Book one of the Hammer MC series
By Nicola Jane
I straighten my pencil skirt, I chose the blue one because it wasn’t as depressing as black but now, I feel under dressed and not very formal.
“Well Miss Coin, we will be in touch.” The jumped-up woman in front of me stands and holds out a hand for me to shake, her black suit ironed to perfection. I know she won’t be in touch. This is the eighth job I’ve interviewed for and I haven’t heard back from any of them. At this rate I’m going to have to take Harper up on her offer of bar work.
I leave the new build office and pull out my mobile phone. I call Harper, my best friend since forever. Our mums were on the same maternity ward. They gave birth just one day apart, so they got chatting and swapping birth stories. They discovered that they lived just two blocks away from each other and they became firm friends.
“Hey sweetie, how did it go?” she answers. I can hear voices in the background, so she must be at work.
“Not good. The woman that interviewed me looked me up and down as soon as she saw me, I could tell she didn’t like me!”
“Mila you are paranoid. I’m sure you did fine. Come to the bar and I will make you some lunch.”
I jump in my car and head to the bar. It’s by miracle I make it, my car is in serious need of some tlc. The beat up, red Golf is my pride and joy, the one thing I saved to buy during my time at college. It took a lot of waitressing at the college burger joint to get the five hundred dollars to buy it and I feel a sense of pride that I did it on my own which it makes it hard to sell her now.
I pull into the bar. The car park is full of motorcycles, a few bikers are leaning against the wall chatting and smoking.
As I approach the doorway, Jase, a member of the Hammers Motorcycle Club opens the door.
“Hey Mila, nice to see you.” He winks, looking me up and down. “You’re looking smart, been anywhere nice?”
“A job interview, nowhere exciting!” I sigh.
“I can take you somewhere exciting?” he grins. I roll my eyes, He means no harm but I’m pretty sure his wife, Kayla, will eat me alive if I touch her man.
“Kayla is all the excitement you need big guy!” I laugh before heading inside to find Harper.
There’re bikers everywhere. Their clubhouse is connected to the back of the bar so many of the guys sit around here. Harper is behind the bar, leaning across to talk to Kain, the vice president. She’s had a thing for him for months, but he doesn’t seem interested, much to her disappointment. It’s not like she’s ugly, that girl could cause an accident with the amount of attention she gets. Long blond hair down to her bum and bright blue eyes, A tiny waist and rounded ass, She’s like every man’s wet dream.
I plonk myself down on the bar stool next to Kain. “Don’t look so glum sweetie, you will find something soon I’m sure!” smiles Harper, placing a diet coke down in front of me.
“What you looking for Mila?” asks Kain, chugging back the beer from his bottle.
“A job!” I sigh.
“Doing what exactly?”
“I just had an interview for a nanny, but I don’t think I got it!”
“You good with kids?”
I shrug, “Yeah, I guess. I have lots of experience, there just doesn’t seem to be any jobs out there at the moment.”
“You know the pres might need someone. Let me talk to him.”
He’s referring to Cooper, the club president. The scariest man I’ve ever met, although I’ve only actually met him twice. According to Harper he keeps himself to himself most of the time, preferring to stay around the club house than venture into the bar.
I watch Kain’s retreating back as he heads to the clubhouse. His huge 6ft frame is nothing compared to his president, but he still fits snug in those Levi’s.
“Man, he is so fine. It doesn’t matter what I do, the guy just will not show me any interest!” she huffs, making no secret of the fact she is watching his ass as he leaves.
“You need a cloth to wipe up the drool!” I laugh.
“You are not funny, even you have to see how amazing he is!”
She’s right, he is gorgeous. Tall and well built, muscles as big as my thighs and tattoos covering both arms. His hair is always tied back in a man bun style, but I imagine it is at least shoulder length.
“Maybe pay him no attention, he must get sick of women swooning at his feet. Play it cool!” I suggest, and she ponders my suggestion whilst pouring a pint for Sam, one of the older members of the club.
The conjoining door to the clubhouse opens and Kain pops his head in. “Mila, come back here!” he shouts.
I’ve never been in to the club house. Harpers been working here for six months now and she said no one goes back there, not even her. You must be part of the club which we aren’t.
I follow him through the door. We walk through a huge, open plan room with couches dotted about and two pool tables. It’s not very inviting but I’m sure it’s ideal for the guys who hang around here. A blond with straggly hair is sitting on one of the pool tables. Her bra is on show and she has short shorts on, exposing her skinny pale legs. She tracks my movements, a look of anger on her face.
“Where the hell are you taking her Kain, it better not be to Cooper’s room!” she snaps.
“Shut the hell up Carrie, keep your nose outta my business!”
A little boy comes running in to the room making a siren noise at the top of his voice. He skids to a halt in front of Kain.
“Asher stop making that god damn noise. Your uncle will string me up!” yells Carrie, jumping off the pool table and marching towards him. He looks at me with sad eyes and I wonder if she’s his mum. Poor kid.
We get to a red wooden door with the word President painted in black across it. Kain gives a knock and a gruff voice orders us to come in.
Cooper is sat behind a large oak desk. His boot clad feet resting up on top of it. He’s engrossed in something on his mobile phone, so he doesn’t immediately look up.
“Pres, this is Mila.”
After a few more seconds he raises his head. His piercing green eyes meet mine and he just stares. I fidget, I hate being stared at.
“No!” he finally says and then looks back at his phone.
“Come on Coop, she’s got loads of experience and we need the help! The Kid’s running riot!” sighs Kain.
“I said no. Now get her the fuck out of here.” He snaps, still not looking up.
I feel a rage burn through my veins. How rude to not even ask me a question before dismissing me. I am so sick of being turned away, I need a reason, what am I doing that is so wrong?
“Why?” I ask. My voice comes out quiet, almost a whisper, and I inwardly cringe. It sounded much louder when I said it in my head.
They both look at me and I suddenly feel that perhaps I shouldn’t have spoken to him directly. Maybe in a motorcycle club there are rules about how to address the president.
“Because you aren’t what I’m looking for!” he grates out.
“But you didn’t ask me anything. How would you know?”
He gives me an irritated look. “Get her out of here Kain!”
Kain goes to open the door but stops when he realises, I haven’t moved. “I want a god damn reason! I am sick of being told no. I am a good nanny. I have loads of experience and kids love me! Is it the way I look? Am I dressed wrong?”
He looks me up and down again which grates on my last nerve.
“Oh just forget it. I’d rather sell my body than work here with someone as rude as you!” and I stomp towards the door. Kain raises his eyebrows with an amused look on his face and then leads me out of the office.
Carrie is still in the room. She has a hold of the boy’s arm and he is crying. She’s in his face shouting at him.
“Let go of him right now!” I snap, marching over. She looks at me in surprise and releases his arm.
“Who the hell are you?” she demands, glaring from me to Kain.
I ignore her and pick the little boy up. He must only be around three. His tear stained face is dirty, but he wraps his arms around my neck and snuggles in to me.
She looks at me in surprise. “He let you hold him!” she mutters.
“Fuck!” Kain gasps.
“Get back in here. Bring the kid with you!” comes a booming voice from behind me. I turn to see Cooper standing in his office doorway.
I head back in to his dark, depressing office, the manly vibe letting me know that Cooper is without doubt a man’s man. He sits on the edge of his desk, surprise on his face. “That kids been with me for a month now and not once as he let anyone touch him, let alone hold him!” he says, his voice gruff.
I rub gentle circles on the boys back. “Maybe if everyone stopped referring to him as the kid…” I suggest.
“Asher, his name is Asher.” Says Cooper in an almost apologetic tone.
The light snores tell me that Asher has fallen to sleep. I make my way over to the couch which leans against the office wall. I gently lay him down and he stirs briefly before snuggling against the pillow. I pull a throw from the back of the couch and cover him over, taking a moment to stare at his dirty little face.
“I need someone to live in!” says Cooper, bringing me back from my thoughts.
I turn to him. “I thought I wasn’t right?”
“I reckon you will last the week before you tell me to shove the job up my ass. The kids a handful. He hardly sleeps, won’t eat proper, just races around playing on his own.”
I love a challenge, so I smile. “Where will I sleep?”
“You can have a room next to the kid. Anything you need you go to Max, he’s a prospect and his job is to run around. I will pay you cash, weekly. You can have Sundays off. I’ll get Max to show you around.”
“Like I said, you won’t last the week!”
He sticks his head out the door and shouts for Max. He appears in a flash. Looking eager to please. He’s a good-looking guy, maybe my age. He’s got a cheeky look about him.
“This is…” Cooper pauses and looks at me.
“Mila.” I smile.
“She’s Asher’s new nanny. Show her to the room next to the kid. Get her settled!”
Max wiggles his eyebrows at me, “Not a problem Pres!” he grins. I laugh but Cooper doesn’t look impressed. “Off limits, especially to a prospect!” he snaps.
We leave the office, turning left and heading through another door that takes us straight to a set of stairs. I follow Max up to the first floor. There’re three doors along the landing. He opens the first one. “This is Asher’s room.” I step inside. It’s decorated in different shades of blue. There’re posters on the wall of a cartoon character. A small bed sits against one wall. The bed is full of teddy bears. There’s an over flowing toy box in the corner of the room and a small bookshelf full of children’s books. It isn’t what I expected.
“He cares about the kid. Just doesn’t know how to look after him!”
“Well hiring somebody else to do it won’t solve the problem. Where’s his mom?”
Max hesitates, “Erm, I’m not sure I should talk about that. Ask the Pres!”
He leads me to the next door and flings it open. It’s bright, with cream walls and a huge four poster bed. “Wow, this is really nice. Is this my room?”
He nods as I step inside. The furniture is cottage style, also in cream. There’s intricate flowers hand painted on to the walls in random places. There’s a double glass door that opens out on to a small balcony. It overlooks a field which must be what the club backs on to.
“The Pres’ room is the one at the end. He doesn’t like to be disturbed so you’re best calling for me and I will get whatever you need.” He hands me a mobile phone.
“This is your work phone. It has everyone’s number that you will need. If the pres rings you then answer, he hates to be ignored.”
“I will need to go home and get some things. Let Cooper know I will be back tomorrow at nine and he can go through Asher’s schedule.”
“Schedule, he doesn’t really have one! I can take you to get your things and bring you straight back!”
“No, I need to speak to my parents and my boyfriend!”
We head back down stairs. I get as far as Coopers office door before he appears. “Where are you going?”
“Knew you wouldn’t last the week!” he mutters.
“I need to get my things. I will be back tomorrow!”
He raises an eyebrow. “Well Max will take you to get your things and then you can come straight back!”
“I already offered Pres, she wants to see her boyfriend!” grins Max.
A brief look of annoyance passes over Coopers face. “I need you here tonight, I’ve made plans and need someone to watch the kid!”
“I literally just took the job! I can’t start straight away!”
“Then forget it, I’ll find someone else!” he snaps, heading back in to his office and slamming the door.
“Fine!” I huff. “Max, I have my car outside. I will go and get my stuff and be back in a few hours. Let the grumpy bastard know!”
“Well I guess it’s good you have a job but I’m not sure working for the Hammers is a good idea!” sighs my mum. She sits on my bed, watching me pack a few things.
“A live in position will earn me good money. If me and Aaron want to move in together, we need money.”
“I know sweetie, I just wish it was for someone more reputable!”
“All the things we hear could just be gossip mom, we don’t know if any of it’s true. They have never done anything to upset us!”
The Hammers MC, like most MC clubs, has a bad reputation. Money laundering, drugs, fighting, you name it and they have done it or had something to do with it. Harper loves working the bar though. She says that it’s all rumours and she’s never seen anything remotely underhand, but I guess they wouldn’t openly do that kind of stuff.
I hear the front door open and close. “Mila?” I hear Aarons voice.
I texted him when I left the club house to tell him I’d found a job. He enters the room and wraps me in his arms.
He’s been my rock for two years now. We plan on moving in together as soon as we have a deposit together and maybe a month or twos rent.
We met in a bar, he hit on me a few times before I finally gave in and let him buy me a drink. Our first date was to a fast food joint. I should have realised then that he wasn’t romantic. I agreed to go on the next date and then the next until we just became a thing. He’s tall and preppy looking. Tanned with straight white teeth and nice brown hair that he sweeps to the side. He’s medium build, he’s a runner more than a gym addict but he’s in good shape.
I fill him in on the details and him and mom share a concerned look.
“Just be careful, I’ve heard some stories about those guys. Keep your head down and take care of his child but don’t get involved in any of their club dealings.” Warns Aaron, kissing me on the forehead.
“It means I have to pass on date night! He wants me to start straight away!”
“That’s okay, I will meet up with Charlie and have a beer or two.”
I roll my eyes. Charlie is Aarons best friend and as far as I’m concerned, not a good one. Aaron never makes good choices when he’s with Charlie, sometimes I think they slip into their old student ways and get beyond drunk and reckless.
“Well call me when you get home. I worry!”
By the time I finally get back to the club house the car park is almost empty, with just three bikes standing lonely.
I head in through the bar, finding Harper chatting to Max. They turn to me and smile in unison.
“Thank god you are back, He was going mad thinking you had just left.” Grins Max.
The back door leading to the club swings open and Coopers large built frame fills the doorway. With his arms crossed over his chest like that, he looks menacing. His muscles bulge and I find myself comparing his bulky size to Hulk, making me smile.
“I don’t know why you’re smiling. I’ve got a screaming kid in here that won’t shut the fuck up!” he growls, knocking the smile right off my face.
Once inside the compound I find Asher wailing, sitting in the middle of the room.
“Did something happen?” I ask Cooper. He shrugs his huge shoulders.
“He woke up and then just cried!”
“Well have you tried to hold him?” I ask, heading over to the small child and crouching down in front of him.
“Hey little man, what’s all the noise about?” I smile.
“I told you, he doesn’t let no one touch him!” huffs Cooper.
Asher sniffles but stops his wailing and looks at me. A grin spreads across his face and he reaches out for me. I let him wrap his tiny arms around my neck before I stand, lifting him into my arms.
He presses his face into my neck and sniffs, before settling there, like a small baby.
“What the fu…” I cut Cooper off with a light slap to his arm.
“No more cursing in front of Asher. It isn’t good for him!”
Cooper stares at the spot where my hand touched him before looking into my eyes, his eyebrows raised in surprise. “I will also need more details on his background. How old is he?”
“He’s three. Just. Birthday was last month”
“I’m going to get him settled with some toys and then I want to see you to discuss him further. Get Max to come to Asher’s room, He can watch over him.”
I sit on the bedroom floor, Asher pressed into my side. I pull out a drawer from his toy cabinet full of small toy cars and place it on the floor.
“Asher, I’m Mila. I’ve come to stay with you, to help look after you!” I smile. He looks up at me but doesn’t speak. I haven’t heard him say a word since I first laid eyes on him. “Is that okay with you?”
He gives a nod. “Can you use your words Asher?” He pauses for a minute and I’m about to give up hope when in a small voice he whispers, “Yes.”
I’m holding up cars and asking him to tell me the colours by the time Max comes in. Asher speaks in single words rather than sentences but I’m putting that down to shyness. He glances at Max and squashes in to me tighter.
“Asher this is Max, you know him, right?” He gives a small nod. “He’s my friend and he loves to play cars. Can he play with your cars for a while? I need to see Cooper.”
“Stay.” He whispers to me.
“Asher I am coming back. I promise.” He goes silent for another minute before nodding. “Okay, good boy. You are in charge Asher. Don’t let Max boss you around okay!” I joke. He hides a small smile.
I knock on Coopers office door. The clubhouse is empty. I wait for a moment before pushing the door open to find Cooper standing in front of his desk. There’s a pair a pale legs wrapped around his waist and he has his tongue stuck down the throat of Carrie, the woman I had the displeasure of meeting earlier.
He spins around, fury on his face and I stumble back, fear filling my body. “Don’t ever come in here unless I tell you that you can!” he roars.
I take a few steps back, my legs working faster than my mind. I almost trip but manage to catch myself by grabbing the door frame. Tears spring to my eyes and I turn away, heading back towards the stairs, before he can see me. I don’t do well with people shouting at me, I believe in respect and manners.
