Excerpt · Giveaways · MC Romance · Romance

Law & Beard (The Dixie Warden Rejects)by Lani Lynn Vale Release Launch with Excerpt & a Giveway

Today we have the Release Launch for LAW & BEARD by Lani Lynn Vale! Check it out and grab your copy today!

 

Title: LAW & BEARD
Series: The Dixie Warden Rejects
Author: Lani Lynn Vale
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Release Day: March 8th

 

About LAW & BEARD

Winnie thinks she has the perfect life.

Two beautiful, healthy children. A police officer husband. A job that she loves. Oh, and let’s not forget that she’s a nationally ranked marathon runner.

Fast forward six months, and her perfect life has imploded.

Winnie finds herself in a completely new world, and this new world is a brutal bitch.

In this new life of hers, her husband is gone. He realizes, at the worst possible time, that he’s no longer in love with her. He’s in love with her best friend. So he leaves, and doesn’t look back.

Her sixteen-year-old daughter is in trouble with the law, and she’s barely making ends meet thanks to losing the job that was keeping her and her tiny family afloat.

Then, the last thing that could make it all bearable, her running, is ripped out from under her, too. Thanks to a spinal stroke that leaves her unable to walk, let alone run, she’s having to relearn how to do the simplest of tasks-such as putting on her own pants.

She’s at the lowest of lows, and the last thing she wants is a sexy, bearded, motorcycle riding alpha to tell her how to live her life.

But Steel Cross never asks her what she wants.

***

The moment Steel Cross sees Winnie’s daughter steal some shoes for her younger brother, he knows he’s in trouble.

He’s a sucker for misunderstood teens. After all, he was once one himself.

He knows he can’t just walk away, and the moment he sees that troubled teen’s mother, he doesn’t just know it, he feels it. Down to the very bottom of his soul.

With his share of hard knocks, he knows that he shouldn’t step in and make his move on a fellow police officer’s ex. There’s a code, after all, yet he just can’t seem to help himself.

He’s done being the good guy. Sometimes he just wants to be bad.

And Winnie makes him realize that being bad is still kind of good. As long as you’re with the right person.

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU

iBooks | Nook | Kobo

Add to Goodreads

Check out the rest of The Dixie Warden Rejects Series

Excerpt

I’d never, not once, had the pleasure of giving a blow job.

Yet, I wanted to give one…to Steel.

Jesus Christ, did I want to give him one.

The man turned me on in ways that I had no clue I could be turned on by, yet here I was, wondering what it would feel like to give the man a blow job.

My curiosity got the better of me as I googled more tips-which they’d said they’d done as a comparison-and then I got lost in the World Wide Web.

My first stop had been Cosmopolitan!

My second had been some random Joe-Blow (literally, that was the name of the website) blog that gave the men’s top ten best blow job tips-according to men.

1. Maintain eye contact.

2. Tie your hair back, it shows your dedication.

3. Allow him to put his hand in your hair and control the movements.

That, I could do! In fact, the idea of Steel putting his hands in my hair and controlling all of the movement was downright arousing.

4. Use your hand as well as your mouth. Twist it side to side lightly as you pump and suck him.

Okay, pump, suck, and twist. Check!

5. Don’t use your teeth. Ever.

I shivered at the thought. That would suck, accidentally biting Steel’s dick. He’d probably never let me near him again and kick me straight the hell out of his bed. Though, I had to get in his bed first…

6. Drop down so he’s standing and you’re kneeling. There’s nothing more arousing than watching a woman get on her knees.

That thought made me shiver. Would Steel like me on my knees?

I sure the hell hoped so. I’d love to get on my knees for him.

Then again, I was doing good with my rehab…he still might have to help me back up.

I winced. Maybe I should just get on the bed between his splayed thighs…yes, that was how I’d do it.

7. Suck his balls.

Suck his balls? How the hell did I put those in my mouth? There wasn’t enough room!

8. Go slow. It’s not a race.

9. Swallow.

Well, that was self-explanatory. But I didn’t know if I could swallow. I’d try, but what if I gagged?

