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Breathless In Love (The Maverick Billionaires #1)(5)

By´╝ÜBella Andre & Jennifer Skully

Plus, she hadn’t expected him to be so nice. He didn’t laugh at Jeremy. In fact, Will hadn’t looked at her brother as if there was anything wrong with him at all.

And now he wanted to take Jeremy for a ride in one of his super fast cars.

Knowing they were both staring at her, waiting for her answer, she finally said, “Where would you take him if I said it was okay?”

“Just down the runway. I’ll check with the control tower to make sure there won’t be any planes coming in. You can watch us the whole time.”

“Please, Harper,” Jeremy pleaded, not at all afraid of going fast even though speed had taken so much away from him.

Will didn’t know their story, even though Harper sometimes felt like everyone else did, as though it was the only thing that defined her and Jeremy. Eleven years ago, her brother had been hit by a car driven by a rich teenager who was driving way too fast. The teenager’s father had not only bought him out of a prison sentence, he’d also forced her parents to accept a payoff in lieu of the litigation that they’d been told would have dragged on for years otherwise.

Harper had never blamed her parents for their decision to take the money. Jeremy had suffered irreparable brain damage and now he was an eighteen-year-old who had never progressed mentally past the age of seven. She understood why economics won out over justice sometimes. Her brother’s road to recovery hadn’t been cheap, but thankfully, as long as she was careful with her investments and earned enough with her salary as a recruiter, there was still money left to support his current needs, like the special school he attended.

When her parents had died six years ago, Harper had made it her mission to carry on their legacy and protect Jeremy. But in many ways, on the day of the car crash she hadn’t only lost her little brother, she’d also lost her parents to financial worry and emotional turmoil, years before they’d passed away in a private plane crash.

Speed had taken so much from her and her brother, but Jeremy was a good kid. He always had been, and she couldn’t help giving in to him when he wanted something badly. Surely one ride here today had to be a safe way for Jeremy to experience that speed he so longed for...and if she had any longing left inside of her for just that same thing, she shoved it down.

It was up to her to be the responsible one, after all.

“All right, Will.” She wanted to keep on thinking of Will as Mr. Franconi, but somehow he made that impossible with those smiles of his and his charming insistence that she call him by his first name. “But not too fast.”

Will’s expression was solemn as he crossed his heart. “I promise. No faster than my mechanic would allow.”

“How fast is that?”

He smiled again. “Nothing that would hurt the pristine engine.”

She had no idea what that meant, but she was helpless against the combined power of his smiles and promises. “All right, fine. But I’ll be watching.”

“I’m thinking the Cobra for our first ride.” He turned to Jeremy. “Sound okay to you?”

“Yay!” Jeremy crowed.

Harper suspected Will had chosen the Cobra because it was the one he’d personally labored over, the one that held the most meaning for him.

“Let me call the tower so they’re ready for us.”

Once again, Will keyed a code into a pad next to an office door. The lights inside turned on automatically, illuminating a desk and bookshelves crammed with manuals, the names of the cars written along their spines. There were trophies and framed photos, mostly of the cars, with only a few including Will. He punched a couple of numbers on the phone, spoke quietly into it, then turned back to them with that killer smile while he waited for the person on the other end to respond to his request to clear the runways. Harper’s heart beat faster despite herself.

“All clear.” He put the phone down, then grabbed a key off a board on the wall, tossed it up, and caught it in his fist. “Let’s go.”

Jeremy followed him like a smitten puppy and worry swept through her stomach again. Will Franconi had a hangar full of ridiculously expensive cars, a personal mechanic, and one call to the control tower allowed him to take over the runways.

So why was he wasting so much time with them?

Harper knew she was sometimes a little too careful with her brother. It was just that if anything happened to him, she’d never, ever forgive herself. But here in the hangar with all the amazing cars, Jeremy was so happy and excited that she couldn’t bear squashing him down.

Will opened the Cobra’s door. “Hold onto the roll bar back here to get in.” He demonstrated with a pat on the curved bar behind the passenger seat. “Don’t use the windshield.”