Continued from Inner Circle: Criminal Minds

East St Louis, MO

The red Dodge Viper SRT-10 pulled into the lockup owned by the organiser of the rally, one, Michael Street. Rumor had it that Michael Street had once killed a man in his restaurant and chopped him into pieces, which were then stored in the freezer. Some rumors said that the body was thrown into the river near a large red boat. Nate didn't really care about those rumors; he had just been driving straight for a week and all that was on his mind was getting some much-needed fucking sleep. It wasn't to be though.

Nate hadn't won overall, but he had beaten a few people. One of which was Andy Hunter- a guy who was racing in a Mitsubishi Lancer. The two of them had been more competing between them than paying any notice to the other racers. The two of them had taken the same route every time, and Nate had always triumphed, his Dodge beating the Nissan every time. There wasn't really any competition, the Viper was a lot faster than the Lancer, even though the Dodge was stock and the Lancer was heavily modified. Seemed that Mr. Hunter didn't really know as much about cars as he had made out.

As Nate let his head fall back against the headrest of the driver's seat. There was a knock at the window. Nate opened his eyes and looked. Through all the commotion and hustle about the arriving cars, one man had made his way to the empty corner where Nate had parked the Viper in order to get some peace. Nate rolled down the window.

'What?' he asked, tension boiling over. The man just stood. He was taller than Nate, and he was probably older. Nathan was only 18 himself. The man snorted loudly, as if to show he was unfazed by Nate's attitude.

'Andy Hunter wants a word.' the man said in a gruff voice. Nathan simply shrugged.

'Well whatever it is, it can wait. I need sleep and he can fuckin' wait 'til I'm rested…' he said, rolling up the window again and leaning his head back. The peace was shattered within a second; by the sound of glass making the same action. Nathan looked, to see that a fist had smashed his window in. The man was walking away casually. Nathan gritted his teeth and pushed open the door of the car. He leaped out, his sneakers pounding the floor hard as he sprinted after the guy who had just put his window through. 'You're gonna fucking pay for that.' Nate yelled as he spun the guy around by his shoulder. The guy never did make up for the broken window. As he turned, he brought up his fist, and Nathan was knocked to the ground. Blood poured over his T-shirt from his nose as a crowd gathered. As Nate blotted blood away with the hem of his shirt, he was heaved up and thrown onto the windshield of his own car. The glass shattered as he hit into it, however it didn't break, it just cracked until it looked like a snowflake. Nate made his best attempts to scramble over the roof of the Dodge to run away, but he felt his leg being pulled and within seconds slammed onto the ground just in front of his car. His head was spinning, and he couldn't catch sight, but when his vision swam back he saw that the man had a gun against his head. A silver Ruger KP85 pressed right to his temple. Everything sounded as if Nate was underwater but slowly it all came back. The man with the gun to the thug's head was speaking, and he was speaking in a London accent.

'I don't care what the fuck happened between you. Whether he refused to let you fuck him in the arse or whatever, I couldn't give a shit. Get the fuck off my property or you'll have a brand new blowhole.' the cockney said. Nate's vision came back and he saw that the crowd had all backed off, but they had stuck around to watch what happened. The cockney was wearing a black suit, very expensive looking. He clicked his fingers and another man dressed in an expensive suit stepped forward and helped Nathan to his feet. The cockney with the gun then turned his attention back to the thug. 'You still here? I wasn't fucking around, you know.' the cockney said, and he pulled back the hammer of the gun. It was only then that the thug seemed to realise the seriousness of the situation. He suddenly seemed to shrink in size and he turned and swept from the garage. The cockney with the gun then slowly set the hammer back in its place and put the gun in a holster beneath his jacket. He then turned to Nate.

'You alright, mate?' he asked. Nate nodded, and he was led away to a black Cadillac Escalade and put in the back as a couple of men in Armani suits cleared out the lockup. When only the Dodge Viper was left, the lights shut off and Nathan was driven from the lockup.

The Ville, St Louis, MO

'THE Michael Street?' Nate exclaimed with open eyes over the rim of a cup. The cockney that had saved him had brought him to a luxurious private house and had Nathan cleaned up. Then, over coffee, he had let Nate know who he was. Ever modest, he simply smiled and began to scratch the corner of his eye indifferently even as Nate began to practically wet his pants. Finally he nodded.

'Yeah, I suppose I am THE Michael Street…' Mike chuckled. Standing up, Nathan stood and followed.