10. We like it when you gag.

Did they? What if I accidentally threw up? That would completely ruin the mood.

“What are you doing?”

I squeaked and jumped as Steel came out of the bathroom.

Giveaway

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About Lani Lynn Vale

 

Lani Lynn Vale is a USA Today Bestselling Author of over thirty titles. She is married with three children, two dogs, two cats, a donkey, and a couple (a couple also meaning over twenty) chickens.

When she’s not writing, you can find her curled up in her favorite chair reading.

Lani is married with three children, and lives in the Great State of Texas.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads | BookBub

 

MC Romance · Romance

Saint (Sinister Knights MC) by Aria Cole Release Blitz

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Saint Rossi was born with a silver spoon, but he left it in the dust the day he took off on his bike to become a founding member of the Sinister Knights, their purpose to protect and defend the lives of women around the world. He’s known as the club flirt, charming dimples and a rogue grin, but when a dark, curvy beauty falls into his arms, he’s blindsided by the primal urge to protect this woman at all costs. Like an imprint on his soul, his only purpose in life is to make her his.

Adelina de los Angeles never expected to fall in love with one of the men that saved her from a grim fate. Born into a poverty-stricken community, life with the Sinister Knights is beyond her wildest imagination, and spending every day with Saint has wooed her heart into falling, one innocent touch at a time. But flying too close to the sun can cause permanent scars and even the sweetest fairytales have villains. Soon Saint will be forced to defend the future he’s determined to have with the only woman that’s ever mattered.

Warning: Saint and Adelina are a force of nature; she’s free-spirited, he’s ready to tie her to him for eternity. Hold on for a wild ride with this alpha hero and the woman he’s hellbent on giving everything—even his badass biker babies. If you’re in the mood for a growly caveman who will stop at nothing to claim what’s his, then the Sinister Knights men are for you!

 

 

 

 

 

Aria Cole is a thirty-something housewife who once felt bad for reading dirty books late at night, until she decided to write her own. Possessive alpha men and the sassy heroines who love them are common, along with a healthy dose of irresistible insta-love and happily ever afters so sweet your teeth may ache.

For a safe, off-the-charts HOT, and always HEA story that doesn’t take a lifetime to read, get lost in an Aria Cole book!
Follow Aria on Amazon for new release updates, or stalk her on Facebook and Twitter to see which daring book boyfriend she’s writing next!

Sign up to get a NEW RELEASE ALERT from me!
http://eepurl.com/ccGnRX

 

 

MC Romance · Romance

Rough Ride (A Chaos Novella) by Kristen Ashley Release Day Launch

 

 

From New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Kristen Ashley comes a new story in her Chaos series…

 

 

About ROUGH RIDE:

Rosalie Holloway put it all on the line for the Chaos Motorcycle Club.

Informing to Chaos on their rival club—her man’s club, Bounty—Rosalie knows the stakes. And she pays them when her man, who she was hoping to scare straight, finds out she’s betrayed him and he delivers her to his brothers to mete out their form of justice.

But really, Rosie has long been denying that, as she drifted away from her Bounty, she’s been falling in love with Everett “Snapper” Kavanagh, a Chaos brother. Snap is the biker-boy-next door with the snowy blue eyes, quiet confidence and sweet disposition who was supposed to keep her safe…and fell down on that job.

For Snapper, it’s always been Rosalie, from the first time he saw her at the Chaos Compound. He’s just been waiting for a clear shot. But he didn’t want to get it after his Rosie was left bleeding, beat down and broken by Bounty on a cement warehouse floor.

With Rosalie a casualty of an ongoing war, Snapper has to guide her to trust him, take a shot with him, build a them…

And fold his woman firmly in the family that is Chaos.

**Every 1001 Dark Nights novella is a standalone story. For new readers, it’s an introduction to an author’s world. And for fans, it’s a bonus book in the author’s series. We hope you’ll enjoy each one as much as we do.**

 

 

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon AU | Amazon Canada

 

 

Download the Free Kindle App

 

 

 

 

EXCERPT:

My dad had been a biker. He was a nomad when it came to that kind of thing (or, really, any kind of thing). He accepted being tied down by his woman and his daughter only, not anything else. Not a job. Not a mortgage. Not a membership to a club. He hung with a lot of them, including Chaos (in fact, Hammer, sadly now deceased, but one of the founding members of Chaos, had been my father’s best friend).

