Excerpt from #Swag
copyright Cambria Hebert, DO NOT distribute, share or repost.
It never gets old. The feeling behind the wheel of a car breaking barriers, of carrying a man faster on land than he ever thought he’d go.
Adrenaline spikes through my blood like fuel through a fuel injection line. The juice hammers beneath my skin, making my hands jitter, but my foot is steady and sure as it tamps down on the gas.
Even though I’m sitting, the physical aspect of driving is intense. My heart rate spikes like I’m sprinting on a treadmill, sweat slicks beneath my clothes, and I’m so immersed in what I’m doing, the concentration almost hurts.
But it’s a good kind of hurt. The kind a man like me craves.
It doesn’t matter what kind of track I’m on, who I’m up against. The second my tires squeal off the starting line, it becomes a little less about who’s on the road with me and a little more about pushing myself to the max.
I love the control of driving. The absolute power thumping beneath my palms and purring through the engine of a jacked-up car. I’m at the helm here, in complete command of the machine rumbling beneath my body. My only limits are my own.
The back end of the Corvette turned out, drifting forward to lead as smoke from the burning rubber of my very expensive tires saturated the space around the white body. Even though I was inside the car, I knew what it looked like to all the people lining the streets.
It looked fucking badass. So fucking bad it was good. Almost ethereal, with the white fog lifting and the sleek, shiny white body cutting through it with perfect precision.
Just when it seemed I might drift too far, I cut the wheel and put the end back where it belonged and hammered the nose forward to shoot ahead on the last straightaway.
Behind me, a Dodge Charger came in fast, nosing close to the back of my Vette and putting pressure on me to move or get taken out.
Beneath my grip, the steering wheel obeyed my every command. The car swerved in small, decisive jerks. Right—left then right—left again.
The Charger behind me jerked, thinking they were going to power around me, but they should have known better by now. I came back solidly in front, cutting him off and stomping on his hope.
I guess I was the kind of lion who liked to play with his food before taking the fatal bite.
Aggression and frustration of the driver in my rearview crackled in the air, and I pressed down on the gas, milking my car for even more performance. The engine responded, and I glided forward, creating more of a gap between us.
His emotions were starting to cloud his driving. I could sense it almost immediately. It left a foul taste in my mouth. Those emotions were going to be his downfall.
Not the fact that he had any. Hell, we all did.
But they didn’t belong in a street race.
Turns out I was right. In his haste, he pressed down on the NOS injector installed in his car. I heard the groan of his engine even over the purring, smooth hum of mine.
The Charger shot forward, making mincemeat of the distance I’d put between us, and came in hot on the fender of my Vette. I swerved over, but it didn’t matter.
The kid behind the wheel couldn’t hack the power. He didn’t have enough knowledge to use the muscle he’d just summoned.
Time slowed down. My own breathing echoed in my lungs as he lost a split second of control. A split second was sometimes all it took.
The front corner of his car slammed into my fender, sending my ride in a wide circle. I drove into it, not fighting against it, knowing I could use the momentum of the hit to spin myself back out, straight over the finish line.
He wasn’t so lucky.
The Charger flipped and began to roll.
I had a prime view through my windshield as my car swung around.
Coming up behind the AWOL Charger was a car I knew very well. The black Camaro my brother always drove came dangerously close, and every muscle in my body locked up.
“No!” I yelled and started fighting my car, intent on putting it into submission.
The Charger rolled and flipped over the pavement as if it weren’t a huge, heavy piece of metal, but an acrobat performing some fabulous routine.
My attention zeroed in.
The Vette shot forward, fishtailing a bit as I forced it out of the spin and surged forward, now driving in the complete opposite direction I’d been going.
A bleached-blond head was my focus. Through the windshield of my brother’s car, I saw his eyes round, his shoulders tense, and his hands white-knuckle on the wheel.
When a man was driving as fast as we all were, everything happened so fast, often way too fast for there to be enough time to anticipate or even react.
By the time my brother saw the wreck in motion, he was already so close even slamming on his brakes wouldn’t stop him from becoming a casualty.
The fucking Charger headed right for him. They were going to collide, my little brother landing underneath.
Remember how I said you couldn’t let emotion get in the way of driving?
There was an exception.
My little brother.
I forced my eyes off him. I couldn’t let it paralyze me.
My foot punched the gas all the way to the floor. I rarely did that; there was never a reason to. Pushing my car to its absolute max was never a necessity.
The sound of my tires on the pavement was so loud it echoed through the night. The end of the Charger bounced off the pavement and catapulted into one more rotation, the rotation that would land it on top of my bro.
It was a split-second decision. One I would have made even if I had five minutes to consider it.
As the car peaked in the air, my Vette slid beneath it, and I hit the emergency brake hard and swerved the wheel with more violence than I usually treated my ride with.
The car jolted around. My body slammed against the door and bounced off, and the car continued the sharp U-turn.
My back end smacked into the Camaro, shoving it sideways, as my car took up the spot my brother was supposed to be.
I threw the car into reverse and hit the gas again. I didn’t even bother looking where I was going. I just went.
The Charger dropped out of the sky like a plane in full engine failure.
Crunching metal, shattering glass, and loud groans filled my ears. The impact of the Challenger on the Corvette felt like my body hit a wall of water from a twenty-foot drop. The harness strapping me in tightened painfully as my body jostled once more. The airbag deployed, punching my body and robbing me of air. My head snapped back, the taste of blood slicked my tongue, and then everything fell silent.