Titans

Titans by Victoria Scott Read Free Book Online

Book: Titans by Victoria Scott Read Free Book Online
Authors: Victoria Scott
riding a Titan in this year’s circuit is a terrible idea.
    “You’re only seventeen.”
    “Entry age is seventeen and above,” I retort. “As long as my parents don’t mail an objection form, I’m cool.”
    “Your dad will kill you.”
    “If he finds out.”
    Magnolia gives me a look like I’m crazy. “How would he not find out?”
    “I can do this, Magnolia,” I say, as if that’s an answer.
    “Of course you can. Astrid Sullivan can take on the entire world as long as she doesn’t have to rely on anyone else to help her.”
    I grin. “What can I say? I work better alone.”
    “It’s kind of gambling, isn’t it?”
    I halt in place, because she’s broached the one subject we both avoid. I want to dismiss what she said, but she’s right. My grandfather’s gambling cost us our first family home, and my dad’s addiction will soon cost us our second. Magnolia and I loathe gambling, and everything that goes along with it. Yet here I am, ready to involve myself in the tracks—the same thing that led to the biggest loss in my father’s habit.
    “This is different,” I mutter.
    Magnolia nods, recognizing that I don’t want to discuss this. Instead, she adjusts the bumblebee hair clip she made from wire, yellow spray paint, and glitter, and motions for us to keep walking. “Well, you’ll need me for moral support. And for fashion advice. If you go through with this, you’ll need a glam squad. That’s what celebrities have, Astrid—glam squads. I know these things.” As we walk in silence, she sobers. “What about the guy we saw fall off his Titan? The one who—”
    “I know the one.” How could I forget? We were only thirteen, and the man couldn’t have been older than thirty. I can still see the surprise on his face as he tumbled from his horse. Still hear the way the crowd screamed as one throbbing mass as the other Titans trampled his body.
    “There have been others too,” she says quietly.
    I don’t answer. Because I know she’s right. But I can’t think about them. I have to think about the winners. That’s where my focus must lie, never wavering.
    Rags is waiting at the end of his driveway when we arrive, one hand on a brown pickup truck that looks like it was built in the eighties. He’s already shaking his head. “No. No way. I’m not dealing with two of you. One teenage girl is more than enough headache.”
    “Hi, Rags!” Magnolia waves cheerfully. “I brought muffins.”
    “I don’t like muffins,” he grunts.
    “You’ll like these,” she replies.
    Rags looks at me. “Why is she here? I asked if you could keep a secret.”
    “I can,” I say. “But not where my best friend is concerned.”
    Magnolia shoves a cranberry-orange muffin into Rags’s hand after we cross the street. “Don’t worry. I’m like a vault. Whatever you put in this thing ain’t coming out.” She taps her temple.
    Rags studies my face before rolling his eyes. “This is strike one, kid. If you cross me again, I’ll toss that Titan in an incinerator and be done with this harebrained idea.”
    “So we’re still on?” I ask, all business.
    In response, he walks toward his work shed. “The first thing we gotta do is get you registered, and don’t be surprised if the Gambini brothers shut us down then and there. They’ll be looking for any reason to keep us out of the race, and we’re going to give them a solid one.”
    “Why?” I ask. “Because our Titan isn’t—”
    “Even if we can get you registered, you’ll have to ride well enough to compete in the sponsor race. At the very least, we have to keep you in the saddle.”
    “She can do more than stay in the saddle,” Magnolia interrupts. “She rode my brother’s skateboard like a pro. He said so himself.”
    Rags rubs his forehead. “A Titan isn’t a skateboard.”
    “How is it not?” she contests. “Four wheels. Four legs. Both unstable.”
    “Why are you here again?”
    She holds up the muffins. “Munchies.”
    Rags

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