I’m halfway up the stairs when a strong hand grabs my wrist, halting me mid step. “Stop!” he growls, his voice rumbling through my panic. He gently tugs on my arm until I face him, and he cringes.
“I like my privacy. I should have told you!” he mutters.
“I just wanted to talk about Asher. It can wait!” I whisper, trying to hide the quiver in my voice.
“No, we’ll do it now!” He keeps hold of my wrist and as we near the bottom of the stairs he loosens his grip until he finds my hand and then holds that until we reach his office.
Carrie is still sitting on the edge of his desk looking flustered. “Out!” he snaps, and she glares at me. Her eyes fall to our joined hands. “Seriously Cooper?”
“I don’t have time for your drama Carrie, get out!”
She huffs and storms out, shoulder barging me as she passes. Cooper drops my hand and then goes to sit behind his desk. I lower myself into the chair opposite.
“So, Asher!” he sighs, rubbing his forehead. “He came to live with me a month ago. Very withdrawn and won’t talk to me. He screams when anyone touches him and hardly eats a thing. The club doc reckons he’s suffering some sort of trauma after what he’s been through, so I’ve arranged for him to see a counsellor once a week. It starts next week.”
“I assume you and his mum split up then?”
He looks at me confused, “No, He isn’t mine!”
“Oh! I just assumed.”
“Lady, I don’t do kids, not mine and not anyone else’s, as you can probably tell. He was my sisters’ kid. To cut a long story short, she died!”
I sit like a goldfish, it wasn’t what I was expecting to hear. “Poor Asher.”
“Not really, she was a waste of space. Asher’s dad is a member of a rival club. He got her in to all kinds of shit, drugs, drink, prostitution. He probably ain’t even the dad!”
“So social care gave him to you?” I say, doubtfully.
“Let’s just say I was the better option, the kid ain’t got many!”
He hands me a piece of paper with an address on it. “Every Monday from next week he needs to go there. Max will take you and bring you back. That goes for anything you do, Max is now your personal driver. The kid doesn’t go anywhere without a club member so unfortunately that means you too!”
“Don’t you think Asher may feel a little intimidated by you all?”
“It’s not up for discussion princess! Who’s your boyfriend?”
I’m taken back by his question. “I don’t see that’s got anything to do with you!” I snap.
“It’s got everything to do with me. I’ve requested a full background check on you so if he’s anyone that I should know about now is the time to tell me!”
Most jobs like this require a back-ground check but none have ever gone in to enough detail to check my associates. “There’s nothing you need to know!” I huff.
“Max will show you around the kitchen.”
“Do you require meals too?” I ask, because usually when I live in, I cook for the whole family.
“No, Carrie does all that for the guys!” I give him my best ‘are you kidding me’ look and he laughs. His face looks much more handsome when he isn’t frowning.
Max shows me around the clubhouse properly. There’s a huge bathroom on the same floor as our bedroom but we share it with Cooper. The kitchen is huge too, with a fantastic island in the centre. I can’t wait to get Asher in there and bake.
I decide the first thing to do is bath Asher. He is filthy. He enjoys bath time, splashing and laughing, although he still doesn’t speak much. He looks like a new child once he’s clean and dressed again. His blond hair is soft and a lot lighter than I first thought.
“What do you like to eat sweetie?” I ask, rubbing baby lotion into his pale cheeks.
He shrugs. I decide to take him to the kitchen, so he can see what’s in there. Thankfully it’s empty, I was dreading bumping in to Carrie.
I open the double fridge and it’s full of food, but nothing that really stands out as healthy or wholesome. I find some peppers, onions and eggs. “Omelette?” I suggest and Asher nods.
I sit him on the worktop and pass him a plastic knife. I cut the peppers into strips and then show him how to chop them smaller. He looks at me with delight as he sets about chopping.
Cooper saunters in and freezes. “Wow, did he get a bath?”
“Yes, it’s basic child care 101!”
“Well Carrie sorted all that!” he shrugs.
“He hadn’t been bathed in weeks!”
He sits at the counter watching us chop vegetables. “What are you making?” he asks, screwing his face up.
“Well we looked in the fridge and it’s full of junk food. We managed to find this stuff to make an omelette, but we will need to go to the supermarket tomorrow and buy some healthier stuff!”
He looks at me like I’m crazy. “There’s stuff for burgers in there, Carrie always makes us burgers!”
I notice Asher screw his face up in distaste. “You don’t like burgers sweetie?” I ask, smiling.
He shakes his head. “Yuck!” he whispers.
“Why didn’t you say? Is that why you haven’t eaten?” asks Cooper.
“She said I had to eat them!” he mutters. We both gasp at his short sentence.
“Well, I think we need to try lots of different food before we can find all the things you like. I don’t mind if you don’t like something, I won’t make you eat what you don’t like!” I smile, and he nods.
“Good to hear him speak, I was giving up hope!” mutters Cooper.
I sit Asher on a stool next to Cooper whilst I set about cooking the omelettes. I glance up every so often, noting how cute they look together. Words aren’t spoken but Asher is playing with a toy car on the worktop and every so often he runs it near Coopers fingers and peeks up at him. Cooper realises and takes the car from him, gently driving it back in his direction, they take it in turns, pushing it to each other.
I plate up the omelettes and pass one to each of them before joining them. They both tuck in. Cooper looks at me in amazement. “Wow, this tastes good!”
“It’s just an omelette, you must have eaten an omelette before?” I laugh.
“I haven’t eaten anything but fast food and burgers for a long time!”
I feel a small buzz in my stomach, I love to cook and the thought of cooking for someone that will really appreciate it makes me excited. If he thinks an omelette is amazing then the standards are low, my mind is already planning what I need to buy.
“I love to cook, maybe I can do extra for you and the guys when I do?” I offer, casually.
“Not for the guys, but for me, yeah!”
“Why not the guys?”
“Carrie can look after them, it’s her job!” he mutters.
“Won’t she mind me cooking for you then, if you’re her fella and the boss around here?”
“Stop digging for information!”
I roll my eyes, seriously, like it isn’t obvious that she’s something to him. How is that digging.
After, I pull a stool to the sink and Asher helps me wash the dishes. He is smiling, and I love that he is already responding to me. Cooper is staring at his mobile phone when the door swings open and Carrie comes in. She glares at me but then snuggles in to Coopers side. He looks mildly irritated by her display of affection, but I pretend to show no interest, she is clearly doing it for my benefit.
“I’m going to cook up some burgers baby, how many do you want?” she smiles sweetly.
“I’ve just eaten, thanks anyway!” he says, not looking up from his phone.
“Eaten what? You can’t cook!”
“ The new girl made me an omelette!”
“An omelette, you hate shit like that!” she almost screeches, clearly outraged.
He stands, still staring at his phone. “You wouldn’t know what I like.”
“I know exactly what you like, especially in the bedroom!” she snaps, and he laughs, finally looking up at her.
“I wouldn’t say that, you think you know, but you don’t actually know!” and he leaves the room.
Carrie turns to me scowling. “Listen up bitch, you keep your hands and eyes to yourself. Cooper is mine, I’m his old lady! He ain’t got room in his life for you and your stupid fancy food!”
I lift Asher from the stool, but he won’t let me place him on the floor and instead he clings to me until I sit him on my hip.
“Asher, come to me!” demands Carrie, approaching us. He shakes his head, his floppy blond hair shaking with the movement. “Don’t tell me no you little shit. I’ve looked after you for the last month!”
He snuggles his face in to my neck and I walk around her, towards the door.
“Hand him over new girl!” she growls.
“Not a chance!” I say, leaving the room.
We go back to his bedroom and collect some toys before heading down to the main room. He sets up a space by the sofa and plays quietly whilst I sip on a coffee.
It’s a little busier in here now. I assume many of the guys have finished their day jobs and are hanging out here. A few guys play pool and there’s a couple watching the large screen tv that hangs from the wall. The girl looks around my age and keeps glancing over, so I decide to break the ice. After all, if I’m going to be around here more then I need to make friends, it’s clear Carrie won’t be a fan of mine.
“Hey, I’m Mila.” I smile, “Asher’s new nanny.”
She smiles and sits up. Her blonde hair falls loose around her small shoulders, she’s a tiny build and sitting next to the huge biker makes her look even smaller. “Hi, I’m Brook. This is Tanner my husband.”
He glances and gives me a head nod before turning his attention back to the screen. She goes to move closer to me, but he pulls her back to him and wraps his arm around her. She laughs, playfully slapping at his strong, tattooed arm. “Baby, let me up so I can talk to Mila!” He grunts but releases her and she moves to the arm chair nearer me.
“How did you end up here, you with one of the guys?”
I shake my head. “No, my friend, Harper, works the bar out front. She kind of got me the job!”
“I love Harper!” she squeals. “She was made to run that bar, keeps these guys in line!”
I laugh because she is probably right, I can imagine her to not take any bullshit.
“So, who have you met? Apart from the grizzly bastard?” When I raise my eyebrows in confusion, she giggles. “Cooper!” she clarifies.
“Oh,” I laugh. “Erm, just Max and Carrie.” At the mention of Carries name her smile disappears. “Not a fan then?” I ask and she visibly shudders.
“Watch her, she’s sly. Almost came between me and Tanner a few months back. I don’t know why Cooper keeps her around. None of the old ladies like her! The guys don’t seem to see her like we do!”
“Well she certainly doesn’t like me!” I sigh. “She warned me off Cooper just now. Poor Asher seems scared of her.”
“Well he would be, she’s horrible to him. Nice in front of Coop mind! She couldn’t wait to play stepmom, hoping Coop would make her his old lady. Hasn’t worked yet though!”
“Hope you ain’t gossiping B?” growls Cooper, appearing in front of us.
She grins up at his huge frame. “Me, gossip?” she says, innocently and a small smile tugs at his lips. “I was just telling Mila to take no notice of Carrie. She’s stamping her territory around you!”
He looks annoyed. “What she said?” he directs at me and I shift uncomfortably. I don’t want to stir shit up, especially not with her.
“Don’t worry. I can handle Carrie. I’m here to do a job and that’s it!”
“What. Did. She. Say?” he asks, punctuating every word.
“That she’s your old lady of course!” jumps in Brook, looking pleased with herself.
He huffs and pulls out his phone, texting. Then he sits down near Tanner.
Carrie is chatting to some guys at the pool table when a leggy brunette enters. All eyes go to her because she is stunning. Her hair is past her waist and hangs in loose curls. Her skin is tanned, and her smile is wide, making her whole face look radiant. She makes a beeline for Cooper. He watches her, and I find myself shivering. His eyes go dark, his face unreadable but I know without a doubt that he has fucked her. She stops in front of him and he stands, taking her hand and tugging her the last step so that she’s pressed against him. He bends slightly and moves his face so it’s inches from hers. I find myself holding my breath, like I’m watching a romance movie. Then their mouths collide, and I suck in a breath. It the hottest kiss I’ve ever seen. Hungry yet gentle.
Brook nudges me and it takes me a second or two to look away. She’s nodding towards Carrie and when I look over her face is red with anger. “He’s showing her that he doesn’t belong to anyone!” whispers Brook.
“Why doesn’t he just tell her?” I ask, confused.
“These guys don’t do well with words or emotions. He probably has told her anyway, she wouldn’t listen!”
I watch as the girl wraps her legs around Coopers waist, and he carries her from the room. Their lips still connected.
“Careful Mila, you look like you want to be that girl!” laughs Blair and I feel myself going red with embarrassment. The whole exchange was hot, I haven’t ever seen it like that before, not unless it was in a film. Me and Aaron don’t even hold hands in public let alone kiss like we want to eat each other.
Asher finally falls to sleep around nine in the evening. I tucked him in at seven and read him a story. He cried when I tried to leave him, so I sat with him for a further half an hour and then I found myself watching him on the baby monitor from my bedroom. He just lay awake, humming to himself.
Max gave me the baby monitors. He said sometimes things in the club can get loud, so if I’m downstairs I can keep a close eye on Asher.
I decide to go down to the bar. Harper texted me to say she’s working a double shift.
I find a stool at the end of the bar. It’s a good spot because I can see everyone, I love to people watch.
Max joins me, ordering us both a drink. He looks too clean cut to be a biker. Most of the guys look mean, in a grizzly kind of way. All beards and hard stares yet Max is clean shaven. His hair is cropped short and brushed to one side. He has the tatts and the size like the rest, thick, muscled arms. He clearly works out. Most of these guys would make Aaron look tiny, yet to me, he’s always seemed like a good size.
“Stop looking at me like that new girl!” grins Max, sliding a gin and lemonade towards me.
“Like you want to eat me!”
I flush. “I do not! I have a boyfriend.”
He grins wider. “That just makes it even more exciting.” I roll my eyes, I know Max is just teasing me.
Thinking about Aaron makes me pull out my phone and send him a text asking how he is and what he’s up to. It was supposed to be date night tonight. I leave my phone on the bar. Aaron never texts me straight back.
Harper comes over to where we are sitting and leans against the bar. “Hey gorgeous, you over Kain yet?”
She scowls at him. “There is no me and Kain!”
“Then why won’t you let me take you out?”
“Come back when you’re a real biker little boy!”
He takes a gulp of his beer. “You wound me gorgeous, but I know you don’t mean it. I won’t hold it against you when you’re begging me to fuck you!” He gets up and walks away. I laugh but Harper looks annoyed.
“He means no harm!” I defend.
“Please, the boy is annoying as hell.”
My phone flashes, indicating that Aaron has text me back. I unlock the screen and try to decipher the text. It’s clear that he is drunk.
I feel a tingling sensation across my back, it makes me shiver and that’s when I feel a presence standing behind me. Cooper leans over my shoulder, his face almost pressing against my cheek. “You begging the boyfriend to rescue you from this biker hell?” he grumbles, close to my ear.
I press my mobile to my chest. “It’s rude to read my private messages!”
He moves to sit beside me and my body sags with relief. He makes me so nervous prowling around me like that.
He waves a finger to Harper and she sets about making him a drink. “How long you been with him?” he asks, staring directly ahead.
“A couple of years.”
“You living together?”
“Not yet. We are saving to rent or buy somewhere.”
He glances at me with amusement. “The man can’t even buy you a house? He ain’t for you!”
“Money doesn’t buy love!” I say indignantly.
“He can’t take care of his woman!”
“I don’t need a man to take care of me! I can take care of myself!” I snap. How old fashioned to think a woman needs a man to take care of her. “Is that how you like things Cooper?”
He shrugs, knocking his whiskey back and waving the empty glass in Harpers direction.
“I like a woman that can take care of herself. But I don’t want my woman to have to do that, I want to give her the option to let me care for her. Isn’t that what women want? A man that can provide, that can treat his woman like a queen?”
“Some women maybe!” I agree.
“But not you? You want a man that lets you pay the bill after a meal? That lets you take control and sort out your half of the bills?”
I’ve never really had a man that’s offered to pay for anything. Aaron is my first serious relationship and we have always split the cost of meals or shopping, even the cinema!
“I haven’t really had a man that’s wanted to pay for things!” I admit, and he shakes his head in disgust.
“My mom raised me to respect a woman and treat her like a queen so that she will always look after me when I need it.”
“Is that why you don’t have an old lady yet?” I ask, taking a sip of my gin.
“I had an old lady, she died. No one even comes close to her and no one ever will! I’m not looking for a replacement.”
My heart twists. Cooper has clearly had a lot of heart ache in his life. “Focus all that love you have inside on Asher!”
He gives me a side glance. “Love inside?”
“Pass on what your mom taught you. She obviously did a good job.”
My mobile rings and I answer it. “Hey Aaron!” I smile. Cooper stiffens at side of me and I look around trying to work out why.
My attention is pulled back to my call when I hear Aarons voice. I realise quickly that he’s bum dialled me. “Aaron!” I say loudly, trying to get his attention. There’s a giggle and I wonder why he’s with a girl. I go silent, trying to listen but it’s difficult in the bar. Someone has started up the duke box, so I head outside to the car park.
There’s more giggling and I hear Aaron laugh. “Shhh you’ll wake my mum.” I go cold. Surely, he wouldn’t be with another woman. There’s more giggling and then a few moans.
