Unexpected chance, p.1
Unexpected Chance, page 1
Book 6 in the
Running Into Love Series
All Rights Reserved
Copyright © 2015 by Annalisa Nicole
This book is a written act of fiction. Any and all names, places, or similarities are coincidental. No part of this book may be used without written permission except for brief quotations for reviews or blogs. This book may only be distributed by Annalisa Nicole, the owner and Author of this series.
This book is dedicated to
My greatest blessings
Table of Contents
A little about Annalisa Nicole
Other Books by Annalisa Nicole
Where you can find Annalisa Nicole
There are a total of five siblings in my family. Today, the fourth one got married. I’m the second oldest and the only one who is not married, not to mention that I’m not even dating anyone. Isn’t life fucking awesome? I’m standing in my new brother-in-law’s kitchen looking around at all the happy couples with the last beer in the house dangling between my finger and thumb. There are about four swigs left and when it’s gone, I’m out of here. I take a swig and look at my younger brother, Asher. He and his wife, Willow, are pregnant and expecting their third child. Three! What are they rabbits or something? La di fucking da, they’re oblivious and entirely too happy. I take a second swig and look at my younger sister, Amelia, and her husband, Kyle. They have a son, Noah. Whoop de flipping do, another happy couple. A third swig, and I look at my older brother, Adrian, and his wife Shay. She just had a baby a few weeks ago, adding to the two kids they recently adopted. Isn’t their life just perfect? Fourth and last swig, Kyle’s twin sister, Chloe, and her husband, Max, recently got married, and it was a freaking Harley wedding for crying out loud! Come on, seriously, whose wife would ever agree to a Harley wedding? Damn, drained it dry, and I just ran out of my last I could give a fuck. But there’s still one more couple, Ava, and her new husband, Jax. They’re upstairs bumping uglies. I know it’s their house and their wedding day, but give me a fucking break! There are kids in the house, not to mention my mother is here too. It seems like everyone is getting some, except me.
I hear Ava and Jax walking down the stairs. Good! Now I can say my congratulations, and get the hell out of here.
“There you two are. You’re out of beer, and I don’t want wine,” Max says.
“I can run to the store and get some real quick,” Ava replies.
“It’s your wedding day, honey. You’re not going out to get beer,” Willow says.
“I know! Let’s go to Deuces Bar,” Chloe suggests.
“You all go ahead. I’m going to call it a night,” I say.
“Dude, it’s like nine o’clock. Stop being a pansy, you’re coming with us,” Asher says, flashing a vulgar gesture.
My mother and Jax’s sister, Quinn, volunteer to stay back at the house while we go out for a few drinks. I really just want to go home, sit on my couch in my boxers, and have a beer by myself in my own house where I don’t have to look at happy people.
Asher and Willow, Adrian and Shay, and Ava and Jax get in his Hummer H3. Max and Chloe, Amelia and Kyle and I climb in Max’s blacked out Explorer, and we head to Deuces. I guess I can have one beer then call a cab and get the hell out of there.
The parking lot at Deuces is packed. We park on the street a few blocks down and walk toward the bar. Loud music is pumping from every crevice and I dread going in there. I’m not a bad looking guy, if I do say so myself, but I bet most of the men in there are all scum bags and they’ll all have someone in their life.
Willow, Shay, Amelia, and Chloe are physically pushing me down the street toward the entrance of the bar. I swear to God their bony fingers on my back feel like daggers to my dignity.
As soon as we get to the front door of Deuces, the door flings open and a woman is physically thrown out of the bar. She crashes right into me sending me stumbling backwards a few steps. I hold her around the arms and steady her on her feet. If I hadn’t been walking in the front, she would have knocked down one of my sisters, or she would have been thrown to the ground on her ass and seriously hurt. The door is flung open again; a tall, scrawny man comes barreling through the door. He stumbles a few steps, then throws his beer bottle on the ground. It shatters into pieces. The men immediately go into protection mode and put their wives behind them.
“No one wants you, bitch. Stop lying to me. You’re not with anyone. I own you,” the man slurs, grabbing her arm, pulling her away from me.
Then I recognize the woman’s face. It’s Savvy, the woman renting Ava’s condo. She was in Max and Chloe’s wedding, she rode on the back of my motorcycle. She was supposed to be in Jax and Ava’s wedding, but was a no show.
“Reno!” Max shouts, pushing his way to the front of everyone.
Fuck. This dipshit is Reno? Not that long ago, Savvy got beat up pretty bad by this character. Max and one of his PI men, Levi, took care of the situation. Or, at least, I thought they took care of it.
“Reno. Oh my God,” Chloe whispers.
“I thought I told you to never come back here,” Max growls, pulling Savvy away from him.
“I own this bitch, I came back to town to get what’s mine,” Reno boldly replies, pulling Savvy back to his body in a sick game of tug of war.
“I told you. I’m with somebody,” she says, looking into his eyes.