They walked out onto a large balcony looking over St. Louis, and Mike put his hands into his pockets, before he turned to Nathan. 'So what was that fight all about?' he asked, Nathan shrugged and sheepishly put his hands in his pockets.

'He smashed my car window first.' Nate said, almost like a child being told off for fighting. Street turned with a chuckle, 'No, I mean why did he smash your car window?' Nathan shrugged again.

'Andy Hunter wanted to see me, and I basically told him to get fucked…' Nathan said, letting out a slight laugh as he said it. To his relief, Mike had a grin on his face.

'Yeah, good call,' Michael said. 'OK well you seem rested well enough now, I can have the boys over at ERA fix up your Viper, no charge.' Street offered, leading Nathan down to the Escalade. Nathan shook his head as he climbed into the passenger seat.

'I'd rather put in the work myself, but thanks for the offer Mr. Street.' Nathan said. Michael climbed into the driver's seat and smiled as he started the car.

'No worries mate. So you want me to drop you off at the lockup?' he asked, and Nathan nodded his reply.

As Nathan started up the Dodge Viper, he pulled a pack of cigarettes from the glove box and put one between his lips. He sparked it up as he lightly pushed on the pedal and spun the wheel, leaving the lockup.

Downtown St Louis, MO

It was a short drive from the lockup to Nathan's garage- The MacAllan Body Shop. It was only small, enough room for one car, hidden in amongst a load of storage spaces in an industrial area. The garage was open as Nathan arrived, and he pulled the beaten Dodge into the garage. Climbing out, he locked up the front door of the garage and grabbed his tools from a nearby bench. Unplugging the telephone, he put on a CD and pulled overalls on top of his bloodstained clothes. He then got to work.

It didn't take Nathan long to order replacement windows and a replacement hood for the Viper, and they arrived within a week. Fixing them onto the car, it looked brand new. Nathan then checked the engine to find that there had been an oil leak and everything in the engine was covered. Licking his lips as he grabbed a rag from a workbench and cleaned up the engine, he made everything all nice and fresh, before tuning up the engine to go to a higher top speed than usual. With the car fixed up, it was time to test-drive the bitch.

Freeway

The freeway was empty for a long stretch as Nathan pulled the Dodge onto it. A smirk slid across his face as he pushed the gear stick forward and slammed down on the gas pedal. His eyes flickered occasionally from the road to the digital speedometer, watching his speed climb, and switching up a gear whenever it was needed. The car began to push on its top speed, 190mph. Happy with the performance, and not wanting to damage the engine, Nate slammed his foot on the brakes as hard as he could. Smoke rose up behind the Dodge as it screeched to a stop, the tyres burning as they scraped along the freeway. Nate laughed as the Dodge finally came to a halt. The manufacturer's estimated braking distance from 60-0 was 97ft. Quickly counting it up in his head, Nate worked out he had probably just left black skid marks on the road that were over three times that. Laughing again, he started up and returned to his garage, going at a steadier pace.

Downtown St Louis, MO

Back at the garage, Nathan decided he was perfectly happy with the Viper's performance. He pulled the Dodge into the garage and raised it on the platform to get a look at the undercarriage and the wheels. Seems he had burnt out the tyres good, he was almost riding on aluminium, which made him laugh again. Strange how causing damage like that to something so expensive and so precious to him made him laugh. Pulling on his overalls again, he got to work on changing the wheels and refuelling.

About an hour later, there was a knock at the garage door. Nathan emerged from underneath the car and stood, wiping his hands on an oily rag; he approached the side door and pushed it open. Standing there was Andy Hunter.

'Mr. Hunter.' Nathan said simply in acknowledgement, his voice flat and toneless. Andy Hunter smiled and pushed his way past Nathan into the garage. He looked at the Dodge for a while before he smiled and turned to Nathan.

'I'll give you ten times what it's worth…' Hunter said. Nathan crossed his arms and shook his head.

'It's not for sale.' Nathan just stood his ground, even as Hunter got all up in his face. Nathan was resisting the urge to laugh- there was nothing special about this Dodge Viper. Nathan hadn't tuned it up in any way when he had beaten Hunter in the Rally. Which just goes to show, it's the driver, not the car that wins the race.

'I don't think you understand…' Hunter said threateningly, pointing a finger. Nathan unfolded his arms and stepped up, causing Mr. Hunter to step back to the car, and he placed his hand on the hood.

