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Breathless In Love (The Maverick Billionaires #1)(6)

By´╝ÜBella Andre & Jennifer Skully

The car had no top, just the roll bars behind each of the two seats. The interior was brushed metal, with no carpeting, and the seats were a simple leather bucket. After Jeremy was in, Will leaned over the passenger door to secure the buckle, which was much thicker than a normal seatbelt.

Clapping Jeremy on the shoulder, Will said, “There you go, buddy,” then rounded the hood. He climbed into the driver’s seat after a jaunty salute to Harper.

The engine roared to life, and Will pulled onto the tarmac with Jeremy vibrating with eagerness and sheer joy in the seat beside him. It was a small airport for light planes, not big commercial airliners. Two runways ran down the center with a long row of hangars on either side. Some had business signage over them—carrier services, flight insurance, maintenance, and one for a local flying club. It hadn’t occurred to her that a person could actually rent a hangar to store anything other than a plane, not until Jeremy had received Will’s return letter.

She watched the classy race car cruise down the closest runway. True to his word, Will kept his speed down. He turned at the end and headed back on the opposite runway, picking up the pace as they came around to pass her. Jeremy waggled a thumbs-up over the windshield. His lips moved a mile a minute, talking Will’s ear off.

Harper smiled, feeling much better about everything...at least, until she realized the car was going faster. And faster. When they made the next turn, she heard tires squeal.

Her stomach jumped and she rolled her bottom lip between her teeth, biting down hard, as if the pain would distract her.

Ever since her parents had passed away at the end of her senior year of college, Jeremy had been her responsibility. He was the only family she had left. He had difficulty learning new skills, and while he loved the computer, he needed a lot of help. In the morning, he went to a special school, and he bagged at the local grocery store on weekday afternoons. She hadn’t gotten Jeremy the job because they needed the money, but because her brother needed to feel useful. It was good for his self-esteem. She did everything she could for him.

Yet she’d just let him get in a car with a madman.

Some guardian she turned out to be, she thought as Will and Jeremy roared along the runways as if they were on a racetrack. Her heart hammered as the whoosh of their passing blew her hair across her face.

She hated speed after what had happened to both Jeremy and her parents. Or at least, she should have hated speed. Yet her heart, a traitor to everything she knew to be right, secretly ached to be in the car with them, to taste the rush of air as it raced right through her...and to feel the same rapture that was now shining on Jeremy’s face.

The Cobra made two more laps before Will slowed and eased to a stop beside her.

“Careful getting out,” he said to Jeremy. “The pipe down on the side is hot and I don’t want you to burn yourself.”

Before she could rush around the car to make sure Jeremy didn’t touch the big black exhaust pipe, he was already pushing himself out, using the roll bar, not the windshield, just as Will had told him.

She crossed her arms over her chest and gave Will a narrow-eyed gaze as he also climbed out of the car. “How fast were you going?”

He answered her with the solemn, sincere look he’d used on her earlier when he’d promised not to go too fast. “Fifty on the straightaway.”

“No way.”

“I swear.” He crossed his heart, just like before.

“Well, then, fifty is too fast out there.” It probably wasn’t, but she had to argue, because Jeremy was her responsibility. Or maybe it was because Will was so darned gorgeous and persuasive that she felt as though she had to fight the urge to automatically give in to him.

Jeremy bounded around the car. “Wasn’t that cool, Harper?”

He’d had to learn to talk again after the accident, and even now, all these years later, his speech was careful, almost strained sometimes, as if he was searching for the right words. But he’d clearly been feeling great today—almost like the eighteen-year-old he should have been. And she could see that he’d just had so much fun. His elation was bursting out of him like an excited puppy who’d just been let out of his crate.

“Was it good?” she asked in a gentle voice. The wind had gusted his hair into spikes and tangles, and she smoothed down the soft brown locks.

“The best.” Jeremy’s eyes gleamed, his gaze bouncing between her and Will, then finally settling on her. “Your turn now, Harper.”

She shook her head. Hard. “I’m not getting in that car.”

Will smiled winningly. Or cunningly. She honestly wasn’t sure at this point, her heart beating fast at even the thought of getting into the sports car with Will.