Walk the EdgeKatie McGarry
One moment of recklessness will change their worlds
Smart. Responsible. That’s seventeen-year-old Breanna’s role in her large family, and heaven forbid she put a toe out of line. Until one night of shockingly un-Breanna-like behavior puts her into a vicious cyberbully’s line of fire—and brings fellow senior Thomas “Razor” Turner into her life.
Razor lives for the Reign of Terror motorcycle club, and good girls like Breanna just don’t belong. But when he learns she’s being blackmailed over a compromising picture of the two of them—a picture that turns one unexpected and beautiful moment into ugliness—he knows it’s time to step outside the rules.
And so they make a pact: he’ll help her track down her blackmailer, and in return she’ll help him seek answers to the mystery that’s haunted him—one that not even his club brothers have been willing to discuss. But the more time they spend together, the more their feelings grow. And suddenly they’re both walking the edge of discovering who they really are, what they want, and where they’re going from here.
WALK THE EDGE
Also available from
and Harlequin TEEN
Nowhere but Here
Walk the Edge
Pushing the Limits
Pushing the Limits
Crossing the Line (ebook novella)
Dare You To
Crash into You
Take Me On
Breaking the Rules (ebook exclusive)
Red at Night (A More Than Words ebook novella)
Look for the next novel in the Thunder Road series!
KATIE MCGARRY was a teenager during the age of grunge and boy bands and remembers those years as the best and worst of her life. She is a lover of music, happy endings and reality television, and is a secret University of Kentucky basketball fan. She is also the author of Pushing the Limits, Dare You To, Crash into You, Take Me On, Breaking the Rules, Nowhere but Here, Chasing Impossible and the novellas Crossing the Line and Red at Night.
Katie would love to hear from her readers. Contact her via her website, katielmcgarry.com, follow her on Twitter, @KatieMcGarry, or become a fan on Facebook and Goodreads.
Praise and Awards for Katie McGarry
“McGarry is a master of her craft—I hang on every word.”
—Gena Showalter, New York Times bestselling author of Firstlife
“A riveting and emotional ride!”
—Simone Elkeles, New York Times bestselling author of the Perfect Chemistry series, on Pushing the Limits
“McGarry adeptly splits the narrative between the two protagonists and creates a story that readers will not want to put down.”
—School Library Journal on Nowhere but Here
“With likable characters and a tensely building romance, this book will not disappoint.”
—Booklist on Take Me On
“Sweet and sexy.”
—Publishers Weekly on Crash into You
“Everything—setting, characters, romance—about this novel works and works well.”
—Kirkus Reviews, starred review, on Dare You To
Chapter 1: Razor
Chapter 2: Breanna
Chapter 3: Razor
Chapter 4: Breanna
Chapter 5: Razor
Chapter 6: Breanna
Chapter 7: Razor
Chapter 8: Breanna
Chapter 9: Razor
Chapter 10: Breanna
Chapter 11: Razor
Chapter 12: Breanna
Chapter 13: Razor
Chapter 14: Breanna
Chapter 15: Razor
Chapter 16: Breanna
Chapter 17: Razor
Chapter 18: Breanna
Chapter 19: Razor
Chapter 20: Breanna
Chapter 21: Razor
Chapter 22: Breanna
Chapter 23: Razor
Chapter 24: Breanna
Chapter 25: Razor
Chapter 26: Breanna
Chapter 27: Razor
Chapter 28: Breanna
Chapter 29: Razor
Chapter 30: Breanna
Chapter 31: Razor
Chapter 32: Breanna
Chapter 33: Razor
Chapter 34: Breanna
Chapter 35: Razor
Chapter 36: Breanna
Chapter 37: Razor
Chapter 38: Breanna
Chapter 39: Razor
Chapter 40: Breanna
Chapter 41: Razor
Chapter 42: Breanna
Chapter 43: Razor
Chapter 44: Breanna
Chapter 45: Razor
Chapter 46: Breanna
Chapter 47: Razor
Chapter 48: Razor
Chapter 49: Breanna
Chapter 50: Razor
Chapter 51: Breanna
Chapter 52: Razor
Chapter 53: Breanna
Chapter 54: Razor
Chapter 55: Breanna
Chapter 56: Razor
Chapter 57: Breanna
Chapter 58: Razor
Chapter 59: Breanna
Chapter 60: Razor
Chapter 61: Breanna
Chapter 62: Razor
Chapter 63: Breanna
Chapter 64: Razor
Playlist for Walk the Edge
THERE ARE LIES in life we accept. Whether it’s for the sake of ignorance, bliss or, in my case, survival, we all make our choices.
I choose to belong to the Reign of Terror Motorcycle Club. I choose to work for the security company associated with them. I also choose to do this while still in high school.
All of this boils down to one choice in particular—whether or not to believe my father’s version of a lie or the town’s. I chose my father’s lie. I chose the brotherhood of the club.
