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Authors: Megan O'Brien

Sal (The Ride Series)

BOOK: Sal (The Ride Series)
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Sal

BOOK TWO
THE RIDE SERIES

Megan O’Brien

Sal, Book Two in the Ride Series
Copyright © 2014 Megan O’Brien

If you are reading this book and did not purchase it or win it from an author sponsored giveaway, this book has been pirated. Please delete it from your device, and support the author by purchasing a legal copy from one of its many distributors.

This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead is entirely coincidental.

All rights reserved. No part of this publication can be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means-electronic, photocopying, mechanical or otherwise-without prior permission of the author.

Edited by Hot Tree Editing

eBook formatting by Maureen Cutajar
www.gopublished.com

To my husband for being my best friend and just all around amazing.
Thank you to the lovely gals at Hot Tree Editing for the wonderful feedback and support.
And to my readers, from the bottom of my heart, thank you!

Contents

Prologue

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Chapter 12

Chapter 13

Chapter 14

Chapter 15

Chapter 16

Chapter 17

Chapter 18

Chapter 19

Chapter 20

Chapter 21

Epilogue

Prologue

Six Months Earlier

“B
abe! Are you here?” I called, letting myself into Sal’s place and setting my purse on the side table. We’d made plans to go to dinner and I was starving.

I cocked my head, surprised to be met with silence.

“Babe?” I called again while wandering back to the bedroom.

“In here,” his deep voice responded from the back of the house.

I found him in the bedroom zipping up a duffle bag.

“What are you doing?” I asked, confused.

I saw him visibly swallow before his gorgeous brown eyes met mine. “I’m leaving,” he replied, his tone flat and so unlike him.

Sal could be removed at times, but this was something else entirely.

“But we’re going to dinner,” I replied, feeling utterly confused. “Does Cole have you going on a run somewhere?”

The club VP and my best friend’s fiancé did at times send Sal out for jobs, but I’d always known about them ahead of time. On occasion, I’d even gone with him.

He shook his head solemnly and hoisted his bag up, brushing past me as he headed for the living room.

I followed him feeling bewildered and confused. “What’s going on, Sal?” I asked quietly, leaning against the doorway, needing its support.

He turned to me and an eternity passed in seconds as we regarded each other. The mood in the room was thick with emotion and my heart pounded in my chest with apprehension.

“I’m not who you need,” he replied, his eyes burning with intensity.

“What?” I whispered, my hands shaking as they flew over my mouth in shock.

“I’m not who I need either.” He shook his head, looking off to the side. “Fuck, I’m just…I’m tired of knowing you need more and not being able to give it to you. I’m tired of warring with myself. I’m just fucking
tired
,” he breathed.

“But I never asked you to change,” I protested, feeling like I was living someone else’s nightmare.

“I know you didn’t,” he said as he shook his head. “That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t want me to,” he replied.

“So you’re giving up, just like that,” I murmured hoarsely, the words numb on my lips.

“I don’t know exactly what I’m doing,” he admitted. “What I do know is you didn’t cause this,” he said fiercely. “You’re the best thing that’s ever happened to me. It’s just something inside me that’s fucked up. I’ve gotta try to figure it out.”

“Are you coming back?” I found the courage to ask.

The air in the room felt thick and oppressive while I waited anxiously for his reply.

“I don’t know,” he replied finally.

And with that response, my world shifted on its axis and I found myself trying to stay upright.

“You don’t know,” I repeated his words, trying to grasp what was happening here. We’d gone from having typical Friday night plans to him walking out on me.

“The guys will look out for you,” he told me, like that mattered to me at all in the moment. The Knights, Sal’s motorcycle club, had become like family to me in the six months I’d been with Sal.

But Sal was my heart.

“I can’t believe this,” I whispered, unable to voice the expanse of my despair. I felt a crushing weight pressing into my chest. “You’re leaving right now? We’re not even going to talk more about this?” I demanded, baffled at how sudden this was, at how removed he seemed.

“If I don’t go now, I know I won’t be able to,” he murmured as his gaze met mine. He stepped closer, but I backed away not wanting his comfort when he was in the process of crushing me. He let his arms drop in defeat and rubbed a hand over the back of his neck. “This is just something I have to do,” he explained, his deep voice laced with regret.

Anger flared along with the hurt and I crossed my arms protectively over my chest.

“Clearly,” I nodded coolly. Obviously, there wasn’t anything more to say. I certainly wasn’t going to plead with him to stay. I had more pride than that.

He opened the front door to the night beyond and gave me one last look as he grabbed his bag and walked out the door and out of my life.

******

The cavernous garage was quiet as usual, as I used my key and slid open the large metal door. It had become a nightly routine for me. After weeks of sleepless nights and torturing myself about what I could have done differently, the only place I could seem to rest was one of the places I’d felt closest to Sal.

Life and its irony continued to kick me in the ass.

The smell of gasoline immediately filled my nose with its reassuring scent.

Sal’s Charger sat covered and abandoned off to the side, along with Hank’s old Chevy truck they’d been in the middle of refinishing.

He’d taken the bike. I was surprised at how much I missed riding.

The first time Sal had brought me to the club’s personal auto shop I’d been bored to tears watching as he tinkered with his bike. But I’d quickly learned this was a special place for my man. This had been Sal’s sanctuary, the one thing he shared readily and openly with me. I’d felt so close to him inside these walls. I still did.