I disconnect the call, staring blankly at my phone. It wouldn’t be the first time he’s cheated. At the start of our relationship he slept with a woman at work. It was an office party and he had just started at the company in property sales. I think he wanted to get noticed but he felt guilty and confessed all. I gave him another chance because I was falling hard for him.
My thoughts are disrupted when the door opens, and Cooper comes out. He sticks a cigarette in his mouth and lights the end. I watch it glow before he turns to me looking annoyed.
“You shouldn’t stand out here alone new girl. Where’s Max?”
“Actually Cooper I need to get out of here for an hour. Can I leave Asher with Max? He’s asleep.”
“Where do you need to go so urgently on the first night of the job?” he snaps. When I don’t answer he looks even more annoyed. “Oh, I get it. One call from lover boy and you need to go. He need you to pay a bill for him?”
I look down at my phone and then back to Cooper. Tears fill my eyes and I swipe at them angrily. “I need to check on something. I won’t be long.” I head towards my car and pull the door open.
It slams shut before I can get in and I turn to Cooper who has his hand pressed firmly on it.
“You can’t just walk off the job for your boyfriend!” he snaps.
“He bum dialled me. He’s at his mums with another woman and I need to see it for myself!”
He raises his eyebrows and then takes the car keys from my hand. “I’ll drive!” I find myself nodding. I’m too upset to argue so I hop in to the passenger side. I almost smile as Cooper squeezes himself in to my small golf. After spending a few minutes adjusting my seat to accommodate his long legs, he seems satisfied and starts the engine.
I direct him to Aarons mums house. We park just up the road and Cooper turns off the engine. He goes to get out, but I reach out, touching his arm to still him.
“I can’t go in there.”
He settles back in the seat. “Well what’s your plan? Sit here and wait? She might be in there all night!”
I give a smirk, “Trust me when I say, she won’t be in there all night!” and he laughs. I like how his face lights up when he smiles. It makes me smile too and I momentarily forget about my heartache.
“He ever cheated before?”
I nod, not taking my eyes from Aaron’s front door. “At the beginning. It was before we’d had sex. Does that still count?”
“Hell yes it counts!” He surprises me with the venom in his voice, Cooper looks like the type that would cheat and not give two thoughts about it.
“Have you ever cheated?” I ask and then realise it sounds sexist, like I assume all men cheat. “Or been cheated on?” I add.
“No. I don’t think any man would be stupid enough to take what’s mine!”
“You know, women aren’t possessions Cooper. You talk like they are.”
“When I love a woman, she wants me to possess her!” he smirks, and I roll my eyes. “But since Anna I don’t feel that want anymore. The thought of having another woman on the back of my bike…” he lets the sentence hang in the air but shakes his head like the thought alone kills him inside.
“I’ve never lost anyone that close to me, it must be hard?”
“It becomes a way of life for people like me. If it’s not through drugs or drink it’s some rival bastard. Can’t take your eye off the ball for a second cos if you do, it hits you even harder!”
He has a faraway look in his eye. I feel like the conversations taken on a whole new turn.
“And which one took Anna?” I ask quietly.
He looks at me then stares ahead. “I reckon that’s enough bonding tonight newbie.”
We sit in silence for another thirty minutes. “How long do you plan on waiting?” he asks. I’m about to answer when Aarons door opens and a brunette steps out. She stops and turns back to the door. That’s when it hits me hard in the gut. Up until now I was trying to convince myself that it was a misunderstanding but there is no more denying it as Aaron steps out in his boxer shorts to lean in for a kiss with the girl.
“That your man?” grumbles Cooper.
I nod, tears rolling down my cheeks as I watch the only man I’ve ever really loved, kiss another girl.
“Aww fuck newbie, don’t do that crying shit, I can’t cope with all that! Get the fuck over there and sort the bastard out!”
He must be crazy, I can’t confront Aaron. “So, what, you’re going to pretend you haven’t seen it? Go see him tomorrow and act like nothing’s happened?”
I haven’t really thought about it. Maybe. I didn’t plan what would happen once I’d confirmed my suspicions. Before I can answer, Cooper is out the car and marching around to the passenger side. He yanks the door open and grips my arm, but I grip onto the seat so that he can’t drag me out. “Get the fuck over there!” he growls. I shake my head, clinging on for dear life.
“Cooper I can’t!” I whisper hiss. Luckily, we are far enough away for them not to hear.
“Then I will!” he snaps, closing my door and heading in Aarons direction. I stare after him, horrified and then my mind kicks in to gear and I scrabble for the handle and practically fall out of the car. “Cooper, wait!” I hiss but he carries on striding towards the kissing fuckers.
By the time I have caught up he is at the gate to Aarons garden. They both turn to him, confusion as to why this mountain of a man is glaring at them.
“You forgetting something Romeo? Like the fact you have a girlfriend?” he growls. Aarons eyes fall to me and he freezes. “Yeah shit head, she’s really here!”
“It’s not what it looks like baby!”
The girl glares at Aaron, “Are you shitting me?” she screeches.
“Not now Kit!” he hisses. “Baby come inside so we can talk about this!” he adds, looking directly at me. I remain behind Cooper. “She doesn’t want to hear your crap!” snaps Cooper.
“How long?” I ask quietly. “Tonight? Do you do this all the time?”
He shakes his head, “No baby, it was this one time. I’m so sorry. I was missing you, you ditched me on date night, I got drunk!”
The girl turns to him and slaps him hard across the face before storming towards us, so she can leave. “Sweetheart, he is lying to you. He’s cheated on you plenty with me. I’ve been meeting him for at least a year!”
“That’s a fucking lie and you know it!” yells Aaron rushing towards me. He grabs my hands in his and looks at me pleadingly. “I love you. I want to marry you and give you babies! So, I’ve had a few slip ups, it doesn’t mean anything, it’s just sex!” he rushes out in a panic.
I yank my hands away from him, pain must lace my features because I hear Cooper let out a string of curses.
“A few?” I repeat.
He grabs the top of my arms, pulling me into his arms. I remain stiff, arms by my side. “Baby please, just come inside so we can talk!” he begs.
I shake my head. “No Aaron. We don’t need to talk. It’s over!”
“Don’t be fucking stupid Mila! It’s over when I say it is!” he snaps. Holding me at arm’s length but still gripping me.
“I think that’s enough excitement, let the lady go!”
Aaron turns to Cooper. “Who the fuck is this guy?” he snaps.
“The man that’s gonna show Mila how a queen should be treated!” snaps Cooper, shoving Aaron out of the way and taking my hand. “Let’s get you home newbie!” he says to me, gently.
I let him guide me back to the car and sit me inside, he straps me in and checks its secure before softly wiping a thumb over each cheek, rubbing the tears into my skin. “Fuck that prick Mila, he doesn’t deserve you!”
I know he’s right, but I can’t hear that right now. My heart hurts and I feel like I need to vomit. How many times has he jumped from someone else’s bed into mine?
We drive back to the clubhouse in silence. My head rests on the window and I watch the street lights flash past. When we pull up, the car park is full of bikes.
“Shit, looks like a party!” mutters Cooper. I glance at my watch. Its eleven in the evening. I hope the noise hasn’t woken Asher.
Inside, the bar is heaving. I follow Cooper through the crowd until we reach the bar. Max gives me a thumbs up to indicate that Asher is fine, and I give a grateful smile.
“You want a drink?” asks Cooper. Before I can answer the brunette that he kissed earlier sidles up to him. He smiles and kisses her on the head. I decide to slip off and go to bed. It’s been a long day!
My first week as Asher’s nanny flies by. Each day he’s showing me a little more of himself and I think he’s trusting me more and more. We have ventured out to the park, much to Max’s disgust. As well as to the supermarket to stock up on different ingredients. Asher has helped me most days in the kitchen. He’s tried lots of different foods and so far, he hasn’t disliked any of it.
Today we are sat at the bar. I’m chatting to Harper and Max is playing with his toy cars on the bar. It’s pretty empty in here today so it isn’t a problem Asher being there, not that anyone would say anything with Cooper being his uncle.
I’ve had non-stop calls and texts from Aaron. He went straight to my parents and gave them a sob story and somehow, they seem to be on his side. I know my parents were happy that we were looking to settle down together, but I thought that they would listen to my side over his. My mum’s response was that all relationships hit problems and that couples must work at it! I have ignored everyone’s calls because I am too hurt to speak to any of them now.
Kain stands at the bar, waiting to be served but Harper stays talking to me. He coughs to get her attention.
“Harper, you have a customer!” I say. She glances back to Kain.
“Joe!” she shouts. The barman comes out from the back, drying his hands.
“You have a customer.”
“Oh, right. Cheers.” He mutters.
“I’m doing what you suggested, toning down the crazy and paying no attention!” she says when she notices my confused expression.
“Well hate to be the one to break it to you honey, but he just looks pissed off!”
She grins. “Does he? What’s he doing?” Her tone is far too eager for my liking, I’d say she was enjoying this. I glance over. “Erm, well, he’s glaring over here for a start. Can you feel his eyes burning into your back?” She giggles. “Wow, seriously Harps, he looks really mad!”
“He tried to chat with me last night and I just stared at my phone the whole time pretending to text, it drove him crazy. He threatened to smash my phone up!”
“Well, maybe it is actually working then!” I say, doubtfully.
“You gonna keep this up much longer Harper?” he suddenly shouts over in our direction. She glances back at him over her shoulder. “Sorry?” she says, in her best bored tone.
“Yeah you should be!” he grumbles.
“Sorry, as in what do you mean? not as in an apology!” she clarifies.
He scowls at her. “Cut the bullshit. What the hell did I do?”
“Nothing, what got you so paranoid?” I have to hand it to her, she’s playing a good game. He looks fit to explode.
“You’ve been ignoring me for days now!”
She gives a laugh. “Seriously, you bikers!” she tsks, “You think the whole world revolves around you? I’ve got myself a man and he doesn’t like me flirting with other men!”
He grips his huge hands in to fists. “You what?” he grates out. I can see a pulse ticking in his forehead.
“Too far Harps, too far!” I whisper.
“Would you like your Mrs flirting with other guys?” she asks innocently.
“You got a man? Since when? Who the fuck is he? Do I know him? Is he one of the guys?”
“What’s with all the questions?” she laughs.
“Answer me!” he yells, slamming his fist down on to the bar. We both jump, and Asher begins to cry. I sweep him up and hug him to me, whispering reassurance in his ear.
“Jesus Kain, what’s gotten in to you?” she hisses, reaching over and stroking Asher’s back.
He slams his empty beer bottle on to the bar and stomps out of the bar.
“Wow, I think you made your point!” I say, wide eyed. “You need to give me some pointers, so I can bag myself a hot ass man like that!”
“Try it with Cooper, see if you can get under his skin!”
“No way, he scares the shit out of me on a normal day! Didn’t your mama ever teach you not to poke a bear!”
“Where’s the fun in just looking at the bear if you can rile him up and make him take you back to his cave?” laughs Harper, walking away to serve some customers.
By the time I get Asher in to bed that evening I am so tired I could literally fall to sleep whilst standing. I’m watching the big screen in the main room with one eye on the baby monitor just in case Asher wakes.
Brook joins me, her face crumpled in annoyance. “What’s up?” I yawn.
“Tanner’s pissing me off!” she mutters, glancing at the door.
“Not another love drama, I can’t deal today!” I quickly fill her in on the Harper/Kain drama from earlier and she laughs.
“Kain is mad about Harper, he warned all the guys off her within the first week of her being here.”
The door crashes open and Tanner stalks in, his eyes scanning the room until they fall on Brook. She stands quickly, taking on a stance that looks like she’s ready to fight him.
“Get the fuck upstairs now!” he warns her.
“Don’t you tell me what to do Carl Tanner! I don’t even want to look at you right now!” she yells. For such a tiny person she sure can shout.
“You’re mad at me? How the hell does that work?” he yells.
“I was giving him directions not riding him!”
He marches towards her, anger making his face look crazed. She backs away, around the side of the couch so he can’t get to her.
“You were practically eye fucking him!”
“He was a good-looking guy! Eye fucking is not cheating!”
“You can only eye fuck me!” he growls moving towards her again. They begin circling the couch, like they are stalking each other as prey.
“So what, you gonna poke my eyes out?”
“If I have to darlin!” he drawls.
“You are ridiculous. You eye fuck girls all the time!”
He makes a sudden dive over the couch, almost knocking in to me. He grabs her by the waist and pulls her to him, despite her failed attempts to hit him away.
When she finally stills, giving in to her fate, he tilts her head back to look at him. “You make me crazy!” he mutters, gently pressing a kiss to her nose. I see the anger melt away from both of them and they grip on to each other as their mouths crash together in a similar hungry kiss to the one I watched just last week between Cooper and the pretty girl. I sigh. I need to find me a man that is this passionate about his woman.
Maybe Cooper was right, a man that can take care of me for once is probably just what I need, and these bikers seem to have possessiveness by the barrel load.
Max joins me soon after the love birds have disappeared to eat each other’s faces some more.
“What’s with the face?”
I shrug. “Just missing Aaron, I guess!”
“He was a dick, you can do so much better Mila. I don’t know if you realise this, but you are actually pretty fine!” he grins, making me smile.
He nods, “Hell yeah!”
“You gonna take me on a date?” I ask.
“I would love to, but I like my balls attached to my body!” he laughs.
“Max, I’m not after your balls!”
“It ain’t you that I’m worried about. If Pres gets wind of us doing anything other than babysitting that kid, well, I don’t even wanna think about it!” he shudders.
“Since when does he get a say in my love life?”
“Since you got that kid to laugh for him! He don’t want any of us near you like that. Trust me when I say, none of the guys will go near you even if they all have blue balls because of it!”
Well great, there goes my plan to bag a hot biker for face eating and possessive loving.
It’s late. I can’t sleep so I decide to get my Kindle out and read a few chapters of the latest romance novel I’ve downloaded. My bedroom door is slightly ajar. I always leave it open in case Asher wants to get to me. I hear the floorboards creek outside my room, glancing up I see Cooper standing there looking at me.
“Sorry, didn’t mean to disturb you.” He whispers, pushing my door open further.
“That’s okay. I can’t sleep!”
He enters my room and I pretend not to notice the blood that stains his grey t-shirt. “I just got in. It’s been a long night!” he sighs, glancing down at the blood and then his hands. He looks troubled, so I shift up, making room for him to sit down.
“Wanna talk about it?” I ask as he lowers himself on to my bed.
He gives a short, unamused laugh. “I wouldn’t want to darken your pretty little head with my shit!”
“Well the offers there! If you leave that shirt out, I can get the blood out.”
He sits quietly for a moment and then kicks off his boots and stands. I watch him, frozen with my mouth agape. He pulls off his cut and chucks it on to the little white chair in the corner of my room. He lifts the t-shirt over his head, exposing the hard, muscled chest that I’ve been wanting to see since the moment I met him.
“Can I just lay here for five minutes, When I’m with you the noise ain’t so loud in here!” he sighs, tapping is temple. I nod because quite honestly, he looks so vulnerable right now that it breaks my heart.
He lays next to me, on top of the duvet and I pick my kindle back up and continue to read, even though I am taking nothing in because my heart rate his beating at a hundred beats a second.
“Max tells me you warned the guys off me?” I say quietly.
He gives a laugh, “I bet he did! Why would he have to tell you that I wonder?”
“I may have asked him on a date!” I smirk.
He quirks an eyebrow up. “You like Max?”
I shrug. “Just feeling lonely, I guess. I wanted a night out!”
“You know they call him mad max right? That guy is crazy!”
“Says the man that came in to my room covered in someone else’s blood!” I scoff.
“I warned the guys off because I know what they are like Mila. I didn’t want them to fuck you over and mess everything up for Asher. He likes you and he’s finally looking settled.”
I nod, I guess that makes perfect sense, but my heart does a little squeeze. Part of me was wondering if he was warning them off for another reason and I can’t help but feel disappointed.
I wake and can’t move. The room is pitch black and I’m too hot. I try to shift and something beside me groans before pulling me closer to the heat source.
I snuggle in to the warmth and I drift back off to sleep.
