Authors: Amy Gregory
Tags: #first time love, #motocross love, #overcoming fear, #Contemporary, #sweet romance, #General, #Romance, #learning to trust, #Suspense, #Fiction, #growing up, #Contemporary Romance
Copyright © 2012 Amy Gregory
All rights reserved. Except as permitted under the U.S. Copyright Act of 1976, no part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, or stored in a database or retrieval system, without prior permission of the publisher.
Sapphire Star Publishing
The characters and events in this book are fictitious. Names, characters, places, and plots are a product of the author’s imagination. Any similarity to real persons, living or dead, is coincidental and not intended by the author.
Cover Image by Heidi Cantrell
About the Author
Amy Gregory leads an incredibly active lifestyle in Kansas City with her husband and their three fantastic kids who keep them running in three very different directions. When she’s not rushing her oldest daughter to tumbling, her youngest daughter to music lessons, or sitting track-side watching her son practice motocross, she’s taking the few minutes in between to scribble the next pages in her Racing to Love series.
When asked, “When do you have time to write?” Amy Gregory giggles. “In bits and pieces,” she says.
Amy is known for her snarky, off the cuff sense of humor, which you’ll find shining through in the characters she’s created. Her debut novel,
Racing to Love, Carter’s Treasure
, is set for release June 7, 2012.
I’ve spent my whole life trying to figure out what I want to be when I grow up, and now I’ve finally found it. –
I have to write a shared dedication. These people are equally responsible for my dreams coming true!
For my husband, Brian. Thank you so much for your enthusiastic and never-ending support. I’m so lucky to have you by my side to share this incredible journey with. Thank you for always understanding, for your patience, and for your love. Thank you for welcoming Carter, Molly, Jesse, Brody, Eli (and their coming friends) into our lives…they are so real to me. Thanks for getting me and the crazy world inside my head. And most of all, thank you for giving me the ability to reach for my dream.
For Amy and Katie. Thank you so much for taking a chance on me. Your support and love are amazing, and I will be forever grateful for the opportunity you’ve given me. My SSP Family has become so much more than just publisher - author. It’s my own treasure that I hold very dear to my heart. Thank you both for making my dream come true.
To my husband, thank you for reading, reading and reading some more! I love you dearly.
To my children, thank you for your patience and understanding. I love each of you so much. I hope you see that no matter what, always keep dreaming.
To Kim C. & Chris T., my early victims—I mean readers. Your friendships mean the world to me. I trusted you with my baby, thank you for your support and encouragement.
To all of my friends and family, for all your love and support. It’s been amazing and more than I could have ever asked for.
To Blue, my forever twinny, we started on this journey strangers and you’ve become my Thelma.
To Mari C., Renee D., KE S., and Jane I., my new friends that have given wonderful words of wisdom and encouragement.
To Heidi Cantrell, thank you for my beautiful cover photography, you’re amazing. To Chad L., thank you for my gorgeous cover design, it’s so perfect. To Kelly, thank you for your edits, I greatly appreciate your work.
To R & J and the wonderful track we lovingly call home, and for all you’ve done for our racer. You’re amazing people who’ve become part of our family.
And…to my dear friend and editor. Amy, words just can’t express my love or gratitude. You took a chance, going above and beyond on a very green writer. I have learned more than I could have ever hoped. Your time, support and enthusiasm were all amazing, but it was the friendship that came from it all that I am so honored to have. I love you friend.
Molly cowered, shaking in the dark. Her heart was pounding so hard she could feel it in h
r ears. She tried to stay quiet, tucked in the corner so he wouldn’t see her. Molly knew he would hear her breathing, it was so out of control. She knew that he would find her—again.
She could sense him getting closer. A wave of fear rippled across her skin in a rush of heat. The scream she had tried desperately to contain erupted from her. It always made him madder when she screamed.
No. Please. Please, I’ll be good.”
Light flooded the small space. She squeezed her eyes shut and shielded her face from the blow.
She jumped with the hand on her shoulder.
“Molly…honey…it’s okay…calm down. I’m right here, kiddo.”
She drew in a ragged breath with the familiar voice. She was sweaty and panting, but finally coming out of the nightmare. Her hair stuck to her neck and face, her t-shirt drenched. When he wrapped her in his arms, she realized where she was and she began to cry. She was safe.
Sagging against his strong chest, she silently thanked him for being there and cursed herself at the same time. She hated crying—hated the stupid dream that sent her hurling head first toward an anxiety attack every time.
“It was bad this time, huh?”
“Yeah,” she whispered in the tight space of the motorhome. Even though Brody had turned on the bathroom light on his way to the couch, she was used to being on the road and it didn’t take her long to get her bearings. Now, if she could just get her breathing under control. “I’m sorry I woke you. Is Erin still asleep?”