But he’d never hung with Bounty.

“Don’t like the feel of them,” I’d heard him mutter years ago. “If you’re an outlaw, own the outlaw. If you’re not, own that. You can’t wanna be a Gypsy Joker. You either are or you aren’t. They wanna be. But they aren’t. That shit just ain’t right and it could get dangerous.”

He’d been right.

It got dangerous.

I should have known.

I should have followed my dad.

Mom and me had done it all our lives, job to job, house to house, city to city.

Why I stopped…

Damn.

I knew why I’d stopped.

I’d wanted Shy; Shy, who reminded me of Dad.

And when I couldn’t have him, I’d gone looking.

I’d wanted what my mom had.

I’d wanted that sweetness. That love.

That devotion.

I’d wanted the stability that just seeped down deep into your bones from all that no matter the job changing, the scenery changing, the amount of times you boxed up a house.

Stability had nothing to do with income and locale.

Stability was all in the heart.

 

 

 

 

 

 


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About Kristen Ashley:

Kristen Ashley was born in Gary, Indiana, USA and nearly killed her mother and herself making it into the world, seeing as she had the umbilical cord wrapped around her neck (already attempting to accessorize and she hadn’t taken her first breath!). Her mother said they took Kristen away, put her Mom back in her room, her mother looked out the window, and Gary was on fire (Dr. King had been assassinated four days before). Kristen’s Mom remembered thinking it was the end of the world. Quite the dramatic beginning.

Nothing’s changed.

Kristen grew up in Brownsburg, Indiana and has lived in Denver, Colorado and the West Country of England. Thus, she’s blessed to have friends and family around the globe. Her family was (is) loopy (to say the least) but loopy is good when you want to write. They all lived together on a very small farm in a small farm town in the heartland. She grew up with Glenn Miller, The Everly Brothers, REO Speedwagon and Whitesnake (and the wardrobes that matched).

Needless to say, growing up in a house full of music, clothes and love was a good way to grow up.

And as she keeps growing, it keeps getting better.

 

WEBSITE * FACEBOOK * TWITTER * NEWSLETTER * GOODREADS * PINTEREST * INSTAGRAM

 

 

Cover Reveals · MC Romance · Romance

King by Aria Cole Cover Reveal

 

 

 




King Williams has seen the other side of hell, his tortured solitude hiding pain behind the cut of his marble jaw. Stubborn fortitude has gotten him this far, but one night with Piper at a club party is all it takes to unravel the walls he’s built. Now he can’t get her out of his head. His obsessive need rages before he pulls her in so deep both of their lives land on the line. The only thing that matters might be the only thing he can’t protect.

When Piper Parish spots King, high-ranking member of the Sinister Knights MC, nearly naked late one night, it isn’t the first time he’s caught her eye. It is, however, the first time she’s set eyes on the cobblestoned abs and chiseled lines etched into this bad boy’s body. Like a flash of lightning in the darkness, Piper finds herself thrown into a whirlwind ride with the brooding biker…a ride he will never let her forget.

Warning: King is one sexy, moody Harley ridin’ bad boy. Heathcliff meets Gray, he’s Piper’s idea of devilish, dark, dead-sexy, and so off-limits. Until now. He’ll stop at nothing to make her his, but is she ready to buckle in for the ride of a lifetime?

 

 

Aria Cole is a thirty-something housewife who once felt bad for reading dirty books late at night, until she decided to write her own. Possessive alpha men and the sassy heroines who love them are common, along with a healthy dose of irresistible insta-love and happily ever afters so sweet your teeth may ache.

For a safe, off-the-charts HOT, and always HEA story that doesn’t take a lifetime to read, get lost in an Aria Cole book!
Follow Aria on Amazon for new release updates, or stalk her on Facebook and Twitter to see which daring book boyfriend she’s writing next!