'No, I don't think you understand. It's not the car that wins a race; it's the driver in the car. If you were a good enough driver, you could've beaten me in a fucking Morris Miner. You just can't cut it.' Nathan laughed. Andy was not impressed, he gritted his teeth, 'I want this car, there's something about this car, whether you admit to it or not… You've done something…' Nathan laughed again, and shook his head.

'Nope, not yet.' Nathan thought for a moment. 'Tell you what though. I'll race you, for pink slips. Winner takes all, you win, you get the Dodge, I win, I get your Lancer and the difference in price between my car and yours.' Nathan proposed, walking casually over to the Dodge and polishing the hood where Hunter had placed his hand. Hunter stood silent for a moment, contemplating his winnings against his losses. 'Seriously. You pick the time and place, and I'll just race you. I won't even tune this car any more than it is, but you can do whatever the fuck you want to yours.' Nate urged, he was facing away from Hunter, and a smirk slid across his face, and he bit lightly down on his tongue.

Nathan was polishing the car for two minutes in silence before Hunter finally spoke.

'Okay, I'll race you. Seems fair enough to me.'

What this actually meant, was that he wouldn't have stood to lose much, but he stood to gain a lot, and so it was worth the risk.

'Time and place?' Nate asked casually, paying heavy attention to the windows. Hunter looked around the garage, and wandered around for a moment, thinking.

'Here to Chicago. One week from now.' Andy said finally. Nate lowered his brow and wondered to himself. What was it with people from St Louis and Chicago? It was almost as if they were the only two cities that existed. There was some mention of Detroit occasionally, but mostly it was St Louis and Chicago spoken about between the criminals.

Nathan didn't need to reply. He had already agreed to whatever Andy was going to say. Andy stood for a moment, hands in pockets, before he repeated himself, 'Here to Chicago. One week from now. I'll be here at 1am.'

Nate heard footsteps and then the door close. One week, he had promised not to make any performance modifications to the car, so really he had a week to do nothing, unless he was allowed to test the car for which tyres would be best, and to time himself to Chicago a few times. As he walked around the Viper to clean the other side, he wondered how long it actually took to get from St Louis to Chicago.

The Ville, St Louis, MO

In the private residence of Michael Street, the telephone rang three times before Street rushed in wearing only a bathing suit and smoking a cigar.

'Talk to Me.' he said as he picked up the phone.

'It's Nathan. You busy?' Nathan asked from Downtown. Michael sat on the couch, 'What's up?'

Nate talked to Michael, explaining the race in less than a week, and asking if Michael would be able to ensure that Andy Hunter played fair. Michael had, at several points, insisted that Andy Hunter just be killed and then Nathan could take the Lancer and all the cash he wanted. But Nathan argued he wanted this race to be as fair as he could get it to be. And he only wanted Michael's help for if he refused to hand over the pink slip as the race ended. Eventually, Michael reluctantly agreed to witness the end of the race in person, along with a few friends of course. Nathan thanked him and hung up, ready to… Well, sit and do nothing in preparation for the big race.

3 Days to go

Nathan decided to take a test drive up to Chicago and back. He started at 1am, the time of the actual race. Arriving in Chicago a matter of four hours later at half-speed. The drive back was quicker, perhaps now because Nathan knew the way. Arriving back at the garage he checked out his stopwatch and all of the chronometers. He then took the car in and checked everything was working properly.

Worried about possibly attracting some unwanted police attention by moving back and forth from Chicago to St Louis constantly, Nathan decided against driving up again that same day, and instead he relaxed at the garage, watched some TV, and fell asleep in the office at the back.

2 Days to go

The drive there and back, once Nathan had the map imprinted in his head, was substantially less than the previous day. And Nathan allowed the Viper to push itself this time. Moving faster all the time, although still not going at top speed. Nathan wanted the thrill and the adrenaline of the top speed to be there on the day. Only thing that Nathan wished for was that he had put a GPS or Road Angel in the dashboard before he had made the deal. That would've made the race a whole lot easier. Oh well, live and learn. Nathan laughed to himself as he pulled into the garage. But as soon as the Viper had stopped, the phone in the office began to ring. Nathan climbed slowly out of the car and walked cautiously to the office. Lifting up the telephone, he didn't say a word, just listened, but the caller knew that it had been answered.

'Heard you've been making trial runs…' Hunter said, almost threateningly, cutting straight to business. Nate took a deep breath and put on his strongest voice.

'It wasn't forbidden by the rules.' he said firmly, sitting down on his chair. He could've sworn that he heard Hunter shrug.

'Well I was wondering if you wanted to make this more interesting?' Hunter said simply.