The street light catches her face; she has a black eye and a cut below her left eye. Tears are streaming down her face. Reno is fucking dumb or high, probably both, for coming back here.
“Who would possibly want you? Who are you with, Savannah?” Reno taunts.
“She’s with me,” I growl, pulling her back into my arms. What the fuck did I just say! I’ve gone temporarily mad. Her tearful green eyes come to mine, silently begging, pleading for me to not let her go. Her blonde hair is wild and stuck to her wet cheeks, the cut under her left eye drips blood down her chin and onto her shirt.
Jax and Max both stand between Reno and Savvy and me. You’d have to be a God damned fool to take on Jax. He’s ex Air Force. Reno must have a screw loose to come back to town. I move Savvy behind me and position myself in front of her. Her little hands bunch the back of my shirt, then she buries her face in my spine.
Max pushes Reno on the shoulder and he stumbles a few steps backwards. “Don’t fucking touch me, man. I’ll press charges this time,” Reno snarls, cocking his head to the side.
Max pushes his shoulder again and again until he’s pinned up against the brick wall of the bar. He gets a half an inch from Reno’s face and says, “I have friends in high places motherfucker. You don’t want to fuck with me. You hit women for kicks. I’ll have you put in prison so fast your head will spin. I’ll make sure to get you a real ‘nice’ cell mate, if you know what I mean. Get the fuck out of town, and stay away this time.”
He punches Reno in the gut and he violently jerks forward on Max’s shoulder from the force, then Max whispers, “Don’t make me waste a favor on you.” Max steps away. Reno bends forward putting his hands on his knees, coughing
Chloe steps forward, but Jax stops her by putting his hand on her shoulder.
“No, let her,” Max says.
She stands in front of Reno with Jax and Max flanking her side. She grabs him by the shoulders and pulls him into her, while she raises her knee connecting with his junk. He moans and falls to the ground holding his nads. She kneels down next to him and says, “I said if I ever saw your face again, I’d nut punch you, then I’d wrap them around your neck until you screamed like a girl. But, I’m not coming any closer to your disease infested, sorry of an excuse, nuts. You’d do best to heed Max’s warning, and get out of town.”
Max quickly pulls Chloe out of the way and makes a mad lunge for Reno, landing on top of him and pinning Reno’s neck under his knee. “Drop it, motherfucker! All I have to do is push the rest of my weight on your trachea, and it’s bye-bye Reno,” he says.
Reno drops a glass shard from the broken beer bottle that he smashed on the ground when he first came out. I didn’t even see him grab it. If Max hadn’t seen it, he would have stabbed or cut Chloe with it.
Max grabs Reno by the collar of his shirt, picks him up off the ground, then drags him around to the side of the bar. I turn around and look at Savvy. She touches the cut below her eye, and then looks at the blood on her finger. Her eyes come to Ava and new tears stream down her face.
“Ava, it’s your wedding day, I’m so sorry, I missed it. I’m just so sorry. You all were headed into the bar. Gary is in there, tell him I said the first round is on me,” she says with a shaky voice, and then starts to walk away.
“Honey, you’re bleeding. I think you’re going to need some stitches,” Willow says.
“Oh, it’s fine, really. I’ll just go home, clean it up and put a bandage on it, and it’ll be right as rain. You all go inside and celebrate,” she says, as her voice quivers.
Max walks back around the corner, takes one look at Savvy’s face, digs in his pants pocket for his cell phone, and pushes a button. “Levi, get to Deuces. You need to take Savvy to the hospital, then back to the office. Put her in the safe room and make sure she stays there,” he barks, then hangs up. He pushes another button and barks again, “Chase, get to Deuces. I have a pick up for you.”
Max doesn’t mess around. I should know. I was with him, Asher, and Kyle when we found Chloe and Amelia in the basement of a mad man’s house. Chloe had been kidnapped and held for three years before he kidnapped Amelia. That was the worst mistake that man ever made, messing with a Wellington. Max does not fuck around, he takes care of business. I don’t know what happened on the side of the bar, but Reno is nowhere in sight.
“No, really, I’m alright,” Savvy pleads to Max.
“I said she’s with me. I’ll take her to the hospital, then back to my house. I’ll keep an eye on her,” I tell Max. What the fuck is wrong with me? Whose words are these coming out of my mouth?
They all look at me like I’ve just gone off the deep end. Seriously, I need to take a look in the mirror and look at myself that way, too! Willow gets a stupid look on her face, then pulls Shay and Ava by the elbows toward the entrance of the bar.
“We’ve got a marriage to celebrate, let’s go inside. First rounds on Savvy, second rounds on Asher,” Willow says with a smile.
“But . . .” Chloe says, looking at Savvy.
“She’s in capable hands. Come on Fireballs for everyone and a club soda for me,” she says, pushing people inside.
“I’m not drinking no Fireball, I want a beer,” Max says.
After they’d all gone inside, it was like Savvy was putting up a brave front. The thing is, the front that she was putting up wasn’t all that brave to begin with. Her hands start to shake, then her whole body starts to shake, and then her knees gave out. I put my arms around her shoulders before her ass hits cement.
