Partner Games (Games #6)(5) read online by Jessica Clare
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Partner Games (Games #6)(5)
Author: Jessica Clare

 

 

Chapter Three

 

 

“It is clear to me that Tiny doesn’t like me one little bit. Doesn’t bother me. I’m not here to hold hands and sing songs. I need a million bucks.” — Swift, Team One Percent, The World Races

 

 

Swift seemed to take my bitchy shut-down well.

“Thanks,” he said dryly. He turned to his partner and I saw that there was a small tattoo at the base of his throat, just where his shirt opened. His buddy shrugged, and Swift looked back at me. “I guess we arrived too late.”

“I guess,” I said blankly. I was so freaking uncomfortable. Where was my twin? Why was Georgie still talking to the other team, darn it? Why wasn’t she handling these men? I looked up at Swift’s partner. He was a huge lummox of a guy, bigger than Swift and a lot wider, with a broad face. He was also staring at Georgie openly.

“Goddamn, is that Georgie Price?” he murmured in an awed voice. “She’s been my spank material of choice for years.”

I gasped. “That’s my sister,” I snapped back. “And I’d prefer not to hear that.”

“I’m Swift,” said the hot one. He gestured with his chin at his partner. “This here’s Plate.”

“I can read your shirts.” Inwardly, I winced at the bitchiness of my tone, but I couldn’t take it back, could I? And I didn’t particularly want to, not with the big lunk talking about beating off to my sister. I was really hoping they’d go away, because if the cop team saw us talking to the black team, they’d get pissy and think we were sharing secrets.

But the bikers didn’t seem to get the hint. “Clementine,” drawled Swift, and he was staring at my breasts, right where my name was emblazoned. “Like the little juicy oranges?”

Ugh, he was smiling as he said that. “Something like that.” I looked back at my twin desperately.

As if she could hear my pleading, Georgie turned, tickets in hand. “Come on, Clemmy. We’re boarding soon.”

“Clemmy?” Swift asked, looking me up and down. He was still smiling. “Not Tiny?”

I resisted the urge to flip him off. I was five foot eleven. I wasn’t tiny. “We have to go,” I said politely.

“Hi,” Georgie said, waving at them. Her face lit up in a friendly smile. “It’s nice to meet you guys!”

“No, it’s not,” I told her. I grabbed her arm and dragged her away. “Trust me on that.”

 

~~ * * * ~~

 

Georgie and I were the last ones on the flight to Cuzco. The teams on the flight with us were the Green Machine (as we were calling the cops), the Doctor Moms, and married couple Helen and Tony, who were calling themselves the Houston Hustlers. All other teams would be behind us.

Georgie and I were on opposite ends of the plane – she was in a middle seat toward the front of the plane. She was one row away from the other teams so I noticed her chatting and talking with them. That was fine with me – let Georgie make friends. I flipped through an in-flight magazine and watched bad movies. I was in the very back row, where the plane roared and was so bumpy that I felt like I was riding an endless roller coaster. The plane had three stopovers on the way to Peru, just enough time for us to stretch our legs and get back on.

It was the longest, most miserable plane ride ever, but it was finally over. When the plane taxied up to the jetway, everyone stood up, and I pushed my way to the aisle so I could grab my carry-on. Georgie was doing the same, and I saw the other teams shoving their way forward. Nearby, a cameraman readied his equipment so he could film us when we got off the plane.

The captain began to speak, thanking us for the flight, and we shuffled out the door like impatient sardines. I checked my watch as we did – our flight landed ten minutes earlier than anticipated. Score!

With aching muscles, we surged off of the plane and when I ran down the ramp to the arrival gate, Georgie was there waiting for me. She extended her hand and I clasped it, and then we were racing again.

“We need to get to Aguas Calientes,” she told me. “The guy I sat next to on the plane suggested a train, so I think we should head that way.”

“Lead on,” I told her.

We ran to the taxi stand and saw the married couple (I was not about to call them Houston Hustlers) get in and quickly drive away.

“Do you speak English?” Georgie asked the driver in the first cab.

He rattled off something in Spanish. That was a no.

My twin shot me a despairing look. She glanced around, but there were no other cabs waiting.

“Aguas Calientes?” I asked our driver. “Train? Choo choo?” I made a hand gesture, indicating I was pulling on a whistle. I didn’t even know if trains still had whistles, but it seemed like a good idea.

“Si, si, choo choo,” he said, nodding and gesturing for us to get in.

“Let’s do it,” I said to Georgie as we piled in. “I see the Green Machine.” Sure enough, the cops were flagging down a taxi that pulled up. They got into a car behind us and as we pulled away, I saw them pointing at our cab. “They’re just going to follow us. Jerks.”

“Let them,” Georgie said confidently. “We don’t need them.”

We counted out the envelope of money that the producers had given us for the first leg of the race. We had five hundred and seventy nine Peruvian Nuevo Sol. I had no idea how much that was.

“It’s almost three to one dollar,” Georgie told me. “I think. Or it was when I visited last year.”

“Estacion de Poroy,” the cab driver said after about a half hour of driving. “Choo choo.”

“Si,” Georgie and I said happily. “Gracias.”

We bailed out of the cab after paying the man and bought tickets at the train station to Aguas Calientes. To my surprise, the trains only left four times a day, and all four were in the morning. Since it was currently afternoon, we’d be stuck at the train station all night.

Not fun, but nothing to do about it.

I let Georgie buy the tickets. According to the lady at the window, the earliest train was completely sold out, and the next one almost as full. With a bit of wheedling (done so well by my twin), we were able to get on the second train. We bought our tickets and stepped away from the window…just to see the Green Machine standing behind us.

“Looks like we caught up with Beauty and the Geek,” Foster said, giving us a cocky grin.

“Looks like,” I said dryly. I decided I hated him. Beauty and the Geek indeed.

Georgie, always the peacemaker, smiled at them and then glanced around, tucking the tickets in her race fanny pack. “No sign of Houston?”

“Nope,” drawled Drew. “Think they might have gotten lost. We’re in the lead.”

I suspected that the cops would have gotten lost, too, if they hadn’t seen us head to the station. Jerks.

“Train’s better,” Georgie said. She squinted up at Foster. “Maybe they went to another train station. How far behind do you think the other teams are?”

He gave her an evil grin. “I checked and the next flight was at least one hour behind us.”

“Excellent,” she said, raising her fist for a fist-bump. They both gave her a bump and when I raised mine, they looked awkwardly at it and then both gave me a reluctant bump.

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