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Breathless In Love (The Maverick Billionaires #1)(2)

By´╝ÜBella Andre & Jennifer Skully

Jeremy raced back over to them. “It’s just like the Challenger Barry Newman crashed in Vanishing Point.” His speech pattern was slightly off. Not slurred so much as overpronounced, as though his mouth had to work harder at making the sounds come out right, and his inflections were out of sync with his words. “Barry Newman,” he repeated, then poked his own chest. “Jeremy Newman, get it?”

Will was thinking that Jeremy was way too young to know about the classic movie from the early seventies, when Harper told him, “He’s watched all the great car chases, from Vanishing Point to Bullitt and every one of the Fast and Furious movies.” Her hand lay on the boy’s back, rubbing between his shoulder blades, a calming gesture. Sweet and simple affection for her brother.

But Will knew firsthand that there was nothing simple about affection...and that it wasn’t necessarily a given between family members. Jeremy was very lucky indeed to have Harper as a sister.

“I’ve also seen the new Transformers: Age of Distinction.” Jeremy said the last word carefully and Will didn’t have the heart to correct it to Extinction. “That chase with the evil bad cars was cool,” Jeremy enthused, his eyes wide.

Harper didn’t correct the movie title, either. Or maybe she didn’t know the difference, given that Will didn’t see her as a Transformers fan. Besides, maybe distinction was a better word in this case, considering that Harper Newman was already a woman of distinction in Will’s estimation—both because of how well she treated her brother and the way her natural beauty shone through despite the rather severe outfit.

“Was having the same last name as the star of Vanishing Point what got you started as a car enthusiast, Jeremy?”

“Cars are cool. I can’t drive, but if I could, I’d go fastfastfast.” Jeremy didn’t quite answer the question, and again, there was that odd cadence in his speech.

“I like to go fast, too,” Will agreed wholeheartedly.

There was nothing like speed to make you feel alive. Will knew he’d never completely outrun his past, and that he’d always be his father’s son no matter how much he wished he wasn’t. Nonetheless, he’d worked long, hard years to put as much of his past behind him as he could, with all his focus, drive, and energy bent on taking control of his future.

For a good decade or more, success had been enough for him. Yet in the last few months, something had changed—a feeling of emptiness that working harder hadn’t been able to fix. When even millions in profits from a new product couldn’t get him excited, a fast ride was the only sure-fire way to get his blood pumping again.

Until now, at least, when Harper Newman was having the exact same impact on him.

“He’s always liked cars,” Harper answered for Jeremy. “I can’t say I feel the same way.” She offered an apologetic smile and politely said, “But the collection we saw on TV is impressive.”

Would she be equally polite in the bedroom? Mr. Franconi, could you please touch me here?

Jesus, that thought was hot. So hot that he forced himself to push it away, since they were standing in front of her brother.

“When you’re able to drive,” Will said, turning back to Jeremy, “I’m sure you’ll want to obey all the traffic rules.” But his tone was tongue-in-cheek. At Jeremy’s age, he’d broken all the rules. Now he made his own.

Will found himself wondering what kind of rules Harper had...and which ones she might be willing to break with him.

“I can’t drive.” Jeremy’s brow knit seriously. “Harper drives me. But she doesn’t like to go fast. Not like we do.” He nudged Will’s arm with his elbow as if they were a conspiracy of two.

Harper smiled indulgently, and Will could easily guess that Jeremy had told her to go faster one too many times. She didn’t offer an explanation as to why Jeremy couldn’t drive, but Will had realized by now that while the boy might be in his late teens physically, his mental capacity hadn’t caught up for some reason.

She glanced at her watch. “In the interest of time, maybe we should look at the cars.”

Will smiled at her as he said, “I have all afternoon.”

He didn’t actually have much time at all to spare, but like hell if he was rushing this meeting. Not only because he wanted some time to get to know Harper better before he asked her out, but also because Jeremy was bouncing on his toes again, bursting with excitement. Will understood that kind of passion, and appreciated it.

“I store six cars here,” Will told them both. He had eight more classics in Portola Valley, plus his personal vehicles.