks.

”maybe.” 

“Well if you’re not, here’s my number. Do what you want with it.” He says, giving her a piece of paper with a number written on it and she couldn’t help but laugh. This guy was attractive, handsome, annoyingly likeable and obviously skilled but he just took $50 from her that she was sure she was gonna gain.

”see you around.” He smiles.

Iris didn’t reply to him, just watched as he swiftly walked back to his car and winked at her before getting in. His music soon broke the silenced night as he drove out of the park. She sighed and looked down at the number in her hand. She shoved the paper in her back pocket and got in her car. 

She did nothing for a minute. All she could think about was him - which was annoying because he was annoying. Part of her hoped to see him tomorrow, just so she can show him how good she is.

iris had no clue why she kept his number but refused to think about it any longer. She started up her engine and drove back to her empty apartment. Whoever this guy was, he had an effect on her - some effect she’d never had before, something she couldn’t name.

Barry Allen. The guy that stole her 50 bucks and still managed to look great doing it. He’ll be back, and so will she - time to show him who’s really boss.