Read Unbreakable: Unrequited Part Two (Fallen Aces MC Book 2) Online

Authors: Max Henry

Tags: #Romantic Suspense

Unbreakable: Unrequited Part Two (Fallen Aces MC Book 2) (26 page)

BOOK: Unbreakable: Unrequited Part Two (Fallen Aces MC Book 2)
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“You didn’t answer me,” Elena says quietly. “If I stayed, King.
If
we tried to make things work, what do you think Carlos would do if he knew?”

Dante lets out a small squeak as I roll him to his belly and settle him on my chest. His tiny fingers open and close over the VP badge on my cut while I run my palm up and down his back in slow, smooth strokes. “He’d find a way to get to you.”
Even after the promise I forced him to make.

“Exactly. And you know it wouldn’t be so he could give me a welcome home party.”

A shiver runs the length of me, and I can’t quite figure out if it’s a chill from the truth of her words or a thrill from feeling Dante’s warm breath heating the cotton of my T-shirt.

“I’d do everything I could to protect you. You know that.”

“I do, but there’d be that one time, that single day when it wasn’t quite enough. Could you live with yourself if Dante was hurt in all of this?”

“No.” His rosy lips part, his eyes firmly shut as he succumbs to sleep.

“Exactly. So for once, just set your heart aside and realize that there’s something greater than us at stake here.” Elena fusses in the baby bag and pulls out a bib. “You might want to put this under his head in case he burps.”

He grumbles as I lift his head delicately and give Elena space to lay the towel square out over my T-shirt. Dante’s eyes move under his lids, and I catch myself wondering what it is babies dream of. Is he imagining Elena? Seeing her in his dreams?
You wouldn’t be the only one, buddy.

“What do you propose then?” I ask, not able to tear my gaze from the beautiful life
we
made.

“I’ll let you know where we are, but you only visit on his birthday and Christmas.”

“No.” She can’t keep me away from him that long at a time. I’d miss so much. “Every second weekend.”

She shakes her head. “Quarterly.”

“Are you fuckin’ kiddin’?” I bellow. Dante squeaks in protest. “Sorry, li’l man.” I hold her gaze as I lay out my last demand. “Monthly.”

She huffs out a breath and fidgets with the baby bag. “Okay.”

“Where are you livin’?” Where
has
she been hiding all this time?

“Denver.”

“Nope.”

“Pardon?”

“You’re moving’.”

“I don’t think you have the right to tell me where—”

“You didn’t have the right to take my son away from me,” I butt in, “but you did it anyway.”

She scowls and slams her arms across her chest, making those milk-filled tits pop.
Down boy.

“You’re movin’. Understood?”

“I’ve got a job there.”

“I’ll get you another one.”

“Dante has a life there as well.”

“He’s barely a month old, Elena,” I grate out. “He’s got nothin’ that he’ll remember. All he needs is you, me, and a shitload of love to get him through the crappy time when he asks us how he came about.”

She smirks at the final bit, seemingly fighting a proper smile. “I guess.”

“Baby, I’m not having you walk back in here after the better part of a year away just to rip my family away from me again.”

She stares at the sofa cushion beside her, her fingernail picking at a seam.

“You remember that conversation we had outside the motel when you wanted to come with me? The day you told me about this guy?”

She smiles, still avoiding eye contact. “How could I forget? You killed my last hope that day.”

I ignore the lance through my chest that jibe gives. “Remember what I said to you about how I had somethin’ amazing I’d been workin’ on for us?”

“Yes.” She frowns, looking up from her destruction of our furniture.

“The day you left I tore it down. Couldn’t bear to look at it.”

“What was it?” Her gaze falls to Dante, who’s out to the world.

“I built a house.”

Her sharp intake of breath makes the little guy twitch in his sleep. “A house?”

“Well, most of one. I hadn’t finished. All the same, it would have been perfect, but after you walked out I couldn’t look at it without feelin’ like a failure.”

“You weren’t a failure, King.”

“I was, otherwise why would you have left me?”

“I told you—I couldn’t compete with this.” She tosses her hands in the air.

“Exactly. I failed you.”

Elena lets out a short, jaded laugh. “No, King.
I
failed
you
.” She swivels on the seat, tucking her legs up beside her. “I knew where our affair would lead, what it would do to the two of us. My gut instinct screamed at me to walk away from you, but I was selfish.” She closes her eyes, dropping her face into one hand and mumbling behind her fingers, “I did this to us.”

