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Sweet Sofie (The Moreno Brothers #3)

By:Elizabeth Reyes

Sweet Sofie (The Moreno Brothers #3)
Author: Elizabeth Reyes



Age 10

"You're not the boss of me!" Sofia glared at her brother.

"Sofie, you're gonna get hurt," Alex warned.

"Nah, she's got it." Eric was always on Sofia's side, as much as her brothers would let him be, anyway.

All morning they'd been taking turns jumping off a ramp with their bikes in the middle of the street. As usual, Sofia was the only girl. She watched as Eric knelt down and adjusted the height on the ramp, lowering it a bit.

"I can jump as high as you guys," Sofia protested.

"No." Angel shook his head. "Lower it, Eric."

Sofia sat on the bike, frowning. "No fair."

Sal watched from where he was standing on his bike. "That's high enough, Sof."

She'd jumped off the ramp before, but only a few times when her brother's hadn't been around. Eric had seen her once and said she was pretty good. Her brothers never let her do anything. If it weren't for Eric, she knew she wouldn't even be jumping right now.

"Alright go for it." Eric smiled.

Sofia rode down the street, turned around and stopped. The apprehension in her brothers faces irritated her. Sal was the oldest at fourteen, Alex, twelve, and Angel was eleven. She was the only girl in her family, and the youngest at ten. They all stood there on the side of the street. Eric and Romero also watched her closely.

"Be careful," Sal yelled.

Eric smiled at her, and she smiled back. Eric Diego lived up the street and was Angel's age. He'd been one of her brother's best friends for as long as she could remember. Sofia had always been drawn to him, but recently she'd developed a secret crush on him. He always helped her get around her brothers, and had become such a sweetheart lately. Not to mention, he was slowly becoming what her and her friends liked to refer to as a 'hottie.'

"Yeah, and hurry up 'cause I'm next." Romero rode his bike in slow circles, waiting his turn.

Ramon Romero was her brother's other best friend. He, Angel and Eric were the same age. For as long as they'd known him he'd gone by his last name. He lived further down the street that crossed their cul-de-sac, but on the same block.

Sofia began to peddle and stood up to get more speed, determined to show her brothers she could do it. The bike flew up and over the ramp, and she turned the front tire to the side as she landed for a dramatic, skidding stop. More impressive than she had expected, she smiled triumphantly. "You see?" She looked at Alex.

Alex still had that same look of disapproval on his face. Sofia frowned at that.

"That was cool, Sof," Eric said. "Maybe next time we can lift the ramp a little."

"No," Alex said quickly, "that's high enough for her."

"Not for me, though." Romero adjusted the height to make it higher.

"That's way too high," Angel said, looking at the amount of bricks Romero put under the plywood ramp.

"You don't know about this." Romero continued stacking them higher.

"Are you nuts?" Eric asked. "That's not gonna take the weight of your bike. It's too high."

Romero winked. "I am the master."

"Oh, I gotta see this." Sal leaned his elbows on his handlebars.

Romero finished and smiled, pleased with his work. He got on his bike and rode up the street. Alex and Angel stood on their bikes next to each other, smirking.

"He's gonna eat it," Eric chuckled.

Sofia rode over to stand next to Eric and Angel. Eric looked at the ridiculously high ramp and shook his head.

"You think he can do it?" Sofia asked.

"Hell no," Eric said.

Romero started toward the ramp, picking up speed fast. He pumped his fist in the air, making the guys laugh. Sofia held her breath. The front wheel started up the wooden ramp, but before it hit the top, the ramp cracked and the front tire hit the brick, sending Romero off his seat, and onto the bar between the seat and the handlebars, hard. He crashed onto the concrete, bouncing once before coming to a complete stop.

They all burst into laughter, but at the same time the guys winced at the sight of Romero rolling around on the ground.

"Awe, my nuts!" He clutched his crotch.

Nobody rushed to his aide-instead they stood there laughing out of control. Alex finally walked over to examine the cracked ramp. "You broke my ramp, ass."

Romero could only groan. Sofia got off her bike and walked over to him. "Are you okay?"

Romero, who had both eyes squeezed shut, opened one to look at her. "You're kidding me, right?"

Still laughing, Sal rode toward Romero. "You want some ice?"

Eric bent over and helped Romero up. "Thanks for that, man," he laughed.

Romero stood there, blatantly holding his crotch, with an expression of sheer agony. Sofia looked away. She'd seen her own brothers do that plenty of times, when they went overboard with the horseplay. Someone would inevitably get a knee or elbow to the crotch, but watching Romero do it felt weird.

They all looked up when a car raced by on the street that crossed the cul-de-sac. Not a second later, they saw a police car race by and the siren turn on. Tires squealed and sk thealed aidded and another police car raced by. A thunderous crash followed around the corner. They all looked at each other, wide-eyed.

"Holy shit!" Angel began peddling.

Romero limped quickly to his bike, and Sal took off behind Angel. They all started toward the corner.

"Sofia, you stay here," Sal yelled over his shoulder.

"No," Sofia whined.

"Yeah, Sof. It might be dangerous." Alex was even sterner than Sal.

"I wanna see what happened, too!"

"No, Sof," Alex repeated, "stay here."

Eric looked at her sympathetically, but followed Angel anyway. She slowed down, pouting. Angry t