'I'm listening…' Nate replied just as simply.

Seems that Hunter wanted to ride cash on the race as well as pink slips. He obviously knew that Nathan didn't have much cash to give, and he was so confident in winning that he wanted Nathan to suffer. Although he didn't say any of this, Nathan thought about it all the time. So what? He had beaten Hunter in a race; did the guy really have that much pride? Nate thought it best not to think about it, no need for clouding his thoughts over before the race two days away. He also made the decision to take a break, rest up as much as he could the day before the race, and make sure he was ready when the race came around. There wasn't long now. Nathan was confident in himself, but at just the right level…

1am Race Day

Downtown St Louis, MO

Nathan had been asleep all through the day, and had woken up at 11pm the day before the race. He had made all the last minute checks to the car, ensured he had bottled water on the passenger seat, and to hand. Finally, with an hour to go before the race, the Lancer pulled up outside the garage. Nate had been sitting in the dark, with the garage door open. Hunter must've fitted Halogen headlights to the Lancer, the light flooded into the garage, making it seem as if it was daylight. Nathan stood up from the workbench and walked forward to greet Hunter.

'Sleepy?' Hunter asked with a grin. Nathan shook his head truthfully.

'Nope, wide awake.' he smiled; the grin on Hunter's face began to slip, and wound up pretty much upside down. Nathan grinned, 'Ready?' he asked sarcastically, climbing into his car. Hunter scowled as the Viper purred to life. He lifted a cigarette up to his mouth and lit it up as he returned to his car. As the Dodge pulled up alongside the Mitsubishi, Hunter rolled down a window and signalled for Nathan to do the same. Andy then threw a cell phone through the window to Nathan.

'Put it on loudspeaker and put it on the dash, so we can keep in contact through the race… I'll do the same.' Hunter called. Nathan nodded, licking his lips, he answered the incoming call from Hunter and thumbed the loudspeaker on, turning it up to full volume, he set it in the cell phone stand on the dash and heard Hunter talking into it.

'Ready?' he asked. Nathan took a deep breath and took hold of the wheel. Drying the sweat from his hands, he licked his lips. Hunter began to speak again.

'Three…'

The two cars revved to life.

'Two…'

The cars revved louder, as if already in competition.

'One…'

Nathan took one more deep breath and exhaled slowly.

'GO…!' Hunter shouted. Nathan slammed the stick forward and pushed the pedal down, the Lancer lurched forward, passing the Viper. Nathan cursed; he knew something was wrong with Hunter doing the countdown. He also knew that the Lancer had been heavily changed since the last time Nathan had raced it. Reaching the top of the gear, Nathan shifted forward, and slowly closed the gap between the Lancer and himself. The Lancer lurched to the right, in front of the Viper. Nathan turned the wheel to get around the side of the Lancer. The Mitsubishi once again screeched in front of the Viper. The gap was closing now, and the Dodge was nudging the back of the Lancer gently. Nathan took the opportunity and spun the wheel careering to the side and righting itself, it drew up level to the Lancer.

'Motherfucker…' Nathan heard Hunter curse loudly, obviously aimed into the cell phone, and he laughed. Checking the speedometer, he was climbing, and shifted to the next gear. The Viper slowly moved further in front of the Lancer. Then Nathan heard a sound, and Hunter laughed as the Lancer fired past the Viper, nitrous oxide emission trailing from the back of the Lancer.

'Way too early Andy, wayyy too early…' Nathan laughed. Shifting once again to another gear, and it wasn't long before the two cars were level again. They were still in the garages, and the opening from them was only wide enough to fit one car at a time through.

'Hahahahaha, what's it going to be, Nathan? Death? Or will you brake and let me pass?' a pause of silence. 'Because I'm not going to brake for anything.' Hunter laughed maniacally. But Nathan heard the hesitation in his voice; he heard the shaking, and the doubt. Hunter would drop out as soon as he saw that Nathan wouldn't. Slowly, neck and neck they headed towards the gap. It gained closer and closer, and neither driver showed signs of backing down. Nathan ran his tongue over his lips, he was going 55, or thereabouts, and was probably within a hundred feet of the gap. If he was going to brake, he needed to do it within the next split second. Looking over at Hunter, he saw that Andy was hunched forward over the steering wheel, and he really wasn't going to back down.