Sal wasn’t a big talker but he was a good listener. We’d had our own form of communication while he worked and I watched.

And watching him bent over a hood wasn’t half-bad either. The man had an amazing ass.

I dropped my purse and hopped up on the workbench laying my head on my arms and breathing deeply.

Tears threatened then as they so often did here. “You asshole,” I whispered, feeling my usual mix of anger and despair about Sal.

My lids grew heavy and I sighed in relief when sleep finally overtook me.

“Kat,” a deep voice woke me from an uncomfortable sleep.

“Is she sleeping in there again?” I heard another male voice ask incredulously.

“Not anymore,” I muttered, sitting up stiffly and wiping my eyes.

Axel and Xander looked at me with a mixture of concern and bafflement when I stood up. It wasn’t the first time I’d been caught here and it wouldn’t be the last.

“You need a ride home?” Axel asked, his grey eyes assessing me carefully.

“Nope, I’m good.” I waved him off with a forced grin.

“If you say so,” he muttered skeptically.

“It’s his loss you know,” Xander’s deep voice rumbled.

“Yeah,” I murmured with a headshake and a wave over my shoulder.

Whether or not that was true, Sal had still left me. He’d walked out of my life with a remoteness which still haunted me. I felt like I’d never get over it, over him. But I was a fighter, I’d come back from worse. At least that’s what I told myself every morning when I didn’t want to leave my bed.

All that was left to do was to pick up the pieces and try to move on.

Chapter 1

Present Day

A
horn blared loudly behind me as I cut over into the right-hand lane.

“Sorry!” I hollered, waving my hand out the window in apology.

I’d started my day behind from the start. I slept through my alarm and barely made it to my kickboxing class. Now I was running late for work.

Annoying, yes. Unusual? Not so much. Punctuality had never been my strong suit.

Now, as for my driving skills, personally, I didn’t see the problem. I always drove with determination and perhaps a bit of a lead foot. Why my friends were always white knuckling it whenever they were forced to ride with me was beyond me.

It was a sweltering day and because the AC in my trusty Corolla had long since gone kaput, I had all the windows down, treating all those around me to my girl Dolly Parton crooning. I blasted her as loud as my poor speakers could handle.

My music tastes had always been what some might call eclectic and others might deem slightly schizophrenic. I’d always loved everything from country to heavy metal to pop. It all depended on my mood.

“I know, I know, I’m late,” I said apologetically as I swept into the bar, throwing my bag down and sweeping my dark hair out of my face. Even after months of growing it out, it was still an adjustment after having short hair almost all my life. But, change could be good, and I liked the side-swept bangs and longer layers I’d been rocking as of late.

It was still early evening and only a few regulars sat at the bar. They raised their glasses in a brief salute before turning back to the TV.

Pete, my boss, rolled his eyes. “When are you not late?” he muttered under his breath.

“I heard that,” I hollered to his back as he headed for the stockroom. I set to work slicing limes, prepping for what I hoped would be a busy night ahead.

When Pete had offered me the job at his bar, aptly named Pete’s, I’d jumped at the chance. He also owned Jupiter, the brewery I’d waitressed at for several years alongside my best friend, Scarlet. I hadn’t enjoyed working at Jupiter as much since Scar left to start nursing school and to prepare for impending motherhood. Pete’s was a nice change and offered me autonomy. Pete let me manage myself and I liked the patrons, for the most part.

The bar was small and dimly lit, as any good dive bar had to be. The worn leather stools looked well-loved with their nicks and tears from frequent use. The booths alongside the windows were equally worn but comfortable and relatively private. There was enough room toward the back for a pool table, which was almost always in use.

Cole had fought hard to get me to work at one of the bars the club owned, but I’d firmly declined. Being affiliated with the club meant I already had a band of badass, overly protective big brothers whether I liked it or not. I didn’t need to work with them, too.

The Lumineers sang soothingly through the speakers as I wiped down the bar, preparing for last call. Mike, one of my regulars, continued to prattle on about his ex-wife, a common occurrence. I nodded my head indicating I was listening as I continued going about my tasks.

I was a good listener and having an open ear seemed to be a cure of sorts for most of my regulars. I got along with them just fine. They came in to share a laugh, a beer, and some conversation. I probably knew more about some of these people than their families did.

The door swung open and I rolled my eyes good naturedly as Wes strode into the bar as if he owned the place. I’d been telling the guys every night for six months they didn’t need to escort me home, but so far, my requests had fallen on deaf ears. I knew they felt it was their responsibility to look out for me now that Sal was gone.

I was touched by how, even though he was gone, the guys still cared about me. But, there were downsides, too. For instance, when they found out I’d agreed, albeit reluctantly, to go out on a date, it would be interesting to say the least. Scarlet was determined for me to go out with one of her doctor friends. She swore up and down that Gavin was the perfect guy to reintroduce myself to the dating pool.

The truth was I’d sooner shave my eyebrows off than date. And my heart wasn’t ready. No one would ever measure up to Sal.

But Scarlet was pushy on a good day. A nine-month pregnant Scarlet? You might as well roll over and say “uncle,” which is basically what I was doing.

BOOK: Sal (The Ride Series)
3.43Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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