With my palm skimming over Dante’s back, I stare at his perfectly soft and rounded face. “I don’t regret any of it.”

“Neither,” she whispers. “So what does that mean?”

I shrug. What does it mean? Love complicates everything. A neutral man, one who was removed from our web of emotion, could see this for what it is: a woman putting the welfare of her child first, and a man whose calling is to make a better life for the people in his. We each have our priorities, which dealt with alone could be completely manageable. But throw love in the equation and the lines blur. Our passions drive us apart, but our insatiable need for each other keeps drawing us together.

“Are you sure that distance is the best healer?” I ask. “Don’t you think there’s a reason why no matter what happens, we end up back here again, sitting in each other’s company?”

“Yeah,” she murmurs. “I do. He’s sleeping on you.”

I shake my head, yet she continues.

“If it weren’t for Dante, King, I would have chosen to stay away.”

Her words close a fist around my heart. “Was what we had that trivial? That easy to let go of?”

“I keep telling you, no.” She sighs and throws her head back. “We’re going around in circles.”

“Because I can’t understand why you’d do this.” I sit up a little and twist to my side to set Dante down gently on the sofa. He stirs, and I reach across to snag the blanket at Elena’s feet, wrapping it over his little body and tucking it underneath to make a snug cocoon for him.

She watches me in silence, her head cocked to the side as I fuss over our child. I move to where she sits and drop the bib in her bag, and then crawl to kneel before her. She sighs as I push my arms either side of her seat, encasing her in my hold.

“What are you doing, King?”

“Trying to remind you why we risked our lives for these moments.”

“I don’t need remind—”

“I think you do.” She closes her eyes as I lean forward and rest my forehead to hers. “There was a reason we thought this right here was worth the fight.”

Elena sniffs. Her forehead furrows under mine. “Don’t . . .”

“Why?” I whisper, as I skim my lips across her wet cheeks to her ear. “Because the truth hurts?”

“Because it all hurts,” she murmurs, tilting her head as I reach the soft spot between her neck and shoulder.

“It’s supposed to.” I dot kisses along her collarbone, stopping when I reach the fabric of her sweater. “That’s what makes the good times feel that much sweeter.”

Her fingers knit in the hair at my nape and pull my mouth off her heated flesh. “I didn’t come here for this.”

“I don’t want you to leave without it.”

“Why?” Her eyebrows pull together. “Why would you do this, knowing it’ll hurt me that much more when I go?”

“Because I’m trying to make sure you don’t leave me.”

“I’m not about to change my mind.”

“Then I’ll keep reminding you why you should until the day you stay, Elena.” I pull free of her hold and kiss the tip of her nose. “I tried to stop loving you, and it only made me miss you more.”

Her tears flow free once more, yet her expression is stoic and determined.

“It might not be today, baby, but you can’t deny this forever.”

“I’m not denying that I miss you too, King.” She places a tentative palm to my cheek. “I’d never deny that I still love you.”

“I know. That’s not what I meant.”

She shakes her head a little. “What?”

“I meant you’re denying yourself. You’re denying the right to feel
this,
to have what nobody’s ever given you before.”

She swallows audibly, her fingers tightening on my cheek a little. “And what’s that? What have I never been given before you?”

“Unconditional love.”

TWENTY-NINE

King

Hooch slips on to the stool beside me. The club’s quiet, vacant of most people being that it’s mid-afternoon on a weekday. After the showdown with Carlos, we lost a dozen or more prospects and hang-arounds—people who realized that being a part of our club meant they stood dangerously close to the cliff’s edge. The place was instantly a ghost town; the fully patched members are mostly nine-to-five workers, so without the younger blood the halls became empty during the working week.

“Take it things didn’t go none too well?” Hooch takes hold of the empty bottle of Jack beside me and turns it over in his hands.

“Not the best, no.”

“She comin’ back?”

My nostrils flare as I stare at the wall behind the bar. “Probably not now, and dude . . .” He spins to face me, sitting side on to the bar. “I think she really meant it.”

He heaves a sigh and sets the bottle down on the wooden bar top. “What you gonna do?”