'Fuck.' Nathan whispered to himself, pressing down on the brake, he fell behind the Lancer, dropping back a gear and watched as it shot past him. He heard Hunter laughing through the phone. Then a click of a tape being inserted, and then the sound of Welcome to the Jungle by Guns N Roses. Nathan shook his head, sliding his car through the gap and skidding out onto the road. It wasn't far to the freeway now, and that was where Nathan was really going to let the Lancer have it.

The yellow back of the Lancer was close, close enough that if Nathan unbuckled his seatbelt and slammed on the brake hard enough to fly through the windshield, he would be able to land on top of Hunter's car. Shaking the thought, he concentrated on the road, and wondered how the hell Hunter was able to drive while listening to Guns N Roses. Finally they came to an on-ramp to the freeway, and Nathan was pushing the top of the speedometer. He needed to shift, but if he did it now, he would crash into the back of the Lancer, but if he didn't do it soon, the engine would burn out, and the race would be over. Pressing lightly on the brake, the Viper slowed just enough to not be pushing the engine so much, and finally they entered onto the freeway. It was only about 1.10am, and there was little to no traffic at all on the freeway. Nathan took the wide-open space and made his best attempts to force the pedal to merge with the floor of the car. The Viper built in speed, and Nathan switched up a gear as he closed on the Lancer. Biting his bottom lip, he gained on it and a smirk crept across his face. The two cars were going at high speeds now, and Hunter let rip with another nitro and laughed.

'How do you like them apples, motherfucker?' Hunter shouted.

'Fuck you.' Nathan called back, mashing the pedal and leaning back in his seat as if it would apply more pressure. He could see that the yellow Lancer was way ahead of him now, but Nathan still had more gears and hell of a lot more acceleration before his top speed. Chances were that the Mitsubishi was already flying at its highest velocity.

'How fast you goin?' Nathan called into the phone. Hunter hummed a second and then answered.

'Hundred. Still got plenty more juice, fucker.' Hunter laughed. 'You?' he asked. Nathan checked the speedometer and then threw his gaze back on the road.

'Eighty-two. Give me a second, I'll knock on your door.' Nathan laughed as the Viper fired toward the Lancer, slowly increasing in speed, and closing the gap faster than that. Andy wasn't amused by Nathan's comment, and began to mumble under his breath. Something about a gun and shooting. Nathan shook his head with a laugh, this was meant to be a race, they were pushing these machines and they were supposed to enjoy racing, the freedom and the speed. Hunter was just way too serious about these things.

'What you laughing at, kid?' Hunter growled into the phone, his voice barely audible over the heavy music he was playing. Nathan ignored him, if he wanted to refer to Nate as 'kid', then he didn't deserve to be acknowledged. Nathan measured the gap now between the two cars and checked the speedometer. Another gear up and he was gaining on the Lancer. It wasn't far ahead now, possibly only about another cars-width. Nate finally allowed a smirk to himself. Andy had been foolish enough to fire off both his nitros already; he wouldn't be making any sudden getaways.

Pushing the pedal hard as he could, Nathan could feel sweat now dripping down his forehead. Reaching over, he grabbed a bottle of water and drank some, pouring a little over his head and replacing the cap, he placed it on the passenger seat as he came up level with the Lancer on the left. Suddenly, the Lancer jerked toward the Viper. Hitting into the side. Nathan shouted at the cell phone, 'what the fuck are you doing? Are you some kind of retard?' he already knew the answer was a great big yes, but he was also referring to the fact that Lancers were lighter cars than Vipers. Which, in most cases, would work as an advantage, but not in this case. Nate tugged on the right of the wheel, smashing into the side of the Mitsubishi. The Lancer unlevelled and for a moment looked as if it would spin out, but somehow Hunter managed to stabilise. Just ahead was a tunnel, which meant the signal for the cells would go out for a minute, allowing Nate some silence to concentrate, and the road would get narrower. But this would be worked to Nathan's advantage in many ways. Nate had to just push ahead of the Lancer and be in front when it came to the tunnel. Then it would go StreetX style for a moment. Nathan was sure that Hunter would try to smash into the Viper. He was also sure he would be able to accelerate enough to clear the tunnel before the Lancer. Shifting up one more gear, he checked his speed, pushing 120, meaning he still had about 70 more miles per hour in the acceleration.

'How fast you going Andy?' Nathan asked, putting the nudging behind them for a second. Andy obviously hadn't done the same though.

'Fuck you.' he hissed, the Lancer was trailing slightly, and obviously this didn't help Andy's position. Nate heard him growl loudly and slam his fist on the dash.

'Come on Andy, seriously, how fast?' he laughed.

