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

By: Bella Andre & Jennifer Skully

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.”

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 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.