I shrug. What can I do? She’s made it clear; as long as I stay with the club, she wants no part of my world. What part of the fact that she
is
my world doesn’t she get?

Hooch slams a heavy hand down on my shoulder. “Chin up, brother. There’s ways we can make sure you get to see your kid at least.”

I grunt in reply as he raps his knuckles on the bar and walks away. I turn and catch him before he disappears into the garage. “Hooch.”

“Yeah, man?”

“Keep this to yourself, yeah?”

He frowns, looking as though he’s about to argue before his face softens and he simply nods once.

The last thing this place needs are rumors of who Elena is and what our connection involves. Thanks to Apex’s indiscretions, the whole mess with Carlos on our turf was brushed off as an inter-club argument. There was no mention of Elena, and the only witnesses to what Carlos and Apex said about my involvement with Elena—the prospect and the old boy—were kept quiet with a stern word from Beefy.

Maybe Apex had been right from the start? I should have walked away and let it go when I still could? If the brothers find out about my affair with Carlos’s wife, then shit, my respect and reliability are shot straight out the fucking window.

My head makes a dense thud as it hits the bar between my arms.
I’m fucked.
All I ever wanted was to live an honest life amongst a brotherhood of men who looked out for each other, no questions asked. And now I’m staring down the barrel of a life sentence lying my ass off, pretending I’m straighter than a freshly dry-cleaned suit.

What sort of fucked up oxymoron is this? In order to be the guy they need to bring the club back on the straight and narrow, back on the safe side of the tracks, I’m going to have to be the biggest charlatan of them all.

I can’t do it.

I can’t live a lie and expect to sleep straight in bed at night.

Fuck, I don’t sleep at all as it is.

“Hard day?”

I whip my head off the bar to see Callum leaning on an elbow beside me. “You could say that.”

“Joker was acting weird. Anything happen I should know about?”

And it begins.
“Nope. Just another day tryin’ to make sense of the mess that Apex has in that office.”
Liar, liar, pants on fire . . .

“Understandable.” He takes a seat beside me as two more of the lifers wander in through the garage door. “Speakin’ of the old bastard, you seen him lately?”

“Couple of days ago.” The change in conversation perks me up somewhat. This I can talk about. “He was waitin’ on some test where they have dye in his blood. Angrier than a cut cat at, as he put it, ‘wastin’ his motherfuckin’ time and energy on this bullshit.’”

Callum chuckles, rubbing a hand over his stubbly chin. “Yeah, that sounds like him.”

I glance around the room, noting one of the lifers has left and the other is setting up a game of pool at the table. Satisfied nobody is in earshot, I turn back to Callum and lean a little closer. “Can I ask your opinion on somethin’?”

He looks my way quizzically and nods. “Sure.”

“You think I’d ever get put forward for pres?” When the vote came through that put me in the position of VP, I took that role on with full confidence. But after seeing Elena today, realizing the sum of my errors, taking on the ultimate role seems too much of a farce. They need someone better.
Someone like Callum,
I think, as I stare over at my friend.

He bows his head, rubbing a stiff palm over the back of his skull while he thinks it over. “I’d say yes, just based on what everyone says about you, but I don’t want you gettin’ the idea in your head if it doesn’t happen, you know?”

I nod and give him a pat on the arm. “I understand.” He offers a wan smile as I stand. “Just wonderin’ is all.”

The clubhouse slowly comes alive as I cross over to Apex’s office and barricade myself from the growing noise. Painting on a happy face for those ten minutes was hard enough

how the hell am I going to do this for months, or years?

I drag a hand over my beard as I take in what’s left of the mess to sort and file. The old boy didn’t want a bar of me in here to begin with—understandable, given our history, but a firm word in his ear from Beefy and Apex soon gave in. He hasn’t filed a fucking thing since the day he took over. There are power bills, property rate notices, receipts for food bought when we’ve organized a run, and random scraps of paper with scrawled notes every-fucking-where. Took me two days just to reconcile the fuel account and figure out which current members still carried cards for it.

The Aces need a damn secretary. They need somebody who understands how the place runs, who can keep track of the basic paperwork, filing what’s non-important and saving only those letters that need a final decision for the officers. A go-between if you like.

BOOK: Unbreakable: Unrequited Part Two (Fallen Aces MC Book 2)
11.66Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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