Soulless:MC Biker Romance (Black Thorns, #2)(8)By: Franca Storm
“Yeah, well, with Skinner dead, you’re his target. And now he’s back, he’s gonna be gunnin’ for you, Ax. I’m willing to bet that’s why he’s tryin’ to find Roxana. She never kept her hatred of Skinner or bikers, in general, on the down low. He probably wants to partner up with her to take down you and the club.” He shakes his head with disbelief. “Little does he know that’s the furthest thing from reality these days. But, Ax, all he’s gotta do is see that tat of hers and he’ll put two and two together. Puts her in some major danger.”
“Where’s she at?”
He fists his hands in my jacket and jerks me closer. “If I let you make contact with her and tell you where she’s at, I want your word on something.”
“You gotta be ready to fight. Gotta be all in.”
“What you think the damn list is all ‘bout?”
“I’m talkin’ ‘bout Kent. Like I said; I know what he did to you, Ax. You won’t admit it, but you’re scared. You got issues there with the twisted shit he put you through last time he got his hands on you. You gotta push that down and be ready. You think you ain’t, any part of you not on board with doing whatever it takes to bring that fucker down, then you making contact with Roxana again is gonna leave her as good as dead.”
“You got my word. Now tell me where the fuck my girl is.”
As soon as I close my eyes, he comes to me again. The one person I’ve failed to shake, but the one person I know I should. Why? Because he can hurt me. He is hurting me. The only man I’ve ever let inside my heart. Hell, not just my heart. My body. My fucking soul. And now all of that is ripped to shreds and it just won’t heal. It won’t. I can’t…I can’t move past it.
Every night and every day he comes to me. Those promises I’d believed in so badly…so stupidly:
“I love you. I fucking want you and I’m gonna have you. Don’t give a fuck what no one says, who or what gets in my face, cuz I’ll pound it all into the ground…”
“But fucking nothing. I swear it, Rox. I’m gonna walk. Are you?”
“Good. We’ll start a new life together away from all this shit; all this darkness and death. Just us, babe.”
I can see the look on his face even now. The determination. The honesty. He’d meant every word. He’d wanted it to be true.
But it never could be.
He walked away.
He left me.
I lost everything. Him. Our unborn child.
It shook me to the core. I felt the burn right down to the bone. It’s been almost a year since we were last together and six months since the last time I saw his face when he stood in my driveway and walked away. And, in all that time, it hasn’t faded away like I’d thought it would; like people say pain does. Time, right? Time is all you need. Just ride it out until then.
But once you’re broken, you’re broken.
And that’s me now.
The shadow of the woman I had been.
The ball-buster that Neil had fallen in love with is gone.
I’ve lost her somehow.
In her place?
I don’t even know who looks back at me in the mirror now.
The business woman? The owner of Roxana’s Interiors; the interior design company I’ve been building up here in this new city? The sophisticated, lady-like designer who rubs elbows with all the high-rollers? Is that who I am now? It’s definitely the life I’ve built here.
But it’s not the life I want.
And it’s all because of him.
He opened up a part of me that I kept locked away for so many years. But once I’d let him in, I couldn’t get him out. He made me want things. He made me want a life that I can’t have anymore. Because of who he is and what he’s caught up in.
So, where has that left me?
Where else? Just going through the motions. Living a life I don’t even want.
“I love him, Ralph. I love someone. Why is this…it can’t end like this! It’s not fair. It can’t!”
He doesn’t say anything, he just strokes my hair gently, trying to soothe me.