Cade’s eyes widened. “What? No! That’s not what I’m saying.”

“Then what are you saying?” I folded my arms across my chest.

“It’s just . . . if he . . . fuck, Indy.” His hands balled on the steering wheel. “When I think about what he wanted to do to you. . .”

I felt foolish. My cheeks reddened and I had to fight off another wave of tears. I didn’t know why I was so damn emotional.

“If a man ever puts his hands on you again—you go for the eyes, Indy. You go for them. Poke them. Gouge them. And then, you run.”

His face twisted with anger again. He could barely control his rage. If he were a cartoon, smoke would plume from his flared nostrils.

He ran a hand through his inky hair in frustration, but managed to calm himself. For the longest while he didn’t say anything, he just stared out the windshield trying to calm down. While I stared out the window hating how I was feeling. Finally, he sighed and I felt him relax next to me.

“Tommy Baker?” He scoffed. “What were you thinking?”

I snapped my head to look at him and I could see the hint of amusement on his face. I knew he was trying to diffuse the situation by making light of it, but it just made me mad.

All of a sudden, I couldn’t take it anymore.

“What do you want me to do?” I yelled. “Wait around and watch you kiss Mallory, and Julie, and Kelly, and the entire female body of the eleventh grade?”

I ripped open the car door and slammed it shut behind me.

With my pulse thundering in my ears, I stormed down the street. I heard Cade climb out of the car and come after me. He called out but I ignored him and continued to stomp away from him.

When he caught up to me, he swung me around. “What the hell was that about?”

I glared at him. I knew I should turn and walk away, but I was tired of wanting him. Tired of longing for him to notice me. Tired of wanting my best friend to fall in love with me. It all bubbled up inside me until I couldn’t take it anymore.

“Why are you so blind?” I yelled at him, tears of frustration welling in my eyes.

“What are you talking about?”

“Why can’t you see that I’m right in front of you? Am I so friend-zoned that you can’t even see me anymore?”

For a moment, he looked confused. He went to say something but then stopped. He just looked at me. Drinking me in with those amazing eyes. The next minute, my face was in his big hands.

“If I thought for one moment you wanted to kiss me, Indy, then I’d spend the rest of my life kissing just you.”

My breathing stopped in my chest. I wanted Cade to kiss me more than I wanted the oxygen in my lungs.

“Then what are you waiting for,” I whispered.

His face shimmered with surprise and his eyes searched my face for a sign. He brushed his thumbs against my cheeks and I could see in his eyes that he understood. Then, without any further hesitation, he leaned in and pressed his lips to mine. Light burst behind my closed lids as his mouth closed over mine, his lips savoring the feel of mine against his.

Tommy Baker and his grabby hands were a distant memory, and all I knew was Cade Calley and his sweet, gentle kisses.



Mirabella and Jacob married three days after we buried my father.

They exchanged vows down by the river in the shade of the poplar trees that lined the water. It was a glorious Fall day. Still and sunny, with just enough warmth left in the air. Dandelion husks floated in the shafts of dusky light coming through the trees. And the gentle wind brought the sweet, heady scent of the honeysuckle growing wild along the riverbanks.

I sat beside my mom, Ronnie, and Bull. Across the aisle from me, Cade sat with Isaac, Cherry, and little Brax. Behind us, bikers and their old ladies filled the rows of chairs, all of them sober and ready to celebrate, all of them on their best behavior. Silver rings gleamed in the late afternoon light. Long hair was brushed and gelled back. Hems were high and dresses were tight.

Together, Mirabella and Jacob made a beautiful picture. The six-foot, bearded biker with gentle eyes, and the stunning girl with caramel hair dancing around polished shoulders. Standing in front of their friends and loved ones, they only had eyes for one another.

I watched on, stiff-faced, as Jacob slipped the crown pendant necklace over Mirabella’s head and secured it in place around her throat. Every King gave his old lady a crown pendant when he made her his queen. It was a Kings of Mayhem tradition that stretched back to Hutch Calley and the crown pendant he gave Sybil on their wedding day all those years ago.

Tags: Penny Dee Kings of Mayhem MC Romance