Home > Walk the Edge (Thunder Road #2)(12)

Walk the Edge (Thunder Road #2)(12)
Author: Katie McGarry

The air rushes out of my body, but as I draw back to renege on my verbal agreement, our hands move up once, then down, then up again.

The deal made, the promise in stone, and a car horn honks. My entire body vibrates and I dash away from Thomas. My skin burns as if I had shaken hands with him in the flames of hell.

A rap song blares into the night and I look over to the curb to see Liam bolting out of the driver’s side of his beat-up, extremely used car. The wrath of God blazes from his eyes. “Bre!”

Thomas eases back as if he’s informing me to go. Almost dropping my phone again, I fumble with my purse. “I owe you money.”

Granted he didn’t actually “protect me” after the handshake, but I’ll gladly pay him for not shoving me into whatever blacked-out van they have waiting.

Thomas waves me off. “You can pay me later.”

Guess he does expect payment for the one second of services rendered.

“Bre!” Liam left the car door open and he’s barreling in like a freight train without brakes. Liam’s taller than me, with black hair like mine, and he’s toned from the years he played linebacker in high school. “Hey, asshole, get away from my sister!”

“He doesn’t mean it.” I stumble backward off the steps, toward the safety of my brother. I don’t like how Thomas is watching Liam closing in, nor do I like how we have gained the complete attention of the guys near the motorcycles.

“Liam’s a spaz sometimes, like a mental condition,” I ramble, though truer words could never be spoken. “But I swear he’s cool, I promise, and I’ll pay you soon.”

With his focus solely on my brother, Thomas edges his hand to the underside of his leather vest and my stomach lurches. “Get this guy out of here before he starts shit he can’t finish.”

Holy crap. Thomas does carry a gun, and if my stupid brother doesn’t calm down, we’ll both be witnessing it firsthand. I trip down the stairs and crash into my brother, shoving both of my hands into Liam’s chest. I plant my feet into the ground as he throws his momentum forward.

Liam’s dark eyes bore into me. “You weren’t kidding, were you? The Terror have been here the whole time.”

A flash of anger rages through me. “Obviously.”

“Did you forget to pick her up?” Thomas’s tone is too casual. So casual it sounds more threatening than any shouted words I’ve heard in my life. “If so, someone should school you on what family means.”

“Did he hurt you?” Liam demands.

“I’m fine.” But we’re in danger if we stay much longer. “Can we go?”

Liam’s eyes dart over my face, searching for the beating I was originally terrified of receiving. “We need to go now,” I urge.

He hooks an arm around my shoulders, but not without aiming a last death glare at Thomas. Am I happy to see my brother? Yes. Am I thrilled to flee from this situation? Hell, yes. But it takes everything I have to not ask Liam when he started to care.

Liam leads me to the car, his head swiveling from Thomas to the group of guys tracking us like vultures. With each step my brother takes, his fingers dig into my shoulder and he pulls me tighter to his body. Liam practically throws me into the passenger seat, rounds to his side, then accelerates so quickly that my head hits the headrest.

“Will you chill out?” I shout.

“Chill out?!” Liam checks the rearview mirror and the tires squeal as he takes a sharp right, driving way faster than anyone should in a twenty-five-mile-per-hour zone. “You were hanging out with the Reign of Terror!”

An internal snap. A loud internal snap. An extremely audible snap and my body jerks. “I was not hanging out with them. I was waiting for someone to pick me up. If you recall, I texted, but I believe the response was I was being dramatic!”

Liam hammers the steering wheel with his fist and I ram my fingers through my hair. My hands are trembling. I’m trembling. The adrenaline rush as I negotiated my life in a handshake with Thomas and my brother’s unexplainable anger has me flailing near the edge of insanity.

My mind drifts in and out of foggy, rash thoughts, but one clear message slowly emerges from the mist. “You already knew Joshua and Dad had the cars when I texted for help, didn’t you?”

His lips thin out as he remains silent.

I sit on my hands to keep from strangling his thick neck. “Did you know I wasn’t home?”

Liam’s fingers drum the steering wheel once and he dares to flash that oh-I’m-so-cute-that-girls-giggle-at-everything-I-say smile. “Listen, Bre, I was—”

“Don’t you dare lie,” I cut him off. “Did you know I wasn’t picked up before you left and that Mom and Dad thought I was home?”

“Yes.” A cloud rapidly descends over his face. “I knew.”

My blood pressure tanks with his admission. “You suck.”

“God, you really are too dramatic.” My intestines twist at the sound of my sister’s voice. Clara’s lying flat on her back in the backseat. She taps a package of cigarettes against her hand, removes one, then puts it between her lips.

“Please don’t smoke around me,” I say before she has a chance to dig out her lighter. It’s not a shock to find Clara with Liam. The pair is often attached at the hip.

“Please don’t smoke around me,” she mimics in a high-pitched voice, then resumes her normal tone. “Do you ever get tired of being perfect? For once, Bre, give the rest of the world a shot at not living up to your standards.”

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