Walk the Edge (Thunder Road #2)(10) by Katie McGarry

Because that patch is stitched onto Thomas’s vest and he’s still a teenager...in high school. Everyone was shocked when Thomas started wearing his leather vest with the skull on it to school last year. It turns out the only requirements for membership in the club are to be eighteen and own a motorcycle. Oh, and commit murder.

Addison looks up from her phone. “Seriously. I’m surprised you didn’t know that already. That’s not a random enough fact for you to remember?”

Truth? I never heard what any of the patches on the Reign of Terror’s vest meant before, but because that was so random, I doubt I’ll ever forget. Instead of confirming or denying my freak of nature ability to remember weird stuff, I send a massive text to everyone in my family: I AM STILL WAITING ON A RIDE!!!

I added an additional exclamation point in my head.

“Just because you don’t acknowledge me on your memory,” chides Addison, “doesn’t mean I’ll forget what I said. Someday you’ll trust me enough to let me in your head.”

“I trust you.” The reply is immediate because her words stung—stung because they’re honest. I love Addison, more than some members of my family, but I’ve never flat out discussed my ability to recall things. Being near me as much as she has—she knows.

I avoid talking to Addison about this gift, or curse, because she’s one of the few people who make me feel normal, and there’s a comfort in fitting in, even if it’s just with one person. “I trust you more than anyone else.”

At least that statement is a hundred percent true.

“Then why didn’t you tell me how Kyle Hewitt cornered you in the hall and was trying to convince you to write his English papers for the year?”

My stomach rolls as if it had been kicked. “How did you know?”

She gives me the disappointed once-over. “I overheard you two when I was coming out of the bathroom. I stupidly thought that if I gave you enough time you’d tell me.”

My mouth hangs open and my mind races as I try to formulate an explanation for why I didn’t tell her, but the words embarrassed and ashamed and terrified freeze on the tip of my tongue.

Addison nudges my knee with hers. “I’m glad you said no. What did he offer in return for writing his papers?”

Then she must have not heard everything. “Money.”

“Kyle is such an asshole. Reagan heard U of K may offer him a football scholarship if he can raise his grades. His daddy and granddaddy are all proud and I guess Kyle is trying to cover his bases with his offer to you.”

“Do you think he’ll talk crap about me now?” Because that’s what a lot of guys at our school do. They spread rumors. Some true. Some not true. Unfortunately, the truth doesn’t matter once people start talking.

“Maybe,” she says with a tease. “But being the shining star in gossip is better than being invisible, right? You know what will help make you shine this year?”

“Oh, God,” I mumble. “Don’t start this again.”

“Cheerleading!” She lights up like a Christmas tree. “I’ll work my magic and get you on the squad. I’m not talking backflips. You can be the girl who holds the signs during the cheer.”

I grin because how can I not when she resembles a set of Fourth of July sparklers, but before I can respond a motorcycle engine growls to life.

Addison mutters, “Damn.”

My head snaps up. I’m expecting to spot Thomas and his gang riding their bikes in our direction, but instead it’s a sight that can rival whatever damage they could have done if they had abducted us.

Addison’s father’s impeccably white four-door eases to the curb. Dizziness disorients me as I imagine the expression he must be wearing beyond the blacked-out windows. I clear my throat. “I thought you told him you’d still ride home with me.”

“He probably feels like being pissed,” she answers.

The motorcycle engines cut off as Addison gathers her purse. I grab her wrist before she stands. “I am so sorry.”

She yanks on my hair again. “You stress too much. See you tomorrow, brat.”

Two steps down, laughter from the circle of men, and Addison pivots so fast her blond curls bounce into her face. “I can’t leave you here by yourself.”

She said the words loudly, too loudly. Loud enough that the men grouped near the motorcycle stare at us. Her father honks the horn. It’s a shrill sound in the quiet evening.

“Go. I’ll be fine.” Though my palms grow cold and clammy.