'One seventeen. How fast are you pushing your bitch?' Andy asked, suddenly sounding as if he was one of Nathan'' friends and they were only racing for fun.

'One twenty-three.' Nathan called into the phone. Just then, the shadow of the tunnel enveloped the Dodge, and the Lancer was forced to fall directly behind the Viper.

There were only two lanes in the tunnel, going opposite ways, and separated in the middle by a small wall and pillars at regular intervals, which meant there, was no chance of either of them switching lanes. And if they came up against traffic, there was going to be a pile-up…

Nathan checked the rear view and could see that Hunter was yelling something into the phone. Taking his eyes off the rear view, Nathan pushed the pedal to the metal, using the silence as a great advantage and concentrating.

The tunnel was longer than Nathan remembered it being, and after about two minutes of silence, he couldn't concentrate any more. Hunter's Lancer was smashing into the back of Nathan's Viper constantly. Andy Hunter obviously held StreetX races as a preference to straightforward circuits or sprints.

StreetX races were those where you were given a close-quarters circuit, with only a few wide spaces where you could take over the other racer. The aim was to either immobilise your opponent or be a certain number of circuits ahead of your opponent in order to win. Basically a destruction derby.

Nathan ground his teeth together as he switched up another gear. A quick glance at the speedometer told him he was going 158. One mile per hour over the top speed of a stock-level Mitsubishi Lancer. Thing was, Nate would be able to relax now, but he didn't know how many horses Hunter had hidden under the hood, and it wasn't like he could ask him. Whatever it was, Nathan was confident that it couldn't be much more than a stock-level Lancer, and that the Dodge would still be a lot faster than the Lancer. Over a hump in the road, Nathan lost sight of the Lancer for a second. Then it came flying over the hill behind him.

'Fuck…' Nathan whispered to himself, as the Lancer seemed to gain momentum from the launch, and managed once again to ram the back of the Viper. There was a sharp turn coming up. Nathan checked his speed again, 163… Fucked if there was traffic around that turn. Coming into the incline, Nathan spun the wheel and released the pedal to drift the corner. He handled it well, and on the other end of the corner, the early morning twilight was waiting, but it seemed bright compared to the dull tunnel. The two cars fired out of the other end of the tunnel in succession almost like two brightly colored bullets released quickly from a gun. Nathan checked the clock, and referred to his mental map. There was one last stretch before they arrived in Chicago, and Nathan won.

But he didn't let the thoughts of winning go to his head, as the Lancer seemed to lurch forward like an unstoppable wild animal in the rear view. Nathan could see that the front was messed up where Hunter had mistaken his car for a bumper cart. The cell phone signal came back and Nathan connected to the incoming call from Andy.

'Last stretch, daddy's boy… Ready to lose?' Hunter laughed down the phone. Nathan shook his head and took a deep breath. First rule was not to get the idea you were going to win… Always picture yourself second or third, then determination subconsciously kicks in and there's nothing you can do about it.

'You bet your ass I am…' Nathan smirked, watching his speedometer climb to the top. He was now going the full speed, 190mph. 'How much juice you got?' Nathan shouted to the phone with a laugh. Hunter checked the dash and then replied.

'Going 170… I did my research, that's faster than the Viper's top speed. Fucked now, aren't you…' Hunter said smugly. Nathan didn't say anything; he just let him believe that he was right. Oh, he was, Viper's top speed was 165… Back in 1989, but now the top speed was 190, and as long as Hunter didn't know that, Nathan wouldn't spoil his dreams. Coming up on an incline, Nathan knew that Chicago was around the corner, and he just needed to continuously push his engine at top level, hoping it wouldn't burn out before he got there.

The Lancer lurched up the incline after him, the yellow paintjob standing out above everything else.

'This is it, come on Andy, you're trailing…' Nathan laughed and gloated into the phone. Watching in his rear view, Nathan could see the Lancer let off another nitro and gain on the Viper. Nathan was shocked, unless Hunter had taken out the passenger seat, how did he have room for three nitros?

The Lancer came up the hill fast after the Viper, but it was too late, the Viper was past the sign saying 'Welcome to Chicago', which they had agreed was the finish line. Slamming on the brakes, Nathan spun the wheel and did a 180 turn, and was able to see the Lancer skid at the top of the hill. Taking a deep breath and throwing his head back, Nate sighed. Climbing out of the car, his legs were like Jell-O. But he stood against his car and shrugged with a grin as Hunter climbed out of his car and fell to the ground.