I open my eyes and blink a few times. The light makes me squint. I look next to me at the empty space Cooper left. There’s no evidence he was ever here apart from the faint smell of his aftershave on my pillow. I wonder what time he woke and left my room.
After me and Asher are up, washed and dressed we head down to the kitchen. There’s a few of the guys sitting chatting at the kitchen table in the centre of the room. Carrie is frying up some bacon. She does this most mornings and me and Asher usually wait until she is out the way, so we can make our usual pancakes. Something Cooper usually hangs around for. Today I notice he is tucking in to a bacon sandwich whilst reading a newspaper and sipping coffee. He glances up but doesn’t really acknowledge us.
I sit Asher next to him on a stool before getting the ingredients out for pancakes.
“Morning Mila, good night’s sleep?” asks Max. I feel myself blush. It’s not an unusual question, in fact Max asks me this every morning, but today I feel like everyone is gossiping because Cooper spent most of the night in my bed. Not that anything happened. One minute he was chatting to me and the next he was fast asleep. I didn’t have the heart to wake him and kick him out, so I placed a pillow between us and went to sleep. When I woke in the night Cooper was definitely wrapped around me, the pillow wasn’t the best barrier! I’m sure he must have thought he was with one of his women, you can’t hold people responsible for their actions when they are asleep. Anyway, no one would know because we are on our own floor. No one comes up there and Cooper doesn’t look like the type to gossip.
I realise that I haven’t answered, and the room has gone silent, everyone is looking at me, including Cooper.
“Sorry, day dreaming. Erm yes thanks. Did you?” I stutter, making myself blush further.
Max looks between me and Cooper and smirks. “Got something to say prospect?” growls Cooper, putting his paper down.
“No Pres, of course not. Did you sleep well?” he smirks.
“I was out late clearing up peoples mess wasn’t I…Mad Max!” he grates out, giving him a pointed look. Max looks sheepish and then goes back to eating his bacon.
Asher helps me to mix a pancake batter. “Would you like any pancakes?” I ask Cooper, quietly so that Carrie doesn’t hear. The last thing I need is her smart remarks.
“No, I’m good thanks. Carrie sorted me out this morning!” and he winks at Carrie. I pause, pressing my lips together. This is him telling me not to look in to last night too much.
“Okay. Did you leave your shirt out?” I ask, going back to mixing the batter.
“What are you, my mother?” he says with a laugh. I’m a little taken back but I know this is him acting the boss, so I brush it off. “Carrie can clean my shirts, I reward her well for all that shit!” I give a nod, avoiding his eye. I won’t lie, I feel slightly humiliated with his dismissive attitude. I didn’t wake up thinking we were married or anything, he must really think he is something.
I go about cooking pancakes, ignoring the conversation in the room, ignoring the fact that Carrie and Cooper are practically acting like love sick puppies and ignoring the fact that my heart feels a little bruised, even though it has no right to.
Later, I decide to take Asher on to the fields that back onto the club house. We pack a picnic and take a football. Max insisted on tagging along for safety, although I’m not sure what he thinks will happen to us in a field this close to the clubhouse.
It’s peaceful here, I came on my first Sunday off last week to read my kindle. I’m lying on the picnic blanket in my shorts and a cropped vest, letting the sun warm up my skin. Max and Asher are kicking a football back and forth to each other. Asher has finally warmed to Max. The fact that he must come everywhere with us has helped. He lets Max pick him up now, something he rarely lets anyone else, apart from me, do.
A shadow blocks my sun and I open one eye. “Did you forget to put your clothes on?” growls Cooper, standing over me with his thick, tattooed arms folded.
I lean up on my elbows. “Did you want something?”
“Yeah, I’m going away tomorrow for a few days. You will need to have Asher.”
“It’s Sunday tomorrow!” I point out. “That’s my day off!”
“Well aren’t you clever!” he mutters, rolling his eyes. “That’s my point. You will have to have Asher tomorrow on your day off!”
“No, you can’t do that. I am entitled to a day off! Get someone to have him or take him with you. I have plans!”
He raises an eyebrow. “You have plans to what, sit in this field reading some fake love story where there’s a happy ever after!”
“No actually, I am meeting Harper so we can get totally wasted on Gin!”
He snorts, “Not happening, especially when I’m not around!”
“I think you’re blurring the lines a little here Cooper. You are my boss Monday to Saturday and you I have one miserly day to myself. I intend to take it. What I do with that day is nothing to do with you and as you so kindly pointed out earlier, I am not your mum, therefore you are not my dad!”
“Jesus Mila I didn’t come out here for a lecture. Take the rest of today off and tonight then. Max can watch the kid.”
Asher comes barrelling towards me with Max hot on his heels chasing him. He throws himself into my arms and I make a dramatic show of falling back, wrapping him in my arms. Max drops down next to me on the blanket, out of breath and laughing.
Cooper stares down at us. “Fine, I will take tonight and maybe you could give me one night in the week to make up for it. We have plans today don’t we kiddo!” I smile at Asher.
“Ice cream!” he squeals excitedly.
“Yes, you owe me ice cream!” grins Max, shoulder pushing me, so I almost fall back again.
Cooper looks annoyed. “Actually, I need Max for a run this afternoon.”
“Oh, well looks like it’s just me and you kiddo!”
Cooper doesn’t miss the disappointed look on mine and Asher’s faces. “I’ll take you, you can’t go out alone!” he snaps. We watch in silence as he stomps back towards the clubhouse. Max raises his eyebrows, “Message received loud and clear!”
“What do you mean?”
“Pres isn’t happy with me spending time with you both.” He sighs, standing and holding a hand out to pull me up.
“You were just doing what he told you to!” I say, defensively. “Are we not allowed to have fun?”
“Apparently not, I could do without him crushing my balls though so don’t take it personally if I’m more distant when he’s around okay?”
I nod but inside I’m annoyed. Max is one of the very few that I really get along with here, it makes being here a lot easier every day.
“Thought I gave you the night off?” snaps Cooper, observing me and Asher from the kitchen doorway.
“Well you asked Carrie to take over, and Asher doesn’t like being with Carrie!” I pour the homemade sauce over the pasta. “I can get him to bed and then have a night off. Max should be back by then to take over!”
“The wonderful Max!” he mutters sarcastically, taking a seat next to Asher and peering over in to the pot of food.
“Yeah he is pretty wonderful!” I smile, knowing full well that this will annoy Cooper even more. “He wouldn’t have let us down this afternoon!” I am referring to the fact that he agreed to take me and Asher to ice cream and ditched us last minute and sent another prospect.
“Something came up!”
I roll my eyes, “How are you going to build a relationship with Asher if you never spend any time with him?”
“Look Mila, I don’t pay you to lecture me and it seems you’re doing a lot of that just lately. Look after Asher, that’s all I need you to do!”
“Fine, apologies for overstepping!” I snap sarcastically, slamming the bowl of pasta onto the work top.
By the time Max returns, Asher is fast asleep in bed and I am almost ready to meet Harper in the bar. We don’t plan on going far so I’ve stuck to skinny jeans and a low-cut body suit. With my hair hanging in loose curls and enough makeup to hide all my imperfections, I feel nice. I’m adding one more layer of mascara to make my lashes extra thick, when Max pokes his head in.
“Wow Mila, you look amazing!”
I stand and straighten my black jeans. “Thanks Max, let’s hope Mr right is out tonight!” I grin, wiggling my eyebrows.
He twists a lock of my hair around his finger, “And what a lucky guy he’s gonna be!”
Cooper sticks his head in and immediately looks annoyed when he sees me and Max. “What are you doing in here?” he growls.
Max drops the lock of hair and takes a step back, “Just letting Mila know that I’m here to take over with the kid Pres!”
I hand Max the baby monitor. A smile across my face. I can see Coopers eyes on my ass and it feels good to know someone so hot is checking me out.
Max leaves and Cooper sits himself on my bed. “Where are you heading tonight?” he asks.
“Not sure, Harper knows the bars around this way so she’s taking charge.”
“Call me if you need anything.” He mutters, clearly uncomfortable.
“Just say what you want to say Cooper, you’re making me feel uneasy!”
“Will you be coming home tonight?” he asks casually, not meeting my eye.
“Erm, I’m not sure. I might go back to Harpers. Depends where we end up. Why?”
“Just checking!” he mutters.
Harper takes us to a quiet bar to start us off. We order a bottle of wine and take a seat by the window. It’s a cosy bar with low lighting and fairy lights. Candles flicker on all the tables and there’s classical music playing in the background.
“How’s things going with the job?” she asks.
“I like it. Asher is amazing, and I love that he’s coming out of his shell. He’s started counselling this week and seems so much happier after just one session.”
“And what about Cooper?” she wiggles her eyebrows and I laugh.
“What about him? He’s moody and snappy and where ever possible I avoid him!”
“And he hasn’t mentioned last nights bed hopping?” I filled Harper in this morning when she arrived for the early shift at the bar.
“No, if anything, he’s been weirder. Asking me if I’m coming home tonight!”
“Not really. He made it perfectly clear this morning that he prefers the company of club whores over me! Carrie in particular. He is giving me mixed signals though and it’s pissing me off! How’s it going with Kain?”
“I haven’t seen him since he stormed off in a mood yesterday! I think he’s gone ahead on whatever job Cooper is on from tomorrow. I don’t think we will see them for a few days.”
My phone flashes indicating I have a text. I open it and groan. “It’s Aaron!” I sigh.
“Wow is he still bothering you?”
“Yep, every day, multiple times!” I turn my phone off and tuck it in my bag.
By the third bar I am suitably drunk. “I will regret this tomorrow morning when I’m looking after Asher!” I giggle, knocking a shot of Sambuca down.
“I think we should head back to the club bar?”
“What, so I can watch Carrie drool all over Cooper!”
“Why do you care?” she asks and then her smile gets wide, “Oh my god!”
“What?” I ask, innocently.
“You fancy Coop?”
“No, well, doesn’t everyone, the man’s a god. I’d have to be blind not to!”
“Then we definitely need to head back to the club!” she screeches, grabbing me by the hand and dragging me from the bar.
The club bar is heaving when we get there. A few of the members from The Hammer MC are dotted about but it’s mostly full of people I have never seen before.
Although the bar is owned and run by the MC, it opens to the general public most evenings, especially at the weekends. The club members usually take their party out back in the club house.
Once we get a drink, we find a spot at the back of the bar. Harper decides to text Brook to see if she wants to join us.
“I need to dance Harper!” She puts some money in the duke box and plays Kings of Leon’s, your sex is on fire. We jump about like the crazy drunk people we are and then Brook joins us.
After a few more songs my feet decide they need a rest and I find a stool by the dance floor. A large man that I’ve seen around the club places a drink down in front of me. He isn’t a Hammers member but he’s on friendly terms with Cooper because I’ve seen them together a lot.
“You’re the nanny, right?” he asks.
“Mila.” I smile, shaking his hand. He could easily pass for a biker, he’s big built with a well-shaped beard and tattoos. He would fit right in.
“You belong to anyone in there yet?” he asks, nodding to the door that leads to the clubhouse.
“No, I’m not looking to be claimed!” I laugh.
He runs a finger across my wrist gently. “Just checking I’m not gonna get my balls ripped off when I do this!” he says and then before his words have penetrated my drunken brain, his lips are on mine. He presses them firmly, testing my reaction and when I don’t push him away, he takes the kiss deeper. He places one hand to the back of my neck, gently tugging on my hair whilst his tongue caresses mine in a slow, sweet dance. My heart rate picks up and I feel heat in all the right places. When he pulls away, I’m breathless.
“You sure no one’s claimed you?” he asks, looking over my shoulder. “Because the President of Hammers MC is looking like he wants to rip my head clean off my shoulders right now!”
I try to glance behind me, but the guy grips the back of my neck a little tighter. “Don’t let him see we have spotted him, or I’ll have to acknowledge that he looks pissed and that will lead to difficult conversations involving me leaving you alone, something I don’t feel like doing right now!” he winks, pressing a gentle, quick kiss on my lips. “Brick, by the way.” He introduces himself.
The girls join us. Brick kisses them both on the cheek, I’m surprised to see they already know him.
He buys us all a drink and then asks for my mobile number which Harper gives him without hesitation. “I have to go and see Coop now, I can feel his eyes burning holes in my head!” he grins and kisses me again in another heart stopping kiss.
“Bad news!” warns Brook as soon as he is out of ear shot. “Like really bad news. He is a walking STD and that’s not the worst of it, steer clear of him Mila.”
“What? No way! He’s the best kisser!” I whine.
“Because he’s had a lot of practice!” she laughs. She pulls out an antibacterial hand spray and squirts it in my general direction.
“Eww Brook!” I laugh waving my hand about to blow the spray away.
“That’s how serious I am. There must be someone else that’s caught your attention. We are surrounded by gorgeous men in here!”
I swivel slightly on my chair to get a better look at my surroundings. My gaze lands on the angry beast that is standing in a hulk like stance and glaring at me, even though Brick is in front of him, clearly talking to him.
I give a small wave and smile, but he doesn’t respond. Maybe he isn’t staring at me after all, perhaps he’s lost in thought but happens to be looking this way.
“That looks serious!” remarks Harper, nodding towards Brick and Cooper.
“Cooper never comes in to the bar on a Saturday night! He’s spent most of the night in the club house staring in to his whiskey glass!” says Brook.
“Well maybe Mila can cheer him up?” suggests Harper, dragging me from the comfort of my stool and pulling me towards the men.
“This is not a good idea Harper, he looks like he’s in a vile mood!” I panic, trying to loosen her grip.
“His bark is worse than in his bite, well…sometimes!”
“I don’t want to find out. He’s my boss!”
She stops in front of them. They both stop talking and look at her. “Can we get you gentlemen a drink?” she offers, smiling sweetly.
“Good night?” grits out Cooper, looking at me.
I suddenly feel more drunk, maybe the Sambuca was a bad idea. “Yeah it’s been a very good night!” and I smile at Brick who smirks but hides it well.
“How’s your wife Brick?” Cooper throws in and Brick laughs.
“Shit move Coop!”
“Oh my god, you have a wife?” I screech, wiping my mouth like that will somehow undo the kiss we just shared.
“I’ve never known such a scary ass woman. I’d hate to get on the wrong side of her!” warns Cooper.
Brick rolls his eyes. “That’s a lie. Sandra wouldn’t care what I was doing or with who, seeing as we separated over two months ago!”
“But you still go around there for your dinner and isn’t she pregnant with your kid?” asks Cooper, innocently.
Brick smacks him on the back, laughing. “You made your point Cooper, I’m stepping away!” He kisses me on the cheek. “If it wasn’t for this piece of shit I’d be balls deep in your sweet little pussy right about now. If he hasn’t claimed you by the time I’m next in town, I’m putting you on the back of my bike!”
I watch him leave, my fingers lingering on the spot he just kissed me. Despite what Brook or Cooper have said about him, I’m light headed at the thought of him coming back for me. Cooper slams his glass on the nearest table, bringing my attention back to him.
We stand in an awkward silence whilst Harper gets us a drink from the bar. “Not met your Mr Right tonight then?” he asks.
Harper pushes a drink in my hand followed by another Sambuca. I knock it back and wince. Cooper continues to stare at me. I lick the sticky Sambuca from my finger and he groans.
“I need fresh air.” I mumble, pushing my other drink in to Coopers hand and rushing outside.
The cool air hits my skin and my head spins. I grip the wall to steady myself.
“Too much to drink?” asks Cooper, standing in the doorway watching me take deep breaths.
“Maybe a little. I’ve had a crazy few weeks, I needed to let loose!”
“You like Brick?” he asks, coming to stand in front of me.
“He kissed me!” I smile, touching my lips again. “I’ve never been kissed like that!”
“Get your fingers off your lips and take that dreamy look off your face!” he grumbles in disgust.
I lean back against the wall, looking up slightly. It’s a clear night and there’s millions of stars twinkling above us.
“He said he’s coming back and putting me on his bike if no one claims me!” I smile dreamily.
“Jesus, No one is claiming you and he definitely is not putting you on the back of his bike!” he snaps.
“Why do you care. I won’t leave Asher!” I huff. He stands in front of me in silence. “Why are you so grumpy all the time?” I add.
