Publisher: Changeling Press
Cover Artist: Bryan Keller
Sofia – I didn’t know what to expect when a man loaded me and my sisters on his jet and brought us to the United States. I’d thought we’d suffer at the hands of these men, much the same as what we’d left behind. Some of us have physical wounds, but those will heal over time. It’s the emotional scars I worry we’ll never recover from. I’m going somewhere different from my sisters, alone in a new country with strange men. The man called Saint has been ordered to take me, and I admit I’m terrified. Though he’s as beautiful as an angel, there’s a hardness in his eyes that scares me — until I see him with his daughter. How can a man so gentle and kind with a child be bad? If only he’d turn some of that kindness my way… But I know he’s right to keep his distance. I’m no good for either of them. It doesn’t stop me from craving his touch, from needing his kisses like I need air. I can’t regret our one night together, no matter the consequences.
Saint — I’ve always followed orders without question, but this time I’m not so eager to help the club. Keeping Sofia under my roof, down the hall from my daughter, is the last thing I want. If the monsters from her past hurt Sofia or my sweet Delia, there will be hell to pay. No matter how much I need to harden my heart against the sexiest woman I’ve ever met, I can’t. I want her, more than I’ve ever wanted anyone. I’m far from celibate, but Sofia is more than a quick fuck. She’s the kind of woman you keep. I allow myself one night, one taste, one chance to hear her scream my name. After, I put the walls back up and lock her out of my heart. It was a mistake, the biggest I’ve ever made. I need her, want her, can’t live without her. But I did such a good job pushing her away, how will I ever win her back?
WARNING: This story contains a heroine who has suffered years of physical, sexual, and emotional abuse. The scenes are not described in detail but are a big part of the heroine’s past and are mentioned more than once. Guaranteed HEA, and lots of steamy scenes!
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Copyright ©2019 Harley Wylde
I hated that Torch had asked me to house one of the girls from Colombia. I didn’t like having her around Delia, didn’t know what sort of influence she would be on my small daughter. I’d heard her crying after I’d pointed out her room, but I hardened my heart and refused to go check on her. I hadn’t asked for this, and I didn’t want her here. Out of all the men at the compound, why me? I had a kid to think about. Just because I didn’t have a woman living in my house, didn’t mean I was up for this shit. I hadn’t even slept with a club whore since my daughter had come to live with me.
It wasn’t that losing her mother was so painful. I’d cared about Rhianon, but we weren’t in love. Or at least I hadn’t been in love with her. We’d had fun, and that had apparently resulted in us having a kid that she hadn’t told me about. When she’d passed, her brother had contacted me. I’d dropped everything and gone up to the Hades Abyss compound to meet my daughter.
Delia didn’t remember her mom, even though I’d made sure to keep a picture of Rhianon in Delia’s room from the very beginning, and had a few others around the house. I didn’t know her mother well enough to share many stories, not appropriate ones anyway, but her Uncle Rocket told her enough that I hoped Delia felt like she knew her mother. If there was anything I could give my little girl, it would be her mom. Even though Rhianon had kept her from me, I liked to think she’d have eventually told me. Delia was the best thing that ever happened to me, even if the only action I’d seen in the last four years was from my own hand. I’d give up women any day to have my daughter here with me. She was the most precious thing to me.
I shifted on my bed, unable to sleep. We were about to start day three with the stranger living in our home, and while Delia was starting to edge a little closer to Sofia each day, I was doing my damnedest to keep the hell away. I was twenty-seven, not some high school kid, and yet every time I looked at Sofia I could feel my body respond. It was starting to piss me off. The club whores tried but never could get a rise out of my cock, but one look at the little Colombian princess and I was hard as a steel post. What the fuck was wrong with me?
A faint noise had me going completely still and straining my ears. Another rustle of sheets and then a whimper. Was Delia having a bad dream? She hadn’t had nightmares before, but I knew introducing someone new into our home could change her sleep patterns among other things. It had just been me and Delia since she was an infant, another reason I hadn’t wanted the girl here. Girl. Woman. The way my body reacted to her, I couldn’t really call her a girl, even though I’d been told she was only nineteen. Hell, I’d been part of this MC before that age so who was I to judge based off some numbers? Age wasn’t a big deal around here. Torch was thirty years older than his wife, but she adored him.
I heard the noise again, then a scream that had me leaping out of the bed and racing from my room. The second scream sent a chill down my spine as I opened Sofia’s door. She fought against her bedding, speaking rapidly in Spanish. When she switched to English, my stomach knotted and twisted because I had no doubt exactly what was happening.
“No, Pedro. Stop! Please, don’t hurt me!” she cried out, grappling with the sheets. “No more! It hurts.”
