Im only here for the bea.., p.1

I'm Only Here for the Beard, page 1

 part  #4 of  The Dixie Warden Rejects MC Series

 

I'm Only Here for the Beard


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I'm Only Here for the Beard


  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.

  Dedication

  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.

  Acknowledgements

  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:

  The Freebirds

  Boomtown

  Highway Don’t Care

  Another One Bites the Dust

  Last Day of My Life

  Texas Tornado

  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

  Center Mass

  Double Tap

  Bang Switch

  Execution Style

  Charlie Foxtrot

  Kill Shot

  Coup De Grace

  The Uncertain Saints

  Whiskey Neat

  Jack & Coke

  Vodka On The Rocks

  Bad Apple

  Dirty Mother

  Rusty Nail

  The Kilgore Fire Series

  Shock Advised

  Flash Point

  Oxygen Deprived

  Controlled Burn

  Put Out

  I Like Big Dragons Series

  I Like Big Dragons and I Cannot Lie

  Dragons Need Love, Too

  Oh, My Dragon

  The Dixie Warden Rejects

  Beard Mode

  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

  Prologue

  Prologue II

  Chapter 1

  Chapter 2

  Chapter 3

  Chapter 4

  Chapter 5

  Chapter 6

  Chapter 7

  Chapter 8

  Chapter 9

  Chapter 10

  Chapter 11

  Chapter 12

  Chapter 13

  Chapter 14

  Chapter 15

  Chapter 16

  Chapter 17

  Chapter 18

  Chapter 19

  Chapter 20

  Chapter 21

  Chapter 22

  Chapter 23

  Chapter 24

  Chapter 25

  Chapter 26

  Epilogue

  What’s Next?

  Prologue

  Roses are red, violets are blue. Blah blah blah. I don’t like you.

  -Naomi’s secret thoughts

  Naomi

  “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
’d gotten hit by my brother in his police cruiser when he was supposed to be at home.

  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.

  “I’m moving.”

  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.”

  Silence.

  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.”

  I winced.

  “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.

  “You’re moving?”

  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.

  Prologue II

  Women are basically natural disasters with tits.

  -Sean’s secret thoughts

  Sean

  “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.

 
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