He places his hand against my cheek. I close my eyes and lean in to his touch. For such a large, scary looking man, his touch is warm and gentle.
“I wanted it to be you.” I sigh, “That kissed me.”
“Yeah?” he asks. I nod, keeping my eyes closed, enjoying his touch.
I feel his shadow fall over my face and then his breath blowing lightly over my lips. I open my eyes and find myself staring in to the greenest eyes I’ve ever seen. Before I can talk myself out of it, I lean closer, pressing my lips against his. I part my lips slightly and that’s all the invitation he needs to thrust his tongue in to my mouth. I groan because this is the best kiss I’ve ever had, even better than Bricks. It’s forceful and demanding and I find myself gripping on to his t-shirt, scrunching it up in my hands.
He pulls away and I rest my forehead against his chest. His racing heart beat tells me he was just as affected by the kiss. He rubs gentle circles on my back and I can feel my eyes growing heavy.
“Let’s get you back in side, it’s getting cold out here.”
I follow him back inside. I head to the girls and he disappears back in to the clubhouse.
“Oh my god, I’ve just kissed Cooper!” I whisper. Their eyes widen in shock.
“Oh you lucky bitch!” groans Harper. “Was it as amazing as I’ve dreamt it to be?”
“What perfume are you wearing tonight, you have them falling at your feet!” grins Brook. “Let’s go through to the clubhouse, Tanner is blowing up my phone with texts. In case you haven’t noticed he doesn’t like to be away from me for too long!”
“Doesn’t that drive you insane?” I ask.
She smiles, “You get used to it. He just loves me. These Hammer boys love fiercely!”
The clubhouse is pretty busy tonight. There’re half naked club whores hanging around. Men hanging all over them, not in the slightest bit bothered that there are people around. There’s a couple of the guys leaning on the pool table getting a full-on blow job.
“You get used to this too!” sighs Brook, nodding towards them. “The guys need to let off steam, especially before they go on a job!”
Tanner stalks over to where we are standing and wraps his arm around Brooks tiny waist. “You were gone too long!” he grumbles, kissing her hard.
“I was just through that door and I think I was gone for no more than an hour!” she laughs.
“Bed, now!” he orders, swatting her on the backside. She squeals and runs for the stairs, Tanner hot on her heels.
“Oh shit, Kain’s here!” whispers Harper, gripping my arm. “I thought he’d gone!”
“Well isn’t this a good thing?” I ask.
“No, I haven’t planned to see him, I haven’t got my game face on!”
I roll my eyes. “Just go and snog his face off!” I suggest. As if he senses her near, he looks up, his face pales slightly and he looks panicked. It doesn’t take long to see why, as a red-haired girl hands him a drink, kissing him on the mouth.
“Son of a bitch!” growls Harper, turning her back on him.
“Who is that?” I ask.
“Ginger. They were a thing once upon a time!”
“Oh right!” I follow her to a free couch and plonk myself down next to her.
“Maybe these guys aren’t the loving kind. Perhaps we need to look elsewhere?” I suggest.
She looks thoroughly miserable. Cooper is by the snooker table talking with Carrie. He keeps glancing over to where I sit but shows no signs of coming over. I know that kiss got his blood pumping. Carrie leans up on her tip toes and pulls his face down to meet hers. He keeps his eyes open and fixed on mine as she kisses him full on.
“Yep, I think we are definitely looking in the wrong place Harps!” I sigh. “Why don’t you take one of the spare rooms tonight, saves you getting a cab? I can’t watch any more of this porn show tonight.”
I feel his eyes track me as we leave the room. I won’t allow myself to think about Cooper or the amazing kiss he just gave me. It was a passing moment that meant nothing. I repeat it as a mantra as I climb the stairs to my room after showing Harper to a spare room.
I stumble about pulling at my clothes. I manage to get my shoes and jeans off before falling on to my bed. All the jigging about as done nothing for my dizziness and I lay spread eagled on the bed in my body suit. I’m not sure how long I’m there before my stomach decides to protest at the amount of alcohol swimming around in my stomach. I sit bolt upright and make a dash across the landing to the bathroom. I just get my head over the toilet before I spill the contents of my stomach.
I press my head against the tiled floor. I daren’t move from the toilet even though I’m shivering with cold. The door opens and Cooper peers in. “Jesus Mila, are you okay?” he asks, concern evident on his beautiful, rugged face.
I roll on to my back, giving him a full view of my body suit clad self, once I realise, I sit up quickly, trying to cover myself.
“Oh god, my head.” I groan, pulling my knees up to my stomach and resting my head there.
“Let’s get you to bed!” I feel his thick arm go under my legs and the other around my back and then he picks me up with little effort and carries me back across the landing and in to my room.
He gently lays me down and pulls the covers over me. “I can’t sleep in this!” I whine, kicking the covers back off and trying to sit up. He hesitates before sighing and sitting on the edge of my bed. “How exactly do I get it off?” he asks, scanning me for an opening. I reach for the poppers between my legs and he groans, turning his head away. I pull them apart and try to lift the body suit up my body. I flop back down in frustration.
I feel his warm hands glide up my ribcage as he lifts it up my body. “I’m too drunk to be in here Mila!” he mutters. I lift my arms and stare at him as he battles with himself. He finally lifts it higher, exposing my pink lacey bra. It’s practically see through, but at this point I don’t care. He sucks in a breath and pulls the suit over my head, dropping it to the floor. I reach around, fumbling to find the back of my bra. “NO!” he says, firmly. “Don’t remove that Mila, I can’t promise to walk out of here tonight if you do!”
I smile when I find the clasp, unclipping it and pulling it away from my body. He groans and places his head in his hands.
I lay back down then pat the space at side of me. He thinks about it for a few seconds and seems to lose the battle. He kicks off his boots and climbs in to the space at side of me. I pull the covers up over us, even though he is fully clothed. I back into his side and I feel his body stiffen. “Your making this impossible Mila!” he growls.
I reach around for his arm and pull it until he turns onto his side, his front to my back, then I back up again until my ass is nestled against him.
“Stop fidgeting!” he grumbles. I pull his arm around my waist and he tucks it under my ribs, pressing himself against me. I feel safe here, in his arms and that’s my last thought before I drift off to sleep.
I feel the bed shift, it’s light outside and I open one eye to glance at the clock. Five in the morning. I groan, flinging my arm across my eyes. My head is spinning, and my mouth is dry.
I turn to the side. Cooper is still in my bed, still fully clothed and staring up at the ceiling wide awake. “Cover yourself up Mila!” he growls. I pull the quilt tight around my body, trying to remember why I am naked.
He sits up, swinging his legs over the side of the bed. “Where are you going?” He stands, stretching.
“I’ve got to go and do something about this.” he mutters, gripping his evident erection through his jeans. “I’m on the road from today and the image of you laying there naked is gonna play on my mind on a fucking loop!” He doesn’t look pleased about this.
“Coop!” comes a voice from the hall. It takes me a second to place the voice but when I do, I almost dive up before remembering that I am naked.
“You have got to be shitting me!” I whisper hiss.
“I know it’s a real shit thing to do, I’m not proud right now but I can’t go on the road in this state.”
“Without sounding up myself, but you’d rather fuck Carrie than me?”
“Don’t do that Mila. I am your boss. You’re Asher’s nanny, I just don’t want to overstep that mark with you and fuck it all up for Asher!”
“You know what it’s fine. You’re right.” He gives a nod then heads for the door. “But before you go,” I say, standing. He sucks in a breath, staring at my naked body. “Can you just write down Bricks number for me!”
His face turns to fury. “Don’t fucking play games with me Mila. It won’t end well!” he growls. I give him my best innocent look. “Who’s playing games? You think you’re the only one with needs Cooper? I’m a single lady right now.” I remind him, pulling a t-shirt over my head.
“Cooper?” shouts Carrie again.
“Can you shut her up before she wakes your nephew!” I snap.
“You aren’t fucking Brick.” he says firmly, like he’s trying to convince himself. He watches me pull a pair of knickers up my tanned legs, I make a slight show of it by taking my time.
“Have a great trip!”
“Mila are you listening to me?” he snaps.
“I heard you but I’m not listening. I am not playing games with you Cooper. You creep in my bed for two nights running. You give me a mind-blowing kiss, that I know got your blood pumping! You wake up with an erection in my bed and decide that you’d rather have sex with the club whore than me! I am very insulted and extremely pissed off right now.”
He gives a sigh, “I can’t be doing with this shit right now Mila.” And he leaves, slamming the door behind him.
I flop back on my bed. I need to just concentrate on the job I’m here for. I didn’t come here to meet a man, I was happy with Aaron. Getting involved with Cooper is not what I need in my life right now. I can just imagine my parent’s face’s if I ever took Cooper home to meet them, he isn’t exactly the type of guy that screams marriage, kids, security!
I decide to head for the shower to sort out my fuzzy head and then get breakfast sorted because my stomach is crying out for bacon. I take the baby monitor with me even though it’s still earlier and Asher doesn’t usually wake up until after seven.
I’m just tucking in to my bacon sandwich when the door flies open, and Carrie and Cooper come crashing in to the kitchen. It’s quite clear from their dis-shelved appearance and flushed faces what they have spent the last hour doing. Carrie has her arms and legs wrapped around him like a baby monkey, kissing his face as he tries to carry her through the kitchen. He sits her on the counter. I flick through my mobile, checking emails and pretending not to notice them.
“It was nice to see Kain and Ginger back together last night!” smiles Carrie, taking a coffee that Cooper hands her.
“Coffee?” he asks, turning to me. I shake my head, not looking up from my phone screen. “And I take it you were responsible for her showing up last night?” he says to Carrie.
“Oh baby, they belong together, like me and you! I noticed Brick hanging around you last night newbie!”
I look up to find them both staring at me. “Brick sniffs around anything with a heartbeat these days!” mutters Cooper.
“Thanks!” I say, sarcastically.
“He’s decided to stay around for a few more days. I could put in a word for you?” smiles Carrie. I know she is just making sure I don’t try and take Cooper from her, it would be ideal if I got with someone else.
“Mila can sort her own shit out!” snaps Cooper when I don’t respond.
“That would be great Carrie, thanks!” I smile, ignoring him. He scowls at me. She jumps off the counter. “Well that’s that sorted. I need a shower. You coming Coop?”
“I’ll be there in a sec.” he says.
Once she’s gone, he stalks over to me. “I’m not kidding. You aren’t dating any of my guys Mila. If you do, I will sack you!”
My mouth falls open on shock. “You can’t sack me for that. There’re laws in place!”
“Sweetheart, round here, I am the law! You are here for Asher, not to whore yourself about with my men. If you want to be a club whore, I can change the job description and hire someone else for Asher. I don’t want to hear of anymore performances like last night!” he snaps.
I can’t help the tears that spring to my eyes. I feel so cheap. “What?” I croak.
“No slipping in to bed in a drunken state and offering yourself out!” he says, a disgusted look on his face. “A future tip, I like my women with a bit more class, so does Brick! You reminded me of Carrie last night!”
I feel a stabbing pain directly in my heart. My faces flushes a deep red with embarrassment. He stomps out, slamming the door behind him and I burst in to tears.
The week passes relatively quick. I thought it would drag seeing as I worked the Sunday. It’s been really quiet around the clubhouse with just a handful of bikers remaining. The rest went on their run on Sunday afternoon. It’s been nice not seeing Cooper around. The man set me on edge just being in the same room and after the way he spoke to me on Sunday, I am relieved to have the break. It’s made me realise that I got a bit carried away and that although Cooper is gorgeous, he isn’t good boyfriend material. He is much better suited to Carrie. With that in mind I’ve treated Carrie exactly as I would if she was Coopers old lady. It’s working, because we have been getting on much better.
Cooper took Max on the run and left me and Asher with a new prospect. He’s been with the club for a couple of months and is nothing like the rest of the bikers. He must only be around eighteen years of age. He’s skinny and pale looking. He hasn’t got much about him in the way of conversation and doesn’t really interact with Asher, which I find disappointing. Luckily, we have spent a lot of time with Sam. He’s been around the club for over thirty years and is one of the oldest members. He’s great with Asher and insists that Asher call him Grandpa. He said he practically brought Cooper and his sister up anyway.
Carrie gave Brick my number and we have sent some texts back and forth. I haven’t been able to meet with him because of Asher. I thought about asking Sam to watch over him last night whilst I met him for some dinner but then I thought about how Cooper would react, and I really don’t want to lose this job. Carrie said that she can handle Cooper and once he got back, she would talk him around in to keeping out of my personal business.
It’s Friday night and Asher is safely tucked up in bed. I decide I can’t sit in my room all night, so I head to the main room. Brook is moping about because Tanner has been away all week with the guys. She’s sitting on the couch staring at the big screen television.
“Any news?” I ask, sitting next to her. She shakes her head. Apparently, this is the harder part of being a biker’s wife. They go off radar for days and she just has to wait until he rings her.
As if she conjured him up the door opens and the guys pile in. Brook jumps up and runs to Tanner, flinging herself into his arms and wrapping herself around him. I watch them wistfully, a smile on my lips. She looks so happy, I’m pleased for her, she’s been miserable without him these past few days.
I feel Coopers presence as soon as he enters the room. I avoid meeting his gaze because I know that somewhere in this room is Carrie and we have kind of called a truce, I don’t want to ruin that.
When I eventually see him, Carrie is by his side, chatting to him but his eyes are on me. I decide to make it work related, to save any awkward looks from Carrie.
“Welcome back Cooper. Asher has been fine whilst you were away. If you want a run down about him just let me know and we can schedule a meeting?” I think I made that sound professional enough. Carrie smiles like she’s happy with that, but Cooper lets out a roar of a laugh.
“I’m sorry, did Mary Poppins take over whilst I was away?” I feel myself blush. “Only, before I left you were bending my ear like a nagging wife and now, you’re all professional?”
“Sorry, I didn’t mean…I erm…” I trail off, I don’t know what to say and I’m scared of riling him up in case he blurts out that he was in my bed, even if it was innocent.
“Could it be anything to do with the fact that you got Carrie to put in a word for you?” he snaps, his sudden change in tone unsettles me.
Carrie says something to him quietly, she looks annoyed. “Well you wanted me to discuss it with her, so I am!” he snaps. “So, you want to see Brick?” he adds, glaring at me.
People are starting to look and I feel embarrassed but clearly that’s what he was hoping so I don’t respond.
“I’m pretty sure I hired you to look after my nephew and now you want to switch roles? But that’s fine, I mean, the job prospects aren’t as good and there’s not really any benefits but at least you get to keep a roof over your head!” I look at him, confusion on my face. I’m not sure if we are on the same page. “The guys will be pleased, there’s a que wanting to get in your pants.” He grins and then he turns to the gathering crowd. “Guys, good news! We have a new club whore! Bricks called dibs first but after that Mila is fair game!” There’s a few cheers and Carrie looks at me in shock.
“Mila, I didn’t tell him to do that!” she says in a panic. I give a small smile, standing.
“It’s fine, he’s a prick!” I mutter. Before I can walk away, I feel hands wrap around my throat. I’m pushed back on to the couch. The breath is knocked from my lungs and I gasp, trying to prize the hand from my throat. I stare into Coopers cold eyes, He rests a knee between my legs and leans over me, still gripping my throat. “Who the fuck do you think you are talking to whore? I am the fucking president of the Hammers, I have killed people for disrespecting me!” he hisses in my face.
I hear it before I see him, Asher screaming. I haven’t heard anything like that before, it’s a toe-curling scream of panic and fear. Cooper looks up, over my head and then pales slightly. His grip loosens, and I gasp for breath, clutching my sore throat. He slowly gets off me and he is replaced by a sobbing Asher who jumps on to me and wraps himself around me.
“Leave Mimi alone!” he screams. That’s the nickname he has honoured me with. Mila was not suitable apparently. I hug him to me, trying not to cry as the awareness of what just happened, settles in.
“Hey kiddo, I am fine. It’s okay!” I reassure him.
Cooper stares down at me, regret showing on his face. It’s too late now because he can’t undo that, and I won’t stick around to be humiliated by him.
