I'm Only Here for the Beard, page 1part #4 of The Dixie Warden Rejects MC Series
Text copyright ©2017 Lani Lynn Vale
All Rights Reserved
No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any electronic or mechanical means including information storage and retrieval systems, without permission in writing from the author. The only exception is by a reviewer, who may quote short excerpts in a review.
This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.
This one is dedicated to my mom. Thank you for everything you do. Nobody said that you had to take my car in to get the oil changed, or pick my kids up from daycare, or fold my clothes because you knew I’d never get to it that day. But you did. You do everything that you can and more for me, and for that I’m the luckiest girl in the world.
My editors, Asli, Kellie, and Danielle—These books wouldn’t be the same without y’all.
My beta readers—Leah, Barbara, Amanda and Jo. I love that you love my books as much as I do.
Cover model: Mitch Hankins
Photographer: Golden Czermak/ Furiousfotog
Other titles by Lani Lynn Vale:
Highway Don’t Care
Another One Bites the Dust
Last Day of My Life
I Don’t Dance
The Heroes of The Dixie Wardens MC
Lights To My Siren
Halligan To My Axe
Kevlar To My Vest
Keys To My Cuffs
Life To My Flight
Charge To My Line
Counter To My Intelligence
Right To My Wrong
Code 11- KPD SWAT
Coup De Grace
The Uncertain Saints
Jack & Coke
Vodka On The Rocks
The Kilgore Fire Series
I Like Big Dragons Series
I Like Big Dragons and I Cannot Lie
Dragons Need Love, Too
Oh, My Dragon
The Dixie Warden Rejects
Fear the Beard
Son of a Beard
I’m Only Here For The Beard
The Beard Made Me Do It (6-29-17)
Beard Up (7-27-17)
For the Love of Beard (8-31-17)
Sean is a man with needs—needs that a lot of women were ready and willing to fulfill. Yet, the only woman that he wants to fulfill them dumped him for another man. A man who’s a member of his MC and is someone he has to see every single day and twice on Sundays.
He’s bitter and angry. He’s definitely not in the right frame of mind when it comes to dealing with women. Which is unfortunate for his new partner, Naomi, a fresh-out-of-school and totally green paramedic.
Naomi’s got enough problems on her plate. A brother who’s self-destructive and doesn’t care who he takes down with him. A man who she’s in love with but who doesn’t love her. A job that she hates because it is a constant reminder of what she can’t have.
Desperate to distance herself from her problems, she runs, taking the first job in her field that she finds willing to take on someone with so little experience.
The last thing she needs is a perpetually pissed off partner, especially when he sets her blood on fire.
But life doesn’t ask how much you can handle when it dishes out challenges. It just keeps piling them on until you’ve bested them or you’ve buckled under them.
Sean really doesn’t want to like his new partner, Naomi. He just wants to be left alone to live his life however he damn well pleases and without complications.
Naomi doesn’t care what he wants, she can’t be anything but herself. It isn’t long before she’s breaking down his walls and making him feel again. She’s trying to pull him closer and he’s pushing her away.
It’s not long before Sean sees the error of his ways.
It’s too bad, though, that by the time he realizes she’s the one, Naomi’s already gone
Table of Contents
Roses are red, violets are blue. Blah blah blah. I don’t like you.
-Naomi’s secret thoughts
“Please talk to me.”
I looked over at my brother, then shrugged.
My brother. The man who I once called one of my best friends had ruined my life.
He was in a bad place. I knew that. My mom and my current best friend, Aspen knew that. Hell, my dad even knew that and he wasn’t even talking to me.
But did that excuse him for driving drunk? No.
“I’m not mad at you, Danny,” I lied. “I’m just tired.”
And I was. Tired. Very, very tired.
Though, I couldn’t decide if that was due to the fact that I’d just clawed my way out from the haze of anesthesia or because I was just plain tired.
“Danny,” my friend, Aspen, stated, “I think you need to give her some space. She’s tired. She’s confused, and honestly, she likely doesn’t really want to talk to you right now.”
What my best friend didn’t say, however, was that he should feel guilty. I should be mad at him.
He’d hit me with his goddamned car!
And I wasn’t even going to go into the fact that he’d done it in his police cruiser, of all things. I still hadn’t figured out why the hell he’d been in the cruiser in the first place since it happened in the middle of the night.
Though, the same could be said about me. Why had I been out in the middle of the night, walking down the road where the house that I was renting was located?
