Home > Crash into You (Pushing the Limits #3)(6)

Crash into You (Pushing the Limits #3)(6)
Author: Katie McGarry

“I get it,” Noah says. “I was there in hell right along with you, but we’re drowning here.”

“What if I find a way to make it work? What if I raise the money?”

“How?” Noah’s mouth tightens.

“Just let me fix this.” ’Cause I can, but in ways Noah doesn’t want to know about.

Neither one of us blink as we stare at each other. Yes—we’ve both experienced hell, and Noah promised me when he graduated from the system that he wouldn’t leave me behind.

Noah nods right as Echo opens the door to the bedroom. She stretches her long sleeves over her fingertips. I swear under my breath. She’s definitely hiding her scars again. The girl has had a messed-up life and last year she finally found the courage to not give a shit what people thought of her. Leave it to a mom to reappear in her kid’s life and jack everything up. Echo and I would have been better off raised by wolves.

Noah pulls her into the shelter of his body. “Ready to roll?”

Right, dinner with Noah’s younger brothers’ adoptive parents. Noah and I—we’re brothers despite not sharing blood, and Echo became my sister the day she put a smile on his face. They’re my family and I’m going to fight to keep what’s mine. “I think I’ll miss this one. I got business to take care of.”

Chapter 4

Rachel

THE DRIVER’S SEAT OF MY Mustang is one of the few places where I find peace. I guess I could go on some tangent about how my older brothers influenced my love of cars, but I won’t, because it’s not true.

I get cars. I like the feel of them. The sound of them. My mind clears when I’m behind the wheel and there’s something about the sound of an engine dropping into gear as I press on the gas that makes me feel...powerful.

No fear. No nausea. No brothers to boss me around. No parents to impress. Just me, the gas pedal and the open road. And a big, fat, fluffy dress that reminds me of a flower. Shifting in this getup was a nightmare.

The fluff from the ball gown pops out of Ethan’s old gym bag, and I try to shove the overflowing lace back in as I exit the gas station bathroom. No matter how I try, the fluff won’t fit. I wind through the aisles and out the automatic doors into the cold winter night. My parents would kill me if they knew I was on the south side of Louisville, but this isn’t my destination. Just a pit stop. The county south of here contains backcountry roads that are flat for several miles. Perfect for maxing out the speedometer.

Two college-age guys in jeans and nice winter coats chat as one pumps gas into a 2011 Corvette Coupe. She’s impressive. Four hundred and thirty horses are compacted into that precious V-8 engine, but she’s not as pretty as the older models. Most cars aren’t.

On the opposite side of the pump, I insert my credit card and unscrew the gas cap. My baby only receives the best fuel. It may be more expensive, but it treats her engine right.

I suck in a breath, and the cold air feels good in my lungs. My stomach had settled when I left the country club and the nausea rolled away when I turned over the engine. I’d made it through the speech with shaking hands and a trembling voice. Only a few people from school laughed.

When it was over, my mother cried and my father hugged me. That alone was worth the trips to the bathroom.

The guys stop talking and I glance over to see them staring at my baby.

“Hey.” The driver nods at me.

Did he just talk to me? “Hi.”

“What’s going on?”

Uh...yep, he just talked to me. “Nothing.” This is called conversation. Normal people do it all the time. Open your mouth and try to continue. “You?”

“Same as any other day.”

“I like your ’Vette,” I say and decide to test them. “V-8?” Of course it has a V-8. It’s the standard engine for the 2011 ’Vette, but some guys have no idea what sweet cargo they own under the hood.

The owner nods. “3LT. Got her last week. Nice Mustang. Is it your boyfriend’s?”

Loaded question. “She’s mine.”

“Nice,” he says again. “Have you ever raced her?”

I shake my head. It feels strange to talk to guys. I’m the girl who hangs on the periphery. The other girls who attend the most expensive private school in the state don’t want to discuss cars, and most guys get intimidated when I know more about their car than they do. When it comes to any other type of conversation, my tongue often grows paralyzed.

“Would you like to race?” the guy asks.

Our gas nozzles clink off at the same exact time and my heart flutters in my chest with a mixture of anxiety and adrenaline. I’m not sure if I want to faint or laugh. “Where?”

He inclines his head away from the safety of the freeway and down the four-lane road—deeper into the south end. I’ve heard rumors of illegal drag races, but I thought they were just that—rumors. Stuff like that only happens in movies. “Are you for real?”

“It doesn’t get any more real than where I’d be taking you. Stick with us and we’ll help you get a nice race.”

I have four brothers, and one is the type that mothers warn their daughters against. In other words, I’m not that naive, but to be honest, his proposal intrigues me. But I’m also sure this is how horror movies begin.

Or the best action flicks on the face of the planet.

I lift the nozzle, place it back on the pump and scan the guy’s car out of the corner of my eye. A University of Louisville student parking tag hangs on the rearview mirror along with a maroon-and-gold tassel. Only my school has those god-awful colors.

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