I stand with Asher still in my arms. “I will leave first thing tomorrow morning!” I say, coldly. I head for the door, the silence in the packed room is eerie. I stop and turn to look at him, sadness and disappointment must be obvious across my face. I don’t speak, silence really does speak volumes, I head upstairs without a word.
I’m sat on my bed, my bag half packed when there’s a small knock at the door. I stiffen at the thought of seeing Cooper. I plan to sneak off early to avoid seeing him. I would have like to have said goodbye to Asher but I’m not sure either of us could take that. Maybe when the dust settles, I can come back and say hi.
I open my door to find Brook holding a bottle of Vodka. “Hey doll. Fancy some company?”
“Tanner’s just got back, go and see your man!” I smile.
“This is more important at the minute. He isn’t going anywhere!”
I open the door wider, inviting her inside. She plonks herself down on my bed and unscrews the bottle cap, taking a swig straight from the bottle. “So that was pretty intense. I’ve never seen Cooper go off like that at a woman!”
I sit next to her, shoving some clothes aside to make room. She hands me the bottle and I take a swig. “He’s an asshole!”
“Yeah, he is. But to see him so affected like that, makes me wonder if he’s battling something deeper!”
“Well according to Tanner, he hasn’t acted this crazy over a woman since his wife!”
“That means nothing! He told me himself that no one could ever come close to her. You are reading too much in to all of this!”
She takes the bottle back and drinks. “Maybe, but for Tanner to notice something like that…” she trails off, leaving the unanswered question in the air.
“Anyway, I’m outta here tomorrow. I won’t be dictated to. I’d rather stack shelfs in the supermarket than put up with him anymore.”
“What about Asher?”
“Don’t put that on me Brook!” I sigh.
“I’m not I’m just asking. I thought you were made of stronger stuff!”
I glare at her, snatching the bottle and drinking the vile liquid. “He just humiliated me!”
“Do you even want Brick? Because he’s probably only trying to piss Coop off.”
“How would getting with me do that?”
“Well he’s never really forgiven Cooper for marrying his sister!” she slams her hand over her mouth. “I shouldn’t have said that. He hates people knowing his business!”
“I’m not around from tomorrow so it’s not like I’m going to say anything!” I remind her.
“I guess,” she mutters “Cooper whisked her away and they came back married. Never even said he was with her like that. Brick was mad. Mad enough to go the road alone. He was a big part of the Hammers before all of that, but he sees it as betrayal. Cooper should have spoken to Brick about it!”
“Oh.” I take another drink. My head is feeling a little lighter, the anxiety of the evening slipping away.
“Look, being in this life isn’t a choice for most of us. We were born in to it or dragged in to it for whatever reason. But you, you have something, and I feel like you were meant to come in to Coopers life for a reason. I’ve actually seen him smile since you came! He drinks in the bar and hangs out with the guys more. Before you, he hid away, the only time he came out of that office was to rip in to someone!”
“He will find a new nanny!”
“Just stay Mila. You love Asher, you have been amazing with him! At least stay until he finds a new nanny?”
I shrug. I’m not sure I can ever look him in the face again without having a panic attack. “He grabbed me by the throat!” I huff.
“He did, and I told him exactly what I thought of him! Stay for Asher.”
When I don’t respond she flings her arms around me, “Just until he finds a new nanny!” I snap, and she nods.
By the time we are half way through the bottle we are both suitably drunk. “Let’s go back down stairs. Fuck Cooper and his moody ways!” suggests Brook. I’m doubtful of this new plan but my drunken brain buzzes to life, along with my heart. The alcohol numbing the fear I felt earlier.
When we get downstairs Tanner comes over and kisses Brook before leaning down and kissing me on the top of the head. “Ignore him baby girl, none of the guys will ever treat you like a club whore, I will make sure of it!” I’m grateful for the reassurance.
Cooper is sat on the pool table, looking in to a bottle of Jack. He glances up, but I look away. Brook sticks on some music on the old jukebox that sits in the corner of the room. Aerosmith’s Crying blasts out and we both jump around, singing to each other at the top of our voices. I’m aware that Cooper is watching us, a small smile tugging at his lips but I take no notice because I’m still really mad at him, even if my heart is trying to sway me otherwise.
“He can’t take his eyes off you!” grins Brook.
“Get ready for his apology then!” she winks, moving away from me in time for Cooper to step in front of me.
“Oh for god sake!” I groan. “It’s taken half a bottle of Vodka to chill me out and now you’ve come back for another go!”
“Can I talk to you? In my office?”
“NO!” I snap, turning away from him. I feel his huge arms wrap around my waist, lifting me off the floor effortlessly and throwing me over his shoulder. I scream out, more in surprise than anger. Tanner steps in front of him, stopping him in his tracks.
“Are we gonna have a problem here Coop?” he grits out.
“No Tanner, we’re all good!” he says, calmly.
“Yes we have a problem!” I screech. But Tanner moves to one side, letting him pass with me over his shoulder like some caveman. Tanner winks at me as Cooper passes. “I thought you were going to protect me!”
He places me back on my feet once inside the office. “I’m sorry!” he says firmly. “You won’t hear me say it often, but I really am sorry!”
I nod. I don’t want to engage in conversation, I’m hurt by his behaviour and I can’t just forget it like that. “Will you stay?”
“I’ll stay until you find another nanny.” I mutter.
“That’s fare,” he agrees “But I’m hoping I will change your mind before that happens. Asher really loves you, I know it hasn’t been long, but I’ve never seen him so happy.”
“Most nannies will do amazing with him, he’s an easy kid to love!”
“I promise to keep my nose out of your personal business from this moment on.” He says.
“And no more sneaking in my room. It’s not appropriate.” I add, He nods in agreement.
The following day Asher is more clingy than normal. He is shying away from Cooper, so I think that what he witnessed scared him. I tell Cooper that he needs to take things slow and show Asher that he can trust him. Cooper isn’t convinced. I feel like he doesn’t know how to behave around children.
We invite him to the park, but he makes up an excuse and does the same again when we invite him to the cinema. At this rate Asher will have a better relationship with the club prospects than his own uncle.
Asher is in bed and I decide to try and win Cooper around. I knock gently on his office door. “Come in!” he shouts.
I find him hunched over some paperwork looking serious and moody. “Hey, you have a minute?” I ask, hopefully. He chucks his phone on top of the papers and leans back in his comfy office chair. “You any good at numbers Mila?”
“Not really, I failed Math!” I admit, sitting opposite him. “I came to talk to you about Asher.”
He sighs but gives a nod for me to go ahead. “I think he needs to see photos of family, maybe his mum and grandparents?”
“Why?” he scowls.
“Because he’s a lost little boy and he asks questions a lot!”
“He does?” Cooper looks surprised.
“Yeah. He asks where mummy is and if nana is with her!”
He pulls open a drawer and pulls out a large photo album. He passes it over to me. “That was my mums. There should be pictures in there of his mum before she turned into a mess!”
“Why don’t we all sit together tomorrow and go through this?” I suggest casually.
“I’ll see. I’ve got a lot on!” he huffs. I leave the office feeling dejected and sad for Asher. The poor kid is relying on this guy to bring him up and yet they can’t even look at each other right now.
It’s been four weeks since I asked Cooper to go through the photo album with us. We are still waiting. I’ve given up asking him to join us for anything now because he never comes and if he isn’t bothered about his relationship with Asher then why should I be?
It’s a hot day today so we have lathered ourselves in sun cream and we have decided to head out to the field and read a story. I’ve set up a parasol to shade Asher and laid out a blanket and some cushions. I’m hoping he has a nap out here so that I can enjoy the beautiful sunshine and read my kindle.
When we get to the field, I’m surprised to find Cooper there. He’s laying back on the blanket I set out earlier in his comfy blue jeans and no top. I try not to drool over his tattooed abs. His body is amazing.
“To what do we owe this pleasure?” I ask. We haven’t seen Cooper much at all these last few weeks. He’s gone back to hiding out in his office all day, sometimes I pass him in the hall when he’s heading to his room but we only converse in passing and he hardly ever asks me about Asher.
“I brought the photo album, thought I’d spend some time with Asher!”
“Wow, you hear that Asher, Uncle Cooper is going to show us some pictures!” I say in my best excited voice. Asher picks up on the tone of my voice and immediately smiles. We sit next to Cooper on the blanket and he pulls out the album.
“I haven’t looked at this since my Wife passed.” He mutters.
He opens up to the first page and the first picture is big enough to fill the page. It’s of Cooper when he was young with a younger girl, I assume this is his sister. There’s no mistaking it’s him, even though he’s just a teenager in this picture. His green eyes are piercing.
“This is me and Kyla, my sister. Asher’s mum.” I smile. She is beautiful, the same green eyes as Cooper, surrounded by long, dark eye lashes. Both of their smiles are wide with perfect white teeth.
He turns the page and it’s a family picture with his parents. His dad was clearly a biker too, he looks the part. He has his cut on, Hammers MC proudly displayed on the badge. He has the long beard and a bandanna.
We go through various photos. Asher is enthralled even though I’m not sure he really understands what we are looking at. Cooper points out photos of his mum and he just stares at them.
Cooper freezes when he turns the page to a photo of him and a gorgeous blond girl. She’s looking up at him with complete love in her eyes and he’s got her tucked into his side like she is the most important possession in his life.
“Wow Cooper, she is stunning! She looks so happy and…” I trail off when he abruptly turns the page.
“I was going to say in love!” I finish.
“Look Asher, this is you and your mommy.” He says gruffly, completely ignoring my comment and pointing to a picture of his sister holding a tiny bundle. She looks so proud, it breaks my heart.
Asher runs one of his little fingers over the face of his mother, looking so intently at it, like he’s saving every detail. “Mommy!” he smiles suddenly, looking up at Cooper. He throws his little arms around Coopers neck, clinging onto him and then he runs off towards his football. Leaving us both stunned in to silence.
After a few minutes Copper closes the book. “I think he needed that!” I say, quietly and he nods. “I bet you miss them both so much, your sister and your wife!”
“We aren’t talking about that Aida, you’re not my therapist or my girlfriend!”
He never misses an opportunity to remind me that I am nothing to him, it actually annoys me more than it should.
“Any luck on finding that new nanny? It’s been a month!” I ask, casually. I have asked before, but he always seems to dodge the question or mutter about being too busy. I don’t understand why he wants me around when he clearly can’t stand being around me.
“Is that still what you want?” He lies back on the blanket, placing his hands behind his head. His sunglasses shield his eyes, so I can’t see if he’s looking at me, but I give him my best annoyed look.
“Cooper, you were supposed to sort this out weeks ago!”
“I’ve been too busy Mila, I was hoping you would change your mind. Asher will be heartbroken!”
“Like you actually care!” I mutter.
“Of course I care, he’s my nephew and he is terrified of everyone but you! Who will he run to if you go?”
“Carrie will willingly help you out!”
“Me and Carrie aren’t a thing, she’s a club whore.”
I feel him tug on the back of my vest, gently guiding me to lay down beside him. Once I’m down, he rolls onto his side, propping his head up with his hand. “Let me take you out tonight?”
I frown in confusion, “Why?”
“Because I want to, because I haven’t been out for dinner in ages, why do I need a reason?”
“But you hate me!” I state and he laughs.
“When did I say that?”
“Erm, I got that impression when you grabbed me by the throat and threatened to kill me for disrespecting you, or maybe the fact that you avoid me and Asher like the plague?”
He falls silent for a few minutes, gently twisting some of my loose hair around his finger.
“I don’t hate you Mila, when I’m next to you, I feel calm. All the raging thoughts flying around my head, they just stop, and I can breathe. So, come for dinner with me, I just need to breath for a few hours!”
My breath stutters, how can he be so cold and then say stuff like that? He makes my heart melt when he looks so vulnerable and I wonder if he’s feeding me a line or if he actually means what he says, do I calm him?
It’s eight in the evening and Brook is flapping around me, twisting the curls she spent an hour on, insisting that she help me get ready for my ‘date’ with Cooper. I keep telling her that it isn’t like that, but she won’t listen. I told her what he had said to me about me calming him and I saw a tear in her eye. From that moment on she’s brushed, fluffed and prodded every inch of me.
“Asher shouldn’t wake at all but if he does, stick him in my bed. It always works.” I say as she sprays my hair yet again. I glance at my outfit in the floor to ceiling mirror. I opted for ripped skinny jeans and a black vest top. I didn’t want to look like I was expecting a date night, especially with Brook trying to squeeze me in to skirts and low-cut tops.
I add a coat of lip gloss. I have kept the makeup to a minimum, preferring a natural look to enhance my golden tan.
I slip into my black heels and do one final check.
“Have a great night, show him what he could have won!” smiles Brook and I roll my eyes. Like he would ever look at me like that!
I get down to the bar and Cooper is already there, chatting to Sam. He looks hot in a pair of jeans and white t-shirt. No cut tonight though which makes him look out of place. He looks up, catching my eye and smiles as I approach.
“You kids behave tonight.” Grins Sam, standing and indicating for me to sit in his seat.
Copper orders me a Gin and Lemonade which I nervously sip. I suddenly feel like I am going on a date, damn Brook sticking ideas in my head.
“We best get out of here, Carrie is giving us death glares from over there!” he mutters, and I groan.
“Why? It’s just some dinner!”
“She gets like this, who can blame her?” he grins, adding a cocky wink.
He drives my car, it’s a little less conspicuous around here, even though most people know Cooper and so he still gets stopped a few times from the car to the restaurant.
Once seated the waiter hands us a menu each and Cooper orders us both a beer. We settle on steak and once the waiter leaves us, we sit in silence for a few minutes. Eventually Cooper laughs.
“Normally I can’t shut you up Mila, you follow me around nagging about what I need to do with Asher and now you sit here like a mute?”
“I do not nag!” I defend myself with a laugh. “I merely point out what Asher needs. Not that you listen!”
“Sorry about earlier, I was snappy when you asked about my wife. It was out of order. I just don’t handle talking about her well.”
I nod, I understand, it’s not like we are close enough to talk and if there’s one thing I’ve learned about bikers, it’s that they don’t do feelings or talk shit through!
“I guess you heard that she was Bricks sister?” he continues, I give a nod. “So, you can see why I got a bit narked when he hit on you? I felt it was payback!”
“Payback? I’m your nanny, not your girlfriend!”
“Yeah well, Bricks good at noticing the shit I don’t say!” he mutters, knocking some of his beer back.
“He won’t ever forgive me for marrying her without talking to him first. I don’t blame him; my sister did the same to me and I hated it. But Brick won’t settle until he feels we are even. It kills him I’m the Pres, it’s not easy for him to go up against me so he will do sly shit like hit on my nanny to piss me off!”
“Thanks and there I was thinking I was special!” I say, sarcastically.
“Brick doesn’t do special Mila!”
“Do you?” the words are out and I inwardly groan, it totally sounds like I’m hitting on him.
“I didn’t think I’d ever meet anyone as special as Anna, but who knows, maybe one day.”
I don’t know why that thought makes my heart flutter, it isn’t like we could ever be anything other than employer and employee.
“So Carrie, she isn’t your happy ever after?”
He rolls his eyes, “Carrie is a laugh, we have fun together but it’s nothing more and she knows it deep down.”
“Not very fare though, your kinda keeping her hanging on even though you know she isn’t forever!”
“She knows the score. If she wants to keep making herself available, knowing there’s nothing at the end of it then that’s her problem!”
Harsh, I am certain she thinks he will change his mind one day. She talks like she is in a relationship with him.
The rest of the meal runs smoothly, we manage to eat and chat about childhoods and I tell him about my parents and how they were disappointed when I split up with Aaron. I hear they still see him and invite him around to their house on Sundays for a roast dinner.
I feel more relaxed and we both open up about past relationships. Cooper makes me laugh with some of his tales of mishaps about climbing up drain pipes to sneak into girls’ rooms. The description of the teenage Cooper is exactly how I imagined him to be, cheeky and sex crazed.
When we arrive back to the club, the bar is heaving, and Cooper goes off to the bar to get us both a drink. I head over to Brook and Tanner, who are sitting in a booth by the window.
“How was the date?” grins Brook.