Why? Because I was a fucking loser. My life sucked. Every man I met either cheated on me or found another woman to be with who they liked more than me. I was always the consolation prize. The rebound fling. The woman who men felt sorry for and had pity sex with.
Yeah, I was that girl.
So, fuck yeah, I was out in the middle of the night walking my street. Why? Because I couldn’t fucking sleep. All of my insecurities had come out to play last night, and I’d stupidly gotten up, put on my running shoes and started walking.
The only problem with that? I
I couldn’t remember anything after actually seeing the car coming at me. Which was a good thing and a bad thing, I guess.
I couldn’t remember the look on my brother’s face when he realized he’d hit his sister.
I could, however, see it now, and it was heartbreaking.
He’d sank to rock bottom, though it was his fault.
Once upon a time, Aspen and Danny had been together. But my brother, being the idiot that he was, had cheated on her with his partner. The same partner who’d broken up with him a week ago by doing the same thing to him that he had done to Aspen.
So he’d started drinking to forget the fact that he thought his life was ruined.
Now, it really was.
He’d been suspended from the police department and was facing criminal charges. Not to mention that he would forever have to live with the knowledge that he drove drunk and ran over his sister with his police cruiser.
“Okay,” Danny murmured. “If you need anything, call me.”
With that my brother left, but I doubted he went much further than the waiting room. He’d been at the hospital since the accident had happened.
“Did you want to see it?”
I shook my head at Aspen. “No, I most certainly do not want to see it.”
The ‘it’ she was referring to was my colostomy bag.
When my brother had hit me, I’d suffered damage to my intestines, liver and one kidney.
The liver and kidney were expected to make full recoveries.
My intestines, however, were going to require more time to heal, hence the latest addition to my wardrobe: a colostomy bag.
I could feel it.
It felt utterly foreign, like something was duct taped to my belly and just sitting there, waiting for me to take it off.
But I couldn’t. At least not for another four to six months, according to my doctor, while my intestines had a chance to heal from the trauma I’d endured.
I’d have to be changing poop bags for six whole months.
Just when I thought my life couldn’t get any worse, this was thrown at me.
Thank you, Danny, the life ruiner.
“It’s not that bad,” Aspen started to say.
I held up my hand. “Save it.”
“The doctor said you could go back to work in six weeks,” Aspen continued as if I hadn’t just told her to shut up. “And Kilgore Fire would love to have you back. They’re missing you already.”
I was sure they were, but that was only because I took all the shifts that opened up or filled in whenever they needed someone. Now, they had to find someone else willing to pick up the shit shifts or come in at a moment’s notice.
Though, if I were honest, they were about to have to start doing that anyway, because I’d made a decision last week, and I was going to stick with it.
“Aspen,” I started, “I have to tell you something.”
The drugs were wearing off, and my stomach was starting to hurt. That didn’t stop me from telling my best friend something I should’ve told her a few weeks ago when I’d gotten confirmation from the new ambulance service where I had applied.
“What?” Aspen yawned, leaning forward.
I watched her as her jaw cracked with how wide she’d opened her mouth. Had I been in a livelier mood, I would’ve poked my finger into her mouth like I always did when she yawned, but I was tired and could barely find the strength to lift my head, let alone my hand.
I was depressed.
I’d been depressed for a while now, which had sparked the idea to move.
I’d looked all over the country for a job, and I had finally found one that would hopefully work well for me.
In Alabama. Six hours away.
She looked at me like I was crazy. “You’re not moving. You’re in bed.”
I rolled my eyes heavenward and tried to shift in the bed.
Pain exploded in my body as aches and pains from my involuntary tumble against the hood of Danny’s cruiser made themselves known.
“Sit still,” Aspen said worriedly, helping me put the pillow that’d slipped out from under my head back where it needed to be. “You’re okay.”
I drew air in through my mouth, trying to control the pain with deep breathing since the pain meds I was on didn’t seem to be helping.
“I said,” I breathed carefully, “that I’m moving…not right now, but in a few weeks. To Alabama. Mooresville, Alabama.”
If there were crickets, they’d be chirping right now in the silence that followed my announcement.
“You’re what?” Aspen worded carefully.
“I’m moving,” I repeated, finally looking over at her.
She was flabbergasted.
I’d stunned her with my news, and clearly not in a good way.
“You can’t move!” she cried loudly.
I hissed a breath at her. “Shhh!”
She ignored me, got up and began pacing the length of the small room.