Sign up to get a NEW RELEASE ALERT from me!
http://eepurl.com/ccGnRX

 

 

Cover Reveals · MC Romance

Deliverance (NYC Doms Book 1) by Jane Henry Cover Reveal

 

 

 

 

He’s bred to protect.

Tobias Creed likes things done his way, and he likes his women ready to submit. No strings attached. Until the night he meets the one woman who challenges him, practically begging to be taken over his knee.

As a single mom to a child with special needs, Diana McAdams does things her way. She’s in control and doesn’t have time for love. Happily-ever-afters aren’t for her.

Then she meets the man who demands her submission…

 

 

 

 

Jane has been writing since her early teens, dabbling in short stories and poetry. When she married and began having children, her pen was laid to rest for several years, until the National Novel Writing Challenge (NaNoWriMo) in 2010 awakened in her the desire to write again. That year, she wrote her first novel, and has been writing ever since. With a houseful of children, she finds time to write in the early hours of the morning, squirreled away with a laptop, blanket, and cup of hot coffee. Years ago, she heard the wise advice, “Write the book you want to read,” and has taken it to heart. She sincerely hopes you also enjoy the books she likes to read.

 

 

MC Romance · Romance

Ryker by Aria Cole Release Day Blitz

 

 

 

 

Also available via Kindle Unlimited

 

 

 

 

Ride. Protect. Defend.
Anna Kloss grew up as a smart girl in the Sinister Knights Motorcycle Club, an above-the-law group of misfits that fights to safeguard the women of their town. Straddling both worlds, she’s lived the last few years in a college dorm, losing herself in the promise of her future and trying to forget the lost love of her past.

As Vice President of the Sinister Knights, Ryker Beckett has proven his dedication and loyalty by sitting in a county jail cell for three years for saving one woman from a nightmarish assault. The woman. The only one who matters. Prez’s young, innocent, and untouched daughter, Anna.

But now, Ryker is back, his sights set on reconnecting with the woman who occupied every minute of his thoughts while he was away. Anna’s all grown up, but she’s still the only one he can’t have, the only one he craves… Is she ready for this giant, rough-around-the-edges biker to protect and defend her forever?


Warning: Ryker is hard in all the right places—a tall, tattooed drink of water sitting on a powerful engine. He’s got his mind on one woman only, and when he sees her again, he’s determined to get her bred and on his bike for their sexy ride into the sunset.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Aria Cole is a thirty-something housewife who once felt bad for reading dirty books late at night, until she decided to write her own. Possessive alpha men and the sassy heroines who love them are common, along with a healthy dose of irresistible insta-love and happily ever afters so sweet your teeth may ache.

For a safe, off-the-charts HOT, and always HEA story that doesn’t take a lifetime to read, get lost in an Aria Cole book!
Follow Aria on Amazon for new release updates, or stalk her on Facebook and Twitter to see which daring book boyfriend she’s writing next!

Sign up to get a NEW RELEASE ALERT from me!
http://eepurl.com/ccGnRX

 

 

 

 

Cover Reveals · MC Romance · Romance

Ryker (Sinister Knights MC) by Aria Cole Cover Reveal

 

 

 

 

Ride. Protect. Defend.
Anna Kloss grew up as a smart girl in the Sinister Knights Motorcycle Club, an above-the-law group of misfits that fights to safeguard the women of their town. Straddling both worlds, she’s lived the last few years in a college dorm, losing herself in the promise of her future and trying to forget the lost love of her past.

As Vice President of the Sinister Knights, Ryker Beckett has proven his dedication and loyalty by sitting in a county jail cell for three years for saving one woman from a nightmarish assault. The woman. The only one who matters. Prez’s young, innocent, and untouched daughter, Anna.

But now, Ryker is back, his sights set on reconnecting with the woman who occupied every minute of his thoughts while he was away. Anna’s all grown up, but she’s still the only one he can’t have, the only one he craves… Is she ready for this giant, rough-around-the-edges biker to protect and defend her forever?