“The NONE date was really nice. It was good to get to know Cooper without him rushing off to answer his phone!”
Cooper joins us with a drink and his cut firmly back in place. I smile, it suits him, and I actually prefer to have him in it than not.
“How did you think the date went Coop?” asks Brook, mischief sparkling in her eyes.
“Brook!” grumbles Tanner in his gruff voice, clearly trying to give her a warning.
“Ever the match maker hey B!” sighs Cooper, shaking his head.
“Well when two single people go out for dinner together, that’s usually seen as a date!”
My mobile rings and I pull it out my bag, Aarons name flashing on the screen. I sigh and cancel the call. “So you are ignoring my calls then!”
I swing around in fright to find Aaron standing beside our booth, looking handsome and fresh, nothing like the rough, hard cut men I’m surrounded by just lately.
“Aaron, what are you doing here?”
“I needed to see you, seeing as you won’t return my calls!” he says, pointedly.
“I didn’t see the point, we are over, what’s to discuss?”
I glance around the table, no one looks pleased to see Aaron, least of all Cooper.
“So, you seeing him now?” asks Aaron, glaring in Coopers direction. I stand abruptly, the last thing I need is Aaron and Cooper arguing.
“Outside, now!” I growl, storming towards the door.
I spin around to face Aaron. I realise I haven’t missed that preppy looking face. He is smug, like he thinks that me talking to him, means he has won me back.
“How dare you turn up here. This is my job!” I snap.
“You wouldn’t answer my calls!” he huffs.
“Why would I? I caught you cheating on me!” I say, exasperated.
“Your mom is real upset that you won’t talk to her!”
“Why are you here talking about my mom? We have split up! You cheated on me! Stay away from my family!”
“It’s been my family too, for years, I can’t just cut them off!” he sighs.
“Oh really, was you thinking about any of that when you were having sex with that girl? Was family on your priority list then?”
“I made a mistake. I got too drunk!” he explains, trying to reach for my hand. I pull away.
“Aaron, I don’t want to see you again, please don’t come here again. Stay away from my parents!”
I go to head inside, but he catches my arm, pulling me towards him. “Please Mila, I realise what a mistake I made. I love you and I miss you so much!”
He places a bony finger under my chin, lifting my gaze to meet his. It makes me shudder, it feels nothing like Cooper or even Brick. I think he mistakes my shudder for desire because his lips crash to mine and he pushes his fingers into my hair, holding me there whilst he assaults me with his sloppy kiss.
I place both hands on his chest and push him back. “Christ Aaron, what the hell was that? That sort of crap might work on your one-night stands but I’m after a real man!” and I wipe my lips on the back of my hand, showing how disgusted I am.
I leave him standing in the car park and make my way back inside. Jase is leaning against the wall, talking to a few other guys.
“New boyfriend Mila?” he grins, and I shudder again.
“No, a past mistake!”
“Well you had better go and tell Cooper that, he didn’t look too impressed with that kiss he just witnessed!”
I groan, how did such a good night turn in to this. Not that Cooper will care about me and Aaron, it’s not like there is anything between us and Aaron isn’t part of his club, so he can’t be upset but I am sure he will lecture me on men that can’t provide for their women, Aaron obviously being one.
When I get back to the booth Cooper isn’t there. “What happened?” asks Brook eagerly.
“I sent him packing, obviously. The creep kissed me! I feel violated! Where’s Cooper?” I ask, looking around.
I notice the shared look between her and Tanner and then I see why. Cooper is at the bar with Carrie, his arm around her shoulder, leaning in close to her, whispering and laughing. It bothers me but I’m not going to let anyone see that.
“Sorry honey!” mutters Brook, touching my arm with a gentle squeeze.
I laugh, “Don’t be silly Brook, I told you already, it wasn’t a date!” My smile faulters slightly but I hide it with a cough.
I take a sip my drink and smile in all the right places whilst Tanner and Brook throw banter back and forth. Cooper hasn’t returned, and it’s been half an hour. I felt silly going straight up to my room. I didn’t want Cooper to think I was upset that he had left our evening to see Carrie.
Harper joins us after her shift, plonking herself down next to me. “I am so tired!” she huffs. “Kain is a total prick by the way!” she adds, glancing back to the bar where he has a girl pressed up against him.
“The plan not going well then?” I laugh, and she rolls her eyes.
“Fuck him, I can do so much better!”
Tanner clinks her glass with his own, “Tank is still available! Said I’d put in a good word with you!”
“Not a chance Tanner, not a fucking chance!” snaps Harper, knocking her vodka back in one go. “Was that Aaron I saw?”
I nod, “I sent him packing after he decided to suck my face!”
She giggles and screws up her face, “Gross!”
Cooper interrupts our conversation, sliding in the booth next to Brook, Carrie by his side. He stares at me, his green eyes shooting butterflies straight to my stomach.
He plonks a bottle of Vodka on the table and some shot glasses.
“Actually, I was about to call it a night!” I mutter, going to stand.
“Somewhere better to be?” he snaps.
I lower myself back in to my seat. The last time Cooper was snappy with me he ended up grabbing me by the throat. He must sense my uneasiness because he looks away.
“Sorry about Aaron turning up like that!” I say, quietly.
He slams shot glasses down in front of each of us and unscrews the cap of the Vodka. “Not my business!” he grunts, pouring everyone a shot.
He knocks his back and refills his glass. Once Carrie has drank hers, she turns to him, brushing her lips against his.
My stomach ties in knots and as much as I want to deny it, this feeling is pure jealousy.
I bite my bottom lip hard as I watch him ease her head back, gently kissing along her jaw line. He reaches her lips before I realise that he is looking directly at me. I feel like he is goading me, like he can read my mind and he wants to evoke these jealous feelings inside me.
I reach for the bottle of Vodka, drinking directly from the bottle. He pulls away from Carrie, grinning at my lack of manners. “You okay?”
I slam the bottle down, “Yep, I need to dance!” I say firmly, standing on the booth chair and climbing over the back so that I don’t disturb Harper, who is still staring at Kain.
There’re a few old ladies dancing so I join them, they welcome me with cheers as I wiggle my way in. Fuck Cooper and Carrie. I have no business being jealous, but the heart wants what it wants, I can’t help that.
I turn to Woody, The club’s enforcer. We get on well, he is always doing little jobs for me, like putting up shelves or fixing something that Asher has broken.
“You gonna dance with me big guy or have I gotta beg?”
He hesitates for a second, glancing at Cooper, but he must give him the nod because he grins and joins me, his big arms wrapping around my small waist.
“You trying to get him to confess his undying love Mila?” he growls into my ear.
“Who?” I ask, innocently.
“Like you don’t know!” he laughs, pressing me closer to him.
When the next song begins to play, I pull away. “I need to pee!” I explain, before heading for the toilets. I pee and then spend a few minutes checking my face in the mirror. I spent so long sitting still so Brook could perfect these curls, it feels like such a waste now. I had no intention of letting anything happen with me and Cooper tonight or any expectations that anything would happen, but I still feel so disappointed that it’s ended like this.
I step out of the toilet and straight in to a hard, firm chest. I place my hands on his chest to steady myself and look up into those brilliant, green eyes that I am beginning to know so well.
He backs me in to the corner of the corridor, just outside the toilets. My back presses against the cool wall and I’m holding my breath, scared that if I make a sound it will startle him, and he will run away.
His large hand cups my chin and he lowers his head to mine until our lips are almost touching. “You are driving me crazy tonight!” he whispers.
He presses his lips to mine and within seconds we go from a gentle, unsure kiss to something desperate and passionate.
His hands run through my hair, pulling and tugging like he needs this to breath. He lifts me, and I automatically wrap my legs around his waist. Something about feeling him pressed so close to where I need him has me grinding against him, making him groan. “Shit Mila, you make me feel like a horny teenager!” he growls, lowering me back on to my feet.
He straightens my hair, “We need to go back out there, keep this between ourselves!”
Hurt must fill my face because he takes my hand, “I don’t mean it like that, make your excuses to Brook and Harper, I’ll follow you up!” He places a quick, light kiss on my head and disappears in to the men’s toilets.
Once I’ve said goodnight to the girls I head to my room, avoiding all eye contact with Cooper.
I quickly brush my teeth and as I swing the bathroom door open, I run straight in to Cooper. He reaches for my wrists and pushes me back against the wall, pressing his lips hard against mine again, bruising me with his lips.
He guides me towards his room, I’ve never been in there, so I’m surprised when he doesn’t take me to mine, especially as I left the door open.
He punches in the key code to unlock his door, still kissing me hungrily. The door swings back, crashing against the wall. He pushes me into the dark hall and I don’t get chance to look around because he leaves the light off and slams the door shut.
Our heavy breaths fill the silence as he pulls at my clothes. I thank the heavens that I chose my best underwear tonight, the only matching set I own from Victoria’s Secret, something I treated myself to recently. Maybe subconsciously I was hoping that Cooper would get to see the black lace set one day.
When I am finally down to my underwear, he lifts me against the wall. I wrap my arms around his huge shoulders, trying to keep myself up as he fiddles with the button on his jeans. When he finally pops it open, his mouth returns to mine, his tongue pushing against mine.
I don’t remember a time when I was so turned on, all I can think about is him and the need I have to get him inside me. It’s taken over me and I am shamelessly rubbing against the hardness I can feel in his jeans.
He places me back on my feet and rummages around in his pocket. I don’t even want to think about why he has a condom at the ready, so I push that thought to one side whilst he rips open the packet and places the condom on. He lifts me again and this time he lowers me so that his hard cock is pressed against my wet entrance.
My breath hitches as he slowly pushes inside me, he pauses, resting his head against my shoulder and breathing deeply. “Fuck!” he mutters. I run my nails up and down his back, making him groan and push forward in one quick movement. He stills for a second before picking up the pace and ramming in to me. I don’t have chance to adjust properly but the burning, tight feeling is a welcome pleasure and I find myself screaming and gripping on to his shoulders to stop myself from collapsing to the floor. My orgasm rips through me, it’s the first time I have been able to orgasm from intercourse, usually, after sex with Aaron I’d have to finish myself off.
He grips my hair and pulls my head to one side, biting at my neck before suddenly stopping his movements and groaning. He stills, the odd jerking movement as he finishes his release.
He lowers me to the floor and slips out of me. Still keeping me imprisoned against the wall, he presses his forehead against mine. His breathing matching mine.
“I’ve been wanting to do that since the day you walked into my clubhouse!” He mutters against my head.
“Then what took you so long?” I smile.
He reaches over and flicks the light on, the hall bathed in bright light, making me shield my eyes. It’s clear that this isn’t just a bedroom like mine and Asher’s. It’s an apartment. There are three doors leading off from the hall where we stand.
“Best room in the house?” I ask. He takes my hand and leads me to the first door, opening it to reveal a small bathroom with a sink area, a toilet and a shower. “Get cleaned up, I will get us a drink.”
Once he’s left, I jump in the shower, there’s a pile of white fluffy towels on the side and I can’t resist making use of the facilities.
After a quick shower, in which I use Cooper’s shower gel, I wrap myself in the huge towel. The door opens, and Cooper appears. He looks relaxed in just his jeans, holding two glasses with an amber liquid.
He hands me one and I wince as the Whiskey burns my throat. He places his glass on the side and pushes his jeans down his muscly legs. Revealing more tattoos that run down the backs of his calves.
I watch as he steps in to the shower, switching it on and rinsing himself clean, using the same shower gel I just used.
Once finished he gets put and wraps a towel around his waist. I watch the water droplets run down his tattooed chest. “So, now what?” he asks, breaking my daydream,
I take another sip of my drink. “I go back to my room and get some much-needed sleep?” I ask, even though that’s the last thing I want.
“Not a chance, I haven’t finished with you yet!” he says, picking up his drink and taking me by the hand.
He leads me into his bedroom. It’s a lot bigger than mine, decorated in dark colours, making it an obvious man’s room. Large Oak furniture placed carefully, makes me wonder if there was a woman’s touch at some point.
A four posted bed stands sturdy against one wall. Black sheets strewn across it as it lies unmade.
“Sorry about the mess, I don’t usually bring anyone back in here!” he mutters, switching on the nearest lamp.
“Except Carrie!” I say, raising an eyebrow.
“Except Carrie!” he agrees with an awkward smile.
I hadn’t thought about Carrie and the mention of her makes my heart squeeze. It isn’t like we are best friends or anything, but she was growing on me and I think she had started to like me too. Now I’ve done exactly what she thought I would, and I feel guilt and shame hit me all at once.
“We can’t mention this to anyone!” I say, quietly.
Annoyance crosses his features. “I’m not watching my men drool all over you anymore and the only way to stop that is to tell them that we are sleeping together!”
A pang of hurt hits my chest. I didn’t expect the whole girlfriend speech but seriously, talk about lay it out there. All I’ve done is replace Carrie!
“I don’t want all the hassle from Carrie or any of the other girls here just because we had a one-night stand!” I snap, it comes out harsher than I meant it to, and he raises his eyebrows.
“One-night stand!” he repeats, nodding his head. “Fare enough!” He drops his towel and heads over to the bed, throwing the covers back and sliding in. “Are you sleeping in here or your own room?” he asks.
I find my feet moving forward towards his bed. It’s selfish and my brain is screaming for me to leave but my heart won’t let me, and I shut it off as I climb in beside him. He tugs at my towel, unwrapping it and leaning over me, taking a nipple in to his gorgeous mouth.
I wake some time during the night because I am too hot. Cooper has his arm around my waist and I feel his erection pushing inside me once again. His movements are slow and lazy, he takes his time, fucking me into oblivion and then I drift back off to sleep.
The sunlight shining in my eyes wakes me. I turn to the bedside clock. It’s only 6am. I have at least an hour before Asher wakes up. Cooper is asleep beside me, his arm thrown over his eyes.
Feeling brave, I slide my hand over his abs and down towards his cock. I’ve only ever been this forward once with Aaron and he turned me down, it was enough to knock my confidence to never trying it again.
My hand grips around him and I feel him swell so I begin to move my hand back and forth until he feels hard.
I carefully move myself over him and rub myself against him. He groans, and his hands move to my waist. “Mm what a way to wake up!” he grins, keeping his eyes closed.
I reach for the condom on his bedside table and open the pack. I’ve never put one on before but now is a good time to learn so I pull it over his shaft and once I am satisfied, I lift myself over his erection and slowly lower myself down. This way feels more intense and I’m fuller. I give my self-time to adjust before moving again.
I take pleasure in the groans and grunts coming from Cooper. I watch his face as I move, the strain on it making him look fiercer than normal.
I think it’s taking all his control not to throw me down and fuck me senseless. He is definitely a man that likes all the control, but I like that he is letting me lead.
As my orgasm builds, I move faster. He pinches my nipple and it sends me spiralling into an orgasm. I flop onto his heaving chest and let him take over the movements. He holds my waist, thrusting up in to me at a fast pace until he shouts out and then stills. His grip on my waist is bruising but I don’t move. This is going to be the final time this happens between us and I don’t want it to end.
“Fuck, how the hell am I gonna stay away from this?” he mumbles, running his fingers up and down my back. The movement sends me drifting back off to sleep and when I wake again, Cooper isn’t next to me. My heart squeezes again, I’m not sure if I can be around him if we go back to how we were.
When I eventually pluck up the courage to leave his room, it’s almost 10am. I run to my room, just in case anyone is lingering in the hall and then I rush to get dressed. By the time I get downstairs the club house is quite busy. Asher is sitting on Coopers knee watching something on the big screen. It’s the first time I’ve ever seen them sitting this close together and it warms my heart.
Cooper catches my eye and gives me a wink before scowling at me. He’s putting on an act for the others, especially Carrie who is sitting nearby. “Wondered when you would climb out your pit newbie, heavy drinking leads to late starts!” he snaps.
“Sorry Cooper, I was sick this morning, I did send you a text message!” I mutter. I am terrible at lying and I feel like everyone is watching me, even though they aren’t.
“Well luckily for you the kids been very good this morning so I’ll let you off, but don’t let this be a regular occurrence!”
I give a nod and then head to the kitchen to make myself a much needed coffee.
