Walk the Edge (Thunder Road #2)(11) by Katie McGarry

The car’s horn screams again into the darkening sky. Addison’s eyes widen as her gaze flickers between the club and me. I can’t go with Addison. Her father doesn’t allow anyone into their house, car or lives. Each second that passes without her behaving exactly how he expects means his wrath will be worse when she returns home.

“Go.” I hold up my phone. “They texted.” A lie. “They’re less than a minute out.”

“Okay,” she whispers, as if suddenly realizing she drew the attention of the people we’ve been attempting to avoid. “You text me the moment you get in the car.”

I fake a smile a true friend will hopefully buy. “Promise.”

Addison nods, then sprints to the passenger side of her father’s car. She opens it, slips inside and sends me one last pleading glance before shutting the door. Her father pulls away. Not fast, not in a hurry. Slowly. Very slowly. Methodical even. Which makes sense because that’s exactly how he is with Addison.

As soon as the red taillights of the car disappear from view, I spam my entire family. I am officially alone with the Reign of Terror. If I die, I’m holding each of you responsible.

A buzz and it’s from my oldest sister, who is working a full-time job fresh out of college a few hours away. Dramatic much?

Me: No, I’m alone at school and there are at least six of the RTMC here.

Second oldest sister, Clara: Them driving by does not mean you are alone with them.

A pause, then she sends a second text. This is her lame attempt at attention. I win the pot. Told you she’d crack by her senior year.

Another buzz, from my oldest brother, Samuel. It’s the middle child syndrome.

My oldest sister again: lol Like Bre would ever be in a situation that puts her alone with the Terror.

Clara, the forever instigator when it involves me: Bre’s too good for that. God forbid she make a mistake. Miss Perfect would never be anywhere near them. She probably thinks she sees them from 2 miles away.

Liam, the oldest one closest in age to me: lololol True. Someone send her a text back and ask her to take a selfie with them in the background.

My fingers curl around the phone as if I could reach through and strangle each of them. I’m still here and each of you suck!

Silence as they realized they’d pushed Reply All. Even with my name at the top of the To section it’s like I’m invisible. Everyone thinks they know me, but no one sees me.

“Everything okay?”

My entire body flinches with the sound of the deep male voice. As if sensing death peering over me, I slowly raise my head and a weight crushes my chest. Golden-blond hair. Ice-blue eyes. Black leather vest. It’s Thomas and he’s standing in front of me.

I jump to my feet, and my cell, my sole source of communication, my only method of calling for help, falls to the ground and cracks open.

RAZOR

HER FACE IS white against her raven hair. Ghost white. I’d bet my left ball she hasn’t breathed since I spoke. Her hand is outstretched toward the busted cell on the ground, but her wide hazel eyes are cemented on me. I turn my head and I’m greeted by the amused faces of my brothers from the Reign of Terror who stand next to their bikes in the parking lot. They’ll be harassing me on this for weeks. Fuck me for trying to be chivalrous.

“You okay?” It’s a variation of the question I asked a few seconds ago, but this one she seems to understand as her body trembles to life.

“Um...” she stutters. We’ve been at the same schools since elementary age, otherwise I’d wonder if she was a foreign exchange student with limited English. “I only have twenty dollars.”

The muscles in the back of my neck tense. “I’m not going to jack you for your money.”

She quits breathing again.

“Nice to know your current bank account status,” I bite out. “But I asked if you were okay.”

Color returns to her cheeks as I pin her with my gaze. She accused me of trying to rob her. I know it, she knows it and she’s now informed I’m not the asshole in this scenario.

“Yes,” she finally answers. “I’m okay. I mean no... I mean... I broke my phone.”

She did and that sucks for her.

Her eyes flicker between me and the phone like she wants to retrieve it, yet she’s too paralyzed. Saving us from this torture, I swipe the pieces of the cell and lean against the wall.

The distance between us relaxes her and that gulp of air was audible as she tucks herself tight in the corner farthest from me. This reaction isn’t new. I’ve seen it since I was a child whenever my father or anyone from the Terror entered a room full of civilians. To everyone outside of the club, we’re the evil motorcycle gang bent on blowing the house down.