“She’s fine, don’t worry about us. That’s what we’re here for, Mom and Dad too.” Brody pulled away to look at her face, those knowing gray eyes sympathetic. He knew her better than anyone else. “Hey…I’m right here,” he said. “I’ll never let anyone hurt you. You know that, don’t you?”
Molly looked at her brother’s face. Well, the only brother she’d ever known, even if it wasn’t technically by blood. Molly figured your family was those who loved you. “Yeah,” she replied quietly. She did know. It was just that these nightmares took so much out of her.
“Mol, you know he can’t ever hurt you again, right?”
She nodded again. She knew she was safe as long as she was awake. It was when she fell asleep that her world flipped upside down.
“I’ll always be here for you.” Brody hugged her tight and then pulled away. In the dim light she could see his sad smile as he ran his thumbs under her eyes, wiping the last of the tears away.
“I know, Brody. Thanks. I love you.”
“Love you too, sis. You think you can get some sleep? We’ll pull into the stadium tomorrow afternoon.”
“Kay.” She laid back down and took a deep breath as she felt Brody run his hand over her head
Carter stood with the guys from his team in front of Brody Noland’s bike trailer, hoping to get the first look. They’d all heard rumors that George Kapp, the circuit promoter, had set up something special for the rest of the season, something entertaining to draw crowds and even more attention to the races. That something special had turned out to be Molly West.
Molly West. In all of his years of racing Motocross, he’d never had the chance to meet her, but he knew she’d broken about every women’s record out there. He also knew she was retired and he, like the rest of the guys, was anxious to know why George had brought her on.
George headed their direction. He was probably in his fifties and kept fit by walking around the stadium and pits week after week. “Hey guys.”
Everyone in the group grinned and said hello.
“I’ve got some people I’d like you to meet,” he said. “I want you to make them welcome around here. They’re going to be with us the rest of the season.” George turned his attention to the couple who were walking their way.
“Morning,” George welcomed them when they made it up to the group. Both waved. “Everyone…you all probably know who Brody Noland is, and this is his girlfriend, Erin.” He turned to gesture to the circle of racers. “This is Eli Hunter, Carter Sterling, Jesse Frost, and one of our rookies this season, Cody Stark.”
“I saw your bike trailer over there,” Eli said to Brody as he took his turn shaking his hand. “I wondered if you were riding or something this weekend.”
“Oh, hell no, not me.” Brody shook his head. “Not anymore. Got a hard enough time being stiff and sore these days.” He shrugged his shoulder at the truth. “Just too many broken bones over the years.”
“What, are you all doing some kind of promo then?” Jesse jumped in to ask.
“He brought in my girl for me.” George grinned.
The guys all chuckled at the older man. It was pretty obvious to Carter that George was just as excited that Molly was there as the rest of them.
Carter was the first to notice the petite girl walking their direction. He’d seen pictures of her in her riding gear over the years, but that couldn’t have prepared him to see her now. In riding gear she was completely covered head to toe, but not today. Today she wore tight jeans, Nikes, and a fitted little tank top. He could tell by her arms alone that she was ripped, definitely athletic, but she had some curves to her, too. They were there, barely, and he couldn’t help but imagine running his hands over them. Long, golden hair hung down in a thick sheet past the middle of her back, and in the sun it glinted with a hint of red.
Carter let out a slow breath.
Damn, I wish she’d take off those aviators so I could see her eyes.
He’d just have to wait. Waiting was something he was used to. He’d been waiting for the right girl for years.
Carter tried to pay attention to the conversation happening around him, but he couldn’t take his eyes off the absolutely gorgeous girl talking on the phone a few yards off from them.
“There they are,” Carter heard Brody say. “That’s Joey, our mechanic, and of course, Molly West. She rides for my dad.” Carter was more than happy to have an excuse to continue to stare.
“There’s your pre-race entertainment.” George’s excitement was obvious as he clapped a hand on Brody’s shoulder. “I can’t wait for you boys to see her ride.”
Pre-race entertainment? Holy shit. This little thing was a trick-rider? A sudden swell of protectiveness rushed through Carter. He tried to shake himself from it, knowing he was being absolutely ridiculous. From what he knew, this girl had been a rider her entire life. Who was he to say that it was too dangerous, that she was too small, or that she was too much of any of the other million reasons he could come up for why she shouldn’t be on a bike? He cut an eye back toward her, watched her swaying as she talked on the phone, her arm moving through the air animatedly. Still he couldn’t shake the gut feeling he had that he somehow needed to protect her.