Charming: The Coast Book 9, page 1
CHAPTER ONE Abigail
CHAPTER TWO Charming
CHAPTER THREE Abigail
CHAPTER FOUR Abigail
CHAPTER FIVE Charming
CHAPTER SIX Abigail
CHAPTER SEVEN Abigail
CHAPTER EIGHT Charming
CHAPTER NINE Abigail
CHAPTER TEN Charming
CHAPTER ELEVEN Abigail
CHAPTER TWELVE Charming
CHAPTER THIRTEEN Abigail
CHAPTER FOURTEEN Charming
CHAPTER FIFTEEN Abigail
CHAPTER SIXTEEN Charming
CHAPTER SEVENTEEN Abigail
CHAPTER EIGHTEEN Charming
CHAPTER NINETEEN Abigail
CHAPTER TWENTY Abigail
CHAPTER TWENTY-ONE Charming
CHAPTER TWENTY-TWO Charming
CHAPTER TWENTY-THREE Abigail
CHAPTER TWENTY-FOUR Charming
CHAPTER TWENTY-FIVE Abigail
CHAPTER TWENTY-SIX Abigail
CHAPTER TWENTY-SEVEN Charming
About the Author
A Steel Paragons MC Novel
(The Coast: Book 9)
By Eve R. Hart
Copyright © 2019 Eve R. Hart
All right reserved.
The scanning, uploading, and electronic sharing of any part of this book without permission of publisher is unlawful piracy and theft of the author’s intellectual property. This book or any portion thereof my not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express written permission of the author except for brief quotations used in a book review.
This book is a work of fiction. Any names, characters, places and incidents are products of the writers imagination or have been used fictitiously and are not to be construed as real. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, actual events, locales or organizations is purely coincidental.
Warning: This book is intended for readers 18 years and older. This book contains violence, harsh language, and explicit sex scenes.
Cover image credit Shutterstock.com- KDdeaignphoto’s
To everyone that is a little odd inside their head.
Yeah, you read that right. You think I might not be a part of this story, well, you’d be wrong. And since I know you want to know more about me, I figured it wouldn’t be a bad idea to start this one off for you.
Something you need to understand about me, I didn’t get close to people. You might have already figured that out. Even here with the club, I was still standoffish. I realized a long time ago that people only gave a fuck about themselves. When life kicked you around a few dozen times, you just gave up on trying to give away the few good parts you had left of yourself.
That said, I was slowly starting to realize that I’d gotten a little lucky.
I never had dreams about being a biker. Hell, I wasn’t even interested in motorcycles. That was until I pushed my way into a job at a tattoo shop owned by the Steel Paragons MC. As time wore on, I realized that they all had a closeness that I wanted to be a part of. So like an idiot, I did the only thing I could think of. One day, I got myself a bike and told them I wanted to be a part of it too.
Now I was.
Though I didn’t often show it, each and every single one of these fuckers I considered family. I’d slowly let my armored veil drop over the years but it was nowhere near gone.
I was big, scary, and silent most of the time. That kept people from being around me for the most part. It also allowed me to stand back and watch.
Oh, the things you could catch on to when people didn’t think anyone was watching them.
And I had a lot of things I held in because I saw shit not many other people did.
But that wasn’t the point of this.
Or maybe it was.
Two people had gotten closer to me than all of the others.
The first one had been Dade. It may have never been said but we’d bonded over nearly losing our lives that one day. All for the club. I joked and told people I died twice that day, but the reality of it was that was scary as fuck! Come out of a fucking coma and have the doctor tell you that your heart stopped. Like just fucking stopped. If they hadn’t gotten it started again, I wouldn’t be here. And while it had been touch and go if I’d be able to walk again, Dade had actually been the one to have the misfortune in that department. Yes, he could still walk, but you could tell it in his eyes that it wasn’t the same. I watched him spiral for months and struggle. I couldn’t take it anymore and somehow he became a friend, as much as I could let anyone be.
I’d never be the same now that he was gone, and I wasn’t the only one.
Charming was struggling with a lot of things about losing Dade. He’d never said it but I knew because I watched when people didn’t think I was.
The two of us had an odd relationship and I wasn’t going to question it. And I’m not talking about some sort of hidden sexual desires for each other. We were comfortable enough with one another that the little things didn’t freak us out. It might have seemed different to some, but like I said before, I didn’t question it. And fuck anyone that had a problem with it, any-damn-way. The death of Dade somehow brought us closer and I suspected a lot of that had to do with a certain sister that was like a breath of fresh air for the club.
Charming had it bad, had for a while now. I tried to push him to make a move, to go to Dade and talk to him like a man and a brother. One thing I’d learned by nearly not making it out of that hospital was that life was too damn short. My point was proven further when suddenly Dade was just fucking gone. But Charming retreated because of his death. He pushed those feelings down even harder. I didn’t know how he did it, being in love with the woman and also being her comfort at the same time. Maybe he was a better man than me. Yeah, probably.