Warning: Ryker is hard in all the right places—a tall, tattooed drink of water sitting on a powerful engine. He’s got his mind on one woman only, and when he sees her again, he’s determined to get her bred and on his bike for their sexy ride into the sunset.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Aria Cole is a thirty-something housewife who once felt bad for reading dirty books late at night, until she decided to write her own. Possessive alpha men and the sassy heroines who love them are common, along with a healthy dose of irresistible insta-love and happily ever afters so sweet your teeth may ache.

For a safe, off-the-charts HOT, and always HEA story that doesn’t take a lifetime to read, get lost in an Aria Cole book!
Follow Aria on Amazon for new release updates, or stalk her on Facebook and Twitter to see which daring book boyfriend she’s writing next!

Sign up to get a NEW RELEASE ALERT from me!
http://eepurl.com/ccGnRX

 

 

 

 

Cover Reveals · MC Romance

Through the Woods (The Fairest Book 1) by Shannon Myers Cover Reveal

 

 

Coming February 1st

 

 

Forced to run from her drug-dealing boyfriend, Neve ends up injured and alone in the middle of the Colorado wilderness. She never planned on being rescued by seven bikers and brought to their clubhouse. While the other bikers welcome a female presence, their leader, Charm, is not impressed. As Neve recuperates, she begins to see that there’s much more to this club president than she thought possible. However, while she might’ve run, she can’t stay hidden forever.

 

 

 

Shannon is a born and raised Texan. She grew up inventing clever stories, usually to get herself out of trouble. Her mother was not amused. In junior high, she began writing fractured fairy tales from the villain’s point of view and that was the moment she knew that she was going to use her powers for evil instead of good.

In 2003, she moved to Denver and met the love of her life. After some relentless stalking and a few well-timed sarcastic remarks, the man eventually gave in to her charms and wifed her so hard. They welcomed a son in 2007 that they named after their favorite Marvel superhero, Spiderman.

Sick of seeing beautiful mountains through their window every day, the three escaped back to the desolate landscape of the west Texas desert in 2009. She welcomed her second son not long after and soon realized that being surrounded by three men was nothing at all like she’d imagined in her fantasies.

After an unplanned surgery in 2014 and a long pity party, she decided to pen a novel about the worst thing that could happen to a person in order to cheer herself up. She’s twisted like that. Thus, From This Day Forward was born and the rest, as they say, is history.

Not only does Shannon enjoy stalking people, she also has a fondness for being stalked.

 

 

MC Romance

Break Out (Hawks MC: Caroline Springs Charter 5.5 Novella) by Lila Rose Release Blitz

Title: Break Out (Hawks MC: Caroline Springs Charter 5.5 novella)

Author: Lila Rose

Genre: MC Romance

Release Date: January 9, 2018

Synopsis

 

Pain. It was something Finn “Handle” Kaidion knew well after losing his wife. Pain was what kept him guarded against any further relationships.

Pain was also something Mardella “Della” Kent felt after losing her sister and from being dragged into the pits of hell by a madman. Only he was no longer an issue. Instead, having her parents turn their back on her was a new reason pain kept beating at her door.

Can two people learn to trust and live free from their past sorrows?

Purchase your copy today!

Amazon US | Amazon UK

 

About The Author

Website | Facebook | Goodreads

Lila was born in Brisbane Australia, her step-dad was in the Army which caused them to move around a lot. They finally settled in country Victoria, Australia. Being the youngest of four children she admits she was spoilt a bit. Even drove her mum crazy when she refused to eat meat at a young age.

Now, Lila lives with her husband and two children.

She started writing in 2013 and self-published the first of the Hawks MC: Ballarat Charter series- Holding Out. Since then, she has published eleven other titles, which range from erotica, humorous romance, YA and paranormal.

 

 

 

Chapter Reveal · MC Romance

Cruise (Savage Disciples MC) by Drew Elyse Chapter Reveal


 

Once a Disciple, forever a Disciple.

After giving up eighteen months of his life for his club,
the Disciples’ president is finally tasting freedom again.
Stone knows there’s only one thing that might ever be as sweet,
but she’s too young, too perfect, too untouchable for a man like him.

A Disciple will fight like a savage to protect what matters.

