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When “crazy” runs in your family and your namesake is known for walking into a river with a pocket full of rocks, a girl kind of wants to avoid tempting fate at all costs. For Virginia Nichols, the only way to dodge that bullet is to be perfect at everything: school, student council, life. Too bad it’s all a lie, and underneath the perfection...Virginia is lost.
Ryder Blackstock knows a thing or two about being born into fate. The talents passed down from his father aren't exactly normal; instead of learning how to throw a fastball, he was taught to hot-wire a car like a pro and pick any pocket in sight. He’s got criminal blood, just like his old man. And as soon as he turns eighteen, he’ll be living life on the run with his dad.
When Ryder and Virginia meet on the beach, it seems they couldn't be more different. Soon they discover they’re both trapped in their lives—Virginia denying her fate, Ryder embracing his. Like the rocks in Virginia Woolf’s pockets, the weight of their destinies will pull them under. But being together brings out pieces of themselves they didn't know existed—pieces that make them want to take fate into their own hands and rewrite their destinies...if it’s not too late.
"The Weight of Destiny unfolds like a storm. It is dark and electric and incredibly romantic. I lost and found myself. The characters are so vivid, so alive, you'll forget anything but them exists." ~ David James author of Between the Stars and Sky
"The Weight of Destiny is art at its best, Ryder and Virginia canvasses on which the good and bad of life and love unfold in brilliant, true color." ~ Author Jamie Manning
"Nyrae Dawn has once again given us characters that are so real we can’t help but root for them. It’s not just the growing romance between Ryder
and Virginia, which is sweet and tender but also their complex relationships with family and friends that gives this story depth." ~ Heather Young-Nichols author of Up for Grabs
I touch the two wires together, feel the spark. The car stutters but doesn’t start, so I do it again. Second time’s a fucking charm. The engine purrs to life.
Clutch in. First gear. And then I’m out of here. My heart goes a million miles an hour as the car flies down the street. It’s not fear shooting through my veins.
I think I hotwired that car even faster than Dad used to. He’ll be stoked when I find him and tell him. Fourteen years old, and I’m better than the old man.
I hardly slow down as I take a quick left.
Adrenaline still pumps through me. Dad used to tell me about the rush he’d get from taking shit. Tell me how it was the best feeling in the world, though I never got it—not until I started doing it myself.
My gloved thumbs drum on the steering wheel as I drive. My eyes don’t stop darting left, right, forward, backward. Whatever direction they can, hoping I don’t see flashing blue and red lights. Hell, I don’t want to see any headlights. Not until I can get as far away from this place as possible.
When I hit another intersection, I go right, heading straight for the freeway, still trying to figure out what direction I want to go in. I doubt Dad would have stayed in California. Not after all the shit he’s gotten into here. He’s from back East. Chicago. He’s got a brother out there, and I wonder if he would have gone to see him.
Quickly, I scratch that idea. He wouldn’t go to a family member’s house. Not when he’s got a warrant out for his arrest. But that doesn’t mean he wouldn’t go to Chicago. He always told me how much he missed it out there. It also doesn’t mean my uncle won’t know where to find him.
It’s my best bet, and sure as hell better than staying here with my older brother, who wants nothing to do with me. Not that I want anything to do with him, either.
I glance down at the gas gauge. There’s about half a tank, which isn’t too bad. Once I put enough distance between myself and home, I’ll find a car to syphon from.
Never pay for anything if you don’t have to. That was one of Dad’s first lessons.
There’s a shit ton of food in the backseat, hoses for gas, and I know I’ll have no problem getting whatever else I need.
I drum my thumbs faster, rock a little as I go, trying to calm the excitement blowing up my insides.
I’m good at this. I love being good at it.
For about an hour I’m flying. Living. Hopeful. I’m going to get out of this place. Going to find Dad, and do the things we do best. I’m going to live.
When the car swerves to the right, I can hardly keep control of it. Jerking the wheel, I try and compensate for the momentum of the blown tire, only I pull too far. It doesn’t matter when I attempt to go the opposite direction. There’s not enough time, and the front of the car slams into the guardrail.
The airbag explodes in my face, shooting pain through my nose. Smoke billows out of the hood. “Shit!” Over and over I slam my hands into the steering wheel. The pain in my face doesn’t matter. I screwed up. My chance at finding Dad has been blown, and if I don’t get out of here, I’ll get arrested for the second time since he’s been gone.
Again, I’m stuck here.
Shoving the door open, I stumble out of the car, grab my shit, and get the hell out of dodge.
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