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Home > Walk the Edge (Thunder Road #2)(7)

Walk the Edge (Thunder Road #2)(7)
Author: Katie McGarry

In fact, sitting here on the top step to the entrance of Snowflake High watching this potential disaster unfold, I search my memory for the first person who warned me to steer clear of the Reign of Terror Motorcycle Club.

There was no pamphlet handed out during health class. No sex conversation like the one my mom had with me in kindergarten because I referred to a certain male body part by the same name as a round toy. Stupid brothers teaching me their stupid slang.

But when it pertains to the threat that is the Reign of Terror MC, it’s not learned, it’s known. Like how an infant understands how to suck in a breath at the moment of birth or how a newborn foal wobbles to his legs. It’s instinctual. It’s ingrained. It’s fact.

“Do you think his motorcycle will work this time?” Addison asks.

“Hope so,” I breathe out, too terrified to speak at a normal level in fear of drawing the scrutiny of the men wearing black leather vests who circle the broke-down bike. Reign of Terror arches over the top of the black vest, in the middle is a half skull with fire blazing out of the eye sockets and drops of fire rain around it. It’s ominous and I shiver.

Addison and I sit huddled close. Legs touching. Shoulders bumped into the other. We’d probably hold hands if we didn’t have our welcome-back-to-school information folders gripped tightly to our chests. Because we can’t spawn eyes in the back of our heads, we lean against the large pillar of the overhang so no one can sneak up on us from behind.

It’s edging toward nine in the evening, but the August sun hasn’t completely set. Darkness, though, has claimed most of the sky. Temperatures during the afternoon hit over a hundred and I swear the concrete stairs and pillar absorbed every ounce of today’s sunshine and is now transferring the heat into my body.

Sweat rolls down my back and I shift to peel my thighs off the step. Why I thought it was a fantastic idea to wear the jean skirt, I have no idea.

I take that back. I do have a clue for my clothing choice. Tonight was the first time my entire grade was together in one room since the end of last year. My goal for the year may seem simple to some, but to me, it sometimes feels impossible. I’d like to be seen, to be known as something more than freakishly smart Breanna Miller at least once before I leave this town. I’d like to somehow find the courage to be on the outside who I am on the inside.

An annoying sixth sense informs me that I’m about to make a huge impression—on the evening news: two friends on the verge of starting their senior year vanish without a trace. Because that’s how motorcycle clubs would handle this—they’ll kidnap us and then hide our bodies after they’re finished with whatever ritual act they’ll use us to perform.

My knee begins to bounce. Mom and Dad left after my failed attempt to convince them to let me attend High Grove Academy and they promised to return in time for pickup.

The senior welcome session ended at eight and the parking lot cleared out by eight twenty. The straggling parents arrived by eight thirty and that left Addison and me alone with blond-haired biker boy and his dilapidated machine.

He called his buddies around the same time I tried the various members of my family for the fiftieth time. His gang showed in a chrome procession in less than ten minutes. I’m still waiting to hear from anyone I’m related to.

“What’s going on with your family?” Addison asks.

Besides I’m child number five of nine? “Who knows.”

Maybe Elsie needed medicine for her ears again and the pharmacy was behind schedule. Maybe Clara and Joshua split with the cars, thinking everyone was home. Maybe someone’s game went into triple overtime. Maybe my parents counted someone’s head twice and assumed it was me. It’s not the first time I’ve been forgotten in the car pool rotation. Won’t be the last.

I don’t feel nearly as awful about being forgotten by my parents as I do about Addison having to call her father to tell him she was going to miss curfew. My left knee joins the other in a constant rhythm as I imagine what’s waiting for her at home.

“I can have my parents call your dad,” I offer. “Make them take the blame.” Because this horrible situation is their stinking fault.

Addison’s mouth slants into a sad smile as she yanks on a lock of my black hair. “Stop it, brat. Don’t make me regret telling you.”

Addison and I have been friends since elementary school and we met the last of our trio, Reagan, in sixth grade. While Addison and Reagan are more alike, both natural blondes and have a take-no-prisoners attitude, it’s me they entrust with the secrets. Like how Addison’s bruises are hardly ever from catching the fliers on her cheerleading squad.

One of the gang members stands from his crouched position at the motorcycle and the guy we attend school with inserts a key, holds on to the handlebar of the bike, and when he twists it, I pray the motor purrs to life.

My heart leaps, then plummets past my toes and into the ground when the motorcycle cuts off with a sound similar to a gunshot. Addison’s head falls forward, and I bite my lip to prevent the internal screaming from becoming external chaos.

Addison pulls her phone out of her purse and taps the screen. “I’m texting Reagan. If we go missing, I’m telling her to point the finger at Thomas Turner and his band of merry men.”

Thomas Turner. He’s the guy who swore loudly the moment his motorcycle’s engine died again. Thomas is the name called on the first day of school by our teachers, but it’s not the name he responds to. He goes by his “road name,” Razor.

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