I’m in a daydream, thinking about Coopers hands on my body when his arms wrap around my waist from behind. “You thinking about me?” he growls into my ear, making me jump.
“What are you doing?” I whisper hiss, trying to escape his arms. He holds me firmly, His hands running up towards my breasts, “I miss these already!” he grins.
“I thought we were going to keep this between ourselves, someone might come in!”
He kisses my neck and I sigh, leaning in to him. “I don’t think that’s going to be possible!” he groans, pushing his erection into my back.
“You are like a beast!” I joke.
“Maybe we can come to an arrangement?” he suggests, turning me to face him. “It can be our secret if it makes you feel better, but I can’t give it up, I can’t give you up, not now I’ve had a taste!” he grins.
My heart skips a beat and a smile breaks out across my face. “A secret!” I confirm, and he kisses me, causing me to sigh. Maybe this could work. I nod, and he smiles too before stealing my coffee and leaving the kitchen.
The rest of the week flies by. Every night Cooper has creeped in to my bed. Sometimes before I’m asleep he turns up and other times it’s in the middle of the night, once I’ve been asleep for hours.
To everyone else we look like we hate each other. He snipes at me and I roll my eyes and huff. Carrie is frustrated because he isn’t giving her any attention, secretly I am over the moon, even if I feel guilty because I am the reason for his lack of interest in her.
It’s Friday and most of the guys, including Cooper, have been away for a night. It’s been quiet in the clubhouse, but I know how Brook feels when Tanner is away. I missed Cooper in my bed last night and that worries me. I tried to convince myself that it because it’s all new and he is the only man that’s ever made me orgasm, let alone three or four times a night. The feeling is addictive. I am not falling for him, definitely not!
I’m at the bar keeping Harper company. Asher went to bed at a decent time tonight so I’m enjoying the peace. The bar is quiet tonight, mainly because most of the guys are still away and it’s pouring down with rain outside, keeping the usual party revellers away.
Carrie comes in and sits on the bar seat next to me. “Have you heard from Cooper?” she sighs.
“No, why would I hear from him?” I ask, defensively. She looks at me, confused.
“I don’t know, maybe about Asher or something?” I shake my head and sip my drink, not trusting myself to speak. “He slips out of my bed on Thursday morning and then disappears for a few days, not a text or a return day! I am sick of this life!” she grumbles.
My mind is still frozen on her remark about him leaving her bed. That can’t be right, he’s been with me every night! He hasn’t paid her any attention.
“You okay?” she asks, moving her hand in front of my face. I give a quick nod. Brick is sitting across the bar from me and he gives a small wave, which I return. “He’s still got it bad for you yah know!” she adds, nodding towards Brick. She gets up and leaves. Harper tops up my wine.
“Ignore her, I’m pretty sure that was total bullshit!” she says. I’ve told her about me and Cooper. She’s my best friend and the only person that I can trust to keep it quiet.
“I doubt it, we didn’t say we were exclusive! I shouldn’t be upset because it’s a casual thing!” I say, not sure who I am trying to convince.
She pats my hand and then goes to serve another customer.
Brick seizes the opportunity to fill the vacant bar stool next to me. “How’s you, beautiful girl?”
“I’m good Brick, how’s you?”
He nods, “Not bad, not bad!”
We sit in silence for some time. Both drinking and watching Harper serve the odd customer.
“So, he didn’t claim you?” he finally says.
“Who?” I ask.
“Cooper, the big bad president!” he rolls his eyes.
“No, why would he? He’s my boss!” I laugh, hoping that I’m not blushing.
We talk for some time, drunken talk about relationships and being cheated on. I open up about Aaron and his cheating and he tells me his wife recently cheated on him.
“Did you kill him? The other guy?” I ask, and he laughs.
“Not exactly! I’m drunk! You’re drunk! Why don’t we make a drunken mistake together?” he asks, wiggling his eyebrows and making me laugh.
“That was a swift change in subject there!” I point out and he holds his hands up.
Harper rings the bell indicating last orders. Brick buys a bottle of wine. “Why don’t we take this upstairs to yours and open it?” he suggests and for some stupid reason, I nod.
We walk through the club house and get a few raised eyebrows, not because anyone knows about me and Cooper but because it’s not the sort of thing I’ve ever done, take a man back to my room.
Carrie grins at me in a knowing gesture.
I’m naked. I am naked, and Brick is on top of me, thrusting back and forth. It’s not a bad thing, I like Brick, but it isn’t the same as Cooper and my heart knows it. I feel cheap and dirty because not 24 hours before I was doing the exact same thing with Cooper and it felt so right. This doesn’t, and I can’t tell if I feel guilty or if revenge just doesn’t suit me because let’s face it, this is payback for what Carrie told me. I am hurt that Cooper went to her.
Brick finally finds his release and rolls off me. Not caring if I’ve found mine. Typical.
We lay silently for some time and then Brick gets up and begins dressing. “Can I call you?” he asks. I hesitate, do I want him to call me? Not really. I shrug, “I think Cooper will flip his shit if we try and make this a regular thing, maybe it’s best if you don’t and if we keep this quiet?” I ask hopefully.
He gives a nod, “What-ever you want Mila!” I feel like I can sense relief in his tone. Maybe he didn’t feel it was right either.
It takes me a while to fall asleep. Guilt eats at me. When I finally drift off, it feels like I’ve been asleep just minutes before my door opens, letting in the hall light which wakes me.
I lean up on my elbow and turn on my lamp. Cooper stands there. Blood stains his light grey t-shirt and his jeans. He has that lost look about him again and I feel my heart rate kick up.
“Cooper, you okay?” I ask, rubbing my eyes.
Silently, he shuts the door behind him and begins to undress. He climbs in to the bed, shoving me over. “It’s a mess in here again!” he mutters, tapping his head. I lay on my back and he lays his head on to my chest. Something about my heart beat must calm him because his light snores fill the room within minutes.
I wake feeling stiff. I must have fallen to sleep in this sitting position. Cooper is still glued to me. His head is pressed against my stomach. He stirs, running his hand up my thigh. There is no way I can have sex with him. Not when I know that Brick was there hours ago.
I clamp my legs together and he lifts his head, looking at me with amusement on his face. I know I need to tell him, but the thought makes me feel sick. He probably won’t be bothered but I don’t want to risk him flying in to a rage, especially after the last time he got mad with me.
“What’s up?” he asks.
“I just don’t feel like it!” I shrug, and he laughs.
“You haven’t seen me since Thursday morning.” He points out.
“So, I’m not a nymphomaniac yah know!” I snap. “Go and see Carrie if you need it that bad!”
He sits up, “What’s gotten in to you? Has she been stirring up shit?”
“Depends, did you have sex with her on Thursday before you left?”
He laughs, “I was with you Thursday morning, I’m good but not that good! Is that what she said?”
I nod, picking at my quilt. “She’s probably worked out what’s been going on Mila, this is purely to cause trouble!”
He sighs when he sees the uncertainty in my eyes. “Trust me, I won’t go there again!” He leans in and places a gentle kiss on the end of my nose. It makes me feel even worse.
“Are you just having sex with me?” I ask. He smiles and gives a nod.
“Am I supposed to just have sex with you?” I ask casually. A look crosses his face and I shiver, it isn’t a happy look. “If you don’t want to witness a murder!”
“You didn’t say we were exclusive!” I mutter.
“I didn’t say we weren’t!” he says firmly. “Do you want to have sex with someone else?”
I shake my head. He stands, looking irritated. “Good! I’m going to go and have a little word with Carrie!” and he stomps out of the room.
I scrabble around getting dressed. Panic sets in as soon as he has left the room. What if Bricks down there, I need to tell Cooper before he does.
When I get down to the main room Cooper and Carrie are in full argument mode. I cringe. “Tell her now!” booms Cooper in her face. She looks at me, annoyance in her features.
“I lied!” she snaps.
“Get your shit and get the fuck out of my clubhouse!” he yells, shoving her away from him.
“Cooper, don’t do that, no damage done!” I say quickly.
“Don’t worry about me, I’m done being his whore!” she yells, pulling her boots on. “But you’re making a huge mistake, Bricks fucked her already and there’s a que of your own men waiting to get in there!” He looks in my direction and my face pales. “The minute your back was turned she dragged him in to her bed!” she adds, realising that he didn’t have a clue.
I watch as she storms out, leaving me to face the hulk who is now snarling and huffing like he’s going to explode. Brick leans back against the pool table, amusement on his face and I know instantly that he did it all on purpose, it was revenge, just like Cooper warned me it would be.
“You have two seconds to get the fuck out of my sight!” he snarls in my general direction. I feel Brook take me by the arm and pull me from the room.
As we head upstairs, I hear shouting and wood breaking. That can’t be good!
“What the hell were you thinking?” snaps Brook. I shrug, because I honestly don’t know. This isn’t the sort of thing I do!
“She said he’d been sleeping with her. I was hurt and angry and Brick was there doing that thing he does with the eyes and the sexy smile and did I mention that she said she had slept with Cooper!” I rush out.
Brook glares at me like I’m crazy, “You didn’t even tell me YOU were sleeping with him!”
I’d forgotten that bit. I give her a guilty shrug, “Sorry!” I squeak out.
The bedroom door crashes open and Cooper stands there, his breath heaving in and out of his raging body. His fists are curled tight by his sides and there’s blood splatters down his t-shirt.
I don’t make a move, something tells me I need to stay still and quiet. He
stares at me without even blinking and I wonder if he’s become possessed because he looks crazed.
“Get out!” he snaps and I’m unsure if he’s talking to me or Brook. I glance at her and she shrugs then makes for the door. He doesn’t say anything, just continues to stare at me.
“Cooper…” I begin but he slams the bedroom door, silencing me.
He stalks towards me. “Perhaps I didn’t make myself clear before I left on Thursday, you belong to me!” he growls, it’s so low it feels menacing. His hand goes to my hair and he tugs my head back, so he can see my face. He runs a finger down my throat and then suddenly spins me away from him, so my back is to his front. I hear his belt buckle and his zipper and then he’s tugging at my leggings until they are to my knees. He bends me slightly and moves my knickers to one side before plunging straight into me. I shout out because I’m not ready for him, but he doesn’t stop to check, he rams in to me, shoving me forward with every push. He places a hand around my throat and a thrill shoots through me directly to that warm feeling that’s building. Over and over he pounds in to me until I finally scream out, “Shout my fucking name!” he growls in to my hair. He is claiming me, there’s no mistaking it and so I shout his name as I shake my way through an intense orgasm. He follows me with a roar, gripping my neck tighter.
He pulls out and tucks himself back in. “Cooper you didn’t use a condom!”
He doesn’t speak so I pull up my leggings. I’m on the pill anyway, I have been since I started seeing Aaron, but Cooper didn’t know that and how am I supposed to know if he’s clean! He’s been sleeping with Carrie for ages.
When I look up, he’s heading for the door. Without looking back, he leaves, and I stand there like a goldfish, my mouth opening and closing. What the hell was that.
I go and clean myself up in the bathroom and then head downstairs.
Asher rushes over to me. “Hey little man, you hungry?” I ask, and he nods eagerly.
He follows me into the kitchen where I find a few of the guys and Cooper drinking coffee and reading new papers. Cooper looks up and glances at me before standing and leaving the room.
I realise that Cooper just kicked Carrie out and these guys are probably sat here waiting for their breakfast.
After cooking up some bacon and eggs for what feels like an army, I sit next to Asher, smiling as he shoves the scrambled eggs into his mouth.
“So you and Cooper then, finally!” grins Max. I shrug because I honestly don’t know, he’s clearly still mad at me and he’s just claim fucked me. “Well the fact he’s just told everyone to stay away from you and that he will kill anyone that tries anything on with you, indicates that he’s claiming you!”
I’m still sitting there baffled and going over everything when Cooper stomps in. “Brook is going to watch Asher, get your coat, we have somewhere to be!”
He picks Asher up and carries him out of the room, again leaving me wondering what the hell is going on.
He hands me a Hammers Jacket and a helmet. When I just stare at them, he sighs and begins to get me in to the jacket and the helmet. “We are going on my bike!” he says in way of explanation.
He leads me to his bike. It’s huge and I’ve never really been on anything like this so I’m a bit apprehensive.
“Keep your feet on these bits,” he instructs, pointing to the side of his bike. “All you have to remember is hold on to me and lean when I lean!” He swings his leg over and gets on his bike, then looks at me, waiting.
I lift my leg over and slide on to the seat. I slide against him, placing my hands on his shoulders. He takes them and places them around his waist, pulling me so that I’m practically flat against him.
I jump in fright when he starts the engine and cling to him tighter.
“Relax!” he says with amusement in his voice. His voice is in my helmet which makes me jump again, causing him to laugh.
He pulls away, out of the carpark and I grip on for dear life. It takes me most of the journey to relax and begin to enjoy it. I can see why it appeals to him.
We stop outside a row of small shops. “This is us!” he says, nodding to a tattooist. He must be getting some more ink although I don’t see why he’s brought me along. I hop off and remove my helmet.
Once inside a large man stands to greet Cooper. “Pres, nice to see you as always!” he grins, slapping Cooper on the shoulder.
“Hey Jay, long time no see, how’s things?”
“Good, good, this must be Mila!” he smiles, taking my hand and kissing it. “So, is this what I think?”
Cooper gives a nod and indicates for me to follow Jay into the back room.
There’s a long chair and lots of drawings on the wall. Jay sits on a small stool at side of the long chair and pats it, looking at me. I look back at Cooper and he nods for me to sit in the chair.
“What?” I ask, confused.
“Next best thing to a wedding ring baby!” he smiles, pushing me gently to sit in the chair.
“I don’t want a tattoo, what’s going on?”
Jay reaches for my wrist and places it onto a leather cushion, he sets about cleaning my inner wrist.
“Cooper, explain!” I say, more firmly this time.
“You’re mine now, you need the Tatt to prove it!”
I can feel my breathing begin to get heavy, he must have lost his mind. I remember the tattoo that Brook has, and nothing against her, but I do not want marking!
The sound of the Tattoo gun buzzing brings me back to the situation.
“This is permanent!” I say, panic setting in.
Cooper leans in to my ear, “You better believe it baby, now if Brick so much as looks at you, I can kill him!”
I watch helplessly as Jay grips my wrist and brings the gun to my skin. I hold my breath, it doesn’t hurt but it irritates, causing me to grit my teeth.
After a few minutes the gun stops buzzing and Jay places it on to his trolley. He sprays my wrist and wipes it roughly with some paper towel.
“Done!” he grins, wiping cream over it.
Cooper lifts my wrist and studies the tattoo. He smiles, seemingly satisfied. “Thanks Jay, swing by the clubhouse this weekend! The guys would love to see you!”
Jay wraps my wrist in clingfilm and sticks it down using medical tape. I don’t even want to look at it right now. I think I may be in shock.
We arrive back at the club house and I leave the jacket on, keeping my wrist covered from prying eyes. Harper is working the bar. She looks up and smiles when she notices me behind Cooper.
“Hey, Stay and have a coffee with me!” she says. Cooper kisses me lightly on the head and disappears in to the club house. I sit on a bar stool and Harper pours me a coffee.
“What the hell has been going on? There’s rumours of Cooper claiming you today?” she whisper hisses as she hands me the coffee.
Tears fill my eyes, I’m not sure why, it’s been a crazy morning.
“I slept with Brick!” I whisper, and she covers her mouth in shock.
“What the fuck Mila?” she screeches.
“I know alright, you don’t need to say anything, I feel bad enough!”
“So Cooper knows?” I nod, and she pours herself a coffee.
“He came home during the night, it all got out of hand and Carrie told him everything. He revenge fucked me, or maybe he just marked me, I don’t know and then he took me to get this!” I say, holding out my wrist. She grips it and I wince. “Careful it hurts!”
She lifts the covering and her mouth falls open, “Well shit!” she gasps.
“I can’t even bring myself to look at it Harp, is it awful?” I ask.
She smiles and shakes her head, not taking her eyes from the tattoo. “It’s really pretty Mila!”
She turns my wrist to me. It’s pretty, scrolled writing, Cooper. It’s small and in black ink. I don’t hate it. It’s identical to Brooks but smaller and hers obviously says Tanner.