“I’m alright. I just need a minute,” she says.
“You’re not alright. Come on, I’ll grab a cab,” I tell her, turning around to face the street.
“No, my car is here. Really, I’m fine. I’ll just go home,” she tries again.
“You heard what I said to Max, right? I said I’d take you to the hospital, and then back to my house. Do I look stupid or something to you? Do I look like the type of person who’d want to be on Max’s bad side? We’re going to the hospital, and then I’m taking you back to my house. Now which car is yours?” I ask.
She doesn’t answer, but her eyes go to the parking lot, answering for me. I reach for her hand, wrap my arm around her shoulder and lead her into the parking lot. She digs her heels in, and stands her ground.
“I’ve learned from the best, and I have no problem putting you over my shoulder. Dig your keys out of your purse like a good girl, or I’ll drag you kicking and screaming if I have to,” I tell her.
Her eyes go to the parking lot again as she cranes her neck like she’s looking for something. Then I get it. She’s looking for someone. Max took Reno that way.
“I saw Chase pull up in his Explorer. Reno is long gone, I promise,” I assure her. She nods her head, takes her keys out of her purse and hands them to me.
“Red car,” she says, pointing to the west side of the parking lot. Still holding her around the shoulder, we walk toward her car.
“Good God, are you kidding me?” I ask, disgusted.
“What?” she asks, confused.
“This car is older than you and I combined,” I say, pointing to a rust eaten, dilapidated looking, red Volkswagen Rabbit.
“It is not! It was born the same year I was born. And don’t say mean things to Ruby, you’ll hurt her feelings,” she replies, aggravated.
“Ruby?” I question, squinting at her like she’s the crazy one now.
“Yes, from Ruby and Max the television show. You know on Nickelodeon. What, do you live in a cave or something? It’s the perfect name for my car. She’s red, a ruby is red, see perfect,” she says, like she thinks I watch Nickelodeon all the time or something. She puts her hand on the passenger door and keeps talking, “Did you know that the Liberty Bell Ruby is the largest mined ruby in the world? It was found in East Africa in the 1950s. It weighs four pounds and it’s eight and a half thousand carats. Oh my God, could you imagine how big that is! It’s called the Liberty Bell because it’s carved into a miniature form of the Liberty Bell. It has fifty diamonds set in it and is valued at two million dollars. It was at a jewelry store in Delaware when it was stolen in 2011. They offered a reward for its return. On February 20, 2014, four men were arrested, but the ruby was never found. Sad, really,” she says, opening the door and getting in with a plop. She just told me all of that like she was some sort of museum tour guide.
I open the driver’s side door, shaking my head, and it creeks then lunges downward. Shit! I pull up on the door handle and hold it upward. I seriously thought the door was going to fall off the car and crash on the ground.
“I’m sorry to say this car is more of a brown color from all the rust, than red,” I say, getting into the seat.
“Shh,” she says, putting her hands on the dashboard. “It’s alright, Ruby, he didn’t mean that,” she says, patting the dashboard.
I roll my eyes, put the key in the ignition and pray it even starts. Unbelievably, it comes purring to life. I turn out of the parking lot in the direction of the hospital. She doesn’t say a word.
When I turn into the hospital parking lot, she turns to me and says, “Really, I don’t need to have anything looked at. I don’t need you to watch me either. You said it yourself, Reno is long gone. You can just take me home.”
I continue to drive around the parking lot and pull into a spot, then turn off the engine. I take the key out of the ignition and take a deep breath. I toss the keys in my hand as I look at her face. “That really does need stitches. I gave Max my word. And I’m not leaving you alone tonight,” I say, and get out of the car. I walk around to her side and hold open the door for her.
After my mother died I moved in with my Aunt Molly, and she basically treated me like her personal maid. I couldn’t wait until I turned eighteen to move out of her house. The only thing that kept me there was my mother’s dying promise to be a good girl and listen to my Aunt Molly. I had to be a good girl and I had to do everything my Aunt Molly said. I thought in my naive little girl mind that my mother would end up in hell or something if I didn’t. I wasn’t going to put my mother’s eternal soul at risk by disobeying her.
I thought I finally had my life back on track. I live in a nice condo, again thanks to Chloe and Ava. I have some amazing new friends. I’m in school, to become a Hospice nurse, something I’ve always wanted to do since my mother died when I was ten. I had finally had a streak of good luck which included a full scholarship to nursing school. That kind of luck has never happened to me before. I chalked it up to a lifetime of shit and karma had finally caught up to me and decided that I deserved some good in my life.
The last part of my past that I needed to shake was Reno. And he was also gone thanks to Max. Up until a few weeks ago, that is. Reno was always possessive. I met him one night while working at Deuces. He was charming, good looking, had tattoos and George Clooney hair. It’s hard to believe back then that I thought he was the answer to all my prayers. He turned out to be my worst nightmare.
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