ESCAPING FREE (BOOK ONE)

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Chapter 2

EVIE POV

Wicked Saints. For as long as I could remember, people feared that name or anyone who wore a leather cut with that name on it. Nobody messed with them and nobody questioned them.


Even though I thought about leaving the club life behind more often than not, I couldn’t help but feel proud to be a Wicked Saint. I was untouchable, and as I looked around the meeting room at my club family, I couldn’t help but smile.


“Evie, what are the finances looking like? We have a run on Saturday for… What the hell is it for?”


To many people, Axel Kidd was a mean and cranky son-of-a-bitch, but he had a heart of gold when it came to his family and his club. He was a little rough around the edges with his salt-and-pepper hair and fading tattoos, but to me, he was my dad. I hardly agreed with him and we often fought on everything, but he was my President.


“Children with MS,” Aaron answered as he shifted in his seat. He was a strong asset to the club, but if he didn’t stop being intimidated by Axel, he wasn’t going to make it far.


Axel nodded before he turned to me. “Well?”


I flipped through some binders in front of me. “Funds are looking great. I can put together some stuff for donations, too.”


“Good. Meeting adjourned!” Axel slammed his gavel but threw a hand in the air. “Dusty. Evie. Stay put for a moment.”


The guys all left, which left me in an uncomfortable situation as I sat back in the chair and crossed my arms over my chest. Dusty, of course, had that stupid grin on his face again as he placed his tatted hands on the table and looked at Axel.


“What the hell is going on between you two now?” He looked between us, but I kept my mouth shut as I threw daggers at Dusty with my glare.


“Your daughter is pissed at me. It’s nothing, Sir,” Dusty replied.


“Nothing?!” I shrieked as I leaned forward. I was seconds away from lunging across this table and finishing what I had started earlier in my bedroom.


Axel smacked his hands on the table and pointed at the both of us. “Fix this shit now. I can’t have you two at each other’s throats right now. We have too much shit going on in the club to have you two being a bunch of baby-bitching assholes.”


I scoffed. “I’m not being a baby-bitching asshole!” I stood up and grabbed the binders. “There isn’t anything to fix. We’re through. It won’t affect how I work, I can promise you that.”


Axel nodded, but when I looked at Dusty my heart clenched. He looked at me with such hurt and confusion that he had lost his grin and his brows were furrowed together.


What the hell did he have to be hurt about? He did this to himself! If he thought I was just going to brush this under the rug like I always did, he was dead fucking wrong.


I left the meeting room and stormed down the hallway toward the office. After I slammed the door and threw the binders on the desk, I took a deep breath. My loneliness was short lived when the office door flew open and Dusty stood in the doorway.


“What do you mean we’re through?!”


“Dusty…” I backed up as he glared at me. He was all male and powerful with his strong shoulders stretching out the shirt he wore, and his damn cologne wafting in the air toward me. Fuck, he smells good.


He crossed his arms over his chest, and I nearly passed out from the sight of his bulging biceps. Damn, he could make me forget how angry I was at him with a simple pose like this one.


“Like I said,” my voice cracked, “We’re through. There isn’t anything to work out.”


“Like hell we are!” Dusty marched forward as he grabbed me around the waist, but I pushed against his chest. “I screwed up one time, and you’re just going to throw this away?! You can’t quit me even if you wanted to.” His gaze had turned red hot as he stared down at me, holding me possessively to his chest.


I went weak in his arms like I always did, loving the feeling of being in his strong arms, but then I got a second wind and pushed him away. I had to stand my ground here. I couldn’t let Dusty keep doing this to me.


“You can’t make me forget what you did with your seductive fuck-me-eyes again. I said we’re through and I meant it!”


Dusty looked wounded, running his inked hand through his hair as he blew out a breath. “How many times do I have to tell you it was just a drunken fuck? Missy means nothing to me!” he shouted.


I could tell by the tone in his voice that he was angry and even panicking a bit.


“I don’t care if it meant nothing to you! It meant a whole lot to me and this isn’t the first time you’ve fucked up. I can’t do this shit anymore, Dusty. I’m not like the other old-ladies who just let their men fuck whoever they want and then let them come back into their bed the same night. I was born into this life, but I don’t want it. And I don’t want you… not anymore.”


Wow. That came out a lot easier than I thought it would, and it made me feel liberated. I finally spoke the words that had been in my heart for a long time. It was only recently that I realized I didn’t want Dusty anymore. He couldn’t give me what I needed, and that was true love.


His face said it all.


I had never seen Dusty cry, or even show any emotions, but right now he was showing a whole other side of himself.


He backed up until his back hit the office door as he stared down at his boots for what seemed like an eternity. Then he finally looked back up at me with red eyes, and my chest tightened.


“So, that’s it?... We’re done? Just like that?” He winced at his own words as he asked them.


My heart thundered as unshed tears burned the back of my eyes.


“We’re done,” I whispered.


I had fully intended to stand my ground, but it was hard. If I had spoken much louder, I would have ripped my heart wide open and bawled right here in front of the only man I’d ever loved.


With a single nod, Dusty turned and left the office, closing the door on me and my broken heart. It was over, but why did it hurt so much?

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