What I haven’t chosen? Being harassed by the man invading my front porch. He’s decked out in a pair of pressed khakis and a button-down straight from a mall window. The real question—is he here by choice or did he draw the short stick?
“As I said, son,” he continues, “I’m not here to talk to your dad. I’m here to see you.”
A hot August wind blows in from the thick woods surrounding our house, and sweat forms on the guy’s skin. He’s too cocky to be nervous, so that dumps the blame of his shiny forehead on the 110-degree heat index.
“You and I,” he adds, “we need to talk.”
My eyes flash to the detective badge hanging on the guy’s hip and then to his dark blue unmarked Chevy Caprice parked in front of my motorcycle in the gravel drive. Twenty bucks he thinks he blocked me in. Guess he underestimated I’ll ride on the grass to escape.
This guy doesn’t belong to our police force. His plates suggest he’s from Jefferson County. That’s in the northern part of Kentucky. I live in a small town where even the street hustlers and police know each other by name. This man—he’s an outsider.
I flip through my memory for anything that would justify his presence. Yeah, I stumbled into some brawls over the summer. A few punches thrown at guys who didn’t keep their mouths sealed or keep their inflated egos on a leash,
but nothing that warrants this visit.
A bead of water drips from my wet hair onto the worn gray wood of the deck and his eyes track it. I’m fresh from a shower. Jeans on. Black boots on my feet. No shirt. Hair on my head barely pushed around by a towel.
The guy checks out the tats on my chest and arms. Most of it is club designs, and it’s good for him to know who he’s dealing with. As of last spring, I officially became a member of the Reign of Terror. If he messes with one of us, he messes with us all.
“Are you going to invite me in?” he asks.
I thought the banging on the door was one of my friends showing to ride along with me to senior orientation, not a damned suit with a badge.
“You’re not in trouble,” he says, and I’m impressed he doesn’t shuffle his feet like most people do when they arrive on my doorstep. “As I said, I want to talk.”
I maintain eye contact longer than most men can manage. Silence doesn’t bother me. There’s a ton you can learn about a person from how they deal with the absence of sound. Most can’t handle uncomfortable battles for dominance, but this guy stands strong.
Without saying a word, I walk into the house and permit the screen door to slam in his face. I cross the room, grab my cut off the table, then snatch a black Reign of Terror T-shirt off the couch. I shrug into the shirt as I step onto the porch and shut the storm door behind me.
The guy watches me intently as I slip on the black leather cut that contains the three-piece patch of the club I belong to. Because of the way I’m angled, he can get a good look at our emblem on the back: a white half skull with fire raging out of the eyes and drops of fire raining down around it. The words Reign of Terror are mounted across the top. The town’s name, Snowflake, is spelled on the bottom rocker.
He focuses on the patch that informs him I’m packing a weapon. His hand edges to the gun holstered on his belt. He’s weighing whether I’m carrying now or if I’m gun free.
I cock a hip against the railing and hitch my thumbs in the pockets of my jeans. If he’s going to talk, it would be now. He glances at the closed door, then back at me. “This is where we’re doing this?”
“I’ve got somewhere to be.” And I’m running late. “Didn’t see a warrant on you.” So by law, he can’t enter.
A grim lift of his mouth tells me he understands I won’t make any of this easy. He’s around Dad’s age, mid to late forties. He gave his name when I opened the door, but I’ll admit to not listening.
He scans the property and he has that expression like he’s trying to understand why someone would live in a house so small. The place is a vinyl box. Two bedrooms. One bath. A living room–kitchen combo. Possibly more windows than square footage.
Dad said this was Mom’s dream. A house just big enough for us to live in. She never desired large, but she craved land. When I was younger, she used to hug me tight and explain it was more important to be free than to be rich. I sure as hell hope Mom feels free now.
An ache ripples through me, and I readjust my footing. I pray every damn day she found some peace.
“I drove a long way to see you,” he says.
Don’t care. “Could have called.”
“I did. No one answered.”
I hike one shoulder in a “you’ve got shit luck.” Dad and I aren’t the type to answer calls from strangers. Especially ones with numbers labeled Police. There are some law enforcement officers who are cool, but most of them are like everyone else—they judge a man with a cut on his back as a psychotic felon.
I don’t have time for stupidity.
“I’m here about your mother.” The asshole knows he has me when my eyes snap to his.
“She’s dead.” Like the other times I say the words, a part of me dies along with her.
This guy has green eyes and they soften like he’s apologetic. “I know. I’m sorry. I’ve received some new evidence that may help us discover what caused her death.”
Anger curls within my muscles and my jaw twitches. This overwhelming sense of insanity is what I fight daily. For years, I’ve heard the whispers from the gossips in town, felt the stares of the kids in class, and I’ve sensed the pity of the men in the Reign of Terror I claim as brothers. It’s all accumulated to a black, hissing doubt in my soul.
