Wednesday, July 11, 2018

See Me in the Dark

A new Club Evolve story. It's a 20+K bonus book in the Club Evolve box set. Yup, all six books in one sexy box and a new story to enjoy. These doors won't be closing for a while...

Evolve—a club for men
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See Me in the Dark

Scars so deep—will they destroy his soul?

Preston Woodley hid his scars from the world. It’s been nearly a decade since a lover has seen or felt them. He only comes alive in the dark, on his back. Pres never allows anyone to touch him there. He longs to find someone who sees him for the man he is and not a monster shaped by a horrible accident in his past.

Robert ‘War’ Warren, recruited into the biker lifestyle early, has not only committed crimes, he’s been stabbed and shot. War has seen and done it all and he doled out enough payback to earn a brief stint in jail. Scrambling to have more, he’s reached a pinnacle of success and now seeks peace. What he used to be, what he could easily become again, may ruin his life forever.

“Name’s Lodge. Would you be able to move to another booth or table? This one should have held a reserved sign.”
Standing, Preston said, “Sure. My beer hasn’t…”
“It’s good, LD. I don’t mind if he stays.” Robert Warren allowed his eyes to take the man in for the second time tonight. Something about him. “Didn't mean to damn near knock you over earlier.”
“I probably shouldn’t have blocked the entrance. My names Preston.”
“Call me War.”
“Jesus, man, you don’t introduce yourself to someone you barreled over running late and then tell him to call you War.”
“Why not?”
“You don’t know him like that.”
War let his eyes rake the stranger’s face and body once more. “I want to know him like that.”
“We’re not going to get this settled tonight, are we?”
“LD, I’m already working for you. If you require it on paper, we can hash out particulars another time.” He watched his friend eyeball Preston. “Okay?”
“Tomorrow. My shop. That order can’t wait.”
“For one of those rubs you cater to?”
“Rich urban bikers are loaded with cash.”
“And will help pay for that two-million-dollar monstrosity you had built. I get it. Tomorrow I’ll drop by Custom Deviations. Now, Blondie’s cutting eyes this way because you’re lingering. I’m not responsible for the fall out.”
“Christ, War, do you have to always be a bastard?”
“As I remember, in Philadelphia, you weren’t that much better.”
“Tomorrow. Ten AM sharp.”
“Make that noon and we got a deal.”
LD walked away finally giving War a chance to really meet Preston. Seeing as his drink hadn’t arrived, War flagged down a waiter. “Can you put a rush on…” He turned to Preston. “Have a seat. You said beer?” War told the server, “Bring two of those east coast lagers and that’ll be all for now.”
“Thanks, I haven’t waited long.”
You shouldn’t wait at all.” Their beers arrived and War smiled when Preston waved away the glass and tilted the bottle up. “Damn. I like that.”
“Your mouth.”
“Excuse me?”
“You didn’t come here for beer because unless you order the right brand, it all tastes like piss.” When Preston pushed his bottle away and stood, War leaned closer. “I won’t ask you to stay but I sure as hell would like you to. One thing you should know is I don’t play games.”
“I have no intention of starting anything.”
“You sure about that?” Leaning back, he studied the man. Brown hair neatly trimmed curled above his collar and eyes the color of cognac continued to observe War. The navy suit was cut to fit nobody’s ass but his and fingernails were recently manicured. War liked a man who took care of himself. He also appreciated that his build was just shy of athletic and not bound in muscle. “Is this your first time at Evolve?”
“I moved here from Detroit a month ago.”
“Let me guess? You didn’t live within five miles of that city on any side. I’d say Bloomfield Hills, maybe Birmingham.”
“You know the area?”
“Went to Kettering.” Preston’s forehead scrunched and eyes reflected doubt before changing to surprise and for some reason, it pissed War off. He knew Preston’s type. Superior. Better than. “On second thought, you can run along now.”
“I wanted a beer not a rude dissection by a biker.”

“When I dissect your ass, you’ll know it.” War rose and stepped close enough for his boot toes to touch shiny oxfords. “Maybe next time I’ll show you what I mean.” He walked away leaving Preston stand there and hoped like hell the jackass took another swallow of beer and choked on it.

AND just a bit more:
“You’re early.”
“Did my fabrication delivery arrive?”
“Yup. Needs your finessing and assembly. Everything else is ready to go.” Lodge sat with feet on his desk reading a custom bike magazine. “You know, strategically placed PR, a word here and there, this shit could really take off.”
“What the hell are they outfitting the building next door for, LD?”
“A few additions to improve our facilities.”
“Additions my ass. They’re machine tools. I know a milling machine when I see one, jackass.” War flopped on the sofa and stretched out.
“You never know what you might wish you had on hand.”
“I’m not working fulltime, LD. Those days are over.”
“I have a couple engineers on staff.”
“Yeah, right.”
“And don’t lay on my couch.”
“What the fuck’s it in here for?”
“Jesus, you’re in a pissy mood. Try getting more sleep at your house.” Lodge’s head swiveled toward the door at the sound of a bike pulling into the shop. “Shit. Nothing is sacred.”
War laughed. “Don’t like the lover on your bike?”
“I worry because he’s only been riding a real bike for a few months. Jim learned on dirt bikes. A whole different animal.”
“Don’t want that pretty ass all scarred up, huh?”
“Fuck you.”
“Hey, what’s up?”
“Jim, I thought you might sleep in after working last night.”
“I’m good, not due in until six. I’m meeting with the band to go over a few things about lighting and Zed’s new sound system. I’ll nap later.” He turned to War. “What the hell did you say to Preston Woodley? He might stop in to hear the band tonight.”
That pulled War to a sitting position. “How do you know him?”
“He introduced himself while you were occupied at the other end of the bar.” Jim laughed. “Right before Sanders threw your ass out.”
“Dress code is bullshit. It’s a goddamn, highfalutin bar.”
Lodge placed his feet on the floor and tossed the magazine on his desk. “I told you about the dress code and Sanders.”
“Shit, I was surfing and got caught up in the waves. Didn’t have anything with me but my leathers and didn’t want to be late.”
“Lord help me. You were late.”
Jim perched on the edge of the desk. “Preston also noticed your disregard for dress. Oh, that reminds me.” He dug in his pocket and pulled out a ten. “He wanted me to give you a message.”
“Yeah, what?”
“The message, Jim.”
“Oh.” He winked at Lodge. “He said tell Mr. Warren no thank you. Actually, he asked me to give you your money back after he paid for his own beer and said no thank you to the next time.” He handed the bill to War.
“That foppish prick!”
“Shit,” Lodge laughed. “That struck a nerve.”

“Kiss my ass. I’m out.”

Life is complicated, it’s loud, death arrives silently. – J. Hali Steele (from Twice the Burn)

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