The bad boys are almost here!!!
Their love was the stuff of Shakespeare – two star-crossed lovers from rival MC’s, divided by their families’ bloody history, but fate has given Eagle and Serafina a second chance. Can the biker and the stripper find their redemption in Violetta Rand’s sexy standalone romance, One Taste of Angel?
I’ve bled for my club. Taken four bullets. Buried eight brothers in six years. Screwed a hundred women. And only loved one. The one I lost. But there’s something about Serafina that reminds me of just exactly what was taken from me. Not just because I can’t resist a damsel in distress.
To Eagle, I’m dead. Murdered and cremated, my ashes interred at the local cemetery. Part of a past I left long ago to save his life. Seeing him now, touching him again makes me weak, even if he doesn’t recognize the woman I’ve become. Since my escape from Holly Beach five years ago, I’ve lived by my own rules. And no matter how much I love Eagle, he’s not going to break those rules.
I arrive at the cemetery hours before the memorial service is set to start. I place a bouquet of violets in the vase next to Angel’s plaque. I usually come here twice a week and put fresh flowers out. I step back and fold my hands over my stomach, contemplating what our lives would have been like if she’d lived. She shouldn’t have died an Orani. That last name represents everything I despise. It conjures my worst nature.
I sit on the memorial bench I commissioned for her. There’s roses carved into the four corners, her favorite flower. Only I know what’s inscribed on the underside of the seat. I’ve admired it twice before and find no need to look again. Words from her favorite Shakespeare sonnet—love is an ever-fixed mark that looks on tempests and is never shaken.
Those words hold a special place in my life. It was one of the last things she ever said to me, hours before she disappeared. Some couples say good morning and goodnight, Angel always quoted Shakespeare. One of the quirky personality traits I miss. The girl had brains. Spirit. Guts like a warrior. Most of all, she had my heart. My eyes sting with tears of regret and sadness, but I swallow the pain. Men don’t cry. Not in public.
I don’t appreciate being disturbed, but I look to the left and find Angel’s mother standing there in a black dress. I grimace, not wanting to see or talk to her.
“Why did you show up now? You didn’t give a shit about the funeral or coming back for any of the other memorial services.” I say.
“I’m here now.”
I frown. “Too little too late,” I say, bitter as hell.
“Is it?” she asks, edging closer to the row of plaques. “People make mistakes, Caleb.
“Don’t ever use my name, Miranda.”
She sighs. “All right, Eagle,” she corrects herself. “I’m here to make up for some lost time.”
“Screw you,” I growl. “I buried her. Loved her. Where were you when your sons wanted to sell her like some goddamned farm animal?”
My harsh words don’t affect Angel’s mother in the slightest way. She touches the name plate, then kisses it before she faces me. “Living a life I’m very ashamed of.”
“You mean selling your body for your next fix? Passed out on some filthy mattress in a crack house with a needle hanging out of your arm? There’s a name for women like you, Miranda—and it’s not mother.”
Pain etches her face this time. She looks twenty years older than she should. Chewed up and spit out. “I should be in that box.”
“Yeah,” I agree. “You should.” Uncontrollable rage is swirling just below the surface. I better leave before I say or do something I can’t take back.
“I forgive you for killing my son.”
“I don’t need your forgiveness. The State of Louisiana exonerated me, remember?”
“Self-defense,” she whispers.
“He was a weak sonofabitch. Couldn’t keep a steady finger on the trigger. Angel saved me that day, reached out from the grave and touched my heart in a way you’ll never know. That’s what you gave up for drugs, Miranda. The perfect daughter.”
I turn my back on her, unwilling to give her another moment of my time. Maybe Tonsils was right. I don’t belong here. I hate them all. The Dead Dogs are my archenemies. Angel’s family, something even more sinister.
I trudge to my bike, climb on, and peel out of the parking space.
What the hell? I knew Angel’s mom was going to be there, but I didn’t plan on having a conversation with her. I didn’t plan on being alone with her, either.
Half of my brothers are standing outside Iron Mechanical when I turn into the lot. We’re closed on the weekends, the time reserved for working on our own motorcycles and vehicles. I toss my keys to one of the prospects and tell him to wash my ride. I need a drink. I need someone to beat the shit out of. I need an excuse to grab my .45 and go shoot Bear in the head point-blank.
Tonsils follows me to my office in the rear of the shop. “What happened?”
I throw myself into the chair behind my desk. “Close the door.”
“Miranda Orani showed up at the cemetery early.”
“Acted like she’s grieving Angel.”
My vice shakes his head. “Sorry.”
“For what? Giving me sound advice? The only mistake you made was worrying about my safety. If I were you, I’d direct the security detail to guard the Dead Dogs. I’m out for blood. I want to settle this shit about Angel and then move on with my life. Serafina is my first chance at doing that.”
Tonsils sits in the guest chair across from me and leans over my desk. “You’re serious about the girl?”
I fold my hands under my chin, considering everything. “Yeah. If I can get her to talk to me again.”
Forget the service. I’ll go in your place so we don’t lose face with anyone.”
“Too late,” I say. “That bitch is going to report everything I said to Bear. If I don’t show up, he’ll think I’m afraid of retaliation. Everything I told that woman is true.” I scrub my face with both hands, my heart pounding.
“You visited Angel already, right? Said what you needed to. Let this go, Eagle. Like you said, get on with your life.”
If I’m going to start over, I need closure. I want to look the man in the eyes who is equally responsible for Angel’s death. I want to hear his lies, see his face when he honors the sister he never loved. “This one is for Angel.”