It’s what everyone in town says happened. It’s in every hushed conversation people have the moment I turn my back. It’s not just from the people I couldn’t give two shits about, but the people who I consider family.
I shove away those thoughts and focus on what my father and the club have told me—what I have chosen to believe. “My mother’s death was an accident.”
He’s shaking his head and I’m fresh out of patience. I’m not doing this. Not with him. Not with anyone. “I’m not interested.”
I push off the railing and dig out the keys to my motorcycle as I bound down the steps. The detective’s behind me. He has a slow, steady stride and it irritates me that he follows across the yard and doesn’t stop coming as I swing my leg over my bike.
“What if I told you I don’t think it was an accident,” he says.
Odds are it wasn’t. Odds are every whispered taunt in my direction is true. That my father and the club drove Mom crazy, and I wasn’t enough of a reason for her to choose life.
To drown him out, I start the engine. This guy must be as suicidal as people say Mom was, because he eases in front of my bike, assuming I won’t run him down.
“Thomas,” he says.
I twist the handle to rev the engine in warning. He raises his chin like he’s finally pissed and his eyes narrow on me. “Razor.”
I let the bike idle. If he’s going to respect me by using my road name, I’ll respect him for a few seconds. “Leave me the fuck alone.”
Damn if the man doesn’t possess balls the size of Montana. He steps closer to me and drops a bomb. “I have reason to believe your mom was murdered.”
I HAD BUTTERFLIES.
It was a combination of the nervous type and the exciting type and then they died with the utterance of one question. It’s difficult to maintain eye contact with Kyle Hewitt as he continues talking, explaining why he’s asked what he has of me. He stands a safe distance away—a little over one purple locker’s worth. “I need your help with this, Bre.”
He uses my nickname, the name reserved for my two best friends and family. I hug my folder to my chest, uncomfortable he feels like we are familiar with one another.
People pass us on their way to the gym for orientation, but he acts as if we’re alone as his just-above-a-whisper words cram together. “English is tough... Writing papers is tougher... Football practice this year has been harder than normal... My parents have expectations... In two weeks there will be college scouts... You’re smart...everyone knows this... You can make life easier on me and I can make life easier for you.”
Easy. Natural. Meant to be. The smartest girl in school assisting the athletic golden boy. Two of the town’s finest helping each other succeed, but he hasn’t really given a fine example of how this plan will benefit me.
“I’m not suggesting anything romantic.” He waves his hand in a downward motion that suggests he’d rather slit his wrist than become involved with me. This guy seriously needs to reevaluate his selling methods. Nothing good can happen from insulting the potential buyer.
Kyle grins. It’s all teeth, and until this moment, I used to adore his smile. He has black hair like me, but he’s much taller than I am and, thanks to his lifelong dedication to the game of football, he resembles a brick wall.
He’s handsome. Always has been, but he’s never been the kind who notices me. For a few seconds, I had delusions of grandeur that the reason he called my name was because he appreciated my change in appearance and, in theory
, my change in attitude.
I have never been so wrong in my life.
“What do you say? Will you do it?” Kyle shoves his hands into the front pockets of his Dockers as if he’s the one who’s nervous.
Like my younger brother wore for his junior orientation yesterday, Kyle sports a white shirt, nice pants and a tie. The football coach required his entire team to dress up on the day of their orientation. I think it makes them stick out, but my younger brother claims it shows solidarity.
School starts in a few days and tonight is senior orientation. My parents are currently in a meeting with my guidance counselor while I’m being propositioned.
Propositioned. My lips tilt up sarcastically.
My goal for this evening was to be noticed. Guess I succeeded. I was noticed, but not for my new choices in clothing, hairstyle, or because I dumped my glasses for contacts. Nope, I was hunted for my brain. All exciting and swoon-worthy romance novels start off this way, right?
Kyle misreads my body language and his dark eyes brighten. “So you’ll write my English papers for the year?”
Fifty dollars per paper—that’s his offer. Standing in my sister’s second-generation hand-me-downs of a sleeveless blue blouse, shorter-than-I’ve-ever-worn jean skirt and platform sandals causes me to consider his proposal if only for the course of a heartbeat. I’m the middle of nine children and, I’ll admit, new and shiny gains my attention, but this...this is wrong.
“Do you know this is the first time you’ve spoken to me?” I say.
He laughs like I told a joke, but I’m not kidding. Snowflake, Kentucky, is a small town and everyone tends to know everyone else, but just because we breathe the same air doesn’t mean we communicate, or act like everyone else exists.
“That’s not true,” he retorts. “We sat at the same table in fourth grade.”
I incline my head to the side in a mock why-didn’t-I-remember-that-bonding-moment? “My, how time flies.”
He chuckles, then scratches the back of his head, causing his styled hair to curl out to the side. “You’re funny. I didn’t know that. Look, it’s not my fault you’re quiet.”