Evie’s life is pretty much blowing up in her face
until Stone finds her broken down on the side of the road.
Now if only she could get him to stop being the martyr
and give them a shot at what she knows they both want.

It’s high time this biker got the chance to let go and just cruise.

 

Coming January 11th

Prologue

 

 

Stone

I shoveled in a forkful of eggs thinking I was becoming a masochist.
It was high past time for me to stop dragging my ass to that diner five days a week. Christ, after that first time stopping in to grab a bite, I should have gotten on my bike and not come back.
Instead, I developed some sick fucking need to torture myself incessantly.
Across the dated countertop I sat at—the same damn place my ass was parked every time I came in—she was singing. She did that a lot. It was always quiet, just barely audible from my spot, and eaten up by the room before it could get to any of the tables.
Today, it was “Delta Dawn.”
I knew the song, though I wondered how the fuck she did. It had to be about as old as me. My mom listened to it when I was growing up, but it wasn’t a new one even then. Forty-odd years later, it was surprising a girl in her twenties would know it, let alone be singing it quietly while she worked.
In her twenties, I repeated the thought to myself the way I did every time I had it.
Even as I did, I couldn’t tear my eyes off of her. Not that that was anything unusual. How the hell she hadn’t cottoned on, I didn’t know. Then again, Geneviev was a woman the likes of which were rare these days.
Evie had told me a lot in the months I’d been planting my ass on the stool in front of her four times. The only reason I skipped three days every week was because she didn’t work them. The food she set down in front of me each time was fine, but it wasn’t what kept me coming back. It was her. She was sweet as sugar and for some reason seemed to take to me. This meant I got a lot of her sweet directed my way when I took up residence at that counter. She’d talk about what she had going on, how she was studying to be a nurse, her roommate, crazy shit that happened there at the diner. She’d talk about whatever came to her, and I’d soak up every damn word.
What she hadn’t said—and I hadn’t asked because I was smart enough to know that it was dangerous ground for my own self-control—was how the fuck she came to be the woman she was. That being, a woman who was cute, gracious, caring, funny, but more importantly, sheltered.
I knew it the first time she’d taken the gamble on talking to me, and she’d asked about my cut. It wasn’t like I never got questions about the Savage Disciples MC patch on my back. Hell, it wasn’t even like I didn’t get those from a whole lot of folks who knew nothing about the life. It was the blatant curiosity that shone in her eyes—a look I’d seen more than a few times since—that verged on wonder. Like a bunch of bikers were the stuff of fairy tales or some shit.
“Top you off, Mr. President?” the object of my obsession asked on a light, ringing laugh.
Yeah, she’d started calling me “Mr. President” when I’d explained that part of the cut to her.
Christ, she was dangerous.
I gave her a lift of my chin, which got me a smile I forced myself not to fully take in as she topped off more coffee into my mug.
“Thanks, babe.”
The words earned me another smile, this one softer.
That right there might be the biggest indicator she was sheltered.
She’d told me once, amid her talking about the nursing program she was doing, and how she wished she’d been able to start right out of high school and already be working in the job she’d wanted since she was young, that she’d just recently turned twenty-five. I wouldn’t deny that there were twenty-five-year-olds out there that’d smile at me and do a fuck of a lot more. I wasn’t in my twenties—or my thirties—anymore, but I could still get a lot of women of a lot of different ages in my bed. Patch chasers or party girls, that “President” stitched onto the front of my cut could get me a taste of a variety of flavors.
Evie wasn’t one of those.
A girl like Evie, with the air of innocence that hung around her, had no business smiling at the gruff, former marine, old-enough-to-be-her-father president of the local motorcycle club.
And that asshole had no business coming around, drinking in all the sweet that was her, and dreaming about what it would be like to get a taste.
“Time to make the rounds,” she announced, moving her lithe body around the counter to go check on the two occupied tables in the joint.
I had to curl my hand into a fist so tight my knuckles protested to keep from turning where I sat to watch her move. It was a battle I fought every time I was there. If I had to put a number on it, I’d say I was at about a forty percent success rate. The other sixty percent of the time, I’d end up engraining her courteous smiles, the flair of her waist, the way her hips moved with her steps into my head. Like I didn’t already have a million images of her stored away up there, making certain the torture I came here and subjected myself to didn’t stop when I walked out the door.