Between the two of us, we tried to give Abigail what she needed. I was her silent strength, I guess, and Charm was her warmth and comfort.
I only hoped that I made a difference, that I replaced a fraction of what she’d been missing without her brother. I wasn’t sure if I had, but I kept on being there for her.
But this story isn’t really about me.
I just wanted you to understand what was going on and give you a hint as to how this whole thing might have started.
Oh, and tell you not to worry about me. There was no need to go ‘aww Blade’ with this one because I can assure you that my heart came out fine. I cared a shit-ton about Abigail, that I will never deny. But she wasn’t mine and I always knew it. Truth was, though I couldn’t tell you why, I knew I wasn’t hers too.
So yeah, I still smiled, because I knew life wouldn’t throw this much shit at me and not give me something bright to balance it out at some point. That place in my heart reserved for that thing, that person, it wasn’t touched in this story. My woman was out there and I always knew it wasn’t Abigail.
All I ask is that you keep that in mind going forward. And try not to judge. Some bonds are strong enough to survive anything and some experiences are worth sharing.
It had been a few months since I lost my brother.
The pain was still there every day, almost choking me to the point I couldn’t move.
Growing up, Dade and I hadn’t been especially close. He was older than me by six years and always ‘too cool’ to play with me. But that didn’t
I loved him. I idolized him. Our parents were pretty crappy, to be honest. Dade became the person that I always looked up to. I wanted to be like him and in my mind, he could do no wrong. Even when we fought, which was often, there was always an underlying hint of love. And though I could always manage to find my backbone when we fought, I was never mean when I stood up for myself. In the end, we would cool off and apologize.
Now he was gone and I had this big hole in my chest and in my life.
I knew he wouldn’t want me to dwell and lose myself in this loss, but I was having a hard time seeing what was next for me. I didn’t want a life without Dade. But it looked like the universe didn’t give me a choice in that.
It was hard not to be mad. And that was what I felt when I tried to rip the sadness away that clutched my soul tightly. When I was able to strip the anger away, I just felt numb. I couldn’t decide which of the three were worse, so I cycled through all of them hoping that I’d settle on something that wouldn’t make me feel like I wished I was dead too.
When I left my room, I did my best to plaster a smile on my face and carry on like everything was okay. I knew the whole club was hurting like I was and I didn’t want them to feel like they had to take care of me while they worked through their grief.
“Abigail!” The gruff voice pulled me out of my thoughts and I blinked away the sadness.
I looked down at the soup I had been stirring absentmindedly for who knew how long.
“Sorry,” I whispered without turning my eyes to Blade. “I must be tired.”
“I called your name three times. Your hand keeps inching toward the burner and I didn’t want you to burn yourself.”
My gaze slid to the side and I noticed my other hand was flat against the stove top and my fingers were so close to the burner that held the warming pot. I should have felt the heat before I saw the scene but I hadn’t.
With a small gasp, I snatched my hand back.
Blade’s boots hit the cheap tile twice and I could feel him right beside me.
My cheeks flamed red but I wasn’t sure if it was from embarrassment or the feeling of the heat coming off of his body.
He reached over and turned off the burner with a quick flick of his wrist.
“This has got to stop,” he said gruffly but made no move to touch me.
I blinked at his words and suddenly I was mad.
“You can’t just order me around like that,” I shot back. “I told you I was tired. I must have just zoned out and not even realized it.”
“Then you shouldn’t be fucking cooking,” he practically barked. “You don’t have to do this shit. We’re big boys, we can feed our damn selves. Take a step back for fuck’s sake. No one would blame you.”
“I don’t need to. I’m fine,” I said through gritted teeth.
He let out a sigh. It was so unlike him.
“Abigail…” On the outer rim of my vision, I saw him shake his head.
“Don’t, Blade. Just don’t,” I said with a frustrated sigh.
“Everything okay in here?” I heard the tension in Charming’s voice. I shouldn’t have been surprised that he was there floating around in the background. Ever since I’d lost Dade, he never seemed far away.
What did I think of that? Well, I didn’t know. I was aware of it but didn’t have the head space to even figure out why. I guess I should have just been lucky that I had someone there to look out for me. Well, two someones, really, because Blade always had eyes on me too.
“Everything is great,” I said as I plastered a smile on my face and turned around. “Blade was just saying how he’s going to finish dinner for me.”
My brow raised as I turned my head to look at Blade, the look in my eyes daring him to say something.
His jaw tightened but the look in his eyes didn’t give away any of the frustration I’d hoped to see.
My legs carried me in the direction of the blocked doorway. Charming had his gaze locked over my head and there was some sort of silent communication with Blade behind me.