She bucked her hips like she was trying to throw someone off. When her legs jerked apart and her arms went over her head, immobile as if someone were pinning her down, I nearly threw up. Moving farther into the room, I eased onto the bed and tried to gently rouse her.
“Sofia.” I brushed my fingers over her cheek, unable to help but notice how soft her skin was. “Sofia, it’s a nightmare. You need to wake up.”
“No. No more,” she begged. “Not again.”
Not again? Jesus. How many times had the man brutalized her? I shook her, but she just tossed her head and screamed again. I worried she’d wake Delia, and I wouldn’t know what to say to my daughter. She’d never witnessed someone having a nightmare, and it would likely scare her. Hell, it was scaring me.
After she screamed again, I decided enough was enough. I lifted her into my arms, wrapping her tight and holding her against my chest. She struggled a moment, but I kept murmuring to her, hoping to snap her out of it or at least calm her enough she could rest easy again and stop fighting off men in her sleep. If felt like forever before she started to relax. Her breathing evened out and her screams turned to whimpers, then soft murmurs. She took a deep breath and rubbed her cheek against my chest before going completely limp.
A knot lodged in my throat as I looked down at her, realizing she looked so sweet and innocent like this. Whoever had hurt her needed to pay. I eased her back down onto the bed, but she clutched at my T-shirt, holding on. I tried to pry her fingers loose, but she just held on tighter. With a sigh, I decided to just hold her until she shifted enough for me to make an escape. I leaned back against the headboard and curled an arm around her waist.
Four hours later, when the sun was starting to peek through the blinds, Sofia hadn’t moved, and my eyes were feeling like sandpaper. Delia was still quiet and would probably sleep at least another hour or two. I decided to close my eyes just for a moment, in hopes of them feeling a little less gritty. Sofia mumbled and snuggled closer, and I could feel sleep pulling me down. I must have dozed off because I woke with wide chocolate eyes staring at me in absolute terror. Her grip had loosened on me and I slid out of the bed, holding my hands up to show I meant her no harm.
“You were having a nightmare and when I tried to wake you, you grabbed onto my shirt and wouldn’t let go.”
She blinked and looked down, her cheeks flushing darkly. “I’m sorry.”
“You have nothing to be sorry for.” I swallowed hard, an apology on the tip of my tongue, but I couldn’t afford to soften toward her. I needed her out of my home and away from my daughter.
“I didn’t scare Delia?” she asked, her voice heavily accented this morning.
“She slept through it,” I said.
Sofia sighed and nodded.
“I’m going to head back to my room and try to sleep until Delia wakes up. Help yourself to anything in the kitchen.”
Before she could say or do anything else, I bolted. Big bad biker, my ass. I snorted at myself. Running from a little slip of a woman. Okay, so it was more of a brisk walk. I knew Sofia had trouble written all over her, and I didn’t need that sort of complication in my life, or Delia’s. I needed to remain strong for my daughter and do the right thing, even if running out of that room hadn’t been the easiest thing I’ve ever done. It would be better for everyone involved if Torch placed Sofia with someone else, maybe with one of the married brothers. I didn’t know why Sofia had to be in my home, but I didn’t like it.
I shut my door and leaned against it, feeling like a damn coward. I hadn’t backed down from anything in my entire life.
Before Torch had found me wandering the streets, I’d left home on my own terms because my mother’s latest boyfriend was an asshole who liked to hit people. But I’d stood up to the guy and that’s what mattered. Torch had shown me what it was like to be a real man, had given me a home and a chance at a better life. Even though I’d had to leave my sister behind, I’d done what was necessary at the time. I wouldn’t have been any good to her dead. Now my twin was the old lady of a club member, and was completely in love with Preacher. She’d brought him back from a dark place, but I think he’d saved her just as much.
I didn’t kid myself. That wasn’t me. Having an old lady? I might have wanted that at one point, and for Delia’s sake I knew I needed to consider it, but I was too worried about letting the wrong sort of woman into her life. The ladies who flocked to the MC were usually more club whore than mom of the year. I wasn’t saying they couldn’t be both, but I hadn’t found one like that yet, and that’s what I wanted. A mom who would adore Delia and give her everything she needed from a woman, and a tiger in my bed who clawed the hell out of me and begged for more. I didn’t think anyone like that actually existed. Not around these parts anyway.
More from Harley at Changeling Press…
Short. Erotic. Sweet. Harley’s other half would probably say those words describe her, but they also describe her books. When Harley is writing, her motto is the hotter the better. Off the charts sex, commanding men, and the women who can’t deny them. If you want men who talk dirty, are sexy as hell, and take what they want, then you’ve come to the right place.