By the time Evie finished her rounds, including delivering bills to both tables, I was finished eating. I’d even gotten out the cash to cover my meal—since I ate there so often I already knew what the damage would be. I told myself again and again that I should get my ass up and just call out a goodbye as I left.
Sticking with the theme, I didn’t listen to my own good advice.
Which was why I was still sitting at that damn bar when she was back behind it, standing right across from me with a smile on her face that had turned tight. I didn’t get it, not as I watched her grab the rag she used to wipe down the tables, not as she set about cleaning the unmarred stretch of counter in front of her.
“So…um…any plans this weekend?” There was a faint, nervous tremor to the words.
“Nothing much,” I answered, keeping my voice level.
Her anxiety set me on edge. It wasn’t like her. She wiped the same spot repeatedly as she turned over whatever she was about to say.
“I was wondering—you know, if you’re not busy and all—if you’d want to…I don’t know…get dinner,” she stumbled out. “Or something.”
Fuck.
Fuck me.
Here I’d been thinking all this time that I needed to let go of this attachment. Never, not even once in the craziest shit my brain thought up when I didn’t check myself, did I think that the tables would turn.
She had no business, not a fucking lick, asking me out.
And now it fell on me to correct that problem, even when I wanted nothing more than to take her up on her offer.
Fuck.
The time had come. No more avoiding this shit. No more convincing myself it was fine.
This was the end.
“Kills me to do this, you gotta know that, but I’m gonna have to say no.”
It sounded like a line, a bullshit way to ease the rejection. I wanted to rip the words back, choke on them if I had to when I watched her face fall as they sank in. She thought I wasn’t interested. She honestly fucking thought I’d been coming in all this time for…what? The food? The atmosphere?
No, I’d been there day after day because she was the most magnificent thing I’d ever laid my eyes on and that didn’t even scratch the surface of all there was to her.
Turning down her sweet invitation burned through me in a way I knew the singed wasteland left behind would never be the same. But I couldn’t give her that. She’d push if I did, and I was too fucking weak to keep resisting.
“Oh,” she finally breathed in response. “That…that’s okay.”
It wasn’t. Not for her, with the disappointment she tried—and failed—to mask still showing in her eyes. Not for me, with the way it was actually physically painful to hold in all the words I wanted to give her to ease that damage I’d done.
It wasn’t okay in the fucking slightest, but it was the right thing to do.
“I’m not the man you should be offering that to,” I found myself saying. I should have just kept my mouth shut, taken the blow that was seeing her dejection, and gotten the fuck out. “Shit’s me to say it, but it’s the truth.”
The downturn of her lips, something I’d never seen before that moment, told me she didn’t believe a word of it even as she said, “Okay.”
As I sat there, watching her avoid looking at me, watching her chin tip down to her slender neck like she was trying to hide beneath her honey-colored hair, I fought the urge to say more. I wanted to talk until I was blue in the face if needed to make her understand, but doing so would be admitting too much.
Instead, I finally forced myself to do what I should have done months ago. I stood, slid the money closer to her for the bill, and I lied.
“I’ll see you soon, Evie.”
They were the same words I gave her every time I walked out the door, but it was the first time I said them with no intention of making them true.

Four months later, as the bars to the cell I’d be calling home for the next year and a half closed for the first time, that lie was the only thing in my head.

 

 

 

Drew Elyse spends her days trying to convince the world that she is, in fact, a Disney Princess, and her nights writing tear-jerking and smutty romance novels. Her debut novel, Dissonance, released in August of 2014.

When she isn’t writing, she can usually be found over-analyzing every line of a book, binge watching a series on Netflix, doing strange vocal warm ups before singing a variety of music styles, or screaming at the TV during a Chicago Blackhawks game.

A graduate of Loyola University Chicago with a BA in English, she still lives in Chicago, IL where she was born and raised with her boyfriend and her prima donna pet rabbit, Lola.

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