She"s the definition of lost. Doesn"t know her name" Check. Cruelly beaten within an inch of her life" Check. No memory of anything that’s happened since she woke up from that beating" Check. Losing a child she doesn"t remember conceiving" Check. She hasn’t felt anything but lost in a very long time. Then an old biker tells her danger is on the horizon. He sends her to a man that she instantly feels a connection with. A bone deep connection.
He"s the definition of despair. After the death of his young wife while on a tour of duty in Afghanistan, he hasn’t seen the appeal of participating in the world around him. He"s lost the only thing he ever loved. He"s been a shell of the man he once was. His only escape from reality is feeling the wind in his hair, going as fast as he can get his old Harley to take him. That"s the only time he can push his demons back far enough to feel peace. That is until she screams his name.Books in Series:Freebirds Series by Lani Lynn ValeBooks by Author:Lani Lynn Vale Books
I heard the door jingle behind me, but ignored it in favor of my Coke. I’d had a very bad day. My mother was a total and complete bitch. She’d thoroughly embarrassed me in front of the entire school today, and I was completely done with her. After graduation, this Friday, I"d be leaving this shit hole place and never looking back. Money or not, I was gone.
I hit the last dregs of my Coca Cola and placed my empty on the bar counter with a crack. Mr. Stoker acknowledged me with a nod of his head, and went back to helping his customer, while keeping his gaze partially trained in my direction. I felt bad for my outburst as soon as I did it, smiling sheepishly at him before he turned away again.
I was constantly replaying the event in my head. My freakin mother decided to come to my senior awards ceremony drunk and high off her ass. Why she decided to play the caring parent today, of all days, was beyond me. The woman was most likely mentally unstable; not that she would ever see someone to confirm it.
All she had to do was wait one more week and she would have had a perfect ten out of ten in the crappy parent who missed everything department. Of course, that would be my luck. I was probably the unluckiest person on the planet.
She"d walked into the room just as I was walking across the stage to accept my award. The door hit the cement wall with a bang as she burst through the gym door. She practically fell through it in her haste. Laughing and carrying on as if she didn’t just interrupt a ceremony that housed every single one of my peers and their parents. It was bad enough that they suspected she was a shitty parent, but to have her confirm it was another thing.
She made it about halfway down the main aisle when she spotted me on the stage. She yelled and hooted so loud that I could feel heat rising in my face. Utter and complete embarrassment consumed me.
About five steps passed before she went down, threw up on herself, and then started sobbing about my father leaving her with nothing but two snotty kids to take care of. They weren’t even hers, blah, blah, blah. Same story, different day.
I didn’t wait for help; I yanked my award out of the stunned principal"s fingers, hopped off stage, and hauled my mother up to her feet by her overall straps. Wasting no time in blowing the place, I ran out the side entrance and listened to the alarms shriek until I closed the door behind us with a click.
Not knowing what the hell to do with her, I finally decided on just throwing her in her car and letting her fend for herself. I"ve cleaned up after her for the last time. I needed some advice, which was how I ended up at Stoker"s.
Stormy, my twenty two year old sister, works as a barmaid at "Stoker’s Bar and Grill." Mr. Stoker"s, literally, the most awesome man on the planet. If I could adopt a father, he would be the one I would choose. I could probably take a bat to the booze lined up on the back wall, shattering every last bottle in a fit of rage, and he wouldn’t bat an eyelash. He’d only grab the big ass broom and dustpan, then start cleaning up my mess.
Not that I’d do a thing like that. Well, not to Mr. Stoker anyway; but there"re only so many things I can take before the red headed temper takes over.
My sister passed me, a cloud of her perfume trailed in her wake. I couldn’t help but gag a little at the noxious smell. The girl insisted on using the most insufferable scents to ever grace the planet. They probably didn"t smell bad to most people, but they turned my stomach. Even the candles she burned at home, at times, made me nauseous.
She passed me again, and then was back in a flash, setting food down in front of me. I thanked her profusely and dug in.
“So, tell me what happened." Stormy insisted, as she took her seat.
Knowing she wouldn"t let me eat until I spilled the beans, I told her the whole embarrassing thing.
“You’re shitting me!" She fumed.
She stared at me flabbergasted. I nodded my head, confirming that I was, in fact, not shitting her.
“That crazy bitch. I cannot believe that…" She trailed off.
I ignored her though. She’d set the most delicious plate of nachos down in front of me that I’d ever had the pleasure of tasting; ignoring them during my recap of the day"s events was as close to torture as one could get. The queso slid off the chips in a gooey mess, and I couldn’t help the moan of pleasure that escaped me at the taste.
Devouring my last bite, I licked each of my fingers, releasing each one with an audible "pop." Then my eyes moved to my sister"s plate. I wondered if she was going to finish them.
Stormy kicked me hard under the table, and my head snapped up. Glaring at her, I hauled my fist back and punched her in the arm, leaving a cheesy residue on her black polo shirt.
"You bitch!" She whisper yelled at me.
She kept glancing off to her right, but my phone dinged in my pocket, and I pulled it out instead.
I gasped at what I saw. "No way!"
My fellow computer geek, Andie, was showing off her newest acquisition. Her parents bought it for her graduation gift. It was the newest laptop computer with all the bells and whistles; it had enough memory on the drive to run the United States of America. Well, maybe not that much, but still, it was more than enough.
"Look how much memory this has!" I squealed to Stormy.
She, of course, ignored me like always. She could give two shits about a computer. "You"re such a loser."