“Oh, my God. I can’t believe you’re doing this to me. How could you?”
My brows rose.
“It’s not like I just told you I was going to kill myself,” I informed her. “I’m only moving.”
“How many hours away is that?” she asked.
I bit my lip. “About six and a half.”
She stared at me blankly.
She would’ve had more to say to that, too, but I was saved by a knock on the door.
Relief poured through me that I had this small reprieve from explaining my motives, until I saw PD and Aspen’s husband, Drew, walking through the door and my heart sank.
Drew was awesome. I loved Drew. He was good for my friend. He loved and cherished her and he took care of my best friend like she deserved to be taken care of.
It wasn’t Drew who made my heart hurt, though. It was PD.
PD was my crush…or had been before he’d gotten back together with his wife, July.
Now I was just that pitiful woman who everyone felt sorry for at work because they knew that I had—still have—a crush on a man who is taken. Thoroughly and happily taken at that.
Why PD was even here right now was beyond me. I knew it couldn’t be because he was worried about me…though, I guess that maybe he could be but I doubted that was the case.
I had my answer a few moments later when he looked at me with pity filled eyes.
“How ya’ feeling?” PD asked.
I shrugged, and I could’ve screamed at myself had I had the energy.
God, that hurt.
“Fine,” I choked out. “What’s up?”
Why are you here? Don’t you have a wife to be at home with?
“I wanted to drop by and make sure you were okay…and also pick up the spare key to the quint.”
“In my purse over there,” I pointed out, indicating the chair that was in the corner of the room.
My mother had dropped all of my things off on her way to work a half an hour ago. She stayed long enough to order the doctor to keep me well medicated.
That was my mother, though, helpful and shit.
Not that she really cared if I was well medicated. More like she wanted me to be well medicated and in a good mood in the hopes that I might allow her to borrow my car while I was in the hospital this week since I couldn’t use it.
And that was going to happen over my dead body.
PD turned and walked over to my purse. He picked it up and started to move toward me, but I waved him off. “It’s in the pocket on the inside.”
Then I closed my eyes.
I cracked open one eyelid and stared at the big man across the room.
“Yep,” I confirmed.
“When?” he asked.
I let my eye fall closed. “As soon as fucking possible. Somewhere where I can freakin’ breathe.”
Then I passed out, missing the hurt that crossed over both PD’s and my best friend’s faces.
Women are basically natural disasters with tits.
-Sean’s secret thoughts
“This isn’t about you, it’s about me.”
Wasn’t that the quintessential line that every person used just before they broke up with their significant other?
Was I damaged? Was I that man who was destined to never have a woman who stayed with him?
I was a man who drank too much, laughed too loud and loved hard. That was why when I found a woman that I wanted to hang my hat up with, I put my all into it.
And always failed.
It didn’t matter if it was good and we hadn’t had a single hiccup. If there was a way to ruin the relationship before it even really came to fruition, I could do it. I have never, not once, been able to have a healthy relationship.
I thought I had that with Ellen, but here she was, proving me wrong.
Not even five seconds ago she’d told me that she couldn’t do this anymore. That I was a good guy and that I deserved someone who could love me for me.
At least she didn’t know that this was my fourth such breakup, or she would’ve felt even worse.
And I could tell she felt bad about it.
“Is there someone else?” I found myself asking.
I shouldn’t have asked that. But there was always someone else.
Someone was always better than me, and to be honest, I was fucking tired of being second best.
Just fucking once I wished I could find a woman who wanted me for me.
I held up my hand. “Don’t answer that.”
I knew there was. I didn’t miss the covert glances that she and Jessie James, the newest member of The Dixie Wardens MC Alabama Chapter, tossed each other.
I didn’t miss the way Ellen always asked about him, or he about her.
Fuck me, but I was so fucking over it.
It was good that she’d called it off. I wouldn’t have done it. I would’ve just stayed in a miserable relationship for eternity if it meant having someone there who cared about me.
Other author's books:
- Hide Your Crazy (KPD Motorcycle Patrol Book 1)Hissy Fit (The Southern Gentleman Series Book 1)Make Me (KPD Motorcycle Patrol Book 4)It Wasn't Me (KPD Motorcycle Patrol Book 2)I'd Rather Not (KPD Motorcycle Patrol Book 3)Snitches Get Stitches (The Bear Bottom Guardians MC Book 8)Lord Have Mercy (The Southern Gentleman Series Book 2)Keep It Classy (The Bear Bottom Guardians MC Book 7)
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