Atlas’ World: A Poseidon’s Warriors MC Novel – Book 5
By: Darlene Tallman
Photographer: JW Photography
Cover Model: Theodore Brown
Cover by: Tracie Douglas of Dark Water Covers
Release Date: 12/31/21
Beck ‘Atlas’ Crandall is a combat veteran, just like the majority of his club brothers that started Poseidon’s Warriors MC. A trained medic, it was his responsibility to head into missions in an effort to hopefully rescue those involved. Sadly, most ended up being recovery situations instead, which started causing him extreme mental duress. However, the last mission they were on, the one that had them all leaving once their time was up, pretty much sent him down a dark, twisted path. He’s awakened more times than he cares to admit sitting inside his closet, back against the wall, with his gun in hand. Only, he refuses to allow his brothers to find him like that, so when Poseidon mentions the possibility of him getting a service dog to help him on the rougher days, he practically leaps at the chance. He’ll try anything to appear normal once again, instead of a broken-down, former Navy SEAL who now helps run the club’s auto and bike shop.
He doesn’t expect her to worm her way into his life, but after several years of watching her during events and parties at the club, he notices that she’s spiralling and realizes that he might be able to help. That’s all he intended to do, but Fate had other plans.
Patsy Maddox, lifelong best friend to CeeCee Morgan O’Rourke, has grown used to being around the bikers. She’s never kept any secrets from CeeCee. Until now. How can she reveal her deep, dark secret about that terrible night without further losing her slight grasp on her sanity. Instead, an old issue that she thought she was long past dealing with, rears its ugly head once again. Now, she has her BFF as well as a broody, quiet biker on her to spill her guts. The only thing is, if she does, will everyone look at her differently? That’s her biggest fear—being thought of as less than. Too bad she’s got herself convinced that she’s already there.
*Suitable for ages 18+ due to adult subject matter and language*
I wake suddenly, my heart pounding as the remnants of my constant nightmare linger like onions do after they’ve been cooked. “Fuck,” I mutter to myself. After all these years, I had hoped that they would dissipate but instead, they’ve only gotten worse. I’m lucky to get two to three hours of sleep these days and unfortunately, it shows. Poseidon talked to me recently about possibly getting a service dog but I don’t know how much one would help at this point. Not only that, but I can barely keep myself alive some days, how the hell would I be able to take care of another living being? Stumbling out of my bed, I see that it’s a little after two in the morning. I already know from past nights that I won’t be able to go back to sleep, so I head into my ensuite. I grimace when I see myself in the mirror. This time, I managed to blacken my own eye for fuck’s sake. Sighing, I start the shower then strip out of my boxers before stepping inside.
As the water sluices over my exhausted body, I groan out loud. There are some days when I wonder why I keep waking up, why I don’t end it all. My brothers’ faces swim in my head reminding me that there’s no fucking way I’d want them to find me like that. No sense in fucking any of them up as badly as I am, that’s for sure. I have to do something, though, because I can’t keep going like this, half-ass dead all day long, pushing myself to work as hard as possible so that memories don’t paralyze me. It’s only in the dark, when my exhausted body falls into a restless slumber that those ghosts come out to play.
Once I’m done with my shower, I wrap a towel around my waist then peer into the mirror as I shave. It’s far too early to head to the shop, so after slipping on some clean clothes, I sit down at my computer desk then boot up my laptop.
Time to do some research on service dogs. May as well since I don’t think Poseidon is going to let up until I agree with him. It’s not often I disagree; he was our commanding officer after all and I readily followed him into missions without a second’s hesitation. I’m just not sure why I don’t feel the same way now. I know I’ve got PTSD, at least that’s what I was diagnosed with at the military hospital. Tried the stupid medications they gave me but gave them up because I couldn’t handle feeling like I was walking through life in a foggy haze. Granted, I probably should’ve talked to the shrink they sent me to and asked if there were other medications available, but my childhood memories of my parents laying around, drunk or high, kept me from doing so.
They’ve made advancements, I’m sure, I just haven’t had the guts to go back. Which is mind-blowing in so many ways because I’ve faced death more times than I care to think about, yet the thought of taking my ass into a doctor’s office and saying I need help practically drops me to my knees.
It couldn’t hurt, Beck, my mind whispers as I scroll various websites to see which one I want to read first.
Several hours later, when the sun is peeking through my blinds, I lean back and stretch to loosen the kinks in my neck and shoulders. I’ve watched multiple videos of trained dogs with their owners, seen how they respond to various stimuli, and how the owners are able to better function in their daily activities. Some even reported that they now slept, their dogs keeping the ghosts at bay. Armed with several printouts, I grab my cut then slide it on, prepared to talk to my president the next time I see him.
Looks like I’m going to get a dog.