I reached Charming but he didn’t move out of the way.
I studied his face, like I found myself doing so often.
He was… pretty. Which seemed so wrong to say about him. Right now, his easygoing face was a mask of tension and warning. Why? I didn’t have a clue.
It was clear how he got his name, between the way his smile could walk a girl out of her panties and his looks, he was like a magical prince you’d see in those cartoon movies. There was a hint of ruggedness to him that made the whole package deliciously irresistible.
Yes, I might have had a huge crush on him. And maybe he wasn’t the only one of the brothers I had gotten a crush on.
Not that it mattered because Charming clearly didn’t see me as anything more than someone he had to look after now. These guys may have come off as hard on the outside, but they were all about their family values and loyalty. With Dade gone, they felt the need to look out for me like he had. Sure, I saw it and I should have cut ties and freed them from that burden, but part of me couldn’t walk away just yet.
This place felt more like home than anything ever had in my life.
Once you had this amazing magic around you, it was hard to let it go.
When I first came here to take care of Dade after he’d lost his leg, I kept telling myself that I’d leave once he was on his feet. Then I kept saying that I’d leave once I had a direction to go. And now, I was constantly thinking that once I got over the grief I’d move on and find my own way. That day would come but I could honestly tell you that I wasn’t looking forward to it.
It didn’t help that they all showed me love and kindness every day. They also made me feel needed in little ways. Which, come on, big sexy bikers making you feel needed, who would hate that? From what I’d seen, no one that came around here. And it was especially true for a girl like me.
I wasn’t anything special and I would never pretend that I was. That was why I was just kind of there for the most part. That was how I felt at least. The closest to the men I’d ever get was a brotherly hug and maybe a pat on the head. They weren’t ungrateful. They didn’t ignore me. But they definitely didn’t look at me as if they couldn’t wait to get me behind their closed door. It was fine, really. I knew I was different from what most of them went for so I wasn’t all that hurt by it.
Though they tried to keep their activities out of my sights, I wasn’t blind. I knew what went on when I was locked away in my room. I knew not to come into the main part of the clubhouse after I’d made my exit for the night. I was well aware of how free the sex flowed around this place. These men weren’t fond of attachments for the most part. Yes, there were exceptions and a handful of them had settled down since I’d been here. But so far, I’d learned that these men were rough around the edges and liked sex. They weren’t shy about it, that was for sure. I respected the fact that they didn’t flaunt it in my face for the most part, but that didn’t mean that I wasn’t aware of what went on all around me.
The room I had here at the compound was in the back, in the second building that was separated from the front one by a huge lot. All I had to do was look out my window most nights and I would see some kind of activity going on. Or a hint to it. Like Sketch and Blade walking some girl or two back to one of their rooms. Or Blade and Charming doing the same thing. And even Charming and Sketch, but not as often as the other two pairs. I knew they weren’t playing chess behind that closed door. And then there were times I saw men pulling some random woman into a hidden corner of the building.
I wasn’t trying to be a creepy peeping person, it was just that some nights I couldn’t sleep. I often heard noises and my curiosity always got the better of me. You
I shook my head and tried to remember what was going on around me. It seemed that I’d let my thoughts run away again.
Right, Blade telling me to buzz off. Charming making sure everything was alright. And I was trying to run from this situation as fast as possible but Charm was blocking my way.
Charming’s eyes finally lowered to look into mine. His jaw softened and so did his gaze.
“Don’t let him run you off if you want to be here,” he told me.
While it was nice, I didn’t really need him sticking up for me. I had it handled. Well, sort of. It was settled enough to the point where Blade wouldn’t be saying anything else to me, at least not right now.
“No, it’s fine. I’m going to go do stuff.” Yeah, that was just great. Stuff? Sometimes I wasn’t so awesome-fantastic with having to come up with things on the spot.
Clean my bathroom.
Go get myself a pedicure.
Heck, wash my hair would have sounded better than stuff.
Or better yet, I could have shocked the doo-doo out of them and said I was off to watch some porn.
Okay, I might not have actually been able to say that one as much as I might have wanted to. It would take a very special moment for those words to fly out of my mouth.
Sometimes I wished I was as cool as I was in my head.
I slid around Charming because it didn’t seem like he was going to move out of the way anytime soon and I was tired of standing here. I had made my exit statement, now I just needed to make the exit part.
His head followed me as I attempted to squeeze my body between his and the door frame. My boobs, as small as they were, managed to brush over his arm. I didn’t mean to, but I also didn’t mind it. It seemed like they didn’t either because the moment it happened they were all like hellooo making themselves known through my shirt. As quickly as I could, I turned my back to him in hopes of hiding Bonnie and Beth’s reaction to him. Yeah, the B twins, because that was what I was working with. Nice and disappointing B-cups.
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