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Home > Walk the Edge (Thunder Road #2)(14)

Walk the Edge (Thunder Road #2)(14)
Author: Katie McGarry

“And you were there with them. Alone. That’s not good.”

“I know,” I say softly. “He approached me. It wasn’t the other way around.”

“Did any of them hurt you?”

“No.”

“Scare you?”

Yeah, but somehow that feels wrong to say. “The guy that was near me fixed my phone.”

Liam chuckles and it relieves some of the tension in the car. “It broke again?”

Against my wishes, the ends of my mouth edge up. “Yeah.”

I need a new one, but with nine kids, three of them in college, money is tight. I bought that phone with money I earned selling soft-serve ice cream last summer at the Barrel of Fun.

“Jesus, Bre. Just, Jesus.” The lightness fades as Liam rolls his neck. “Are you sure you’re okay with this? It’s only three blocks and Addison’s house is on the way.”

It’s not okay, but what difference would it make if I said so. My response is to leave the car. I have the fleeting thought to ram my fist into Clara’s stomach when she hops up from the curb and heads for the passenger seat with a smirk on her face. She played her hand and she won.

I hate her. I really, really do, and for the level of hate festering in me, when I die, I am probably heading to hell.

Liam U-turns and I watch as the headlights of the other passing cars blur into one another. I tilt my head back and stare at the first bright star in the sky. A long time ago, I used to wish on stars, but the act is useless. It’s a fairy tale created to make us think we have some semblance of control over our lives. I used to believe in magic, but I’m seventeen now and I gave up on happy endings a long time ago.

RAZOR

THE WATER BEATS down from the showerhead and steam rises around me. I should scale back the temperature from boiling to near scalding, but the heat eases some of the anger tightening the muscles in my neck.

“Razor?” Dad calls, wondering if it’s me. I come and go as I please and sometimes guys from the club crash here if they require a place to lie low.

A knock, then the door to the bathroom opens. Cooler air sweeps in and a thunderstorm of mist drifts overhead. My hands are braced against the wall and I dip my head so the drops roll along my face and not into my eyes. I’ve been in here longer than needed. Finished washing minutes ago, but I let the water fall over me.

It’s five in the morning. Got in after midnight, and thirty seconds after striding in, I figured out Dad brought a girl home. Walked out and I spent the rest of the night nursing a beer on the steps to the porch.

“You okay?” he asks.

It’s an awkward question, but because I’m biologically his, he feels compelled to ask. We both know he doesn’t want the honest answer. “Yeah.”

“You’ve been in here for a while.” Dad hacks and it’s a reminder as to why I rarely smoke cigarettes. “And it’s early. Sun’s not up yet.”

That’s the point. If I wait in here long enough, Dad will have the opportunity to keep his promise. After Mom died, Dad and I were torn up—at least I thought we both were. I continually gasped for breath like a fish living on dry land and I had assumed Dad felt the same.

But then a few weeks after her death, I caught Dad kissing another woman at the clubhouse. I was ten and in tears. The blonde was barely old enough to drink and vomited after she saw my reaction. Dad was old enough to know better and dropped to his knees.

He promised he’d never disrespect me or my mother by bringing a woman home. His promise disintegrated two months after Mom’s funeral, but he did offer me another oath. One that has stung less and less as the years have passed, but one I expect him to uphold—even tonight.

Dad swore to never let a woman sleep in the same bed as my mother. Never overnight. Not even for an hour. He would do his business and then she’d leave.

I remain in this shower because at two this morning the light sneaking out of Dad’s bedroom door went out. The girl he brought home—she stayed.

The first rays of morning light will hit soon, and if I hang in here long enough, then Dad could possibly keep his promise—he won’t further disrespect the memory of my mother.

“Razor?” he asks again, probably questioning whether he misunderstood my response and it’s someone from the club in here. The door creaks as if he’s opening it more and the last thing I want is to be naked in front of my father.

I turn off the water. “I’m fine. Give me a few.”

There’s a tension-filled silence. He knows what he’s done. I know what he’s done. Neither of us can fix it.

“I thought you would be out all night,” he says. “Heard you and Chevy had dates.”

Mom told me once Dad’s a man worth forgiving. There are billions of other words she could have said before she walked out the door, but that was her chosen parting advice. One more confirmation that I am what the good people of Snowflake say I am: cursed.

I rub my face as beads of water track down my body. The girls and then crashing at Chevy’s place—that was the plan. But thanks to Breanna Miller, I ran late, and when I met up with Chevy and the girls, my brain wasn’t there, it was with Mom.

I had heard Dad was back in town early from his security run for the club, so I cut the night short. I was the moron to assume coming home might solve my problems.

“Told you I’d be home when you got back in town,” I snap. “I keep my promises.”

Silence. The word promises cutting through both of us like a blade.

The door shuts and I silently curse. A long time ago, in a world I barely remember, the two of us used to talk. About stupid shit. About anything. The sound a motorcycle makes before it drops into gear. The best spot to catch bluegill. Which MMA fighter deserved to win. Detective Jake Barlow said Dad worshipped me. Goes to show how jacked up his theories are.

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