Home > The Secret of Ella and Micha (The Secret #1)(12)

The Secret of Ella and Micha (The Secret #1)(12)
Author: Jessica Sorensen

"Please stop calling me that," I beg. "I've never liked the nickname and you know that. I never even got why you called me it."

"And that's the appeal of it, pretty girl." He tempts me closer to him and caresses my cheek with his lips, giving me a kiss that brings warmth to my skin. "Now are you ready to go see Grady? You can come, too, if you want... is it Lila?"

"Yeah, it's Lila. Lila Summers." She offers her hand and Micha shakes it. "And sure I'll go. This place makes me a little nervous."

"Isn't your family expecting you to be home tonight?" I escape from underneath Micha's arm.

"I'll text them and tell them I'm not leaving until tomorrow." She retrieves her cell phone and scrolls through her contacts. "The car will be done by tomorrow, right?"

"It's hard to say," Micha says. "Ethan is the best, but a little slow."

Her head snaps up and there's delight in her eyes. "Ethan as in Ethan from the party last night? The one with the sexy hair and the really big hands?"

Micha bites down on his lip, stifling a laugh, and flicks me a sideways glance. I can't help but smile.

"Yep, that's the one," he says. "Do you feel better about taking your car to him now?"

"Well, yeah, if you think it's okay?" she checks. "I'm very picky about who works on my car or at least my dad is very picky about who works on it."

"It'll be fine," he assures her with a wink. "I've never disappointed a girl yet."

"Oh yeah?" Lila laughs, glancing at me uneasily, like she's worried she's stepping on my territory.

"So are we going to go or what?" A ping of jealousy pinches inside my chest.

"Yep, let's go, beautiful." Micha leads the way around the fence and up his driveway to the garage.

When I step inside, my mouth falls open. Parked in the middle, between the walls lined with shelves and tools, is a shiny 1969 Chevy Chevelle SS. It's painted in a smoky black with a cherry red racing stripe down the center. "You finally fixed it up?"

He pats the shiny flawless hood, his eyes sparkling with excitement. "I finally got around to it, after talking about it for four years." His eyes find mine, seeking my approval. "So what do you think?"

"It's kind of old." Lila pulls a face at the car. "And really big."

"I thought you liked things big?" Micha teases. I punch him in the arm and he laughs. "Ow, I meant hands. Jeez get your mind out of the gutter."

I roll my eyes. "You did not, you pervert."

He shrugs, his eyes lustrous in the sunlight filtering through the gritty windows. "So what. It got you to lighten up, didn't it?"

"Are we driving it to Grady's?" I opt for a neutral voice.

He slips his keys out of his pocket and tosses them to me. "Yeah, go ahead. It's all yours."

I swiftly shake my head and throw the keys back at him, like they're scorching hot. "No thanks. I don't want to."

He cocks an eyebrow, looking sexy. "What do you mean you don't want to?"

"I mean I don't want to drive it." It nearly kills me to say it. I walk around the front of the car, open the door, and gesture for Lila to get in.

"But it has a blown 572 Big Block in it," he says astounded with the keys hanging loosely from his fingers. "How can you not want to drive it?"

My insides twitch to drive it, but I won't buckle. "It's fine, Micha. I'd rather be the passenger."

"What does that mean? A blown big block or whatever you said?" Lila wonders as she walks to the side of the car. "Wait, are you guys talking cars? El doesn't like cars. In fact, she made us take the bus most of the time when we left campus."

"Oh really?" His tone implies otherwise. "That's news to me."

"It's a waste of gas," I lie, attempting to mask the truth; that I miss it. The rush, the speed, the adrenaline high.

Lila ducks inside the car and into the backseat. I climb into the passenger side and Micha opens the garage door. He revs up the engine, letting it rumble, teasing me, before backing down the driveway.

"I'm starting to think that the Ella you knew isn't the same one as I know." Lila buckles her seatbelt up.

He spins the tires down the road. "I think you might be on to something Lila, because the one I knew loved cars. In fact she used to hang out in the garage all day with the guys while the other girls played with their hair and makeup." He flashes me a dangerous grin. "She used to get all excited when we'd go racing."

No matter how hard I try to hinder myself from getting energized, I can't. Those hot summer nights, flying down the highway, neck and neck with another car, the rush soaring through my body.

Micha trails his finger along my neck and rests it on my pulse. "You're getting excited just thinking about it."

His touch spreads a longing through my body. I swat his hand away, cross my arms, and focus on the window, watching the neighborhood blur by as he cruises over the speed limit. Micha shifts the gears and the engine thunders louder, begging to burn rubber.

"Is it legal to be driving this fast?" Lila asks nervously. We glance back at her and she grips the edge of the leather seat. "It just seems like we're going really fast, especially in a neighborhood."

Micha holds my gaze resolutely as he downshifts and pumps up the rpms. "What do you think? Speed up? Or slow down?"

I want to tell him to slow down, pull on my seatbelt, and look away, but a passion that was dead raves. He throttles the gas pedal, keeping his eyes on mine, venturing me to look away first.

"Um... I don't think this is a good idea." Lila's voice is far away.

The car surges faster down the narrow road and his eyes dare me to tell him to slow down and part of me wants to. Desperately. But as he shoves the shifter into the next gear, going faster and faster, my body pleads to let go.

Suddenly, Lila screams, "Stop sign!"

Micha's eyes sparkle like sunlight reflecting into the ocean. He slams on the brakes, squealing the car to a halt, and throwing us all forward. My hand shoots out and I brace myself from hitting the dashboard.

"Are you crazy?" Lila's voice cracks as she situates back into the seat and realigns her dress over her legs. "What is wrong with you two?"

Micha and I look at each other and my body is burning with a hidden desire that I won't admit exists. My heart beats in my chest, rock steady and alive again. For a second, I'm back in the place I lost.

Then Micha ruins it.

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