It was funny because he hadn’t really beaten her by a quarter mile in the race and Sio apparently thought he was being truthful and not facetious in his comment to Athena. He knew, even if they didn’t see it, Marlin wouldn’t be able to stand not trying to explain how things went down, but at the same time she’d have to admit to her friends that she had indeed, lost the race to him. Joel smirked a little at the thought as his redheaded “better half” gave his former blonde fawner, both barrels. Considering the company it entailed, they had never really talked much about the air race, but he resolved to later tell her the whole story and the Brit had even given him a reason. He loved when things fell into place so easily.
“Pssh, the Iron Chef took my cup,” Joel replied as they walked away. He took a swig from the thermos and being satisfied with the brew dumped the entire contents of the flask into the thermos and swirled it around a bit. There was more than enough to get Sio in a happy place since they were sharing the cup, but he doubted he was going to feel anything, even on an empty stomach. He shrugged as they walked. “I don’t have an agenda for the rest of the day,” He said, glancing around. Somewhere in the back of his mind he could remember coming to the market festival as a kid and at no point in time did he ever think he’d be a participant in any way. Things were changing and at times he wasn’t sure how he felt about it. Sure the cars were great and the travel was fun, but sometimes he missed the simplicity of what he had before: Staying up all night, working when he wanted and generally being a drain on society. Listening to UFO abduction claims on talk radio and trying to figure out the wiring diagram to a Fiat while downing copious amounts of coffee at 3am was wildly satisfying. Now he had a regular “job” and a girlfriend. He mused about himself from a year ago not recognizing who he had become, though his mother was happy just for the girlfriend.
He shook his head a little and tossed the thoughts to the back of his mind as they continued. A few people recognized him as they walked and he returned casual nods and waves. Every so often someone would take a picture of the two of them with a phone or camera- something he still wasn’t crazy about. Photos by the track or the stage were one thing and were basically expected, but as particular as he was about photos of himself he still didn’t care for the public spotlight, though Tommy had warned him what was in store. He shrugged. “Might as well indulge while we’re here.” He said patting his stomach. “I could eat.”