I woke alone, reaching out for Evie but found the bed to be empty and cold. I just didn’t understand her sometimes. Why would she leave after we shared a pretty intimate moment the night before? Why does she have to be so damn stubborn?
Crawling out of bed, I headed for the bathroom to freshen up before I went out into the bar to find Careen manning the men. Danny, Gearhead, and the Prospect sat at the bar nursing on their beers. Looking at Gearhead still left a bad taste in my mouth.
“Beer me.” I stood at the bar as Careen slid me a fresh cold one. Taking the first sip of the morning was glorious. My eyes scanned over my brothers, but I didn’t see the one person I was looking for. “Anyone seen Evie this morning?”
Gearhead was the one to answer, making me groan. “She went home. Just left about thirty minutes ago.”
Of course, she went home. I took a few more pulls before I slid my still half-full beer across the bar and winked at Careen.
“See you later.”
I didn’t know what I was going to say to her like always, but I knew I had to stop by her place before I headed back up north. I couldn’t leave things how they ended last night. A part of me needed to know that there was still some hope.
Jumping in Charlie’s old chevy pickup, I turned the key and left the lot, heading toward Evie’s apartment.
Towel drying my hair, I slipped on my satin robe and finished applying lotion to my legs before I sat down on the couch and pulled out my guitar. It had been several days since I’d been able to write any music. I began the first few notes of my latest song when the doorbell rang.
Grunting, I quickly hid my guitar from whoever might be at the door, and went to greet them.
I swung the door open and found Dusty’s glorious figure standing there, a look of desperation on his face. I could tell he had just woken up not too long ago because his eyes looked tired. He was wearing my favorite hip hugging jeans, biker boots, and a white tee beneath his leather cut. His aqua blue eyes stared into my soul, causing my breath to falter.
“What are you doing here?” I greeted as I held tightly onto the door, hoping to regain my balance.
He ran a hand through his hair making his biceps flex beneath all that ink. God, he looked sexier than ever.
“I wanted to stop here before I headed back up north,” he admitted.
I studied him, still unsure why he was here. He should have just kept driving north. I was fine.
“If you’re stopping to see if I’m okay, I am.” I tried to look away but found that my gaze went right back to his like a magnet.
He shook his head. “I know you’re okay. You’re the strongest person I know.” He took a deep breath, squaring his shoulder. “I meant… are we okay?” He pointed between us, looking like a lost little boy.
I couldn’t say anything for a moment as I gathered my scrambled thoughts. What was I supposed to say to that? Of course, we weren’t okay, how could he ask me that? Why would he ask me that?
“Dusty,” I began, trying to find the right words, but not wanting to hurt him either, “We’re fine.” Lie. It was a total fucking lie, but I knew it was the only thing I could say if I ever wanted to shut this door and move on.
But when he gave me his sexy grin and stepped forward, he placed his hand on my hip and I knew I had screwed up.
“Wait, that’s not what I meant. We’re fine like I’m no longer angry with you, but we’re,” I paused to point between us, “We’re not fine. We’re still through, Dusty.”
When his face dropped, my heart felt like someone squeezed it. I knew I had hurt him, but I also knew that if I didn’t forgive and forget, I would be the one to hurt in the long run.
“But what about last night?” Dusty had stepped back, staring down at me with disbelief.
“Last night was just me needing someone to comfort me. Nothing more. Just friends, Dusty.”
I knew my words had wounded him because he physically flinched after I said them. And when I I went to grab him, he shook his head and stepped back. Surprisingly, I felt panicked, like this was the final goodbye; the final moment we would ever be close.
“Just friends.” He laughed as his face darkened. “You know as well as I do that we will never be just friends. We weren’t made to be just friends. Neither of us can quit each other. We’re wired to be together and it’s just a matter of time before you can see that.”
I shook my head. “I thought that’s how it was supposed to be, but things have changed.” I bit my bottom lip and added, “You should probably leave. You’ve got a long drive ahead of you.”
“There isn’t anything you can say to make me change my mind.” I finally looked away from him, gripping the door for dear life. “Have a safe drive.”
“Evie,” he began again, but I slowly closed the door on his face.
My tears broke free and slowly slid down my face as I angrily wiped them away. Damn these hormones!
But as I sat back down on the couch and pulled my guitar back out, I couldn’t help but to keep crying. I knew my guitar and singing was the only way I’d be able to get away from this life, but as I sat here crying over Dusty Parker yet again, I lost all motivation to write.
Five hours later, I found myself pulling back into the parking lot of the new chapter pissed off and ready for a stiff drink. I wasn’t the type to give up too easily, but at this point, I was so angry that I was feeling vindictive. If Evie didn’t want me anymore, then fuck her! I could have any woman I wanted; just not the one I needed.
“Welcome back,” Charlie greeted me when I stepped inside the clubhouse.
The guys were all sitting around drinking and listening to Creedence Clearwater Revival, making me smirk.
“I need a stiff drink.” I glared at Mandi behind the bar who only half grinned at me while she poured a shot of whiskey and slid it in front of me.
She leaned against the bar showing off her cleavage as I knocked the shot back, never taking my eyes from her bulging chest.
I tried not to notice how incredibly hot Mandi was yesterday, but now that I was angry, buzzed, and a bit horny, I was looking at her in a whole new light today. If Evie wanted to be like this and forget what we had, then forget her. I could move on too.
“What’s got you all wound up, Sugar?” Mandi pushed her cleavage out further as my eyes moved over her tits seductively.
“Nothing that you need to worry about,” I replied.
Mandi poured me another shot of whiskey, and then one for herself.
“I can help you with that tension.” She licked her lips seductively as she looked at me through hooded eyes.
My cock throbbed to life in my jeans as I cleared my throat. When I looked over my shoulder at the guys in the room, I suddenly felt shit.
“Oh, don’t worry about them, Sugar. They can pour their own drinks.”
When Mandi rounded the bar, she stopped in front of me and ran her hand over my chest, stopping when her fingers wrapped around my belt buckle.
“My room, or your trailer?” She whispered.
Before I could change my mind, I grabbed the bottle of whiskey from the bar and then her hand, pulling her toward the back. I wasn’t going to scold myself or even think about what I was doing. I just needed a few more pulls of whiskey and I’d be ready to put this bullshit over Evie out of my head.
Mandi wrapped her arms around my neck and planted her lips on mine, tasting of strawberry bubblegum and whiskey. I wrapped my arms around her waist and lifted her into my chest as I opened the door and slipped inside with her. Slamming the trailer door behind us, I grinned up at her.
JIMMY POV (Mandi’s brother)
I stepped out from behind the dumpster and pulled my phone out of my cut. I hated that Dusty was here and I hated it even more that he was putting his hands on things that didn’t belong to him. I’d get rid of Dusty Parker if it was the last thing I ever did.
Gearhead’s voice came through the other end. “What news do you have for me?”
My lips formed into a smile as I relayed the damning information on Dusty to his club brother, Gabe.