Home > Crash into You (Pushing the Limits #3)(17)

Crash into You (Pushing the Limits #3)(17)
Author: Katie McGarry

“Think of it as strongly encouraged tips for survival.”

I laugh, and the dark shadow on his face moves as he cracks a grin. Even though this isn’t his first smile tonight, it’s the first one to touch his eyes, and from the wary way the smile flickers on and off his face, it appears to surprise him. Maybe he’s out of practice, which is a shame. He has a drop-dead stunning smile.

I don’t want the game to end. I don’t want this rush to end. I want to stay right here in this booth for as long as possible. “So, my first tip is to stay away from my brother’s friends?”

“No. Your first tip is to stay the hell away from street racing.”

“And my second?”

“To become better aware of your surroundings. You focus too much on what’s in front of you and not what’s lurking on the sides. Avoiding your brother’s friends is the third. And if your brother’s anything like them, avoid him, too.”

“We’re up to four tips. Any more?”

“A ton.”

“Lay them on me.”

It’s only then that I realize that we’re both angled across the table. We’re mirrors of each other and we are shockingly close. So close our foreheads almost touch and I can feel the heat radiating from his body. Our heads tilt in the same direction and, in the center of the table, our hands are a breath’s distance from a caress.

The energy and the warmth surrounding us...butterflies swarm in my stomach and take flight. This isn’t me. None of it. I’m not the girl who hangs in a bar. I’m not the girl who is comfortable talking to guys. And I’m sure not the girl who leans over the table to be close to anyone.

Yet I’m doing all those things and I’m loving every freaking second.

Chapter 11

Isaiah

A LOCK OF HER LONG golden bangs falls forward and highlights the sexy curve of her chin and her thick eyelashes. I’ll do anything to keep her talking as the sound of her voice creates a contact high. Rachel’s this brilliant flame blazing in the darkness. I don’t know what the hell is going on, but I’ve always been the kind of guy that likes a fire.

She asked for another tip for survival. Like at the end of any good buzz, I experience the first drop into reality. If I were honest with her, I’d inform her the next tip is to stay clear of me. A punk who could never fit into the world of a girl who wears the type of jewelry she does, drives her car or goes to her school. A punk raised by the system, by the streets.

“Isaiah,” she says with a dazzling smile, “are you going to tell me the next tip, or what?”

Be a man. Tell her you’re bad news.

Or take her home and enjoy the night.

I could, but maybe I shouldn’t. While I have undressed her several times in my head, each time slowly and methodically, and imagined that blond hair sprawled out over the pillow in my bed, the girl’s naive.

But naive about the streets doesn’t mean naive about the world. Beautiful girl, confident enough to tease me...she’s probably played her share of games. After all, she was the one looking for the drag race—a thrill.

“I don’t get you,” I say.

“What do you mean, don’t get?” Rachel cocks her head to the side like a puppy and she’s so damn cute that I have to fight the urge not to smile at her again. This playful thing going on between us, it’s new, and I’m not a fan of new.

“Why were you out on the streets tonight?” I ignore her question by asking one of my own.

“The race tonight was a fluke. I typically just drive around.” Rachel fiddles with one of the solid gold bracelets on her wrist. I could probably pay rent for a year if I pawned that. A shadow descends onto her face and steals some of her light, which is a f**king shame. “Being in my car, letting her run...it’s one of the few moments I feel like me.”

Rachel withdraws onto the bench, looking a little lost. I don’t care for how her outside reflects my inside. It’s too much of a reminder of the things I try to shove away.

“Anyhow.” Rachel mock-rolls her eyes, downplaying her statement. “I drive for fun. I know it sounds stupid, but driving my car—it’s just me being me.”

“It doesn’t sound stupid.” It’s how I feel when I’m behind the wheel of my Mustang.

“Really? You really don’t think it’s stupid?”

“No.”

A shy smile tugs at Rachel’s lips and while she keeps her focus on the bracelet, she flips it around with a renewed energy. I kick back and rest against the seat. What the f**k is wrong with me that I like that I made a rich girl feel better? Damn, I need a beer.

A crash of glass rips my attention away from Rachel and jolts me to my feet. A mad flurry of arms and fists beating the hell out of each other causes my instincts to flare. The two college guys going at it collapse onto a nearby table. In fight-or-flight mode, I gear up to fight. Rachel, on the other hand, does neither—she freezes.

“Stand up on the bench!” I yell at her. “Get against the wall.”

The guys roll to their feet and before Rachel can process my words, the ass**le with blond hair rams into the dark-haired guy struggling to stay upright. Jumping onto her bench, I haul Rachel to her feet, press her against the wall and shield her with my body.

Wrapped in a fighting hug, the two guys slam into our table. It flips and the edge breezes against my arm and leg. I lean to the right to keep it from tearing into my thigh. The table completes a one-eighty and lands where I sat moments before.

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