Barb and Viper had an explosive relationship from the moment they met. She looked past his MC affiliation and saw through his rough and possessive exterior. Then she fell. Hard. Just as she let down the wall around her heart, he was gone. It’s taken her nearly two years to feel human again, and she’s barely recovered.
Cole Ellett, road name Viper, is back. But his lies remain. Never a member of an outlaw MC. Never murdered. Undercover for the Department of Homeland Security, his job forced him to disappear. But now he’s back for Barb, who is everything he’s ever desired. No matter that his life is still in danger and that their relationship was like a house built on sand. No matter that she’s locked her heart away for good. He will reignite her spark and bring back the fire that burns only for him. Theirs is a love that will never die.
“Good luck,” Jaxon muttered on my way out.
I was going to need all the luck I could get.
Once I reached the master bedroom on the third floor, I looked across the room at the closed white door leading to the bathroom. My heavy boots betrayed my attempt at being quiet. As I stilled, I could hear a low, deep growl coming from the other side of the door.
Fuck. He was in there with her.
“Who’s out there?” She asked through the wooden door.
“Babe, it’s me,” I replied and the growling got a little louder.
“I told Lei I didn’t want to see you. Leave. Me. Alone.”
“You know I’m not gonna do that. I’ve waited almost two years to see you. Hold you. Feel your hair between my fingers. I need you to at least let me try to explain. Please, baby.” Yeah, I was groveling. I would have gotten down on my knees and kissed her feet if that’s what it took. Anything for a chance.
“Leave Cole. There’s nothing you could say to me right now that’ll make me change my mind,” she sobbed and the rift in my chest widened a little more.
“Please, Barbara. I’ll stay out here and explain. You don’t have to see me, just give me a chance. I didn’t have a choice. I was under orders.”
“No, you’re not listening. You don’t get a chance to explain why you left me, or a chance to explain why you allowed me to think that you were dead. You don’t get a fucking chance to tell me why you let me grieve you for a year and eight months. Fuck you, Cole. You don’t get a chance. Now leave me the fuck alone or so help me God, I’ll open this damn door and let the dog out.” The fire in her voice shot straight to my cock. Fuck me, she was hot when she was pissed.
I was quiet for minute and waited for her anger to fade. My girl would get mad fast then soften a little. I knew she was trying to cover.
Even though I couldn’t see the hurt, I could hear it. Her cries and gasps for air damn near killed me. Maybe she did need more time than I was willing to give her.
“I know you’re still there, Cole. Please,” she sniffled as her breath hitched, “please just leave. I can’t deal with you right now.”
Her words were like a sharpened Ka-Bar to the heart. They opened me up and drained every drop of blood coursing through my veins.
In all of my preparation for this day, I never imagined it would be this awful.
She fucking hated me.
A.F. Crowell lives in Charleston, SC with her husband and two sons. They have two dogs, Diesel, a German Shepherd rescue and Dez, a black Labrador Retriever. She shares her love of books with her children, who have a head start on becoming life-long readers.
Romance fiction hit her radar when her husband forced her to watch Twilight one weekend when they were snowed in. That was it! From there her love grew; Contemporary Romance, Paranormal, YA and Dystopian are her preferred reads.